Coping: Mailbag and Aging Notes

We get a ton of email around here – and there are some that offer outstanding ideas.  Take, for example, this note from a long-time Peoplenomics subscriber who sent us this:

“Wow, George!

This year you have given me two fundamentally useful recipes for organizing life. The first was the article about aircraft mechanics organizing tools and gear, then rolling carts around to pick up stuff for a given project.

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“I took the idea a step further. Bought a bunch of the rolling wire shelf carts, perhaps 4 feet wide, 18 inches deep and a bit under 7 feet high, with 5 shelves. In my barn, I created 60 categories of stuff, from trailer to small appliance to luggage to plumbing. Printed out large print signs. When completed, the carts will be lined up against the wall, narrow side out, almost touching.

Each has signs at the top regarding contents. Containers on the shelves identify subcategories. When needed, an individual cart is pulled out. Then put back.

The result is that 20 carts fit in a 40 by 4 by 9 foot space, leaving most of my the barn open for other uses. Each cart is the equivalent storage of a closet. Each costs less than $100. So $2000 buys twenty closets, and you can inspect the contents from multiple angles, visually. I stack light, bulky things on the top shelf, like luggage, ice chests, sleeping bags, bulk paper products etc. The heaviest items are placed at waist level to save backs. Several carts are rolling bookshelves, which hold incredible numbers of books, since you get two outfacing rows on each shelf. Just pull the cart out and access both sides.

Saturday’s self evident in retrospect 5 W thoughts are perhaps even more useful than the “Suddenly the Inventor Appears” methodology. So why not buy a self guided mower that autonomously mows?

Huskvyarna (sp?) makes a big one I saw at the feed store the other day. Like an intelligent pool vacuum that mows. Most have a wire that iS used to carry weak radio signals to show the meet its boundaries. All you need to do is touch up work. Or maybe spray vinegar in trouble spots and put in mulch or gravel.

And don’t forget. Short grass deters snakes. Chickens eat bugs and grass and kill snakes. Ours treat scorpions as if they were lobster and grasshoppers as if they were prime rib. We just buy hens for less noise. There is attrition, but chicks are cheap. My next automation project will be an auto opener for the coop. Wife agreed yesterday to let me put in nipple waterers to eliminate the water hassles in the Coop. And yard eggs are incredibly good sources of nutrients, of course.

Similar thinking apples to things that wear out. So metal roofs, expensive paint etc. are 5 W ideas.”

Glad the information – and news ways of thinking – are useful.

By the way:  A side comment here:  I’ve been having a discussion with Elaine about whether people today actually care to learn anything new.

While sure, Peoplenomics readers tend to be the “grown-ups’ – and people who think strategically,  it’s a damn shame to go to all the bother of writing a book and basically have it fall flat.

Take “The Millennial’s Missing Manual: What School Didn’t Teach and What Old People Didn’t Explain” for example.  Not a single reader review on Amazon yet.

Which means I’m pretty dumb:  I’m  still working on the proofreading of Dimensions Next Door.

Seems like people say they are interesting in learning new ideas, ways of thinking, ways of being, approaching things, and in general growing a better person.  But the data around here seems to suggest that people are much more likely to read a short summary than actually put forth the effort to read something that’s in depth.

That’s just flat amazing.  But symptomatic of the times, I’m afraid.

There’s an old point in radio and television station licensing (remember those?) where it’s always a matter in licensing of Promise Versus Performance.  If a media outlet said it would do something, woe to their license if they did not.

Today?  Well, let’s see:  Media is whatever it wants to make itself up to be…and the Sources are even ,more flaky than the journos.

Everyone seems to be tapping icons in a deafening circle-jerk, unable to think (or lay out) new and useful thoughts.

Which (finally!) gets to a point:  UrbanSurvival is about us having coffee and chit-chatting on trading days.  Peoplenomics is about tools to actually up-lever life a bit (which includes making money and thinking news ways about things).

Eventually, the thinking over there (PN) shows up over here.  For example, we have been almost wildly bullish on stocks for a couple of years now.  This has happened against the background of doom porn reports, newsletters, and “special offers” that have offered the absolute worst investment advice you can find.

At some point, I figure the truth will come out:  You can make good money when the market is going up.  Or, you can make great money when the market is going down.  Either way, what we do around here is a little closer to the middle of the ethics column than telling you the world is about to end.

It’s a ways off yet, and in the meantime, subscribers have been benefitting from being on the right side of this market since (it’s been this long?)  Last NOVEMBER 11th when our long-term model said Buy.

With the money some readers have made, it’s no wonder they can be well prepped – and have plenty of storage carts!

Aging:  Personal Health Notes

We’ve been meaning to mention the latest salve that my buddy Gaye over at StrategicLivingBlog has come up with.  The article is Kick Things Up a Notch with an Awesome Healing Skin Salve.

I’m not mentioning this because I expect you to run out, buy a bunch of essential oils, and make some up.  BUT it is never too early to begin thinking about au natural approaches to health.

I happen to have damn itchy skin from eczema so anything that says “healing” has my attention.  For now, while the lights are on, it’s easy to load up on 800 gram tubs of triamcinolone ointment.  But when the lights go off?  That’ll be a different time.

Coconut Intake – Back in Our Diet

The more I read, the more it looks like coconut oil (and other Omega 3’s) are one of the ways to keep the brain young.

Readings along this line might include Omega-6 and omega-3 oxylipins are implicated in soybean oil-induced obesity in mice.  *(if your mice have been eating bad fries!) and Virgin coconut oil reverses hepatic steatosis by restoring redox homeostasis and lipid metabolism in male Wistar rats. A really good read if you’re worried about the liver breakdown of adipose fat in your Wistars….uh……

And how long have I been telling you about Huperzine A (like  Source Naturals Huperzine A 200mcg, For Learning and Memory, 120 Tablets)?

Go read Effects of Huperzine-A on the Beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain and skeletal muscle cells of a rat model for Alzheimer’s disease. and while you’re at it, see Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine on Alzheimer’s Disease.  Ginkgo biloba and Hup-A get good mentions in the new stuff on

Ask your doctor – after you determine their clear-headedness on the non-prescription, preventative side.

Sharing the Knowledge

A couple of weekend’s back, OM2 son was by – helping out on this & that.  He went home with a real treat:  About 30 back issues of the early (and original) Mother Earth News donated by a reader years ago.  Back when it was on newsprint.

Having digested all of it, we passed ’em on…which is how knowledge should work.

If you live in a big city, there are lots of libraries that are slowly weeding out “old books” and while some of them are bound to show up on  it’s a safe bet that if you call your local library now and then, you might luck into one of those periodic book sales that libraries have.

Elaine and I have been talking about books a good bit lately – due to a recent Peoplenomics piece (Thoughts on Knowledge Compression) – and whether we will actually have a “library” in our next home (assuming that’s not a 6-foot long box….).  Will we have a bookshelf, or will EVERYTHING  be rolled onto Amazon’s All-New Fire HD 10 Tablets with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1″ 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB, Black – with Special Offers?  The option is there to do 64 GB of  RAM.

Gotta say, both of us love our Kindles and once you’ve made the transition to an electric reader, especially if you have eye issues (we both have ’em evolving), a 10.1 reader looks better than E’s K-7 Fire or my K-8 Fire HD.

Well, off to work on a hot topic for Peoplenomics tomorrow and watch the market lighting up…

Write when you get rich,

20 thoughts on “Coping: Mailbag and Aging Notes”

  1. Oh, while my kindle is very nice – and I am slowly picking up classics and such for it – too many of my books which I picked up for like a buck or so when new are now barely under ten dollars or some are not ebooks at all . . .

    In addition – some of my books – are either loaded with color pictures (coffee table size) or are the exact kind that if everything went to ‘Hell in a handbasket’ – the printed word is gold.

    EMP events are not kind to electronics . . .

  2. George,

    I teach adults how to use cutting edge CAD tools to design and build a better world. Been doing it 10 years now. So I’ve seen the shift to the new goldfish mentality. Age does not play a major role, but it is generational. Still, I’ve had old folks do well, still learning, and also some old folks can’t learn a thing. Young people too. So I figure it’s still largely down to the individual.

    You either are born with a curiosity and open mind that leads to learning, or not. The biggest killer of learning is old knowledge. At least in my art, CAD applications are called tools, and prior tool knowledge can wreck a student. Give me blank new minds to teach and I’ll do better. Same ratio of learners to non-learners, from all generations, but the blank minds are easier to teach in the aggregate.

    You should be a teacher. Have you tried it?


    • LOL, great observations Phil. Yes, I taught a UW Communications 369 broadcast internship and guest lectured a few times at Pacific Lutheran university. Was a voc college director/president and enjoyed that, too.
      The main thing I figured was that some people “are hungry” and other people are not. The hungry will pick up a book, read, ask intelligent questions and show up before class and stay late.
      The fat (not hungry) are a few minutes late, never do assignments on time, have one excuse after another, don’t live for the “hands-on” part of real work and would just as soon get back to their distractions.
      The biggest generational change I’ve seen is people’s “drug of choice” for the fat has changed. It used to be television and nowadays it’s Facebook and twitter.
      If that’s human progress, I’ll go stand in front of the bus.
      Run me over….

      • Yeah, we live in a 3 second attention span world, so I guess you have to give them the, “What’s in it for me”, first, and then explain why it works that way. Put the bait out for the little fishies and net them with a reduced version of the science.

    • Phil –

      I am an old dog that learns new tricks. Having gone back to get trained up on newer CAD, my experience is that for students knowing one CAD package, it is important the the teacher know that old package as well – then comparisons can be done and differences more effectively explained.

      SW was a royal pain, but that was because the classroom was designed for blank slates, which you prefer. I bailed on that one, and found a ‘transition’ class for experienced CAD guys – the approach was completely different. I didn’t finish the class, because by that time I had figured out the new one by just trying things out.

      But there was a big difference between those two approaches to teachings. And it’s really more difficult when the pupils are as experienced as the instructor – many teachers hate that. It sort of ‘unmans’ them to have a different way presented, which older guys tend to have learned by failing massively elsewhere.

  3. mellennials don,t want to taKE THE TIME TO LEARN FROM THE PAST,IT,S ALL DONE AT HIGH SPEED PHONES.they think they can do much better than their parents their way and not the old way.they live in another world than we do !!

      • Actually, there are lasers printing metals already. But the price?

        There is also quite a bit more laminating in the finished product, which makes it problematic to engineer with it.

        Gold and silver have low melting points – printing them should be simpler, but the feed material (strips of silver…) is costlier than necessary.

        For simple things, printing metal should be fine. For material carrying loading – forgings or wedlded is much stronger.

      • There’s two new techs that might interest you guys. One is a a supersonic air blasted metal powder. It sends the powder so fast to the part that it melts and fuses when it hits. Comes from gov. research to repair airplane parts. They get a crack or corrosion they grind it out and blast in new metal. Strong as new. Super fast.

        Another is like the powder metallurgy that they use to make auto parts. It’s like the metal laser 3d except they lay down a binder with metal particles combined. They cure “the binder” to build layers. Then they sinister it in the same type ovens used for powder metallurgy auto parts. The key is that it only takes about 30 minutes for a part like a water pump. At this rate you could just keep a few parts on the shelf and print them as needed or you could mass produce the parts which it what they are aiming for.

  4. “I’ve been having a discussion with Elaine about whether people today actually care to learn anything new.”

    I am personally a reader.. I use to read when young up to forty books a month when I was young now between ten to fifteen. I still know an old friend that reads a book a day.Both of our passions is our gardens and I love to experiment with my garden just to figure out the puzzle,( I still would like to know if my thought that if you sprayed lithium peroxide in the atmosphere if it would not only create an air battery that would spur lightning creating ozone and filtering co2 from it.. or aluminum oxide.. but then those are things I will never know for sure .)
    we both were members of a small group of idiots that could do abstract puzzles but we both left neither of us ever made anything other than what we are.. ourselves for some stupid reason the other idiots in that group had the illusion of grandeur when it really is only opportunity and being able to grasp it the moment it happens.. today the books I will start digesting is an oldie but goodie.. Copernicus a short introduction by O Gingerich and Habermas J, gordon finlayson.. unfortunately I never read a book from front to back but will read digest and investigate maybe a page or a chapter it depends does it get me to think or not.. ( which is what I love about Urbansurvival and peoplenomics and half past human )
    Now.. the kids.. what I read in a month is probably more than what most of the kids will read in a year or maybe two..
    what I read in a year will be more than what most average people will read in a lifetime..
    today with my grandkids as an example there just isn’t time for them to read.. I have tried to get them to listen to audio books..or to put ebooks on their phones and computers.. they just don’t have time the time they have between jobs or activities is minuscule at best..
    I think when the trend started to end was when jobs were outsourced to other countries.. before 1984 mom could stay home dad worked.. some women worked but you still could have a one income family today wages have gone up about two percent per year all the while reducing benefits that use to be a common place.. all while jobs have been outsourced and educated individuals imported.. Our corporations use to support the community now the community supported is in another country.
    low income jobs are more prevalent than the higher paid jobs and with the inflation rate going through the roof people have to work harder to provide.
    As for taking time to sit and read a book most people are working long hours at low wage positions trying to figure out can I make the car payment this month. if they have children they are wondering can I buy milk for my kids this week diapers etc. forcing them to seek federal programs for the assistance they need. None of them realize that by dumbing down society and the people that after what is it three generations they can be enslaved which we are pretty much now. we are subjected to our needs compared to our ability to reason due to ignorance. MSM knows this that is why they ram negative narratives consistently most people just don’t have time to find out the truth and will take the easy way with the least resistance. a few years ago I had a friend that passed an article that was supposedly from the Pravda and said can you believe that.. I said I doubt it is true.. oh it is true was the answer I got.. well I read the pravda and sent a copy of the whole issue this story was supposedly from it wasn’t in it at all the story was fake but because they weren’t ready to check it out they took it as fact. when the pravda reads like out local paper..
    because we now live with our pocket brains we are no longer able to run a string of figures through our thoughts we need a calculator. I actually still have my slide rule someplace I don’t even know if you can still buy them anylonger.
    I met a college grad.. he was trying to read the daily newspaper.. now he was in management where I was working and didn’t understand what he was reading.. sad.. we import our doctors and professors from other countries because they push education here we discourage education because it isn’t feasible financially to seek an education. forcing our youth to work longer hours and make lower wages.
    the same goes for the news.. newspapers are a thing of the past most are closing their doors and people are going to the pocket brain to look up what they need to know. big corporations put small hidden messages like really how many have seen the guy on the trampoline smiling and waving with a back ground of smiley faces on the universal beginning not many yet I see it every time and get a tickle out of it.. these messages are constantly bombarding our youth who haven’t the time to even notice them happening many shows have two or three story lines running at the same time depending on what message they are trying to put out many don’t notice these things and accept them willingly.
    Now consider this. If we do away with books and education will we be like earlier times when libraries were lost to mankind and have to learn all over again.

  5. Don’t you just love a good heater, and you can roll it around and it’s got proven good comments because I had it for a year so I bought another one for my lazy porch Garden that extends to their living room

    So let’s talk about votes like a billion volts you know the kind of kills you wipes out all your memory so when you’re reincarnated and stuff you know he don’t know where and when you came from and let’s go down to the small and like three point something 5 volts was charges your cell phone and then the start working on the solar you know a lot of people start out with 12 volts 12 volt solar system you know that’s what they start out with and then other people start out with thousands of volts on their solar system those are the people you don’t hear about so let’s talk about the people in between the 12 in the thousands 48 volt system yes that reduces the Heat 120 volt DC converted to AC is a really good system there it doesn’t require too much heat to transfer it from DC to AC but I’m just wondering if the DC was even higher at 2:40 and is being reduced which one would require more energy to convert at what point is it neutralize where you convert from AC to DC I mean excuse him from DC to AC

    How to run big things off your small a solar system
    Start by kicking in your highest and for what item and then work your way down that’s how you can make the most out of a small system because if you start by initiating all your small items first and then you kick in your big item last it won’t work so you have to start with the big item first does that sound like something like stock market Bitcoin farming put your big go out there and go for it and then all the small things will fall in place but if you go for the small ones first and you only got x amount of power when the big one comes around you won’t make it now that’s the best kind of dictory to a whole lot of things that were taught like hey start out small and work your way up but it does it does work that way and levels is called okay we’re at this level this is what we’re going to do next level now this is what we’re going to do so each level has its restrictions about what you can and can’t do you have to understand what level you’re at before you’re able to say hey I can excel at this because if you go to big you’re going to fall so you have to start out small

  6. I have had the good fortune to attend my 7 yr old granddaughters gymnastic class for the last year and half. Her parents are both 40plus and enjoy watching the class. The majority of the parents seem to be 30 or below. When the 30ish crowd comes in they can barely make it to the bleachers before whipping out the phone and are glued to it the whole class. I know we are evolving into Virtual Reality and what will come with that. A very astute Futurists wrote a book about 20 years ago and about the only thing can remember is: If you think Heroin is addictive wait until true VR gets here, and after watching the phone users believe he might be right.

  7. Just wait until one of those wire shelves tips over on him because he overloaded it and a wheel gives out or he hits an uneven spot in the barn floor the wrong way. The way he’s talking about organizing them the whole kit and caboodle could easily go down like dominos.

    • Agreed. I applaud the idea of efficient organization, but I suggest a little more thought should go into this scheme. Loading up heavy items mid-cart for convenience doesn’t negate the laws of physics. You want the center of gravity as low as possible to prevent the entire cart from pitching over unexpectedly while being moved. Also keep in mind those book carts are likely to suffer from metal fatigue at some point and then **BOOM** books ala barn floor.

      I wish you better luck than I’ve had.

    • I’m amazed at all these negative comments regarding a basically good idea. There are many ways to stabilize such a setup and keep the concept. One thing would be rails holding the top of the rack, another would be to have larger non-castering wheels such that they roll straight out and in. If the rack is never fully pulled out, it can only tip far enough to engage the adjacent one. Just pack the line of racks full or brace the ends of the line. If there are problems, solve them, but don’t throw the bathwater out with the baby! BTW, a similar system is used in warehouses where storage space is at a premium. And most warehouses have a very high CG on all their racks. They just brace as best possible and handle with care.

  8. Thanks for the reminder. I bought it, reviewed it, and sent an email blast to all my non-business contacts. I think is is your greatest contribution to our children’s future. I urge all your followers to do the same thing, today!

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