Meet the Fokkers

I am at Laurel’s best friends “wedding week”. Laurel’s best friend has a cousin she used to date for six years. He and his girlfriend are very nice, but I feel like I am in the movie “Meet the Fokkers”!

Healthy

I have been feeling extremely healthy lately. I have been working out seven days a week, I have not had any alcohol in over four months, I have not even had any caffeine in a month. Feeling incredibly good and making big strides forward in my business as well.

LA Rage

I feel like a lot of people in Los Angeles are angry a lot of the time. One of my friends pointed out it is because they have never been able to ascend very high on Maslow’s hierarchy chart:

His thought is many people in Los Angeles end up not feeling very secure because they live from paycheck to paycheck and have a hard time saving money. My thought was that people have to spend a lot of time fighting traffic and dealing with safety issues there.

Interesting ideas.

 

How I Sold My Car

I purchased my 2008 GMC Acadia six and a half years ago for $14,800, which I thought was quite a good deal at the time. The average price for the same year and model on Craigslist owner to owner was $20k, but I was able to talk them down from $18k with some shrewd negotiating.

Two months ago, I purchased a nice new 2017 Audi to replace it, so I needed to get rid of the Acadia.

For several weeks, I kept posting and reposting ads on Craigslist and Ebay and Autotrader but was getting no bites other than scammers. Friday though a guy called and said he would come down from Bakersfield to purchase it with cash. I had originally posted it at $8k, but had since lowered the price to $5,900 to try to get someone to buy it. This guy offered $5,500 over the phone and I agreed.

When he arrived, 4 guys got out of the car and walked towards me. I asked who was buying it and they didn’t really answer. They looked pretty sketchy and Laurel thought they were going to rob me and steal it. I was careful though and eventually figured out it was just a father and his three adult sons who couldn’t speak English well.

Once they walked around it a couple of times they handed me a thick wad of cash. I was pretty surprised by this because I didn’t even have the title or a bill of sale – this was a bad move on their part. I basically could have kept the cash and the car! I am an honest person though and told them to come into my office. I wrote them a bill of sale and gave them paperwork for the title, then counted out the cash. Took a long time because it was in 20’s.

Here was how I sold my last car, the Contour to Kenny – https://joelx.com/end-of-an-era-ford-contour-sold/5630/

 

Russian Dictator Putin Divided America Against Itself

The dictator of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has been working for years to gain ground on America. Putin is not a believer in growing the whole “economic” pie for everyone – he is a believer in capturing as much of that pie as he can for Russia at other’s expense. You can see this by his thinly veiled invasion of Ukraine where he took the territory of Crimea.

Putin has long been envious of America’s position in the world and has wanted to push Russia into the lead. He could not do this through conventional economic means (it’s hard to motivate people to work when you just steal the proceeds of that work), nor military means (Russia doesn’t have the resources to compete with America). Instead he is using propaganda to attempt to influence America and divide it against itself.

Russia invested billions of dollars and huge manpower into online propaganda influencing every social & news website – everything from Reddit to Twitter to Facebook to all the little fake news websites. Clear evidence has been provided by each of these platforms and Russia’s own journalists have unveiled parts of this effort. This massive disinformation campaign is primarily intended to create confusion, internal hostility and polarization.

I don’t have evidence for it, but I also think it is likely that he has worked to get elections thrown off by having his people work at polling places. This is why the polls leading up to the 2016 election were so far different from the actual voting results.

One of Putin’s clear goals was to get Trump elected and he succeeded in that. I am an economic conservative and business owner, and supposedly I should be happy someone who wants to reduce taxes is in office. Trump has been a very ineffective leader so far – he has not really enacted real policy change. However, Trump has continued to increase the polarization and internal hostility in America to levels not seen in many decades.

I am happy to see that many of the investigations into Putin are starting to bear fruit and show the scale of his effort to try to create a new Civil War in America. If Putin succeeds in dividing and distracting America, that opens up opportunities for Russia to begin seizing the territories around it and strong-arming other countries into giving it what he wants.

People need to step back from their hostilities against other Americans (especially since so much of it is caused by lies from Putin’s enormous fake news efforts), and we need to look at the true cause – Putin.

 

New Jack City Rock Climbing

I went rock climbing in New Jack City this weekend. I really had a growing experience. A lot of the sport leads had a pretty big distance between bolts… 8-15 feet, which can make the first two bolts pretty terrifying. I was able to confront my fears though and climb some pretty challenging terrain. I also learned a lot more about route finding and climbing on rock instead of plastic.

I wasn’t a bit fan of where the belayer was standing for this girl… thought she could have been flipped if the left foot caught the rope.

The moon was extremely bright and there was no need for flashlights when going to the bathroom.

This is my climbing partner Carolyn setting herself up a rappel after finishing the 5.9 route.

Very pretty out in the desert.

This is me setting up a rappel off a 5.10a.