Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Morning Amusement

It has felt this way around here lately - with more snow predicted for Thursday:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quote for the Day

"If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having."
~Henry Miller

Saturday, February 28, 2015


This is what happened to my old computer screen
This past week I got my new computer. I needed a new one as my old one was dying fast. However, I liked my old computer. But changing technology - and expensive repairs - has made it impossible to keep. My son recommended a model based on my needs, I ordered it, and the UPS truck delivered it on Wednesday. 

Getting a new computer is like having a wrecking ball demolish your house and you have to reconstruct it from the ruins. I'm slowing transferring files, photos, and music from the old to the new, as well as installing software that I use on a regular basis. What is most frustrating to me is the junk that now comes loaded on computers. It's like buying a magazine and realizing that it is at least 50% advertising, except with the magazine you can just turn the page. On a computer, you have to determine what is essential and what isn't.

I have spent a good deal of time removing the seemingly "helpful" programs that tell me I need to remove spyware or corrupted files or to update my drivers. All of this on a brand new computer. And then the "helpful" program opens a page on your browser that tells you to purchase the program, at a discount of course. So in reality, there is nothing wrong with the computer; it's just software that is trying to sell you something.

While I am grateful for the technology that makes it possible for me to communicate with people around the world, to go to the library without driving, to search for and save useful information, and to perform thousands of other small tasks that make life easier, it can be really frustrating when I have to make changes. It's especially bad when I have to clean up things I didn't want in the first place. But I'm slowly getting there. And it will be nice to have a fully functioning computer again.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Farm Friday

The season and weather have made it a quiet week on the farm. I had planned to drive to Greensboro to do some "big city" shopping, mainly at the health food store. As I left our house, a few snowflakes were falling but I decided it wasn't anything to worry about. However, when I got on the main highway, the snow was coming down good and sticking, plus the surface of the road was icy white in spots. As soon as I was able to turn around, I did and I stopped at our post office on the way. Good thing I had turned around because the postmaster told me that the roads in Greensboro were a "mess." However, when I got to our house, there was no snow at all. Apparently, the snow storm was to the south of us.

I decided to reschedule my trip for Thursday. This is what happened in the wee hours of Thursday morning:

Bill has planned to take the last two pigs to the processor on Wednesday. One of the girls went into heat, so he couldn't take them. The other one is now in heat, too, so he's postponing it until next week.

Although I'm a warm weather person, I've learned to appreciate winter. It's season of rest and recovery. As long as you don't have to get to job or school, staying home after a snow storm can be nice. But I do miss my flip flops.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rethinking Our Current System

Sg.Cargocontainer 1
Earlier this month I blogged about our society's dependence on centralized systems for food, energy, and other necessities, as well as for non-essentials. You can read about it here. Little did I know a good (if that's the right word) example was right around the corner.

The Eco-Grandma recently brought to my attention the issue at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach (and other west coast ports) where the dock workers and shipping companies have a dispute that is causing huge delays in the distribution of goods, including food. (You can read her story here.) According to the first video, about $1 billion of goods go through that port every day. And now they're just sitting, which is especially bad when it's food that ends up rotting. The second video points out that 70% of our goods from Asia come through the west coast ports. If you look at labels of products in stores, you'll note that the majority come from Asia.

We should use this as a lesson on how dangerous our current system is. However, no one seems to be thinking in those terms. The focus is on money, money, money. Yet our lack of a domestic source for the things we need should be of great concern. We hear talk about security yet we do nothing to ensure that we can feed and clothe ourselves in case of some type of shutdown. 

Why the lack of discussion? I assume it's partly because small businesses are of no concern to the government. We don't have the deep pockets to support political campaigns and, individually, we don't contribute big numbers to government spread sheets and other means of keeping track of "success." 

But the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and it looks like there's a lot of crashing going on right now. Speaking from the food angle, if communities depended on local and regional sources for food (and supported community canneries where people could preserve the bounty from the growing season) instead of far off places, a shutdown at a port on the west coast would not affect people on the east coast or the mid-west or anywhere else. 

Not only is our system unsustainable (and crazy), it's dangerous. I can't imagine what future generations are going to think about us. Perhaps we won't have to worry about this being our legacy. Maybe a few people reading a few posts like this will have the connections to start making some changes.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Quote for the Day

"Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all."
~George Washington