Monday, December 30, 2013

Friends and Acquaintances

I sometimes wonder, if those people you once called friends, but have so long not really considered acquaintances, if for only the strange reason that you both live different lives, does this mean that you are so far apart, that you will never find common ground again.

From this simple thought, I look in upon the lives of those I once knew more intimately through this new electronic media, ironically termed social networks.  I am perplexed by it, as it seems to be less social, and more network, but even that is quite sterile and neutered.  How have we allowed our social structure to be reduced to bits and bytes of data that represent the skew of our lives, with little or no connection to any real emotions that is only known through real connections.

I do not know the answer here, without these data connections many people would not even know as many people as they believe they do, but through them, they are lead into the false belief that they do know more people than they really do.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dreams of Fields

For a good portion of my life I have worked to create a dream.  Initially the creation was quite different, with very much a strict code of control, very fascist in its design.  I would say that at the age of 14 or so I was looking at the world from quite a different perspective.  I had recently finished several works such as Mein Kampf, Karl Marx, Brave New World, and 1984, among others, and had at that time understood that people were not capable of making good decisions for themselves.

Although for the most part, I understand that now the same may be true of people, on the individual level, we should still reserve the right to make our own bad decisions.  Perhaps I would like to see a greater degree of self responsibility, especially from the commercial industries, but still I do not expect as much from people as I might once have.  That being said, my dream has but transmuted rather than changed altogether.

It certainly would be quite nostalgic to go over what I started out with, it would be quite useless, except as slight view into my personal perspective, and that serves no real purpose.

Being established, the dream as it were today, it is but a more polished version of several versions preceding it.  So here I attempt to present a rather overview of the dream as it is today best understood by myself.  That is to say, I will attempt to present a fair review of what has been a relative dream of mine since the very early days of my youth.  One point worth making at this point is that as a child growing up on a farm, I did not understand or desire a life based in agriculture, and was mostly concerned with social structure.  As I have matured I have come to another understanding of the essential component that agriculture plays in the full realization of the dream, so it will be featured as a central aspect of the dream as it is today.

So on with the dream…

For those of you that have read any of my previous works you will recognize some previous themes and bits from older works.  That is because this is not a new dream, and not a dream I have recently had, but one that I have masticated over a long period of time, producing hopefully a fully digested concept that can be fully understood even by those that have not the vision to see the value of the dream to more than just the moment of its creation.

First I should establish that it is not to I that this dream is profitable.  I will be quite dead I am certain before there is any realization of these works, even if in my time it is begun.  Therefore it will be for others that should provide the capital for the realization of the dream, and it is to them that they should profit, if not in actual return on investment in liquid asset, but in the betterment of their lives, and those of their heirs.

Moving forward, I have established that it would be necessary that for this to be established, at least initially it would require 25 to 50 acres.  More would be better, but initially it would be necessary for the establishment of the project that the minimum be met.  In addition a percentage of values should be met as best as is possible.  Ideally it would be best if there was at least 20% water, 30% wooded, and the remainder in a mix of land, including hills, and other such features.  By water I am referring to clear water if possible, a stream would be ideal, but also any body of water that has the same values would be acceptable.  A swamp is not ideal, and it would be difficult to use such a wetland, but it could be utilized, provided that enough could be done with it to create some form of water supply.  Further there would be needed a water table that would allow for wells to be dug, to provide for additional water supplies, especially of potable water.  These are needed for the existance to be facilitated with adequate water supply, however, it is quite possible that in other circumstances other conditions could be adjusted for, and water could collected in other ways.  Provided that wood will be used for many types of services, it is important that there is some form of wooded area, as this also serves an additional purpose that will be explained at a later time.  However if this is not possible it may be possible that another resource, such as stone could be used, and or other accommodations could be made to make any particular area work within the natural limits of the property.  The key aspect of the property is that the “lay” of the land is fully understood, and taken into account upon the first aspect, and that it is considered foremost, as it is the land that brings forth the full of the realization of the dream.

It should at this point be fully understood that the land is essential to the realization of the dream.  This is paramount, and it means that someone will have to be involved in the process that is willing to provide such, or finance such.  Of course it is quite possible that many people could be involved in the purchase of the property, but it must be understood, that no one can truly lay claim to the land, as it must be free of encumbrance from a particular owner, short of a possible owner that would be fully invested in the realization of the dream through an instrument of real estate that protects the land from future encumbrance, as much as this is possible.

While it is a concept quite foreign to Americans, the idea of a landlord is something that is quite acceptable, in the style of the gentry of Victorian period (and before that) in England and other areas, provided that it is quite understood that in keeping with such, that the tenants are provided with an equal return on their labor, for the profit to the landlord.  I unfortunately do not have a lot of faith in such arrangements, even though it would seem that it should easily arranged, and my preference would be for a benevolent landlord, provided such a benefactor could be found.  Of course if the project were adequately scaled it could easily be seen that several landowners could be found to create the basis of the project.

An interesting angle that has recently presented itself is the idea of crowd-sharing and its financial aspects.  Other social financial instruments are possible, and could to some degree provide the seed capital for the project.  This is entirely outside the dream itself, as I am not at all interested in finance, however I am aware of it, and understand that it is important that the project be profitable as well, as to return on the initial investment.  This is quite possible, but it is quite insignificant to me, or the dream itself.

Moving forward with the aspects of the dream that are important, it is then time to understand other aspects of the dream.  Once the “lay” of the land is fully understood, a plan is then established based on a very specific design, that utilizes the land for its best production, while leaving the vast majority of the land for natural order.  It is important that the land be left to its devices to some degree, as it is the land that provides so much to the people, that it should not be taken for granted.  Therefore the “lay” of the land is very important.

While as important as the lay of the land is, the “lay” of the facilities is as important.  It can not be mistaken that particular placement of particular facilities is as important as the location of any aspect of the purpose of the land.  Housing is of concern to the project, as it provides shelter to the people, as well as the animals.  So it is that housing is also functioning as part of the community of the project.  It must be of concern that protection and security is also a condition that must be considered as well.  This means that at least for some part it is important that to some degree the common housing be effective as both community space, and as protection from any threat that could therefore present itself.  Again the concept of the landlord, and the manor house is potential example, however in a modified form.

This is just part of the planning, as nothing can be built without the materials and tools to build with.  To even consider the initial building, a single building must first be built.  The first building must be the downdraft kiln.  I have further examined this process, and have considered it to be something that must be done first before even the mill or other facilities can be built.  However be it known that once the downdraft kiln has produced its initial loads of bricks and materials for building of the forge, it is the forge that should be then constructed as it will provide the other materials and tools for the completion of any other facility.  In the interest of not presenting additional information that is else wise provided, this document only references the document earlier produced known as the “Brute Forge”.  If you are not familiar with that document, I will additionally attach a copy of that document as part of this document.  It is of utmost importance that the placement of the forge is specific, concerning all the resources needed, but also in respect to particular elements, as well as the purposes of the land itself.  It is not necessary that the forge be stylish, but it is also not necessarily restrictive.  The heart of the forge is actually built around the original downdraft kiln, which is now incorporated in with the forge.  Also incorporated in with the forge is a bakery and other services that rely on fire for their primary element.  Additionally the forge is the primary producer of heat and hot water, as this is also governed by the element of fire.

It is of no use to continue in this line, as it is quite well covered in another document that will be attached to this one.  Further I could get quite involved in this aspect, and not get through to other aspects that would be just as important to the entire document.  I will try to continue now with other things.

At this point I am going to briefly break from this work, but I would like to at least post this much, and will then add more later.  It is late and I am quite ready to lay my head down, and with hope I will be able to return soon to this work.  It may be a few days as the holidays will most likely consume much of the next few days.  Until next time, please feel free to examine that which is presented here, with the ideal that even if it does not exactly provide what you are interested in, at least it might entertain you with its odd use of language.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Paper Words

Occasionally I read a local paper, and wonder who writes for these things.  I am just old enough that I remember when newspapers and local rag sheets were still bigger than the internet.  Hell I wrote for a few local sheets myself back then, but those were different times.  Today I read a review and wonder, really does the reviewer get paid for this.  It is not that I find the online reviews much better, just that I feel I guess that printed ones should be better than the online ones.

Now I should not say much, I have not written in quite some time, much more than my web logs and a few reviews on various sites like Amazon and the like, it is just really, food blogs are better, how did that happen.  I expected I guess that newspapers would still uphold a bit of decorum and not just produce a printed version of a blog.

I remember saying back, oh way back, when computers were still mostly business machines and geek toys, that this will change the publishing field, and I was right, I just don’t know if it was a change for the better.  While I think there is a place for both, and I still like the smell of newspaper, especially mixed with cigar and scotch (both of which I have given up), I guess like the later, I will have to accept that the former is just not what it used to be.  I think that papers are either going to die out in favor of the electronic version, or maybe they will linger, still, fed by local funds of supporters who pay hack writers to write positive prose about their establishments.  I don’t think you will find any level headed critiques anymore, it is really become all about the money, online or offline, it is really all about the sponsor.

Has it really ever been any different?  Now that I think about it, not really, just the eloquence of the writers of the past made it seem a little less transparent.  With the advent of transparency, I think sometimes we have gone down a slope that was unnecessary, opening the way for plain language and short hand for blatant advertising in the form of journalism.  In our pursuit of transparency, we have revealed a side of life that maybe always was, but sometimes the magic is in not knowing how the trick was done.  Unfortunately I think this is the way of things, and I am just another ghost of the past, soon to be as forgotten as real food and decent service.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

IP Slowly

There are so many things we need, silly little things like a bunch of glass pipettes, and other such things.  I can only begin to figure it all out.  I really wish Arleta would help me, but she is not very good at these things, especially when it comes to money.  She is good at spending it, on stuff, but only as an impulse, not as part of a longer term plan.  She does not really seem to grok long term well.  She also seems to have a tactile issue, she has to touch what she will buy, even things that do not matter so much.  She would rather buy from a store than online, because she can touch the package.  She also seems to suffer from long term projects, things that take longer than an afternoon or two is hard for her to grasp.  She prefers short term projects, a day or two at the most.  She can do them, she can wait, she is able to see the future, but she prefers the here and now, the intimacy of immediacy.  

That is another subject for another day, perhaps.  Right now I need to figure out what we need, all those crazy little things that we need that we have put off often because it was just not worth the money to go get them, or because we just have not had the money.  We still do not have the money.  By the time we buy the car and the land, we will be just about out of money, although not entirely.  It is too bad that we have to have the payments, land and car, oh and of course insurance, but we do, and they will help us to keep our food stamps, but does it really balance itself out.  I really wish we could just afford to purchase the car outright, and maybe even the land, that would be good, because then we could just have them, and only have insurance and taxes.  Ah, insurance and taxes, such lovely little methods of legal extortion.  Funny how the government and big businesses like insurance companies can get away with it, while we the little people of the nation can not.

Once again I digress, and get nowhere.  By the way, when in the english language did we start putting all the words together, like nowhere, together, and another.  It must have been since the printing press, to save space.  All that blank space between the smaller parts was obviously taking up too much space, and had to go.  Well whatever, it does not get us anywhere, to debate such ridiculous subjects at this time.

The stupid little things, like pipettes, basting bulb, new strainers, new wisk (couple different kinds), and such just seem to be bothering me.  I go to do something, and oh, yea, that thing is not available, so I have to figure something else out.  A rack that would hold the smaller essential oil bottles, and their respective pipette, that would be good.  I could make it, but I need wood, and some finish nails.  Not to mention it would be far easier with a drill press, but I can do without that really.  Someday a drill press might be nice, but they are actually pretty easy to find at barn and estate sales, so maybe we will come across one.

My idea has been we should just get a place, and a car, and go to various estate and barn/farm sales, and buy stuff that we need, but also that we think would sell.  We do not need to be in a hurry to sell them, except we can not do that, because we will need to pay our payments.  By the time we get done with the payments, we will not have the money we need to invest in the sales to make the purchases that we can use to fund the future purchases.  I still think we can find a way, we just have to save a bit up, so we have a bankroll.  
We are stuck on the dole, unable to make any money if we want to keep the money that will sustain us, but also unable to sustain ourselves very well on the money we get.  I just do not know what to do.  It will sort itself out, but there is just this game that is played, and I truly hate to play games with life.  There’s that whole thing with being self employed, it cost you more than it is worth, and yet, you are no better than a slave if you are employed otherwise.  You may think otherwise, but if you are to really sit down and think about it, you are no better than an indentured servant as a wage earner.  Oh, sure there are better wage earners, but that was even true of the slaves, some earned better than others, house slaves definitely did better than field slaves, and the like.  No matter what your wage, if you are a wage earner, you are a wage slave.  What else can you do?  You can work for your self, or at least give yourself the illusion that you are working for yourself, but the truth is “they” have you there now too.  As an employer, even self employed, you are an employer, so as an employer, you must account for your wage, the amount of money you pay yourself.  So by being self employed you create of yourself a wage slave to you, as the master, well really regulation and financial institution is the master.  You must report all your earnings, and on top of that you have to pay all the cost involved with paying your wage.  You pay both parts, since you are both employer and employee.  So Unemployment Insurance, yea you get to pay both parts, once as employer, and once as employee when you pay yourself for the work you did.  Again you pay for both parts of the FUTA and Disability, and you have to pay workman's compensation as well, and this is all before taxes are taken out of your earnings.  On top of this is any types of licensing, which is getting to be the norm now, and liability insurance to protect you from yourself, and with new laws being passed, you will have to cover your health insurance, both parts, and the list just keeps going.  It is no wonder that you are either in default or running an illegal business.  When everything that is legitimate is made to be illegal, then it does not matter anymore.

So many things bother me about all these programs “designed” to assist you if you are in need.  They not only effectively demand that you are impoverished, but that you also must operate in an illegal manner to survive.  My wife’s SSI is in jeopardy if I earn anything.  She can earn a little here or there, without damaging her income too much.  She can also own some stuff, a house, a car, stuff that might help her or her condition.  I can not own anything, without it hurting her SSI.  If I earn anything, half of it will be counted against her, because apparently if I earn anything, half of everything I earn is hers.  If she was earning a wage, and I was earning a wage, our money would be ours, and not half her money would be mine, and half my money would be hers, that is just ridiculous.  That is how the IRS sees it.  We are a couple, more so, we are a household, and in our case, we do not have a this is mine, this is yours issue, it is ours.  This European (it goes back further than that really) concept of ownership is just damn stupid.  When we got married it was not a partnership we formed, we formed a family, a unity of shared experience and assets, not a legal agreement to split any and all profits or liabilities.  By the IRS standard we are a partnership that is equally liable for our debts, and share equally in the profits of our labors.  While this is really a matter of semantics, and in a healthy relationship you are partners of a sort, but it is not a partnership in the essence of a legal business entity, however that is how the IRS sees the family, in business terms.  Did I mention this, you can not own land or anything, for that matter, you can only rent it.  Well you can own clothes and a few temporary assets, but long term assets are owned by the financial institutions and the governments.  Actually land is owned by the original land owners, but that is something that I can not get into right now.  You rent the land, because even if you pay off the financial obligation to the financial institution that financed the purchase, you still owe taxes on the land.  I do not entirely disagree with taxes, although I have my issues with them, especially on the specific programs that are funded with my money, but that is an entirely different subject.  Your obligation to the financial institutions is not quite ended, as you really have to maintain insurance on your property, if nothing more than to protect your investment from yourself.  More so it is to protect you from the bleeding idiots that might try to sue you for wrongful negligence on their part, but I will not go down that dirt road today.

So you do not own the land you have built your house on, you rent it from the original owners who allow the governments to levy taxes on the property, as long as they get a percentage of the levies.  I could demonstrate this better, but let us leave it at that for now.  So you may have paid off the local branch of financial institution for the purchase of the right to use of the property, but since our money is managed by a large financial institution that is made up of other financial institutions we still are paying for it in the form of governmental interest on our money.  The house itself is really a temporary structure, it is not exactly liquid assets, but because it really could be easily destroyed by either natural disasters, or a bulldozer, it really considered a temporary asset, or in IRS terms, aged assets.  It goes down from there, the contents are various types of depreciated assets, right down to clothing and food, which are essentially short term aged liabilities, as they will need to be replaced often.  To the IRS everything has a depreciation value, even something like a hammer will eventually age, and therefore has a life, that can be calculated if they chose to.  To a degree this is something that can be used by those that know how to use these rules to get out of paying taxes, but believe me you need a degree in accounting, and then little or no morals to do it.  You rent the land, the government makes the payments for you out of your taxes, and you really only rent the house, because upon your sale or death, it will be sold, and someone else will create debt out of the house.  The reason they have such instruments as equity is so you can be taxed on the value of the house that you have paid for, but also so they can keep you indebted longer, based on the principle that you will save money by using the equity in your home to make purchases that you can not afford, rather than more expensive debt.  While on the surface this is “smarter” debt, it also means you will be putting your house up for a short term gain, increasing your long term debt, and likely decreasing the actual value you could earn from the sale of your house later.  You might even put your family in debt, so as that your children will have to pay off the obligations of your short term desires by way of sale of your assets upon your death, to satisfy your long term debt.  It is a game of what we want, and how we are made to believe we need these items of indebtedness because the items we own are just not good enough anymore.  The Telephone is a good example.  When the telephone first came out on the market, it was something that only the truly wealthy could afford, as you had to buy the actual Telephone device, as well as pay for the line to come to your house.  Most often it was usually unavailable outside the urban centers at all, unless you were really really wealthy, and had political ties.  Once the company realized this device could be used to fund other projects, they began creating demand for its use.  The ordinary people had no use for it, they did not communicate across great distances.  The Telephone company convinced the government that it was in the best interest of the common people that they get some tax dollars so they could install telephone lines out from city centers to other city centers, connecting the business districts, so financial transactions could be enacted better.  So you as taxpayers paid for the lines that would connect the banks and other financial institutions so they could more easily take your money from you.  On top of that the Telephone company was nearly immune to employment taxes, as they had made deals with the government that they would hire people, in exchange for paying taxes, both employment and land.  In fact they got out paying almost any tax or fees because they were an emerging technology and therefore speculating on the use of this technology, and the taxpayers who derived no benefit from this technology should not only foot the bill, but should also expect that the company should keep all the profits for “reinvestment” into the technology, so that at some point in the future they would be the beneficiary of this “new” technology.  Incidentally it was based on a previous technology that was also paid for by taxpayers who received very little benefit from it.

Oh snap, you all want proof of this, well dig a little, you do not have to go too deep, just look up the internet, it was born of this same methodology.  We get this idea in our heads, especially as “free citizens” of the United States of America, that we get this stuff for free.  Remember free TV, no you do not, because you never had it, there has never been free tv, it has always been paid for by the taxpayers, and by advertisers, who manipulate the people into believing they “need” something they only desire.  You do not need a burger, fries and shake, you want them, and you only want them because the advertisers made you want them.  If you did not watch tv, and you did not see the advertisements you would not even know that these things existed.  You would not want them, because for one thing they are not really all that good, just really sweet.  They sold you on the ideas behind the bfs, and you all bought it hook, line and sinker.  Hey do not feel bad, I get it, I like me a bfs once in awhile, and I do not want to go about making them the “old fashioned” way, sometimes.  Besides as a kid it was a treat, remember this, in my youth it was a “treat” to go to a Red Barn, Carols, or A&W and get a bfs meal.  It came about as a consequence of the car and wage slavery.  Hey if you do not know those brands, that is ok, do not worry, I live on the East Coast, North East New York for that matter, they were the brands I grew up knowing, but I am sure there were some where you lived as well.  Maybe they are gone now, or been converted to the few remaining brands that ate the diversity of choice that did exist, but whatever, the point is the same, it was a treat, not a need.  Incidentally, as far as I am concerned, the illusion of choice we have today is just that, and illusion, there really is no difference.  Red Barn beat them all, even the burger king McDonalds, better value, better quality, and better atmosphere, but that is obviously why they had to go.  Most of you reading this probably will not remember that in the 1970’s McDonalds did not have a Big Mac, just burger, cheese burger, fries, and drinks.  The burger wars of the late 70’s which lead us into the 80’s and the slow decline of choice, or real options, and the illusion of individuality was by the 90’s firmly established, and no one really even is alive that can remember how they turned a perfectly good treat into a daily need that has no value whatsoever.  It was started much earlier than that, but that was the most blatant version of it.  It has occurred in every aspect of life since the beginning of civilization as far as I can tell.  Mono has run rampant in this culture, the Egyptian, Greco, Roman, European, culture eversense.  If you want to know what happened to the ancient cultures, like the great Egyptian cultures, follow the money.  You will find the wealth never changed, it is old money because it is the same money.  The methods of enslavement have changed to reflect the needs of the slaves, but the enslavement has continued and will continue, because the slaves do not realize they enslave themselves.

Wow!  I have gone a long ways away from the intentional direction of this document, and I feel like I should steer it back, but at this point, I do not wonder that it would seem like I was just creating an illusion of diversion so that it would not seem like I was presenting one type of information for another.  I might as well finish with the Mono thing, or at least get deep into it, so you all can look a little deeper into the abyss that is Mono, and wonder, really, has he completely lost what little sanity he had.  Already I can hear the masses (oh, like people actually read this stuff, other than the watchers, but that is something else), shouting show me the facts.  While I could show you some facts, facts are not truths, the truth is facts are only as good as the data upon which they rest, and that is a slippery slope at best.  The truth is right before you, do you really think this county the US was like what it is today when the rapist that were sent here came here.  The truth is there is no indigenous people to North or South America, we are all immigrants, although some have been here longer than others, so I will give credit where credit is due, the people of the East were here first, and then maybe the Egyptian breakaways second.  The Truth is in the reality of the moment, nothing is forever, but the European stock is more immediately wasteful than most.  We were not always that way, and I have yet to discover the fall of the culture completely, or the source of this Monoculture, but it did happen, and it happened to create a wealth that is exclusive to one group.  It splintered the remaining people into other groups, but this is meaningless at the moment, as that is something I have yet to breach here, and I do not intend to, yet.

Well I have rambled on now for too long, completely away from anything that I set out to do, so I am going to rest this for a bit, and come back to it sometime in the future.  For now I will publish it on my web log, you know blog, and see if it gets any comments, beyond those from the people who comment just to try and sell me something.  I do not fault them for that, everyone has their part to play in this production, but I will state that if they think they are going to entice me with their poorly written prose, then they just do not know me all that well.  On that, I am perfectly happy with my size, shape, and other superficial aspects of the self.  I am not depressed, not manic, and I do not really need assistance in analyzing my self worth.  I live a pretty austere life by choice, although it is certainly moderated by those that surround me, and I mean even those that are not aware of their influence.  I have very little desire for material desires, and although yes, I do like my computer, I can easily do without it, so to challenge me on such things is really a waste of energy, but go ahead, it is your right.  Anyway, I am going to go and check on some things like pipettes, and turkey basters, and see what I can find in the way of stuff that will make our lives just a little nicer, even if it is only a minor desire that we really do not need.  Tune in another day, for more of the same.


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Why Are We Doing This

So I am playing this game, Roads of Rome III.  Well it is an alright game, I guess, not Skyrim by any stretch of the imagination, but alright just the same.  It is a resource management game (time management), which means you have to marshal your time and your resources to accomplish your goals.  So I wonder, why can’t we do this in real life?

This is set in Roman times, and I realize we can not do this anymore, times have changed.  This is a completely different world today, or is it.  Is it that it is different, or has the ways changed.

In this way you are controlling a property, and through various resources managing them to accomplish the goals that are set by the game.  There are very different things at play here.  One you can not just have people go out and do work for you, you have to pay them, at least a minimum wage.  Well not just a minimum wage, but a minimum wage, disability payments, workman’s compensation payments, unemployment insurance, and SNAP payments.  That is just the beginning, there are lots of other payments as well.  To really get a good days work from an employee, you will need to pay a living wage at least.  A living wage is based basically on the prevailing wage for the work being performed, with added benefits.

Take the average character in the game, say at the pumping station.  Here you have a worker that works an hourly job, pumping buckets of water.  Now at best they can pump 7 buckets of water per unit of time, say one hour.  For every hour of pay you give them, they will give you seven buckets of water.  So the prevailing wage for that work might be $11.50 an hour.  So you have to pay them a base rate of $11.50 an hour at the very least.  Now on top of that you have to pay WC payments.  This is not an unusually high risk position, so the WC will be relatively reasonable, lets say $14,000.00 a year, which comes out to  $7.00 per hour, and this does not come out of their pay, this is just employer paid.  Keep in mind these are ballpark figures, based mostly on simple math, and my experience as an employer.  Disability, another employer paid expense, is decently cheap at about $4,000.00 per year, which comes out to about $2.00 and hour.  So far we are up to $20.50 an hour.  On top of this we have to pay out unemployment insurance (UI).  There is a complex formula to figure this out, but it comes out to about $1.20 an hour on average that the employer pays, as well as the amount that is taken from the employees gross wages.  Now SNAP has got their hands on the paycheck as well, so the employer pays about $0.60 per hour, and the same amount is taken from the employee.  The employee also must pay their own taxes, which are taken from the gross on top of the UI and SNAP payments.  This means they are down to about $9.50 an hour in net, and the employer is up to about $22.30 an hour.

Now a living wage is called a living wage because it includes benefits that make up for the loses that the employee would incur for the payment of insurances and other things.  This means that the employer must provide health insurance (including dental, eye, and prescription), most likely daycare and/or elder care, compensation for other expenses related to the job, maybe food expenses, maybe even reimbursement for travel expenses and other cost.  Without getting into a lot of complicated math issues, it is safe to say that the average employee doing the average job, in an average state, will cost the employer about $55.00 an hour to pay them $11.50 an hour plus average benefits.  This is on top of other cost, liability insurance, any auto insurance (for transport vehicles or whatever) errors and omissions insurances (eoi), and other cost associated with getting a bucket of water out of a well.

On top of this the employer has to purchase the land (may include water rights, mineral rights, and other rights and covenants), purchase the tools to drill and build the well (or contract such work out as needed), and then maintain the well, as well as the tools and supplies for containing the water, ensuring it meets the requirements set by legislative regulation pertaining to the use of the water, as well as packaging, transport, and in the end, disposal cost of any waste of production.  This is all costed out to the hourly wage, so suffice to say that the average bucket of water cost about $100.00 to obtain.

Now you might wonder why everything cost so much at the store, well you shouldn’t, because that is just the cost being passed down to the consumer.  So the next time you go to the store to buy a bucket of water, to put out the fire in your sawmill, remember the reason you have to pay $150.00 per bucket, is because you wanted to get paid for putting out fires.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tobacco Roads (this is raw)

Arleta (my wife) and I smoke cigarettes, a bad habit, but that is what it is.   We consume about a pound of tobacco a week, on average.  That means we would have to purchase 4 pounds per month, or 48 pounds per year.  To be on the safe side we would really need about 5 lbs per month, or 60 lbs per year.  In terms of green tobacco we grow ourselves we would need at least 5 times that much to compensate for a 85% loss in water through the drying process.  We can purchase it for about $20.00 a pound in bulk (includes freight) on line, so our monthly cost is about $100.00 per month, while our annual cost is about $600.00 per year (not including supplies).  If we were to purchase a years supply we could probably cut the cost to about $400.00 per year.  We also use tubes, which are paper tubes with a filter already attached, and we use about 2.5 a week, which equals about 2.5 cartons of cigarettes a week.  Each box of tubes cost about $3.00 each, so we would spend about $7.50 per week on tubes.  So that comes out to about $30.00 a month in tubes.  That means it would cost us about $360.00 per year for the tubes, give or take a few as we would want to have at least 5 extra boxes.  So our annual cost of this habit so far is about $790.00 for tobacco and tubes.  However it does not stop there, there is the machine used to cut the tobacco, about $60.00, but that is averaged over its lifetime of 5 years, so that equals about $12.00 per year in cost.  Then there is the machine that stuffs the tubes, again about $80.00 averaged over 5 years, or $16.00 per year.  This brings our total cost per year to about $818.00 per year, or about $830.00 for sundry expenses, and other miscellaneous supplies and items.

Contrast that to the cost of average cigarettes purchased at the local reservation.  We pay about $35.00 per carton and we smoke about 2.5 cartons a week.  That equals about $87.50 per week, about $350.00 per month, and about $4,200.00 per year, and does not take into account for fuel to go to the reservation, or the cost of lighters and other sundry cost.  I can not even begin to think what a name brand cigarette carton at almost $80.00 each would cost on a per year basis.

Then contrast that to the cost of growing it ourselves, well that is very hard, because I can not really come up to the real cost of that.  I can say that seeds cost about $3.50 per package of about 35 seeds on average (they are packed per weight).  We can expect about 80% germination and we use about 70% of the leaves.  We are going to need a whole lot of plants, as we need to have two different types of plants (maybe even three), and we need enough extra plants that we can harvest enough leaf material for our smoking, while at the same time leave enough plants that we can harvest enough seeds to replant twice as many plants the next year.  We also have to account for the deer and rabbits and such, as well as for other such animals, even our own sheep if they get out of their fence and into our gardens.  So we need a lot of plants, maybe a few hundred of Virginia Bright, and at least as much Burly.  I think I might try a couple other plants, if nothing more than for the experience and to collect seeds.

The trouble here is there is no market.  I can not sell tobacco, that is against the law.  I can grow it, consume it myself, and such things, but like moonshine, I can make it, but I can not make a living off it.  That is something that breaches an entirely different subject, but it does mean that any of the “sin” products are not just tightly regulated, but are also reserved for the large corporate interest.  Again that does open a new area of discussion, the selling of “sin”, but I will get to that later.  I should not say there is no market, I should say there is no access to the market in a legal and ordinary way.  As a farmer if I have a few pecks of tomatoes over what I want to use or store, I can sell them right off the farm on a roadside stand.  In fact I can even set myself up a little roadside store if I want to.  I can sell eggs from my chickens, vegetables from my gardens, baked goods and preserves from my kitchen, and as long as it is within reason, pretty much anything and any amount, without much in the way.  The only issue with eggs is refrigeration, and with produce is washing (stupid people do not realize that they keep better if they are not washed until you use them).  Even if I wanted to sell milk, or dairy products, or even meat products, I could with relatively low entry, although certainly higher than produce.

On the one hand I understand the need for safety concerns and compliance with certain regulations when it comes to meat and dairy products, really any product.  However, it really takes it to the extreme when it comes to “sin” products.  I suppose I could try to comply with whatever regulations there were, but the cost and taxes would make it really worthless to try.  Exactly what the large corporate interest want.  They put the regulations there and support them, as they are the only ones that can either comply with them, or have so much of the market, and revenue, that they can afford the fines for not complying with them.

What if I can make a better cigarette, sell it for less than the corporate interest, well I would have to add almost $6.00 in tax.  Are you kidding me, tax, on an agricultural product, that is just ridiculous.  I can not even begin to express my frustration and disagreement with tax on agricultural products.  Land taxes I can almost understand, almost, but I will not go into that here.  Income tax sort of makes sense, sort of, but again I will stay out of that one for now.  Even sales tax on manufactured products, like tools and machinery, or household goods like furniture, almost, almost is justifiable, as far as taxes are justifiable at all.  Agricultural products, well I guess you have to first define agricultural products, so yea I think maybe I should table this for another time as well.

So the basic thing is I can not sell tobacco or tobacco products (except seed).  Well I can still grow it and cure it, and make my own.  I can make and sell pipes, and I guess that is something yet.  I can grow my own without pesticides, without fertilizers (except compost and mulch), and without the associated other additives throughout the process.  It also allows me to hand pick the leaves I want to use for cigarettes, the ones I want to use for other purposes, like maybe some hand rolled cigars, maybe for pipe tobacco, maybe even for pesticide use (yes tobacco is a great pesticide).  It gives me and my wife Arleta our own choice, we can make our own blends, and in the end have a very high quality smoke, free of the issues, dangers, and guilt of the company smokes.  Maybe some of our friends that smoke (we really do not have any) will come over and they too can smoke a couple of our cigarettes while they are here, just to try them, oh, no they can not because that is against the law too.  Well if you happen by and you are not one of those people, but are one of those people that might like to smoke a cigarette or a cigar, well, if you happen to drop by, I will not tell if you do not tell.  Especially about the scotch, that one can really get us all into some deep hooey.

That’s it, a little thing about our tobacco adventure.  We can not start the new plants until late winter, to be put out in late spring, but we can buy decent whole leaf tobacco from the growers that are licensed to sell at substantial discounts.  We will have to do that for a couple of years, as our crops not only have to be established well, it always takes a couple of years for a strain of plants to acclimate itself to its environment before you get really good results, most important with items like grapes, tobacco, and other such items that are ingested for the sake of their taste, so yes tomatoes is part of that group.

In a couple of years we will have a very fine blend of tobacco, exceptional tomatoes, not quite a good aged scotch, maybe some small beers, and a couple of spring wines, and short aged cheeses, but it will be better than the crap you get at the store, and we will not mind if you do not mind, we will just let it be.

Now I know that tobacco smoking is bad for you, but so is driving your car, or using your cellphone, or, or, or… the point is nothing is exactly good for you or bad for you, it is all about you.  Sure I will agree that tobacco smoke is smelly, and causes many things to be discoloured and dingy, and to some people smelly.  I have seen the results, I know theses things, and I have my opinions, and you all have your own.  I personally like the smell of a good pipe of tobacco, or even a nice cigar.  I think a lot of the cigarette issues are with the additives and chemicals used in the processing of cigarette tobacco, and in the making of the papers (white is not the natural color of paper).  While I have not yet figured out how to make my own tubes, maybe I could just make cigars, I can make filters (charcoal, cotton, wool, linen, other fibers), and I can make papers, just not really tubes that are convenient to use with my machine.  If you use a pipe made of any type of material other than glass, pretty much you are also smoking the pipe as well, give or take a few ppm of volatile compounds.  A cigar has glue, as does a cigarette paper, so it still is not just a pure smoke.  There is chew, but I have never quite brought myself to that level, for me it just does not work, and there are all the troubles associated with it as well.  Tobacco is bad for you, no matter what form, how it is ingested, and nicotine is a drug, a highly addictive drug that has horrible side effects.  I am aware of this, and I just do not care.

On the side note, smoking has never really killed anyone, it may have contributed to the cause of death, but it rarely if ever was the actual cause of death.  That said there is ample evidence that secondhand smoke is bad for innocent bystanders, and you really should not smoke around the little ones, they are not consenting adults, and like other “sin” products, they do not have the mind to make up if they should be exposed to these things or not, kind of like sex and violence, but that is another subject too.  I agree that smoking should be banned in most public spaces, except those where the majority of the people are ok with smoking, like cigar bars and maybe a few restaurants that have a certain clientele.  There are so many variables, and no I do not think we need more legislation to ban smoking from public spaces, I think we need better education, and owners with better control of their spaces.  People in general have to be more responsible of their actions, and the impact of their desires upon the desires of others.  Ah the old be responsible not only of self, but conscious of those around you.  That however brings us to what is personal space, and what is right.  If six or seven of us are in a space and we are all smokers, and some people who are non-smokers come along, do we respect their rights and put out our pipes or cigarettes, or do they respect our rights and go somewhere else, or just put up with our nasty smoking because we have to put up with their nasty perfume, or whining, or righteousness, and the argument goes on and on.  If I want to sit on my back porch in the evening with a couple of friends after a long day of work, and have a nice pipe of tobacco, and my granddaughter is there, do I forego the pipe, and maybe tell my friends who have helped me in the field that day, that they have to put out their cigarettes because my granddaughter is here, or do I justify it by saying well we are out in the open air of the back porch, and she should be ok.  These are questions I ask myself, as I really want to be that person that goes the high road, and at least contemplates these things.  Up here in the northern part of New York State, we have winter, I mean we have winter, so the go outside and smoke thing becomes really difficult in winter, maybe not so much for me, but definitely for my wife.  What then, do we smoke inside, even though our grandchildren may be about.  How do we then justify our actions, with additional circulation, I do not have a pretty packaged answer for that.  It is a conversation I would like to have with my wife Arleta, but I am a horrible conversationalist, and she is bit too emotional, especially when it comes to such subjects.  It is a dialog I would not mind having with other people from both sides of the fence, but again, emotions run high, and I am not a real strong conversationalist.  I say I am not a strong conversationalist, it is not that I am against conversation, but that I tend to dominate conversations, or not participate, kind of my ego gets in the way of my ability to share the floor.  So this is why I write it out, so others can debate it, and I will sit back and watch, and write more or less depending on the outcome of the first draft.

I will have to say I do not like the cigarettes we currently smoke, they seem harsh and not too flavorful, not like I remember the really good cigars, pipes, or even name brand cigarettes.  I also remember years ago, while traveling with some friends we got some pure tobacco strait from the farmer so to speak, and rolled it up with our rolling papers (used at the time for something else usually) and that was completely different.  That was an experience I will not soon forget.  It was at that time that I made the decision that if ever I did settle down on a piece of ground I would grow and cure my own tobacco.  At the time I was about as far from settling down as anyone could be.  I also made the decision to make my own whiskey, as at the same time I had gotten my taste for scotch, but then I tried real single malt handmade barley whiskey.  That was before all the emotional times, and before I lost myself to cheap wine and beer.  After a bout with the indulgence in too much of everything, I did find myself wanting to settle down, and with Arleta I found someone with whom settling down seemed a worthwhile goal.  It has not happened, not really, not sure exactly why, sometimes I wonder about that, but hopefully soon we will find a way to finally rest our bones on some soil that we can call our own for a time, and not have to worry so much about the wolf at the door.  I have given up the alcohol, and more importantly I have given up the hard drugs that threatened to take my life.  I do not know if I can ever return even to the alcohol, I would like to think that at some point we could make our own scotch whiskey, or such, just for our own purposes, and stay ahead of the addiction, but I would be a fool to think that at this time.  Like all the vices, there are good with the bad, and maybe someday we can work through that.  Tobacco and coffee still remain my vices of choice, and I do not foresee foregoing them anytime in the near future.  Especially if I can get better supplies of higher quality at a cost I can better afford.  I will not go into my coffee rant right now, maybe some other day, but suffice to say that there is a world of difference between the Folgers® coffee that I can get at the store and buying good quality green coffee beans and roasting them as needed when needed to a roast and blend that I prefer.

I am one who prefers the finer things, but I have not been able to get them lately, so I have forgone most things because I would rather go without than settle for less, most of the time.  I will admit that I eat the Walmart™ brand of toaster pastry, not because I can not afford the name brand, but because I would rather not.  I would rather make my own, for I would find them that much better.  I like my toaster pastries, they are a quick little snack and a tasty food I can take with me to the field if need be.  I can think of a few other things I would enjoy just as much, but currently we do not have the kitchen or house that would even begin to allow for such indulgence, even if it would be better for our health, and for our budget.  I do not like that I must live upon the “dole” as it were, that I am at the mercy of the state comptrollers, but currently I have no other choice.  My wife is dying and she can no longer care for herself, so that becomes my responsibility, and one I take on happily.  However it also means I am limited in what work I can do outside the house.  I am working on more profitable writing, so that maybe if I can, we can get ourselves off the state and enjoy the freedom of independence from the tyranny of the social system.  This is my only option at the moment, but it is a slow and arduous process of self depreciation and editing before I can be satisfied with the work I will put out there for others to read.  Not so with documents like this, these are discussions with the self, and therefore are for open debate should one choose to use them.  I hold no right to this work, it is but thoughts for the moment, some that anyone might have.  I hope they add to the contemplation of society as a whole and somehow help others to see that they are not alone in their struggle with what is right, and what is just righteous.  In the coming future I will most likely put a few more of these out there, I am thinking they will include such subjects as social services, the service of others, alcohol, firearms, rights, liberty, “sin” and all sort and manner of subjects that are rolling around in my head, and affect my state of being.  I hope this helps, and I have to close for now, unfinished, but with time I will revisit this subject, maybe with more to say, maybe with just an adjustment of what I think, and perhaps through the grace of those that grace such things with the fuel of opinion expressed by those that concern themselves with such things either way.

Thank you for taking an interest, and comment if you would like, I do not edit comments, just delete spam.



Friday, May 10, 2013

Flicka and Fanny Intro

Why am I here, where I am at, this place, domesticated dogs, small children, these trappings of an ordinary life.  I dip for a moment into the silence of the mind, the horrid places that at once are subtle and sublime, only to be reminded by the pater of chatter that I am not what I used to be.

That was then, and what use do you serve me now, with the wind beneath your wings, away and doing things.  Even then, of what use were you to me.  There was a brief moment when I entertained the thought of your physical space.  A fleeting moment when a spark was ignited, almost to a flame, quelled with steel and presence of mind.  Even now, I could see no other purpose for your existence but for the loin of your thighs.

This is said with the knowledge that you are far too far from the point of return, and I am far too far from caring any more.  Then what of all these other mundane entertainments.  What are they but distractions from the simple and pure.  How do these serve me, or is it I that serves them now.  I believe it is the latter rather than the former, as I am no longer the former that once I was.

And now you know too much, and now the edge has been dulled, and now I bow to the victor, as the light that once shown in my eyes dims to the death that is too soon to come.  While there is still more to say on some other day, the rest is all but imparted wisdom for the girl and the boy.


Monday, March 04, 2013


Just a bit of personal information.  I am an introvert who likes to play the extrovert through any means that allows me to maintain a safe distance from the society that I am forced to exist in.  That said, it may explain some things, most likely it only leaves more questions.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Pen Tracks

Finally after 5 days of viewing reviews and looking at hundreds of options, I decided on a new pen.  Amazing I know, why should I agonize over something like a pen, when I have a computer.  Well I will get into that later.

First I had pretty quickly narrowed it down to the Parker IM and the Lamy Safari as far as the pens went.  Both of them seem to be good pens for the money, really costing about the same.  They both require a converter to allow them to be used with an ink bottle, so that was not a consideration.  It really came down to, the Parker looks a little more classic, while the Lamy looks a little more modern.  I prefer the more classic look of the Parker, that is all that can be established right now.  My hope is that it will perform well enough that I will never have to make the comparison, but I might anyway someday.

I agree with many people, these are decent pens for the money, I am not expecting above $100.00 feel or performance from them, just good performance for a $20.00 pen.  I am looking for a pen I can use everyday, for a good three or four hours a day.  I hope these are it.  I will have to see.  I may just get the Lamy later and see if it isn't a little better over the time of use.

I used to have some vintage fountain pens, some very nice ones, and I even had a really nice Montblanc ballpoint once, but they have gotten lost over the 20 or so moves I have made in the last 20 or so years. I used to have several Parker pens (ballpoints) and ever since elementary school I have usually had at least one or two Jotters about.  I used them a lot and liked them a lot, but I really do not like ballpoints as much as I like rollerballs.

I have used almost every cheap pen you can think of, and some I don't even know the name of, and they are all okay, but many suffer from the same issues.  I hate ink that skips, or balls that drag, or worse yet points that snag and such stuff.  This to someone who doesn't fill a 5 subject notebook in a week or two doesn't matter, but to someone who writes 3-4 hours a day, it becomes an issue.  I don't know if you can hear the pen when it is writing, but I can not only hear it, I can feel it as it glides across the page.  That is when it glides across the page.  I have had pens that glided about as well as sandpaper.

To be perfectly honest, if pencils didn't wear down, and they came in other more ergonomic shapes, I might consider them, as I love the darkness of graphite on the page.  The other problem is that you can't sign checks in pencil, and you shouldn't write anything that you want to have permanence with pencil, because of the other good thing about pencils is that you can erase it.  That can be a problem sometimes.  Besides that, I think your average pencil these days is not made the way they were made when I was in school, because the lead feels more like clay, and the eraser is all but useless.

So with the decision made to get the Parker IM Fountain Pen I moved on to other things, the ink.  I spent about two more days looking at reviews and reading about ink, until I settled on Noodler's Ink Black.  It is an archival ink that while not the blackest of blacks, it is very permanent and well everyone seems to think it is a good ink for everyday use.  I will try it, and hopefully it is worth as much as they say it is.  Funny how the ink cost almost as much as the pen.

My problem with rollerball pens, remember I mentioned them before, is that every time I find one I like the company that makes them either stops making them, or they change them in a way that just makes it dam inconvenient to buy them or their refills.  I started using the Bic Roller rollerball pen, one of the early cheap entries into the market, and it was decent.  Then they started to get cheap and the balls would tend to bind up and or just not work at all.  Then the worst thing happened, they went to gel ink, I hate gel ink, too glossy.  So I tried many others, and finally settled the Uni-ball Jetstream ballpoint, which is really a rollerball with ballpoint ink.  This was a good pen, but really hard to get the refills for, especially since they came out with the RT version of the pen.  So now I have a bunch of these that need refills and I can't get the refills easily, so that is what lead me back to looking for a new pen.

Now that is the first part of the story, soon part two.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Which pens are best? - Slate Magazine

Which pens are best? - Slate Magazine:

'via Blog this'

This is a reference article that will be included in my search for a writing pen.  It is a very entertaining look at pens, with some interesting information.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Grow Out and In With the Wind

In the end the warrior rejected me, and I rode away in silence, to the hum of the sunset.  It was but to this, I was given, as they that would have my coin would close in on me, to only find nothing, and for this they would have persecuted me, had I not been so lacking of fear that their munitions had no effect on me.

I pushed on, into the darkness, deeper than before I had traveled.  Deep within the recess of the interior self I lingered, waiting, until at some point, it would claim me completely.  With no one left to save me from myself, it was inevitable that I would become depraved and anti-social.

My hair is grey, it grows still, although my body wilts from age.  The soft tendrils of smoke that still rise from the chimney, are all the evidence that remains of my existence.  This is how it should be, alone and distant from humanity, as it should have been from the very beginning.

That is all I can give to you, my long time ago friend.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I just want to forget, all that is behind me.

I don't want to think, feel or care, but slide into the darkness.

I am forced into this existence, this place where I must pretend to like my place.

I have had my life dictated by children, and I am through with it.

I just want to forget, and be forgotten.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Death of the Human

I ponder the case of the human race, why we haven't cease to exist already.  The simple fact is that we will not consider that which we have lost or even stand to lose until it is all behind us.  We are retroactive in our behavior, reacting to situations, not acting upon the conditions that before us are often so obvious that are obviously not to be believed.

The state of our food, the condition and supply of our water, these things should be of considerable concern to us as humans.  These should be foremost upon our minds as we go through our lives, and consider the lives of our children and grandchildren.  They are but the most obvious of conditions we should have acted upon years ago, for I fear that it is too late.

We are quite likely headed on a crash course to mass extinction  the human race and quite likely many other species with us, are very near the point of no return.  We may have passed that point already, it is hard to tell.  One thing we can not do, even though we seem to believe that we can, is we can not fix it. Fixing it is what has gotten us into this trouble in the first place.  We have to learn to let it be, stop trying to fix what we have done, and just stop doing.  We need to understand that we can not support the vast population that exist, that we have overdrawn from life, and that we now must allow the virus that is the human culture to run its course.  There may be no hope for the remains of our culture, our species, but we have no chance for the least amount of hope if we can not stop, immediately.

We can not act locally and think globally, we can not green our way out of anything.  There is no amount of compromise that will slow the progression of aggression and rampant greed and desire that is inherent in the human psyche.  Whatever the virus of the mind that has been implanted that has to some degree brought us to this point, can not be eradicated by radiation therapy, it can not be detected with an MRI, or other scan, it is highly evolved and perfectly capable of destroying not only its host, but the environment of the host as well.  There is no saving the human race, there is only allowing it to run its course, and hope that in the end, there will be something remaining that will warn any new dominant species of intellect that we failed, miserably.

The only hope, if there is any hope, is this creeping mold called civilization will quickly dissipate once we humans have ceased to breath and breed.  If any of us remain, be it those that have realized that one can not live outside the natural order, that no organism is of any more value than the others, and that all living organisms must abide by the laws of nature, and can not find a loop hole in it, there are no barristers that can truly see the compromise in the natural world.  There is only creation, and the end result of creation is destruction, thereby leaving the fuel for new creation.  The human's have the destruction part down, but they no longer grasp the concept of creation, no amount of creation exist in their dysfunctional, disconnected, networked, hive minds, that like the honey bees are diseased beyond all hope of redemption.

Just a thought...