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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cable News vs. Christmas sprit


      Waiting for the start of today’s athletic contest I cruised some of the Sunday morning talk shows. The following is a professionally crafted tease designed to keep me tuned into the coming Cable News shows.

      “Welcome to Cable News, today we will entertain you with relentless outrage, anger, despair, frustration, fear, indignation, fury, resentment, injustice, scandal, shock, horror, insult, loss of honor, offence, wrath, disgust, and all other ungodly acts of mankind.

      We open today’s show with “The War on Christmas”, followed with stories about the destruction of our blessed American Exceptionalism. Our special panel of experts will debate how civilization is collapsing. We have started coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, as a bonus we will review the candidates for the 2020 race.

      The Ebola fear stories played out weeks ago, and now news about Ferguson is getting stale and repetitious, so we have brand new shocking narratives to titillate your fancy and arouse your deepest anxieties.

      Shows calibrated to appeal to the superior intellect of our audience, those few who pride themselves on being the best informed citizen. The assault on your liberty, freedom, Christianity and wealth is documented in a fair and balanced way.”

      After watching the promos I fled into my bedroom and hid under the bed, heart pounding, gasping for breath with palms sweating. Even my dog got spooked, crawling under the bed with me, convinced something was terribly amiss. As we waited for the world to end, nothing whatsoever happened. Eventually I calmed down a little, I pushed the dog out to investigate the damage. She quickly returned with a tennis ball and dropped it into my hand. I found this strangely soothing and normal in a world gone mad. Courage slowly returned with the guidance of my canine companion.

      Confidence restored I return to the TV. The game had started and my home town team was winning. Life is good and I feel a vague absolute and total desperation.

      A jarring oscillation of reality sets in, a duality of perceptions.

      My favorite team is winning: a North Korean sleeper cell is planning my death.

      Gas is down to $2 per gallon: a Mexican drug cartel is stalking me.

      Positive: Negative: Positive: Negative.

      Deep in my subconscious a safety fuse blows, initiating a soft reboot.

      My vision clears and reality asserts itself. I am standing outside a Starbucks, my wife hands me a latte. I stand straight and breathe deeply, soaking in the atmosphere surrounding me. Crowds’ mill about, caroling fills the air and Christmas shoppers rush back and forth. The commercialization of the birth of baby Jesus, getting and gotting abounds, the joyous release of pent up demand, the strange expression of religious belief using financial debt. God, how I love America, I can not imagine a better place to live.

      People are humming Peace on earth, goodwill to all mankind, this stands in sharp contrast to the fabricated doom and gloom of cable news. I see sisters hugging each other, I see children running and laughing, I hear the jingle bells of cash registers. A frenetic joy as women complete their endless Christmas list and the unfocused calm of confused males wandering boutique shops.

      Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen. Merry Christmas to all and a most Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Force is with me


      Another Sunday, another set of NFL football games. Sunday afternoon has become my favorite part of the week, especially if the home town team is winning.

      I have noted a strange correlation between myself and unrelated external events. Whenever I can watch the home team play real-time, they loss, if I miss the game, learning the final score days later, they win. For the Houston Texans to win, I have to miss the game.

      A mysterious metaphysical relationship exist between my passive inaction and the sporting outcome. Even more confounding, this seems a lifelong trend over a broad range of possibilities. When I buy a stock, the value drops, when I sell a stock, the value increases. When I purchase a new car, there is a manufacture’s recall. Whenever I change employer, the new company quickly develops financial problems. Any politician I vote for losses the election. Clothing I buy goes out of style. It never rains when I carry an umbrella. The list is endless and the correlations absolute.

      This recent insight has left me thunder struck, I possess power almost beyond imaging. I can ruin political careers, end dynasties, alter weather, create market wealth, destroy national economies, and shape the future of fashion. It appears I have power without limit.

      With great power comes great responsibly. How can I use my immense powers to improve the lot of Mankind?  The advancement of civilization rest on my shoulders alone. Imagine living with that burden! As a metaphysical process the detailed cause and effect relationship is unknowable. I need a name for this phenomena, this warped marvel of reality, I will call it “The Force”.

      Then I realize there is a dark side to The Force. If I use it to extract billions from Goldman Sachs, the final bill will be paid by the American taxpayer, if I use The Force to give the Houston Texans a perfect season, other teams have to loss. The Force is governed by some conservation of good vs. bad prosperity. In the end it all balances out, with the final equation equaling zero.

      For now, I will keep my powder dry, but don’t mess with me, I can seriously hurt you.

How to get Mexican Permanent Residency



      I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend of mine at The Turtle Bay CafĂ© & Bakery in Akumal Mexico, there were wondrous tales of scuba dives and general agreement about the serenity of retirement. Ron then completely one upped me by producing a Permanent Residency green card. As a retired American expatriate a green card is much desired due the benefits conferred to the bearer. I asked how this had come about, he related his story and told me that he had written an article about it.

      With Ron Stern’s permission, I have reproduced his original article.

 

 

From Zero to Permanent Residency in 28 days.

      The new Mexican immigration regulations instituted November 12, 2012 streamline the efforts for foreign (non-Mexican) citizens who wish to retire in Mexico (and do not wish to work in Mexico) to obtain a Permanent Resident green card in Mexico. I learned of these new regulations listening to NPR radio. It was stressed that an essential part of this new policy to obtain Permanent or Temporary Resident cards is to initiate the process outside Mexico, preferably at a Mexican Consulate near your current non-Mexican resident location.

      Here is the chronology and efforts I undertook to successfully obtain Mexican Permanent Residency in 28 days. I had no previous Mexican immigration status other than standard 120-day tourist visas.

      July 29, 2013: I requested the services of a legal firm in Playa del Carmen I had successfully worked on real estate issues to assist me in the process to become a Mexican Permanent Resident. The immigration lawyer and contact information are:

Mariana Ozuna
Investment & Legal Consultants
Av. 45 Nte. Con calle 6 Nte. Bis 171 Col.
Centro C.P. 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo

Tel. (984) 873-3436, Fa (984) 803-0998
U.S. numbers 623-241-4074     623-241-4566


      There was a modest fee ($2,700 USD) to cover all associated fees and lawyer expenses.

      July 30, 2013: As mentioned, it is important to initiate the process outside Mexico. I live in Irvine, CA. so at 9 AM on July 30, 2013 I went to the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana, CA. I came prepared with a filled out Permanent Residency Application obtained at


      I also came with the required documentation for proof of economic solvency and a required passport style photograph. These requirements (and more information) are listed at


      I did not have an appointment, waited for 2 hours in a comfortable waiting room, and finally was escorted to the appropriate Visa office. It took 30 minutes, one free photograph taken at the premise, and $36 USD to obtain a Permanent Resident Visa placed into my US passport. This Visa is good for 6 months to enter Mexico to complete the paperwork for the final Permanent Resident green card. Once in Mexico you have at most 30 days to visit an Immigration Office to initiate the Mexico part of the requirements.

      August 4, 2013: I flew to Cancun and rented a car to drive to my condo at Playa Caribe in Akumal Norte.

      August 5, 2013: I drove to Playa del Carmen in the afternoon to meet with the immigration lawyer, Mariana Ozuna, to give her my passport to be held for at least three days together with 4 “pico” passport style photographs with frontal view, and 3 with a right side view. These I obtained in the USA. Mariana Ozuna requested further evidence of financial solvency used to obtain the Visa in the USA.

      August 19, 2013: Mariana Ozuna notified me that I should appear at the Immigration offices in Playa del Carmen (located at the Plaza Azteca at the north entrance of Playacar) at 10:30 AM for fingerprints. I drove there, spent 10 minutes in the waiting room, 5 minutes for the fingerprints, and departed back to Akumal (well after a few hours of shopping).

      August 26, 2013: Mariana Ozuna notified me that my Permanent Residency card was ready to be picked up.

      August 27, 2013: I drove to Playa del Carmen and meet Mariana Ozuna at the Playa del Carmen Immigration Office and waited 5 minutes. My name was called, I signed a document stating I had received the green card, and departed with my Permanent Resident card, for more shopping in Playa.

       Other than the efforts mentioned above, Mariana Ozuna and her office did all of the work (of which I am unaware). I suspect all of this can be done without the assistance of an immigration expert. However, this may come at the expense of several more trips to the Mexican Immigration Office and longer waiting times.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stupid American Voters


      We just finished the most important election in human history, we do that every two years. In Texas, with about 70% of the Voting Age Population (VAP) registered, 19% of these registered voters actually voted. Out of 100 who could vote 13.3 did vote. If 30% will always vote republican and 30% will always vote democratic, then our politicians were selected by 5 actual voters out 100 potential voters.

      The winning politician always claims that the American public has spoken and they have a mandate. Neither claim is true, at least 95% of the American public did not vote for you, Mr. Politician.

      Of the top 40 capitalist democracies the USA ranks 39th in voter participation.

      Of the VAP there has seen a consistent drop off of registration, with a consistent drop off of participation by registered voters.

      That is the data, what does it mean?

      This fall in voter turnout matches the fall in equity wealth by the middle class. Indeed, all of the perceived losses by the middle class tracks closely with the decreasing voter turnout.

      The received political wisdom says a lower turnout favors republicans and a higher turnout favors democrats. Since the VAP turnout never exceeds 45% (43.73% for the 2012 presidential election), this theory is valid only for a small voter turnout. The other democracies have VAP numbers of 71% to 93%, with an average of about 80%. If we had a VAP turnout of 80%, who knows what the result would be? We haven’t seen that kind of turnout since the early elections by our founding fathers. The founders seriously limited the voter franchise, but those who could vote, did vote. Very much different than today.

      Why the low voter turnout? All the theories I have read from our professional political class is self-serving. For example, a leading right wing theory is that our welfare system depresses voter turnout by turning productive citizens into lazy, mindless zombies. This theory fails to explain the 38 countries with better safety nets and higher voter turnout. Both political parties bemoan the stupid American voter, and I often hear democracy decried as mob rule.

      I believe low voter turnout is intentional. The politicians want to choose their voters, they do not want voters to choose their politician. The politicians have consistently and tirelessly worked to reduce voter participation. With the best research from the top professionals they have created policies, laws and practices that successfully depress voter turnout.

      Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” This is true, truth always wins out. If you can limit the vote to those you can fool all the time, you get to control the government for your own purposes. To this end, elites can create negative political advertisement that will motivate their “base” while repelling the majority of voters, driving them away from the voting booth. Since they are all crooks, why bother to vote? I have heard nonvoters cite, "If voting mattered it wouldn't be allowed", never realizing that because voting matters, the elites must control it, limit it, even deny it. Using the best research that money can buy, elites can identify and locate their “base”, then modify the institutions of voting to preferentially favor their “base”. This is what I observed in the latest election.

      Voter turnout can be increased, there are 38 examples we can study for possible answers. The best research about high voter turnout predicts outcomes that the current crop of politicians find frightening.  The result of a low voter turnout is comforting to the current political elites. I am sure they would prefer that only their mother, wife and daughter be allowed to vote.

      But I can dream can’t I? I can dream of a meritocracy where all men are created equal, I can dream of a legal system where a private individual has the same rights as a megacorporation, I can dream of a system where a young person can succeed by working hard and obeying the law. That would be a wonderful country to raise a family in.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

How I Downsized and Simplified


      My wife insisted that we needed to simplify and downsize. I had protested. I had complained. I had resisted. I had even openly rebelled, locking myself in the garage and refusing to come out (That didn’t work out as well as I hoped). I had no interest in my wife’s sales pitch to simplify and downsize. Eventually I lost the argument. I was beat into submission by the most cruel of tyrants, reality. Maintaining the lawn and plumbing and roof and the endless never ending demands of a large 2 story lakeside house finally wore me down. It was time for my adventure in simplifying and downsizing. We would sale the homestead and move into a condo 1/3 the size. No garage, no space for my lifelong collection of tools. This was going to be painful. Real men don’t show emotions, yeah right, take his claw hammer away and watch his response.

      My first exploration of downsizing was to minimize my large, over stuffed walk-in closet. Unclassified surplus had been shuffled into my closet and then forgotten. I found things I hadn’t cared about 10 years ago and had saved anyways. There were other items with some emotional attachment, a hard-hat and steel toed work boots from 30 years ago, some 1970s polyester pants, and a Bush – Quayle ‘88 campaign T-shirt. I felt this was easily $10,000 worth of collectables, Goodwill granted me less than a $100. All my memories going to Goodwill for a small tax deduction and redistribution to the needy.

      Driving the empty SUV home from Goodwill I experienced relief and the glimmer of a hopeful future. Unloading useless baggage had a cleansing effect. Less junk in my life.

      Next up for my downsizing and simplifying adventure, the home office.  As a senior manager the home office was my weekend connection to the day job. After retirement the home office became a lonely and empty room, rarely visited and seldom used. Downsizing here was easy, get a trash can and throw stuff into it. Employee reviews, gone. Ancient bank statements, gone. Half-finished business plans, gone. The home office had become a storage area for things vaguely office like, old electronics, and blank CDs. Years of stolen office supplies, pens I’ll never use, legal size manila folders and boxes of paper clips. I was starting to enjoy this.

      I was now ready for my true nemesis, the garage. Polyester pants may go out of style, but a crescent wrench is forever. A life time of tool collection had to go. The emotions ran deep in the dark recesses of the garage. Nooks and crannies filled with memories and dreams. I put out the word, free tools for all, I prepared for herds of males to rush my garage and fight over every screw driver. No one showed up. I was crushed, my belief that tools defined the man no longer applied. Somewhere between generations things had changed. Eventually three 30 something males showed up and offered me $450 for several million dollars of high-end personal tools. It was the only offer made and I accepted.

      Clearing the garage sealed the internal deal with myself, the final act of downsizing and simplifying. This was a clear acknowledgement that I would never again rebuild a car engine, or repair an A/C compressor. That had made me sad, but other implications made me glad. No more yard work, I would never again change out a hot water heater, my days of rebuilding automotive transmissions were over, all jobs I had come to hate. It was as if a great weight had lifted off my shoulders. I had truly retired.

      Now I live in a two bedroom condo, from the third floor balcony I can overlook the lake and watch my empty boat dock. The biggest benefit? When something breaks, I make a phone call and then return to my easy chair. The second biggest benefit? I can easily afford to live here, I have more cash for other things. Heck, I can afford to fill that empty boat dock. The biggest draw back? Taking out the trash now involves three flights of stairs, a hike across the parking lot and a heave ho into our industrial size trash container.

      What I had dreaded became liberating. Plus, somewhere in Texas, there is a Honduran illegal wearing a Bush – Quayle ‘88 campaign T-shirt.

BIG 2 story house: SOLD to downsize
New two bedroom condo

View from new downsized lake condo

Monday, October 6, 2014

Can we trust the news?


      A News Room Maxim, “If it bleeds, it leads”. The most starling and improbable event is sensationalized, and then hyped into a whopper. With zero indigenous American Ebola cases the news reports on the Ebola Plague, News Anchors speculate about the Ebola virus evolving into a super virus like that in Stephen King’s “The Stand”. I’m “just saying” that science fiction could be real, right? Back in two minutes with the next impossible claim, be sure and buy the sponsors products before your grandchildren die.

      Cable news ask, “Can we trust the government?” I ask “Can we trust the news?”

      Wolf! They cry, over, and over, Wolf! Ebola! Wolf! ISIS! Wolf! Enterovirus D68! Wolf! Khorasan!

      Let us not forget some of the classics.

      Wolf! Bird Flu! Wolf! Y2K! Wolf! Swine Flu! Wolf! Wolf!

      The only part of “The News” that I watch is the weather report and occasionally, the sports report. No weather report, no sports segment, I’m not tuning in. The amassing result of my viewing practice seems to be that I am better informed than the committed cable news viewers. My Twitter account is more informative than Fox News, a sad but true claim. Reading “The Demon in the Freezer”, by Richard Preston, maybe six hours of my time, and I am better prepared to discuss Ebola than someone who spent 10 times more hours glued to the “News”.

      How do the Ebola and ISIS threats compare to the danger of driving. 40,000 Americans will die in automotive accidents this year, two and a half million will be injured in automotive accidents. Countless passengers beheaded when the car runs under a semi-trailer. In Dallas mothers keep their children home to protect them from the Ebola threat, then they put them in the auto’s back seat as them run their daily errands. Were the children safer in school or the backseat of the family car? Do the “News Anchors” report on the death plague of auto accidents? If an entire family is wiped out in a single automotive accident, well, that will get a short spot.

      “All we have to fear, is fear itself”. FDR’s stirring 1933 speech would be attacked today, it would be characterized as government incompetence, as Presidential weakness, and misdirection by the ruling elites to cover some other scandal. We would hear news panels, composed of other news commentators without a single expert, drone on and on about their personal views. The dearth of experts on any panel discussion is a red flag, a sign that facts and rational discussion and considered information is not market tested. The marketing department has decreed experts boring, they do not build viewership. Enhancing-shareholder-value trumps an informed public. An “informed public”, that is so 1960s, we are much more profitable now.

      The 1933 FDR speech to our nation, addressing the economic crises.

      “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.”

      Imagine a political leader trying this speech today. Fox News would be giddy to tear this apart, weeks’ worth of “Can we trust Government?” programming.

      One more time, can we trust the news?

      Right now, I have to get back to Monday Night Football. Later, folks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Democracy and Demagogues


      Given good information, individuals will make good decisions. I have talked with many people that have one year personal plans, some even have five year plans. These are plans for personal health, or plans for financial retirement decades into the future. Signing a thirty year mortgage is a very long term decision. We all make solid rational decisions based on good information, usually pondered over a long time period. This individual behavior can dominate group decisions. The general population can reach a good rational decision when enough people have good, factual information.

      We are proud of our democratic heritage, we point to the ancient Greeks as the founders of the democratic tradition. The Battle of Thermopylae, the famous story of the 300 Spartans holding off the Persians. This was followed by the Battle of Marathon when the Greeks saved western civilization from almost certain Persian rule. These battles proved that Democracy could outperform tyrannical government on the battle field. This same point was proven again in World War 2, then reinforced by the long, slow Cold War struggle.

      Democracy cannot be killed by any direct external force, a successful adversary will have to induce suicide. Our political parties are willing advocates of the suicide plan, and our politicians are the front line practitioners of the American suicide pact.

      The Greeks foresaw this problem, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle were all hostile to democracy. Their basic objection to popular rule was they felt it was unstable and worst of all, it could fall prey to demagogues. The unscrupulous individual who gains power by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of the mob.

      Abraham Lincoln also understood this, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

      The problem is demagogues are committed to irrational decisions, and implementing self-destructive polices. Demagogues gaining power by the emotional manipulation of prejudices, demagogues using false data and lies to win the popular election. Emotional appeals that can win elections and sale news print, the media has a financial incentive to repeat the lies and misinformation.

      The thoughtful and best educated members of the media and our political institutions are aware of all this, but they are trapped by their need to win elections and sell newspapers. They have convinced themselves that Democracy is too strong to die by its own hand.

      In our immigration “debate”, we hear of ISIS terrorist flooding our border along with MS13 gangs, drugs cartels and Ebola diseased children. There is little, or no, reporting of actual facts, no discussion of the real economic impact from immigration, no review of the historical results from immigration. Instead the “debate” is entirely dominated by emotional appeals and prejudices.

      Demagoguery wins elections. Demagoguery wins reelection. Demagoguery is a successful business model for talking heads, some make $20 million per year. Demagoguery delivers short term personal advantage at the cost of long term national success.

      How do we bring factual data and rational debate back to our elections? The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the first amendment finds that political speech is free from the constraints placed on used car salesmen. Lies are legal. Lying is a constitutionally protected free speech. So we don’t have any legal route to truth.

      The system is not capable of fixing itself. The system is focused on short term results only, long term concerns are not on the table.

      The only hope is that I fix this mess. It is up to you and me. We must demand civility in public discourse, we must demand honesty from political advertisement, and we must call out the demagogues. With fact based information we will reach good decisions, we will develop sane policies and return America to first place.

      I just watched President Obama present his case for our military intervention in the Middle East. It is thoughtful, rational and fact based. The right went nuts and the left yawned. Being rational, fact based and thoughtful is boring. Off with their heads! That is the message I want to hear. I want video of little girls being murdered, then respond with “bomb em’ back to the Stone Age”. We will look for sanity over a stack of dead bodies!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WW3 and fighting the terrorist


      It is clear from all the news channels that we are in WW3. It is us or them.

      My strategy is simple, we need to destroy the terrorist infrastructure. All armies have to have “Beans and Bullets” to fight, end the terrorist's productive capabilities and victory is ours. I have used the internet to backtrack their source of bullets and armament. The bullets are manufactured in a small armaments plant in Massachusetts, much of the guns and artillery comes from Illinois and Missouri. A few cruise missiles launched from submarines safely offshore, and BOOM, no more bullets or guns for the terrorist. I saw a picture of the terrorist armored personal carriers and backtrack that to a plant in Texas, about half way between San Antonio and Houston. Another easy target.

      The “Beans” are a little harder to take out. The food originates in an immense valley in California. This will probably need “agent orange”, or some kind of poison to handle.

      Once their infrastructure is destroyed we need to go after their source of funding. A little research online and I found the terrorist “money machine”. It is gas stations spread across the land. This is another easy target for aerial attack. We could launch ground attack fighter aircraft from aircraft carriers a safe distance offshore. Using slow and low flying drones to identify the individual gas stations the bombers could slowly take out each one.

      The war strategy I am proposing has no boots on the ground, this is exclusively an air campaign. We will need a few “Seal Team Six” guys wearing tennis shoes to repatriate our fly boys, maybe even recruit some local inhabitants to create safe zones. The locals appear to be heavily armed, so, the special force guys could train some locals to fight the terrorist.

      This is war and we have to play to win, no half measures.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A new Malthusian Trap


      The old world was populated with sustenance farmers, living from harvest to harvest. The new world is populated with sustenance employees, living paycheck to paycheck. We have progressed from being one step ahead of starvation to being two steps ahead of starvation. Modern societies have added safety nets that put us three steps from starvation. This progress didn’t come from the kind hearts of the elite, it was forced onto them by the masses. We have been part of a massive jail break from the Malthusian Trap. Have we truly escaped the Malthusian trap?

      The political economist Robert Malthus made a basic observation that in “every age and in every state” population increases are limited by the means of subsistence. Population will grow until the maximum food resource is completely used, plus, the rate of population growth always exceeds the rate of food growth. This is true of bacteria or humans. This Malthusian Trap, for humans, existed until the dawn of the industrial revolution. Now the income per person could dramatically increase, in the advanced nations anyways, then science produced the “green revolution” which increased food production beyond the basic needs of the world’s population. Scientific discoveries, combined with capitalist greed, had given human society a surplus of food with a surplus of wealth to purchase it. Scientist, economist and politicians all agreed that the Malthusian Trap had been defeated.

      The Industrial Revolution is based on energy. We had learned how to use the energy in hydrocarbons to drive a simple steam engine. The horse was replaced by the iron horse, our available energy increased by magnitudes. Advanced societies needed fewer farmers and more industrial employees, for the young their best future lay in becoming industrial craftsmen. Farming income increased and skilled workmen benefited from the bidding between industrial captains for their labor. All this increased wealth created a mass market for goods, which increased the need for industrial output, which increased the need for skilled craftsmen, a virtuous cycle was created. Cities could not maintain their population due to the mortality rate of communicable disease and hygiene. Again science stepped up, this time medical science, germ theory and sanitation saved civilization and the virtuous cycle first described by Adam Smith in “Wealth of Nations” rolled onward.

      Now we find ourselves in a new Malthusian Trap, this one caused by the waste product from burning hydrocarbons. The earlier cities were deadly because of our uncontrolled filth, now the entire world is becoming deadly because of our uncontrolled filth.

      Science has identified the problem and the solution. The problem? Nature had reached equilibrium by balancing respiration with photosynthesis, life converted carbon and water into sugars and free oxygen, and then life converted the same oxygen and sugars back into carbon and water. We have upset this balance by adding buried carbon in vast quantities to the biosphere. All this extra carbon alters the biosphere’s retention of solar energy and starts additional changes involving methane and water vapor. The solution? Leave the hydrocarbons in the ground, and we need to start with coal.

      Leaving the carbon in the ground, while maintaining an advance industrial society, requires another method of generating industrial quantity electrical power, known as the “base load”. The standard renewable energy sources, wind power, solar power, and geothermal power, cannot deliver the base load. The technology just isn’t up to the task. The only viable technological solution is nuclear power.

      The political supporters of renewable energy do not support nuclear energy. The anti-nuclear crowd is vocal and organized, they have the examples of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima to support their arguments. For some reason they are blind to the scientific advances in nuclear reactor design, their argument is the same as saying that because of the Hindenburg zeppelin disaster we must abandon airplanes. The design of generation IV and future generation V nuclear reactors answer all the horrors of the first and second generation nuclear reactors. A short list of 4th generation reactor benefits:

-          Nuclear waste that remains radioactive for a few centuries instead of millennia

-          100 to 300 times more energy yield from the same amount of nuclear fuel

-          The ability to consume existing nuclear waste in the production of electricity

-          Improved operating safety

      In realistic terms nuclear energy is our best available solution to hydrocarbon usage. We should devote federal research and development funds into nuclear reactor design and implementation. We need to substantially increase our commitment to basic scientific research of nuclear fusion and orbital solar power generation.

      Escape from our new Malthusian Trap requires understanding the problem and then supporting leadership with political courage. Individual involvement can defeat the power and money that is stifling this much needed change. Given the best information the general populace will make the best choice, the wisdom of crowds is valid when based on valid data. I have faith in the average citizen that is living paycheck to paycheck. We are smart enough, and brave enough, to do this.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Football, Fall & the Loss of Science


      The start of football, Sunday afternoon with professional NFL play, combined with a temperate day, not too hot, not too cool. I have the windows open, creating a gentle flowing breeze, allowing the condo to breath fresh air. Summer in Texas is brutal, every day is too hot with the occasional risk of heat stroke. For the very old and the very young the only safety is to hide inside a small confined box with the air conditioning cranked to maximum, this constricted life style wears on the mind. For months I have hid from the unbearable heat, I rush from condo to car, from car to store, I dream of escape from the air conditioner, I long for a cool summer day in New England. Finally the first sign of autumn, the football games have started. Last week I watched the Harvest Moon rise with great anticipation of that particular climatic feature we collectively call Fall. Today, mother Gaia has delivered on her promise. The windows are open and it feels terrific, I can watch broadcast football and pretend that I am connected to nature. I am free, no longer locked in isolation from my environment, no longer forced to breathe mechanically reprocessed air.

      The opportunity to maintain my fictitious rationalization of being Mr. Nature boy is short, in just a few weeks I will be forced back into the artificial constraints to escape the cold. The prefect weather of autumn passes so quickly, the memory will be buried in ice. All that is for tomorrow, today is to be enjoyed.

      The northern hemisphere is enjoying autumn while the southern hemisphere is enjoying spring, the whole world rejoices. The passage from hot to cold, or cold to hot, creates a short opening of perfection for modern man. If we lose our science and forget how to build air conditioners, if we are forced back into drafty buildings, complete with rats and plagues, the survivors would struggle to adapt. Out of 7.2 billion souls the greatest loss would be in the advanced nations, the inhabitants of third world nations would not even notice the loss of science. A modern advanced civilization cannot exist without modern advanced science.

      Rush Limbaugh, one of the intellectual leaders of the Republican Party, has declared “Science is the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party”. That a little less than half of the American population has proclaimed science as invalid and destructive of society is troubling. Not only would we lose air conditioning, we would lose medical science. No more airplanes or automobiles or computers, how do you build a skyscraper without science? The leading thinkers of the Republican Party claim that education is socialist propaganda, that the internet and the corporations that dominate the internet, such as Google and Facebook, are controlled by the communist party. I have to wonder, did Walmart have a sale on tin foil hats?

      This ideology is not a secret, the Republicans will tell you that the secret is the international conspiracy of scientist. Rick Perry, the republican governor of Texas has proclaimed his intention to “fix” the University of Texas. The Texas State board of Education, under Republican leadership, have rewritten the public school history books to reflect how Moses created America’s democracy, the religious beliefs of Creationist is now considered science.

      I do not understand how an advanced technical society can intentionally abandon science. What happens when we can no longer design and build the world’s most advanced jet fighter? My greatest fear is that we will no longer have instant replay for questionable football plays, even worse, what if I find myself on the perfect autumn afternoon and there is no sports broadcast?

      Enough of my rambling return to blogging for now, the noon game is over and I have to change channels for the 3 o’clock game.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What will I see today?


      What will I see today?
      Crossing a deep white sandy beach, I approach the surf. Today Half Moon bay is calm, gentle half meter waves roll onto shore. The water is crystal clear and warm, perhaps 82 degrees, I wade out a short distance to waist deep water, and then fall backwards until completely submerged. I spend a short time bobbing like some semi beached whale, buoyancy keeping my head above water as I slip on the flippers and then my mask and snorkel. Roll face down and gently stroke to deeper waters.

      What will I see today?
      Schools of small Sergeant fish, gold with dark vertical bands, common sea fans undulating with the current, stripped multicolored grunts, parrot fish of all sizes and colors. Brain coral, leaf coral, sea rods and corky sea fingers. I keep swimming, out pass the breakers.

      What will I see today?
      I reach the portion of half moon bay the locals call “The Deep”. It is 10 to 15 meters deep, mostly a sandy bottom with some coral outcroppings, and the occasional stand of sea grass. A Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle calmly munching the sea grass. She will come ashore tonight, dig a deep pit and lay a 100 eggs. Then disappear back into the ocean deep. I cross “The Deep” and swim on.

      What will I see today?
      The water becomes chilled, I have entered the out flow of a fresh water cenote. There is now a thermocline, the cold clear fresh water rides above the heavy salt water. The cenote outflow is a thousand gallons a minute and a hundred meters wide, creating swirls and up swelling, then settling into a river within the sea. The fresh water is separated from the salt water and easily visible. I follow this river within the sea as it mixes and blends and all becomes one salty sea. Yellow stingrays and juvenile groupers use this area as their hunting ground. A school of young squid gather around me, are they curious or seeking shelter, are they investigating me or using me to hide from something bigger? I turn and head back toward shore.

      What will I see today?
      I cross a shallow 100 meter stretch, the water is about 1.5 meters deep. Staying flat to the surface I slowly kick forward, the bottom within arm’s reach. The rocks and coral and sea grass providing a nursery for a teeming fish hatchery. An ecosystem protecting the hundreds of thousands of fry. I see what looks like a cloud of milk, closer examination and it is fry, fry so small one individual is hard to see, thousands look like a milky cloud. Maybe one in a thousand will survive to become juvenile, maybe one in a hundred will survive to become an adult. So many are born, so few survive. On the surface minnows swim, schools that pass me for minutes. As I float motionless to drink in all this life, a pelican crashes into the water and fills her beak with minnows. Now, that I did not expect. I raise my head above water, pull back my mask and look skyward, the sea birds have arrived for the afternoon meal. The birds know I am not a threat, possibly I am herding the minnows? I swim on to my egress point.

      I reach the shoals, water just deep enough to float in. I remove my flippers first, I have always had more trouble getting out of my gear that getting into my gear. That was the final class, the last chapter in my diving/snorkeling hand book. Someday I intend to read it.
      I check my watch, 3 hours and 18 minutes. My wife is on shore with her cell phone, a picture of me will be on Facebook. A pot belly old man with water shriveled skin. Just great.

      She ask, “What did you see today?”

Monday, June 30, 2014

Who's the socialist?


      Of course I received much push back from the internet’s political ideologues about my theory that the earliest civilizations were socialist (The Birth of Civilization). The earliest societies had a safety net, the lame and poor and losers all received government stipends. Yes, I got push back from those who find life’s deepest secretes on bumper stickers.

      So, a small test for you. Two compositions, written 4,000 years apart. One is praise for King Shulgi of Sumer and Akkad, chanted in ancient temples. The other titled “Great Stalin, O leader of the peoples.” Published 1 February, 1935, in Pravda.

      Here is the first.
Who is as mighty as you, and who rivals you?
Who is there who from birth was richly endowed with understanding as you?
May your heroism shine forth, and may your might be respectfully praised!

      And here is the second.

Thou who broughtest man to birth.
Thou who fructifies the earth,
Thou who restorest the centuries,
Thou who makest vibrate the musical chords…
Thou, splendor of my spring,
O thou,
Sun reflected by millions of hearts.

       I am not going to tell you which was King Shulgi and which Comrade Stalin. An easy google search will answer the question…

      … Oh, alright, the first was written for King Shulgi.

      Humans are a mass of contradictions, the more I learn the more we seem impossible. We should not even exist. The last 10,000 years have shown an accelerated genetic human evolution, while at the same time the earliest writings could have been written today. Biblical writings from 3,000 years pass, listing the seven deadly sins, apply fully to the Wall Street crash of 2008. Biological evolution allowing adults to drink milk and cultural evolution creating representative government. At the same time that we have evolved, we have not changed. I find it hard to believe all this is random.

      Carl Sagan said we are the universe’s way of knowing itself. I think the universe is very confused. I am certainly confused, but loving every minute of it.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Birth of Civilization


      Ur, was the first city humans build, writing was developed by these first Mesopotamians, so we can date the city and it existed at least from 6,500 BCE. Ur probably existed for two thousand years before the invention of cuneiform. Cuneiform was the first written language, the earliest was record keeping of sheep sacrificed at the temples. Slowly cuneiform developed to express ideas, record battles, and save oral traditions. Cuneiform scribes wrote of the heroic deeds and events that happened thousands of years before their time.

      I have read several history books written by eminent archeological professionals. I have read many modern translation of Cuneiform. A picture of our first civilization emerges that I found surprising.

      The first city started as a temple that farmers and shepherds would travel to for religious rites. Eventually the priest build themselves permanent residents, support personal for the temple starting living at the shrines. Slowly a city came into being.

      Other city states followed, Kisk, Uruk, Niveveh, Sippar, Assur, Lrasa, and finally Babylon. All appear to have started as temple complexes, each city was created by a God. The creation myths told of the Gods bringing “Me” to the people. “Me” being those principles of civilization.

      The first civilizations were a theocratic communism, the temple own everything, all land, all beast, and all people. The priest managed central planning, the temples collected all food stuff and redistributed as needed, all worked to their ability and all received as they needed. Of course, the priest were more equal than the farmers. The priest did not rule, they were just passing on the desires and wishes of the Gods. After the collection of the farmer’s required foodstuff, any surplus was allowed for sale in a market place. The Gods set the selling price and the qualities allowed for sale. The Gods decided who could sale and what they could sale. No one cheated on the system, the God would see you cheating and visit plagues and misery on your family.

      The Gods were a terrible and vengeful bunch, often starting wars with each other. Humans were commanded (through their priest) to attack another city, or to depopulate a desirable farming region for their God's pleasure, which priest would take over. The priest would tell that they had no choice, no input into the God’s demands, the Gods demands were duly recorded and published, and everyone accepted that this was the way the world worked. Cities were run by the Gods, and anyone defying a God died a horrible death. The smallest scratch could become infected (by the God) and you died.

      The Gods were the center of everything. Storms, floods, drought, disease, good luck, bad luck, would your child be born boy or girl, would your child survive their first year, even solar eclipses and comets were due to the Gods seeming vanity. Humans were an afterthought, we are just the flotsam of the Gods.

      The theocratic command economy and priestly ruling elite quickly passed into history. Their downfall was war. Priest make very bad generals.

      The generals redefined society’s meme, the generals became Kings. The King could talk back to the Gods, and the Gods listened. Kings ruled by divine right.

      Cities now became a hereditary communist state, the state still owned everything, including the people. The concept of citizen was thousands of years into the future. The word “Ama-gi”, which could be translated as freedom, would not appear until 2350 BCE. Central planning and redistribution became a highly refined and perfected system, a large agrarian population could be supported with specialist such as boat builders and soldiers, and of course, priest.

      Again war became the problem. The original King would be a Great War Master, a bold tactician and strategist. The son, due to the dice roll of genetics, would be great at flower arrangements.

      And so things continued for 6,000 years until Greece and then Rome rewrote the meme once more and started us to our modern form of civilization.

      Communism is the oldest and most successful of human institutions. It moved us from hunter gathers to the Roman republic. The new concepts (memes) of citizenship and freedom prevailed the old fashion way, it won wars.

      The next time someone tells you communism only works till all the money is spent, ask them why Hammurabi and Sargon the Great never ran out of money.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Forever War


     Like most, I was shocked by the latest news from the Middle East. I only have access to the news produced in America, for American consumption. This single data source comes with different flavors, basically doves and hawks, armchair generals painting a picture from the comfort of their talk show armchairs. They paint an M.C. Escher landscape, explaining that they hate us because we are free, they are mystified that the Iraqi’s are not grateful for our destruction of their society, and each new terrorist group is more extreme than the last.

     Republicans claim we had won, that the Democrats threw it all away. Same claim we got about Vietnam, from the same political parties. We hear that we must stop the terrorist in Bagdad or we will have to fight them in New York. We had to stop the communist in Vietnam or fight them in San Francisco. If the communist won in Vietnam the dominos would fall for the entire Asian continent. If the terrorist win in Bagdad the dominos fall for the entire Middle East. We trained the South Vietcong soldiers to defend their own country, we trained the Iraqis’ to defend their own country. “We will stand down when they stand up.” President Reagan’s “Freedom Fighters” became President Bush’s Al Qaeda’s terrorist.

     If this is not an M.C. Escher painting, it is a “Ground Hog day” movie.

     Some of our political elites have used the War on Terror to fuel a personal domestic win. The majority of our political elites have no idea what is happening, they do find the story politically playable. Over the last 15 to 20 years the Middle East has moved from stable secular Dictators to democratically elected leaders of a religious war. America has used its hard power to hasten this social shift, we supported one group over the other, and then we reversed our support. Yesterday’s allies became today’s adversaries, only to be changed tomorrow. This attempt to not choose a side in the religious war has only made all Middle East sides feel we are against them.

     American political elites had predicted Jeffersonian democracy populated with grateful citizens eternally supporting America, instead, our military adventures against the various Middle East Dictators created the religious strife and divisions resulting in today’s turmoil.

     Our Global War on Terror is an international military campaign against a poorly defined adversary with no definition of winning. A never ending Forever War against Islamic Terrorism, since the official start on 20th September, 2001, there has been a parade of increasingly more fanatical organizations, with ever larger membership.

     Am I the only one that thinks we have something fundamentally wrong? Since 9/11 the estimated cost of our War on Terror ranges from $3 to $5 trillion dollars.  After this massive cost in lives and treasure there are more terrorist than at the start, and no one wants us in their country.

     Carl von Clausewitz said that war is the continuation of politics by other means. If we must be involved in Middle East religious wars, our politicians should earn their pay and find political solutions. Clearly the military approach is not working.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reality isn't really real


      You have to love science, scientist come up with just the cutest things. I have had a love affair with science basically forever. My first science experiments as a preteen boy involved blowing things up. An eleven year old boy that has learned now to blow up a watermelon, will devote every waking moment to blowing up more watermelons, nothing else will be appealing, not drugs, not fighting or stealing cars.  With growing maturity, I moved on to starting fires and taking stuff apart. Sometimes I managed to put stuff back together, but not very often, I also managed to extinguish most of the fires. Taken all together, I was hooked on science

      As a passion, science has a hidden quality, it never ends. Science is a journey without any end, not only can you not learn everything, you can’t even learn very much about everything. Our current understanding of scientific reality is so limited that we cannot answer the most basic questions. Such as: What is gravity? What is time? Why is there something instead of nothing? What is life? We are learning a lot, we have some good clues about the foundations of reality, and we have a general idea about what questions to ask. Even with this highly limited understanding, we can launch satellites, set broken bones, build IPads, and nuclear reactors. All of this in the 400 years since Galileo showed us now to do science.

      Research scientist collect data, and write down everything. The theorist then try to explain all this data. All the data will be challenged until verified, and the theories will be examined in detail. In science a thousand experiments cannot prove you right, but one experiment can prove you wrong. That is a high standard. Science is the only human endeavor based exclusively on verified data, you cannot cheat or lie, rule one is that the data must be accepted. This fundamental principle puts science at odds with many other human endeavors, imagine a politician that had to tell the truth. I find science an expression of what is best of humans.

      I have recently learned that space-time is not fundamental. Space-time is an emergent phenomenon, what we perceive as space and time results from something more basic. Measuring time is measuring change in space. We measure the vibrations of some atom, or the change in position of a light photon, and then label that time. Time at its most basic appears to be the ordering of events. Time allows us to distinguish what the sequence is. Time is different based on your reference frame, time slows as you speed up, and the strength of gravity can slow time. The Newtonian idea that one hour passing on earth is precisely match by one hour passing on Mars, has been proven wrong.

      Space is very flexible, it can stretch and shrink, and it can twist and curl. Space can twist back onto itself at the boundary of black holes. Space is infinitely pliable, space is so elastic it cannot be torn apart, well… maybe, not real clear about this point.

      So space-time is not fundamental, what seems to be the very fabric of reality is built of some mysterious, inscrutable, puzzling unknown. The data is pretty clear that space-time is not fundamental. The data is not clear at all as to what space-time ultimately is, many think this is because we don’t know what experiment to run, what question to ask.

      Don’t worry that you will suddenly disappear, then pop up somewhere else, nothing has changed about reality. Only our understanding, or actually, our lack of understanding, has changed. I cannot even imagine what will be possible once we figure out space-time and gravity.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

You are what you read?


      You are what you eat.  Have been told this many times, usually by a female with my best interest at heart. Eating a greasy hamburger, with greasy French fries, washed down by a sugar rich Coke, will make you a sugar pumped greasy sort’ a guy. Living off of Butterfinger candy bars and 1 liter cokes will make you a diabetic. The McDonald’s clown is apparently a long term customer who took all meals at McDonalds, for several years, slowly morphing into the present day clown. Wandering around the grounds, an addled brain waiting for the next Breakfast Mac.

      Your body takes the food offered then repairs physical damage, and constructs replacement parts for worn out parts. It certainly makes sense, one cannot argue the logic. A clear case of garbage in, garbage out, except the garbage out is your heart muscles.

      The second point is that we eat what we like. Many of us find a greasy hamburger tasty, and high sugar drinks are almost addictive. Our better long term judgment is trumped by short term pleasure. Although an interesting side question would be, why do women make this better long term choice more often than men? But, who cares? (A typical male response).

      If this is true for our bodies, what about our minds?

      You are what you read. I could expand this to audio and visual input, you are what you listen to, and you are what you watch. Constant input of greasy intellectual rot will result in greasy mental processes. The brain will become clogged with conspiracy theories, just as the blood arties become clogged with fats.

      This seems only partially true, I read conspiracy theories all the time, mostly for entertainment, I find the various claims and ideas so ludicrous as to be astounded. The irony and total lack of self-awareness is wondrous to observe. I watch Fox News, but I have not started to believe that President Obama spent $100 million on some vacation jaunt, because the book keeping doesn’t work.  I read the writings of the climate change deniers, but I haven’t started to believe that climate change theories are invalid because it is not possible to measure temperature.

      (Just a moment to side note. The climate change deniers do argue that temperature measurement systems did not exist before the Laws of Thermodynamics were written. There forth, any claims about global temperatures from, say the time of Christ, are completely bogus. Furthermore, any claims about temperature or carbon dioxide for, say the Precambrian era, are invalid because no one was there to measure it.)

      Getting back to the “you are what you read” idea. While I personally read mentally toxic material, I possibly have immunity due to a pre-existing cerebral condition. I was exposed to far right ideology by a very kind, and wonderful Grandfather.

      We take vitamin supplements to offset dietary imbalance, and we workout to fight the excessive calories. Perhaps something similar can be done to protect us from the bad science mafia?

Friday, May 9, 2014

America's Decline


      This is a direct copy and paste from my weekly Kevin Brady email, my congressman in the US House of Representatives.

“I don't know about you, but I'm tired of losing ground to America's global competitors when it comes to technology and innovation.  While China's percentage of global research and development continues to increase exponentially, America's share continues to decline. In fact, experts predict that China could surpass us by 2022. That's unacceptable and I've been working for several years to do something about it.”

      I get similar notifications from John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. I have all Republican representation and they have a consistent answer. Lower taxes, reduce government, and spend more on the military. As a small innocent child, I remember my grandfather telling me the same solutions. This approach is very old, if it worked we wouldn’t be in the condition we are in now.

      Senator Ted Cruz’s email outlines “The Legal Limit Report No.4”, in which he catalogues President Obama’s unconstitutional abuses of power. 78 reasons to arrest the tyrant. Does anyone seriously think this will improve the condition of middle class Americans? The politicians are being political, nothing unusual there, but I would expect at least one offical out of over 400 elected representatives, to be concerned about America’s future. Can’t we get just one to start with?

      This decline in America’s world standing is a continuation of a trend that started in the 1980s, the stagnation of wages is a trend started in the 1980s. At the start of the 1980s America dominated all measures of wealth, technology, education, health, science, etc. We stood above everyone by any measure.

      Starting with President Reagan we adopted a fiscal policy of “Supply Side Economics”, the Reagan white house called this “Trickledown economics”. Whatever the name, the idea is to lower barriers for companies and reduce the marginal tax rate on companies. This preferential treatment for companies will then result in higher rates of employment, and somehow, higher wages.

      My question is simple, with 40 years of supply side economic policy, where are the promised middle class wage earners benefits? The rich have certainly benefited, the nation’s GDP has benefited, the average working stiff has not benefited.

      We have fallen behind on all metrics, if Supply Side Economics is so great, shouldn’t we have improved somewhere? We continue same policies and now expect a different result?

      I find all this very frustrating, while some Americans think all this happened in 5 years, the data clearly indicates this happened in 40 years. We all actually agree that things are worse. While some Americans rationalize the precise cause (Obama/Democrats), I think it is a larger question of overall government policy. We did very well from post WW2 to the early 1980s, then we lost ground from the 1980s to 2014. Blaming President Obama does not explain the 40 year data trend.

      Much has happened since the 1980s. A fiscal policy shift to Supply Side Economics, Globalization, technological destruction (remember Kodak Co.), the wage earner’s ability to negotiate has become essentially zero, a monetary policy shift at the FED, the rise of China/India/Brazil, etc., the collapse of the USSR, the repeal of banking laws, overall a very long list. Much of this change is due to the rise of other nations, while we kind of set still and argued about politics. Other nations used “Best Practices” while we pretended our “Exceptionalism” protected us from change.

      All the politicians are playing a similar game, streaming platitudes and bumper stickers, while blaming the other team, as America continues falls further and further behind. Political scientist (if there is such a thing), write that a Democracy can only change at a moment of crisis. (Yes, I know, we are not a Democracy, we are a Republic.) This is a sad statement about politicians, a statement I would agree with, for clearly politicians do not understand government, economics, or history. Their sole skill is campaigning for office.

      Crisis is a dangerous method for creating change. The last mega-crisis was the “Great Depression”, a worldwide economic collapse. From that crisis we got Hitler and FDR, one a negative solution, the other a positive solution. Based on that example the odds are 50/50 for any improvement.

      I do not know the answer, but then, I’m not getting paid $175,000 per year (plus great benefits) to deal with these problems, and to find solutions. Based on performance, 40 years of performance, our political leaders are a failure. There is not a single political leader, from either party, proposing any “best practices” policy. I would use “best practices”, I would investigate what countries are ahead of us, and ask how do we copy that, how do we improve on that. This approach worked at company after company across my career. It is also how the other countries caught up with us, and then surpassed us.

      China studying America’s manufacturing “best practices” did not change China into America. Our studying Sweden’s educational “best practices” will not change America in Sweden.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Perfect Day


      How do I write about a perfect day? Should I write of the sensual pleasure of a cool, clean breeze caressing my body, the soothing sound of birds singing, or maybe the gentle sway of a hammock? Should I write of how I am truly blessed to have such a day, privileged beyond measure?

      Nothing happened today, part of what made it perfect. I didn’t go anywhere today, well, OK, I did go to the bathroom. The entire day passed without event. No expectations, no challenges, no schedule, me and a book, on a hammock. A very simple life was today. How to end the perfect day? I will lay it the hammock and count shooting stars tonight.

      As humans we have a deep need to Do Something. We plan, we strive, we hurry, and we rush through life. We rise early, hurry to work and then spend 8 hours Doing Something. Hurry back home, make dinner, clean the dinner plates, play with the kids, call our mother, then off to bed with the brain still motoring at 100 MPH, take an Ambien and finally fall asleep, tomorrow calls for a redo.

      Even on vacation we are driven to Do Something. Rush to catch the airplane, run to be first for the rental car, go Scuba diving, tour the Mayan ruins, rent that Jet Ski, maybe this trip we’ll sky dive.

      Today I watched other people Doing Something, while I did nothing. How do I write about the perfect day?

      Even perfection eventually becomes boring. I already feel the need to Do Something. A stirring to stand up and get moving. I’ll put it off till tomorrow. I think I will go out for breakfast in the morning.