Rants and Observations

Jan. 11, 2020
 The ultimate in decadent plutocracy- This morning, I fed the Costa Rican Brown Jays with two full packets of smoked salmon. My wife already has a profligate reputation at the weekly farmers' market, for hand picking best-quality grapes for Simone the parrot. The vendor loves to share her extravagant behaviour with nearby stall-holders and local customers. This creates much mirth. At another stall, the seller has learnt that offering a free, special mango and her cry of, “For the lora!” generates weekly visits.
In fairness in Newport Beach California, we found a shop selling diamond collars for dogs. There were yummy-looking cakes too. Inside, Valentine’s days cards probably read ‘From Fido to Fifi. I cannot wait to sniff your butt tonight.’
Across the US, visiting hairdressers charge upwards of $300 for weekly canine shampoos and cuts. There are ads for pooch hotels at $500 a night. In these, beloved pets get their own suites, each with a bone shaped pool. Compared to this and thousands of dollars of vets bills, while much of the world suffers want, we are positively restrained.
A word of self-justification. The smoked Salmon was inadvertently left in the car for a few days after a shopping trip. With unusual care for my wellbeing, my wife stopped me getting botulism by serving it up.If it had been Scottish wild salmon, we would surely have risked it.
Daily, with her inate instincts from her McFrugal ancestors, she dispatches me to feed the birds with the peal from our breakfast mangos, pineapples and papayas. I also put out Simone’s leftover oatmeal porridge and seeds. Simone rules the house, only accepting the best, fresh fruits and food, hurling anything substandard on the floor, with earsplitting squawks of rage. I have tried this. It never works for me.
Jan. 1, 2020

2020!  What will it Bring? 

Many friends suffered terribly from being human in 2019: Illnesses, deaths, disappointments. 

Others take on the world's wars, starving masses, environmental pollution and political mess as their personal woes. I do that up to a point. We all contribute to these things in one way or another and blame others.

Today, we arose to another tropical sunrise and our garden. In 2020, we will enjoy every day and accept the sure knowledge that the worst will happen, not in a time of our choosing or under our control.



Dec. 29, 2019

Just read a prizewinning novel by an Indian. It reveals an India that those of us who have merely visited or run businesses there can never see. A wonderful book and really well written.

Previous insights into this world came from Shantaram, written by an Australian, hiding among the poorest of the poor.
Both are brilliant reads and great antidotes to the lying propaganda from the Indian Government and what tourists think they see.
Nov. 3, 2019

Veggie burgers. It’s complicated.In NewYork, we were horrified by the vast amounts of meat consumed. Wherever we went, 10-ounce steaks and meat three times a day were normal.

Many New Yorkers seek to assuage their consciences by having the occasional vegan meal. They do love their burgers, dripping with animal juices and blood. So,the veggie burger market is growing at 15% compound, complete with fake texture and beetroot blood.

Now the meat industry is striking back.

Supposedly independent research institutes list the chemicals and other bad things about veggie burgers. They then buy full-page ads in the papers with their propaganda.

We tried a couple of veggie burgers. Both were horrible. Why not just have a veggie curry or some other recipe?

We are omnivores, but US excess and cultural food imperialism is harming our habitat.

Nov. 1, 2019

Poor Greta is doomed to burst with frustration. Two weeks in Westchester County NY convinced me that if humanity has the power to destroy itself, it will happen.

The TV and social media were full of ads for SUVs. Because the US has huge tariffs on their import, they are the most profitable. Everyone we know seems to have one.

 Shopping is almost possible without single use food containers and excessive packaging. Eating requires disposable everything. Little is recycled.

Retailing is being replaced with oversized packages from Amazon. Uber and others are delivering meals to every door.

Gas guzzling blowers whisk the leaves next door. Their gardeners blow them back.