Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Rainy Day Note

To those who know me personally, they've known that I haven't really been employed for roughly a month now. I haven't earned an livable income in the new year - but I suppose i've also lived like a squirrel. Stuffing goods away for that rainy day.


I took some time off in the summer and fall of 2007. This was my first stint of retirement. Previous to that, I had been 'slavin away at a desk. I went to school, got an education and went to work - fullfilling my duties. Over that summer I relaxed, saw two oceans and witnessed a lifetime pass. It was also an education. I thought. I read. I concocted.

My first idea was to grow jerusalem artichokes. These things are amazing and apparently tasty. I started a small garden and am still waiting to see them grow to their full potential.

My next idea was to go back to work - it had been a fortifying 5 months and all, but to re-retire, I figured I needed to stash a few more nuts away. This first un-retirement brought me into a world of ideas - the latest cutting edge technology in fossil fuel extraction and combustion techniques, complete with emission abatement. What I discovered were plenty of ideas floating around - contactors, absorbers, membranes, surfactants, catalysts, all these processes in a chemists' wet dream! The solution is there - not perfected yet - but with time and spending - a solution will emerge.

Faster, Bigger, Stronger

What I had grown to notice however, was a race for product development with pure strategic interests in mind. Patents were flying at me left right and centre, and couldn't understand this rat race. I always questioned, why are these ideas so protected? Are they providing a map to the Fountain of Youth? In a sense, yes. A lot of the patents were to benefit the environment or health. But the urge to outcompete a rival for the same goal seemed asinine. If the two of us individuals work on this alone, we might individually reap bigger rewards in the end - I may win and you may lose. A healthy competition. But at the same time, I may lose and you may win - that didn't seem all that great. I wondered, if we both work on this together, we both reap the rewards. We both also may lose, but at the same time, two minds are better than one and our chances for success would be better right? Well, I suppose my thoughts weren't all that accepted. And as it now stands, the idea may be at a standstill and I am out of work.


Unemployed. To me, this has such scary conotations. Unemployed. Like it's shameful to be unemployed. But after all of the bullshit i've seen while working - I stopped caring about being employed. I haven't worked for a month, but I've been enjoying my time getting to know people and thinking. I'm not worried. My time off this past month has taught me not to worry. I'll survive somehow. For some reason I can't throw away food. Even if it's grown new legs, for some reason I like to eat left-overs. It's that Independent George in me spotting the floating chocolate eclair. A wasteful mind is a wasteful thing I guess.


I think i'm starting to figure a few things out now. It might be my mind wandering too much, but the peaceful silent times I enjoy are there. In the midst of the peaceful times, i've come to enjoy peaceful documentaries such as Wild China, Himalayas, Life of Mammals and Planet Earth. Every once and a lot I enjoy some crack, in the form Sunny Philadelphia - a profile of asinine behaviour. It causes my head to blow up in laughter here and there.


Anyways, this was simply a post of my past years and recent weeks lived. Valentines is coming up, but I'm not big on Valentines, so I don't think I'll post a blog on consumerism again - I'm getting tired of 'isms' lately. But simply wanted to post a thank you note for the unemployment.


  1. I as well am retired, Jerusalem artichokes as a crop for producing ethanol was a proposal to put my unused land to work. This crop will grow well on marginalland and not impact food prices. Artichokes have more sugar than corn Only problem you cant find enough tubers to start a viable concern..

  2. I find it hard to believe that one can't find enough of these things - they grow in the wild like a weed outcompeting all other rivals - including bugs and bites, often being able to survive summer drought conditions (50mm rain over 3-4 months). They also require the lowest amount of fertilizers that any other mass-produced crop (cow manure usually works best). When you harvest, the tubers are a great source of inulin sugar - capable of being digested by even the diabetic. With a low calorific value per mass, this could fill the biggest of stomachs up without any concern for obesity. The tops, or stalks, can be processed by a multitude of natural chemical reactions to produce more nutrients for animals! It is too bad a viable concern hasn't started...