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29 November 2009

Recession


Unemployment 2007-2009 by county
"But years later, when we saw the lights going out, one after another, in the great factories that had stood like mountains for generations, when we saw the gates closing and the conveyer belts turning still, when we saw the roads growing empty and the streams of cars draining off, when it began to look as if some silent power were stopping the generators of the world and the world was crumbling quietly....

"The plane was above the peaks of the skyscrapers when suddenly, with the abruptness of a shudder, as if the ground had parted to engulf it, the city had disappeared from the face of the earth. It took them a moment to realize that the panic had reached the power stations - and the lights of New York had gone out."
- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

..via Nag on the Lake

Passive Agressive



Only the beginning, read the entirety.

Update: Re:Vision Dallas


Forwarding Dallas is modeled after one of the most diverse systems in nature, the hillside. The site is a series of valleys and hilltops. The valleys contain trees and more luxurious plants which transition into more resistant plants as the altitude increases. Atop the hills, solar thermal, photovoltaic and wind energy is harvested.

Design components include:

• Heavy utilization of native vegetation
• Open ‘green’ spaces including wooded paths and interior courtyards as well as green roof prairies and orchards
• 100% prefabricated construction system, integrating building materials from local sources
• Housing options from studio apartments to three bedroom flats fit to accommodate approximately 854 residents
• Combination of photovoltaic (solar) and wind power which will providing 100% of the energy needed for each resident
• A Southwest façade set up for solar gain in a venetian-blind-like system which adjusts according to the season
• A Northeast façade made from prefabricated, thick, high thermal mass straw bales provides added insulation
• Rooftop water catchment system designed to recycle water collected from rooftops and store underground for later use
• Public green houses, including a sensorial greenhouse, swimming pool green house and meeting point green house
• Water permeable paved areas to prevent pooling and flooding

So back in June, I found about the Re:vision Dallas program. Now they have decided the winner, with the groundbreaking set to being in 2011. The winning project is amazing for the capabilities it allows for residents, as well as setting the bar internationally for creating a sustainable city ground. Sure, it is only one block now, but they are already talking about setting up the entire section around City Hall to be created the same, allowing revitalization in a much needed area of downtown Dallas.

I truly can only hope that I can afford to become one of the estimated 854 residents when this is open to rent. For everything it can offer, I would accept the long commute time and the high rent cost if it meant I could be part of a community that is actually something of which I can be proud to live in.

..via Mother Nature Network

26 November 2009

21 November 2009

Ocean Pulls Me Close

I Love This Man

Gnismer Farms

So this morning my boss and I got up at a disgustingly early time for a day off and drove out to Arlington to a local farm to get veggies. While they had a lot to choose from and I really wanted a ton of everything, I limited myself to some swiss chard, broccoli, eggplant and tomatoes. The farm is within 45 minutes from my place (5 mins from my old dorm! How did I not know about this years ago!), all organic, and with produce available both on a wagon to choose and pickable, depending on time of year. This is probably the last of what we will be able to get this year, but starting in April there will be red center strawberries available. Lunch today was sauteed swiss chard with garlic, pearl onions, walnuts and lemon juice. Something so simple and yet so incredibly tasty.

20 November 2009

Donate Turkey Fat

So, while not a tradition in my family, it is common in the south to deep fry turkeys for Thanksgiving. Not a fan of fried foods, this sounds disgusting to me. However, for those that do and live near me, evidently my city of Plano accepts donations of turkey fat to be turned into biodiesel. And from what I can find with my limited internet skills, Plano seems to be the only city that actively does this. How strange?

Something Pretty


So, really, not as depressed as I seem to sound. Enjoy the pretty picture in place of some smiling sunshine.

Sometimes


Turning both your head and heart off is impossible...where one is right the other can't stop. Too much introversion and time spent alone seems to equal the reality of realizing that the past does not go away, no matter how much time you spend away from it.

19 November 2009

Annoying...


I need a smaller camera to carry around with me.

...

I often spend hours pursuing wonderful things. And then they do not work out. The folding goes wrong. The idea becomes boring.

These are the worst nights of my life. Where my hands are active, yet controlled by a midget halfway across the world that has Parkinson's.

I am also working on being less politically correct. Fuckitall is the drug of choice.

Never Lets Me Down

"Do not let your spark go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

-Ayn Rand


She knew me before I knew me. Or life at all.

18 November 2009

Fresh = Happy

Latest haul from the local farmers market for weekly foods at work and such. Root vegetable medley: new potatoes, beets, radishes, carrots, pearl onions plus some zucchini to round it out.

So, I am incredibly excited to go with my boss this weekend to a local metroplex farm and go harvest real, fresh veggies. Would love to join a CSA this next year, and whatever I am unwilling to try (jalapenos, cilantro, etc.) give away to people at work. Yes, I am a nerd who has completely accepted this and has an unnatural obsession with vegetables. Enough so that it has eclipsed my love of bread.

Bonus points for my awesome me-sized wine rack in the background and crock pot full of origami stars and cranes to be used in a future art installation.

12 November 2009

Sometimes Green isn't Green

Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won't sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?

Probably one of the best articles I have read in a long time. It makes you want to support the company as well as burn it to the ground. Conservation hidden under capitalism that does nothing to help out the people that are most affected. I am completely understanding of needing to make a profit, but I cannot understand how looking out the door of your business and seeing the people that live around you doesn't make you do more, especially with 3% GDP of the entire nation.

I am completely disappointed in the 'green' movement if this is the result. But some resuable bottles and then be an activist in working to make tap water cleaner.

11 November 2009

Every Continental McDonalds Mapped


To gauge the creep of cookie-cutter commercialism, there’s no better barometer than McDonald’s – ubiquitous fast food chain and inaugural megacorporate colonizer of small towns nationwide....

Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!

This actually makes me miss the days of Manifest Destiny when the land was wide open and not clogged with 13,000 horrible locations of just one of many fast food chains.

Kinda Glad There's no Funding

Geostationary Banana Over Texas is an art intervention that involves placing a gigantic banana over the Texas sky. This object will float between the high atmosphere and Earth's low orbit, being visible only from the state of Texas and its surroundings. From the ground the banana will be clearly recognizable and visible day and night; it will stay up for approximately one month.

Self


...a frozen sculpture of the artist's head made from 4.5 litres of the artist's own frozen blood taken from his body over a period of five months. This work is repeated every five years and will result in a unique record of the artist aging.

Reason # 456 to Move

Dallas police wrongly ticketed at least 39 drivers for not speaking English over the last three years, Police Chief David Kunkle announced Friday while promising to investigate all officers involved in the cases for dereliction of duty.

08 November 2009

Mouth Watering


I am not a chef. I do not enjoy cooking. But even so, every now and then I can create an amazing concoction.

Wild salmon, organic seasoned asparagus, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, capers. Sauteed in a (vegan) butter/lemon sauce. This was a meal worth creating. This was a cheap, yet incredibly decadent meal.

I think I could easily give up beef/fowl. I do not eat pork already. But there is no world I can imagine where I could give up fish and seafood. Meals like this make it impossible.

Mark Your Calendar


November 27, 2009. The biggest shopping day of the year. Do something better. Buy NOTHING.

I've always hated this day and tend to sequester myself to avoid the craziness. This year is helped along by being volunteered by my boss to work instead of enjoying the company holiday like everyone else.

Regretsy: Handmade? It looks like you made it with your feet


The 15 Most Toxic Places in the World

Citarum River, Indonesia
The Citarum has been called the world's most polluted river. Around five million people live in the river's basin, and most of them rely on its flow for their water supply.
See a river here? I don't. It's sad to see things like this. This isn't just a simple matter of cleaning it up, but a mind-shift that would need to take place along with the money to fix some of these issues.

Rondônia, Brazil is on the list mostly for destruction due to cattle raising. Which is just one place out of the 30% of Earth's land mass used for cattle production. And it is sad how few people realize this. Friday I wore my nifty 'Eat Less Meat' shirt to work from We Add Up and had to explain to almost everyone who saw it the implications of eating a lot of beef. Sure, I'm not a full vegetarian and enjoy the occasional burger or chicken fajitas so I don't wanna sound preachy, but it is depressing to see the results of a meat-heavy diet plastered on your computer. I'm lucky I'm not living it instead.

Another Ridiculous Idea

And disgusting:

US Patent 7037541 - Alcoholic beverages derived from animal extract, and methods for the production thereof

Saddest Invention Ever


Solo-Operable Seesaw
patent#: US 6872145

The pictorial definition of the word "loner".

Why is an invention like this necessary? The inventor claims that demand is on the rise due to declining birth rates. (Hey, only-child, ever hear of a pogo stick?) But the real inspiration came from the schoolyard bully:

"a seesaw plank can be a dangerous object in the hands of a mischievous child who may abruptly pull down on one end when another child is passing by the opposite end, causing the opposite end to rise quickly and potentially striking the passing child."

I never thought I'd see 8-year old bullying tactics so accurately described in a government document. It's like Abu Ghraib, kiddy style:

"because the seesaw operates on the principle of counterbalancing weights, injury can result if a rider suddenly falls or jumps off the seesaw while the opposing rider is high in the air, particularly if one rider is substantially heavier than the other. In this scenario, the opposing rider is sent crashing to the ground and the sudden impact may jar a child's joints or cause spine or tailbone injuries."

Too bad Fatty, your superior weight and clever use of gravity has been stripped from your arsenal.

Celebration

So, in honor of my thousandth post, I bring you something completely banal, dull and way too much of my actual life than you wanted to know.

Really, I am proud I have managed this many posts in this little time, not quite three years and I have hit 1K. If I had kept up the speed of 2007, this would be 1.5K, but who is here to argue. It actually makes me wonder how much I posted on LJ and Diaryland back in the day, but not enough to look it up. Mostly, it tells me that since ~2000 I have spent too much time online.

So, here goes. The most interesting post of all times. And all it tells me is I need to buy some ice cream or something. So, taking real advantage of the 'cut' ability:

Freezer
Broccoli 2 bags
Corn 2 1/2 bags
Sugar snap peas 1 bag
Organic Spinach 1/2 bags
Green Giant Vegetable Medley 1/2 bags
Green Giant Healthy Vision pack 2 pks
Van's organic multigrain waffles 1 box
Boca burger flame grilled 1 box
Organic spinach florentine ravioli 1 pk
Organic garlic veggie ravioli 1/2 pk
Frozen wild salmon 3 oz
Wild Patagonian scallops 1/2 pk
Rebecca's poppy seed bread 1/3 loaf

Fridge
Cage free brown eggs 10
Whole wheat flat bread pk of 5
Health nut wheat bread 1/2 loaf
Organic firm tofu 14 oz
Organic sour cream 1 container
Earth Balance soy buttery spread 1/2 containter
Country Crock light butter 1/2 containter
Mott's apple juice 2 bottles
Bonne Maman strawberry preserves 1 jar
Organic spaghetti sauce 1/2 jar
zucchini 2
Purple onion 1
Whole wheat tortillas pk of 12
Colby jack cheese 1/2 pound
Feta cheese crumbles 1/2 lb
Silk soy milk, plain & light 1 container
POM pomegrantate peach white tea 1 bottle
Organic ketchup 1/8 bottle
Miracle whip light 1/2 jar
Wish bone salad sprinter - ranch 1 jar
Cardini's light Greek vinagrette 2/3 jar
Hdden Valley ranch 4 oz
Artichoke hearts in marinade 1 jar
Kalamata olives 1/2 jar
Capers 2/3 jar
Grated Italian style cheese 1 pk
lemon juice 1/4 squeeze bottle
Lime juice 1 squeeze bottle
Minced garlic 1/2 jar

Pantry
Garlic 5 bulbs
Red potatoes 2
Back to Nature crispy wheat crackers 8 oz
Thompson raisins 1 lb
Steel cut rolled oats 1.25 lb
Cheerios 1/2 box
Organic flax plus granola 1/8 box
Generic bran flakes 1 box
Museli 14 oz
Golden flax seeds, ground 6 oz
Organic brown flax seeds, whole 5 oz
Organic sunflower kernels 4 oz
Organic roasted peanuts, unsalted 1/3 lb
Organic walnuts 4 oz
Raw pine nuts 1 oz
Brown rice 1 lb
Popcorn, unbuttered/unsalted microwave packs 2
Organic lasagna noodles 12 oz
Organic whole wheat spaghetti 2 oz
Organic whole grain penne 12 oz
Wheat flour 1/2 lb
White flour 1 lb
Brown sugar 12 oz
Unopened bag of mini Butterfingers 12 oz
Organic cane sugar 4 oz
Indian Spice chai tea 1 box
Yogi detox tea 1 box
Distilled white vinegar 1/2 bottle
Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar 1 bottle
Baking soda 1 box
Aspartame packets 1 box
Agave nectar 1/2 jar
Soy protein powder, chocolate 18 oz
Jif's peanut butter, creamy 2 jars
Roasted garlic EVOO 3 oz
EVOO 1 lt
Aged Basalmic vinegar 12 oz
Quacker's Farm's Mediterranean Vinegar 1/2 jar
Crisco no-stick spray 1 bottle
Honey bear 1/2 bear
Rosemary 3 oz
Lemon pepper salt 1 jar
Garlic powder 1 jar
Italian seasoning herbs 1 jar
Cinnamon 1 jar
Thyme 1/2 jar
Organic basil 1/2 jar
Garlic 'n' herb 1 jar
Packs of assorted Koolaid 8
Jello, watermelon/black cherry 4
Dark chocolate bar 9/10 of the bar

Booze
Tullamore Dew 1.75 lt
Cruzan single barrel 8 oz
360 Organic vodka 750 ml
Leblon cachaca 750 ml
Marcus James - Merlot 750 ml
Marcus James - Cabernet 750 ml
Skulls 2007 - Cabernet 1/2 bottle

Umm....And Girls Gone Wild is Bad?


Olden times were as jacked up as modern

07 November 2009

Completely Unable to Hold Other Thoughts


When I was a child I always wondered what it would be like to be on the other side like Alice. I would stare in the bathroom mirror until I almost convinced myself I was on the other side. Never quite worked. Strange, years later, I find myself on the mirror opposite side now looking back and wondering how the original world was acceptable.

My legs will hurt tomorrow from running, my head and dinner was at 1500. But, I love the tired and sore. It is another step in the world of who I want to be, rather than who I have been for so long. I am a work in progress, and I can say, without hesitation, I love what I am becoming and all the things that have been helping me along lately.

This new world is amazing and unbearable at the same time.

And on a side note, pale skin sucks since you always turn bright red when hot and sweaty. When you just ran/walked a few miles to the store, people look at you a bit funny when you come in and drink a bottle of water off the shelf before paying for it, while fanning yourself in the 70 degree weather. :(

Shh..

02 November 2009

One of those days

Ever sit back sometimes and wonder where the hell your life went?

You remember all the times that happened in the past, and as happy as you are with the present you still wonder how it is you have lost the past decade and everything it could have been?

Sometimes it is like losing an arm. Or, rediscovering you actually were just hiding the third one for all that time. Crossing my fingers for good luck.

It's a week to look forward to. It is still strange how cycles happen.


..Or, only to and not too if you're Brittany on her 13th birthday.

:)

How Better?


Maybe it's just the grammar Nazi in me, but 'how better' instead of 'how much better'?
I think I'm going to go around saying 'how better' all day and see how many people correct me. Well done, Coca Cola and Comedy Central!

01 November 2009

If Only I had my own House


Gas mask shower head by Chris Dimino

..via Apartment Therapy

Seriously, WTF?

Why, in Beijing, where they don’t have that disadvantage, they banned the environmentally destructive plastic bag! In one day! Just like that! “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks,” wrote Friedman. “But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”
Ok, so I totally get the point of the article, that going green really is building up a huge amount of political power, and thus can be used for evil Big Brother government to control through the use of 'saving the planet'. I get it, really. But how the hell can someone really say that because Beijing has cut out the use of plastic bags that China is being led by a 'reasonably enlightened group of people'?

China is the number one carbon polluter country in the world, and it being led by an autocracy is not the singly largest reason by any means by it is a polluter or why it is being applauded for the steps it has taken to produce less waste.

I think there are some serious implications in this article, and I think that saying 'democracy has f*cked up the planet' is a bit harsh. A political system didn't allow it to happen, everyone allowed it to happen. Blaming one system is as effective as expecting that one system to fix the problem without people getting off their fat asses and doing something about it. And preferably, something more than injecting RFID chips into every consumer product for the sake of selling more unneeded products.

Happy All Saints Day

Or, Happy Vesuvius Explosion Day!

Or, Happy Sistine Chapel Opens Day!

Progress

18. There are over 100 chemical plants in Jiangsu province coastal industry district. (江苏滨海头罾沿海化工园区) Some of them discharge wastewater into the ocean; some heavily contaminated sewage is stored in 5 “Sewage Temporary Pools”. During the 2 high tides in every month, the sewage then gets discharged into the ocean with the tides. June 20, 2008