Coping: Rural Versus Citified Life, Trippin’

(Tacoma, WA)  A short column this morning, since I know you have a lot of important things to do…including getting ready for the Independence Day weekend.  A Potpourri of writer’s notes, though, since travel always puts things into perspective.

These are a few things I found interesting.  No useful as pick up line material (unless you’re trolling nursing homes) but these are the twisted thoughts that come from travel…

Media Distortion Lives

So Elaine and her son go off for some food and a beer.  And Elaine starts going into the big-city dangers of pedophiles and crimes against children and how are the kids going to protect the grandchild and so on.

But the son-in-law – while recognizing the threat, maintains it is minor – and yes, they don’t do stupid things in terms of child safety.

But what’s really going on?

Is grandma nuts?  The son irresponsible? 

Well turns out, none-of-the-above.  After some questions from Ure erstwhile reporter-type, what we experienced was a fine example of media distortion.

You see, Elaine and I live in something of a media bubble..  Sure, we will go on a couple of cruises this year and we’re vacationing right now.  But mostly, our view of the world is shaped by media reports.  We se maybe a couple of people a week, but most of our input is media.

On the other hand, the views of the kids are more experientially based.  They have lots of friends, workers, coworkers, you know the breadth of big city life.  Everywhere there are people and they have a much different slant on things that 10-hours a day of stream video and satellite input.  While different ratio.

From the viewpoint of the kids, worries about the risk of anything in media (dog bites, pedophiles, bad nutrition, Fukushima radiation, etc.) are certainly there in consciousness, but not to the degree that we see them from sitting out in the woods in near-total media emersion.

Pretty interesting to see it work out, first-hand.

The Decline of Style

Next social observation is about the ongoing decline of style. 

I mentioned this when we went on our cruise in February…how no one dressed up, anymore.

You know:  Gone are the days of regular seatings on some cruise ships.  It’s being replaced with a “when you feel like it” approach.,

I worked in the airline business, for example, as a kid when I was a radio and electronics mechanic way back when (IAM Local 751, I think it was).  Airline employees had to dress to fly.  Minimum was a shirt, tie, and jacket.

People used to do that…and dressing was an important part of the economy.

Not so much – hell, hardly at all, anymore.

We went to dinner with the in-laws and the kids last night and I don’t think there were more than half a dozen people out of a hundred plus men in this waterfront bistro who were wearing long  Everyone else was wearing cut-offs.

The women, mostly, looked like they had planned about as well:  Several I saw looked like they had walked into their closets, closed their eyes, and put on the first thing their hand landed on.

Not to say that it matters, but it does.

One of these days, I will pen the Great Ironing Exposé.

People no longer seem to care about wrinkles, and I may be the only person north of the Oregon border who appreciates a starched shirt.

And shoes that take a good shine?  Forget about it!

Yards as Signs

I mentioned to you the lack of rain up here.

A lot of yards are brown.

Sure sign of a person who is not flat-busted and who has some sense of pride-of-ownership is a well cared-for lawn.

I haven’t done it, but I’m tempted to go door-to-door and survey on this.

The Pet Theory being that people are on the inside, very muck like they surround themselves with on the outside.

If you see a neglected yard?  Almost a sure sign of people with a bad attitude, the way I reckon.

Card Declined

This was embarrassing:”  I went into the airport FBO after going flying with the father-in-law yesterday.  Off from Tacoma Airport and up to Bremerton (KPWT) where the Airport Diner more than proved itself the best fly-in breakfast joint around.

Came back (sight-seeing over Hood Canal and South Puget Sound) and needed a couple of quarts of oil for the return home.

Card declined!

Say what?

Yes, I could literally put a new Camry on my card but this largest Bank in America decided that it was suspicious and so my card was declined.

So a good part of the morning went into fixing that rat maze.

And this was after I had gone online before the trip and put in a travel notice.

A couple of hours later I was in a branch getting a big wad of cash and the teller was wondering “Huh?”

I explained that my card had been shut off, even though I’d gone through the bank’s hoops and I was not going to be Shanghaied in Bozo, Montana, or wherever, with 360-pounds of fuel I couldn’t  pay for.  So hand over my money.  I’m pissed.

“Oh, I’m sure that would never happen sir.”

“My butt!  It just happened with two quarts of oil.”


This is the first time we’ve gone on a trip with (mostly) plastic only but there’s a keen lesson here about why the transition to a cashless society scares the hell out of me.

I don’t trust banks and (remember: I did their travel alert deal) they are not trusting me back.

Cash still talks and plastic walks.

Next time I will know better than put my nuts in the Bankster’s vice.  I’m am in charge of my life and my money – which gets me onto that whole other problem of banks don’t think it’s my money…just an asset for them  to move as they see fit.

I was fit to be tied and just thinking about it raises my diastolic 12-points. 

Ure just renewed his old axiom “Always have enough cash to use as get-home money.”

Somewhere in Fed Region 10 there is probably a Suspicious Activity Report  (SAR) with my name on it.  For any one who cares, it wouldn’t be there if banks did their jobs right.

(Ever wonder what would happen if someone came in and wanted to get $5,000 of cash for a drug deal and told the truth up front?  Or “I need to buy some C4 and caps to blow some stumped up”?)

We have rolled from being a country where the Founders ruled to one where Kafka and Orwell got it more right.

The gap between theory and practice if you’re an optimist.  Denial don’t last long, if you’re a pessimist.

Well, so much for Mr. Cheerful’s Trip Report.

We will have a somewhat abbreviated report Friday because markets will be closed, but show up anyway, because you never know what happens when the gentle outback farmerly-type goes to the land of slickers and bumps into the New Reality.

Mostly it’s been fun and highly edjumacational.

Oh, should mention that with legalized marijuana, people are not running around stoned and we have yet to catch a whiff anywhere.  (Try, though I have, lol.)

One marijuana prescribing doctor I know up here tells me he’s gotten out of the weed business.  The healthcare professionals are being driven out by the low prices and wide variety of home “treatment options” available.

I told him thanks for being a trailblazer, though. 

Write when you break-even and come on by again and bring a few thousand friends.

George   george@ure,net


Coping: Rural Versus Citified Life, Trippin’ — 14 Comments

  1. Test; I think it was a test for you George…the ole gov was just ‘testing’ ya….do not take it personally, it is this way with everyone – the possibility of engagement with the government…think about the net…now I do not watch much tv, but when I do, I am struck by all the latest technology nets already set up, and what they show us, I hear, is not even ALL they have. So think, they pull a person up on their computer and they know: Where you live, work, bank. Who you are legally married to and divorced from and how many kids you have (mostly). Where you were born and when and to whom. Where you have traveled in the last 20 years via airplane. In the last 10 years they know where you have traveled by bus and train and boat. And every single day of the week they can find out where you are by where you put gas in your car. They know how much money should be in your accounts and how much money you take out and what bills you pay, they know every single charge on your credit cards. They know where you are most times of day IF you have your cell phone ‘honing pigeon’ feature on. They know every one of your contacts and everything about every one of them. Now with smart meters, they know how much electricity you use and when, they know a lot about what kinds of electrical appliances you use as they talk to the smart meter…they can regulate your ac/heat, if you get one of their free thermostat gizmos…they know your DNA, your blood type, and the way you look, mad or happy, and they know your build, color hair/eyes, and how tall you are. They even have your dental records and medical records. And with hidden microphone downloads on computers, cell phones, and tv’s not to mention the microphones and cameras hidden in public places they probably know all about your personal thoughts, life, and ideas as they also have your facial features, voice/speech patterns taped, not to mention all emails, cell phone meta data, AND all calls records…. so really I believe it is NOT a free society anymore, IF it has ever been in the last 30 years…and on top of that, the police can come knock down your door at any time of the day or night and claim it was an anonymous tip and they can tase you, beat you, and even shoot you, but it is YOUR fault for resisting arrest or even looking at them wrong or speaking to them discourtesely in their mind even if you are agitated/upset/for good reason for getting your door knocked in IF they find you innocent and them guilty they will always be innocent and you guilty)…they can search you and seize your cash (be CAREFUL, better keep your bank receipt)…AND they can turn off the new cars from a remote location…not to mention, it was revealed that the CIA has a dart that they can shoot to give a person a heart attack…oh my and with all their new heat fangled weapons AND heat location devices, and noise weapons how can a person escape from the security…not to mention helicopters can see you from 12 miles away AND a satellite can spot your license plate from space but they cannot seem to find ISIS or is it ISIL..but they can find our ASSis…it is a wonder any of us sleep at night…but we do…cause we gotta live before we die whether or not we are netted in or not. So, carry on! Have fun! and…for sure…WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!!

  2. “People no longer seem to care about wrinkles, and I may be the only person north of the Oregon border who appreciates a starched shirt.” I’m not into “starched” shirts – either with actual starch or a person that behaves like a “starched” shirt. That being said – I recently – because God has decided I should be real skinny – not that I was ever overweight anywhere – but NOTHING i owned in December of 2014, except for perhaps my fruit of the looms, fit’s any more. And since I have this “function” that I ‘must’ attend – I needed a suit and a few shirts – the kind you button to the top and add a tie to. Do NOT ever believe the washing instructions – well – the washing instructions were fine – it was the part about them being no iron – because unless you are into the slob wrinkled look – you gonna have to have them pressed or get out the iron and do it yourself – because taking them right out of the dryer, hanging them up and “stretching” them – didn’t even take out the folds from whence they came from the store.

  3. The way people look at you when you want to deal with cash is absurd. Everything just seems to be getting more screwed up and weird everyday. I recently got off the doom and gloom train, deciding that even if the world were ending (I think it is) I didn’t want to spend my last bit of time biting my nails….speaking of which there’s a lot of left field hoopla about this weekend/week…I happened to notice there are two near earth asteroids on the 7th…..I suddenly had the thought….”what’s the likelyhood of them ricocheting off each other and changing trajectory?”…..doodeedoodoo…have fun this weekend but if the ground starts rumblin’ better start runnin’

  4. George, I totally feel for you on that cancelled card thingie. Happened to me once while travelling from AZ to CA. Pumping gas on the CA side of the river . . . declined. “Suspicious activity” donchaknow. Had to straighten things out with the security peeps at my bank.

    Here’s the worry. In our current police state USA the porkers are going “hog wild” with this asset forfeiture BS. I, too, like to carry large amounts of cash and it is a dilemma. Trust in the banksters to keep the credit flowing on my plastic or trust that I don’t get pulled over for some bogus reason and see my cash get “arrested”.

  5. george
    my 100 year old mother says the same thing about my thirty year old aloha shirts. if she could get her hands on them, they would all be washed and ironed ‘properly’… (obviously time better spent surfing or sailing :)
    they missed out on irons in the little grass shack. lucky you get slippah an’ t-shirt here.
    when my shirts begin to disintegrate, they can only be worn comemoratively. like wearing the person who gave it to you, and being reminded of how fragile each moment is.
    love your wrinkles… in the mirror too.

  6. G, I ran into the same thing with MAJORBANKCARD INC on trip to Canada. Ran the travel traps beforehand as you did, and things went fine until I was in northern Saskatchewan and needed to simply buy groceries. Declined, like you, but cell phone roaming was $1.50/minute so forget staying in the robo-queue to solve it.

    I wound up having to dig into my “going home insurance” fund inside my hidey hole to get $200 worth of groceries. I too could get a small car off the lot, but some algo somewhere thought my purchase suspicious.

    And yet if we drag too much cash, we can get it confiscated and/or tossed in jail in the USA.

    Personally, if the cashless thing is attempted, I think it will fail simply because of unwieldy-ness, reliance on internet and the rapid growth of underground options – as happened in Russia, Argentina and other places. Commerce doesn’t stop – it adapts because people need things to survive…

  7. The healthcare professionals are being driven out …thanks for being a trailblazer

    There are still trails to be blazed – figuring out if there is anti-cancer properties and offering ‘proper’ varietals depending on the effect one is seeking.

    • The eff’ed and drug admin is going to turn all this into a prescription for big pharma, it’s bake in the brownie.

  8. I’m taking umbrage at your equating a messy yard with folks with bad attitudes. Too simple. I LOVE my garden/yard. This year it looks like a meadow. Ride on mower quit with multiple problems, my heart did the same and I had a heart attack and stent procedure earlier in the month. It may look like a jungle, but it’s a well loved one, lots of peonies, put in a couple hundred bucks worth of daylillies last year, and got my veggie garden planted right before the ticker went south. SO ease up my friend, sometimes life happens, even to those of us who CARE about such things! Enjoy the fourth, best, e.

    • There are exceptions to most rules.

      I am not surprised that an UrbanSurvival Reader is exceptional.

  9. Bank of America charges $6 to cash checks drawn on their bank if the individual cashing does not have an account with them. PLUS they want fingerprint! Don’t get me started about BOA (bank of assholes)!

    • P.S. this 4th will be spent with family (Dad 95 yo and he’s in great shape) and fun will be had BUT I will be working for House of Teacup over this long weekend. Yahoo! Safe travels to you and Elaine.

  10. I feel your digital plastic anger, in a different way. Yesterday I attempted to pay my phone bill, at the bank in another community where I’ve been paying by check for years. They refused to take my check, wanting only cash. Not only that, but I was told even with cash, it would take 3 days to post. This bank takes payment for many companies; the one I was trying to pay was Frontier Communications.