What I Have Learned On My 70th Birthday.

In less than three hours, I will find myself in a self-realization of making my presence on this planet Earth for seven decades, in a simpler explanation, I am seventy years old today. It was not an easy journey, since being born some six weeks premature, and only weighing an amazing two pounds and ten ounces. During that time, October 22nd, 1946, the only medical alternative for me was to spend the next three weeks of my life in an incubator, with too much oxygen flushing to my tiny lungs, in essence, I was to inherit an adjective that would haunt me for the rest of my life, I was now labeled as a victim of Cerebral Palsy, the oxygen damaged my brain, affected my hearing, ( 90% deaf), my waking, the growth of the rest of my body, and perhaps a bad case of BO. I don’t want this birthday posting as a feeling sorry for Howie day, but one of excitement, a celebration of a sense of accomplishments, insights, and sharing this blog, might help others in their own life. So here goes, seventy awarenesses that I won’t the room to list on my epitaph.

  1. I think I was born for a reason and a purpose. Many of times I have felt sorry for myself, endured much pain, but in all it has made me stronger, caring, and grateful to be alive.
  2. Having a belief in God, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, allowed me to accept the fact that I am a man of of moral convictions, with a belonging with others of my species. Since I don’t want to debate what others thinks what human existence should be, or might be, I just want to accept my own process in life.
  3. Just because I can think it, doesn’t mean I can be it. Sure I wish I was richer and healthier, but today is my celebration of acceptance. I cannot go back in time and re-live my life all over again.
  4. This is probably was the hardest realization that I had to live with. Forgive your parents for what they had and have not done. They are gone, and probably had more issues that they could not deal with.
  5. I am very grateful that I found my lifetime companion who also had to suffer with a physical disability. At times I have found myself feeling guilty that I have never made a lot of money, I literally worked to have good health insurance to pay for my many hip opperations.
  6. Being an only child, and wishing I could at least a couple of brothers and sisters to play with, I found myself wanting to be everybody’s friend. I have know now, even your relatives can be your worst enemy, especially when they ask to borrow money. There is no such thing, it becomes a gift, with no intention of ever getting paid back.
  7. Instead of wasting my hard earn money on lotto tickets, I learned how to make my money worth more. I use a lot of coupons, and I relish leftovers.
  8. My mom worked at Saks Fifth Ave, and always wanted to buy me and expensive sports jacket, I finally gave in, I have an $1800.00 Coach Bomber jacket that I probably wear a total of two weeks a year, I am a big fan of hand-me-downs, and garage sales.
  9. Being born with bad health, I can now tell you that my health has not gotten better by itself, if you want to know how old someone is, just ask them how many pills they take a day. I am not going to tell you how many pills I take a day, but it is one on of my daily routines that I really hate. It’s hard to believe that some sixty years ago, all I needed to do was to drink three glasses of milk a day and a one-a-day vitamin.
  10. Take advantage of your medical benefits, I really think my doctors want healthier patients, and I need to also realize that doctors are not mind readers, give them as much information that you can, family history, listing of your medications, and don’t hesitate of tell them how you feel. Blood tests and a daily medication routine has gotten me to my seventieth birthday,
  11. Over the years I was a soft drink addict, even though I own stock in Coke, I dread the fact that I would have to deal with diabetes, amputations, and blindness, I don’t even miss it any more.
  12. I have been very fortunate to have the friendship of Ronald G. Wayne, probably the unluckiest man on the planet, even though he was an owner of the Apple Computer Company for just twelve days, he has shown me thatI have to Accept the consequences of life. Mister Wayne is eighty-one years old and has written three books. If Steve Jobs who would listen to Mister Wayne about not going to India and getting sick, he probably not of died at the at the age of fifty-six.
  13. Steve Jobs taught me a lesson that if I applied it I would of saved a lot of money, and made my life simpler. If there is something cluttering my surroundings worth less than $25.00, it’s not worth having it around. Maybe I should reduce it to $ 5.00. If I have followed his advice,  and Idon’t want to tell  you on what I have spent my twenty five year storage locker, I don’t even know what I have in it, hopefully emptying it, will be my New Years resolution for 2017.
  14. I realize that the years of making daily pilgrimages to Chicago every day for a crappy job, cost me thousands and thousands of dollars of car repairs. I should of brought the cheapest new car, or even better a low paying car lease. Cars are like wearing a fake Rolex.
  15. Fo the last five years, I found the missing brothers and sisters that I so wanted on Facebook. I never thought that my high school buddies would be my extended family. I love them so much.
  16. Storage lockers, time shares, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and lotto tickets have cost me tens of thousands of dollars. A warning to the young, you are going to wish you would of followed this old seventy year old man’s advice.
  17. Unless you have a big family to worry about, don’t worry about life insurance. Spend the premiums on yourself while you are Alive. Most likely the premiums will go up and you will eventually cancel the policy.
  18. Just because I spent four decades in one industry, it does not necessarily mean that they owed any favors or loyalty to me When the gig is up it’s time to go on to something else.
  19. Keep a daily diary. I find my self not remembering all the things I once thought I could, what bills I paid, people who I talked to, or in plain English what did do yesterday. I gotten myself a bunch of writing pads from the dollar store, a hole punch, and a couple of Franklin Covey notebooks on eBay, and have over five yearly volumes of my life that I can make reference too.
  20. Don’t think your stockbroker or even Warren Buffet are going to make you rich. Just invest into good companies, like the Dow 30, and leave it alone. There are just too many Monday night quarterbacks thinking they know what happening in the market.
  21. Unfortunately, not having a paying job, but fortunately having a good social security, and investments, I know that I have to scale down financially. It’s very important to know exactly what one’s monthly expenses are, and have at least have a six month reserve.
  22. I felt like Shit, when someone suggested that I should become a Walmart greeter. I am very pleased to my my own blog. Hopefully I can make my wife proud that one of my projects will be the financial answer to take her into retirement.
  23. There was a time when I did not know how to cut and paste, there are so many people of discovering the rewards of technology, cell phones, and computers. I was not much of a reader growing up. I did not like to go to the library and did not have the money to buy books. Now I start my day listening to the Wall Street Journal, and listening to aNew York Times Best Seller on either audible,com or scribd.com(There are daily specials, and college courses  also available.)
  24. Even though I have some nice digital SLR cameras with great accompanying lenses, I am grateful to be able to use my cell phone camera to take photos every day, and then being able to have them stored in my DropBox. I don’t  want my photos have to be discovered in a storage locker as was the case with Vivian Maier. There are  so many photographers who think that they need a five thousand dollar camera to make a good picture. I have shot more photos on my cell phone than I have ever taken with all my film cameras.
  25. It’s two minutes after midnight, I am officially seventy years old, and I am going to bed. Hopefully I can list my projected 70 realizations. Good night everyone, I will see you tomorrow.
  26. Don’t wait until you are my age, 70 to decide that you need to live in a warmer climate. Do it when you are young enough to enjoy it, and it will be more affordable.
  27. When you join your alumni association, or in my case the Masons, it would of been so much cheaper in the long run to buy a one time life membership.
  28. Once you turn the age of 591/2, start taking out small withdrawals, lets say $300.00 a month less taxes out of you investments. It covers the groceries, or a couple of meals eat out every month.
  29. Invest in a good electric toothbrush and water flosser. Having two artificial hips, meant I have to get pre-medicated every time I get my teeth clean. Teeth maintenance ain’t cheap.
  30. If you like to collect valuables, start by collecting money and stocks and bonds.
  31. Here’s one by Mister Ronald G. Wayne(an original Apple Computer Company Founder), put at least ten per cent of your assets in precious metals(gold, silver). The world is printing too much money, that eventually will be worthless$$$.
  32. Sex is just a feeling, not a solution?
  33. Only you can make your feelings Hurt.
  34. Learn at least a second language, or discover a musical instrument.
  35. Be your own hero, don’t put yourself down or anyone else.
  36. Here is one, I never learned. Once you are fired fro a job, no matter how long you had it, treat it like a mosquito bite, Get Over It! It will probably be the best thing that ever had happen to you.
  37. Even though I am an old man now, it’s nice to get an old fashion thank you note, thus write a personal note.
  38. If you need to exercise, use the stairs.
  39. Keeping your mouth shut, it will open a lot more doors.  I wish I would of have use a lot of less words in my life.
  40. Buy the best shoes or boots that you can. Cheap shoes just defeat the feet.
  41. Get involve with your parents financials. Stay away from reverse mortgages, and lifetime annuities. My mom’s $200,000.00 lifetime anuitity would  of have made the differnce of my wife’s early retirement.
  42. Don’t waste your time on politicians, they only love us when they need votes. A lot of these ass holes are collecting three or more pensions. How much is my social security increase? $3.00 a month!
  43. Do you really need to spend $5.00 for a box of popcorn? I would rather eat an apple.
  44. Make a one year goal, then a two year goal, then a four year goal, then an eight year goal, a sixteen year goal, if you are lucky enough, a thirty two year goal. If I have had done this, I certainly been able to change the letter L out of the world goal and turned into the word, Gold.
  45. It’s normal to get pissed off, must I say anymore?
  46. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure can be a learning experience.
  47. Getting even will make you odd in the long run.
  48. Stop  saying “Why me when something goes wrong, and substitute, Why not me.”
  49. The best diet for me was to eat less.
  50. Being a landlord, means being a landlord. Tenants will always find away to take advantage of you. (no cats allowed)
  51. Your family is a corporation, they all have something to contribute.
  52. The least you expect from someone, the more you will gain.
  53. Don’t be afraid of death, it happens for a reason.
  54. Remember you are someone who people can be proud of.
  55. Put a chain from your wallet and pants.
  56. Always have more than one pair of eye glasses. Have you ever sat on your glasses?
  57. You think you can’t afford to go to an ivy league school(Harvard, Yale, or Princeton)? See if they have any course on-line? I wonder if this qualifies to join one of their discussion groups on Linkedin?
  58. Be grateful you have something to be grateful!
  59. Start thinking what you might say on your epitaph. “I just lived my life, how are you living yours”
  60. Life is a game, at the end there are no winers or losers.
  61. You are never too old to say, you are never too old to try something new.
  62. Invest in Digital real-estate(domain names), I own drshit.com., drassholes.com, applefounders.com, photographers.com, uradiou.com,emenume.com, photographers.mobi,and a couple more I can’t remember, oh yeah www.howiemaui.com
  63. I want to say thank you to the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Tony Robins. They were there when I really needed help.
  64. If you are going to dream, dream big. At the now age of seventy, I still want to contribute to society.
  65. Always make an effort to kiss someone you love at east once a week. There will be a time when they will become unkissable.
  66. Don’t waste your time on things you can’t change, especially politics.
  67. Have someone to aspire to, Jesus, Moses, Steve Jobs, Dale Carnegie, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Muhammad, Warren Buffet, Mother Theresa, Jeff Bezos, Martin Luther King, your parents, or when in doubt,perhaps, just use yourself.
  68. Try new things, even if its Candy Saga.
  69. Go to your shareholders meetings. Four years ago I went to a McDonalds meeting, and confronted the CEO Skinner, that I could not get out of church on time on Sundays, and suggested that they needed an all day breakfast.
  70. Here is my seventieth, even though my blog has a lot of mistakes, I am very proud to be able to say thank you to the world wide internet for giving the opportunity of making my blog, www.howiemaui.com a reality, please feel free to as your ideas to my blog, hopefully we can reach a thousand.

My Right To TimeShare.

A couple of weeks ago,and fortunately before Hurricane Mathew, my wife and I used three timeshare to explore the possibility of retiring in Florida. I am not going to mention any of the names of the places we stayed in, but it was a first for us that we used two different time shares in one week.

We checked in our first time share in Orlando Florida, a magnificent facility with multiple swimming pools. I love this place, but I always dread about being enticed(a$100.00) visa card on going on a timeshare presentation, but it always seem that is only an hour of , our time, TWO Hours, (With my wife.) Wrong, Wrong and did I say Wrong. Our first presentation was a matter of simple math, for close to $20,000,00, we can belong to their exchange and have the fantastic opportunity of trading our one week, beautiful two bedroom time share for two two weeks of their one bedroom. I don’t think so, especially, when I can buy a week on the internet for less than $300.00. I don’t even want to go in detail that I probably buy a pretty  nice timeshare for less than $200.00.  What a surprise look that I received by our sales person when I friendly declined. Well it was a relief to have one presentation down and a $100.00 Visa card in hand for just two hours of time., and whew I did not put myself in hock.

I thought it might be nice if we supplement our Orlando vacation with some ocean, and  I was able to booked a six days stay in Daytona beach, wow an ocean view, and a heaping jackpot, and for just $99.99, you got it another presentation, and less than ninety minutes, we are going to have a premier supper at a fancy, expensive restaurant, and the next day at Epcot, a $50.00 Visa Card, and on the third day, a nice lunch, a little drum roll, our presentation. I don’t want to go in details, but I will sum it up, FIVE Hours on why I should spend a whopping-whopping sum on more timeshare points. Thank God I took my blood pressure medicine, I was subjected to, on the lessons on How to Be a Good Husband for not taking my wife on a Mediterranean Cruise.  I think I am a good husband, and a pretty timesharer, but I think that my wife and I have the right to enjoy our later  years traveling to the warmer cities of the United States. It’s my fault, for taking these presentations, and I always say, I ain’t going to do this again, and I almost did it again. On our final week of vacation, Fort Lauderdale, I put a $20.00 deposit for a third timeshare presentation, to get a free lunch, and a another $100.00 credit card. I started to think, enough is enough, keep the $20.00 deposit, our main purpose for our vacation is to look for properties to retire, and not going more in debt.

After looking back at our two weeks, visiting Orlando, Daytona Beach, Port St Lucie, Naples, Palm Bay, Altamonte Springs, and Fort Lauderdale I think I was very lucky to have a lot of enjoyable time to share many beautiful moments with my wife, photos, and stories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and who knows, maybe I can make one of these timeshare adventures our new, permanent residence.

I guest Will Rogers would not make a good Time Share Salesman!