Thanksgiving, 2022.

On Thanksgiving EVE I took Olga out to Howard Park in Tarpon Springs and we watched the sunset.

Olga likes the Greek restaurants out by the spongedocks there, so we had a delicious dinner after the sun went down.

This is my first Thanksgiving with the Ukrainian Delegation, and Mom is hosting today.

Mom and Dad always have amazing Thanksgiving dinners!

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I don’t know what to do with myself on holidays.

I’ve been walking every morning with Olga, then hitting the pool for a cold swim.

In general I’ve been a bit bored.

NOT that many solar leads coming in, so I jumped on installs Monday and Tuesday this week.

On monday ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This was a STEEP roof, 2 stories up…. very dicey. Solar installs are harder and more dangerous on steeper roofs.

I wore a harness, but it got in the way.

I’ve also been working on my consulting business: http://www.BenAlexanderSolar.com

I was on the phone with some potential clients yesterday in Kansas, Texas and Alabama.

There is only so much I can do to grow Tampa Bay Solar, right now our install teams are backed up to April.

Can I help smaller installers in other states build a sales team?

Can I help 300 small companies go from $800K a year to $800K a month?

The big national solar installers are a mess; Momentum, Tesla Solar…. Sunrun….

Vivint was bought by ADT… after they did a ton of messed up and poorly executed installs.

The smaller, more local installers are going to have the most consistent quality in the long run.

This is why Tampa Bay Solar has kept up a good reputation since 2010.

Install quality determines the future of any solar installer.

I hope everyone who reads this has a lovely Thanksgiving!

Ben Alexander

11 /24/ 22

I started a new business.

Sales have been slow at Tampa Bay Solar… signs of an impending recession… so I’ve been doing a bunch of volunteering.

That’s me, sharpening a chainsaw somewhere out in East Pasco county.

Last night I spent $40 to launch a new website:

http://www.BenAlexanderSolar.com

I’m still a partner at Tampa Bay Solar, but I’d like to do some consulting with OTHER solar companies that don’t compete with TBS.

Why not? I have the time, the knowledge… and six years of experience closing solar deals.

There is only so much I can do with Tampa Bay Solar, our install team is 4 months backed up.

If I sell a gazillion $$ in deals right now it would actually be BAD for TBS.

I can consult with solar companies across the USA via phone, email or Zoom, and I’m sure there are solar companies that could use my help.

It’s a pretty narrow niche. The idea might not work at all.

We’ll see. I spent $40 and few hours on the website.

It’s fun.

Ben Alexander

November 17th : 2022

DeSantis will be the next President, Oy.

This past Tuesday Ron DeSantis won the governers race in Florida with a 19% point margin over Charlie Crist, a former governer and Senator who has been well known in this state for the last 30 years.

This was a resounding Republican victory, because across the rest of the United States many Republicans promoted by Trump LOST, so the “red wave” that was predicted to turn the House and Senate into a firm Republican dominated government did NOT happen.

Voters still voted for Democrats despite the overturn of Roe v Wade, despite high gas prices, despite record levels of inflation!

Many of the Repubicans that lost were “election deniers”… and I suspect that American voters have grown weary of the liars and bullshit artists who have pushed this narrative.

Voters have grown weary of delusional idiots.

There are 2 camps in the Republican party: educated conservatives who read books and are capable of critical thinking like Liz Cheney, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, even Ron Desantis… then there is the Delusional Idiot contingent led up by The Don himself and all his followers; blithering idiots like Marjorie Taylor Green, Mike Lindell, Rudy Guliani, Tucker Carlson, everyone on NewMax, etc…

The Blithering Idiot faction was finally rejected in the midterm election, perhaps Republicans are ready to reject this group of voters who have been bringing their party down to the lowest denominator since Trump started his campaign back in 2015.

And THIS is why DeSantis will be the next President.

The stats make sense:

We have a family man, married to ONE woman since 2010. He’ll be 46 years old in 2024, he was educated at Yale and Harvard, his track record here in Florida shows solid economic growth, even during Covid19, while the rest of the country went into economic stagnation.

ALSO, the Democrats seem incapable of putting forth a solid younger candidate that moderates and even some Republicans will vote for.

Uncle Joe beat Trump in the last election… but there is no way he’s running for another term… he’s 103 years old now.

It is TIME for the Dems to find the next Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, someone with charisma and smarts who can go head to head with DeSantis in a presidential debate.

DeSantis worked as a lawyer in the Navy, so he’s going to be solid in any kind of televised debate.

the Dems need a family man, someone with a solid record, someone who will appeal to voters from BOTH parties.

I’m done with Old Fogey politicians like Putin, Biden, Xi in China, etc.

I’d love to see world leaders my age or YOUNGER at this point.

I don’t think the Dems will find anyone strong enough to beat DeSantis.

I’m not happy about “Ron” being our next President, but here I am in November of 2022 predicting that outcome.

Let’s see if I’m right.

Ben Alexander

11/11/22

Trump Republicans lose, because they followed a LOSER.

OK, so we have high gas prices, crazy inflation… and every Republican politician who was endorsed by Trump?

They LOST, go figure.

All these GOP politicians who kissed Trumps’s ass were NOT elected, and we now have regained hope for the Republican party.

Many of these candidates DENIED Trump’s loss in the 2020 Presidential elections.

The one Republican politician who did WELL was Ron Desantis, right here in Florida.

Right away Trump started saying negative things about Desantis, calling him Ron “DeSanctimonious”.

Not even sure what that means.

Halloween, 2022.

This was my costume from 10 years ago…

The only thing I’m buying for Halloween today is a pizza, then hanging out with my parents to hand out candy in their neighborhood.

I’m not handing out candy at my house, I’m never here on Halloween.

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October was a weird month, because I made ZERO effort to sell solar!

I still closed $210K in deals, but all those were deals that dropped in my lap. I did not TRY to sell, at all.

That’s the beauty of being in the same sales job long enough to have a huge base (600+) of clients.

The reason I’m NOT selling intentionally is that our install teams are backed up to MARCH, so if I sell a ton of jobs my install crews will get buried until next summer.

WEIRD thing about 2022?

I spent a MONTH away, volunteering in Ukraine, yet this has been my biggest solar sales year hands down.

PART of the reason for the boost in sales was pending FL state legislation that looked like the government was going to outlaw Net Metering for all solar buyers that bought after January 1rst of 2024.

THAT ONE (anti-solar) BILL boasted solar sales like crazy, there was a RUSH to buy solar before the bill was passed.

Then DeSantis vetoed the bill! A Republican killed a Republican sponsored bill!

DeSantis is going to run for President in 2024… and he knows a job-killing anti-solar bill would look bad for him.

Another reason I sold a ton of deals? When you volunteer all over people TRUST you more.

The more I try to be a decent guy the more I sell, go figure.

So what did I do in October ??????????????

Hurricane Ian relief?

I started the month by going down to Punta Gorda and volunteering with a Methodist Church in Estero, chopping up trees… came back here and did the same… bought an electric chainsaw and got good at using it…

Got really good at sharpening chainsaw chains… and all that work in the sunshine was one hell of a workout.

My buddy Marcus had his Father and Brother over from England, and I liked them far more than Marcus.

This is me & Tony Price, a sailor, adventurer and All Around Cool Guy.

I was cutting down trees with Marcus, Adrian and Tony last Friday.

Tony is 75 and he works like a 20 year old!

Marcus is a new father, at 53 years of age!

Me and baby Apollo Price:

He’s cute, gets that from his Mother, fer sure.

Someday Apollo will run for President of the United States, and this will be a Very Famous Moment.

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I donated blood this month, after drinking some margaritas for lunch… someone out there got an unexpected buzz….

We hosted two Sunday dinners in October :::::

Lotsa surprise guests, even a Super Secret CIA agent Who Shall Not Be Named…

My Ukranian Sweethearts helped me host. We work as a team.

Lotsa love in my household nowadays… I don’t mind being outnumbered by Beautiful Eastern European Ladies.

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Our Friends Maryleeeeeeeee and Stefaaaaaaaaaan are really big supporters of Ukraine :::: hence the Blue and Gold…

Olga and I met these crazy kids at an InterNations networking event.

Stefaan was in the Belgian Airforce, he’s also known internationally for his exotic Sock Dancing. (Don’t ask, I won’t tell….) MaryLee was a professional Lion Tamer for the Turkish Circus…..

That still might be classified actually… don’t be surprised if this blog post is redacted by Interpol !!!!

Also, in October….

Olga and I have been taking a pre-marriage class with Pastor Russ at Harvester church, and this has been beneficial.

I’m a flawed Christian, but I try to get my heart right as I get older.

To sum up October of 2022 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I’m thankful for having TOO many sales and a backed up install crew!

I thank God every single day to have Olga and her daughter Vlada in my life.

I’m grateful to have Mom and Dad here, along with our Friends and Fellow Maniacs.

Happy Halloween!

Ben Alexander

October 31 :: 2022

214 to 203? Fasting again.

A few years ago I got into the “one meal per day” plan and got down to 190 lbs. I felt really great, but I didn’t keep the habit and when Olga moved in with me I started to eat more, drink more wine and this summer I got up to 214 lbs, feeling kinda fat and slow.

No guy looks better with a gut, even Santa looks better when he trims down.

One of the main factors that makes guys look older is that extra 30 pounds.

I’m back on 24 hour fasting, plus a 36 hour fast from Sunday night to breakfast Tuesday. This lets me have a nice Sunday dinner with family, then I don’t eat again until Tuesday morning.

Monday is the easiest day to NOT eat, because there are less social invitations on the typical Monday.

All I have on a typical Monday is coffee, water, and a multivitamin. Fasting is really NOT that hard once you get used to it. Your body does not need constant food, and a 36 hour fast lets your digestive system rest and recuperate.

If you can do 36 hours then 48 hours is pretty easy, but I’ve only done longer fasts once in awhile.

I went down to Fort Myers 2 weeks ago and helped some folks from the church cut down trees and clear brush, I only did dinner those days, and felt fine.

Operating a chainsaw for a few days in the sunshine is a great workout!

I drank tons of water and sweated it all out again. It felt great.

Yesterday I swam laps and mowed my lawn while fasting, this morning I’ll hit the pool (coldwater) around 7AM, then have a decent breakfast with a bunch of guys from the church at 8AM.

I don’t know why overweight people pay someone else to mow their lawn.

That’s a free workout!

I’d like to find my reset weight and stay there… maybe 175, maybe 180?

I turn 49 in a few months, and my best strategy for long term health is swimming, push-ups and fasting.

Happy Tuesday!

Ben Alexander

October 18 :: 2022

The loss of a generation.

Interesting video about Russia’s economy after the Ukraine invasion:

With the recent mobilization of 300,000 troops there has been an exodus of smart and resourceful Russian men who have left Russia. These men will go to a better country with more freedoms, using their talents outside Russia to have families, build wealth and start new companies.

If I was living in modern Russia I would have left right after the invasion of Ukraine.

One of the many reasons the United States has had the strongest economy in the world (since 1871) is our talent pool of clever young men who work hard, start new companies, and become a part of a stable middle class.

What about all the Russian young men who join the Army and fight in Ukraine? MANY of them will never come home, lost to an unmarked grave in eastern Ukraine. Some soldiers will come home with severe chronic injuries, some will come home with internal PTSD and drink themselves into an early grave.

What happens to the wives and children who have to deal with broken and disabled husbands and fathers? What happpens to the older people who lost a son, with no one to help them out as they get older.

My parents are in their 70’s, they live near me in Florida and I’m staying in this area to be near them as they get older. They don’t need me now, but they probably will if they reach their 80’s and 90’s.

Families need fathers and sons, wives need their husbands… and this pointless war has robbed many Russians and Ukrainians of their fathers and sons and husbands.

The war in Ukraine is very personal for me.

My fiance Olga is from Kyiv, she came here with her daughter Vlada this past June to live with me, out of harm’s way. I call them my “Ukrainian Delegation”, which makes Olga laugh.

I’m the thorn between roses in this pic, for sure…..

Last week, when the Russian army started bombing Kyiv (again) I saw how this made Olga and Vlada feel sad and stressed. Vlada’s father lives in Kyiv, in an apartment block. He’s escaped harm’s way thus far… I pray for his safety on a daily basis.

Vlada misses her former life back in Kyiv, she wants to go back to Ukraine to go to college… but there is no way I could sleep if I knew she was over there.

I was in Lviv back in April when the air raid sirens were going off. Makes me realize how SAFE we are back here in Florida. I’ll take a hurricane over missile attacks anytime…. and I can avoid alligators by not going near the local pond…

I felt a spiritual calling to volunteer in Ukraine, and having Olga and Vlada in my life these last few months has been a blessing… something good that came from something bad, indeed.

As for the war… Russia has finite munitions, finite men, and finite WILL to wage war over a long period of time. Putin has finite years, hopefully finite MONTHS.

For now I’ll continue to take care of the Ukrainians under my care, and pray that Peace comes sooner rather than later.

Ben Alexander

October 18th :: 2022

Ocean swims, ballroom dancing.

Don’t drink margaritas… then donate blood.

I did this on Friday afternoon, and it knocked me out cold by 3pm!

That night I drank some coffee and took Olga to a “dance party” at the local dance studio in Tampa where we have been taking ballroom dancing lessons!

At one point I had to sit down, the room was spinning…..

Saturday afternoon I took Olga to the beach at Ft. Desoto, and we swam out in the ocean until a storm front blew through.

We had a nice dinner in Tierra Verde, this pic was taken from the rooftop bar at the Hyatt :::::

Olga loves going to the beach, and the Gulf is getting a little cooler now, but we both get out there and exercise. She’s a strong swimmer, and very healthy all around. Right now she wants to go to the beach as much as possible, before the water gets too cold in a few months.

I like coldwater swims, been doing them for years now.

Sunday morning I sang in the church choir, which keeps my voice in decent shape.

Olga does not go to church with me.

I’m OK with that; faith was not a part of Olga’s life when she grew up in the (former) USSR. I don’t want to force it on her, because I would not want someone to do the same to me.

Ukraine was part of the USSR before 1991, Olga’s primary language is Russian, she was born in Tbilisi Georgia, then came to Ukraine when she was 24 years old.

Both Olga and her daughter Vlada were upset over the missile attacks this past week all over Ukraine.

On Sunday Olga and I drove out to Indian Rocks Beach, and we swam in the ocean again, got some sun…

Vlada stayed home, she’s not a fan of the beach like her mother.

… Sunday night my parents invited us over for dinner, and it was lovely to spend time with them.

This upcoming Sunday I’m hosting, Mom and Dad will be there, along with my brother and his son, and some friends as well.

Ben Alexander

October 17 :: 2022

China’s weakness, USA’s strength?

Fascinating video:

Who knew that 60% of China’s oil flowed through the Strait of Malacca?

This is why we’re super lucky / blessed / fortunate here in the USA.

USA is the highest oil AND natural gas producer in the world, and we have the most powerful military.

If there was a hot war with China we’d shut down the Strait of Malacca in days, if not hours.

Kinda hard to operate a huge Army and Navy if fossil fuels are gone / cut off.

I love this channel on YouTube, worth watching if you’re a student of history, world events or economics.

Ben Alexander

October 15th :: 2022