mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fukushima Dai-ichi

Fukushima Dai-ichi, originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5.

A little less than one year ago, the major environmental news pertained to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. From Wikipedia:

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout)[4][5][6] is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. The impact of the spill continues even after the well has been capped. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.[7][8][9] The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010 explosion of Deepwater Horizon, which drilled on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect.

Of course, the huge environmental news today is the nuclear crisis in Japan, stemming from damage to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plants.

It occurs to me that both of these disasters have a common cause: they were caused by desperate efforts to wring cheap energy from nature. The Macondo well was drilled in very deep water. This is difficult and hazardous. We would not do it if we were not desperate.

The Fukushima Dai-ichi power units were built in the late 1960s to late 70s. One could argue that the continued operation of the units reflected a desperate need for more cheap energy. The units were old; their designs, obsolete .

Both BP and TEPCO have histories of malfeasance and cover-ups.

Debt-based economies require a positive growth rate in order to keep functioning. That is, if the economy does not grow enough for all the accululate interest-on-debt to be paid, defaults inevitably occur. But economic growth requires either even-increasing energy expenditures, or ever-increasing improvements in efficiency. Therefore, there is a great need to constantly increase energy supply, given the political impracticality of getting people to become more efficient. We are trying to increase supply, despite a stread decline in energy return per unit of energy invested (EROEI). Hence, the desperation, hence the disasters. We have had two major disasters now in less than a year. This is not a good sign.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Saturday, February 19, 2011


IMG_2602.JPG, originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5.

There are several more photos on the Flickr page. This photo shows a detail of rammed-earth construction. It is a method of construction that strikes a compromise between using local materials, such as adobe (cheap, with minimal transportation needed, but very slow to build and very labor-intensive), and premade materials such as cinder block (cost more, takes a lot of energy to ship, but go up fast and with less labor.) The walls are 18 inches thick, so it has immense thermal mass. It is also very quiet inside. And bulletproof, literally.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Randy Carr's Weed Talk

Randy Carr's Weed Talk, originally uploaded by mikeysklar.

Outline of the edible weed talk

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Saturday, April 17, 2010

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posted by Cyndy | link | | |


IMG_2424.JPG, originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5.
Cyndy's birthday present: these are hummingbird decorations that are mounted in a nicho on the adobe wall, on the way to the front door.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Early Spring

Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5

We had little squall clouds today, such that there was interesting light and shadow in the yard. This made for a nice opportunity to photograph the nectarine tree blossoms. Emotionally uplifting, I would say. The only problem is that we now have to watch for frost warnings, then run out and cover the tree if it might freeze.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Friday, December 04, 2009

In or Out?

In or Out?, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

Yang in the doorway. Snow/ice makes strange noises and they are all a bit spooked.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

One out, three to go

One out, three to go, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

Yang was the first to come out as Yin looks on. Raisin and Smokie haven't peeked out yet.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Good Morning Chick Chicks!

Good Morning Chick Chicks!, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

The chicks, almost 17 weeks old now, get their feet in snow.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Moringa oleifera seeds

Moringa oleifera seeds
Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5

The exposed seed is on the lower right; the others are unopened seed pods. Moringa oleifera is also known as the "Miracle Tree" because it is very heat- and drought-tolerant, yet is a good source of nutritious edible seeds. They are not entirely tolerant of frost, but are said to grow back from the (very deep) tap root if the freeze kills them.

We are hopeful that the roots can stabilize arroyo banks.

These seeds came from Eden Organic Nursery Services,

Sharon Astyk mentioned the moringa tree in "Gardening in a Changing Climate." She thinks that more people should grow them.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Growning Things

Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5

Two Fig trees from cuttings, from covered with Blue-x tree shelters ( The stakes are old yucca stalks. We will see how they do.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Growing Things

Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5

Growing xeric landscape trees/plants in a miniature greenhouse. Grown from seed: Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin, front-big pot), Palo Verde (Cercidium - unknown species, rear -small pots), Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa left,-small pot) in a miniature greenhouse on the deck.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Centrury Plant

Centrury Plant
Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5

Blossom from the century plant , Agave americana. This specimen was spotted in Kingston, NM.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Green Chile Stew

Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5

This will produce about 30 pints of hearty stew. That is enough for two people to have dinner for a month.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Apple- Green Chile Pie Filling

Yes, I'm still playing with the many pounds (60) of Hatch green chile I have and I still need to get another 30 lbs before the harvest starts turning to red chile.
Today I will can apples, from our local orchard CSA, mixed with green chiles from our local farm. I have Sandia hot, but really need to have Big Jim's on hand too.

The chickens loved the apple peelings I gave them, but I used most of the peelings to make apple juice with. Maybe I should get some more apples so the chickens can play keep-away with the peels. More photos later. Recipes too.
posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Monday, August 17, 2009


green-chiles, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

We bought these from the farm down the road from us where we have bought our chile the last 3 years. These are Sandia hot. The farm roasts them and does a great job. No effort peeling them later because they are roasted to perfection. They are huge, meaty, and addictive. I only bought 25 lbs today, but needed it ASAP to finish more salsa and apple-green chile pie filling. I'll buy at least another 25 lbs, and hopefully 50 lbs, which should last until next harvest. This was the best harvest in years. These are the biggest chiles I've ever seen. Yum!

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Doing What Chicks Do

Doing What Chicks Do, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

I picked these little girls up at the post office this morning. They spent the first 3 days of their life in transit. No food or water. They are making up for it now. I have 6 Easter Eggers and 2 Dominiques. They are peeping in happy mode right now. They are all supposed to be girls. We'll see. Actually I wouldn't mind having a rooster by mistake, but had I ordered one, I may have ended up with more than one and that would be very bad. One rooster per flock, unless you have a much bigger flock.

This past April I got 6 Americaunas from the feed store. They were so precious, friendly and appreciative. They were so much fun. One was named Amelia. I didn't have the fencing right and a dog found them. He used them as a personal play toy. I think he had been attracted to Amelia's declaration that morning that she was instead an Emilio.

This time my fence is ready to zap any threats to my chickies, but I think I will still opt for more reinforcements. I have a few weeks before these girls are ready to go outside, but they grow extremely fast.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

12 pints Salsa

12 pints Salsa, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

I pressure canned this for many reasons.
The pressure canner is cooler and takes less water, and less energy, plus I don't have to lower the PH with vinegar or lemon juice like I would need to do per USDA guidelines if I water bath canned them. The texture between the two methods is the same. Not fresh, but it will be very welcome during the winter.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |


Harvested, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

Salsa fixins, plus a few extras.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Pickin' Time

Pickin' Time, originally uploaded by Cyndy.

Time to make the salsa.

posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Food-backed Local Money

Jason Bradford spins his yarn about Food-backed Local Money while feeding the campfire at The Oil Drum. He says, "This is perfectly legal and I want you to play copy cat."
Time's a wastin'.
posted by Cyndy | link | | |

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Strangeness at Army Charity

An Associated Press report reveals odd things at a charity operated in association with the US Army.

FORT BLISS, Texas – As soldiers stream home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the biggest charity inside the U.S. military has been stockpiling tens of millions of dollars meant to help put returning fighters back on their feet, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Between 2003 and 2007 — as many military families dealt with long war deployments and increased numbers of home foreclosures — Army Emergency Relief grew into a $345 million behemoth. During those years, the charity packed away $117 million into its own reserves while spending just $64 million on direct aid, according to an AP analysis of its tax records.

They have invested heavily is the stock market. Their portfolio now is worth over $200 million. As a result, they have reserves that would last for 12 years, at their current rate of disbursement. A one- to three-year reserve is considered normal, among nonprofit charitable organizations.

What is even more disturbing is the fact that military officers have been pressuring soldiers to contribute, even though that practice is forbidden. It would seem to be conduct unbecoming to an officer.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link | | |


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