Michigan Tunguska

Last night there was a green meteor spotted, streaking across the sky with a loud explosion heard in some areas. Buildings shook and the sight was captured on film in several states. I didn’t see it. it was reported to have happened around 1:30 am and I was in bed an hour before that, not that I would have been outside at 1:30 in the morning in the middle of winter. I did find video footage on Youtube after I heard about it. the images reminded me of the meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013. Those videos are also available on Youtube for those that are curious. The only reason I mention the Russian event is because of the explosion heard last night. In Russia, windows were blown out of buildings with car alarms hollering for miles around. People were injured from the broken glass, filling hospital emergency rooms in some cities. These things are rare events and while they can be destructive like the Tunguska incident in 1908, the odds of something like this happening to a major city are equivalent to the same person being struck by lightning, winning the lottery, and finding Jimmy Hoffa’s corpse. Still, it’s exciting to know that the universe might have it in for you at any random time.

My choice of books has changed this week, switching to David Sedaris and his older work, Me Talk Pretty One Day. The essays were easy to connect with as somebody who went to speech therapy as a kid. I knew exactly what Sedaris was referring to about the odd situation it is for a kid to be taken to the side like that and told you’re different, and not in a good way.

The fog is thick outside as I write this. The temperature is 45 degrees and the snow has been melting for two days. Tomorrow we are supposed to have thunderstorms. I can’t figure out if this is winter or not. It’s not the winters that I remember as a kid. We haven’t had enough snow in recent years to build a snow man if one was so inclined. Living in Michigan it is expected that we have harsh winters and yet the snow I remember seems to be north of us. It’s always north of us and continues to move higher on the map as the line for expected snow fall migrates. I won’t be surprised when they say it is another warmest winter on record.

My days have been busy organizing my books and figuring out what I will keep and what will be donated. The room empties out as I fill boxes with titles I know I will never get to. Even if I did they would be as an audiobook and not the physical thing. It is amazing to see the subjects I collected over the years, seeing how my thinking had changed and the things I once considered important. Titles on Buddhism and eastern mythology filled one box, spy novels from the cold war era filled several others. I couldn’t tell you how many times I found a book and asked myself what the hell was I thinking? While shopping for used books, I expected myself to be extremely bored for the majority of the rest of my life. That’s the only answer one could have for the number and type of books I have on hand. Almost have of the books I have will be donated this week, then comes some organization for the rest of the house. Things are shaping up and tomorrow comes mapping out the garden. Stay tuned.

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Unleash the Books

My reading list has grown over the years. When I finally think I’m putting a dent into find that the list has grown beyond where it was. Last year, according to Goodreads, I read 176 books. My reading list grew from about 250 to 500 books. That is a rough estimate considering my buying habits at the local second hand store in the basement of the public library. (insert shameless add for Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library here)

The last two books I read were directly influenced by the recent election. Drift by Rachael Maddow and It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.

Drift was published in 2012 when the world was supposed to end according to a dead culture and at the start of the second term for the Obama administration. Maddow discusses how the authority for starting war was transformed from Congress needing to declare it and the president doing whatever he wanted, thanks Reagan. Four years later I came across a first edition and picked it up curious about what she had to say about our military situation. It ended up being a warning that was never heard and now we have to face the repercussions of a system that was never fixed and a madman in office.

It Can’t Happen Here, was written in 1936 when people saw what was happening in Germany but nobody thought it would get to the point of ovens and world war. Lewis maps out how a fascist was able to win the hearts of the American public during the great depression with the promise of making life better by punishing the banks and politicians. Things start out that way until camps are started and people are forced to work more than they did before. Executions are common and often throughout the book much like the Nazi policies in Germany. Things don’t turn out well, once a dictator is in power its difficult to get them out of power.

A few weeks ago I read This Side of Paradise, F Scott Fitzgerald’s first book that made him famous had an interesting scene towards the end where two men are talking about the current political climate and the friction between the rich and poor. While listening to the conversation one can easily forget that what they are talking about is the early 1920s. a hundred years later it is easy to see that nothing has changed.

Some of my pepper seeds have started to sprout and I dug into my boxes of books to find all of my organic gardening material. I thinned out this section a few years ago by giving away books to close friends, I hope they still have them now.

I watch the protest and here the beats of war drums in the distance. The current climate has me wondering what life will be like in the spring. Will I still have a home? Will this still be a country? Will we still be here? With the increasing speed of technology and communication could the end of this country be sped up, what once took years could be crammed into a few months, or possibly weeks. I plant seeds with the hope of harvesting the food in the future and preserving it for next winter. Other people in this country have other plans. The current book list I am working through are things I read before. Gardening guides, how to grow herbs, composting, permaculture, square foot gardening, and much, much, more. The upside is that once the garden is going, the plants grow and do the majority of the work. That frees up time for other things. I’m not sure where this experiment is going. Adaptation is important for surviving in constantly changing circumstances. I have plans, but it feels like every day that goes buy something else is said or done by a certain person in power that might make that reality a fantasy.

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The Cat is Out of the Bag

I had lunch with a friend yesterday who is worried about the current world situation. Bob and his wife (names have been changed for safety) have started to buy food for storage and try to figure out other things they might need for surviving the Hitler… I mean trump administration. By the time we left the restaurant, we still had not heard about the threats made towards Iran or the friction between ourselves and one of our greatest allies, the Australians. What we did know was that Trump had ordered a raid on a house in Yemen that resulted in the deaths of 9 women and children and one 8 year old girl who was a US citizen. Keep in mind we have not been in Yemen since early 2015. When the white house was asked about this they stated it was “collateral damage.” There it is. The status of humans in this country or others doesn’t matter to the president of the united states. While others would have pretended to care this guy does not give a shit. That is what scares the hell out of me.

I found out a few weeks ago, that I am going to be a father. While many would say “there is never a good time in life to have a child” my question is: what about a time in history? The scientist that run the doomsday clock have moved the minute had to the closest time ever set even beating the height of the cold war. My long term concern of climate change has been something I always thought would be something I could teach my kids to adapt to and survive.  Now with the crazy nut job that the few in this country elected I don’t know if any of us will be around more than a few years from now.

My friend Bob has a right to be concerned. His daughter is old enough to remember the good old days and still adapt to the new world she will be growing into. My kid however, all of this crazy shit, will be normal. Maybe that’s for the better. There won’t be a chance to deny what is happening or a longing for what we once had.

With the new year, and a new job title that I will have in the coming year (dad) I started to take some steps to try and adapt to the new world. I cleaned out my house taking several boxes of items to the local goodwill. After all the things you own end up owning you. I took out the canning jars from the basement and sorted the seeds I would be planting in the spring. Currently I have four lights focused on tomato and pepper seeds for future planting. My closet was cleaned out and books thinned out to make space for those I would read and concentrated on those that are important and educational. By important I mean classics, anything pertaining to survival.

While my girlfriend and I have discussed moving in together there is one thing that stands out, both of us are upside down in or mortgages. Neither of us can sell. The upside is that I have a huge yard that I can grow food for us in, and I can use several square feet of the house as a tax write off for a personal business. Eventually we will get tired of paying so much for two houses we don’t need but then we have to figure out who’s credit is ruined because of the mistakes made by Alan Greenspan and George W Bush.  The world is changing and my life is changing with it. the garden I hope will relieve some burden from that stress while providing organic healthy food for the three of us.

If I had a child during the bush administration I would have told my child not to join the military, a large problem solve with a simple statement. These days I will have to teach all of the material from my books plus some extras. Camping, fishing, hunting, gardening, shooting, archery, trapping, and much much more. The world of my books, a science fiction/ fantasy world of dystopian rule has become reality. Thanks Trump.

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