Community launching in T-minus 24 hours…

Let me start by saying that I am extremely excited.
In less then twenty four hours I will be sharing living space with a family of four. Dawn and Bryan and their two kids will be moving into our two bedroom apartment with us (Mindy is visiting family for a couple weeks). This is a temporary location, but it is the beginning of our community. I believe I’ve mentioned this community thing on here once or twice, but I’ll be writing and maybe podcasting a LOT more about it in the months to come.
There are a million and a half reasons why we are choosing to live together, and I’ll try to begin articulating those as time goes on. For now it’s a matter of preparing the space so that everyone feels welcome. That means a few things for me (like packing stuff up, and we’ll see what it means for all of us tomorrow. It’s such an exciting time.

I think the first couple nights are going to seem like middle school sleep-overs. We’ve already had a few of those with Bryan and Dawn (once cause of car trouble, once cause I fell asleep), but it’s going to be an exciting time. We have exactly two weeks to find a new location to live. I’m not sure where that location will be (it will be in Nashville).

We are still at a great dilemma as far as renting or buying, apartment or house, distance from work, etc. We are trying our best to keep the conversation open, but it’s also difficult as the clock counts down. If you have any wisdom to share please do.

I’ve been watching too much TV

So, a brief glance over my recent post shows I’ve been watching a little too much TV.

Sure, I’ve been watching things of my choosing on my computer at the times I want to, but I probably need to do a bit more thinking and commentary on my own.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the clips I’ve shared. Let me know if you want me to continue sharing them, or if your more interested in writing then watching.

I’ll still have more clips I’ll send your way at some point, but I’m gonna try and tone down the day to day stuff (especially the political stuff). So if your interested in what I laugh at, it’s The Daily Show, but I won’t post much more about it.

Lot’s more posts to come, I’ve got time on my hands to write, so I’m gonna try to do as much as I can.

Going to Vote: Early voting in Nashville

I think I’m going to go vote today. It’s the last day of early voting before this weeks official voting day here in Nashville. I never knew early voting existed like this, and I think it’s a spectacular idea. For folks who work multiple jobs or take public transit or have children, it’s difficult to get time in a Tuesday or other weekday to go and vote. Early voting gives EVERYONE an opportunity to exercise their rigts as citizens to vote.

Now, I just have to figure out who to vote for. Really I have no idea who in this state. I haven’t done much research, there are so many names.
Quick, if your from Nashville, give me a list of folks and why before I head out to the poles!

A to Z on conserving water (bbc)

“Two-fifths of the world’s people already face serious shortages, and water-borne diseases fill half its hospital beds. People in rich countries use 10 times more water than those in poor ones.”

A dripping tap could waste as much as 90 litres a week.

Brushing your teeth with the tap running wastes almost 9 litres a minute. Rinse out from a tumbler instead.

Cool water kept in the fridge means you won’t have to run the tap for ages to get a cold drink.

Don’t use your washing machine until you’ve got a full load. The average wash needs about 95 litres. A full load uses less water than 2 half loads.

Every time you boil an egg save the cooled water for your houseplants. They’ll benefit from the nutrients released from the shell.

Fit a water saving device in your cistern and save up to three litres a flush.

Grow your grass a little longer. It will stay greener than a close mown lawn and need less watering.

Hoeing stimulates the growth of plants, reduces water loss from the soil surface and removes weeds that take up valuable water and nutrients.

Installing a water meter can save you water and money by monitoring how much you use.

Just taking a five minute shower very day, instead of a bath, will use a third of the water, saving up to 400 litres a week.

Kettles should be filled with enough water for your needs but not to the brim. This will reduce your fuel bills too.

Lag your pipes to avoid bursts and leave your heating on a low setting while you are out in cold weather to prevent pipes freezing.

Mulch for moisture in the garden. Adding a layer of tree bark, compost, coconut husks or even newspaper keeps the sun off the soil and retains precious moisture.

No further watering is usually required for established trees and shrubs.

Once a week is all the watering your lawn needs even in the hottest weather. Over- watering can weaken your lawn by encouraging roots to seek the surface.

Purchasing a water butt will help you to collect rain water for use on the garden.

Question your local garden centre about the water requirements of different plants. Some thrive in drier conditions.

Replacing a toilet cistern can save water. Toilets manufactured after 1993 use less water per flush.

Sprinklers can be wasteful. It doesn’t take long for a sprinkler to soak your lawn thoroughly. A sprinkler can use as much water in an hour as a family of four will use in a day!

Trigger nozzles can save water by using it only when needed. This can save up to 225 litres a week.

Use the dirty water when cleaning a fish tank on your houseplants. It’s rich in nitrogen and phosphorus, which provides an excellent fertiliser.

Very ‘water efficient’ washing machines and dishwashers are now manufactured. Machines with ‘A’ ratings are the most economical. You’ll find that they save on energy too.

Water your garden at the coolest part of the day to reduce evaporation.

Xeriscape means ‘to landscape for water conservation.’ The idea is to use plants that require less water. You can also utilise objects for decorative effect such as rocks, bricks, benches and gravel.

You can use less water by turning the hot tap down, rather than the cold tap up, if you require cooler water.

Z The end of the alphabet but not the end of water saving ideas. Some people think that by the end of the century we will be fighting wars over water.

the Water Debate

My response concerning high gas prices

This was my response to my friend Gustave’s letter about high gas prices:

my dear and wonderful friend. Let me start by saying I am quite naive to the large ramifications you’ve talked about here. I completely agree with you on everything you shared here.

Just so we get some clarifications on all this here is the basic jist of what happened:
I wrote off-handedly once about enjoying the fact that High gas prices has created a much greater interest and demand for fuel efficient cars, more people out biking to work, and more efforts in mass transit. In other words, I said I see a lot of benefits in the gas prices being high. I also feel like high gas prices reflect the actual cost of the use of that gas (as in damage to the environment, etc). I didn’t in any way imply that I like high gas prices, I like big powerful countries getting rich, I don’t care about the effects on the poor.

Again, I completely agree with everything that you said about the negative effects of high gas prices. I realize it hurts the poor and I think that sucks too. I also feel like really low gas prices aren’t going to help solve many problems either, they seem to create a slew of other problems. By the way, weren’t we in Micro-Econ together? Lower gas prices just means more people buying it, which means those companies and countries are still making a lot. I say we take out the CEO’s and others and we could offer some dirt cheap gas that way.

Seriously though, what are some solutions and problems solving techniques? Let’s commission city council to get public transit started in our area. How do we organize car pooling groups in the poor areas we live in? Could the government ration gas some those dimwits with their Hummers can’t drive them more then two blocks, but the neighbor can make it to and from work? How about promoting scooters more in poorer neighborhoods, those should solve the problem big time. This is the way I think; I like the big picture but I’m all about the practical.
I’ve filled up more then my fair share of guys gas cans and tanks in the past couple months (sure hope they were actually for their car).
Could churches offer free fill ups, gas cards, etc. in the neighborhoods they are a part of? Shouldn’t we be preaching all the stuff you shared from the pulpit?
Mostly what I’m saying is I hear you loud and clear, now what are we going to do about it?!

Let’s get a move on!


Abortion is indeed on the decline

A statistic I’ve heard thrown around, and I’ve hesitated to mention, regarding abortion was that the number of abortions had risen under Republican presidents and gone down under Democratic presidents.

I finally remembered it and thought to look it up, and found the oh so reliable had put together a clear answer for me:

A number of politicians and organizations have been circulating an interesting and surprising idea: that abortions have gone up under George W. Bush’s watch.  The claim is repeated by supporters of abortion rights as evidence that Bush’s anti-abortion policies have backfired, or at least been ineffective. 

But the claim is untrue. In fact, according to the respected Alan Guttmacher Institute, a 20-year decline in abortion rates continued after Bush took office, as shown in this graph


Source: Alan Guttmacher Institute, “Trends in Abortion in the United States

Read more

My essay for MinusCar…

Wanted to point you to an essay I wrote for, a site dedicated to the idea of reducing our car use and trying alternative forms of transportation.

The MinusCar Project

In an age of massive consumerism, bigger is better, the person with the most toys wins mentality, some folks are starting to see that the Emperor is not wearing any clothes. For some they caught a glimpse of the recent movie concerning global warming, others it was their empty pocket book at the pump, others still have been riding their bikes around town all along.

And slowly, some people are getting it. Some of us are realizing it’s okay to slow down. Two car garages don’t necessitate two cars. Bike lanes aren’t a waste of space. Rush hour and traffic jams really are stealing away our lives. Suddenly people realize using your muscles and breaking a sweat isn’t just something you do at the gym or on the toilet.

Read the rest of the Essay…