Top Stories of 2021 – Ep 6 – Tola Talks Texas

Today we’re talking about finishing the year strong as well as assessing your goals, successes and failures in 2021. Because it’s always best to acknowledge your small victories in the war when it comes to your personal, family, business and “Universe” lives. We also countdown the Top 10 Stories of the Year, plus my own Top 5 Highlights as well as my entertainment goals for 2022 including making the short film, All Mixed Up, plus a more lofty one…working with Noomi Rapace. She’s the six time award winning lead actress in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy (I highly recommend watching all three films on Crackle). Not to mention more talk about working out and drinking from the Fountain of Youth and of course, my predictions for where Robinhood’s seven cryptocurrencies are headed in the New Year. Stay safe and sound and perhaps even sober tonight everyone (like me)…and get your workout in! Peace – R

Ancient Romans – Ep 5 – Tola Talks Texas

Today we’re talking about the military, political and social institutions of the Ancient Romans as well as the masterful proliferation of their beautiful culture and language and amazing architecture (especially the Coliseum). Are there lessons to be learned that can help us with this so-called “difficult situation” facing our society today? With overlapping mandates from the Federal government (military), individual states (health care workers) and the private sector (wth 100+ employees), is America and the 10,000 active duty Marines refusing the vaccine facing a “political purge” that can crush them like ants? Sad but true, but perception does become reality, just like I learned back in my Junk Bond selling days of the 1980s. Plus, some motivational talk about my 420 workout today – no, not pot – in addition to some more positive talk about the stock market and cryptocurrency returns over the past 12 months.

Homeless in America – Ep 4 – Tola Talks Texas

Today we’re talking about the 580,000+ homeless people in America, most of those individual males and the rest single moms with children. That’s way too many, and with the help of those of us who are not homeless – including my bodybuilding idol from 1979 and seven time Mr. Olympia champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger, we need to end this epidemic now. Plus a special RIP shout-out to Man’s World Gym owner and mentor from my childhood, Joe Dodd, as well as the legendary football coach turned world-class TV broadcaster, John Madden. Not to mention more weightlifting tips from my workout today, and of course, some inspiring talk about holding the line when it comes to your cryptocurrencies…like I’m doing, even as they plunge even further.

Antibody Treatment – Ep 3 – Tola Talks Texas

Today we’re talking Omicron (again) and how antibody treatment plagues government bureaucrats even though it cuts the risk of death by 80% (with quotes from Rep. Rand Paul); the comparison of the virus narrative, testing and positive cases to several examples including 1) the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s as well as the shrouding of the marijuana plant with politicians touting a “War on Drugs” and 2) baseball’s batting averages, slugging percentages and on-base percentages. Plus there’s wackiness and wackos in the air with an ex-Raiders cheerleader punching an 80 year-old man over wearing a mask, and on a better note, a special shout-out to a British woman for losing 118 pounds in 11 months – inspired by last year’s Christmas photo of herself wearing pajamas. Not to mention more talk about feeling discouraged as cryptocurrencies plummet 6% after yesterday’s show.

Omicron and Retailer Woes – Ep 2 – Tola Talks Texas

In our second episode of Tola Talks Texas, we’re talking cool Texas trivia about Dr. Pepper, frozen margaritas and that famous Bugs Bunny catchphrase, “What’s Up Doc”. As for current events it’s all about the Omicron variant and the difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of the virus – with a family from New Jersey experiencing both. There’s also talk about 1400 more airline flights cancelled today and major retailers like CVS, Macy’s, Walgreens, Target, Home Depot and Best Buy closing more stores with some declaring bankruptcy (JC Penny & Neiman Marcus), plus cryptocurrencies and how wash sales – and the anticipated changes in 2022 tax laws to prohibit them – will affect volatility going forward. Not to mention some stock picks including Tesla, Plug Power, Apple and Alibaba, with a special shout-out to Matthew McConaughey and his new book, Greenlights.

Merry Christmas & Welcome to Tola Talks Texas!

Our first episode on Christmas day is a special one: we’re talking about my own religion of Tolism based on the foundation that Health = Wealth with your temple as your most important asset; the history of Texas and why it’s better than California; the overall grading of the Biden Administration including the pandemic vs. epidemics; COVID and fear mongering; investing in blue chip stocks and trading all seven cryptocurrencies on Robinhood; former presidents George Washington, Donald Trump and JFK; LeBron James, Fox Nation and Paulina Porizkova as a role model who drinks from the Fountain of Youth; plus my love of films including the Swedish version of The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

TOLA TALKS TEXAS…coming this Christmas

Hey everyone, I’m super excited to launch another original podcast, this time from the lovely confines of downtown historic Plano and appropriately called, TOLA TALKS TEXAS. Because when it comes to the great state of Texas, no doubt it’s the land of the free and home of the brave.

If you’re wondering why, let’s just say it’s time I take off the kid gloves and call it like I really see it when it comes to current events, cryptocurrencies and of course, all things related to health = wealth. Not to say my previous Tola Talks weren’t chock full of candid and intelligent no bullshit talk – the first on LATalkRadio and then YouTube while the second 2.0 version was focused on my latest book, How to Drink from the Fountain of Youth. They certainly were, although I never addressed the problems facing our society today as well as our great country, the United States of America…at least it used to be.

So coming this Christmas I look forward to bringing you the best of the best, i.e., my most straightforward and insightful knock-out punch. Or a barrage of punches that’ll have you questioning what’s truthful in today’s news (and politics) vs. what’s meant to “control you”. Just like our current Administration says they’re trying NOT to do…”not to control you but to save you”.

Utter nonsense if you ask me. Because only YOU can SAVE YOURSELF.

Have an awesome week everyone, and Ill see you on Xmas! Peace – R

PS – if you haven’t been keeping with my 100 Workout Challenge, there are three days left to get them in. Happy fitness!

Goodbye California…Hello Texas

When I told my buddy I wasn’t vaccinated and was never getting the jab, he said, “Then it’s either Texas or Florida if you want to lead a normal life.”

Normal life, as in freely or being allowed by law, including going to the gym, nail salon, movie theatre, shopping mall or any bar or restaurant in the city. Talk about a quintessential What-The-Fcuk. I mean, one of our nation’s greatest Presidents and spokesperson for democracy, Thomas Jefferson, would roll over in his grave with such “tyranny over the mind of man” exhibited by today’s government officials.

Because in my book the COVID mandates of Los Angeles are not only ridiculous and unjust, they’re also a form of tyranny or “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power”, as defined by the dictionary. Most importantly, these mandates prevent me from living a so-called normal life, which includes working out every single day plus walking 10+ miles a day since COVID began. Not to mention I’m at my ideal weight with less than 10% body fat, a blood pressure of 110 over 60, plus a great bill of health from my doctor. Oh yeah, I’ll be 59 in March and I’ve never taken a daily pill in my entire life – medicine or supplement. And don’t forget I wrote the book on How to Drink from the Fountain of Youth: 30 Steps to Everlasting Youth. So why do I need to inject myself with something that isn’t necessary? Forgettaboutit.

So there you have it California, you leave me no choice but to leave you after 15 glorious years. Albeit, it’s more like you kicked me out after 15 hard-working and dream chasing years.

Here I come Texas, with my new horsepower and anything is possible attitude. And no worries to anyone who thinks like I do and remains committed to living a fearless and vaccine-free life, all the while treating your most valuable asset, aka your Temple, with the utmost respect.

Happy Veterans Day everyone…and get your workout in! Peace – R

PS – new live stream podcast Coming Soon

Remembering 9/11

I remember it well, from the balcony on the 39th floor of my Midtown Manhattan office building located just 3 miles north of The World Trade Towers. Chapter 43 of my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, recants that fateful day 20 years ago today:

CHAPTER 43 – 9/11

“As I write these words, it is exactly one week prior to the 10th Anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. This is how I remember it:

It was the most beautiful of NYC days. Crystal clear blue skies and a coolness that made everything in the city feel alive. I was excited to go to work that day because I was giving my printer the thumbs up for my first mailing, The Tola Report. It was this fancy, four-page color flyer that was going out to more than 1,000 owners. I had spent the past six weeks getting it ready. Now it would be finalized and sent out directly from the printer. I also purchased two new suits and was excited to get them to my tailor on John Street. My tailor was less than 500 yards from the World Trade Center. I had planned to go there before I went to the office – he opened at 8 AM. But I was running late and the subways were crowded, so I decided to go straight to work and then go see him during lunch. I arrived at my Midtown office just before 8 AM.

If I had stayed on the Lexington Avenue subway line, I can only guess that I would have been at my tailor’s at exactly the time the first plane hit.

View from Midtown Manhattan on 9/11 – RIP

Our office had a balcony with an unobstructed view of Tower I and a partial view of Tower II (about half). As I was proof-reading my report for the last time, a senior broker, Zev, came running past me with a huge pair of binoculars. I would soon learn that he was a paratrooper in the Israeli Army and loved his military binoculars. He screamed, “Smoke’s coming out of the Tower”, as he ran by. I turned to look out my window and then at my clock radio that was playing the news. It was 8:44 AM, and there was still no mention of it. About three minutes later the reporter sounded confused when he said something about a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. I went to the balcony to check it out. A few other brokers and assistants had joined me, and others were in my office listening to the radio. We passed the binoculars back and forth, each taking a few minutes to look. Soon we were all staring at each other because we knew it wasn’t a small plane. There was way too much smoke pouring out of a huge swath of floors high up on Tower I. As real estate people, we strangely knew it would fall. Then a plane hit Tower II and it was chaos. Everyone in the office seemed to be running all over the place, onto the balcony, into my office, over to each other’s desks, until I found myself alone on the balcony.

Time stood still for the next two minutes as I secured myself so the binoculars wouldn’t move a millimeter. Then I focused my sights on Tower I. The stainless steel skin of the building, right below where the smoke was pouring out, was peeled away like a banana skin, arching away from the building, frozen in the air.

I then saw two men climb onto the steel skin, one behind the other, clinging for dear life, crawling away from the inferno. When the first man couldn’t go any further, he let go. As he plunged to his death, he did what appeared to be a backward swan dive. The other man soon followed, and when he let go, he grabbed his knees and slowly tumbled forward. I put down the binoculars and went inside. I’m not sure what happened next, other than I was on the balcony with a few others when Tower I fell. I didn’t have the binoculars, but I watched in shock as Tower I slowly crumbled to the ground. The same for Tower II – I was on the balcony and stayed until I could no longer see the horizon.

The next thing I remember, I was standing in the middle of Madison Avenue looking downtown at the smoke-filled sky. Cars were stopped dead in their tracks, doors open, people just standing there, screaming and pointing to downtown. If felt like a scene from a movie, as New Yorkers fled the streets not sure what to do. It soon felt like everyone was moving north. Me and two other brokers who lived in New Jersey walked north to my place. The entire time I looked back over my shoulder, trying to figure out what happened. All cell phones were dead, so it was word of mouth from the people in the streets. Once we got to my place, we put the TV on and set up camp. My apartment was busy with friends coming and going. By 6 PM, my broker friends had left, and fortunately, they both got off the island and made it home safely.

The next day, Jimmy V and I took the subway south to Canal Street. For some reason, we both needed to go there. The subways weren’t running past Canal, so we got out and walked east toward the Manhattan Bridge. Every street running south to downtown was barricaded with NYC policemen. We finally found a side street in Chinatown where we snuck by and made our way toward the rubble. It was at least a mile away. By the time we got to Foley Square, Jimmy V had an asthma attack. The air quality was bad, and of course, we shouldn’t have been there. Since he could barely breathe, we went down into the subway, just to get away from the polluted air. Twenty minutes later, we headed back.

What I remember most about our trip wasn’t the sounds and smells of the city that day. It was the two-inch layer of soot and ash delicately resting on the wrought iron fence surrounding Foley Square. It looked like really dirty, dry snow had fallen – it was eerie and yet strangely peaceful at the same time. I truly did feel my skin crawl that day. Something I won’t forget for the rest of my life.”

RIP to those who perished, and continued strength, happiness and unity for the rest of us.

Have an awesome weekend everyone…and get your workout in!

Peace – R

The Year I Walked from LA to Venezuela

by Rich Tola, July 21, 2021

If anyone told you they walked 4,000 miles in the past 12 months you’d probably think they were crazy right? Because walking 4,000 miles is the equivalent to walking from the hot and sunny confines of The Valley of Los Angeles, California, to the balmy and tropical valley of Caracas, Venezuela. And yes, it’s totally possible as you can walk across the Panama Canal by way of a pedestrian walkway across the entrance of the locks of Gatun, so no worries if you want to follow my footsteps to get there. Figuratively speaking, that is.

Let me explain.

I didn’t actually pull a Forrest Gump and wake up one day and start walking south through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia before arriving in the capital of Venezuela one year later. No, but wouldn’t that be cool. I actually walked the entire 4,000 miles throughout the streets of LA, from my home in Chinatown going back and forth to a plethora of neighborhoods including DTLA, South Park, the Arts District, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, Little Tokyo, Echo Park and yes, Dodger Stadium. 

Walking the empty streets of LA during COVID (4,000 miles)

From June 1, 2020 until June 1, 2021, I walked between 10-12 miles every single day as part of my personal COVID relief. Or shall I say, personal COVID insanity prevention. Because when the lockdowns in LA were imposed back in March 2020 and all the gyms and yoga studios were closed, my daily walking meditations became my only savior. The longer the better, and mostly in perfect quietude with no human interaction whatsoever. Except for the occasional homeless person, who seemed even more surprised to see an even less occasional pedestrian. LA was like a veritable ghost town where I can honestly say I felt like the legendary actor Will Smith, aka US Army virologist Robert Neville, cruising the empty streets of Manhattan in the 2007 post-apocalyptic thriller, I Am Legend

For anyone who knows me, you know that I can’t go a single freaking day without exercising in some form or another, e.g., weightlifting, Tola Yoga, stretching/abs. Good news is for as long as I can remember I was taught that your physical body, aka your temple, is the most important asset you’re ever going to possess in this world. And to respect your temple with a daily fitness program that keeps it vibrant and strong and injury-free, is paramount to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as turning back the hands of time. 

Something I’ve also been doing for the past 58 years. Drinking from the Fountain of Youth, that is, and yes, something that’s rather challenging to achieve – especially as you get older – but something anyone can do with the help of my 30 Steps to Everlasting Youth. Including Step 20 – Walk to Win, arguably the most important step of all because walking is a perfect source of aerobic exercise not to mention it does wonders for your brain.

That’s right, walking is great for your brain. Just this week the New York Times reported that “Exercise can freshen and renovate the white matter in our brains, potentially improving our ability to think and remember as we age, according to a new study of walking, dancing and brain matter. It shows that white matter, which connects and supports the cells in our brains, remodels itself when people become more physically active. In those who remain sedentary, on the other hand, white matter tends to fray and shrink.”

Fray and shrink just like everything else in our bodies with the help of good ole’ Father Time. Forgettaboutit! Don’t let the world’s most non-beloved Father get the best of you…get with the program now. Translation: start walking today. Or else stay seated and wait for your brain matter to wither away, and hopefully not before your temple does. And if you don’t care so much about improving or at least maintaining your ability to think and remember things as you age, then do it for your family. That’s right, start walking today and bring a loved one along so they can reap the amazing benefits of walking. You can even bring your dog Spot or cat Fluffy if none of your human friends desire to capitalize on such a great opportunity. I’m sure your pets won’t complain, and if they do, then pick them up and carry them for an even better workout. 

Just remember to bring water. And if walking to improve your white brain matter doesn’t really matter to you, then maybe these “12 Benefits of Walking” as described by the Arthritis Foundation will motivate you (see arthritis.org):

  1. Improve circulation
  2. Shore up your bones
  3. Enjoy a longer life
  4. Lighten your mood
  5. Lose weight
  6. Strengthen muscles
  7. Improve sleep
  8. Support your joints
  9. Improve your breath
  10. Slow mental decline
  11. Lower Alzheimer’s risk
  12. Do more for longer

So there you have it, 12 more reasons to walk every single day of your life (or at least 3 times a week for 40 minutes). If you’re capable that is, because not everyone is fortunate enough to walk. But if you can, don’t deny your body, mind and spirit these amazing benefits by choosing a sedentary lifestyle that’s only going to shorten your stay on Planet Earth.

And by the way, in case you were wondering what it’s like to walk 4,000 miles in a 12 month period, let’s just say it may do wonders for your brain but it sure takes a toll on the physical body, especially the low back, hips and knees. But what’s interesting about the routine of walking nearly 100 miles a week is that once your body gets used to it, it’s not only easy to maintain but it almost becomes a daily obsession that you can’t do without. Even with all the aches and pains that come along with it, during and after.

Would I recommend walking that many miles in any given year? No. But I do recommend walking 1-2 miles a day for the rest of their life, no matter who you are. And if you need some help try this: walk out your front door and keep walking for exactly 15 minutes, at a brisk pace with good posture, then stop, turn around, and come back. Voila! 2 miles in about 30 minutes. You can do it, especially if you live in LA or Venezuela or anywhere with a beautiful climate. Or just brave the rain and snow like I did in Chicago and Seattle. But then again you might say it’s summertime in the northern hemisphere and just like DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince rapped back in Philly circa 1991, “Summer, summer, summertime, Time to sit back and unwind.”

No doubt unwinding can be a good thing, especially to decompress from our busy lives. But when it comes to your health, walking is something anyone can incorporate into their current lifestyle. And should incorporate, based upon all the goodness it brings. Especially in today’s new normal world of working from home, there should be ample opportunity in your day to lace’em up Rocky style and kick the bricks, as I like to say. I hope you do, your temple will love you for it. 

Have an awesome summer everyone, and get your walking in! Peace – R