Five ways Steem has changed my life, and what comes next…

In my 50+ years I have been involved in many causes, many organisations, many communities and many new activities. Some for shorter, some for longer.

But of all of these, the past 18 months on Steem has been more intense, more condensed and more all round impactful on my life than any other of my past endeavours.

Steem has taught me, steem has changed me, steem has made a indelible mark on my life…

1. The World of Crypto

Steem has been my entry point to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchains.

As well as learning about Steem itself it has prompted me to explore other parts of the crypto world. I am seeing clearly that this is a world with many, many, many possibilities.

With every crypto stone I turn over another idea sprouts up before me. Fertile lands are just over the horizon.

2. Justice, Equality & A Dollar A Day

The single most important part of Steem for me is without a doubt A Dollar A Day.

Running this charitable giving organisation on Steem has opened my eyes so, so wide.

Talking directly to the people at the other end of the line, hearing how they live, about the problems they face and the solutions they are trying to implement has changed my outlook on the world big time and a half.

I have connected so directly with the people I work with. It is difficult not to have a heightened sense of responsibility to get involved and do the very, very best I can to help.

And A Dollar A Day has helped, a little at least. Even in these difficult days A Dollar A Day has managed to raise approaching US$ 5000 since the project started in May.

This has clearly demonstrated the potential of the Steem blockchain to do good in the world. I do so hope A Dollar A Day can continue to grow and develop in its present form, in its present place.

3. Radio Shows

Becoming a show host on MSP Waves has been my biggest personal revelation from being involved in Steem.

I had never hosted radio shows before, and I would never have dreamed of doing so if not for Steem.

And it has been such a fascinating and enjoyable part of my steem life. Since starting in January, through the various incarnations, I have put out almost 70 shows.

What’s more, on those shows I have now interviewed around 400 steemians. That has been a joy, a pleasure, a privilege, an honour to get to know so many people on the platform in this way.

4. Vegetarian & Vegan

Back in March I interviewed @teamsteem on my Alternative Lifestyle Show on MSP Waves. We talked at length about his choice to be vegan. Then a few weeks later I brought together 10 steem vegans for a vegan special edition of the show. This covered all the different angles of why people become vegan… health, ethics, environment etc.

I had never been a big meat eater. But since those shows I have not eaten any. I am totally vegetarian.

Going full vegan, particularly having our own chickens, has been a longer, and more windy journey. But the ultimate goal is coming close.

I feel healthier for it.

5. Sleep

The other four have been big positives. But it would be dishonest for me not to include this rather more negative impact of steem.

With a 24 hour round the world community I commonly find myself chatting on Discord into the wee small hours with people in earlier timezones.

And there is always more to do. Posts to write, comments to make, shows to listen to, interviews to arrange, donations to send. I set myself steem targets each day – and I try to get them done before going to sleep.

This is not good. I have written about it before. I know it has got to change.

It will, I am trying harder.


So Steem has changed my life. Mostly for the better.

Whatever comes next these past 18 months have been fruitful.

I will wish for many months more…

 

 

Pennsif’s Progress – Selling Up and Moving On (it’s not quite what you think)

The next couple of years are going to see major changes for my wife and I and our family.

I will turn 60, my business will have been going for over 25 years, and all three of our children will be passing through university and on their way to the big wide world.

We will be left be with 17 acres of homestead, 11,000 trees of all shapes and sizes, half a dozen chickens and one naughty little dog.

I love our land and I love our trees. And I have for the longest time assumed this would be my final resting place.

But what we have is a liability. It is difficult to get away when you have animals and land. And there is always something to fix.

And with the health of both of us deteriorating the physical endeavours of managing the homestead will become ever more challenging.

So we are beginning to consider alternatives.

I would love to keep this homestead for ever. But the realities are becoming different.

The costs of running the place, with local property tax, insurance, oil, electricity, maintenance etc etc are fast approaching $1000 a month. It is unlikely any of our children will want to live here. And the limitations it places on us are growing.

For the past 20+ years my focus has been on family, business and house. Holidays and travel have been very, very sparse.

Which has been sad. In my younger years I was a keen traveller spending many months hopping around the world.

But there is still much of it to see. Now time and health are running out.

Maybe it will soon be time to weigh anchor, don a pair of wings and fly.

I would like to think we could have our cake and eat it, but the likelihood is that we would have to sell the homestead to fund the travels and free up future financial liabilities from inheritance tax or asset seizure to pay care bills.

Maybe we sell, divide off a suitable chunk to put in to trust for our children and then stuff our pockets with the leftovers and take to the road, or the seas.

My daydreams are currently mulling over two story lines.

In one we buy an RV, sell most of our possessions, give away the rest and hit the road to nowhere and everywhere.

I have never driven an RV but if I can still manage it I would love to have a go. Maybe it could become a tour of all the steemians in Britain (and maybe even Europe). That could be fun and a half.

On the other side of my daydream record we take to the seas and just go cruising.

I really, really want to try a cruise. The prospect of living in a posh ship, with all meals provided and no washing up, and visiting new places every day or so really grabs me big time.

And I read a story recently about an elderly woman who lives on the sea, just hopping from one cruise to the next. By looking for  deals and being a regular cruise goer she found it cheaper than living than living on dry land.

The financial equation does look tempting. If you find the best deals on long term cruises (3 months+) the daily cost for a couple would down around the $100 mark – and that includes all meals and utilities. And not a scrap of housework to do.

Tempting, tempting, tempting.

Oh I wonder. If steem went up a few notches on the money stick could we earn that $100 a day from steem?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Might this be a Mary Poppins moment? Could the steem cruising dream be real…

Pennsif’s Progress #582 – Let’s talk about sleep

I was going to write this blog post about ‘How Steem has changed my life’. I have a bucket load of positives for steem – but one great big fat negative.

Sleep. The lack thereof.

I have always been a bit of a late bird. From pulling ‘all-nighters’ as a student to get the assignments in before the 9am deadline, to working through the night in the office when I first started my business, to getting over-absorbed in online gaming when I was an Entropia addict.

But they all tended to be occasional. Steem has become habitual. 

Getting to bed by 3am is an early night for me in my world run on Universal Steem Time. Many nights I am still awake to see the sunrise. And then I start work again by 9.30am.

We all know the story. Discord figures heavily in it. With DMs coming in from people all round the world, and all around the clock, it is hard to stop. I always try to answer every message.

I set myself extra steem challenges by having a continual rollcall of time critical fixed points in the week – A Dollar A Day donations every day, My Life In 8 Songs every Thursday, The Alternative Lifestyle Show every Friday, MSP Sustainability Curation post every Sunday…

They all have associated actions that have to be done at certain times. “It can wait til tomorrow” is not usually an option.

And I have a full-time day job as well, so most of my steem activity has to start after 5.30pm when my second work day begins.

I enjoy it, so I keep doing it.

But I know it is not for the best. Working late into the early morning is not good for my health, it is not good for my productivity, it is not good for my creativity and not good for my inspiration.

It has to stop. But how?

I am going to try to flick the switch – go to bed early, and get up early.

Maybe real early, like 5am early. Then I can still just catch some of the American east coasters that I work with and the west coasters should be fine. It should also be okay for the people in south east Asian that I interact with.

So that is the plan. I am going to try to get to bed by 11pm at the very latest.

If you see me on Discord after that time – feel free to remind me it is my past my bed time. Shout at me and publicly humilate me on air if I am still lurking around listening to a radio show.

Except my radio shows on Thursdays and Fridays – they will have to be the exceptions.

I know when I do so occasionally have a long night’s sleep I am all of a buzz the next day with super productivity and new ideas aplenty.

So if I do manage to turn back time and get my sleep patterns repaired look out for some weird and wonderful stuff come flowing from my brain.

But for now sleep tight and I’ll catch you with the sunrise…

 

Pennsif’s Progress #613 – Medical Preps 01 – Keeping Fit and Healthy

As I mentioned in my previous post the starting point for any medical prepping is keeping as fit and healthy as possible in the here and now.

In a comment in that post @cecicastor put it very neatly :

People have a tendency to forget about looking after the mind and the body when prepping. They are not something you can buy extra in a can and have it waiting for when you need it.

Unfortunately for most people, me included, good health and fitness is something you have to work at.

Diet, exercise, sleep are the three big ones that underpin physical wellbeing. But getting them all right, all of the time can often be mighty difficult.


Diet

This is probably the easiest for me.

I am what I eat. I eat what I believe in.

My marker words on the food front are organic, local, fresh, raw, fruit, vegetable…

Luckily sweets (candy) and cake really don’t tempt my palate at all.

I love fruit and I could probably just eat that all day if I had a plentiful enough supply.

And I am big on salads, raw food is a bit of a fetish of mine.

The big change for me diet-wise this year was moving from omnivore to vegetarian en route to almost vegan.

I had always been a low meat eater, primarily consuming what we raised ourselves, but after a couple of vegan episodes of The Alternative Lifestyle Show I began to cut out animal products from my diet.

Veganism and prepping is a very interesting topic – and one I will return to in a separate post as it is too complex to cover in a quick paragraph here.

In terms of prepping the key factor is having a good diet that keeps you at a good weight and BMI, and in a healthy state.


Exercise

This one is trickier for me. My job is desk based, and when I finish my daily work, steem ties me to my office chair way longer than it should.

I don’t have a gym membership – in fact I don’t have a gym anywhere near me.

I’ve only got nature’s gym – working in the garden and around the homestead is my main form of exercise.

But I have to admit I can see a big ‘Must do better’ on my report card for this one.

Switch off the computer, and feel the soil between your toes…


Sleep

Arggggh.

I run on IST now – and that can really mess up sleep patterns.

IST, in case you didn’t catch it, is International Steem Time.

I’m in the UK, most of the people I deal with are at 5 or 6 hours behind me.

I stay up way too late. I sleep way too little.

Tonight is going to be different, I promise…


Regular checkups are super important

Like cars, regular service checks are important for the body too.

We aim for dental checkups and hygienist visits every six months.

For eyes it is every 12 or 24 months with the opticians.

Keep a diary or spreadsheet for all the family, make sure you hit those appointments on time.

If you have any other particular health issues, asthma for example, make sure you attend any check up clinics as regular as needed.


Now is the time to get healthy, tomorrow is the time to stay healthy

There is always some excuse to put off changing diet, or to start exercising, or to begin a better sleep routine.

Excuses won’t cut it. The world could collapse tomorrow.

Start now and stick at it.

Monitor and record if that helps. Set up a spreadsheet recording your weight and your BMI.

Keep a note of how long it takes to walk a mile, or better run.

Set some targets and see you how far you get in 6 months.

I will leave the last word on this post to @sir-thrive who commented some wise words on my last post :

I love preaching health and fitness. Especially to the newbies who are hell-bent on packing massive BOBs. It is incredibly hard to hike 3 miles if you’re out of shape. It’s impossible with 100lbs on your back and elevated stress levels.

Get fit now. You will be glad you did when the zombies are after you.



You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ dentist image from pixabay – Creative Commons CC0   //  book cover from Hesperian ]

Pennsif’s Progress #616 – Medical Preps – in 3 or 4 easy stages

Today I got a letter from my opticians informing me of my next appointment. I also received a phone call from my dentist.

Keeping up to date with regular checkups at the dentists, opticians and at the doctors for any medical conditions is a key part of our health and medical prepping.

We’ve all seen the post-apoc film or TV show when someone has toothache – it always end painfully !

I’m not a wild fan of the dentists but I would definitely prefer to have that filling sorted now than when the bad times come and the anesthetic has run dry.


Medical Prepping in three easy stages

Medical Prepping is a big, big part of any prepper’s planning.

Outside of the core preps of food, water and shelter I spend more time on our health and medical preps than any other area.

There are many layers to health and medical prepping, for me these include :

  • Current health and fitness
  • Training and skill acquisition
  • Equipment and supplies

Of all the areas of prepping medical prepping is also the one that really needs most participation from the whole family.

Everyone needs to keep as fit and healthy as they can, everyone needs to learn some basic skills.


A Spoonful of Medicine

My adult life began with a year at medical school. I have a post way back that tells why I didn’t continue.

Although I didn’t continue to become a doctor it did give me a certain level of basic knowledge that has certainly been of help in my medical prepping over the years.

I have done first aid courses, studied herbal medicine and accumulated quite a healthy collection of medical related books.

Collecting paper books is one of my prepper passions. I am definitely not an ebook Kindle sort of guy. Despite Amazon’s best attempts to lure me electronic books just don’t cut it in my prepping setup.

I will do a separate post about my medical library but one book that has been with me through various editions over the years is ‘Where There Is No Doctor‘ – primarily targeting developing countries but still a must-have in my collection.

If you buy Where There Is No Doctor, along with its sister book Where There Is No Dentist, direct from Hesperian who produce the books you can help their charitable work around the world. The Doctor book is $26.95 and the Dentist book is $16.95.


As Medical Prepping is such a big and critical area I am going to expand this into a number of separate posts.

But picking up on yesterday’s 10 Mile Radius Project post I would highlight the point of getting to know where all your local doctors, clinics, pharmacies, veterinary practices are.

If things go bad medical supplies are going to become valuable, and vital, commodities.

For now get fit, stay healthy, plan for the worse…

And if you have a bit of viewing time to spare check out the YouTube channels of Skinny Medic and Dr Bones & Nurse Amy :

 



You might also be interested in some of my other posts :
MY RADIO SHOWS
MY PROJECTS

[ dentist image from pixabay – Creative Commons CC0   //  book cover from Hesperian ]