I am indeed from a moderately sized capital city on the east coast, where I did live atop a mountain inside a peaceful wooded suburb. I presently live a Charles Ives type of life, working a drab professional job to fund an uneconomic art form: classical music composition (my style arising from a certain, grossly unpopular early twentieth century English twang). Most of the folks upon my lineage too are of professional careers: doctors, teachers, accountants, engineers, nurses, &c. If I wasn’t a dedicated music composer, I’d probably be a math or physics professor, climate scientist, or green energy entrepreneur/engineer. My IQ clocks in around 140 to 150 or so; though, thankfully, my mind has started to slow down these last few years.
I do, however, follow climate science, low-energy living and architecture, climate denial phenomenon, economic/resource limits, homesteading/self-sufficiency, organic gardening, and the like:
Skeptical Science (dot com)
Rocky Mountain Institute (rmi dot com)
Rocky Mountain Institute (Youtube)
Stanford Energy Series (Youtube)
Incidentally, I’ve written a novel that is a satire on science denial, set in 1820’s England, which involves geophysical, agricultural, and evolutionary topics. The Kindle version is available on Amazon: Search for 'Of Woodbridge and Hedgely'. The physical book is on Lulu.
Having lost a substantial amount of equity in both my east coast and California real estate ventures this last decade secondary to the housing bubble [don't worry, my net worth is still very, very well into the 6 figure range], I’ve switched my retirement planning into equities investing. We are at the very tip of a second industrial revolution regarding our energy and transport infrastructure and I intend to capitalize on that, though presently most of my holdings are pretty conventional, dividend growth stuff. If you don’t understand long term equities investing and the value of money, I will teach you. I’m certainly not materialistic; in fact I’m pretty low down on the individual consumption scale, but I do desire to retire and have money for a low energy, passive solar home one day.
I’ve started dabbling in trim carpentry, creating old-school wainscot and arts and crafts door/window molding for my townhouse – my current living situation. I’d like to someday have a table saw and router table (and a barn/garage to therein house such) so that I could make furniture for a future family.
Having gathered the present direction of the world, I’ve concluded that I should have a piece of land not too very far from a moderate sized city; yet not too close either. This would be partly wooded, could accommodate fruit and nut trees and sustainable gardening, have a robust water table with clean water, and have the mineral rights retained whilst existing in a low probability zone with regard to oil and gas exploration. Trigger warning: because the southwestern U.S. is projected to suffer terrible drought as the globe continues to heat, just as it historically did around eight hundred or so years ago, and because of the real estate shenanigans that continue to play out in California, my design does require moving shop to the temperate east coast, continuing my Los Angeles presence but lightly – by way of letting out my townhouse.
In a small east coast town, atop a quiet and secluded member of a wooded set of brotherly mountains that stood watch over a medium sized, river valley city, I did grow up. Acres of forest were my backyard and daily endeavor. They were infinite, mysterious, enchanting and encouraged a sense of high adventure which to the present I retain; though to be sure, these days most of such occurs in my mind, equally boundless.
My father worked in finance for one of the divisions of the state, while my mother taught English, and at home, a sense of old world propriety regarding the language, among other aspects of society, which to a young, neck-or-nothing, blood-of-the-fancy was a constant source of annoyance. Up the hill and though the woods (literally), was the home of my grandfather, a surgeon, who came from a line of medical men – dentists, doctors and such. My great uncle even founded and owned a hospital, down in our valley city, fitted out with the latest technology of the day – the day being the early twentieth century in his case. My other grandfather was a coal mine engineer, equipped with pencils, compasses, drafting paper, triangles, stencils and the like, and when I was young I thought it was quite normal for my father, having a similar sense of mathematics and geometry, to make architectural changes to our house and surrounding lot. I became something of an accidental apprentice during a few of these reforms, initially helping to produce a work-shed for my father’s tools and ideas, and graduating up to designing and co-building a large deck that spans a significant portion of the back of the house. It’s load capacity is top-notch, as it should be, considering the snowy state.
I’ve been a musician most of my life. Though I do not derive a living from such (nor do I care to), I dedicate anywhere from twenty to thirty hours per week to musical adventure: I’ve composed a violin serenade, a symphony for full orchestra, a piece for a small string orchestra and soloists, a piece for harp, viola and flute, a small poetic scherzo for full orchestra, and tons of other more forgettable material which must be laid by the lee. I’ve become a competent and nearly mature classical composer in my mid-thirties, and am excited to pursue several other piece on my wish list, with the skill that’s taken almost half my life to nurture and polish. And I’ve had a brief dalliance with film composition, but the workload (fourteen hour days) turned out to be physically beyond the limits of my poor hands.
My mind is very mathematical and science oriented: I’m clever at seeing things mathematically that others cannot, though I’ve thoroughly wasted my talent in the pursuit of musical construction. However, I do own a bachelor’s degree in the field of pharmacy, which entails a given proficiency in chemistry, statistics, calculus, physics, and biology, though presently I mostly focus on (at the armchair level) climate science, energy and efficiency science, equity investment, and the economy (which are all intimately coupled).
My pharmacy job allows me the possibility of little, or conversely, abundant work at my pleasure, which then provides funding and time for my compositional journeys. I can’t hardily recommend it as a full time career, unless one commits to becoming expert in a clinical setting.
Our modern American culture is hyperfocused on consumption, secondary to mass propaganda authored by the masters of mankind, with design to secure large streams of income and profit for themselves. Would it at all come to pass that we may break this dependency on consumption as a means to proper social interaction? Here's an excerpt to a 'first date' I wrote for a story I've written as a hobby:
'We did little to deserve each other, than what we did those few moments rising into the morning sun. Sure, such were no less soluble than any of the hundred scents conjured by the flourishing warmth, yet they did raise to the highest power what was, just be-fore she existed, seemingly ordinary countryside. I fear the younger audience might tend to find love a hole to be occupied as soon and as frequently as possible; its depth discovered by fervent thrusting. Perhaps I am grown simple, that it may, with equal credibility, be just the accidental brushing of her hand to mine, as she gestured at some creature I pretended to see for the sake of her excitement, roused out by the starting day....'