Thursday, August 7, 2008

Green is this year's black

I'll return to work in a couple of weeks and I feel a sense of urgency w/r/t a few projects that I've started. While I'm happy about some of the preparations I've made for the apocalypse and my brief Mexico excursion, I am still disappointed that I haven't accomplished more. So, without further ado, here's where I am at so far:
- Volunteer at 2nd Cycle bicycle collective. This has been a great experience. I get to work with my hands on one of the most efficient engines ever created and learn about something that I use everyday that I didn't really know anything about a few months ago. The practical experience has been gratifying; I'm curious whether the administrative will prove to be equally so. We are doing something that is good for the community as well.
- Gardening. I've been teaching myself to garden by working in the community space down the street and in my own yard. Yesterday I built to 6'x6' garden boxes from cedar planks and salvaged wood from an old couch and a box spring, both of which contained a remarkable amount of easily salvaged pine. My goal is to grow most of my produce by next year. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to work on building a removable green house and a compost bin. Maybe soon a chicken coop as well...if not, then maybe a dog house.
- Writing. I've made my return to fiction. I've been writing everyday and excitedly researching a number of projects. I probably have the publication of an old story in PICTURE|STORY|SONG to thank for this. The bulk of my fiction will probably end up being graphic novels. Rob agreed to help me with 3 book proposals that I hope to have done soon.
-Sewing. I've started mending my clothes and I'm hoping to make panniers before the end of the summer. I have a feeling that this project is probably bigger than I realize.
-We've been brainstorming ways to make our house "green." We recycle significantly more than we throw out, but we still need to compost (the last attempt ended, er, badly), and I would like to reclaim graywater. Along the same lines, I need to build/salvage rain barrels. Any advice for this or any other project that promotes self-reliance or living locally, send my way.

I've got more projects on the horizon as well. I'm really excited and happy, not only because it's my birthday. Did I mention it's my birthday? Yea, so, no big deal or anything, but you know, it's my birthday. K got me awesome presents and there's going to be a party here on Saturday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Cult of Disinformation

Unless the Jolie-Pitt twins are conjoined, I fail to see why we care. After watching an hour of CNN yesterday, I fail to realize why we care about most of their "stories". The perfect example of this was the overwrought coverage of the SoCal earthquake. This was manufactures news - they kept talking about asking people to call in with mas o menos traumatic stories. The first hour was very thin as no one had anything exciting to say about the quake. Most people didn't even realize what was going on until it was over. Then, I suspect the people that did call in embellished their stories so they could be interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. The funny thing is that the coverage of the earthquake began right as Sen. Harry Reid was about to address the Stevens indictment. I watched for hours as CNN frantically covered a few broken dishes and the rides at Disneyland being temporarily shutdown while the longest serving Republican Senator was being indicted on corruption charges. The "news" is absolutely ridiculous. The coverage of the presidential campaign is equally insipid and equally frustrating...