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Monthly Archives: October 2008
Senator Sanders of Vermont has a poll on his webpage about the financial situation of our country. If you are interested in voting in it follow the link below. He’s a pretty smart guy (especially for a politician) and he sends out a pretty good e-mail if you want to give him your e-mail address.
Fiscal Cat 5 Warning via MEOW
Economics 101 via Mises
Good intro primer on Peak Oil via The Energy Bulletin
The NY Times recently went out of NY city to do an interview with my friend Sharon. (They stuck it behind their paywall now even though it was available earlier today) Unfortunately, they left their journalistic integrity and honor (what they had) in the city. The article they are writing is about people being extreme greens. They are right in one regard, Sharon and her family out outside the normal distribution for what they do. But, the information in the article is blatantly wrong, and it’s disgusting.
In the article they mention that Sharon’s kids sleep in the same bed to stay warm at night. They seem to imply that they need to sleep together or they’ll freeze to death. What a crock of shit. If you read Sharon’s blog, or her new book Depletion and Abundance, she mentions that her kids sleep in bed together because they want to. Maybe they are cold. Maybe they like to sleep together. Maybe they’re like my friend’s kids who share a bed, even though they use to have separate beds and asked their parents for a bed they can share. My kids share a bed too sometimes. There could be a lot of reasons. I sleep in the same bed with my wife. I guess so we can “huddle to stay warm”?
They also mention that Sharon heats and cooks with wood. Well duh, she has a woodlot on her farm. Should she pay for natural gas or heating oil when she has free materials (and materials with a smaller carbon footprint) on her own land? Where is the sense in that? Perhaps this is even mentioned because the NY Times is trying to make her out to be some country bumpkin, even if her choice actually shows a great amount of thought and consideration in it’s choice? (You can make the argument that wood is not carbon neutral, but either way it’s a better choice than natural gas or oil, IMO) Heck, just from a financial standpoint doesn’t it make sense to use a free heat and cooking source over one that you have to pay for?
Most disgustingly, the article mentions that she doesn’t allow her son to play in a baseball league because it’s too far away from her home. Maybe Sharon told them that, but in a followup post on her blog she mentions it’s because the games are played on the Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.
I will admit, some ideas are a little strange. Keeping your trash for a year is pretty far out there, but what better way to really understand your lifestyle’s consumption than to do something like that? I went back to Sharon’s site and read her comments, which really cooled me off. When I first read this article I was hot to trot.
Stupid mainstream press. I use to hold a special place for the Times but now I can see they are just as bad as all the rest. I reuse Ziploc bags and even wash them out so they can be reused . Why not? They last a long time. Guess I’m an eco freak too.
I just came back from the market and someone had sweet potatoes! I thought I was going to have to go without them this year. Or maybe buy them at the store.
But I was saved on the second to last market of the year. I’m probably more excited about this then is really normal. I only bought 20 of them and now I’m wondering if I should have bought more. Well maybe they’ll have more next week. I can’t stomach taking these kids back to the market again today to try for more.
I got some brussel sprouts to try too. We’ll see how that goes.
This picture is a little scary. If you look at the trend area you can see the trend of how total housing prices of houses for sale should be trading. If you look at the end on the right you can see where they currently are. Even give the current drops in housing prices shown on the far right, it would appear that the total dollar amount of houses for sale, at the median house price, has a ways to go to get back into it’s normal trading range. Could mean more pain for lenders and more foreclosures. It also means wherever you are currently living is probably where you are going to be staying. A fair amount of Americans are underwater on their houses. If you find your dream home you probably won’t be able to move your current home to get into this dream home.
I’d say there is a massive inventory of houses for sale. I wouldn’t expect there to be any new construction for a long, long time.
In the kitchen that is. My food mojo. I’m having a hard time right now. I don’t know what it is. This transition from fresh foods to preserved foods is messing with me. Not to mention that it seems like I go into the kitchen and look around and draw a blank. I can’t figure out what to cook.
This didn’t happen to me a month ago. Or even in the spring when there wasn’t much to choose from.
I think part of the problem is that my freezer is so full of vegetables that I haven’t been able to stock it with as many meat products as usual, and that has forced me drop into a hoarding mode where I don’t want to use something because I only have 4 of them, or however many. This seems to lead to some kind of mental block on what to cook instead. Not to mention that I have a lot more choices when I have some beef in there, and right now it’s all pork and chicken.
Part of the problem is that we do try to go meatless 2 or 3 times a week, but my vegetarian cooking hasn’t kept pace with this desire. Most of the time it’s pizza, pasta or just a whole heap of veggies. I have a vegetarian cookbook, but it’s too foo-foo (ie fancy) for me. I’m a simpleton and I like simple dishes with fresh ingrediants.
Maybe part of the problem too is that we’ve been busier than normal of late so it’s hard for me to sit down and spend some time cooking. Especially on the weekend when I do most of my best cooking. When you work full time using the weekends to prep for quick meals to be prepared after work is essential.
Winter is a hard time for me anyway when it comes to cooking. Half the people here don’t like beans so that takes away most of the potential soup dishes. Winter squash isn’t a huge hit either, so that takes away two pretty large parts of eating through the winter.
I don’t know. It’s hard to figure out. What about you? Are any of you having some difficulty in the kitchen putting fun interesting dishes on the table with what you’ve put up?
So I need to talk about a bunch of different things.
I updated my harvest/storing tab with my last delivery for the food kitchens. Somewhere in my busy September I wasn’t able to update all the food I dropped off. That’s unfortunate because that month is one of the most prolific, but overall it appears that we were able to get a fair amount of food distributed to the needy. That’s great. We’re going to further develop the process and how many people are involved this winter when we get everyone together to discuss how it worked.
My personal harvest totals are way off, as are my storage totals. This typically happens in tomato and apple month. I plan to take an inventory of the pantry and I’ll post that up when I get a chance. I feel good about what we have put up, although I know it wouldn’t be enough if it was all we had to eat, but we also wouldn’t really starve that bad if we did have to live off it. I will always have to buy dairy products and flour into the near future, but otherwise I’m not too bad.
I’ve got a lot of things to say about the Household Economy (Part 1 and 2), but I can’t get them all into a coherent thought. Hopefully I will be able to. That being said, the writer of the two linked postings does a darn good job.
My son has decided he wants to be a Scout. While on one hand I love the skill set he would learn, I have some concerns about the organization and some of the “love of God and country” they support. We’ll just see how this develops. Right now he is in love with it. We’ll see how long it goes. Not to mention, it’s based in the neighborhood so it is a chance to work some local/community action initiatives. They’ve never met anyone like me in Scouts before, I can tell you that!
This video is very intriguing. It’s pretty far out there, but even if 10% of what she is saying is true this is eye opening. This is a 30 minute video but worth listening to.
Lately there has been so much going on that I’ve been having a hard time dedicated some time to this endeavor. I think this is the typical end of summer burn out I get where I just want to sit around and read books to recooperate from the busy summer. Lately I’ve read Reinventing Collapse-Animal, Vegetable, Miracle-Depletion and Abundance-Eating Fossil Fuels along with a few others that I’ve enjoyed. I think soon I’ll get my writing mojo back. But, with Groovy Green and Hen and Harvest my writing time is split up pretty good. Anyway, I’m just rambling.
Any of you chicken ranchers out there know why my chicken run would be filled with feathers? Are these things molting? I thought maybe one of them was dead but they’re both there and not torn up or anything.
Maybe after they molt I might get some damn eggs.
This week I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future. I’ve been thinking about a whole bunch of different things, none of which I’ll bore you with right now. But I did want to mention, I ordered a bunch of seeds this week. I was thinking; if the economy gets a lot worse maybe people will be more interested in planting crops next spring, and if that happened there could be a potential shortage of seeds. I know there was with Y2K, and if there was a sharp demand the seed companies wouldn’t be able to keep up.
So, I ordered up $75 worth of seeds from Seed Savers. This is something I usually take great joy in doing in the winter in front of the corn stove. But I’m just not so sure that they’ll be available next spring. If you are already growing food for your family maybe you might want to think about picking up some seeds that might last you for a year or two. At least until we have a better idea what the future holds. You might be surprised to realize that if you started growing a serious portion of your family’s food your seed needs go up by more than you would expect, at least mine do.
I’ve got some beans still hanging on out in the garden. I think I’ll let those dry and save those for next year too.