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Lost your creative mojo? Painter's block, writer's block....designer's lethargy.....artist's woes. So many words for the ...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Vertical Farms

Perhaps you're all are getting used to my random thoughts on a huge variety of non-related ideas. That is kinda how I roll....
On that note, the idea I was mind rolling today was due to a documentary film I watched the other day about
modern food production in the USA entitled "Ingredients--the local food movement takes root".

Basically the film was lamenting about how prime agricultural land is not valued as much as it should be and how some folks believe that human beings should build "up" and live in very tall sky-scraping apartment buildings and that would ensure that the areas that have been labeled as prime "farm land" would be protected from suburban sprawl.

But I find it strange and somewhat discomforting to consider the idea that humans "should" curb their ambitions for lifestyle to adapt to apartment style living.
  Why should the corn stalks get better real estate than we do???

And so on that thought....I was hypohesizing about how it would make more senste to me to figure out how to farm "up" with vertical farms than to force human beings to cram their lives into apartment buildings for the next millenium

Sooo....what then is a vertical farm....
Well, in my imagination it would be a manner in which crops can be grown in layers using the same square footage that would under "traditional" farm methods would only grown one crop per season....but under this new "vertical farm" idea would be able to produce up to 10 crops or more using the same square footage.

So what would it look like? Well, it might involve sharing sunlight by using mirrors to reflect sunlight from the upper layers of crops to the lower layers. Or it would involve hanging types of steel grids in layers
in order to rotate each crop's exposure to the necessary amounts of sunlight and rain/irrigation.

Or....we could get old school and think of an idea that has already gained some traction in the last few years and that is the modern invention of "pocket gardens" such as those
feature by the company "Woolly Pockets"....check out some of their inspiring videos of their products at
http://canada.woollypocket.com/videos  .

So just to sum up my rambling....let's just say that we don't have to consider
traditional horizontal farming as the way of the future. We can be much more creative and inventive in figuring out how to maximize food production by growing crops vertically instead of taking up yet even more acreage. We can "grow up" not "out".
I'd love to hear your thoughts on these ideas.
Perhaps some of you have already tried to grow some veggies in a "Woolly Pocket" or other vertical growing apparatus.  Blurt some alphabets friends, ....this blog's for you.

Peacefully productive,

Saturday, June 20, 2015

When Socialism Doesn't Work

When a socialist sees an employee that lives in poverty.....he shrieks and cries that the government should
 contribute dollars towards the betterment of the employee's lifestyle. But effectively he then locks that worker into a dysfunctional and unprofitable business.

One of the errors I see in Socialism, is that they don't apply quality assessments towards the businesses, jobs and workplaces that they want the "government" to support. It appears to me that socialists do not care to address the reasons for the inherent poverty that a certain business or industry produces.

Some businesses should have gone completely out of business many years ago.....but the governments of the world threw money at them and sponsored their poor business model and impractical business practices.

Capitalists at least have the courage of heart to look at a business at face value, without being manipulated by emotional sentiment. They assess the financials and if the business can effectively and efficiently produce a monetary profit, they are interested in promoting and maintaining the business.
Capitalists feel no compulsion to rescue dying or dysfunctional businesses.

Some businesses should not continue to exist in their current forms. Some businesses need to be completely torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. It is not in our long term best interests to prop up businesses that can not stand up under financial scrutiny.

Some subsidies, when dolled out willy nilly, wind up endorsing and supporting the perpetuation of failing business models.....and in the long run, undermine the economy that they are supposed to be stimulating and safeguarding. We want to build a society and a culture of financially sound, logical, rational businesses that will proudly employee our citizens within the quality of their business structure, supplying quality products to the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Are STocks keeping up with Inflation?

Jus' thinkin' aloud again....
I must say that I have always been more interested in equities than in owning chunks of debt instruments, such as bonds.

But there is a looming threat called "inflation" which is something for which we may just not be prepared.
It's all well and good if our stocks are increasing in "numeric value" representing real capital gains. But if
the average loaf of bread is going to rise to $8 a loaf then, the REAL TIME VALUE of our portfolios must be re-assessed to reflect and hedge against this type of threat of inflation. Large numbers of dollars don't really mean much if it is going to cost a lot more just to get around town, buy your food and support the roof over your head. REAL increase must reflect an increase in REAL buying power....not just the dizzying knowledge of growing numbers on your investment statements.

One of the things I love about stocks, is the proverbial "drip" plans in which one can re-invest any dividends payable and they magically produce more shares to own....without any pesky commission fees.

But how is it going to affect long term investors, if the underlying stock prices do not rise with inflation and the cost of living? Is it possible that a drip will lose "real time value" simply because the share prices do not keep up with the cost of living? I am wondering if even many blue chip companies might be affected by this predicament. For a blue chip company can have a steady positive cash flow and  pay out reliable dividends and still their share price may not be rising as fast as inflation.

It's all well and good to invest long term in equities with the added cushion of DRIPS helping you to accumulate a larger portfolio, but if in the long term those equities do not represent real "BUYING POWER" in which you can tap into into your retirement years....what is the point?

Stocks have to carry clout, and the only way they will continue to carry weight in the eyes of investors, is whether they can be sold at an undetermined point in the future for real dollars,.....real dollars that buy real food, pay for real real estate, and support a decent lifestyle.

I'd be more than eager to hear your thoughts on this matter, my most intelligent readers.
God bless.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Why Living GLuten FREE still STINKS

It's not that the "gluten free" movement isn't gaining momentum.....it is. It's not that manufacturers are not listening....they are.....at least more than they used to.

It's just that the "frustration factor" is still there.....in full swing.

Gluten free items are not clearly displayed on most menu's. The gluten free products are still awkwardly displayed and located in weird "hard to find" spots in some grocery stores.
 Walmart is the only store I've found with an OBVIOUS and easy to locate "gluten free section".

When you eat out......You still have to make a point to ask your wait staff or server which items are officially gluten free. Some servers still don't know if the gravy that their restaurant serves up contains wheat flour or if it has been thickened with corn starch. These kinda things really matter to someone who is attempting to live "gluten free".

For some, the choice to live gluten free, was not really a choice, but a rather stern and intimidating instruction obtained directly from their doctor.  But whether you're choosing to eat gluten free by your own free will, or by doctor's orders, it still is REALLY HARD.

It's been several years now since I was advised that I was "gluten intolerant"....and I have still not met anyone who has confidently stated that it is an EASY lifestyle....because it just isn't.
Gluten is lurking in SOOOO many foods and snack foods. The detailed labeling of ingredients is really helpful....but hey we are HUMAN too, and we really don't want to spend long and precious hours every day of the week reading teeny tiny lists of ingredients just to ensure that we don't ingest any gluten.

It's gotta get easier. Perhaps they will start making GLUTEN FREE EMPORIUMS where folks have to leave their gluten at the door and they enter a gluten free commercial paradise.
To top it all off......all the products in this GLUTEN FREE HEAVEN, would not only be gluten free, but also priced under $5 per item. Wouldn't that rock????

NOT peacefully gluten free,

Ok, I'm pretty much done my rant now. But tommorrow's another day.
P.S. Perhaps I'm still ticked off that Tim Horton's cancelled their one gluten free doughy concoction called the "coconut macaroon"...   :(

Thanks for buying my new book Life in the Gluten Free Zone on Amazon today!

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for conversational purposes only. The blog's author and publisher does not accept any liability for any of the ideas discussed in this post or any other post on this blog. Always obtain medical advice from a licensed medical practitioner.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Lure of Consumerism

No this isn't going to be a diatribe about how terrible shopping is....or how we should just stop spending money.

No, today I just wanted to discuss briefly how consumerism can be stealing your focus without you even realizing it.

What does consumerism do? Consumerism is an obsession with "all things bought".
Those who are lured into consumerism inherently despise anything that wasn't purhased with money and hate anything that was crafted or invented at home.

It's not that I'm necessarily advocating that we all become home bodies and spend all our time making home made gifts out of dried macaroni..... I'm simply saying that if you are one of those people who
wants your creativity and inventiveness to flourish, you might just have to resist that "spirit of consumerism" that has beguiled the masses.
Consumers don't create anything....they simply shop for what already has been created by someone else.
Consumers don't invent anything new, because their time is spent trying to please some external and commercialized idea of what is beautiful, effective or intelligent. They will buy what the media tells them to buy, even if it is in direct contradiction to their written goals. Perhaps they don't even have one single written goal at all. They merely live to consume, to purchase....and give all their time and adoration to what others have established.

But I know that there are many "Indie" publishers, writers, crafters, musicians, makers, and inventors and investors who are chock full of new and brilliant ideas. But their ideas are still in hiding because they have not been released through that very precious gift of "focus".

Are you going to give your written goal/goals the gift of focus?

Peaceful productivity,

Friday, June 5, 2015

Focus is the Perfect Hedge

I've noticed that there's something so ultimately powerful about staying "focused".......a bonus attribute of "focus" that is not often advertised nor understood.

Alright, enough....so what, Carla, is all the hoopla about focus?

Well, let's just say this, focus....... REAL FOCUS is the ultimate HEDGE around your life.

When you know what you want and you have committed all your eggs and all your energies to your chosen goal, there are many irritating folks who will simply give up on trying to distract or draw you down.

Your focus is like a wonderfully high strong wrought iron fence around your life.

Let's make an example. Let's say you have a relative who, for years and for some mysterious reason, seems to relish the act of verbally cutting you down to size, and criticizing much of what you do and even who you are. Well, if you become truly focused on your written goal, there is nothing that that relative can say to you that will ever steal your confidence. He or she will never again be able to steal your joy.

Knowing what you want is so ultimately personally empowering that little can be done to squash the incredible passion and confidence that follows your focus. Focus is everything.
The "gnats" in your life will quickly disappear because they will sense that you can not be touched behind your very high wall of focus. They will choose to pick on someone else more vulnerable and indecisive.

Is any of this ringing true? I challenge you to explore this idea in your personal life....and test it out. I am all ears as to your feedback....the comment section is always open.

Peaceful productivity,