Receding Waters

2015-05-13  Receding Waters

It seems the inevitable changes sometimes come around to hurt the original intentions of a situation.

Like looking at this picture we can see how the waters have receded, leaving exposed the bottom of a lake that used to be bigger before, when the house was built so close to the waters.

While dark clouds collect in the sky, showing the possibility of an intense rain, that has not been able so far to recover the shrinking lake below.

A small island in the distance becomes higher and more difficult to reach by boat, at the same time of showing a more intimidating presence to those sorting the waters close by.

Like a human body stripped from the moisture that used to be in its skin, showing then the signs of aging and deterioration, and bringing with it the fragility of a creature that can be so easily hurt.

The lines of relation between the environment and the creatures that inhabit it can be so apparent sometimes!!

Raul

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Cars and People

2015-05-11  Cars and People (1)

 

One thing that surprises me is how the trends have changes when it comes to the shapes of cars, and how people use them.

You can see in the first picture a typical car of the 80’s, which in this case is a 1986 Chevy Celebrity. You can see the windows allow for the driver and passenger to see all around, while people outside the car can see those inside it.

Now, if you take a look at the second picture; it shows a car from these days; in this case, a 2011 Chevy Cruze. In this case you can see how the passenger area is reduced in the outside in favor of a bigger “car presence”

The other thing that gets my attention is how nowadays the cars are a lot more “angular”, and with a most common use of very dark window tint. It seems as if people has changed preferences from being able to see all around, and without fear of being seen inside their cars, to having a more aggressive machine that hides them inside!

 

2015-05-11  Cars and People (2)

 

To me, it shows people is more afraid of their surroundings than before, and use their cars as “fighting” machines that will compensate for them, turning them into more capable of dealing with the environment around by being more aggressive! Their cars have become an aid in dealing with society by turning into an aggressive shell they can wear to be and feel more aggressive and strong against their surroundings!

It might seem like I’m seeing ghosts, but if you take a look at what is available today when it comes to cars, you will see most of the vehicles today have a very aggressive look by the use of angular design, and more and more people is using very dark window tint that doesn’t allow to see from the outside what or who is inside.

Then you’ll see these cars going faster and with less intention of being nice to those around. It is like it turned into a “me first” situation when it comes to driving highways and common streets.

Are people becoming more afraid of dealing with society? Are they assuming a position of not caring about others around and just going for what they want first, while hiding behind obscured windows? Are cars becoming fighting machines people can use to compensate for what they lack in their own personalities?

Just a thought

Raul

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Consequences

2015-05-08  Consequences

A little ago I mentioned that due to the excessive stress at work, at some point I passed out and someone called 911 to take me to a hospital (Aspie World 23 – Stress). Well, yesterday I received a detailed statement from my medical insurance company, showing the total billed by the hospital, and how much I have to pay.

For me, the little incident will cost me $2,678.69, but the total bill from the hospital is $12,636.16!! And that is for one (1) hour at the hospital!! Sure they took blood and run some tests, and even put me in a machine to do a Cat Scan (I never saw the cat!!), but after one hour they let me go without telling me anything or giving me any paper, and I had to walk out of the hospital and take a taxi like if I went inside by myself by mistake!

For one hour with no results (and not even a cup of tea!) I believe it is a little high the bill passed by the hospital, which makes me think and doubt how the medical system is working nowadays.

Clearly the new laws passed about medical insurance benefit the medical industry rather than protect the health of the people, which makes for a great business for such industry, but my doubts are in the long run. Will this create a sicker country (its people) by forcing the people to avoid medical attention when needed due to the high costs involved?

As a simple example: I have medical insurance for my wife and me through my job, and that cost me $400 a month, with a $3,000 deductible, which means I pay like if having no insurance until I spend $3,000, and then the medical insurance will cover 80 percent of the bills. Last year we completed the deductible only in December, and that because of all the expenses with doctors and pills due to the Fibromyalgia; but in a “regular” year it is doubtful we would spend more than $1,000 in medical issues between the two of us.

This means I will pay the medical insurance company a total of around $4,800 a year and receive no benefits at all!! And still have to spend the $1,000 in a year like if I didn’t have medical insurance! Then what’s the point of having medical insurance!! Sure in case of a broken leg the cost will escalate when surgeries are involved, but does it have to cost $4,800 a year “just in case”?

But most important; when someone has a $10 an hour job, can that person afford to “loose” $400 every month “just in case” of a big medical expense?

So it seems to me the trend will go in the direction of finding ways to avoid having medical insurance, and also avoiding going to the doctors and maintaining long series of medications, due to the high expenses involved.

Even more, with the internet today it is possible to buy any medicine that requires a prescription, without a prescription! All you have to do is order from India and voila! No need for a doctor’s appointment, medical insurance, and not even a diagnosis!

All these elements seem to me can create in the near future a country where people not only will have no access to medicine, but could even have too easy access to the wrong medicine, which would create a country with unhealthy people living in it.

Just a thought

Raul

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House Works

2015-05-06  House Works

In the previous post I mentioned that my wife and I are trying to sort of adapt the house to a very low maintenance system.

I mentioned the roof was done with the best materials so to avoid having to deal with it for the next 20 years. I also mentioned that the side and front fences were replaced with metal posts in concrete and chain link, which is not the most elegant, but it should last the next 30 years, and without the need of any maintenance.

Then the backyard was tilled and prepared with Buffalo Grass seed and fertilizer, so it suppose to give wild grass that requires very little watering, and about two or three mowing per year. We are planning not to water the grass at all, and just keep it like the grass at the reservoir close by, which is never watered, and still remains a decent green for many months a year.

The last two parts in the backyard is to plant some slow growth trees and to spread small, pebbles size rocks around the house, to prevent humidity and insects from growing there.

The trees will come to complete the yard with the other trees already there, which together with the wild grass will give a more mountain-like look to the whole area, but also will require just a couple of mowing a year and the collection of leaves at fall once, reducing with it the need to apply time to the backyard, freeing us from housework in the future.

Then the corridors on both sides and the front and back of the house by it walls will have beds of small, pebble sized rocks, so to prevent any formation of humidity and with it, the growth of insects that could enter the house.

All of this is with the sole intention of having very little maintenance to do around the house in the future, so time could be used more for traveling than being stuck at the house with many chores to complete. It is sort of an investment for the future.

I mentioned long ago that I am a sort of maniac for anticipation, and this whole house thing is just one of those anticipations. The idea of thinking how the future could be when considering ourselves and our actual capabilities and desires at that time, and how we can adapt to it, makes me think of ways to simplify the future by simplifying the possible activities that would be part of that future.

It seems logic to me!! Many people think of how to invest in money so to receive money in the future, when retirement time comes around. But personally I prefer to create a house, with all its room and facilities, like car garage by the side and connected internally, all arranged in a way that it’ll be functional and easy to maintain like if it was an apartment, but with all the comforts a house can offer.

The money part has to be thought too, and I’m working on that also, but the physical part, as the place to be, seems to take an important place in my way of seeing things. It might be that I am an Aspie, or it might be that I am an immigrant, who carries with him his original ways of living, or maybe both, but it still surprises me how so many people I see around just don’t consider neither of those.

It seems planning and working for the future for some people is just about having insurance that will give them back whatever state they are in, and that is something that really surprises me.

Raul

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Tilling the Backyard

2015-05-04  Tilling the Backyard (1)

This past weekend my wife and I spent time working in the backyard, trying to make it look better and simpler. The idea is to simplify all that can be, so to have less hassle in the future, when years in the body prevent the person from doing hard work, and to free time in the future for other uses, like traveling, rather than maintaining a house.

So far so good; the roof was replaced last year, and suppose to last for the next 20 years, due to be done with the highest quality materials. Then just a couple of months ago the side fences together with the front fences were replaced with chain link and metal posts system, which doesn’t require maintenance, and don’t suppose to rot (or rust) for the next 30 years.

So the next step was the lawn, which is not really a manicured lawn, but rather an open space with grass. We decided to have only grass and trees, so the maintenance would be to a minimum, and to make that even better, we wanted to seed the whole area with Buffalo Grass, which suppose to require very little water and trimming just two or three times per year.

2015-05-04  Tilling the Backyard (2)

For that, and together with destroying the tunnels made by our unwanted visitor, the mole, we decided to till the whole place, at the same time of applying the seed and fertilizer. Armed with a tilling machine borrowed from a good friend, we did the whole area (about 5,000sqft) in one afternoon, leaving the backyard looking like a battlefield, but with a smoother general line; seed and fertilizer buried on the ground, and the tunnels remaining from the mole all destroyed and so, no air pockets on the ground.

You can see in the pictures the progress made with the little machine, until the whole area was done and ready for rain. Now it’ll be a matter of a couple of months to get the wild grass growing in the area, and hopefully the benefits of not having to water the place all the times, and not worrying about trimming every week.

2015-05-04  Tilling the Backyard (3)

Due to the Fibromyalgia I had to do just a small portion at the time, and then stop to rest and recover my breath and energy, but by going OD (Overdose) the recovery times were shorter, and so the whole area could be completed in one afternoon. If it wasn’t for the loss of breath and the over limit tiredness of the body, it would have been even fun the fight with the little devilish tilling machine, which was pulling, pushing, stuck digging and jumping from one side to the other, trying to get away from me while I was trying to just go easy in a straight line!

Now it is about being sore and tired for a couple of days, but happy that the first step in a minimal maintenance backyard has been done!

Raul

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