Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 69 - Seeking a More Poetic Existence

          There seem to be a lot of jobs in health care—more than in any other single segment of the economy. I think that I might like to break out of the manufacturing niche and get into health care. The money would be comparable. The benefits would probably be better. The working conditions would almost certainly be an improvement. And of course we have already discussed my attraction for nurses. My one hope would be that I would be surrounded by smarter people. This is not to suggest that smart people do not work in the manufacturing sector, but only that they tend not to be in charge.
I actually started my accounting career with a health care provider—a kidney dialysis facility in Tampa. That was years ago, however, and things have changed a lot since. Now every accounting job I see listed in the health sector requires at least five years experience with a primary care provider. Unless a little good fortune comes my way I might just be stuck doing what I’ve been doing or doing nothing at all.
Periodically I have flights of entrepreneurial fancy. The last time I gave in to one of these I bought a small florist shop, moved it, merged it with a much larger plant and garden center, and promptly lost my shirt. Failing in a spectacular fashion builds character and also a considerable immunity against further flights of fancy. So far at least I have been able to resist the temptation to further entrepreneurial exploits. It doesn’t hurt that some eighteen years later I am still in hock to an assortment of credit card companies for more than $60 thousand—the price of refusing to file bankruptcy, and a nut that I do not seem to be able to crack in spite of earning a respectable salary.
Still there is allure in the prospect of not having to work for fools and charlatans. I’ve really had enough of that, and were it not for my astronomical credit card debt I would be looking for an opportunity to be my own fool and charlatan once again. Actually I am looking, but my search is constrained.
What I need is an opportunity that doesn’t require any initial capital outlay. This means my product has to be virtually free to produce. There can be no requirement for facilities, equipment, production workers, or materials inputs. Advertising will have to be direct and viral. Distribution will have to be on an as-ordered basis, orders pre-paid. As I’m sure you realize, we’re talking the Internet.
We’re also talking about writing. Writing is virtually free to produce. All you need is an idea to get started. Everyone already owns all the other necessaries to getting the idea into or onto something that someone else can read. All that’s required then is a mechanism for monetizing the process. If you look you will see that the Internet is rife with places where you can publish articles on practically any subject and get paid based on the number of people who either read the article or, more commonly, click through from the article to a place where they actually buy something. I signed up today for one of those. I even published an article. Not an article really but a funny poem about diet and exercise. Here it is in its entirety.

IMMORTALITY

If we could all decide our fate, and name our time of death and date,
Most all of us would check out late, and queue en-masse at Heaven’s gate—
Arriving at the same damn time, procrastinators in a line,
Who’d put off dying long’s we could, but just the same in coffin’s wood
Would all be lying stiff as boards awaiting judgment from our lords.

Though this is what we’d all prefer, yet most believe we must defer
To higher powers this life length choice. Sing halleluiah! Let’s rejoice!
But some there are that what they think’s our span of life’s not writ in ink,
But penciled on our page of fate—a mere suggestion to abate—
Just change the pattern’s warp and weft to raise the sum of days we’ve left.

The starting point is what to eat. The fare is spare and short on meat.
Less sweet desserts, less this and that, a pan-caloric tit for tat
Less fat or carbs—just take your pick. What works for some makes others sick.
More fibrous greens, organic fruit, whole-kernel grains, and tofu suit
The longer, leaner lifetime mess (though much of it be flavorless.)

Then what’s required is discipline and going placidly within—
A regimen of proper diet, avoiding all excess and riot,
Restraint in all save exercise (in working out we’ll agonize.)
For fitness is the way to stay about a longer time than they
That shirks their time inside the gym, and journey fat through thick and thin.

Hard work and sweat must now align to gobble up great gobs of time—
Running, rowing, dance aerobic, pumping iron, and skipping ropic,
Swimming climbing, step and stretching, jogging to the point of retching—
Till weary rapture of corpuscle coursing through sore, aching muscle
Signals that this hard persistence barely lengthened our existence.

Then free from guilt but full of pain we pause to calculate our gain,
And find when appetite’s denied that all life’s fruits are froze and dried,
And though we may have added years, they’ll have to be reviewed through tears.
Oh, we can choose long life to live, knowing we’ve but one to give,
But racking life out to its limit sadly leaves scant living in it.

A silly thing surely with, hopefully, some entertainment value. We’ll see what happens.

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