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A trip to the library by Jack on Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:36 pm
Sometimes, mundane changes illuminate underlying reality in a way no collection of numbers can.

Today, I drove down to the public library with several boxes of old magazines. The library can sell them for a pittance and add a small sum to their funding, and it gets the magazines off my hands. It's been about a year since I went there last.

I noticed several men standing around outside. It's 11 AM on a Tuesday, and 6 men - three individuals, one group of three - are hanging out. One looked to by fortyish, the others younger - mid to late twenties. They were just standing, doing nothing in particular. The group was talking between themselves. They were dressed in the modern urban costume of athletic shoes, dark t-shirts, and casual pants.

They didn't have the defeated look of the homeless about them, nor was there any tell-tale cart of junk. Oddly, they weren't inside the library, which had seating and other amenities. No, they were just watching the comings and goings. I was...

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Gay Evangelicals by smallpoxgirl on Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:08 pm
Now I've seen everything.

I was at Seattle's pride parade last weekend. Among the entries were maybe ten GLBT friendly churches. OK. No big deal. One of the entries, though was from a church called "Living Water". This struck me as an oddly evangelical name for a pride parade entrant. It struck me even more oddly when their members after the parade were passing out fake money with a racial caricature of Obama, the church's name, and vitriolic attacks on abortion. So I did some research today. It turns out not only is Living Water a gay friendly evangelical church, but there is a whole movement of gay evangelicals. For example Evangelicals Concerned Inc. "Proclaiming the Good News of God's Love for Gay and Lesbian People" I thought I'd seen it all: environmentalist nazis, log cabin republicans. I've got to say, I'm pretty perplexed by the idea of gay evangelicals. In any version of American evangelical...

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Record heat... by Jack on Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:40 pm
San Antonio hit 104 today - a record, I believe. It's dry, and the aquifer, our sole water supply, declines substantially each day despite water restrictions.

If the local area become drier due to climate change, I wonder what happens to a city of 1.2 million if the rains quit coming? Do they truck water in? And what happens when peak oil reasserts itself in the form of higher gasoline prices? What then?

Right now, I and many others are comfortable as technology and electricity keep us in our cocoons. But if the climate degrades and the temperatures head up...and the availability of resources declines...we have made an all-in bet on technology. If it falters, then the population of this area will be in dire straits.

Supposedly, global population will hit 9.2 billion in 2020. That just may be correct. But when the turn comes, when climate change, peak oil, and assorted problems due to population pressures hit, I do believe life will become hellish. A shame, really - with wisdom,...

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My new exercise routine and garden bed by strider3700 on Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:59 pm
The heatwave around here has finally broken long enough for me to get caught up on some of the outstanding chores so today I took on a new project that I'll need.

Since it's a brutal amount of work I've decided it's my official exercise routine. I'm not really sure what used to be in the first area but it's got a ton of rocks and some parts have that black weed blocking cloth about 6" down. Anyways total crap for a garden other then the fact that it's slightly slopping to the south and right now gets 6 hours of sun. As soon as I remove the tree in it that area will get all day sun.

Here's what the ground looks like in general
Image
Like I said lots of rock.

Now I've done lots of reading about various methods of gardening without digging but to be honest I'm old school and like nice clean soil to garden in. Besides I can't imagine lasagna gardening...

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The fragile web by Jack on Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:31 pm
Clearly, the web of supply, demand, and interconnected services is beyond the scope of a single post - or, for that matter, a single thick volume. And yet, sometimes one can glimpse the greater problem by considering a much smaller issue. Let us consider one such example.

On the NBC evening news tonight, the status of the nation's hospitals with regard to H1N1 was discussed. According to the piece, hospitals run a lean operation, with much of the equipment used by intensive care units at 95% of capacity. The discussion pointed out that this could be problematic if large numbers of people contracted H1N1 and needed care.

This tells us something else. Should there be any interruption of the normal flow of goods, the hospitals could face rapid degradation of their ability. If a piece of equipment fails, there are few (or no) reserves to stand in its place. A lean operation also suggests a dearth of spare parts. Thus, any crisis which causes health problems may overwhelm the health...

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