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Monday, December 01, 2008

FAR Future, Episode 62: Slip-Sliding Away

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend. I’m still here, another year older and still refusing to grow up…

Monday, March 28, 2022
Slip-Sliding Away

With Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota — along with Chicago — joining the so-called Rebel Alliance, the junta is growing ever more paranoid. Colorado, Pennsylvania, Maryland, are all wavering in the east, Colorado and New Mexico provide the western counterpoint… rebellion in stereo! Indeed, there are few places that the junta can consider safe territory — most people agree that the Final Oil War was botched (sound familiar?) but are happy to see most of their loved ones safely stateside.

There’s been some selective discharges of “non-essential” troops, although it seems to be mostly from states thinking about breaking away — which means that Rene, Kim, and Serena aren’t home yet. Serena’s still in Germany, in fact, but things have been mostly quiet there. They’ve “suspended” the draft, so Christina at least doesn’t have that to deal with, but the service-for-citizenship program is still going. So Kim’s still teaching English to Hispanic recruits, but Rene has “gone dark.” He sent us a quick email after he got stateside: “Holá, y'all. Being redeployed, no leave, can't talk about it. Sorry. Let you know more when I can.”

We’re all relieved that he got back, but are concerned about what he’s doing now. I certainly wouldn’t put it past the junta to use their EDID units against the “enemy” here in the fragments of the US. ’Course, the spooks were tapping MAE-EAST (the major east-coast Internet hub outside of DC) in the Bush-league days, and probably before. I’m not sure why they’d need a military unit involved now.

Kim, at least, is making the system work. He finds out who already speaks passable English in his classes; usually 10% of them do. Those he assigns to help their classmates who need it most — nobody sits there bored, and the grunts who need extra help get it. Meanwhile, the junta actually wised up and brought back fuel rationing. Having a farm at last means we get some gas and diesel — not as much as we’d like, but better than nothing. The “rebel” states are in at least as bad shape, supply-wise, but they do get fuel from Canada and Alaska. Again, not as much as they’d like… like the rest of the world, with a few exceptions. Rumors from Russia and Norway suggest they’re experimenting to see how much oil they can take off the domestic market and sell to the rest of the world without triggering local insurrections.

I wonder if the junta ran into the same issue everywhere that they did here: the Pat-Riots and official junta reps would tool around in their faux-military trucks like nothing ever happened, and several of them got bricks through the windshield — or hijacked for their fuel. Now they get around on foot, hoof, or bicycle like everyone else. Emergency vehicles have diesel, but nobody’s going to begrudge an ambulance or fire truck using fuel on a call. Guillermo caught someone trying to steal some cattle earlier this month, and held them at gunpoint for a couple of hours until the cops arrived. “Next time,” they told us, within earshot of the perps, “just do the three S’s: Shoot, Shovel, and Shush. We don’t have to hear about cattle rustlers unless they actually get away.” Yipe!

It’s already getting warm. We’ve let the wood stove go out, and still have a pretty good stack of firewood left. Oh well, we’ll use it next winter. It’s that much less wood we have to cut. Since the draft is over with, we’re going to get DD and Dean married off shortly. I was hoping to do it Friday, which would be April 1, but they both insisted on Saturday. Dang. But they’re looking at places to live close to town, at least for now (Dean would like to get them both back to Seattle, which I can understand). DD is looking into remote teaching, since the school district is turning toward facilitating home schooling rather than running their own facilities — they see their role as making sure the students have material and help if needed, more than anything else — and there will be plenty of kids needing tutors while their parents are handling the emergencies of everyday life. Dean did academic training in his previous life, so maybe he can work with older kids if the school district is willing to pay for it. I think school taxes mostly go toward paying catering bills for school board meetings these days.

So anyway, if Dean and DD leave soon, we’ll be down to five at FAR Manor: the two “older” couples plus Christina, who’s doing some graduate-level work in between consulting on biofuel recovery projects for anything from individuals to wallyworlds. I’ve been urging Guillermo and Maria to go with her on her consulting trips, but now that they can travel at will they seem content to stay here. They’ve gone to a couple Latino-centric wallyworlds, but other than that they pretty much stay put. To be honest, I doubt that we could have held FAR Manor together without their help; they’ve jumped into every task with both feet and looked for more. But they should still be able to get a vacation once in a while.

Speaking of vacations, my job dried up a while back… just in time for me to retire. I have to admit, I never thought things would quite turn out the way they have, but isn’t that what John Lennon said? Life is what happens while you’re making other plans?



  1. Wow, retired at 50! I am envious. ;-)

  2. More like 64, if you check the date, but I was hoping to retire before now IRL. Didn't happen, obviously.

  3. Hiya FAR and Boran.

    Boran retirement is grossly overrated. I say keep working until you're 75.

    Oh wait, I'm retired......Never mind. :)

  4. FM, you're 75? Or is that in FAR Future years?

  5. Retirement? What the hell is that? My great granfather worked until the day he died, my grandfather worked until the day he died. My Dad at 74 is still working and will very likely have to work until he dies (he'd better!). What makes me think that I'll ever be able to retire? Especially 12 years out?

    So,the North is called the "Rebs" this time... I'll take that honor!


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