Monday, June 28, 2010

This is so good.

Bloglines - My sailing adventures

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This guy is so smart

Early Retirement Extreme
--- written by Jacob Lund Fisker, Freelancer

My sailing adventures

By Jacob on yacht

Sailing is to the bay area what Aspen is to skiing. If you live there, you just gotta do it. And so, since I live in the bay area, I just had to start sailing.

Now, the traditional approach to start sailing yachts is to take a basic keelboat certification course. This lasts a couple of weekends (4 days) and costs about $500. After that, you can charter small keelboats (about $200 for the day). You can also join a yacht club (a few thousand per year) which will reduce the cost of chartering. Taking additional courses, another $500 here and another $500 there will allow you to charter bigger boats (about $400 for the day).

Needless to say, I took a different approach.

I joined a racing crew. You can read more about how I got started with sailing in this post.

Skippers who sail frequently are constantly looking for people to serve as crew for their boats. Only special setups allow you to sail your boat single-handedly and even then it is usually an inefficient (for racing purposes) and somewhat risky proposition (for racing boats, less so for full keeled cruisers) compared to having more people on board. Racing boats in particular are generally constructed to require several crew members to act as ballast on the high-side to balance the boat and keep it on its feet.

Crew members who are able to commit to showing up on a consistent basis are highly valued and skippers are generally willing to train such people for free.

Price of admission for a consistent person: Free training and free sailing.

Price of admission for someone who can't find the time: $1500 for the training and $200-400/day.

Okay, it has not been entirely free. I have spent close to $500 in safety gear in the form of an offshore life jacket, a double tether, strobe light, and an emergency rigging knife. I also bought some dinghy boots on clearance ($36 instead of $70). I got some used foul weather pants on ebay. My "foul weather" jacket is actually my winter jacket.

Indeed, someone who is willing to spend frivolously can easily fork over $800-1000 on the latest fashion in foul weather gear (it changes every year). In terms of durability, it's not going to beat standard fisherman's rain gear. In general, then, you can pretty much pay as much as you want. I'm sure the latest outfit from Gill would make me look snazzy but it's not really going to earn me any respect on the water, so why do it?

Anyway, that money has been paid. Henceforward, my cost is pretty much time, not dollars.

I realize that since I no longer spend any money of any significance on this, my standard of living has dropped. Yeah, that was a joke, and it would be funny if some people actually did not believe that spending very little automatically means not really living life.

In terms of living life. Well, what is living? Living to me is learning. Learning about myself and the rest of the universe. (To some it is experiencing things. To others it is fitting into the traditional structures of society.). Learning happens the fastest when boundaries are pushed. This is the only way to experience something which is fundamentally different.

Experiencing self-similar situations a hundred times over is really only one experience. I have traveled to 14 countries, but they all pretty much followed the same "traveling to a foreign country"-recipe. Anyway …

During my short tenure of sailing, I have experienced [not all at the same time, fortunately] force 6 winds (that's when they put out a small craft advisory), 10 feet waves (they make you feel really small), being on a holed/(slowly) sinking ship, ripped head sail, ripped mainsail, more broaches than I can count, losing the rudder, losing the engine, losing the radio, losing the bilge pump (automatic and manual), rescuing another boat by pulling it off a lee shore, … and a whole bunch of other less dramatic stuff (seals, dolphins, sea lions).

[I have learned how I deal with fear, anxiety, and how I respond to scary situations. I think I take a more relaxed attitude to physical danger now. And then of course I learned a bunch of technical stuff about sail twist, the slot, the foot, the belly, etc.]

I realize that it's the crazy stuff that makes for the best stories but I have also been on the boat finding a finger of air sailing in the haze with the fog whisking around the sails while the sun was setting over the water and the boat was gliding along at 4 knots. Or sailing parallel to the waterfront feeling the breeze and watching the lights of the city and the navigational lights of the other ships. Beautiful stuff.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm not spending money. Consequently, my life sucks, right? :-P

In a little over half a year, I have sailed about 40 times. That's probably more than your average boat owner or keelboat certified boat charterer gets to sail in 5 years or so. Does that mean I'm living 10 times as fast as the average person?

What is the difference between paying and nonpaying?

The paying person does not contribute much value to system. He extracts value. Therefore he pays money. Conversely, the nonpaying person provides value. Therefore he does not pay.

I'm usually in charge of trimming the mainsail. The mainsail trimmer is the person most directly responsible for making the boat go fast—or at least he's the one receiving the majority of the blame if the boat is slow. To provide more value (and because I want to improve my skills) I am therefore spending time studying trimming and rig tuning and what have you. I am not an advanced trimmer, but I am not a beginner either anymore. In particular, I am not a nonsailor. I am not trying to brag here, but rather trying to explain the differences: A nonsailor will pay for the ride either with money or by asking very very very nicely (maybe you know a boatowner). A person willing to commit to a crew position will get onboard for free and be trained. However, this will only happen if a more advanced person is not already available. You see, skill provides value. (This value is in short supply which is why there are occasional openings for rookies.)

If we transplant this to other areas of live it begins to make sense how it is possible to have a high quality of life yet spend very little. You do not necessarily have to provide the value to others. You could also provide it to your family or just yourself.

If you can't provide value. Then you pay. In which case, ironically, you're perceived to have a high standard of living.

It boggles the mind.

Of course people may argue that gaining the skill is work. I don't really see it that way. I am naturally inclined to try to improve myself in matters that I find interesting. That's what humans do. They play music, not because they hope to be famous, but simply because they like to improve or because they just enjoy it. At one point, however, they will be good enough that they will provide value to others which will result in all kinds of benefits. This happens if a person has enough time for practice. Without the practice, a person must pay.

This is the essential difference between a consumer and a producer. (More details in the book about that.)


Bloglines - Those who are out of reach …

Bloglines user has sent this item to you, with the following personal message:

More wisdom

Early Retirement Extreme
--- written by Jacob Lund Fisker, Freelancer

Those who are out of reach …

By Jacob on taylorism

I can't wait until the book comes out. I keep getting ideas where I wish to explain some point only to realize that, hey, it's in there already, so why repeat myself.

One of the things I did not explain, perhaps because I have only recently really realized the reason (gotta love the alliterations :) ), is the subconscious reason I write. Objectively, it is to make the world better. Subjectively, though, it is "liberate" people who have the potential from the prevailing world-dominating groupthink so that I (and be virtue of this little community, we) may not feel like we're the only one's who "are alive"/"have a spirit"/"are mentally exuberant". Frankly, …my misanthropic tendencies stem mostly from a certain disappointment with humanity. I guess I have no right to this disappointment, hence the occasional accusation of arrogance. So I try to phrase it diplomatically … (and I just failed to do this again, eh?).

I think, at heart, it all comes down to personality type. Some people, perhaps due to brain chemistry, simply value things differently. Some people, perhaps, again, due to brain chemistry, simply relate people, things, thoughts, differently.

However, the world is dominated by groupthink. I don't know why this is other than the top-down industrialized form of management that permeates the job structure as well as our school system creates the ideal conditions for groupthink to thrive.

Due to people's different personality types, different people resist this to different degrees. Some people are defenseless. I pity them. Others hang on for a long time.

People pursuing financial independence are first and foremost pursuing independence. The financial independence is just a subset. Early retirement may be a simple consequence. Anyone thinking that early retirement is the primary objective is not getting it. Retirement is not the point. Freedom is.

But very many people really do not want to be free. To them, freedom is just a slogan they can rally behind while doing the bidding of someone else.

To reiterate a trite point: Freedom comes with responsibility and responsibility requires people to choose. Choosing means having to think and most people hate to think.

I am right, am I not?

This is why so many prefer to have a boss tell them what to do. This is why so many deliberately make early choices which lock them into a path where they can not choose latter on. This is why people like their obligations and their debts. Because then they don't have to choose.

Maybe this is also why people like their TVs. TV is passive and requires no choice. There is no thinking involved. Over time, I suspect having not thought a single thought for decades but merely repeated and supported the consensus, the brain has atrophied to such an extent that a boss-dependent person has no other (perceived) choice than to start watching TV upon retirement. Such person has lost something very precious. His humanity. However, it happened long ago. He has spent years being alive yet not living. Just going through the motions and convincing himself that this is how he is supposed to live his one shot at life.


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Standard of living versus quality of life

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So very true

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Snake season in full swing

Last night we killed a rattlesnake between the house and the garage, right on the path, at dusk. Pretty scary. I only saw him because that stick on the path hadnt been there when I went up the path a half hour before. I ran down and got the .410 and the flashlight and DH shot it.
It was just a little bigger than the one we killed on the path between the garage and the clothesline a couple of weeks ago, so probably a littermate.
Bad sign. We will probably be killing snakes from that litter all summer, a little bigger and more venomous all the time. Hate it when that happens.
At least the dogs seem to have gotten the idea to stay away from that interesting rattling noise. We HAVE explained that to them loudly and vehemently everytime the opportunity has presented itself. And they do hate yelling.

Time for not working at work

I spend a lot of time during lulls in the ER reading what other people have written in their blogs and elsewhere on the net, as surfing the net is the only acceptable activity here when you have nothing else to do. I guess because the patients cant tell that you are not working.
It can sometimes cause a problem, though, as I see people so absorbed in what they see on the computer that they forget to do what they are supposed to be doing for their jobs.
I hope I never do that; at Quick Reg it isnt really a problem because anybody coming through the door comes straight up to me and I start to register them. But in the zone you need to keep checking the First Net to make sure some patient's name hasnt popped up in your area of responsibility. I solve that by keeping both windows open, and my net window smaller than the other behind it, so I can see any changes to the back window.

Fwd: zen habits: Eating Healthfully- A Long Term Vision

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: zen habits <>
Date: Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 6:28 PM
Subject: zen habits: Eating Healthfully- A Long Term Vision

zen habits: Eating Healthfully- A Long Term Vision

Eating Healthfully- A Long Term Vision

Posted: 25 Jun 2010 06:11 AM PDT

'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.' ~Lao Tzu

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Chris of Zen to Fitness.

The quote by Lao Tzu above rings true for nutrition as well.

It is a shame that so many people are obsessed with fad diets in order to quickly shed pounds and reach their desired weight. And yes extreme dieting of any form does work in the short terms but only for the weight to rebound back on and the body to regain its original weight or the weight it is comfortable at.

I see people fighting their bodies all too often dieting one week then bingeing on junk the next. This is fighting the bodies natural homeostasis in every sense, one week it is getting less than it would like and releasing stress hormones to cope and the next week the body is being overburdened with processed or overly sweet foods in order to compensate for the previous starvation again putting stress on the body as it tries to cope with the overflow of food and chemicals. Others chronically under eat.

Sadly this process takes its toll on your body and while it could handle it in your teens and younger years as we age the damage goes deeper and effects our metabolism leaving us on a gradual path to more and more weight gain.

Contrast this with the people you know who eat practically whatever they want and stay lean and healthy — what is their secret? It is quite simply that they have never fought their bodies, never made themselves feel deprived or starved, their metabolisms never got damaged and this allows for good levels of energy and a stable healthy body weight.

This is not something out of reach but rather something that we can all achieve by having a healthy relationship with food. Some readers may already have this and hopefully this article will help you stay that way! This is not to say we should eat anything we like as certain foods can damage your body and should be avoided when you can, but I do not preach a diet of deprivation rather a way to eat wholesome foods which your body has evolved to deal with.

The first step is to stop seeing food as something special or magical and this can be achieved by feeding yourself well on a consistent basis starting with 3 solid meals per day. How many people do you know who skip breakfast have a mid morning cappuccino, graze for lunch then eat fatty meats, fried foods and sugary desserts for dinner.

The truth is when we eat healthy, wholesome meals 3 times a day our bodies reach a level of nourishment they may have not seen in years, cravings disappear and food stops being so special it becomes something we enjoy and look forward to but not something to live for. You will naturally eat less at meal times, you will feel fuller quicker without any effort, that ferocious appetite will disappear and you will eat more mindfully. It is just a result of your body being well fed and nourished rather then having to force any portion control …

The next step is to add live foods to your diet, especially if you tend to eat mainly cooked or white foods. Rather than depriving yourself of the foods you like introduce more healthful foods alongside them. I am talking about making a big salad with your meals:

  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • A nice dressing of sea salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil

Have this at the start of every meal you have a chance, you may not like it at first and it maybe an effort to get down but this will soon change. You will develop a taste for fresh raw foods and you will continue to nourish your body. Try and do this for at least one meal per day.


This is not about ramping up your "metabolism" by eating regularly but rather feeding your body adequately allowing health to fall into place. Once you start nourishing your body good things will start to happen. Your energy will increase, cravings for sugar and stimulants like coffee will disappear and your appetite will regulate. You will start to crave healthy and natural foods …

Eating Healthfully should always be a long term vision, never look for quick fixes when it comes to health – Consistency is key . Building a good relationship with food will leave you with more time and drive to do the things you love.

Chris is the author of A Simple Guide to Eating Well and writes about staying fit while living life at Zen to Fitness.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Fw: Order Update Why NOT to order from

Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 9:16 AM
Subject: Re: Order Update

If 10 days is not 2 weeks, neither is it a week. ANd the 2 weeks is when I will get it. Of course, NOT your fault. Don't worry about me ordering from you. I wont, and neither will anyone I know.

Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 8:32 AM
Subject: Re: Order Update

It went out this morning - I am just doing notifications now. Ten days is not two weeks. We do warn customers on EVERY seed listing page and on the front page of the website under shipping to expect delays of at least a week during prime seed season. Order earlier next year - but from someone else please.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Order Update

If you haven't shipped it, don't. I needed a few days after I actually ordered it, not 2 weeks later. Thanks for nothing.

From: CherryGal
Sent: Friday, June 25, 2010 8:01 AM
Subject: Order Update ------------------------------------------------------ Order Number: 7763 Date Ordered: Tuesday 15 June, 2010 The comments for your order are I am happy to tell you that your CherryGal Heirloom Seeds order has been filled and will ship today via usps, delivery confirmation number 03093220000134009796. Happy Gardening -- and if you can, grow a little extra for your local Food Bank! Thanks for shopping! Your order has been updated to the following status. New status: Shipped Please reply to this email if you have any questions.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Boycott BP? Don't Bother

Your friend, , wants you to check out this piece on
Boycott BP? Don't Bother at

from Little House on the Southern Prairie

How to help the Gulf Coast
June 7, 2010 · 32 Comments
Buy less plastic shit, and less shit that comes packaged in plastic. It really is that simple.
I’m mad about the spill — BP really, really sucks, and the government medium-sucks. But most of all I’m mad at We The People, yours truly included. We’re the ones that demand cheap oil and cheap crap made out of petroleum products. BP was doing this for us — we voted with our dollars, made them extraordinarily rich, told them to drill more, more, more, faster, faster, faster.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Maybe the problem has been the message. “Green” is billed as pious, virtuous, martyrdom. Yuck. That’s never been my motivation. My motivation has been a bit more fuck you. Fuck you, BP and factory farms and all companies without a conscience, for polluting my oceans, destroying our soil, and filling our foods and household products with poisons solely for your profit. You don’t deserve a dollar of mine. I sincerely hope I help bankrupt you. No, the economy won’t collapse. Better businesses will take over the market share.

If you are looking at the god-awful pictures of the sea birds and feeling angry, helpless or guilty, then go ahead and get mad. Being “green” isn’t about being good; it’s about being rebellious.
You can start small. It all counts. I ordered these toothbrushes today and hope we like them. Toothbrushes made out of recycled plastic and they can be recycled again, too. Not even expensive. One less thing requiring a steady stream out of the ocean.
Put the lid from your morning Starbucks in the recycle bin instead of the trash, or bring a reusable mug. Keep the fabric grocery bags in your car so you don’t forget them. Get the shampoos that come in bars instead of bottles, and laundry soaps that come in boxes instead of jugs. Root out plastic like a person on a low-carb diet looking for sugar snuck into everyday products. Google around a bit — if there’s something you don’t want to give up, an eco-friendly alternative probably exists. We can do this. Not to become angels. Do it to send a giant double-middle-finger sign to every company that’s making fat profit margins killing your planet.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Garden preparation

See, things are progressing! You dont want to know how many bags of dirt it took just to fill up half of this stock tank. And it was already 1/3 up the side with the contents of my compost bin when I started. I am waiting for my Chinese Pole Beans seeds to come in the mail and that will be my first crop(!!!!) I have also started 3 different kinds of tomatoes, 2 each, seeds in peat pots to plant outside the end of August. I am so excited.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fwd: zen habits: 11 Creative Ways to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: zen habits <>
Date: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 6:19 PM
Subject: zen habits: 11 Creative Ways to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

zen habits: 11 Creative Ways to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

11 Creative Ways to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

Posted: 16 Jun 2010 05:47 AM PDT

Editor's note: This is a guest post from Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens.

Our culture celebrates workaholism. We hear stories of people who "burn the mid-night oil" at the office, or about individuals who never take vacations. Working a lot doesn't mean you deserve a gold star or a raise.

Working too much is likely to decrease your productivity, leave you creatively drained, and negatively effect relationships with friends and family. Don't get me wrong, pursuing your passion is a beautiful gift and there is nothing wrong with working hard on projects you love. However, it's essential to take breaks. Whether you're working from home or in an office environment it's essential to nourish your creative spirit.

Below are a few creative ways to avoid becoming a workaholic.

1. Set clear boundaries. Make sure your working hours are consistent. For instance, if you work from 8am to 5pm make sure you leave the office by 5. Don't stay late.

2. Get enough sleep!

"If you encounter someone who's acting like a fool, there's a good chance that person is suffering from sleep deprivation." ~Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework

Staying up late to work on a project and then getting up at 5am to go into the office is not a good strategy. Lack of creativity, diminished morale and irritability are a few traits of people who go without sleep. Work smarter, not harder.

3. Unplug from the internet. Getting work done doesn't require an internet connection. It's amazing what can happen when you step out from behind the computer screen or your mobile device. Most of my killer ideas come to me when I'm taking a shower, on a walk, cooking a meal, and "not working."

Everyone is creative and ideas can come to you at odd moments. Just because you have an idea doesn't mean you have to implement it right away. Keep a journal with you at all times so that you can capture your idea and enjoy your down time.

4. Spend time in nature. Spending time in nature is a great way reduce stress, disconnect from everyday worries and incoming work messages. Set aside time in your daily life to go outside. For instance, take a half hour walk everyday and be mindful of your surroundings. There is no need to rush. Take your time, try to understand your instinctual feelings and observe the natural beauty in your neighborhood.

5. Make time for friends, family and your partner. If you're working too much, you're probably sacrificing time with friends, family and your life partner. Doing work you love is extremely important, but so are the people who love you. Consider how you spend your time and what is truly important in life. When you are with your family, friends and life partner, really be there. Make an effort to be present. For instance, if you're having a conversation with a friend listen to what they are saying. Be engaged and ask questions.

6. Eat real food. A side effect of working too much is eating out more and not eating real food. Real food includes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Before you head out to the office, take time the night before or early in the morning to prepare a healthy breakfast and lunch.

Most importantly, don't eat while you're working. Savor your food and enjoy every bite. Studies have show that if you eat food quickly, you're more likely to over eat and gain weight.

7. Find a hobby. Cultivate a hobby; preferably something that doesn't relate to your day job. Start by brainstorming your interests. For example, you can start running, walking, knitting, reading novels, or writing. A hobby should be something that brings you joy; something you can lose yourself in and find your flow.

8. Listen to your body. If you are working too much you will start feeling tired, cranky and apathetic. All of these symptoms are a sign that you need to slow down. It's essential to listen to your body. When you listen to your body, you'll know when your sick or just need some extra rest.

9. Constantly question your goals and life purpose. It's important to continually reevaluate your goals, life purpose and behaviors. For example if you constantly stay late at the office, sacrifice personal relationships because of work, or check your email obsessively, ask yourself:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • What is the end goal?
  • Are my behaviors healthy?

10. Continue to cultivate healthy habits. Developing healthy habits is not something that happens overnight. By working on one small behavior change everyday, you can make huge changes over the long-term. For example, rather than checking your email every five minutes, start checking it 3 times a day.

Also, consider incorporating small changes to your daily routine, like getting a half hour of exercise everyday, preparing your own food and being present when you spend time with friends and family.

11. Reach out to others with a good work-life balance. If you think you're a workaholic, reach out to others. Connect with friends, family, and consider therapy as an option. If you think this is negatively impacting your life, do something about the problem. We only get one life. So live it well and take care of yourself.

Tammy Strobel is the author of Simply Car-free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life and writes about social change through simple living at RowdyKittens.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Step by Step

I bought 4 more bags of potting mix at Lowe's last night on the way home and put them in the garden bed this morning. Not nearly enough, but when I watered it down I realized that potting soil is TOO easily drained because water started coming out the bottom without really wetting much of the surrounding soil. So, back to the store tomorrow for bags of garden soil to go on top. Trial and error. At this rate I will be lucky to plant before next week. I will want to plant on a Tuesday morning so I can be sure to do the watering myself for the first 5 days while the seeds germinate.
Since DH prides himself on NOT being a farmer, I dont really trust him to do it right, even if he were to agree to do it. And he would NEVER just do what I tell him.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Impulse buying

I bought wayyy too many packets of seeds at Target yesterday on the way home, just because I am so excited about getting a garden going. I bought enough to plant several acres, not one stock tank. I didnt get a chance to really look at them last night either, so will sit down and pick out ONE packet of each kind of veggie and take the others back when I go to town later this week. I'll probably only keep the quickest maturing of each species; have to have some kind of criteria after all. Wait, tomatoes I will keep all the packets, cherry and other alike. One can never have too many tomatoes. After all, canning them is incredibly easy. And if you have ever had gazpacho made with homegrown tomatoes, you never want to eat any other kind.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yay, first step accomplished

It was nice and cool this morning, so I went out to look for something suitable to put a few garden plants in. I have many times suggested to DH that our old stock tank, with the rotted out bottom, that was here when we moved in, would be good for a garden, since the sides are high enough to keep out ground squirrels. Lo and behold, this time he actually agreed, and helped me move it over by the working area (water, chicken houses, level ground, etc), although he did insist on telling me what to do and how to move it, Fine, as long as we moved it.
Too big for the initial garden, though. It will take years to fill it up with organic matter to plant in, so some kind of barrier to block off an area was necessary. We ended up using short upright sections of telephone pole that were too short to use for anything else, and had to cut several of those in half to have enough. Chain saw, yes. I love power tools.
SO the first step is accomplished. Place, container in place, water nearby. Now to read up on what to do and when to do it so I will be ready when it gets cool enough.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Plan

The plan, since I have finally been hired for a regular 2 days per week work schedule, is to plant a garden in the fall as soon as the weather cools enough for plants to live instead of instantly burn up. In the meantime I will find a few places to work chicken manure into and get them ready for the fall planting. That step alone is tricky. Too far from the house and the critters will have free reign, but there are very few suitable places inside the yard. I would like to build a couple of raised beds but that brings up the main problem.
He resists anything that changes anything, and not just anything that requires HIM to do anything. He doesnt want me to do anything either. He wont allow any changes in the yard, like raised beds, even if I try and build them myself. And he sure wont build anything like that FOR me, especially if I want to say where and what kind and what something looks like.
So I may be limited to large pots, which means I better start purchasing them with every paycheck now, since the bigger they are, the more they cost, along with the potting soil to put into them. I don't think he will deliberately sabotage anything I do plant, unless not watering on the days I work would count as sabotage. And pots DO have to be watered everyday. THe old freezer would be an ideal pot, and would retain water well, but naturally he wouldnt allow me to use it, as it would be ugly, and he wont have anything ugly around.
I am just making myself mad writing this down, so I better go do something else for a while and try to figure out how to make this work before spelling it all out.
It wouldnt be so necessary to plant a garden if he could be trusted to buy organic produce, but he wont do that, and he wont let me do the shopping either. I'm sure glad we already started with the eggs and the chicken meat long ago, or else I would not be able to get that going either.
I am also looking into keeping bees myself. He used to work with bees as a teenager, very long ago, and would be the logical one to do this, but he wont. So maybe I will. A simple top bar hive rather than the common Langstroth hives you see everywhere would work for us. Enough bees used to come in from the desert to fertilize anything growing around the house, but Colony Collapse Disorder seems to have struck even out there. We have seen no bees this spring around the pond or chicken waterers and always before they have been plentiful.

from the High Country News

The GOAT Blog
Cheap grass
Cally Carswell Jun 10, 2010 03:51 PM

Grazing fees aren’t exactly bringing home the bacon … er, beef … for the feds. As we pointed out earlier this year, in the past 40-plus years the fee to graze a cow and calf on public land has gone up a measly 12 cents: from $1.23 to $1.35. That increase hasn’t even come close to keeping pace with inflation and, not surprisingly, the paltry fee is doing little to fill federal coffers. According to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report, grazing fees in 2004 added up to just one-sixth of the amount spent managing grazing on public land. (Then again, perhaps we should just be thankful that the fee in 2010 isn't cheaper than the year before.) Now, a coalition of environmental groups represented by the Center for Biological Diversity are suing the departments of Interior and Agriculture to get them to up the ante, calling the federal grazing program "as fiscally irresponsible as it is ecologically harmful." It's a demand they've been making for a long time. In 2005 the groups petitioned the agencies to embark on a rulemaking process to "establish a fair and just fee for livestock grazing on certain federal lands" in the West. The petition has, so far, elicited no response; the new lawsuit is intended to compel one.
In another legal battle over grazing, this one focused on its environmental impacts, a federal judge in Oregon ruled this week that cattle in an Oregon national forest were damaging threatened steelhead habitat, pointing out that "this court has repeatedly found the grazing program to be insufficiently protective of listed fish species." According to the Associated Press, the ruling could influence a new steelhead biological opinion due next year

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cant do anything right

I have gotten used to the fact that I am not supposed to sew when dh is home, although it means that I very rarely get to sew. To keep the peace.
But now he is having fits that that I sit down at the computer "first thing every morning" and sit there and write things. According to him, "there are better things to do with my time". Oh shades of his mother. But he won't say what those things are, and I am already doing laundry and making tea, having breakfast, etc., before turning on the computer. SO I am at a loss. What the heck exactly is it he WANTS from me!

Monday, June 07, 2010 Arizona Principal Cancels Whitewash of Controversial School Mural

Message from sender: Yes, sometimes pressure works.


ARTS POLICY | June 7, 2010
Arizona Principal Cancels Whitewash of Controversial School Mural

The elementary school principal has reversed his decision to lighten the skin tones of students depicted in the artwork.


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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Zen Habits

The end of busy

Posted: 04 Jun 2010 05:52 AM PDT

"Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing." ~Lao Tzu

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter or identica.

Stop being busy and your job is half done.

Think about how busy we are, and how it has become a way of bragging: I'm so busy, I must be important.

"I have a million things to do! I never have time for anything! I can't slow down — I'm too busy." This is thought to be a good thing in a society where we must be productive, active, occupied.

But it's a fool's game. Busy is simply noise, action without meaning, lots of little unimportant things rather than a few important ones.

Stop being busy. Just decide to stop, today.

Now you're halfway done. You've decided to slow down, and to focus on what's important. All of a sudden, your schedule clears up, and your to-to list shrinks down to almost nothing.

Now you just have one or two things to do, instead of a million. You clear distractions, and focus.

But how can you stop being busy? It's a simple change of mindset: you say, I'm not going to be busy anymore. Even if you have little control over your schedule, you can decide that you'll slow down, and pick the important things to work on, and if necessary, talk to your boss about doing this. If you control your schedule, you can drop all the busywork, and just pick the high-impact tasks.

It might seem impossible, but once you decide to put an End to Busy, you have taken the biggest step.

You can now make time for work you're passionate about, for work that matters. You can make time for solitude, forcreating. You can make time for contemplation, for yourself.

Stop being busy, and your job is half done.

"Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings." ~Jane Austen