International Matters

Trade is especially difficult right now depending on the industry and it has been for about a year. The reasons are quite complex per usual when it comes to international commerce but having national leadership in chaos doesn’t help matters. Nonetheless, we have been making huge progress in several different industries.

The Cannabis industry has been my most direct route into politics especially concerning CBD. It is the single most complicated subject I’ve had to handle in my career thus far but in my mind that translates to learning opportunities. Since being involved politically with CBD and Cannabis in general I’ve gained a much clearer understanding of how our system works, and it is not easy. It is a depressing observation that I made that this issue is incredibly simple if lawmakers were actually focused on the good of the people. Cannabis legalization is only complicated if you are speaking for pharmaceutical companies who are threatened by the effectiveness of this amazing plant.

Otherwise, fish trade is still in the cards and with laws changing in Europe new fish and shellfish markets could be opening up. My British associates are seeing Washington State as a thriving market and I want to keep that momentum going. When it comes to Europe, however, I think that our energy projects will be greeted with much more enthusiasm than our fish have to offer. If it is one thing that our state is really moving forward with it is alternative energy and we are right there on the forefront of the industry. At this point there is so much I want to talk about but can’t as we are still developing ideas but when I can it’ll be hard for me to talk about anything else. Alternative energy applications can benefit everyone in every country around the world, so it’s hard to think of anything more exciting.

Thanks for reading and please contact us if you’re interested in learning more about anything ALL related. The world is moving fast and we’re just as caught up in it all as can be. Being politically neutral is a priority for us and business ethics is non-partisan, so when I give a political opinion it is based on actions not on party. We feel this is the only way to make real progress for our country and our planet.

Welcome to 2019

Everything we’ve done last year and the winter of 2017 will be paying off this year. Strategic partnerships, international delegations and dipping my toes into a bit of politics has been exhausting and a bit overwhelming but I love it and it’s definitely not been for nothing.

I want to keep the momentum going by offering 50% off for my group rates (5-8 people) for language training in the months of January and February of 2019. That’s a $5,000/month value for just $2,500/month. Reviews are in, my language training is fun and effective.

I can’t wait to see what this year brings! Check out my YouTube channel in the link below and stay updated on everything ALL is up to.

Best wishes,

Raymond Bentson

How to Survive Labor Day Weekend

As we all know, Labor Day Weekend has come to be understood as the farewell to summer celebration, but for some this three day weekend might also become to be known as the vacation one should never have taken. To get through an arduous journey sure to be filled with road rage, re-routing GPS systems, and spotty radio stations, one must come equipped with all the necessary supplies and must prepare for the unexpected. Come sarcastic GPS speaker from hell or congested highways, these three easy to follow tips are a must for any road tripper:

First and foremost, do not give in to road rage. To be able to go to one’s happy place, one must be able to get their first. Despite the honking, the screaming, and the unexpected birds soaring past the car window, the best thing to do in these type of situations are to keep a cool head and follow the guidelines of the road. This includes: not cutting off other cars in an attempt to shave off three seconds of travel time, not riding the back of other vehicles and risking a collision, and not making hasty last second decisions to merge onto another lane without turning on the blinker.

Next to road rage, re-routing GPS systems are one of the most commonly occurring problems on the road these days. For those traveling to a place for the first time, becoming lost can create a lot of unnecessary stress and tension. Quickly undermining the idea of a stress-free vacation. That is where the necessity of a map comes in. The map is a great secondary tool to be used alongside the GPS system to keep track of where one is at, the distance from A to B, and, so to speak, map out shorter routes possibly through small towns and backroads.

Lastly, to survive out on the long stretches of dirt road in the town of Middle and in the city of Nowhere, one will find their sanity relying heavily on the voices coming from the radio. Not from one’s companion’s whose voices have long been tuned out. For those whose vehicles do not have satellite radio, radio reception will be spotty at best. So, to avoid having to endure the same country song played over five different radio stations — which somehow are the only stations able to get through, the best and only solution to this problem will be to: bring a favorite CD/Audio Book. By doing so, one’s own sanity will surely remain intact, not to mention the vehicle’s other occupants.

Remember to follow these three easy tips and your three day road trip will become not only one of the safest (for all involved), but easily one of the greatest.

Super Hero Movies

As a fan of Marvel I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the super hero movie series that started around the same time as my adulthood. They are well written, action packed and generally fun movies. However there is one common aspect that keeps me from ranking them amongst the timeless classics like Indiana Jones and Star Wars: the heroes don’t and seemingly can’t die nor do they seem to be able to sustain any kind of significant injury.

From scene one of any of the Marvel movies there is no mortal concern for any of the protagonists because both they and the audience know with complete confidence that they won’t be harmed and will surely succeed in the end. Whereas in Indiana Jones he’s just a normal guy put into extraordinary circumstances and he as a character looks as though he’s in mortal danger when fighting the Nazis. Also, dead characters stay dead and don’t come back.

Also, there’s no end to the Marvel series. The owners of the brand don’t want the money generating machine to stop so killing of characters caps their revenues. The weight of market demands overwhelms the value of art in this case. The story of Indiana Jones has to end because the character isn’t immortal or magical, there’s a clear beginning, middle and end. With Marvel there’s no end in sight so why should I care what happens in the middle?

I could go deeper into this but maybe in another series of posts so that I can stretch it out longer in order to fully capitalize on this one premise. I guess that’s the main lesson I learned from Marvel.

Learning Syntax

Often times I notice that many people have a hard time getting used to word order when learning a new language. It’s important because it’s key for semantics. There’s a simple trick that I like to use when I come across tricky clauses (sentence particles that are dissimilar to what I’m used to), I use what I call a ‘starter phrase.’

A starter phrase is an example phrase that you can jot down and repeat over and over in your head or out loud in order to internalize how the foreign word order is so that it comes naturally in the future. When I was learning German for the first time I had a simple starter phrase that ignored context completely and only focused on exemplifying German word order. ‘Ich bin ein großer Wecker’ was the phrase. It means, “I’m a big alarm clock”, not something one can use in context but it got me used to pronunciation, gender agreement, conjugation, a special character (ß), etc.

That is just one example of a starter phrase, I like to have one for most occasions that I consider helpful. The nice part is that when I’m used to this phrase I can substitute the necessary parts of speech to conform to the appropriate situation. Let’s say I want to say that I’m a ‘student’ instead of an ‘alarm clock’, just switch the nouns.

Hopefully that’s helpful to some of you. Let me know if you have any other ways of learning syntax.

Consistency

I cannot stress enough how important consistent practice is for language learning. 20 minutes per day is far more effective than 5 hours, once per week. I often put it in terms of physical training at the gym: how much quicker would an athlete get in shape working out for 20 minutes, 6 days a week versus another athlete doing a 5 hour workout on Fridays? The answer is obvious and easy to imagine some likely injury happening to the former.

Watch Telemundo with subtitles, read a mystery novel in German or find a French radio station app on your smartphone. There are options and it’s never been more convenient to learn a new language.

A friend of mine said the other day, ” all this technology is making our species fat and lazy.” I disagree, we’ve always been lazy but this new technology makes it easier to act on our laziness. In every moment we feel like being lazy we just have to decide not to be. However, sometimes I have to make a conscious decision to be lazy because of my health condition. There’s no shame in relaxing, in fact I think it is unfairly stigmatized in our Germanic culture. So, next time you’re being lazy on the couch use it as an opportunity to study!

Update

I haven’t posted a blog recently because I’m still trying to work some things out on how it posts to the internet. I was going to write about word economy, a topic that I feel is quite interesting. Currently we are working a lot on international markets in three different industries which is also never dull to say the least. Obviously I can’t dive into too many details due to confidentiality but certainly expect some future blog posts on these topics as well.

If you have any questions on language acquisition, communications, International affaires or anything related to ALL Services please write in. I’d love to be a help and if the question or comment prompts me to write a post about it I will make sure to keep everyone anonymous.

Have a great day!

-ALL Services

The Value in Traveling

I don’t want to be a dead horse, as they say. Many articles and opinion pieces have been written on this topic, especially by people from my generation. I just want to point out one valuable point that is often overlooked by those who scoff at the privileged and sometimes annoying friends who can’t stop talking about their latest trip to the jungles on South America, or whatever. Traveling makes you grow and learn super fast and it’s often times life changing for the traveler especially when they completely immerse themselves in the experience.

I’m sure I’ve annoyed my family and friends plenty with my constant mention of the various experiences I’ve had in a variety of places. I’m sure I’m still annoying because I’ve made a career of it and it’s my life. But hopefully the next time your friend just can’t seem to stop talking about their hike on monkey mountain in southeast Asia or their backpacking trip from Spain to Croatia just keep in mind that it was likely one of the most profoundly life changing experiences of their lives.

Traveling takes courage and quick adjustments in totally foreign environments. Plus one can see how others live and really understand how diverse humans can be. It makes one’s hometown culture and belief systems seem so small and insignificant. It’s easy to fear the unknown but when you travel you truly gain perspective on all that one doesn’t know and how to start learning.

Enjoying the Trip

I’ve traveled a lot in my career and most of my travels have been for some purpose other than leisure. There are lots of tips I can give for making travel easier because I’ve learned the hard way but the number one piece of advice I always recommend is to never keep an itinerary.

It’s true that being organized makes life easier and more efficient but watching the clock causes lots of unnecessary stress. Obviously there are exceptions like check-in and check-out times, departures and appointments which are unavoidable. The itinerary that I recommend avoiding is the sight seeing list that ends up being a to-do list which misses the point of being in the new place that you’re visiting. Anyone can see the Eiffel tower on the internet but being there means that you can experience Paris like a local if you wish.

Similarly I never understood why anyone would want to do those “10 countries in 3 weeks” trips. You just pass through and basically turn into an expert in airports and train stations. I thoroughly enjoy my visits, even brief ones, by practicing the local language, learning from people who live there and exploring with an open mind and no plans.

Everyone is different and to each their own. If you’re anything like me, perhaps this advice is helpful. If not then I’d love to read how others enjoy their trips. Happy trails!

Taking a Loss

Yesterday my team lost thus ending our season. Every year I want so badly to win the championship and I try really hard to get my players to try their very best but only a few players actually tried their best. I see a lack of fighting spirit and it is discouraging to watch. Ultimately I take it as a failure as a coach, there’s always something I and my colleagues can improve on but it got me wondering if it’s part of a bigger problem. Are we getting less competitive as a population? Is that even a problem or is it a good thing overall? I think competition strengthens us and our bonds with both our teammates and opposition. It forces us to be better humans while also having fun. But maybe I’m just indoctrinated by my American upbringing, who knows?