Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daily Update for Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Long (But Good) Week

I've slept in two different hotels and two different time zones over the last 6 days, with over 6,000 miles flown, in weather conditions consisting of below freezing temps and 90 degrees with 85% humidity.  So I have lots to report....

Sedation Is Good

I made my annual pilgrimage to Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic, on Monday.  I received my annual colonoscopy under twilight sedation.  The result - a prescription for some antibiotics to (hopefully) resolve what we think is a minor issue.  We'll see.

But Before I Entered Health Mecca, I Made A Quick Detour to Faribault, Minnesota

The Faribault Mill, manufacturers of some very fine blankets, went back on line a few month's back after a two year shut down.  I got a tour of their facilities, and I must say it's heartwarming to see industry coming back to life in the United States.  I would suggest you stop in if you're ever in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  It's impressive to see how they were quickly able to fire up machines built circa 1940 and get them up an running again, creating great products and putting people back to work.

My Reading On The Way To Mayo

I read a large chunk of Rising Prices, Empty Shelves.  A creation of Solutions From Science, the book comes delivered in a three ring binder.  The book claims to give readers some insights into the history of famine, the causes of it, and how you can prepare for it.

First, let me admit up front I have not read the entire book.  I simply ran out of time.  The book does a good job footnoting much of their research into the history and causes of famine.

And that's where one of the problems I had with the book comes in....the footnoting of much of their propositions, rather than all of them.  Specifically, the author makes some what I believe are misguided judgements about "big business" (whatever that means) in what is otherwise a well-written treatise on the subject. 

For example, early in the book, the author laments that Wal-Mart's CEO makes more in one hour than many of its employees makes in one day.  However, it's never made clear why this is a cause of famine or food shortage.  In another instance, the book goes into detail of how governmental policies in the U.S. in 1933 caused major food shortages.  And to be sure, it appears the author is correct in his assertion.  However, he goes on to imply that somehow "the rich and fortunate were wasting food to line their own pockets" thanks to those same policies.  It's never made clear how someone - anyone - was profiting from destroying their livestock and crops. 

Readers should also know the book is in part an infomercial for other products from Solution From Science.  That's not to say the information in the book is incorrect; I point that out simply as an observation.

Having said that, the book certainly gave me a lot to think about in my ongoing food storage efforts.  If you are interested in history and learning more about why we could see food shortages in the future, this book is a good primer on the subject, notwithstanding the shortcomings noted above.

...And Then Off to San Juan

I officiated my first ever wedding Friday night for my cousin and her husband.  We all had a great time, and I'm looking forward to having another cousin in the family.  Congrats to both of them.

The lesson here?  Despite our efforts to study and prepare in this unsettled world, life goes on.  Just as it has done for ages.  We get married, we have kids, we die.  We cannot afford to lose the joys of life because we were too busy preparing for something which may not happen.

Then Again, Sometimes Those Things DO Happen...And It Makes Us Wonder...

Pay attention, folks.  If cyberattackers from off shore can attack our water supply in the heartland of our country, we don't need much more evidence of why we should be prepared to be self-reliant for an extended period of time.

1 comment:

  1. "We cannot afford to lose the joys of life because we were too busy preparing for something which may not happen."

    Agree 100% with you Paul. As with a professional career, it is all a balancing act. I have known many professionals who excel in their careers, meanwhile their families pay the price via lack of time and attention. Building tight bonds and lasting memories with those in your immediate circle is more important than putting up another bucket of beans. Good job on working the balance. Regards, Walker