Sunday, November 30, 2008
Another November, another NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), fifth year, fourth completion. Done before deadline, 9 hours to spare and breaking the month's 50,000 word barrier with 4,000 + words to spare. If it's set in Mountainair or any of you figure in any form as characters - whether bizarre facsimiles, keenly analytical socio-cultural commentary, satirical caricatures or other, I'm not telling.
According to some estimates, between 500 billion and a trillion plastic grocery bags are used globally each year. The Worldwatch Institute states it takes 430,000 gallons of oil to produce 100 million plastic bags - so that comes to a staggering 4,300,000 gallons or 16,277,270 liters of oil to make a trillion bags.
It's been great to see a concerted effort by many individuals and some towns to ban plastic bags but even if you've started to kick the plastic habit, chances are you may still have a few (dozen/hundred) floating around the place. Many of us are getting into reusable bag habit, but I for one (and I doubt I am alone) often forget to take them with me every time I we go shopping. Shame on me...on us.
If you're into crafts, you can put these bags to good use so they don't wind up in landfill. Even if your house is totally a bag free zone and you have the time to spare, get your friends to give you theirs - you'll even be able to create heavy duty reusable shopping bags they can take to the store so they won't have an excuse for gathering more in the future :).
Now that the base materials are sorted out, grab your knitting needles, sewing machine and crochet hooks and check out some of these amazing creations.
- How to crochet a reusable shopping bag - detailed instructions, diagrams and photos
- Crochet a beach bag
- Plastic bag handbag
- Throw rug instructions
- Another plastic bag rug
- Plastic knit tote bag
- Plastic Bag Raincoat - clever stuff!
- Crochet a Recycled Clothes Pin Bag
- Recycled Plastic Bag Purse
- Pot Scrubber Crocheted from Plastic Bags
- Dog Leash from Braided Plastic Bags
- Messenger bag (video)
- Water bottle holder
- Making plastic beads and wallets
- Plastic bag sandals - amazing!
Some other quick tips for using plastic bags:
- Door snake: Sew a tube of cloth, cram it full of plastic bags, then sew up the ends. Use it to prevent drafts from gaps under doors.
- Packing: Use plastic bags as cushioning material when packing instead of packing peanuts.
- Stuffing: Good for restuffing footstools and cushions
Plastic bag litter isn't just unsightly, in a marine environment plastic bags are particularly destructive, killing at least 100000 birds, whales, seals and turtles every year according to PlanetArk. Many sea animals mistake the bags for jellyfish, part of their diet. Professional fishermen pull many bags from the stomachs of sharks and tuna.
Even if the production of plastic bags was banned tomorrow, the legacy of the trillions already created would haunt us for generations; so it's great to see enterprising people putting them to good use!
Spotted or created something useful/groovy created with plastic bags and would like to share the instructions or a link with other Green Living Tips readers? Please add it below in comments.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Reactivate the CCC (CCC = US Civilian Conservation Corps, I'm trying to set a good example here, eg no acronyms without key to decode them)
Sign the petition to reactivate the US CCC.
Friday, November 28, 2008
And now a word from your Thanksgiving turkey cake
The rules are simple, for 24 hours you will detox from consumerism and live without shopping. Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!
Buy Nothing Day is the biggest 24-hour moratorium against consumerism. People around the world will make a pact to take a break from shopping as a personal experiment or public statement and the best thing is - IT'S FREE!!!
Pre-cycling is the practice of reducing waste by attempting to avoid accumulating it in the first place. Pre-cyclers try to cut out as much packaging as possible and, to this end, they think ahead, shop locally, buy things loose and bring their own containers. The benefits are various; from saving money and creating less landfill to reducing food miles and conserving natural resources.
Waste not, want not - Guardian article on pre-cycling
Recyling is good, but precycling - cutting out packaging in the first place and buying only what you need - is better. Tanis Taylor tried it for a month
More on pre-cycling in the US and Canada at Ad-busters
Thursday, November 27, 2008
GRACE by Rafael Jesus GonzalezThanks & blessing be
to the Sun & the Earth
for this bread & this wine,
----this fruit, this meat, this salt,
thanks be & blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
thanks & blessing to them
who share it
-----(& also the absent & the dead.)
Thanks & blessing to them who bring it
--------(may they not want),
to them who plant & tend it,
harvest & gather it
--------(may they not want);
thanks & blessing to them who work
--------& blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want — for their hunger
------sours the wine
----------& robs the salt of its taste.
Thanks be for the sustenance & strength
for our dance & the work of justice, of peace.
Gracias y benditos sean
el Sol y la Tierra
por este pan y este vino,
-----esta fruta, esta carne, esta sal,
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo preparan, lo sirven;
gracias y bendiciones
a quienes lo comparten
(y también a los ausentes y a los difuntos.)
Gracias y bendiciones a quienes lo traen
--------(que no les falte),
a quienes lo siembran y cultivan,
lo cosechan y lo recogen
-------(que no les falte);
gracias y bendiciones a los que trabajan
-------y bendiciones a los que no puedan;
que no les falte — su hambre
-----hace agrio el vino
-----------y le roba el gusto a la sal.
Gracias por el sustento y la fuerza
para nuestro bailar y nuestra labor
--------por la justicia y la paz.
---------------© Rafael Jesús González 2008
(The Montserrat Review, no. 6, primavera 2003 [nombrado para el Premio de la Poesía por la Paz Hobblestock; derechos reservados del autor.)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- Jerky Turkey (1945 classic)
- The Great Immigration Debate of 1621
- Do the Turkey
- Turkey for Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving Larry the cable guy style
- Cavity Search and Rest in Pieces - cartoons from the New Yorker
- Saturday Night Live - Turkey Day, on what it feels like to be a turkey come November
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Museum of Online Museums http://www.coudal.com/moom/
links from archives to online collections and exhibits covering a vast array of interests and obsessions: Start with a review of classic art and architecture (most world class collecting institutions from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian, MoMA, Alte Pinakothek, the Prado and so on have splendid online versions) and graduate to the study of mundane (and sometimes bizarre) objects elevated to art by their numbers, juxtaposition, or passion of the collector.Verse by Voice http://www.coudal.com/verse.php
Field Tested Books - http://www.coudal.com/ftb/index.php -
short examples (case studies from the field) how our perception of a book is affected by the place where we read it. Or maybe the other way around. According to FTB, the most compelling Field Tests in this collection are the ones in which a book, a physical place, and a significant emotional moment collide. Anthology published annually. Accepting 300-500 word submissions. Email here with 300-500 words about a book you read somewhere. FTB will select some for publication in their growing collection and send those authors a copy of The Field-Tested Books Book and some other stuff too.And more... visual and verbal treats all
Do you have web site or blog to recommend? Please send it in with a brief review - comments, description.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The report comes from Duke University's Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness and assesses five carbon-reducing technologies: LED lighting, high-performance windows, auxiliary power units for long-haul trucks, concentrating solar power, and Super Soil Systems (a new method for treating hog wastes).
The conclusion: Many hidden economic opportunities exist within the supply chains providing parts and labor for all five industries. States that stand to benefit most include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. The report also includes detailed breakdown of supply chains, with maps highlighting the location of companies best positioned to support green jobs.
No matter where you live in the Estancia Valley, it is important that your town council come up with a “wish list” (Capital Outlay Request) of projects that voters would like to see undertaken in your area. In the event that your local governing body has not yet put together a list, or if you, as an individual, have any ideas on how to best spend the money (some of it, anyway) that you send to Santa Fe, now is the time to makes your wishes known!The article also shares advice from visiting legislators:
In view of projected lower tax revenue due to current economic conditions, as well as the fact that the Governor has directed budget cutbacks in all state agencies, The representatives cautioned the town to expedite any projects which are currently being worked on. They believe that any activity where some funds have already been expended and is already in progress, would be less likely to be curtailed. This assumption makes sense, so if you have visions of any of your tax money being returned to your community, you may want to put a bug in the ear of your local council members to insure they are cognizant of what is going on.On the related topic of infrastructure financing, I'm waiting for a report on the annual NM Infrastructure Finance Conference held at the end of October . In the meantime, you can download copies of presentations from the conference site.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Our total in the shelter account is: $12,005.06!!
Dee (& Jerry) Melargno
(ed note - sometimes aka JerDee since addressing one can bring answer from the the & name does not always match email address. Short version- Dee's project but Jerry is the "technical advisor." Stay tuned for updates on the next fund raiser. In the meantime, click the purple paw at the top of the blog's right or feature column to support the animal rescue site and vote for the Mountainair in the Rescue Challenge)
Craft Fair Recap: no specific numbers but Joan Page (Olde Tyme Shoppe / Mary Kay) reports good vendor turnout and much improved sales over last year, with a number of vendors reporting excellent sales. Food sold well, with at least one vendor selling out early. Coronado Club, Cow Belles, Art etc, Olde Tyme and others reported strong sales. General consensus about date change - very positive. Looks like this is the week-end to stake out for next year's fair.
Anybody else want to post their own good news about the Fair? Please let me know. Also - I am on the look out for pictures, so if you saw anyone snapping away, let me know.
Shelter Project Sidewalk Sale - missed dropping in due to0 running tired early (aforementioned cold + COPD). Caught a gander going to Alpine open house and coming back. Looked busy. Someone set up for a bake sale by the Post Office. Timing and location serendipity. I've put in for pictures and a more detailed report.
The spirit of the Hummingbird Cafe lives on...
Alpine Alley Open House - 1st Year Anniversary. Yes, it's been a year and the bash was a splash. Steve had to do without Linda's help at Alpine motors because she got drafted for the open house. Food, coffee, music and convivial company in comfortable surroundings. More to come but this should cover it for now.
PS November is International Drum Month
--- On Mon, 11/17/08, Ray Terhorst wrote:
Hello all members of the Manzano Mountain Art Council,
Monday, November 17, 2008
"I got a call from the Independent about a special issue that comes out Nov. 26. Sounds like it could be a good advertising opportunity...If it is appropriate could you share the following information with everyone that might be interested? Thanks in advance - cut and paste would do. - George"
The Independent will be publishing its annual Holiday Haven magazine November 26. Focused on the East Mountains and Estancia Valley, the editorial includes feature stories, winter fun, recipes, and shop at home ideas. The magazine goes out as an insert to every newspaper that week, and extra copies are printed for distribution to local and Albuquerque motels, chambers of commerce, and other locations.
Ad prices are:
Full page $360; Half page $185; Quarter page $95; Eighth page $50; Premium (pages 2 or 3) full page, full color $590; or back page $720; Prepay for 10% off. Color add 30%, except on premium pages
Deadline is November. 21 for space reservations and ad copy. Design and production is included in the price of the ad. Contact us by phone, email or fax.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Hola, Hallo, Hello, Ciao, Salut!! Start babbling with the whole world...
Babbel is a unique place for language learning. Here you can learn or just brush up on French, Italian, Spanish, English or German – at your own pace.
Learning is playful and efficient. An "intuitive" system incorporates words and phrases and links them up with sound and image, advancing you language studies almost effortlessly.
Registration is free!
- Learn at your own pace
- Multimedia Content
- International Community
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Casting Short Film/RED Camera Test. A LITTLE FREEDOM, about a soldier's homecoming from war. Lead, Dylan 23, emotional eyes. Dylan's Wife 21-23, vibrant beautiful smile, Dylan's Son, can be older but must play 5, Grandfather 70-80, Korean War Vet, deep but kind eyes, Dylan's Mother 50's, nurturing but weathered, Dylan's Sister, hip/cool teen.
2-3 day shoot in Santa Fe, early Dec. Great experience, meals & reels. Aud. cold readings and/or 1 min mono. Sat 11/15, 9:30A-12:30P, Holiday Inn Santa Fe, 4048 Cerillos & Sun 11/16, Alb. 6:00P-9:00P, 116 Morningside NE (Nob Hill area) info: email@example.com
Monday, November 10, 2008
From the Tapestry Institute: Workshops on Dealing with Change
Tapestry, which recently relocated to the Santa Fe area because of a catastrophic wildfire at its previous location, is offering its first workshops in New Mexico specifically to help women understand and find personal meaning in change.
"Learning from the Storm: How to be Empowered by Change" will meet from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Ghost Ranch de Santa Fe, 401 Old Taos Highway, on twelve separate dates, starting November 16 and ending December 21. The innovative and award-winning design of these events, developed under a grant from the National Science Foundation over a period of several years, limits enrollment to 12 women per session.
Tapestry first turned its research arm to the subject of life-altering change two years ago as a way of understanding and responding to a major wildfire and its aftermath. "We kind of hit the wall ahead of the curve," explains founder Dawn Adams, Ph.D., a scientist and Choctaw Indian. "We experienced a major natural disaster, lost our land and homes, saw our income drop almost to nothing -- all the things that are happening to people across the country now. And we had to learn how to make sense of it. We did it by using the ways of knowing and learning we've always used in our work: story, science, art, spirituality, and personal experience."
"These workshops are structured the same way," elaborates Tapestry president Jo Belasco. "We start each session by looking at the wisdom of change in nature. Then we look at preceptions of change in Story, in this case from ancient Old World cultures. Those people lived closer to nature than we do today, so their stories show a keen awareness of what really happens during and after dramatic change. More important, they also show us ways that people of different times and places have tried to make sense of the way change really works. Considering those stories in combination with what we learn from nature itself gives people of today a handle they can use to 'get hold' of what change can mean in their own, modern lives."
The workshop fee of $100 supports Tapestry's continuing research and education into different ways of knowing, learning about, and responding to the natural world. Additional information and workshop registration can be accessed online at http://www.tapestryinstitute.org/workshop.html or by calling Tapestry at 575-421-0054.
ABOUT TAPESTRY -- Tapestry Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that carries out original research on different ways of knowing, learning about, and responding to the natural world, and applies these ways of knowing to innovative education programs. The organization, founded by Dawn Adams, Ph.D. (Choctaw) and headed by Joanne L. Belasco, Esq., has been awarded four prestigious grants by the National Science Foundation for education research and development, and has partnered with organizations such as the National Museum of the American Indian and the Indigenous NGO Snowchange (Finland). Adams, who designs Tapestry's public education curricula, has presented workshops and formal presentations on education, science, and the relationship between science and culture to invited venues at colleges, universities, seminaries, and museums nationwide. She received a national award for outstanding teaching in 1999. Originally incorporated in Texas in 1998, Tapestry recently relocated from a ranch on the Pine Ridge of extreme northwestern Nebraska to Ilfeld, New Mexico.
CONTACT: Jo Belasco, Tapestry Institute
Fax: 575-421-0054 (call or email first to allow equipment activation)
Saturday, Nov 8th, 2-4 pm: "Matanzas: A Cultural Foodway of the Rio Abajo" lecture by Margaret Espinoza McDonald, Ph.D
Saturday Nov 22nd, 3-5 pm: "The Heritage of Catholicism in the Rio Abajo" presentation by John Taylor
Saturday December 6th, 5-7 pm: Author presentation and book signing of "Historic New Mexico Churches" by Annie Lux
December 13th, 5-7 pm: Irene Sanchez will do a holiday cooking demonstration featuring traditional recipes from her cook book...author signing also.
All receptions will be gala events with wine and light refreshments.
Tuesday - Friday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday - Monday Closed
From: Patty Guggino, Coordinator, Oral History & Preservation Program
Los Lunas Museum of Heritage & Arts
PO Box 1209, 251 Main St. SE, Los Lunas, NM 87031
505-352-7714, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, November 7, 2008
This year the Town (sponsor) and Fair organizer Joan Page decided to beat the holiday craft fair rush and reduce date conflicts with other local fairs by holding this year's Fair nearly a month earlier. Its usual date has been 1st Saturday in December.
Joan reports a strong vendor roster and a good selection of attractively priced artworks, crafts, collectibles and gift items for shoppers to get a head start on holiday shopping. Vendors include local painting group Art etc, Earthsong Gallery, iCreate, Coronado Club, local and visiting artists and crafters - including potters, fiber artists and jewelers - and more.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Here are the rules. Drink or dig into the Halloween candy every time the following happen, unless another frequency is otherwise noted.
- A red state goes blue, or vice versa (Potential targets for the former: Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, New Mexico, Indiana. Potential targets for the latter: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire.)
- A pundit says something he or she actually believes, mistakenly assuming that his or her mic is off.
- Drink/pop a Reeses every tenth time Joe the Plumber is mentioned. Anything less could cause alcohol poisoning or a hypoglycemic event.
- Voter suppression reported. Do not drink or candy-binge for five minutes.
- Flagrant network abuse of new Election Day gadgetry.
Reflections later but the short version, in case I don't get to it, is not that different from Hughes. The deferrals came due and whatever your politics, about time too. Growing up mostly in the Deep Deep South but still a "Yankee," I remember too clearly the reality of segregation - my mind has been replaying them all day. Images now no more than historical icons were real and poisoned the souls of anyone touched by them, whether oppressed or oppressor. The back of the bus; separate restrooms, water fountains, schools - and more. Separate swimming pools, Scout Camps. No end to the separations in the name of "separate but equal." Over but not fully exorcised until now.
In closing, quoting from last night's acceptance speech, "As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours: We are not enemies but friends ... Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."
Monday, November 3, 2008
The observance of Day of the Dead in Mexico and New Mexico goes back to pre-Hispanic Mexico to the Aztecs, Mayans and other indigenous peoples in Mexico. They believed that the souls of the deceased return annually to visit living relatives and eat and drink with them. These cultures all celebrated the return of the dearly departed with festivals and celebration.
Day of the Dead celebrations keep the tradition that loved ones don’t ever truly die. They come back. Although not specifically about this holiday, Carlos Fuentes' essay "Dias enmascarados" does address shared Mexican and Spanish cultural preoccupations with both death and the past. Or as Faulkner (so admired by Fuentes) famously stated, the past is not dead; in fact it's not even past.
- San Antonio TX Day of the Dead page
- Day of the Dead Folk Art
- Build your own Day of the Dead altar game
- Hecate: Calaveras
- Day of the Dead ~ Mexican Folk Art ~ Merchandise ~ Sugar Skull Molds
- Deaders (DoD art) at Fausto's Art Gallery
- Latino Pop Art & Day of the Dead Art
- DoD folk art at Viva Oaxaca Folk Art Store
- Day of the Dead Crafts and Activities from Enchanted Learning
- (illustrated article about DoD, Mexican DoD traditions and folk art) The Dead Come to Life in Mexican Folk Art
- Mexico's Days of the Dead Page from NM Connect - many, many images and links
- Arizona DoD page
- Burke Museum's 2006 "A Celebration of Souls," a traveling exhibit exploring the history and significance of Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, a southern region of Mexico. A Celebration of Souls: Day of the Dead in Southern Mexico, shows 29 stunning photographs capturing a typical Oaxacan Day of the Dead holiday. (Seattle WA)
- Day of The Dead /Dia de Muertos at the International Museum of Folk Art, Santa Fe: Symbolism of the Ofrendas; Día de Muertos Vocabulary; Bibliography
Sunday, November 2, 2008
So have I - This year will be my 4th - 1 computer crash and 3 completions, eg 3 rough drafts. Here it is that time of year again. I should have pounded out 1,667 words or so yesterday (and every day thereafter, e-mail not to count) but did not get to it. Something psychologically reinforcing about hitting the ground running on the first day. We are not to write a word until Nov 1 and then write like one possessed (not that there are many Dustys among us). More than a few work up characters, plots, outlines and so on. I start free writing. Sometimes I have an idea, more often than not I just write away waiting for the idea to find me. Usually it does. I do this for fun and try not to le it interfere with either reading or blogging. If you want to know more about it, here's the place to go.
Who's up for joining me?
I've got pics and short report on Wana Beth, Jude et alia and the Christmas Stocking Project to get to - and more - but now it's back to the keyboard to pound out as much of my day's 1,667 + words (more to make up for goofing off yesterday).