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.

Thursday Open Thread 7-13-2017

Prescription drug costs are one of the fasted growing segments of healthcare. Have been for several years and concerns are dismissed as over-reactive and not understanding the true value of medications at reducing total healthcare costs. PHARMA is a strong lobbying group at state and federal levels and has been effective at minimizing any significant progress to reduce costs.

Imagine no Bankers Open Thread

The sun is up, I'm up and there is no OT. OTOH, I've got a ton to do today, no plan, no topic, and no real inspiration. However, some ideas --

The machine demands a permanent underclass. Desperation for jobs keeps wages down & production up. Desperation for goods & services drives the desperation for jobs. Eschew faddist crap and non-necessities.

Thursday Open Thread 6-22-2017

Historical methods vs new technology which is better. Old methods are not necessarily better or worse than modern technology, only different. I tend to explore older methods when working on resilience projects and evaluate them with modern methods. In times of disruptions due to climate, economy or wars the supply lines we use today may not be available.

Repair Cafes and the return of the Repair ethos

When I was young most towns, villages, suburbs and such had "the repair guy"; a little shop with gaskets and parts for most household appliances and gadgets, vacuum tubes and a tube checker, refurbished small appliances for sale, and a Mr. Fixit type guy. When soemthing broke you took it to him to have it fixed unless you could fix it yourself. Even if you could, you might wind up at his place to get the parts that you couldn't get from the dealer, depatment store or hardware sore.

Thursday Open Thread 6-1-2017

Morning, I hope your gardens are growing well. Our local farmers market is starting in a couple of weeks. I am looking forward to buying some local vegetables. I always seem to get my garden in a little later than the market farmers.

When this question was posed this week in a diary "3) Where is this big technological fix that will solve the climate change problem?" my thought was no big fix, simply lots of little ones made by individuals.

Our discussions on climate change solutions often focus on petroleum production, electricity source and transportation options. Food choices provide us an opportunity multiple times a day to make choices that effect the climate.

Thursday Open Thread 5-18-2017

Give a man a fish, he can eat for the day.

Teach a man to fish and he can eat forever. Unless the water he fishes has only seasonal runs, the area becomes over-fished the water, polluted or global warming destroys the fishes living environment. Does he live near the water or are there transportation problems?

Thursday Open Thread 5-11-2017

In my youth I was accused of being to focused on making money. Nothing unethical, just long hours, education, strategic moves being pushed by a fear of the poverty I saw my great-grandmother, grandmother and aunts live. A low cost, high quality education was the foundation to a professional career by opening up options, but did not guarantee success.