Sunday, October 16, 2011

Apocalyptic Skies of Doom or Just Silly Rain Clouds

The year 2012 quickly approaches and with it comes more and more television shows about the proverbial end of the world.   Forced to the couch, while fighting a round of strep throat, I watched my share of documentaries and have gained new skills to help plan for this event. With lessons learned from "Extreme Couponing" I know how I can easily get eleven years worth of fabric softener, fourteen dozen bottles of body wash and 212 containers of Tic Tacs for around $20.   These items would certainly be handy when the last of us our parading around in total chaos and destruction. "Man vs Wild" has taught me that it is important to stay dry and how to kill a wild antelope should one ever come running through my neighborhood during these times of trouble ahead.  I also understand that underground shelter may become a hot commodity.  They are very expensive and I'm not sure I really like the idea of being crowded underground with 8 - 12 other people waiting to see who the next person is that must venture outside to check the antelope trap.

I will admit, that the idea of a safe room for tornadic weather is a bit more appealing to me.   I live in the middle of tornado alley and they usually follow a path just a few miles north and south of my home.  We have been lucky so far. This past Spring, the local live view radar showed a tornado headed straight for my house.  I put the kids in the bathroom closet and tossed the laundry into the hall.  Worried that paramedics may find us,  I had to take the laundry to the laundry room so it wouldn't be all over the hallway floor. With sirens blaring I began a load of whites with extra fabric softener from my end of days stock-pile.    I walked outside to see what demise was headed our way and discovered that the sky looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.   I popped a Tic-Tac, pulled the kids from the bathroom and made them come look at the popcorn clouds above. In 47 years, I had never seen such an apocalyptic sky.  It would not have been surprising to see a dragon suddenly poke it's head through these bulbous clouds or have it start raining two-headed sneeches or puff-a-lumps.  All things were possible.    

It seems that weather patterns are getting more and more extreme and rare weather events aren't so rare anymore.  Perhaps this is all leading to one grand finale.   I understand that there is a company selling safe havens for $50,000.  They are loaded with all things needed to survive the end.  I would so love to see that packing list.  They are in an undisclosed location and you won't be told where they are until days before the end.  This begs several questions.... the first being, "Really?!?"    So someone is going to get advance notice of the end???   What happens if you pay your $50K and receive notice that the end is hours away and your  low rise, gulf front safe haven is located in Antarctica?  I imagine days before the end of life as we know it, total chaos will break out and booking a seat on Southwest Airlines won't be as easy as it once was.  How many suitcases you can travel with is no longer your biggest problem.   Another factor to consider is that there are no antelopes in Antarctica and once the cans of potted meat and vegetables are gone, it's penguin and seal for dinner.  I'm certain this would be a high fat diet and not good for those of us watching our cholesterol.    I think a better safe haven, would be one where you are arm in arm with your loved ones, listening to some old 70's ballads, waiting for that warm light of rapture to carry you home.    The inventory list for this safe haven contains no Tic Tacs, potted meat or penguin grills.  Faith and family is all you really need there.  Okay.. and a Van Morrison CD.

Early Retirement and the Great Resignation

        At the age of 57, I stared at my 35 year career, whispered a polite thank you to the heavens and hit the send button on my retiremen...