EVERYONE should support planting more TREES

No matter what your opinion on CO2 levels higher than they  been for at least the past three million years, you can support planting more trees.

Trees are good in many ways.

Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson, some guy who got popular on YouTube, started a campaign that raised enough money for more than 20 million trees to be planted across the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, and the United Kingdom.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Secondly, we should STOP subsidizing fossil fuel industries. One study calculated $5 trillion / year in subsidy worldwide.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Greta Thunberg has inspired millions of students to become environmental activists for climate change.

I love to see how some previously unknown teenager scares so many of the rich and powerful worldwide.

She’s the youngest individual Time Person of the Year.

Thunberg was also nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch by Stephen King

Stephen King is an excellent writer — but I’m often scared off from his horror books.

I generally don’t like horror.

But he called Mr. Mercedes (2014) his first hard-boiled detective book. It’s non-supernatural, but still scary.

Many jobless people are standing in line for a job fair, but then a Mercedes plows into the crowd killing 8 people and severely injuring many.

Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective from the local police department living the life of a retiree, receives a letter from an individual claiming to be the person responsible for the job fair incident, referring to himself as “Mr. Mercedes.”

Hodges is divorced, lonely and fed up with his life, occasionally considering suicide. …

Bill Hodges is age-62 in the book.

Brendan Gleeson, about the same age, played him on the 2017 TV series. Perfect casting. (Gleeson played Alastor Moody in Harry Potter. He’s going to be playing Trump in an upcoming miniseries.)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It’s a trilogy. I’ll keep reading.

End of Watch was a terrific conclusion to the Bill Hodges story

Stephen King is as good a story teller as anyone working today.

I particularly like the character of his sidekick Holy Hodges.


… visiting Dubai, cycling Oman?

I’m considering heading to Oman for the first time. For hiking and cycling.

Perhaps October 2020.

Craggy peaks and rugged terrain, empty deserts and a long picture-perfect coastline, ancient castles and forts–that’s what draws adventure cyclists to Oman. …

Why Oman deserves a Spot on your Bicycle Touring Bucket List

Watch a video on Lonely Planet.

Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth

 Phantom of Manhattan, a 1999 novel by Frederick Forsyth, is a sequel to the 1909 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. …

The 2010 stage sequel to the musical The Phantom of the OperaLove Never Dies, is based partly on The Phantom of Manhattan.[1]

Erik MuhlheimThe Phantom” escapes France to Coney Island, New York, where he makes his fortune — eventually opening an all-new opera house to rival the Metropolitan Opera.

I found the book’s plot interesting. Well written. … But I was never a Phantom of the Opera fan.

The book is OK for me.

One reviewer REALLY disliked both book and the 2010 musical.

my 2 travel tripods

For 2020 I’ll travel with two lightweight tripods:

  1. miggo splat (GoPro)
  2. Joby GripTight PRO Video mount (camera)

In fact, I can use either for GoPro or camera.

If I want to cut weight and only take one on a hike, it will likely be the more durable splat.

splat with GoPro


GripTight PRO with phone

My phone clamps in the past have been plastic and untrustworthy. The GripTight PRO costs CAD$63 and looks super durable. I don’t want my phone falling.

The arm is for panning video up and down, or side to side.

Of course I also have GoPro mounts for helmet and bike.

eBikes are the FUTURE

In Netherlands, more electric bikes are now sold than the old human-powered kind.

But be VERY cautious in what brand you buy. There are a lot of fly-by-night companies.

My Dad bought from Pedego, the largest electric bike retailer in the United States. We’ve been very happy with them.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – E-bikes, not electric cars, may hold the key to greener transportation

living off-grid for $80 / week

Jill Redwood lives in East Gippsland, Australia where she built her house almost 30 years ago.

She prefers to be really self-sufficient, having an orchard, a garden with vegetables and an animal farm which provide almost everything she needs on a daily basis, without having to frequently drive one hour and a half to the nearest town.

Moreover, with regard to energy and water supply, she uses solar panels and a waterwheel.

Living entirely off-grid, on around $80 a week and surrounded only be animals, Jill happily says: „what more do I need?”…

Good Home Design

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.