Alaboutnothing Official Blog

December 5, 2016

My Uber Journey — The Start

uber_logoWe are back and loaded with about a thousand pounds (hash tags) of notes starting a new phase of AAN posts.

About three months ago we started driving for Uber.  At first we were a bit fearful about it because throughout entire career (50+ years) we were software developers and manual labor was not part of the job description, so we researched it until we found everything we needed.  One of our limitations was we did not own car that could be used, but then we found a way to lease a car from Uber, and overall it’s a great deal.  (Limitation eliminated).  We won’t go into details because we don’t know if this option is in all the cities across the US.  You need to check in your area.

Once we decided to go ahead everything simply fell in place in just a few days.  When it came time to go get the car, we did an Uber ride and the guy (Old friend) who picked me up had been doing Uber for 3 years so we chatted the entire way and he gave me some great tips.  We used his driver id as a referral so when I hit me 100 ride we both got a great bonus.  It was funny, because just when I completed my 100th passenger ride within a few minutes he called me.  We weren’t keeping count so it was a surprise.  The 1st words we heard were “I am dancing around my chair because you just completed 100 rides!”  I laughed and said “Wow, already!” Sure enough my bonus had been deposited.  I said, “We need to meet and celebrate at Starbuck’s in a few days.” (We did).

Once we picked the car and signed the paperwork we were on our way to an awesome experience.  We call it a journey because this feels like a new part of our life, a life extension so to say.  One of the parts of being a software developer the last 10 years was that we mainly worked from home over the web.  It is convenient, but the part of doing software for me is the people contact not only solving issues by coding.  (The phone is not the same a face to face).

So this was the main reason that got us past our fear, and when we completed the 1st pick-up and drop-off, the fear disappeared in a heart beat.  We knew this is exactly what I will be doing for a long time to come.

Here we are in the San Francisco Bay area where Facebook HQ, Google HQ, Apple HQ, Uber HQ, and about a zillion other “.com” companies reside and of course Stanford University.  Then there is the diversity of people from all over the world coming to visit and to live or go to school.  Yes folks, this is an awesome journey.  I can only quote Emma from New Zealand who was visiting her daughter on her way back home.  She said “This is an exchange in cultures and a sharing of ideas between people of the world.”  (She nailed it)  It’s a matter of talking directly to another human, not via text, but with eye contact and feeling and sharing our energy.  Of course many things we share are common, but the uniqueness is the icing on the cake.

We plan to document my Uber journey with observations I make along the way.  For example Uber does not push for rider’s tips on a completed ride, but we once picked up a Stanford Student at Trader Joe’s and when we dropped her off she gave me a banana as a tip.  Know what?  We were hungry so we peeled it right there and started eating it as we thanked her.

So now when we start my day we get in the car and take a few deep breaths and think. “Who are we going to meet today and what new places will we be discovering?”  It is always a surprise we must say.

We would suggest to you all out there in cyberland that if you enjoy people, have some rime on your hands, that instead of becoming a couch potato try out Uber or at least research it and see if it fits you.  If you decide to do it please use my driver Id. as a reference (5ZZEQH3UUE) when you fill out the online application.  We will both share a nice bonus when you complete your 100 trips.

We have read some “bad” things about Uber, but in my opinion it’s great.  Not perfect, but they always updating the driver application, and their support has been very good.  What they do need is some formal online training.  There are some U-Tube video’s that are okay, but we would suggest maybe in the major cities a one day seminar covering how the “ap” works and answering questions.  We am still finding new stuff.

We have nothing to ad at this time but maybe someday you will visit the Bay are and when you do an Uber ride we will pick you up.  If any of you have a question please leaves a comment and we will get back to you.

 

November 30, 2016

Quit Smoking the Easy Way Part 1

xsmokingI am happy to report that this coming January marks 3 years since I last smoked a cigarette. An accomplishment I am very proud of and I am going to share with others who are attempting to quit smoking but struggling with the task. So if you are a non-smoker you might move on to another site, but then again you might wish to share this site to someone you know that is attempting to quit smoking.
I found that when I decided to quit, created the intention to quit smoking, and focused on the task at hand the solutions came my way quickly.

I was smoking one pack a day at the time, and I was going though a severe chest cold which seemed to a fairly regular event at back then. I also had been smoking for over five decades, yes folks, more than fifty years without ever seriously attempting to quit. So here is my solution to quitting which turned out to be easier than expected.

First I met a doctor that had organized a group of folks that under her supervision had quit smoking using a medication named Wellbutrin. The instructions were one pill a day for three days and then start with two pills a day and continue to smoke. When the third day arrived I had already cut down from 20 to 15 cigarettes a day. I found that I had a reaction to taking the second pill and the doctor said to just stay with the one a day. Within 10 days I was at 3 cigarettes a day and seemed to get stuck at three.

Then one day I was on my Facebook page when I saw a symbol on the right side that was a cigarette with a red crossed “X” over it. I stared at the symbol because I never click on those “pages you need to visit” symbols, but I went with a gut feeling and clicked on it. I then went to a page about quitting smoking by Alan Carr and it led me to a PDF download of a book named “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” written by Alan Carr in 1985. I downloaded the file and read the book in one sitting. I have not smoked a cigarette since completing the book. (Thank you Allen)

Click here for a link to the Quit smoking site PDF File

What this book did for me was to point out that all the thoughts about why I liked smoking or why that cigarette with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning tasted so good, or yeah there is a chance of getting cancer, but not me, etc. The answer is those thoughts are coming from your ADDICTION! Yes your addiction is pointing out how much you enjoy smoking and how special you are for smoking without any issues and of course you are so special that cancer is not an option.

So the actual quitting was easy. I found the tough part was about 2-3 weeks later when I felt an urge for a cigarette when a situation occurred that when I was smoking, would smoke a cigarette. I have talked with other people who said this was the part that when they felt some stress, they automatically went back to smoking thinking they would attempt to quit at a later date. My though was “I did not quit smoking to go right back to it!” So what I did was I immediately noticed the situation that was causing the urge and then stopped what I was doing. I sat down and started a simple meditation where I focused on my in and out breath knowing that the urge would pass in about 20 seconds. Sure enough, it did and the next time the same situation came up the urge was non-existent. I did this ever time I had the smoking urge and eventually it was a rare event.

These days focusing on your breathing during a meditation is called “Mindfulness Meditation” and classes on how to do Mindfulness Mediation are being offered by most hospitals across the country (For a fee). If you are luck enough to live in or near Redwood City California the Insight Meditation Center offers classes for free (Donations are accepted). Check their web site for more information

Click here for a link to Insight Meditation Center Redwood City California

If you are interested in on-line classes here is a link to the Google Mindfulness online course, yes folks, Goggle has a course on mindfulness and from what we understand they support their employees in using this method to meditate. You even get a certificate when you complete the course.

Click here for Google Link

We have nothing else to talk about at this time, but we invite you to post a comment if you would like more information or have a question or two. Be sure to include your email address and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as we can. Also if you don’t want your comment made public, please include a “NOT”.

NOTHING is better than a smoke free environment!”

August 24, 2016

Italian Earthquake 2016

Filed under: General Nothing — alaboutnothing @ 2:18 pm
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Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family’s touched by the earthquake.

We have nothing to add but will follow this story via CNN.

August 17, 2016

MAPIE – West Chicago Illinois — Employment Issue

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 8:31 pm
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MAPAIThe following post (Below) was by one of my friends on Facebook and I have known her bother for more than 40 years.

My brother was recently diagnosed with cancer. The day before his treatment started he had a massive stoke, which left him with left-sided paralysis and has delayed his cancer treatment. His employer, Mapei in West Chicago, just sent him a letter denying his short-term disability, terminating his employment, and ending his insurance. If anybody can recommend legal aid or a lawyer that does pro bono work, please let me know. We want to know if this is legal.

I suggested filing a complaint with the EEOC (Federal) or any Illinois Department that deals with Employment issues.

If you are a lawyer that specializes in ILL Employment issues please leave a comment with your name and phone number where you can be reached.  I will pass all comments on to the folks needing the assistance.  If anyone out there in cyberland wants to suggest a specific possible solution, please leave a comment.

We have nothing to add except that this is total BS on MAPEI’s part and we need to do the right thing.  Corporate MAPEI is in Milan Italy and we are reaching out to them also.

July 12, 2016

Time for a Great Leap for Mankind – USA

Filed under: Back in the Day — alaboutnothing @ 10:57 am
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The following is from a post on Facebook by a friend Steve Greenberg and I agree 1,000% with what he said:

Food For Thought #5 – I was not yet 5 years old when Martin Luther was killed, I was not yet 6 when we landed on the moon. I grew up in a world in which science and technology is cool and everyone expects to work hard to move us ALL forward. As a society it is our common goal to break down the barriers and create true equality. I grew up in a small, diverse town in which we all were aware of the older generation’s prejudices, but we didn’t share them. I remember the cold war in which we lived in the constant fear of mutual destruction. I remember unsafe cars and foods, rampant pollution, high murder rates, Vietnam and Watergate, oil embargo and crashed economy. We have made a lot of progress, but there is a long way to go. Let’s live up to Martin Luther King’ vision and get to the Promised Land- it is now within reach. Let’s follow the example of that “Great Leap for Mankind” and make Great Leaps of our own forward to where all know we should and can be. It’s right over that next hill….

We have nothing to add except to all Peace and let’s take the leap!

July 7, 2016

A Sad Day for the United States of America

SAD_USA

The New Your City Protest and other protests where the shooting took place say it all.  We need some sort of change in this GREAT Country.  President Obama spoke about it today and seems to understand what the people of the USA but Congress and the US Senate are silent.  They are to busy playing politics to stop and listen to the American people they work for who are screaming for change.

Click here for NY City Protest article

We have nothing to add except that the families of the victims are in our prayers.

Happy Birthday Sydney !

Filed under: Back in the Day — alaboutnothing @ 10:30 am
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 We here at the AAN Team Headquarters wish to extend a very Happy Birthday to Sydney and we hope Sydney has the greatest birthday ever.  Also wishing Sydney a Happy Birthday is Gabrielle, Pup- Pup, Pandie, Jenna, Sheepishly, Stripes, Joann, Ray, Pearl Swirl, Bun Bun, Reggie, Nola, Blueberry, Stitch, Teddy, Deery, Red Panda, Peanut, Rocko, Wishful, Daisy, Ice Cude, Sting, Fetch, Halo, Nibble, Pepper, Shelby, Slush, Cancun, Legs, Penny, Swoops, Waddle, Zig-Zag, Safari, Speckles, Leona, Glamour, Bamboo, Babs, Spells, Lucy, Smurf, Hip, Ellie,  Spots, Hello Kitty’s, Candy, Penguino, and Freddie, all of which are doing the Happy Birthday Dance in the middle of the room.

 

We have nothing else to report except to repeat “HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYDNEY!!!

July 4, 2016

July 4th 2016

july4Happy 4th of July for all those out there in cyber-space and beyond from the AAN Team.

For those in cyber-space outside of any United States territory, “Have a great day of nothing also.”

We also would like to give a really special AAN shout-out to the British folks because if it wasn’t for them (way back when) we here in the U.S.A. would not have a three day weekend this year.  We are sending you guys a whole bunch of “NOTHING” that should help your economy.

Of course we wish to send our prayers out to all the US armed forces out there protecting us and not able to be here to enjoy the day.  THANK YOU!! X 1,000,000,000,000.00

July 3, 2016

Sad day for Baghdad and the World

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 3:15 pm
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pray_4_iraq

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Baghdad!

We have nothing to add except that Bangladesh, Istanbul, and Orlando is still remembered in our prayers.

https://alaboutnothing.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/bang.jpg

https://alaboutnothing.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/pray_4_istanb.jpg

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July 2, 2016

Sad day for Bangladesh and the World

Filed under: Consumer — alaboutnothing @ 3:24 pm
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bang

Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the folks from Dhaka Bangladesh !

 

pray_4_istanb

And our prayers and thoughts go out to all the folks from Istanbul !

We have nothing to add except that Orlando is still remembered in our prayers.

pray_for_o

world_peace

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