Monthly Archives: October 2008

Big Box Mart

Vote in this Poll

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.

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/polls/

A couple interesting articles

Fiscal Cat 5 Warning via MEOW

Economics 101 via Mises

Good intro primer on Peak Oil via The Energy Bulletin

What up Times?

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.

So excited

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.

Housing Prices

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.

It’s Official, I’ve Lost my Mojo

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?