Coping: The “Questionable Future” – Doing & Verbs

imageAh, the Christmas spirit.

Elaine and I finally got around to putting the railings up on front deck #1 Wednesday.  It’s a feat made possible by the amazingly nice weather this winter (so far).

No, that is not global warming:  It is El Nino which is at an extreme this year.  Which is fine, and since there seems to be some correlation to the Sun’s 11-year cycle (and don’t get me started on the economic cycle that runs with that) because it means in a few more years, the pattern will flip. 

By then, the sycophants of global warming will use the natural cycle behind their  cause célèbre to proclaim victory. 

You’ll know that time has arrived because you will have been hoodwinked into paying another layer of taxation…but again, not today’s story du jour.

No, instead I thought this morning we could do a little thought exercise about the future as shown by activity verbs.

I’ll show you what I mean:

Let’s go back a hundred years, or for that matter, to the lead-in to World War II.

A glorious time in American history it was; for we were a country which built things.  We constructed marvels of engineering.  Grand Coulee Dam had been built.  Haven’t done anything that big since.  (The Chinese have with Three Gorges which may be a sign of ascendancy in global activity rankings.)

Today, though, we don’t seem to be “constructing” or “building” as much.

In its place has come “coding.”  We also see a lot of “developing.” A few offer “work product” while others create  “intellectual property.”  All as vapor-ware replaces real stuff.

Google Trends is a marvelous tool for spotting trends like these.  For example, when we look at a term like “build,” what we see is that we are just now rolling over at the top of a cycle and we may be heading down over the coming few years:



As you can see in this chart, the past cycle high was around 2004, but the peak in the housing market didn’t come until 2007 – so three years between language/use and  the evolving physical reality appearing. 

Not to harp on our outlook for a grim  mega-depression in 2017, and thereafter until 2021, but if you look with “soft-focus” you can almost see it.

On the other hand, all those computer science grads may have something to do…because there is a long-term recovery in search activity for…



Here is another trend – not that the sample is large enough – but it sure as heck is interesting: 



And here is another trend of something “verbly” – this whole “prepping” movement.

Now, to my (admittedly cynical) eyes, this one, like construction, seems to be just past “peaking.”



Don’t get me wrong: People are still very interested in DOING something, it’s just not as clear WHAT exactly they are interested in doing…at least from among the small number of action words (verbs) we have been sampling this morning.



Things may not be all bad.  Lots of Americans doing…which didn’t seem to happen on the GOP’s watch in Washington.

In fact, the good news is that the act of “giving” seems, according to our Search Engine Oracle ( not to be confused with the other kind of SEO) seems to be telling us that there is a very regular heartbeat in the behavior of humans.

Not only does Christmas (and the period leading into it) show an annual  heartbeat but the difference between the peak and bottom of trend may represent something about what we might describe as a prevail level of generosity… which is what the giving chart showed ….More people DOING good irrespective of season:



It is possible that the crass materialism of the “me generation” has also peaked?

We won’t actually know the answer to that until we see how that term peaks this spring.  For reasons I haven’t had time to research, the “me generation” phrase seems to have a distinct peak in the April-May timeframe.  That’s periodicity, for you.

I found some of these data sets to be interesting.  And since we will only have a very short (and possibly late) column tomorrow morning, I wanted to which you and yours a very Merry…



Fear of “Commissioner Ure?”

My buddy Coy, up the road a ways, called me this week quite excited.

“Have you heard?  The gravel pit is down to about 40 loads and then looks like it will be closing…”

imageI explained that Elaine and I had flown over it Tuesday, and we noticed there was one pile of gravel left that was being steadily munched on and there was no sign of the heavy equipment (the rock crusher) to make more.

For outback residents, who are sick and tired of seeing the local roads torn-up by overweight semis, it was a sight for sore eyes. The material pile is circled with the yellow highlighter  in the aerial to the right…

Good news is a problem around here:  My plans to run for County Commissioner seem like they might be derailed..

That’s because my deal point in running is the actual paving and restoration of our Outback Roads..and until that happens, I’m still willing to accept huge out-of-state campaign contributions.  I figure if Hillary can do it…

Apparently, my plan to get rich gaming the political system isn’t working as well as hers.  Total campaign contributions so far comes to …um…exactly zero.  Not even a speech request.

I may have to rethink this run for office…but not until the roads are actually paved…till then, however, game on.

Fact is, incomes in Anderson County Texas isn’t quite Westchester County, or Falls Church, VA, if you know what I mean. 

The depletion of the gravel pit and possible wind-down does come at an inconvenient time. 

The first lease payment on our campaign jet comes up next month.  And I’m just about to start the online class in political double-speak.

Say, you don’t happen to need a campaign jet, or another inept public official, do you?

Write when you break-even,


7 thoughts on “Coping: The “Questionable Future” – Doing & Verbs”

    • Nope. One of the things with TX gov’t: they did their home grown version of EPA which essentially is a permit on demand operation. You got money, you got permit kind of thing…

  1. Trust me George, the alternative to a permit on demand may be far too horrible to contemplate. In so many places, you’ll have a bureaucrat demand you do something and get the permits to do it, and other bureaucrats that refuse to even consider such permits. Of course, the first bureaucrat will take you to court if you fail to comply, and the second one will do the same thing if you act without a permit. At least Texas is straightforward, even if they sometimes get things really wrong.

    BTW, I’ll be glad to accept your campaign jet as a Christmas present, or if necessary I’ll even run for something. I’ll also be glad to contribute $40.00 to your cause when my subscription renews in May.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  2. George nice research and going forward I will play around with it on my time, to free you up for next idea. By the way you mentioned the two rich zip codes. I live in Falls Church, Virginia and we are mystified on ranking. We are between two Metro stops and condo mix use deveplopers have discovered the “Little City”. So two income professionals have discovered us which probably skewed the numbers, for it was per capita accounting with mirrors. Because of ranking the city elders have run amuck in taxing Real estate to the highest in the Commonwealth. It is now driving out folk that moved here from expensive Fairfax Cty years ago for good schools and lower rates. Now their kids are gone they’re moving back out to Fairfax etc for lower rates. Some like me are tired in our old ‘er creaking bones age to keep moving to save a few fiat. I just compensate by buying gold and silver on the trip to it’s basement. But if Au an Ag and associated bargain PM stocks don’t rebound soon so I can receive nice positive offsetting appreciation, I might be moving to the rich zip code in Texas to get some distressed RE, Midland.

  3. Really would not feel too badly if you shelved the dive into politics George. It would pain me greatly if you were to fall to the dark side. If us preppers are passing our peak your insights and tutelage will be needed more than ever.

    Merry Christmas.

  4. Most of us big rig drivers are just good ol boys and gals trying to make a living feeding our families. Cant falt a fellah for that. Gravel pharmas are responsible for the road maintence, part of the gig of making the easy money and usually is in the permit clause.

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