Age 48-now, 2008 to Outlook Now
Actually, from 2008 to now (2018 as of the time of this writing), the main change in 2008 is not a difference in activities, as I'm still focused mainly on business, survival and security. The main difference is in my happiness. Also, while I have always been generally a health food eater, I started paying more attention to my health due to stress induced heart pains up to 2008, and other concerns.
I quit drinking alcohol altogether in mid-2008, and I recommend to others that they do likewise. It really is bad for the body and brain. Before that, I would sometimes go drinking at pubs with friends, sometimes heavily, often as a happy escape from the stress of work and various problems. I never spent much money on nightlife, and was cheap at pubs and restaurants, always thinking about spending money on family and employees instead. I didn't like the expensive city center, so went to a lot of cheap suburban places alone, and traveled around on occasional escapes. Actually, cutting out alcohol is easy for me, because I have no desire for alcohol anymore. I can also remember the many things I said and did when drunk, which I regret, and that's enough to turn me off from alcohol. I also saw the bad effects of alcohol on close friends and associates.
A big change in my life came when one of my friends, nicknamed "Na", eventually agreed to become my wife in September 2009. (I was age 49, and she was age 39, when we got married.) My life with Na has been the most stabilizing and peaceful period in my life in a very long time.
We did not start as lovers, we just crossed paths in business and started to develop a friendship over time, which eventually became a loving relationship, not at all a "love at first sight" thing, instead one of those things which just grows on you and keeps getting stronger and stronger.
When I first saw her at her workplace, she was a senior manager. I saw her many times. At first, I was impressed with her diligence and leadership in sincere staff and customer care with everybody, going the extra mile. When she was not very busy, I'd speak with her at length, about many things. She was highly ethical, which I appreciated.
I always like to get to know people who I think are special, and come to understand them. The biggest turn-on for me is an ethical person, which triggers a caring and loving instinct, and a desire to protect somebody.
I came out talking with Na, on repeated visits, sometimes for a long time. From the outset, I found out that Na shared a lot of my core values and interests, and I was impressed with her ethical outlook, compassion for other people as well as her love of all living things. (She wasn't even eating meat back then out of compassion for animals.) Na is a conservative, mainstream, and traditional Thai lady, but is also very intelligent and full of Goodness, clearly well raised by her parents and family. Some of her siblings are teachers. She seemed very trustworthy.
I also found out that she had become rather disillusioned with her employer ever since her company was bought up by a bigger company and new management changes were immediately made at the top. She had not been particularly appreciated by the takeover people who put their own insiders in charge, and had suddenly felt like an outsider, but she was still true to her staff and customers, not letting her frustrations with immediate superiors get in the way of other relationships and responsibilities with staff, customers, and the company as a whole.
Just talking with Na, I could see that she was very smart and experienced as a manager of people, yet could stand up for what she thought was right regardless of what others may be doing. She was a leader, not just a follower.
The whole story is kind've funny. The first time I saw Na was when she walked into a big room with many of her employees. Immediately, I saw the employees perk up upon seeing her and appear a bit more attentive to their work. Na has unusually curly hair, which was fairly long and fluffs out, and walks in a very upright and self-confident way. The first image to come into my mind when I saw that social interaction unfold is that the "alpha lion", Na, had just walked into the room, and the pride was expressing their respects. Her curly hair was her big mane. I was gender blind at the time (as I usually am), so never mind that female lions don't have a mane, it's just the first image which came into my mind when I saw that event unfold.
It was only over time that I started to see that it's actually a very lovely and gentle lioness.
Eventually, in view of her apparently mistreatment by careless cronies above her in her huge company, I started to offer her work for my company ...
She started parttime on weekends and holidays just to check it out, and took her time, being very thoughtful with various comments, one step at a time. She earned extra income doing so but the money didn't seem to be a significant motivator. I was impressed not only with her careful results but also her analysis of my organization and staff, from her management expertise and experience with people. She was the kind of person who improves things.
She eventually resigned her job of more than 15 years to join my company.
When problems cropped up, to say the least, she became one of the people who stuck by me thru bad times as well as good times, driven more by ethics than by money, and not just a fair weather good times employee and friend. Actually, money was never too much of a driver of Na. She lived economically so was not needy, never pushed customers or took advantage of situations, always ethical and caring of others, and was a good leader and role model. Friendships and people are important to her, and people are not just objects for making money or for just using and discarding.
When I set up a new company, some of Na's former employees who she knew for many years also made the leap of faith in resigning their jobs and joining our small startup company. I started referring to us as "the pride".
Na and I work very well and harmoniously together, and we are inseparable, going everywhere and doing everything together. I've never felt so compatible with a friend become lover in all my life. I am happier than I've ever been before in a relationship, and I can't imagine life without Na at my side.
This is not just an "in love", transient feeling. This is a real lifelong friendship and partnership, with a person who I trust 100% and who can trust me 100% in all ways, and the person who I want to live with the rest of my life. It has been a relationship in which the mutual love has grown over time, no fading, and is solidly based on shared values and interests, thru good times and bad.
This has created a permanent stability in my life. I have been thru years of stress and disruptive events before, but now there is stability. I look forward to a peaceful and stable future for the rest of our lives.
Our business has had its ups and downs, including lean times in 2008, followed by some Thailand political upheavals involving violent street protests, then the great Bangkok flood (which also put water up nearly a meter high at our house) but crises did not affect me like in the past.
I just love being at home with Na, at the office with Na, in transit with Na, and doing anything and everything out in the world with Na. And the feeling is very much mutual. We are inseparable.
People tell us we are such a nice couple, and very good for each other. So many people have told me that my wife loves me so much. I know that already, no question whatsoever, but it's remarkable how people tune into us as a couple and make such comments.
As the relationship started to develop, I joked with her about my initial impression of her as the alpha lion. Later, when we both felt even luckier to have met, we started to refer to ourselves as lucky lions.
However, she is a very gentle lionesse. She was a vegetarian when she met me. She doesn't kill any insects (ants, roaches, etc.) except the poisonous centipedes (one bit her when young and caused tremendous swelling) and mosquitoes, though she feels sorry for them when we must swat mosquitoes or find a poisonous centipede in the house. Killing anything else is off limits. This is like my daughter Angie and my mother.
Every relationship takes time to develop, and has many tests along the way before it passes the test of time. I was amazed at how Na just seamlessly passed my tests. She is completely trustworthy with everybody, very caring, diligent in her responsibilities, has uncommon "common sense", is a quick thinker, and personally down to Earth, able to switch modes at the appropriate times and in different environments and places.
(My tests include: caring about the world, caring about others, walk the walk in addition to talking the talk, being frugal with money, staying out of debt, good problem solving skills and ideas, perseverance, able to perform under pressure rather than just rationalize and skip out, taking responsibility, thinking things thru before speaking, reason over emotion, ability to control temper, ability to get along with a diversity of other people (within reason) and handle a variety of situations, and of course my various style preferences and the ability to shift modes as appropriate.)
My life has changed in many ways over the past several years, as I've settled down, and I'm happier and feel more stable than I've been in a long time. No more major frustrations, no more crazy life at times. I can see my lifelong future with my wife, and my mind has become more settled, focused and sharper than I can remember it ever being before. Some of this comes from the wisdom of age. However, I don't feel older, I feel younger and sharper mentally, even in my late 50s. My mental performance and productivity have improved since being in this stable and healthy relationship.
There is a lot to be said for a healthy lifestyle and a stable life, as regards mental performance.
Some people say they're too old to learn new things, or express a degradation in mental ability. However, I feel as sharp and even sharper than I've ever felt. I have also seen older people who were very sharp, so I still have hope that I have many productive years ahead of me.
My father is over age 90 and still seems sharp, but I've had him on a health food diet since I was in college more than 35 years ago.
Na and I don't live a luxurious life at all. We live a very modest life, but we have all we need and a good home.
We went to the US for Angie to finish high school there, where she graduated, but we all agreed we would rather live the rest of our lives in Thailand. Angie is at a university in Thailand.
In mid-2010, we decided to start an import-export business. Our property business is profitable despite the worldwide recession, but hasn't always done so well, particularly when there were political protests and other instability in Thailand occasionally, so we needed to diversify for the longterm with an additional source of income. However, when the property business picks up, we've dropped work on the exports business, which is a mistake...
PERMANENT -- saving Earth's unique life in the Universe
Starting in 2009, I have resumed work on PERMANENT. Over previous years, I just did what so many other people do, only consuming news and reports, not producing myself.
I have started to get back to updating the PERMANENT website, especially the database of quality papers and reports, crossreferenced with the authors database. These are the key people who would be needed once investment comes in.
Someday, I want to start attending professional meetings again.
My main focus is PERMANENT, discussed below, but it doesn't make any money, only consumes money. So I must spend time making money ...
The keys will be:
A key part of that plan will be presenting it to potential philanthropic investors. The book is still quite good enough even though a bit outdated, but we need to separately create and refine a new business plan.
I have seen a tremendous amount of money be spent around this world. The issue is not lack of money, it's lack of commitment.
I have itemized some of the PERMANENT first steps. For example, updating the database would cost just a few thousand dollars. I have a German programmer in Thailand who can do it. The old database is in outdated Lotus Notes format (1998), and Lotus Notes is dead, especially on the web. It has more than 500 records up to 1998. It needs to be ported to an SQL web database, and then updated with publications and authors since 1998.
For so many things, we don't need to do actual research and development. We need to use research and development which has already been done by others, and is largely published. We need to take a look at all our human resources.
I have a sizeable documents library in Thailand. Most documents are not on the web. They are sold on paper only, copyrighted by the publisher or institution. They must be bought and shipped. I would like to get key documents and get them into our Asia library here in Bangkok, and also read and incorporate their content into the longterm PERMANENT plan.
I would like to fly to the USA to a good library and review a lot of documents there, incorporating many of them into my database and website, and others make notes to order a copy and ship to the Asia library.
Based on all this technical literature, we can put together our best engineering plan to mine the asteroids and the moon, and have a list of the best engineers and scientists who we could bring in.
We can come up with a budget for this project, and revenue streams.
We can hire architects and artists for the important audiovisual presentations in our sales pitches on the web and general publicity, such as presentations to Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, etc., for global outreach in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner.
It's very frustrating to see PERMANENT needing a few thousand dollars here and there, but unable to get much except $50 donations and $30 book purchases. Then, in my life in Thailand, I see people coming over and blowing $50,000 or more on some jungle bunny bargirl girlfriend, or unnecessary ostentatious luxury items.
For example, one "friend" argued with us endlessly over the cost of his company's website. I met this CEO while he was vacationing in Thailand, where he met a Thai lady. His big company is obviously making millions upon millions of dollars per year on mainly services, largely to the government sector. He was arguing over our price of $500 or so for a website, already our lowest price and "mate's rates", but he continued to argue (negotiate?) sometimes rudely. His ego just couldn't allow him to pay one cent more than cheaper competition, and he pointed out that there were spam advertisements for cheaper websites, etc., etc. I pointed out that those guys will not produce a website anywhere near the quality of their alleged samples, and he will have headaches, etc., ... which he did. However, when his girlfriend became unreachable on her mobile phone, suddenly he wired $500 for quick surveillance. He had bought her a car for $20,000 after knowing her such a short time. And the story goes on...
And that guy is a low spender compared to a lot of others I see ostentatiously throwing money around! However, suggest something about helping life on this planet, and the response is disinterest. They're usually interested only in "what's in it for me?".
That's how people are going down in history ... or rather how they are NOT going down in history, because they aren't contributing.
"If you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem."
It is extremely frustrating to me that after billions of years of evolution in life, survival of intelligent life from this planet is up to this ONE generation, OUR generation. But guess what? Amidst all the wealth on this planet, I'm having to spend my time in menial work, wasting my talents, experience, and limited time by surviving monetarily instead of working on PERMANENT.
It is not a lack of money. It is a selfish lack of commitment by people.
I've been over 50 years old for awhile now, and hopefully I will live a lot longer, goodness forbid I get cancer or heart problems or something like that. I don't know what my energy levels will be like in the future as I age, but I think I've got another 20 good years to make a difference, probably more.
I've gained a lot of good business experience, especially over the past 10 years, and a lot of key experience over the last 22 years.
Now that my business is going well, I think that I will be able to spend more time on PERMANENT, hopefully to the point of finding a good philanthropic investor, at which time things will really take off. That will be a very personal effort.
Actually, I think that I have about another 1 or 2 years of ramping up my business before I will be able to invest much money and time into PERMANENT or travel to conferences, because I'm really only a couple of months ahead of bills and overhead. The company has constant income, but I do think it needs to build up a little bit more. I don't want to return to the state of company failure 10 years ago after all these years of hard work.
Nevertheless, at some time, I need to put time back into PERMANENT, and at this time, I am still the one and only person putting significant money and quality time into PERMANENT.
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