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Archive for the ‘sustainability’

The Calm During The Storm

August 29, 2011 By: admin Category: Happiness, Health, Living, Love, Meditation, New Orleans, Randomosity, sustainability, The Search

I’d like to start a new PAC: Americans for the Preservation of Leisure.

Hurricane Irene has been inching it’s way toward me since early this morning and while, officially, I’m keeping my eye on the weather reports and listening for sounds in my house that I don’t readily understand, unofficially, I’m watching movies and eating popcorn. In other words, the storm has given me license to do nothing but relax. And I kinda like it. But wouldn’t it be better if it didn’t take a storm of hurricane strength for me to “go offgrid” for a day here and there to catch up on sleep and let my mind be at ease? Who gets helped by me being exhausted and stressed all the time? And therefore, I advocate a new standard: the return of Sunday.

I don’t mean to make light of hurricanes. Not at all. I was in New Orleans right after Katrina and filmed a lot of the devastation and spoke to a lot of people. I just think there’s quite a bit our culture needs to re-evaluate, and appreciation of ourselves and of silence is a good start. Humility, lack of hubris is another.

Hell In A Handbasket

January 19, 2011 By: admin Category: sustainability

I know that extreme weather events are endemic to our world, so this isn’t going to be an whiny, alarmist “Oh, holy shit, climate change is going to fuck us all in the ass within MY LIFETIME!” post. No. Because what I’ve been reading in the last few months has more to do with unprepared our designed world is than what Mother Nature is bringing down the pike.

New Orleans, Nashville, Brisbane, Brazil, California, California, California. These are places where extreme weather events have happend and caused multimillions in damages, and many deaths. But these events didn’t happen only because weather patterns are becoming more extreme and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent, they happened because our urban infrastructures aren’t designed to collaborate with these events.

That’s right, I wrote “collaborate.”

If you haven’t yet, please read Dan Hill’s long, but very worth the time article about the Brisbane flood: http://www.cityofsound.com/blog/2011/01/flood.html#more Dan spells out clearly that the major issues of the flood were ones of human engineering hubris rather than devastating water. Specifically: 1. building a city on a massive flood plain, 2. building houses and other structures in designs not allowing for water to pass by or through.

You see, we have to work with the rest of nature, as all of the rest of nature has always worked with each other. After all, we are as much as part of nature as plants and animals. We are organic beings. In a flood, unless we’re weighed-down, crushed by something, or unconscious, we’ll float. We can also climb trees and run away. And, we’re smart. We can design living structures and communities that deal with any amount of water or wind or mud. We have the tools to save ourselves, but we have to rethink how we live and implement those designs NOW.

Dan Hill said something which really floored me with respect to “collaborating” with the rest of nature. Regarding the Brisbane flood, he said only the humans were suffering “devastating” effects from the water. All other living things, especially the drought-plagued earth, were thriving. Critters and bugs were floating on the water and cooling off and plants were drinking and drinking and drinking. Makes you think. Well, it makes me think, anyway.

We have “evolved” in many ways as a species, yes, but now it’s time to look backward at logical designs and evaluate possible collaborations with them and everything we know now about materials and design engineering. The worse the weather gets, the better it could be for our understanding of ourselves and our world.

Only Bus

May 09, 2009 By: admin Category: Aperture, Health, House, Living, Love, Lumix Pix, Meditation, sustainability

I can’t think of anything to write tonight. i’m better in the morning. :) morning person. maybe i’ll go out tomorrow and find some nice flowers and take pictures of them to show you. in the meantime, here’s this:

onlybus.jpg

this was the view as i was leaving NYC to head home. i doctored it in Aperture, which I snagged from my dad and loaded-up. it’s great, no? but, really, if you start with the shots from my new camera, the Lumix, all shots can look this good.

this is a tough shot to look at sometimes, actually, because it reminds me of where i was going in order to get all the way home. the bus took me to south station, then i took the T to Porter where i would take the commuter rail to Concord to get picked up. on the way, the T stops at Central Square, which has special significance. for me, every moment is an opportunity. i try to maximize everything i do. sometimes it’s exhausting and i don’t know how to slow down. that’s why i so desperately need a vacation. but i’m doing my best to take care of that feeling now, and i’m, thankfully, really taking a lot of time to fall in love with my house. i do so love it. the bedroom in the morning, even at night, with the windows open–so many windows!–letting in air and natural sounds, is incredible. i am so grateful for my bedroom. so, so grateful :)

okay, so maybe i can write a bit at night. :)

Hunter Lovins, my guru, who, as we know, is following me on Twitter….;)… tweeted a great quote tonight:

“Find what you really care about and live a life that shows it.” –Kate Wolf

i hope that’s what i’m doing.

Why I Love Him So Much…

February 05, 2009 By: admin Category: Coal, General, Health, Obama, Politics, sustainability

images.jpg …because he seems to be everywhere. Every day he’s bringing the weight of the office of the President to the departments that matter most for us today: the State Dept. to introduce Secretary Clinton and to give, basically a pep talk to the staff. When the hell was the last time a sitting president chatted with staffers live on national television?

Today the President spoke at the Dept. of Energy about the need to build a green economy, create green jobs. The man is saying, every day, things we’ve all thought for years but never thought we’d ever hear from the president.

I can’t keep getting this emotional every day… but I’ll suck it up if it means our dreams will finally come true.

One Hour In Defense of Discipline

October 14, 2008 By: admin Category: "Nice Boy", Food, General, Happiness, Health, Humane Food, Living, Meditation, Running, sustainability, Video, Yoga

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So many books, so little time… It’s a popular sentiment for the Western busyness-obsessed. I’ve never been one of those people who has to have every second of the day filled or I’ll go insane thinking about my life, but I do admit that reading pathologically slowly has hamstrung my success. The good news is I don’t have to let it do that any more… cuz girlfriend’s got a little thing called discipline…

For the next few projects I’ve got on my plate I need to read a lot. Thinking In Pictures and The Omnivore’s Dilemma are at the top of the list. The problem is how to choose which to begin with. As I read so slowly I won’t likely be done with one before the mojo on the project requiring ingestion of the other has come and gone! What to do!??? Well, read them both, silly. Isn’t that obvious…. ? 😉

As my reading comprehension is actually pretty good when I’m researching, I’m taking advantage of that skill by focusing on each subject for a couple of hours each day. I read for one hour then make notes for an hour. I do the same for each book. Sometimes the “notes” portion of the day is just me thinking, but that’s time well spent. Back in 9th grade Mr. Sandine (the most genius English teacher of all time) assigned Wednesday homework like this: “Think.” Cool, huh? Well, I did. And, if nothing else, such exercises taught me how to think. That coupled with my video research work has morphed over the years into an ability to quickly visualize solutions to problems. I can place myself into an imagined situation very easily and therefore be much better prepared for the real-world counterpart when it finally develops.

So, when do I do all this great reading & focusing? After breakfast, after meditation, and after my run…

I know what you’re thinking… not enough hours in the day… I know… But there are enough hours IF you get up early and STICK TO YOUR SCHEDULE. Once that alarm rings telling you it’s time to do something else, you can’t procrastinate. Period. Check out this cool video of the late Randy Parse telling you how to be more efficient in your day-to-day.

I’ll see how this schedule goes and will report back here.  What I imagine I’ll discover at the beginning is that I’ll have to tweak certain times within the day such as getting up at 6:30am rather than 7:30am and allowing myself some emailing/blogging/news-reading downtime after I stretch. I’ll time myself for this first week to see how much I actually do this for, and I’ll also have to be careful about not working too late. I love making a nice dinner and sitting down to watch a movie or a show.This should be challenging…

Just Salt Your Arm And Pass It Over To me

July 11, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Health, Humane Food, sustainability

Grass Fed Beef burger from Alexia Prichard on Vimeo.
(This is my friend Diedre eating a grass-fed beef burger. I could kill her right now.)

Vegetarianism could turn me into a cannibal. Like THAT *snaps fingers.*

After only one day and one morning of not eating meat-meat (I don’t consider fish meat-meat, I consider it fish), I’m craving burgers. Bloody ones. Lots of them. Gooey, juicy, half-cooked, jumbo, buffalo, grass-fed, I don’t give a shit. Just smash it on the head and drag it over here.

This is why I could never be an activist. I don’t really give enough of a flying fuck about anything to change the way I live to improve the lots of others. So, there. I’m a capitalist pig. YOU CAUGHT ME. Now, for the love of god, would you PLEASE hand over that stick of pepperoni!

“Vegetarian Is The New Prius”

July 09, 2008 By: admin Category: Food, sustainability

Well, it had to happen sometime. Someone has finally spelled out — very clearly — the global warming impact of meat eating:

“Vegatarian Is The New Prius” 

Got this from Michael, where I get all my cool info… :)

Free Range Chickens by SNL ;)

June 06, 2008 By: admin Category: Humane Food, sustainability, Video

I’m not a bad person for doing this, but the video below is C.L.A.S.S.I.C. Seriously…god bless America. :)

FYI, I found this from my good pals at AOL’s Green Daily blog. These folks are doing The Work and if you have any questions about greenity, go there first. I’m also repackaging my Sustainability Series vids for them, and am filming some new material that will end up here, so check it out!!!!

Squatting At The New House

April 18, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Food, Futurism, Happiness, Health, Propeller, sustainability, Video

So, we’re almost completely moved in to Molly’s Dad’s house, where we’ll be for the next three months. Looking around my new digs I see that it’s official that I have the best life in the whole world. This is my daily view:

johns-view.jpg

It’s okay to hate me. :) Seriously, I live in paradise, and I just spent the morning talking to a game designer as part of my job. Additionally, coming up soon, I’m going to be able to produce four really, really, really exciting videos about some of the next steps in environmentalism. Does it get any better than this?

And We’re Back…

March 30, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Food, Health, House, Propeller, sustainability, SXSW, Video

So, I’ve been away… :) Thinking, looking at houses, enjoying the company of my incredible brother and sister-in-law, and missing Molly. NOTE TO SELF: never go looking at houses again without Molly. The trip East went very well. It wasn’t as humbling as, you know, India, but it did it’s part to show me that some steps do, in fact, need to be taken slowly.

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By the way, I am absolutely aware of how phallic or rude this photo looks…

I’ve never been good at “slowly.” It always felt like I was just standing on the platform waiting for the train to pass me rather than trying to get on it. I get that from Dad. Looking at his life you can clearly see the action. He finished college in three years, spent some study time in London, took his mother and brother on an insane driving trip through Russia… The same is true for my uncle, my father’s brother. Not a “sitter,” Uncle Vince climbed all of the highest peaks in Colorado before he was, like, 30, or something. He slept in a nylon cot swinging from carabiners attached to the side of a mountain 14,000 feet in the air. He built additions to his house, took pictures underwater while diving at depth, taught himself how to be an email sys-admin geek, and found and married one of the last people on the whole Earth, my aunt. :) Actually, that’s a good next place to go…

My family has chosen partners incredibly well. We seem to officially have the gift. That or there really are a whole shitload of most-excellent people in the world and if you’re not finding them it’s because you still have that gnarly 2×4 stuck harshly up your ass. Finding beautiful people means finding the beauty within yourself. It’s that simple. This trip East helped me to realize, yet again, how influential and beneficial Molly is in my life. Looking at all those houses I kept blinking and refocusing, trying to see what she might see, knowing that whatever-it-was, I wasn’t seeing it and that that could, ultimately, mean disaster if I’d made a decision without her.

So, okay. Lesson learned. Now what? Now, we learn After Effects and C-R-A-N-K on work. I learned so much great shit in Austin and am eager to get rolling implementing it all. In June we drive East, racing. Molly has a job that starts the day we arrive, and I have to continue my prep for the various projects I’m doing. I’ll miss Los Angeles, but it’s time to go. It’s time to stop being afraid of my potential and get on the goddamned train. Wish me Bon Voyage, y’all!

FAT-BLOGGING:
Weight is steadily decreasing as I’ve stopped drinking. Again. Seriously, you can’t imagine how much tub just falls away when you put the glass down… As a result of my last video in the “FOOD” segment of the Sustainability Series, I am eating more fruits & veggies and, as Michael Pollan puts it, eating meat more “as a side dish.” It’s painful and I wanna die. 😉