Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10% of World's Population lost power today

Creaking India hit by power and railway failures

John Elliott from Riding the Elephant blog

488033 10151304524134202 1147587366 n 270x300 Creaking India hit by power and railway failuresPower supplies to half of India’s 1.2bn population have been cut for several hours today in the third example since Sunday night of how the country’s under-invested and badly managed infrastructure is creaking its way to near-collapse.
Ten states in the north have been without power because the national grid failed after it was overloaded by two or three states drawing down more their authorised share of electricity. This is said to be the world’s biggest ever power collapse and followed another massive shutdown on Sunday night when power was cut to a quarter of the population after the state of Uttar Pradesh exceeded its quota.
Also on Sunday night, a fire on an express train killed 32 people. That followed two train collisions and 29 deaths in May.
These shutdowns and disasters stem from a chronic failure by the current government, which has been in power since 2004, to tackle infrastructure problems that have been building for many years. The failure stems from Manmohan Singh, the prime minister, who has been restricted in what he can do on economic reforms both by Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress Party and the governing coalition, and by coalition partners.
Power minister promoted!

Then there are inefficient and non-performing ministers in charge of key sectors.
One of them is Sushilkumar Shinde who has been responsible for electricity supplies as Minister of Power for three years and this evening has been promoted in a cabinet reshuffle to be Minister of Home Affairs, despite the failures of the past two days (see last para below).
He does not bear total responsibility for the grid failures because power supplies are managed by individual states . Power generation has also been seriously hit by coal shortages from badly-run government-owned Coal India that have led to some power stations being shut down, plus corrupt coal mining licences. The basic failure to do more to address the problems is however down to him.
Then there is Mukul Roy, the Minister for Railways, who spends most of his time working on party affairs in West Bengal, where his regional Trinamool Party is based, and rarely visiting his railways ministry office in Delhi. He was appointed in March to replace Dinesh Trivedi, another Trinamool member, who lost his job after he introduced a reformist railway budget that displeased his party boss, Mamata Banerjee. Trivedi’s plans included a major safety upgrade financed by across-the-board fare increases which have not gone ahead because Banerjee did not approve them.
Such is life with coalition politics – regional party bosses are more interested in their regional interests than the country as a whole, and the prime minister can neither control what the minister does, nor dismiss him. The government has caught what is dubbed “policy paralysis” and economic growth has slumped from almost 10% to near 6%.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article on this blog arguing that India could no longer survive as it has in the past by simply turning muddle and adversity into some form of (often inadequate) success and assuming that everything will eventually function adequately. Reliance on what is known as jugaad – making do and innovating with what’s available rather than looking for new levels of performance and excellence – is a brilliant solution for a deprived and under-developed society, but it is not enough in a country in India’s state of development (even though it is now, rather belatedly, being picked up by management writers as a new panacea).
In the past few years, India’s pace of events has overwhelmed this approach, making it impossible for the country to cope with basic services, projects and development. This was graphically demonstrated with chaotic and corrupt preparations for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but there are many other examples. The most evident involve public sector infrastructure, ranging from annual monsoon flooding that cripples Mumbai and chaotically inadequate services in Delhi’s satellite city of Gurgaon, to unhealthy water supplies, annual fog delays at Delhi airport, and building collapses – and now to the record power shutdowns and rail disaster in the past two days.
Corruption plays a part in each one of these examples, most often with contracts and licences being awarded to undeserving companies that then perform badly. This prevents central and state governments adequately addressing key issues, and leads both the public and private sector to assume that they can buy their way into contracts and out of problems.
On top of that are social issues, including the use of agricultural land for industry which slows the development of both power and mining projects, that are becoming more crucial and potentially disruptive as the poor see the well off benefiting from India’s economic growth.
Today’s power cuts stretched across India from the borders with Pakistan in the west and Bangladesh and China in the east, and southwards from the Himalayas to the middle of India. Trains were stranded. Delhi’s highly efficient Metro railway closed, and roads blocked with traffic light failures. Most businesses and many private homes have (expensive) generating sets that supply stand-by power, but these failed to keep the country running.
Shinde blamed the system collapse on some states drawing more than their share of electricity from the overstretched grid, and said he had “given instructions that whoever overdraws power will be punished.” Stealing power, whether it is a next-door neighbour’s or an overhead power line is standard practice in India. It is hardly surprising therefore that some states have been taking more than their allotted share from the grid at a time when a serious draught is worsening power shortages. Threatening punishment is a typical official reaction when something goes wrong – the railway minister promised an inquiry into the fire, similarly presuming that would silence critics and enable him to return to his party affairs.

Cabinet reshuffle
Tonight’s cabinet reshuffle has been triggered by Pranab Mukherjee, the Finance Minister, becoming India’s President. Palaniappan Chidambaram, the highly efficient but abrasive Home Minister, has taken his place, returning to a post he held from 2004 to 2008. Chidambaram has strengthened the home ministry and the nation’s security since 2008 and it is unlikely that Shinde, who is favoured because he is trusted by Sonia Gandhi, will perform as effectively.
Shinde has been succeeded as Power Minister by Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily, who for the time being will do both jobs – and presumably will not be able to provide the single-minded focus that is desperately needed by the power industry.
For an updated version of this article with more detail, go to John Elliott’s Riding the Elephant bloghttp://wp.me/pieST-1Ku

end quote from:

So, basically what happened is that 670 million people lost power because the new middle class status symbol is the air conditioner combined with low rainfall which means there is not enough hydroelectric power to go around, especially in the northern States of INDIA. My question is "If nothing has changed what happens tomorrow and the days after that?" I was in India in 1985 and 1986 and people are very independent minded in a very unique way there. I'm not sure that you could get 670 million people going in exactly the same direction whether they were in the U.S.  or India or anywhere else. But one thing I do know is 670 million pissed off hot people is a force to be reckoned with.

Mississippi Barges lighten Loads-not enough water

Drought diminishes mighty Mississippi, puts heat on Congress

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The severe drought in the U.S. Midwest wreaked more havoc across the country on Thursday, forcing barges on the Mississippi River to lighten loads for fear of getting stuck and raising concerns about higher prices for food and gasoline.
Damage to crops in the most extensive drought in five decades and the pressure of the November elections sparked some action in the U.S. Congress to bring relief to farmers and make progress on a generous farm bill.
"When times are tough for farmers, they tend to be more active politically," Iowa Senator Charles Grassley said, urging fellow Republicans to act on the farm bill and avoid punishment at the polls.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that Republican leaders were working with the Agriculture Committee "on an appropriate path forward."
"I do believe the House will address the livestock disaster program that unfortunately in the last farm bill was only authorized for four years," Boehner said.
Rain in the northern Midwest overnight improved corn and soybean crop prospects, and grain prices eased back a bit from near-record highs. But only light rains fell over parched areas of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois overnight, and more heat and dryness in the southern Midwest was forecast.
"There should be some improvement in areas like the Dakotas and Minnesota," Andy Karst, an agricultural meteorologist for World Weather Inc, said. "They have had some good rains of up to an inch or more and there should be more rain and more improvement over the next week."
At the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for September delivery closed 12-1/2 cents lower at $7.82 a bushel, down 5 percent from last week's record high. August soybeans closed 38-1/4 cents lower at $16.56, down 7 percent from last week's record high. September wheat closed 18-1/2 cents lower at $8.84-3/4, down 7 percent from last week's four-year high.
Crop scouts on Thursday reported corn yield prospects down about 27 percent from last year in central Iowa, the largest producing state. But dousings from recent night-time rains had helped soybeans. Early planting also may be helping soybeans survive the worst effects of the drought, scouts said.
A tour of Minnesota and North Dakota spring-planted wheat fields was also encouraging due to early plantings, scouts said. Yield potential was expected about 8 percent above last year.
"The only thing that can hurt this crop is a hail storm," said Ben Handcock, a Wheat Quality Council tour official.
The effects were literally being felt downstream.
One year after its waters swelled to historic proportions, the lower Mississippi River now sits so low that barge operators hauling some $180 billion in goods must lighten their loads for fear of getting stuck.
If water levels drop any lower, industry insiders say, prices could rise on the raw commodities commonly shipped by boat -- coal, grain, petroleum and steel, to name a few.
"The main thing that they're doing now is voluntarily reducing the size of their tows ... so they're having to take more trips to carry their normal volume of commodities," said Ann McCulloch, spokeswoman for American Waterways Operators, a national trade association representing tugboats, tow boats and barges.
"This will drive up transportation costs if it continues over a long period of time," she said.
Kirby Corp, the largest U.S. inland tank barge operator, said Thursday it is adding more capacity to its fleet that carries petrochemicals, gasoline and fertilizers.
In Washington, temperatures boiled on both sides of the aisle. A new five-year, $491 billion farm bill is stalled in the House on concerns there are not enough votes in the Republican-controlled chamber to pass a bill.
"We're seeing all across the country dried-up, parched land," said Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. "This is a very serious issue for our farmers and ranchers, so we need a farm bill."
The farm bill has been attacked by Democrats for cutting too much from food stamps for the poor and by Republicans for doing too little to reform farm subsidies.
There is little more than a week before Congress moves to a recess that lasts until September 10. Democrats have lambasted Republicans for lack of action ahead of the November elections.
"If they actually try to do disaster next week, it's just to inoculate members for the month of August," said Ferd Hoefner, a small-farm activist. "We want the real bill and we want it this year."
Scattered rains in the Midwest this week have come too late for many crops, government drought specialists said, and the worst drought conditions since 1956 worsened over the last week.
Almost 30 percent of the nine-state Midwest was suffering extreme drought as of July 24, nearly triple that of a week ago.
The United States is the world's largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat. Markets around the world are growing worried that local food costs will soar because imports will be expensive, food aid for countries from Asia to Egypt will not be available, and food riots could occur as in the past.
Drought and scorching temperatures in Eastern Europe from Poland to Romania also have burned up crops, causing alarm about stockpiles and soaring prices. Russian wheat harvests will also be cut by drought and Indian harvests will be cut by the poorest monsoon rains in four decades, officials said on Thursday.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said U.S. food prices are likely to rise as much as 3.5 percent this year and as much as 4 percent in 2013, with higher feed costs driving up meat and dairy products. By comparison, the overall U.S. inflation rate is estimated at 2 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2013.
Wildfires in drought-hit areas were also a growing problem. Firefighters in three Nebraska counties battled expanding wildfires, and Ola, Arkansas, a town of 1,300 people, was evacuated because of an approaching fire.
(Writing by Peter Bohan; editing by Mary Milliken; Desking by Andrew Hay)

end quote from:

I'd like to repeat something from the last paragraph above:

"food prices are likely to rise as much as 3.5 percent this year and as much as 4 percent in 2013---"

Let's think about what that might mean in a poorer country. Say you are under 30 and already paying 90 to 95% of any money you make to eat. What's another 4% going to do? What if you were already paying 100% of any money you make to eat? What's another 4% going to do? What it's going to do depends upon how many of you are now paying 104% of what you make to eat and for how long in that country? But what it will tend to do is to collapse governments around the world that have a lot of poor people who cannot make enough money to eat.

UFO's at the Olympics?

I had what could only be described as a both fun and interesting conversation by cell phone today. I was walking my dogs through the woods after their dinner so it was probably around 5:30 to 6:30 PM PDT in California. My friend said, "People are reporting UFOs that they are seeing at the Olympics!" And she said, "Why isn't this being reported in the news?"

To me, because I am very pragmatic about things like this I said, "Governments don't want this kind of thing reported. It might collapse civilization!" The person I was talking to said, "I don't understand!"

I said, "It's like this. Just imagine someone like Osama Bin Laden who couldn't even live with anyone who wasn't an extremist Sunni Muslim and who regularly even killed Sunni Muslims if it was for a cause he believed in.  Imagine just how insane civlization might be worldwide if all governments said something like, "Yes. The aliens are here. We have no control of them and they are thousands of years technologically superior to us. Our technology is sort of like a hamsters exercise wheel in comparison."

"What do you think is going to happen worldwide? People would be jumping off of cliffs, executing their families or worse. Governments are not going to admit about aliens being real even if they know that most of them are our descendants from the next 10,000 years or more!"

"So, if you know the aliens are growing in number on earth just enjoy it because governments all ready know about this sort of thing and have no useful desire to tell anyone that can't figure it out for themselves anything!"

"For example, through a lifetime of research and personal experience I firmly believe that there is a 99% chance that the U.S. has had access to time travel technology since World war II. However, can you imagine the U.S. Government at any level coming out and saying for example, "Oh Yes. We have had ever evolving time travel devices since before World War II and we use them to prevent nuclear explosions and pandemics and anything else that could extinct life on earth."

Can you actually imagine that? even if it was true? NO. There is zero chance that any government would talk about that even if it is true for around a thousand reasons. So, as a result most citizens of earth of every country know about 1% of what actually goes on worldwide that they might need to know to make any useful decisions at all in their lives. And you know what? It has been like this now for the last 10,000 or 15,000 years or more.

Monday, July 30, 2012

How the drought could hit your wallet

Smoking orangutan heads to rehab isle
July 17th, 2012
01:02 PM ET

How the drought could hit your wallet

With more than half the country in some state of drought, farmers are feeling the impact on their livelihood and consumers could expect to feel a hit in their wallet when they go to the supermarket soon, experts say.
The U.S. is facing the largest drought since the 1950s, the National Climatic Data Center reported Monday, saying that about 55% of the country was in at least moderate short-term drought in June for the first time since December 1956, when 58% of the country was in a moderate to extreme drought.
The hot, dry weather in June, which ranked as the third-driest month nationally in at least 118 years, according to the center, made the problem worse.
That has left farmers on the edge of their seat worrying about how much damage their harvests will sustain and how much of their livelihood they may stand to lose this year.
Throughout the Midwest, farmers are seeing signs of damaged crops. In the 18 states that produce most of our corn, only 31% of the crops were rated good or excellent this week, that’s down from 40% last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This same time last year, 66% of corn crops were rated good or excellent. Soybean crops, which can be used in creating diesel fuel, are seeing similar troubles; 34% of the U.S. crop was rated good or excellent, down from 40% last week. This time last year, 64% were in that condition.
Derek Mullin, a farmer from Mount Pleasant, Iowa, told CNN’s Chris Welch that in a good year he can get 200 bushels of corn per acre, but this year he expects that number reduced by 25%.
That lost money will hurt him and his family and he said there is nothing he can do about it.
Is the drought hitting your area? Let us know how you're coping on CNN iReport.
"This is our personal business. It's right at our back door. As soon as we walk out of our house we see our investment and when it goes downhill it does take a toll on you,” he told CNN.  “One of the hardest parts about this is you can do everything just right - planting dates, work hard at putting in a good crop, have a good stand established - and when mother nature works against you, then it all seems like it was for nothing."
Mullin's expected low yield of corn, and similar situations for other farmers, is specifically why this drought is getting a lot of attention, Richard Volpe, an economist with the USDA's Economic Research Service told CNN.
"Corn is a major input for retail food," he said. "Corn is used to make feed for all the animals in our food supply chain. As this drought reduces the harvest of corn, that would drive up the price of feed for animals and then in turn meat products."

The current drought has forced disaster declarations in 26 states and a spate of emergency conservation orders. And experts say it could also lead to serious economic repercussions the same way the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it did during the 1956 drought,  which dropped crop yields about 50% in some areas.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told CNN's Candy Crowley his heart goes out to the producers, ranchers and farmers who are dealing with something they have no control over.
"We’re really not going to know the full extent of all of this until the cotton’s picked, the beans and kernels are counted. But clearly our yields are going to be down.”
And if the crops aren’t there, you can expect to see some differences in the supermarket, Volpe said.
"You would see it first and heaviest for beef, pork, poultry and dairy," Volpe said, explaining that if you can't get the corn to feed animals, the meat market would be hit first and could have the longest-term impact.
Field corn, which is the dominant type of corn affected, is used to create feed for animals, but also corn meal, corn syrup and ethanol. Those products could also take a hit.
But Volpe wants to be clear that there isn't a one-to-one ration when it comes to the price of corn versus what you'll be paying for your meat.
"We understand historically, if the price of field corn goes up by 50%, which is a huge jump, we expect retail food in general to go up by about 1%," he said.
So you likely won't see the doubling of the price of a rib-eye steak, but over time, prices could accumulate.
And when might you expect to see this happen?
"For sure, the full effect of this drought will not be until 2013. It'll be 2013 when we see it and its in the whole supermarket," he said. "But if the price of corn shoots up, we’d see this effect within about two to three months. That doesn’t mean we’ll see a complete jump into food prices. It's just that we should start to see the effects."
Only July 25 the USDA will provide their monthly estimates of food prices, which would factor in drought conditions, Volpe said.
Volpe noted that you could also actually see some short-term lower prices on meat, noting that historically there is a small dip in the price of beef and pork before they start rising.
Ranchers "have these animals on hand, and animals that are market ready," he said. "What they do is figure out, OK well the cost of maintaining this herd in the next few months is going to shoot up because of the rising price of feed, if it make sense to do it now, get the guaranteed money."
Volpe notes that while there are many comparisons being made to the drought in the 1980s and the economic impact it had, it is important to keep in mind how much has changed since then and why that may mean you can't draw an exact correlation to how hard the economy could be hit by this drought. That's something that the agriculture secretary noted too, saying that technology had changed and conditions were different.
"The 1980s were a much different time, average food prices in the '80s were much higher than in recent years," Volpe said. "Fuel prices were much more volatile and the global economy and market for commodities were not as efficient."
While Mullin waits to see just how bad things will get he says that his saving grace, like other farmers, could be having federal crop insurance. But, he added, that only goes so far.
That’s one reason why Mullin, and others in his state, are anxiously waiting to see how state and federal authorities may be able to help.
Mullin said he is hopeful he may hear some answers from a drought conference being led by Iowa’s governor on Tuesday.
Vilsack said the biggest problem is that while the USDA has emergency loans and some other options to help, it lacks the full resources the government needs.
"The real challenge for us is the USDA does not have the tools it once had to help people through this difficult time," Vilsack told CNN.
Vilsack used the drought as an example to plead with the Senate to pass a farm bill that has already cleared the U.S. House of Representative, adding it was not enough to extend a previous bill that expired.  He noted that the 2008 farm bill which expired had provided $4 billion in disaster assistance to 400,000 farmers and ranchers while it existed.
“Just extending the 2008 bill will not revive disaster programs for livestock producers” he said.
– CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report.
More on the intense heat, drought:
Extreme weather: Get ready to see more of it
Past 12 months warmest ever recorded in U.S.
KCTV: Intense heat take its toll on Shatto's milk supply
WLUK: Christmas tree farmers battle hot, dry conditions
end quote from:

area of drought in U.S. increases by size of Texas in 7 days


3:51 pm ET July 30, 2012
Area in extreme drought increases by size of Texas, report says
The map, released Thursday, shows the intensity levels of the drought in all parts of the country.
July 26th, 2012
05:13 PM ET

Area in extreme drought increases by size of Texas, report says

The portion of the country with some level of drought increased only slightly in the last week, but areas at risk for major crop losses and widespread water shortages jumped significantly, according to a report from the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Areas of the contiguous United States under extreme or exceptional drought conditions increased by an area roughly the size of Texas - from 13.5% of the land to 20.5% - in the past seven days, according to the Drought Monitor report released Thursday.
"It's getting to the point where some of the (agricultural) damage is not reversible" in the extreme-drought areas, said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the center. "The damage is done, and even with rain, you're not going to reverse some of these problems, at least not this growing season."
The areas newly put into the extreme category are spread over many states, including parts of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and South Dakota. (See last week's map, for comparison with the one above.)
Meanwhile, the portion of the Lower 48 states under moderate or worse drought conditions rose slightly in the last week  from 63.54% to 63.86% putting the contiguous United States in the largest drought by area in the report's 12-year history. This is the fourth consecutive week the Lower 48 set a Drought Monitor record in this category.
A week of very hot and very dry conditions coming after roughly two months of similar weather pushed more areas into the extreme or exceptional categories, Fuchs said.
Areas in the "extreme" drought category the third most severe of four classifications could see major crop and pasture losses with widespread water shortages, according to the center.
The lower two drought classifications are called moderate (some damage to crops and pastures possible, with some water shortages developing or imminent) and severe (crop or pasture losses likely, with water shortages common).
The highest classification, exceptional, means the area is at risk for widespread crop and pasture losses, with water emergencies.
Unrelenting heat and little to no rainfall across the nation’s heartland are making conditions difficult to overcome. Every state in the country, plus Puerto Rico, has at least a small area shown as abnormally dry or worse, Fuchs said.
Many of the areas that saw the drought intensify in the past week make up the country's corn and soybean belt disheartening news for those that have already been tremendously affected.
Almost 90% of U.S. corn is grown in an area experiencing drought, and even recent and forecast rainfall will be too late to significantly help this year’s crop. Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack this week designated 76 additional counties in six states as drought disaster areas, bringing the total for the 2012 crop year to 1,369 counties across 31 states.
He also announced Monday that his department will cut the interest rates on emergency loans for farmers hard-hit by the drought to 2.25% from 3.75%.
On Thursday, Iowa's governor declared a disaster emergency to help farmers deal with the drought.
"The assistance comes in the form of a suspension of state laws and regulations affecting the transport of hay, straw and stover," a release from Gov. Terry Branstad said. "The drought has destroyed or depleted sources of these products that are necessary for livestock production and feed."
It’s not just crops that are suffering from the heat and lack of rainfall. A July 22 report from the Department of Agriculture said that 55% of the country’s pasture and range land was in poor to very poor condition. This is the highest percentage ever noted and is likely to profoundly hurt the nation’s cattle and dairy farmers.
Reports like this could continue, because U.S. forecasts don't offer any reprieve over the next several weeks. A persistent ridge of high pressure over portions of the country has sent the mercury to record levels over recent weeks and months. St. Louis has now seen a record 11 days with high temperatures reaching or exceeding 105 degrees this year, breaking the previous record of 10 days set in 1934, another year of historic heat and drought across the U.S.
Heat records like this will likely continue to fall. Above-normal temperatures are expected to continue through the beginning of August for much of the country, including the Great Plains.
The Drought Monitor map is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and about 350 drought observers across the country.
More on the drought:
Feds offer help to drought-stricken farmers
Farmer in the drought – if you plant it, it might not come
Farmer: 'If you eat, this drought will affect you'
Praying for rain in the Arkansas drought
From the field – tweets from #drought12
How the drought could hit your wallet
Opinion: Why the drought affects me - and you
Hogs feel drought's pinch
Drought forces farmers to sell cattle 

end quote from:

This likely will be very serious especially for the poor of the world. The U.S. is a rich enough nation to buy food at whatever price around the world. And though this will possibly bankrupt many U.S. citizens who are farmers or livestock owners, the general populace will buy more food from abroad through  various food outlets nationwide. But, this may destabilize more countries around the world when people cannot afford to eat. It is important to consider Arab Spring started when too many people under 30 in the middle east were spending 90% of their income to buy food. This is also true in many other countries as well. The price of food brings down governments at random around the world now. The U.S. will survive this but other countries may not. Look for 10 to 20 other governments falling in the next 5 years because of the price of grains this year caused by the U.S. drought and the droughts other places on earth.

Repeat Quote from above article:
"A persistent ridge of high pressure over portions of the country has sent the mercury to record levels over recent weeks and months. St. Louis has now seen a record 11 days with high temperatures reaching or exceeding 105 degrees this year, breaking the previous record of 10 days set in 1934, another year of historic heat and drought across the U.S."
end quote.

Likely this 10 days in 1934 helped to create the story behind "Grapes of Wrath" in the 30s. I still remember Henry Fonda in that movie to this day. I saw it in my childhood in the 1950s and it seriously scared me to know that things like this actually happened only 20 years before along with World War II.

More on Painting a house

Many of the things that professional painters know that I don't I have had to learn the hard way the last 2 months of painting the exterior of my house. The first thing I learned is that the specific color my wife chose they don't have 5 gallon buckets for at Home Depot. This meant that instead I have to pay the single gallon of paint price which is somewhere between 40 and 60 dollars per gallon of paint. The second difficult thing that I learned is that you can't use silicon caulking to caulk your windows (and around some doors) because paint WILL NOT stick to silicon caulking. So, what this means for me is to either sand or scrape off whatever silicon caulking I put on off. Luckily, I only did this on 2 or three windows because my house has 18 windows, including window doors which are French doors that open into the back yard. And likely an equal amount of windows and window doors(doors that are 90% glass) all around the house. But if you don't live in as warm a climate as I do likely you wouldn't have as many windows because of potential heat loss in the winters and/or of heat coming in during the summers and defeating your air conditioners.

So, I found these two things discouraging but with time I can overcome the caulking thing with a little sandpaper and maybe a putty knife for scraping the silicon away or something. Also, it is important (they say) to caulk first before you paint. But that now is the last thing I plan to do and then at the very last in August or September (if I have time then) to paint over my caulking around the windows and door edges.

My plan in June was to start painting my house the color my wife wanted in the least visible place and slowly as I got better to move around the back yard towards the front of the house and then hire someone to paint the front who isn't as messy a painter as I tend to be. I have fun doing it but I have talked to several people that say they wouldn't have attempted it. But since I grew up with my Dad and one of my uncles being Electrical Contractors and since my Dad trained me in the electrical trade from the time I was 12 to 17 in High School summers learning the trade. I have built at least 2 homes completely with my Dad of our own as well as helped in the building of many many houses now. So, even though my specialty is not painting or plumbing I can do it even if I don't really have the patience to become a really good painter. My method is sort of to put a whole lot of paint on at once and then spread it around and hope I see if there are any drips before they form and hopefully they don't form after I have watched a wall for awhile. (I can hear professional painters laughing). But, that's just the way I tend to paint. But it is still better than waiting any longer for my wife to get involved and hire a contractor to get it done. I have been trying to get her to do this for about 5 years. This year I just told her I was going to paint the house, she picked a color and I started painting in about June. So, 1 to 4 hours a day about 5 days a week I have either been painting, prepping or going to the store to buy more paint or equipment. Finishing the front likely will take about 15 more gallons if I want to put 2 coats on the walls. (I have used about 10 gallons so far and some areas have 2 coats and some one so far. But I haven't painted the eves yet which is really a pain. Also, my wife made me promise not to paint up on a ladder because I'm 64 and I sort of agree with her because of all the people I know of over 50 who have wound up in the hospital from falling off of roofs or ladders because of a momentary lapse of realizing enough variables at once. But I find I can maintain the focus for about 10 minutes always even up on the roof. So, I'm still good for any emergency but I know enough not to go up and stay up on a ladder for hours at this age.

Also, I still remember vividly of falling 14 feet through a Tbar ceiling while working as an electrician at age 18 and not being able to breathe a couple of minutes because I fell into a pile of lumber which knocked the breath out of me. Since then I always prefer wood or fiberglass ladders because the aluminum one acted as a spring to throw me across the tbar attic and then through it to the floor through it.

Making Orange Juice with a Breville Juicer

Though the Breville that I have isn't designed specifically for making orange juice I wrote:
Fresh Ground Orange Juice

However, today I wanted to make orange juice without the peels on. So, as I thought about how I could do this I realized that all I would have to do would be to peel the rind off the oranges with a knife and then run the spherical pulp through the juicer to make juice. So, I peeled 3 organic oranges and unfortunately I forgot to put on the juice catcher which is like a large pitcher designed with a side hole up near the top to catch the juice so then I had to clean up that mess so I lost one orange onto the counter top. But when I used the other two peeled organic oranges it came out a little like an orange julius into the container which was great!  So, even if you don't have an orange juicer specific to making orange juice all you have to do is to peel your oranges first and make it using your Breville Stainless steel juicer or other juicer similar to mine.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Relationships and Money

I was thinking today about sort of a formula regarding relationships and money. This following is what the average person deals with in life. So, this might not be specific to your individual life but it is what people on average deal with in their lives.

First, the optimum time in life to search out potential significant others is between about 15 and 25 in the United States. However, after that, everything begins to change rather radically. So what might be useful and necessary for one between 18 and 25 has a tendency to become counterproductive starting about age 25 to 30. So, by the time most people are about 30 years of age relationships become much more about money and children than they tend to be about love, sex and playfulness. So, in this sense everyone's window worldwide tends to be relatively narrow unless one is rich. And sometimes rich people stay emotionally stilted in this 15 to 25 period of life throughout their lives. For some, this might be okay or good but for others this might be a disaster depending upon the person.

But, the average person has to be very aware of the changes going on or they are left behind and alone very often. Or, they wind up in a very unhappy relationship for 5, 10, 20 years or even a lifetime. Or they wind up alone and rich or alone and poor or alone and somewhere in between.

Especially among men, the men who are self made men tend to be not good at relationships. Because the necessary focus to get rich from being poor makes them usually myopic in regard to relationships. So, usually a woman might find a really nice guy who is good at relationships but doesn't make a very good living or a woman might find a real asshole that really brings in the money. This is kind of the way life actually is.

So, by age 30 this is what people find: either good relationships with no money or bad relationships with a lot of money. But, what you should really avoid is a bad relationship with no money because this only makes people crazy or dead in the long run.

So, for most people realizing that as they pass 25 they need to start thinking about either finding someone they actually want to be with or realizing that they might be alone for life, one or the other.

In my own case I fell in love about 3 times before I was 21. The first time I was 16 and I realized that I was too intense emotionally to be with a really intensely emotional woman. The first person I fell in love with at 16 was 21 and could sing like an opera singer and was very feminine and emotional and intelligent. But I found I couldn't stay balanced in this kind of relationship, partly because of the age difference and partly because I wasn't grown up enough yet to know what I was really doing. So, I started going out with someone who was a year older than I when I was 17 who was just starting out at a Los Angeles University. This was good but then this became a problem because this was someone who I actually wanted to marry and had believed I would marry since I first met her at age 6. But this was a problem because she was already in college and a grown woman and I was only 17 and still pretty much of a boy emotionally. Two years later we broke up because I hadn't been completely faithful to her and then a couple of years later she married and I felt crushed. But, even though I was crushed by this I knew that this would be better for her because I didn't know when I would grow up. At 19 I went with another girl for 2 years that I also thought I could eventually marry but then she was very religious and wanted to stay celibate and I wanted children. So, I broke up with her. Now, I had broken up in two fully adult relationships and now I was really screwed up emotionally from both these breakups.

So, I got angry and decided to never date another virgin again. And to the best of my knowledge I kept this pledge except for a few girls who lied to me about not being virgins anymore. So, between ages 21 and 25 I dated at least 25 girls or more. Then I met a girl I wanted to marry and we had a son at age 26.

But, all the playfulness and flirting that I had found so useful for a lot of my life up until then became very counterproductive to staying married and protecting and raising my son. So, it is funny what really helps you stay alive at one point in your life would harm both your marriage and your children later on. And precedent (the fact that you have behaved in a certain way for a long time) is very difficult to overcome in life often.

So, by the time I was 29 I was divorced from my first wife because she was really too young when we married (she was 21) and then we had a baby at her age 22 even though I was 26 and old enough to be a good father. However, I think people grew up faster in 1974 than now because I meet many people who are even 30 years old that I can tell have no business being married or raising children.

But also, by the time most people are 30 absolutely everything has changed in their lives whether they realize it or not. Time waits for no man or woman or child. So, by age 30 and beyond relationships are much more about friendship and compatibility and money than they are about sex.

Yes. sexual compatibility is very important in almost any relationship with a significant other but after 30 it should not be the most important component of a relationship unless you really want that relationship to fail. The single most important things are friendship and compatibility and the ability to laugh at yourself in all situations. Without these things relationships just aren't going to last. Or if they do they will tend to be very strained and uncomfortable.

Money. Relationships in order to be more permanent at ever age have to have enough money in order to successfully exist ongoing. So, whether that money is coming from your parents until you are 25 or 30 or whether you have jobs (or whether one of you has a trust fund) or whatever. Just remember that it isn't love that tends to break up marriages. If you look at statistically what actually breaks up marriages it is money. Either there is none or there is an unequal distribution of money in the relationship. But, if you ask most people why they divorce it is not because of a lack of love. It is because of Money. This is the primary reason that people break up.

So, understanding this will empower you to be more practical in your decisions at every age regarding relationships and money.

Movie: The Watch

Though some people panned this movie it is in the same genre as: Superbad, Get Him to the Greek, and many others. So, it is based upon what one might call (Junior High School and High School male humor). However, this also happens to be my favorite because of my memories of being in junior high and High school and all the what we called then "The Gross outs" or how to find out how to gross out your friends for a better laugh.

But, if you don't like this extreme form of developmental humor and male bonding then you won't like this movie. I loved it and laughed all the way through it but like I said, "You have to like this type of humor for it to be useful to you."

My son, after reading the reviews said, "This movie is basically a big Penis joke." In some ways he is right. Basically, this is a bunch of men from their late 20s to early 40s bonding like they were still in Junior High or High School which for me was great fun to watch.

Spiritual Elitism

When I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s Spiritual Elitism was somewhat recognizable to me and to others of my generation. So, we all tried to change this so people wouldn't be harmed so much by spiritual elitism.  It went and in its more subtle than then ways it continues however. It looks something like this:

If you aren't white
If you aren't rich
If you aren't living on the correct side of the tracks

Then you likely aren't going to heaven or going to get rich before you don't get to go there.

However, in other countries besides the United States it might be something different
that people are brainwashed subtly with.

The problem is that this kind of thinking (whatever it is) is pervasive around the world. And even though it is subtle it is very deadly to the subconscious minds of especially children and young adults of all persuasions. And if it isn't ferreted out of someone's subconscious mind one way or another by therapy of one kind or another in childhood or adulthood then often one dies having been brainwashed all their lives in this way which is not Good.

I guess the single most important thing for you to know about all this is that basically it is all a lie.

However, even if you don't believe the lie most people have been brainwashed subconsciously to believe the lie and so you have to deal with this deep seated confusion wherever you go. And so, you must be very strong in your heart and mind to overcome this kind of brainwashing in order to be a success both spiritually and monetarily and in every way in your life ongoing.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Compassion for All LIfe in the Universe

I was raised from babyhood to eventually become a lay minister in the religion I was raised in. My parents were in charge of their church as lay ministers (which means they supported themselves by working outside the church primarily). But, as I reached age 21 I was asked to leave the church because I was just too a part of the 60s social revolution and the lady that was in charge of our church internationally had no idea what to do with my generation. So, though she and the other members had prayed by that time for at least 30 years for our generation to become young adults, when we actually grew up and started to take charge of the world she couldn't deal with it and I was asked to leave the church I was raised in. But then, it got worse, rumors spread that were usually about 95% untrue about me and people started to pray against me in my church.

And I wondered how people could be so afraid and misguided and so swayed by untruths from the rumor mill that I knew were almost completely false in nature. Imagine having a family of people you grew up with all your life from around the world and one day they are all telling complete lies about your and your life and then believing those lies and then praying against you as if the lies were true. How would you feel?

Luckily, God made me a very strong person because I had already survived whooping cough, Childhood epilepsy and growing up in the 1950s and 1960s so this made me strong enough to not kill myself even though I seriously thought about killing myself for several years. So, even when I wanted more than anything to commit suicide I couldn't do that to my parents and relatives. So, in the end that is why I stayed alive from age 21 to age 25 when I met my first wife and we had a son at my age 26.

However, I was very leery of all religions after this experience of near death caused by completely ignorant and foolish people that I had thought were my life long friends worldwide. So, I began to look at religion very differently.  All this didn't change my relationship with God and only made my connection to God and Jesus and Arcangel Michael and Mary the Mother of Jesus and Saint Germain even closer. However, it did turn me against religions that made people be crazy enough to pray against me personally. WTF?

So, religion had demonstrated to me it's basic evil. So, though I found God to be Good I found religions to be Evil. And trying to sort out this paradox was very difficult for me. But, because I am a very intuitive and spiritual person naturally, and my very close  personal relationship with God, Jesus, Archangel Michael, Mother Mary, Saint Germain and all of God's Angels, I felt a duty to God and to humanity to try to make some sense of the insanity and near death I had been confronted with from truly ignorant people (sincere but incredibly ignorant).

So, one day I was waiting for a friend who had been raised in the same religion as I who was attending UCLA (HE got kicked out of our religion for having a rock and roll band in high school) (He opened at the Coliseum for the group Chicago around that time with his band in Los Angeles).

As I waited in the library I looked up Greek Mythology And Buddhism. And in Buddhism religion began to make sense for the first time in my life.

In Buddhism I found the Middle Way Path of Compassion which was a lot like the Greeks idea of "Everything in moderation" or "everything in balance".

Since I had seen so much extremism in my life growing up I longed for moderation and balance and harmony.

There had been somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people in the religion I was raised in growing up worldwide. But I had been taught that everyone but those 10,000 or 20,000 people were going to hell. This had always sort of seemed wrong or crazy to me. So, this also made me want to seek something that was at least logical and something not so completely improbable. So, in Buddhism I also found a logical system of belief which was the first logical system for an intelligent person that actually makes some logical sense.

And another thing I always liked about Buddhism is that although 25% of Buddhists Worldwide believe in God, the majority, 75% do not. The next thing I like about Buddhism is that it is considered to be a philosophy but not a religion in the Western World Because God isn't involved in this religion (At least the way God is experienced in the Western World).

So, to me, as long as a person was compassionate to himself or herself, and compassionate to all life in the universe as much as possible in a practical way one could be a good Buddhist whether they believed in God or not.

So, finally I found some symmetry in a religion that was not considered a real religion to western people at that time. I found compassion as the most useful baseline for being a human being that I had ever found. And, not only that it looked like Jesus had emulated Buddhist Compassion because Buddha came 500 years before Christ and Jesus turned it into Forgiveness to help middle eastern people get beyond "An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth" which is right out of the old Testament and still practiced generally in all non-Christian cultures in the middle east.

So, here was a philosophy that I could practice without giving up being a mystical Christian and this has brought me Great Peace and ever Growing compassion on all levels since I was initiated by my first Tibetan Lama in 1980 in Ashland, ORegon. This led to various   initiations and empowerments in California and India between 1980 and 1990.

I realized that non-dualism which is sort of like seeing the whole universe more like the weather rather than trying to classify everything into good or bad like Judeo Christian Ethic does. For example, is rain good or bad? Is snow Good or bad? Is wind Good or Bad? That's Right it all depends upon who is experiencing what during or after any or all of these events. So, a much more useful and pragmatic approach to everything in the universe is not to just be terrified of everything like many dualists are but to look at all things in regard to compassion and practicality in every given situation. Yes. It makes everything much more complicated because then everything winds up being shades of gray. But when you try to make everything either good or bad you just wind up being childish in the end. LIfe mostly is neither good or bad, in the end everything and everyone is just trying to find a way to stay alive anyway they can. In understanding this about every life form in the universe you are miles beyond almost all beings on  earth in understanding of the universe.

For me, compassion for all life in the universe is something I live every day and not just on Sunday. I try as much as possible to embody that compassion here at my site.

However, as Yoda would say, "There is no Try there is only Do!"

Friday, July 27, 2012

Liquifying kale without straining it is a bust

I added a section onto:
More on Juicing

But for some reason even though it is in the post it won't print out at my site. This has happened before a couple of times on various websites that I have had since 1999 for the first one then at geocities.com which I believe no longer exists.

So, basically what I found out was when I liquified the kale I had to strain it before adding it to the organic vegan vegetable and fruit juices. Otherwise, it was like drinking tea without straining out the tea leaves. So, potential choking for some people might be a problem. Otherwise, liquifying it is likely a more efficient way to get all of the nutrients out of your kale better. But I'm not sure it is worth the extra work and clean-up including liquifying, then straining then adding it to your juice.

Pictures of a 1914 New Hudson motorcycle from the U.K.

CIMG3010.jpg (112808 bytes)By clicking on each of the above photos you can blow up each of them to better view the New Hudson in the museum in the U.K. CIMG3012.jpg (134482 bytes) CIMG3013.jpg (111579 bytes) CIMG3014.jpg (117519 bytes)


On the front cover of Time Magazine that I just received in the mail it says on the cover page "How Guns Won".

Though I haven't read the article yet what I would like to say is when people see what is happening in the massacres in Syria and other places on earth and they see what happened in a theater in Colorado, they want their own guns to defend themselves. And this will get only more extreme in the coming years. The main reason people aren't for gun control is that gun control only is successful if people completely trust their government at all levels ongoing. Though that might be true in someplace like England, that is simply not true in the U.S. because government at all levels has for at least 30 years now has not really been a friend to the middle and lower class no matter what anyone says.

And as long as people don't feel like they are being protected and that their REAL interests are  not actually being addressed you will see people all over the U.S. buying Assault rifles in growing and ever growing numbers. And even if they are made illegal you will still see people buying assault rifles and anything else they think they need in growing numbers.

Another change that needs to be addressed is the 50,000 or more people in Mexico that have been machine gunned down by automatic weapons just in the last year. Some of that spills over into the southern parts of the U.S. as well. So, automatically you will see people especially within about 200 miles of the Mexico border buying assault rifles and loading them and locking them in a closet for immediate use at any time. This is only logical for people within a couple hundred miles of the Mexico border.

I, personally don't do any of this because I am an intuitive so I usually know what is going to happen before it happens at most points in my life. So, generally if I feel something unsafe coming I generally just make sure I am not there when it happens or could happen. So, generally speaking I don't believe that I personally need to be armed. (Also, I live at least 400 miles from the Mexico border so that is not an issue for me).

Also, it is pretty much inevitable that at some point in the next 300 years that the U.S. likely will see another violent revolution like the Revolutionary war or the Civil War. This is likely a given. Whenever all citizens are not taught to be self disciplined and to care not only for themselves but to sacrifice and care for all citizens it makes this or any country ripe for an eventual civil war or revolution sooner or later.

So, if you want to avoid another civil war or revolution you need to train your children to take care of everyone in the U.S. The alternative will be eventually another civil war.

More on Juicing

Raw organic Vegan juicing recipes

This morning I was trying to remember my son's what my wife calls "Beet Power" recipe for juicing. However, I had to go look in my blog article above "Raw organic Vegan Juicing recipes" to actually remember all the ingredients because I couldn't find the piece of paper that I originally wrote all these down on. I also have Joe Cross' book and DVD but I find it is more convenient to have a single piece of computer typed paper with the recipes somewhere near the kitchen phone or corkboard for messages nearby. So, I just printed out the above article I wrote so I can put a pin through it on my corkboard and just hope my wife doesn't take it down again without telling me. So, the one I"m looking for is:

Beet Power  which is:

1/2 beet

1 whole lemon including peel

1 slice of organic pineapple fresh

1 large handfull of organic spinach

3 leaves of kale

5 carrots

2 apples

1 small handful of organic mint


Also, last night my daughter just bought a Breville juicer like the one I bought through amazon.com and had it shipped to her front door in Oregon. She was saying, "I don't think kale juices very well. It seems like I'm losing most of it." My response was, "Well. Why don't you put it in a blender with water and blend it up along with the ginger and then add it to your juice after you make it?" I'm going to try that myself today using reverse osmosis water or bottled water today to see how that idea actually works in real time.

Also, part of the fun of being on this diet is experimenting with what you like or don't like. For example, yesterday I bought a young coconut that is partially husked so I could drink coconut milk and then scoop out the jello like substance of a pre-hardened state coconut inside and eat it. (At some Thai Restaurants locally they serve this jello like coconut stuff in one of their coconut drinks that I really like.) I used one of  the saws from my Leatherman knife to open the husk and then I used a screwdriver by hitting it with a hammer to break the nut wall so I could gain entry through the remaining husk and hard casing. However, unless you are good with saws and tools I wouldn't recommend it. Because even I was little worried I was going to slip with the Leatherman knife saw and cut myself while sawing off the remaining husk. But puncturing into the shell is pretty easy with a screwdriver and hammer.

Later: I tried liquifying kale leaves in a little water. However, I'm not sure this would be practical to do for most people because in order to do this properly one has to turn the blender on, stop it, then push the leaves down into the blender more then stop it and repeat this movement several times. And I'm not sure everyone would be safe doing this depending upon their hand eye co-ordination because you don't want to have your hand in the blender when you accidentally turn it on. Also, some people might use a fork, spoon, a piece of plastic or wood to push the kale down while the blender is on and this isn't really safe either. 

Also, I realized that adding water to the kale waters down the end drink of juices and makes the end user need to drink more water than they might want to and also it waters down the juices taste for those who like the live food tastes. 

So, my thought it is if you decide to blend your kale first juice your juice and then put it in the blender and blend in your kale. This way no extra water needs to be added and then you get all the valuable nutrients of the kale without losing any at all to the juicer throwing most of it immediately into the pulp bin.

However, then I tried to actually drink the stuff and the little pieces of kale that reminded me of a lot of little tea leaves sort of put me off. So, I found myself straining the whole drink of the kale leaves. So, in the end I'm not sure how helpful this exercise was other than an experiment in efficiency. In the end if you can't drink the stuff because of what you have created maybe the original way was the best way after all.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Make your own rules

Though this is the true rule to success there is a very big caveat which is: You had better be educated enough to actually succeed at this before you try it. If you aren't educated or experienced enough you are simply going to wind up in jail or dead.

When I look at adults mentally and physically fit there are only two types of these. One group needs a lot of rules like being in a box the rest of their lives to feel secure. And the first group are people who do well in the military and in corporations. And then there is another group (that often become millionaires or more) that do much better if they are allowed to make their own rules. I once saw TV movie called "The Pirates of Silicon Valley" which was mostly about people like Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, of Apple Computer, and the Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft. But if you look at the title it sort of says it all. They changed the world completely and this could only have been done in the United States like this because of the way things still were in the 1980s.

But since then Congresspeople both in States and in the Federal Government and lawyers in general have been very busy(after all they all do have to make a living somehow). However, the result has not been good for the average U.S. Citizen because all these representatives and lawyers have sort of been like beavers and damed up all the free rivers in the U.S. of opportunity. So, probably what I would say if you want opportunity again for people to actually make money the way people used to through opportunity in the U.S., the rivers of commerce somehow have to be running free again. Otherwise, the U.S. will very quickly (like it is now) become completely irrelevant on the world stage.

An Adventurous Life

I think it was because of my father's love of adventure and the way he was raised and the fact the he and his first wife and his brother when he was 24 in 1939 he chartered a yacht from Canada and sailed from Vancouver to Seattle on down the coast to eventually Los Angeles and then Catalina Island 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach was the last land they saw for 40 days until they reached the Tuomoto Archipeligo and Tahiti. So, as I was growing up I saw all this and the 5 foot 11 inch bow my Dad used to hunt flying fish with a line attached to bring them back to the sailboat or the various beautiful shells from that area he brought back or the color 16mm movies he took while there.

So, I grew up with this sense of adventure and that somehow I was a part of all this. But then, I got whooping cough at age 2 and then got childhood epilepsy at age 10 to 15 and all this starting with the whooping cough made me a relatively extreme risk taker because at least I knew when I was taking physical risks that I was still alive and not dead. When you deal with a serious life threatening illness for months or years (at least this was my reaction) I wanted to take physical risks to make sure I was still alive. So, all my life I went from jumping off of  roofs of houses starting about age 8 to about 15 and riding bicycles standing on the rear seat while riding down the road and stuff like that. But, this was mostly about saying to myself and the world, "I'm not dead. Look! I'm still alive and kicking!" This, because I was and am very intuitive and co-ordinated worked for me. But then, there are also other people that might fall down their stairs and really hurt themselves as well (also, I have also done that when I first started to wear reading glasses and didn't know yet at about 50 that you have to take reading glasses off when going down carpeted stairs with just socks on. So now, I 've learned to not wear socks and reading glasses while walking down carpeted stairs.

So then I planned my whole life around one woman I planned to marry. Well, that didn't work out and this taught me that plans don't work. It also taught me, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with." This philosophy saved my life and completely changed the direction of my life ongoing. So, I learned to live intuitively because most plans didn't work out and this led me to becoming a business owner and entrepreneur. It also eventually led to traveling around the world to multiple interesting places, getting married three times, having three kids and standing by them no matter what so I'm still there in all their lives in a healthy way. So, an intuitive, intelligent adventurous life is possible.

When I first started out on this path at age 21 I was suicidal and by 25 I was definitely living a different life than I ever expected to live. So, this path though different than I ever expected led me to the present and I really love my life now. However, I think my 20s were really difficult to survive both physically and psychologically. But then, by the time I was in my 30s I was raising my son and remarried and raising my stepkids and was living a life long dream at that time. I think the adventure of a mt. Shasta Wilderness family experience of buying land at 4000 feet and building my own A-Frame was very healthy for me and so I found myself at 40 to still be looking 25 years of age because I had really been happy during my 30s. I can't say my 40s were very happy because of a really bad divorce and custody battle. But, I also remarried to someone I'm very happy with the last almost 20 years now. So, somehow, living without a plan worked for me much better than almost anyone I have met who totally planned out their lives for every year of their lives. I haven't always been ecstatically happy but all in all I have had a really amazing life. As long as you can survive the bad times in life you can often create a really wonderful and amazing life in total. And for everyone, the bad times at the time you often don't expect to survive. But, if you don't give up just around the corner might be a life you will really want to be there for. So, don't ever give up.

World War II BSA 500

BSA_DSF2622_watermark.jpg (256348 bytes) If you click on the picture it should enlarge

I owned one of these from about 1968 until my father passed away around 1985. I kept it at my father's home in the desert because it was really great to ride down sandy washes and over dirt roads out there all over within about 20 miles of my Dad's house up on Yucca Mesa near Yucca Valley, California. If you look closely at the photo blown up to full size you can see there is absolutely no rear suspension other than the springs on the seat. The one I had was used by the Allies (likely the British Army) in North Africa during World War II. It was the single most reliable motorcycle I have ever owned. You didn't need to ever worry about your battery because it didn't have one and the ignition system only worked when the motor was turning over. So, spark was only available as the engine was being kicked over with the kick starter or being push started in 2nd gear down a road and then popping the clutch. I could leave this motorcycle up to one year or more when I lived in Northern California in Mt. Shasta and whenever I returned I could get this thing started within 5 minutes which is pretty remarkable for any motorcycle being left alone that long. Though it is much heavier than any dualsport motorcycle today it was a real tank of a vehicle and basically for all intents and purposes indestructible the way it was built. It had suspension on only the front wheel so you had to look very carefully at what you were riding over so you wouldn't injure your back or spine in too big a bump on the rear wheel because there was no suspension in the rear end at all except for the seat springs on your seat. So, if a bump was coming up you had to rise up a little on your foot pegs by pulling back on both handlebars equally to avoid spinal or back injuries. But other than that it was one of my favorite motorcycles ever for riding in the desert on sandy roads. I rode it as fast as about 60 to 65 miles per hour but it was much happier at speeds below 50 but it could run all day at 45 or 50 over any terrain you could survive riding over. It had the thickest protection plate under the engine of any off road vehicle I have ever seen so even if I hit a rock with the plate 1 foot high by accident the engine was safe always from damage. And generally speaking this thing was built for warfare and basically simply  unbreakable and had no battery only a magneto which also ran the headlight just fine for night riding. 

I really wish someone still made something like this today because it was literally the easiest starting (after leaving it for a year or more with same gas and oil unstarted or unmoved). It was the most indestructible motorcycle I have ever owned. 

Once I crashed on it because I looked back to see where my cousin was who was riding my Dad's old 1970s honda trail 90. It was a mistake to look back because I was in deep sand of about 12 inches deep and riding about 45 mph on the BSA. So, I lost control and went down like a silly. I had shorts on and no helmet because of the era and I either had my shirt off or I was in only a T-shirt because it was at least 90 to 110 degrees out then Fahrenheit in the desert. I had on tennis shoes so as the bike laid down on the deep sandy dirt desert road I pulled my left leg out from under the bike before it started to grind up on the sand moving by at 45 mph. I next grabbed a handle bar and stood on top of the now sliding motorcycle's engine on the top right side of the sliding bike. The problem came when the left handlebar dug into the sand and the bike suddenly went from about 20 mph to nothing so I had to somersault forwards into the sand at 20 mph to avoid getting peeled literally. I was bleeding in a couple of places from sand burns and laughing when my older lawyer cousin drove up on the Honda Trail 90. I was laughing because I hadn't died and had only minor injuries. This was me at about 20. My cousin was pale and said "What the f--- were you thinking?" I didn't have an answer for him right then because I was trying to get the sand out of my wounds by brushing the sand out of the gathering bloody parts. But I was still laughing because I hadn't died or lost a leg ground up beneath the bike from the sand at that speed because I only had Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt on with no helmet with tennis shoes.


I was talking with my son who is a nurse and he was telling me that it is important not to eat too many nuts. For example, I had eaten a whole lot of celery stalks the previous night filled with peanut butter in the grooves. Normally I would buy on my own organic peanut butter with just peanuts and salt and that's all that needs to be refrigerated to stay fresh. But my wife doesn't like the oil that is on top in that kind of form of peanut butter so she bought a bunch of other peanut butter that is smooth with Palm Oil added. Also, my son was saying that Palm Oil is hard to digest as well for a body. Also, it is better if your product is not hydrogenated for your health.

So, after eating a whole lot of peanut butter on the celery stalks I had terrible pains in my kidneys and liver after that and eventually just went to bed because of the pain.

So, when I talked to my son he said that it is important not to eat too many of any nuts at one time because it is very hard on your liver and kidneys when you do. Nuts should only be eaten in small amounts because even though they are a good source of protein they are also hard for your body to process. And the more you eat of nuts or any kind of nut butter (at one sitting) the more problems you will likely have even though they are a good source of protein in small amounts.


Many investors around the world have converted a portion (or in some cases all of their investments to cash) because of the uncertain situation especially in Europe as well as other locations: Iran, Syria, Israel in regard to potential military operations that could greatly increase the price of oil worldwide. Other people are investing in Oil as a hedge at this time as will because of this reason. Some people also invest in gold. However, even though I like gold I haven't had the best experience with Gold personally, because unless your specialty is Gold as an investor or as a business usually if you buy and sell gold infrequently you will tend to lose money in trading gold as a relative novice. So, if I buy gold it is something that I tend to keep forever, or for a complete 2nd Great Depression scenario if everything went FUBAR in whatever country I was in. So, I'm not a gold trader in this sense.

But, many people are trying to stay liquid during the last year or two so no matter what happens they have enough cash to manage through anything that comes up. Some of you will stuff your mattresses with your favorite currency. But even though I wouldn't do that personally I understand the temptation to do that because my grandfather once buried $25,000 in a large coffee can in his front yard during the Great Depression in Seattle in Lake Forest Park. So, keeping enough cash somewhere safe to make it through any situation might be important the next few years.

Here are some of the reasons:  1. a completely dysfunctional U.S. Congress. We have not had a U.S. Congress this dysfunctional since Harry Truman and that had been caused by World War II.
2. A completely dysfunctional European Union. Though all the individual countries are functional as individual units the fact that they all share the same currency might take the whole group down as we can see every day in the news.
3. In my last article, you can see that foreign investers including those in the U.S. can no longer get enough information to safely invest in ANY Chinese Company. So, any that still do must be considered complete Las Vegas style big gamblers at this point.

So, my recommendation would be to invest in an American Blue Chip Company that gives good dividends that also does business in China. In that way you get all the advantages without any disadvantages. Because American Companies are required to be transparent for American investors still.

Though there are many other factors as well, it is obvious to anyone who studies world finances that we are in for either a severe transition like happened during the Great Depression and World War II or we are in for a recession or something like what Japan has been going through about the last 20 years or so. So, studying any or all of these things might be useful if you are a serious investor around the world now to make better decisions for your economic survival ongoing.