Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Up here in the North, when this...
...changes to this...
you get this...
In Maine, when you see five-gallon sap buckets hanging off the maples, you know spring can't be far behind. It has, in fact "sprung", in the form of maple sap rising. Walking yesterday down a local country road, I spied the above contraption snaking out from what appeared to be a 150 year old maple, and what a device it was! Rather than run each tap on the tree to several buckets, this sap tapper decided to implement an efficiency I hadn't seen before, run all them babies into one huge plastic Rubbermaid tub. I just hope he has someone to help him carry the thing once it's full. Precious maple sap that will be boiled down, at a ratio of about 40 gallons of sap to one gallon of lovely syrup, preferably grade B, bottled and ready to pour over your next stack of light as a feather Sunday morning buttermilk and Maine blueberry pancakes. Aahhh. The Precious.
We've had a spate of sunny warm weather, and you won't hear me complaining, but I'll really celebrate when the ground's dry enough to head out for a walk across the field without boots!
So it came to me the other day, as I squatted on the steps outdoors for a bit of air, before the warm weather had arrived, I noticed my backside felt unduly exposed, to the elements that is, and realized that lately, everywhere I go, I see my generation morphing into beings more akin to hippos than humans. I can't help but notice so many of us growing corpulent, our bodies spilling over waistbands slung piteously low, an entire generation (and many of those we've spawned) exploding, either fore or aft or both, and I wondered, what IS this? Aging? I doubt it, because a good 30% or more of us aren't fat. I see them out there jogging, playing tennis, generally hurrying somewhere. Busy, well planned lives whose 401s worked out ok for them.
So I thought on it awhile, and the lyrics of Joni's Sweet Bird drifted through me, "calendars of our lives, circled with compromise". That's it! i thought. We're encircled with inner tubes filled with the bloat of compromise, human dirigibles expanding with the noxious gas of rotting ideals and abandoned aspirations. What hath the sixties wrought?
So ... what to do? Well, here's a start. Watch the video Fat, Sick and nearly Dead on Netflix live streaming. then get yourself a Breville juicer, order from the company, it's cheaper. But you can start with the 5 minute trailer below, and meet the ever charming Joe Cross, who, weighing in at over 300 pounds when he started his project, is one of the most self effacing delightful guys you'd ever want to meet. I love this guy. Check him out, Mate! Spring just begs us to take part in her renewal, so let's have at it. Do something really different. Stop being consumer patsies. BTW I'm signing off for a bit, short of any staggering insights I simply must share. Work to do. So enjoy the video, and be well.. pass it on.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Curse you, MERS!!The more reputable economists are saying the foreclosure epidemic is just getting rolling. Mortgages are tracked by Lender Processing Services; below is the latest data from them. But bear in mind, at present nearly 25% of US mortgages are underwater and haven't even entered the foreclosure pipeline yet. Warren Buffet is full of beans when he says real estate will come back. He's probably just talkin up REITS so he can short them again. From LPS:
"Of the 6,167,000 mortgages going unpaid in the United States, LPS says 2,066,000 are in foreclosure. The remaining 4,101,000 haven’t made it that far down the pipeline, even though 1,792,000 are 90 or more days delinquent.
States with the highest percentage of non-current loans, combining delinquencies and foreclosures, included Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois as of the end of December.The lowest percentage of non-current loans can be found in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, and North Dakota."
This whole situation just burns me up. The banksters have completely negated the whole body of law governing physical recording of deeds and property ownership that's governed property ownership for hundreds of years. And it has me wondering why these 6 million folks aren't out there with the OWS folks. They're probably too depressed. But hey, mood follows action. no?
For anyone facing foreclosure, considering taking on a mortgage, or who knows someone facing foreclosure - a million or more still to come - please read this astute article from Economonitor and pass it on. (Nouriel Roubini's site) The fact that most of us don't know this stuff by the time we're adults is the saddest evidence of how poorly educated we really are.