RP: SubStack -Funerals, sailboats, and shrinkage

Exploring funeral options, shipping alternatives, and Halloween cut-backs.


Fancy custom funerals - Have you planned your own funeral yet? Either to leave one final unique imprint on the world or just save your family the fuss and bother. CBC had an interesting article (link) on some of the variations people are designing, such as giving mourners Sharpie pens so they can leave a final message on the coffin, or setting up as a casual drop-in with card tables and bowls of chips and shared remembering. Maybe you have a favourite bit of music or poem. Or you were a Rocky Horror fan. You could even get cremated and have the carbon pressed into diamonds - $50k for 3 carats. If you suspect not many people will show up to mourn you, just arrange for some Moirologists ahead of time. In the UK, they’re only £45 an hour (link). How about a parade, a New Orleans-style event, with a jazz band and a horse-drawn hearse? There’s lots of flexibility and choices now, and the old school imposing downtown funeral homes, classical style with tall columns, are being replaced by smaller places in an industrial park - tasteful, but very a la carte to tailor-make as much or little as is wanted.

It’s up to you, go wild! Although, you won’t be around to check the details unless you’ve planned a haunting.

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RP: SubStack -Big babies, fungus, and roomies

Getting the kids to leave, evolving mushrooms, and back to roommates.

Photo by Allan Vega on Unsplash

 Mother evicts kids - From a New York Post article (link) - Italian mom wins court battle to evict her ‘parasite’ grown sons from home. Their 74-year-old single mother refers to them mockingly as “bamboccioni,” or “big babies”.

I was surprised she would need a court order, rather than just change the locks and/or call the cops. Nope, apparently, in Italy it’s not uncommon for adult children to still live with their parents. In fact, in 2022, this was 70 percent of adults 18-34 years old, with officials blaming economic conditions and a poor job market. So it’s the norm there, with the assumption parents must support their children. Both these boys, in their 40s now, were employed, but not helping with chores or finances. They refused to leave and hired a lawyer. The judge ruled enough was enough and they’re out.

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RP: SubStack -Gin, groceries, and garbage

Drinking less, scanning your own stuff, and dealing with food waste.

A00ab111-2913-4d6a-8d3c-4da1690037a7_300x320 Are you sober curious? - Meaning you’ve not cut out alcohol completely, you’re just cutting back, either with fewer drinks or with non-alcoholic ones. Not just something like a Cuba Libre without the rum either, as there are alcohol-free versions of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Tanqueray Gin. I’m not sure a martini without that bite of alcohol would be even close, though. There are a lot of good alcohol-free beers, many with a rich hoppy taste - I’m sipping one from Sober Carpenter as I write this. According to a Globe and Mail article, one reason for this shift may have been the recent pandemic, for health reasons. Perhaps the habit of hanging out in a crowded bar was broken. They quote that one in five Canadians are drinking less, especially younger ones.

I know I’m drinking less alcohol, because of the calories and the cost. Have your patterns changed? Have the choices in your local expanded? I haven’t seen a lot of these choices in mine, but maybe there’s just not the demand yet. Maybe it’s not in the bar’s best interest either. Even if prices/profits are the same, when people drink alcohol they soon want another and another. Then some sides of nachos. Rounds of shooters. Not so much if they’re sober.

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RP: SubStack -Suburbs, Hugs, and Monkey Bars

Better zoning rules, coping skills in a stressful world, and olden play structures 

02b7b7fd-6549-4076-a46c-dda3d8100186_4080x3072 De-suburbification - There’s a new convenience store on Forward, just across from my building, or rather a new owner for an old place. And newer stock, hopefully. It’s a small single-use building, next to an old wooden house, and with a high rise behind - typical of the area.

Typical of my home town too, and many across Canada. Towns built before zoning, with mixed-use and walkable neighbourhoods. We didn’t even have our first mall until ‘77 - people either went to the corner store or walked downtown.

What brought this to mind was a Daily Hive article about zoning changes in Edmonton, saying it “will lead the way in Canada”. The 1960’s bylaws that encouraged suburbs filled with rows of single-family houses have been updated to allow a mix of duplexes, rowhouses, and even low-rise apartments. Plus more small businesses, like corner stores and cafes.

It’s a welcome change that will hopefully spread to other cities. I’m guessing there was some pushback from the NIMBY crowd, but I am glad to see this move away from yet more urban sprawl. More walkability, even way up in Edmonton.

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