Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Acquiring new skills!

As a preface to this, and am sure have mentioned it, about four months ago never thought about owning an RV to travel around the U.S. It was the furthest thing from my mind though some wonderful people planted the seed.

I have learned, even before this, that all it takes is a solid intention, or burning desire, and the will to make a change in our life in order to make things happen.  Same thing with learning any new skill, all it takes is a burning desire to learn it.

How to Acquire Any New Skill in 20 Hours or Less!

User stubby43 posted this tl;dr on the article
It takes 20 hours to learn a new skill - 10,000 hours to master a.k.a become an Olympian.
Deconstruct the skill: Break down the parts and find the most important things to practice first. If you were learning to play a musical instrument, for example, knowing just a few chords gives you access to tons of songs. If you want to learn a new language, learn the most common 2,000 words and you'll have 80% text coverage.
Self-correct: Use reference materials to learn enough that you know when you make a mistake so you can correct yourself.
Remove barriers to learning: Identify and remove anything that distracts you from focusing on the skill you want to learn.
Practice at least 20 hours.

This can be done with anything in life that we see other people do.

So, stop reading and start learning!  You can do it!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Richard Being More

This is about my recent experience in Nikken's self development course called Humans Being More.  Have been more than once, and each time is my first time as always at a different point in life.  This time was my most profound experience yet.

As was in Vegas, and realize that everything which happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas, I had to break that and take this experience with me since it's one small piece in the larger puzzle of why I am on this journey, as identified in The Meaning.

Isamu Masuda, founder of Nikken, was enthralled by a very similar course he participated in, and modeled this course after that one.  This is one of the primary reasons why Nikken is a Network Marketing company, instead of a traditional one marketing through traditional channels.  His vision was, and still is, to change the world one person at a time, by giving people a vehicle in which they can realize their dreams, small, big, or gigantic, while helping as many people achieve the same type of freedom.  This is why he came up with the Five Pillars.  Now if could get politicians and corporate executives to go through this course life would be better all around, but it all starts with us.

One of the goals of this course is to identify, and bring to light, any items which are blocking our personal progress at this moment in time.  It is then up to us to take action, or not take action.

The course utilizes several exercises over the course of two full days to identify what we need to know at this time in our lives.  Unfortunately can't go through everything in detail, but here are my take-aways that am sharing.

Two Words...


Thought had the commitment thing figured out.  Here are a few of the examples I can think of where I have given my all as was fully committed to the final result.
  • Stopped pursuing bachelor's degree due to work commitments, during a tough time with an impossible client. - Success but a mistake, achieved work result at high cost to my future
  • Committed to joining military, had surgery to join and served proudly - Success
  • Committed to stop alcohol from controlling me - Success
  • Committed to stop smoking - Success and much easier than people think
  • Committed to refurbishing my home from top to bottom - Success with help from lots of great people!
  • Committed to many small, arcane projects here and there - Success and awesome!

I am one of the odd people who have to be emotionally attached to a project, or an idea, or something, in order to give it my all and be truly committed.  If am not attached emotionally, then the thing languishes, eventually gets done (maybe), but only half-heartedly.  This applies to anything am involved in.

The part I was missing about commitment though, is that I have to be truly committed in myself first and foremost.  If not committed to myself then I languish, wander, and wander some more.  It is dreams which propel all of us forward, or should propel us.  And the desire, and NEED, to live them!

It's a hard concept for me to put in words, but that is the gist of my revelations with this word.


The times prior to this, that I have said, or typed, this word I can count on one hand, with all the fingers (thumb included).  Maybe a little overflow onto the other hand, but doubtful.  This has eluded me so far (sorry mom), and have always referred to this as the "L" word, much like the "F" word (or F-bomb) or similar hand gestures.

Am not sure why it's been hard for me to say this word, or even feel it.  Grew up in a loving family where it was used quite often.  Could possibly be from a past life, or any number of things.  Within the last couple of months though have had some experiences here and there where some unseen force was tugging at me, and my heart and mind, not to leave some places, but leave I had to do at that point.  Life works in mysterious ways at times.

Either way this word has been a huge struggle for me, but now it's a necessary part of life to at least understand, and use it.  Don't worry, Love won't be every other word out of my mouth, not just yet.

Not sure what it means to finally realize this word, Love.  Will spare all the details from here as I really think this has stopped me from experiencing many positive things that most people have experienced, but it has also most likely prevented serious heartbreak.

Just today, saw an article about the divorce rate, and it stated that the divorce rate is 50% in the US, but the article theorized it is closer to 80%, due to "repeat offenders", meaning 2 or more marriages.  My limited theory behind this, never having experienced the positive or negative of relationships to this degree, is that people either think marriage is good for them, due to a checklist they are ticking off of what the other person has, or their emotions, such as guys thinking with their 2nd brain or women believing they love someone who is abusive.

What I believe they don't have, and it's due to many factors, is a symbiotic relationship between the heart and mind.  This is where, in my humble, and naive, opinion, where true and undying love occurs which most people don't fully understand.  The checklist is good, the emotions are great, but there is always a balance that is often unknown, or worse yet, misunderstood.  It is this balance that the 20 percenters have.....

In my opinion, discovering, and nurturing, this symbiotic relationship between the heart and mind is one of the primary goals of the Humans Being More course.  It really is that important.  It's a great thing anyone can attend without being part of Nikken!


Head is still swimming after realization of these two words, and unsure what it all means.  Guess I will realize it in due time and am sure will have to uncover more things in relation to these two words.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pahrump, NV and Death Valley tour


I have a PO Box with JB Mailroom, and they by chance happen to be located in Pahrump, NV.  This was, and is, my primary reason for stopping in this sleepy little community.  While it's the primary reason found out that there is a lot more to do within spitting distance.

This is the information for JB Mailroom, their website.  Had a box, book, and couple other packets to pick up so we arranged to meet and she gave me quite a few places to check out.  The ones I have done now are listed here.

The Winery

I arrived at this piece of heaven in the dark so couldn't see the vines containing grapes, but was informed that they are indeed there.  Will have to go back to this place as they have EXCELLENT food, but always at a price.

Had a wonderful gentleman as a waiter and even got him to crack a genuine laugh.  I settled in with my water and a glass of iced tea, then perused the menu.

Filet Au Poivre
Currently have a weak spot for great Filet Mignon.  This restaurant didn't let me down.  While it wasn't the best I've ever had (think Bern's Steakhouse), it was very very memorable.  On the menu it's listed as Filet Au Poivre and was phenomenal!  Was very tender, could cut it with a fork.  I would definitely have it again, everything on the plate was great (see photo).  This included "home made" creamed corn and scalloped potato's.  Have had better potato's but the corn was very good.  Only thing would really change is the brandy sauce, so next time might have the plain Filet.  The sauce was great, and complimented the flavor, just something I can't explain thinks would've been better without it.  Might have had to do with brandy being in there.  Ever since stopped drinking I generally avoid anything with alcohol.

Gallavanting in Death Valley

I was informed to check out Scotty's Castle, and found a couple other items on the way, though the day passed by too quick to check out everything wanted to.  Will just have to make another go of it in the nearish future.  This is the detailed map of the route.
Map of route

The temperature was high of mid 80's.  When entering the valley, coming down the mountain side, could actually feel the temperature change.  The temp gauge on the bike jumped five degrees at a certain point going down the hill.  Another thing to note is that when the sun sets, the temperature dwindles very fast.  Not a problem if was in a car, but on a bike something to be wary of.

Zabriskie Point

Toodling by on the road, not a care in the world, saw this place too late to make the turn so quickly did a u-turn and headed back.  All did was park, walk up the little hill, and marvel in mother nature.  Granted, not much lives here but it was very interesting seeing all the curves mother nature creates with erosion and the rain which this area seldom gets.  The pictures don't do this place justice.

Saw a young lady start gearing up on a mountain bike.  Struck up a quick conversation with her and come to find out she is from Europe as she had an accent. Believe it was a german accent but didn't ask.  I passed her going down the hill (she joked that's the best, and easiest part).

Texas Springs Campground

Call me naive (yes, in more ways than I care to admit), but really thought that this campground had at least a spring in it, maybe not from Texas, but a spring nonetheless.  However, none was apparent, nor didn't see any signage indicating a trail going to one.  Took a quick ride through here and it seems like a very nice campground, for the desert.  Space between each site so not sardine land, and some of the tent sites had a bush or tree to provide some type of shade.  Not much else to say about this other than wouldn't want to stay here during the summer, without AC that is.  Saw a sign saying generator use was not allowed.  Have a feeling that the generator itself would even overheat during summer.

Scotty's Castle

Main Complex
This castle was, and is, an amazing surprise, in many ways, in middle of the desert. As can be seen on my map, this is really in the middle of no place, with at least 100 miles to get here from Pahrump.  Thankfully the speed limit was 55 or 65 (can't recall) so could quite easily zip along without care in the world.  And very little traffic so could goose it now and then.

When the castle was built, it was totally self sufficient, in terms of energy and water, though food still needed to be brought in.  The "secret" to this was a spring up the hill.  Forget exact numbers, but the flow rate is at least 100 GPM (Gallons Per Minute).  The spring is about a mile away and 300 feet higher in elevation, which explains the great pressure.

1 mil gal swimming pool, and view
This allowed them to employ a Pelton Wheel to generate electricity, have piped water into house (under serious pressure), and even employ a "swamp cooler" to cool the whole house using moistened burlap bags and a large fan.  I actually find this type of thing interesting, some of the engineering behind buildings in general, specifically buildings in locations like this.  Amazingly enough, or not, is that the Pelton Wheel still works to this day, with only a tiny bit of maintenance.

Closeup of water
Am sure the castle could've been sufficient in food if used permaculture techniques, such as those found in Geoff Lawton's film, Greening the Desert (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).  Different techniques would be used of course, as well as local plants.  This idea is viable, and proven, in harsher climates.
Reeds along stream

The Castle is managed by the National Park Service, which is good and bad to some extent.  The bad is government is involved (with the builder didn't want it to be from the get go due to a multi-year court battle), and anytime involve government things just don't happen.  The good is that any fees paid for tours stay in hands of the Castle and cannot be touched by our wonderful Congress.

Pathway connecting two buildings
This castle isn't really Scotty's, as Scotty was a swindler.  Scotty was kept around because he increased the popularity of the castle immensely with his story telling.  There were quite a few famous people who spent the night at the castle.

Kitchen Sink, Italian tile
It is ironic, and funny too, in that construction of the castle was halted by the federal government (don't we "like" them) due to an incorrect privately funded survey.  After a multi-year court battle, Albert Johnson won, but by that time that Great Depression had set in and he had lost most of his wealth so couldn't finish construction.

500 Yr Old Chest, belonged to King/Queen
Mr. Johnson was steadfastly against the Park Service, and the government, from owning the castle (assuming because of the land dispute) that prior to his death a non profit was setup to administer to, and maintain, the castle grounds.  After running into money problems the non profit sold castle to the Park Service..

Crest in Organ Room
The huge automated pipe organ is a wonderful piece of art.  It was originally setup to use "scrolls", like the player piano's.  There is a special music room where this beast sits, and it seems that a piano is also playing as the organ plays, synchronized somehow.  It was amazing, beyond amazing.  The organ reminds me of the Wurlitzer went to listen to in Florida.  While it doesn't compare to a Wurlitzer, this organ was along the same lines, albeit much smaller.  Restaurant was called Roaring 20's Pizza and Pipes, a must see if in the area.