March 28, 2007
March 27, 2007
This is the weather picture out here at 12:57 pm today. The weather folks say it's gonna snow tonight; I have decided to live in denial. I refuse to believe that it's gonna snow. I love winter snow mind you, but this is spring and I am ready for flowers and green grass and blue skies with little puffy clouds. I can picture it, I want it and I will not acknowledge other than it...
March 26, 2007
At our house, there's one thing that we all love about summer. Campfires! Every year we love to have campfires in the backyard at our little coleman firepit. A~ and I have found that there's really not a lot of foods that our boys won't eat if it comes off a stick. Yeah, I know, they're boys through and through. So anyway, I have a couple of businesses that I drive by everyday going to and from work that are always putting piles of firewood out for free (My favorite price). The problem is that every year I try to make a nice orderly pile on an old palet that I keep back in a corner. I always start out good, but by midsummer I have a messy unsightly heap that is falling all over the place. So this year, I was able to recycle some construction materials from a home that's being built next door and set out to build a firewood storage rack. I have most of it framed up and ready to store wood in, but I still need to build a roof over it so it doesn't all get wet. I do have to say I am pleased thus far. I'll get some pictures of it soon. Next yard project, compost pile. I am looking into a couple of different ways that I can accomplish this. My wifes concerns need to be given the utmost consideration, if I want to keep it that is. She doesn't want an eyesore out back, and is worried about pests. I want to find a way that I can do it cheaply, I am leaning towards either building a wooden frame and covering it with wire or possibly using a recycled water barrel to build a rolling composter.
Any suggestions appreciated.
I was told by an old friend of mine recently with reference to politics that he wants "ANYONE but Bush!" in '08. This got me thinking that besides the obvious fact that it will be by default anyone but Bush, based solely on term limits (which is a topic for a whole other conversation), but that this was an incredibly pessimistic way of looking at our future. Let me get to the root of this phrase as I see it.
To me, saying "Anyone but Bush" is making far too simple a requirement of anyone hopeing to be the Commander and Chief of our great country. Our country was founded and rooted in hope, and possibilities. Our forefathers knew what was possible if men were left to be free to decide, and if they had hope for a better future for themselves and their families. To not look for a candidate, regardless one's political leaning, that offers hope and can outline the possibilities as they see them; to only look for someone that is the antithesis of the current administration, can only lead to disappointment. How hard is it to imagine a polititian that knows people are only looking for "Anyone but..." to tell you exactly what you are telling him you want to hear. They wouldn't be required to be a thinker, or to have any plan for the future, only to aspouse a disagreement with the current. If the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, do you just keep jumping the fence, or do you take a little time to find a good gardener to green up the side your on? Or better yet, get your hands dirty and work to green it up yourself!
I have made a decision to try my hardest to focus on the positive in this life. I get frustrated by things, and at times just plain hate the status quo. But I think one is always better served by looking for a positive solution than by complaining about the problem.
That's my opinion for what it's worth.
March 24, 2007
I had a great day today. The kids were down with their grandma and, besides the fact that A~ and I miss them when they're gone, we had a great day bumming around SLC together. Checked out some cool antique shops and just enjoyed having time alone. The trees downtown were blossoming, the sun was out and the weather was perfect. I don't think I could have planned a better day. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel ambitious and do some work around the house while I can, seems we're expecting yucky weather again. Oh well such is the nature of spring.
March 22, 2007
Can you tell I finally got out to take some pictures. This is one of my square foot beds with the overhead frame that I use to vertical train my tomatoes. I swear by this method!
Here is one of my five bed garden.
A~ and I planted bulbs for the first time this last fall. We're really happy with our first showing so far this year. We have Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinth poppoing up all over. We have been taking regular walks around the yard to check out the progress. We're like a couple of proud parents.
March 21, 2007
"I love it when a plan comes together!"
I germinated a bunch of cold weather seeds over the weekend, and planned to put them in the ground this week. Yesterday after work I was able to get a bunch of peas and radishes planted about an hour before a light spring rain. Couldn't have planned it better.
A~ and I have talked about planting bulbs for the last two or three years, I am glad we finally did. A~'s tulips and Daffodils finally popped yesterday and showed some color. We now have the hyacinth, tulips and daffodills brightening the front yard and the columbines are on their way. May I reiterate... "I love Spring!!!"
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year.
March 20, 2007
Tonight I had a good friend of mine call unexpectedly and invite me to a lecture being given by David McCullough. This friend of mine obviously gets me as much as I thought he did, one of the few that do.
The speaker is not someone that I am familiar with, but was speaking primarily on American History. He is a pulitzer prize winning author and historian and well worth the time to listen to.
He brought up a lot of things that really made sense to me. Talking about our founding fathers and the struggles that they went through to get us to the point where we are now really made me reflect. We have things so easy for us now that we take for granted all of the sacrifices that have been made for us. Not just by our founding fathers, but by others in our lives. My own father grew up very modestly. My Grandfather had only the basic education, but knew the keys to success and he gifted them to his children. My dad worked hard, continued his education and set goals for himself. He learned to love and to share through fights and truces with his six siblings. His sacrifice, and his lessons allowed my life to be substantially easier that his. I appreciate this enormously. However, as illustrated by poor choices early in my adult life I failed to receive the lessons that he had. This was not for any lack of trying on my dads part. God knows we still tease him about the lectures. I believe the lack of sacrifice had not given me the opportunity to build the desire to push farther. I'm lucky to have weathered my trials later in life and come out for the better.
The lecture tonight brought me to think about our nation and its history of advancement. Our founders suffered tyrants and won their freedom, their children fought with each other and with others to protect our freedoms. They lived through famine, disease and economic depression. Today we've reaped the benefit of our fathers lessons and hard work. Our lives are simple and clean. I fear sometimes that we are doomed to make similar mistakes as a country that I made as a young man. I'll continue to try to make myself better, and give my children a sense of where they come from. It is our duty to our nation and it's future to make sure that we have given a sense of perspective and duty to our children. They will need it for their future. If they forget, or worse yet never learn about the sacrifices before this time, they are destined to learn them the hard way.
That's all for tonight.
I’ve been thinking today about my children. They are truly a blessing in my life. I know a few couples that have decided definitively not to have children, and some others that “plan” to but never seem to feel like they’re ready for them. I feel the need to pontificate on this topic, bear with me.
As I’ve said, I feel blessed to be able to have the children that I have. I currently have a very good relationship with three of my boys; my divorce from the mother of my oldest son has presented some significant road blocks to having one with him, but we do the best that we can. For the record, the road blocks are not all her fault. As his father there are a lot of things I could, or perhaps should, have done better. I point this out for the sole purpose of tempering my point of view. I can come off a bit “know it allish”.
I am somewhat torn on the idea of people not wanting to have children at all. One part of me thinks, “What’s wrong with you? How could you not want to?” while the other part argues back with,” You know, if someone doesn’t really want kids it’s better for them to not have any, than to do it out of some societal obligation.” I guess this is the point where I have to ask the follow up question “what is the reason for not wanting to have them?” I think it really just comes down to just three possible answers;
• I don’t like kids and I don’t want them
• I don’t want kids because they’ll get in the way of my goals, my social life
and the things I want to do
• I feel that the world/earth is in trouble and I can’t see bringing children into a place like this.
The first argument I can deal with. If someone just doesn’t like kids, I guess they have the right to choose not to bring any into the world. However, I think many people that don’t like them have either been the repeated victims of neglectful parents (i.e. the screaming kid in a restaurant, kids running up and down the movie theater isles, etc.) or really fall into the second group. This argument is propbably becoming more and more common these days, as so many kids are being raised by a day care, or Mtv and never get a chance to learn good social habits.
The second argument I think is the best reason to not have any children; it is honest and takes a good bit of guts to admit. Again, I think most fall into this category but don’t have the gumption to admit it.
Now the third argument; this is the one I balk at. If we accept the premise that the world/earth is in trouble; whether that be from impending drastic climate change, wars, or geo-political unrest (BTW I don’t subscribe to any of these, but to play Advocatus diaboli…) then I would argue that we have a duty to try to change that course. I’ll deal with this in the next installment of this thread.
-To Be Continued
March 19, 2007
You know that's really not true, at least not the way it sounds. I didn't get a whole lot of chores done this weekend, but I really did do quite a lot.
We took the kids to the skateboard park twice. (I only skated once. I had to make sure I kept A~ company the first time since I dragged her along against her will.) We had a great picnic in a park down the road where the kids could play, and we tossed the ball around, ate a great spread of picnic food, and got our first good shade of pink for the year!
That night we watched a movie together and then crashed for the night, all so tired from a weekend of "nothing".
I think if someone asked, "Is parenting hard", I could say "There's 'nothing' to it.". Because the days of "nothing", are the best days of all. I have to remember this on more weekends. My kids will grow up one day, and will look back at the times we had together. Will they remember the busy full weekends working around the house, or running around doing errands? Nope; they'll remember weekends where there was "nothing" to do but enjoy our time together.
Enjoy your time. see you soon!
March 16, 2007
Happy St. Patriks Day!
Today eight years ago, my life was changed. I was going to school in Salt Lake City. A few days before St Patriks Day I received a call that I was pulled from the classroom for. The beautiful woman who fetched me from that class was to steal my heart. We didn't have a chance to talk then, but on Friday afternoon, St Patriks Day, we did. From that moment on, I could not get my mind off of her. We would take walks in the afternoon along the river that ran next to the campus. We talked on the phone at night, and after finally getting a chance to spend a full afternoon date with her I knew I had found my soulmate. I was in love. I still am today. Some laughed at us, most thought we would never make it. They have all been proven wrong. I love my beautiful wife more today than when I fell for her eight years ago. My wish to you all on this day is that the luck of the Irish is with you, and that you too can know such joy.
Cha robh dithis riamh a’ fadadh teine nach do las eatarra.
Two never kindled a fire but it lit between them. - irish proverb
March 13, 2007
Ah yes, life is good. Hands have been in the dirt, and the sweet smell of spring is in the air.
I got a trailer load of really good compost the other day. If you have not looked into it, your local community landfill may very well be in the business of making and selling a very good quality compost. They will generally collect green waste, leaves, branches, grass, etc. etc. and "cook" it over the fall and winter. This will result in a compost with a lot of different types of micro organisms and organic goodness that your plants will love. You will most likely not need to fertilize your garden if you have a good enough soil base.
Anyway, I did get out into the garden tonight after work, and am trying a new technique. I removed the soil from my garden box that I will be growing my early veggies in. (see my previous post regarding square foot gardens.) I then lined the base of the box with a layer of cardboard. The cardboard will allow water to flow through it, but will organically repel the dastardly morning glory weeds that attacked my garden last year. This will leave me with six inches of undisturbed light and fluffy compost rich growing medium.
Yeah I said six inches, it really works, I swear. You should have seen my tomatoes last year. I couldn't have gotten better at the grocery store. Not a blemish and mmm mmm good with fresh mozzerella and basil. I'll post again with the results. I have faith.
If you haven't gotten out yet, I sure hope it's because it's still frozen where you live; otherwise you need to get up get out and enjoy! After the garden time I took a quick walk with A~ and remembered the main reason I love spring. It always reminds me of when we met. We took walks and gathered Lilacs, said hi to the neighbors and just enjoyed each others company. Spring is about renewal, and I will always look forward to renewing my love with her!
Have a good day.
March 10, 2007
Well, today was another beautiful day! Did a little running around this morning with the missus, then took my three boys to the park. The air was cool, but not cold, no wind. A~ (that's the wife...) and I took a stroll on the river walk while the boys hit the swings and playground. It amazes me sometimes how big they're getting, while on the other hand they can seem like such little boys; this is a great age. Tomarrow I'll be taking them to the local skateboard park to tear it up a bit. They're so lucky to have all of the amenities that they do. They always say that I was so lucky to grow up in CA in the 70-80's, surfing and skateboarding everywhere. We did that because we didn't have all of the great city paid for spots that we do now. I'll probably hit it a little tomarrow also, after the bad arm break I had last year, I've been taking it easy all year. Time to start working back into it!
Well, that's all for now. More later.
March 9, 2007
Well, I can feel it. Spring is coming.
For the first time this year, I was awakened at night by the winds of a storm coming in and didn't wake up to shovel snow. This is a small miracle hear in the Rocky mountain west where I live.
I'm sure we're in for more cold, but I can see the green light at the end of the tunnel. I say green light, because at this time of the year I get a major case of the garden giddies! Time to plan all of my plantings; figure out what new plants I'll try this year; plan my little experiments that are sure to crop up. For instance, can I make a Teepee big enough for my kids to play in out of bamboo and green beans? Why not? I do square foot gardening, and love it. I've never had such perfect tomatoes and veggies.
I'm already starting to think about all the summer stuff we'll do this year. Last year we were putting our home on the market and spent most of the weekends making sure that the house was clean and tidy in case someone wanted to see it. This year we've decided to stay put. Our kids like the neighborhood, and we have a good home here so we will just enjoy the summer and make up for all of the stuff we didn't do last year. I hope to share lots of picture with you all this year so you can enjoy it with us!
March 8, 2007
March 7, 2007
March 6, 2007
original post - Monday, March 05, 2007
Alternative fuel dillema
So, I was watching a show called future cars the other night. This particular episode was all about alternative fuels and outlined a host of different fuel types; everything from electric, solar electric, hybrids, bio-diesels made from natural oils and/or recycled auto parts, hydrogen fuel cells and even one that ran off of compressed air of all things. So initially I'm thinking "Cool, always good to see that the smart people are out there trying to come up with some ideas for alternatives!" Being the obsessive type that I am, I can't get the show out of my mind. Then like a bolt of clarity it hits me. How many different types of fuel do we use to fill up our cars now? I don't mean octane levels or diesels; I mean actual types? Petroleum types. That's it! One type! We can go to any fueling station and find essentially the same product. That makes for standardization and simplicity. And that is what made the petroleum industry so successful. It's also what helped to make out current automobile industry so successful.
Now back to the alternative fuels situation; as I said there were quite a few different alternatives to fuel sources and different engines types to run at least half of them. So I refer to the old adage, "United we stand, divided we fall." As long as we debate and try to find and settle on all of the different types of alternative fuel sources we will have a hard time unifying any number of persons together to actually solve the addiction to oil. By our nature I believe that we want simplicity and convenience. I don't see how this is going to be possible if we are forced to look out for that particular station that has a hydrogen fuel cell refilling pump, or to schedule our day around where we can or can't go based on who has an electric car charging apparatus. We really need to settle on some type of standard and move forward in that direction with a unified effort. I don't know what that alternative may be, but I do have some input on what I consider the big three.
1. Hydrogen fuel cells are my least preferred, not because they are not efficient or exciting, but they would require a lot of legislation, and major infrastructure changes and upgrades. They also require a new type of vehicle, with a new engine, which will mean retraining existing mechanics or training new mechanics to repair them. If you know you can't get the car fixed why are you going to invest in one?
2. Electric cars are a very close second. They can be very powerful, and because they have very few moving parts can be exceptionally long lasting with little maintenance. Another thing I like about them is the fact that they have the potential to be "fueled" at home; either by plugging into the grid for pennies a day, or by actually farming your own power through solar, wind or micro hydro power generation, etc. However, how often are people going to want to purchase a vehicle that will require them to also invest in a way to fuel it? And let's not forget that they are notorious for having short distance capabilities so the single car owners will generally pass on them because they are limited in their travel options.
3. I prefer the idea of bio diesels over all of the other fuels sources. That is not to say that they are a perfect solution, but as I see it they are a very good starting point to break the cycle. Although bio-diesel fuels have a higher freezing point (meaning that they will start to gel up in cold weather before standard petro-diesels will; this gel up issue can be overcome in cold environs with a second tank or tank warming system), they are usable with little or no modification in any diesel engine. This brings me to the second issue with them. There are few available models of diesel passenger vehicles other than trucks on the market today. The Diesel engine is a very tried and true technology though, and many models are available overseas. I don't think it would be a stretch to expect that the auto industry could fill in this gap. I am not a fan of government getting in the way of business. I think that the market will work if you let it. If we were able to require a percentage of diesel fuel sold to be bio-diesel and could make it affordable enough, I think we would begin to see a migration to this alternative. It gets greater mileage, the engines run for a long time, there is a large pool of service centers, and its exhaust is much cleaner than regular gasoline. Add to this the fact that if a bio-diesel station couldn't be found, regular diesel can be used with no problems. This creates the simplicity and convenience we need.
As I said to begin with, these are just my opinions; I'd love to hear yours!
original post - Friday, March 02, 2007
Well, my wife and I have been looking into a new vehicle. New to us of course, we agree on the fact that buying a new car is just a way to take a financial hit so someone else can benefit from you paying to drive it off the lot and feel good. We are looking seriously into getting an old Mercedes Benz. an '82 to be exact. The reason we chose to really look into this car is because:1. Older car without all the digital enhancements, means easier to repair for the DIY'r of which I am a big one.2. It's a solid Iron block Diesel engine. It should get around 25-30 mpg, and will run on home-brewed Bio-diesel without any major converision. I am not a biodiesel home-brewer yet, but if I get his car I will be.3. I think my beautiful wife would look great driving down the road in it. Now my concerns with the car:1. It's 25 years old, and although it has only 92,000 orig miles on it (these diesels will generally run for at least 250k-300k miles.), it is bound to have small issues with it and being nickle and dimed by a car can be a major pain.2. My prize catch will look too good driving the car and attract too much attention...I don't like competition!that's it... really my only concerns.
original post - Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Current mood: belligerant
Category: News and Politics
A fifty year old man is found to be living and "loving" an eighteen year old recent graduate of the local high school and ex girlfriend of his son. The shame cast on him is immediate and well deserved. Though he has done nothing illegal, and no action can be taken against him he is ostracized from the local church and regularly catches dark glances at the local market. After a short time of this he finally discloses that which he has, solely for modesty's sake, been concealing. He is a regular supporter and donor to many local charities and shelters for the help of young girls. He gives greatly and is found to indeed be one of the greatest patrons of such foundations. After this is brought to light the neighbors who showed such disgust towards him were forced to beg for his forgiveness, he was eventually held in such high regard as to be voted in as mayor.
I know this is a ridiculous story. We would never, and could never, be expected to accept such a silly premise as this. A man being exempted from guilt and shame only because he is found to be a donor to causes that mitigate the damage he himself is part of creating.
But now how about our fine former VP? I'm sure everyone's heard about the report by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, regarding Mr. Gores'... oh what's the word... obscene, consumption habits. Now Let me say first off, that I have absolutely no problem with a man owning, living in and thoroughly enjoying life in a grand mansion. As a matter of fact I hope one day to be able to myself. The thing that gets me is that I have sat through the inconvenient truth. I have done my part to reduce my consumption, albeit for my own reasons. But to have someone, whether I disagree with them or not, preach to me like he has; to have them found to be using somewhere in the order of 20 times the amount of average customers, and then expect it to all be alright because they reduce their carbon footprint by giving to organizations that "raise awareness". I guess it's just par for the course. If you have enough, or know enough people and can get on the right TV shows, it doesn't really matter what you do.
original post - Tuesday, February 27, 2007
So, why not jump right in with one of my loves; alternative power. I have been reading an article about a new solar polymer foil that is being worked on by a Swiss company. good reading if one is so inclined. I want to state for reference and posterity some opinions of mine with regard to this, alternative energy and self sufficiency that is. Let's get a couple of things on the record. I am first of all conservative, nay not just conservative but A Conservative. Now don't take this too mean that I am a kool-aid drinking, bush can do no wrong, republicans are always right no matter what conservative. There are many issues that I will deal with in the future that I know I will disagree with many people on, I'll do this because I am irrepresibly stuck on myself and my opinions. I admit it, but I am also able to see two sides of a coin. This brings me to the alternative power debate. I do agree with seeking alternative feuls, and power generation sources. I think that we will be failing ourselves and our posterity if we do not. Where I diverge from many peoples argument is that I do not buy into the panic regarding the plight of earth. That's not to say that I deny that the world is getting warmer, but I am also not arrogant enough to think that we as humans are so advanced that we can begin to understand the way that the good Lord made our planet to function. I remember being told the globe would be well frozen by now back in the 80's. I look at the issue like this; we are consistantly paying ever increasing rates for fuel, and fighting wars in countries that control the oil. And no I don't believe the bush war for oil mantra of a lot of the protesters out there. But with so much of a vested interest in maintaining oil supply and fuel flow, how could our government, left or right, not fight for our interests there. Another reason for my advocacy of alternatives is best illustrated by the havok in the New Orleans floods, Seattle wind storms, and the frigid northeast recently. We have such a mindset of waiting to be done for, that when circumstances change, or are thrown into chaos, where are we left? For my part I look at the need for alternatives as both a fiscal and responsibility issue. Fiscal in that I will save in the future, and will be self sufficient as much as possible. Responsibility, because as a husband and parent I want to make sure that I 1.) provide as best I can for my family, 2.) take care of the environment and the resources that we have and 3.) help my country to achieve true independance by severing our dependance on foreign oil. That pretty much wraps that up. Quite a digression from a quick post about some new energy technology wasn't it? Til next time.
original post - Saturday, February 24, 2007
Well, I've been thinking about blogging for a while lately. I guess this is a good a place as any to have nobody read what I write as any. I would love to say that I will be blogging daily, but anyone who knows me, especially Amber knows that that is a lie. Well here goes nothing...
original post - Sunday, February 25, 2007
Well this makes two days in a row. I look forward to using this as my personal journal. Maybe I'll get lucky and find a few readers. I want to make a couple of goals for myself on this my first blog.
- I want to share my thoughts on the world. I know I won't agree with everyone, but I would love nothing more than to open a dialogue, and get some honest but respectful debate going. I guess I'm an idealist.
- I want to share my ideas and crazy theories if for no other reason than to amuse myself later on. I sit at work all day and have any number of thoughts preoccupy my head. I think my wife, wonderful as she is, has tired of them; so hey, why not share them with everyone right??
- I hope to share my goals and hold myself to a greater standard. Everyone knows how peer pressure works right? If I share my goals, even if I'm the only one to ever read them, they are written and cannot be hidden from.
I hope anyone reading this in the future will not hesitate to join in my madness! Mail me your thoughts and theories and lets see where it goes.
I originally set up a blog on myspace. I wanted to begin blogging because I have a lot of ideas and thoughts that I wanted to get out. I began blogging there because I had set up an account and wanted to see how I liked it. Well, I like it! I don't think that most people that go there are going there for the blogs though as most people don't even enter anything in theirs. I am going to go ahead and post up the few entries that I had made in the other location to here just to keep everbody up to speed. I hope to hear from some of you soon.
PS.. the name.. A posse ad esse "from possibility to reality". I'll warn you up front, I'm a dreamer!
Posted by P~