“Where and when would you want to time-travel?” I asked her. This wasn’t just a long drive hypothetical. Considering that we were twenty miles away from a human cell rejuvenation and potential time machine designed by aliens, it was a fair question.

It’s hard not to speed on the road to Landers, CA. Dust covered and desolate, the roads get smaller and emptier the farther out of Joshua Tree you drive. Littered with open space and abandoned homesteads, the highway curves around sun-scorched boulders and the namesake trees that reach for the heavens.

Where we were headed, however, had much more to do with what was underneath the miles of dust and yucca root. We were speeding towards an intersection of geomagnetic forces that amplifies the Earth’s magnetic field.

In 1954, George Van Tassel, retired aeronautical engineer for Lockheed and Hughes Aircraft, began building The Integratron. Where did he get the idea? He claims he was visited one night by an extraterrestrial named Solganda from Venus.

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I watched his eyes glaze over as more words drooled out of my mouth. If I hadn’t been thinking about other things while I spoke, I would have been bored too. My brain on auto-pilot.

I was telling him about some digital marketing, SEO package he should buy from me so his business would get more algorithmic foreplay from Google. I said all the right things at the right time in the right tone. Blah, Blah, Blah. He didn’t understand. Neither one of us cared.

Tens years ago I had a telemarketing job. After the first year, I had memorized the script and taken so many phone calls that I could recite the information while reading the newspaper.

I’d answer questions and overcome objections without losing my place in the sports section. I still made sales. But never as many as I made in the first year while I was learning and still excited.

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Listening to him talk was like panning for gold. He’d go on for hours, mostly about himself, or about one of his new girlfriends that were half his age. We used to work together.

Each morning, he’d drive up an hour late in his Porsche convertible, wearing some terrible Tommy Bahama shirt. He’d call me into his office and I’d sit there, sifting through miles of mud and needless chatter before anything that resembled relevance would shine through. But when it did, it was gold.

Despite the constant river of sh*t flowing out of his mouth, he managed to come up with one great idea a year. The board members knew that if they were patient, eventually one of his long winded ramblings would produce something golden.

We’ve all heard how it’s the getting past failure that leads to success. That overcoming hardship keeps us strong and resilient. It’s the highs and lows of life that hold the answers.

But what about the time spent in the middle? The seemingly useless chatter of the world. What lessons hide in the ether of everyday monotony?

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