About pbilodeau01

Born in Berlin, N.H.; bachelor of arts, major in journalism, Northeastern University; master's degree in urban studies, Southern Connecticut State University; was an editor and reporter at New Haven Register, an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Meriden Record-Journal. Now a freelance writer and editor.


#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #jobs #LostJobs
The pandemic is hastening a new normal.
As Microsoft founder Bill Gates predicted in November 2020, half of business travel and 30 percent of “days at the office” will go away forever.
Heather Long discussed this trend in an article for the Washington Post. It was also published March 1, 2021, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article also points out that some jobs that were destined to be automated – in other words, robots and other machines doing the work of some people — will progress sooner than anticipated because the pandemic discouraged people working in close quarters.
Technology also permits people to do some jobs from anywhere, be it home or on a tropical island.
The McKinsey Global Institute says that 20 percent of business travel won’t come back and about 20 percent of workers could end up working from home indefinitely, the article says.
That has an impact on hotels, air travel, commercial real estate and neighborhood businesses that depended on clientele working in confined office buildings or manufacturing plants, the article points out.
The article even talks about a worker at Walt Disney World who had hoped to get her job back after the pandemic, now trying to learn how to code (computers) watching YouTube videos.
Though the article talks about people needing to be retrained, that has its pitfalls. You can be retrained to do one thing, only to see that retraining become obsolete in the near future.
So what does one do in this situation? Even if your job came, or will come, back, how long will it last? Was the job you had even worth going back to? Sure, you may need a paycheck in the short term, but where will you be in a year, five years, 10 years?
Fortunately, there are many programs out there that allow a person to devote a few part-time, off-work hours a week to start, that could put extra money in one’s pocket. Eventually, if one stayed with it and worked diligently, he or she could potentially earn an income that would dwarf what he or she would make on the job he or she once did.
As a bonus, there is no specific education, background or experience needed. And, if you find that such a program is for you, you could introduce it to your friends and help them do the same.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, you can help mitigate the disease by diligently following the public health guidelines and getting vaccinated when your turn comes up.
You can take time to evaluate your situation and determine what your new normal will look like. However, it’s dangerous to presume that someone, or something, will come along to bail you out. Though some short-term help may come, it will not solve your potential long-term problem. That will entirely be up to you.
Being cooped up at home for extended periods has its advantages. It gives you many moments to appreciate what you have, and think about what comes next for you.
As an example, what if you could work for Company X in a big, expensive city, but live in much less expensive outskirts – or, live nowhere near where your employer is?
Or, what if you could be your own boss, work from anywhere – pandemic or not — and help many others do the same?
This is a time of change and choices. Change carefully and choose wisely.


#ReopeningSchools #coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve
The burning question of the day seems to be whether schools should reopen for in-person learning.
Some teachers insist they should be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to the classroom.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say teacher vaccinations should not necessarily be required, as long as schools follow safety guidelines of requiring everyone to wear masks, keeping everyone well apart, having proper ventilation in the schools and having everyone frequently wash his or her hands.
Let’s debate this on not only the safety of everyone involved, but as a practical matter.
Let’s also look at what school will look like for the long term.
As a practical and safety matter, confining, say, 50 kids in one relatively small room with a teacher and, perhaps, a teaching assistant, would seem, on its face, to be unsafe. Even if everyone were wearing a mask, the teacher(s) can be apart from the kids, and themselves, but the kids are still too close for safety.
Some schools are dividing such big classes into a hybrid model, in which some of the kids learn in the classroom, and others learn at home. They alternate days in and out of school, with a day in between shifts to allow for school cleansing.
That seems a practical and safe solution, temporarily. But not having kids in school every day is a burden on the parents, never mind the kids who need the socialization.
But once this pandemic eases to the point of whatever the new normal will be, what will it mean for schools in the long term?
Teachers have been complaining for years about classes being too big and crowded. These experiments during the pandemic may prove useful for solving some long-term problems in education at all levels.
In colleges, will the big lecture halls with hundreds of kids crammed in at a time be a thing of the past, for example?
Can EVERY student who wants to take a class with Teacher X be able to, through some online model? Will Teacher X be able to conduct his class simultaneously, worldwide, online, as other localized teachers grade the students’ work?
Will old schools have to be torn down and rebuilt to improve ventilation? If that’s not practical, will the portable classrooms make a return to provide more space to allow students to spread out?
These questions will be answered over time, as we deal with what’s going on at the moment.
Meanwhile, it may be a good time to think about how much education beyond high school a student would be suited for, and how much that student, or his family, would be willing to pay to get that education.
Fortunately, if a student is hard-working, ambitious, but not necessarily college material, there are many programs out there in which a person can make potentially great money, regardless of education level, background or experience. As a bonus, it requires minimal investment to get into these programs.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In summary, we all want kids back in school, regardless of what level they are in. Not only is it better for their social well-being (teens, especially, need to be around friends), their educational achievement and as burden relief for parents, it’s good for teachers and staff.
But this experience could change education, as it could other pursuits and business, for the long term. Don’t just wait to see what happens, do your best to make things happen for the better.


#ClimateChange #GlobalWarming #TexasWeather #Earth #Warming
Who would have thought that South Texas, and other parts of the Deep South, would see devastating snow and bitter cold.
But it did this past week. Experts say a polar vortex over the Arctic was hit by a wave, and landed over the southern U.S.
And, these areas don’t have the equipment to deal with snow and cold. Mostly, it’s just wait for the melt and hope it comes soon.
Climate change has been called global warming, because Earth has been steadily warming for many years.
But that does not mean that every place is getting “warmer.”
It means that weather patterns are changing, with storms and other devastating atmospheric incidents becoming more frequent and more severe.
Consider it as changing a chemical mixture over time in the atmosphere, and making it more volatile.
Yes, the earth is warming, but it’s causing all kinds of problems – not necessarily universally higher temperatures.
Many have called global warming a hoax. But if you live in a place that has gotten snowy, frigid weather when it NEVER sees that kind of weather, you may want to rethink that position.
Perhaps these areas will not rush out to buy snow management equipment, but they should consider mitigating all eventualities. It had happened before, though not often. Don’t bet that such weather won’t happen again.
Interestingly, we are tackling the problem, perhaps without even knowing it.
As we discussed last week, cleaner forms of energy are competing well in the marketplace with fossil –fueled energy. A global pandemic prompted many people not to travel much, cleaning up the air a bit. We may not be able to completely stop Earth from warming, but we can slow it down.
All these events will hit home eventually to a lot of folks – not just the folks who live where snow and cold unexpectedly hit. Other meteorological phenomenon will strike other places, whether predictably or unexpectedly.
This will make many of us rethink how we live – and/or how we make a living. Most employment situations, given the climate or the pandemic, will change at some time. It’s up to each of us to be ready for change when it comes.
Fortunately, there are many programs out there that allow a person who is willing to look at something different to potentially change his or her financial situation for the better, regardless of what he or she is doing now, and regardless of how the climate or global health changes.
To check out one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, pray that those affected by the recent, unexpected weather recover nicely. Also, let’s hope we can get as many people vaccinated against the coronavirus as possible – and quickly.
Some little things we all can do can mitigate these global changes. Wear a mask. Wash hands frequently. Avoid large crowds until the majority of people are vaccinated. Conserve energy, and look at cleaner ways to heat one’s home, drive a car etc.
The world is changing. It will change whether everyone is on board with it or not. We can’t necessarily solve every problem, but we can do our part to minimize many problems.
Do your part. Try to help others who need you. At the same time, prepare for the future, whether you know what’s coming or not.


#oil #gas #gasoline #coal #fuel
Denmark is phasing out oil and gas extraction from the North Sea by 2050.
The Czech Republic, meanwhile, plans to phase out the use of coal by 2038.
The Associated Press reported these forecasts in two separate articles. They were published Dec. 5, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Just a few decades ago, these commodities, in some cases, were scarce and expensive.
But over those decades, cleaner, more renewable forms of energy evolved in terms of pricing. In other words, when these clean energy forms were introduced, they were too expensive to compete with fossil fuels, even though fossil fuels are among the worst pollutants in an industrialized world.
Now, the progress with clean and renewable energy has brought the prices to a more competitive level. That has resulted in less use of fossil fuels and more use of clean energy over time.
That has caused the fossil fuel market to price itself downward, perhaps permanently.
When you pile a pandemic on top of that, you have a near collapse of the fossil fuel market.
During the pandemic, businesses were closed or limited, people didn’t drive or travel as much, and that brought a natural decline in fossil fuel use.
Where will this all lead? If you work in the fossil fuel industry, which decades ago paid very well and promised a prosperous future, you need to be concerned.
In fact, ANY legacy industry workers need to be concerned. Almost daily, technological advances punch holes in what many thought were forever businesses.
These changes in energy, and other industries, will produce different kinds of jobs. Are you ready for that, if you work in a legacy industry?
If you haven’t thought much about what your next life will bring, know that there are many programs out there that can produce a potentially lucrative income for anyone, regardless of education, experience or background. The main requirements are that you are coachable and are willing to open your mind to check out something you may have never thought you would do.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, we all need to keep watch on our own jobs, industries and businesses. We have to continue to ask ourselves: will there be a need for this in five years? What other thing could come along, or be invented, to do what we do? Is my company looking to downsize, or otherwise reorganize, to prepare for these changes?
Remember, if you can see trends and changes from where you sit, it won’t be long before your bosses will see them. And, they won’t hesitate to act on them.
The world of employment is changing, not just in the energy sector. Workers cannot expect that someone, or something, will bail them out if they are suddenly put on the street. To complicate matters, you are unlikely to know when you will be put on the street, until you are.
Therefore, it’s best to plan ahead. Have a Plan B in place, ready to go when that day comes, or before. You may smile as you get tossed out of your job, if you plan ahead.
Life as we know it changes by the day. Perhaps we all need to change with it.


#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #BackToWork
Some may see Jay Foreman as a contrarian.
Foreman, chief executive of the toymaker Basic Fun in Boca Raton, Fla., is telling his workers to come back to the office.
“We have to get over our fears,” Foreman is quoted as saying in a Nov. 16, 2020, article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After all, according to the article, Foreman is paying a lot of money for his space, and making toys is a collaborative endeavor.
Meanwhile, a June survey by accounting and consulting firm PwC found that 72 percent of workers would like to work from home at least two days a week. And, a majority expected to bew able to work from home one day a week, even after the pandemic, the article says.
The pandemic has caused a lot of folks to work from home. Some like it. Others, who have to help educate kids AND work from home, find it quite stressful.
Still others have no ability to work from home. They MUST go to their workplaces to work, period.
If you had the option or ability to work from home, even after it’s deemed safe to return to your workplace, would you want to?
Would you, say, go to the workplace sometimes, and work from home other times?
There are advantages and disadvantages to either choice. First, daily commuting in some places is a real stress inducer. Not only is it frustrating to get stuck in traffic, taking way more time than it should to get to your destination, it wastes a lot of your time – time that could be used for, say, work.
Think also of the money you will ultimately save by not driving to work every day.
Certainly, there is value in interacting with coworkers at the workplace. Workplaces tend to bond people, and valuable friendships are created at work – or after work.
Also, when all children can go back to school safely, some of the stress of working from home will be removed.
In a perfect world, workers would have options. The world isn’t perfect. Some options are not there for everyone.
That begs a question: how can YOU create more options for yourself? What if, regardless of your experience, education or background, you could create more income options for yourself? What if those options can be utilized from home, or out in the world?
There are many programs available to create options for anyone willing to check them out. You just need an open mind, the ability to be coached and a willingness, perhaps, to try something you never thought you would do.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
You probably have pandemic fatigue, and even going back to work sounds like a great idea. Still, until the majority of people are vaccinated, we still have to be careful and wear masks, avoid crowds when able, wash hands frequently and keep one’s distance from others not in your household. That means, perhaps, having fewer people for holiday celebrations.
Also, you can help shorten the pandemic by getting a vaccine when it’s your turn.
You might try using this, more or less, down time to re-evaluate what options you might have. If they are few, look for more. There are many people willing to show them to you.
Or, you can stay stuck in a situation that’s neither healthy nor prosperous. It’s your option.


#TheClimb #goals #mountains #PersonalGrowth
In Miley Cyrus’ song, “The Climb,” she sings that it’s not about how long it takes, or what’s on the other side, it’s about the journey – The Climb.
It’s also been said that a person will get to the top of the mountain, or be dead on the side. But he or she will not go back to the bottom.
It’s also been said that reaching your goal is great, but the journey to get there is what makes it worthwhile.
All these phrases are about growing as a person. If you grow as a person, your dreams and goals will be more easily attained. If you don’t grow as a person, those dreams and goals will be more difficult.
For example, take big lottery winners. If they don’t grow as people, now that they’ve been blessed with good fortune, they’ll eventually be broke again.
Why? They will continue to be themselves, with a lot of extra cash. Think of the 18-year-old left alone with a big inheritance. Would you want your 18-year-old to manage his own money?
Would he or she have the wisdom to make sure that money lasted for his or her life?
Good fortune does not necessarily bring with it personal growth. That has to be honed by the person through learning, good counsel and wisdom. It doesn’t come naturally, in most cases.
Personal growth may require a person to change the people with whom he or she hangs with. Another adage: If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you. That isn’t to say one abandons his old friends for new ones. But it says that one may not necessarily heed the advice of his or her older friends when it comes to behavior, or the future.
Your old friends may criticize you because you insist on growing as a person. But as one grows, he or she learns to discern good advice, take it and tune out the bad advice.
Your old friends may make you feel bad when you make good choices. Their intention may be to bring you “back to earth,” from whence you came. They not only refuse to choose wisely with you, they tell you why YOU should not choose wisely.
As you grow as a person, you learn that you cannot go back to the bottom of the mountain, where you started.
If you are contemplating a journey to a better place, and are looking for a vehicle to take you, there are a number of programs that will allow you to spend a few, part-time hours a week working on attaining your goals – to help you climb as you continue the life you are living.
To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, even if you are living a content, yet unfulfilling life, you can grow as a person. Learn about things you may have never thought to learn about. Go to things you may have never thought to go to.
“The Climb” says it may not matter what’s on the other side. Avid mountain climbers climb mountains because they are there.
Perhaps it’s more motivating to have something on the other side that you want. Sometimes one has to create a goal to climb for. Others may have something to climb for that they have been told cannot be attained.
No matter your situation, get motivated. That may entail looking at things you may have never thought to look at. The climb is all you. No one will carry you to the top. And, yes, when you get there, you’ll look back on the journey with fondness, and be happy you found what you’ve found along the way.


#DemographicShift #demographics #certainty #SureThings
“We’re on the cusp of a demographic, generational handoff that will test whether we are a tribal nation, or truly believe in – not what Thomas Jefferson did —but what he wrote in the Declaration of Independence.”
So wrote Jim Galloway, political columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who is retiring after a 41-year career at the paper. This passage is from his last column, published Jan, 17, 2021.
“There’s no escaping this. The only question is how we embrace it,” he continues.
Galloway, who started as a religion reporter, also conveys these lessons: “Don’t ask a Baptist why he isn’t Catholic, and don’t ask a Jew why she isn’t a Latter-day Saint.”
Conversions from one belief system to another are rare, he continues. Those that occur do so more often by experience, or an event, rather than an argument.
Then he adds, “as religiosity has declined in the U.S., … tribalism has increased.”
Though Galloway writes from the perspective of politics, particularly Georgia politics, his point can be universally applied.
First, rather than seeing a belief system changing in a person, it may evolve over time. Some people let the beliefs from which they were raised dictate how they think about everything. Such beliefs are based on faith, meaning they don’t have to be proved to be true. But, as people learn, and witness different worlds, beliefs can evolve.
Younger people, especially, can still believe in their ancestral teachings, yet adopt lifestyles that may not match what their ancestors would have wanted for them.
The same can be applied to work and money. Though one’s ancestors would advise him or her to seek security and “sure” things, people learn that sometimes taking risks can make dreams come true.
The demographic handoff to which Galloway refers is not just political. The new generation – younger and more diverse — that is taking the handoff may have more of an entrepreneurial, or risk-taking mentality that may have been honed as they witness “sure” things becoming more uncertain.
Others – and here’s where the tribalism to which Galloway refers comes in – fight to have old ways prevail and make “sure” things “surer,” even as events around them prevent that from happening.
So how do you fit on this spectrum? Have you seen your “sure” thing disappear, or, at least, become less certain?
Do you see the only way to achieve what you want in life is to look at what may be lurking outside of the “sure” things?
If you’ve acquired, or cultivated, such openness, know that there are many programs out there that allow you to potentially mitigate uncertainty, and eventually give you what you may want from life.
You don’t need specific education, experience or background – just a willingness to look for something to make things “surer” in your life.
To check out one of the best such programs, message me.
Meanwhile, the shift, or handoff, to which Galloway refers cannot be stopped, no matter what you do.
You can certainly keep, and follow, ancestral beliefs if you choose. But know that the world is changing around you. The successful believer will meld that change with his or her ancestral beliefs. That combination can assure, if not prosperity, much less uncertainty.


#dogs #squirrels #focus #goals

When you walk a dog, and it sees something it wants to chase, say, a squirrel, it will focus on the squirrel.

If you want the dog to keep walking, you have to somehow distract it from said squirrel.

Unlike dogs, most humans are more easily distracted, and linger in – even enjoy – the distraction.

We would actually see said squirrel as a distraction, and, had we been focusing on something else, would glance at the squirrel for a moment of distraction, perhaps just for a break.

The point here is that animals can focus more easily if they want something badly enough.

People, by contrast, may want something badly, but often find focusing on what to do to get it difficult. Distractions gleefully multiply.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson from dogs, or other animals.

It all starts with wanting something badly enough.

Many of us go through life as a grind — work, home and back to work again. Psychologists sometimes call folks like that carousel riders — going round and round, but going nowhere.
Some of us opt for contentment rather than prosperity.

Contentment can be achieved with relatively minimal effort. Those seeking contentment can be easily distracted from more difficult tasks that may get them a much better life.

If you ask such a person how he or she is doing, they may say “OK,” or “I’m getting by.” They take the life they were “given,” and make the best from it.

However, the person who aims for prosperity, or some other lofty goal, figures out what he or she has to do to get it, and focuses on those things. He or she may vary his or her course based on circumstances, but he or she will never stray from the goal.

He or she will focus, like the dog on a squirrel, on that goal.

He or she may be dealt some bad hands in life, but that person never stops focusing on the goal.

If you are that type of person, and may be looking for something that will help you achieve what you want, know that there are many such vehicles out there.

To check out one of the best such programs, message me.

Meanwhile, if you are drifting, or even if you are just content, know that you don’t have to stay there. YOU can get yourself out, if you choose.

You just have to keep your mind open, your heart full and your focus keen.


#NewYearsResolutions #ABetterYou #HelpingOthers
In the upcoming year, live a life with purpose.
“Put simply, your talk might not match your walk, You will applaud giveaways for the wealthy while casting services for the poor as socialism. You will proclaim your love for your neighbor while refusing to give up your right not to wear a mask, the one thing that can protect them from the coronavirus. And you will consistently seek your own while refusing to help those in need.”
That quote comes from Gracie Bonds Staples, from her Jan. 7, 2021, “This Life” column in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
To paraphrase her, helping others gives you purpose.
There are many ways to help others — some obvious, some not so much.
There are little things you can do that take no skin off your back.
Holding the door for someone, letting a struggling person move ahead of you in line etc.
Other ways include helping others in physical or financial distress, or volunteering your time toward a worthy cause. They involve effort or sacrifice.
What if you could find a way to help others that also helps you?
There are many programs out there that allow you to advance yourself only by helping others.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
So, the message is to plan a new year in which you will do for others more than you will do for you.
If you do that, the blessings you’ll receive will be tangible.
Good people give and get. Lesser folks only take.
“Research shows a strong sense of purpose is associated with slower development of age-related disabilities, reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, improved cognitive health and longer lives,” Staples writes. “Finding purpose can promote energy, satisfaction and preventive health behaviors,” she writes.
Purpose gives you prosperity in many different ways. It will change the way you look at things, open your mind and introduce you to things that could change your life.
Learn and strive to find purpose this year.


#2021 #NewYear #NewYearGonnaBeGood
“Got a feeling ’21 is gonna be a good year.”
This lyric by The Who, from the rock opera “Tommy,” is appropriate for right now.
“With any luck, 2021 might not suck.” That paraphrased a promo for CNN’s New Year Eve show, with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen.
So how do you see 2021?
Do you see bigger and better things for you? Or, do you just believe that anything would be better than 2020?
If the former feels better to you, you are probably an ambitious, hard-working person who KNOWS he or she can make things much better.
If the latter suits you better, you are passively waiting for something to happen – or, as it were, waiting for the other shoe to drop.
To be sure, the beginning of 2021 with be challenging. We still will have to wear masks in public. We’ll still have to avoid crowds and gatherings. We will have to keep our distance from others. And, we will have to keep washing our hands frequently.
But while we cope with those challenges, we can still prepare for the bigger and better life we intend to create.
If you are that ambitious, hard-working person who is looking for ways to create that better life, there are several programs out there that can allow anyone, regardless of education, background or experience, to do it.
A person just has to be open enough to look at them. Once you find one you like, devote a few part-time hours a week to it and see how your life will change.
To check out one of the best such programs, message me.
In short, work on YOU this year.
Decide to embark on something that no pandemic, or other circumstance, can take away from you.
First and foremost, when it’s your turn, get a vaccine.
You’ll run into life challenges for sure, pandemic or not. But your strength is determined not by what befalls you, but how you rise above it.
If you already have that strength in you, use it to the fullest. If you don’t , find a way to get it, grow it and maximize it.
The year 2021 is here, and it’s gonna be good.
Just say yes to determination, and no to deterioration. Don’t wait for someone to give you something. Look for someone who will show you something. They are out there to be found, but only by open eyes and an open mind.
Let not the travails of 2020 overwhelm your 2021. Be patient to begin the year, and take on a sense of urgency for the remainder.
Let 2021 bring you all the good things you deserve.