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Injuries by eastbay on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:01 am
Two weeks ago I injured my left knee. I have no idea what caused it. As many of you may recall, I am a very active person biking regularly, lifting weights, jogging, and engaging in a wide variety of common exercise activities, so it could have been caused by just about anything. The area just above my kneecap started hurting out of the blue and as a result I can no longer run, bike, walk properly, or move up or down stairs without moving very slowly. So I decided to limp and assumed the pain would just go away quickly healing itself as nearly all injuries will. After all, it only hurts when I move it.

Then last Saturday morning, as I was slowly working in the back yard, my lower back unexpectedly 'gave out' and I collapsed straight to the ground. I loudly yelled out in pain and my neighbors on each side of me came running over offering aid. My daughters also ran over and I quickly explained to the growing crowd that it was not a broken bone or a cardiovascular issue and all I...

[ Continued ]

11 Comments Viewed 56194 times
Oil consumption vs. Energy consumption by Jack on Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:17 pm
We get an ongoing flow of oil consumption numbers. Isn't it interesting that despite substantial drops in global economic activity - including transportation and shipping - that the amount of oil hasn't declined much? If we in the U.S. face unemployment of 9.8% and U6 unemployment around 17%, then it seems odd that the oil used remains about the same.

Are we, perhaps, applying the wrong metric? Should we, instead, consider the energy we consume? Now if we examine our oil consumption through that lens, then the use of net energy has declined from previous levels. How so? Simply this. Old fields have produced oil with a low energy cost (a high EROEI). Often, new sources have a high energy cost (a low EROEI). So even though we're consuming as many barrels of crude as before, our actual consumption of energy has declined.

Suppose this notion is valid. What does it imply? If (if, not when) a recovery occurs, then the demand for energy must increase. But the available net energy...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 11304 times
Reflection on something lost by Jack on Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:46 am
I'm not usually into poetry, but this reminds me of what we've lost. It's been years since I've seen one of these -

Monarchs of the 70s
By Sheila E Sanchez Hatch

More astounding than snow in south Texas
was that one October; years ago
when San Antonio awoke to a butterfly dawn.

We kids ran out to yards
and streets lit up with them.
And, across the school grounds,
it seemed every tree leaf
on every oak held an orange blossom.
The merry-go-rounds,
the fence railings, and water fountains,
our scarves and coats,
even our amazed faces became landings
for those flying flowers.

Some of them flit around
like snowflakes in autumn,
tattered and worn they fell
to the ground and the wind
scattered them about like
fall leaves.

Why did they go so far away
that only a few would ever return?

The English and math lessons of that day
are like the distant phases of the moon now.
Although, one mention
of the monarchs flying to Mexico
that October, makes our hearts start beating

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1 Comment Viewed 29531 times
Climbing a wall of flak by wisconsin_cur on Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:56 am
Bring up the idea that the century will end with 5-6 billion fewer people on the planet in polite company and you will hear a quiet before a storm of personal attack. The average person seems incapable of distinguishing between an evaluation of what you think will happen from what you want to happen. I have a theory about this is a result of catagory mixing which has taken place in our culture over the last century. We have, for so long, enveloped ourself in the notion that if you want something to happen you have to believe it will happen that we automatically assume that if someone believes something will happen they want it to happen. I remember getting the same flak when I openly discussed the possibility of a mass casuality terrorist attack with family in the 1990's and complained of the dangerous state of New Orleans' levees three years before Katrina.

If you want to escape a life of responding with the herd it is important to develop your own worldview, your own perception...

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3 Comments Viewed 59144 times
The tax man cometh by wisconsin_cur on Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:28 am
I hate to say it but I am about to reach the point in my preparation for the future where the maintance on what I have done requires enough of my reserves of time and energy that I am severly limited in what new undertakings I would like to embrace. Weeds have overtaken 30% of the garden. Walking onions need to be divided. I am way behind in splitting and stacking firewood for the coming winter. Several projects I had slatted for this year, I am now realizing, will not be started, let alone brought to completion.

What am I to do? The question arises because the issue has as much to do with a depletion of my "get up and go" as it does a strict limitation of time and resources. I sleep more on my weekends home, drink coffee later and call it a day earlier. I am just drained of the willingness to tackle something new or at least the new that requires planning for the absolute worse case scenerio.

Consequently I am planning and working for the "not as bad" scenerio....

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