Monday, May 28, 2007
7:56PM - Doing your homework
Well, I've been busy. I needed to get work to pay the bills and take my mind off the fact that S. left and while I've seen so many good signs, things have still gone to hell in a handbasket. The good news is there's a whole lot more interest in solar around here, and there's some folks who've asked me to work on the web side of the solar biz they are starting. I've kinda felt for a long time that I need to really walk a little but like a duck - and I have some issues with some of the initiatives going around. Biodiesel and all, great, but not if it means big multi-nationals tearing down rain forest and kicking out small farmers so they can make a killing off soy beans. Seems to me that solar is the way to go. And there's even problems there, but I'm hoping we can lick them. You have to do your homework - if you want to do like a good hiker does and leave nothing behind but footprints - you have to look hard at what all the solutions mean in the long term. Like the other day, there was a Q & A session near here with the people who made that cool electric sports car that runs on 9000 laptop batteries - and they were all 'you can run it on solar - a clean vehicle that's fun' - OK - then a guy in the audience asked - 'So, do you know what the carbon footprint is for making 9000 laptop batteries in China, and then disposing of them?'
It was kinda obvious that fun was more important than clean to them.
Reminds me of that article in the NYT sunday magazine last May 27 about plastic water bottles - water, good for your health, yep, all good, but it took 17 million barrels of oil to make the bottles that water was in - in 2005. They said there will be 30 BILLION plastic bottles this year. they say not to re-use those bottles. is that becuase they want you to buy new ones? And what is up with them making bottles you can't re-use? That's just irresponsible I think, and maybe greedy and careless.
My friends are the best, and troubles are making things hard for them, finding work and paying the bills isn't as easy anymore, but we take care of each other way more than before, so that's good news. And I have met so many good people who just came by the web site, like OrganizedChaos who sent me email today - she said she got "some time off work to put my nose to the grindstone. I work 11 to 12 hours a day, six days a week ..., but somehow I've managed to keep up"
And that's how it is, we get time off to do work, but the work we're doing is better, even if it's a lot harder than before.
Friday, May 18, 2007
9:44PM - H is for Horses
I want to expand on Emil's Whatever Without Oil challenge. We've been talking about horses. Horses are good. In 1915, the year when automobiles started to overtake horses as the way to get around, we had 15 million horses in the US. Now we have about 5 Million, and they're mainly for racing and recreation and stuff like that. We even have some mounted police in San Jose still.
But you don't see them much anymore - because of cars - you can't have some horse plodding down the road becuase it'll get in the way of that Chevy Subdivision on it's way to buy a 20 oz. latte. Never mind the so-called off-road vehicles, don't even get me started on that.
Here's my challenge, and I really mean it, I want you to do this, because I have had about enough of the moaning and groaning. OK, sorry, I'll be nice now. I'm not known for patience, OK?
So here's the task - you go find out how far, in miles, from where you live, is a horse. Yep, go find a horse, and when you find it, find who owns it and ask them 'why can't people ride horses around to go places?' and you write down or record or even memorize what they said. And you take a picture of the horse (or draw one if you don't have a camera).
Got it? Especially if you live in a city. Picture of the horse, words of the owner, miles from where you live, and anything else you find out. See if you can get a ride on it even. Take an apple with you.
Post it at WWO - tag it 'Horse'
Hiyo Silver! Away!
8:56PM - Out for a Drive
I have been hiding in my sandbox for too long - so I thought I would do something different. I went for a drive. Why not, I never go anywhere, Sherry left, and I have time and a couple gallons of $5 gas I bought way back when. I took along my camera, and went in to the building where I 'work' - we all telecommute now, except for the guy who does the networking stuff and needs to watch the machines.
Ghost Town San Jose. No traffic, that's the only nice part.
I got to work and talked to Tony, he's the same, he pretty much only cares about his bearded dragon lizards. I was looking out the back window and saw this guy come up to my car with a little gas can - oh great, a theif, but he's got no chance. Locking gas cap. So I grabbed the camera and snapped at him, thought I would go see if he needed a lift or something. Well he just took off into the bushes. I hope he gets wherever he needs to be. He dropped his hose. I yelled 'hey, need a ride?' but I guess he was scared. I would have run too.
Here's the rest of the pictures I took.
Some of the people I see walking in the neighborhood stopped to talk about stuff later on, we got to talking about what would it really take to fix things, just fix them enough so we could carry on I guess. Phil, from a few houses down, pretty much thinks it's every man for himself. The others were pretty much well, if you don't want to help, you won't get any help. He went off pretty pissed. I think he'd been drinking anyhow. But we started to toss out ideas, more like dreams really, about what needs to happen to fix things. Public transportation was a big one. Solar power was another big one. Biodiesel got a bashing - I guess big companies wanting to cash in on that are deforesting parts of Brazil and kicking little farmers out.
Money. Money. Money. Money. Neville, who's from ireland, said that everyone he knows in the UK thinks the States are just corrupt fools who only care about money. Not a whole lot of argument, but these are people who walked anyhow, before the crash. he said, they'll buy a prius, but only cause it saves them money, and then they'll move to Tracy and commute 120 miles so they can have a big house for cheap (money) and the prius will save them money. Yeah, somebody said, ever see that web site MyStuff? I'm not that Zen, but I have to say, yeah, the stuff is a problem, the stuff and the TV.
It ended on a good note, somebody said we should work on public transport for our neighborhood, and someone else said what about a horse drawn wagon, like a hay ride. So, we're gonna find out. Why not. The gardeners are all over the horse poop for fertilizer... When I was real little, there was a hay ride at the shopping center in Palo Alto. It was the best. Town and Country Village, Lee's Brothers Groceries, and the checkout guy there used to call me 'blue' because I had red hair back then. My mom would get a Kit Kat once in a while. Right there in Silicon Valley, back when it was the valley of heart's delight. It got huge because of ideas and oil. We still have ideas. Or dreams maybe.
Sunday, May 6, 2007
12:11AM - Dare Ya
Right back before the shock hit, there was an article in the local paper - "Get ready for $4 gas" - well, har har and all that, at least they said something about it before we got slammed.
But anyhow, near the bottom of that article - they mentioned a lady who already had at least some sort of plan - she put a sticker on her car that says "I'm Slow" - she drives slow because it saves gas. It does.
So, ok, I'm no graphic artist, I flunked fingerpainting, but here's a bumper sticker for you. (click for a big one)
Print it, stick on your car. Stick on some other car. Stick it anyplace, use blue painter's tape if you don't want to damage the paint on that shiny new Excess-calade.
Here's the dare: how many photos of cars with this sticker (or you make a nicer one, you won't hurt my feelings) can you post to the WWO web site? I double dog dare ya. Make sure you tag it 'mission slow' !
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
1:10PM - Day in the life
In the week since the shock belted me in the head, we've been so in awe of all the people who have come to the web site to help, thousands of people, over 600 people signed up to help beat this thing, almost a million hits in the last 24 hours. It's no joke, people are pulling together while the place falls apart. I haven't left my desk for days. Sherry told me when she went for groceries people were looking just the same, only maybe a little nervous. Like it might blow over, just the usual summer price hike, but what if...
We've had some growing pains with the site, we found some cool people to help out, they have been working double shifts, really dedicated. Dess thought that outage we had a while back was some kind of conspiracy, you know, to knock us out, and I was 'yeah, right Dess, the aliens under my dog house told me that too' but now I have seen the logs, and I'm not so sure. That creepy Bulgarian lady pops into my head. What side is she on? If she's a baddie, I hope she drives a hummer.
Chin up folks, we can beat this. Bear with us.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
7:05PM - Who's Who?
I've been preparing our web site in case Nico is right (and I guess I have to admit it now, he probably is. And also by the way, I was pretty upset with GT for sending Sharon out there with a 'oh, and call me if you're kidnapped or dead or something,' but she called it better than I did. If it happened again, I'd still be paranoid, it's what I do.). Anyhow, and also by the way, Sharon really made the web site look great (what is she doing woking at a grocery store?) - anyhow... she had this great idea that we should organize things by where people live, so they could find each other and help each other, and we're doing that, and that's why I am posting - some parts of the country don't seem to know what's coming - Miami, Phoenix, St. Louis, Cleveland, we've heard from you, but not a lot.
What I'm worried about is Alaska, Hawaii, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Mo., and mostly - San Diego (traffic jam capitol of the universe) - nobody home. If they're caught with their pants down, it'll be ugly. Do you know anyone from those parts? Can you drop them a line, let them know what's on the horizon? If they get hit hard, we'll need someone there to tell us what's happening.
It looks like we are gonna get the real scoop from the mystery man (he speaks bulgarian??) if they can get it together with the wire and all. LB is on it, he's shy, but he's sharp.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
lol, I'm Arthur Clarke! That quiz doesn't include me, I'm really a Lewis Carroll - Douglas Adams hybrid.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
9:51PM - Hiding
Right, I go off an d get 20 minutes of entertainment on the web, and then there's some woman from mars talking hungarian or something about grace, and nobody will answer the phone.
7:51PM - Folksonomy
I've been having a good time lately seeing how far folksonomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy) has come along. Especially with an unusual tag like 'worldwithoutoil.' Somebody, probably Evie, said we should be tagging stuff with that but I was amazed to see how many other people just picked it up and ran with it, like I went to Keotag...
I poked at a few of the icons and there's all sorts of hopeful stuff, like this
I gotta get out of my sandbox more often.
Well, no she isn't my daughter, she's probably fed up with me by now anyway, but I dunno folks, this bugs me.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
11:38PM - wtf?
So I go to get email, in case somebody wants to pay me vast sums to solve their extremely important issue with the web code which they use to sell rectilinear watermelon propagation systems to world bank funded agrarian cooperatives used as a front for draining middle class well-wishers dry so Paul's babe can have a 200k income, um, sorry, I digress, so anyhow this guy (girl, person, bot, thing) sends me a message on google talk before i can run away and go back to my 3dsmax adventure asking me 'so, um, what should i do about this oil thing? will I have to give up my car?'. (at this point in the narrative, you should be shuddering and asking self 'what is up with humans anyhow and what on earth does yuckymuck actually drink at happy hour?'). Well, that's _Mr. Muck_ to you, and anyhow, I said 'what should you do about this oil thing? will you have to give up your car?'
Well I have learned that you should read it again before you send it, so you avoid sending stuff you wrote in a fit of jealous rage (nod to Peter Sellers) and usually I read it and then delete it because it's , well, just wrong. It's hard to try to work out what is right to do. It's hard Somewhere I read you just have to do what you're comfortable with, but mainly, you have to do it. So, I'm going to walk, I need to walk, I need to lose a few pounds, I don't want to pay $3.29 like I did yesterday. Today I went out to the creek (concrete ditch through silicon valley tilt up businesses) and I saw some ducks fly by, right at eye level. Even the ducks looked worried. You don't see even worried ducks from a car. Pay less, get more, sounds like a plan to me.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
11:48PM - Tiny steps
I sent this around to all the managers at work. They'll print it out and read it while stuck in rush hour traffic in 400 horsepower lexus and be bathed in white light, angels will sing and they will be reborn. And pigs will fly.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
10:04PM - oil companies - what gives?
So Sherry tells me that she read that gas is $2.60 somewhere in the middle of the country. It's $3.19 here. So you know I personally believe that it's just a big scam by a small bunch of clever *bleeps*, after all you gotta make the stock price rise, which is harder for the oil companies considering ...
But could someone please explain to me why gas is cheaper a bazillion miles from anyplace when I have oil tankers and refineries in my back yard?
And could someone explain why people shouted and cursed at $3.10 gas back in october, and nobody peeps now?
Pee on my shoes and tell me it's raining. Yup.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
9:47AM - not so fast
It's not very intuitive, is it?