Saturday, July 29, 2006

Love from me

I have been reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. We own a few books by the same author and all his books that I have read have the same message. The message is that humans are not meant to live the way we're living and unless we change our way of thinking we'll go extinct. He writes that humans see ourselves as above and separate from nature and the world, and therefore not affected by the changes we make to our environment.

I was saying to Partner the other day that I wondered if gas prices would climb so high that people couldn't afford to drive any more. What I really meant was, will this happen in the very near future? And if it does, how will it affect our lives, as a civilization? I think it could potentially be a very exciting or very frightening time. On one hand, law and order may collapse and anarchy ensue. Governments may declare martial law and citizens starve in their homes, with no food or electricity able to reach them. Or maybe it will happen gradually so that we become a bike riding and walking people, growing our own produce and eating only locally grown foods. I think if all the gasoline in the world suddenly disappeared tomorrow, a lot of people would find themselves out of their jobs. The more obvious ones like bus and taxi companies of course would become obsolete, but then think how much of the economy depends on the ability to ship a product from one place to another. I think we wouldn't be getting newspapers or books. We'd have to find another source of clothing than the local mall. I think the entire service industry would be severely crippled: stores wouldn't be able to receive stock any longer.

To me, it sounds like an exciting change. I think of all the positive changes that could be made. It makes me think of what I could do right now to be ready for it. Like study up on gardening. Buy a bike. Find out about solar panels and wind turbines for the house. Decide whether or not I want to live here permanently before all the airplanes are retired!

Friday, July 21, 2006


Nearly all my plants that I raised from seed are flowering. I just have about one or two more that are almost there. I have a couple of really fantastic plots of flowers. In the front there's a mass of poppies all different colors and in the back is a bed of cosmos and larkspurs in lovely pinks, whites, and blues. Everywhere else is also quite nice but not as well-planned. And I have a few bare spots even. Actually I take that back. Anywhere that is not exploding with flowers is exploding with weeds. So there aren't any bare spots whatsoever.

So my excuse for not weeding this week is that it's been HOT. We breached 90F. What's more, I was at work and I think it's common knowledge I work in a kitchen. What with the oven on and up to six gas burners at full power, plus a sink full of hot water to wash's a wonder I'm still alive actually. It's the washing dishes that's the worst. Having to hang over that big sink in that hot water for fifteen minutes every hour just about killed me.

I was pretty pleased with myself this week, however. I made some English fudge, which is not chocolate, but rather a boiled sugar candy kind of like toffee. I had to heat the sugar with butter and milk to a temperature of 113C, and seeing as the boiling temperature of water is 100C, it can be a little tricky. I didn't have a thermometer that could read the temps so I had to do what is called the Cold Water Test. At 113C the sugar forms a soft flat ball when dropped by the spoonful into a glass of very cold water. So there I was with my little spoon and little glass, testing it every minute or so. But I succeeded. And it tasted great. In fact, it tasted so great that one of my coworkers kept coming back and stealing (or pinching as they say here) little pieces of it after it was cooled. It makes me want to learn how to make other candies. My gramma used to make really yummy sweets and candies every Christmas. I should ask her about them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The room

It was our two year wedding anniversary yesterday. It doesn't seem so long ago that we said I do. It doesn't feel like I've been living in this house for two years. We went to York to have dinner and a drink. I was disappointed in my steak as it was overcooked. We got home kind of late and I feel asleep right away. Both of us had to work and it seemed like we didn't get to spend much time together. Just about four hours I think. Well, we slept in the same bed for another seven hours, but I certainly wasn't conscious at the time so I'm not sure that counts.

Work sucks. I should move to the Big Rock Candy Mountain where they shot the jerk who invented work. I'm not saying my particular job sucks. Just the whole concept of work. The idea that you have to go do something that takes you away from your family and friends and interests for half your day five days a week. I learned in anthropology class that prehistoric humans worked about ten hours a week either hunting or gathering. The remaining time was leisure time. Thinking about it, I suppose Partner and I could each work ten hours a week and have the rest as leisure time but we'd really have to cut back on our amenities. But maybe life would be more fulfilling if we spent most of our time weaving baskets and carving pendants or whatever prehistoric people did for fun. I think the whole idea of having a schedule is the down side of working. If we could just show up for work whenever we ran out of money and then went back home when we had enough...I mean, those Cro-Magnons surely didn't say to each other, "Ok, Szzt, you and Ugh are going to hunt for two hours each day, Monday to Friday, and Hngh and Pffl will gather berries and roots during the same time."