Boffin and Mage Stories

I’ve mostly being working on a longer story which I’m not yet ready to post, so I’ve not been adding Mage and Boffin stories recently, but I’ve now got three new stories to add. Please see below. If you are interested in my other writing, it can all be found here.

Cloud Skiing – The Mage enjoys a day cloud skiing while the heavily pregnant Boffin relaxes at the lodge.

Mouse’s Friend – The Mage and Boffin’s great-grandson Mouse makes a friend called Jasper, who leads Mouse and the Mage to a very hot place.

Twins – Two bear cubs surprise a set of twin girls. They help the girls and their mother with a couple of issues with their neighbour. The Mage and the Boffin take a trip to meet the bears and later relax at the lake.

 

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Three new Boffin and Mage stories

Here are three new short stories in the Mage and Boffin series. I hope you enjoy them. The stories are as follows:

Sea Dragons – The dragons ask the Boffin and the Mage for help again, but these dragons don’t fly. They swim! The Boffin and the Mage also acquire some helpers.

Water, As Far As The Eye Can See – The Boffin has an accident and loses her memory. The Mage has to search for her. Clever little Mouse knows where his Great Gran is!

Selene Base – The Boffin goes to the Moon the hard way, while the Mage manages the communications.

All my stories can be found here.

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Five new stories

Over the past month and a bit I have written five new short stories in the Mage and Boffin series. The stories are as follows:

The Great Scientist – The Boffin and the Mage find a space where the man in power is destroying the environment in the quest for a perfect world.

Three Wishes – The Mage and the Boffin meet a genie and are invited to visit him in his lamp.

Duplicated Man – The Mage and the Boffin help a man who has been accidentally duplicated. The Mage’s alternative approach wins out over the Boffin’s attempts to solve the problem.

Together – The Boffin and the Mage are nearly powerless in a space which works a little differently from their own, but the friends that they had been training come to the rescue.

A Chat with God – The Boffin and the Mage stumble upon a big battle. They talk with God about the human race and his attempts to stop them being so aggressive. They discuss the power of maternal influences.

All my stories can be found here.

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Two new stories.

Here are two more Mage and Boffin stories. Please let me know if you enjoy them.

The Red Hoodie Gang. A young girl and her Granny fall on hard times. She enlists her strange friend to try and raise some money. Will she fall foul of the local Constable?

A Bit of a Muddle. Two women. One gives birth to twins, and one can’t have children. Or do they each give birth to a single baby? The Mage and the Boffin need to sort out a bit of a muddle.

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Updates to My Stories

I’ve just added a few more stories to the Mage and the Boffin series, and I’ve added words counts to that series, so that people can get some idea how long they are before they download them.

My other writing can be found here.

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So long. I may be back some time.

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My first post on this blog was an introductory post, posted on January 24, 2013, and I’ve posted roughly once a week since that time. In recent times, it has become a real chore to keep up this schedule, and since it is no longer fun to write a post every week, I’ve decided to stop. I may decide to post here occasionally, and I may return to the weekly schedule sometime in the future.

Another factor that has influenced my decision to take a break is that I am concerned that I am repeating myself. I seem to return to the same or similar topics much of the time, and this spells ‘boring’. Maybe just for me, but possibly for any readers.

Recently I’ve started to do a different sort of writing. I’ve been writing short stories and novellas or longer stories and I’ve collected them here. Please take a look and, if you wish, send me some feedback.

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Supply Chain

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When I go into the supermarket, I see foods from all over the world. I’m not talking about the items in the so-called International section, but even the stuff on the other shelves. I just picked up the nearest supermarket purchased item that came to hand. Batteries. They are packed locally, but are manufactured in China. When I say locally, I mean almost 500 kilometres away.

Much of the fruit and veges that I purchase come from overseas. Bananas and pineapples don’t grow here and are imported from various countries. If I want to buy a t-shirt it will almost certainly originate in Asia somewhere. I just looked at the t-shirt that I’m wearing at the moment, and yup, while it has a designed featuring a local attraction it is manufactured and printed in China.

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All our electronic gear come from Asia, our clothes from Asia and plastic ware like laundry baskets also originates overseas.

This is not unique to this country though. It’s much the same in any other country. This country produces dairy products, meat and meat products, fruit and wine which are exported to other countries. The world is full of goods being shipped from one place to another, and sometimes a product will go to more than one location on its journey from where it is produced to the supermarket that it ends up in.

I don’t know if this actually happens, but one can envisage that milk taken from a cow is turned into milk powder here, sent elsewhere to be turned into mozzarella cheese, which is then sent to a pizza manufacturer, who sends the finished pizza to an pizza outlet where it is cooked and then sent out to satisfy the appetites of people somewhere else yet again.

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There’s a term for this. It is “supply chain”. Actually it’s more like a supply network as, if we consider the pizza case, the pizza is made up of multiple ingredients all of which pass through several stages. Even the box that contains the pizza may have a complex history before the pizza is dropped into it and it is sent off.

It’s also possibly that the box may be made of recycled material. Cardboard collected at a recycling station may be pulped, processed and made into pizza boxes. Some of the collected cardboard may be old pizza boxes.

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Generally, though, the components or ingredients of a consumer item, like a cell phone or a pizza with extra pepperoni start out by being harvested or dug out of the ground. If you want to cut out the supply chain, you could grow your own, but then you need to source the seeds, you need to buy in compost, unless you make it yourself from vegetables that you’ve sourced somewhere else, which come from goodness knows where, and you need to feed the plants with chemicals which have all come from somewhere else, and most likely have been processed in various ways.

So what would happen if the supply chain broke? People in the cities, who have no other way to acquire things except through the supply network would quickly starve, and would likely flee the city for the countryside, where things would be much better, and where they could settle down and grow things, right?

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Except that most useful productive land in most countries has already been taken for farms, and the fleeing city folk would be forced onto marginal land and would starve, or they would be forced to steal from the farmers who are already there, or maybe they would beg for food from the farmers or work for them for food. Or they would fight to displace the farmers from their lands. In any case a flood of refugees from the city would likely be a trigger for conflict.

Actually the farmers would not be that much better off than the city folks. Most farms these days are more like little factories feeding into the supply chain and would concentrate on one or two crops. A beef farmer would have a surplus of beef, a potatoes farmer would have nothing but potatoes, and so on.

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So, it is likely that even farmers would have severe problems if the supply network broke. Even if the farmer could trade most of his produce with other farmers so that he did not have to subsist purely on potatoes, he would have great difficulty in producing more crops after the first one. He’d quickly run out of fertiliser and without insecticides he would probably loose a lot of his crops.

The problems would be even worse if his land was deficient in some critical mineral. Many farmers these days have to add traces of minerals to their land, either to help grow bigger produce or to add the trace elements that the crops need to even grow.

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Of course, not everyone would starve. Some non-city dwellers would eventually, after a period of realignment, be able to feed themselves. But many, many city dwellers would die, and a significant number of non-city dwellers would also die before an new balance is found. All trade would be local, probably barter based, as the city dwellers are the ones who keep the banking systems going, and they would be dead.

I haven’t yet considered what sort of catastrophe could disrupt the global supply network. If the oil ran out, and couldn’t be replaced by some other source of energy, that would do it. Local power could be generated using solar energy or water power, but the ships that ship goods from one place to another run on oil. That means that we would not be able to source solar cells in sufficient number.

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If someone started a global nuclear war, then that could cause significant disruption and throw many countries back on their own resources, especially those who are more isolated than most. Similarly, if a super volcano were to erupt anywhere in the world, and as a result the world would become shrouded in clouds of dust for years on end, killing all food crops, then there would be no food to be shipped, even if the ships were to keep on working. And without food crops animals would starve, and so would we.

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