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The Story Of a Girl and Her Girls — Part 1

— From The Way-Back Beginning (1982) To The Present

I've taken some time off and caught up with sleep and protein-targeted food. I was a zombie by the time I'd written and published my final post of the end-of-year sale/anti-sale campaign. I was on the verge of just letting the campaign ride that final day without any push or shove; but I showed up and persisted, the final post ending up far less than intended when I'd set about drafting it.

I'm now well rested, well fed, and rarin' to go...and you're about to find out why.

The promotion has gone fantastically and I ought to be of higher energy to drive home this last 12 hours that ends NYC time. Thus far, 24 new memberships for total additional revenue of about $2,500. That’ll help a lot. Thanks, and welcome to y’all.

Well, as it turns out, that post unleashed quite a flood and I more than doubled what had been accomplished in the month since beginning on Black Friday. I finished up with 53 new orders totalling $6,290. This is in addition to what Stripe, my processor, labels "Subscription Update" over the same span of time—the monthly and annual recurring payments.

Thank you very much, one and all. Most of those were completely new memberships, the rest being upgrades of which, some existing members took advantage. For those who didn't take up the upgrade offer, thank you too for your recurring subscriptions, always and forever locked in at the now half-price, so long as the membership is maintained. My cancelation rate is so minimal that I don't even spend any time trying to figure out what went wrong with that particular customer.

On that score, I'm gratified that so many new subscribers are women...a welcome relief after my only micro-slew of cancellations...my Jimmy Moore post where, in a nutshell, I said that though I find the thing distasteful and such, it's not pedophilia. I only said that because...it's not pedophilia. Indeed, the truth often stings and gets a few panties in a wad.

(It was going to be utter and complete condemnation from me—in lockstep with all NPC regurgitators of approved and expected narrative—judge, jury, convict, and execute Jimmy...or I'm a pedo-lover. So ya think I'm all broken up about those cancelations?

No, though all this praying for the salvation of their souls gets to be tiresome and daunting. [wink]

...One interesting factor was the worry that I would lose recurring revenue by people upgrading from monthly or annual to lifetime, which is a one-&-done. So, someone's at $50 per year, takes the lifetime deal, $225, but that's offset by a $50 loss per year ($72 for monthly). Well, a dozen annual peeps did do that. BUT, 18 folks took up the annual offer of $40 first year, then $50 thereafter, so I ended up with a net 6 for $300 additional recurring annually. And, I ended up with 35% more monthly subscriptions on net than when I started.

All to the cool.

What many of you don't know is that when the original Black Friday to New Year discount code, BLACKTO2023, expired at the Times Square ball drop, I created a new discount code, BETTERLATE2023, and sent out a couple of emails to existing paid subscribers only, giving an additional 24 hours to upgrade to Annual or Lifetime at the old prices of $50 and $250 (no discount). Bang! That got a bunch more additional on the whole deal. They finally believed, or whatever.

I've always considered myself a piss-poor marketer but lately, I've had success with simple but repeated truth-telling, as well as my mocking of traditional marketing calls to action (anti-marketing), where, instead of calling it copywriting, I call it copylying.

So, instead of...

BUT WAIT!!! THAT'S NOT ALL!

When you call and place your order order within the next 30-minutes, we're going to give you, at no additional charge...

ALL THE SECRETS TO THE UNIVERSE!

...BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!!!

You also get this combination spaghetti-pot, clam-steamer!

Instead, I did...

  1. An offer: a modest discount; price-lock in perpetuity
  2. With a deadline
  3. And a threat: prices doubles
  4. I told no lies; I did exactly what I said I would do
  5. Didn't hype it at all: same weird-ass, cringe-inducing, eclectic, polymathish, dot-connecting, synthesizing, often embarrassing blog...as it always was

I've always held to the original notion of what a blog—a Web Logis; which is, a sort of diary or journal crafted for public consumption. Many forget about that, calling their news and analysis a blog. Nope. When you hold to the essentials of what makes a blog a blog, it's thoroughly unique. Nobody can copy you because nobody else is you. Nobody has your same stories. It turns on how interesting they are and how artfully you can tell them. And you can get better at it. Practice makes perfect.

The only true essential is that you lead an interesting life...

...and this can be changed. It can be changed from one moment to the next. It entails getting off your lazy ass and showing up to do something notable, remarkable, interesting, or all three and more.

...And yea, it does make me smile, looking back to April, 2021, when I kicked off my paid-memberships endeavor with zero idea of how it would go.

What makes me more than smile, though—as in, laugh my damn ass off—is the handful of usual suspects. The hahahahahahahaha-type messages and comment submissions in response to the kick-off post announcing that you now have to pay to play.

My favorite was from someone named "Fuck You," email address fuckyou@fuckyou.fu with the 2-word comment...you guessed it: "Fuck You!"

The non-descript-gendered person certainly has a way with words.

As I have said and written many many times, I write to engender either love or hate and I'm fine with either. Indifference is what I strive to avoid.

Arguably, hate is even more valuable than love because the haters are your most engaged audience of all. They read every single post and watch every single video...to give it a thumbs down. I could do a vid of me giving the feral female cat around here—who shows up every night to yell at me—half my can of tuna, then a helping of milk in the bowl for her to wash it down...and they would still thumb-down the video.

That's what makes them so lovable. I love and cherish the haters. Honestly, I do. I wouldn't want to change them. Rather, I vow to deliver to them years of self-righteous inducing anguish upon which they may dwell.

The Girl

When I wrote the final post of the aforementioned campaign, I concluded with three things I'd intended to write about during the campaign but ran out of time. My ocean swimming, my cooking on a Thai budget, and The Girl and rekindling with her.

She turned 30 two days ago, incidentally, and I turn 62 in about 3 weeks. In two more years, she'll finally be half my age.

You probably don't have to think very hard to guess which of those three topics got me the most action on new memberships and upgrades, and the most feedback.

Happy New Year Richard,

Your recent post with pictures of Yui’s kids that you're helping inspired me to say it’s really heartening to see you have reestablished a connection with them all; I was sorry to hear about the troubles earlier in the year and it was tempting as a Thailand long-termer to think "what did you expect?" But cynicism is such a lose-lose way of thinking, and so lazy; I’m almost ashamed of being generally a cynic over the last few years.

My wife had a young daughter when we met and some of my favorite memories are of taking her on activities (Segway in the park, teaching her backgammon, going camping and making fires etc.). So I have some inkling of the joy you feel on being in a position to enhance their lives with no repayment other than the exquisite joy of watching them grow, learn and have fun.

I wish you (and your chosen family) all the best for 2023.

And a number of others.

(There are three Thailand expats I know of whose reading and following of my antics far precede my own expat status in Thailand. All three are Members.)

The headline photo above is Chili in May of 2020 when I met her 10-year-old darlingness for the first time. In the nearly 3 years since knowing her and younger sister, Wasabi, neither have said so much as 1 cross word to me.

(..Contrast that with Western religious and moral decay and depravity in terms of child rearing, where parents are derided by their teenagers on a near daily basis.)

They're both respectful, grateful, and loving to a fault. Wasabi has told me—even before the early death of her ~45 year-old dad last February to cancer—that she loves me like a father. That, and seeing Chili grow so much, explicating in stark contrast how much I've squandered by missing a lot of it, weighs on me like a ton of bricks—as well it should—and it was time for this man to man-up about that.

They are become the most important thing in my life, if they'll allow the dedication and action that implies. That means: to the exclusion of all else where any conflicts-of-interest might lurk.

"All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." — Romans 8:28

I consider that Biblical wisdom to be fully open-ended. That is, no particular—or any—God required. Substitute The Buddha, Confucius, Allah...or even nature and its natural order itself. It means: if your human sense, consciousness, and spirit transcend the confines of your physical existence in body and mind, you have the opportunity to regard everything from the enlightened perspective of good.

"And God saw that it was very good." — Genesis 1:31, the 7th use of the word good; in the final verse of the 1st chapter of the 1st book. And I will take that to mean that the creation of earth and humanity is a very good thing to befall a universal existence devoid of cause or purpose...an A is A, existence exists tautology that is neither benevolent or malevolent, but just is. It takes humanity to usher in good and evil and without evil, there's no possibility, no reference point, to what could possibly be considered the good.

(Even Covid. Look at the heinous-humanoid depravity and criminality fraudulently posing as benevolence for mankind it has exposed—and that's only a spec of the tip of the iceberg. This is good.)

To Follow:

  • Intro — Past History with Asia and Asian Chicks
  • Anticipation in 2019
  • My Very First Words to Yui: "One Minute"
  • I Country Girl; Not Mean Stupid Girl
  • The Covid Disaster/Opportunity/Lemonade
  • The House Build
  • The Conflicts
  • The Move Away
  • Pattaya and Phuket
  • The Fund-Raising Debacle
  • The Team-Up With Sister, Nun
  • Alcohol Cessation and Its Effect
  • The Mess She Made and What I Did About It
  • The Things We Both Love
  • My Departure From Phuket...Tomorrow
  • Leaving America Behind

There's the 1550-word introduction to this post, which totals 6,000. Yep, it's for Members from this point forward. There's no free-member level anymore. That level has been deleted, no ill-will intended.

It was superfluous and redundant because things evolved into what's public content and what's paid content. There was no need of a meaningless distinction that earned me an email address and a pain-in-the-ass 600+ login accounts to manage...for free.

If you're to this point and are left feeling unsatisfied and wanting, well here's some tough love for ya:

I told you so.

I gave you every chance and warning over a space of 5 weeks.

I have attained a New Plateau in life and in the makeup of this blog, now beginning its 20th year.

Best bet is that all y'all non-members take the L: accept the penalty—be it $6m, $50y, or $250life—lick your wounds, take your medicine, learn your lesson, and read on...expecting much more devastatingly interesting and eclectic/polymath long-form...for years to come...especially as I intend to watch and document those two angel-girls grow, develop, marry forthright husbands, and if counting my lucky stars, shower her mother and I with grandchildren.

I'm glad I can't predict the future. All I've got are my intentions and the dreams they inspire (sounds reversed, but it's the proper way...rendering one's dreams into something that's actually attainable). I'll pursue those dreams by setting out to do what I have decided and intend to do...for better or worse, one could say...but that's the spice of life and whatever will be, will be.

Intro — Past History with Asia and Asian Chicks

1982, Oregon State University, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC).

"We're shipping you off to Pusan, Korea to catch the USS San Bernardino (LST-1189) for your Midshipman summer 'cruise.'"

Yea, they call it a cruise. Ha! It was a cruise alright...one that would thoroughly change the course of my life in what would turn out to be—now nearly 41 years later—irrevocable.

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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
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