Thursday, July 5, 2007

Week 10: Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin

First, just want to mention that the company has finally decided that we can just email them our work. Eventually, I hope they'll just set up an ftp server that we can upload to, instead of having to send multiple emails with different documents.

I've been looking into CSAs--there are a few in the area, but they're several miles away, and so we have to ride our bikes. Well, now that we don't have to go to work, we have the time to ride several miles a day, but bringing back the eggs or milk is a pain. Den tried jerry-rigging baskets to our bikes; they're not as stable as we'd like, but we make due.

I got a call from Kate; things aren't going so well in Philly. Go figure. Her bike was stolen by a group of kids; she'd be worse off, but a friend of hers scared them away by shooting at them. Didn't kill anyone, thankfully. I told her that if she ever needs a place to stay, if the city gets to be too much for her, we have an extra bedroom and would be happy to have her. I hope she knows we're serious.

I haven't been this dependent on my bike since I was fifteen and living up in Boyertown. Out there, there aren't any Septa lines; there's really no way to get around without a car. I can't imagine what they're doing. I posted a photo from the farmers' market up there at my flickr account:

Every Friday they've had car auctions--folks would pick up a car, maybe work on it, give it to their kid when they turn 16, whatever. The funny thing is that a couple of years ago they stopped having the livestock auctions on Saturday nights; I don't know if it was an economic thing or a health hazard, or what. But they continued with the car auctions, since it was so popular.

I have the feeling they're back to auctioning pigs and chickens instead of Ford Escorts.

A few months ago--November--my husband and I were on our honeymoon. We went to the U.K.--England and Wales specifically. Two nights in London, Halloween spent at Glastonbury, and the rest of the time in Wales. Well, the funny thing is that we stopped at the University of Wales in Lampeter, because they have an online masters program in Celtic studies, which is my hobby.
Anyway, skip ahead to the end of April, and I read this:
The age of cheap oil is drawing to a close, climate change already threatens, and politicians dither. But the people of Lampeter, a small community in the middle of rural Wales, gathered together earlier this week to mobilise for a new war effort. They decided to plan their "energy descent".

When Den read this, he laughed. "It's like they're finding ways to get you to move there."

I wish.

But not only that--I wish that we'd do this here. In Lansdale, in Philadelphia, wherever. Pennsylvania has a lot of coal and several nuclear power plants, so while we're not hurting for electricity, the stress is obvious, and sometimes electricity doesn't replace oil.

We need to get off it--completely off it--as soon as possible, or we're dead. And we're at the point where there's no choice.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Week 10: Heroes and Villains

Kate was riding to the co-op on her bike. She'd been warned that it wasn't safe, but really, what's the point of having a bike if you can't use it?

A group of young men stepped out in front of her. She tried to go around, but they grabbed her, caught her, took the bike and her wallet. They left her self alone, though, when a neighbor came out side and fired a gun in the air. For this small miracle, she was grateful.

The neighbor--Arthur--was an artist; she knew him from the local Buddhist zendo. He didn't seem the type to own a gun.

"What, and Buddhists don't practice martial arts, either?" he laughed, picking her up off the ground.

"I--yeah. Well, thank god."

He offered her an escort to the co-op. He went back into the three-story house; old houses, Victorian, full of gables and back staircases, and backyard gardens. She followed. He grabbed a handgun, concealed it, and put a jacket on.

"Isn't that illegal?"

"So's mugging."

"I thought you were an artist."

"I am. I'm also not stupid."

"Thank you."

"I didn't mean you're stupid. Look, I'm an artist, but I was also a Marine."




"Desert Storm ."

"Wow. I had no idea."

"You ready to go?"

Kate paused. "Do you think it's safe?"

"Probably not. But we've gotta eat, right?"

She nodded, and followed him outside.

I'd just like to thank WWO for awarding this post. :)