Sunday, July 20, 2008

What Can I Do?

A recent luncheon date with a couple of young people in fresh possession of their college degrees was very satisfying. They are regular readers of this blog. As we reviewed the world scene and the state of the many constraints that we face in the future to the continuation of our present life styles, one of the young folks asked the question that is on all of our minds. Okay, the world is going to be vastly different. What can I do as an individual for myself and others?

I contemplated the question. I remembered a good quote from my friend, Rube Cretin, who wrote:

Here's the plain truth, folks: Hope is not a consumer product. You have to generate your own hope. You do that by demonstrating to yourself that you are brave enough to face reality and competent enough to deal with the circumstances that it presents. How we will manage to uphold a decent society in the face of extraordinary change will depend on our creativity, our generosity, and our kindness, and I am confident that we can find these resources within our own hearts, and collectively in our communities.

A good starting point to dealing with the future may be found at:

As part of this discussion, we certainly should never lose sight of the quotation from Marion Zimmer Bradley, that "the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."

Some practical equipment options for use of solar energy is available at also the home site should certainly not be ignored.

Be aware of the value of a good garden and get busy. A great deal of room is not needed. A small kitchen garden will provide more than an adequate amount of fresh vegetables for most of us. It is, however, essential to have good sunlight and a source of water. "Perma-Culture" farming is a good phrase to Google and learn how to proceed with this effort to make a better life in the future.

A wealth of information can be found on the internet at and similar sites.

In conclusion, remember that we are all in the same boat and together we will find greater meaning in exploring the immensity of this new sea than in the yearning for the seashore that may never be visible again.



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Solar Energy At Brief Recess

Brief Recess, my country home where I retreat from time to time, is the greatest place to read, reflect and review the happenings of the world "out there." Here, in the early morning, the wind sings in the pines, the deer and wild turkeys come up to feed and all is right with the world.

Unfortunately, this wonderful isolation is just that. The dial-up connection (remember those days?) to the internet is agonizingly slow. So, sometimes when isolated here at my retreat, I go for days blissfully unaware of breaking news except that which I can get in the evenings via rabbit ears on the ancient console TV that adorns my living room. And all that is fine. Except, when I am compelled to write, a compulsion not much different, I suspect, than a drug addict looking for a fix, the need to input facts and figures invariably rears its ugly head as I am addressing a particular esoteric subject. At such times, one needs to proceed to the "net" and to research.

All of which brings me to the subject of internet access. In contemplating the passing parade of humankind as it struggles to redefine its existence and make rapid adjustment to the manner of living that will be enjoyed by most members of our species in the future, the communication that will be afforded by the internet will become even more indispensable. If you have read this blog from its inception, you may be aware that I have referenced readers to for an introduction to how we survive in those future changing times.

Well, we really do not have to wait for the truly bad, bad times to get here. I am discovering that the availability of fast internet connection through the use of satellite technology is becoming more and more economical. Assuming that access to the satellites will continue as long as they are up there and functioning, we have to consider the source of electrical power for the computer as costs for conventional grid electricity will soar upward and upward. The external power source which I am presently investigating is solar. Electricity from solar panels will hopefully provide the necessary energy to allow me to continue to connect with the world, make observations and absorb knowledge about what is happening. No doubt you will also want to investigate this alternative source of green energy for keeping up with what is happening in a rapidly changing world if you live in a rural area or just think your cable computer provider could do better.