Thursday, September 30, 2010

A surefire way to stimulate the local economy.

So, as I was mulling the situation with the local economy the other day on the way to work--it's hard not to reflect a bit when passing the hundreds upon hundreds of "FOR SALE" signs on the side of the road that all of us encounter every day-- well sure, I'm sure some of those are pertaining to the recent election but same difference, right?. . . and suddenly it struck me-- a sure fire way to stimulate the local economy and set us back on the right track to prosperity.

Let's build a lot of damn big stone heads on the beach! Kinda like these but out of "green" materials. Is rock "green"? Bigger would be good too. After all, the ones in the picture were built a thousand years ago and surely we've learned something since then. . . By the way, I don't much care for the one with a lump of shit on his head, perhaps we could do away with that and keep the whole thing a little more subdued and austere. It seems that the lumps fall off and create a maintenance problem anyhow. I've never been a big fan of gratuitous architectural details--of the do it just because you can kind--and while I'm sure that lump of shit is heavy and there's some value in that, I'd still vote against it on aesthetic grounds.

Building stone heads accomplishes many things.

1) Building stone heads stimulates the economy, first by pissing away money, and secondly by stimulating tourism, as big stone heads around the world are a first class tourist draw.

2) Stone heads will solve all traffic problems on Hwy 130.

3) Building stone heads will address our problems with invasive species, feral cats, and climate change all in one fell swoop, and make us energy independent to boot.

4) Stone heads will repel potential invasive armies, as they are obviously scary.

5) Stone heads will create permanent jobs, as some must maintain and monitor the stone heads. Stone heads are ideal for creating permanent jobs as they last centuries with no maintenance or monitoring.

In fact, modestly I'd suggest it may even be possible to improve on my stone head concept by not actually building them, but just considering how and when and where to build them endlessly until all the money to actually achieve something useful is pissed away(pocketed), but none of it is actually lost to something as wasteful as real infrastructure that addresses the needs of future generations.

But I'll leave that issue open to study and review by the experts. Surely there's grant money in this!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Time to pick up your toys!

Haven't posted here in quite a while, but of course I'm pretty busy with the forum and a zillion other issues--which is great, as after all, I ought to be spending my time working out the bugs of my "sustainable lifestyle" rather than blathering on about it. Still, I've heard from a number of people who were a bit surprised at a lack of a diatribe around here about the oil spill--especially considering my background. Hell, really, what is there to say? It's a terrible mess, and an obvious and unavoidable result of the demands of our lifestyles. Don't be blaming BP, blame us, all of us, and do a good job of it. Wallow in it, in fact. That would be my advice.

But let's not add insult to injury by not only refusing to relinquish our consumptive ways but in fact adding to them by indulging in extravagant group catharsis and weeping and wailing together in a sugar coated but oh so satisfying fashion-- getting that hypoglycemic hit so we can go on without upset tummies. We all have low blood sugar, you know, we need that kind of attention to our delicate appetites. We can't really be bothered by reality as we'll be squabbly at nap-time. Look, reality is that while the spill is a hell of a disaster, all in all it's anybodies guess whether or not the ecological impact of the spill is worse dumped in the gulf or rather all that oil, even though burnt in trendy Prius hybrids--, remember, it still ends up in the atmosphere, right?--hell, what's worse? I really don't have any idea at this point. I know CO2 is transparent to most people and oil is nasty looking and sticky, and I suspect that's why oily birds get more attention than the melting of the permafrost although it's the latter that's going to cook our goose. Mother goose, in fact. Back to comforting nursery rhymes, of course.

Look: sustainability. As complicated as people want to try to make it living the sustainable lifestyle isn't really all that complicated. It's really about one thing at the end of the day-- whether or not the total sum cumulative effect of one's lifestyle has a net constructive or net negative affect on the larger planetary ecosystem. Whether or not the earth is a better or worse place for yours or my having been born. This isn't a rhetorical question, either, it's capable in large part of being empirically derived. I've been at the "sustainable" lifestyle thing for a long time now, and I'd say while I'm very sad about the spill in the gulf, I don't feel any "guilt" in it as I've bent over backwards, made huge sacrifices in lifestyle for years, educated, advocated, and worked tirelessly for a better world to offset the very modest levels of consumption that I enjoy. That's an option open to anyone. But that's not how most of us want to go about it. We're like whinny spoilt children who want to scatter our expensive toys and treats about, never satisfied with what we have and wanting more all the while, and refuse in any way to be responsible for the mess we make. If someone were to ask us to "pick up our mess before bedtime" we'll squeal and raise all hell and expect to be coddled and rewarded even for our tantrums. Everyone has seen children like that, but we're in reality a nation of children like that. . .

Anyway, practically and today why this comes to mind--Jay's Chicky-Poo has a lot of hair and hairdryers are part of the forest project. I need to get back to work as we run a generator out here, and in order to responsibly clean up our mess I'm planting another half dozen Koa our here to eat our share of CO2 that this little indulgence creates. Hardly a big deal. It will take me a couple hours and we can run hairdryers out here for life. . .

Enjoy whatever you want, just be sure to pick up after yourself. . .

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Biochar in a Food Forest Setting:

Posted a couple of videos that are about my utilization of biochar in my Food Forest project. This technique provides a solution for invasive trees, woody waste, washed out, infertile acid soil all in one process. I'd really recommend considering giving it a try. Here's how you do it. Realize that early Hawaiians--and in fact most pre-industrial agriculture cultures-- used charcoal as a means of improving poor soil extensively. That technique needs to be rediscovered and re-applied. Here's a very very simple way of getting started.

Don't forget the hot dogs!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Sustainable Living Looks Like:

Look, you can do this too: Get a hold of us--we'll help you.

Seriously, isn't this a more beautiful and hopeful vision for this island than tourism or more shoddy spec houses? Come on! Time's a wasting, let's set an example for a better world. There are better ways of living.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Sen/Sem State of the Union Report

Haven't posted too much around here lately, been very busy. . .but thought I'd offer up a few thoughts as our project comes along.

Topic 1:

I'm a big believer in the inevitability of stuff happening if it's going to happen, and understand pointlessness of hoping for events that aren't. I think really, all in all in human existence there are damned few things we really have very much control, and our ability to alter our personal trajectories through life is largely illusory. That's good and bad, good because we shouldn't feel so bad about the stuff we screw up, bad, kinda, because there's very few things we should feel entitled to take credit for. Not that it stops anyone, LOL, but there you go. Still, there are times and moments in which small nudges can have large effects and it's good to have a nose for those-- and having what we term success(or failure) in life is largely about saying either "yes" or "no" in those critical moments.

We all sense that, I'm sure. We as a group on the forum here have largely made a commitment of "yes" to personally making an attempt to moving towards a sustainable future. This is why we are here. This is why we're trying to work together. Recently, I've been hearing a bit of stink floating about about how perhaps, well, things might not be working out as expected. That well, things aren't going this way, or that way-- or that so and so is a jerk, or that some people are fake, or what have you. No doubt. We have all of that, I'm sure. I've been also hearing from the "get go" a year ago from people who would love to form community but feel jaded or cautious, feeling that they are cautious about taking the risk of "community" because they fear it won't be reciprocated. No doubt it won't.

Look, perhaps it's time to figure out that "community spirit" mostly is about giving to people who are jerks, or more typically merely useless, and getting nothing in return. That's the core of it. Being a good member of a community mostly is being the kind of person who has the sufficient richness of spirit that you're capable of doing that, repeatedly, and mostly cheerfully. A "Sustainable Community" as far as I can see it is a group of people who understand this, possess this non-trivial level of both competence and generosity, and have found each other. This is no small thing. Actually, it's a huge thing, and a heroic thing. Expect it will be mostly hard work in the short term, with little to no reward.

Got that? New paradigm, people.

Actually, not really all that new. While people are selfish by nature, of course, there are indeed matters of degree. Today, well, the selfishness is so entrenched it must be historically exceptional. By and large, we're just a bunch of spoiled, overfed brats, who have very little to offer, and demand an awful lot in return for what we don't give. This wasn't always the case-- when I think of my grandparents generation there still seemed to me to be a lot of giving simply for the joy of giving. But I must tell you, it's been probably 20 years since I've seen anyone bake the kinds of pies that I used to see as a kid--you know the kind, with the perfect crust, perfect filling, intricate lattice, all that stuff--photogenic. If you've ever tried yourself, you know why; because it takes about 4 hours to put a pie like that together and it's gone in 2 minutes. It's a weak effort/return on investment project. But I do remember the look on the faces of my Grandmother and other matrons I knew as a kid of the joy they felt watching their work evaporate. They were simply satisfied by making others happy, and that was good enough.

So again, got that? Expect to give, and not get shit in return. Expect that. It's the only way we're going to pull for a better future. At least in the short term.


No, I mean it.

Topic 2:

In one of my books somewhere I wrote that "there will come a day in which that we call a "fisherman" will not catch fish but rather will build fish habitat." We're getting close. I think we can expand that observation to the term "businessman" as well. There will come a time, damn soon, where to be a successful businessman won't be a matter of indulging in the mere exploitation of an economy, but rather a businessman will be one vigorously involved in the creation of one. We are going to need to get started on building our "sustainable economy" and pronto, as there's a possibility there will not be much else left here too soon for comfort. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there really isn't going to be much sensible debate about what that economy is going to be based on. Tourism? What, to come see slums, rain, marginal beaches--coupled with expensive hotels and costly airfare? Forget that! What, development? So we can have more empty house that no one can afford to buy because there are no jobs, who get purchased by aging boomers, mostly of a lower economic bracket, who end up on public assistance further crushing the local economy? Jeez, it would be easier to come up with a viable plan selling rock, if it wasn't taboo. I'm not really joking. There is indeed a rock and gravel shortage all up and down the west coast.

No, of course, the only viable game in town is agriculture. If there is going to be either tourism, or development, is will be accessory to the success of agriculture--meaning people will come to see the farms or build houses because they are successful farmers. This is where we need to go, and we need to get ripping.

The issue, of course, as a business model is that the tropics in general and Hawaii in particular offers unique obstacles to agriculture, and especially sustainable agriculture. These issues aren't insurmountable, but at this point require some tenacity and creativity to overcome. Mostly the issue comes down to the fact that to grow here, one is forced to purchase very marginal agricultural land at rates that assume residential construction, and to take on a project that requires a lot of latitude in application in a business environment that is increasingly litigious, complicated and restrictive for anything other than building--and when you realize that agriculture is a high risk, low return business at its core, well, one can see why no one is doing it, except for a few of us crazy folks. That doesn't mean it isn't viable. It is. But at this point the viability will only be visible to a very small number of visionary folks with unusual skill sets.

So, what can WE do.

Well, the first thing we should do is put together one of the first things suggested here-- the MOBILE farmers market. The "Produce Truck." Not only is it vastly more efficient to roll one machine to 1000 people than have 1000 people drive to one place--it is by nature forced and uniquely able to become a cooperative project. Since (as above) small farms are key to our future and (as above) giving and getting nothing in return is key to our future if we can come up with a cooperative plan to ease both "transitional" strategies that's all good. Perhaps a great place to give a "nudge" toward a better future. Why so effective? Primarily because the truck can do both pickup and delivery, and in that case operate vastly more efficient. Secondly, because of its efficiency, it allows for small producers a viable market immediately. What I mean is this--suppose you've got 4 extra eggs? Well, put them on the truck. To offer aid to transition, we must ease the effort and add encouragement--and hopefully some income-- to those who will for the first year or so measure returns in pounds not tons. Even if it is small potatoes for small potatoes that's no doubt helpful. We can work out the details, but I promise you all if you can find a market for micro-amounts of produce you will all grow more. Right?

We can work out the details. Surely you all can see the promise. Let's set a goal of getting the truck running by November 1.

My pledge: I have a nice 1 ton GMC truck coming my way, with a fresh engine and drivetrain. Under 30000 miles. This can be the powerplant, and it would be hard to beat for cost or reliability. This boat has as cherry 350 and even with the low axle ratio will get 10 mpg, burning 8 gallons a day on a circuit from Volcano to Hilo with a Honda EU 2000 in the bed running a refrigerator. I expect what we really need is a trailer, but trailers are relatively cheap. If we were very very intelligent people, we'd put a commercial kitchen in the trailer. Taco truck style. This way you can not only sell produce, but you can sell concept--there are a lot of viable foodstuffs we have here that people don't eat because they don't know what they taste like. If you can purchase/sell/distribute a whole communities output with one source, provide employment to a couple of drivers, a couple of cooks-- work for a better future, create viability for a local economy in one shot, well, we'd be stupid not to take a stab at it. Give and expect nothing in return.

Actually this is better than that. This will pay. It will pay at 10 dollars a gallon for fuel. It will pay carrying a driver at a living wage, a cook, and someone to work a counter. Who is in?

Yes, this will be a completely legal, everything above board, certified project. No prob. It will still work.

I'm giving use of the truck. Surely we can equally contribute to the trailer, both time and capital. I also pledge to the cost of the trailer, let's get a notion as to what it would cost. I expect 12k or so.

Look, at the end of the day whether it's biochar, or engineless sailing, or growing taro, or being a decent human being, just do the damn thing-- and help other people do the same, OK? Surely we're capable of doing something without whoring it out. Christ, really, surely we can figure this out.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Sustainability" and more tortured metaphors.

So it was a couple of years ago I was walking down the dock and came upon a sinking boat. A crazed fellow was aboard with a 2 inch hole saw and was punching holes in the bottom.

"Dude! What the hell are you doing!" I shouted.

"What does it look like?" he snarks, "I'm washing the bilges. . ."

"You're nuts!" I cry "Can't you see your boat is sinking?!"

"Screw Al Gore and all that eco stuff. . ."

"What the hell does Al Gore have to do with any of this--just pull your head out and look, dammit!"

Begrudgingly and condescendingly he approaches the companionway. A moment of irritation is followed by a moment of recognition, which is followed by a moment of terror. . .

"God, MY BOAT IS SINKING!" He screams "Help! What do I do?" He begins to panic.

"First," I reply, "You've got to quit drilling 2 inch holes in the bottom of your boat."

"How will I wash my bilges then?"

"No problem!" I reply, "Technology to the rescue. Here's a 3/4 inch spade bit. I got a grant to study these and they're proven much superior to 2 inch hole saws. . ."

"That's STUPID!" a passerby exclaims, "Obviously his boat will still sink!"

"Don't be so negative," I retort. "Obviously it's a step in the right direction."

. . .

Well, sure.

Sustainability is a quantity, not an ideology. Ecosystems, cultures, economies, and lifestyles are either "sustainable" or they aren't. A small step in the wrong direction is only marginally better than a big step in the wrong direction. Let's not use the term "sustainable" loosely, and let's confine that term to strategies that are measurably "in the right direction" not mearly "less destructive."

Anyway, just had to say that. Come on, we can do better than that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deja Vu all over again: Vol 2 -- which is Navigation, Set and Drift, Vector Analysis, and all the rest. . .

Ok. then.

Navigation, of course, matter to sailors. It matters a great deal more to some than others.

There's no question that in navigating a sailing vessel, which is limited, even severely, in its propulsive capacity, at least quantitatively relative to the natural phenomena that might impact it: ie., tidal currents--navigational skills matter. It's commonplace to be sailing 3 knots on a 3 knot current in many places in the world. It takes a lot of skill to "get anywhere" in that scenario. In fact, that is, indeed, the art of "sailing" is making 3 knots in spite of 3 knots of adversity. Sailing in perfect conditions is brainless. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. It's just that the skill comes out when it's hard. The rest of the time it's a "gimmey."

Some then, really get off on navigation-- as "navigational" skills are the the hallmark of a great "sailor." Ok, sure. Sailors need to know how to navigate. I don't contest that, I agree. There are a lot of techniques out there using hand bearing compasses(yup, those are good) and sextants(especially used sideways!) and GPS(while it works, I'm all for it) and lots of intricate calculations on chart tables an crazy spherical trig and all that. Sure, great. It's great, while ashore, to spend a lot of time learning as much of all that as one can stomach. There's tons of tricks there and some of those tricks are completely capable of saving your butt. Shame on you for not knowing them! Indeed! It's very common, in fact to need to plot set and drift scenarios, and work vector analysis on a chart table. Sure. But there's a problem, and that problem is reality.

The reality is that very very if not almost always in the times you really need a "vector analysis" answer you also very likely: 1) Can't let go of the tiller 2) Don't have time to work the problem out 3) Might well barf on the chart table if you tried to actually work it out.

Indeed. Kinda curious, really, because in conditions where you don't need to know you could spend all of the time in the world working all that out. Of course it wouldn't matter, because, pointless, after all.

I've found that a curious paradox in navigational knowledge--you don't need it in conditions where it doesn't matter--but you can access it, BUT-- you can't have it in conditions you do. There's a 1 in a 1000 scenario where it helps, and that's cool, but basically, that's very rare and pretty small potatoes anyway and explains why completely incompetent people routinely sail around the world. Dumb luck, really, as most often, the world is kind, in spite of what we do to it to louse it up. Odd are, at the end of the day, going to be OK. The reality is, in the real world, the envelope of error vastly exceeds the resolution of the problem at hand. Thus, skill comes in and you fly by the seat of your pants. . .

Still, and this is damned important: The key in navigation, really, isn't knowing when you're going to be OK. It's knowing when you're not. That's why one studies navigation. But even a really bad navigator can compensate for lack of ability by being conservative and cautious and being doggedly and relentlessly obstinate in the goal of making port. . .

Well then, the sustainable lifestyle. . .obviously a bit of navigational talent is important here too.

In sailing we need to know our weather forecast, our boat's capacity to make good, the tides, perhaps obstacles and traffic, hours of day light, visibility, and a whole host of things.

In sustainability we need to know our economic forecast, our fiduciary means, the tides(meaning local influences), obstacles and traffic(um, interference in general, politely), hours of daylight(meaning how long one can hang in there), visibility(how far one can see), and a whole host of things.

So then, one can indeed plot on a chart table things like:

Let P + D + I + R + T = Ea

Where P = Production
Where D = Debt Service
Where I = Innovation
Where R = Resource Costs
Where T = Transportational Factors

Where Ea = Economic Activity

But, I'll suggest 1) You won't need to work that silly equation when you don't need too-- and 2) It won't mean much to you when you need to. In fact, I think the activity of really sitting down and doing so is very likely to make you barf on a chart table too.

I need to go deal with chickens: vol 3 will follow.

So what, is, indeed the "engine" of the unsustainable lifestyle?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Deja Vu all over again. . .Vol 1

I haven't posted a proper diatribe in a while.

Well, let's see. It was about a decade ago(actually a little more than that) that the Oar Club was founded, such as it was. I was sick and tired of being the only person I knew who sailed(that means, of course, not motoring around all the time and sometimes using a sail, ahem. . .) a sailboat (which means, of course, the boat I "sailed" had sails but not engines) and the internet was just firing up to be accessible to most people. Many don't know this but the Oar Club publications first started as print, which I printed off and distributed at my own expense and we spoke by mail. That lasted about 6 months and I went online. Thank god, as I wasn't going to keep paying money to get nasty mail from people I pissed off. Of course this didn't slow the hate mail down a bit. This was 1997-99, of course. Gas wasn't even a buck a gallon, and we hadn't had our dot com bust, peak oil was something only fringe folks had ever heard of, nobody had blew up the twin towers and everyone was going to be movie stars, or something like that, I guess, even if you happened to be poorly complexioned. I started the Oar Club for people who wanted to know other people that wanted to sail. I mean for real. The project was a success. I officially quit maintaining it(rightly so, as I'm not sailing at the moment, and have no business offering my sage advice there) and, well, it's a concept now entrenched enough that it's running along on its own wind supported by those that see its value. That's pretty cool.

My Oar Club message was pretty simple and so were the premises--framed rhetorically might be stated thus: 1) Why go sailing unless you want/intend to go sailing? 2) If you're a normal person and you want to go sailing, economic constants apply. The first question, of course, highly aesthetic and ideological--why would one want to indulge oneself in the archetypal exercise of sailing and then cheat the guts out of the experience by motoring around when "you can't be bothered" with the sailing part--the second question a completely practical one: um, how the hell are you going to pay for this exercise? The answer to both questions, of course, was eliminate the engine. You solved your issue about faking things and saved yourself enough money to make the whole project doable in one fell swoop. Makes all the sense in the world. Of course it pissed people off to no end whose real goals were different: they wanted to look a certain way and had the means to purchase the image. The engine, indeed, was the means to achieving this image. Whoops, that was made to look lame. This kind of ideo/practicality when spoken has a tendency to make a lot of things look like flaming(as conspicuously on fire) bullshit and not everyone enjoys being "outed." Well, bummer. Those who can afford to purchase images for themselves in their idle time can hire folks to handle the PR after the fact of being exposed as full of crap. Not so surprisingly, the most support I'd get for the Oar Club stuff didn't come from wanna-be sailors, it came from powerboaters. They'd say "I think you're crazy, but what you're doing is pretty cool." They didn't have a dog in the "pissing match" and were capable of saying such things. The most heat I ever got was from a guy, who I assume is sane, and was a big time med researcher in Portland, Oregon, whose sailing career involved motoring the 5 mile stretch of river between the I-5 and I-205 bridges on the Columbia River, who sent me a 25000 word manifesto about, well most everything, including the rights of quadriplegics to sail, etc., all sorts of stuff. It never stopped . I still have it somewhere. Touche, bro. As John Stewart Mill would say--it's easy to win an argument, it hard to get your opponent to care. Well, I guess that guy cared. I guess I laugh.

For the record: Quadriplegics motorsailing= plenty cool enough.

People have asked lately--do you miss sailing? Um, kinda, although I got my fill, I'll tell ya. It got to the point where in my mind the question smacks of "Jay, so do you miss driving forklift?" or some such. Hell no, not in the particulars. Most importantly, rather, I feel personally I'm still doing the same thing. All in all, none of this is really so much about sailing but rather integrity and trying to create meaning in a world where there's very little to grab on to that will support that. Sailing, for real, is one thing you can grab onto.

So is my current project--sustainability.

And very similar rhetorical questions apply--why on earth would one want to live sustainably? Kinda pointless really. Screw it. Screw everyone else. I'll get mine and everyone else can go without. Girls like powerboats better. Regardless of whether your world view is created by an intelligent, well researched analysis of our financial system, energy delivery systems, commodities, or our ecology--or you're one of those kind of people who scratch themselves thinking about Sarah Palin in the middle of the night mouthing "drill, baby, drill" oh so softly--why bother really? Why bother caring? It's a lot easier not to. I promise that. Why bother? It's a great question, and a hard one to answer. And the fact is the answer is very much the exact same answer applies to sailing. I want to to care. I need to care. Or, simply, and heroically, because you've chosen to affirm that it's the right thing to do. Because it is, of course. Obviously. And you don't want to be a Schmuck. It's about integrity. To yourself, or all of the rest of us. It's one of those things like recognizing sailing is sailing and motoring is motoring.

Guess what!
I've a couple of rhetorical questions to ask. 1) Why pretend to live "sustainably" if you're not going to live sustainably. 2)If you're going to live sustainably, economic constraints will apply. Shocker, right? Well of course. Again, I find myself in a situation where I'm running afoul of those who in the same manner as yachtsmen want to purchase an image for themselves as some kind of "master of the sea"-- those who want to purchase themselves some kind of image as being "the masters of a sustainable" future when at the end of the day there's damn near nothing that they do that can be remotely equated with sustainability. This isn't a matter of ideology. Not at all. Just look at what they do, quantify it, and form a judgment. Bullshit. And as in sailing, I find the majority of support that I find comes from people who are ardent "not caring" sorts, the kind that don't even bother to pretend--who as in the manner of powerboaters would say "I think you're crazy, but what you're doing is pretty cool."

Believe me, sustainability is going to be all the rage. Why? We've gone to sea as pretend sailors and our engine has conked out. Mixed metaphors, eh? Really, it applies. We are wholly adrift in foul waters right now as a society(all sailors will understand the terror of that phrase) and our future is far from certain, our fate mostly directed by dumb luck. Let me tell you, the worst time to learn to sail(although it's how I got started) is when you have to because the engine conked out. That's dangerous. The worst time to learn to live sustainably(with much much higher stakes) is when your engine conks out too. Boy Howdy, and a hell of a lot more dangerous.

. . .

. . .

. . .

Some savvy sorts will recognize that my metaphorical comparison is incomplete. In sailing, the issue, was, of course the "engine."

So what, rhetorically, is the "engine" of the unsustainable lifestyle? Opinions? Very important question, really.

I need to care for chickens. Vol 2. will follow.


It's been a source of never ending humor to me how few people "get" the "Oar Club" thing. If you're sailing(for real, meaning, that's all you've got) and you end up in the "Oar Club" well, that's not a good thing. Actually that really sucks to have to row your butt off a reef because you screwed up and now risk losing your boat. But, the negative reinforcement goes a long long way towards skill acquisition. Indeed it does. You won't do it twice.

On the Sustainability line maybe I should start "Starve Club." LOL. That's a lot less poetic, but we've already got a couple billion members. . .

Go Saints.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Biochar again:

Be sure those of you interested in biochar(and if you're not, shame on you!) take a look at Ben and Debs result on their first biochar experiment. The data speaks for itself.

Again, anyone interested in biochar is welcome to get a hold of me and I'm more than willing to share what I've found to be the most effective and practical manner to produce it for a small farmstead. I'm more than willing to put together a demonstration if any would desire it.

Here's the link. Check it out.

Suraj's Journal

Just added a link to the worthy reads section. I'd recommend this blog highly, as there's a lot of practical insightful information there. I hope you take the time to check in out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sensible Simplicity Book Club:

Over at the forum we're putting together a book club and I'm offering a open invitation to any and all who'd enjoy participating. I believe we'll start the "book club" as a virtual sort of get together utilizing the chat room. I've suggested that as we've a lot of members and friends who are scattered all over the world and it would be a kick to draw on such a wide range of perspectives. Anyway, if you're interested, please get in touch.

Cooking Club Night will follow as it's simmering on the back burner. . .stay tuned.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Catching Up. . .

Ah, with dead computers, tons of planting, work and all the rest I'm getting very behind on this blog business--hope to correct that soon--obviously there's a lot going on over at the forum.

Besides, it's been a source of unending amusement to see the responses to the last photo. I've received a lot of those from people thinking my "toast" to nature was demeaning and off topic, and thought it shows that at the core I'm really not in touch with nature at all, but rather full of myself. Not one of these keen observers of nature saw the "big honking preying mantis" which, of course, is the core context of this humorous photo. . .

Actually, I try to keep as much nature out of my little cabin and out from under my fingernails as I can. I got all the "oneness" I can handle. . .

Anyway, updates later. There's a lot of them.