Years ago, I’d read that because of automatic teller machines, kids believed that money comes out of walls. It’s a pretty funny belief, but hardly any stupider than governments spending more than they earn, then appearing utterly baffled that the ever expanding money supply is leading to inflation. It’s possible the kids are smarter, and heaven help us all because a mate was telling me recently about some plan to replace physical mad cash with some sort of digital currency, whatever that means. It all sounds kooky to me.
Over the years I’ve been a customer in a few businesses where the little electronic credit card machines randomly stopped working, or their banksters had a monster computer crash (always makes the news of the day). I’m pretty sure the same situation would be a very difficult thing to navigate if physical mad cash were outlawed. Have these folks never encountered the blue screen of death which usually spells the end of computing fun times?
Anyway, back to the store with the dead credit card machine. Standing in a line of people waiting to be served at the err, cash register, the people in front of me looked a little bit lost and helpless whilst they waved around their credit cards with the intensity of a shaman attempting to invoke a transaction. You could feel the psychic wall of tension and stress from the person behind the counter as she pushed at buttons, and may have even shaken the little banking machine. Take that, ya pesky nuisance was probably what she thought. Seeing how the wind blew, I confidently stepped past the distraught and agitated folks in front of me. ‘Here’s the cash, keep the change‘, I said. Cool as a cucumber I took the chicken food and dog food with me and left the store. The other folks looked on green with envy, but that was their problem.
On the other hand, heaps of mad cash can be a real nightmare. Trust me in this. In the earlier days of my career when I was young and dumb, a prospective employer in an interview asked if I was looking for a challenge. They sure saw me coming, and enthusiastically I replied in the affirmative. As a much older and possibly wiser dude, my advice to younger folk would be that if anyone ever asks that challenge question in a job interview, don’t answer, just get up and walk out. You’ll thank me for it later. Anyway, the business dealt with heaps of mad cash. It also just happened to be located amongst the biggest crime district in the big smoke. The office couldn’t have been more poorly sited if they’d tried. It looked to me like drug deals were going on in the street, and into that mayhem every day at random times I had to send a couple of staff with a bag of mad cash to be deposited at the nearby bank. It was probably more luck than anything else that nothing bad ever happened.
Yeah, I guess there are some benefits with digital only mad cash, unless someone steals your identity, then you might have more than a few problems. You’d hope that trying to sort out those problems, you didn’t have to speak with one of those AI chatbot things. I’ve heard stories that they can get nasty with women, and there are plenty of bad AI characters in literature to fill your nightmares: HAL-9000 for the older folks, ED-209 for my generation, and who could forget the Terminator? Can you imagine having to ask a Terminator bot for your missing money, all you’d hear is: Your mad cash, give it to me!
Speaking of nefarious acts of theft, I don’t shop at supermarkets where you have to put a coin into the trolley in order for the thing to be released from some sort of locking device, but I’ve seen them. The very need for such a device is suggestive that there may be other problems going on in that area. But with no physical mad cash, how are you even going to work such a coin operated lock? What if the stupid machine demanded a credit card, had a malfunction, then ate your card? You’d have to take the trolley away, but then here’s the kicker, you’d be charged for a replacement trolley because the business would know who took the thing away. You’ve got to admit, it’d be an excellent scam for when the trolleys get too old or damaged by other frustrated customers.
Possibly other sectors of the economy will be out of a job, like the Tooth Fairy. Think about it for a bit, little Johnny loses a tooth from his face. Knowing he’ll score some overnight mad cash, he chucks the tooth into a glass before bedtime. Except little Johnny’s hand writing is so bad – kids aren’t taught to write clear cursive script these days – the Tooth Fairy can’t read the account number attached to the glass where the tooth sits. The fairy can’t just chuck down some coins and leave, there are none because everything is digital. The elder one may even mumble something like: I can’t make this account number out. Is that even a f!@#ing number? Little Johnny wakes up at the noise, and the fairy vanishes instantly. Everyone loses, and the fairy is out of a job.
There are times when physical mad cash is necessary. Like how’s a wishing well meant to work? You won’t be able to chuck your card into the thing whilst wishing for eternal love, or perhaps a divorce settlement in your favour. No. Swiping your credit card on some weird little machine on the side of the wishing well may in fact produce unintended consequences. After all, the deities hiding deep in the wishing well will think that you are trying to cheat them. They need mad cash too you know, and we’ve all read the stories of things going horribly wrong in dealings with that lot. You were warned.
An email turned up the other day from the banksters. Said something about limiting electronic transfers to around $10k per month to crypto accounts. There’s a part of me which says the limit is not a bad idea, especially given how many people seem to be easily parted with their mad cash through scams. There’s also another part of me that says that if people actively make a decision to muck around with crypto, isn’t it their mad cash? The whole going fully digital thing seems like a loss of control to me, and it might be a silly idea.
A couple of days ago I awoke to discover that it was 0’C / 32’F outside. It can get a bit colder here, but only by a little bit. Anyway, frosty ice covered everything outside and even the ground made strange crunching sounds when trod upon. Fortunately by mid-morning the sun shone and defrosted the place.
A few of the projects currently under way require large rocks, so we broke apart another boulder into more usefully sized large rocks. It’s such a good feeling when the rock initially cracks and splits. Before that moment, you’re never quite certain whether splitting the rock will be possible.
We ran out of time to move the rocks, so maybe that will happen next week.
The low gradient path project not only requires rocks of the size in the above image, it also requires lots of soil. Fortunately, another project is providing plenty of soil.
Regular readers will recall that last week, we removed soil from the path in the above image. This week, we removed more soil from that path. All of the soil was then hauled and used on the low gradient path project.
The plan with the path in the above image is to replace the rock wall with a far sturdier and larger rock wall. Observant readers will be able to note that during heavy rainfall, soil washes over the existing rock wall and builds up against the side of the shed.
Even more soil was removed from around the other side of the shed.
All of the soil was loaded by shovel into a powered wheelbarrow. We then drove the many wheelbarrows around to the low gradient path project where it was dumped. Each load of soil was smoothed and compacted, old school style, which involves simply walking on the clay surface. After all the soil had been moved, and the gradient looked about right, a couple of loads of the crushed rock with lime was spread over the surface. Next week, we’ll hopefully move those split rocks (mentioned above) onto the downhill side rock wall of the path.
Most of the fruit trees are only beginning to break their winter dormancy. However, the citrus are the single exception to that. The Meyer lemon is full of fruit.
We’re trying an experiment with squash plants. We grow a variety called ‘Little Gem’ which we’ve nicknamed: ‘The Bomb’. As we get closer to spring, some of the squashes looked a little bit mouldy, so instead of chucking the fruit into the worm farm, we buried the squashes near to where we were going to grow them anyway. It will be very interesting to see whether any plants grow from these mouldy fruits. I hope so, it may save a lot of trouble and transplant shock for any seedlings we raise.
Yet again, we’ve thinned out the strawberry enclosure to about one plant every one to two feet. Hopefully we get some strawberries, because we didn’t last year, although it was a colder and wetter growing season. However, if the more usually expected strawberries don’t produce any berries, I’ll remove all of them and replace them with the Alpine strawberry plants I’m experimenting with. They’re much older varieties of the berries, they taste good and bear for a longer period of the growing season. The only downside is that the fruit is a bit seedy, which I don’t mind. What’s good about them though, is that despite it being late winter, they’re already producing berries.
The other day I spotted Dame Plum stalking one of the local magpies. The birds watch the two Kelpies and mostly ignore Ollie. Those birds in particular are very smart and they’ll often tease the dogs. You would think that the dogs would learn, but no – they love the chase.
A lot of bird life lives at the farm. The King Parrots are particularly attractive, despite them being caught consuming the blossoms on the Plumcott tree. Really, parrots?
Earlier today I was walking Ollie and also had the camera with me. I don’t normally walk around with the camera, but I’d forgotten to take a photo of the rock we’d split apart, and that was on the walk. Anyway, I thought the readers might enjoy what it looks like walking around under the tall trees and looking up towards the sky at the canopy far overhead.
The tree in the image above is big, but probably only about 90 or so years old. All being well the tree will eventually live to about 400 years of age, double in height and get way girthier. The tall trees are part of the reason there is so much bird, sugar glider, and bat life here. The older the tree, the more likely there will be plenty of hollows in the tree trunks which makes for lots of housing for the forest critters. Younger forests are quiet places devoid of life.
Onto the flowers:
It’s definitely a yellow flower time of year…
The temperature outside now at about 9am is 11’C (52’F). So far this year there has been 587.2mm (23.1 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 584.0mm (23.0 inches)