Brainstorms 6/22/2017

Ferrin Cox

Thursday, Jun 22,2017

Bitcoin and the lesser known bill paying currency ether, along with some other cryptocurrencies, are known to experience wild swings in value. Bitcoin lost 12% in one day last week, down to $2,277 and ether dropped 14%, but the latter is actually a smaller drop because is was only valued at a something over $300. Apparently there is lots of truth in the many cautions we have read about buying or selling with those imaginary monetary units instead of the boring old U. S. Dollar. It can be dangerous and/or financially disastrous. We will leave that segment of the economy to the drug dealers and others who want to hide their business dealings from others, such as the government agents and debt collectors.

Alabama peach farmers are experiencing a down year in 2017. Early reports are that they are harvesting 15 to 30% of their normal production. Several things hit them this year: lowest number of winter “chill days” in years - something peach trees need; then a late season freeze killing early buds; topped off with spring drought problems when the rains didn’t come when needed. The ag experts are also predicting this could also have a negative impact on next year’s peach crop. We have personal experience with the late season freeze issue this year. Our blueberries will give us all we personally need, but the crop is much smaller than normal. It was only when it was time to start checking for ripe berries that a lot of the leaf/berry berry twigs completely bare of leaves AND berries were noticed.  Therefore – our small crop is a reality. Thank goodness blueberries, while delicious, are not our sole source of food.

A friend came by the office one day last week to check on this writer’s health status. He had just heard the news of our sudden death. His comments were that “you are the best looking corpse I have ever seen.”  Our only reaction was a smile and a quote from our old buddy Mark Twain who reportedly read his own obit notice in one of those Yankee newspapers and said . . . “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”. It is extremely comforting to know that we can say the same.

Medical reports of new discoveries in the battle against cancer are encouraging but every one of us can point to places where more research is needed. Saturday we attended a memorial service for a 44-year old mother of two young children who lost her battle with cancer. She had done everything a normal person would to fight that bug for three long years, but it didn’t save her life. She had the surgeries, the “must do” ones and added the “just in case” trips under the knife. She took the gut wrenching treatments, etc., but her condition continued to go downhill until she could fight no longer. The husband and the children are heartbroken as can be expected. Also her parents are hurting. We commented to her dad that it just isn’t right . . . . “we are not supposed to be burying our children – they are supposed to be burying us.” He tried to relate just how hard life was right then but having never åexperienced such an event, we probably have no idea of his suffering . . . . and hopefully never will.