— Bob-a-job-alog-a-roonie

ducklings-primary

I think most people will acknowledge that living in the country is better for your soul, while the city has lots of more material attractions.

We are programmed to love babies. Human babies of course, but baby animals as well, and even seedlings for someone like me.

Cities lack baby animals. Where I have been living in recent years, I looked forward to spring. Because ducklings. They put a smile on my face and kept the universe real and general, not just about my own bullshit. For the world to be a better place (actually, no, the world is cool already, I mean for people to be better people), we just need to be around babies more. Any sort of babies. Even sea monkeys.

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There are actually two types of cooking, and I figure they should have their own names.

The first is something I can do reasonably competently – put a bunch of ingredients in a slow cooker, and turn it on. Or put some meat and veggies in the oven and roast them. This should be called “I slow cooked” or “I roasted”, not “I cooked”.

The second is where you are actually attending and interacting – turning, stirring, flipping. How you act and react will have a major effect on the results. That’s actual cooking.

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I have less (full-time) responsibilities than I’ve had for more than a decade, and plenty of annual leave up my sleeve. Some ideas of where to go, but I doubt I’ll venture off on my own.

3 Nights in Sweden / $1500

Cook your own food, fetch your own water, and go on wilderness treks to spot elk, beavers and wolves. Three creatures I expect I’d never encounter otherwise.

Michoacán – Mexico

In November I can see the gazillion monarch butterflies, pyramids and the Night of the Dead.

Pantanal – Brazil

Caiman, toucans, marsh deer, giant river otters & jaguars, on horseback, near the Iguacu falls.

Astana, Kazakhstan

Egypt

There’s many ways of doing this, and I pretty much want to see every ancient thing. This tour is only $100/day and would be a good first visit.

Walk the West Highland Way.

Underground tunnels in Malta

Kumano Kodo – Japan

A pilgrimage walk.

Bangkok – Chiang Mai, by slow train

Ancient temples, villages, wilderness. Cheap! Look up Sukhothai.

 Tayrona National Park – Colombia

Jungle meets beautiful beaches. Remote enough to be cool, but I won’t be the only tourist.

Da Shuhua – China

…blacksmiths in the village of Nuanquan, located in the the Hebei province, tossed cupfuls of molten iron against the city gate, hard and cool in the winter air. The result was a spectacular shower of blooms resembling giant glowing flowers from which the festival (translating to mean “tree flower”) took its name.

Hiking in Jordan

What better way of understanding why people live in such a desolate place than walking it….

 La Gomera – Canary Islands

Hikes.

Einstok Brewing Company – Iceland

Beer.

Yangling Mausoleum and Maoling Mausoleum, Xian, China

Pyramids that tourists can visit. Others are seemingly able to be climbed by anyone? Yes, China has a lot of very big pyramids!

Catatumbo, Venezuela

Best lightning in the world. Or the Northern Territory of Australia during rainy season.

Spitsbergen Island, Norway

Northern lights, or 24 hrs of sunshine, or their Octoberfest. Plus there is a ghost town, the doomsday seed vault and polar bears. Flights from Oslo are cheap.

Cherrapunjee, India

Virtually the wettest place on Earth. The record holder by a bare margin is a few miles away but has no hotels. Visit in July when it averages 128 inches per day (although I don’t know how I will get in and out…)

Dallol, Ethiopia

The hottest inhabited place on Earth. Looks like Mars, plus a volcano and sulphur hot pools. You can only get there by camel with armed guards.

Nyiragongo Volcano, Goma, Congo

Goma has a million people who could die next time this volcano erupts, if the poisonous gases (carbon dioxide and methane) don’t kill them first, or violent humans. You can take a 2-day hike to the lava lake at top of the volcano.

The Catacombs of Paris

The Dead Sea

Costa Rica

Isla Holbox 

An island in Mexico, Mayan-named “black hole”. Flamingos and whale sharks. Cheap, hippie, golf buggies. Expensive but has hostels

Taiwan

Trek to Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
Visitors to the Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona in Northern Colombia can enjoy lounging around in lots of dense rainforest and beautiful sandy beaches. But those eager for an active adventure should look into the wild 5-day trek out to the ‘Lost City’, Ciudad Perdida.

Climb an active volcano in Pucón, Chile
Pucón lies 780km south of Santiago in Chile’s stunningly beautiful lake district.

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Many people hate the work for the dole scheme, and for many good reasons. But maybe the concept can be turned on its head, to benefit the unemployed?

What if there was a voluntary organisation, of unemployed people, who because they have some time on their hands, help out in the local community?

  • Self-organised, and therefore learning how to organise
  • Respected for their can-do attitude
  • Looks great on a resume – the opposite of a dole bludger
  • Develop skills

If successful, it could become a legitimate to satisfy mutual obligation requirements.

 

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(in Ballarat)

I ate at 25 different takeaways, twice at the finalists, over a winter and a bit, to determine who was best fish and chips in Ballarat.

None was drop-dead brilliant, but one was consistently tasty, fast and reasonably priced, Northway Fish House:

Northway Fish House

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Concept: we fear things we shouldn’t, as a substitute for the things we really fear, yet cannot easily avoid.

Fear substitution is real.

People fear spiders that have never done them harm, and yet have no fear of driving on a road despite in being a high chance for dying young.

Likewise terrorism has a very tiny chance of affecting your life, yet you may fret over it.

The media knows this, and they are your accomplice.

Knowing what you truly fear and dealing with it is the preferred way of being. Instead of substituting it with something less relevant.

I think…

Because it is often thought that ignorant people lead more content lives…

 

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When people vote, they feel empowered.

When people are polled, they only feel good if the majority of people surveyed agreed with them.

Idea: National poll of people eligible to vote, asking them a single question with two answers to choose from.

Our society is programmed to need to know the result of the election/vote or poll…

The government chooses questions that it expects the majority to get wrong. And the majority gets it wrong.

Then, most of the population will feel little, and bow down to the government that is smarter than them.

 

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fail

The mantra of Internet entrepreneurs is “fail often”, which is another way of saying “I get knocked down and I get up again”. Or “whatever doesn’t break you, makes you stronger”.

And it is true, and it works. As long as it is a business, an idea, a relationship or a job. Adjuncts to yourself.

It doesn’t work for the essence of who you are, the persona that you have spent your life shaping.

To start again from scratch and create a brand new you, after your last you failed, would be a very rare ability.

If your essential self fails, then you are broken, for good.

I’d like to think that more evolved humans might be able to switch to new persona, like an actor, when the last one failed, but then that might mean we lose what makes us human. It might make us no different than robots that can be reprogrammed.

So what is the answer to broken souls?

I’m thinking it is the opposite of “fail often”. I think it is “win often”.

There’s another thing that Internet entrepreneurs do, to avoid failure. When something is looking like failure, they pivot before it does fail. They move to a new, better win.

That’s what I wish souls could do. Recognise that what can/will break you is on the horizon and pivot to a new, winning, you.

It’s not easy. People don’t recognise the signs. We should learn to recognise the signs. And we should learn to have the courage to pivot before failure kicks in.

The first step is self-awareness and awareness of your every day environment. Not just accepting it as how things are, but continually seeing it for what it really is, and asking if it is acceptable.

I’d say the majority of marriages are a compromise, where he/she thinks “they’ll do, because not having someone is worse”.  I figure most jobs aren’t ideal, but people say they love their job because to admit what you spend a most of your waking hours doing isn’t your preference, would be horrible.

You can fail at a job or a relationship or a business, and start again, as long as it was your failure to own. If those things fail for reasons you cannot own, then your soul can take a hit. Redundancy, cheating partner, global recession.

But to avoid being broken soul, you need to be consciously aware of your reality, and be ready to pivot when it no longer serves as a win. And to do that you need to have your ear to the ground, and recognise the signs. In retrospect, we all saw the signs. We just didn’t recognise them when we need to.

It is far from easy.

 

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Artificial Intelligence has the potential to rapidly destroy modern society. It could be secret AI, known AI or even network AI (lots of AI networked together around the globe, learning from each other). Famously Elon Musk as warned of the risks, along with other top scientists.

Prevention is the best cure, and hopefully limitations and safeguards will be in place to protect us.

But if that doesn’t happen, we need a Plan B. I propose a global network of secret volunteers who will leap to action and coordinate a dismantling of AI if AI attacks modern society.

  • shutdown electricity
  • shutdown AI in situ
  • shutdown Internet
  • shutdown fibre optic cables

In each case insiders with direct access is the best option. Otherwise there might be a bit of breaching security required.

Possible triggers:

  • meltdown of financial markets
  • war
  • mass discrimination (women unable to withdraw cash from ATMs, for example)
  • media propaganda
  • weather manipulation
  • robot disobedience

Each should be clear and obvious to all should they occur.

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(the image above is in the direction of what I imagine, but a whole lot different…)

The venue already has a name – Munch.

The concept is obviously a twist on existing burgers. Layer by layer:

A thin bun. Probably sour dough but half the regular thickness. Might need some science to stay intact…

Sauce. Capsicum and tomato. Touch of chilli.

Cheese. But in strips, so the layers have some randomness. Long strips so they can hang over the edge.

Bacon. Boiled, not fried? Not sure, I want it soft enough to bite through in the middle of a burger.

The meat patty. Infused with onion. Moist, from being boiled? Then deep fried with a thin layer of batter.

Salad. Instead of being loose pieces of lettuce, I propose a vegetable fritter containing the healthiest and most fashionable veggies.

Optional bottom layer: could be mayo, or roasted capsicums, or fries, or something else reasonably thin. I think giant collapsing burgers are stupid.

Bottom half of the bun (of course). The buns are fried on the grill, with butter, and a weight upon them – to give them a touch of a grilled cheese sandwich going on. Actually, I think more two-day-old slices of bread than burger buns. Perhaps something in-between?

No lettuce. No onion (its in the pattie). No tomato – too slippy, already exists in the sauce.

The burger has always been about a cacophony of tastes and textures. My idea is to improve on that by giving more dimensions to the cheese, making it healthier and less fall-apart with a veggie fritter, and lowering the carb content and sheer bulk with lower profile buns. Maybe a bun with a bit of crust????

Regarding the pattie, I’m unsure of the first step, but 2nd step is a burst of hot deep frying, and the 3rd step is BBQed (like Burger King) with the cheeses strips melting onto it. “Triple Cooked”?.

 

 

 

 

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