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Just got the news that the world population has passed 8 billion of us humans.  I remember fondly my sociology classes back in the 60’s where my professors absolutely forbid using The Population Bomb as a footnote or a reference.  Paul Ehrlich was no scientist, my educators said, he was a dopey doomsday prophet.  I think the world population at the time was maybe 4 billion.  A lot of us, seemed like to me.  8 billion, well, I have trouble enough getting to know the neighbors now, sure don’t want many more.

One thing I never hear in the debates concerning global warming and climate change is that maybe, just maybe, there are too many of us.  More mouths to feed, more houses to build, more cars to drive, more garbage in the landfills, more need for heating and air conditioning, small stuff like that.  Sure, turn the thermostat down, but hey, what if there were 4 billion less of us wanting to stay warm?   Oh, I know, we love our kids.  We love our dozen grandkids.  And we certainly love our 100 great grandkids.  Although, to be honest, judging from my old man’s memory at 99 years of age, he couldn’t tell you any of their names.  And he has a lot of trouble with his grandkids’s names.  Which are only three of them.  The fact that us 8 billion are living longer thanks to medical science and improved health care doesn’t really help either.

When I came to the South End, four cars drove off going north of our shack, four cars returned home at night.  Better believe we knew our neighbors back then and, unfortunately for them, they knew us.  Now it’s a constant parade of commuters and contractors and lawn service crews.  I don’t recognize most folks at the local grocery.  And with my memory, remembering their names wouldn’t be a likelihood.

So when we’re looking for solutions to overheating the planet, why not look at overpopulating it.  You won’t miss an extra grandkid or twenty, all I’m saying.
The Skeeter Daddle Diaries

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country. In the past few years, its popularity has exploded. Why? COVID? Perhaps to some extent. Personally, my theory is because it’s easy to learn and requires minimal skill or physical exertion – and if you fall, there are three people who can drive you to the hospital. Read more

"The Peruvian Amazon is a magical and mysterious destination where you can enjoy a romantic getaway or an adventure without a parallel...... one of its most charming places and full of natural beauty is the beautiful Sandoval Lake. A perfect example where you can appreciate the different and numerous wildlife while you marvel at the dreamy landscapes” Read more

Now the mizzus was a sort of mail order bride.  I came out to the rainforests here in the 70’s, bought my 7 acres and my mule just before the interest rates went wild and discovered how few single ladies there were in the woods of the South End.

So I resorted to what our pioneer ancestors turned to … no,  not THAT … I wrote back to the Midwest for a wife.  I had a lady friend in Minnysota who was just fixing to graduate with her masters degree in librarying.  Librarying, I thought to myself, is even better’n school ma’arm.  She could teach some of the artists on the South End here how to read and write and then we could sit around the porch and discuss Nietzsche and Tolstoy, the events of the day.

Late spring of l981 I commenced to writing heart wrenching, bodice ripping, pulse pounding love letters.  I told my darling all about our little island, how it was a tropical paradise where our beautiful cottage nestled in the arms of million year old cedar trees and coconut palms and you could see the Olympic Mountains every night at sunset glowing like a fireplace and that old sun had nothing on the lovelight in my heart for her …

Course she didn’t have a chance….  Who could resist my literary charms?  And I’m sure she carried a picture of my irresistible self in a locket in her bosom, pining – PINING, ladies and gentlemen – for that day a letter would arrive from her Prince Charming, old lumber Jack himself, king of Camano, practically Paul Bunyan with a book of poems under his ax arm.

Well, I was surprised TOO she didn’t rush out to my waiting muscle bound arms.  So I wrote some more.  I wrote a dictionary worth.  Then I wrote an encyclopedia Britannica.  Spring turned to summer, summer turned to fall, fall became winter, my dreams turned to mush.  I run outa words.  ME!  With nothing left to say.  I was about to give up and become a Zen hermit priest.

But one day I got a letter saying she was coming OUT.   …  For a day or two, then going to Alaska to see her cousin.  Alaska?  Why on god’s green earth would she go to a godforsaken hellhole like that when she could have the whole South End paradise?

Course she was gonna see the cottage wasn’t a cottage – it was a shack.  Leaky roof, crooked floors, a ladder to the upstairs.  Alaska was gonna look REAL good.  And Prince Charming?  I was in serious trouble now.

But luck was on my side.  The day she flew in a storm took out a dozen trees to the South End and power was out when we pulled in the drive.  So I lit up the oil lamps and popped the champagne and boiled the crabs on the woodstove and I won’t tell you the details but let your romantic imagination run wild and you might have some small notion of why the mizzus is still the mizzus and why we both still celebrate the day she came out here and not our wedding anniversary and why the South End will always be a tropical paradise to at least a couple of us old lovebirds.

The Skeeter Daddle Diaries

Author's note: Although I normally attempt to write a humorous story - after all this IS a humor website - every now and then I choose to write something serious, from the heart. This is one of those situations. - TEJ
This is the 100% true story of my wife's and my adoption stories. Our two daughters, now all grown up, joined our family roughly one year apart, when we traveled to China on two separate occasions to adopt. Read about the powerful experience that I never could have imagined would have happened to me, and which changed my life forever, in a profoundly positive way - twice.

A Comment by Loy

Your avatar
Loy • 11/06/2022 at 12:10AM • Like Profile

Great story. 🙂

We got a tradition down here on the South End that when we want to purge our bounty, clear out our closets or empty our sheds, we drag the unwanted possessions down to the highway, slap a FREE sign on the treasures and let the passing motorists fight for the spoils.  Usually only takes half a day before someone slams on their brakes, jumps out of their pickup, does a cursory investigation, then grabs what items would fit in their closets or their sheds.

Sure, we could haul the stuff down to the thrift stores up north but they would charge money selling them to pay for their overhead and rental so why not skip the middleman and reach out directly to our fellow indigents?  I carried out two nice maple colonial chairs circa 1950, cushions reupholstered, mint condition (okay, pretty good condition), set them at the end of the driveway with a woman’s Schwinn bicycle and a rug.  The rug was gone in an hour, the bike in a day and the chairs — well, I suspect the new owner needed to find a truck or van, but they disappeared today, two days later.  Saved me that hellish trip into town, saved the scroungers mucho bucks, probably saved the planet too although I don’t want to get overly carried away here, just doing our part, no need to thank us or even throw a good review on Yelp or whatever social media you still think is worth the End of Democracy and Civilization as You Know It.

All I’m saying: down here on the island’s Banana Belt, capitalism has evolved.  The barter system still works, garage sales outpace the mercantiles now that Tyee Store is ancient history, non-fungible tokens have taken root at the History of the World Gallery … and roadside thrift stores bypass the backlogged goods waiting in ports from San Diego to Vancouver.   Future economists, no doubt, will study us.  Meanwhile, anyone need a perfectly good microwave, come on down tomorrow.  Satisfaction guaranteed!

The Skeeter Daddle Diaries

So you don’t like your job, probably hate your boss, think you should be paid more for all the hard work and overtime you put in, maybe your co-workers look like mindless drones these days and retirement seems a lifetime away (it is!) … but quitting isn’t an option, not when you would lose your health care and your apartment, the apartment that already costs more than you can believe.  What’s a person to do?

Well, apparently, quit in place.  Stop killing yourself.  Stop sucking up to your boss.  Refuse to take overtime.  Slow down, relax, daydream a bit, take a long lunch break, sneak a joint in the john.  It’s a brand new workplace.  The go-go years have gone gone gone, good riddance.  The company treats you like a robot, act like one.  One pace, steady and slow as she goes. Do as little as possible, same as they would do for you.  They’re no longer loyal to you employees, why be loyal to them?  This is the New Work Ethic.  Congratulations and welcome to your new cubicle.

Personally, I always believed in Quitting.  Seemed like a good strategy.  Course, apartments didn’t cost an arm and a leg back then and health insurance wasn’t in the cards.  Pensions, 401-K’s, fergettaboutit.  I was part of the gig economy decades before it had a name and by the time it did, I was self-exiled to the South End where employment was marginal to non-existent.  So I did what the rest of us layabouts did down here, worked for myself.  Sure, the boss was a jerk, but that’s the joy of self-employment, you can look him in the eye and tell him to go to hell.  Won’t affect your wages one iota.  And end of the day you can have a beer or two together, gripe about the same issues, maybe decide neither of you will work the next day.

I recommend it.  But quitting in place.  I dunno.  Seems like the days would just be interminable, slowing down, dragging feet, avoiding work.  You like that kind of job, maybe be a traffic sign holder, SLOW, STOP, for a construction company.  Hours like years, days like a lifetime.  Personally I like to work if I’m going to work, put a back into it, feel like it was worth the effort.  Time flies even when it’s not much fun.  But … don’t say you heard it from me.  And whatever you do, don’t tell my boss.

The Skeeter Daddle Diaries

It's not often that one stops to think about how infrastructure impacts the community. Yet, the outdoor spaces in which we find ourselves can have a significant impact on the way we approach life and can even impact how we interact with each other. Here's how.

Infrastructure can help promote societal interactions

The way a city or town is designed can help to promote societal interactions. Furthermore, the more architectural developments there are, the greater likelihood for people to be outdoors, which enhances the potential of relationships being formed organically, whether it be at the park, the library, community centers, etc.

Speaking of building relationships, one can also use the accessibility of public spaces to network for business purposes. For example, meeting with others at a convention center can help to boost potential prospects if you're looking to network. But suppose you're not that experienced at meet and greets or you feel that it's not your strong suit because you are naturally introverted, then be
sure to practice your pitch on friends and family first. Or, why not get networking tips from your most extroverted friend to help give you that extra confidence boost you need when meeting new people?

Infrastructure can help promote the public's wellbeing When there is the necessary infrastructure in place, people are often more willing to partake in outdoor activities that are good for their health. For example, when parks, subways, and other confined spaces are well lit, people feel safer engaging in healthier outdoor activities such as jogging or cycling to get more fit.

Lighting as a key design feature

As far as design features go, lighting comes out on top as a must-have, especially if it is a place that people use often. For example, parking garages should be one of the safest places there are because there tends to be a lot of traffic in and through here daily. Not only is lighting needed for walkways or stairways leading to parking garages for safety as well as visibility reasons, but these LED lights for parking areas and structures also help to boost visibility for drivers in underground parking spaces too.

Examples of design infrastructures that benefit the public

Housing infrastructure

Housing infrastructure that is accessible and financially affordable to all, no matter your income status, race, or background.

Transportation

There should be sufficient transportation routes in terms of accessible and convenient roads and highways, as well as a variety of public transportation that is available to the masses.

Recreational spaces

There should also be ample recreational spaces for the public to enjoy the outdoors, such as parks and botanical gardens, and access to cultural places such as community and arts and culture centers. For instance, if you’re in the Washington area, then why not make a pit stop at Bellevue Downtown Park to take in its beautiful waterfall, picnic area, and playground for the kids? Or, if you’re a beach fan, what about the Meydenbauer Bay Park to have a glimpse of scenic beach views and hiking trails?

Ways to facilitate communication with one another

In today's digital world, there has to be provision for internet services and a sufficient signal when it comes to mobile, not forgetting utility poles when it comes to landlines and your computer.

Certainly, infrastructure plays an important role in how we go about our daily lives. So if you are choosing to move to a new town, it would be wise to look at the infrastructure in place there to determine if it is going to be easy and enjoyable to live there or not. Furthermore, safety should be a big consideration also; hence, why lighting plays such a critical role in the infrastructure of most major cities.

Comment below If you have something to say that you feel would benefit your community or browse Kudos 365 for other items that may be of interest to you

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Ever since I was young, competing to earn a spot on my high school’s freshman track team, I have regularly exercised. So much so that when I was 35, I even competed in the New York City Marathon. I say I “competed” because that sounds much more impressive than “I jogged and walked” and gives the impression I might have stood a chance of winning. Alas, I came in 5,217th – barely overtaken by the other 5,216 runners ahead of me..... Read more

I had completed what I hoped was my final draft of my newest humor book, The Secret to Success and Happiness,  I was using Amazon’s publishing division called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I had compiled a list of questions to which I needed answers in order to fix several book formatting issues their online system had flagged. I decided I needed to call their tech support team for help..... Read more

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