Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FINDING IT HARD TO BE JOLLY


Aww yes, the beauty of the cold white snow, the freshess of the air.
hmmm Bah Humbug.

By Murph

Here it is, almost Christmas, should be a holiday for thanksgiving, reinforcing bonds between loved ones, sharing and generally good feelings. Instead, all I can focus on is finishing projects, trying to manage the effects of winter, keeping animals well fed and reasonably comfortable and expressing concern to whoever I can corner for a moment about what appears to be happening to us. Yes, to US, every single non wealthy person on this planet.

I originally was intending to write a post about micro managed societies. You know, where the government minions of the PTB regulate, enforce, and ever demand more compliance of the citizens in every aspect of their lives. Freedom from government intrusion and regulation of our lives? Hah! Whatever remains of that ideology is seemingly long gone.

So here it is, the biggest holiday season for western civilization, Christmas and New Years. From everything I can ferret out of the internet, the tweaking of data by the government minions about the state of the economy appears to be falsely indicating good times are coming. Supposedly, retail sales are up, and yet retail store owners seem to be anxious whether they will survive beyond January of next year. Huge discount prices on most commodities to attract buyers don’t seem to be making any significant progress in volume of sales. Yet, the government stats keep telling us that everything is just fine, the GNP is expanding, jobs are coming back, unemployment is decreasing, and for heavens sake, we even finally got health care reform for which the health insurance boys will profit immensely. Oh yes, housing defaults and foreclosures are on the rise, but Yessiree, the good times with security and prosperity are coming back. So bud, stop your bitching, your just making it tougher for the big boys to loot (that little foreign voice says).

In our neck of the woods, Freeacre and I are being asked about storing food, and how we are doing it. More people are talking about getting gardens going this spring and asking us how we do our gardening. Meanwhile, our county government is trying like hell to figure out how they can shaft us some more. The fight goes on.

Then on Rense site http://www.rense.com/general88/supreme.htm is an article about how the Supreme Court is making it legal to rendition American citizens suspected and declared to be “suspected enemy combatant” by the president. What that means to me is that any citizen that too intently opposes policies and actions of the government can be put in prison and locked up indefinitely.

Then, there is this little tidbit that we sure haven’t heard about on lamestream media;
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-amending-executive-order-12425

And, how’s this for moral entrenchment? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1237470/Priest-advises-congregation-shoplift.html

If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you all to read the Charles Smith publication “Survival +” which can be found here in PDF format. http://www.oftwominds.com/Survival/SP-free.pdf I consider this to be an excellent read and it is only 140 pages. The unabridged version can be ordered from Amazon for those that are interested.

Folks, I am presuming that most who frequent this campfire already know that the data indicates worse times are a comin’ to replace the current bad times. It isn’t written in stone, but all the indicators that I see sure spell doom and gloom on the horizon. Trying to keep some kind of balance today in ones personal life, trying to keep a sense of joy and compassion alive I am finding difficult. Maybe I should quite looking at all of this information if for no other reason than to keep my sense of humor concerning the human antics on this planet. Yet, I am drawn to keep up with what is happening outside of the lamestream news. While I am absolutely certain that some proportion of this information is propaganda or just outright foolishness, sifting through it has become a daily habit.

On the more mundane front, we have been experiencing a rash of ‘thing’ failures. The latest was last night when one of our printers went belly up. I got a message that the components had exceeded the life of the machine and that it would probably be more expensive to repair it than to replace the machine. The silly thing is that the message pointed to the sponge like pads as being the problem. Even if it was replaced, you then have to find/purchase a reset program to make it work again. How’s that for planned obsolescence? This morning I spent nearly an hour finding and downloading the reset software for the printer along with 3 pages of warnings to not use this unless the repair is made. I did it anyway and without the repair, and the printer now is working again. They promised me that I could have drastic ink spills over the area where the printer sets. Lol. A little bit of alcohol on a rag will take care of that if it comes up. I found the sponge they were talking about and may even try to replace it with an Oregon engineering fix. Sigh.

On the printers, notice the price differential between the factory OEM vs refill cartridge replacements? It used to be that Ebay had a dozen refill ink cartridge distributors. Now, one, maybe two at times and within the last year, huge increases in prices of the refill replacements. OEM cartridges are still so expensive that they are hardly worthwhile. I would like to know how that is justified. Those things are dirt cheap to produce. I was told once that the companies making printers sell the machine dirt cheap and make money on the ink cartridges. Amazing if true! I’m almost (but not quite) ready to go back to a pin printer, they still make them you know. Noisy, generally slow, not as neat a print job, and no photo reproduction I think. Sigh. Back to the basics I guess.

I’m not going to be able to complete the mirror refinish jobs on some real pretty grained wood bowls for Freeacre for Christmas. Not going to get the mirror refinish job done on the rifle gun stock either. Oh well, such is the holiday life.

Want to express a hope for the future and all of you who frequent this campfire have a pleasant and rewarding Christmas and New Year celebration.

46 comments:

freeacre said...

Good comments from Montana and Ely at the end of the last post. If you missed them, you might want to go back and read them.

Pangolin said...

Is this one of those 'brag by means of complaining' things that rural folks do? Maybe a version of "that acorn fed pig was such sweet eating I'm having to let my belt out a notch." As near I can tell the only thing you're missing to make your life my version of heaven is a wood fire hot tub and plenty of fuel. Some old straw bales could probably be stacked into a hillbilly sauna and used for mulch come spring...... With any luck your power will go out and you'll have to entertain each other to keep warm. :P

Anytime you want to play town mouse and city mouse you just amble down I-5 and I'll feed you some cheese. You have to come alone because I'm a bachelor and fair is fair. There's plenty of excitement here but it all has $$ tag attached.

Merry Christmas Murph and Freeacre,

Thank you for keeping the circle open.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

Just popped in to wish everyone all the best for the jollydays. Haven’t read the post yet, Ras’s was the last one I read and wanted to join in but the occasion has passed, or maybe not. The holiday was fine and relaxing and computer abstinance too. It was what we both needed but back to reality now. I have some catching up to do on the posts.

We are coming up to the border of 2010 and are at the highest point on the roller coaster; hang on to your hats for the big adrenaline rush.

Publius said...

Thanks Freeacre and Murph, for the inspiration and information.

Dot matrix printers: now that's nostalgic! You'd save a lot of money if you could put up with the delays and noise. I remember when they were much coveted to go along with one's C64 or Apple II.

The thrift store was busy yesterday, as the newly poor tried to find toys for their tots. Not much joy to be seen, other than one mad-seeming woman singing strange carols loudly as she shopped.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

I sympathise with your printer problem Murph. I have a Brother scanner printer thingy which has individual colour cartridges and without the sponge thingys. You just buy the ink refills from the local store and squirt it in in one hit, not this one ml every ten minutes business. The strange thing is the colour refill packs are everywhere but black has disappeared off the market, at least in the stores where I shop. I still have about 70 – 80 ml left but when that has gone?

Ah the come on marketing policy and its not just printers either. I remember when if you wanted to buy a wet razor, they gave the stick away free and made money on the blades. The same with guns and bullets I believe but this one kind of falls down if you if you only ever plan to use one bullet. And here we are back to cartridges again – life goes round.

murph said...

Pangolin,

LOL "brag by means of complaining". Good one.

In our case, the power going out would impose some rather severe consequences. Water pipes would freeze and probably burst, no water easily available, although we could keep warm in the garage where I have a wood heater. A wood heater in the house (40 yr old single wide trailer) would be very difficult. Without electrical power, keeping the garden going in the summer would be next door to impossible. We would have problems enough just getting bathing and drinking and cooking water.

I have done the sparse hard living trip back in the 80's. No electricity, lived in a tent for a year with wife and 4 kids. However, I did have a spring 20 ft from the barn, and wood was plentiful and cheap if bought and freely available if I could haul it home. We finally graduated from the tent to the old open hay barn to live in.

Here, plentiful firewood is becoming a matter of how much money you can come up with, not going out in the woods and harvesting it. Besides, at my age I simply don't have the energy reserve anymore to drive 35 miles to where I can get fire wood dirt cheap to free out in the middle of the wilderness.

Stacking up straw/hay bales is viable, but you wouldn't believe the price of them around here. I about fainted when I looked into it. The day when I could get straw bales for $.40 is long gone. The same bales now run me around $6 ea. and the heavy ones around $9 ea. That makes for some very expensive temporary building good for only a year unless more money is spent to keep the bales dry, like mortar, or very big roofing overhangs and not counting the the foundation to get it off the ground.

Yup, if I had the bucks, there is all kinds of relatively cheap structures I could build that would be very energy efficient and cozy. Straw bale structures are one of them. But of course, county building codes and license fees are also a problem. According to our erstwhile county government, building a straw bale structure as a housing unit would run us more than $3000 in fees, plus mandatory upgrading of septic system ($approx $30,000). That doesn't include the mandatory architectural design approval.

I wanted to go more remote when we got this place so I wouldn't have to deal with this stuff. But, age and money restrictions got in the way of that alternative.

I don't recall your ever talking about where you live and how you do it. Fill us in. I'm interested.

Not trying to stir up an argument here, but rather explain that living arrangements are somewhat open to relative comparisons. I spend considerable time devising work-around's and alternative means of accomplishing an end. How other people do this is of immense interest to me.

I do welcome your comments.

Anonymous said...

"Trying to keep some kind of balance today in ones personal life, trying to keep a sense of joy and compassion alive I am finding difficult. Maybe I should quit looking at all of this information if for no other reason than to keep my sense of humor concerning the human antics on this planet. Yet, I am drawn to keep up with what is happening outside of the lamestream news. While I am absolutely certain that some proportion of this information is propaganda or just outright foolishness, sifting through it has become a daily habit."

Exactly.

The only ornament I own is a ball that hangs from it's own little stand that says, "Bah Humbug." It sits on my huge computer monitor at work because my wife won't let me put it anywhere in the house. What a "paahteepoopah."

My job allows me to sit and sift through the mounds of information and disinformation spewed out from everywhere throughout each day, which, well, might not be such a good thing. My nerves are frazzled to point that my sciatica is giving me problems again and my beer intake is on the upside in order to keep my stomach from flipping. I wish I could just stop, turn it off and believe the MSM's BS, and enter into the "ignorance is bliss" kinda world like everybody else. But I can't seem to do it.

This week I came across a few articles stressing the importance of getting to know your neighbors, being one of the best things you can do to prepare for the coming collapse.
That is a problemo.

My wife moved to Salt Lake City ni 2001 to help care for her elderly parents. Several neighbors came by to welcome her to the neighborhood AND to invite her to the LDS (Mormon) Ward. She politely declined and so, needless to say, that was the last time she (we) has had any contact with most everyone (except for a retired couple down the street) in the neighborhood. I think we know how black people feel moving into an all white hood.

WTSHTF, I don't know what's gonna happen around here. I think I read that there's more guns per capita in Utah than anywhere in the US, so, I'm wondering... when it all comes crashing down, is it going to be open season on infidels (i.e. non-Mormons)? I wouldn't put it past 'em. Utah is #1 for antidepressant intake and #1 in the downloading of internet porn in the country. Man, these people are TOTALLY repressed. Oh, and to top it all off, Utah is the reddest state in the Union and the lemmings think Glen Beck speaks for Gawd. Shit. I wonder where I can score us some body armour, preferably Drangon Skin brand.

Well, ya know what? I think I'm going to try not to think about any of it for few days. I think I'll just gonna sit around, cook lots of goodies, eat TONS of it, watch some football, maybe go see a few movies and -AND, drink some good beer.

Ya'll have a great holiday.

-Randy

Pangolin said...

Murph,

I keep forgetting the importance of housing in our lives and the incredible hassles governments put in the way of improving same. A single-wide is never anything but expensive to heat and cool. Wells, of course, are one of those rural joys that play havoc at the drop of a hat. I'd rather people used composting toilets than septic simply on reliability issues. I loved meeting the honey truck in pouring rain to pump out some tank with a bad drain field. Mea culpa.

Around here, Butte county Ca., the rule is build first and ask for forgiveness later if you're on county land and the City will extract it's pound of flesh for anything bigger than a very small shed. The Humboldt Fire in 2008 burned a lot of hill people out and they are now struggling with county regs. that won't allow the cheap housing they were living in before.

I live in a single-story duplex apartment which is probably 850 sq. ft., one block from the hospital, dog-run back yard. I can tell if it's the local helicopter, the CDF or some other county landing on the hospitals helipad from the sound in my living room. Last night there was a big sucker up there I didn't recognize.

It is cheap to rent, heat and cool. I'm within a twenty minute bicycle ride of most of the town and maybe forty minutes to the outskirts. It's a quick ride to the store or downtown or most social events. I haven't started my car since August and now the battery is dead.

Work is hard to come by and worse since I hurt my back. It is a very nice town to live in with three weekly farmers markets in the summer and one year-round. There is a fair amount of free stuff to do as long as you don't mind it being somebody's eco-gig.

My two kids, the evil ex, and my mother live in separate houses in the local cohousing community which I helped to build so that is a blessing and a frustration. I know they are well housed but I don't benefit directly from the labor I put in getting that project established and setting up the gardens. I have some pointed criticisms of the cohousing model. (first, get a tenure job at the local college.....)

(rant alert)
The way we know that the government is not yet (ever?) getting serious about climate change is that there is no attempt to deal with the crappy state of low-end housing in the U.S.. A poor mans house leaks more than a rich mans and the solutions are cheaper for the results obtained. A quick look at the energy tax credits will show you that they are aimed at comforting the already comfortable.

Nobody should have to live in a leaky old single wide because the gov't wont' let them cob or stack bales. I used to work on rental housing and some of those places you could fly a kite in. There are a few, actual, tar-paper shacks in town that haven't been condemned and torn down with renters huddled in them while the city demands a permit for a water heater replacement.

Straw bales are $3 a bale here which would make a winter berm around the skirt pay back. That's here. I believe that single-wides should simply be replaced with permanent structures that have some thermal mass and the equivalent to a masonry heater. The government that found a trillion dollars to pay off bankers in a single weekend should be able to do something to keep the rest of us from freezing to death without choking our neighbors in smoke.
I also believe in invisible flying pink unicorns.

Sunny, with a cold wind today and I have to go shop Christmas dinner. Blessings to all.

Pangolin

murph said...

Pangolin,

Thanks for that reply.

For some reason that I haven't firmly established, this single wide actually isn't too bad to heat. I do know that when single wides were popular and they sold the hell out of them, that they made several different qualities depending on the climate it was being put into. I've sure as hell lived in places that were horrible to keep reasonably warm in the winter. I guess that comes with living in cold climates most of my life.

I have used straw bales around the footings and up about 3 feet on the walls. It did make a difference for sure. I've also used sawdust and cardboard for insulating really leaky buildings. If I had the space I would consider a rocket stove pad heater and thermal sink.

As for air conditioning, don't have one. Those babies are more expensive to run than to heat I think. Maybe it's where a person is living though. Warmer climates = low heat bill and higher cost of cooling. Here, heat is the biggie, since it just doesn't get hot enough long enough in the summer to worry about it.

We have talked about putting in a composting toilet, considering the soil we have around here it would be a boon in that aspect. However, I have lived around them, my parents put in one. It is quite a bit more to pay attention to and even those babies aren't cheap. Would you believe that one of our county officials declared that the reason the county doesn't want the composting toilet as an alternative is because they add nitrates to the soil as well as other contaminants. I guess he just doesn't get the composting part of it.

We had originally planned on putting another structure in place of the single wide. However, again, we are back to county regs, permits and we would have to put up another $20grand for upgrade of the septic system they have mandated, even if the old septic works just fine, as in our case. It's just too much for our meager resources.

Yeh, pink unicorns. Not likely, but then again, if the government gets involved in it, it will become a FUBAR with almost 100% surety. People need to stop depending on the government for their security IMO, even though society has been set up for that dependence and it really becomes difficult to slide out of its grasp. Cripes, look at your situation as you described it. I gather that you are not in a position to consider growing and raising of your food. You depend on government run or at the least government sponsored utilities. If that all breaks down and becomes intermittent enough or even non existent, what do you do?

Personally, I sure am glad we got out of the heavy urban living. At least I still presently have the ability to produce a lot of our own food and can pretty much do as I please with the property.

wf, eyewids lol. Is this machine precognition?

RAS said...

I'll comment on the post later, but right now I'm just happy. Guess what book is being frequently bought with Walk-About on Amazon? The Road! How cool is that?
Cormac McCarthy, eat your heart out. My little book is being bought with a Pulitzer prize winning book.

Dave said...

I sure feel your post! The funny thing is that I'm so fed up with the "pretend and extend" approach to dealing with our economic collapse that I was thinking today that I should write a post of my own about living in parallel universes, one real and one made up. I wonder, though, what's the point. I read an essay a few weeks ago that accurately explained another observation of mine, that people have become so dispirited that attempting to awaken them actually makes them feel worse. The way such people cope with the shame of their own defeat is by pretending that nothing is wrong, that they are not defeated, that they are still in "control." I don't know where you go from there, except to sigh, shrug your shoulders and wait for abject collapse and misery to shake people out of their stupor.

Dave - Erstwhile Urban Wanderer

freeacre said...

RAS, Congratulations!!! That is awesome! I received your book in the mail today as well as your lovely homemade soap. Thank you so much. Now everybody can read your book! I'm so happy that it is selling. It's a terrific book. You are on your way, My Dear. Just wait till somebody wants to pick it up for a movie!

word verification: upers

murph said...

Dave,

Thanks for the comment man. What do you say to someone that doesn't want to hear it?

Hotspringswizard said...

This from the FTW2 site:

Quote of the day:

"The triumph of human kind is a very recent development. Ten thousand years ago we were just another animal trying to make a go of it on planet earth. Humans - and all their livestock - were barely 1% of the vertebrate biomass on the planet. Now, they are 98% of it."Hmmm...1 to 98. What a spectacular success story. A 5,000% increase. Hey wait a minute...that's a bubble! Yes, dear reader, humans are a sell."

Yep, were like a gigantic yeast colony run amuck, mass consumption of critical resources on a grand scale until we exhaust those things that give us life, all the while fouling our home. We built up to a great pinnacle of " growth " and " achievment " as thought by many, but its all a grand illusion as we are even now slipping over the edge and beginning the inevitable downward slide. Pretty much the same story as with the yeast, except we being a bit more complex, dependent on your particular scale of comparison. I mean in the incalculable breadth of the cosmos, it seems likely to me that there are beings that would see us as little more than odd, errant entities! Yeast like beasties :-)

Hope you all enjoy this Holiday Time of sharing and companionship with all those close to your hearts :-)

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

HSW, 1% to 98% is pretty impressive but don’t forget the figures are skewed by the thousands of species we are killing off every day. Yes I know the dinosaurs didn’t need any help from us and that may be a natural part of nature (or not) but now we have mastered the trick of it we are sure going at it with a vengeance.

You can do some very useful things with yeast like making bread or booze but don’t forget what happens to it when the sugar runs out. There again I think I have just made your point again.

RAS heartfelt congrats! That must give you a lift for the holidays. Hey, we can all say we knew you before you were famous ;-)

Anonymous said...

What do you say to someone that doesn't want to hear it?

for another day or 2 you can just say... how did someone else put it a week ago?... mary christmas and a hopi new year! at least most of them will get half the message!!

awesome ras! what a great gift!! yours!!! and the one you're getting for the holiday. as likes attract likes, gifts attract gifts.

warm greetings trouters... p

murph said...

Ras,

I am very happy for your book success. It is such a neat read.

Hotspringswizard said...

Hello Belgium :-) You wrote, " don’t forget what happens to it when the sugar runs out. There again I think I have just made your point again. ". Yes that was what I was implying with the yeast comparison. As far as these figures of our increase of the vertabrate biomass ( if thats even close to accurate ), I don't think of this as impressive, but rather see the human species impact on the biosphere as akin to a malignant cancer wrecking the body of its host.

On another subject, my family and I just got back from seeing Avatar. We all concur that if we had three thumbs, they would all be way up! It did turn out to be stupendous! And, magnificent, amazing, wonderous, mezmerizing, very moving, etc, etc!

The movie presents a stark contrast between the Sky People's world which parallells our's in so many ways, and that of the Na'Vi, a collection of indigenous cultures who live in balance, and have a great appreciation and respect for their beautiful world of Pandora.

The plundering ways of the corporation, aided by their strong arm in the military industrial complex see Pandora as just a place that has a resource they want. They go about getting it ( on Pandora ) just like the way corporations and the military industrial complex do things here in our world.

One man of the Sky People ends up finding that the more he lives ( in the form of an avatar ) with the one particular tribe of the Na'Vi, the more he finds his own world ( of the Sky People ) to be alien, destructive, lacking anything inspiring, an existance without any purpose or meaning that is truly worthwhile.

Most of the Sky People suck, just like they do in this world, and in my heart and essence I am a Na'Vi for sure :-) The source of all things for the Na'Vi is Eywa. She is called by other names here in our world, Mother Nature being one :-)

The Na'Vi have a special way of bonding themselves to various animal entities. Perhaps if we could do the same, be of one mind with all of this earth's special creatures things would be very differant for us too :-)

The lesson of the " full cup " makes another appearance, for the second movie ( ealier 2012 )in a row for me :-)Well I appreciate the idea behind it, and it was fitting in the part of the movie where it was introduced :-)

I understand now my brothers feelings in being so affected by the theme of this film. It very much is comparable to the struggles that have gone on, and are still occuring between the rampant greed and destructiveness of the evil in humanity, against a wide range of people ( indigenous and otherwise ) who clearly are in many cases ( say like the Indians of North America ) worthy stewards of the creation in which they reside, a grand realm of which they are only but one small part of and intricately connected to in so many vital ways.

Unfortunately, I don't think even Eywa can save us from the great storm of troubles that humanity has brewed for itself. I wish I was on Pandora living with the Na'Vi, a people who blend well into the grand scheme of their existance, instead of being here having to endure those that are destroyers of the complex magnificent web of life that Mother Nature gifted us, before we lost our way. I have no doubt however that in the end, Eywa will restore the balance, since errant destructive creatures naturally get weeded out, sooner or later. By then I'll most likely be long gone to the Tree Of Spirits on Pandora :-)

Anonymous said...

welcome home sats, greetings fellow swimmers, and big congrats to you ras,

went to an indoor movie about 20 or was it 30 years ago, well yesterday after taking one son to the airport the youngest son talked me into going to see Avatar at an imax 3d theater and was just amazed at the excellent work of the maker of this film. if these does not at least wake a few folks up to the way the world works i will be truly troubled.
outfuckingstanding. must see movie

excellent write murph.
acquired a new ride yesterday and am going through the ordeal of licensing it, its a mini van and so the dream of traveling further then missoula is closer to reality. hope to see you guys soon.
got invited to spokane to build an indoor grow for a legal medical patient which will bring some large $'s, spirit is moving.
good vibes to all, this year is going to be a blast i think. bug says personal health should be close to the top of the list cause anything less then this will not make survival for oneself and then of course those around us that will need help, welllll you know,
peace and flow-

aho
mf

: impant

Zoner said...

Greetings Trout Clan brothers and sisters, I hope this day finds you all well and well-tended. Digging out from a huge dump of wet snow, and found most of my neighbors out in the street conversing and wishing each other well. Given a common cause, it seem pretty easy to put all the other BS aside and just get what needs to be done accomplished. Now, if only the common cause was the welfare of the Earth and its inhabitants!

I feel the lack of "Holiday Cheer" myself, and was compelled to spout about it on my blog. Tough to feel good when so many have not been so lucky, and much of it done in our name to continue "our way of life".
It hurts.

All of your comments and stories give me inspiration. Hearing about living in a tent with 4 kids makes my fears about our "leap" fade, and I have so much respect for you all.

RAS, it is always great to hear of one's work being appreciated and providing some rewards. I hope this continues and inspires more creative out put.

Pangolin, you make me laugh!

mf, much resonance with bug's advice, and I hope it all works out for you, and for everyone else here and elsewhere, unless that means evil being done of course.

Best wishes and much love from me to All!

Z

PS;

btw, who is "sats"? I don't recall seeing that handle but am always eager to catch another perspective?

wv; nosseigh. Well, we'll just have to see about that, eh?

murph said...

Zoner, LOL SATS is Spirit Across The Sea, name bestrode upon Belgium by Montana quite a while ago.

On behalf of Freeacre and myself, thank you for your well wishes and same for you. We may home for a year that will not be as bad as our anticipations indicate.

A toast for all; May the best of your past be the worst of your future.

murph said...

That's supposed to be hope not home. sigh

Zoner said...

Ahhh, I see. I always dig the Belgian perspective.

Thanks.

Z

wv; oofearfl. You wish!

freeacre said...

I have to say that despite the bad shit going on in the world and the country, this has been a happy Christmas/Solstice season for me. I went to sleep last night just thinking about how lucky I am to have so many wonderful friends and my trout family for inspiration and comfort and support. "Goodnight, Pangolin, Belgium, Publius,Randy, ras,Dave, Hot Springs Wizard, Montana, Zoner, mrs.p, Nina, Caroline, Palooka,Rockpicker, Stoney, et all. You guys make me feel . . . rich.
aho

freeacre said...

... and Ely and Baz - Didn't mean to leave you out!

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

Thanks Zoner, I will tell my wife that I have a perspective, she will never believe it ;-)

I ditto Freeacre’s last comment. All the best for 2010.

nina said...

A toast for all; May the best of your past be the worst of your future.

2009 Award for Best Homily Ever and Best Tattoo to Murph, Best Photography to Montana.
May the new year be an improvement over the past year. Love to all, especially Brie and Colonel Bumbles.

Baz said...

Thx La Nina ~ back right at~ya — from mr bumble (Colonel, retired) _ and everybody else too numerous 2 enumerate ~ Via con Dios amigos!— ‘take it easy’

Hotspringswizard said...

Here are some excerpts from a couple of entries over at Carolyn Baker's website, and at the web address listed you can read them in full:

http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1439/1/

SAVING THE INDIGENOUS SOUL: DERRICK JENSEN INTERVIEWS MARTIN PRECHTEL

.......[This interview is timely in the light of James Cameron's extraordinary new movie, "Avatar"--CB]

Over the last several centuries, a heartless, culture-crushing mentality has enforced its so-called progress on the earth, devouring all peoples, nature, imagination, and spiritual knowledge. Like a bulldozer, it has left a flat, homogenized streak of civilization in its wake. Every human on this earth, whether from Africa, Asia, Europe, or the Americas, has ancestors whose stories, rituals, ingenuity, language, and life ways were taken away, enslaved, banned, exploited, twisted, or destroyed by this mentality. What is indigenous — in other words, natural, subtle, hard to explain, generous, gradual, and village oriented — in each of us has been banished to the ghettos of our heart, or hidden away from view on reservations inside the spiritual landscape. We’re taught to believe that our thoughts are actually the center of our life. Like the conquering, modern culture we belong to, we understand the world only with the mind, not with the indigenous soul.......

and,

http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1437/1/

WINTER SOLSTICE: WORKING AND WAITING IN HUMANITY'S BACK WARD

.......Our second job is to become in the indigenous sense of the word, elders of the community. The elder is not necessarily the older. His or her job always was and will be not only the preparation of youth for initiation, but speaking truth and creating beauty. These may seem like contradictory tasks, but they are profoundly complementary. In indigenous cultures, elders are truth-tellers who are often disliked for their directness and candor. Yet they know that this is the job of the elder, and that to do anything less is to betray succeeding generations. At the same time, the elder knows that the horrible truths unveiled must be balanced by the creation of beauty-poems, songs, stories, works of art, and music. In earlier definitions of the word "prophet", it meant not someone who tells what will happen, but what is happening and what is about to happen. Thus the elder must be both a prophet and an artist, for one needs the other and cannot exist without it.....

freeacre said...

Along the same lines, there are several days postings that are really astute on Ran Prier's blogsite. A couple of examples:

First, a new post from Anne, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and the End of Modernist Epistemology. Basically, thanks to the internet, authority has been eliminated as a basis for belief, and not just opinion beliefs but fact beliefs. Now you can go online and find an authority supporting any fact you want. The result is that our mental models are now determined by only two things: what we want to believe, and direct personal experience. Where I see this going is that global consciousness will continue to fragment into what Anne calls information tribes, and these tribes will go through a kind of natural selection: the ones that are the best at seeking out relevant personal experience and adapting to it, will thrive, and the ones that are the best at blocking personal experience that contradicts their beliefs, will suffer horribly.

" . . . This brings us to George Monbiot's piece about the battle to redefine humanity:

Humanity is no longer split between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and progressives, though both sides are informed by the older politics. Today the battle lines are drawn between expanders and restrainers; those who believe that there should be no impediments and those who believe that we must live within limits.

He also makes a nice critique of economic growth, "the magic formula which allows our conflicts to remain unresolved." But I don't agree with all his war language. This is not something we can solve through conflict, even intellectual conflict. I'm reminded of a Raiders of the Lost Ark review (link) that I saw this morning on Reddit, pointing out that if Indiana Jones had done nothing, the end of the movie would have been the same: the Nazis still would have got the Ark, opened it, and been cooked.

There is no stopping industrial civilization from playing the drama of perpetual growth all the way to its tragic end. The only thing that will change the minds of the expanders is personal experience of the most painful kind. Our task, as restrainers, is to restrain ourselves -- not so we can stay pure or save the world, but so we can begin learning to live in the coming age of limits. We're building another kind of Ark."

Hotspringswizard said...

And related to this, " Over the last several centuries, a heartless, culture-crushing mentality has enforced its so-called progress on the earth, devouring all peoples, nature, imagination, and spiritual knowledge. ", my mom informed us ( my brother and I ) some years ago of indigenous roots in our background, one being this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mushulatubbee

.......Mushulatubbee (Choctaw AmoshuliTʊbi, "Determined to Kill") (1770 - c. 1836) was the principal chief of the Choctaw Native American tribe during the early 19th century, including their removal to Oklahoma. In 1812 he assisted Andrew Jackson in the war against the Creek. He signed the Treaty of the Choctaw Trading House on 24 October 1816, and the Treaty Ground on 18 October 1820.

In December 1824 he was one of three chiefs leading a Choctaw delegation to Washington to seek help against encroaching settlers. On 26 September 1830, he signed the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which ceded to the US government most Choctaw territory in Mississippi in exchange for territory in Oklahoma. Other spellings for his name include: Mosholetvbbi, AmoshuliTʊbi, Musholatubbee, Moshaleh Tubbee, and Mushulatubba........

As one of my ancestors Mushulatubbee was experiencing the beginnings of the development of this great homogenized streak of civilization, in the form of encroaching settlers. Much the same would occur throughout the world at the expense of a vast array of indigenous cultures.

Well hopefully humanity can find a path back to ways of wisdom and being that the elders of our past once lived fully in their lives. Each day is a new opportunity to try and create the changes that will, even in small ways, bring us closer to a way of life that has greater meaning and purpose. A manner of living that finds value in the great importance of our being responsible stewards of the precious gifts of Mother Earth, and also finds us developing living paradigms that seek to preserve the integrity of the quality of life that future generations will be able to enjoy.

For now we face great challenges and a vast array of transitions. The task before us is daunting but I just take each day at a time and " try " to do what I can to achieve these things. The change we seek will not come from the errant, out of control greater systems of society. It will have to come from us, and all our collective efforts to build pathways back to a way of living that really has a future, for us, for our children, and for all those who come after.

There are so many magnificent people that will be working towards this same goal, and I see this as an especially inspiring thing! I feel a great sense of appreciation for the efforts of all these special souls who exist throughout the world, who give so much to try and make our future better, more worthy, and a sensible way of living in balance with the creation around us, the grand cosmic design of things, of which we are just a very small part of :-)

RAS said...

I too have found it hard to be jolly this season. Sometimes it seems like, what's the point? Things are falling apart and we're still expected to buy crap for people for Christmas.
But I had a good Holiday season, even though my gf dragged me all over creation with multiple celebrations with her Irish Catholic family.
I haven't seen Avatar yet, but we're going tonight or tomorrow.

freeacre said...

Ah...I can't think anymore. I've hit the wall. I'm going to make some pizza dough and use some left-over ham to make a ham and pineapple pizza and watch football. Mental lights are turned off for awhile....Later, troutpeople.
lol - hang in there, ras!

Hotspringswizard said...

Ras, regarding this you wrote, " and we're still expected to buy crap for people for Christmas. ", at our X-mas family gatherings of all the adults I years ago got everyone to agree to just do a simple game in terms of gifts where each person just buys a small gift ( 10-20 dollars ) and then we draw numbers to determine who gets to pick out of this collection of gifts first, then second, and so on. When its a person's turn, they may take a gift that has already been taken ( since the people open them when they pick them ). A gift may be taken by another twice like this, after that no more.

It actually has been alot of fun and has very much simplified the gift giving between the adults, and is alot cheaper and less stressful too :-)

As for myself, I tell every one regarding X-mas that they don't need to buy me anything because I just enjoy getting the chance to share time with them. Everyone is just fine with this and we have as much fun as ever.

Oh and incidentally the gift I picked out this year for the gift exchange was some packaged smoked Alaskan Salmon which I got on sale for $10 bucks. Guess what I ended up with :-) That Salmon has been real tasty the last couple of mornings for breakfast :-)

I do little things like that ( the gift exchange ) to make life simpler. The idea is to take the complexity out of your life, par things down to a level that you can manage. I used to really get stressed out trying to keep up with the X-mas gift thing, more people to give to with growing extended families and such. Now that I have simplied the whole gift giving thing I look forward to the X-mas season so much more :-) Just something you might want to consider :-)

Hotspringswizard said...

And Ras, I forgot to mention that when a another person takes someones gift, then the person who has has their gift taken gets to pick once again another gift out of the collection :-)

Baz said...

In Gold we trust” ~hahaha—the new faith—religion, same as the old-time snake peddling occult beliefs.

Is there any other commodity as blood-soaked as gold ? Diamonds maybe? I doubt it.

Men supposedly conquered the world for God? But alas it wasn't for God, but Gold. Easy to see how the error was made—both are made in our own image and appeals to our vanity. The pretension was successful, deceiving even the elect.

History clearly demonstrates the lessons of the past ... the citizenry benefits from the spoils of war, indeed the mandate of soldiers to sack and loot ... whatever the hue!

Our Leaders are comparatively innocent! That's right—they're merely pandering to our over-inflated sense of self-worth. They benevolently provide us with what we have been accustomed to believe our entitlement is! Yeah, they helped shape what we already wanted—truly wanted ... then gave it to us. We're grateful right? Why complain? This is the world we created, with their direction. We ultimately receive that which we asked for ... really, in spite of ourselves allegedly requesting something else. There are no grounds for dissent. We, the shareholders stand to profit ... from atrocity. Always have, always will. How else do we obtain that which isn't ours? Take it by stealth, finance those skilled and trained on our behalf. The west is the best—fuck the rest.

We wanted gold, and silver and palladium and so on—and were prepared to dig deep under whole cultures less important to us who knew how to live in harmony with the earth ... displacing them in the process. Why not rape and maim and kill them all? They're backward unsophisticated, uneducated after all. They'd benefit from our Godliness and all the good things we provide them with aye.

What fucken arrogance these natives have in their indolent warnings about the lust of the yellow metal. We're pious gold-serving sophisticates ... don't they fucken know? Ignorant sons of bitches.


-------------------------------------------


PostScript~Of some considerable alarming! interest: exhausted in 15 years !?!?—and yet we lived for 50,0000 years in relative harmony and peace with nature and ourselves? ~ go figure ?

RAS said...

HSW, that's called Dirty Santa and it's actually quite common. I prefer that, but I was actually speaking of the culture as a whole.

We saw Avatar last night and all I can say is wow...double wow. If any troutpeople haven't seen it, you need to. It's amazing and very, very pagany.

Zoner said...

Wows all around here as well, as we took the kiddies to the 3-D showing of Avatar to escape the sense of being prisoners of winter.

It was really an experience unlike any other in a theater.

It pushed many buttons, too.

A welcome break from the pressure bearing down.

Z

Anonymous said...

Get a life bird turd.
Time to grow up and see the light.
Its a game we play, this life thing.
You are taking it entirely too serious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic70cVN5IdQ

Hotspringswizard said...

Well Baz,I know for myself, purchasing a bit of gold was only a means to " try " and put earnings of my previous work into a " hopefully " tradeable medium to use in my future, besides the paper dollars that I bought it with which has continued to lose significant value. Maybe this choice I made will not turn out so good, and maybe it will. Your generlizations on this subject of gold certainly, and realistically don't apply to all people. I would hazard a guess that you don't own any gold given your heightened disdain about this gold colored substance :-)

freeacre said...

Here's something else worth seeing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQfoFzJUsb0&feature=player_embedded
This is a soldier's protest against the wars. This guy nailed it.

Hotspringswizard said...

There is a review of Avatar over at Carolyn Baker's site you may find interesting:

http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1449/1/

JAMES CAMERON'S "AVATAR" DELIVERS A POWERFUL MESSAGE OF CONNECTEDNESS WITH MOTHER NATURE

......With Avatar, Cameron has delivered a fast-paced fantasy adventure that weaves together a stream of powerful themes that are so important to our modern world that they extend far beyond the world of fictional film: Issues like corporations destroying nature for profit, the lack of respect for living creatures, and the failed policies of "military diplomacy" that the USA continues to pursue. The themes in Avatar reflect the greatest challenges of our modern world, and the message of Avatar is both deeply moving and highly relevant to the future of human civilization.

Not many who view Avatar will understand all this, of course. To the younger crowd, Avatar is simply a cool action-adventure film with a compelling love story that makes it a great date flick. But to those who've been around on this planet a little longer, the story of Avatar is a far important story of good versus evil, war versus peace, destruction versus healing and isolationism versus interconnectedness. This depth of sensitivity to life is rare to find in any film these days, much less a blockbuster feature film, but that's what makes Avatar so truly remarkable: It speaks to viewers at many different levels, intertwining the core themes of human mythology in an extremely tight, fast-paced screenplay that doesn't let a second go to waste........

........Avatar is much more than an action flick. It's much more than a love story, too. In my view, it's an urgent message for our modern world where many of the atrocities committed by the human invaders in Avatar are being carried out right now against our own planet.

When it comes to planet Earth, after all, humans are the imperialists. We have destroyed much of the natural habitat on our planet; we've poisoned the rivers and oceans; we've polluted the sky and burned up much of the planet's natural resources. In our quest for more energy, more consumption and more profit, we are stupidly destroying our own planet... and destroying our own future in the process.

We are, in effect, both the invaders and the natives on this planet, and through our misguided collective consumption, we are destroying our own land, our own trees and our own home. And because life is so delicately interconnected, in destroying our own planet, we are only destroying ourselves.

This is one of the many messages that Avatar delivers.......

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

Freeacre: an old message with new words – excellent link.

He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He'a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.

And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

freeacre said...

I can just hear the voice of Joan Baez singing Universal Soldier from back in the day. Perfect. Thanks, Baz and Belgium.
Going to try to make it to Bend to see Avatar tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

Joan Baez was an icon in the day and I think all the protesters had a go at this one. Donovon was attributed with writing it but I always thought it was a bit ambitious for him. I believe it was actually penned by Buffy St. Marie in a cellar in Seattle; an awful singer with a heart of gold.

Hope you enjoy the film. Chris has come down with a hit of the regular flu so as soon as she can go outdoors we will try to make it too, most likely in Antwerp.

freeacre said...

Geez! We went all the way to Bend and couldn't get closer than about a half a mile to the theaters! Totally packed - and this was a Tuesday at noon. Amazing. Guess we'll try again once Christmas break is over. Rats!