S2 E4 — Sneak Preview: Day 4 of My Pandemic Year’s Natural Experiment

Just about sums it up for me.  It’s a question that didn’t mean much to me as a 10 year-old, but it sure stayed with me. And, I still haven’t found the answer to that riddle.

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: The pen is in your hand, and the page is open.  You have everything you need to write the story of your life.  Please don’t take the page numbers literally.  This one can go out of order — if you dare.”  Taurus


Hi and welcome to Sunday’s Episode 4 of the Second Season,  My Pandemic Year’s Natural Experiment, on March 1st in the spring of 2020 here in California.

Maybe I shouldn’t have, but it’s 6:30 AM and I did.  Besides I scheduled a little time last week  for my muse by asking “What would Leo da V do?”  He brought me back to my childhood pain.

If you could get past her snarling greeting-growl stepping from my lawn onto her blacktop turf partially hidden by spindly bushes in a winter Saturday,  you might make it pain free to Johnny’s backyard.  

Princess never fell for my trick that I swear calmed every other dog I ever encountered did.  

If you held out an open palmed hand to her close enough for her to smell your friendly neighbor scent, she’d bite your fingers before your could recoil in defense — 9 times out of 10.  

Princess and I in a perverse way enjoyed this dance of pain and challenge. 

I hoped for 10%, she delivered 90%. 

But somebody from inside the kitchen or an open garage would yell for Princess to back off and let me pass. 

During the months leading up to spring we’d play inside in basements waiting for the sun to shine and dry out our three-lots playground across each of our corner houses.  

But, the one thing that always caught my eye inside — was the wooden sign Johnny’s dad must have picked up somewhere in his travels or given to him by his co-workers.  

It’s message didn’t mean much to me as a 10 year-old, but it sure stayed with me. 

Etched into the blonde wood was the saying, “If you’re so smart how come you ain’t rich?”

Just about sums it up for me.  I still haven’t answered that bit of wisdom.  

Now that we’re in the final stretch of an experiment it dawns on me that I can’t possibly analyze the Holiday Tau for 16 sets of Steves without an artificial intelligence program.

So, I’m picking the top four sets of Steves, separating out every TauBit of Wisdom from the others to tally up as more or less a representative sample of the total population. They are:  

      1. Steve McQueen; 
      2. Steve Jobs, 
      3. Steves Carell, Martin and Wozniak and finally 
      4. Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and me.

When I launched this experiment, here’s what I imagined I’d find. So I began coding:

      1. W —Wisdom for “If you could go back in time and warn your younger self, what warning would you issue?” 
      2. N —The name (why a mother would choose Steve for a baby to grow into; choose Steve for horoscope intuition) — prime-the-pump kind of Steve-only and Friends of Steves putting in their two cents; 
      3. Y —1-year experiment — anything, especially for intuitors and actual magical thinking (Norway vacation should extend the 1-year time frame)
      4. S — something silly like Amy K alphabet of small moments. 52 weeks in a year — 52 weekly sayings.

However comma, as Emma the Baroness says, different patterns began to emerge as I began diligently sorting Holiday Tau into the four categories.  The categories changed to accommodate the TauBits themselves:

      1. Practical Projects;
      2. Work;
      3. Wisdom and Legacy; and
      4. Relationships and Intimacy

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Given the four categories and the four representative sets of Steves, only Steve Jobs will count in the analytics.  And, right off the bat he’d fit in “Practical Projects” and maybe even “Work”?  I’ll have to make the call, but in terms of relevance to my day, his Tau doesn’t carry much juice.

“3”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): You want a clear instruction for the current problem, but if the universe were really to thunder from the clouds saying, ‘Do this!’ you’d rebel and tell it to stop bossing you around.  So try to read and heed the signs.” Pisces

Better.  This Holiday Tau falls into what I’m calling Volume Three Manuscript about wisdom and legacy.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: The pen is in your hand, and the page is open.  You have everything you need to write the story of your life.  Please don’t take the page numbers literally.  This one can go out of order — if you dare.”  Taurus

Hi, Steve your Holiday Tau feels more directly related to my Volume Two Manuscript about Work and indirectly to wisdom and legacy. 

“4”  Steve Howey, 42:When you’re new, it seems like all the people understand a thing that you don’t.  The funny thing is that no one on the inside understands any more than you do.  Cancer

Thank you Steve, great insight from someone how has played in the NBA and on the soccer fields.  Your Holiday Tau describes the process I described as the evolution of coding the 4 TauBits of Wisdom over time without sabotaging the experiment.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:You are playing a sporting game that has nothing to do with sports at all, and the ball is in your court.  Don’t overthink it.  Know where you want it to go, and keep your eye trained on the destination.” Aquarius

What’s Going On …

Shifting Opportunities

Smart Moves 


    • “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 5-Hundred Year History” by Kurt Andersen
    • Began reading and taking notes on “The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Olsen Laney — All human beings have 99.9 percent of  the same genetic prescription. Our individual differences come from the 0.1 percent of our genetic material that is just us — derived primarily from our neurochemistry,  a private reserve of about 150 different brain chemicals and recipes to formulate our neurotransmitters — guide messages from cell to cell, directing all brain functions.
    • A SURVEY OF 222 LEADING SCIENTISTS FROM 52 COUNTRIES who identified five global risks: failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; extreme weather events; major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; food crises and water crises

Progress and Procrastination

    • Procrastination — Lost a full day replacing my 2000 Toyota 4-Runner with a leased Honda CR-V 
    • Progress —Early feedback from Finnmark:  Interesting concept. I think your opening salvos should be free so people can get a sense of what their Patreon membership will provide. Also, blogs are not going to reach a young audience if that’s what you want. Youtube is far more effective for that age group. 
    • Progress — My Response: Wow, I’m impressed.  Thanks for taking the time to give me great feedback.  Yes you’re probably right.  Nobody reads anymore, so we’re an endangered species.  You’ve given some ideas, I should reach younger people.  I saw videos of your grand niece on the gondola, but I wonder how to reach her.  Oh, wait.  I know. I’m following her on her twitter feed.

Working on the Business

    • 1,277 Flipboard users follow one or more of my 35 digital magazines. 
    • Who is my target audience at Patreon?  
      1. Introverted creators who are the overeducated and the underpaid; everyone from underpaid musicians to out-of-work PhDs;  
      2. who shop at Trader Joe’s (or wish they could); 
      3. who have more sophisticated and diverse tastes in food and drink.“ 
      4. find elements of the lifestyle they aspired to for not too much money, 
      5. within the reality of a schoolteacher’s salary that 
      6. offered glimpses into a much more affluent lifestyle. 
      7. marriage of Consumer Reports and Mad magazine. 
      8. a chatty rundown on new, seasonal and offbeat offerings

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Previous: S2 E3 — Day 3 of My Pandemic Year Experiment;  S2 E2 — New Season Preview:  Rippling Effects, Implications and Consequences We Didn’t See Coming;  S2 E1 — Sneak Preview Asking “How Toxic is Your Work Life?”

Related: S1 E4 — Day 4 of My 1-Year Experiment;  S1 E3 — Day 3 of My 1-Year Experiment;   S1 E2 — Day 2 of My 1-Year Experiment;  S1 E1 – Day One of My 1-Year Experiment


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