A lot going on this week and so no “ShopTalk Sunday” until next week.
With the papal passing, we were dealing with our own loss locally. Our beloved Zeus the Cat passed quietly last night after a long illness. He was 96 in people years. A good run for a feral cat lucky enough to find a home with a nearly democrat handout plan.
His successors, Sam the Siamese (male) and Sylvestrix (long hair female) were by Saturday morning to pay respects.
A word for a smooth afterlife would be appreciated. Zeek was one-of-a-kind as pets go.
We use his passing to think deeply on populations of pets. We firmly believe if you ever want to have a pet, please get a rescue pet. Life is worth saving.
Personal Year in Review
Our odd view around here is centered around the idea that seven major systems define our physical wellbeing.
- Food & Water
- and Finance.
Every year, we look at our position in each of these systems in order to plan ahead into the coming year.
Our workplans in 2023 go like this:
Expanding Food Growing: Just finished up our USDA Farm Census on Saturday. There’s a potentially high payback ahead in growing a major part of your own food.
Shelter: In good shape now since in 2022, the guest room roof was repaired, and a new roof was put on the main house. A modest new deck and cosmetic projects will be the focus this year.
Transportation: We still have the same two vehicles, an elderly Lexus 330 of the made-in-Japan 2005 variety with about 117,000 miles on it. Barely broken in. The 2001 Dodge pickup has yet to turn over 90,000 miles. Not much on the docket in this category. We keep thinking about a Toyota hybrid, but for the home stretch of life? For the bump in auto insurance? Plus, there’s the environmental impact of a new car… We’ll keep the maintenance up on what we have and apply the occasional carwash.
Communications: We will be dropping one Century Late landline in early 2023. The overlap between Starlink and ViaSat will continue until we get a better bearing on communications risk during war fighting and Musk attacks by the Powers. Redundancy is a key part of life at this stage.
Energy: Two of the 24V grid-tied solar system (peak power is only about 6 kW) charge controllers may be upgraded. The main power change will be cutting down two large trees between the house and shop. Because they are 60% shading the solar arrays for another month or two of winter. We will also be cutting down several other large trees since an analysis of low garden yields kept falling back to “Less than 5-hours of full sun is not enough!”
Environment: We will do a preventative maintenance on the a/c system in April. But the biggest change will be G2’s planned new home construction on the lower 16-acre piece. But his construction pace will be tempered by work and school plans. A 50-hour serious medic/fire job plus doing any kind of medical schooling is a full load. I figure I’ll set up the local chapter of Habitat for Relative – which we’ve done before.
Finance: Our annual Net Worth worksheet got done this week. Rather amazingly (I’m easily amazed, mind you) our net worth increased 8.74769 percent which is remarkable only because it is within an RCH of the Social Security Increase – in theory.
Some years, net worth doesn’t do so well. In 2012, for example, we booked a drop of personal net worth of 15.14 percent. Other years, when I really pay attention and focus on trading and strategy, gains are far above this year. 2021, as an example, our net worth calculation was up 40.28 percent.
Kind of like the Trump tax returns, lol. All over the place.
The next day, or two, around here the Focus will be on “recentering” to make sure our actions planned are aligned with our goals.
Which include things like maintaining good relations with the kids, finishing various art, hobby, construction, and personal growth projects. Reading more while (almost paradoxically) getting even more exercise.
In the end, this is a great time this weekend not just to review financial performance. It’s a grand time to answer the question: “What am I buying in my Life?”
See, money is only a tool. Like labor, in a sense, money can usefully be thought of as “stored work.” Whether that’s your own work turned into money (and equivalents) or being able to hire someone else to work for you.
One thing seems clear: We will continue socially isolated. Because the biowar is a very uneven affair and we’re still open to a (non-mRNA) vaccine in the future because of statistics. We don’t have a problem with stats – which is why we keep up our pneumonia shots, for example, because the stats on older people dying of pneumonia drive only one decision, as we judge things. Notice I don’t fly the plane anymore and I’ve been off motorcycles for more than 20-years.
The good news is social isolation has its upsides. If you don’t have strangers coming around and no one has a clue what you have, your odds of certain crime categories can be lowered. Automatic weapons and bear spray at the door to greet visitors also helps, too, of course.
2023 is a major marker for us in a sense. It has now been a full 20-years since we decided to “walk the talk” of downsizing. We realized long ago that 8-billion people is too many and that as pressurization of society continued, the best place to stand was aside. Out of the line of fire.
To accomplish this, we looked for the best agricultural self-sufficiency area with the lowest taxes and operating costs we could find.
We’ve both changed out here in the woods…a lot.
Elaine’s gone from Disco Diva, and I’ve evolved from being C-Level Corporate Suck-Up to the happy couple focused on each other and living some genuine golden years.
Yet even the Golden Times have potholes every year, or so. 2021, Elaine had two hips replaced – which worked out grand. 2022 was incident free and damn near ideal, at least until last night.
Which reminds me: time to get more coffee before the sun comes up. I have a hole to dig in the family plot. And when that’s done, puttering in the shop with no particular agenda and cooking with Elaine may be as good as it gets for the day.
Life’s hard and then we die. But the stuff in between start and finish, we’re assured, is the lesson material. We come to this Life to Learn.
But I’ll be damned if I can grasp the need in everyone’s Life for lessons in loss and grieving.
Seriously. What the fuck?
Write when it makes sense,