It is January 2, 2021 and I am looking forward to the new year. Normally, New Year is just another date on the calendar for me. Just a number. But 2020 was so bad in so many ways, I am really looking for any signs of renewal and change in 2021. Like many, I am hoping that the new set of numbers means something more than just a new set of numbers.
It howled again last night. Wind, rain, choppy seas. Howling courtesy of our wind turbine (with a gusty Southeaster on bass and a roiling sea on percussion). Sal woke up at 3:00. I was wide awake at 5:00. We can handle storm. We have a harder time with turbine. The turbine is a maniacal banshee!
Typically wind-turbines have an ‘overspeed’ brake so that the blades do not go so fast the insides come apart. The brake is centrifugal so it only comes on when the wind is really high (35 mph plus). The brake is noisy. Sounds like a big dog barking. Our turbine barked every five or ten minutes for five seconds or so each time – for hours. I asked Sal if I should throw a rope over it or did she want to go up the tower. “Neither. Use the shotgun and as many shells as you need.”
As you can guess, she was a bit less sweet and cheery this morning. Still, the shotgun idea had crossed my mind. But the wind is now down and the turbine can be ignored. So…..
I went down to the dock this morning to check everything. It was all good. The boat was pretty full of water (the auto bilge pump didn’t kick on, tho). They rarely do. Rule dominates the bilge pump market and 20% of their pumps just do not work. Pure crap right out of the box. Of the other 80%, they have a limited functioning lifespan – maybe a couple of years – and the bottom line is nobody trusts their bilge pumps. We have two of them to increase our chances of one of them working when we need it to. One is a ‘turn on the pump’ manually kind and the other is a self starting automatic (hah!). We check ’em both every day.
This new year is really hard to predict. Trump will likely persist somewhat but so long as it diminishes, it could be entertaining to watch all the failing that will ensue. I will never get sick of seeing Trump fail. Any Trump getting punched in the face will do (save for Baron – he may be OK). On the other hand, I do not want to see Trump sr. rise far enough to fail as epically as this last time but he does seem to have a Dorian Gray kinda life so he may rise again like the flying orange pig he is. They have a name for his special kind of narcissism: Dorian Gray Syndrome.
A few things portend, tho. I have been witnessing mini-docs (You-Tube) on homelessness in LA and San Francisco. It’s crazy! There are 70,000 homeless in Manilla. There are 50,000 homeless in Mumbai. And there are 36,000 homeless in Los Angeles, the city of angels! There are officially 3000 in Vancouver and 1500 in Victoria (I think more). Projecting from all of that is my rough guess that there are probably close to a million homeless in N. America. You know…the first world? Homelessness in LA is up 70% in the last couple of years. Conclusion: the days of just crazy bag-ladies with shopping carts are over and a new sub-group of uber-marginal untouchables is emerging. Some streets in LA are littered end to end with tents and tarps. With the odd limp body scattered here and there for colour…..
Ordinary life-job-work-lifestyle is also changing. So is ‘life’ outside of work and home – restaurants and social venues are closing. Movie houses are empty. Bars, gyms, concerts et al are mothballed. Our world is going to change and it already has to a large extent. And I do not see the innovative ‘answers’ or entrepreneurial responses to any of that…not yet, anyway. We may just have a dystopian period to live through and 2021 will not see the changes we need. Maybe not even by 2022….
Still, I am feeling optimistic but I can only see one reason why…it is the beginning of a new year, we have a new number, and I am really hoping it indicates something substantially ‘new’ is coming.