My business failures

My oldest son, Joshua, is in retail management. He’s been doing that for maybe ten years. My middle son (he’s actually a twin), Jordan, is a videographer/editor for WGN in Chicago. He has won, I think, four Regional Emmy‘s for his work on “Chicago’s Best,” a program that spotlights Chicago area eateries. I’ve been binge watching it for months now. I think I’ve gained some weight!  My youngest son (Jordan’s twin), Jesse, is also a videographer/editor and he owns his own company producing video for other businesses. He is highly successful at this. He provides for his wife and three girls and owns a home.

I am equally proud of all three of my boys. But Jesse has accomplished something I’ve never been able to. He has his own, highly successful business. He is making his living doing what I always wanted to. I’ve tried a lot of things, and none of them has ever made me a living.

Back in about the mid 1970’s I acquired a Real Estate license. I worked part time at that for about fifteen years.  In that time I sold exactly three homes, and listed four. Some people say, “Oh, you have to work full time to make Real Estate work for you.”  Well during the last year I was still in Kankakee, I did work at it full time. Total sales during that period: 0.  My grandson Isaiah is selling Real Estate now. I hope he is doing better than I did.

About 1989 or so, on the inspiration of some men I met in Scouting, I took a correspondence course in Locksmithing. I was pretty good at it too. I set up a mobile business and in 1990 I purchased a half-page color advertisement in the local phone directory.  I had done the research and there were only two other locksmiths in the area. I thought with my well known surname and a clever twist (“The Keymaster“) I would get all sorts of business.  The phone rang twice. In three months.  One interesting development was that I was no longer the only new Locksmith in town. There were twenty – 20 – of us.  Since the ad in phone book was costing me a substantial amount (like way, way more than I was making), I closed up the business.

It was around this time that I decided to try Real Estate full time.

My marriage was going south and the internet was a new thing. I met Qadisha on GEnie (a pre-internet communications thing) and a romance sparked. She was a *“writer,” and she had her own *“video production house” (just like Jesse, BUT not at all). So I hoped a plane to San Francisco, where she picked me up and took me to her home in Santa Cruz.  It was a remarkable visit. About  a month later, I picked her and her daughter up at O’Hare in Chicago, and the next day, after good bye’s to the boys, I drove her across the country with a lot of my stuff back to Santa Cruz.

Once there we shopped the B&H catalog for video stuff. We purchase a lot of high-end, High8 video gear (on my credit cards). We rented a studio down on 7th Ave (by Twin Lakes) and set up shop.  We actually did pretty well starting out. Mostly, it was Weddings. We had a commercial here and there, but mainly Weddings.  We produced a commercial for ourselves and ran it on local cable.  The phone didn’t ring any oftener though, and I had to take a part-time job at Radio Shack.

Qadisha did not like doing Weddings. After a while she refused to do them. Since it’s a two person job (for the most part) that was pretty much the end of the business.  I ended up going bankrupt for the credit cards of course. That was the end of my stellar credit rating (and to this day I still haven’t recovered).

In 1998 we moved from Santa Cruz CA to Ashland OR.  My relationship with Qadisha was deteriorating rapidly, but I made the move anyway. After a few months, I had established what would eventually be called the Southern Oregon Pagan Network, a loose collective of Pagan souls. Through this I met Ceridwen, who in 1999 was living in Santa Cruz and thinking about moving up to Ashland to work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. One thing led to another, and soon I was in love. Ceridwen came up for a visit. We hardly left the bedroom. She moved in with me about a month later.

Together we started the Rogue Valley Celtic Society. About once a month or so we would contract with Celtic musicians and hold a concert at the Ashland Unitarian Church.  We never broke even, and the last concert with Ceridwen’s friend, David Nigel Lloyd was a disaster.  We had made friends with the members of Silverhand, Chris and Lisa. They showed us where to post posters, list our concerts — basically everything we needed to get the word out.  Maybe Celtic music wasn’t Ashland’s thing?  No, because another lady did the same thing we were doing (even using the same venue) and although her music choices were more eclectic, her Celtic concerts were well attended.  Over coffee with a local writer one day, I was informed that “no one knows who you are, so no one will support you.”  In other words, Ashlanders were so nativist and elitist that they would pass up good music if they weren’t familiar with the organizers.  This endeavor ended with us in debt to a number of people.

In late 1999 we moved to a little cabin in above Grants Pass. I took a job managing a Furniture store.  In November of 2000 Ceridwen and I were legally married. In March of 2004 we moved back to California to Eureka.  As a part of other activities, we started an online business, Avalon Risen. Basically we sell items of interest to the Pagan community. We carry no inventory. Everything is drop shipped to our customers from our distributor in Middlefield Massachusetts.  Our total overhead runs a little over $20/month.  This business generally pays for our overhead, but not much else. My inclination is to give up, but since the overhead is so low, I keep thinking maybe something will break.  It’s only been 17 years now. I keep hoping.

What is wrong?  I don’t know. I’ve done everything I am supposed to do (within budget restraints) and this is true of every business I have attempted.  Could I be under a curse?  I don’t believe in curses. There is some Jewish blood in my family line (my mother’s side). I guess I didn’t get the “business gene.”  My brother got that one.

I will turn 64 in November. It seems to me like I should have hit pay dirt by now. Most people are thinking about retirement at my age.

This is not to say I’ve been a total failure.  I founded the Order of the Mithril Star (1995) and co-founded the Reformed Druids of Gaia (2006). In addition to the Southern Oregon Pagan Network (1998), I co-founded the Sequoia Pagan Alliance (2004). All of these non-profits were/are wildly successful.  None of them have ever made any money, but they weren’t supposed to. All but one of these is still operating. So, it’s not like I have no track record. It’s just that when it comes to money making ventures, I suck at it.

I could really use some extra cash. <sigh>

 


Chuck Lorre Vanity Card #240

A wise man once told me that we are all God in drag. I like that. Sometimes when I’m in a public place or sitting at a stop light, I’ll watch people walking by and I’ll silently say to myself, “He’s God. She’s God. He’s God. She’s God.” Before long I always find myself feeling a warm sense of affinity for these strangers. The experience is even more powerful when I do this while observing a person who is clearly suffering. On occasion I’ll test my little spiritual practice by turning on Fox News. Within minutes I become an atheist.
— Chuck Lorre Vanity Card #240

 

 

 


Thou art God (Revisited)

“Thou art God’. It’s not a message of cheer and hope. It’s a defiance – and an unafraid, unabashed assumption of personal responsibility.”

Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

My first exposure to this idea was through reading Robert A. Heinlein’s seminal novel, Stranger In A Strange Land. I was in my Sophomore year at Kankakee Eastridge High School at the time. My very best friend (and honestly, no other male has ever been as close to me) Louis Dolmon had gifted it to me. I have to say that this book, more than any other, changed my life.

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, this is not a new idea. My interpretation of it may be new, but not the basic idea.

“Thou art God”, is the greeting that Reformed Druids make to one another upon meeting. Typically, we do not say “I am God.” This is because my godness is dependent upon yours.  WE are God. Collectively. Every single sentient being in the universe comprises God. No one is God by themselves. We are all in this together. You could say that we are the atoms that make up God.  You might remember The Founders, who were the protagonists in the television series, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The Founders, as individuals, were shape shifters. In their natural state they were like thick water and able to assume the appearance of anything. Their greatest joy was when they could all come together and form an ocean, co-mingling  (mixing) with each other in what they called “the Great Link.”

I think this is what happens to us, when we are “between the worlds.” When our physical body is no longer viable, we become one with everyone else in the Great Link.

What about the people we don’t like?  What about the President? Or the GOP members of Congress?

They don’t know that they are God. It’s their ignorance that causes them (and due to their actions, us)  trouble.

Do the best you can to work around them and otherwise ignore them. They’ll discover their god-ness soon enough. In the meantime we have to keep them from doing from doing as much harm as we can. This applies to terrorists, criminals and other misinformed folks as well. It means you have to love them in spite of themselves. That’s really hard

What if, say, 90% of the worlds population adopted this idea? What if a significant percentage of the Earths population came to this realization?

PEACE ON EARTH. Total equality. Total liberty. Total fraternity. No rich, no poor. Everyone has housing. Everyone is fed. Everyone has healthcare. No one is competing with anyone. Everyone takes care of everyone else and is in turn taken care of.

IMAGINE!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


“Pussies”

A “pussy” is a cat, according to most dictionaries. It is also a derogatory term for a vagina. When used in the sense of the later, it is generally always derogatory. For instance, “… a lot people are such pussies.” “A lot of people are such vaginas.” How can a person BE a vagina? A woman can HAVE a vagina. A man cannot (unless he is becoming a woman).

Why are vaginas BAD things? That implies that a penis is a good thing. But we know that a penis is sometimes a bad thing. “Dick,” “cock,” “shmuck,” “putz,” are all derogatory words to describe people. But I digress.

People who use the word “pussy” this way are saying that vaginas are bad. The truth however, is that vaginas are very, very good. The vagina is the entrance to the womb, and the womb is where life begins. In this sense a “pussy” is a far superior thing to have than a “dick.” Yes, a dick starts a life but without a vagina life cannot begin.

I’m thinking that because of the superiority of the female position, men are simply jealous and so they have to denigrate women in this way. Once a man impregnates a woman, his job is done. Her job will last for nine months and usually, the next 18 years.

This sot of goes along with the Republican Party’s anti-woman agenda, which wishes to force women to have children and then drops the matter, not caring what happens after the birth.

So a guy who habitually calls pacifists “pussies”: Isn’t he really, sub-consciously (if not consciously) a “misogynist?”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


I wonder

When will we (and I mean, all of us – GOD) figure out that the distribution of money weakens us as a species and corrupts us. Don’t forget that the central dream of Star Trek was just this: a money-less society. I found a guy on the internet that puts it this way:

Imagine for a moment a society without money. When you think about it, money, the lack of it, the pursuit of it, and what to do with it, takes up much of our waking consciousness. Even in our dreams we dream about winning the lottery, paying off the mortgage or being able to afford every whim and want. In short we are slaves to money. But in reality it is just an idea. These little pieces of paper are meaningless in themselves, rather a means by which our society is maintained, kept in some semblance of balance and order.

However from another perspective, money and the pursuit of it reveals a far more negative aspect of humanity, greed. Because money can expand life choices and gain power over those with less of it, it is by nature the corrupter. Our monetary system, devised to be a means for fair economy and balances has become the controlling force of all human endeavor. It has become a sole purpose and the false God of a race of beings immersed in self-involvement.

The world is filled with inequity, most of which revolves around money. Those born into poverty have no choice in the matter, as is our good fortune born into wealth. The success or failure of political and economic systems comes from individual circumstance for which all associated populations endure the result. Most of us have little influence on what happens beyond trying to ensure we protect and care for our own love ones. Of course, no-one wants to give up what they have, or lesson the lifestyle and freedom that we enjoy.

Here’s the clincher. Technology, energy and world resources can sustain our world populations: rid the world of hunger, drastically lessen disease and care for all its inhabitants. The only obstacle is greed and what the monetary system has created.

Imagine a world without money, without the pressure of bills, striving to amass, budgeting and all that goes with our present system. And what’s even better, without money, without power there would be far less conflict. Perhaps we would learn to live in peace and not contend with or try to better our fellow man. The benefits would be many.

There are people that have been working on this possibility for some years, working out how such a society would work. The intent is not to recreate any political system or philosophy but to imagine a new working world order whereby a governing body would oversee the maintenance and procurement of all the resources needed to sustain a balanced, healthy world. Perhaps we would all be required to work certain hours per week in our chosen fields, having been educated and nurtured to achieve our potential. The reward for participation would be housing, food and recreational choices, living in the knowledge that our future and our children’s future is assured.

It all sounds impossible to achieve but dreams can come true and a world of peace and prosperity is worth consideration. Think about it.  — Tony DeLorger 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 


List of Cons of Free Enterprise Capitalism

This is only a partial list:

1. Market economy can result to having inferior products.
We contend what supporters say about high quality products being sold in the market with this economic system. Since capitalists are focusing on making profit, they are attracted to mass produce. Oftentimes, mass produced merchandise is of low quality since these capitalists will be more interested to supply what consumers are looking for at a given period and pay less attention on the quality of the products they sell.

2. It is not beneficial to workers and the environment.
We are concerned about the plight of workers, especially those who work in factories and manufacturing plants. With the goal of enterprises to earn profit, the welfare of workers is often taken for granted. There are poor working conditions, low salaries and lesser benefits. Moreover, some capitalists prefer to outsource manufacturing and investing in other countries since they are able to haggle for lower salaries. This also takes away jobs from local as well as taxes which should be paid to the government. With the motive to earn profit, workers and the environment can suffer. There are plenty of reports of environmental hazards such as oil spills and dumping of toxic waste materials.

3. It can cause prices of commodities to skyrocket.
In a command economy, the government has the last word not only on what products are to be sold in the market but also how much the prices are. This is not what happens in a market economy. Critics are not in favor of this since it will give capitalists the power to control the market and product prices. They can monopolize the dispensing of goods and demand these products cost.

4. It can create an imbalance in the economy.
Without regulation in the market, situations that can result to government expenses will arise. With free market, fraud and abuse is possible as in the case of the controversy in the savings and loan industry in 1982 wherein the Federal government spent $500 billion. Another instance was the series of lawsuits filed by women against silicone breast implant manufacturers for leaks on the implants. Critics say that these were rooted from lack of regulation.

5. More to come …..