Monday, April 27, 2009

Smoke Hole Bliss

Update: Remember famed paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey from a previous post? My biological anthropology class had a nice opportunity for some personal chatter, and some of that was caught on tape...its been YouTubed...yikes! Where's Waldo? The hair gives it away...

A bit for the Morgantowners, past present and future, the still-going-PRT (Personal 'Rapid' Transit) got a little *spice* for a few eco-cars that were quickly removed do to some copyright issue with teh WVU logo....theay are said to ahve been fixed for less than $200....and back on track! Here the guideways are being built over three (3) decades ago.

The wonderful annual Smoke Hole boat/camp trip was laced with great wheather and lots of morel mushrooms! Like geology? Check this out...

By far we paddled the oldest canoe on the river: Rusty! Thanks to Eddie Spaghetti for the fine watercraft! Check out his artwork! The natural feel of his work is like good medicine....feel it.

Thanks to the Bell boys for the shuttle! A perfect mix of sun and clouds, rapids and straights...simply nurturing to be in such a natural and powerful setting. Solace=Refresh.

Lots of prep; dry gear upon arrival preferred. The kids are all right....

...some of the many pleasant stops. Its all about fun breaks!

Base camp was at the end of this field above, many a morel met its maker, leaving behind its home under the apple and paw-paw trees. A small graveyard was found on the hillside nearby...4th of July, ~1862 was one of the birthdays...seems a few families all got to be buried together there.

Do this more often and I bet you flip your boat less... sword fighting bandit boys over chilly water, arrrrrgh the heat of battle!

Ricky K. had this simple little fold-up campfire reflector oven, the "Sproul Baker"....He baked some corn bread in about 15 minutes, all from setting this half-open metal box next to the fire...gotta get one!

The new moon and the lack of rain allowed for hammock-style stargazing and no need for a tarp. So peaceful, them least from this distance.

This little guy (girl?) sums up the weekend: Hangin' out to soak up the hot sun.

Go outside more often! The air indoors has been found to be more polluted than the freely circulating air outside (second paragraph of the EPA website on that link)! One more reason....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

There's another world "out there"

From the Daily Grist: Finally..."The Environmental Protection Agency today said it has determined that planet-warming greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health and welfare." Now that we have got that all cleared up...what will the Obama administration do to keep the big machine going while also 'regulating' CO2 emissions? Time will tell.

Energy: "A single kilometer‐wide band of geosynchronous earth orbit experiences enough solar flux in one year (approximately 212 terawatt‐years) to nearly equal the amount of energy contained within all known recoverable conventional oil reserves on Earth today (approximately 250 TW‐yrs). " This comes from a 2007 Pentagon report by the National Security Space Office. I got turned onto it by good ol' Grist, who is not one to hide the fact that the company that wants to do this project, Solaren, is "a stealthy Southern California startup founded by veterans of key players in the military-industrial complex, is betting on space-based solar power. The company's first customer: Pacific Gas & Electric." California Loooove!

Also, surprise! Our mega-centralized and government pet media has been giving us the run-around....not the first or the last time!

"After 24 years and billions of dollars spent trying, there is still no operating coal power plant using 'clean coal' technology. 'How many such plants are there?' asked former Vice President Gore at a the Clinton Global Initiative last year. 'Zero. How many blueprints? Zero.'"

Déjà vu: Terence McKenna keeps coming into my life...don't click this next link unless you want to be exposed to some radical thought: Alien Dreamtime. You were warned...Now on to other more earthly/bodily items.

On the mind: I have been trying to wrap my head around politics in Latin America and am proud to say that I have begun to scrape, with a toothpick, at the bedrock that is knowledge. With that said, what I advocate and claim to care about and because I think that I understand is likely going to be misguided. Take it with a boulder of sodium chloride, will you?

Our smooth-talking Pres. has been bouncing about in Latin America, upsetting some here at home by actually having a friendlier and more open dialogue approach that is simply "un-American," and making headlines by being so cozy with Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez.

People in Mexico have asked that Obama renegotiate NAFTA. This will not likely happen, but the evidence exists that letting US corn overpower Mexico's corn does only harm to the people of Mexico. A complicated issue...some schools of thought advocate more international intervention to pull countries/economies out of poverty, while others offer evidence that this intervention is at the root of underdevelopment (p. 425-...).

The power-hungry center is fed by the struggling periphery....elites foster neoliberal tactics and play into the hands of the American empire...oh the drama!

Weekend event: The xth annual Smoke Hole trip is this weekend! Get yer boats, boots and bags and head on down the crick! Rampin' an' a-stampin', hoppin' an' a-hootin'!

Wild stuff: Click this drone and check out what else these plasti-men are doing...

Corey B. had best step up his fiddle playing because these robots don't need no rest or arm slings...but we need rest and, a veces, arm slings! Heal it up mon!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nature: it's all around me!

A darn gorgeous weekend was just spent planting red spruce trees with the Highlands Conservancy, the 500th Canaan Valley NWR and volunteers from all around, many from WVU. Most of the planting took place just a few hundred feet from our yard...where the beech trees are expected to die out soon...all things must pass. Three (3) more weeks of school left! Graduation!

Sheena was a tough tree trooper, Lily helped scope out the best places to plant...

"Tree Planting Volunteer Army Finds Homes For 4,000 Red Spruce Orphans."

After a few hundred trees were planted, some meandering was needed. These pics are in and near Freeland Run, just down the path from the Chase home.

Found these funny little flowers in Morgantown last week. I was told that they are called Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria (dy-SEN-truh kuk-yoo-LAIR-ee-uh). Ahhhh, spring!

Before sharing some more pictures below I wanted to present something from my hefty 2000 Random House Webster’s College Dictionary dictionary (thanks Auntie Annie!), which has a list of some of the more unusual and popular words that were added to the dictionary in the 1940's. I thought it was a poetic combination and intriguing to see what was happening during that time period. The italics are words I wanted to know more about.


A-bomb; ack-ack; acronym; aerosol can; airlift; airstrip; antipersonnel; apartheid; aromatherapy; atom bomb; atomic clock; baby-sit; bacitracin; barf; bathyscaphe; bazooka; bebop; bikini; blockbuster; blood bank; bloodmobile; bobby-soxer; brownout; buzz bomb; carhop; cheeseburger; cold war; copter; crash-land; cybernetics; debrief; deep-freeze; dim-out; discount house; displaced person; Dixiecrat; double-think; dream team; eager beaver; fallout; falsie; fax; fellow traveler; fence-mending; flying saucer; freeze-dry; genocide; globalism; gobbledygook; goofball; googol; gooney bird; G-suit; guided missile; hassle; H-bomb; hot rod; hydrogen bomb; Jaycee; jet plane; lend-lease; litterbug; long-playing; megabuck; metooism; microfiche; Molotov cocktail; momism; motion sickness; name-brand; name-dropping; neptunium; nerve gas; no-show; paratrooper; party pooper; pedal pushers; pistol-whip; plutonium; printed-circuit; pro-am; quisling; quiz show; radar; radio astronomy; redeploy rehab; returnee; robot bomb; show biz; snorkel; spaceship; tape recorder; test-drive; tote board; TV; underwhelm; veep; wall-to-wall; xerography; yackety-yack; yada-yada-yada; zap; zip gun; zonk.

Wild, eh? Name brand; nerve gas; Paratrooper; party pooper.

Up next, a lovely walk in the Core Arboretum with brother Morgan; we were greeted by little lilies, red yellow and white trilliums, blue bells and a vast array of natural beauty.

tragic hit and run that we stumbled upon...

Wind turbine inspiration? Minus the reproductive parts...

A darn gorgeous day was just spent planting red spruce trees with the Highlands Conservancy, the 500th Canaan Valley NWR and volunteers from all over, many from WVU. Most of the planting took place just a few hundred feet from our yard...where the beech trees are expected to die out soon...all things must pass. Pics will be added later. Three (3) more weeks of school left! Psyched!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring is trying to establish itself as the main political actor in today’s quasi-seasonal race for domination. I hope that we can keep with the trends and have spring beat out winter…’cause there is climbing and barefoot fun to be had!
The climbing/bouldering around Morgantown is simply superb. Mo, Steve, and I (and Lilly pup) went out to Pioneer Rocks last week for a little adventure. Here's a nice sequence of Mo conquering the 5.14x named Super Killa…. Ha, 'twas not as difficult as it may seem.

After the day, an alien grapefruit appeared as a gesture of homage to we climbers...we gladly sacrificed it for more juice to get home.

Mo has a little forge set-up out at the rebel base (exact location disputed) in Canrain Valley. Upon first sight of Ben Nelson’s homemade veggie oil burner (literally a metal coffee can with oil inside that has a metal pipe coming off the side, where a hair dryer blows enough air to keep a nice flame going, go Ben!), I wondered if it would be hot enough to forge with…veggie oil is a lot less harmful to be around than the coal you see in these pictures below. We did get to multitask with maple syrup boiling and a little forging on the side…hey, if the flames are gonna blaze up, use’ em!

Last night Mo and I made some pizza….some lightly fried tempeh, ramp, onion, mozzarella, celery, and orange bell pepper pizza….out of this world! Mo has been known to Sriracha the hell outta most foods, the pizza was not exception. After dinner I began a seed project…which led to the eventual bashing of lower thoracic spine on metal sink…don’t ask. I almost passed out when trying to get up from the hit, and barely made it to the pad on the floor, where Mo put a frozen jar of bee pollen on the wound….nighty night I went…then awakened to finish that Maeve Leakey anthropology paper before the a.m.!

Enter saliva...

Freshly injured............spice up your life!
One more thing: breathe slowly.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sweet Sap

I just came across this nifty little chart that measures water-use for things like a 16oz. soda and one (1) pound of beef, along with alternatives that save quite a bit of water....interesting! Ch-ch-ch-check it!! About to head up to an Easter Sunday Pot Luck and then to the Purple Fiddle for some tribal-fused electronica from National Hotel....a new one for them, as far as I know!

A few weeks ago the sweet maple sap was flowing steady. Mr. Karl, Ty, Benny and Mo capitalized on the moment and spent some dedicated energy to collecting and boiling sap, filtering and bottling syrup, and putting it out to market! After a big boil I collected some last bits of sap (probably about 50 gallons…) and with help from Mo, Max, and Sheena, was able to make some super dark grade B syrup.

Thanks to Max’s ingeniousness, we sped up the process by placing a long metal pipe into the fire and used Mo’s forging blower to crank out the heat! It worked superbly and I got to finish up and hit the hay by midnight instead of a few hours later!

Mo melting into the sky, soon to crank the blower!

Fire box and a warping pan...

Karl should still have some syrup at for sale Hellbender Burritos (which is the only place in the county, perhaps most counties, maybe the state (?) that makes their own seitan! You guys rock!). Buy Local and Feel Good about it!

Karl’s big brother, Nick Waite, is in town with the honey and some friends. His blog is pretty darn fun to check out as he has been a bike messenger in Manhattan for a while now. ALERT! If you want to see him, perhaps he will be at the show tonight….MORE reasons to come out to Thomas. Oh yeah, Nick gave me full permission to advertise his TC appearance….no reservations required…and it’s FREE!

Happy Holiday now!

A shot looking west from the south side of Canaan Valley....oh to truly enjoy nature.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Caught in the Web


I have felt for some time that I wanted to do a blog focused on whatever the phunk I, philosophy, food, health, insanity, questions, quests, jokes, ideas ideas ideas. As ACIM says, sharing ideas can only strengthen them b/c by giving them we do not lose them. An idea about ideas.

So here we are, in the exploding world of information and sharing (or not). I am making this blog to share, to interact, to inspire, to challenge, to vent, to create, to be criticized!

Unbridled opinions and raucous corrections are desired/required.

To get into something that may affect us all….my soul brother Corey B. sent me a message about Monsanto and others trying to pass H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009, which poses some questionable desires for these mega-corporations. If you check out the previous link, scroll down to “Title IV—Enforcement” and Sec. 401 concerning “prohibited acts.”

It is clear that the goal is to keep our food safe from them darn terrorists, while also adding a stronger government grip on life in the states and the world (since imports will have to meet the bill’s standards). Basically, a new government agency will be created as a FOOD POLICE, clearly because we are not safe on our own!

As always, we citizens of the nation are allowed (ought to) to voice our opinions to our representatives: written letters, phone calls, e-mails…maybe a personal visit? If something just makes you squirm and you have the guts to tell your representative, then go for it! The link that follows will lead you to contact info for the politician that speaks for you. Speak Freely!

Never fails that I rant on and on…I will stop….for now.