Monday, April 30, 2012

Honoring our Ancestors and the Earth

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security." Albert Einstein

(The only critter in this clip filmed in Borrego Springs that probably did not roam the earth a few million years back is the 350 foot serpent :-).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Erecting a Virtual Statue of Responsibility

In some sense the "Occupy" and perhaps to a small extent, the Tea Party movement, call for a halt to corruption, waste, and fraud, a call for accountability and responsibility. The emphasis with Occupy is on the lack of corporate accountability and corruption, and the Tea Party emphasizes government waste and corruption as well as individual welfare fraud. And then there are the revolving doors which have colluded government and corporate interests.

If we take the time to look deeply and honestly in our collective mirror, there is some complicity, greed, and corruption of principles to be found in all of us. It may not be cultivated and allowed to grow the way it has in the extreme examples shown on the news. How many of us lead truly authentic lives, true to ourselves? "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." said Wendell Phillips. He understood that this wasn't a self-congratulatory once-a-year review of our institutions, corporations, and ourselves, but has to be a constant, consistent, and sincere practice of maturation, individually, as well as collectively. Unless we all intentionally and consciously commit to take responsibility and accept personal responsibility for our own and our institutions actions, we just end up falling prey to the seductive quicksands of individual, as well as institutional corruption creep.

Freedom without also emphasizing responsibility is not working so well. Victor Frankl and others understood this, and thought that the Statue of Liberty should be accompanied with a statue of Responsibility on the West Coast. Please join this "Virtual Statue of Responsibility" Facebook page if you wish to show support and make a commitment yourself to live the message you wish to see in the world.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Transforming declaration of independence to declaration of interdependence

The rise of collaborative consumption in contrast to individualist hyper consumption seems to be a reflection of an increased understanding of interconnection, and global interdependence. Technological advances, the latest recession, and other global disasters which don't recognize traditional boundaries seems to be catalysts in this process. 

“Collaborative consumption gives people the benefits of ownership with reduced personal burden and cost and also lower environmental impact—and it’s proving to be a compelling alternative to traditional forms of buying and ownership.“What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption”, co-authored by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.

 “The central concept of collaborative consumption is simple: Access to goods and skills is more important than ownership of them.” “Danielle Sacks The Sharing Economy


WhipCar - Rent the car next door (UK only at this time)

ZipCar - Wheels when you want them (not in Spokane yet)

Land Share - Connecting Growers to People with land to share (UK, Australia and Canada at this time)

Ecomodo - Lend and borrow each other's everyday objects, skills and spaces with confidence

NeighborGoods - Save Money and Resources by sharing stuff with your friends

FreeCycle Spokane YahooGroup - Give your stuff a good home

Craigslist Spokane - Buy, sell, or give away your stuff locally

Zopa Loans - Cutting out the middlemen, banks "Everyone wins, except the fat cats!" (UK, unfortunately not in US)

Timebanking - The time bank links people up to share their skills and help so that it is mutually beneficial. But its main emphasis is in the social sphere - linking people together and building community - not in the economic sphere. Time Banking is a social change movement in 22 countries and six continents.(not yet US)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Converting an existing toilet to dual-flush toilet for around $20!

This was a fun little project with a big payoff. Dual flush toilets and waterless urinals are pretty cool, but are of course not cheap, and also require you to get rid of a functioning toilet and all the resource footprint that comes with replacing something with something more advanced. So they have this new little device in hardware stores that allows you to convert an existing toilet to dual flush. Given that easily 4 out of 5 flushes are yellow, and yet still get as much water as the one flush that really needs it, a dual flush makes a lot of sense. I don't know who came up with this device, but it has my full support. It is way cheaper and less resource intensive to convert something that is already there into something better, than to trow away the old, and build something better from scratch.We need more innovators who think like this! I found the same with the grease car conversion kit. Why waste a big pile of scrap metal for another albeit more efficient pile of scrap metal, like a new fuel efficient car, if you don't have to? Our toilet started to leak due to an old flapper, so this device also took care of that at the same time, so two issues solved with this device. Dual flush can save a family of four easily 10.000 gallons a year.

 Two buttons as shown above, top for 1 liter flush, bottom for full 1.6 gallon flush.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Driving the old truck on garbage from one end of the US to the other (and back)

Getting ready to take the truck on a trip of almost 4000 miles without stopping at a gas station, by carrying all the fuel. There are several advantages; I know this fuel is clean and filtered well, less risk of getting stranded with clogged filters and a tank full of more of the same, and I have a surplus due to some issues with the truck that kept me from driving it much over the winter. So below you are seeing 45 cubies of oil, in addition to a 40 gallon tank. Each cube contains about 5 gallons.We'll see how this goes.

Update: The trip went great, almost 4000 miles, no issues and no need to stop at gas stations. Next time I'll try and filter some down in So California.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vision Mountain Spokane

"Humans who don't know much about themselves, know very little about how to help save the planet." Sun Bear

 Long Lake or Lake Spokane

Above "Grandmother"



Lama Geshe Thupten Phelgye blessing on Vision Mountain. There is a lot of healing to do, healing between tribes, nations, and between human-kind and the earth they stand and depend totally on.

"I looked ahead and saw the mountains there with rocks and forests on them, and from the mountains flashed all colors upward to the heavens. Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy."
Nicholas Black Elk