Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

May 31, 2007

Full Disclosure

Somehow, I guess similar to the way that our children grow up and change on us, this blog seems to have morphed into something resembling an environmental action blog. I don't have a problem with this per se, and I’m sure that in time it will evolve further. I still hold to the vision I started with and laid out in my blog goals, and I think things like participating in the upcoming Low Impact Week holds with those goals. I have noticed that a large number of the persons coming to my site are from other sites like No Impact Man, (where I am not linked to but am a regular commenter) Crunchy Chicken and Exploring Not-So-Big-Living, both of which link to me. (There are a couple of others, and I appreciate each of them, but for the purposes of this entry they don’t completely apply.) This has come about, because I am very interested in the things going on at those blogs and, like I've said many times, am so stuck on my own opinion that I feel the need to give it whenever possible. Recently I was in a debate with another blogger over the issue of whether or not Colin at NIM should be getting chastened by so many people for possible future profit related to his NIM experiment. The debate came to a point where I basically called the person on the fact that while they claimed to not be able to afford a “$5.oo light bulb” (his words not mine) they were able to go on multiple amusement park/zoo trips to include a six hour weekend trip to Disneyland. I didn’t intend to embarrass the person and as far as I can tell he understood, although still disagreed with, my point. At any rate this exchange, coupled with the growing number of people that read me that are “environmentally conscious” has prompted me to feel like I need to come forward with some facts about myself and my lifestyle in the spirit of full disclosure so that you know where I am coming from, and so that I can maintain whatever credibility I may have earned thus far.

For the record:
1. I own a Full sized Ford F-150 v8 truck, and a v6 Mitsubishi SUV.
I don’t drive my truck other than for hauling things or going camping in the mountains. It is not a commuter vehicle. For one it would kill me to pay for the gas. But really I just don’t see the need for it. I drive an old Toyota Tercel that get’s great mileage, and am trying to ride my bike as often as I can. As for the SUV, I have three boys, sometimes four and they aren’t getting smaller. Really it’s just a practical vehicle for that reason. My wife and I are having her drive the Toyota whenever I ride to work, so although we do have the potential to consume quite a lot of fuel, I think that we are doing pretty well.

2. I have a movie theatre in my basement.
This may seem excessive to some; to me it comes down to dollars and sense (yes sense, not cents). Dollars in that with a family of five, a trip to the theater will cost us I the neighborhood of $50.00 and that’s with me and A~ sharing popcorn and a drink as well as the boys. That is a lot of money when you take into account the fact that we all LOVE movies. Sense, because for reasons I won’t go into, the collective sense of so many parents has gone out the window. I can’t tell you the number of times we’ve had terrible experiences in movies because of uncontrolled or crying children (Note to parents, 3&4 yr olds need not watch the Lord of the Rings with you, it will scare them!). So when we I finished our basement I put in a theater.

3. I hunt.
I think this explains itself. I also fish. I cannot think of a better or more rewarding way to gather a meal than to have to literally go out kill it and bring it home. You have earned the food, and will respect the life of that animal more because you will have a more complete understanding of its place in the life cycle. I think that is why so many hunters are such good stewards of the land. They are rarely hailed as such, and more often than not the beer guzzling party hunter is the guy shown on TV. This is not the norm. Notice also that I say I hunt and fish, not shoot and catch. In the natural world unlike the supermarket there is not guarantee.

4. I eat meat.
Well, yeah, I hunt don’t I? I have always been a meat eater. I always will be to some degree, although, I have been reading the Omnivores dilemma By Michael Pollan recently and have been rapidly getting disenchanted by commercial meat production. I am just about to the point of refusing to eat any meat that I have not either gathered myself from the wild, or purchased locally from grass fed cattle operations. (I am lucky enough to have a couple with in a very short distance.) Either way, I have reduced the amount of meat, particularly beef that I eat in favor of a healthier and more well-rounded diet. I feel great by the way and have lost nearly 20 lbs.

OK, break time, get a glass of water and go to the bathroom…
Better? Ok let’s continue.

5. I live in a dry climate and don’t have xeriscaping in my yard.
Xeriscaping, if you didn’t know, “refers to landscaping in ways that do not require supplemental irrigation.”
I like a garden, and I like fresh veggies. My wife and I have been working at introducing primarily low water requirement perennials. We also mulch to reduce water need, and drip irrigate directly to again reduce water use. But still, we have a lawn, and we water it with local reservoir water and our food garden uses a good bit as well.

6. I fly and drive long distances for vacation.
Yes, I do. And this summer I will be again. I have a long family vacation planned that will require us to drive almost 2000 miles. And unfortunately the vehicle that we have that is the most reliable is the truck. This will hurt, I know. It’s not a good thing for fuel consumption or my pocketbook, but it is the most reliable vehicle that we have and get’s fairly decent (15-17 mpg is good for a full size truck.) mileage for its size. My family and their safety come first. I have already stranded us in the middle of Nevada once before in a 76 VW bus, I won’t do it again, and I won’t apologize for it.

7. I am a conservative.
I know this may be my biggest crime to a lot of my environmentally conscious readers. I am conservative and I don’t think that precludes me from caring for the world around me. As a matter of fact, from my perspective, it obligates me to a couple of things. I need to be more self sufficient; since I believe in reducing the size of government and keeping them out of my business and my decisions, I need to be able to be responsible for myself and my family to make up for that. This includes taking responsibility for my actions and being available to care for not just our children, but our parents should the need ever arise. I believe that we need to also be more self sufficient as a country meaning that we need to take responsibility for our habits that continue to drive the need for foreign oil. We won’t eliminate the need for it, oil that is, but we can certainly begin to change habits that will mitigate the damage and move us toward energy self sufficiency. As for as social issues, there are too many to cover, but I am conservative. I don’t always follow the party line so to speak, and even when I do often times it is for my own reasons.

8. I voted for Al Gore.
Wait a minute; I said I was a conservative didn’t I? Yes I am, and I was at the time, I just didn’t know it. This would be my biggest crime to any conservative readers that I have. That election cycle was the first time that I ever bothered to get out and vote. I didn’t pay attention to what candidates were about, or what the parties were about for that matter, I just voted. After 911, I began paying a lot of attention to what was going on in the world. The more I heard what the positions were, the more research I did. The more research I did, the more I realized I was a conservative and had been for some time. I wouldn’t do it again, but I won’t kick myself for it either.

Well that ought to give you a pretty good perspective on me. More than anything I just wanted to make sure that at some point I don’t end up shocking someone with this or that, or get accused of playing to an audience. The things I say I stand by and believe in; I will never tell you what I think you want to hear, only what I think. I am a work in progress so to speak, these are just some of the brush strokes that have been painted so far. I appreciate the time you’ve given me, and I’m flattered to see that I have a small group of readers that regularly return. I hope I am able to give you a positive message at times and that at others we can disagree; but always to be honest and open.


Anonymous said...

That reminds me of the time I was telling a naturopath that my kids never wat wheat and I looked down and they were eating a lamington! Or last night when I asked the supermarket supervisor whether I could bring cloth bags to collect my fruit in and looked down and there was a massive box of disposable nappies at the top of the trolley! I don't think many people are perfect, but perhaps the concern about it will get us there one day!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a picture of your movie theater.

Phelan said...

I also drive a F150, can't haul animals and feed in our little car.

I can be conservitive, it depends on the subject.

KMH said...

I have 1984 Dodge Ram that we use for hauling hay, animals, and animal feed. Some farm stuff just won't fit in a small car.

Well, I must admit. That feels good.
Thanks for the confessional.