The Joy of Learning–For Free

In the ninth bachelor commandment written in the manifesto we read:

THOU SHALT FURTHER THY EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE TO KEEP THY LIFE  INTERESTING.

Now, regardless of how much education you have enjoyed…or suffered through, you could always use more, especially when college courses come from major universities, and you can get them for free (if you are not looking for credit, or a piece of paper to hang on your wall).

There are hundreds of subject areas to choose from, practical, philosophical, historical, artistic, and a hell of a lot more.  So, without further ado, mosey on over to

EDX

    Experience once again, the joy of learning, this time without needing a student loan.

An Agonizing Reappraisal

Achtung Herr Bachelor! 

It’s time to take a look at how you dress yourself, how your place of residence looks, where you work during business hours, and where you lurk after the work day is through. What you eat, what you sleep on, who you schtup. (Or should that be whom?)

Perform a rigorous thorough self-examination, right now; (although the colonoscopy may be saved for a later date, where you can get VIP treatment at the imaging center).

Get out a piece of paper, and your fanciest pen. (No don’t use the bloody computer, or the tablet, or your cell phone, we want this to be a tactile experience for you. Do it the old fashioned way). Make friends with your pen again.

On your paper, make two vertical columns.  One is for what you like about your environment, your job, your social life, your wardrobe, vehicle, etc.  The second column is for what sucks about being you, or being around you.

Be brutally honest, because prior to a cure, we must have an accurate diagnosis.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to take steps to unfuck you.

Baby steps; which brings us to the venerable doctrine of Kaizen. (The Japanese always have a name for it, don’t they?)  Kaizen, for the uninitiated, is Japanese for “change for better.”  It is the art of causing change by making small and regular modifications to existing circumstances, until a significant improvement over time is realized.

That’s what our intelligent would be VIP bachelor does.

Let’s take a look at your appearance.

You’ve made your two column sheet, and you have discovered that you dress for shit.  You could be the cover model for Schlump Quarterly.   You have to change yourself from schlumpy the dumpy chump to that sharp dressed man that every girl is crazy about.

One step at a time, though tiger, like the kaizen way say.

If you are not bleeding chips, you might have to start real small.  Iron your shirt, if you don’t usually.  Wear better socks.  Shave more often, or regularly trim such facial hair as you have intentionally grown. Shine your shoes regularly.

Yes, there are bachelors of all ages that seemed to have neglected these simple basic matters.  (You, yes you by the monitor, the one with the dirty wife beater and four days stubble.  I’m talking to you!)

If your pockets are full, go splurge on the beginnings of a whole new wardrobe, after you have seen examples of what sartorially is best for your physical type.

amazon affiliate link I receive a commission from your purchase, but you don’t pay more.

Here’s a great book that will help.

Obviously, besides your appearance, you use these principles for all areas of your life, so you can bring the improvements necessary to your becoming the bachelor VIP you were meant to be.

Time to get dressed.

THE SOUND OF BOND MUSIC

Whether you are a VIP bachelor already, or aspiring to become one, reality reveals that a good portion of life is rather fucking boring. Humdrum.  A snore.

So how do we pimp up the ho hum hours, the mundane moments?  One good step in the VIP direction is to get a soundtrack to back up the boring.

Now, I think we can agree that James Bond would be a VIP bachelor.  He had a soundtrack. He always had one, so why not us?

Put some music to what you are doing whenever practical. Commuting in the car? Have the appropriate CD playing. Putting the night’s dinner in the microwave? Do it to the right tune.

Try this. Watch a segment of a Bond film when he’s not fornicating or fighting, and turn the sound off. Not even half as cool is it?

So–soundtrack it.

How do you choose? How do you “Bond” with your soundtrack?

It depends on when you bonded with Bond.      Obviously you can use music from the films, but you also want to use music similar to the times and moods of the films.

If you signed on in the Connery years, we’re talking jazz, calypso, “cocktail” and “lounge” music.

If you got the photo in the eighties (heaven forbid) maybe you’re talking Duran Duran. It’s a matter of personal choice of course.

The point is when doing the dull you can get more dum da da dum dum style with accompanying music.

Here are a few CD recommendations for your review:

BOND 50TH ANNIVERSARY CD SET

JAMES BOND THEMES 1962-2015

We are going to use Bond as an example for VIP bachelors in forthcoming articles, so stay tuned.

Note: portions of this article are reprinted from an article of mine that appeared on a James Bond Lifestyle website. Above links are amazon affiliate links, if you purchase, I receive a small commission, your price does not change.

Thrifty is Nifty

As a VIP bachelor, you are no doubt concerned with how your personal appearance defines you as a man of taste (if not wealth), and how your living quarters demonstrate your style and appreciation of comfort.

What you don’t need to be concerned with in either case, is the “need” for new, nor the rationality of paying retail—when you can do better.

Enter through the thrift shop. Where used doesn’t have to mean abused, and items you purchase don’t have to be considered a “rescue.”

But you have to be particular where you go thrift shopping.  You want to go to those shops located in or near the wealthier areas.  The one percent throws out or donates all kinds of furniture and clothing goodies.  Now it’s your turn to give them a good home.

I have scored tons of designer ties for a couple of bucks a piece, and some great leather furniture and other choice upholstered items on the cheap.  Look great, cost a fraction of new.

While you are out hunting, lookin’ for a come up, here is some music to thrift by:

The money you save will be your own.  Until next time, thrift on!

The Chuck is in the Mail–Letter Box Cleaning

    One of the benefits of being a VIP, bachelor or
otherwise, is you don’t have to waste time—at least you don’t have to waste as much time as “Joe Sixpack,” does. Since many of us spend a significant amount of time online, it pays to know some simple measures that can save you time when riding the information highway.

     A big online time waster is the receipt of emails you don’t want and never will want.  While there are software programs out there that can help you rid yourself of these, I believe that the easiest and most private method of getting rid of these missives from miscreant electronic mailers is to hit the unsubscribe buttons on the emails, as soon as you get the message.

These buttons are usually at the end of the message, in small print, and are sometimes hard to find.  But if you get rid of one of these a day, in a year’s time you have round filed 365 unwanted messages that aren’t going to bother you anymore.  It takes only a few seconds to do this, and you might want to dedicate several minutes once or twice a week in cleaning out the litter box of your electronic letter box.  Or, you just might want to “kill” the messenger each time you receive the message. It’s actually kind of fun, if you enjoy the pleasure of rejecting somebody’s efforts at getting you to spend your hard earned money.

There’s law backing up what spammers can or can’t do with emails, and if you want to check out the devilish details, check out these sections from the Federal CAN-SPAM ACT which mandate what a commercial email sender must do to be in compliance with opt out requirements:

Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.

Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Remember, the time you save will be your own!

What’s Cooking?

When you can combine food dollar savings with savory food with little preparation effort, you have come upon the formula for VIP bachelor culinary happiness.  The equation for this formula is the slow cooker, or often times referred to by one of the brand names as the “crock pot.”

Using the slow cooker can be as simple as “set it and forget it,” but for meals involving meats, you are often going to have to brown the meats prior to putting them in the pot.  (Newer slow cookers feature the ability to brown meat with the same cooker.)

Here’s one I use, it’s a good simple slow cooker for the single diner

(amazon affiliate link, I receive a small commission from your purchase, your price remains the same)

It is convenient to throw the evening’s dinner in the slow cooker prior to leaving for work in the morning, (or whatever it is you do to occupy your daytime), and then coming home to a meal that is not only already cooked for you, but quite often retains and marries the various flavors of the ingredients better than would other methods of cooking.

Plus clean up is simple and quick. (Especially if you spray the cooking pot with a cooking spray, or wipe it with cooking oil, prior to placing the ingredients inside–which you pretty much should do every time).

Slow cooker recipes abound for free on the internet.  Try here

Bon appetit bachelor!

You Gotta Have Art

For those bachelors culturally inclined, one of the useful things you can do for yourself, both from a cultural and personal point of view is to get involved with local arts organizations.  Ideally, you want to get yourself on the board, which can sometimes be as easy as volunteering, or as expensive and time consuming as proving yourself to be a significant contributor with respect to cash and effort.

     If you can’t immediately get on the board, volunteer your services, provided of course that there are some interesting people to meet, and some VIP benefits offered you in exchange for your services.

Obviously, you want to join an organization in which you have some interest in their purpose.  Are you into the visual arts?  Join an appropriate organization.  Like film?  Get involved with those organizations holding film festivals.  You get the idea.

Having followed my own advice, I not only met some celebrities and females of the attractive persuasion, but received VIP passes, and otherwise special VIP treatment by reason of my being on the board of  arts organizations.

So what’s an easy way to look?  Let’s take an example.  Perhaps you are a resident of Sarasota Florida.  Just Google “Sarasota + Arts Organizations.”

Here is just one of the items that pops up 

When giving examples in support of posts, we will be visiting various parts of the country, but since it’s still winter, Florida serves today.

So now that you’ve got the picture, be the bachelor that “got culture.”

Line Dancing

One of the benefits of being a VIP, (bachelor or otherwise) is you don’t have to wait in long lines with the rest of the civilians.

Now this is a subject we will visit frequently, with specific methods, but in general, the VIP bachelor must arrange his errands and his entertainment so that he does not wait in line, or if he must, he doesn’t do it for long, and he does it in comfort.

Dealing with the DMV?  Much of what you need can be done online, in front of your home or office computer.  Always check your local DMV website to see if what you need to do can be done electronically.

Getting up there in years and signing up for social security or Medicare Don’t wait in line, do it online.  Click on the above linked text.

Traveling?  Want to wait less than five minutes in line when dealing with the TSA geniuses?  Sign up for TSA Pre Check.  According to TSA, in November 2016, 96% of the passengers with Pre Check waited less than five minutes.

Are you traveling internationally and want to spend less time in immigration and custom lines?  Go Global Entry for expedited clearance at the airports.  Here is where you start the process of being approved:  Global Entry

Now for those times you must spend time in line, instead of uncomfortably standing, why not sit it out like a VIP.  Use a portable folding seat.

(amazon affiliate link, I receive a small commission for your purchase, your price remains the same)

That’s it for this installment.  There will be more line dancing postings in the future. Wait for them, but not in line.

Licensed to Thrive

One of the ways to obtain VIP treatment is to have a license to do something that people need.  We are talking beyond a driver’s license, of course.  Depending upon the license, and the state requirements of obtaining it, you can parlay that license into some significant VIP goodies.

Many times, my having a law license enabled me to get preferred restaurant seating and permanently reserved tables; at establishments where I either represented the owner, or someone who was “involved” with him.  Back in my bad guy representation days, a very well known and busy restaurant in New York City always had a warm invitation for me and my pals. Other places were similarly disposed to treating “the counselor” well.

There were some other darker establishments that I from time to time provided counsel, and the VIP treatment of this particular bachelor was definitely up close and personal.

Now, I am not saying go out and become a doctor or a lawyer.  However, there are some simple licenses to obtain, which can see you as a bachelor being treated as a VIP.

One of the easiest licenses to obtain is a notary license. The requirements vary from state to state, and you can find that out by plugging into Google, “How to obtain a notary license in ___” the blank being the state you are interested in, of course. (You will likely have to be resident in that state).

How often do your friends ask you if you know a notary, or need a notary to go mobile to witness the signature of a friend or relative who isn’t mobile?  Get that license, make yourself useful, and you can start turning that in to small favors, and better treatment.

For example, a restaurant owner you know is too busy to hunt down a notary, so you offer to come to his establishment.  See if he offers you a free drink, or some other gratuity.  He will ask you how much he owes you, so you ask for something a little more expensive than the maximum monetary fee you can charge. (If legal in your state, of course). If that fee is two bucks for example, ask him for a beer that costs five—you get the idea.  If he is a stiff, you no longer help him.  If he does the right thing, you remind him that anytime he needs a notary, to give you a call.

This is just one example of how a simple to obtain license to do something can help get you VIP treatment. Now a free beer or meal discount may not be first class tickets to Paris, or front row seats at the opera, but small things add up to being a member in good standing in the VIP Bachelor world. We will be covering more on this topic of licenses in subsequent posts.

For more info on notary license requirements

Thank Yourself for Your Service

One of the benefits of being a VIP, is you get benefits that others don’t.

If you are a VIP bachelor (or anyone else) who served honorably in our nation’s military, there are many benefits available to you.

For a brochure outlining these benefits:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/benefits-summary/SummaryofVABenefitsFlyer.pdf

Want to take advantage of your educational benefits as a veteran? Here is a brochure:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/benefits-summary/SummaryofVAEducationBenefits.pdf

Interested in VA mortgages? Go here for a summary of benefits:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/homeloans/VA_Guaranteed_Home_Loans.pdf

Useful information and forms you need to take advantage of your benefits can be found here:

http://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/Applying.asp

See you next time.