Monday, June 25 2012
Sara's-B-Day-June23rd 2012 family
Great weekend; a lot of resting on my part on Saturday, Nell kicked it pretty well making cake and dinner for Sara's birthday.
We're also watching Game of thrones. It is pretty good, Netflix is seriously lacking lately. We got Game of Thrones from Danny. We've reduced our DVD rental from Netflix to two at a time, from 7, partly because we're busy, with the house project, and it's Summer, and mainly because there isn't anything worth watching on Netflix.
Sara-Birthday-cake-June23rd2012 With all the stuff I've given up these last few years, I've decided that I wasn't going to fuss about eating sugar or not. I still haven't figured out what is triggering my gout attacks. Gout seems like it is my nemesis. It'll probably be the death of me. In the meantime, I intend to live life.
To that end I'm going to get this building project going, and get it done as cheaply as I can, and move on with my life. I still have a lot of things I want to do. I hope the world as we know it holds together long enough so I can walk it when I can. I want to see South America, and New Zealand. I want to spend days hiking, evenings by a campfire, mornings by fast moving streams, fishing.
(Sara's-B-Day-June23rd 2012 family) Trouble
(Sara's-B-Day-June23rd2012 family) Rachel
(Sara's-B-Day-June23rd2012 Giant) Hurricane Rachel
Let's see… What up here? Yesterday Buddy and I drove to town. Nell and I are cleaning out our clutter, which means massive amounts of stuff is going to the Sapello refuse relay. We'd like to send more to the second hand stores, but it is complicating an already very difficult process.
I picked up some WVO,in Vegas, then Buddy and I went to Storie lake. There was a triathlon or something happening at Storie Lake. Most of the participants appeared to be dying in the heat of the unseasonably cloudless sky. It made me think about some of the things I do to try and get healthy. I hope none of my shenanigans are as crazy looking to others as jogging along a highway in 80 degree heat, yet I can't be so naive and egotistical to think I look any saner.
Anyway, I got the oil, came home and started a batch of biodiesel. By that time it was getting quite warm outside. I've been meaning to build some simple shelves in what's left of our trailer kitchen, so I got after that project, while the biodiesel cooked.
Thank goodness this WVO titrated at 3.5. One of these days I'll remember to throw away WVO that titrates at ten like last weeks oil did, because damn that was a waste of methanol and my time, and I threw it away anyway.
The shelves came out well enough, now it is time to get back to the rock pit that is to be our new kitchen. I've set aside this week to get it as deep and level as I can. Next week it is time to begin building the forms for concrete. I'll need to get a couple yards of sand and gravel using the Dodge Dually.
It is probably time to give our cement mixer a tune up. Also we'll need a dozen bags of Portland Concrete. I think I mentioned that I'm going to to try and use Styrofoam as forms. I like that there is a insulation factor. My main concern now…
Shoot I went in the kitchen to make some oatmeal, and got sidetracked with making cookies and not can't remember what my main concern was…
Doesn't matter I'm certain
I better get after my projects, before it gets too hot otside
By James Howard Kunstler
on June 24, 2012 11:15 PM
The techno-narcissism flowed like a melted Slurpee this torrid weekend at the annual Aspen Environment Forum where scores of scientists, media figures, authors, professors, and policy wonks convened to settle the world's hash – at least in theory. The trouble started Friday night when Stewart Brand, 74, impresario of The Whole Earth Catalog, and an economic cornucopian these days, exhorted the skittish audience to show a little goshdarn optimistic spirit about the future instead of just griping about climate change, peak oil, imploding global finance, and a few other vexing trifles. The audience's response was to not line up and buy a signed copy of his latest book.
The Aspen Institute is supported by a bizarre array of corporate donors and individuals ranging from the secretive, devious, extreme right-wing Koch brothers to Goldman Sachs, to Michael Eisner to Duke Energy. The mission of the Environment Forum is divided about equally between publicizing the gathering horrors of climate change and promoting an ethos of wishful thinking that all the problems of mankind will yield to technological rescue remedies.
It's a very odd mix of hard-headed science and the most dismaying sort of crypto-religious faith in happy endings, tinged with overtones of corporate log-rolling and government propaganda. The basic message is: the world is hopelessly fucked up but thank God for technology. There is not even a dim apprehension that many of the aforementioned vexations originate in technology itself, and its blowbacks. Alas, this is about the best that the American intelligentsia can do right now, collectively, and it explains why we have such uniformly impotent and clueless leadership across the board in America, from the White House to the CEO offices to the diploma mills to the news media and every other realm of endeavor where thinking realistically about the future might be considered valuable.
Another strange notion permeating this forum – and probably the entire Progressive intellectual class in America – is the belief that if you can measure things, you can control them. Thus, an endless regurgitation of statistics, which, after a while, resembles liturgical incantation and, pretty much, serves the same purpose, namely an obsessive-compulsive ritual aimed at calming the nerves. If it was, after all, techno-magic that led us to poison the oceans and upset the calibration of the earth's atmosphere, then maybe fresh applications of magic can make all those bad things go away, fighting fire with fire, shall we say.
Speaking of fire, there was one burning up the valley from Aspen, which made the whole town smell like barbeque Sunday morning while six other wildfires blazed all around Colorado. One of them, the High Park fire, has been going for two weeks and burned over 82,000 acres so far with no sign of petering out. Temperatures in the high Rockies soared over 90 degrees all weekend and there was practically no snowpack left up in the elevations – a spooky development this early in the summer.
The odor of empire's end also hangs over Aspen these days, despite the sheen of spectacular wealth visible around the little town and the emanations of glowing health in the buff and tanned population of exercise freaks. Everything that makes the town tick is in danger of unraveling. The ski industry can't possibly survive the eventual effects of peak oil, and the collapse of commercial aviation will put an end to the conveyer belt of tourists. The villas of the Wall Street and Hollywood kingpins that decorate the ridge lines above town give off a desolate vibe of futility, as if the foregone disaster of a global banking meltdown had already sent their once-proud owners to bankruptcy Palookaville. The place gave off eerie intimations of a ghost town in-the-making.
Anyway you looked at America from the vantage of Aspen, Colorado, everything we do and stand for looks out of kilter. Our intellectual resources look spent, our prospects seem grim, and our assets are going up in flames. Maybe there's some consolation that we're not Europe. That said, I have never been to a conference in all my vagabond years where so many magnificent buffet spreads and overflowing gorgeous snack tables were laid in never-ending succession. It almost persuaded me that the old Right Reverend Malthus was too Malthusian.
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