Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Trade, Being Social and Wildlife

Well, this is not good.  I don’t think this subject is getting as much coverage as it should.  I saw it on twitter and clicked through to the article.

The European Union and Japan signed a huge free trade deal on Tuesday that cuts or eliminates tariffs on nearly all goods.

The agreement covers 600 million people and almost a third of the global economy. It's also a major endorsement of a global trading system that is under increasing threat from protectionism.
It will remove tariffs on European exports such as cheese and wine. Japanese automakers and electronics firms will face fewer barriers in the European Union.
The dismantling of trade barriers stands in stark contrast to the approach taken by President Donald Trump, who has imposed tariffs on a range of foreign goods and is threatening more action.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, hailed the agreement as the "largest bilateral trade deal ever."
Our regressive trade wars and tariff policies are damaging our ability to export.  Every time another country gains a foot hold in a market the US used to dominate, the less likely it is that we’ll be exporting there in the future.  China is now buying zero soy beans from the US.  The farm bill passed this week was a must-do since it provides subsidies to the farmers who can no longer sell their crops over seas.  It’s not sustainable, as deficits ratchet up, there will not be enough money to make payments like this forever.

In other news, we hosted our first happy hour last night.  Our street has a weekly get together, not everyone attends but many do.  It’s been good for us to meet some new people.  I know, all you introverts (and you know who you are) are cringing, but it’s nice to know people and not be so solitary.

Jim made his signature guacamole.  It was so good.  I think next time maybe two more avocadoes.  They were all perfect, that almost never happens.  The hosting house provides snacks, every body brings their own beverage and a container, be that a beer bottle or a wine glass.  It’s a good arrangement.  I bought a box of lentil crackers just to see how they were – if you see this product, leave them on the grocer’s shelf!  We do like the Trader Joe’s cheese sticks.


We had a good sunset last night.


This is a coyote in the wash next to the house.  There were two of them heading north.  They both looked really good.  They must be eating well.


I had an interesting conversation with a neighbor about rattlesnakes.  They like asphalt pavement and people’s paved areas because they hold the heat.  NEVER walk outside at night without a flash light.  In the mornings, before charging out of the house to get the paper or whatever, do a visual sweep of your area and check for snakes.  This wasn’t a problem in the RV park because it’s basically a dead zone, but there is wild life here; constant vigilance will be required.


  1. Neighbours tip like the rattlesnake one are say the least. Thankfully we only have one poisonous snake.

  2. The thought of a happy hour at our house would put me in a panic. And you don't need to worry - lentil crackers would never be in my cart. Lol

  3. I only had to watch for skunks when I came home in the small hours. Actually, they do not smell until they make themselves known, so getting into the house can be interesting.

  4. Once a week happy hour might be a little too often for us, but it's always good to meet new people and get to know your neighbors. Along with exercise, being social is supposedly one of the keys to healthy aging.
    I was hoping you were going to give us Jim's guacamole recipe :-)

    1. It's really simple. Mash avocados with a fork, chunks optional. Mix in some salsa, not a lot. Mix in juice of half a lime. Put in the serving bowl. Float the juice of the other half of the lime on top, this slows down the browning. If not eating immediately, place plastic wrap on top of the guacamole to limit the air exposure.
      I swear I could eat my weight in guacamole, salsa and chips, which is why we can't have them in the house!

    2. Thanks, yes, we have to limit the chips here, also.

  5. Lovely avocados! We get perfect ones here in Mexico but have never had such luck in the states. I guess your proximity to Mexico helps! I make a mean guac, but I add a bit of chopped white onion, fresh Roma tomato, cumin...rather than adding prepared salsa, but I expect the result is similar. Good avocados plus fresh lime juice are the most important ingredients and stand on their own even if nothing else is available! Good on you for hosting; even as an introvert, I can see how that would be a smart thing to do. Glad you are enjoying your new neighborhood!