Coping: The “Vacation Home Alternative”

Elaine and I had been kicking around the idea of moving.  Back to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to the kids.  Yet our home here in Texas has become more of an anchor than we thought it would ever be, thanks to the huge remodeling and “fun” we’ve put into the house.

Sure, it’d be nice to be near the kids and all, but  buying 30-acres of heavily treed land in  the Northwest would involve more bank robberies than we could fit on our schedule for the next 30 years. 

Worse, vacation homes are a financial  nightmare.  Having a place in the Northwest for 3-4 months (which it’s hottest in Texas) is something only the financially overweight can contemplate.  Washington state doesn’t have a state income tax, so they make up for it with property tax highwaymen.

Oh, and the property here is free & clear and we haven’t heard a peep from the seismic survey guys since the lawyerly fellow sent them a 6-page “Here’s how blasting caps might be set off my Mr. Ure’s ham radio if he doesn’t know you’re lurking about” letter.

Luckily, we found what looks like a dandy answer using  This a a marvelous online service that lets people who have a room, level of their home, or detached property (the mother in law apartment kind of thing) and rent it out.

In our case, we found a one-bedroom condo unit which comes with wifi, cable TV, all utilities, a kitchen, queen bed, has its own private entrance, BBQ and more and all for $1330 a month.  There’s also a shared washer and dryer, it’s close to the kids (20 minute drive,k 7 minutes from friends) and it will give Panama (the brother in law) some peace and quiet around the ranch here.

He’s back to his ornery/spunky self… a good thing, indeed.

Second homes do have their place, I suppose.  But they are also god-awful expensive.  I’ve run the numbers and they just plain suck.  Worse, there’s the crime and squatter angle.

Hotels are nice, but our favorite haunt on the Tacoma waterfront is $200/night which means given the same amount of money the choice comes down to seven nights within walking distance of the best fish and chips in the Northwest, or 30 nights and a 20-minute drive.

The hotel, admittedly has a workout room, but besides the weight machine, about all it has is a treadmill, and that’s why God created shopping malls.  I figure Elaine will remain perfectly fit by going to South Center, Auburn, Tacoma, and Silverdale malls.  I expect to see weekly circuit training between ‘em all. 

Like anything else, you’ll need to p[ick up some of your own supplies.  TP, Kleenex, and such.  Maybe a small jug of Dawn for the dishes and some olive oil, butter, milk…you know that one. 

The Air BNB site has a number of filters, depending on your budget.  You can pick up a shared room (pass, but cheap), a private room (no thanks, but if you’re on a fixed income and still have some wanderlust and don’t mind a shared bathroom…) or you can get the “entire place.”

It seems to work even in resort areas.  Branson, Missouri has a couple of listings for $100 a night.  Hotels in season up there run more.  Again, it helps to study the pictures closely and shop a good bit.  Also, seasons matter but if you’re beyond kid-dragging, it’s worth exploring.

If you don’t have a lot of money to play with, and you want to fix some of your own meals, most of the units come with coffee makers, microwaves, basic stoves, utensils, and so forth.

No points or free air travel miles, but I sure like recycling money to regular folks instead of shareholders.  So thought I’d mention it. 

Between the discount cruise tips from Gaye over at, and this AirBnB thing, plus finally getting “this old house” near the finish line, there might just be a few years of grown-up fun left before the Big Sleep.

It’s almost too good to be true…so I expect someone will find a way to tax it away from us, yet.

Automatic Writing Project in the WoWW

We do lots of crazy stuff around here:  Chase the market (which often turns and chases us), play with ham radio, airplanes, gardening (but not this year – – yet – another story for another day) and lots of other fun, adventurous stuff including the odd vivid dream to report.

Oh, and let’s not leave out looking for the Bigger Contexts of life – those megatrends that are coming along which will toss us all about like unemployed ships in the storm of life.  3D printing, business process re-engineering, and all that.  Like yesterday’s report on “computational statecraft.”

Still, life doesn’t allow us enough time for all possible avenues of research that catch our eye.

The latest sparkler that’s calling to me is something called “automatic writing.”

Not too much is “hot” on the web around it right now, but automatic writing has a long and interesting history:  A bit from Wikipedia to set the stage:

Automatic writing or psychography is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without physically writing. The words are claimed to arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source

Once you read that article (interesting stuff here) you run into another idea which has been largely debunked by psychology of the respectable (or at least peer-reviewed sort): Ideometry:

The ideomotor effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motions unconsciously; for example, the body produces tears in response to powerful emotions, without the person consciously deciding to cry.

The experiment is simple:  Just sit down in front of a keyboard and start typing.  But now something coming out of your mind (leastwise, directly):  Just let characters flow and see what comes out of it.

Some would argue that it’s a gateway to evil spirits, while others claim that there’s only subconscious trash to be taken out this way.  Yet, I can’t help but wonder if automatic writing has, chosen a very few to bless with knowledge of the future.

Another way to considered it is that ideas come out of your higher self and automatic writing simply reduces these to comprehensible content suitable for consumption by others.  Charity, chastity and oblong boxes of content come through, report some.

For now, it’s just a concept, something of a refreshing break from computational madness that seems to be overtaken society.  Let me know if you try it…and I’ll do likewise. 

I know the saying about a thousand monkeys with typewriters ought to be able to turn out  the works of Shakespeare over time.  But we don’t care about that.  Just a few good stock tips and lotto or Powerball numbers would be fine.

WoWW 2: Vortex in the Mower Shed?

Reader Warren (disappearing measuring tape and perpetual self-filling lawnmower) updates us on some lingering questions:

Yes, the mower lives just a few feet from the shelf where the tape measure lives. Not enough room for a cot, tho’. It’s a small shed, about 10′ x 10′ sitting on a concrete slab. I’ll start paying attention and see if I notice any ‘vortexes’ or electromagnetic effects and whatnot. 

Aside: One way to identify ‘vortexes’ and ‘grid points’ on ley lines is to see if any nearby bushes trees or saplings have trunks or limbs that are twisted in a spiral. Some dowsers look for the same things in their work. Apparently, they use this visual guide to help find underground streams or water sources.

This is an older house. At least several years older than either of us. The possibility of certain types of quantum entanglement cannot be ruled out.

Needless to say, I figure it’s only a matter of time until something else odd happens up at Warren’s place in Oklahoma.

Rain would be nice…

A Quake Prediction: Oct. 24-26

A reader, who has offered quake predictions in the past, says my dream (Monday) about a major quake in a high tech area is off-base.  Need to wait until the October 24-26 timeframe.  Check this out:


On my last prediction,  I got the date correct however, not the magnitude.  Looking back, it seems as though the magnitude I predicted was spread out over the course of a few weeks instead of one “Big One”.  There was the big earthquake I somewhat predicted on April 6th (7.0)  and spread out to April 9th (6.3) and April 20th (6.6).  If this energy was to be released as one Big One,  it would have been devastating and in the 9.0 area of magnitude.  

Once the April 6th earthquake had hit,  I put my theory back into action and realized that the next big earthquake, according to my one model, was not going come come for quite some time.  I put my theory and earthquake models away and started working on other “things in life” since the next big one was a ways away.  

Today,  I caught myself reading about your dream of a California Earthquake and decided to take my models and theory off the shelf and see how close we are to the next one.  After running the numbers briefly,  the next one is coming on October 24-26 of this year.  

There are a few details that may increase or decrease the Earthquakes magnitude and date which I am now going to start working on.  I have attached my original email to you for additional information.  Five months away seems a long time but we both know it is not.  

Since my model uses the helical model of the Solar System,  I am pretty sure mainstream America will never allow my predictions (again, if correct) to be public.

Now if THIS earthquake happens like the first one I predicted,  we are going to have to get together and discuss ways to use this information.

Also, the story of light being condensed into matter fits perfectly into my theory.  Please read my original email to you below. I might really be on to something.

Thanks for listening,


And, yes, here’s a bit more insight into his theory from that previous email:

I have derived a Theory (Empty Mercury Theory) that uses the Solar Stream as the main inducer of Earthquakes as I believe the Solar Stream is what continually grows our planet.  The Solar Stream can be magnified/increased or decreased according to the positions of the other “Magnifying” planets or “Grounding” planets in our  solar system.  Since I believe everything is electricity in some form or another,  including our planets,  I have been using the varying levels of electricity to find how to spot these “Big Earthquakes”.

The thing that gives creds to this model is that it fits with the “light condensed to matter” theory that seems to be making the rounds in the more respectable arms of “science” which, we all know, was (on an historical basis) only recently (1600’s) separated from magick (which differentiates from illusionists and their puny magic, but you knew the difference, right?)

Cancel Della Street

Damn.  I get all fired up for my big day as a jurist today  and what happens?  The trial gets canceled.

Not that I care about that…sitting on old oak courthouse benches is not like my four monitors, web-backed exec chair and ice water.  But if it had been on, I would have had to excuse to go into town early and hog-up from Chinese food.  And I could have called a buddy and bought him lunch…

Given the amount of Chinese I can eat at one sitting, this gives us a hint that the “scales of justice” may extend beyond the courthouse, however.

De plane!  De plane!   – Chasing RPM

Want to get rich?  Become an aircraft mechanic and find a fundamentalist fanatic aircraft performance by the book customer, like me.

Airplane mechanic tore into the engine and everything on the inside was fine as we go looking for the missing 150 RPM I should have in static run-up.  I want 2,450, book says 2,300 minimum, and I get 2,250 but can lean to just barely legal.  Something wasn’t right…

Different tale in the engine accessories once the compression and valves were checked, though:  We found there was a mal-adjustment to the carb heat which was leaking hot air in instead of pure cool air.  1/4 to 1/2-inch worth.  That might easily rip 50 RPM off in the preflight (and explain the really good performance in subfreezing weather I noticed this winter).

Then, there was a cable that was not-quite-kosher on the mixture adjustment.  On your lawnmower this would have been a $20 item.  On an airplane, it’s $291.  Special locking knob, inspections out the ying-yang and more paperwork than a Bible translation.

But the biggie?  Somewhere in this airplane’s previous lifetime, the carb’s accelerator pump had been disconnected and was leaking air like a sieve.  When the linkage was hooked up (correctly) depressing the plunger on the pump sent a nice shower of avgas into the engine compartment.


I’ve never seen one leak that badly,” says the mechanic.  “How about we replace it with an overhauled one?”  NSS.

The good news is?  We never had an inflight fire from the carb, thanks to the pump being disconnected.  But the way it was disconnected was wrong (and prevented the last half inch of throttle from working, so we think we have tracked down even more RPMs with the carb and the carb deicing bypass issue).

Once fixed, we’re hoping to finally get RPM well above bare minimum static RPM.  In the meantime, my wallet is looking more and more like Swiss cheese from all these aircraft money units (AMUs) going into the old beast.

Right now it’s a three-way death race:  Between the airplane, the wallet, and me.

No question about it, ham radio is a hellavah lot cheaper as hobbies go.  So’s fishing, hunting, gardening, skydiving, scuba, and surfing.  In fact, do them all and you still might come out ahead. Depends on boat size, of course.

And as for the he-man part of flying?  Nothing to it.  The scariest part of flying is voicemail from the mechanic.

Oh, well. The money I save on Chinese today….

More on the morrow (or moron tomorrow, your call).  Write when you break-even.