Blog for 27 July2017

TO:  Virtual International Round Table

FROM:  Rachel & Jim Shipley

This July seems like old times.  Some forty years ago when we first moved to Orlando, you could almost set your watch by it.  Four o’clock in the afternoon the sky would cloud over as the western sea breezes and the eastern sea breezes would collide and it would rain – oh boy would it rain!

In recent years, due to climate change, El Nino and La Nina,we have had dry summers and flooded summers.  This July though…

We just returned from a week in California, visiting daughter Robin.  She heads an organization called Evolve.  They take what are now called “Neuro-Diverse” individuals- those with mental conditions:  Autism and other conditions that make it difficult for them to compete in the business world.  Evolve teaches them the basics of business: proper speech, eye contact, work ethic, hierarchy, etc. They have been very successful in getting various business enterprises to work with them, taking these young people in and helping to see that they will not have to live their lives in menial tasks and never be independent.

While we were there, we went north for a couple of days. Four hours drive north of Los Angeles you are in a different world.  Near St.Luis Obispo in the Santa Lucia mountain range, it is incredibly beautiful country. The mountain range is not high enough to be snow-capped, but it is magnificent.  You pass twin peaks where one is covered in trees next to one that is just grass and brush.

We stayed with a couple of Robin’s friends who live on forty acres of range and mountains (the minimum acreage allowed there is forty acres per homestead).  They have “free range” horses which means they have the run of the place. It is a lifestyle.  There is no cell service. You need a quart of milk?  Eleven miles into the town of Rancho Arroyo.  After sundown the silence is amazing. It’s not for everybody. But for a weekend – or maybe a month?

There are of course forest fires. We passed one on the way up on Route #154 about five hundred feet from the road,eating its way down the mountainside.  We thought “look at that beautiful ranch house  – horses and a small vineyard.  Those folks will have to evacuate – take the animals and leave everything.”

On the way home that highway was closed.

We heard economist Hank Fishkind on WMFE one morning talking about the cost of building a home or apartment complex in Orange or Seminole Counties.  All said and done, to would be difficult to pay less than one thousand dollars a month for a one bedroom apartment in a “decent” area.

We also saw a survey that showed to afford an “acceptable” two to three bedroom apartment you would have to make at least twenty five dollars an hour.  The same for a mortgage payment for a two or three bedroom home.  The Disney cast members are looking for a raise above their minimum of ten dollars an hour.

Disney will deny this, but we have it on good authority that some cast members are living in their cars on Disney property. “The Happiest Place on Earth”.

You have to hate “Robo-Calls.”  It is a constant battle.  On one side there is the consumer and the government. On the other, businesses that buy phone lists end either hire a call center or record an offer.  Then the dialing begins.  Due to government regulations, the caller live or not has to give you the right to have them never call again.  But, business is business.  So, they write the scripts more cleverly – they often bury “Option Two” by suddenly dropping the volume while they mention “to be removed from this list press two” or holding that option until after the entire pitch.

We are and have been for the past three plus years apartment dwellers. We do not have a driveway or need dry wall.  We are in business but we are not interested in a low interest loan for it.  We do not care that Google will drop us from a business list that we did not know existed.  We don’t want the free cruise. But, the fight goes on.

To those who follow sports, you are aware that Lebron’s”wingman” , Tyrie Irving wants to be traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Maybe his family just cannot handle another Cleveland winter. We can relate.

Be well, do good work, stay in touch.

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