Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quote and Image of the day

"Obama is not a brown-skinned anti-war socialist who gives away free healthcare. You're thinking of Jesus." - John Fugelsang

Matthew 25:
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Those are some radical words right there.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hitchhiking for Peace

Normally I'm not driving down Jefferson street on a Saturday morning, so perhaps that's why I've never seen her before, but there she was, a woman somewhere around her mid-50s standing near the curb with her thumb out. I slowed and stopped and she climbed in, I asked if she had missed a bus and where she was headed. Her answer was not something I was expecting to hear:

"I'm a hitchhiker for peace".

She told me that she started hitchhiking after 9/11, and that her mission was to spread the idea that war solves nothing and that we all need to embrace and embody peacefulness in our words and our actions. That was it, five minutes later I let her out downtown. Her words stayed with me throughout the day, her words and the fact that she took the time to share them in such an interesting way.

This morning with my cup of tea and my eggs, I read this passage from the book God Sleeps in Rwanda:

"As I stood there with [my wife] in my arms, I did not know what the future held...I did not fully understand the havoc that war wreaks on communities. Yes, war kills--I knew that--but that is only part of its destructive path. War makes widows and orphans. War cuts off arms and legs and rips emotional wounds that never fully heal. War drives people from their homes--in this case hundreds of thousands--and dooms them to lives of poverty and displacement. John F. Kennedy once said, "Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.". As I held Liberata in the gas station, I did not yet know what this meant.

One knows how war begins, but no one knows how it will end. Countries rush to war thinking it is the quickest, easiest solution to conflict, only to find themselves still entrenched years later, suffering more losses than they expected and asking themselves, bewildered, "How did we get here?" There is no "winning" a war.

From the hitchhiker to me to you: what can we do for peace today?

Friday, March 26, 2010


Meet Annabelle, she's one of our two new Rhode Island Reds. The other is named "Nugget" (Asa named Annabelle, Wayne named Nugget). We also have Spreckles, a Speckled Sussex, and Mackenzie has Voodoo, a Barred Rock.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Back To The Bike

Wow, I can't believe how much more we've spent on gas since I broke my arm. Not being able to ride a bike just has made such a huge difference. The number of miles isn't all that enormous, but the little driving trips around town - just to the store or to take the kids somewhere - that all adds up and the car gets much worse mileage on such trips. Normally I only take the car if we're going a substantial number of miles, but until this week I've had to drive everywhere.

Finally I've been able to start riding my bike, I rode to work tonight for the first time, but I'll have to say that my arm was so exhausted that I had to ride part of the way home with just one hand on the handlebars. It's still not quite all the way good for riding, but it's getting there! And I know it will be a few more weeks before I can even think of riding the tandem with the kids. Luckily, I think I will be all healed by the time the good weather really rolls around!

And to piggyback on that good news, here's something even better. From the League of American Bicyclists Blog, an article about Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's address at the National Bike Summit. There may be some things I don't like about the way the President is doing his job, but one thing is for sure is that everywhere behind the scenes, changes like this are taking place. They might not make the news like the big Health Care Debate, but they are positive steps that will affect all of us.

I am very excited about this! Read on (quotes from the League of American Cyclists Blog)

When the Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood stood on a table at the National Bike Summit to thank the crowd and show his support for bicycling and walking, he was just getting started.

Today, he announced his new Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. It is simply the strongest statement of support for prioritizing bicycling and walking ever to come from a sitting secretary of transportation.

On his blog, he writes:

Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.

We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:

Treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.
Ensure convenient access for people of all ages and abilities.
Go beyond minimum design standards.
Collect data on walking and biking trips.
Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same way roadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenance projects.
Now, this is a start, but it’s an important start. These initial steps forward will help us move forward even further.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Extending the Gardening Season

Last year Wayne picked up some windows at a garage sale, and we also replaced our shower door so he had the old glass door to work with. He took those plus some reclaimed lumber and some newer wood and hammered up three lovely cold frames. There's already lettuce, radishes, basil, and some other stuff cropping up in them. I'm excited to be able to extend our growing season into the cooler months of spring and fall with these. It will be a learning process this year, so we'll see how they work out. In the 3rd one, I planted a couple of different types of tomatoes from seed. I've always grown tomatoes from starts before so that's another new gardening adventure!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Who Wins the Stupid Award??

Does it go to the guy out there in the pouring-down pissing-down rain today going at the sodden sidewalk with a leaf blower??

Or does it go to the city officials in Orange, California who are suing a couple for removing their lawn and replacing it with landscape bark and drought-tolerant plants, even though they have reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009.

You be the judge.