Gazing into my crystal ball

I’ve been chastised for making predictions, particularly by other scientists. Science, after all, is a conservative enterprise filled with conservative people reluctant to make predictions even when our future as a species is at stake.

That reluctance explains, in part, the mess we’re in. Consider global climate change, for example. Before he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry, Svente Arrhenius predicted a dramatic increase in global temperature as a result of burning fossil fuels. Arrhenius published his prediction in 1896. More than a century later, the ultra-conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a nearly identical prediction. Only after 111 years of evidence has accumulated, only when it appears too late to save our species from our own actions, only then do we take notice. Not by calling for serious action, but by awarding the IPCC the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, half of it, anyway.

When you’re on a cruise ship, and you have the only window, and you see a tsunami headed your way, what shall you do? “Good” scientists would plead for research to verify the existence of tsunamis. And they would be rewarded for this action with research funding from fellow scientists. The wonks at the Oil Drum, for example, will be trying to access the internet to argue about whether we’ve passed the oil peak long after the electrical grid fails. On the other hand, I believe informed people — even scientists — should sound the alarm when a threat appears on the horizon. I believe we have an obligation to work toward solutions for individuals and, when appropriate, for society. If that makes me a poor scientist, I can live with it, bearing in mind the famous words of Albert Einstein when he found out about Hiroshima: “If I had known they were going to do this, I would have become a shoemaker.”

So, here goes. Bear in mind that what follows is a prediction. Like any prediction, it could well be wrong. We could continue to change our behavior, for example, thereby preventing a complete meltdown of the industrial economy. Government officials could demonstrate some leadership, perhaps by telling people about the approaching tsunami and calling for individual and collective action. I don’t think either of those steps is likely, at least not in sufficient quantity to prevent an apocalypse.

Caveats aside, it’s easy to forecast the apocalypse, if only because it’s already here. Never have so many species and cultures been driven to extinction. If my predictive ability is decent, industrial civilization will soon join the 23 major civilizations that preceded it, thus alleviating some of the horrifying oppression borne by the world’s species and cultures. And, if we’re lucky and the crash is complete quickly, there’s a decreasingly small chance our own species will squeeze through the global-change bottleneck, thus ensuring our survival beyond century’s end.

So, what do I foresee next year, and in a decade? Nothing less than a renaissance. It might even save us from ourselves. The cost? Unimaginable human suffering and mortality.

It is difficult to imagine we’ll escape economic collapse by the dawn of 2010. Even mainstream media are filled with dire economic forecasts for the year ahead. Imagine what they’re not telling you. Better yet, look here, here, here, here, and here. There’s much more, but you get the idea.

So, what does this mean for you, me, and a few billion other “civilized” folks? An economic collapse results in formal unemployment of about 100 percent, and worthless currency. Therefore, oil and its distillates become unavailable, as do food at the grocery store and water from the taps.

I’m reminded of the story told by one of the students in my honors course earlier this semester. He was in Zimbabwe when the economy collapsed last summer. Virtually over night, annual inflation skyrocketed to the millions of percent. He didn’t eat for several days, but he was able to flee the country because he had U.S. dollars and access to the airport. Many exiting citizens were greeted at the border by South Africans who put tires over the heads of the Zimbabweans, filled the tires with gasoline, and set them afire. Seems nobody likes immigrants when resources are scarce.

When the industrial economy completes its ongoing collapse, lots of city folk will try to immigrate to the country, where water still flows from a few rivers. I can’t imagine they’ll be met with open arms and offers of assistance. But, as I’ve written and said, the existence of Buddhist monks indicates we can power down with the tranquility of Buddhist monks. My money, though, is on more human, less humane, behavior. Thus, my choice to defend the landbase and the community in the vicinity of the mud hut.

Several writers, including James Howard Kunstler, Richard Heinberg, and Kenneth Deffeyes, seem to think the price of oil must skyrocket to bring down American Empire. I think not. It appears the ongoing collapse, driven by expensive oil, will be complete even as the price of oil stays “low.”

That’s next year’s prediction. Please weigh in with your own. Now, on to the ten-year outlook, which you’re likely to find much direr, for reasons I fail to understand.

By 2018, we’ll be firmly in the post-industrial dark age. Kunstler’s novel, A World Made by Hand, closely matches my outlook (I think we’ll approach Kunstler’s version of the world before his book suggests; it’s set in ca. 2025). The final third of the book descends into distractingly silly superstition, but otherwise the book offers a plausible portrayal of our post-petroleum future. All activities have become very local, and the world has become very large. Travel is restricted, for all practical purposes, to walking and riding animals. Global climate change has warmed upstate New York, where the characters struggle to capture water, grow food, and maintain civility when civilization has failed. Violence is extremely local, unlike the violence we visit upon other countries, cultures, and species on an unrelenting basis.

Unlike the fictional characters in Kunstler’s book, I see great hope and great beauty in our own post-carbon world. Despite the presence of a limited form of civilization — there will still be a few functioning solar panels and windmills in ten years — we’ll be depending on each other and living close to the land that sustains us. Any stored food will be gone, the climate will be completely out of whack with our memory and expectations, but Earth and its native flora and fauna will be making serious comebacks. Most of the marauding hordes will be a distant memory, along with ammunition for the remaining guns, though the problem of evil will continue to appear on a frequent basis. People will continue to seek power, but the world to be conquered will be restricted to a sparely populated few acres.

We’ll be thinking more, and differently, and undertaking a lot of manual labor. We’ll struggle to feed ourselves, physically and emotionally. If we commit to a different set of arrangements than those to which we’ve become accustomed, the bounty of the natural world will assist with the former. The renewed and renewing beauty of the natural world certainly will help with the latter.

Comments 27

  • So the auto bailout failed.
    Is the President still going to throw them money out of the fund that was supposed to bailout housing? I could’ve sworn that bailout was supposed to go to those that had delinquent mortgage loans, not the banks (Nor the automakers) but whatever. Yesterday I saw in the Washington Post that one of the airlines was saying that if *THEY* didn’t get several billion dollars they could go bellyup too! I’m just wondering why we don’t just bailout everything! Turn those money presses on and print our way out of this mess!
    Then again, I’m just a lowly rat in my maze. For the first time in quite a long time I’m actually pleasantly surprised by our elected represenatives. Who’da thunkit? That one isn’t going to last long. They’ll get their bailout.
    Yeah, it’s not going to be a very merry Christmas for quite a few people, they’re quite possibly going to get layed off here in the next couple weeks or months indefinitely. It’d sure be nice if they were allowed to fail. There’d be competition from every corner of the auto market, making a better, more efficient product instead of the inefficient, quite ugly garbage they’ve been rolling into showrooms for entirely too long now. There I go again… There is no way that one’s going to happen. They’re going to get their bailout and push us that much further down the pipe toward the big cliff.
    My prediction for immediately after a collapse? In the first days people are going to be so in shock they’ll just go about their business. There’ll still be enough “Stuff” to keep us going a few days. Then when people start figuring out that their moneycheck isn’t coming, the power stayed off a while too long, most of the food in the supermarket’s selection is bad, they’re going to start getting scared. The police aren’t going to be getting their pay anymore, some will show up in their sense of duty, most will not. Mind you this is in the city, small towns would probably fare far better. When the police stop showing up to work, and there’s no power for a week or so the cities, quite literally, will burn.
    People will start fleeing the cities in droves, rats from the sinking ship. The country folk, knowing what an influx of skilless refugees the likes of that would bring would defend their areas with a vengeance. Anyone that wasn’t them would be shot on sight. Sad thing is that I can’t not sympathize with them either. There’d be barely enough resourses for the people that already live there! An influx of hundreds or thousands would doom them all to the slow death!
    People from the North would start moving South. It’s way too cold here for most to eke out a living. I woke up this morning and it was -5 outside with a -15 windchill. For you Metric types that’s an air temperature of -20 with a -26 windchill. An unprotected person would die in a matter of hours. I’m sure it’s possible to live here, but without the conviencies that we have now, it would be exponentially more difficule and dangerous. Cold is the greatest enemy the human race has ever known second only to death and taxes.
    The human disaster that would ensue would be unimaginable. Every freak, criminal, weirdo, and pervert would be there to victimize the refugees. The Katrina aftermath would be considered a picnic.
    Eventually enough people would die off from disease, crime, starvation, etc, that there’d become an equilibrium. Like guy says, everything would become local. I’m of the opinion that early to mid 1800’s America era would be a great analogy. We didn’t have the amazingly abundant energy then like we do today, but we got along just fine.

  • Memo to Total Turboguy:
    Hey Total,
    It’s 60F here in the Sonoran desert, and you would love working for Sheriff Joe Arpiao,so get on with that gorgeous waitress,and bring both of you down here.And I’m close to The Mud Hut and our mentor, Professor Guy.So you can see that this is your natural home.
    I agree totally with you Total and Professor Guy,and it’s fun for all of us to vent our spleens.But now that we got that out of the way,let’s concentrate on what’s really important: what color are her eyes ?
    Frank

  • Haha Frank, I’ve got too many guns and ammunition. I’d be a direct threat, and a very lucrative target, better that I kept my distance. 😉

  • It wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing if we totally crashed and had to start over. That would certainly be cleaner than the slow, legislated, bailed-out death of society as we know it. It basically happened in 1929, after all. Back then it wasn’t the anarchy and armed, roving gangs we popularly picture as such a future these days. We are a resourceful race for the most part. We find ways to produce and/or make do. I wouldn’t buy into the violence and desparation scenarios at all if we hadn’t evolved into such helpless and excessive creatures since then. Still…oh, c’mon, Turboguy. Put the gun down before you put your eye out.

  • phew Guy!
    I thought you had a vision akin to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,
    I can sleep easy tonight…
    (FYI, the only bailout we have had thus far has been a child care
    provider going bankrupt – $25 million – its been all over the papers!)
    I hear what you are saying, just cant see it happening here,
    you guys must have greater systemic/pyschological issues at the
    core of your great nation.
    Not withstanding the ‘gorilla in the room’, you guys have a
    deep suspicion, distrust, disbelief, lack of faith in your
    community, government and fellow man. Maybe its a US thing.
    Good luck with the bunker, ammo and lentils.
    Somewhat contrary to what I have said above… –
    Turbo guy, I am completely daft when comes to firearms as are
    most australians, any recommendations? how long can you keep
    ammo in storage for before it goes feral?
    Interestingly, I have been keeping a file, somewhat
    unconsciously related to food growing, chicken raising,
    hunting, wild foods, trad crafts, primitive technologies,
    water purification and storage, composting etc.
    Just dawned on me, maybe I am budding survivalist!
    Perhaps I doth protest too loudly when comes to my
    contrarian views. As I have said previously, when
    riding my bike around the suburbs of Melbourne,
    I do often wonder where does all the food come from?
    this implies a vulnerability that I am sure many
    people would not consider.
    I still believe,
    that here, the massive change required
    to mitigate the energy descent
    will be a slow collapse taking a generation,
    every country will respond differently to the
    challenge
    regards
    Matt, Melbourne

  • Memo to Matt of Oz:
    Hey Matt,
    The economies of the rest of the world are in worse shape than in the USA.If you think we are negative you should talk to anyone from any other country.What is happening in Asia is very scary.China,Japan,India,the Phillipines–those countries really have it bad.I keep up to date with what is happening all over the world.It is the world wide
    picture that informs my outlook,not America.
    Australia has a resource based economy.The value of your exports is plunging.You will be very hard hit by The Terminal
    Depression.America has been the export sponge for the rest of the world.The Yuppie Scum here has cut way back on their spending,which bodes very badly for everyone else.
    Do you have a TV? Tune into CNN or CNBC.Please don’t take our word for it,just open your eyes and ears.

  • Haha Mary, no worries! I’ve got two fully functional eyes!
    I put my gun down, along with most other people that do the job I do, even for a minute, and none of us get to live the luxury we call “Life” here in America. The line between the order we live in and the darkness of chaos is mighty thin. It takes people with a guns to maintain it, be they public servants or private citizens.
    You write books, I’ve seen them in the fantastic bookstore near my house, they must be good! Imma give ’em a read! Anyway, far more people have died at the end of a book than the point of a gun. Ask Karl Marx about that one… Put down the pen before you put all our eyes out! :p Please don’t take this too seriously, Mary… as true as it is.
    Matt, it really depends on the ammunition. The older stuff that’s classified as “Corrosive” has a nearly indefinite storage life as long as it’s kept dry. They used Mercury Fulminate as the primer and thus they last a very, very long time. The current manufacture (about 1985 to present) non corrosive we’re buying up now probably should only last seventy-five to one hundred years depending on how dry and cool it stays. After that it’ll get real spotty, some’ll work, some won’t. The gunpowder won’t go bad, it’s the primers that go bad. I try to keep mine sealed until I use it, after that I store it with dessicant so the cases don’t rust.

  • Frank
    you are right of course,
    the great consumption binge starts with us,
    our minerals ultimately end up in US garage sales
    and cars that no one wants to buy.
    Rio Tinto (mining company) was $150 a share mid year
    its now $35, its has 30 billion in debt, it is
    trying desperately to deleverage.
    Commodities have generally fallen in value by 50%.
    ‘the cure for high prices is high prices’
    It is only a matter of time before it hits us.
    Our banks appear to be OK, but who really knows,
    I suggested to the wife that I take some cash out of the bank
    just in case, she looked at me like I was from another planet.
    The population is feeling very secure here, there have been
    a few job losses, nothing major. Government revenues have fallen
    signifcantly from the mining decline.
    A lift out in a Melbourne newspaper had the headline
    ‘financial crisis – what financial crisis!’
    with an image of people shopping for luxury goods.
    Anyway, used to think that JHK used the term ‘ponzi scheme’
    a little bit too loosely when describing the financial system.
    The latest Madoff arrest has turned the man into a prophet!(no pun intended)
    $50 billion fraud! As bad as it is for the investors,
    I found myself laughing at the man of straw. Its a sad joke.
    Frank, dont get CNN here, just your PBS, I think it is
    the news hour with James Lehrer. Anyway, the links on LATOC
    are all pretty gloomy about the US and the job losses etc.
    Any kind of extreme negativity gets a link on Savinars website. – DEFCON 1!
    Matt

  • Matt of Oz:
    No CNN in Australia? They have it in Indonesia,China,Thailand,Japan,Cambodia,Vietnam and Singapore,why are you deprived of this gift?
    You are invited to visit me in the Sonoran desert,it looks just like Australia so you’ll feel right at home–and
    CNN readily available.Just let me know when you’d like to come. We expect 120F in July–see, again just like Australia.
    Frank

  • Frank
    CNN – not available for free, I am
    thrifty after all.
    You know thrift used to be virtue,
    I think it will make a comeback in the
    very near future.
    Thanks for the offer, never been to US,
    120F = 48.8 c, thats unbelievable!,
    usually 1-2 days of 42c in Melbourne,
    thats bad enough.
    I am not a big fan of the desert,
    it does not have that ‘spiritual’/eternal
    pull that draws many people.
    are you catching up with Sir Guy
    in Santa Barbara?
    Matt

  • http://northwardho.blogspot.com
    Guy
    did you hear about my lawsuit against all world leaders here, REUTERS
    good essay above, powerful.

  • Memo to Matt of Oz:
    Santa Barbara ? I’m in Sun City,Arizona.Santa Barbara is in California.
    Frank

  • Hey, Turboguy! LOVED your reply! More people do indeed die at the end of a book than a gun! That’s an absolute classic statement. I also agree that it takes a certain amount of militance to keep order. No quarrel with thoughtful folk who know their way around weaponry. Wouldn’t dare! Someone might dig up the fact that I was, at one time, a card-carrying NRA member. And I’m a Texan to boot. Meanwhile I’m certainly impressed with the quality of commentary your blog is attracting. That makes me feel safer than anything. Hmmm, ya know what? In all the wars and battles that occured throughout my books, I don’t believe I ever put anyone’s eye out!

  • Memo to Mary Fagan:
    Congratulations Mary !!
    Henceforth on this site you will be known as “Bloody Mary”.
    This is the supreme honor that one can aspire to. It is the true sign that you have been accepted as one of us.
    You will notice that the esteemed members of our select coterie have nicknames: Professor Guy,Big Brother James,Our
    Stan,Total Turboguy.
    Welcome to the Club.
    Frank

  • Correction:
    We didn’t mean to exclude “Matt of Oz” from the ranks of the anointed.
    Frank

  • Frank
    thanks for geography lesson,
    I was aware that SB was in CA
    and that you were in Arizona,
    you make it sound as though Guy has a blog
    readership of about 5.
    matt

  • Actually Matt, this blog gets hit more than you might think. Just because other people don’t post, doesn’t mean they don’t read.
    Mary, thanks for having a good sense of humor. That is truly a fine quality.

  • Here in Northern California, cities are going bankrupt, and the State of California is in a huge financial hole. The City of Vallejo is laying off police and firefighters and the same will likely happen more and more everywhere. My intuition is that as the economy collapses nationally and people are left homeless and displaced, the Federal Government will ultimately put the U.S. military, including probably segments of both National Guard and regular U.S. Army people into policing roles to maintain order, gather intelligence on dissidents, and engage in some activities done by police agencies in more “normal” times.
    Wealthy people, including those living in enclaves such as gated communities will hire security people, including quasi-mercenary organizations such as Blackwater USA to protect their interests with lethal force if necessary.
    The effects of economic collapse, in my view, will be cascading and synergistic. The more employees of big companies are laid off, the more the cascading effects will roil through the communities, affecting service jobs, peripheral industries, and enterprises that provide non-essential services. Fewer women will frequent nail care shops and fewer people will be able to afford expensive lattes and even sporting events. Nascar (hopefully) will disintegrate into thin air.
    I suspect that “no worries” Australians will learn about the interconnectedness of the entire world financial system, fuel and commodities markets. And the land of Oz will be a great place to get a sunburn and a beer, but the productive agriculture zone of the Murray River may turn into river of dust. Australia may very well prove to be overpopulated by ecological standards.
    And I am talking about the near term. Long term prospects are worse as Peak Oil kicks in fully and nations cease to be competitors and become enemies over the divvying up of the trillion remaining barrels of civilizational lubricant in the modern paradigm.
    Dr. Duncan says that 2030 will feel a lot like 1930. The difference will be that growth seemed inevitable and resources were plentiful in 1930, whereas negative growth and scarcity of resources will prevail in 2030 after we have dropped off the Olduvai Cliff.
    The best landing would be if Obama would follow Richard Heinberg’s “Power Down” recommendations in the spirit of international mutual cooperation and resource sharing. If Obama wants to play the “terrorism” game, perhaps spreading U.S. military interventionism for the sake of preserving the goal of economic growth and U.S. hegemony, he may very well sign a death warrant for millions of Americans and others and risk the entire planet through nuclear war. Jay Hanson continues to seem to feel that nuclear war is inevitable, along with extinction of the human species. I think that I will die of skin cancer before the nuclear wars erupt, possibly in 2009, though I hope not.
    Stan Moore

  • wrong side of the bed this morning Stan?
    thanks for the ‘wake up’ call.
    Ironically I am probably the most gloom
    and doom individual my wife knows.
    (I constantly give her the peak oil update)
    My ‘optimistic’ posturing would have you
    think otherwise.
    If I am considered a little gloomy, then
    by comparison you guys seem paralysed with fear.
    The pessimism (news) coming out of your nation
    is becoming more and more depressing by the day.
    Can you have an objective response to the data?
    Or is a response determined by your own predilection?
    anyway the following link is worth a listen –
    Interview with Hirsch and Simmons.
    http://www.financialsense.com/fsn/main.html
    enjoy!
    matt, melbourne

  • Memo to Our Stan:
    I’ve been thinking about California.There must be a nail care salon in every shopping center in your state and also
    at least two “oh-so-cute” boutiques.You know the kind,the names usually end in “Shopee”.They sell candles and decorative covers to slip over your facial tissue box.Here is the problem:The median home price in CA peaked at $597,000. On 12-1-08 it had slipped to $278,000, resulting in a huge loss of perceived wealth.This paper wealth,taken out in home equity loans supported all the superfluous “oh-so-cute” shops,nail salons and others.The sales tax revenue from all this was in the billions,but people in CA already have enough candles and Kleenex box covers.Now that times are tough many are going out of business,and CA has a huge budget defecit.But you only have yourselves to blame–now go out and do your patriotic duty and buy a few candles,and a cute cover for every tissue box in your place…and almost forgot…you need a fuzzy cover for every toilet seat in your house(they come as a cute set with a tissue box cover and a bath mat thrown in).Let us know what color you get.
    Frank

  • Memo to Total Turboguy:
    Want to make sure you are patriotic also–only cure for the Terminal Depression–do you have an unsightly tissue box or bare toilet seat cover in your place,hmmmmmm ? A perfect excuse to get to know that good looking waitress.Woman like to mother us.Ask her to pick out a set to match your bathroom decor…she’ll have to see your bathroom to do this.Get the total picture Total?
    I’ll bet Bloody Mary has already done her patriotic duty.
    Let us know how it all turns out.
    Frank

  • Frank, Kalifornistan was screwed years ago.
    I got to go to San Diego, North Island Naval Air Station in 1998, and knew that was in trouble even then. Businesses are leaving that state in droves and opening their doors just outside state lines. Granted this is happening everywhere, but Cali really has nobody else but themselves to blame. A wise man once said that people get the governance they deserve.
    Stan I don’t think they’d be able to place military people in a law enforcement position like that. The Feds would just fund local law enforcement long before that happened. I know about the Posse Comitatus act and the erosion thereof, but it would cause far more problems than it’d solve. They’d have to declare it a National Emergency, and even then the possibility of revolt would be better than extreme. There’s more than enough problems regarding police officers enforcing the law as it stands right now. Think about the magnitude of problems that would arise when you’ve got soliders who are totally untrained in conflict resolution trying to enforce law. There’s a very good reason that becoming a police officer is as difficult as it is. Even so there’s still some that take their job way too far. I had to get a Bachelor’s degree before I could even apply to be a police officer, go through the application process, a MAJOR background check, physical fitness, three interviews, and a full year of probation. I wouldn’t even give 85% of military people carte blanche to enforce law on American streets and I’m in the military! The day our military is patrolling our streets is the day our country ceases to exist.
    Now your ideas of private security companies guarding the rich against us little people is already there. Look at any hollywood superstar with their fully automatic submachinegun armed beefcake bodyguards and you’ll see they’re already there. With Iraq winding down the demand for BWUSA et al is dwindling. They’ll either go to Afghanistan, or if the economy tanks hard, will offer their services to the very wealthy. Like I said, it’s already happened and is currently happening. Think about it this way: If you’re hungry and know that Mr. and Mrs. Gates have “Stuff” it’d be ludicriously easy for any of us to go there and take it by force from them. The very wealthy be idiots *NOT* to employ one of the best private security firms to patrol their compound and dispense indiscriminate justice on people who sought to take from them, would they not? You say it like it’s a bad thing. If you lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous, wouldn’t YOU? I would…
    Warren v United States clearly states that the police have no duty to protect you, or in this case the very wealthy. Why not hire a company that is there specifically to protect if I’m mr Bigwig? Makes perfect sense to me.

  • Yes,the fuzzy toilet seat cover is the vital key to the survival of the human species.Since people in California stopped buying them thousands of factories in China that used to make them have closed,putting millions out of work.
    Revolution is not far behind.Anarchy in China puts their nuclear weapons in the hands of the worst people,who will not hesitate to use them.Lets hope Matt of Oz has a nice beach in Australia for us repair to as we await Golgotha.
    If you say that it is insane that the world economy depends upon people buying fuzzy toilet seat covers,my reply is:
    Congratulations !! Now you understand.

  • I saw “Kalifornistan” self-destructing while I was at NASA. They tax the bejeepers out of businesses to support their massive welfare program. Our subcontractors were pouring out of there in droves. How long do they expect to exist that way? Closer to home, the massive Univ of TX Medical Branch (UTMB) is shutting down. Last week they laid off 3800 on storm-devastated Galveston Island. It was coming even before Ike, though. The island demographic is largly indigent. They were going broke treating them all and had no resources to rebuild after the storm. Although the expected riots never materialized, you my be interested to know that soldiers armed with semiautomatics were guarding the president’s office and other high risk areas after the pink slips went out.
    Fuzzy toilet seats?? Hey – if we’re headed for haves vs. have nots, I’ll be fighting over oatmeal. I get the point, though. It’s all the industries our excessive lifestyles have created…
    Oh, and (aw shucks!) thanks for my new name!

  • Memo to Bloody Mary:
    I thought the fuzzy toilet seat cover was the quintessential metaphor for the end game in the Capitalistic system.
    Vanity,envy and greed have been carried to ridiculous extremes.At the height of the California economy you could find an “oh so cute I can’t stand it” boutique or two or three in every California shopping center or strip mall.You remember the kind:when you walk in your olfactory sense was overwhelmed with the oder of wax from the hundreds of candles in every size,shape and form,enough to light every suburb in the state.And of course the fuzzy toilet seat cover,with matching facial tissue box cover and a bath mat in a charming ensemble was de riguer.
    You can be proud of your new name–it’s the emblem of your anointment ! !
    Frank

  • I think the net couple of years are going to be extremely interesting for not just the US, but for the world. Though the US has been living somewhat of a financial lie for the last few years, the effects for some smaller businesses here in Japan have been more obvious. I have no idea where things will end up though a few years down the line.