What’s In Store For Me And You Right Now?

— It Comes As No Surprise…

First and foremost, I hope you and yours are having an unfettered and merry little Christmas time. As I begin writing this, many of you are just sitting down to dinner or you’ve just finished it over in Ameriland. Just vid-chatted with my parents on WhatsApp. Dad’ll be 85 in a few weeks and he doesn’t even fit the typical profile of a 70yo. Remarkable. Mom’s no slouch in this regard, either.

I’m fortunate.

2022 has arguably been the worst…or at least my most trying…year of my previous 60. Since my birthday is in January, it roughly coincides with our calendar and my 61st takes first bidding for most challenging.

In Thai, 2565 is my worst year. Fortunately, they went partial Gregorian some time back and use January 1st as the beginning of each new year. They retain the Buddhist calendar for the year count only—543 years ahead of J.C. It was the Lunar calendar in use before, so not only was there no fixed date for each new year, but years had differing numbers of solar days in them. The Buddhist year count is official, always in current use on everything. Even Google search has the Thai year number for the dates of results. Hugely annoying.

I should probably look into a setting somewhere.

Bigger fish to fry, right now.

What went wrong for me?

Nearly everything, and maybe I came close to a rock-bottom crash…mostly driven by financial woes. That in itself was a multi-faceted issue.

  1. Covid shutting down my Cabo vacation rental business for 2 years at a loss of over $200,000 in revenue
  2. Financially supporting my adopted Thai family—even building a house for cash and buying a car with a hefty down…not expecting Covid to last as long as it did
  3. Allowing my historically excessive boozing to become insanely excessive—to a point that adverse health issues became undeniable

There’s more but those are the primaries.

If every cloud has a silver lining, then Covid sure did for me. Where would I be without it having come down the pike at the very moment I was beginning a radically new book in my life…selling everything, becoming nomadic, earning online, chasing Asian chicks less than half my age, riding motorcycles without a shirt or helmet, leaving the toilet seat up, and otherwise all free-spirited stuff?

There’s no way to know, of course. And in spite of all the troubles and downstream effects I managed poorly, I nonetheless managed to get my ass out of bed pretty early every day, seven per week, and in some way play the hand I’d been dealt.

What is it they say? …That half of life is just showing up?

I did that, at least.

Always doing something. Always thinking, always trying. Much of it could be seen, even by myself, as just flailing around. But even stupid shit that failed or went nowhere is of some value in at least dismissing and saving the mind space it occupies with the continual what-ifs?

I’m no good at having regrets or woulda-coulda-shouldas.

I’m essentially an optimist…a lemons-to-lemonade kinda guy…and smoking the hopeium is not one of my addictions. I’m sort of neutral, I would say. I neither expect nor plan for the best, or for the worst.

Show up. Observe and understand the terrain. Play the hand you’re dealt.

Just keep the fuck at it.

Don’t be careful. Be competent.

Learn from your fuck-ups. Don’t be sorry; just don’t do it again.

Did anything go right? It’s probably more accurate to say that being so damned disturbed about so much going so wrong was the impetus mustering changes.

The booze was catching up with me. Four decades worth, and the last two of them becoming increasingly excessive (too much too often). I don’t know a word other than luck for why I’ve never been totally wrapped up with it—I know so many who have, and on far less intake. No DUIs ever…amazing in itself given the fervor of that misdemeanor in society now.


It doubtless contributed to my failed relationship with the girl. But then, set free once again, I just couldn’t bring myself to engage as the youngin I was decades ago. There’s no point in going into it but I just wasn’t interested much, not most of the time. Then I found one chick that was interesting. That blew up too, after a few weeks. And a couple of others.

And I didn’t care much and that struck me as not such a good path to be on. What’s the point in any of it if you don’t care about its loss?

And most of you know the rest of the story. I lost my appetite. When the thought of a nice juicy burger has zero appeal, something’s up and it’s probably not good. Lack of food combined with low activity transforms you physically toward a skinny-fat body composition.

At least I learned that generally speaking, chicks put up with a bit of a gut more readily than skinny arms.

In early July I met this guy, Russell Hantz, star of a reality TV show (Survivor) some years back. He inspired me to start doing more—lots more—videos and to the consternation of at least a few members here, I was off with a blaze. I was doing lots of videos…sometimes several per day.

Doing those videos did several things for me. It exposed what I look and sound like a bit blasted. And I could see my increasingly decaying body composition. Combined with everything else, I spur-of-the-moment quit the whiskey right on video, wee hours of August 7.

And that was the turning point for everything. I’ve never had a compelling urge to have so much as a whiff since, closing in on 5 months. By day three I felt that it was a permanent thing for me. I eschew using touchy-feely language because feelings don’t constitute cognition. That’s why I emphasize the word, above.

It’s just the best way to put it. The act of stopping was a conscious decision but decisive discipline and will power has never played any role since.

Is it like being in love? I suppose that’s the most accurate way to put it. It’s a feeling and it’s a driving one.

Go figure. I’m just reporting, here, and I’d never have predicted this sort of experience over something like that and surely, I’ve never heard it described that way by others.

I’m as shocked as perhaps you are.

I was already always getting my sorry ass out of bed either way early or respectably early. I may fuck around but at least I was almost never hungover. What better reason to just get right back into sipping booze, browsing, writing, doing another video, whatever?

But now having stopped with no urge to begin again, I became a busy beaver. The appetite thing resolved within a few days. Check! Began pushing and pulling some weight around. Remarkably and mercifully, the arms quickly returned to normal.

With just that one act of knocking off the damn booze, my trajectory had shifted and again, I could feel it. There was nothing wrong. There was never anything really wrong but for that one thing. It’s just that it was keeping me from my normal, well-developed self-correction and continual improvement process that I seem hard-wired to do—so long as I keep showing up and putting in the time.

I became a busy beaver…a flurry of activity better directed and correcting. I relegated doing videos to a more appropriate role, as an adjunct to the blog and writing…I dumped the notion of monetizing it. I had no desire to do or even try doing what it takes to make anything beyond small change with it.

Sensing the opportunity, I jumped back on Twitter in early September and began the rebuild from ground zero (I had over 8k followers before). That has gone well and I now use a fantastic automation tool.

I added testimonials to the blog and that shifted new signups into a higher gear. Then I added Lifetime Membership and did a promotion and that went well to bring in new peeps and motivate others to upgrade.

And suddenly I realized I have all the moving parts in place in my own way. I observe highly successful guys and gals online who make a lot more than I do. But I can no more do what they do than they can do what I do in the specific and meaningful ways that make shit work for me.

You’ve got to love your system and methods and the process. Money is but one concern. Once you get above base requirements then all you need do, really, is to keep doing.

That simple in terms of the elements. You just have to feed and nourish it. Principally amongst that endeavor, you’re thinking and writing. I’ve tried, but having rigid writing, posting, and engagement schedules…pre-writing stuff to dole out later, over time…that’s just not me.

To write stuff that isn’t mindless and banal crap…or overly hyped give-me-money bullshit…requires…something

…Inspiration, perturbation, excitation…elation; disgust, impatience, aggression…despair…

Something needs to be rocking my boat in some way…good or bad. Love or hate. Yin or yang.

Up or down, right or left, east or west. Parallel or perpendicular. Sideways or head on.

So I end up just dumping every nudge in one direction or the other—something that moves me—into my Todoist inbox. I even tried various formal systems within that. Nope. Just dump it in the inbox. Scan through it, see if anything grabs me at that particular moment in time.

And when something does, which is usually, I’ll run with it. Blog post, video, tweet or thread…or all three.

To sum it up, dropping the booze moved me from regarding my activities here as a diversion and hobby to a business of my own design.

Might as well dabble in the physical world, even. I just have to remember to give these things out when I encounter interesting people…even bar girls.

Over the last week or so I toned down my writing activity here in order to go all in on Twitter, just as I had done on YouTube. And now I’m ready to take on 2023 and make it the best year.

From worst to best. There is no other way.

So here’s what happens. Most simply, it’s going to be a post or two per day right up to the Times Square ball-drop.


  • All posts will be public access, but most will go into paywall lockdown on 1/1
  • Some/most/all will have a video or tweet-thread adjunct, or both
  • They’ll be all over the map; I can’t plan what to write about. I write about what calls to me at any particular moment
  • I’m going to have fun

I do have a lot in the hopper already. Stuff in the inbox. Videos and tweet threads I’ve already published. Stuff dancing like sugar plums in my head.

Of note, I have a 3-post series on miracle weight loss and a serendipitous discovery that…for clue’s sake let’s say…involves Hollywood actors, golf, a doctor, an expensive weight-loss drug, the Andes, a tuber, a cheap syrup, and appetite.

The first post will be forthcoming right about next.

I’ll carry on from there.

Then, finally, there’s the sale and the anti-sale.

The sale is right here, coupon code BLACKTO2023.

The “anti-sale” is that at midnight my time on 12/31 there’s no more sale and what’s more, membership prices double.

No hype: the current prices will never ever be seen again. You’ve got less than a week to become a new member at 6 bucks per month with 2 months free, 50 per year—40 this first year—or lifetime @225. Those prices are locked in for as long as you sustain your membership.

Current monthly members can upgrade to annual or lifetime and lock that price in. Current annual members can grab the lifetime at more than a 50% discount from where it will be, come the new year.

The new and improved prices? 12, 100, and 500. Respectively.

And that’s it. I’ll reiterate and repeat over the course of the week and will probably lower myself to doing countdown posts like every other annoying-ass marketer does.


Wait for it.

…Otherwise, get your ass out of bed early every day and show up to whatever it is you need to do.

And, keep on tryin’.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Marybeth Sullivan on December 28, 2022 at 23:12

    Are you still in contact with Tim Steele? Just curious as I followed y’all back in the days of the potato hack.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 28, 2022 at 23:22

      Sure am, now and then. He’s a member here too. Comments now and then.

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