A Year in the United States of America

Hard to believe but it’s already been a year since I brought my family to the United States. I wasn’t sure we would make it but a year seems like a pretty good indicator that we are and will.

Of course, it’s been a struggle – but we’re making it. Major Ab Adversis – through struggle comes strength. My work with travel blogs has mostly carried us – by the time we were set up in a house and went through the expenses of moving, buying a car, paying utility deposits, and finding where to live – our savings was pretty well exhausted. Through a combination of picking, garage sales, eBay, and selling advertisements on travel blogs – we’ve made it. We’ve managed to pay all of our bills on time (or in the case of student loans, defer one more time) and somehow we navigated through Obamacare and got the three of us covered with health insurance.

We didn’t make it in California’s Bay Area – which was what my initial plan was. A weird combination of circumstances skewed that and put us in Sacramento for a few months while I tried to arrange interviews and land a start up job in travel and social media – unsuccessfully. Even when we considered staying in Sacramento, I found that since we’d been living outside of the USA and we were living on a self-employed income that landlords were unwilling to rent to us without paying an impossible deposit and first and last.

I knew we had to leave and go where the income I was certain I could earn, would pay for a decent place for us to live. We could have gotten a low income apartment in California but I’ve never wanted my family to live in that kind of situation – so I found a dying town on the Oregon coast where rents were dirt cheap and the quality of life was much higher. For the same amount a scummy California apartment would have cost us – I rented a 3 bedroom house with a big front and back yard and a leaky garage.

Reedsport is a dying town filled with geriatrics and people on disability. There is no industry here and more than 3/4 of the jobs that were here when we arrived have disappeared – but we’re making it. Our little family has a nice garden, a pleasant house, and a wonderful environment all around us including the Pacific Ocean, four major rivers, dozens of lakes, plenty of streams, and beautiful forests and sand dunes. Environmentally it’s heaven. Culturally – it’s not even on the map.

For the past few years, my main income stream has been advertising on my websites and doing SEO for small clients. Changes in Google policies and updates have been drying that stream up and the writing is definitely on the wall as to whether or not it will survive at all – so we have diversified – I’ve discovered that I can usually support us using eBay and we’ve begun experimenting with antique malls and the flea market. We are now vendors in two locations and have a permanent table at the flea market – only time will tell if that works for us or not.

I was planning on having a garage sale today, but the weather turned grey and rainy – so I ditched the plan. Maybe tomorrow – Oregon is like that. Twelve days of sunshine while you expect it to rain but when you count on sunshine the rain comes – if the garage weren’t so leaky, I would have the sale anyway, but we aren’t starving and the bills are paid – so it can wait.

We’ve tried a few other jobs. My wife worked at a hotel as a cleaner for a few months and that wasn’t good at all. The pay was almost as awful as the work and she was repeatedly solicited for sex by weirdos travelling through. I took my insurance license and tried my hand at selling life insurance but the company was such a crock of shit filled with liars and cheats that I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror – and the money was a lie – at least here on the Oregon Coast – maybe it would be a good job in a big city somewhere or anywhere that people have more than the bare minimum they need to survive.

The highlight of our year here has been to reconnect with old friends and family. Being able to see my daughter and wife with my mom, my aunt, my uncle, my sister, my cousins, my brother, and my neices and nephews has been awesome. Seeing those relationships grow has been so good.

One would think that my wife would have learned crafts like knitting and sewing in her native Morocco but it turns out that instead, being in boring Reedsport has given her the time and impetus to learn many new crafts. I am hopeful she can turn her crafting and jewelry making into a business – again time will tell.

The hardest part of being here in the USA is that we just don’t have any money left over to travel or do the things we used to do – even when there is a surplus, we are living so month to month that we need to save it in case the car breaks down, the ebay biz fails, or the antique mall spots don’t earn enough to cover their rent. All of that means that there is very little time for relaxation or enjoyment and almost no money for it – it’s taken a toll on our health and on our marriage – but what can we do? It’s not different for most Americans – although when we watch the $100k fifth wheels and RVs towing dune buggies and motorbikes start to roll through our town, it’s hard not to wonder where they get all this disposable income….

But what the hell – maybe they’ll stop and buy some antiques and collectibles from us tomorrow…

Shepherding Accident: Should You File A Claim?

Believe it or not, farms can be one of the most dangerous places to work. It is often the place where faulty machineries are used, lack of training among workers is very common, and negligence is rampant. Even the so-called benign animals can cause accidents that may range anything from broken ribs to fractured joints and something much graver than that. It might need months and even years of dedicated treatment and may even have the potential to jeopardise your income.

Statistics say, although only 1.5 percent of the total UK working population work in farms, the place accounts for up to 20 percent of the total workplace fatalities. That is a number that needs serious attention. A shepherding accident, which is also very common, is just a very small part of farming accidents. Here is a classic example.

Suppose you work on a farm and you have to shepherd a flock of sheep to the pen. You might be a pro at doing his. Besides, they are just a bunch of benign animals, what can possibly go wrong? However, any such assumption is as far away from the truth as it can be. Animal behaviour is highly unpredictable. The seemingly harmless sheep can be the source of a major stampede. If things turn ugly, you may not even have enough time to save yourself and may even be dragged along with the animals.

The results of these kinds of accidents may be multi-layered. You may get severe bruises, fractures, and swollen joints. The treatment, apart from medications and therapies, might even need operation. However, not everyone who needs an operation is medically qualified to get one. For instance, if you have such conditions as osteomyelitis and the accident displaces your knee cap, an operation might prove to be too risky and might even have to be avoided.

A potential loss of income is one of the many side-effects of such shepherding accidents. Depending upon the severity of the accident you might not be able to go back to work for years. Under such circumstances, filing a claim becomes a necessary thing to do. It may help you in reclaiming the loss of earnings and you may even be able to make a claim for the future loss of earnings. Cost of treatment is also often covered by such claims.

A common misconception among many is that you are entitled to make such claims only if you are a full-time employee. That is not true. The health and safety laws also protect the rights of the casual and agency workers. In fact, a member from the general public is also entitled to file a farming accident claim if the person is injured by the livestock or by a farming process while visiting a farm.

Sadly, most of the farming accidents go unreported. However, if you have been a victim of a shepherding accident, there is no reason why you should avoid making a claim. To verify if your case qualifies for a claim contact an experienced law firm such as the Priority Legal.

Read more about UK farm accidents from HSE.


23 – Part Deux

Part Wahead

When a normal human pregnancy occurs – each person contributes 23 chromosomes to the genetic makeup of the new person.  That stopped happening somewhere around 2011. At that point,  each person was contributing 25-40 chromosomes and kids were being born with enhanced DNA that held anywhere from 50 to 80 chromosomes – as oppossed to the rest of us born with a mere 46.

Something, somewhere, somehow had activated a change in the way human reproduction was taking place, making it less re-production and instead new-production. As might be expected, the first scientist to notice the phenonmenon was a geek and named the phenomenonHomo sapiens trekikus. He was awarded a Nobel Prize.

Aside from the abnormal c-count, there were no noticable differences in the clinical studies – conservatives postulated that we all had more chromosomes than anyone had previously documented – liberals said that we should make sure not to discriminate. We didn’t have a chance anyway.

No one, among us 46ers anyway, was able to determine any difference, but while we found nothing, they were talking. From the moment of birth, they were in contact with one another. Learning from each other, sharing experience, and connecting – both telepathcially and more superficially through the web. All of the rest of us marvelled at the intuitive knowledge these kids had of smart phones and touch screens.

It was simple, actually…they were learning together.  Millions of nodes attached to a network….they only needed one failure among millions to learn a lesson – while we were still going one for one.

The Real Problem with Islam – Economics of Interruption

There has been a lot written about Islam and since 911, about the problems with Islam. I’m not her for those, I’m here to bring up another issue. Economics.

Good Muslims who practice the 5 pillars of Islam are either poor or rich – there is no in between. The reason is simple – while it is nice to be reminded of your relationship with God five times every day – it makes it pretty hard to accomplish anything when you need to wake up 30 minutes before dawn, ablute (ritual washing), and then say your prayers. Then, you have to do the same thing four more times through the day. Close your shop, go to the mosque (or not) and wash and say your prayers. It’s not like washing once in the morning does the trick because if you fart or piss or any number of other things – you  must ablute again.

If you have sex, your body is considered dirty and you must do a much more in depth washing before talking to God. If a woman is menstruating, she is not allowed to talk to God – she is considered dirty. This and other rules encourage a negative attitude and perception towards the body and towards women in general.

Try to get a taxi during prayer time in a Muslim country. Good luck unless you get a bad Muslim, who generally are the ones who are willing to cheat and steal from you.  Want to know why there is so much despair and turmoil in Muslim countries? Because people are waiting for God to answer their thirty-five prayers per week, they are wondering why they are being punished, why their children are being punished, why their lives are harder than those of the west…

It’s simple – Islam interrupts innovation. It gets in the way of industry. It breaks your concentration. It makes you tired and grumpy. And then…you are forced to endure a month of no food or drink during daylight hours during which you lose the thread even further.  Ramadan is more than a celebration of God, it is a time of short tempers and fist fights in the street.

Generally, it is not a religion of tolerance or understanding. It is a religion of “Do it my way or die by the sword” and while there are many great souls who come from or have found truth in Islam – there are far more who condemn every non-Muslim to hell and death -either by the hand of God or through the hands of disenchanted youth who can’t understand why God is punishing them and their devout parents.

It is a religion that encourages laziness in the world through giving the ultimate excuse “Inchallah” If God Wills it  or “KanK’raa” It is written.

An Arab friend once told me a joke, the Arabs invented zero and have had nothing ever since. Funny, but more to the point would be that the Arabs invented Islam (which is perfectly suitable to a 7th century nomadic desert lifestyle of trade and warfare but which doesn’t work very well anywhere else) and have been waiting for God to answer their prayers ever since. It must be frustrating. Like wating for Godot.

I’m sure there are examples of extraordinary people who have made it work – just like there are extraordinary people with no legs who become skiers or track athletes – humans are remarkable – but for the most part – it appears to be a huge set of hurdles placed in front of normal people who would probably have a hard enough time getting by if they weren’t forced into a religion created attention deficit disorder situation and unable to do any task  without being interrupted and forced to stop.


One Man, No Plan, uhhhhh-ohhhhh

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