Saturday, September 29, 2007

Deoderants

Heidi Sopinka of the Globe and Mail looks at the chemical composition of deodorants, even from the health food store, and asks "Is it possible to obliterate body odor and be good to the planet?" and concludes that it is pretty tough. 50% of "natural" deodorants contain petroleum-based propylene glycol; others contain gender bender triclosan, parabens, and talc, which is illegally mined in India.

She concludes: Avoid antiperspirants entirely, and if after reading the label you find no mention of parabens, talc or propylene glycol, you're on the right track. You might have to arrange for emergency reapplications throughout the day, but it beats the environmental price of coming clean.

On the Susan Seed wise woman forum they discuss a natural deodorant called a Crystal that is 100 percent natural, it works, and it lasts a surprisingly long time. This is going to sound kind of gross but i don't use anything at all. As long as I keep myself clean I don't seem to need it. Not even when I sweat excessively. Maybe I'm just strange like that.

Own a piece of the Titanic

Here is something else from tree hugger. You know how much I love to read that particular blog. Here is something I found on there that I find a little bit disturbing. So many people died when that ship sank. To own a piece of it feels almost like grace robbing to me.

Not that you've probably ever given it any serious consideration, but how would you feel about owning a piece of the Titanic - to tell the time? Yes, taking the principles of reuse and recycling to new heights, a Switzerland-based watch company - Romain Jerome - is planning on using steel taken from the actual vessel to craft a set of 2,012 limited edition Titanic DNA Watches. Furthermore, the watches' dial faces will be coated with black lacquer paint - whose main ingredient consists of coal from the ship.

They will be made available on (conveniently enough) 2012 to coincide with the centenary anniversary of the Titanic's sinking on April 14, 1912. No pricing is as yet listed, but you can bet these watches won't come cheap. Talk about gimmicky... not to mention inefficient (just imagine the amount of energy it takes to extract the necessary components).

I need to get up earlier.

Its another day in the blogesphere. You know last month was so busy I took the first week kind of light and then after that I had a slow week. This week has been unbelievably busy for me. I've made lots of money this week too. I haven't had time for much else though. I usually have my Halloween decorations up by now and other than what Bear and the kids have put up everything is still packed on boxes. I've done very little work on the house . I have been sleeping later though. Maybe I just need to start getting up a few hours earlier. Its nice sleep late but I don't really need to sleep late.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Green is not the new Black

I can remember being a teenager and environmentalism was considered to almost be a fad. I didn't really understand why it started to become unpopular. I hope thats not the case this time. I would like to see us repair the damage that we've done. Here is an article about this from tree hugger.

The 2007 ImagePower Green Brands 2.5 Survey debuted this morning at Sustainable Life Media's Sustainable Brands '07 Conference in New Orleans. According to the report, “consumers say they expect to double their spending on green products and services in the next year, totaling a staggering $500 billion annually, or $43 billion per month.”

The 2007 ImagePower Green Brands Survey was conducted by three market research and consulting parties: WPP's Landor Associates, Penn, Schoen & Berland (PSB) Associates, and Cohn & Wolfe (C&W). The survey represents a sample of US populations.

Findings indicate a shift in the U.S.'s collective consciousness. According to Sustainable Life Media, a new business to business online community, e-newsletter and event company, dedicated to educating large businesses and corporations on the profitability of environmental best practices, “Consumers had previously indicated a close association of the color green with ‘environmentally-friendly’ products. As products and awareness have increased in sophistication, perceptions have steadily shifted to equating green to saving money and caring for self and society. Consumers now perceive green as a direct and positive reflection of their social status, in addition to recognizing its broader value to society and the world.”

The survey also found that 40% of the U.S. population feels that the leading issue driving concern around the environment is global warming, while 20% blame themselves for the state of the environment. The research also indicated that despite bipartisan sentiments on politics and religion, 90% of Americans agree that there are important green issues and problems, and 82% believe it is important for companies to implement environmentally friendly practices.

"This wave of research very clearly indicates an uptick in purchase intent for most consumers when it comes to green products and services, particularly those that are relatively simple to implement such as installing environmentally friendly lighting and upgrading to energy-saving appliances," said Tom Agan, managing director of Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates.

Tree Hugger Soup

carrot%20and%20lentil%20soup.jpg You know, I didn't know tree hugger posted recipes, but now that I know that they do I may start searching for them. I love to try new recipes. My family doesn't, lol, but I do. The temperature in Toronto reached over 30 C again this week, so once more I have delayed the roasting of pumpkin and squash that I have been hankering after. From the sounds of it we will soon have weather more in keeping with the autumn and I will be able to start cooking heartier fare. The recipe that I tried this week is a bit of a compromise between the substantial orange foods of fall and a lighter texture to have on a hot day. As regular readers of this column will know, I am the queen of substitutions and I made a few here.

The recipe calls for butter but in the interests of my arteries I no longer use it in this kind of cooking. I used olive oil instead. I also didn't have any sun dried tomatoes on hand so I threw in a fresh tomato and that worked out alright. I expect the sun dried tomato would give the soup a bit more depth of flavour and also make it a bit saltier. It also asked for the carrots to be grated, but I was just too lazy so I chopped them. It meant that there were chunks of carrot rather than a smooth puree, but I like a little texture in my soup. Make sure you use red or yellow lentils because you want them to break down completely and green lentils are too sturdy for this recipe. I thought there was too much stock and used more like a litre than the 1.5 litres required This recipe says you need to boil the soup for 40 minutes, but I didn't cook it for anywhere near that amount.

Now that you know how I messed around with this recipe, feel free to mess around with it yourself. Add some crusty bread and a green salad and you've got a nice light dinner.

More Small Prefabs

Here is something else interesting from tree hugger. I love it. I think there soo great. There so creative and it seems like there coming up with new things like this every single day. I don't know does it give us hope for cheaper housing. maybe, maybe not.

energyspace.jpg

So many small prefabs and sheds on TreeHugger and other sites, but how many are zero energy and carbon neutral? Energyspace builds "a state of the art workspace that makes a minimal or zero contribution to global climate change in every aspect of its design, construction, energy-use, and life cycle."

They are super-insulated (hemp-cotton batts are an option), sited for passive solar gain but assisted by wood fired stoves and photovoltaics.

energyspace2.jpg

They give very good reasons for building a garden shed, most of which are as applicable in North America as they are in the UK:

Garden buildings: the benefits?

The arguments for a garden office are convincing:

* The addition of valuable new living or working space which frees up room in your home
* Return on investment. It is estimated that one can recuperate 75% - 100% of the cost of the project on the value of your house.
* A garden building is considered as 'plant' and usually tax deductible.
* Avoiding the rush hour traffic. Saving money and time as well as CO² emissions by not having to travel to work.
* Interruptions are less likely in a garden office than in an office in the home itself - the distinction between home life and work is essential for those working from home.
* Subject to specific limits and exceptions planning permission is not normally required for garden buildings provided the building is for a purpose 'incidental' to the dwelling house use.

A garden office creates extra space without the disruption to home life that an extension or loft conversion entails.

energyspace3.jpg

What is 'zero carbon' or 'carbon neutral' construction?

Firstly, one has to achieve 'zero heating'. This means that the building is insulated and draught proofed to a set of standards that are such that the heating requirements of the occupants are met by solar gains through windows, as well as the heat emitted by appliances and people.

Once 'zero heating' has been achieved, one has to tackle the emissions associated with electricity use for appliances. 'Zero carbon' means that the building must create zero net emissions of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. So, energy used must be 'paid back' through the use of renewable energy systems that are designed into the building.
Which suppliers of garden buildings aim for zero carbon?

At present Energy Space is the only provider.

Some of the better quality garden offices on the market aim for the thermal performance required by the 2002 UK Building Regulations. Our buildings aim to exceed this standard as explained below.

Energy Space aims at the exemplary thermal standards seen in Germany and Sweden.

Building energy performance can be explained using the following measurement:

* Kilowatt hours - per metre squared - per annum (KWh/m²/a)

The average UK home (80 square metres semi-detached) uses 278 kilowatt hours per mtr2 per annum (278kwh/m²/a) for heating, lighting and appliances. Built to 2002 Building Regulations the same size of home uses around 200kwh/m²/a (the standard most other garden offices aim for). Our LES range aims at 84kwh/m²/a while our ZES aims at 38kwh/m²/a.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

OMG!!!!

I'm feeling just a tad bit over worked today. I knew when I got up with morning that I was going to be busy today but this is ridiculous. it was already busy for me, lots of texting and adds to do but then as I finished up my texting I got a whole bunch of ads just flowing into my box. Enough that I gulped down a root beer and went outside take some deep breaths for a few minutes. I'm going to be sitting at this computer until midnight. I'm sure of it.

Bear's New Job

I have so much work to do today i probably won't be leaving this computer except to go to the bathroom. I do not enjoy days like that. Gone are the days when I could do my ads in the morning and do my texting in a few hours and be done for the day. Boy do I miss those days, even if I am making a lot more money.

It looks like Bear may already have his off season job. wqe went ahead and closed everything down early because the economy is so bad and most of our customers are feeling it to much to be able to purchase expensive cleaning supplies. But it turns out that its fine because this job he applied for pays pretty darn good. Plus it has medical dental 401k and . . . well its a pretty good job. They also have a 70% turn over rate for employees so there probably assholes, lol. Oh well, its not permanent

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chateau Aux Arc

I got to go to Altus today with Bear. He had a delivery to make to that Vineyard there, Chateau Aux Arc. We sold her or cleaner for the first time in the spring and learned today that she is going green on everything she uses at the vineyard. She was thrilled to learn that our cleaning product is enviornmentally safe and bought an additional 3 cases. I was just scanning her website and she has a villa on the property that she rents and from the short conversation we had with her today it sounds like she might have plans for more buildings to stay in and visit.

There Toga Party is this weekend. I would love to attend, but with it being the end of the month I don't know if I'm going to be able to or not.

The landscaping she has around the tasting room is some of the most incredible I have ever seen. Its all done in the same native stone we will be using in our home and some truly beautiful plants. When we visited in the spring the hot pokers and lavender were in bloom. She has dry stream beds around the building set up in a spiral shape. There truly fascinating. One of these days I'm going to remember to take a camera up ther and take pictures.

Save the Oceans

This is really sad news. But what can we do about it. People need fish. I suppose we could raise them in ocean based pens. This meaning pens built of netting directly in the ocean like that. I think that could probably work. But I'm not a fishermen and I don't make my living selling fish so what do I know. Anyway, the article is below.

As a sombre reminder that the oceans too are suffering the grave effects of over-exploitation and widespread pollution, a new report released by the Worldwatch Institute indicates that 76 percent of world fish stocks are either fully or over-exploited. The report suggests that in order to protect marine biodiversity and human livelihoods, marine reserves or “national parks of the sea” should be set up and precautionary procedures taken to curb the pollution disrupting oceanic temperature and chemistry.

“The oceans cannot save themselves,” says Worldwatch Institute president Christopher Flavin. “Collective commitments to thriving ecosystems are needed to save overfished species from being systematically depleted from compromised habitats.”

The exhaustion of global fish stocks can be traced to over-fishing, the use of harmful fishing methods such as bottom trawling, unsustainable aquaculture and illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.

Marine pollution is another culprit – and can originate from chemical, radioactive and organic sources – from oil spills to marine debris (plastics, junked fishing gear) to agricultural and sewage runoff – the latter two in particular are responsible for so-called oxygen-poor “dead zones that are made inhabitable by an excess of nitrogen.

The report, titled Oceans in Peril: Protecting Marine Biodiversity, outlines solutions to reverse this over-exploitative trend, wherein fisheries move from a single-species approach to a holistic, ecosystems-based outlook to conservation, as part of a well-connected global network of marine reserves protecting vital habitats.

The report notes successful precedents of marine reserves in the Caribbean and the Red Sea as positive models where fish populations rebounded.

Currently, there is no framework under existing international treaties to create a global system of marine reserves in the high seas – which are areas beyond the usual governmental jurisdiction. Instead, the report proposes a new implementation agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to create and manage the reserves.

Even more tellingly, the report also points out that the commercial and trade bias of the WTO in fishing negotiations are hindering conservation efforts – and that the so-called “sweetheart” deals which allow developed nations to over-fish in the waters of developing nations are economically unfair, environmentally and socially unsustainable and should come to an end if marine biodiversity and the livelihoods that depend upon it are to be protected. Ultimately, the report cautions that “current presumptions that favor freedom to fish and freedom of the seas will need to be replaced with the new concept of freedom for the seas.”

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The new epsode of House

The season premier of House was tonight. He is replacing his team. Coyote and I were arguing about that for a while. Coyote kept insisting he was bringing them back and I said he wasn't. I think a fresh team will make for a good season. At the end of the episode though he was sitting in a room with 30 candidates and he's going to be working his way through them for 30 days/ I would love to see him working his way through the candidates. I think it would make for a couple of funny episodes. Although I think we all would love to see the janitor he was bouncing ideas off of on his team as well.

Paying for the mistakes other make

As the leaders of the attendant developing and small island nations took their turns at the podium on Monday's United Nations high-level event on climate change, their anger—and desperation—was palpable. And it wasn't because they were only given a brief five minutes to make their statements.

"It is an irony that the least-developed countries and small island states, which are the least responsible for the climate change, are the worst affected," said Sahana Pradhan, Nepal's minister of foreign affairs. "Industrialized nations have a special obligation to mitigation," she added.

Developed countries owe a "moral and environmental debt" that must be "duly paid" to resolve the inequities by climate change's devastating effects, said President Néstor Carlos Kirchner of the Republic of Argentina. "This has for too long been an unkept promise," he said. "So far efforts have been timid and moved toward failure."

Officials spoke of droughts, heat waves, losses in biodiversity, coastal erosion, flooding, and cyclones—events that now recur with "relentless regularity," according to Fakhruddin Ahmed, chief advisor of Bangladesh. He described his country and others as being "on the threshold of a climatic Armageddon," a phrase we're surprised hasn't been picked up on more.

But developing nations, many of them overwhelmingly poor, have little means to deal with global warming, underlining what is proving to be a growing climate divide between the haves and the have-nots. The planet's most vulnerable regions called for a transfer of technology, experience, and resources from richer, developed countries, as well as leadership from the developed world, especially at December's climate talks in Bali, Indonesia (or what we've taken to calling Kyoto 2: Climate Boogaloo).

"The sad reality is that small developing island states can only do so much to improve their resilience against the impacts of climate change," said President Emanual Mori of the Federate States of Micronesia, after detailing a national "climate-proofing" infrastructure development framework that is underway. "For them, any adaptation measures may very well be desperation measures. For an atoll island, just a few meters above sea level and surrounded by the sea, how does one build its resilience against sea-level rise? It would be very costly, and very impractical to build sea walls around every island in Micronesia."

Its really sad that those who are able to prepare the least are the ones that suffer the most from the mistakes of others. I have done plenty of paying for other peoples mistakes myself. How in the world were these people ever supposed to prepare for the sea level to go up higher than its supposed to.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A scary movie

I'm watching that amytville horror thing, the new one. I like this one better. I think the older one was scarier but i like the ending on this one better. There is nothing scary about a guy falling into a bunch of black oil under his house (besides the fact that there was a black oil under it in the first place). The ending to this one was definitly a whole lot scarier because it went into depth about the torture of the Indians and showed them there locked in the devices that they died in. That was definitly a lot scarier.

That darn Cowl Neck Sweater

You know I have ripped the sleeve out of that cowl next sweater I've been working on 3 times now and redid it. I'm having problems with adding stitches where stitched are not supposed to be added. The last couple of inches have gone ok though. Hopefully they will keep going ok this time. I'm really really sick of looking at this peach color. At least working with it. I'm ready to move on to that blend of fall colors I was going to put in Mouse's sweater.

Hybred Bug

I am so excited by this. I love bugs and i want one but at the same time i want a hybrid as well. So for a while I've been kind of torn. when a get a new car what am i going to buy. The bug that i want or a hybrid like i should. Now I don't have to be torn anymore, isn't that awesome. The article about the vehicle is below.




Even without a single hybrid vehicle (and due to a number of diesel fueled options), Volkswagen has consistently been near the top of many fuel efficiency lists. So, just imagine what would happen if the company decided to take one of their models, such as the Jetta or Beetle, and put some battery-charged hybrid goodness in. Well, a few months after announcing that they plan to put a hybrid engine in some of their compact models, V-Dub is taking all this hybrid talk a step further. Now, every upcoming VW model is scheduled to have a hybrid option, with some models hybrid-ready as early as next year.

Although only some models will have the power of full hybridization behind them (with the others taking advantage of "partial hybrid" technology), Volkswagen does have plans to eventually even offer full-electric versions of its smaller cars. The company has not yet released which cars will get the full and partial hybrid treatment, nor which cars are being considered for full electric status. One thing is for sure, Volkswagen wants to make sure we still see their name near the top of every fuel efficiency list released.

It would be soo nice to be able to afford to buy a hybrid VW bug someday. I really like those cute little bugs.

Cut down the trees?

santa%20monica%20trees.jpg

Nice Trees. I used to have a ficus tree, a long time ago. Mine didn't look anything like that. its hard for me to imagine anyone wanting to cut down something this beautiful though. Anyway. The article about them being cut down follows.

Urban street trees do a lot of good; they provide shade to pedestrians, reduce the heat island effect, hold moisture, act as carbon sinks and just generally make any street look better. These ficus trees in Santa Monica, California are particularly handsome.

However they are all being chopped down and replaced with dinky little gingkos, to "To make those streets more attractive to the shopping public." The city's notice doesn't say much: "The criteria for removal included but were not limited to internal decay, extensive root pruning, poor canopy structure, damaged canopies from oversized vehicles, design factors and too large for relocation."

It boggles the mind that anyone in this day and age would consider removing trees like this a "Pedestrian and Streetscape Improvements Project." We hope anyone nearby will support the group fighting this- there is a reason we are called Treehuggers

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Sticky Day

I worked on the house a little bit this morning but didn't really do anything this afternoon other than stand on top of a mound of dirt and look at the woods. The leaves are turning an olive green color. It wasn't hot today but the humidity was so thick that the sweat doesn't evaporate off of your skin. it leaves you feeling dirty and clammy and sticky and horrible. Maybe tomorrow won't be quiet as sticky.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Price of Construction

I have horrible looking hands. There are tiny ocval shaped calluses under each finger and there stained orange by the red clay. The won't lighten despite my best efforts. Any exposed flesh is covered it little round scabs. There are tons of mosquitoes back there this time of year and they bite. Rubbing mint on my skin helps a little but not enough to keep them away. There hungry little critters. Thats about it i guess. I guess I can't complain to much. None of these things are permanent. I could probably avoid the calluses if I wore gloves, but I don't.

The rainforest gets greener?

In a new study that seemingly flies in the face of most previous research (not to mention common sense), a team of scientists from the University of Arizona has discovered that the Amazon rainforest responded to a drought in 2005 by becoming "greener", rather than brown. Scott Saleska, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and the study's lead author, and his colleagues used images obtained from NASA's Terra Satellite to study changes occurring in the rainforest canopy. They found that the trees were able to thrive under the drier conditions - albeit temporarily - by taking advantage of the additional sunlight.

This makes me think of my garden in the fall. Even though plants are supposed to thrive during warm weather i have found my own garden seems to get new life during the grief cool period in the fall. You know the time before the weather gets too severe. It has a more recovered, less stressed, refreshed look to it thats very nice.

Pricing Lumber

Bear and I went to the hardware store and priced out lumber for the second floor today. We discussed staircases and the upstairs and started figuring how much wood we were going to need.
The walls get a little bit higher. the year gets a little bit later. I told Bear when we started I was hoping to have it all under cover by December. Thats not going to happen now. He says it still could. I don't think so, lol.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Atlantis Game

I am so frustrated tonight. I ran across this game online that I really enjoyed. It was one of those games where you matched up 3 of what ever was on the screen and you went to different levels and stuff likwe that. It was called something Atlantis and no matter how hard I search I can't find it. This one was a little different because there were artifacts in the puzzle and when you sank them to the bottom you went on to the next level. I just can't find it anywhere.

Goats on the roof


After you really get the green roof thing down, and you're saving energy and reducing stormwater runoff, and the blogs are all agog, what's the next move? Extremely locally produced goat meat could be it. Or just tourist bait. Either way, its an old tradition with a big future, we think.

"Door County Wisconsin is a major summer tourist destination, especially for Chicago area people looking for a respite from the summer heat. Can't really say it's "eco-tourism: but:- "At Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, the roof is covered with grass. All summer long the goats have a ball up there grazing away wondering why people are staring up at them! Quite a few people were stopping to photograph and watch the goats. The goats just sit up and there and graze nonchalantly!"

I wonder how they keep them up there. It seems like they wouldn't have any trouble jumping down. After all anyone with any experience with goats knows what a bunch of escape artists they are. Maybe its just to far for them to jump. or maybe they have those shock collars on like they put on dogs. I don't know. i don't see any shock collars on the goats.

More work

I didn't work on the back of the property yesterday but I did go out there this morning. I put the last row of bags in place so one section that fell is now standing tall and sturdy and beautiful again. Its very nice to see it up. I can't even begin to express just how heartbreaking it was to walk back there that rainy Sunday morning and see all of that hard work laying under water.

I was going to go ahead and finish the buttressing around the doorways but discovered after finishing that last row that I have enough nails left for 3 bags. I don't really want to go all the way back into town to buy more nails just yet. Instead I started taking apart the other wall that fell. Its going much easier. It also didn't fall completely. I slid off some of the bags and using a technique I learned from Becky Bee and her book about Cob construction and used my feet to push the part of the wall that slid to the side back onto the part that was still standing. I braced my back against the ground and pushed and managed to straighten most of the leaning wall.

Bear went out there this morning with a chain saw and started cutting up firewood from the trees we cut down last summer and during the winter and we discussed the second floor again. I've been trying to get him to read some books I picked up from the library about log construction. I'm hoping I can talk him into taking logs from the property and using them to build the second floor. Otherwise the wood beams are going to be expensive and I don't know if were going to have the money or not. He hasn't opened one of the books since brought them home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More about the baby fishies

I bought a cheap net from Wal-Mart today and managed to catch 1 of the little baby fishes. Only one. I got the funky colored brown baby and got a better look at it. Its sort of a muddy brown yellow green color but its scales have a lot of "glisten" to them. There heavy in metallic Sheen. I think thats supposed to be a good thing and I'm told they can still change color for up to a year. The other one thats black and brown and orange I couldn't catch. I've been told that one is probably a mule. Apparently when gold fish and Koi breed they create a baby thats brown or black with an orange belly and as far as I can tell it has an orange belly but I won't know until I get it out of the water.

Next year I'm going to remove the blue Koi the yellow Koi and the Calico Koi from the pond and isolate them in a big rubber maid container by them self with some nesting medium in it and just keep the eggs separate from the gold fish and to keep them from getting eaten. If the yellow ones turns out to be female (I can't tell for sure) then I will put the orange and black one in there also. That way I don't have to worry about ending up with a bunch of mules.

I've also been told that out of the thousand of babies a Koi will have 50% of them will be brown. This way I can weed out the brown ones.

I have an orange Koi with black markings , a Calico Koi (black, orange, and white) a beautiful yellow Koi, and my precious big mama blue. The only one I am for sure is a female. She is a very vibrant shade of blue with black markings on her back that resemble blotch stripes. I'm very curious to see what we will end up with. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed as far as getting a platinum. Maybe a black one with orange flecks on it next year

Metal and Plywood

I believe this is another prefab that tree hugger wrote about. I think its a prefab anyway. I think its a great way to make an addition onto a house. Don't you think so. I love the modern look of the plywood and metal too. I usually prefer things that look older, but there is something to be said about this look isn't there.


You would never know to look at it, but this is a 1948 vintage 900 square foot house in Boulder, Colorado, reclad in a plywood rainscreen, with an addition made from a custom prefabricated compressed straw panel wall system that was assembled in four hours, that houses a new kitchen, bedroom and bath.

I love the look of the metal on the outside. Its got a very modern look to it. I don't really like the windows all that much though. They remind me of the windows they used to put in mobile homes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cowl Neck Sweater

I'm making this sweater. I'm not doing it in green (shocker right). I'm doing it in Peach because i look good in that color. Mine is going to be baggier than this one is because I hate clothes that cling to me like the one in this picture does. The sleeves are going to be longer too because i hate sleeves that look like there to short (like this one). I'll post a picture of it when I'm finished. This pattern was so simple if I don't get sick of it i may make myself several of them.

I'm getting fat again

You know I strayed from my diet one week and did some emotional eating during my monthly and I swear I blew up like a balloon. I really hope that I'm still retaining some water because I am looking really really fat right now. I need to find some diet pills or something. Thats probably the only thing thats going to knock this weight down. Exercise sure doesn't seem to work anymore.

Goats in the yard

Does Seattle Councilman Richard Conlin's latest proposal stand a goat of a chance?

Conlin wants to give Seattleites the right to keep miniature goats as pets, a move he bills as one step for sustainability. Pygmy goats, says the councilman, can act as environmentally friendly lawnmowers and weed whackers, while supplying a bounty of milk, cheese, and all-natural fertilizer.

Under current Seattle land-use codes, farm animals cannot be kept on lots smaller than 20,000 square feet. Conlin's proposal would reclassify pygmy goats as small animals, requiring only that they be licensed (just like dogs and cats) and for them to be confined to their owner's property. "We're not going to have goat off-leash areas," says Phyllis Shulman, Conlin's legislative assistant.

I hope it works out. It would be nice to see goats in places they weren't before. after all they can mow and fertalize your lawn at the same time, plus they produce milk that can be made into cheese and soap and multiple other things./

Just an Update

Bear came home from his business trip today. he complained that its getting more and more difficult to make sales. He has to really work his butt off to come home with what little he does come home with. Since he only sells a few days a week anyway I think he may go ahead and get a part time job. He was going to get one for the winter months anyway because there are no sales during the winter. he's just going to be getting it a few months earlier than he expected.

I'm guessing its the economy causing the problem. I read something this morning about how consumers don't really know just how bad things are going to get and therefore are afraid to spend anything.

Bear got a call from his mother this afternoon. After the company her husband was a CEO for went bankrupt a few years ago and he lost the several million dollars they had put away for retirement she had to go back to work (she has always been a terrible snob and sort of deserved it). She went to work for a real estate company and was doing very well until a few months ago when the real estate market went to hell. She saw a report the other day that said they've had over 22000 homes foreclosed on in the past few months just in Ohio.

Speaking of homes Coyote worked on the Earthbag Dome with me again today. The worst section of wall that fell lacks one row from being repaired. The other side will go a lot faster. It wasn't nearly as bad.

The Peat Problem and Solution

I heard about the peat problem a few years ago when I was doing research into composting toilets. Peat is an ingredient that they use in there composting (although if you ask me the sawdust toilet setup is much more practical and reliable). I don't understand why people keep coming up with non sustainable ways to do things when its such a problem. At least people are looking for solutions.

Gardeners are familiar with peat, compressed into cake-like pellets for starting seeds indoors or used in bulk as a soil enricher, compost component, or an ingredient in planting mix. But peat harvesting is an industrial-scale mining operation that is rapidly turning ancient peat bogs into one of the planet's most endangered wildlife habitats.

Organix, an organic-residuals-management company, is now shipping its first commercial peat-moss replacement to customers in the region—one that could also herald a new environmentally friendly way dairies can manage their waste.

The product, called RePeat, contains no peat moss and is created using a patent-pending system called FibeRite, which takes dairy solids from an anaerobic digester and converts them into a peat-moss substitute designed for the horticulture industry.

"We have been working on this process for quite a while; it's great to see the first production facility underway," says Russ Davis, President of Organix, in a press release. "When combined with an anaerobic digester, we are confident that we address nearly all significant issues associated with managing dairy solids including ammonia capture, runoff, leachate, methane reduction, dust, climate change, odor and more. We are raising the bar far beyond the outdated simple compost model to create a new dairy facility standard—the renewable peat replacement 'bog.'"

The fact that this is made with diary solids concerns me though. After all dairy comes from cows that eat corn and corn takes nutrients from the ground (unlike other plants that could be used to feed cattle and put it back) but I could go round and round on circles with this all day long.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Dangers of those new fabric Softener Balls

I've been seeing Nellie's dryer balls and their various knockoffs throwing around their purportedly eco-friendly clout everywhere lately, even on green shopping sites and environmental blogs online. I didn't really pay that much attention. I've never used fabric softener balls, ever. I don't see a point to add a new expense or start a new habit.

The concept behind them is well-meaning: The dryer balls are meant to take the place of fabric softeners, which recent studies have revealed contain cancer-causing and neurotoxic solvents such as toluene and styrene (thank goodness I never liked them). What the manufacturers fail to mention, however, is that the the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material the supposedly "nontoxic" dryer balls are made of is one of the most poisonous plastics ever created, posing great environmental and health hazards in its manufacture, product life, and disposal.

Hydrochloric acid, cancer-causing dioxins, and other persistent pollutants are spewed into the air, water, and land when PVC is being manufactured, resulting in chronic and severe health problems such as cancer, neurological damage, endometriosis, neurological damage, birth defects, and liver and kidney damage. The dioxin exposure of the average American far exceeds the usual standard for acceptable risk; dioxins also concentrate in breast milk, with babies now receiving high doses at orders of magnitude greater than those of the average adult.

Toxic additives and chemical stabilizers such as lead, cadmium, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (a suspected carcinogen that is known to cause a host of reproductive and developmental defects), leach, flake, or off-gas from the PVC throughout its life. (Nellie's Dryer Balls are also made in China, which hasn't had the best record of late with lead safety.)

And because PVC cannot be easily recycled, it's either landfilled, where it leaches chemicals or incinerated, releasing dioxin and heavy metals again.

Burn Out

I've gotten into a really really bad habit of putting my work off until evening. I used to do it first thing in the morning. I don't know maybe its a sign of burn out or something.

I do plan on working on the Dome at some point today. The first section of repair is about half finished. It can't get finished fast enough to please me of course. I want it to be done right now. I want to see my walls rising higher and higher. Its soo frustrating not to see that happening.

Monday, September 17, 2007

More baby fishies

I am completely out of things to write about at the moment. Well, I did find some more baby fish. We actually have 2 funky colored ones and 5 little gold ones. I'm assuming the funky colored ones are Koi. There not pretty Koi though. One is greenish looking like a bass or something and the other one is that funky black orange and brown looking fish. Why couldn't I get a white one and another blue one, lol.

Will Cars be Banned from London

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in London 60% by 2025. It’s a massive goal, and one which many believe is unreachable using current methods. A new study shows that some radical moves might be needed in order to achieve it, such as banning all cars from London. The report was written by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Transport Studies Unit of the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, and explains that London will only make a 10-23% reduction at its current rate, but that their plan could achieve a 72% drop by 2030.

After reading the report, Auto Blog Green explain that, “Much of the reason that London's emissions are too high to begin with is that very few people walk, ride their bicycle or take public transportation.” This statement surprises me since I know several people living in London and many of them don't own cars.

I'm not the only one that finds this statement to be untrue, as all trains and buses in London are packed to bursting at rush hour, and there are a lot of cyclists waiting at every red light. Yes, too many people drive, but the main problem is that public transport in London is old-fashioned and straining under the weight of far more traffic than it was designed for.

Not that many people actually drive to work in Central London, compared to the number that take public transport, but it doesn’t take very much traffic to clog up it’s ancient streets. Although it seems very unlikely that cars would ever be banned from London, especially outer London, it does look as though the congestion charge will be raised, and its area increased.

Every time this happens the amount of traffic in the city will decrease, and it will be more comfortable for cyclists and pedestrians. wouldn’t hurt either, but we’ll see if the next mayor shares Ken's congestion-charge ideals

Lets talk about health care

I love Hillary Clinton's Health Care Plan. I liked her to start with but i love her after seeing tis health care plan. i don't know why people keep insisting this is government controlled health care. This doesn't seem like government controlled health care at all.

The American Health Choices Plan gives Americans the choice to preserve their existing coverage, while offering new choices to those with insurance, to the 47 million people in the United States without insurance, and the tens of millions more at risk of losing coverage.


  • The Same Choice of Health Plan Options that Members of Congress Receive: Americans can keep their existing coverage or access the same menu of quality private insurance options that their Members of Congress receive through a new Health Choices Menu, established without any new bureaucracy as part of the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). In addition to the broad array of private options that Americans can choose from, they will be offered the choice of a public plan option similar to Medicare.

  • A Guarantee of Quality Coverage: The new array of choices offered in the Menu will provide benefits at least as good as the typical plan offered to Members of Congress, which includes mental health parity and usually dental coverage.

Americans who are satisfied with the coverage they have today can keep it, while benefiting from lower premiums and higher quality.


  • Reducing Costs: By removing hidden taxes, stressing prevention and a focus on efficiency and modernization, the plan will improve quality and lower costs.

  • Strengthening Security: The plan ensures that job loss or family illnesses will never lead to a loss of coverage or exorbitant costs.

  • End to Unfair Health Insurance Discrimination: By creating a level-playing field of insurance rules across states and markets, the plan ensures that no American is denied coverage, refused renewal, unfairly priced out of the market, or forced to pay excessive insurance company premiums.

Relying on consumers or the government alone to fix the system has unintended consequences, like scaled-back coverage or limited choices. This plan ensures that all who benefit from the system share in the responsibility to fix its shortcomings.


  • Insurance and Drug Companies: insurance companies will end discrimination based on pre-existing conditions or expectations of illness and ensure high value for every premium dollar; while drug companies will offer fair prices and accurate information.

  • Individuals: will be required to get and keep insurance in a system where insurance is affordable and accessible.

  • Providers: will work collaboratively with patients and businesses to deliver high-quality, affordable care.

  • Employers: will help financing the system; large employers will be expected to provide health insurance or contribute to the cost of coverage: small businesses will receive a tax credit to continue or begin to offer coverage.

  • Government: will ensure that health insurance is always affordable and never a crushing burden on any family and will implement reforms to improve quality and lower cost.

Senator Clinton’s plan will:


  • Provide Tax Relief to Ensure Affordability: Working families will receive a refundable tax credit to help them afford high-quality health coverage.

  • Limit Premium Payments to a Percentage of Income: The refundable tax credit will be designed to prevent premiums from exceeding a percentage of family income, while maintaining consumer price consciousness in choosing health plans.

  • Create a New Small Business Tax Credit: To make it easier-not harder-for small businesses to create new jobs with health coverage, a new health care tax credit for small businesses will provide an incentive for job-based coverage.

  • Strengthen Medicaid and CHIP: The Plan will fix the holes in the safety net to ensure that the most vulnerable populations receive affordable, quality care.

  • Launch a Retiree Health Legacy Initiative: A new tax credit for qualifying private and public retiree health plans will offset a significant portion of catastrophic expenditures, so long as savings are dedicated to workers and competitiveness.



  • Most Savings Come Through Lowering Spending Due to Quality and Modernization: Over half the savings come from the public savings generated from Senator Clinton’s broader agenda to modernize the heath systems and reduce wasteful health spending.

  • A Net Tax Cut for American Taxpayers: The plan offers tens of millions of Americans a new tax credit to make premiums affordable-which more than offsets the increased revenues from the Plan’s provisions to limit the employer tax exclusion for health care and discontinue portions of the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000. Thus, the plan provides a net tax cut for American taxpayers.

  • Making the Employer Tax Exclusion for Health Care Fairer: The plan protects the current exclusion from taxes of employer-provided health premiums, but limits the exclusion for the high-end portion of very generous plans for those making over $250,000.

Weird Dreams

I'm tired and pissy today. bear better be glad that he's on his way to Tennessee today. Its probably just a hormone thing.

I've been having really odd dreams lately. There not the sort that really seem to mean anything. first of there was the one where we let a foster kid move in and he set our dogs on fire. Commodore just lay there and whinnied while be burned up and "melted". Last night I dreamed that my ex father in law stole my bed. Thats actually kind of funny because my ex father in law is one of the most cowardly men I have ever met. Then I was riding in someone car trying to escape a Tornado. The Tornado did catch up to us but it wasn't that bad. There was another one coming so we decided to hide out inside of some sort of business. They decided to take shelter in an underground metal storage building. The way into it was through a metal pipe in the top that you had to "squeeze" though. When we got into it I discovered there was damp moldy cat food all over the place.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Manny Howard, Brookyn New York Farmer.

Mr. Manny Howard of Brooklyn decided to try small scale farming in the 800 square foot back yard behind his house when disaster struck in the form of a tornado. Not only did he raise vegetables but also rabbits, a goat, ducks, and chickens. He was planning within days to rely on his back yard as his only source of food when a tornado hit destroying most of his hard work.

Here is a link to the article he wrote himself about his experiences. I hope this little natural disaster doesn't stop him from starting over again.

A bright Shiny Sunday

I didn't sleep worth a crap and had very strange dreams. I dreamed we had a foster kid move in and he set my dogs on fire. I don't think I'll be doing the foster kids thing, lol.

Yesterday I put the last of the floor beams that will be embedded in the wall in place and bear is going to fix the form that fell today as well. Today I plan to tackle the walls that fell. Instead of trying to lift the heavy wet bags bag into place on the wall I'm going to slit them open and slide the dirt out of them and just recycle the wire. I can put the dirt into new bags. That will be easier than trying to ruse what fell anyway.

Bear has decided he wants to close the gap where the fireplace is and put the entire fireplace inside of the house. I think this is a mistake. To tell you the truth I think he just doesn't want to be pushed into building it like I've been pushing him or he doesn't want to be stuck building it outdoors.

I'm kind of pissed about it and kind of glad. The reason is because that gap was definitly weakening our Dome. This means the lack of his work on the fireplace will no longer hold up my progress but it will means more bags per row and a foot less inside floor space. He tried to tell me last night hew would start helping with the walls. Yeah, I will believe that when I see it. I've already planned on dragging Coyote out there to help lift the buckets up to me as we get higher. I see that as being my biggest up coming challenge.

I've been thinking a lot more about covering the outside of the Dome. I still plan on doing a living roof. I want to use topsoil from the site of the two domes that will be built next to this one and off of our path that will eventually be covered in brick. Topsoil is unstable and not good for building anything on top of. Plus there is the root issue. If you use a sharp flat shovel you can cut through the fine web of roots that fills the first 3 inches of topsoil and remove it a 1 foot block at a time kind of like sod. Those roots will add to the stability of the topsoil on the outside of the Dome, but the question is will they try and grow? I know full well how difficult it is to weed a steep slope.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Truck Accidents

Our neighbors son was recently in a truck accident. It was his fault. If your speeding down a country road drunk out of your mind and you hit a tree, who exactly are you going to sue! Actually it looks like he is going to wend up going to jail over it now.

If you live in California and your hit by a truck then your probably going to need Truck Accident Lawyers California to defend you. After all if you hit by something as big as a truck your probably going to be hurt pretty bad. Especially if its one of those 18 wheeler trucks.

Although my mother knew someone who was hit my an 18 wheeler. He face was all bruised up but it just knocked him down and rolled right over the top of him. I guess it was high enough up not to injure him badly.

Make sure that if your ever hit by a truck in California that you get a Truck Accident Lawyer.

Haunted by Terrorists Ghosts?

More press from the Onion News. I truly have to wonder how these people can sit there and do this and keep a straight face.

In The Know: War On Terror

Retails Jobs

Retail jobs are on the rise. Retail is one of the largest industry segments today, estimated to currently employ 12 percent of the workforce according to the US Census Bureau. Additionally the retail workforce is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail workforce is expected to grow by 10 percent over a 10-year span to a total population of 11 million (2004 – 2014). This growth indicates vast opportunities in retail jobs, including retail management jobs, retail sales jobs, retail customer service jobs, retail loss prevention jobs and the list of retail jobs goes on. With all the growth in the retail industry, job seekers who are considering a retail job have the benefit of choice when it comes to the type of store to work in as well as the job. If you or someone you know are looking for a job in retail, check out www.RetailFit.com, an online job board focused exclusively on retail jobs ranging from management, hourly and part time positions from the nation’s top retailers.

Experience Outside of the Classroom

Sometimes it’s tough to get real-world working experience in the classroom. That’s why part-time gigs make the best student jobs, whether you’re talking about high school students or college students. You can find a part-time job with the skill set to get a leg up in almost any career. For example, if you’re interested in business, a customer service job behind a cash register can give you some practical experience and building blocks. Plus, part-time jobs have flexible hours so you can tailor a job to fit your busy class schedule. Also check out their job blog.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you have been injured in a car accident and can't work things can get pretty bleak looking. Insurance companies just love to take there time and stall and put things off when it comes to getting you your money. I knew a man that waited 5 years to get money from an accident he was in and it was only after he proved to the insurance company he was disabled for life. This was after he lost his home and had to move into a travel trailer in a mobile home park.

I don't think there was any way to get funding for motor vehicle accident lawsuits but fortunately there is a way now.

A solar water heater

I found some really cool stuff while surfing the be this morning. I was looking at solar path and lights and those little glowing solar balls that you put in water and I ran across those new solar water heaters. There pricey at just under 1000 dollars but if I was able to get one and hook it up and actually have water to put in it I would be able to take a shower back there and not have to have electricity. But I think its really wise to have the whole thing under cover first though. I noticed the pictures of the 27 foot dome I tried to post last night didn't load either. I'll have to try those again later.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

27 foot dome




These pictures are of the largest Earthbag Dome in existence. Its interior is 27 feet across and 27 feet tall. It will be the largest until my dome is completed. My single kitchen dome is 30 feet in diameter. I think thats 706 square feet for the interior. Thats not including the second floor. Then there is the addition of the dinning room, a rectangle jutting off of the eastern side and the little bathroom on the southern side. I'm sure it will be enough space to live in for a short while.

You know I've often thought if I had all day every day to work on the Dome I could do a row a day and have that sucker up in a months time.

Nightime TV

I just finished watching that episode of burn notice. The season finale is next week. I'm looking forward to it and I'm glad that its going to continue next season. I'm also looking forward to the new season of house starting back up and the new season of the riches. Ok I have gotten addicted to some TV series's.

I used to watch The Dead Zone and 4400 but 4400 went in some weird direction I didn't like and I never seem to catch The Dead Zone on anymore.

Domes

There was a time i wanted a Geodesic Dome home. I wanted one of those that had two domes put together with the skylights in it that looked like big flowers and the little tower thing on top. I could never afford to build something like that. I would love to have it though. I always thought that if I won the lottery I would build something like that in Colorado. There not as strong as the earthbag Domes I'm working on though. Not by a long shot.

Why does Everything Hurt???

I didn't work on my house today. This morning I woke up and my hands were unusually stiff and sore and my left arm was numb and tingling in several places. You know my aches and pains seem to get more and more frequent. My feet hurt constantly and some days its agony. Now my hands and wrists hurt. My arms get all numb and tingly. If I lay on a bed with my legs straight my knees hurt and if I bend them the bottoms of my feet go to sleep. Sometimes I feel like I'm falling apart.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

To smart for her own good

Amy Clucas, a 14-year-old (14!) schoolgirl from Christchurch, New Zealand, is the lead inventor of a device that knocks out air pollution.

Her "Smog Hog" uses water to trap pollutants from a fire as they gust up a chimney, preventing them from entering the environment. (Okay, as one astute reader pointed out, it's basically a giant bong.)

Smoke from fireplaces is one of the two largest contributors to New Zealand's air-pollution problem, according to The New Zealand Herald, referring to a recent report that said air pollution was claiming nearly 1,100 lives a year across the country.

Clucas' came up with her "Smog Hog" device last year with schoolfriend Anna Pratt. "I've always been interested in science and I really wanted to reduce smog because of the health effects and the environmental effects," Clucas tells The Herald. (Can you sense Pratt shooting daggers at Clucas or is it just us projecting?)

Just one small drawback: Water that was sprayed to capture harmful pollutants in the chimney resulted in the buildup of a poisonous black liquid. After a series of experiments this year, the wunderkind discovered that the leftover liquid could be successfully recycled into briquettes that could be reused as a fuel. "And it can all be done domestically as well," she said.

While Clucas's concept would require some tweaking before it becomes a practical reality, says Bryan Jenkins, chief executive of Environment Canterbury, Clucas has devised a possible solution to combating air pollution. "It's very good thinking," he said.

Thanks, Amy, for using your brainpower for good, and for making us feel old ... and stupid

The hidden litter box

Seeing that I share my home with 10 cats I had to share this one. This one is also from tree hugger. The 1 cat that i do have indoors goes outside to use the bathroom. he goes to the door just like a dog. But when ever i have an injured one or a sick one it stays inside until its well and it would be useful to have one of these during that time.

kattbank1.jpg

Though sort of an odd pairing, Kattbank is a multi-tasking bench that might be perfect for cat owners short on space. Realizing that nobody wants to have to stare at a litter box in the living room (or wherever it is), they designed this clever bench that makes it easy to tuck the litter box out of sight. It helps make use of your space -- no square footage is taken up by the litter box -- and also helps keep the floor clean of random litter (there's a grid inside that essentially functions as a door mat for kitty paws). While the idea of sitting where your cat uses the bathroom isn't the most appetizing for us all (though with proper ventilation, we could see it working), we like the utility behind the design and the concept that we should stop at nothing (not even kitty poo) to further incorporate space-saving, multi-tasking designs into our lives; it'd go great with Square Cat Habitat or these Gehry-esque cat trees. Hit the jump to see more details on how it functions (and one hilarious photo of a Kattbank user). ::Kattbank via ::2Modern Design Talk

kattbank-function.jpg
The inner workings of the Kattbank; a grid on the floor helps keep the litter from sticking to kitty's paws, vents in the site help keep air moving through the box, and all interior parts are removable for cleaning.

kattbank2.jpg
This one was too funny not to post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fuel from Salt Water

I think its very interesting that the scientific community said this man was lying until one of them duplicated the experiment. Why would they call him a liar before trying to do it them self. oh well. Who am i to pass judgment on them. I don't know if there is anything practical to using this or if its even sustainable in the long run.


Yes, I know it sounds hard to believe, but a man in Erie, Pennsylvania, has apparently managed to set fire to a vial of salt water with a self-built radio frequency generator. When John Kanzius tried to desalinate seawater with a device he had created to (supposedly) treat cancer, he found he could keep the water burning like a candle as long as it was exposed to the proper frequencies.

Not surprisingly, many in the scientific community initially dismissed Kanzius' claim as a hoax. However, when Rustum Roy - a professor of chemistry at Penn State University - took him up on the challenge and attempted to recreate the experiment, he was amazed to see that it actually worked. And, no, there were no tricks to it either (or electrodes, as many thought).

According to Roy, the salt water itself isn't actually burning - what happens is that the radio frequency helps weaken the bonds holding together the water's constituents, releasing the bound hydrogen which burns when exposed to the frequency's energy field. At a temperature of around 3,000°F, the flame reflects a tremendous energy output, Roy explained.

Roy, who deems the discovery "the most remarkable in water science in 100 years," will now take up further research with the Departments of Energy and Defense to investigate its potential applications as a source of alternative energy. "We will get our ideas together and check this out and see where it leads. The potential is huge," he said.

A little something close to my heart

This is close to my heart because I've been an avid dumpster diver for a long time. I've even gone as far as to find out when trash will be picked up in wealthy neighborhoods and go looking for stuff they've left on the side of the road. Its a good way to find things that can still be used that others have just dumped.

Who knew dumpster diving was so involved—that there was an actual art AND science to it? (Just like you need both Siegfried AND Roy.) DIY Happy has a list of freegan and dumpsternaut resources, so we thought we'd include some of our past tips for getting your mitts on the finest in curbside shopping.

So whether you're foraging, scavenging, gathering fallen fruit, starting up your own free-market kitchen, or just picking up whatever free stuff that no one else wants, glean on, friends. Glean on. ::DIY Happy

check it out

Here is another article by tree hugger. I just love it when they review cool products like this. I also think its cool that they've pared up with Martha Stewart. how awsome is that. I appreciate the fact that she is going green as well.


Don't you just love this carpet. 'FLOR, the fab modular carpet tiles, have matched up with Martha Stewart, gone out to the patio, celebrated 10 years green and even found time to get named to TreeHugger's Best Designers list. Their latest trick: a catalog full of new ideas, including some really creative, colorful designs that push the carpet tiles way beyond blocks of solid color. To wit: Souk Chic, pictured above, a "very modern take on the nearly thousand-year-old practice of knotting together still-vibrant sections of otherwise worn Turkish and Persian rugs to form a new, patchwork of color and pattern (early recycling!)" When it comes to modern-day recycling, remember that FLOR does what they call Return-Recycle service (a little R&R) as part of their environmental initiatives.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Un Meat your Family

Real Beef and chicken are getting more and more expensive as the price of caring for them rises. A person can create a substitute ground beef and make there own Tofu for much less money but it can be difficult to get your family to eat these un-met recipes. I have an answer to this. Start combining them with real meat gradually. Start with 3/4 real meat and 1/4 un meat and increase it slowly with each recipe. Your family will son be eating full vegetarian un meats in there meals and not realize it before you know it.

Sustainable Tuna Fishery

I recently saw a show about Tuna fishermen. It was one of those real life most difficult jobs type of shows. You know the same kind that show swordfish boats and crab fishing boats and the men that work on them. Apparently what they do is they catch fish of a certain size from the ocean and bring them back in pens. They then fatten them up on commercial fish food. I didn't understand why they didn't just breed them in captivity in the first place. I guess it would cost more than running a nasty polluting boat out into the ocean to catch them. But here is an article I read about it.

The San Diego, Calif.-based American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA) is the first sustainable tuna fishery to be officially certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, an independent non-profit organization that promotes environmental responsibility in an industry plagued by overfishing and accidental bycatch.

Sushi and sashimi lovers take note: Overfishing has caused a dramatic decline in the bluefish tuna population, with the species at risk for extinction in some areas, according to a series of studies by the Census of Marine Life and other researchers.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sponsored the assessment of the fishery. “If we want our grandchildren to have tuna on their dinner plates and in the sea, sustainable tuna fishing practices must be adopted,” said Meredith Lopuch, Community Fisheries Program Director with WWF in the United States. Customers will be able to buy MSC-certified tuna in stores nationwide later this year

disaster


We came home from the Bie rally Sunday morning to find that we missed flooding rains in Russellville Sunday morning. I went back to the back of the property to check on my house and found my foundation held 1 foot of water in it. it also seems that the wind blew down one of my door frames and it took a 5 foot 6 foot long section of wall with it. That particular section of wall was unstable to begin with. I figured that out the last time I stood on it tamp down the last row of bags. I was going to put temporary buttresses in place until Bear got the fireplace built and the gap that was making it unstable filled.

I went back there and waded in the mud and water this morning to see if I could go ahead and work with it and I'm just going to have to let things dry out some more first. You know I'm missing a black cat. The one of them recently decided she lived back there. I hope I don't find her under that collasped wall of bags. I think its interesting they seem to have come down in one piece.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dogpatch Biker Rally

Well we made it to Dogpatch on time. It rained the whole way here and the radio kept telling us all the way up here that that we had 60 and 70 percent chances of rain all weekend long. We got here and set up our tent in the parking lot and our tents and it rained on us the entire time.

After we got everything all set up it quit raining and the sky turned blue, lol. According the radio on the weather Channel website the worst of the rain is going to go around us. What cracks me up is I was watching the radar at noon and could tell the worst of it was going to end up in Missouri but they were still shouting 70 percent chance until about 2pm.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Umbrella Pot

I love this. This is really really cute and its just the sort of thing i would have in my garden. i don't have a picture of it, you will have to look it up to actually see what I'm talking about but i think that you should look it up, its pretty cool.

If a WaterButt doesn't quite jive with your aesthetic -- or you don't want your neighbors to see you pouring water out of a plastic butt -- the Umbrella Pot might be a little more up your alley. Bringing rainwater harvesting down to the micro level, it's pretty ingenious; what else are you going to do with the water that collects on your umbrella? Plus, as long as you remember to put your umbrella away, you won't have to remember to water the plant growing in the base. With summer winding down and the rainy season (read: the next nine months) coming to the Mid South, this TreeHugger might be able to put one of these babies to good use.

Attention green Builders

Here is an event thats worth watching or visiting if your in the area. I know i would if i were able too. I'm sure we will see some results of this event blogged about or in the news also. i can't wait to see them. its so cool.

Attention green building enthusiasts and sustainable lifestyle fans: West Coast Green, the annual residential green building conference and expo is looking for volunteers for this year's event held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on September 20th - 22nd. In return for your six hours of service (or more, if you like), you'll get a full conference pass (that would cost $575 if you bought it!) to check out the entire conference for free, giving you access to over 250 exhibitors of the latest innovative building materials, hear from the 220 leaders and visionaries in green building and experience how beautiful green can be firsthand by walking through the mkLotus show house by Michelle Kaufmann. If that's not enough, they'll sweeten the deal with a free West Coast Green t-shirt. Hit the jump for the full call for volunteers and more details about how to sign up.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Solar Powered Parking Meters

More than 50 new parking meters are being installed in the Mendip District of Somerset in southwest England—and half of them will be solar powered.

The meters are part of a £170,000 investment by the local council after vociferous public demand for more user-friendly machines. (Some of the current parking meters are a good two decades old.)

Britain's first solar-powered meters were installed in Nottingham in 2001, but the machines were plagued by gloomy weather, which often resulted in drivers getting away with free parking.

I've seen some solar powered things out here in the country. Like weather towers and warning sirens. I guess in some places its a lot easier to just hook up a solar panel than it is to run power down steep mountainsides to electrical lines.

One of the recent Mega Millions winners is a Witch!!!!

A big fat plunky looking guy named Bunky won a share of the 300 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot on August 31st. I think he is the first Pagan lottery winner, at least he is the first one to make the fact public.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A regular post

I am soo unmotivated to sit in front of this computer today. I took the holiday weekend off because I felt like I needed a break and I'm just not really anxious to start this up again. Its looking like s low week for me anyway though. But then I've said that before and ended up making nearly 600 dollars by the end of the week.

Saturday bear and Mouse and I all took a trip to hot Springs. bear had a re order to fill (a nice sized one) and while we were up there we ate a a restaurant called Doe's. It was on the lake and had a dock on the back with tables and umbrella's on it for eating. Its one of those places were boats could pull right up off of the water and have lunch or dinner. There are several of those in Hot Springs. Mouse and I crumbled up crackers on the table and fed the fish that swam around dock. I had fried catfish. It was excellent. Then there was our traditional stop at Coleman's Crystals. They used to have Split geodes on key chains. I usually got a tigers eye on a key chain but this time I wanted a geode. They didn't have any geodes and even their tigers eye key chains were not that great. We were disappointed with there selection this time. Even there crystals and things didn't seem as nice as usual.

I got a lot of work done on the house this weekend though. I started building up the wall in the areas where we won't have floor supports since I was still waiting on Bear for those. He got the wood cut this weekend and told me just to space them 3 feet apart when i put them in. I was hoping he would do that himself. I guess i get to do that too.

I took some chicken wire off of the old chicken coup this weekend and managed to slice my hand open on it. In places the wall is up to my neck and I need a chair to climb on top of it. But thats just in the area where I haven't been doing any backfilling.

There are two books on Amazon that I'm considering buying. One is The New Create an Oasis with Greywater. And the other one is Natural Swimming Pools. I'd like to go ahead and buy them both but Natural Swimming pools is 33 dollars. I have the money to buy them I just don't like spending that much at once. I'm cheap you know.

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