"THE UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME SURFER" riding the wave of Zeros and Ones
CBDC: Central Bank Digital Currency
The story is fictional not for financial or investment advice.
By Thomas Takao
Having flown into LAX from Texas, Wayne and his girlfriend Tanya are at the baggage claim carousel waiting for their luggage and surfboards. It was Wednesday mid-morning and they were going over to the car rental office yard by way of their shuttle. They had reserved a van and it was waiting for them to load up and drive down to San Clemente. A motel room has been reserved as well for 4 days. Wayne would be getting ready for a surf and golf contest that had been arranged by his company and would be surfing against like-minded surfers who are also employees of the same company, but from different countries.
The company is a global mining corporation that mines gold, silver, copper, nickel, palladium, coal, and iron ore. The contestants are from Australia, South Africa, Peru, France, US, and the UK. Each was chosen by their branch and has been traveling to different surf locations to compete against each other. The six participants are representing their branch of the company, the Corporate Headquarters is located in Switzerland.
The contest consisted of surfing and golf with a clue for a mystery riddle. The first surf contest was held at San Cristobal, Galapagos Island, and the golf at Lacosta Country Club in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The prize for the surfing was a monster box of silver and for the golf, 100 shares of stock in the company that was sponsoring the contest. At each round of golf, a clue to the riddle is given, 6 clues in total for the grand prize of 15 million dollars for solving the riddle. The winner will be decided by the total scores of all the events and he will get first chance to solve the riddle. If he is unable to solve it, then the second-place contestant will get a chance and so on until the riddle is solved. If no one solves the mystery, then the last place person will get the prize automatically without knowing the answer.
The first clue at the country club in Ecuador was Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of Species." Jacinto of Peru won the surfing event and Delbert of Australia won the round of golf. The others who are involved with the competition are Wayne of the US, Pierre of France, Manfred of the UK, and George. At the end of the year, a grand prize is awarded to the one with the most points in Hawaii and get's first chance in solving of the riddle.
The concept of the events was thought up by the chairman of the board Jerome, the event consists of 6 surfers representing the 6 branches of the company. Surfing at 8 different locations around the planet, and around at 8 different golf courses near the surf spot if possible. A scoring system has been worked out. The location is chosen by a group of 2 in the US and 2 in the UK. They will arrange for the judges and anything else regarding local ordinances, insurances, and fees. The format at each location will be determined by a director of the contest, selected by the 4 mentioned. After each contest, the contestants will return to their country. The clue is kept secret between the contestant until the contest is completed. If it is found out that a contestant received help. He will be disqualified and all prizes returned and given to the next in line.
In the next contest, Wayne and the other 5 contestants will be at Cottons Point, in San Clemente and the course they will be playing at is the San Clemente Municipal Golf Course. The other members of the group have arrived and getting situated in south Orange County, just like Wayne and Tanya had done. They will be a meeting at the Ritz on a Friday evening for cocktails and a social get-together to discuss what they have been up to after Ecuador. The contest will be held the following day and it will be a one-day event. With 3 judges from the area being selected. The girlfriends and wives of the contestants and a photographer will be there at the contest for moral support and pictures. The surfing will start on Saturday at 9 a.m. and be done by noon Then its off to the golf course, where at 2 p.m. they will be teeing off. The points for the scoring, first place is 6 points, 5 for second and 4 for third and so on.
Meanwhile not far away, two guys that surf are at the home of one of the guy's parent's house. They are on the computer watching a commercial of a stock market advisor who once wore a tin foil hat, but has switched to silver helmet and is alongside a octagon cage. He announce "There is a rumbling in the Octagon today, the Big Banks versus the Future Prices of precious metals. The audience is on the edge of their seats, some have been waiting 13 years for the event to happen. The ushers are selling hand baskets, filled with various paper prospectus. The announcer has moved into the center of the ring, with the hit single "Let get Physical" playing in the background. He introduces the champion, the challenger, and the referee. The music fades and the announcer leaves the ring, the bell rings for the start of the fight as the crowd goes wild.
"Click to another video, the champion has a headlock on the precious metal price," said Chester as Elmer moved the cursor across the screen and clicked the cursor. A thumbnail video appears on the Tube, showing a surfer riding a wave. They watched the wave in front of him begins to collapse and the white water was heading his way on the screen. A voice started giving instructions by saying "The likely maneuver to do is to straighten out in a prone position and aim for shore. Otherwise, a long swim would happen after the impact of the soup and the turbulence of being tossed underwater."
The screen refreshes and the person in the prone position is gliding into calmer waters and is paddling back out into a channel. Then the voice says "This message has been brought to you by Save Yourself Car Insurance." "What the F, I thought it was a surf video. It had me going" Chester said to Elmer who chose to watch the video.
"That reminds me, I need it to get a new wetsuit, my old wetsuit just tore about 5" along the back zipper and my $600 check came in the other day. I'll go down to the surf shop and see if they have any my size. Want to go?" Elmer asked. "Naw, I'll pass, I need to fix a ding I got yesterday. This guy was out of control. He panics and fell off his board trying to do a quick cutback. He thought he could pass me, and at the last minute he blew it. I dived under just as the white water came over me. When I came up, the guy was next to me apologizing and asked if I was Ok. I looked at my board and there it was, one of his fins put a 2" smile on my tail" Chester said. "It's getting more crowded out in the water. It's like rush hour traffic for crying out loud" Elmer said.
"So, what time are you going to pick me up tomorrow morning and where are we going," Chester asked. "5:30 and at Cottons," Elmer said looking at his watch to see what time it was. The next morning Elmer stopped by Chester's apartment and he was out front with his backpack and his other shortboard from his quiver of 3. Parked next to Carl's, Chester and Elmer are getting ready to go down to the beach. Hopping onto their skateboards, with their backpack on and their surfboard under their arms, they pushed off and were on a roll.
They pass Wayne and Tanya along the way at the tee where the bridge and side road intersect. They too are going to Cottons to surf. After putting on their wetsuits, they draped their towels over their skateboard and their backpacks on top of their towels. Elmer looks over to the group gathered about 50 feet away and wonders who they are. Elmer and Chester were watching the 10 guys out and 5 were wearing different colored wetsuits. Wayne and Tanya walk up to the group that Elmer was looking at and got instructions for the contest. Waxing up Elmer and Chester paddled out. Those in the contest had a 2 hours heat and the best 2 waves will be used to decide, if there is a tie, they will use a third wave score to break the tie.
The waves are 2 to 3 feet mushy with a slight side wind, an occasional 4-foot sets with a good left would appear during the 2 hours. The contestant intermingled with the regulars guys who were not in the contest. Chester is just about to take off on a wave when he sees Jacinto with his yellow striped wetsuit paddling for the same wave on his 9' 0" Wayo Whilar Longboard, but he was more towards the peak. He lets Jacinto have the wave and catches the next one. Wayne catches the third wave and does a drop knee backside bottom turn. He walks up to the nose on his Phillips Noserider and is up there for 7 seconds cruising along with his left foot over the tip of the board, with his back arched. David the photographer is looking at the judges after taking a few photos of Wayne.
Manfred, Pierre, Delbert, and George are waiting for the next set to show up, which came a few minutes later. noon came and Ernie the guy in charge presses the air horn and the heat is over. The 3 judges tabulate the scores and give it to Ernie. 15 minutes later with all the scores added up, the announcement was made and Wayne had won with his long nose ride. Followed by Delbert, then Pierre, Jacinto, George, and Manfred. From 2nd to 6th was close, separated by only 2 points within decimal points. The six guys were given instructions to meet at the golf course for the 2 p.m. tee time. The guys got their gear and went back up to drive to the golf course.
At the golf course, the guys warmed up with a bucket of balls. All-knowing that their golf swing would be off after paddling for a few hours. After their round Manfred had the lowest score of 80 followed by Pierre, then George, Wayne, Jacinto, and Delbert. They went back to the Ritz's and the next clue was given. It was the miniature Hobie surfboard that was presented to President Richard Nixon on Father's Day in 1969 at the Western White House at Cottons Point.
Ernie explained how they got it. After the presentation of the mini-board to Nixon, it soon found it place in a box filled with other memorabilia in the garage of the Western White House. Later BB Debozo had it in his garage and it was soon given to the plumber by BB's wife with the payment for having worked on a washer leak in their garage. The plumber lived in Riverside and his wife gave it to the Good Will there. A construction worker from Newport Beach happened to be in Riverside on a condo project and stopped by the Goodwill looking for unique clothes when he saw the mini surfboard. He purchased it for 3 dollars and took it home.
His girlfriend wanted it to give to his uncle who surfed, so he gave it to her and she gave it to her uncle. Her uncle was a vice president of the mining company that was doing the contest for the different branches and suggested using it as one of the clues to the riddle. The chairman agreed and that's how it got to the bar at the Ritz's where the contestants was. Delbert remarked "You know this piece of the puzzle in surfing history will never be seen again after today."
The next contest location is in Santa Cruz, California where the surf contest was held at the Hook with Pierre taking first place riding a Guethary Surfboard followed by Jacinto, Wayne, Manfred, Delbert, and George. The golf course chosen for the event was at Pasatiempo. George would take the honor of coming in first place, then Manfred, Jacinto, Delbert, Wayne, and Pierre. Sitting at the clubhouse restaurant Fred the director of this event displays a folder with one of the first stock certificates of Intel dated in late October 1971.
"Congrats George, you played a nice round," Jacinto said. "You were no slouch yourself," George said. "Hey, Jacinto, what this I hear your group discovered a major deposit near the Bolivia border?" Manfred asked. "Yes, it looks like a mother of a lode," Jacinto said. "Wayne, what with the dollar?" Delbert asked. "The bonds rates are creeping up and has Janet worried," Wayne said. "Pierre, what is happening next door in Spain?" asked Delbert. "It sure looks like their wheels are wobbling off," Pierre said.
"Wayne, do you think we will make it to Hawaii before all fiats collapse?" Manfred asked. "To be honest with you. I don't think so, but I'm hoping it doesn't" Wayne said. "What makes you say that Wayne" Jacinto asked. "I figured out what the riddle is and I'm going to let the cat out of the bag since in my opinion, the dollar will collapse in the near future. We are in the Golden Anniversary of the dollar being off the Gold Standard since Richard Nixon took us off it. The Origin of Species was just to get us started and the computer prolonged the decline. Now the dam is about to burst, we need to get to high grounds" Wayne said and continued.
"Congratulations Jacinto, if the collapse happens soon, you will be in the driver's seat in winning the prize, since the contest will be over by then by default so to speak. That’s the good news. The bad news is, it's going to be an unpredictable new world for many, sad to say. For those in the know, it still going to be rough" Wayne said thinking about the surfers whom he overheard on his walk back from Cottons and how unprepared they are going to be. (Chester said "Wayne's World, Wayne's Word" and Elmer said "Party on Garth" both did not know the person in front of them was named Wayne.) A week later Jacinto and Wayne are in discussion about the central bank digital currency and how their branches will deal with the change from one country to another in the first stage of the implementation.
The Collapse and Digital Currency
Timber! Said the explosive expert talking to himself as he flicked the first switch of three buildings being imploded. Elmer is watching a demolition commercial on TV. Chester had just called on his cell phone. "Elmer, I heard that the stock market was in freefall and had stopped its trading. What does that mean?" Chester asked as the dust cloud continued to grow within the screen.
"It means the water is going out and it's just a matter of time before we see the white water of the economic tsunami come rushing in," Elmer said to Chester question, pausing for a moment watching the cloud continued to get larger before continuing. "With bitcoin and gold prices down and the bond yields rising, it feels like we are in a cloud of uncertainty. I could be wrong, but the Fed had a disruption the other day. They could have had a trial run with the payment system and it froze."
"I heard that too about the Fed, but not of them implementing a reset," Chester said. "We need to prepare for the Mother of all Collapses. The Stock Market, the Bond Market, and Real Estate Market will be going up in smoke as the commercial ended. Don't mind me, I'm just getting carried away watching this commercial on the Tube. But we do need to prepare. What are you up to, do you want to go surf tomorrow?" asked Elmer. "Ok, same time as usual?" Chester asked. "Yeah local, I will check the report later," Elmer said. "How's your freelancing coming along?" Chester said. "I'm almost finished with a new design in the cad-cam program for a client and I'm going to build a small greenhouse for myself.
I started growing my vegetable last season, but this time I'm going to do it in a greenhouse to control the environment of the plants more" Elmer said. "Since the government is sending out money to us, can't we just buy what we need in vegetables?" Chester asked. "If demand is greater than supply, there will be shortages. That's my reason and in the long term, I will be better off. Besides if things get Wiemar, Germany, I will need a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread, ha, ha, just kidding. Wait maybe not" Elmer said.
"So, have food and water and whatever necessities I might be running low on," Chester said while writing things down on a piece of paper that was close by. "Yes, store up on food. From what I understand about this situation, the Fed has painted itself into a corner so to speak. There will be a problem with the currency many are saying. To what extent is hard to tell, but they are steering us to a digital currency" Elmer said. "How much time do we have, if they do that?" Chester asked.
"It could happen overnight or in a few months. But the tell-tale signs will be muted so, you won’t be able to see it physically or not hear the music stop financially. The unemployment numbers still are climbing. "It's bad already with the homelessness happening, it will only get worse. Especially with gangs of desperate people who have lost it and have nothing to lose. It's a different story compared to organized gangs getting a foothold in the communities" Elmer said.
"I received my government check again the other day, but what if I don't receive it in the future. Can I move my stuff out of my apartment and put it in your parent's garage. I can chip in some funds until I find another job" Chester said. "I think it will be alright, But I will double-check to make sure. Have you been looking for another job?" Elmer asked. "I got a call back after submitting a resume online. My appointment is in a few days at a hotel doing security duties" Chester said.
"I will check with my parents about your furniture and let you know what they think about that. It's going to get crazy soon and we should start making plans to get through this crisis that is upon us. They are saying it may last for quite some time, like 10 years. I sure hope not. Anyway, I did buy the materials for a small greenhouse. The bugs were getting to some of my plants, so that's why I want to have a greenhouse. I think I will need your help in putting it together, when you stop by the next time I will show what I have in mind" Elmer said. "Ok, I have a few things to do today. Maybe later this afternoon. I will call first, got to go, see you later" Chester said.
Driving to the grocery store Chester notices the gas prices are starting to climb up. Then recollecting that his latest cell phone, and utility billshave gone up as well. Looking at the food prices at the store, Chester is wondering what food items he can leave off his list this month to stay within his budget. After getting his groceries, he went to the hardware store and noticed the price on wheelbarrows was less expensive than before and remember what Elmer had said and had a chuckle. After returning to his apartment he checks his bank account online to see his balance on his account. A notice comes up stating the bank service is currently down.
Now Chester is beginning to wonder if something is happening regarding the internet. He tries a few more sites and half are offline, and the other half are still working. Now having concerns, he gives Elmer a call to see if he might know what might could be happening. "Elmer, I've been trying to check on a few sites that I usually go to and they are offline. Do you know if something has happened?" Chester asked. "I'm having the same thing happening on my computer, when I search also. I came across some information saying a large bank in Germany went down and is having an effect on big banks over here" Elmer said.
"I went to the market earlier today and some of the food prices have gone up since I was there last week and my credit card has been suspended. So I had to return half the things in the cart and used the cash I had on me" Chester said. "I've been keeping an eye on the economy and listening to a few of the guys online. They've been saying we're in inflationary times and going into hyperinflation mode. The economy could be freezing up and those in charge might be in panic mode. Besides that, we have a president who seemed to be saying one thing and does another" Elmer said. "Ok, I'll stop over and see what I can do to help with your greenhouse. See you in an hour" Chester said.
Chester stops by and Elmer shows him where he is gong to put the greenhouse. "The greenhouse is 12 feet long by 8 feet wide and 8 feet high. I'm using 1 5/8" fence pipe spaced out every 3 feet with the back row being 6 feet and the front row 8 feet as a lean-to structure cemented in. I'm using fiberglass panels for the roofing with the corrugated running from high to low. Using 1" x 2" treated lumber connected to the pipe, with 2x4 cross-board 6 inches from the ground and 3 feet up from the other board for lateral support. There will be an insect screen material around the building with a screen door that has a locking device for security reasons. Then have chain link fencing connect to the wood all around it for additional security" Elmer said.
"What about benches, are you going to have them?" Chester asked. "Yeah, I will make them out of 1" fence tubing connected with Pvc fittings with a plastic mesh on top of it. Held in place using zip locks. On top of that will be black plastic tote containers filled with fertilized solution and a lid with holes in it for plants. It's known as the Kralky hydroponic method for leafy greens. I will be also using 5-gallon buckets for the Dutch bucket method to grow tomatoes and other vine types. I will set up an aeroponic station for cuttings. The electrical and plumbing will be to code" Elmer said thinking of his sink with running water and having a timer for his fountain pump that is part of his aeroponics.
"When do you want to start on it?" Chester asked. "After we grade the area tomorrow afternoon and go from there. We can go surf in the morning and do it when we get back" said Elmer. The next day they went surfing in the morning and had a fun time. While driving back to Elmer's house, "I don't know what it will be like when this economy goes south, but I know I won't give up surfing. Just have to find a way to be able to do that. Also, protect my cars from vandals" Elmer said making a left-hand turn into his driveway.
The greenhouse was finished and the two were putting up a chain-link fence around it next to the insect screen. Chester got the Ok to put his stuff in the garage. Even though he got the job at the hotel. He bought a small trailer for a thousand and fixed it up, instead of renting another apartment. Chester was trained for the position and he took some of the ideas back to Elmer's parent's house. They were finding out that some of their neighbor's houses were being broken into having their belongings stolen.
The central bank started distributing the universal basic income digital currency weekly. Half of the population started using it, as is. The other half used it by switching it over to Bitcoin by a special app. The policy for the digital currency from the Central Bank was, you had to spend it in a certain amount of time after receiving it. If you didn't, you would be under the "Use it or Lose it" rule, where if you didn't spend it, the bank would take it back.
Out in the Water
Paddling around at Streamers getting into position for the next set of waves, even though it is his day off Harold is thinking about a few programs that he is writing for a company in Silicon Valley. Being an avid surfer and golfer, he has a few things on his mind when looking out towards the horizon. One of those things was a 3-foot putt he missed, which cost him of breaking into the '70s. He still dreams of shooting around in the '70s and the thought still lingers in his memory. It was the same day that the WXYZ Mining Company had their mini-tournament.
Just as fast as he thought back, a set approached, and his moment of the ball rimming around the cup and sat on the edge moment, disappeared from thought. His adrenalin started rushing to his muscles as he sat up and turned around and began paddling for the wave. The tail of his surfboard began to lift and he was on his way at the beginning of his ride. The session would last an hour and a half before his walk up the stairs to his car. Driving home to the Eastside, he stopped off at a coffee shop for a quick cup to go. Taking sips along the way and returns where he left off on his programming before going to the beach. In front of his monitor, his thoughts are wrapped around the pages in Python, sprinkled with Java scripts.
Harold gets a call from a friend whose name is Joey and he tells Harold that he and some friends have a tee time at Pajaro Valley and if he could join them, if so it would make it a foursome. "What time?" Harold asked. "2" answered Joey. Harold thought for a moment and knowing he would have to stay up late if he did. "Ok, I'll be there. Just have to leave a note for Angelina, telling her I will be home later this evening" he said as the conversation switched to what he was doing. Joey was another programmer for a company in the same location as Harold. They met one day out in the water at Pleasure Point taking off on the same wave and wiping out at takeoff. Apologies were given as they paddled their separate ways. One day they met again in school at Palo Alto and have been best of friends for over 10 years.
Meanwhile, 4,444 miles away in Lima, Peru Wayne is visiting Jacinto at the WXYZ corporate branch in one of the meeting rooms. "Governments are gearing up to switch over to a digital currency. There are signs of those countries who can back their digital with precious metal will be in a stronger position in the open market" Wayne said as Jacinto is looking through his paper works he has in front of him. "Yes, I heard that too from one of my managers here. I have a list of strong and weak currency predictions and who will be wanting our products. My president of this branch is putting together a plan for current inventory and future deposits that are a top priority" Jacinto said.
"You did mention a find, is it comparable to the Grasberg?" Wayne asked. "It is in the same ballpark. We still don't know if we hit a home run or not. But, I will say it's a Big Mother" Jacinto said with a smile. "How's the surf today?" Wayne asked. "Small and the wind just came up, we can go early tomorrow. What about a round of golf, I can get a tee time at one of our local courses" Jacinto said. "Which course, I sure liked the San Isidro course last time," Wayne said. "Why yes, that is the course I'm talking about," Jacinto said. "Sounds good to me. I got a new driver before coming down here. I'm looking forward to trying it out" Wayne said. "That reminds me, I got a new WW longboard recently and stoked about it," Jacinto said as he called the clubhouse for a tee time.
Back at Elmer's parent's garage "Chester we will need to make room behind the garage for some board racks. You did have a few things that are bulky and take up space where my boards use to be. I'm thinking of getting another board made also" Elmer said. "Ok, let me know when and we can go from there," Chester said. "Changing the subject, I heard you can get an app that ties into your account at the central bank. It also lets me forward whatever amount to a store or your phone through my dashboard app. We just need to be careful so we don't have one of those permanent losses. I'm going online to find out more. Once I get it down, I will show you how" Elmer said.
'Ok, things are changing fast, it's not going to be like it used to be" Chester said looking around the garage for his surf leash, then remembering what he was going to say "Work has been busy and I have some money to buy a small trailer to fix up until I get back on my feet. I can pay your parents for the space that it takes up." "No Problem, my mom and dad think of you as part of the family. The worst of the storm has yet to hit. So we all have to be on our toes" Elmer said looking around and measuring areas to write down if he needs the dimension for inside the garage.
Walking over to his greenhouse Elmer is telling Chester that a few of his avocado plants were grafted to different rootstock to resist certain types of diseases and nematodes. Looking at his lettuce plants which had grown a few inches and are filling out. "Still have to share some of the tomato plant's flowers pollen by shaking them around the string by the other flowers" Elmer said. Chester sees a place where he can park his trailer and tap into the water and electricity. "This would be a good place to put the trailer" Chester said. "Ok, sure" said Elmer.
"What's the latest on some of the cryptos?" Chester asked. "A lot is going on with it right now. Different swaps and liquidity pools, markets and empires are rising and falling, a whole lot of metamorphosis going on with platform development to take on the different communities and their dashboards" Elmer said. "So with all that going on, what do you think we should do Elmer about getting a piece of the pie" Chester suggested. "I'm no advance user, but there might be a window we can crawl through and make some tokens in the long run. I need to make a miniature matrix within a dwg file fed by using a spreadsheet and database software files and tapped into the dwg's legend and blocks for a "what if" drawing file" Elmer said.
"You lost me there Elmer. What do you mean in layman terminology" Chester asked. "To put it simply. I will make a drawing file and feed information into a spreadsheet that feeds the database which goes into the drawing file and turn the different blocks within the drawing into lines that connects one way or another to form a graph of what might be. Still working out the bugs in the drawing to get a better idea of where to put my money" Elmer said. "Can I give you some of what I have and build on your idea?" Chester said. "It's only an idea and it could flop on its side, but ok, hold on to your money, will let you know in a couple of weeks of how it's coming along," Elmer said as he went back into the house to work on his working drawing for the side section of the garage and the rack system. As Chester went to go see his trailer that he bought from a private party and how he is going to bring it over to the side of the garage.
Harold drives up to the course and puts on his golf shoes, grabs his golf bag, and walks over to the putting green. He sees Joey and the two other guys that will make the foursome. "Harold, this is Bert and Ernie, Bert and Ernie this is Harold" Joey said as they shook hands. "So, at last, we meet. I hear you are quite the programmer" Bert said as Harold had a smile and said "What has Joey been telling you guys. Joey is the programmer." The guys started laughing as Harold dropped a couple of balls on the green and started to putt.
Sitting in their cart waiting for the group in front of them to tee off, Harold mentioned "Looks like Theta is gaining momentum with a few companies. What do you think?" "Yeah, so if bandwidth continues to increase productivity will follow," Joey said noticing the group in front of them had left and they were up. Still talking about what might be, Bert and Ernie are getting ready to tee off. Harold and Joey get their drivers and switch their thoughts on what is in front of them and where they want to be approaching the green.
Elmer is researching NFT and noticing sand traps along the way, which he figured out to be quicksand. Where digital amounts could disappear from his account by clicking the wrong button. Thinking to himself not to go there until he has a better grasp of what he is getting into. At the same time, he switches to another realm in the crypto world of sparks, airdrops, and tribalism before going out to the backyard to help Chester work on his trailer.
"Hey Chester, what are you working on and can I help?" Elmer said. "Taking out the old counter and replacing it with a more efficient setup and doing some plumbing and electrical. I will need help later when I install the new unit" Chester said as he was unscrewing the old counter. "Ok, I'm going over to the hardware store for some wood screws and wood," Elmer said. "Talk about wood, it sure has gone up in price. Inflation is taking off to the moon" Chester added. "Just image, how it will be in 6 months from now. I don't care how much they send us, they are losing it. Some say Bitcorn others say precious metal, the way things are going who knows what to do. But, just have to be ready when it gets real ugly" Elmer said pausing and thinking what he was going to do next. "Ok, see you in an hour."
Back in Lima, Peru Wayne and Jacinto got out of a meeting with the managers of the new site and what they were going to do. Concluding his stay Wayne thanked Jacinto for his hospitality and was on a flight back to Florida where Tanya would be picking him up at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Int. Airport. Jacinto would be leaving on a flight to Sydney, Australia with a meeting with Delbert and that branch of the company before flying over to Switzerland to convey to corporate the latest expenses that are occurring with the new project.
Jacinto's visit to Australia would be a week, Delbert would let Jacinto know there had been a recent typhoon near New Caledonia and they would be driving up to Kirra for a few sessions there before Jacinto would take off to Switzerland. They would be staying at Delbert 3rd house that he had besides his other properties in Sydney and Melbourne. After his brief stay in Australia, Jacinto was off to Switzerland and was greeted by Pierre who would take him on a snowboard and surf trip. Back and forth to Biarritz, France, and Zurich, Switzerland.
Back in Florida Wayne had unwound from his trip to Peru and was out surfing with Tanya at Cocoa Beach Pier. He was planning on a surf and business trip to Puerto Rico, where they would be going to Rincon and staying at his condo where Tanya would stay. Wayne would travel over to the Dominican Republic and spend a few weeks there doing some research on land the company had just purchased, then return back to Puerto Rico.
Taking a break from his trailer work, Chester was watching an outdoor commercial and thought of the situation many were in. The voice in the commercial was saying the mountain of debt that was flowing to the sea and the river banks were being flooded with bankrupt trees and other debris drifting by from earlier situations. The commentator says "I wonder why the leaders in charge say one thing and do nothing to solve what is before them, as the streets become clutter with debris." Chester shook his head in silent and turned off the small TV.
Elmer came back and said, "I was checking the waves out at Ponto and it looked like fun, maybe Potato Patch, care to go?" "Yeah, that sounds like a plan. Let me clean up my mess and be right with you" Chester said as he locked the trailer door and was ready to go. "It was windy for most of the day and with it dying and turning to glassy conditions. It should be fun as they pulled into the parking lot and got ready for a short walk down the beach.
"Elmer have you done some more research on what's what with digital and cryptos," Chester asked while looking at the waves. "Well, it can go in a few different ways. The central bank implements their digital currency or puts a roadblock on cryptos or cryptos become too large for them to sidetrack it. Or something else is thought of that hasn't been thought of before and becomes the reserve currency of the globe" Elmer said.
"But what about now, before it gets really bad for the middle-income people and inflation eats up their stimmy's that the government is sending out," Chester said. "That is another thing on the table. The cards being dealt out could be good for a short time, but not in the long term. This whole thing could be a moment when everyone is handed a handbasket and are told to go where the sun doesn't shine" Elmer said as he is waxing up to go out.
"Oh well, the wave looks like fun and we can figure something or nothing when we come back in," Chester said as they walked into waist-high water before paddling out. Further up north Joey had texted Harold about their round a few days before: Someone from a large corporation stopped by the other day and was talking about Theta and how they want to do something and front-run an idea. Strange how things happen when you least expect it:. Harold texted back: They stopped by here too. Care to go surf this weekend?:. : Can't my wife's parents are over from Pasa Robles and we are going over to the BoardWalk and a few other places over the hill:.
Things Could Change Overnight
Looking at Elmer who was about to staple something to the wall "What's with the poster of the Titanic Elmer?" Chester asked. "Just like the couple on the bow of the Titanic, I'm using an analogy of the Treasury Secretary with her arms out like she flying. With the President backing her and holding her shoulders as the breeze of misfortune swirl around them. I thought it would be appropriate since many of the general populace is getting into their lifeboats and leaving town so to speak. In other words, I think hyperinflation is taking off and prices are going to rise substantially" Elmer said as he stapled a copy of the Titanic sinking. "I knew it was going to happen, but are we that close?" Chester asked. "It sure looks like it, the Captain has the orchestra playing "Let the Good Times Roll" and was last seen with his finest 12-year-old scotch whiskey bottle," Elmer said looking up at an angle thinking was it a 21-year-old bottle instead.
"Now what?" Chester asked. "Prices will go up and there would be more bartering and use of precious metals and cryptocurrency. The government will have their digital currency ready to be activated and the debit cards would be sent out. The banks will transform their system and take cash out of circulation within a time window. The general public will have their complaints. The majority of stores and other businesses including gas stations won't be geared up for cryptos at first and chaos and confusion would soon develop for a least two to four weeks after the crash of the economy some are thinking" Elmer said and continued.
"We are at that stage where things start moving faster and then all of a sudden the whole economy freezes up. For some who can afford rowboats, they will keep rowing. Others who are floating with debt can hope for the best and hold on and do whatever they can to stay afloat. Most likely Marshall Law will be in place for a while" Elmer said as he wonders if water and power will be off for an extended amount of time.
Elmer had prepared during the early stages of the collapse and had bought 5 fifty-gallon drums for water to be stored in and had covered it with a black tarp. Four bags of Charcoal and ten cords of firewood to cook food and boil water just in case. There will be a shock of some sort for the general public and those in charge will implement their plans for civil disobedience. But some in the know will shift over to a new way of doing business and offset their digital allowance with ways that will come to them. Adjusting the cryptocurrency avenue and unforeseen ways of doing business was what they were thinking of, knowing precious metals would play a part of that as it had done for thousands of years before.
"With the idea of getting paid to stay home and spend it as fast as you to make the economy grow and before the currency becomes worthless seems far fetched for those working. But for those who aren't working and getting hungrier by the day, they are all for the Universal Basic Income" Elmer said explaining what happened in Weimar, Germany, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela. "But, if the dollar collapses around the world and here, is the dollar only going to be used in the US, and what happens then?" Chester asked.
"Well, we are all in the same boat and what will happen is anyone guesses right now," Elmer said as Wayne is being airlifted down into the mountainous region of the Dominican Republic with a geologist looking for gold and copper. "Did you hear that the bond market froze and turmoil is happening around the planet?" said Stuart the geologist. "Yes, after our stay here this afternoon, I will be going back to Puerto Rico and wait there until things get sorted out at corporate. What about yourself Stuart?" Wayne said.
My wife and I have a second home in Panama and we are planning to move there and sell our other house in upstate New York, things there are getting politically and economically unstable. So that is the reason we will be moving to Panama" Stuart said. "Look here, what does that look like," Wayne asked. "Hey, I think you may have noticed something. I put it in my bag and note down the GPS of this location" Stuart said while chipping away at a few more pieces and taking pictures. Walking around for a few more hours, they call the helicopter to pick them up and take them back to the airport. Stuart will be going to Texas and bring back the samples to the branch lab and Wayne will be going back to his condo and Tanya. He too had prepared for the collapse and would weather the economic storm there.
Harold who lives in Santa Cruz was busier than before and had his backup of food, water, security, and his precious metals and cryptos, plus a few other assets including a getaway ranch location in Idaho. He and his wife had flown up to the location recently thinking the economy was on the verge and would work at that location for a few weeks before returning.
Chester had completed most of the work on his trailer and had enough supplies to last him and his girlfriend for 4 months. Another person he knew from way back was having a difficult time and was homeless. Hanging around the intersection with his cardboard sign asking for donations. Chester had driven by and noticed him and pulled over. Giving him ten bucks and a liter bottle of water he had just bought at the gas mart. His friend felt sad and embarrassed but knew this would have to last until someone else gave him a handout. "Take care Fred," Chester said as he got back into his car and drove off remembering Fred as a happy-go-lucky kinda guy who was into drugs in his younger days. Who managed to do odd and ends jobs when the economy was better and who use to surf with Chester at the local breaks.
Thinking of his situation and wondering if his stimulus check came in and to get ready to go to work later that evening. Parking it on the street Chester walks over to the trailer parked in the backyard next to the garage. He sees his girlfriend Olivia whom he met at the same hotel he was working at, she was working as a maid doing various jobs. They work on the same shift and that is how they met. With all the things happening around them they became very close and watched out for each other. Now she would live with him and go to work with him.
Olivia was from a working-class family and was working her way through school when the economy went South. She had one more semester left before receiving her AA degree and was looking into a local 4-year college to get her BA degree in digital arts. Olivia would share her ideas with Chester and be saving up to buy a computer and soft with more speed and functions. Chester was all for it and would help out with her dream to become a graphic artist. He too was starting to realize the use of the computer and the fields it could lead him into.
So, they worked their way forward and it wasn't long before Olivia got her computer that she wanted and started downloading freeware at first, then began purchasing software that wasn't for free. Chester made a section in the trailer for both of them to do computer work and being able to go online with their laptops. The dining area doubles as the computer work station, if one was using it, the other would go into the garage and do their business there. Olivia wanted to move out to an apartment or buy a house. But for now, they were content at where they were in their lives and were managing to make ends meet. Though it was cramp and being in the shadow of someone else's location.
Elmer would share with Chester and Olivia what he had been learning online and having a physical chat room in the garage using Chester's furniture. Elmer got back together with his old girlfriend Betty and she started to become friends with Olivia. Betty's parents own a bicycle shop whose business was still doing well but could see the trend was slowing down. Betty worked there part-time and was a waitress at a local restaurant on weekends.
The group was receiving their stimulus checks before the economy crashed and now we're trying to figure ways of having the necessities as prices began to rise. Elmer's parents had been overseeing what was happening at their house and the economic conditions that were occurring locally and nationwide. As prices of Utilities rose, everyone started chipping in and became more conscious of how much water and electricity they used. On Sunday they would have dinner together and share what was happening around them, it was like a big family for Elmer's parents and to them, it was like belonging to something special like when they were younger growing up.
The Ball with Backspin
"Elmer, I gassed up last night and regular was $6.50 a gallon, premium $7.00. I think hyperinflation is starting to take off" Chester said to Elmer at his greenhouse checking his plants. "If everything they say about hyperinflation is happening, then they are printing like crazy, it's going to be scary. Most of the people I know are on a fixed income. When it gets to the point where we are working for just food and gas, then the middle class will know they are in a Great Depression. Perhaps there is no middle class during this period we have entered" Elmer said.
"Yeah, you can say that again. The cost of living for individuals or the average family is becoming astronomical. I called up a pizza place yesterday to see how much pizzas were, I thought of treating Olivia with it at the dinner break. They wanted $33 for large and $20 for small. Well, I changed my mind on that, so I just got a value meal for $14 instead, we shared the hamburger, fries, and drink. Last week they were $7 each. Next time we won't forget to bring our lunches" Chester said. "After watching a few videos on making bread I got a couple of bags of flour to make my own and save money in the long run. Also, I got a few bags of rice, brown and white. Brown doesn't last as long before it goes rancid. Plus I order a dehydrator to dehydrate the veggies for the off-season" Elmer said.
"What about can goods? We got pork and beans, tuna fish, corn, string beans, and sandwich meats. There were some other things we got, but it has slip my mind currently" Chester said. "Yeah, bulk items is one way of going about having food items," Elmer said. "Can I use your dehydrator to make some beef jerky?" Chester asked. "Sure, probably sooner than later because every week beef prices are going to go up," Elmer said trying to think of other things that could be dehydrated.
Standing on the beach at Santa Catalina, Panama a group of surfers is viewing the waves they had just surfed. It is the guys from WXYZ Corporation, Wayne, Jacinto, Delbert, George, Pierre, and Manfred preparing for the company's surf and golf contest in two days. They will also be going to a corporate meeting the following week after the two-day contest is over.
"Wayne, what this I hear if Bitcoin becomes more popular than the dollar, do you think the governments will outlaw it," Pierre asked as he sees a left peeling off in front of him with nobody on the wave. "That's a possibility, but the people holding the tokens would migrate and find countries who would welcome it. Let's say Panama as an example, if they were to do that in the future, they would become the richest country on the planet. By having companies paying in bitcoin tokens to enter the canal and be a clearinghouse of goods like a large warehouse of items. The region would have such a boom in wealth" Wayne said.
"The EU is losing confidence from their countries and if the ECB digital currency is undermined by their leaders and does the same as the US. Then a whole new paradigm would develop, built by the younger generation of today" Pierre said. "Our company will be one of the suppliers of the raw materials that will be needed for futuristic concepts yet to be developed," Delbert said being inspired by his friends. "That reminds me Delbert, how's the output on the copper mines in your region?" George asked.
"We are looking at an 11% production increase this year. Our orders from Asia is increasing, specifically South Korea and Japan" Delbert said. "Since Wayne let the cat out of the bag back in Santa Cruz and Jerome said we are going to start over. I wonder what clues he will have in store for us?" George asked and everyone looked at each other and wonder about the prize money which was increased due to inflation.
"Pierre how do you like your board, you caught some good waves and it looked like it was doing what you wanted," Manfred said. "Yeah, Guilhem has been good to me with his designs," Pierre said. "What about you Jacinto, your board looked good also," Manfred said as Wayne and the others looked over to Jacinto. "Yes, my shaper is Wayo, who keeps on refining and looking at different ways with his experience that makes me feel comfortable with his designs," Jacinto said as everyone looked at each other's surfboards. The thought of our shapers who put their heart and soul into their shapes is what makes surfing what it is today" Wayne said thinking of his shapers over the years.
"Talking about concepts what do you guys think about this NFT?" Wayne asked. "Whats an NFT" George questioned. "Non-Fungible Token" Wayne said. "You mean if I pulled a rabbit out of my hat and took a picture of it at the South Pole, it would be worth a million dollars?" Delbert asked. "Something like that. Whatever someone is willing to pay you, I guess" Wayne said. "There must be so much money floating around from all the stimulus money printing makes you wonder, what's next?" Manfred said as he watches another wave peel off in front of them. "I think I'm going back out for another session," Manfred said. "I think I will join you," Jacinto remarked looking at his surfboard.
The format of the contest had been changed and they would be starting over since Wayne rocked the boat and gave the answer to the first riddle. The guys were good sports and all agreed to the restart. Golf would be first and surfing the following day. The course they would be playing at is Club de Golf de Panama and the three two-some would be in one group. They would be the first group off in the twilight start time of 1 pm. All had good tee shots and were ready to play golf. Making the turn to the clubhouse at the back 9, some would have a beer to reduce the memory of a miscalculated chip and putt. After the round was done, Manfred took first place with a score of 79 followed by Delbert, George, Jacinto, Wayne, and Pierre.
In the clubhouse having a round of drinks, Ernie the director of this contest gave a clue to the new riddle. "Well guys, here we go again. The new clue" Ernie said showing a picture of the Bitcoin logo, Etherium logo, Theta logo, and a few other crypto-currencies with arms and hands holding scissors and cutting up an enlarged dollar bill. "We will send an email to your address" Ernie added while the guys looked at Wayne who was looking at the ceiling as if he already knew the answer. Out in the water, the heat had begun for the surf contest the following day at Santa Catalina. Pierre came in first after the two-hour heat, followed by Wayne, George, Manfred, Delbert, and Jacinto. After the contest, the guys were given the next location of the golf course and surf spot and the date.
"Chicama, Peru in April, the time will be determined. The judges will have special binoculars to watch the ride down the beach. With each judge watching a single competitor on a single wave during their two-hour heat. The golf course will be at Los Inkas Golf Club in Lima, Peru. A slide show was presented showing the waves of Chicama and the course at Los Inkas. "Any question you might have, see Jacinto for details and how and when you should be preparing and arriving," Ernie said looking out onto the horizon and thinking about what he was going to do before the next contest.
Situated on a creek in a wooded forest Harold is fly fishing and aiming his fly near an eddy near some boulders. Letting his line out and whipping it back and forth until he determines to let the line go and watch the fly float. A rainbow trout spots it and opens his mouth and takes the fly. Wham, it feels the hook and at the same time Harold feels the pull. He set the hook and starts chasing it down the stream while reeling in the excess. An eight-minute fight and he has his net beside him ready to scoop up the five-pound rainbow. Putting his fish on the catch chain with the two other trouts Harold is ready to go back to the house and call it a day.
Walking back to his car he sees a black bear a few hundred feet and coming his way. He hurries to his truck and puts his fishing gear and the fishes in the back, looking back at the bear. It is running towards him, so he floors it and leaves the area in a cloud of dust. After ten minutes the dirt road reaches the main highway and he driving along with the snow-capped mountain range to his left. Autumn's color is all around as Harold is thinking about getting some more crypto-currencies. One of his friends knows someone who has connections with a bullion dealer and was thinking about purchasing some gold as well.
Returning to the house his wife greeted him on the front porch and says "Harold we have to go back to Santa Cruz, someone broke into the house. Our security alarm system notified the security company and the notified the police department. They sent over a nearby unit and were there within 8 minutes of the break-in. We have to fill out some paper for our insurance company of what was taken. I reserved a flight for tomorrow out of Boise" Angelina said. "Ok, let's have trout tonight I caught some nice ones. Did you call Darla next door?" Harold asked. "Yes, she and Fred were over when he saw the police patrol car with its flashing lights in the driveway," Angelina said.
"The computer room was locked with the computers, printer, and monitors stored in the computer closet with its double bolted door. Our valuables were locked in the fireproof basement vault. So our cooking machinery and utensils and artwork would be the likely items to be taken. When did we update the insurance list, Angelina?" Harold asked. "A week before we left," she said. "Ok, I will go out in the back and clean out the fishes," Harold said taking his fly rod, reel, and fish basket to the garage as nightfall blanketed their situation.
"Chester, I'm going to make tuna fish salad for dinner tonight," said Olivia as she opened the tuna
fish can with the electric can opener. "I'll go to the refrig in the garage and get some of Elmer's extra lettuce that he had grown. His next batch will be in a couple of weeks. I sure liked Elmer's idea of growing your own" Chester said. "Is there carrots and tomatoes also?" Olivia asked. "Yes, he said take what we need, he harvested the tomatoes over the weekend. I'll get them with the lettuce" Chester said.
The following day while Olivia was doing her usual routine when the manager came over to her and mentioned things were getting slow and they would have to let her go. This day would be her last on the job. Olivia knew this day would come and took it in stride. On the way home to the trailer, Olivia told Chester "Hank had to let me go and today was my last day there. I'll look around for another job." "If you find a new job soon or if it takes some time. We will make it through these hard times. I have you and you have me" Chester said with a glance at her as he moved to his hand over to hold Olivia's left hand, then turning back at the night and the road ahead of him.