Monthly Archives: September 2005

Is 31 too young to retire? (If not I turn 32 soon)

So right about now, Clive and Gillian ought to be at the Bomba Shack for this month's full moon party (mushroom tea anyone?)… Reading their pages about living in the British Virgin Islands makes me really miss the Caribbean, and I've spend comparably zero time there… But it's really one of the nicest, prettiest places I've been. Our place on the Pacific Coast of the Baja is really nice as well but it's not as lush, and living in this part of Mexico the greenery is one thing you really get to miss.

Rachel (who my business manager as well as my wife) tells me that I can have all my dreams along those lines come true if I just work really hard for a few more years, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

If you want to help Clive and Gillian make it by the way, she's looking for more web design work — she recently built Total's Teflon jewelry company's website, Anyway, if you like the look of that page or her other work, it's definitely a contract where you know the money is going to improve a couple lives in really nice ways (not that supporting small business in general shouldn't always feel that way).

Other than that, I'll leak a couple more details about my still wholly-fictional resort. It's built around the same general concept as various overwater ocean-bungalow resorts like you see in the Maldives and Tahiti, but built using spherical semi-submerged monolithic concrete bungalows, with the sleeping quarters inside an underwater alcove with a giant picture window. The top story can be dived off of, and the units are connected by docks or causeway. I should post some pictures because my description isn't doing it justice…

On the mainland part of the resort are buildings of a similar construction for the restaurant and main facilities, and the whole thing is wind and solar powered, and most of the food can be produced on site — a small organic farm is contained on the grounds, and coupled with fresh fish this can provide nearly all the core food and drink. The concept is an eco-resort that's incredibly luxurious, with amazing food, self-sufficiency, and total resistance to hurricanes and other disasters.

I've just got to come up with $10 million in seed capital, or find someone wealthy that believes in the idea enough to help… But I think it could work…

Gliding Monsters

Check out these wild photos of flying mobulas. Michael Albert took them in Cabo Pulmo, which is about an hour or so drive south of where we live, down the inward shore of the Baja. As a point of trivia, some of the fish tacos that you buy here on the streets of La Paz are made of mobula.

Other than that, I recommend this two part (one, two) interview with Bill Clinton.

Trip to the pacific

We took a drive over to the Pacific coast today. Here's a photo of some pelicans taking off from the beach, and one of Rachel and Heather on the shore. Is it bad to say that I have always been lucky and continue to be lucky?

Anyway, this puppy here… not so lucky. But at least it made a good photo a la the dead horse.

On the way home there was a Lamborghini LM002 parked by the side of the road… Now, before you say, “oh, big deal, there are fifty Hummers in my neighborhood”, realize that this car is a product of the eighties, and only three hundred were ever made… I was definitely surprised to see one here in La Paz.

The punch line is that these days they're actually cheaper than a Hummer, by a significant margin, and are powered by the big Lamborghini V12 engine (same one as in the Countache)… But people are dumb, and only buy what the TV ads tell them to buy. (Of course, if you took my bicycle advice in the entry below, you know that both parties are dumb).


Above is a before and after photo of some of the construction at Arak, Iran, one of the locations of Iran's nuclear program. This is just one example of the multitude of concealed facilities they've constructed over the last five years for their “peaceful” nuclear program — a nuclear program that costs far more and creates far less energy, than, say, upgrades and repairs to their current infrastructure. Iran has no uranium domestically, so they are not able to achieve energy independence using nuclear, and their current reserves are not enough to supply them with energy in any long-term, but are more than enough to produce a large pile of nuclear warheads.

They've recently upgraded the Shahab III IRBM (two thousand kilometer range) delivery system, Pakistan has delivered full schematics and testing information on their own weapons program, and given their pattern of concealment (and the politics of the region), I think it's very reasonable to assume that they're developing a full nuclear arsenal complete with the ability to deploy it.

Iran has said that it's willing to share this nuclear [weaponry] with other Muslim states, and in a recent speech to the UN essentially called for the death of the Great Satan and insisted that the UN needed Muslim states on the Security Council. In my opinion, as soon as a state declares itself as guided by delusional psychopaths religion, it instantly voids any right to any ruling positions.

If religious extremists simply wanted their own territory or the right to practice their religion, I wouldn't be one bit concerned. What people do and believe in their own private space is 100% fine by me… but the problem with far too many Muslims is that they seek out an Islamic state — that is, forcing their religious code on others by law — and they seek to expand these states ultimately worldwide, and at times, by force (not that Christians are any better — organized religion is singularly the most pure expression of evil that exists). This is doubly complicated by aggressive and imperialist US foreign policy that goads the process into needlessly escalating and turning rational liberal Muslims into extremists.

Now, hopefully all of the above is just needless fear-mongering, and there's no threat at all. But what if it's right? What if Iran is the seed of the nuclear sword of Islam pointed at the heart of the West? Certainly they helped manipulate the “intelligence” that goaded America into squandering a massive pile of money and lives into a needless war in Iraq — a war that destroyed the only major Arab nation that was in many ways pro-West and opposed to the extremes of Islam.

But resources keep getting thrown away. Karl Rove has been put in charge of Katrina efforts (to do political damage control, not to fix the real problems), friend of Bush get rich off disaster, and incompetent agencies are running around like chickens with their heads cut off — giving millions to Pat Robertson and delivering supplies to the wrong cities. In other charming “oh what a wonderful world” news, terror cells are adapted to a multi-generation war, global warming may well have hit a point of no return, weaponized plague mice are roaming the streets, and energy poverty promises an “epochal period of contraction and strife around the world“.

I'm mentioning this because voters need to seriously think about the possibility that real threats lie ahead, and that if we waste our time and money on fraud and violence, we may well see everything the West has achieved disappear during our lifetimes.

But I'm not all downer this morning. I have a solution for you: Buy a bicycle, cook some bread, grow some vegetables, and take a nice bike ride and have a picnic somewhere pretty. If everyone could do that at least once a week, all of the world's problems would be solved.

Mutants among us!

(And yes, I know that Electro wasn't quite a mutant)

“An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity
in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and
molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.”

Let me tell you my own story about static electricity. I'd taken a low dose of LSD, maybe four hits. This was about the sixth time I'd taken acid, and I was sitting in my dorm room with the lights out using my computer. I noticed that if I turned the monitor off, that if I ran my hand over it, a trail of light would follow and then dissipate.

I thought that was sort of neat, so I kept turning the monitor on and off to repeat it, and the effect became more prominent. Suddenly there was what seemed like an electrical explosion, and my hand was blown off the monitor by what I now assume was a huge static electricity spark. All the muscles in my arm and hand contracted and it atrophied into a tight, distorted ball.

For a moment I thought I'd actually destroyed my arm forever, but a few moments later I was alright and everything was working properly. My brain, temporarily sober, put together what had happened and I realized I didn't have anything to worry about. That said, I waited until the next day when I'd totally come down from the drug before I tried it again.