Alarming Talk? No, I Wasn’t Kidding nor was I delusional (any more than usual) when explained Thursday that my alarm clock failed to wake me up in time to write my usual (longer) Thursday morning Coping section..

A reader (the other one) thought my “precognitive oversleeping” was one of the best excuses ever heard.  Then went on to question if I was just making it all up…


Sure I’m a creative writer and all. Yes, I have a pretty good imagination.

But this was another one of those zillions of  honest-to-God cases to where “a little voice inside our head” was screaming what was to come.  Happens when you’re on some kind of Path. 

Toward what end?  I don’t have a clue.

Yesterday I overslept on the morning of the 30th.

So closely inspect the order date on my Amazon order tracking report.  Note the “Order Date:”

Somewhere in the bowels of the Universe – some little clockwork demanded that I oversleep Thursday and arranged for it.

I call this the BIPTOT:  The Big Invisible Plan (or Persona)  That Orchestrates Things.

Like the alarm clocking arriving yesterday a scant seven hours after it would have made Thursday’s column more normal.

The “Not Forever” Problem

BIPTOT aside, my buddy Gaye over at and I had a chat this week about what our next “big writing projects” will be.

By the way, see her “12 Disruptive Events to Prepare for this Year.”  (She didn’t have “failed alarm clock on the list” which would have been useful…

As you may remember, we coauthored a book that’s still available on Amazon:

11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: A Guide to Survival During Uncertain Times.”

We’ve been considering a “further thoughts” book along these lines.  We’ve both learned a lot more since that book.

Sure, the material is still relevant, but we both have ideas that would make for a new (and better) book.  It could be three to six months out.  Making schedules mesh and so on is non-trivial.

There are many additional topics we’d like to cover.

One I’m lobbying for is a chapter on how important it is to “know where you are in History.” (As in  The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny.  Yes, Strauss and Howe.)

Gaye’s got some thoughts on the schism that seems to exist in the minds of some between being a “normal” person, a “prepper” person, or a “back to the land homesteader and home schooler.”

As she correctly points out:  We’re all on the same team.

But sometimes, when you read how people get into that “Me! Me! Me!” mood that is going around…well, there ain’t no Holier Than Thou in any of this stuff. 

We’re just all helping each other to get along through Life. All souls weigh the same.

(Except mine may weigh more than yours as a side effect of a grand shrimp pizza I made last night that went marvelously with red jug wine….)

Over the course of our weekly Skype session, Gaye and I are trying to distill out a method and practice to minimize one of the phenomenon in Life.

We describe it as “The Not Forever Problem.”

Here’s how it works – using some practical examples that happen in damn near anyone’s Life.

It begins in grade or middle school.  You are sitting in class, bored out of your mind,  wondering “When will this damn math class be over so I can go outside and play?

It’s a classic “Not Forever” problem!

You tell yourself “I’ll just daydream a bit because this class can’t last forever…  It usually seems to, however.

Finally recess comes.  But what happens as a result is you miss the one trick that later in Life would secure your fame and fortune!

If you’re snoozing in a math class, you might miss the magic to solving quadratic equations.

Not a big deal that day.  Nor that year.  Or for even FIVE YEARS on.

But there comes a time with the arrival of the SAT scores that the payback shows up.

Your daydreaming means (*in this longer term study) that you end up having to pay for college instead of the full-ride that could have been yours if you had simply done better choicing early on.

Another example?  Well, sure…

Let’s look at marriage:  No one gets married expecting the relationship to fall apart.

But many do – over 50% now isn’t it?  And what is the core problem?

Other than money, moving, kids, in-laws, drugs, injury, weight, sexual adventuring out of the home…all of this can be attributed in some measure to the “Not Forever” Phenomena.

Fast forward to later in life?

You get a great job. 

Thinking it will last forever, you put down roots, buy a bigger home than otherwise sensible.

Then one morning, you find yourself teaching a bunch of foreigners how to do your job which they will be doing remotely from Chennai, India three weeks hence…

Again, it was great…at first.  But (sing the chorus line please) “NOT FOREVER!”

Same thing with autos and homes.

Elaine and I are still deliriously happy with the 2005 (last of the Made in Japan small) Lexus’ we drive. 

Sewell Lexus up in Fort Worth comes down a couple of times a year and drops off a sparkly new 2017 model for us to compare with while the regular maintenance is done. 

Invariably, we still think the 2005 has a better ride than the new ones.

Oh, don’t misunderstand:  The next gen US Made Lexi (Lexus’s) are great.  The suspension has great “feel of the road” and all. 

But if we wanted that, we would have rolled the money from the airplane into a classic Lotus Super Seven as a summertime/fair weather toy. Or we’d have never sold the 930 whale tail.

But no:  We looked at the “Not Forever” problem in 2008 and bought the (driven by the fabled little old lady from Tyler) lease return and it has been the best car yet in either of our lives and that’s north of 130 years of combined experience.  That’s saying something.

It smacks down Elaine’s Corvette, my succession of Porsches, her Jaguar… I mean it’s…perfect!

Where we didn’t get the “Not Forever” problem right is in our delightful “Fully equipped, furnished and stocked, solar-powered, survival home and recording studio in the woods with a great ham radio antenna set up.”

We love the place dearly.

BUT – we will likely put the place on the market this summer.  There are some parts of the “Not Forever Problem” we just got wrong.

The first was no fault of ours:  There was no way of telling that my eye issues even with good surgeries that went OK. 

It’s not just eye considerations and wanting to walk to services or be able to call out for Chinese:  There is what turns out to be a tendency toward back problems which has been a curse of the Ure family forever. 

This wasn’t even in sight when we bought this pie slice of Paradise in 2002.  But I was 53 then. Unstoppable – bull in china shop, yes sir.

The simple matters of sawing up fallen trees and bush hogging 20 acres was child’s play at 55.  At 68?  It has started to hurt and I won’t let up on the work.  No, pride of ownership and yada, yada, and trim that fence line…

See?  This is another crystal-clear example of the “Not Forever” template being missed.

(I know this lovely couple who will be selling a complete rural survival compound 2 hours outside of Dallas for a reasonable figure.  Send me an email and I will send you a prelisting chance to take a stab at it… Comes with a herd of deer, good selection of tools in the shop, tractor, microphones and a drum kit in studio, and plenty of those inexpensive 55” UHD TVs. Oh, and did I mention two black cats?.)

I don’t mean to give away that chapter of the book – that’s just a small taste.

I would like to solicit any strategies and methods you may have found to minimize the Not Forever Problem in your life.

So post ‘em as comments, or send ‘em  by email.  But please skip the blood sacrifices and rituals.  We’re looking at this algorithmically, like we do so much else.

Another example? 

This is one that calls to me as soon as the second part of today’s chat is done.  You may have experienced this one, too:

Lawn mowing.

Who the hell ever thought up that?

It’s the classic “Not Forever  Problem” that breeds another problem in its wake.  “Lawn care service  payments.”  Yeah, those.


When you really you go looking for “Not Forever” contexts, my-oh-damn  they are lurking behind every corner.

And they don’t do yard work.

Write when you get rich,

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