Start at Level I, get to Level II and stay there. Maybe make Level III.

After the longest economic expansion in American history, movements sprung up to reach financial independence and early retirement (FIRE). Focusing on retiring to a life of travel and leisure is a pitfall that blinds seekers from reaching actual financial independence. Many are simply unaware of the level in which they begin or where they currently reside. Reaching the next level of financial standing requires first understanding the levels of the game. …


A deep dive into natural selection, farming, and biodynamics

Beverly Garden’s Park — Rose Garden, October 2019

“Fizzy, unstable wine is universal. It knows no specific style, place, or grape.” — It’s Only Natural, Tim Gaiser, MS

I recently returned from a long trip to Paris. As my wife and I are interested in exploring culture through food, we spent a lot of time at restaurants and cafes.

On the flight, I had read an excellent piece by Master Sommelier, classical musician, and educator Tim Gaiser. I met him before as the instructor of my CMS Level 1 Class, and respect his way of thinking. …


German city of Dresden in 1945 — Deutsche Fotothek Blick vom Rathausturm

Millennials love the idea of reliving the last half of the 20th century, the one we all grew up watching on the Wonder Years. We were led to believe it was a time that defined everything we love about America. Giant leaps in civil rights, a martyred saint president, a nationwide ethical rejection of war in favor of peace, free love, the Greatest Generation defeating evil, and the twilight of communism. The unfortunate truth is that the last half of the 20th century should be recognized for the attempted murder of the future.

The idea of “live for today” in…


Returning some books to the library, I noticed flyers posted all over the outside windows. “Learn to live the millionaire lifestyle… without being a millionaire!”

I immediately discounted them. What a poor pitch. Like everyone, I want to be a millionaire and live the millionaire lifestyle. Was this a class on how to be fake? I don’t think anyone in LA needs a workshop for that.

The woman dutifully checking in my tomes had a streak of purple dye in her hair. She seemed cheerful.

“Why aren’t you at the seminar upstairs, are you already a millionaire?” I asked.

“Yeah,”…


“When we write a story on our own it can’t help but link up with all sorts of myths. Myths are like a reservoir containing every story there is.” — Haruki Murakami

Somewhere around 160 CE a text entitled ‘Seder Olam Rabbah’ was written discussing everything from the creation myth to the reign of Alexander the Great. There is evidence it was edited and supplemented for a period of 30 years and attempted to shed light on the exact dates of many biblical events. …


Spoiler Alert: You’ve already seen this movie. It was directed by Richard Marquand in 1983 and produced by George Lucas- it’s called Return of the Jedi. What came to theaters in December of 2015 was the result of an affliction that ails Hollywood, a lack of ideas.

In his review of the 1951 adaptation of Tennessee Williams “A Streetcar Named Desire,” acerbic New York Times critic Bosley Crowther stated that “inner torments are seldom projected with such sensitivity and clarity on the screen.” Watching the latest Star Wars I felt a similar inner torment, a disgust with a complete lack…


Scientifically, Morally, and Ethically

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. It isn't anything new, tracing origin to India and Ancient Greece, and yet has recently gained significant traction. I say recently, because homo sapiens have been here for hundreds of thousands of years, eating basically the same way until the last ten thousand.

Factory farming is horrific, anyone with a conscience would agree. The word ‘factory’ which was once thought of as the harbinger of productivity and prosperity now has a…

Michael Nemcik

Scientist, photographer, power lifter, bass player, financial analyst, ex-soldier, stoic, bartender, sommelier, film student

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