Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lansdale Gets a Farmers' Market

So two years ago (wow, was it that long ago?), when I was writing for the alternative-reality game World Without Oil, I predicted that with a catastrophic oil spike and subsequent economic meltdown, Lansdale--the town I moved to and now live in--would start up a farmers' market. Though the town is situated amongst some of the best farmland in the Philadelphia exurbs, and is surrounded by local farms and dairies, it hadn't take advantage of this with a local farmers' market.

Well, two years, an oil crisis and Great Recession later, and Lansdale finally has it's own farmers' market. I've just come from there, actually, where I bought some black raspberry jam and some rather creative bread (long story). I was there last weekend as well, on the Fourth of July opening. Both weekends it's been very successful, which is encouraging, and it looks like the borough council will have it permanently approved, with a ribbon cutting on August 1st--which, in an odd bit of synchronicity, is the old Celtic harvest festival of Lughnassadh, also called Lammas in Scotland and England.

At any rate, it's an encouraging sign that communities are starting to think local, and doing something about it. The world is rapidly changing, and the old ways will not return. We still have our three-thousand mile Caesar salads (and I'm as guilty of anyone of enjoying that), but it's unsustainable in the long (and maybe even short) run, and better that we plan on this now than wait until we can do nothing about it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

O Hai--Still Breathing

Now, I've been off in job-search land. Last December I got my intern certificate, allowing me to teach (within certain parameters) in Pennsylvania. Problem is, I can't find a job. It's not just that there's a glut of English teachers--though, let's face it, there are since what else do you do with a degree in English? it's not like the publishing houses are hiring. I've gone to job fairs, and been told that there just isn't room in the budget for more English teachers. Science, math, those are the fields where there's a lack of teachers. I've only two years left to finish this intern certificate before I either pass, or lose it entirely. So time's ticking, and I'm nervous.

But! At least I still have a job. Right now, the U3 stands at 9.4% (probably will be revised upwards, as so often the monthly numbers are), and U6 (which is a lot better picture of what's really happening) stands at 16.4%. Sure, our wages are frozen, taxes have gone up, raising our mortgage payments, but at least we still have a job--even if I'm stuck in one while unable to find what I really want. Honestly? I'm lucky, and I realize it.

And our current job is only a ten mile commute, which is better than a lot of my past commutes. Meanwhile? Gas has jumped from around $1.60 last December to $2.50 this week. In six months. The pendulum has swung again, and it won't be long before we're hit with $150 a barrel again.

Yeah, I'm rambling--I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging.

Monday, February 16, 2009

This looks like a good one

Frontline this week is tackling the market crash/economic meltdown/recession/O-MI-GOD-WTF-HOW'M-I-GONNA-PAY-THE-BILLS-ATHON: