The True Life Polish

Shoes get worn, they get dirty and sometimes the user just neglects them all together. Why put a dark, smelly, oily substance on them that makes them streaked and smudged?

Leave the mess to itself for a bit and start to rub and buff the polish into the shoe. Stay out of the shoes for a bit and let them rest. Give them the treatment they’ve been neglected as you’ve taken them along on your travels. When it’s time to rest and polish a good pair of shoes back up, take time and take care to do it well.

Some people only get one good pair of shoes and most of those people will make those shoes last for a long time.

A Writer’s Christmas

I think I was around 13 when I decided that I was going to write a book. I liked to doodle and draw strange monsters a lot, I enjoyed sports, I really liked music (especially West Coast rap), but I never developed a skill or work ethic to aspire to any of those things on an elite level. I was also quite pre-occupied with winning one of the many reputed scholarships that would pay an entire ride to college’s expenses for one good poem, essay or short story. So, I decided I was going to write a good poem, essay AND short story. Only one problem; hand-written pieces were not accepted. So, I decided that I absolutely must have a computer to type out and print all my masterpieces. Christmas time was approaching and I was on a mission.

The reality of the situation was that 12 years ago, computers were still huge pieces of machinery that cost thousands of dollars and I only knew one person who had one in their home. It definitely wasn’t in the budget of a single mother to buy her aspiring author any sort of professional machinery to type out his thoughts. So, instead she bought me an electric typewriter, much like the one Raoul Duke uses in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It was amazing! Although the backspace button only worked for a few weeks and the ink ribbon was always getting twisted and smudging and… it doesn’t matter! I had pages of my own writing that I could send in for the scholarship contest!

I didn’t get that scholarship, or any scholarships for that matter, but it made me feel like a legitimate writer anyhow. This was the definitive moment in my life when I knew I was a writer. Starting on pages, scrapping countless drafts and gnashing my teeth trying to figure out what I wanted to write next; these are some of my fondest childhood memories that slipped my recollection for a long time. It sort of just popped into my head this morning and gave me a really warm feeling. I wanted to share that memory with you.

Do you have any lost or faded childhood memories that suddenly come to you? I’m hoping these start coming back clearer and more often. It feels good!

Cake Filled With Content

You’ve got to give the people what they want, or you’ve got to convince the people they want what you’ve got. Straight-up copy just doesn’t make people’s mouth water. I’m finding that I’m getting quite obsessed with one type of writing at any given moment and neglecting others. All the while I am slowly creeping up to an insurmountable wall where I feel like everything I’m writing is crap.

The solution is to keep writing, no matter which way you go about it and stuff it into some cake so people will want it. Whether they’ll buy it or not is an entirely different story, but as long as people read what you’re putting down on paper and coming back for more the next day, you’re doing alright.

On a side note, I’m becoming well aware of what ROI I am needing from the time I spend writing. It’s got to be high! About two years ago I was writing entire 500 word articles for a few bucks. A FEW BUCKS! Maybe like $3 to $6 for quality writing that I spent at least an hour on. In my mind I was paying my dues, but working for pennies is so easy to do because people will never offer to pay you more if you don’t ask. Getting what you’re worth as a writer is important for financial reasons and also confidence reasons. I’m almost embarrassed to post about how long I was writing for cheap, but it’s in the past and with some good judgment and even better advice I’m beyond that.

So, eat up your content cake as well as your *spinach* filled brownies and don’t write for less than you’re worth!

On The Road…Again

I won’t go into much detail right now, but basically I might have to pack my shit and find another place to live. I’ve been put into a very uncomfortable position. As a grown man I’m weighing my options of compromise versus confrontation, or simply walking away from this living arrangement that I have grown content with.

… sigh…

 

Adsense Doesn’t Work Anymore


As with most people I know, I haven’t made any money using Adsense. I knew that the wave of making good money through Adsense revenue had probably passed at least a few years ago.

So, what works now? I’m trying to figure that out myself. I’ve read two blogs this week that talk endlessly about how it’s nearly impossible for most people to make money off of blogging, yet there are people that do it. Here is the more informative of the two blog posts http://www.copyblogger.com/no-money-blogging/

Basically what I understand is that there needs to be a unique business model associated with your content and with your blog. If it doesn’t solve people’s problems, it probably won’t make money. Writing entertainment blogs seems to not be the way to go, although I enjoy writing entertainment type posts on JR’s Not So Literal Logging.

So this leads me to wonder, how can I solve people’s problems? What skills do I have that people would pay for? Well, I’ve got a lot of those skills to be perfectly honest! The act of brainstorming them will be a new way to shift the paradigm of how I think about making money.

So, I’m going to take my first step in trying a new Ad program called Chitika. It’s supposedly much more effective than Adsense these days. We’ll see! I’m looking forward to seeing some revenue come in based off of the page views I get.

Let me know what you think about solving people’s problems and making money off of it. Also, let me know what you think of the Chitika Ads!

The Proliferation of Green Jobs

The sustainability revolution is coming! Where do I stand? Where do you stand? Where do we stand?

A gajillion, million, bazillion dollars are now being circulated throughout the United States of America to help stimulate the economy and create jobs. I’m pulling for the “green” job increases and to be honest, I’m already starting to see a bit of a pick up in the talk and excitement in Massachusetts surrounding sustainable industries. Check out this article in the Boston Globe to see what I’m talking about.

Stimulus expectations run high

So, what kind of green jobs are we talking here? Green construction? Solar panel installers? Wind turbine technicians (or as I call them, trapeze artists)? Green non-profits? Green government contracts? Green street sweepers?

A year ago I was just another environmental enthusiast who wanted nothing more than to see a social and economic transformation to a cleaner, healthier economy and way of living. I wanted quite badly to work in the field of “green” business. I never got an engineering degree, never got an environmental science degree and I never got a business degree. I simply am a good writer who’s good with technology and has a very small learning curve. I put myself out there repeatedly and almost, I mean almost got a few really cool jobs for solar and wind power companies. I’m not working in a sustainable industry at the moment, but I find myself in the midst of a revolutionary period, one that I’ve been waiting for.

Do I still want my professional future to lie in “green” or sustainable business? You bet your pants I do. But I ask, where do I belong? Where can I put my skills to use? Who needs me?

You should ask yourself these questions as well. This will be the biggest economic boom that my generation (Gen Y) will likely ever see in our lifetime. I don’t want to call it a bubble. How could infrastructure and renewable energy development cause an economic bubble? It won’t. This is our new direction. This will be an economic freight train. Get on or get out of the way!

The Rise of Carbon Neutral Cities

Today I’m linking to a column Seth Itzkan and I wrote for The Valley Patriot. It’s about the exciting trends in sustainable building practices that will bring us into a cleaner tomorrow.

As always, comments are welcome.

_____________________________________________________________________________

A sustainable future is not something that can only be enjoyed by certain segments of society or by certain parts of the planet. Many “green” innovations have been displayed in beautifully crafted, yet very expensive homes and buildings. The real, holistic purpose of living sustainably is so that everyone can live cleaner, healthier lives and leave the Earth less of a mess for future generations to clean up.

How does a world like this come to fruition? It certainly doesn’t happen over night. Most of the world’s big cities were developed large in scale and breadth as we know them after the industrial revolution. Over the course of time, cities and towns have grown in order to accommodate huge populations and the demands that come with them. Urban sprawl and suburbia seems to be a poor idea in hind-sight, but certain socioeconomic forces have shaped the urban, suburban and rural landscapes we live in today. Facing those forces with a new, sustainable mentality is what will help us to build greener, healthier living spaces.

What makes a sustainable region? Reducing the collective carbon footprint of a city or town is done in multiple ways. Changing the way a city is laid out or planned can dramatically alter the dynamic of foot traffic as well as the number of internal combustion vehicles used throughout. Changing standards and regulations towards requiring a high level of energy efficiency in all new construction projects is also a way to greatly reduce an areas carbon footprint.

With so many buildings, homes and structures already existing which were built long before efficiency standards were considered, there is the question of whether it is better to retro-fit or to build anew. While both ideas have their benefits, some governments are looking to model future cities after state of the art eco-colonies.

Masdar City, in Abu Dhabi is slated to be the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city. Within this walled city, no cars will be allowed and all of the energy used will be in the form of electricity generated by renewable resources such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. The goal for Masdar City is to create as much energy as it uses. Current goal is to produce a 130 megawatts through a photovoltaic network and 20 megawatts with wind farms. In all, Masdar City will be host to about 45,000 residents with 60,500 people commuting there daily.

There are also examples of existing cities and towns that are called “transition towns.” The use of the word “transition” signifies a conscious, active and collective move towards building a more sustainable community.

This approach has varying aspects to it, including raising awareness of carbon and environmental issues, connecting with local governments and having community defined goals, projects and timelines which would ultimately seek to achieve a carbon neutral city, town or region.

Transition towns are varied in size and culture, with some examples in the United States being Montpelier, Vermont, Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Maine. The Obama-Biden platform was notably pro- environment and many Americans are looking forward to an Obama Administration push towards sustainable economic development. A large part of the platform is a commitment to highly efficient Federal buildings and more stringent standards for all new construction projects. New building efficiency will be 50% more efficient and retro-fitted existing structures will aim to be 25% more efficient. These ambitious, large scale projects are going to require a well trained and motivated workforce, which will hopefully signal a new reassurance of new, green-collar jobs in the near future.

Speaking of his proposed Environmental Agenda, President Obama said, “We cannot afford more of the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake. Global warming is not a someday problem, it is now.”

Speaking to policy specifics, he said, “It will lay down three thousand miles of transmission lines to every corner of our country. It will save taxpayers $2 billion dollars a year by making 75% of Federal buildings more efficient and it will save American families hundred of dollars by weatherizing 2 million homes.”

A city of any size uses massive amounts of power; that this may someday soon be achieved without any carbon output is remarkable.
Policies put fourth by the Obama administration promoting the greening of the built environment are a step in that direction and may provide useful incentives for The Merrimack Valley.

Czech out the actual Column at The Valley Patriot Online.

I’ve Decided to Become a Millionaire

In the past year I’ve made millions of dollars and signed countless copies of my book in a tour that spanned the globe twice over. Would you believe me that six months ago I was working at a gas station in downtown Baltimore making $22,000 a year annually and now I’m a MULTI-millionaire internet marketer. Sound unbelievable? I’d have said the same thing in your shoes. Let me show you how I turned my life around to become the biggest selling book writer, the most followed Twitterer and the most charismatic public speaker in the world with my webinar JR’s Not So Literal Logging: A Peon’s Guide to Generating Money From Thin Air.

I can’t promise that you too will become rich, famous, attractive and amazing at every venture you take in life, but if you purchase my JR’s Not So Literal Logging webinar series, I will show you the steps that you can take to put your life on a one-way rocket ride to success.

Please leave a comment and you’ll be put on my super secret mailing list that will give you back-stage access, pre-sale information, ultra confidential tips, tricks and videos of me having burping contents with the chimpanzee friends I bought with my MILLIONS!

Sustainable Spaces

I may not have mentioned Jetson Green before due to my tendency to keep things that I really love private. This website consistently hosts the most inspiring, beautiful and innovative green, sustainably built projects in the world. reading a blog like this is encouraging because it really helps you realize that many places throughout the United States are adapting some form of sustainable building principals in application to their own spaces.

A little over a week ago I visited Alex Cheimets in Arlington where he and his neighbor are living amidst the Massachusetts Superinsulation Project. This project is a great example of what can be done with supplies available to virtually anyone and some applied scientific reasoning to make a relatively old residential home become energy efficient. I will cover this project and compare it to other projects in further detail in the near future.

When not working with existing residential or commercial structures, there is a seemingly blank canvas left for developers, architects and construction workers to build something new and innovative that serves a purpose of livability, functionality and general aesthetic appeal.

A new design that I’m excited over today that I learned about from the folks over at Jetson Green is Dr. Jim’s “Really Nice” space. This walkable, sustainable, rentable commercial space just screams downtown renewal, something that my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts is in sore need of. If developers and city officials were ever able to pair reasonably priced, sustainably built housing and commercial space down where the Worcester Common Fashion Outlets used to be, that could bring an entirely new dynamic to the city’s brand.

Match the concept of new development with retro-fitted existing structures and I can foresee an exciting vision for Worcester, Massachusetts and many many other cities and towns like it. This sort of vision will create jobs and be conducive to community involvement. I like the sound of that. Plus it just looks nice!

Start Now, Not Later

Why wait until next month to start kicking out the jambs? I was driving myself up the walls trying to figure out how I was going to make the dough that needed to be made for the month of February. I keep stressing over my business website and setting that up to look “professional.”

Scratch that. I got into the swing of focusing too much on making money in one particular discipline. How else can I make money? Writing isn’t the only ways. Editing, babysitting, demolition, trade shows, you name it! You can’t knock or limit my hustle.

I feel like this is my best effort in putting the last month behind me and really turning the corner towards an exciting 2009. I’m looking to stay positive, stay caring and giving to the people who display the same traits to me and even to some of those who don’t.

Not that I’m a bad person, but I feel like I need to be a better person moving forward. Better, stronger, smarter and tougher. More understanding too. More flexible?

We’ll see.

On a side note, a picture is probably worth a thousand words and a million memories when you consider the tableau of three Worcesterite males sitting around a semi-furnished apartment drinking wine from Martini glasses and talking about life with the type of vigor that you’d expect from upwardly mobile cats who haven’t quite hit their stride. You’d have to be there… with a camera!