The Year of the Pig

I think that a pig is a perfect metaphor for my life. No, it’s not what you think. Over the Christmas holiday, I actually played a game with my brother-in-law and my son. It was called “Pass the Pigs”. It may just have been a stupid little game, but it also happened to speak to a part of my life and my being that I may just have been ignoring. My strategy, no matter how much of a good hot streak I was on, I never deviated from my goal of not losing and having a winning turn.

I have been reading up on Day Trading. This is a post retirement career that has been intriguing me for some time now. The thing that I have always been frightened of is the prospect of losing a lot of money gambling on the market. The more I read, the more that I find that it is farthest from the truth. In reality, it is the mentality and staying true to your plan. You also have to keep emotion out of it.

It would appear that education is the biggest problem when it comes to something like this. I am talking about self education. Traditional schooling will instill far too much fear. Learning, real learning is for yourself.

The NAMM Show

The NAMM Show is the annual conference for the National Association of Music Merchants. It is, by far, the largest music event that I have ever attended. It brings together performing artists, buyers, sellers, manufacturers, music agents, and music education advocacy groups all under one conference.

Mike and Karen McCausland at the NAMM Show.

It was held at the Anaheim Convention Center and attracted thousands of people. It was just a stones throw from Disneyland. I stayed for 3 days and I still haven’t been to all of the vendors. I have also been to many workshops, most involving education where I still have a passion.

One of the great things that I was able to do was to meet new and aspiring artists in the field of music. I spoke at length with a couple at a round table discussion for the industry. We met an AR guy who gave many insights to those there. I was pleased to meet a delightful young lady from Oklahoma named Ciara Brooke. She was typical of the countless number of people following their dreams.

I will certainly go again to this amazing event. It was well worth the trip.

AI in the eyes of a Venture Capitalist

Forty percent of the world’s jobs in the future will be displaced by technology that stems from the development of AI.

Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of a commercial that hit a nerve regarding AI (Artificial Intelligence), and a venture capitalist. I didn’t pay enough attention to record the episode of 60 minutes because I was engrossed in an activity that plagues millions of potential geniuses…professional football. Now that my team has lost…and essentially, that means nothing to me…I can concentrate on teams that matter. In particular, teams that matter to my life and my future.

Forty percent of the world’s jobs in the future will be displaced by technology that stems from the development of AI. Since this is being reported by a prominent venture capitalist and they are responsible for future economic trends, attention must be paid. This was not the lead story on the news and it is tragic. Time marches forward and this prediction is over the next 15 years. Far too many people have been sounding the alarm over this and yet, the news either ignores it or buries it.

Today’s students entering high school will begin making career choices as Freshman. These choices will be for college education, because that’s what educators know and by the time they graduate college in 8 years, we will be half way to the replacement of 40% of the jobs that are labeled routine. These students will rack up debt for a degree that is useless in the face of this kind of change and no one is warning them of the coming catastrophe.

As I write this, I have found this article blocked to me and I couldn’t reach it without logging on to their system and emailing this link. The kids are still sitting in rows and trying to become as standard as possible. When will this crap end? If you still don’t think that it is crap, go watch the piece yourselves and follow the links listed.

60 Minutes Piece Most Likely to Succeed

Belief and Opportunity

So, it is a return to blogging. I know that it has been a while. I also know that I am better when I put things into words.

I have been working with a Network Marketing Company for year. I have done very little. Most of the time I follow what is going on, but I do very little. Oh, from time to time I get somewhat involved. The truth of the the matter is that I don’t believe. The question is “what don’t I believe?” I know the company is great. I know the product is good…everybody already uses it. Then, what don’t I believe in. It has to be me.

I have noticed that most people who do really well in this company are teachers. I have made my living as a teacher. Why then would I doubt my ability now? The truth is that I shouldn’t. It has been proven over and over again that my passion is what moves people. Today, I took a big step. Tomorrow, I will take another.

https://morepower.mystream.com

Faith

“Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to…”~Miracle on 34th Street

I think that we all struggle with demons.  These demons live in our minds and occupy corners and lay in wait for a weak moment and destroy our dreams and ambitions.  They are assisted by those who want to share “realities” that are uniquely theirs…not yours and certainly not mine.  The demons move from person to person in this way.

If you look at the quote from Miracle on 34th Street, you can see that belief is a strong characteristic and we all have it.  We believe that we can or we believe that we can’t.  It’s a choice.  What do I choose to believe…for my life…for this day….in this moment?  Don’t I really control my destiny?  Do I relinquish my control to something or someone else?

In my own life, I know now that who I am and what I have become up to this day is my default position when I don’t consciously follow my dreams or my desires simply because someone else has appeared to make sense.  At some point, I have to decide, and I mean really decide what I believe.  My actions then have to bear that out.

I must be careful to guard these beliefs or my destiny will be lost in The River of Dreams.  This really shouldn’t be…uncommon sense…but, it is.

Fake News Blues…

It is amazing that now we have to deal with such new terms as “alternate facts” and “fake news”.  These accusations that are launched by our current resident in the White House have caused an expected polarization along the lines of supporters on both sides, but it does definitely make somebody wonder…just what, if any, “truth” is there in the assertion?

If you watch certain networks, it is clear that there is a slant on the delivery of the daily news from the commentary to the guests or experts that are interviewed.  While this is painfully obvious even to the most naive viewer, we have to remember that all of these news outlets are a commercial venture.  Every news broadcast is interrupted by a series of commercials that target their loyal audience.  The broadcasters set up their news twist so elegantly prior to the commercial to keep you on their station through the advertisement.  These advertisers want to keep their predictable audience and quite often their political views will affect their purchasing choices.  I recently watched a news station that leans toward the liberal side and saw a number of ads for medical programs or devices that indicated that they will be covered by medicare.  Government insurance is a commitment that comes from our Democratic party.

This type of news delivery has been around for a while now, so we should be used to it.  The charge of “fake news” as issued by the executive branch of the federal government is something quite different.  It is designed to inflame the electorate and believe that there is something genuinely evil about the news industry as a whole.  News satire channels on TV and and Internet are definitely fueling the fire…but they serve the purpose of entertainment more than the responsible journalism that keeps government honest.

Our president is using this new phrase to deflect the focus off of his relationship to a totalitarian leader of a regime that stands in direct contrast to what America is at it’s core.  He has refused to implicate Russia and continued to shower praise on their leader.  If he had been forthright, honest and transparent then there would be no suspicion about his international dealings but he hasn’t.

There is a real difference between real news and fake news.  So much of the “fake news” comes from discussions that are taking place on social media with no basis in fact and continues to polarize Americans.  A leader who leads with tweets is no leader.

Twitter has it’s place…so does Facebook. It should not be a playground for misinformation particularly when it is being spread by the President of the United States.  Enjoy my “tongue in cheek” musical lament inspired by number 45.

 

Alone Again

Last night, I drove my son to the airport.  He is leaving for a 5 month gig on the Azamara Journey.  As I said goodbye, I told him that the next time he sees me, I will be retired. Wow!!

There’s a lot that I want to accomplish before I see him again.  It is time to get started.  The days are moving fast.  Time is something you can never get back.  I won’t waste one more minute on wrong thinking.  I will take care of the clock.  I will respect my compass.

Let the home stretch begin.

Hosted Blogs OK

If a person can create something of value, they should be able to market and sell it using available technologies.  This should be taught and there is no better way to test it than through an old fart like me.

I remain employed by my current NJ public school and it never ceases to amaze me.  When I had this blog hosted at WordPress.com, it was not accessible at school.  Now that I have it hosted with SiteGround, I can post whatever I want.

The free version has limitations built into it.  The free version is talked about at our conferences.  The free version is a way for anyone to begin to build their writing skills by writing everyday.  The free version is blocked. 

One of the glaring problems with education today is its lack of connection to the real world.  We are still talking about jobs and creating jobs and looking to recover manufacturing jobs instead of teaching students how to create value for themselves.  Students create things all the time.  Those creations are never seen to be valuable enough to be the vocation that will get them through life.

I have a rebellious streak in me.  I have been using one essential question in my music production class.  It is “How can I get the world to pay my bills?”  This should be the question that everyone answers and not “what do I need to get into college?”  That is a loaded question that presupposes that you should go to college.  The cost today outweighs the benefit particularly because colleges never ask my essential question either.

I am participating in an action research project.  If a person can create something of value, they should be able to market and sell it using available technologies.  This should be taught and there is no better way to test it than through an old fart like me.  Also, no one should have their own value determined by those around them.  There are a lot more people in this world.

Mark: 6:4