The Swagger #25 — Sunday Random and Fun (mostly) Edition

That kinda mood day

Greetings from the Land of Smiles, and I have one. I’ll get to that. I had a bunch of choices to cover today with the typical many tabs open in my browser. Then I just decided to put it all on hold and do a random stream of consciousness about various stuffs.

… My kinda sorta GF of the last 6 months…we kinda sorta break up every few days. I’ve lost count. This time it was after I’d told her I was headed over to Central for a rare shopping excursion. What does she do? Messages me incessantly as I’m in there shopping for shoes. The flip flops are fine during the day, 365 and all, but when I go out at night, I wanted someone a bit more. 860 baht ($23.40 US).

So among the barrage of messages, she asks about meeting up for something the next day and I don’t answer. Another couple of exchanges—I’m trying to shop here—and she reminds me about the thing. “I’ll think about it.”

“Ok I change my mind.”

Then, as soon as she cops to the silliness of that, she asks for 300 baht ($8.16, no big deal), which is nothing more than table-turning. I say no. She ends if officially for the umpteenth time, officially. I’ve tried to explain to here that when she uses that “it’s official” stipulation, it’s like saying she’s fully of shit whenever she doesn’t. It’s like telling people you’re being perfectly honest (for once). In general, it just means you’re full of it.

Never a dull moment. On the plus side, she’s never boring.

(On a side note, it’s too easy to transfer small money instantly at zero cost. All these “poor” countries leapfrogged western banking systems, and they’re not batch-based. They’re instant, cash-based. Someone can message you from the checkout counter—this has happened—saying they’re short a buck or two. You just bring them up in your bank app, enter the amount, and ding. Out of your account and into theirs…instant, and free. 24/7/365. There’s no pending and there’s no business days to “clear.” It’s literally like handing them cash.)

… I love driving the motorcycle in Thailand. It’s so second-nature and so cathartic, I don’t know what I’d do without it. I like to call it “anarchic organized chaos.”

If your “land of the free” doesn’t resemble something like that, you need remedial learnin of what freedom really is. Notice I’m driving right along with cops near the beginning of the vid below. No helmet. There’s a helmet law. But cops generally don’t like to hassle you unless it’s clear you’re a danger to others. You can even run red lights if it’s obvious you did it with care and nobody was coming. You sure the cops in your countries really care? Or, somethin else goin on?

I always advise people to drive “just slightly aggressively.” The reason for that is it keeps your head in the game. It greatly lowers the chances you fuck up, and that awareness also makes up a lot of ground towards the uncontrollable element of what other people do. I suppose it’s like what a lot of folks call “defensive driving,” but how do you actually do that? Driving sightly aggressively is something you actually do…it’s not just some ill-defined attitude. It’s action.

I did a vid the other day showing a bit of what that’s like.

Now tell me that level of aggressive darting in and out (sure, I could just sit back and go with the flow and be thinking of a whole bunch of stuff other than what I should be thinking about) doesn’t demand your 100% focus at all times.

And 100% focus at all times is the definition of doing the best you can do.

… Both and The Swagger newsletter are growing apace. It’s as though there’s a synergy of some sort. It’s ill-defined because I’m lousy at doing the work to track that shit to better exploit it. I just wanna get up and figure out what I wanna write about today. I keep counting on hitting a critical mass one day and can hire someone to make all that sausage and figure out which lies get told to what segment of the demographic on what channels and platforms.

And I’ll still just write every day. Maybe make a stupid video now and then.

What was unexpected about The Swagger is that it attracted advertisers almost immediately. I’m not into huge bucks yet, but it has paid for all costs plus a little beer money if I still drank the stuff (now at 21 months free and clear…). I’m running a hybrid system where I have advertising and those sponsored segments are free to the public. I also have an affordable premium content tier for my best articles that I call 1 Starbuck. It’s the price of a coffee ($3.50/mo) or you can buy 10 coffees up front and skip the other two down the road ($35/yr). So, those premium articles are sponsored by the premium members for premium members. Become a sponsor here.

On the FTA front I’m turning the ship and shifting focus to do the more deep content, usually involving a series of posts. For example…

  • The 114 No-Pill Advantages for how to kinda both think different kinda like me is back in full swing, now at Advantage #63. I’ll be publishing 1-2 Advantages each week until through the 114. Check it out.
  • And great news I got off my lazy ass and just published Chapter 5 of “Eww Gut Bugs” hours ago. At 11,000 words with 91 footnoted scientific references, it’s pretty in-depthy. Eww Gut Bugs Chapter 5 — Our Microbiome Evolution Through the Last 12,000 Years. I plan on getting another chapter out about every 2 weeks. There are 18 total chapters. The previously published here.
  • Within the newt week or so, it’s my intention to begin putting out the chapters of The Provanta Debt Freedom Guidebook. If you racked up a lot of credit card debt during the Covidiocy, this might be a ticket out of debt-servitude jail. My creds are that I founded and ran a multi-million-dollar debt settlement company in 1993 that I owned and operated for 20 years.

And, I’m back in the gym. After putting my FBHF scheme through its paces for a month, then spending 10 days reworking some things, I started back last week doing the classic weekly routine it’s designed for: 5 consecutive days on, 2 days off, do it again.

I had fun, though 5 straight was just about enough, and I was pleased to enjoy today as day of rest number one, looking forward to another one tomorrow. I also had fun poking fun of the #HIT guys. Little doe they know this is fully compatible with HIT. Simply take a ton more time to go through the 20 routines since you don’t want to OVERTRAIN!!! So I did some social media posts each day.

1. [5 exercises, 4 records, 44 min] Back at it after 10 days off and writing V2 of my own Full-Body High-Frequency For-Life manual, containing 20 individual and unique full-body routines for any style of exercise, from HIT 2x per week to High Volume 5 or 6x per week. Now I begin running it through 4 weeks at 5x consecutive days per week.

2. [5 exercises, 4 records, 38 min] Day 2 back in the gym to put V2 of my already excellent Full-Body High-Frequency For-Life. Details at In this 2nd version, I took great care to examine my logs from running through the unique 20 full-body routines, 5 exercises for 10 sets each routine, plus freestyle abs and cardio. The care I took was to identify the biggest bang exercises for each body part and make sure they figure more prominently and are properly spaced. I love it already, and I’m only on #2 of 20. You’re gonna love it too. For-Life.

3. [6 exercises, 5 records, 43 min] Can someone please ask the #HIT guys when my overtraining and injury is supposed to start? I’m now 10 months doing high frequency, like 5x consecutive in the gym and in the last 5 weeks, all full-body routines. I recently did 7 consecutive days full-body and my record setting rate was 65% of exercises performed. Today, 3rd consecutive day FB, I set a record on standing shoulder press, 40Kg x15 x15 to 50Kg x10 x10 (88lbs to 110lbs). Also, on Upright Cable Row, 95Kg x15 x15 to 105Kg x15 x15 (209lbs to 231lbs). Where are my injuries? Or, is #HIT kinda scammy, targeted at lazy guys who don’t really want to hit the gym anyway and would rather sit around and watch videos about theories about why it’s ok to not hit the gym too much and sit around and watch videos that sell stuff instead?

4. [5 exercises, 4 records, 37 min] Day 4 consecutive full-body, just as always. 4 records today, best 2 were stiff leg deadlift from 60Kg x20 x15 to 70Kg x18 x18 (132lbs to 154lbs) and incline bench DB chest press from 20Kg x15 x15 to 22.5Kg x18 x13 (44lbs to 50lbs). Incidentally, since I included stiff leg DLs 1st time last August and worked into them, all back issues have disappeared 100%. Ironic, eh? Stiff leg DLs are lifting heavy using your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. You don’t bend your knees. Exactly like you were always told NEVER DO YOU’LL HURT YOUR BACK!!! So, my #1 RECO for low back pain, learn stiff leg DLs. Watch vids on how to do them, start light, build up. I’m now doing 18 reps twice at 154 pounds without bending knees or squatting. It’s almost like no professional in anything wants you self-sufficient and healthy. Your health is a conflict of interest.

5. [6 exercises, 4 records, 43 min] Well that’s day 5 consecutive of FBHF Full-Body High-Frequency For-Life, my own program of 20 individual and each one unique full-body routines to perform whenever (even #HIT style if obsession with overtraining is your thing) or consecutive day high frequency like I and other ass-busting, do-the-hard-thing kinda men. Details at I outdid myself on V2. 5 consecutive day FB routines from my program is Goldilocks and I’m ready for 2 days off. I keep hitting the records, now nearly 8 weeks in (I was doing bro splits 5x per week for the previous 8 months). I have an idea why. It’s working the legs every day. Clue: observe the upper body development of serious proam sprinters.

Full-Body High-Frequency For-Life

… I got reinforcement in getting what you want from people you might hate, the other day. This is something I learned and developed my own style for a long time ago. It’s an offshoot from my management style, MBWA (Management By Walking Around). That is, you often don’t need to say anything. Your presence, your pace, your glances, your focus, your pauses…these are all signals to conscientious workers and employees and the good ones pick up on these cues and get jobs done right without you having to say a word.

Not every single time, but lots, and imagine how much time that saves you and how that improves rapport among those in your charge? If no dispute or conflict happens in the first place, there’s nothing for anyone to win or anyone else to lose. If you understand “face-saving” culture, it goes hand-in-hand with that sort of thing. Or to put it another way, you don’t have to be an asshole about it.

I often hear people—especially on phone conversations talking with a representative of some business where some conflict has arisen—doing everything possible to ensure they do not get what they want and suffer continued frustration. I understand how it happens. It can be so off pissing and, at the same time, relievingly cathartic to go off on the person at the other end. It rarely gets you anywhere and you can be sure that after you’ve given them an earfull, they’ll use every microgram of power at their disposal to fuck you over even more.

Here’s a suggestion. Before you even pick up the phone, take a deep breath and affirm to yourself that you want something from whoever you’re going to be talking to. In other words, you want them to go out of their normal routine and do something on your behalf. How are you going to do that? Is getting angry, sharp, or antagonistic going to get them to hoop jump for you?

… Some months back and three years or so hence, a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board arrived at my USA mailing address.

Apparently, CA didn’t get my last tax return filing before I moved out of the political, economic, and business-environment hell-hole 2 weeks before the end of 2019. I first moved to Nevada, my state of birth, established residency, and got a driver’s license before heading off to Thailand. Clean break from CA, so there’s no dispute about that. Just that they believe I didn’t file 2019 state taxes, and so they do a “determination.”

And guess what!? They did not determine that they’re a bunch of highway robbers who owe me money. Nope. Instead, they’ve determined that I must surely owe them around ten thousand bucks plus change.

I didn’t take much stock in it since I did file electronically via Turbo Tax in April 2020, and it’s a zero owed return. Let them flail around. A couple of more notices came in and I assure you that getting it taken care of is an item marked safe on my todo list. Then the other day I get an email from Amazon informing me that CA has attached any earnings to the tune of 24% of each payout, up to the determined 10k bucks.

OK, so there’s a call to action. I don’t make squat from Amazon affiliates anymore, thanks to that penis-head who runs the place, but what are the vampires going to hit next? and I didn’t want to bother researching their administrative rights to do so without obtaining a civil judgment first (I’m a debt settlement guy, so I know how to research this stuff).

So I look at the most recent notice, see there’s a phone number, and I call. In a breathtakingly brief amount of time, I’m on the line with “Ken,” who talks exactly like a woman and since it’s CA and well… I can only imagine what my first and visceral impression would be if it was a video chat.

But look, I don’t care what about Ken or the State or who’s right and who’s wrong and taxation is theft but that matter will not be settled today and alls I want is for Ken to say something like, “oh, you filed, we didn’t get it for whatever reason, so let’s turn off all collection action and get this all sorted out…”

I don’t need Ken to feel bad about being a guy with a woman’s voice or a woman with a man’s name. I don’t care if Ken’s hair is green, or if he or she is fat or voted for Kamala Harris.

So what I do is objectively explain that I did file the return, I have a hard copy and am happy to send it, and that I’m calling to get instructions on what I NEED TO DO. I sprinkled in curiosity-generating conversational niceties like “hope you’re having a nice springtime in CA,” and “probably a lot more pleasant than here in Thailand.” And, “I filed this in April 2020 and if WE ALL recall, that was when a lot of the Covid things were going down and it could have slipped through the cracks at EITHER Turbo Tax OR CA…”

I did NOT say: “Y’all were probably sitting home at full pay binging Netflix and jerking off to Porn Hub.”

S/he promptly asked a few polite questions, even coaching me on what s/he needed check-box wise, then gave me his/her personal fax number, asked me to fax over my copy, and said s/he would call back 2 days tops. And then…

“So how do you like living in Thailand. I dream of retiring there.”

So then I spent a good 5 minutes in gentle introductions to the place, making myself unforgettable, suggesting that s/he books a vacation to check it out.

… And 2 days later, yesterday, I have a message in voicemail 01.30 Saturday morning saying s/he got my return, just a few things to do, call me direct line, and all’s good.

I created no conflict. In other words, I did not create a problem in order to then “fix it,” and there was nothing to win.

Catch the new film Unfrosted on Netflix. It’s the good mood inspiration for this edition today. I just couldn’t bring myself to get in the mental frame necessary to rain on parades, cast out demons, and toss folks into the river of fire after watching it this afternoon. Plenty of time for that…

I suppose I could be cynical and bemoan how the cereal and then breakfast pastry war between Kellogg’s and Post has the lives and health of kids hanging in the balance. So on and so forth. Then again, I tested out plain old (Unfrosted) Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (They’re Great!!!) as pre-workout meals with whole milk twice last week and I give it a big thumbs up. Perfect meal, really. Plus, when I was growing up in the 60s, cereal (and pancakes) were sometimes gigs. Breakfast was bacon, eggs, and toast 90% of the time (fried potatoes in weekends only, and not always).

Kids are pretty resilient and it’s not like there wasn’t junk to eat before cereal came along and pastries have been around for a long time.

Anyway, the movie is a riot. Seinfeld did his typical excellent job of being…uh…fucking funny! Here’s what he said in an interview about doing the film.

“This is the result of the extreme left and PC crap and people worrying so much about offending other people”

It’s great.

Some food recently. I love snapping shots of what I eat. Old habit. My rule of thumb for Asian dishes: half the rice, twice the protein.

The English Sunday roast with fixins was just a few ago, right before I started writing this. Down at Olde Rogues Retreat. I go there a lot. Great prices. That roast dinner with the Yorkies, 245 baht, including ice cream for dessert ($6.67 US).

… I’m lovin the kebabs and they’re ubiquitous here. All over the place. For you LCers, not so bad, either. Unlike a burrito that has beans and sometimes even rice, the only carbs of significance which is mild, is the wrap. All the filling is just crunchy, near no-carb veggies. Plus, they’re delicious and I feel a whole lot better after one of those than I do with a carb-bomb burrito.

Fun fact: “moo” is Thai for pork or pig. Funny.

And that should about do it. Back here Tuesday with something and not nothing.

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