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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Things you won't miss in the Apocalypse: #2

The Recycling Police

Don't get me wrong, we sort at my house. Trash is separated from recyclables, and almost weekly we have 30 to 40 gallons to be reused somewhere in the world.

But some folks take it too far

And you know exactly who I mean. That relative that brags about only having five gallons of trash a month because he or she recycle the rest. The neighbor who only buys recycled materials. The kids in your neighborhood that wander around on trash day in their neon-green shirts, urging you to dig through your crap and fish that one aluminum can out of the bottom. The one covered in potatoes peels or dog crap.

I have nothing against recycling; I'm just not fond of the Recycling Police.

I won't miss sorting my trash in the Darkness

Not me. I also won't miss trash day -- both literally and figuratively. My recycling comes at about 5:00 a.m. That's a little before my comfort zone of rising (since I wrote fiction well into the dark hours). So if I don't get my recycling out the night before, it ain't getting out that particular week.

And I hate each spring when the groups of youngsters spread out in the neighborhood. "Please remember to recycle," they say, pleading with tears in their eyes. Or even better, "Save the planet for me, Mister."

Wow, now I hate spring...and kids in neon-green shirts!

No one is going to bother you in the Darkness

Not about recycling, at least. They may beg for food, or shelter, or protection. My former recycling materials will be of no one's concern any longer.

Plus, people will recycle in new ways. Those plastic bottles shown here? Forget about the BPAs. They will be used many times over to store fresh water, regardless of dangerous they were once thought. They're easier to carry in a backpack than a five-gallon pail, right?

We will be more creative with our recyclables at the EOTWAWKI. We will have to be because once they're gone...they'll be gone forever.

Goodbye people worried about the trash we spread

I can't say I'm going to miss you.

Until next time when we talk about not missing the Internal Revenue Service,

e a lake

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Things you won't miss in the Apocalypse: #1

Presidential Campaigns

Every four years a new group of candidates come out of the woods and announce they are "running for the office of President of the United States of America." Sometimes they are substantive: Barrack Obama, Ronald Reagan, John F. Kennedy. Real candidates that stand for something besides the status quo.

Then there are the quirky: Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders. All legitimate candidates but a bubble or two off of plumb. They talk a good talk; sometimes things they say make a lot of sense. But in the end...they flame out. (The jury is still out on Mr. Trump).

And then the true status quo: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, John McCain. These folks offer nothing new. Just four (or sometimes eight) more years of what we already have. Bland, beige, boring.

What if that all went away?

Enter the Apocalypse (I call it The Darkness). Gone is all electricity and power; gone are all forms of mass communication (cell phones, Twitter, FaceBook, landlines, faxes). Travel is pretty much limited to foot, or a horse if you can find one.

Do you know what that means people? Think about it: No more debates, No more commercials, No more town hall meetings, No more sound bites. The end of the rhetoric...finally!

In the Darkness, we may not even have a President

Communities would be self-ruled. No need for someone (or many someones) a thousand or more miles away telling us what to do. Think they could help with the limited food supply after two months of Darkness? Doubt it. 

Our former leaders will be too busy hiding, all bunkered up in some fortified hole in the ground. Surrounded by decades of fresh food and water. They might even be chuckling as what's left of the citizenry scrounges to survive.

But we have the last laugh

No longer will we have to listen to these government types (they call themselves Civil Servants) beg for our votes. If the trains still ran (their computers were destroyed with the Darkness, so they don't) this new breed of candidate could do whistle-stop campaigns, ala Teddy Roosevelt.

But why? There'll be nothing left to rule. A formerly great country, in a formerly well-connected world, will be a shell of its former self. (And just so we're clear, the rest of the world will have the same Darkness to deal with).

We will all suffer

But at least we won't have to listen to these clowns anymore!

Until next time when we talk about not missing the recycling police,

e a lake

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Number One Conspiracy Theory

We never went to the moon. Check that; we didn't go there in 1969. It just doesn't seem possible to me. I'll convince you, if you give me a chance.

I am NOT a conspiracy theorist

Really, I'm not. I don't believe Elvis is still alive, I have no wild view of 911, and I have a normal take on the Kenndey assassination (that was the CIA). But to believe that in 1969 we (or anyone for that matter) landed on and returned from the moon???? Come on, people!

I was alive in 1969 – I was 10. I remember that July day and night well.

My parents had a cottage on the Wisconsin River (in south central Wisconsin). It was a warm July afternoon when Apollo 11 landed on the moon's surface. My folks had brought our little 12" black and white tv along that weekend so we could watch the lunar activity.

It was the pitch black night (in my neck of the woods) before Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the moon's soil. "One small step for man..." You know the rest. I watched it live on TV – right as it happened.

Or did I?

1969 was a time much different than today. Greatly different. Like Little House on the Prairie vs. Star Trek. That different.

Consider a few facts from 1969:

  • We were decades away from the first personal computers
  • Handheld calculators were in their infancy
  • Most houses had no central air conditioning
  • Most houses had only a black and white television
  • Most TV stations (if not all) signed off the air after midnight
  • There was no internet
  • There were no cell phones
  • There weren't even answering machines thus far
And in all of that, we believe that two men landed on the moon – in nothing more than a modified tin can – explored for a couple of days, relaunched to join up with an orbiting capsule and made their way back to earth? Well...maybe Elvis is alive, after all.

It doesn't add up

I'm not saying we never went to the moon. I'm fairly confident we've been there. I'm only saying I find it highly unlikely we went there in 1969.

There were nights (many nights) where our TV at home couldn't pull in many stations. We were 18 years away from the first person ever being convicted based on DNA evidence. Bill Gates was 13 at the time; Steve Jobs was 14. We were years away from either of their revolutionary inventions.

The science and technology do not add up, people.

What likely happened?

Got me! Like I said at the beginning, I am not a conspiracy theorist. All I can figure out is that we wanted to beat the Russians to the moon (a very popular fight at the time) and we faked some of the footage. 

We couldn't have 24-hour television, many people didn't have a dedicated phone line, and every time it stormed half the town went dark --- but we were able to watch the astronauts walked around on the moon? Really? I mean – REALLY!?

While we're on the subject....

What Caused the Darkness?

Until next week,

e a lake