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Friday, April 6th, 2018
Notes from the Apocalypse

Beachcomber Self-Help Tips

Nonfiction bestseller lists are jammed with self-help books. The topics cover fad diets, fitness routines, financial techniques, relationship therapy, happiness and success in all things.

I’m not up for penning a self-help book. But I’ve got three rock solid tips that will lead to a better life.

1. Make your bed every morning. You slept in it, you make it up. If you have a sleeping partner, I promise that person will appreciate your efforts. If you sleep alone, someone has to do it. It’s not much and it only takes a couple of minutes, but it will allow you to start the day with something positive— something that isn’t intellectually or physically challenging.

2. Exercise in the morning. There are few absolutes in my life. This is one of them. I have never exercised in the morning and regretted in later in the day. The type of exercise doesn’t even matter, except that it needs to be varied. Walking, running, swimming, paddleboarding, gym exercises, etc. etc.

If you vary your activities, you’ll utilize different sets of muscles, you won’t get bored, and you’ll reduce the risk of injury due to overuse of specific muscle groups. If you exercise in the morning, you’ll never regret it.

3. Read the New York Times. I had no choice in this one. My father had me reading the NYT at an early age. I started with the box scores of the baseball games.

Throughout school he would clip articles that he though I might find interesting or that I should find interesting.

His closest friends—particularly during the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War years, and the Nixon impeachment proceedings— were journalists. Most of them were with the NYT—Jim Wooten, David Halberstam, Johnny Apple, Roy Reed, Claude Sitton, Turner Catledge, Seymour Hersh, Scotty Reston, Howell Raines, Gene Patterson and many other writers used to meet in my father’s office or our living room during those years.

I’ve read the NYT for many years now because I was expected to. But there is a reason that everyone should read the paper. I am sure that the Ochs and the Sulzbergers, the publishers of the paper, are Democrats. But don’t let that keep you from reading. If you like, skip the paper’s editorials. The opeds offer varying viewpoints but you can skip those too if you prefer.

But if you have any interest in science, business, politics, art, theater, dance, opera, music, film, television or books, the NYT is the best paper in the world. Its writers are the smartest, best informed, and most qualified. Because of that, they are the best paid.

Whatever your occupation or avocation (if you’re lucky, they are the same), reading the NYT will provide insightful help in understanding these incredibly strange times.

These are proven self-help tips that will lead to success and happiness. They’re free of charge, and they are guaranteed to work.

Disclaimer: This self-help guide might not work for everyone. You must have an open mind. You still have to be a nice person.

In certain instances, making a bed can cause minor injuries.

DO NOT exercise without seeing a physician first, and be sure to run lots of ridiculous tests.

Reading the NYT, even the articles that may seem harmless, can cause constipation, rage, and confusion. Of course, so can reading President Trump’s tweets.


Cartoon by Clay Jones.