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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2023 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The IRS tax statements finally got mailed out.



I now get reminded of how old I am by things younger people have no recollection. Like dial-up phones, one of my cousins didn’t now how to use it and tried pushing his fingers through the holes instead of rotating it. The usual spacer for 45s (vinyl) which apparently is now a fashion accessory in yellow.



Facebook is the worst for shoving these things at you based on your age. Like the yellow school glue with the rubber tip. Actually photo booths died a hard death and the one at my mall left about a year and a half ago. I actually used it before it was gone - the photos were crap.



You get the idea - your past is becoming irrelevant. Whatever happened to the knife sharpening guy that used to walk down your street ringing a bell? My dad still has paper newspaper delivery (Toronto Star) and we get a free newspaper in which there is four pages of news and then adds and flyers. Coupons as in paper ones are going away. It just goes on and on.




Want old - a carborator in my first car!



Then there are the TV sitcoms you used to watch where everyone in them is dead. F Troop - all dead. Hogan’s Hero’s - all dead except for one.




My first cell phone 1991!



It happens but the worst is when a person gives up on anything new and their life and home is now basically a museum - and that’s how they intend to ride it out. I believe rotary phones still work on landlines in Ontario but not sure in Toronto. I still have an old Contempera phone I should sell, but before I got rid of the land line it worked - and for phone lines that needed tone we used pulse phones - but you had to like phone in without the tone (using pulse) and then enable the tone to get around the the new menus. The only reason this stayed alive was because Bell charged way more for the new tone phone experience - go figure.



Anyway, Tuesday was just work to catch up and nothing interesting got done so you get this rant…..




Goodnight…..




https://youtu.be/1OADXNGnJok?si=HH5490czPfbLgjuX
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2023 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much happened on Wednesday.








I got my US money from the bank for the UN trip.




.
There is nothing more bizarre than me on stage with an electric guitar!




Practiced more on the guitar. I’m using the strat a bit more.




My life sounds like a Steely Dan song…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/3nTMz1P09Uw?si=_y6R2qx_u_TJBRf2
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2023 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I start seriously planning for that trip now so that I have enough time to fix things. I don’t do crises management.



I have all the essentials. The flight is booked as well as the hotel. I have the passport. My passes, cash, that Yoga laptop. I have the great laptop bag that can carry anything. Last time I used a small piece of luggage as carry-on just in case they lost my luggage. This time I need the usual luggage suitcase because I’m there for days. So I may fly in a suit this time going there - just in case. You have to get health insurance when traveling to the States and that is just the way it is.




This is what I looked like at the UN last time at General Assembly…..



The toiletries are also a pain. I get the tiny units of stuff for travel that you have to “go on safari” to find. No clippers or small scissors, I had them measure mine last time by security and thought it was ok - I don’t need that kind of aggravation.



I have a thumb drive that fits my iPhone lightening port. That was impossible to find before and the move to USB-C means I may never see another again.



All kinds of stuff to take care of and think about. I have strategy for when I get there, it’s not just sitting down and watching and listening. You get to meet people, get ideas and there is more that goes on there at the UN grounds and outside…..



More as we get closer, but I’m not going to tell you everything. But this is an opportunity and I’m taking full advantage of it. I’m still welcoming minor bad luck right now as I need good luck at the UN. So while people think I should. be pissed off at bad things that happen now - as long as it’s minor - I welcome the bad luck now and not during the trip!




Goodnight…..








https://youtu.be/7pBXGjvJWxE?si=1zoxcAiLbnFpRGIQ
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2023 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ll be shopping for things on the weekend for the trip. Doing this like two days before does not work - been there and done that.



The luggage is used but should be good. Nevertheless I’ll check it out especially the zippers. If it’s gone then I have to get another one. it’s as simple as that. I should have enough T-shirts. I’ll go over the suits and make the selections. Probably a navy, black (you may get invited to something formal), and a medium to dark grey. I’ll check the weather but a sweater should be enough.



I’ll do the trip insurance today as I don’t want to wait and forget about that.



I have this old - wallet? - thing I can put around my neck that can hold the passport and cards and cash. I’ve been using it since 2015 but it may be time to change that. The Ridge wallet is worn but still looks great and comes along.



I still am thinking about strategy for the trip. The weekend event was easy but inside the UN buildings is segregated off into security zones. It’s just a different playing field during General Assembly.



Anyway, apart from that boring stuff is getting the cable to work at my dad’s place this is the third day and I’m amazed they haven’t gone nuts. The internet still works and they watch YouTube so that helps.



The guitars are out there ready to practice.




I’m soaking in the right now and as soon as I get out it all begins…..




Later…..
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2023 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday was defrosting the fridge. Now that is at thankless job nobody wants to do. And - on Sunday I will try to waterproof the chimney. That is another job nobody wants to do!



As for the UN trip - I have new luggage but without all the bells and whistles, and the old luggage with all the bells and whistles but binding wheels. So I will try to loosen up the wheels or else we go with the new stuff. I thought about replacing the neck pouch (for passport and money) but I think I’ll still still use the old one.



Next is pulling out the suits (3), white shirts (4) designated belt and shoes and so on. Like I said, there may be invitations to other stuff so formal attire is included this time. This happened at the December vote for WSIS+10 in 2015 and I was prepared then like I am now.



Guitar corner:




My actual Les Paul!



I’m practicing bends with the Les Paul and it’s easier to do than the Fender strat which is as should be as the Les Paul has no “whammy bar”. I put the whammy bar back on the strat and was surprised at how much effect I got out of the guitar - both ways! I did think about adding an extra spring in the back to tighten things up - but ditched the idea when I saw how much effect I got from two springs - real “dive bombs” from this guitar.







The way the two guitars are set up really compliment each other giving me real versatility. I don’t need another guitar for a while.




My Zen On Guitar


I am looking at the acoustic guitar now, this needs new strings and that nut looks strange and it’s plastic. I’ll start playing with that shortly.




My Kramer Focus “slider” Guitar



I have to plug the Line 6 electronic guitar pedal into my slider guitar and see if I can enhance the slider effect like Jeff Beck does. I can slide with no help but he obviously has it processed and I want that. He also rocks two springs and works that whammy bar as the “GOAT” that he is! Just look at him not even working - but massaging - that bar for effect. And of course the glass slider.





My Line 6 POD HD500X!



Anyway I’m still very much into guitars, so I am part of the few percent that still play within a year of starting - how about that!




EDIT: Just looked at the video below and he gets that slider effect by working the glass slide and whammy bar all at the same time. I’ll try that out when I get home!



Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/xvpeIKI4ZiQ?si=i1GIhzA2Lt3N1ELd


https://youtu.be/nV9bnaqqfq8?si=YHOFqqqf7Geu987T
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2023 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the weekend wasn’t a total bust.



I got the freezer defrosted and on Sunday I pointed and waterproofed the chimney. Maybe when I get back I’ll just touch up the repaired parts with waterproofing compound, but the big thing was to get that exposed chimney coated before the “rainy season” hits. And it will and I’ve already started to see leaves collecting by my car’s windshield.




The seasons will change and life goes on and we all get older. Like that chimney, we all age and start to fall apart and you can do preventative things and keep repairing the structure, but sooner or later the whole thing has to come done and start over. What amazes me is just how short a period of time elapses between when you think you have a lot of time to “the walls are closing in” crises mode I’m in now. It was not expected and all of a sudden you are dealing with it.



I won’t bother everyone with my getting old rant. But it is true our lives are too short - or maybe it is better to say “our active lives are too short”. This has consequences for human development and particularly now that we have developing AI. You are better off with me prattling about my guitars than talking about this other stuff…..




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/wURfzvu0Vuw?si=Pg481s24AqZJJa9D


https://youtu.be/yhJbTEwsJKs?si=-cPusDS_pFZFN8Xq
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to get focused on the clothing. Dry clean the shirts. If I was actually going to make a speech I would just buy a new one as the collars are immaculate when new.



I will try to avoid a taxi going from LaGuardia to the hotel. Going to the airport may necessitate the taxi as I don’t want to be late and get stranded there one extra day. In Toronto the 30 buck a day parking over four days are a break even point to take a taxi.




Central Park!



This hotel is right next to Central Park so a quick walk in the morning is now a possibility. I may actually use my mobile office ability while there if the opportunity presents itself.




The four days feels more like a vacation. It has been almost eight years since I’ve been away that long or longer.




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/44lmfg9BO7w?si=OqfS6K4gNu-iSy--
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2023 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m letting some of our websites lapse…..



Not just the active websites - but also the domains. The Fortress Newspaper website is on the chopping block as we never used or update it, plus nobody goes there directly anyway. Same with Humandestiny.org - cool name but useless to me.








You get the idea, for now all artist websites stay up and at least one for each corporation. I always try to keep fixed costs down so nothing new here. Everything is kept to bare minimum. I concentrate on fixed coast as that is the expense that sends companies into bankruptcy. For example I spent thousands of bucks upgrading our video cameras and editors, but that was a one time expense and I paid it off, so now it doesn’t matter going forward. But as soon as you add so much debt that you have to finance it through the company - that carrying cost for the loan now seems to become a fixed cost.




More money spent - but not a fixed cost!



So that is how so look at it. FOFSTOCK 2 has to be looked at a one time expense borne by me personally and then totally by the not-for-profit living within its means going forward. As President and CEO of all these corporations and companies, I pride myself in running all and never having to shutter any of them due to financial reasons. FOF has now been around for 19 years as is the case for the originally IAIJ which is also 19 years old. The NGO IAIJ is now 15 yeas old (and 19 as an association) and the record label is now 12 as a corporation and 15 as a company. More Vision is 15 years old as an advertising company and FOF Entertainment is 12.




More money spent - but not a fixed cost!



The IAIJ-FOF Group website is also on the chopping block. Keeping the fixed costs down! I’ve been a business owner off and on for about 40 years and I’ve seen many businesses look impressive by getting into leases for an office and hiring staff all before they had an income stream to afford it. The result was failure and a large debt the owner had to pay off even if he did declare bankruptcy.




More money spent - but not a fixed cost!



You have to always remain vigilant, and yes it is a lure to do things big and flamboyant. Anyone can do this if they let themselves into monumental debt, people actually exist to put on a FOFSTOCK for a fee if you are stupid enough to give them unlimited cash. But to keep going as an ongoing concern means you have to do everything yourself and be cheap about it.



This is how I roll in the business world and I now have decades of experience to prove my point!




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/rCPQPwVWbSU?si=MZDxyJ1WuH_aKDF7
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2023 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More preparations for the trip.



Everything essential is done. Now all the small stuff. I won’t bore you with that but will mention if anything goes astray.







I am courting “bad luck” or inconveniences in order to maybe get some good luck later. I aim for lots of little bits of bad luck and hopefully one good spot of good luck. I look at luck as a balanced equation. Our perception of it, some live in a totally balanced life - if they like it that way; and others who want to score need good luck added in the mix and thus will get bad luck to even it out. I don’t need to truly understand how luck works to try to manipulate it. And thus a science is born as science shows us how to manipulate things to a desired end - but does not truly tell us what “are” the things being manipulated in the end.



So if you have prepared correctly and there is nothing else to do - you become “superstitious” in a way as that is all there is left to help you reach your goals. The more variables involved in your activity and the more superstitious you get as you truly need luck! That is why sports teams prepare like crazy but get really superstitious before game time. They know you can do everything right and still lose. You need luck on your side. My way is a bit more scientific but none of us truly know what luck is…..



The other thing is being brave/bold. If you have the goal and are talented to make it happen and you get the opportunity - you take it - screw the cost or inconvenience! People talk themselves out of things in their life because of cost or inconvenience. Just go and see what happens. Strangely everyone is on board with me going to the United Nations. The dissent is when it comes to what kind of music festival to have next year for FOFSTOCK. But the advocacy is full steam ahead…..




Later…..





https://youtu.be/0T-v9sZXQdM?si=IEG1TiX6hVHm6R6T



(NSFW)
https://youtu.be/twpEgYnc-jA?si=E_YmAAbPqHRguX68
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the trip is becoming real.



I have to take the shirts to the dry cleaners.



I can’t cancel out of anything anymore and get my money back - technically 80% of the plane fare I guess.



Oh, and for those wandering about me calling my luck a science. It is true that science just deals with relationships between things and never the things themselves. It’s an old philosophical argument back in the day when I was obsessed with limits in university.




Goodnight…..





https://youtu.be/egIrNbkb3sc?si=X9hgaQMSDRv1htZc
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2023 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Panic time…..



Now I am running around to get ready. It started with me handing the dry cleaning over and being told the earliest I could pick up was Monday afternoon! Cutting it close but this was my bad for waiting this long.



I still have to pick out the luggage. The one I want needs the wheels looking at because they are binding due to crap getting in the spindle. I’ll try to fix it this morning and then just go to the new one if it doesn’t work.



I did pick out my ties. Next are the suits. Two pairs of jeans, blue and black. Get that toiletries pouch set up. Collapsible umbrella just in case it rains and rubber slip-ons. You all know the drill.



I was hesitant to go with all my suits in the regular luggage but if nothing is happening on Tuesday, I could chance them not losing my luggage on the trip and wearing my jeans as usual. Then if they lose it I have just enough time to buy off the rack and just hem the trousers. I arrive before 9:00am so if something is happening I just fly in the suit and tie. I will check to see if they are no longer losing luggage now for sure…..



It’s just me so I’m leaving all the family behind at my house. That is refreshing but also a hassle. I won’t get into that here, but I thought getting older meant freedom - boy was I wrong!




Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2023 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A late one but I hate sounding like a broken. record.



I picked out the suites and clothing. Maybe add a sweater. I took out some cash for Canadian taxis. All the major parts are taken care of.







I do find it lonely as I prepare for this. This is the place to be as I have a code of living to disseminate based on fee expression in all forms. Like not just free speech but the freedom to date and marry who you want. Freedom for a higher education and freedom to participate in the workplace to the limit you are capable. Freedom of movement. All these are freedoms of expression that were validated in the Fortress Experiment. Many of our Universal Declaration of Rights are validated a priori by this Positive Mandate for Humanity.


Anyway it is just bizarre to come this close and yet still be a million miles away. But the UN is the centre of the world this week and things at the centre are always uncertain as anything can happen.




So you go…..
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2023 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another boring update…..




Checked in online - always a problem for me. Finish packing and all that and then leave tomorrow.



This is more business than fun though. I have to see how long it takes to get from the hotel to the 2nd Street checkpoint - yes, checkpoint. Im not in my usual hotel so I have to figure out how to get to my favourite places. Stuff like that.



What will really piss me off is Air Canada losing my luggage. I did think about wearing a suit just in case. But that means wearing my dress shoes and all the rest. I will just have to chance it and if they lose it - buy a new suit and shoes there and have them hem the pants by night time and rock with an ill fitting suit while I wait for the luggage.



Anyway, that is my nightmare. Lots more to do that I won’t bother you with. I’m leaving the family behind in Toronto because New York is just too expensive right now. Maybe sometime later we will all go somewhere for fun!




Goodnight…..
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m in New York now….




Ready for takeoff!



Left really early and arrived before rush hour actually, with all the day trippers. I’ll check in at the hotel, go to Macey’s to buy a few small items and then check out my usual haunts before I prepare for the United Nations tomorrow.




Later…..
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Maurice Ali



Joined: 14 Nov 2003
Posts: 7737
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2023 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secret Service is now in Military garb.



They used to be in suits. Now they are in grey military garb. Police are everywhere in Manhattan! Every street corner and not just one but a bunch. Everywhere are Black SUV Suburbans. The street where my hotel is at has black suburbans all along it with the NYPD stuck in the middle. Police everywhere and even where I am on 5th Avenue, streets are blocked off where the hotels are!




Black SUVs at my hotel!



Where we meet to get our special event tickets keep changing. as per time and day and at the last minute.




Tuesday was the worst and hardest day. The streets were so congested I decided not to get raped by the taxis and took the M60 instead to Lexington and then the number 4 subway to where my hotel was. But the money saved was lost whenI discovered while packing that my usual shoes had something separating inside the sole that made one shoe painful to walk in. So off to Maceys to buy new ones and luckily I found a comfortable pair.


I then visited the usual haunts to see if anything changed. Madison Square Gardens is in perpetual construction as is Pen Station. I also had to spend some time at a Staples to copy some letters I need.



Wednesday is a full day inside the UN so a quick jaunt to Central Park and then off to the security nightmare on 2nd Street and beyond…..




Goodnight….
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