Dust – Part 3

We’ve all faced times in our lives where what one anticipated or expected was not what one found. We’ve all had those moments thinking everything is okay only to find that it is anything but. During those stressful times we try to work the problems out, question ourselves, and hope in the end that the solutions found will bring a semblance of normalcy. Yet when one is in the midst of a crisis one usually reacts and tries to do what we hope is right, and once a decision is made, knowing that we will continue to second guess ourselves to the very end.

So as our protagonist continues down the road things continue to be strange, and yet at the same time much appears to be normal. The roads are the same, the weather is what one expects, the stops are all there. Yet at the same time other things make no sense. So with this introduction here is part 3 of Dust. (And if you missed parts 1 and 2, they are available in the sidebar under August 2014.)

He remembered, as he drove down that blacktop road, to look out into the areas where others rode. There were always those who either had more time off, or left later, allowing all of them, as they drove away, one last look at the lucky ones that would still be out riding. Yet, there was nothing, other than the dust being blown about by the increasing desert winds. This was too weird, and it sent chills up and down his spine. Then he glanced at the passenger seat, since he had been looking out to his left, and there appeared to be a stranger sitting there, who turned and smiled. It startled him so much that he lost control of his truck. Fighting hard to bring it back under control, and keep it on his side of the road, he was finally successful. He knew if there had been oncoming traffic he was sure he would have hit at least one of them – not good. Once he had both his beating heart and breath under control he turned to ask this stranger who he was. But, the seat was empty – had he imagined it? Well, it kind of added to his dream theory. Yet, once again, if this was a wild dream, why hadn’t he awakened?

With no answers forthcoming, he took a deep breath, concentrated on his driving, and headed down that straight and empty desert road. He knew that once he crested the mountains that bordered the desert they would normally pull into a gas station combination coffee shop, fill their vehicles and themselves, and know that once finished that basically the weekend was over, and this would be the final time that they would be together. Once they left the coffee shop it would be as individuals heading to their personal homes, followed by the cleanup of their equipment, and the preparation to return to their jobs the next day. But that was still at least an hour or more away. He still worried that he had abandoned his friends back at the camp, but what choice did he have?

Other than what he figured had to be his imagination, with someone sitting in the passenger seat, and all the weirdness that seemed be transpiring, something was still bothering him and he couldn’t quite figure it out. He was listening to a CD since radio reception was spotty at the best in the area, and had it on loud enough to override the humming of the tires on the road. It was one of his favorite groups from the time of his youth and he found himself singing along with a few of his favorite songs. Yet, he kept feeling a nervousness rising as his 6th sense kept trying to tell him something. Something felt wrong, not that everything that had transpired this day hadn’t, but this was pointing to something else – in another direction.

When they normally returned home they would head back a different way than the way they headed out. By going south they could pick up a major freeway, making travel easier, and, of course, make that final stop to refuel. Nothing like this existed on the route out. He was now on that freeway heading up the steep grade and suddenly realized that he hadn’t heard the Jake-brakes or exhaust-brakes of the tractor-trailers heading down that same grade leaving the mountains and heading towards the desert floor. Nor had he seen any heading down the grade or had he passed any slowly making their way up the same grade. It was a 6% grade for heaven sake. Then it struck him that not only was there no trucks, but there were no cars, or anything else for that matter. He was it, period. This really made no sense since this was one of the few routes across the desert, and one that all the truckers used – let alone anybody else just passing through.

It was what his mind had been trying to tell him. Not only had he awoke to an empty camp and surrounding area, but there was no one on the roads either. Once again, what is going on? There was a rest area on this route so he quickly pulled in. He needed to get out and stretch, use the facilities, and try his cell phone. Sometimes one could get lucky from this spot and actually make a call. But consistent with all that had been transpiring to this point, luck was against him. And no matter where he walked, in the area, the phone came back with “no service”. Finally giving up he got back into his truck and once again headed out on an empty silent freeway and to what future he had no idea. And at this point he wasn’t sure if he truly wanted to know anyway, but knew that he couldn’t remain here. Besides it wouldn’t be long until he would be at their final stop and he was sure that he would get his answers there – at least one could hope. This couldn’t continue, could it?

* * *

August is ending with September arriving. Time to return to school for those who are still going (And yes I know that many return in August, and others are in year-round school). Next week I wrap of this short story Dust, and the answers to the many questions become clear. Until next Saturday, have a great week, and good luck to all the returning students.

Published in: on August 30, 2014 at 7:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dust – Part 2

We’ve all been in situations where we were left undecided as to what action we should take. And once we’ve come to a decision find ourselves second guessing ourselves until we’ve found that our decision was either the correct one or not. Of course, by then it is too late to change anything. Life is never easy, and experience doesn’t always help, so we muddle along as best as we can. Sometimes our decisions and direction is good, and sometimes not. And as this fictional story moves on we can feel the dilemma that the protagonist finds himself facing. So for your enjoyment here is: Dust – Part 2. (If you missed part 1 it will be under the subtitle August 2014 in the sidebar.)

Truthfully, he had to admit, none of this made any sense at all. After all, his friends’ vehicles were still parked where each one of them had left them. And he could see the equipment left out for that last ride of the day – the ATV’s sitting showing the dust of the rides from the previous day, and the sun shining off the chrome creating a sparkling reflection that could temporarily blind one from its intensity. He quickly walked to each vehicle, each RV, knocked on the doors, and with no answer tried the handles. None of them were locked and cautiously he entered not knowing what he would find. Yet in each case the units, the camper shells, the tents, all of them were empty. Again, this didn’t make any sense at all. He couldn’t have imagined yesterday. He had to admit that he felt the soreness in his body from the rides, which brought a smile to him. In the years past – too many really – they had made this trip so often that the soreness he was feeling now never happened.

Now what? He asked himself, but had no ready answers, or a direction at this moment. He went to his own pickup and sat behind the wheel resting his arms on it trying to think this through. After all, wasn’t there 7 others here last night, did they not all enjoy a quiet evening after a full day of fun and riding, and finally, if he was alone, how did all these vehicles and ATV’s get here? And the silence continued. Once again he realized that it wasn’t just their camp, but all the surrounding camps. He couldn’t hear the voices drifting with the wind, as it generally happened. And where was the sound of that lone vehicle starting and idling, or the sounds of other ATV’s and off-road vehicles being started, loaded, or being prepared as they usually were, for that final ride of the day. None of this was happening, none of it at all. Again, just that deafening silence.

Getting out of his truck he heard the sound of his boots crunching on the rock and sand and when he closed his door it sounded much too loud in the surrounding silence. The winds were beginning to pick up and with them the sounds that they produced. At times sounding like a low moaning, and whistling. Followed by the sands in the dunes moving creating their own unique sounds, but that was all. He might as well have been in this world all alone, which he had to admit, was impossible. Taking a deep breath he took one more circuit around their camp, double checked every vehicle, every tent, counting all the equipment that was here, and found, as he had earlier, that everything was here. Nothing missing, all accounted for, so no one had driven off into either the sunset or sunrise. Again, what’s happening? He had to admit he didn’t have a clue.

Standing there and undecided as to what to do next, he leaned against his truck with his legs crossed trying to think this whole situation through. Then he smiled as a thought crossed his mind. Maybe, just maybe he was asleep and all of this was a dream – a powerful one for sure, but a dream. After all, what other explanation made any sense – none that he could think of at this moment. So, if this is a dream, how do I wake myself up? Yet, when he looked around it seemed too real. But, weren’t dreams that way? He asked himself. When one was in a dream everything within that dream seemed to be real, and it would only be when one awakened that the truth would be revealed.

Now he found that he was second guessing himself. Was what he was experiencing a dream or not? And if it is a dream, how did one awaken from it? Yet, once again, what he was experiencing seemed too real to be a dream. Shaking his head, he had to admit he was going in circles. Looking up from his train of thought he could see that the morning was advancing. Coming to a decision he decided to ride his ATV around the area to the other camps that were close by and see if there were people there. Since, in his mind, he felt that this still could be an elaborate joke, and if there were others around, this would confirm it. With a decision made he strode purposely to his 4-wheeler climbed aboard and started it. Again, like the door of his truck when he closed it earlier, the sound of the ATV starting seemed much too loud.

After making the decision to head out and check other camps he found himself undecided. He sat astride his ATV and let it idle. If one wasn’t invited into another camp, one stayed away. It was an unwritten courtesy that all of them practiced. Again, with camping being the way it was, it was next to impossible to lock everything up. Finally coming to a decision once again, he shrugged and headed out going slowly so that he could look as he putted around. He figured that he could approach one of the other camps and yell out to the occupants and get permission to come in. And if nobody seemed to be around, drive up close enough that he could check it out, but not so close as to be intruding.

The first camp he checked out wasn’t that far from their camp, and like their own camp, it appeared to be vacant. Vehicles were parked, and partially packed up for the return trip, but nothing else. As he toured the rest of the camps close by, the results were all the same. What’s going on? He found that he was beginning to have doubts and fears. This was too crazy. With what he was discovering he kept coming back to his dream conclusion, but it didn’t really fit. Again he asked himself, “Now what?”

With the sun making its steady climb into the sky, time was becoming a factor. If he was to be reach home when he needed to, he had to be on the road, well, now. But he didn’t want to leave any of his friends behind, or leave anything unattended as it seemed to be presently. Still what could he do about it – nothing really. If no one was around then everything here should be safe, but would it be? And by leaving, would he be abandoning his friends? He had no answers, and with no answers forthcoming he loaded his ATV back on his trailer, tied it down, checked and rechecked his equipment, climbed into his truck and once again sat there undecided.

Leaning on the steering wheel he took a deep breath, took one last look around, reluctantly started his truck, and slowly left the camp area, stopping a number of times and almost turning around and going back to the camp. He knew that once he was back on that blacktop road that he would be worrying all the way back home.


* * *

August is rapidly heading into the past, and next weekend we are looking towards that 3 day labor day weekend. In a sense it marks the end of summer, and leads into fall. The time of falling leaves, the time of harvest, and the anticipation of the up and coming winter, where we once again look forward to spring and the new buds rising out of the warming earth – such is life. Next week is part 3 of this short fictional story with the following week wrapping it up. We are celebrating, at our house, this weekend, a family tradition for which I will comment in a future post. Have a great week, and with the anticipation of the holiday, that additional time away from the job, and I, once again, hope to see you here next Saturday – God Bless. (fdbrant.com)

Published in: on August 23, 2014 at 7:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dust – Part 1

This is part 1 of a 4 part short story. In my past we used to do this activity and I have to admit that it is a lot of fun. While the ones who enjoy this recreational sport usually ride during the fall, winter, and early spring, I know that we are heading towards the ending of  summer and all it represents. In a way what this allows us mortals to do is recapture some of that freedom when school was let out for the summer. So with those thoughts I decided to anticipate this with this fictional story, but it will go in its own direction. Please enjoy – Dust.

He had to admit it; overall it would be a great weekend. It was one of those that had been planned for a long time. His wife and children were heading to her mother’s home to spend some quality time, and he and his friends had a desert outing planned. Yeah, a weekend of camaraderie, and time with his friends that he had known, well most of his life. It really had been a while and those sand dunes had been calling all of them for some time. And now the siren’s call was too strong to ignore. And while on many of these weekend outings the families would be with them, all enjoying each other’s company, this time it would only be the guys. It was kind of like it had been in the past, when they would spend numerous weekends out, doing this very thing – back when they all were single.

They met Friday night, and he could feel the energy and anticipation in all of them as they joked and horsed around while waiting for the last of their old group to arrive. (Well, to be honest, a couple would join them on Saturday.) Ken was always one who said he’d be somewhere at a certain time, but you could guarantee that it would always be later. It just seemed to be the way he was and it hadn’t changed over time. When he finally arrived they all grabbed a fountain drink, and headed out. By the time they reached where they were planning to camp it would probably be pushing midnight – but so what. After all, it was just the 6 of them, and they knew that there would be the members of their clique that would join them early Saturday. This would round out the old group that still remained in the area. Others, as time and demands usually did, had moved out of the area, and the only contacts with them were by phone, email, and texts. After all, life had a tendency to get in the way. In fact they were down to only a couple of times a year that they could do this by themselves.

Once outside of the city, the lights faded as did the traffic. And soon all of them were on that 2-lane blacktop that would pass by the dunes. On this night there was a full moon and the road was empty of traffic from the opposite direction. The full moon made the desert seem almost magical. He knew that others were heading to the same area, but because of the different times that they left there never were many on these desert roads. A couple of his friends liked to take their trucks and drive down the road on the wrong side of the road just to be a little crazy. He always smiled, but at the same time shook his head at the sheer stupidity of it. The problem was there were dips in this road that could hide an approaching vehicle and ruin the weekend for all of them. Fortunately they had been lucky in the past, and there hadn’t been an accident, but that didn’t mean that there never would be.

Eventually they pulled off the roadway onto the wash-boarded dirt surface that passed as a road, shaking their teeth, and rattling the vehicles, forcing them to slow to a crawl. With the moonlight the dunes stood out in eerie silent beauty, and soon with the known landmarks and the many campfires from other camps, they parked at their favorite campsite – nothing official of course. Getting out of their trucks and RV’s, all of them stretched and walked out the kinks from being behind the wheel for the few hours that the drive had taken. Tonight they would set up camp, and in the morning unload the 4-wheelers to begin their weekend of riding the dunes. The workweek was behind them, and for a short time they could forget all of the responsibilities that life laid upon them, have fun, and remember it all that night around their campfire. All of them could feel the pressures of life rolling off of them and with smiles looked around and at each other with great anticipation.

* * *

It had been a crazy Saturday as they spent most of the day running the dunes in their ATV’s and having a great time. They would come in to refuel both the ATV’s and themselves, taking breaks now and then, until the urge to get back out would finally overwhelm them, and as if of one mind they’d head for their machines and in a flash of noise and dust be off once again. And as the sun began to set, they reluctantly returned to their camp. And as they began to relax, all of them could feel the weariness in their bodies, but at the same time felt refreshed. Looking around he could see smiles and distant stares from his old friends of a lifetime.

And after a shared meal and a bit of beer, the camp became quiet as the food added its effect to them individually, and slowly as the night moved on, they drifted off to their sleeping bags, tents, camper shells, and RV’s, while their minds drifted off thinking about the last rides they would be doing in the morning before loading their machines, sorry to see it end, and then making the trip back home, and back to reality. He had to admit that he loved these brief getaways with his friends, and wished they could be longer. But family, the job, and staying ahead of the creditors wouldn’t allow this to happen too often. Yet when he awakened on Sunday morning something felt different. He didn’t know just what, but it did. His truck had a camper shell on it and he had spent the night there. When he and his family came out here for those group and family outings the shell was replaced with a cab-over camper making it easier on the family. But he never needed it for himself – at least for now. He knew, from observation, that later the comfort of that camper would be something he would look forward to, but not now.

Anyway these were the thoughts that were going through his mind at the time he crawled out. As expected, the camp and surrounding area was quiet. The sun was just barely beginning its climb from behind the dunes and the desert morning air was chilled – chilled enough that he reached back into the camper shell and grabbed a jacket. Quickly he went to the fire ring and built a fire. Later it would be unneeded, but for now the heat would be nice. After a few minutes he had the fire going and from there went over and got water on for coffee. They all would need it. Knowing the routine, the rest would all eventually crawl out, get some coffee, eat breakfast, pack up, other than what would be needed for the ATV’s, and head out for that final ride. Then they would put the machines back on the trailers, and begin the trip back home,  and once back put everything away until next time. Yes, once the camp was broken, all would be lost in their own thoughts as they would begin that trek that said their time was done, with only the memories of their time out here together remaining within their minds.

That had been his thoughts at the time. But as the morning continued to move, the silence of the area never changed. The normal sounds from the surrounding camps never manifested, and none of the others he had ridden with the day before emerged. What’s going on? This has to be a joke and any minute the guys will show themselves and laugh. But it didn’t happen. He could feel the breezes coming off the dunes, and slowly as the morning got later, began to show a small amount of heat. And the silence around him remained. Finally he checked out the other vehicles, and all of them were empty. The tents that a couple of his friends were using showed the same results. Looking around he thought that his friends had to be hiding and watching him and probably laughing silently at his puzzlement. But looking around there was no place to hide – none at all. Maybe they went far enough out that they were hiding in the dunes, but there wasn’t any proof of that. So where were they?

* * *

Next week the story continues with part 2. Here at our household we will be carrying on a family tradition the day of part 2, and these traditions are important and can be fun. So with anticipation I look forward to next Saturday. Have a great week, and I hope to see you here next week.

Published in: on August 16, 2014 at 7:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Personal History – Looking In

Have you ever walked into a home of a relative or friend who has recently passed away? As you work you way through their personal home you see it as it was the very last moment that they were still among the living. With it giving the appearance that the one who is no longer with us has stepped out for a moment and will be returning to continue on with his or her life. A moment frozen in time as the owner, going about their life, had expected it to continue. Only it will not be happening. And if we want to be honest, this is probably the way it will be for any and all of us.

What you see before you, in those humble surroundings, is that person’s personal history for all to see. Everything that was important to them; the “to do” list, the unfinished projects waiting patiently for the hand to come and complete them, their favorite chair still remaining vacant, and maybe their favorite window that they loved to stare out, is all there, all before you. It’s like those museum scenes where a room is set up to look like something from a past decade, to give one a feel for how it was. Fictional, overall, but still allowing one to see how it might have been. Yet here, the story is not fiction, because of what has transpired, what is seen here is all from the past – the recent past for sure, but it’s still the past – someone’s past. And because they will never return, it becomes static as that room in that museum.

If you were one who had visited often, carried on the many conversations, loved the individual who occupied these spaces, it can leave you with expectations of seeing them again. Heart says so, but the mind knows better. As you wander the rooms, different rooms within your own mind open and reveal things to you that happened here, leaving feelings that can warm your soul waxing of nostalgia. Yet, they do not return, cannot return, so what is observed is frozen in time, and soon all that this one held dear will disappear among the family members and friends, much heading to the thrift stores, and many small treasures from that person’s life heading for the dump. Because these treasures were only precious to them, and hold no value for any others. Yet, in your mind the stories of shared times exist with this one who is no longer here.

And as the house is disassembled, one room at a time, what made it special slowly disappears. And as all personal items are handled, searched through, and given to the ones that these items should go to, the home changes. And as this happens the space within that home becomes less personal, less important. Until at the end, after all has been removed the home simply becomes a house. One of the many that are empty, with no special personality, and for now with no loving care. Waiting, until someone new moves in and begins their own personal history, personal memories and stories, and personal touch. Changing forever what was.

In a sense, all of us are like those homes, those houses, with our personal history written within our minds, with the many hallways, many doors, and many rooms where we store our memories. Some not so nice, with others filling us with joy and happiness. They all lie there waiting to come to light when the moment is right, when something similar reminds us of those past events. Other than heredity it is what makes us, well us. It is those scars, experiences, hopes, failures, and yes successes that form us. And for many those years are written on their faces, as well as their bodies.

One of the things we do not consider, in our youth, is the abuse we put our bodies through. But when one reaches those senior years, if one is so lucky, then these abuses come back to haunt one with pain and stiffness that makes what once was simple and easy, very difficult indeed. In many cases we see the elderly confined to wheel chairs, giving up the mobility and freedom that walking gave them. And probably this is one of the sad facts of aging, or any point in your life really. In a sense it means that mentally that you’ve given up, allowed another frailty to win out taking us further from our true potential. Yet, we can only fight the good fight so long before one gives in.

In the game Bioshock Infinite, one of the protagonists  states that what she faced wasn’t the cause of giving up, or the loss of her freedom, or confidence that she would be rescued, or the pain she was facing – it was time. It wore her down until there was nothing left, nothing to fight with, nothing to look forward to. And while this is a fictional story what is stated here is quite true. In the end it is what our past, our history says about us that will determine when we finally give in, finally give up, allowing whatever it is to win.

In many of the fictional stories that we read (and I write) we are always pulling for the heroes in the stories, even though many times they are battered and beaten. And unless the story is a tragedy we like to see our protagonists win. Because in some ways we hope to take some of the positives, the lessons presented, away with us to apply in our own lives. After all, even though these stories are there to entertain, like the storytellers of old, there a lessons in life within those stories. Sometimes we apply them, and sometimes not. Still all of this becomes our personal history, our personal past. Another layer where those milestones pass unnoticed until we look back in surprise and realize all that we’ve given up.

Many times we would love to be able to go back and make changes, but we will never have that chance. We only get one go around, one chance to make our decisions and move on with our lives. In many ways it is unfair, and as it has been stated oh so many times, “Life is unfair”. Still as experience builds, and our personal history grows, our thoughts and views change – sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the bad. Yet no matter how it goes, it, in the end, is our choice or choices that have put us where we are. Yes there are always outside influences that play on those decisions, but if we want to be honest it is still ours. So if we want to be true with ourselves then we must own each and every one of those decisions.

And when it is your time, the time when you don’t return, what will your home say about you? Will it reflect a loving person, or a hateful one? Will family and friends come willingly,  or will what you’ve left behind be ravaged by others who could care less? It all comes down to your personal history, and your personal legacy. And those decisions both in the past and in the present that are always being made by you. And no matter the unintended consequences, in the end, it is your choice that put you there. None of us are allowed to see beyond that time, but with the personal experience of loss, it is easy to see how it can be, when they gather to remember us.

* * *

August, the time where the traditional times of summer vacation ends, and many are preparing to return to school, to face a new set of instructors, to look for old school friends, to reflect on that nervousness that all face in that first week as we work to get back into the routine. And for the rest of us who are well beyond that time we can see it through the eyes of our children, and remember ourselves back in that time. And, of course, think about those summers off. Can’t leave out that hectic time of school shopping and expenses that are too high but necessary. With these thoughts have a great week, if that is possible, and see you all here next Saturday.

Liability to Asset

Many times the materials left from any conversion to another product as in manufacturing, mining, and such become liabilities and leave the owners scratching their heads as to what to do with the waste. It has been a problem since the beginning of time as mankind learned to work the very rocks and minerals to this present time where such work is now performed on a grand scale. Or what to do with the wastes that are generated from the manufacturing of goods and products that cost the manufacturers money to remove. Yet, with a little creative thinking what is stated below can be the result:

Sea Salt is the first to come to my mind. It is the waste left over from processing sea water to produce usable fresh water. If one really wants to think about it all salt has been deposited by the drying up of ancient seas. And even though the deposits are deep in the earth, and as in all things are of different qualities or grades, well, it’s all sea salt. Yet, we see, in advertising, the advantages of using “sea salt”. And products that use sea salt tout the fact that they are using the very same thing.

We can see the same thing happening within the diamond industry. Of course here we are a bit more diverse. And what I mean by that is the markets, which are dealing with natural verses artificial diamonds. Diamonds are rated on the 3 “C’s”. Color, cut, clarity, and sometimes a 4th known as craftsmanship. The natural flaws within a raw diamond stone determines the resulting gemstones that can be cut and marketed. As the color of the stone, blending towards the chocolate, the value had traditionally decreased, and many ending up in industrial applications. Since diamond is the hardest mineral discovered there are many uses for these less-than quality stones. Yet, in the recent past there has been an upsurge in the selling of the lessor colored stones, raising them from the lowly status that they’ve always known, to ones that can rival the blue-white stones in price and value. In other words, taking something that was of lesser value and making it more valuable. And when we are dealing with artificially grown stones it is becoming more difficult to tell the difference, raising the bar on the value of these artificial stones. Even though, in this case, at the present time, these artificial stones do have a lesser value overall.

If we were to go back to the 1800’s and the Nevada gold rush – yes I said gold rush, there was a lot of complaining about all that worthless blue rock that had to be mucked out of the mines to get access to the gold that had been discovered. It was such a nuisance that they were running out of room to dump the stuff. Out of curiosity, someone decided to see what this waste product was, and had it assayed. And to his shock it came back almost pure silver. And the Comstock lode became a reality. During that whole time the miners were throwing away a fortune in silver searching for the gold. So what was a liability – that worthless blue rock – became an asset when it was identified as silver.

In many ways it is Madison Avenue that has turned these liabilities around to assets by trying to find some way of unloading these items on an unsuspecting public – us. Because of their imagination, they can see applications or uses for these liabilities that weren’t apparent or obvious to the ones who had originally created the liability. Or someone who decided to think outside the box and take a chance and have something tested to see if there might be added value to something that had been treated as waste.

So as those new trends come forth, new products seem to arrive, maybe it is time to really look beyond that advertising. See where these items may have originated, and smile if you find out that it was something that the original creator couldn’t get rid of at all, costing them time and money to see it removed. Only to kick themselves later when that someone else had removed their entire stock of whatever it was, got paid to do it, then found a use in the marketplace for that very waste or liability.

I guess if we think about it we can come up with many examples of this: 55 gallon steel drums becoming, well, steel drums. Pet rocks – who could forget that fad (It’s all in the packaging, right?)? Even though this isn’t known everywhere yet, but there is a process where biological waste, things like the guts of food animals, and other such things are being converted into crude oil. And think of that shale that is impregnated with oil. Or the use of the matter left after harvesting that’s being converted into fuels. All of these items were waste products in the past taking up space and costing money to remove. I guess we can now add all of the recycling that we do because it has created its own industry that takes our waste and makes new products from it, instead of filling landfills. And there are so many more.

So as I think about this I wonder what the next major liability will be that will become an asset. Many times some of these attempts happen before the world is ready and it fails. An example of this would be those convertible laptops and tablets which are so popular now. If one wants to remember, this was tried probably 10 years ago and failed. So the lesson in all of this is probably just because an attempt to change a liability to an asset failed, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will fail in the future, or that there will be no other such successes.

* * *

Have a great week and I hope to see you here next Saturday. And who knows, maybe you will be the one who will discover the next asset coming from that liability.

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