Coping: Another Millennial Book Note

Crisco-what-a-phobia? Oh!  Triska then…

Many items on the agenda this morning, so let’s begin with a note from reader Sherlyn on the Millennial’s Missing Handbook chapter from Thursday’s report. She writes:

“I would appreciate it if you could give a brief example of how these methods can be applied to our personal lives. I am retired, and due to health, will not be returning to employment nor starting a business. How would these principles apply to personal decision making for example?”

Great question!

I like to think of “problem solving” – as in your situation – as being much like a Master Process.

1. Begin with clearly defining is there a problem and if so, what is it? If there is a problem, the question is “Can it be solved?” This keeps unsolvable problems from wasting our time.

2. Assuming there is a definable problem, we then need to articulate what we are “solving for.” In your case, maybe you are not happy with your present living situation. Fine. But that’s not defining the problem tightly enough. What exactly is wrong with your situation?

3. Now that you have a list of what’s wrong you may begin making a list of solutions – Recipes – that can solve your problem. For example, going to the store is difficult. So you can come up with lots of potential solutions: Rent or buy around the corner from a store, get a school kid to bring heavier groceries, sign up for Amazon Fresh, learn to use Uber and find a driver who will wait while you shop…and so on.

4. Distill your candidate solutions to the best 3-4 on inspection and set them aside. Now flip back to step 2 and see what else is wrong with the living situation. Again, make the list of ALL possible solutions. Only this time, see if any of the other solutions from your first pass might solve another problem. In this way you get a kind of idealized solution. Maybe the house needs painting. Does the Uber driver know anyone who can paint? Or can the high school kid be taught to do passable weeding in addition to shopping chores…and so it goes.

Problem solving is never confined to the workplace. It is employed by process/recipe masters (and mistresses?) 24/7/365.

Because there is always another way. Usually, a better, more graceful, less expensive one, too.

Hope that answers it.

Ham Radio: Pile-Up in a Snow Cave

One of the joys of being an ultra-good ham radio operator is occasionally having one of those jaw-dropping conversations that other hams hear and immediately want to jump in for a contact.

I had one when the son-in-law was down for soldering school. He was soldering at the bench and I was tuning the 20-meter back and hear this station that was aeronautical mobile. Snagged him on the first call and he was /AM about 80-miles south of Gillette, Wyoming and headed for Atlanta out of Seattle. Cruising and 37,000 feet and it was a fun chat – impressed the SiL no end.

But it pails in comparison to last weekend’s ham radio adventures of George II: Click over to and read what was going on.

For those who have never heard a “pile up” before, it’s the rapid exchange of call-sign and signal reports.

Part one of the video from inside the snowcave is here and it’s what led to the pileup:

In Part 2, word began to get around quickly in the 2-meter community and here it goes…

Shows what a simple $30 handheld can do.

I told you about the trip down here in 2015 when he did a hop and pop and got on 2-meters over Houston…that video is here. Calls CQ (any station anywhere) about 1:25 min into the video.

Yep, makes the old man proud.

(I did mention that in addition my Old Man Labs here at the ranch, the G II’s version is Young Crazy Man Labs…?)

Any Columns You Remember from 2016?

Time once again for the annual submission to the awards program. Not that I ever expect to win, but it’s an excuse to go to New Hampshire this summer and call it “business” (it is).

My problem is I am the worst critic ever of my own work. I thought “Merry Christmas –from the Dead” was a pretty good one. But if there are others from last year you thought were good, please make suggestions.

Chinese Food Saturday

Quick:  When is Chinese New Year?

January 28th!

Since we like to start to party ASAP…

The “other” Elaine and her hubby are coming over tomorrow for Chinese food. I had Lychees (canned)  flown in this week. That and a few sauces. Should be a grand time. Since I grew up in Seattle Asian and Black community my buds are all over the place.  Home of Good BBQ to the old King Café down on 6th Ave.  Yum-yum hum bow.

Menu is Cherry BBQ pork with hot sauces. Wonton soup. Oyster sauce broccoli beef, sweet and sour chicken, shrimp and pork fried rice, and Lychees for desert. Ozeki sake (hot or cold the only choice) for the adult beverage, although my Vietnamese friends taught me the value of a single shot of a good single-malt as a warm-up act. I don’t know if Elaine (mine) will open up her Glen Fiddich locker or not.

Assorted teas and tall tales to follow.

A Word About Amazon Prime

A word about Amazon Prime. When you place a “free two day shipping” order double-check that the arriving date is really two days. Had an audio cable I needed for the studio that was to be here overnight – paid an $11.73 upcharge and it didn’t arrive.

BTW: Came in three days. (Me? Pissed? Naw… Just someone needs to pass this up the foodchain. )

BTW2: Don’t even waste your time looking for a single ¼” TRS to dual TS ¼” adapter at Wal-Mart. They may think they are going head to head with Amazon, but Amazon has huge depth of product that Wal-Mart doesn’t. Go shop adapters in a Wal-Mart store sometime. Yikes.

Holiday Monday

Ure workaholic buddy will be doing an abbreviated column Monday due to the MLK Day holiday. No bills arriving by mail. Sending quarterly taxes out today.

No rest for the wicked, I suppose.


Write when you break-even,

author avatar
George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

17 thoughts on “Coping: Another Millennial Book Note”

  1. re: Amazon 2-day delivery. My recent experience has been the 2-day delivery is to the local postal location and then it’s the next day getting to me. YMMV

  2. Hi; Noticed that some of the items we order and have standard UPS shipping are coming to our local and then being transferred to the USPS for final delivery. Results in one additional day delay. We are rural but all the usual delivery services come by our door.

  3. I really enjoy homemade hot and sour soup. The key ingredients are dried, so easy to keep on hand. Few restaurants can match the real thing, which is the first recipe in the Chinese pharmacopeia list.

  4. Don’t forget to try Walmart on line. You can even determine if an item is in stock at your local store, or available at the next store over. And they do ship.

    Amazon has been eating shipping charges for years. That’s why they never make a profit. Once they dominate retail enough, they will take the lid off this, and the American consumer will take it once more from corporate America. They also profited from not having to pay sales tax, but that edge is rapidly fading as well.

    And did anyone notice Jack Ma announcing he would be creating a million new jobs in America? This is the first public announcement of economic colonization of America by the Chinese. This will be a big factor in America’s future. If you don’t know who he is, look it up.

    • I sell a few things on Amazon. For years they have undercharged for the seller’s actual shipping costs on SOME items which is actually a tax on the seller which passes to the buyer and makes AMZ prices more attractive. Now I’m finding SOME items have a dictated zero shipping charges, so ALL shipping costs come out of sellers profits in addition to AMZ’s take – its like a race to the bottom. I have to assume all these maneuvers benefit AMZ since they certainly don’t benefit small sellers. It appears the changes you speak of are already underway.

  5. Amazon started delaying processing my orders by a few days about a year ago. Normal shipping is 2 to 4 days but they had to do something to make prime look better. No customer goodwill for that dirty trick and they can keep their prime program.

  6. Thank you George for responding. I saved it as a .doc for future reference. I have been reading your column and listening to your radio appearances for so long that I consider you a friend, a wise one at that. Keep up the effort and I have a middle finger salute for the [bleeps] that have been using denial of service against you.

  7. Re: Amazon Prime

    I’m usually baited with “free same day/next day delivery for orders over $35, on qualifying items,” the option for which disappears by the time I get to checkout. Hmmmm, I said to myself, before Amazon Prime, didn’t I used to have to order merchandise in excess of $35, with the promise of two-day, free shipping? Has anything changed, other than the fact I’m paying for Prime and getting the same level of service I was before?

    Since I keep track of these things, cat food and meds seem to arrive same day or next day, even when estimated to take two days. For awhile, Amazon seemed to be using a lot of small carriers (as in, people in private vehicles) to make deliveries, which arrived late on the promised second day. From what I am (and others, below) are see now, one mainstream carrier will take the package part way, then the Post Office gets to make the delivery, which, yes, adds at least a day to the projected delivery time.

    On another hand, I’ve gotten several deliveries, made by the Post Office, on Sundays, when I hadn’t expected the item to be delivered until the following week.

    The variable on delivery time seems to be whether or not my item was in stock at the closest Amazon warehouse to my location. I suspect your cable was not in stock and had to come from farther away. File a complaint about the extra charge you paid for a service you did not receive. You might get redress.

    Overall, the delivery time seems to even out: some things I get early, some arrive later than expected. I might grumble about the latter, but my time is more valuable in the long run than running around to various stores that may or may not have what I need.

  8. Re: Problem Solving
    We, too, are retired and mostly living on our social security checks. We found a surprising asset, though, which I shall share. I’ve had a medical marijuana prescription and license to grow for three years now. Since I don’t use up as much as I am allowed to grow (six plants), I have a bunch left over.
    We fired up our snowblower this year to try to deal with the snowpocalypse we are enduring here in Oregon. It blew up. And there is not another available for a radius of 50 miles, according the the snowblower guy. So we needed to hire somebody to shovel our driveway and take the snow load off the roof. My son in Bend said that he talked to a lady who told him she got a quote of $1,000 to take the snow off her roof! I hired a neighbor who suffers from chronic back pain and has a medical marijuana prescription to take the snow off our roof in exchange for a bag of pot. Granted, it was a big bag.
    Anyway, the point is that retired people in states where it is legal can grow their own bartering stash to some extent. Just sayin’…

  9. Correct me if I’m wrong,(I’m sure you will) but it looked like KF7OCD was using a Baofeng UV5R (maybe a UV8R , regardless even if it was the 8 , he only has 8 watts of output power max, and he was talking to Gig Harbor , Tacoma and somebody in 4 country?? on FM?? (Baofeng doesn’t do AM.)
    I’m impressed.

    • me too! LOS to gh and environments from 4,000 ft level of mt wash tho and it’s only like 30 miles los

  10. Radio Shack stores used to have that adapter hanging on the wall in the stores. Gone like the Dodo now. We’ve become antiquated old Geeks, George.

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