Tuesday, January 24, 2017


On January 20th local book seller Avid Book shop offered free copies of "We Should All Be Feminists". I hoped on my bike and rode down there to get a copy.
Thank you Avid, for your activism. Thank you for this copy of "We Should All Be Feminists". I will keep Rocking my golden bike nuts while I ride bike for Our #1 M🌎THER Everyday!

I was a volunteer for the peace keeper, police liaison &; street medic team on my bike later that night for the local Day of Resistance. Another member of our team is a veteran compact medic, who served in Iraq. She also was a street medic at the G-20 protests in Seattle. Our team included several nurses and paramedics too. We all had a 2 hour long meeting a few days before the march. We were prepared for a home-made explosive device, for example, or for something seriously scary to go down and people panic and start crushing one another. We had lots of tournequetts and good contact with the police through out the march. Some people suggested that it wouldn't be a real protest until the window of Starbucks got smashed. Maybe what they really mean is it won't be a REAL protest until people start giving a damn and not just sucking back milk and sugar $7 Starbucks in a plastic cup, with a plastic straw?  If you think that it was paranoid that we should have been prepared to deal with a home grown terrorist attack check out this coverage of the ACC Police having to dispose of home made pipe bombs found by a son cleaning out his deceased father's home: http://onlineathens.com/slideshow/2017-01-26/photos-acc-police-uga-bomb-disposal-unit-dispose-pipe-bombs#slide-1   

The people of this country kept right on driving through the decades of war for oil...hundreds of thousands of people dead and the planet continuing to roast. Seventy degrees in January? Great! The planet is experiencing a mass extinction, the collapse of the food chain...and most people could care less if it means having to give up their own comforts. Most people won't even refuse a drinking straw and put their lips to a glass. 

Here are a couple of shots I was able to take early on as the crowd as it swelled to 4,500:

The fact of the matter is that until people start changing their own lives and insisting on their neighbors doing the same, the planet will keep roasting and we will keep molesting each other in a thousand different ways as we a die, and watch our children, grandchildren and all life on Earth die in the very near future. That's why I went. To be a peace keeper on my bike and to keep insisting of my neighbors that they if they are gonna Sing It they better also Bring It! For instance, if they don't want Exxon in charge they better stop filling up their gas tanks and driving everywhere to buy anything they want, 24 hours a day wrapped in plastic, made half way around the world by people enslaved, or working for nearly nothing, often at gun point, the guns provided by our industries and our government . We need people to practice pre figurative politics. Actually install solar on your home, business, church, on the schools, AND conserve energy. Take your money out of the corporate banks! Be ready to chain yourself to the machines that are drilling under the rivers right now - as we wave our hands and make noise! Be willing to put your body on the line, not just the mouth. For that matter, try putting your body on a bike and bike to work. Bike to the store. Bike to church. Athens is so small you can bike across it in about 45 minutes! " Who wants change?" "WE DO!" "Who wants TO change?" *crickets*

There are thousands of scientific organizations around the world tracking the dynamic flux of our planet. It is thanks to them that we know that we have less than 2 years before the saturation of C02 in the atmosphere will cause the temperature rise above the already deadly 2 degree C mark the Paris Climate Record recognized as too high. Beyond this level the Earth will not be a stable environment to support life as we know it. We have less than 2 years to stop burning fossil fuels. That mean we must NOW stop driving our cars, start buying local foods, the majority of our diet must be plants, we can not use disposable plastic anything: not bags, not packaging, not drinking straws. We must install solar panels and stop burning coal NOW. We must compost all of our food waste, and if you eat out tell the owner to do so, and the grocery store. Tell the manager, call to corporate office. Start living a life-syle the conserve water and energy, Bathe once a week, install on demand hot water heaters, use a chest freezer with a temperature controller instead of a fridge, ride a bike, walk, take the bus or car pool. Do not fly. Insist that your landlord install solar and sell the power to you as the tenant. Insist that your church organize carpools and install solar on the congregation hall. Call the School District and insist they they invest in solar on the schools. They will surely be running the AC this year. Show up at the next Mayor and Commission meeting (Feb 7th, 6pm @ City Hall ) and insist that they approve the funding for the Greenway expansion and attend the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan input sessions , 1st Monday of every month, 6pm at 120 Dougherty Street. We have 2 years before it is literally GAME OVER, and our world, and all life on it will ROAST.

The clock is ticking. The carbon clock of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) shows just how little time is left for political decision-makers. Visitors of the MCC website can set out to explore which policy objectives under which scientific assumptions would allow for how much time to implement effective action.

The MCC carbon clock demonstrates just how much carbon can be released into the atmosphere if global warming is to be capped at 1.5°C, or 2°C. By selecting a choice of temperature targets and estimates, you can see how much time remains in each scenario.

In the Paris Agreement, all countries worldwide decided to limit global warming to well below 2°C (ideally as much as 1.5°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. This is extremely ambitious and essentially means that we are tightening our carbon budget. In concrete terms, it means that reaching the 2°C target with a high probability would allow us to emit at maximum only about 980 gigatons of CO2 between 2016 and 2100 into the atmosphere.¹ However, at present the world is still emitting 40 gigatons of CO2 every year.⁴ This corresponds to 1268 tons per second. In that context, the remaining budget is shrinking rapidly.

Visit the MCC website @ https://www.mcc-berlin.net/en/research/co2-budget.html

Friday, January 13, 2017

FAQ: Color Mojo

The top 2 questions I get asked about my house are:
Did you build it yourself? 
What color are you gonna paint it?
I am not going to paint the metal siding. I like it mottled.
In preparation for the Chinese New Year on the 28th, I set about to paint my doors red. Red doors have a lot of historical significance: protection, welcome, auspicious fortune, and not having a mortgage.
 I am debt free!
I have had enough ill fortune sent my way to last a life time. I am so grateful to live a life of peace and tranquility, stability and sustainability.  
I need protection. 
 I would like to be more welcoming. 
Back in 2011 I volunteered at a local homeless shelter, and one of the shelter clients started stalking me. I had to get a protective order, which he violated, and ever since then I have been very cautious about welcoming people into my home. I would like that to change.
So, for all these reasons I chose a bold red color, I bought a gallon of blue metal paint for $1 @ the end of the year mis-tint sale, so that choice was made for me, and I refinished my decks a darker shade of blue than in previous years. I tried to take some Better Homes and Gardens style shots from the ladder.

 I built a copper framed shelf to go above the stove in the kitchen, in the window with out curtains.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Investing our lives in a fossil fuel free future: Find Courage & Fortitude.

I had bought a 4 burner RV propane stove/oven several years ago, and in the course of using it I realized that it was not the right appliance for me. Biking with full propane tanks is incredibly scary, using a combustible gas under pressure in my home is incredibly scary, and using fossil fuels in my daily life is the scariest of all! So, I decided to continue using my little "Super Cat" home made alcohol camp stoves for very modest cooking while I saved up my money to buy an alcohol stove/oven. This was no small feat, as the unit most recommended and suited to my needs costs $1500.00 new. I trolled the internet for months while saving, but the Origo stoves are of such high quality, and last so long they they very rarely are re-sold. I am now the proud owner of a new one! In my opinion it is worth every penny.
The way that the final transaction came together further cements that I have made the right investment in my home, and in a fossil fuel free future.
 I was walking downtown not too long ago and was attracted to the cheerful pop tunes rendered by this wacky duo. I turned around and what did I see but the Edna Lau, the Free Tea Bus! I went inside and met Guisepi, the Tea Man, who has been traveling the country for 11 years in Edna, building community, serving tea and living off grid. Edna is veggie grease/solar powered, and many other amazing tricks of energy conservation have been/are being genius-tinkered to perfection by Guisepi as he travels, learns, and grows.

 I was pretty embarrassed when I sat down inside the bus and started drinking my tea.. all the angst, cynicism, anger and despair I have been suffering from in the past few months came tumbling out. What a way to make a first impression. But, he received what I had to say, as did the other two people there at the time, with the simple reassurance that my pain and suffering is justified, that I am not alone, and that I am also not alone in living in an alternate reality: one of radical personal responsibility, gift/sharing economy, and a fossil fuel free future.
The truth is that I am furious. I am lonely. I am outspoken and I have recently been fiercely criticized for being these three things. There are loads of people who know that our self centered consumptive life styles are driving the 6th mass extinction of this planet, driving the endless wars for oil, now Exxon and the corporate criminals are literally running the government, polluting our waters, lands and air, drowning the oceans in plastic, causing cancer and a whole host of other health calamities, melting the polar ice caps, sabotaging the future of survival for our children and grand children, and dooming the millions of animals and plants we share this one precious world with to suffering and death. There are loads of people who know that these things are all true, and yet, they do nothing. They do nothing in the sense that they do not change their lives. They complain, they organize political meetings, but can't organize a car pool, they say they are religious or spiritual, but there are no solar panels on their church, and they don't car pool to church either. They gorge themselves on meat and dairy two or three times a day. They keep buying everything they want wrapped in plastic and think that recycling it is enough to off set their having bought the plastic wrapping in the first place. They plunk a drinking straw down in a glass so their lips will never have to touch the glass, which gets thrown out with the other 8 million straws a day. They think bringing a shopping bag with them is a inconvenience, or they just forget. They justify their driving everywhere they go because biking is dangerous, or they have to haul whatever, or they have kids, or they live to far from work and it would take longer, or they are out of shape. They don't install on-demand hot water heaters or solar systems, because it's too expensive, they don't seek out real news but just let themselves be spoon fed the blustering propaganda of the corporate media, and they jump down my throat for expressing my fury.

 In this town, which is supposedly so liberal, less than 2% of the population bikes for transportation, less than 1% of the population has solar power (despite a community driven bulk buying solarize campaign), less than 3% of the population eats local food. And yet, there is lots of noise about how people want things to be.
 "WHO WANTS CHANGE?"     "WE DO!!!!"
"WHO WANTS TO CHANGE?"   *crickets*

I have recently been called a self righteous, judgmental hypocrite, told that it's a personal choice if someone is going to ride a bike or recycle, or go vegan, or that I am making friends into enemies by saying "Hey it's lonely out here! If the people I would call friends rode bikes too then we could smile and wave at each other as we pass on the street!"

The fact of the matter is that it is not a personal choice, and thinking that it is IS the problem. I don't have the grit and determination to live the way I do on my own, I need to be a part of a community just like everybody else, even more so as I continue recovering from the injuries of last year. "Enemies" is too strong a word, but "not friends/not allies" is about right. Could I be friends with, trust, rely on someone who drank heavily everyday when I don't? It's the same type of thing. Thinking it is a choice to live a heavily addicted life style that is killing our whole world and then saying "it's my choice" is just as sick to me as a parent who keeps drinking even though there is no food in the house of their children, or who has lost their licence to DUIs, with a spouse who is black and blue from the latest drunken rampage.

Fossil fueled lives are addicted lives. The signs that our world is suffering are just as glaring, and I am not being a hater for calling it out. It would by hypocritical of me not to, in my opinion. To know and to do nothing, to say nothing.  I could no easier shut my mouth if a friend had contracted a STD, had abortions, had children out there in the world they had nothing to do with and complained of trying to find true love. I would say : "True love is not your #1 priority, CONDOMS YO!"

To KNOW and do/say nothing because I don't want to hurt feelings, or, even more shallow, I want to be liked, while meanwhile....mass extinction, how could I? Where would my courage be? My Fortitude, my integrity? There are no points for winning the popularity contest at the end of the world. While those who KNOW and do nothing about it bicker about whether it is PC to talk about whether it is okay to talk about whether it is OK to know and do nothing the powers that be are working over time to meet the demands for our supposed needs, leaving a trail or wreckage and destruction across the poisoned landscape, and making billions of dollars doing it!

So, meeting Guisepi and getting to spend some time with him while he has been here in Athens, all be it very brief, has been a shot in the arm of courage and fortitude. I shared this blog with him and he came out to visit my house. He picked up Katie, who I met at a "Tiny House Class" I taught in November/who is building her own tiny house, and brought her along to buy the propane stove I no longer need. Thank you so much Guisepi. Thank you!

Many prayers have brought many blessings. I am incredibly grateful to have had the guts to pursue what is right, and that I am not alone in this work. I am so grateful for the peace and tranquility to have created the space to absorb the suffering and pain we are collectively inflicting on the world, and to have to opportunity to try and transform it creatively. I am so grateful that somehow the care and loyalty that I have been unable to lavish on a family has instead found consecration instead in my ethic of care for the world, and that there are still endless opportunities to follow this inspiration with action, with a community. I am always ringing my prayer bells in gratitude.

Follow up: 1/21/2017: Made some good old fashioned American Comfort food ahead of the J20 march yesterday and the Women's March today: VEGAN!!!! Not-Chicken Dressing and Pear/cranberry pie! This little oven works GREAT!