Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Month: April 2015


The Santiago Marathon was a couple of weeks ago, and a leg of the course for both the marathon and half-marathon was a block away.

Sudoku, Doodle, Rosebud and I walked around the block just in time to see the tail end of the lead runners skirting by.  We stood on a street corner at about the 13km mark of the 42km race with a few other spectators to cheer on runners as they passed by.

I’m always struck by the diversity of people who attempt this 26 mile run: young, middle-aged, over-the-hill — they are all present.  Rail thin, overweight, long and short-legged…it’s a mixed, motley crew.  They all are suffering together.  I prefer to just admire them from the sidelines. 🙂

Doodle jumped in and ran a short piece while things were still thinned out.

Santiago Marathon bandit

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Calbuco Popped its Top

A little under a year and a half ago, we were here, on the side of Llanquihue lake. Sudoku took these pictures.



The mountain in those two pictures is the “Calbuco” volcano.  Historically it’s a very active and violent volcano, but as of 2015 it’s been sleeping for an unusually long 43 years.

Calbuco erupted this morning.

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Product Development Bunker Zone

Several of us are in “deep bunker mode” right now, pushing to complete the development of a new product.  This picture just about sums it up:

wp dabs product dev

The nearly waste-free society

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but in most of the U.S. it’s normal practice to throw away a product that, if given time and elbow grease, could be worth quite a lot of money.

This is not so here in Santiago. There  is a lower class, who’s time is worth little, and who are motivated to make money any way they can. They are the reason why used things are worth more here than they are up in the U.S. of A.

A great example: Bicycles.

When we were about to leave the states, we sold our bicycles.

One was sold on Craigslist for very cheap.

One was put out on the side of the road for the recycle truck to pick up.

One was  given to a friend.

These were all fully functional (though low-end) bikes, with relatively little wear.

Basically, used bicycles aren’t worth much in America.

Why not? Why doesn’t Bob get a used bike on Craigslist instead of buying a new one?

Because Bob’s time is worth more than to be worth  worrying about the problems that a used bike might have. There’s no one who’s willing  to buy an old bike for $100 just because they know that the parts it’s  made of could be sold individually for $150. It’s not  worth their time.

Here in Santiago I see it working like this:

A high-income busy family impulsively buys a $500 bike for their kid. It gets very little use, and a year or two later, after it’s been collecting dust for a while, they decide to sell the bike.

They list the bike on “Yapo”, the local Craigslist, for $300, and it’s immediately purchased by a middle-class person. They commute on it for a few years, and it puts on several thousand miles and picks up a lot of wear. At this point, it’s fairly problem-ridden.

Then they sell the bike for $150 to a lower-class bike-guru who’s house is full of bike stuff. This guy processes lots of bikes, fixing them and selling  them at bike-markets. He also buys stolen bikes from bike thieves.

At the bike market he sells it for $200 to another lower-class person, who uses it till it’s truly a sorry wreck.

Then he sells it to his neighbour for $60, who harvests all the parts that are still worth something, and throws the rest away.

These parts are sold at a bike-market and bring $80.

This process has been created by motivation. The lower class fills in the gaps and wrings the value out of the hand-me-downs.

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