Third time’s a charm?

Kurt Vonnegut often described World Wars I and II as western civilization’s first and second attempts, respectively, to commit suicide. He hinted at peak oil as our third attempt in his memoir, Man Without a Country, which was published shortly before his death. After burying our collective heads in the sand for two years, peak …

Talking about oil in Oil City, USA

I presented in Austin, Texas, 9 January 2011 under the title, Durable Living: Preparing for Climate Change and Energy Decline. Free and open to the public, the event was sponsored by Design~Build~Live and Crude Awakening Austin, and attended by about 30 people. I was shooting video of this presentation, but my camera failed 15 minutes …

Structures

When my partners and I embarked on this project, nearly three years ago, I could barely distinguish between a screwdriver and a zucchini. That tidbit tells you all you need to know about my building skills as well as my gardening skills. My partners on the property were similarly lacking in relevant skills. Now I’ve …

Lessons on living

by Kathy Cumbee Lesson 1 Forty-six years ago I began to volunteer in a nursing home. I was 16. This was the Erie County, New York Nursing home for poor county residents. Earlier it has been a poor house. At that time I had heard it had been a poor house. Frankly, I didn’t know …

Speaking in Austin Sunday, 9 January

At 4:00 p.m. on 9 January 2011, I will be speaking at the Austin History Center: 810 Guadalupe Street, downtown Austin, Texas. The topic is Durable Living: Preparing for Climate Change and Energy Decline. This event is open to the public and is sponsored by Design~Build~Live and Crude Awakening Austin. Press release is here (pdf). …

My Dad, in 1984

by Danny Showalter I remember the presidential election between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. My Pop hated Mondale. That was 1984, and I was seven. I’ll come back to that after a brief digression. I grew up in rural Indiana. Shortly before I was born, my father, my mother, my aunt and my uncle, went …

Praying for peace, promoting war

A Christmas card from one of the in-laws was unintentionally soaked in irony. I’ll skip the rant about celebrating Christ and mass, the two components of Christ’s mass (i.e., Christmas) in which I don’t believe, much less celebrate. And, too, I”ll forgo the equally tempting rant about a religious holiday that promotes conspicuous consumption in …