I Never Reached Superman

A long time ago, when I was six, I remember fondly walking outside the theatre after seeing the Superman Movie for the first time. I was not just simply walking however, but striding, and jumping. I was convinced that if I could just get it all right, I too would eventually be able to fly.

As many women grow up with the ideals of Barbie in their heads, the pretty blond with the attractive figure, closets full of clothing, cute dog, handsome boyfriend, a house, and the corvette. I grew up with thoughts of being Superman, the honest good looking guy every girl wanted, using his superhuman abilities such as super strength, laser beam eyes, super breath, and virtual indestructibility, to flight the bad guys, and save the world.

That really is a lot to live up to.

Superman Movie Poster 1978

Superman Movie Poster 1978

I am sitting here now thinking of all the things I did to try and be a bit like Superman, the physical training I have put myself through, and the risks I have taken. I am not sure why I did it, if it was for the adrenaline or to prove something to myself, but I did it just the same.

When I was young, I used to like to jump off of things, each time I tried to jump from just a little bit higher than the last time. I would sometimes jump off things while riding other objects such as my bike, skis or skateboard, all in the attempt to just see if I could do it, and feel what it would be like to fly just a little bit. I have still not grown out of this really, just last week, I jumped off the roof of a sixty storey tower on a zip line, it was pretty cool, but Superman would have just leaped over the building in a single bound.

If you want to be a superhero, of course you need to learn to fight. At the age of ten I started to study Karate. I had to postpone my studies at thirteen for a couple of years, as I broke my arm quite badly while testing to see if I was indestructible, I am not. I later continued studying various martial arts formally for about eighteen years. I fought a few times, I even managed to defeat the number four ranked fighter on the Canadian kickboxing team several times. I never fought any higher ranked fighters. I found I did not like hurting people, and didn’t really like getting hurt either.  If  Superman kick boxed,  he would be number one, I don’t think he minds the pain so much, but I know he doesn’t like hurting people either.

I did a fair bit of mountain and rock climbing in my life, but for some reason volcanoes were always the most interesting to me, there is just something about their sheer awesome lava spewing power that I found irresistible, and once you get to the top, you not only get a view, but you also get to look in to their centre. One of the most memorable volcanic experiences I had was in the northern Philippines, after climbing the volcano, my friend and I then climbed for hours through the lava tubes inside it, right into it’s underground river systems. There is nothing quite like squeezing through small limestone holes and dropping ten meters or so through pure darkness into pools of fresh drinking water. Another memorable volcanic occasion was when I had a semi active volcano I was standing on in Indonesia erupt right under my feet, thankfully I survived. I had this picture taken of me, standing right over its billowing molten heart less than a minute before it erupted. I ran away in fear  from the top of the volcano as it exploded, I am pretty sure I freaked out a little bit also. Superman would not have freaked out or ran, he would have kicked that volcano’s ass.

Scott Vs The Volcano - Seconds Before An Eruption

Scott Vs The Volcano - Moments Before An Eruption

 

Large waves are another force I have felt a powerful attraction to. I have learned to swim and surf in some huge waves over the years. One particularly wavy January day in southern India, I chose to ignore the warning siren of the concerned lifeguards in the lighthouse on the point, and the people on the loudspeakers warning us of a dangerous wave coming into the bay. I had seen their “dangerous” waves before, and felt I could handle them. Larger waves break further out, so as everyone else was busy getting out of the water, I swam out into deeper water to get ready to body surf this wave.  After a moment, I found as I looked out past the fairly common five meter wave in front of me, I was able to see a much larger wave towering over that one, I would guess it was seven meters high or so.  Realizing it was breaking too far out for me to ride it, I was forced to swim towards it as fast as I could, so as not to get caught in its dangerous break. Once I reached the top of that wave, which was shockingly high, I could see an even larger wave coming, it was already well over eight meters tall, and still growing fast. I swam towards this truly giant wave as quickly as I could, there was no way to get away from it as it was sucking me towards it as it was building its height. I made my way over it just as it was beginning to fall, I am not sure how high it was exactly, I would guess ten meters or so, I remember looking over at the people on the beach, as I crested it, I was both a long ways from them, and towering over them, as they scattered up the beach, and away from the water. Luckily, I made it over the wave before it broke, because when the enormous wave did fall, it fell right over top of the beach, destroying quite a few things, including some holiday houses, the retreating wave then brought all sorts of things back into the water with it, chairs, tables, doors, glass, dogs and even some other people. The next thing I knew I was being sucked a good kilometer or so, at a very high speed out into the open ocean. It took me an hour or so of hard swimming to finally make it back to the beach. Of course Superman would have just started flying and saved everyone, but for me, my own survival was barely possible.

I have saved four people’s lives, two people were drowning once in Goa, and I swam out with a large log for all of us to grab onto and swim back to shore. One time when I was in Thailand, a lady that could not swim fell into a river in Bangkok, I grabbed her hand as she was going under the water to pull her up. Another time in Indonesia, a group of people were trying to kill my rickshaw driver, something about him picking me up on their turf. One of them smashed a large brick into his head, and I stood up to them all. They decided not to fight us both, my driver was bleeding quite a bit from his head, but he survived because of me. I really am quite proud of actually saving some lives, Superman would have done the same, but of course for each one I saved, he saved a billion.

Although I have a lot of stories about things I have done, I look back and notice a pattern of me putting myself in harms way, in hindsight it seems a little bit stupid,  and when I really think about it, I am a little surprised that I am still alive. I tried hard to do as much as I could, but now as I am nearing forty, my body is in its decline, and my risk taking days have ended, I realize, for all my efforts, not for a moment, did I ever come close to being Superman.

Five For Fighting (John OndrasikOndrasik) Superman – It’s Not Easy Lyrics

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me

I’m more than a bird…i’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd…but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed…but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
It’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away…away from me
It’s all right…you can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy…or anything…

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me
Inside me
Yeah, inside me
Inside of me

I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
I’m only a man
Looking for a dream

I’m only a man
In a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…

Its not easy to be me

Sometimes, Some Things Can Not Be Fixed

A few years ago, as the Cold Play song, “Fix You” was playing away on my car radio, I said to my Girlfriend at the time, who did not like Cold Play very much, “How could anyone not like Cold Play? I mean just listen to them, that is music that really moves me for some reason or another, and I like it.”

She laughed a little, giving me the idea she did not share my love for the song.

I asked her “How could you not like this song, what is it about this beautiful song that bothers you?”

My girlfriend answered the question immediately, “Because the song makes it seem like you can just go around “Fixing” everything. Sometimes, some things can not be fixed. ”

There was some definite truth to what she had said. No one can fix everything, some things, yes, but not everything. Sometimes the attempted fix just makes matters worse. Sometimes it is just best to give up on a fix, and learn to live with the problem.

I found the song on YouTube, so I have pasted it below for you to listen to. In the defense of Cold Play, the exact lyrics state “I will try to fix you”, so they did not say they could go around fixing everything, but the thought that not everything can be fixed was still very interesting.

Rather than focusing on the problem, sometimes it is best to just give up hope on trying to fix it, and get on with your life as best you can, for the sake of happiness. A happy song can help, and one of the happiest songs I have heard in recent years has got to be Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Somewhere over the Rainbow, when I hear it, often my worries seem to fade a little bit.

Enjoy!

Acknowledging True Greatness – Humble Pie

I believe that most everyone has something going for them, we may have our weaknesses, but also our strengths. Stephen Hawking would be a good example of this, though he can not beat most of us in a foot race, it is also doubtful we could outperform his mind.

One of my strengths over others would be my ability to use computers. I first started working with computers in the late 1970s, and about a decade or so ago, I finished a computer science and programming diploma at college with a high four GPA. Essentially you could say I have mastered the machine. However that does not make me anything historically great, its not like I’m the guy that actually imagined such a thing into existence, someone actually did that you know, all I did was consume the knowledge that was written down by others, to learn to use a machine created by people that are not me. If I ever got famous for any of my computer work, as they say, I would just be “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

Shoulders of Giants - Tigers

Shoulders Of Giants

Each of us is pretty special, and loving yourself is important, so long as you don’t love yourself so much you can’t see how awesome the other people around you are, truly world changing people actually walk amongst us occasionally. Even though you might feel your work is pretty important, and your boss is willing to pay you for it, is your work really as important as someone who’s work saves thousands, or even millions of lives?

Don’t worry too much, because the harsh reality is, mediocre is the majority, if you want to change the world for the better, you can do that very effectively just by interacting in a positive way with the people you meet. Positive social interactions can be the highlights of most of our lives.

There is also a small portion of the population that are better than any of us, superior to you and me, and would usually consider themselves somewhat remarkable. Though they do nothing to help our society in any great way, and receive none of our admiration, they are just better, because they say so. Some might say, they are legends in their own minds.

I found this video below recently on YouTube, and thought I would share it to you, the video portrays a character with a super powered ego.

My hat comes off to the actual creator of this video, for being exceptionally funny, and making me laugh. I would like to make a cool video also, but realize I probably do not have enough talent to do so.



Treat A Friend Like A Friend

The idea of treating a friend like a friend may seem like an obvious one to most people, but sadly it is not followed as much as it should be.

I come from Vancouver Canada, and growing up there had a lot of what the English might call, “Taking the Piss”, we would jokinly point out other peoples poor choice in clothing we laugh at their mistakes, and generally make fun of our friends every chance we got. If there are three of us in a room, and only two chairs, we tended to race for the two chairs and laugh at the guy that doesn’t get one.This was pretty normal as a kid, and although it pretty much causes everyone some unhappiness, most of us eventually get over it, and get on with life.

As I have gotten older, I find most of all my friends gave up this poor behavior, they offer their chairs to friends, and become complimentary and supportive, generally, good friends. A small minority though continue to be a poor friend.

Eventually after many years, you might find there is only one person who still treats you like this, the joke is old and tired and no longer funny. With that particular person being the only one in your life that is still trying to take the last doughnut, insult you, talk behind your back, laugh at you, and generaly undermine your every move, you realize “With a friend like this, Who needs an enemy?”

If all someone does is act like a jerk all the time, isn’t that what they really are?

Sometimes it is just best to treat your friends like friends, otherwise people will eventualy get tired of you, and spend their time hanging out with better people. No one likes to put up with abuse. We all need to begin acting like adults once we grow up.

Reverse Millionaire

As I continue to save some of the little money I earn, in the hope of one day becoming a millionaire, I would like to share with you another concept of financial wealth most people have never heard of before, the reverse millionaire.

I had a work mate introduce me to this idea almost a decade ago, he said:

When I die, I hope I owe a million dollars to the bank, because then I will know that I had spent all my money, and had also spent another million dollars along the way.”

What an interesting concept, Here I am approaching middle age, and I don’t know yet if I have even made a million dollars in my life, certainly not after tax.

Having thought about this a bit, I realized the concept of becoming a reverse millionaire is actually easier than you may think.

 

How To Become A Reverse Millionaire:
(Do Not Try This At Home)

 

Step #1 – Borrow a Million Dollars

Option 1 – The Sneaky Borrow

You would need to get a job, preferable a good one, all the while using several credit cards wisely by always paying off the debt. Your responsible use will cause the credit card companies to continually up the credit limits on the cards as you prove yourself to be an upstanding customer. You will find it is not actually that difficult to get the credit limit of a credit card up over $20,000, and with hard work and savings, you could quite possible get them as high as $50,000 – $100,000 each. You should also get lines of credit, and multiple bank accounts with overdrafts at as many banks as possible.

Several high limit credit cards from several banks, as well as your lines of credit and bank accounts overdrafts all cashed out on a single day, could quite easily, and quickly get you the million dollars in cash you are looking for.

Legality = Questionable

I wonder if this is legal. If it is, and too many people try it I am sure there would soon be some sort of “Reverse Millionaire Law”, maybe you could get away with it, but you might want to consult a lawyer first.

Option 2 – The Hard Work And Saving Method

This is the way your parents and school teachers probably told you was the way to get rich, and in the end would lead to the biggest pile of cash.

Go to College, get a steady job, work hard, invest wisely, and save enough money that the bank doesn’t mind you borrowing another million dollars.

Legality = Legal

This will probably never happen to me, though I have gone to college, and do save, but the getting a steady job part unfortunately is my fall down. I just can’t stand “Working for the Man” more than a few years in a row.

Option 3 – The High Interest Method
Reverse Millionaire Compound Interest Graph

Rather than doing the hard work yourself, you can simply let the magic of compound interest do the work for you, by my calculations if you can get enough credit at the age of 25 to borrow just $6,500 at your average credit card rate of 20.5%, with no additional work needed, you will become a reverse millionaire by the age of 50.

Legality = Legal

Hmmmm, I don’t think this was exactly what my work friend meant by this. I think what he was talking about was actually spending an additional million dollars before he died, this is more about the man sticking it to you rather than you “sticking it to the man”. Though definitely not the method of choice, it is something to consider.

Step #2  – Going Beyond Broke

Assuming you did not pick Option #3 above, you now have one million dollars of the banks money, as well as a bunch of your own, this does not yet make you a Reverse Millionaire. To become a true Reverse Millionaire, you must liquidate any assets you have, and spend all of it before the bank takes it away from you.

For myself I am pretty sure I would want to get out of whatever country I did this in as fast as possible, so I would probably spend a large chunk of money initially on something like a yacht, to carry myself, my money and possible a couple of supermodels somewhere beyond the banks reach. The yacht would then be liquidated as quickly as possible into cash or crypto, before the bank put a lien on it. I could then commence my decade or so of endless partying somewhere in the tropics until finally becoming a Reverse Millionaire.

Reverse-Millionaire-Success

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