Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go...
T. S. Eliot

Friday, November 24, 2006

Peddler's Wagon

Generally, I would encourage people to buy nothing on this day after Thanksgiving. However, today is an exception: go on over to the Peddler's Wagon to check out (and buy!) carefully chosen products useful for the modern day homesteading way of life.

The store is a project of Path to Freedom, and the profits will be used to fund their outreach efforts, including paying the expenses of their extensive, ad-free Web site. Moreover, ten percent of the profits will be contributed directly to development and relief organizations.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, you can save on shipping costs by arranging to pick up your order.

So, enjoy browsing and buying in good conscience!
Cider pressing photos

I just uploaded photos of the annual cider pressing day at my parents' farm, where my mother's brothers and families, plus friends, spend a fun morning making cider followed by a soup lunch.

This October was the first time I've attended in many years. It was a beautiful Northwest autumn day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Michael Pollan on food

Back in May, Michael Pollan spoke at the Los Angeles Public Library. I had a reservation to attend but needed to finish cleaning my house before a house guest arrived the next day.

The conversation can be heard online. In the far left ALOUD column, click The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Right now he's discussing the disappearance of farm land in the Central Valley of California to housing developments and the spectre of depending entirely on imported food.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Lutherans and the environment

Today in the Adult Forum at church, we began looking an impassioned article by Larry Rasmussen, "What's next for the Reformation?"
Perhaps [...] future historians revisiting the 20th century will say the 21st century saw the ecological reformation of the churches. Perhaps they will write that Earth-honoring religious practice found real traction and thousands of congregations became serious centers of creation care. Perhaps this is what is next for the Reformation, itself, as a living tradition.
One could hope. We discussed the city of Pasadena's intention to extend its contract with a coal-burning power plant in Utah, an issue brought to my attention at PTF. See also an article in a recent edition of the Star-News.
Pasadena's Municipal Services Committee will discuss the contract extension at 2 p.m. Wednesday, 150 S. Los Robles Ave., Room 200. The recommendation will likely go before the City Council on Nov. 20.
We looked at the power content label we recently received in our electricity bills. In 2006, the percent of coal-derived power in the regular, non-green power mix is projected to be 68%, up from 38% in 2005. I encouraged people to consider signing up for Pasadena's Green Power program and to call their district's city council representative. A small thing given the global situation, but at least something an individual can do.

I was particularly interested in Rasmussen's presentation of Bonhoeffer's writing on the earth and nature, with which I hadn't been familiar.

Update 11/24/06: Good news! Pasadena has decided not to renew its contract!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Now is the time to act

From the introduction to "November" in Cosmo Doogood's Urban Almanac, 2006, after describing typical November weather for the northern hemisphere (not Southern California so much right now):
Certainly, it's damp and raw. Rain is forecast. Now is the time to act, to begin. As Ishmael says in Moby Dick, "whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul...I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." He means it's time for human deeds. Without our contributions, nothing will happen, life will have no meaning. [...] "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible," said St. Francis of Assisi.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Holden journey

I've started entering my photos from Holden on Flickr.

However, I'm already frustrated at the restrictions on sorting the order of the pictures. It seems the most recently loaded pictures are displayed first. But if I'm loading a bunch of pictures I want in a specific order, I have to upload them from last to first, and then not add anything. Maybe I'll have to find another service.

[Update 11/6/06: I'm getting the hang of it now. Using sets is the way to go, but you are limited unless you upgrade to the paid Flickr account.]