Health and happiness

Just had my 71st birthday and feel amazing. Full of energy, bursting with new ideas, making new friends, and excited about the future. I really can’t remember feeling better than this, even in my twenties.  For those interested in my recipe for health and happiness, here it is, in no particular order:

  • Half an hour run each day, just under 5 km.
  • Physically active otherwise, averaging about 5,000 steps a day. Not especially keeping aiming for anything, it’s just what I do from walking back and forth to and around the office, gardening, supermarkets, putting out the rubbish, pacing up and down while talking or waiting, etc.
  • Cold showers, and general cold exposure. No heating in my home office.
  • 16/8 fasting, and about three quarters of my diet would be vegetables, fruit and nuts. Healthy, good-tasting food.
  • Deserts sometimes, but almost never sweet drinks (sugar or no sugar, these are the worst)
  • Constantly reading and listening to talking books, actively seeking out new ideas and especially those that challenge my current thinking.
  • Strong sense of purpose in life, through Jim’s, family, and my research program
  • Active social life through family, church, friends, and business contacts.
  • Several hours a week in close contact with nature, mostly gardening or walking
  • No alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, or other mind-altering drugs.
  • Flexible hours with little commuting
  • Simple lifestyle with no spending on ‘status’ goods (expensive clothes, cars, housing, holidays). ‘Social comparison is the thief of joy’.
  • Very happy marriage

People so often think that having more money is the key to happiness. It’s worth noting that all of the above list, except perhaps for the last item, should be no trouble for any of my Franchisees, especially in Mowing. Most of it is available to everyone.

Book of the month

Ultra-processed people, by Chris Van Tulleken. I thought I knew why processed food is so bad, but this book gave me a heap of new reasons for shopping the edges of the supermarket


The Day of The Triffids, by John Wyndham. Perhaps the fourth time I’ve read it, but still a great disaster story. Clear narrative, highly engaging

The Art of Witty Banter, by Patrick King. All about how to have good conversations and get on with people


Prehistoric Planets, on Apple. A nature documentary with dinosaurs rather than giraffes and elephants, hosted by David Attenborough. It really is quite stunning, what CGI can do.

True Believers, on Stan. A series on the splintering of the Labor Party after 1945. One striking aspect was the chats between P.M. and leader of the Opposition, which seem so different to today’s world. Gave me a real understanding of Chifley.

Wolf Hall, also Stan. About Henry VIII’s minister Thomas Cromwell. My third time through and still love it. Also on Stan ‘Becoming Elizabeth’, so sad that it never gathered enough support to do a second season, taking it to the death of her brother and beyond. History far more riveting than fiction.


Decent Federal Budget. More for those in need and yet managing to bank a surplus, against what must have been massive pressure from the back bench. It is a terrible idea to keep on borrowing in good times. I’m also impressed with disallowing deductions for Super balances over $3 million. More than that is a tax lurk, not saving for retirement.

State budget abysmal, as you’d expect. Higher Payroll Tax, which is the one tax most likely to hurt the battlers. Will certainly encourage us to outsource to the Philippines and elsewhere. How much better to tax land, encouraging people to sell of their McMansions and build more affordable housing.

Jim’s Group reaches 5,000.

We’ve had a very good year. Divisions growing more than 15% over the past year:

  • Dog Wash from 194 to 224
  • Laundry from 30 to 67 (only started in March 2021)
  • Mobile Tyres from 11 to 18
  • Pet Patrol 11 to 17
  • Security from 22 to 27
  • Trees from 28 to 33

New Divisions we’re hoping to start soon: Home Care, Beauty, and Remedial Massage. These will be under our new ‘Divisional Rental’ system, which allows divisions to get under way for no more than about $30,000, including the first six months’ fees. The challenge is to achieve at least 30 Franchisees within three years. Laundry did that in slightly over a year.

We’re rewriting all our software into Odoo, a more modern platform that uses pre-existing and well-tested pieces of code. Hoping to have a stable version of Jim’s Jobs by the end of the year. We currently spend around $5 million a year on software development.

New Jim’s Book

I’m working on a new version of my book, to replace ‘Every Customer A Fan’. Bringing it up to date with the huge changes in Jim’s over the past couple of years, and with a stronger emphasis on issues of health and happiness that have been engaging me lately.

War in Ukraine

Biohistory indicates that the best outcome for the Ukraine war would be for Russia to keep some part of the western provinces. These are largely Russian speaking and reflect the classic Russian temperament, which favours autocratic government. Ukraine has been more stably democratic since the east was lost in 2014.

Perhaps there could be security guarantees, such as Ukraine joining NATO.

It’s the same reasoning that made me so opposed to the invasion of Iraq. Dictators reflect the character of the people, and removing them does not lead to a peaceful democracy.

Lemming Cycles

We’re starting work on a book about Lemming Cycles, which will hopefully build credibility for biohistory.

One researcher is surveying the literature to get available evidence on lemmings, muskrats, varying hares and other animals that show these uncannily regular cycles. We will use these to show that other explanations (population density, food changes etc.) cannot explain them.

We’re working with a research program in Canada that has varying hare samples going back more than a decade, which we hope to use to find epigenetic changes corresponding to different stages of the cycle.

We’ll also be looking for a historian to do a thorough analysis of lemming cycles through history.

For more information, see the videos on


Lemming cycle patterns indicate that Chinese nationalistic aggression will peak over the next decade or so, before steadily failing. If World War III breaks out, it will likely be in this period.

Other possibilities:

Another epidemic, especially one featuring a genetically modified virus, which could be made highly contagious and far more deadly. Covid was maybe 1% fatal. What about a disease like Spanish flu with a 10% mortality? Not hard to create in a lab, which is likely where Covid came from

Electro-magnetic pulse, which could wipe out the electric grid and virtually all computers and vehicles. Given that, most Australians would likely be dead in a year. The Carrington Event of 1859, a big solar flare, could do just that. So could a single hydrogen bomb high in the atmosphere, which could be launched stealthily. Read ‘One Second After’ by William R. Forstchen.

Probably none of this will happen, but you insure your house against fire, and that probably won’t happen either. Every family and individual should have at least a year’s supply of stored food, and a vegie garden if possible.

Anyone interested in starting Jim’s Preppers, contact me.

Business Tip of the Month

We all make mistakes. What matters is that we take responsibility, avoid casting blame, and learn the lessons. Then go on making more mistakes, but hopefully different ones!

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