Thursday Open Thread 2-22-2018

Yes, the lemons are blooming, two ready to harvest and outside is 4 F. A microclimate that provides a different reality for plants than the overall climate found in its geographic location of the world. Is it a fake reality? Maybe. For the moment it is the reality for the lemon trees. They may live a full lifespan without experiencing the hardships of the local climate. The outside plants experience a different reality. The map says any zone 7, low humidity and dramatic temperature fluctuations create an environment where zone 4 & 5 plants work hard to survive and thrive. To truly evaluate hardships and benefits a detailed look is necessary, not general judgements.

Our lives are lived within a personalized microenvironment within general status of society and economics. Was 19 the first time time the government sent a notification informing of my poverty. I had a nicer roof over my head than most of my relatives, a roommate to keep it affordable, food in the pantry and tuition paid - did not feel poor. Creating and adjusting microenvironments in life has been more successful than any national and global efforts I have participated in positively effecting lives.

The reverse of a negative microenvironment is also true. An individual or family cash income may not reflect actual financial or quality of life being experienced. Extreme poverty is bigger problem in the United States than most citizens want to believe.

Poverty is Not Just an Income Number

Using a "dollar a day" estimate to compare poverty levels is impossible. A Brookings report notes: "There is a sad irony in the fact that the analytical tools used to assess welfare in the U.S. are poorly equipped to capture those whose lives are most precarious." Furthermore, it's an insult to desperate Americans to suggest that their state in life is better than they might think.

The extreme level of inequality in the U.S. is battering the poor with a sense of inferiority. It's ripping apart once-interdependent communities, and it's triggering a surge in drug and alcohol and suicide "deaths of despair.

Housing costs vary dramatically based on numerous factors: monthly mortgage rate, taxes, required insurance or rent. I would have trouble keeping up with the local rental cost for a small house. Oregon rental regulations have changed over the past few years and landlords are more likely to limit or monitor the number of individuals living at a residence. It makes helping out a friend or relative much more difficult. The option of going back home to live with parents or grandparents is not an option for for many Americans. The myth seen in the movies of of going back to the ranch or farm is not available to most Americans. Those places have been sold to pay for retirement or healthcare of the previous generations.

The phrase "time is money" can be reversed to "money is time" may be used to evaluate if it takes more time at a job to buy a product than make or grow it yourself. Our charity efforts need to include measuring direct benefit for the cause being supported. Supporting high cost employees, luxurious offices, fancy dinners and marketing campaigns has never been a major priority for my charity efforts.

The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem

As it happens, making such comparisons has recently become much easier.
The World Bank decided in October to include high-income countries in its global
estimates of people living in poverty. We can now make direct comparisons between
the United States and poor countries.
Properly interpreted, the numbers suggest that the United Nations has a point —
and the United States has an urgent problem. They also suggest that we might
rethink how we assist the poor through our own giving.
I believe, as do most people, that we have an obligation to assist the truly
destitute. For those who believe that aid is effective, this is reflected in their own
giving, or by supporting national and international organizations like the United
States Agency for International Development, the World Bank or Oxfam.
For years, in determining this spending, the needs of poor Americans (or poor
Europeans) have received little priority relative to the needs of Africans or Asians. As
an economist concerned with global poverty, I have long accepted this practical and
ethical framework. In my own giving, I have prioritized the faraway poor over the
poor at home.

Recently, and especially with these insightful new data, I have come to doubt
both the reasoning and the empirical support. There are millions of Americans whose
suffering, through material poverty and poor health, is as bad or worse than that of
the people in Africa or in Asia.

How are we shaping up emotionally and psychologically as a general population. We are encourages to outsource the creation of our contentedness of life to media, social networks, group think and buying products. C99 is the only place I have found recently that fosters interactions vs group think.

The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest possible well-being. The Well-Being Index consists of metrics drawn from each of the five essential elements of well-being. The income being measured did not reflect the reality being experienced.

Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily
The overall decline in well-being in 2017 is driven by dips in emotional health, social well-being and purpose well-being.
In terms of emotional health, the percentage of adults who report experiencing significant worry on any given day is up, as is the percentage who report having little interest or pleasure in doing things at least some of the time.

Social well-being shows similar declines. Fewer Americans agree that their friends and family provide them with positive energy every day and that someone in their life always encourages them to be healthy, while more disagree with the statement.

Purpose well-being indicators have also receded. Fewer agree and more disagree that there is a leader in their life who makes them enthusiastic about the future and that they like what they do each day.

Farm Report
(A little housekeeping from last week. Click the link to view picture of Kozy, the goat, who befriended Mhagle for several years.)

I will harvest 2 lemon this year. It has only taken three years to grow the tree large enough. Will be trying to set for 9 or 10 fruits for next years harvest.
soe lemon.jpg

A little more practical, sugar snap peas started for early season harvest. Radishes I squeezed into the pots should be ready in 3 weeks.
soe pea.jpg

If I had to rely on the regular habitat there are sticks to chew and rocks to boil. Only seen tracks of small mammal and birds recently.
soe natural_0.jpg

The naturalized aspen by the irrigation ditch thought the warm weather (66) a couple of weeks ago was the beginning of spring. The wide temperature variations are normal for the area and not part of climate change.
soe aspen.jpg

The modification of adding irrigation early last century provides the microclimate to grow winter feed for the cows. (The sheep did get their hay this morning. In their opinion - about time.)
soe cow feed.jpg

15 users have voted.


SLIDESHOW: Stellar 2018 Citrus Fair weekend ... last weekend it happened here again, the parade is three blocks away. I used to love parades, and fairs, and people. Not anymore, I didn't go out at all, but I noticed Ray and Magenta wheeling in from their camp to see the parade.
Sonoma County grape growers battle frost after early bud break
It is freezing every night and the vines are treated better than Ray (late 50s, diabetes) and Magenta (83, wheelchair). I visited their tent one day they knocked on my door for help schlepping another tent down there. It is 100 feet from grapevines on one side, and the Russian River on the other side. There are six more tents along the river, in view of the bridge. There are no facilities at the bridge, no water, no restrooms, nothing.

Disabled by this fucked up system, I am totally out of my mind. Can't stand parades and celebrations now, they seem totally fake and heartless. What is there to celebrate when your economy creates such cruelty? Nada. I don't know. Every day it's a struggle to not just give up and do the dangle.

P.S. My month-to-month rental contract has words that say ONE person only, else I'd have tried to get Ray and Magenta up my stairs until the freezing has passed. I am afraid to do anything helpful, because the contract says NOPE and my house neighbors are the opposite of cool. No way in hell I'd make it living outside with nothing, always unwanted, moved along. I am not one of those people, not a survivor. "Close to the edge, down by a river."

--- fennel garlic ginger onion curry turmeric salt
Gesundheit. My bike chain fell off the other day, I had to stop right under a huge blooming acacia and the pollen gave me an instant headache. Later I fixed a batch of chickpeas with those ingredients, added brown rice, diced celery and carrots, and a chopped hard-boiled egg. Beautiful colors, and delicious flavors, it cured my headache! Yay Thanks and praise to Janis B for signalling that recipe. I am getting fat on the grains now, heh. The herb and spice mix help my sinuses with the cold air somehow too.

Thanks C99ers
Peace & Love

11 users have voted.


@eyo your herb and spice mix worked as a remedy for your headache. That's awesome. I'm really starting to take this food as medicine thing seriously especially given how tenuous things are. Preventive care and simple remedies for non-complicated ailments are the best. We know no one will take care of us so we have to do it.

I have several pots of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) greens that made it through the winter. The entire dandelion plant can be used as food and medicine. The roots and leaves are diuretics, the leaves have a high amount of potassium, it has iron, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs says it also has Vitamin A, B, and D, provides calcium, and carotenoids.
This is why you want these minerals and vitamins in your diet. Manganese: antioxidant, enzyme activator, bone and ligament formation.
Zinc: antioxidant; anticarcinogenic; immune system regulator; DNA and RNA synthesis; enzyme activator; wound healing; skin,hair, muscle and respiratory health; insulin synthesis.
Vit. A functions are: antioxidant,vision and night vision, collagen production, moistness of mucosa. Carotenoid function: precursors to vitamin A, antioxidant, heart health, circulation, healthy mucosa.
So, if nothing else, it's nutritious.
The best thing about dandelions are they are weeds, which means they are easy to grow. They are slow to come along, it's taken about a year for me to get them established and I had to buy my first pack of seeds. Now I just collect the seeds from my own plants and they propagate easily.
If you have space for a couple of indoor plants you might try them. If not and you know of a good clean place, you can wild-forage them. You have to be very careful with that though.
Dandelions are considered bitters so they may take a little getting used to. For a nice salad you can wilt it with a little bit of bacon fat and cider vinegar heated and then pour over the greens. Sprinkle the cooked bacon bits over. You can also top with bits of hard-boiled eggs. As always make sure you're not allergic to the plant before you eat a whole bunch.
When I was a kid my Grandfather taught us to pick the early dandelion leaves in spring and we would make a big salad for everyone. A good memory.

9 users have voted.
Lookout's picture eyo's story above documents. The UN has been doing a study of US poverty.

In the OECD the US ranks 35th out of 37 in terms of poverty and inequality.

Here's the story of the places visited and what was seen. It starts in LA and by Dec. 9 they get to Alabama.

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you can't be mentally healthy (nor happy) without meeting basic physiological requirements:

Last week I reported daffodils were up. After a week of 60 degrees some are blooming. I planted our sugar snap peas this week along with another crop of lettuce and spinach. Kale and some greens survived the cold spells of Dec. and Jan.

On we go. I continue to feel fortunate to have a place to garden and be in nature. All the best to all of you!

9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

The Aspie Corner's picture

9 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Aspie Corner

Most people don't give a shit about Russiagate because most people have the common sense to know it for the nothingburger that it is!


6 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

enhydra lutris's picture

It dropped to 27 a couple of nights ago (predicted) so we covered everything and remmoved the covers the next day. Now they're saying in the 30 to 33 range friday, saturday and sunday (last night they said all 3 were 30 or below). Rain due today, so no tenting until tomorrow morning but we have visitors from the midwest flying in at noon then. It's a PITA this late in the year. The citrus are a special concern. Yet, here is SOE shrugging it off as normal for the area and simply dealing with it when these types of weather fluctuations occur up there in Oregon's high plains. I'm clearly spoiled silly, but really would like to have a ton of various greens overwintering next year without working at it like a full time job. Ah well.

Then eyo's friends, displaced and discarded by an indifferent society. It isn't even hostile, until after they get destitute and desperate, simply completely uncaring and unconcerned. And I'm whining. What's that all about now?

Meanwhile,the author of the first quote speaks of USAID. USAID is a scam, a weapon of us policy and economic interests. Money will be allocated to help country x, and will be spent there to hire US owned and based contractors to provide goods and services at ludicrously inflated prices. The goods and services will be what we think they should have, not necessarily what they want or think that they need. It also works to subvert and topple governments we don't approve of and to try to install ones we do. Likewise, it will work to undermine socialist economies or even socialistic enterprises, like utilities or somesuch and replace them with privatized predatory capitalism. Lastly, it is used as a cudgel.

Ah, another curmudgeon morning and the hardware is acting up.
Have a good one, all.

7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

the formulae presented to describe the building blocks of 'well being', one omission I notice, which is part of the fabric of living in these times: how much does it take to cope with the madness? Pharmaceutical meds like valium, prozac and psyche drugs, 'legal meds' such as alcohol, tobacco and over the counter shit, controlled substances still in prohibition such as weed, speed, uppers and downers, coke, opium, mushrooms, etc.

While feeling good about ones self and surroundings is important, what does it take to feel that way? If people are aware of the insanity of militarized control, the deception of our freedoms and democracy, the lies of the media and politicians, it may take a bit of feel good medicine to maintain. Slow suicide. How does that factor into the clean picture presented?

7 users have voted.

“Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.” Stephen Hawkings

thanatokephaloides's picture

Yes, the lemons are blooming, two ready to harvest and outside is 4 F. A microclimate that provides a different reality for plants than the overall climate found in its geographic location of the world. Is it a fake reality? Maybe. For the moment it is the reality for the lemon trees. They may live a full lifespan without experiencing the hardships of the local climate.

The French term for such an environment is orangerie, "a place for growing oranges". Orangeries go all the way back to the days of the European Enlightenment. For many, it was the only way to obtain citrus fruits like oranges and lemons in those days.

Especially around St. Clement's in London (51°30′26″N) ! Smile

6 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

mhagle's picture

Not time to comment but devoured and enjoyed each post.

4 users have voted.


Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.