will brady's ruminations
National Geographic writes Gone with the Water
The site follows up with how hurricanes work in "The facts behind the fury"
and How you can help
with Katrina disaster relief.
our responsibilities as citizens
bush family perspective
No other comment needed
blips + updates
18th century cusine
| I'm not entriely certain how I came across this "essentially French" cusine site. Glad that I did. Now, when I can't get to Canada for my shot of cultural sanity, I'll at least be able to make some decent French food, right at home.
Social Design Notes
| What, you ask, is Social Design? The site's author describes it:
It is an exploration and a work in progress. I’m still working on my definition of “Social Design,” but I’m inclined towards projects that:
* are affordable and sustainable
* are made of renewable materials
* use energy from renewable sources and increase energy efficiency
* reduce consumption and waste, are reuseable or recyclable
* are produced and developed locally
* are universally accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and physical conditions
* facillitate mobility, communication, and participation in civic life
* decentralize political power and facillitate transparency and accountability.
Sounds fine to me. Worth a look see at the sight to get a snese of his values.
I've unearthed a studio workspace
right within the house. There's a story to it. That story is about Wacket
a freed slave who lived with his wife in a stone-walled single roomed house built bermed into the hillside. That room is the back room to the house, and we have often referred to it as the shed.
I made mention of Wacket before
, when talking about our house and the artist Natham "Tod" Gould
When Bruce came upon the house, the "room" was a sqared off space in back of the house. There was no roof, only the walls. Changes took place, a fieldstone floor and drainage were put in, the rock walls pointed and a door and windows added. Wacket's room once again became part of the house.
For a couple of years, Wacket's home had increasingly become that catch-all room that many middle class American homes have. You know, the room you hate going into and definitely
don't show to company.
This weekend that changed. Everything's been moved out or around; new shelves built; tools put in one place; the Tonka truck
collection neatly displayed; and art supplies brought in from various parts of the house.
Next goal. to get back into painting ~ oil painting this time. That's what winter has prepared for my free time ...or what I have prepared for winter. Wacket's home comprises but a small part of the house. Approximately 14 x 12, with a very high ceiling [compared to the rest of the house] the two trapazoidal windows in the picture bring light into Wacket's space.
I sat in the room tonight to get a sense of the energy of the place. Tried to "see" how Wacket and his wife lived here. This was a man stolen from his homeland, sold into slavery, and yet, like Venture Smith
[whom Wacket may very well have known
], was able to buy his way out and bacame a Freedman. I hope my painting and my work in this space does his memory proper justice.
Being Poor is...
| A lot of people, comfortable, well fed, folks with cars full of petrol and real good credit ratings, are jumping on the bandwagon to posit blame on others for not leaving New Orleans soon enough |
In some cases, it's being done to deflect the blame-game foisted on the likes of FEMA
...even the President of the United States
Let's face it. No one wants to be held personally accountable for the destruction of an international city and probably tens of thousands of people.
But pointing the finger at those who could not afford a car much less a motel room is absurdist in the highest degree. There may also be some tinges of racism, since many of the folks left trapped in NO were African American, Creole, and other "minorities."
But the blame is miscast. The poor have always suffered the burden of blame unjustly. If there is blame to be held, it is amongst those of us ~ ALL of us, in my book ~ who could have done something to combat the roots of social injustice long ago
and willingly have shared the wealth they were fortunate enough to have been given to live with.
Wealth is not a birthright. Poverty can happen to anyone. And, perhaps, anyone greedy enough to insist indignantly that all the riches they have in their possession are theirs and yet believe they are enttled to more, should
be subjected to the whims and cruelties that Poverty provides.
This is the spiritual and cultural war that multi-millionaire charlatans like Pat Robertson
need to be fighting. And they are not. In fact, I am intrigued by Mr. Robertson's relative silence on the matter. Check out his website. No metion of Hurricane Katrina's victims or the tragedy that befell us all, even more than a week after it occurred. Intrigued but not surprised.
Anyway: Some clips from "Being Poor
Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.
Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they're what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there's not an $800 car in America that's worth a damn.
Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.
Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn't have make dinner tonight because you're not hungry anyway.
Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.
Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually stupid.
Being poor is your kid's teacher assuming you don't have any books in your home.
Being poor is people surprised to discover you're not actually lazy.
Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.
Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.
Being poor is relying on people who don't give a damn about you.
Being poor is knowing you're always being judged.
new england drought
The staghorn sumac on the hill is without berries this year
. I attribute this to a drought, at least locally, but the USDA's Drought Monitor says only that the area is "abnormally dry
". But face it, aside from the little bit of rain we had when the remnants of Katrina skirted our area to the west of us, we have lad less than 1/4 inch of rain since mid-July.
The stems and branches of the copse of plants behind the house are thin, almost spindley, and there is no evidence of any fruiting bodies having sprouted at all this year. Wish I could say the same for the abundant growth of poison ivy growing at the base of the plants.
Some might ask, 'Why bother or be concerned? It's just a junk plant anyways.' But folks asking this clearly never enjoyed the tasty liquid confection I knew as a child as "suede
", which was, quite simply, "lemonade" made
from the sumac berries, water and sugar. Nor did they ever enjoy Staghorn Sumac Wine
which, while a bit more complicated to make than "suede", certain whets the whistle. A bit tart for some, but still tasty.
But this is not so much about sumac as it is about the drought. Other garden vegetables have fared poorly, notably tomatoes. This means going into winter with fewer quarts of tomato stews and sauces. I can only be thankful that my harvest of firewood [assuming it all gets split on time] has been more profitable this year.
Since we have a dug well, we have stopped washing clothes at home, relying upon the laudromats [the nearest one is nine miles away, the next nearest 14 miles] to wash clothing. And we've contented ourselves with very short showers ...or doing this at the gym in Middletown, and foregoing our luxuriant bath time for some day when we once again have a higher water table.
I can live with all this, really. Done it numerous
times before. What I find galling is the idiotae
[must be a breed, there's so many of 'em] who populate the TV New crews. They carp and belly ache about virtually every drop of rain in the weather forecast. I don't know where they get their water from [perhaps they don't bathe or wash their clothes] but they sure don't know about the cycles of Nature as much as they do the outdoor social events on their calendars. One would think that recognizing the seriousness of a drought would be something even kids could understand
What those news readers in the tv studios don't realize is that, under current condtions, it would take 4 to 6 inches of slow steady rain to counter the drought conditions we presently face. If the aquifers aren't replenished come winter freeze, the ground won't accept the water as easily, if at all. I can well imagine how those pretty talking heads will feel if they have to be lugging cases of Poland Spring water
up to their apartments to just wash up, let alone bathe.
Meanwhile, I pray for rain. Slow, steady, soaking rain.
What drought tales do others have? I'd like to hear them.
Mt St Helens
another disaster area some years back, with it's own observational webcam at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. The Observatory and VolcanoCam are located at an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, about five miles from the volcano.
a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization whose purpose is to increase "...public involvement in American political life through a national discussion of innovative ideas in deliberative democracy and fundamental campaign finance reform
." As you can tell, it's set up by academics who can't speak in everyday language, but the idea is important, and it needs to be done. Lord knows, it ain't happening on network TV.
, a website about New York City. Well written, entertaining and
used to write an obscure blog that got far fewer daiy hits than I do. Come Hurricane Katrina his readership spiked to 6,000 a day. he's still reporting on the hurricane's outcome.
The Whidbey Dreamer [from an outpost in a repots part of Washington State] writes Life after NEXTCOM
. Currently she's posting the trials and travails of directing a play in community theatre. She also provided the link to Mt St Helens.
PICTURE: The boat launch on Moodus Reservoir, East Haddam township, Connecticut |