House Hunting with a Twist

So the hubbinator and I have been watching the BBC programme Escape to the Continent on Netflix. On the show, folks are looking to leave behind the UK to settle elsewhere in Europe.

We especially like the ones where the couple hunting properties are looking for a way to supplement their income by having a B&B or fishing or growing herbs/plants. Which lead to some conversations between the hubbinator and I about which kind of business we’d like to run as a supplemental income.

Given that I’m not particularly a people person, our options are limited.

But then, the hubbinator came up with a brilliant idea.

He said a great twist would be to have a Haunted House Hunting.

Maybe, the former inhabitants of the house could pick their next owners:D There could be a month-long stay in the house to see how all parties involved got along. Of course, there would have to be a disclaimer for demon possession, and another if the living decided to leave but the ghosts decided to switch from haunting a place to people.

I would so watch that show.

Until next time.

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Friday Futurecast: Water

We are a country that is a continent wide. It’s a bit mind-boggling to think about it, really. But this puts us in an enviable position. With ever-shifting weather patterns, we can take advantage of rain on one coast and shift the water to the middle or the other coast.

Better yet, we can continually recharge the Ogallala Aquifer which waters our breadbasket and keeps another dust bowl at bay.

While many water-plentiful states envision a giant straw sucking their lakes and rivers dry, this isn’t a clear vision of reality.

We’re talking excess precipitation, you know the kind that overflow riverbanks, causing floods and damage. Efficiently removing this water will save lives and money, and create jobs in local economies.

This water isn’t pristine as there are abundant contaminates on our roads. In winter, some of that salt could be reclaimed and reused by local governments.

Water pipelines could be laid in parallel with oil pipelines with the amazing benefit of not creating an environmental disaster if there should be a spill.

We can create recreational lakes to stimulate local economies via tourist destinations, and, most of all, by effectively managing our water supplies, we can maintain our food production supplies during periods of drought.

Until next time.

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The In Between

Here in Arizona, we have a dry heat. Which means that to cool our house, we use a swamp cooler aka an evaporative cooler. In other words, we add water and cool our air to about 20 degrees below the outside temp. Actually, a little better as when it is 115 outside, it is actually about 85 indoors.

Now, before anyone panics. I usually have my AC set at 84F and use a blanket while sitting under the ceiling fan.

Alas, the swamp cooler can’t be used all summer.

The monsoons start building around the 4th of July. And where there are clouds and chances of rain, there is humidity.

No longer a dry heat, but a sticky humid icky heat.

And still, we fight turning off the swamp cooler and turning on the AC. And such is the In Between times. Where it’s hot and hard to sleep and everything gets soggy. And I get grumpy.

Thankfully, we still have a few more weeks left, but the hurricane that sent some moisture our way last weekend is a sign of times of come.

I’ll take it, provided we get lots of rain.

Until next time.


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Stories and Writers

I’ll be frank. I haven’t been writing. Not like I used to. I’m been in a meh stage of life, and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and PBS have been happy to keep me company.

But, lately, I’ve been wanting to write. I just haven’t had the butt-in-the-chair oompah to actually do anything more than vegetate after work.

So I’ve been trying in a sideways fashion to find the energy to write.

Naturally, I bought a book. A book on writing stories.

I appreciate the irony. Of course, I can delude myself because writers should always be reading and working to improve their writing. Even when it messes up your process. But, hey, I wasn’t writing so what process could it mess up.

After listening to a Ted talk, I purchased Wired for Story by Lisa Cron. While I didn’t actually learn anything new about writing, I enjoyed the approach via the science behind stories. It seems we are more primed to learn from stories than stark facts and figures. We are willing to watch a fictional character be tortured in order to learn something that might save ourselves.

Anyone who’s watched the election process could have seen this in action.

And naturally after reading the book, I’m pretty sure I don’t know how to write at all.

Not exactly the outcome I was going for.

Ah well.

Until next time.

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Stations in Life

This was supposed to post on Wednesday, but apparently, my brain has a different version of reality installed:D

With staffing shortages at work, I’ve gone back to my sampling ways. It has been ten years since I sampled and while some things have stayed the same, some things have obviously changed.

When I first started sampling, I drove the company’s Ford Escape. I asked to drive the new Escape instead of one of the trucks and the guys agreed.

Except the Escape had been upgraded and the previous occupant had programmed the radio station to their preferences. I’ll be frank. I pushed the wrong buttons to try to change the channel, so I stayed on the same station.

And found new songs to download for when I start writing a new book.

Who says there’s no benefit for being lazy:D

Until next time.


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In the Dark

I spent the last few weeks watching Dark. It is a German series of ten episodes on Netflix that is part murder mystery and part SciFi series.

In essence, you follow a rather large cast of characters around, across generations and 33 year time skips.

I had been told by a coworker that everything is explained in the last episode.

Except, it wasn’t. Yes, I got the ending by about episode 3. I knew the stranger’s identity.

But there were so many things left open (one of which is this line by Father Noah) that leads me to believe everything keeps happening over and over. And apparently no one learns anything by it, no one is trying to fix the timeline just make sure it keeps repeating, and yet there’s a book that keeps track of everything but no one reads it to change things. Or maybe only the bad guys have it and they make sure things stay the same way.

Either way, I’m looking forward to season 2 to provide some answers and wrap up a few story lines. Dark isn’t as relateable as Stranger Things, and many of the characters aren’t very likeable, but the twists along the way kept me tuned it.

Until next time.

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Friday Futurecast: The High Seas

Disclaimer: I hate fish. I hate the taste of it. I hate the texture of it. I hate the smell of it. But I love the ocean. I love to eat the bottom-feeders (crab, lobster, clams) and the soft, squishy marine animals like squid and octopus.

Growing up in the 80s, I became aware of the over fishing problem along the US’s coast. But it didn’t stop there. Fisherman had to travel farther and farther afield to net even a small catch.

There is both scientific and circumstantial evidence that points to protecting the High Seas (these are international waters, not owned by any one country) from these huge fishing vessels can help restore fish stocks in every oceanside country’s water.

Of course, there are 5-10 countries who will be harmed by having this huge nature preserve in our oceans. And yes, there will be food shortages, too as these harvests amount for 10% of some countries stores.

But the benefits are an increase in oxygen given off from the ocean and a return of fish to many coastal waters, reviving some of the economy in those regions hit hard. And if fishing isn’t your thing, there is also tourism spurred on my the presence of so many pretty fish. What’s more, is the nations that currently fish this waters will save money by eliminating the hundreds of millions of dollars they put into subsidies to allow these fishing companies to profit.

How likely is it to happen?

Mexico and New Zealand have lead the way into making the High Seas off-limits for fishing. They’ve actually been there and benefited from abstaining. The arctic has already benefitted from such a treaty by those nations and the UN voted in December 2017 to draft an accord and have it in effect by 2020.

While there are likely to be naysayers (Humans as a rule don’t like change, and big business/big money doesn’t like threats to its wallet and power), this provides a great opportunity for capitalism to show its mettle. Fortunes will be made solving the problems that arise along the way, keeping society in flux and stopping any one set of moneyed elite stifling opportunities. Mom and Pop small businesses can take advantage of tourism and fishing opportunities (Small businesses employ more people than big businesses ever could). And lastly, the independence of small entrepreneurs are fundamental to health of our economy and essential to a functioning democratic society.

Until next time!

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