I'll skip showing the pictures to my wife. She would want us to emigrate. Although Australian might not want us and if IIRC (from a visit to Darwin around 87), Australia has high taxes.
You can see why both of us fell in love with this part of Australia, which by the way, isn't a particularly trendy part! For trendy, the West Coast and particularly Margaret River is where people go to be seen, and thankfully, much of the population misses the South Coast. The tendency for it to rain on long weekends and on school holidays helps!
It actually does seem to do just that whenever the tourists get here, and then people say, "It always rains in Albany!" even though the annual rainfall is actually lower here than in the Perth hills...
Our taxes are possibly higher than yours, but so much lower than Germany's... and yet Germany and Scandinavia, for all their higher taxes, consistently show up as having better population happiness indices than Australia and the US. As does India, despite all the poverty... Population happiness isn't something economists study, but should - looking at population happiness is far more important than looking at GDP and material living standards (the indices for which are strange indeed)...
I'm not sure what it's like in the US, but in Australia, there is so much more of people chasing status symbols and keeping up with the Joneses than in Europe; and there's less satisfaction at just doing something well for the sake of it, or educating yourself. Traditional German businesses tend to genuinely pride themselves in making quality products that will last, and in having many employees for life. In Australia, it's more about turnover and how much stuff you can shift, and making things look better than they actually are.
How does Spain compare to the US in those sorts of things,
? I've not lived in Spain... in Italy, there was more community spirit and general gregariousness than in Australia, for instance. People made time for each other more; you didn't not know your neighbours, whereas here, I've lived in so many places around the country where neighbourhoods are anonymous things and people don't get to know each other, and at most say "hello" when going past each other, not even knowing each other's names...
I grew up in Tucson and it is the closest city to us. Tucson's city council always has great ideas too, all of which are supposed to "revitalize" the downtown at great expense and which always seem to "revitalize" certain local businesses while the project never gets finished. Then the city council comes up with another project which sounds a lot like the one that just failed.
This sounds a lot like what happens here...
Random question: Have you ever seen ZZ Top live? Aren't they from that neck of the woods?
The downtown area had more vibrant businesses 50 years ago. It was cleaner then, too. With more parking. Hmmmmmm. Of course, we had about 1/4 as many people then. But don't worry because all of Arizona is committed to "GROWTH!"
Because that will improve the tax base. Or it will once those of us living here have paid for the schools, the roads, big tax breaks for the companies....feeling cynical first thing in the morning. Sorry. More coffee and a ride may improve my humor. But probably not my cynicism.
Ah yes, we've highly cultivated our cynicism in this household. If you cultivate it enough, you get a fair bit of gallows humour!
Welcome to the Titanic, where the main activity is the rearrangement of the deckchairs.
I'm trying to work out how we stay sane, given the realistic lens with which we view the world. If
we're sane... perhaps we just have an enjoyable sort of insanity here. Humour helps. Good literature. Spending lots of time in natural landscapes where things aren't particularly broken, and follow actual logical laws. Nice companion animals and some good friends. Good food. Jumping up and down like kangaroos at times...
The growth thing gets us too, because it's essentially cancer. They make is sound so good, but "growth" creates temporary increases in available money to some people, at the expense of destroying the resource base. What we really need is steady state economies, not growth economies. With a standard of living not determined solely by money, but by what makes life worth living, once you have basic shelter, clothing, transport, food (which you can grow a lot of even in your own backyard to increase your quality of nutrition and life in general - unless you live in a desert, I suppose - anyone grow food in their backyards where you live,
Anyway, ho hum. So, from one cynical household to another, have you read Northanger Abbey
yet? It's Jane Austen in her 40s, just prior to her early demise, and at the very peak of wit and observation! I'm halfway through; Brett finished it; we both agree it's the funniest thing we've read in years... the observations on human nature... and... you can get all this for free these days for your laptop/e-reader/whatever, because it's out of copyright. We get our classics from here these days: https://www.gutenberg.org/
Oh, and Brett recommends Yes, Prime Minister
- from one cynical male to another. It's not out of copyright yet, though!
Happy Birthday, Brett!
- With regards from the Light Saber Development Team
Brett says thank you very much and especially for remembering he wanted a red
That is beautiful!! You guys always look so happy in your pictures. In turn it makes me happy!
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRETT! See that? I yelled it.
, we had to use earplugs!
Thank you so much, I hope you're having a lovely weekend!