Thursday Open Thread 2-15-2018

Stock market wobbled, property values and rents rising, major disasters with insufficient federal assistance, homeless up, gas prices up, multiple mass shootings, increased talk of war and increased military spending. Our decline as a society is being discussed in foreign press as respect for our government continues to decline.

It is easy to get overwhelmed.

Thursday Open Thread 1-4-2018

Watching the skilled hands of a craftsman can be memorizing. Timeless traditions of shaping of wood, metal, clay, grasses and fibers into useful objects for daily life. So many item can be bought ready made, it seems there is no need to increase the skills of hands beyond typing and pressing buttons on the remote. Are we loosing part of our humanity by increasingly focusing on mind development?

Thursday Open Thread 12-21-2017

To bounce back from hardship is one expression of resilience. Another common theme is to be able to provide the basics of food, shelter and health in the event of modern civilization disruptions. Maybe more important is the ability to maintain civil dialog and open communication with whom one disagrees, disapproves of or feels intimidated.

Thursday Open Thread 12-7-2017

Interesting little study published last month looking at the quality of play in toddlers and the number of toys they have available.

With fewer toys, participants had fewer incidences of toy play, longer durations of toy play, and played with toys in a greater variety of ways. This suggests that when provided with fewer toys in the environment, toddlers engage in longer periods of play with a single toy, allowing better focus to explore and play more creatively.

Adults are not significantly different than toddlers when it comes to toys or as we often call them tools. The question is - How are we decreasing our creativity by thinking we need a specific tool or app (software program) for every task.

Thursday Open Thread 11-30-2017

Morning. The sound of water rushing over rocks greeted me this morning as I stepped outside. The first domestic ditch run to fill stock ponds is on its last day.

Time changes but many human challenges and joys remain the same. We need shelter, food, occasional medical care and companionship to live each stage of our life. Creativity and education expand our horizons. Faith in a belief system to sustain and inspire us to grow and change.

Thursday Open Thread 11-23-2017

Morning and Happy Thanksgiving, may the day be filled with people and activities that you enjoy.

My favorite Holiday of the year. It was my Mothers Holiday. She hosted the event for 42 years bringing together both sides of the extended family and friends, up to 37 people in an 1800 sq ft house. No religious or patriotic overtones. Adjusting the time around those who had to work for the day, we caught up on each others lives for the past year, played games and stuffed ourselves with the harvest of the year.

Now a quiet day of reflection without the hectic house cleaning, preparation of food and creating enough space for everyone to sit, eat and park their cars. Grateful for the memories past and present calmness.

Thursday Open Thread 11-16-2017

As time passes and I get crankier, I am less willing to wrap myself in petroleum products throughout the day and night. The worlds favorite clothing items continues to be jeans, the universal cotton clothing item. Winter has arrived, along with wool, alpaca and mohair scarves, hats and gloves.

Maybe our clothing purchases are another economic choice to effect global politics.

Thursday Open Thread 10-26-2017

Morning, been thinking about insects. The Guardian article Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers is disturbing. Our modern life of pavement, concrete, herbicides and pesticides takes its toll on insects. Most gardening books contain a chapter on how to kill or control insects (plant pests) and buy beneficial. Very few mention providing habitat.

Thursday Open Thread 10-12-2017

A couple of different reasons to exercise the skills of self sufficiency and creativity were provided this week in the Evening Blues collection of news Tuesday. The first by Max Keiser as a necessity for many Americans in the future to afford the basics of life as the US empire declines.

Keiser Report: Decline of US (E1134)
...But the cost of maintaining the Empire is high that's true. But by abandoning the
Empire in America it means the cost of everyday goods will be high. In other words if you are not depending on slave labor in China, you know depending on bombing folks in The Middle east for cheap oil, not depending on subsidies given to China for cheap electronics everything in the grocery store is gonna be double the price, triple price; and then you're gonna have to learn stuff like cook and make your own clothes.
Max Keiser (10:51)

The second by Caitlin Johnstone on barriers to utopia and individual actions.

Thursday Open Thread 10-05-2017

Morning, complicated week the headlines are are steadily informing us of natural and human disasters that keep growing in scope and complexity. It is difficult not to get overwhelmed. So back to basics, to help re-balance and move forward.

Water is life. It provides life, sustains life and destroys life. Our relationship with water makes civilization possible. A healthy one we thrive and a poor one we can be destroyed.

Thursday Open Thread 9-28-2017

Fall is my favorite time of year. Amount of work decreases, harvest is in the barn, freezer and pantry. The challenge of winter weather is weeks away. Why work so hard? Why not. Most people I know are happier when busy. It is discovering the tasks we find satisfying and are able to perform that takes time.

Thursday Open Thread 9-21-2017

Personal observation over time has revealed an interesting phenomena. Many medical professionals I know who use self-treatment for themselves and their family use different methods than they use to treat patients. Guilty of it myself. Multiple reasons, for one the amount of time and energy it takes to convince someone to take the time to follow a self-directed path towards health or optimal functionality vs their desire for quick fix of take this pill or try a surgery. Monitoring a medical condition being treated or prevented is a major part of self-treatment. It requires an additional layer of education, motivation and critical thinking skills.

Thursday Open Thread 9-14-2017

Morning - I am out of town today and will write responses late this evening or tomorrow.

Traveled to the Kam Wah Chung museum this to revisit the small building that was the residence and place of business of Lung On and Doc Hay. The dry climate and record keeping habits created a time capsule of Chinese immigrant culture. Their story is reminder one does not need to travel or require a large amount of space to effect the lives of others.

It appears they sent financial support to Sun Yat-sen's Chinese Nationalist Party around the time he was working to overthrow the Qing dynasty and form a new government. Sun Yat-sen is considered the father of both mainland China and Taiwan.

Thursday Open Thread 8-24-2017

Why go to the effort to obtain high quality foods. Taste, health, support local growers, trying to reduce dependency on corporations or gardening as a hobby. Some of the benefits are personal many of them are also global. Food and beverage choices at home, in restaurants and as snacks provide you the opportunity to make small multiple impacts day after day.

The main message for this week is read the ingredients on the food you are using. It may not be what you expect. I am finding a number of foods I have used for years now have extra ingredients. The choice is change products or start making it oneself. For example, it is hard to find a corn tortilla to cook without gar-gum. Most of the 50lb bags of masa flour at the restaurant supply store have it pre-added to the flour. The tortillas with gar-gum will mold in my fridge. The ones without simply dehydrate and are good for months, just need to add water. What else is changing?

Thursday Open Thread 8-17-2017

The vibrations of change that began in Charlottesville will now be forever intertwined with our actions trying to increase our resilience with challenges of climate change, oligarchy dominance and unstable healthcare delivery system.

Most of the national discussion is being directed into longstanding racial issues and divides. The international reaction will probably be more significant.

The United States is the self-proclaimed policeman of the world and one of the major allies of World War II. Trump, our elected leader just defended individuals marching under the Nazi flag for their violent behavior. Not the honored American tradition and right of free speech which includes distasteful speech. Most of the Allies fought during the war on their soil with citizens and soldiers. The emotional scars to Nazi atrocities are deep. The international community will be re-thinking their long-term relationship with the United States.

Thursday Open Thread 8-3-2017

Sometimes the idea of resilience, the ability to bounce back from a set-back, disaster or hardship becomes confused with survivalist or the current phrase a prepper. There seem to be a number of people who are looking in anticipation for the next disaster so to experience hardship, heroically push through and show their ability to survive despite the odds.

The current disaster of the week in my area is the eclipse. I had to do a little commuting this week and listened to the radio while driving. I am definitely unprepared for the roads to be in grid-lock, perhaps no emergency services or the road to the fast food joint jammed.

Thursday Open Thread 7-27-2017

Morning - serious subjects and events the last few days on C99 so I just did photo diary Tuesday of the day and have added some thoughts and observations. For new readers I run a hobby farm, create an environment I like living within and experiment with different techniques for self sufficiency. Outside the boundary of the property is the good and bad of the "real" world the traffic, wWalmart, lots of people, water restrictions, community events, libraries, concerts and modern life.