For decades I have been practicing the "have everything you want for free" game. It is remarkably simple and based the time in which we live. We are the people who live amongst the greatest surplus of man made goods the world has ever seen. The waste stream is so abundant that one need only know what they want and it will be found. If one of the wishers criteria is that the item come free or nearly than it will be free or nearly. I can recall wishing for metal shelves, then I thought "why don't I get specific?" so I elaborated and described a very certain kind, size, material etc. The next day I found it out in front of someone's home waiting for trash pick up. What is kind of funny is how brand and material specific you can be!
Last week I put on my wish list "enamel coffee pot." It's for candle making. One can store their cleaned wax in the pot. Then when it's time to make candles the pot is simply warmed in a water bath and poured into molds. I looked on ebay, $10 - $50 was the average. I decided to get more specific, the old blue one with the speckles. And I want a lid, for under $5. It's been three days. I just picked up this little ditty for $2 at a garage sale I walked by while walking Sesame. My only problem is it cleaned up so well that I might rather put flowers in it. I"m now adding to my list, "ratty enamel coffee pot for candle making." We'll see how long it takes.
Just one warning friends, "careful what you wish for!"
Mikey and I met through the New York City Burning Man (BM) community. BM is an interesting umbrella under which a motley crew of extremes gather, each drawn to radical self expression and self reliance and a autonomous zone free of materialism, branding and money and of course many come for magic. Burning Man is 9 mile city of 50,000 (as of this year) running on a gift economy. It is evidence of something important.
How do a conceptual artist and wall street IT geek meet if not for something as odd as this? When we met Mikey was wearing a santa suit and I was dressed as Ms. Klaus. The next time we met I was in a broken heart costume and he was a giant band-aid. And yes he did say, "are you a broken heart? I am a band-aid!" As you can see this was meant to be.
This year marks a first, Burning Man is at full capacity - sold out. I wont get into what that could mean. We attended BM only once since our move to NM. It is hard to leave one desert where you build to go to another and build and call the shift a get away. This year, while many make the pilgrimage to the desert I'll be attending an intimate gathering to explore the possibilities offered up to our generation.
New Lebanon, NY -- For the first time ever, Burning Man, the annual arts event in the Nevada desert, is sold out, with more than 50,000 attendees. What is an alternative for those who do not have a Burning Man pass? In the Northeast it is Vanishing Art: An Intimate Festival of What May Be hosted by Seven Pillars House of Wisdom Aug. 24 – 28 in New Lebanon, NY.
The Vanishing Art Festival will explore what life could look like if we return to the deepest, most spiritual dimensions of art as practice and experience. Each day of the festival Peter will perform a work of "vanishing art", one for each of the four alchemical elements: earth, air, fire and water, involving all participants in a symbolic and artistic act.
There will also be performances, artist interviews and talks, meditations on art, social and music lounges, large group conversations and small group discussion salons. In contrast to Burning Man, this festival is intentionally being kept small, no more than 100 people in total, to allow deep connections between participants, between participants and art, and ultimately between all that exists and the natural world.
An eclectic group of artists plan to attend including Carolee Schneemann, the famous multidisciplinary artist who focuses on art as it relates to the body, sexuality and gender; Phong Bui, an installation artist and the influential editor of the Brooklyn Rail; Robert Kelly, the poet and professor at Bard College who has published over 50 books; Fred Johnson, an acclaimed jazz musician and performer; Syrian-born Bisan Toron, a vocal improviser; Dorothea Rockburne, an abstract painter inspired by mathematics and astronomy; Drew Dellinger, a poet who performs and speaks on themes of cosmology, ecology and compassion; and Wendy Tremayne, an activist, writer and performance artist who offers remedies for materialism.
Other participants include David Levi Strauss, Raymond Foye, Sterrett Smith, Charles Stein, Robin Becker, Yuval Ron, Yakov Rabinovich, Meryl Gross, Charlotte Mandell, George Quasha, Susan Quasha and Pir Zia Inayat-Khan.
Bios for all artists can be found at the Vanishing Art Site
The Vanishing Art Festival will be held at the magical and mysterious Abode of the Message, a Sufi retreat center and community located on the outskirts of the Berkshire Mountains, in Columbia County, NY
(picture Burning Man 2001)
fermentation. I wish I had known to add the strawberries at the end
instead of the beginning. The taste is mellowing out now, but the
strawberries are barely perceivable. This month we tried a three, five
and even twelve year old meads our friends made. Do you think we should wait 12 years to drink this?
First, never melt wax with an open flame. The wax and it's vapor are super flammable. Second, use stuff that you 'donate' to wax cleaning/candle making and use for nothing else. A double boiler is needed.
The main issue with wax cleaning is the stuff that's not wax that is in the wax. I can not imagine what the stuff is. As you can see from the pic it is an unidentifiable muck and you want it out.
So here's how. . .
In a glass or stainless pot (not a double boiler here) collect wax and fill with water. Turn non-flame heat on high until the two ingredients are indistinguishable from one another. Turn heat off and let cool completely. Pour off the water when cool and with a knife scrape off the non wax which is now stuck to the bottom of your wax disc that has hardened again. Repeat a couple of times.
To get the remaining muck from the wax put wax only (and the muck stuck to it) in a double boiler. Heat until completely melted. Pour mix through cheese cloth. Muck will stick to the cloth, wax will move through it. This too may take a couple of passes.
It's messy, time consuming, and it can even be dangerous. But if you have a hive and want wax for cosmetics and candles one has to reckon with cleaning bee wax. The one candle I made was so awful I did not bother to post it's pic. I can see now that I needed one more pass, there was enough muck unfiltered to mess it up.
For anyone who has purchased Creosote from the Holy Scarp store, you can use this to make your own home-brew mouthwash just follow the ratio above. How's it taste? Well I already said it tastes like Listerine but really it is g-d awful! Actually it's a matter of taste. I like it, Mikey hates it. You will have to decide for yourself.
For five bucks Fiskar's Fingertip Detail Knife is a steal! What makes it so great is that it is designed to be worn. And when worn it is as though you are writing with a pencil but your cutting with a knive. The level of accuracy is way amped. They also make a swivel knife that I am dying to try. It is double the price and has a swivel tip for more intricate cutting. Oh la la!
Have fun and be careful!
The standard valves on our 300 gallon IBC tanks tend to fail. They are 2" plastic handles that the sun destroys. Rather than wait for the valve to go I have re-plumbed all four of our rainwater IBCs with:
2" coupling --> 3/4" reducer --> 3/4" valve
It's only $4 in parts that gives us some assurance that we won't wake up one morning to find 300 gallons of our precious rain water on the ground.
The radar looked awesome for rain today, but we didn't get a drop. The cumulus nimbus clouds over the mountain pass are still impressive.
Testing out 1 gallon of mesquite mead. I'm harvesting the mesquite pods locally and boiling them down in the sun oven to sweeten the mix.
This is my first home made double sided circuit board. It is part of summer long paid project to monitor and control algae. I thought double sided would be incredibly difficult due to the alignment
issues. I made some reference holes and placed thick sewing pins in them and everything worked out. This board is a mix of through hole and surface mount. It took my little CNC over eight hours to mill and drill both sides as I chose to do multiple passes. It only took 30 minutes of my time to align the board and kick off each run.
Out of curiosity I checked in at barebonespcb which would offer a comparable circuit board except they do plated through vias. I calculated the price at it would have been $120 for a single board. I paid $4 for the blank copper board that was milled.
A tip: if you suspect you may have bacterial vaginosis you can perform a whiff test, which is one of the ways Dr. 's test for it. When discharge from the vagina meets potassium hydroxide (found in soap made with lye) a strong fishy smell should be produced. If soap is producing a scent than use a PH strip to see if the flora is too alkaline. If it is you likely have bacterial vaginosis and need to start building up probiotics in the body.
Lip Amour for lips with a lust for life!, came into being after much trial and error and to meet specific needs created by our climate and lifestyle.
The result is a lip balm that will not turn to goo or oil in high heat; is very nourishing (creamy) for desert dry lips, in a hefty size (7X a chapstick) to last a long time, and with a reusable container.
Wala, Lip Amour!
Truth or Consequences' umbrella 501C org, The Bountiful Alliance, put great effort into raising funds, remodeling a building and setting in motion a community kitchen for these very purposes. The problem is that by taking state money the kitchen must follow state laws and the laws are impossible and they divide community.
Pasteurizing and other processes that are considered industrial practices are also required at the kitchen even though the equipment is not offered to carry out such tasks. Some buyers (like me) loose interest when products are over processed, I prefer active enzymes in my food even if they're illegal. But more offensive is the favoring of industry over mom n pop.
Are folks who create cottage industry going to be forced to sell the goods from their homes or from hidden baskets under tables at the market? Will the alternative market get shut down or just starved of money for not being willing to play by outlandish rules. We're not dealing heroin, we're selling chicken eggs and brownies! Get real NM!
We went out to Elephant Butte Lake last night only to discover that a two year drought has really messed things up. My favorite skimboarding area has been drained down to a small puddle. There is still water to play in, but we need to search out a new area to hang.
Tuesday seems to be the our catchup on cooking day. This week we did the following:
- chihuahua cheese (a semi-hard like cheddar)
- mesquite molasses
- rack wine
Our swamp cooler started squeaking shortly after I had done some maintenance on it. I wasn't sure where to apply oil, but thanks to a neighbor and a internet photo I figured it out. There are two small
oil reservoirs over the bearings connected the swamp coolers blower. Any hardware store in the southwest will carry a special extending oil bottle to help with getting the oil into the reservoirs.
Our summer rains have finally returned. We had one great storm this week followed by a little one giving us a total of 2" of rain. That is more than we have seen in nearly a year. We have three rain water tanks currently connected to our gutters. The most recently installed tank picked up over 200 gallons of water in less than three hours. Based on ocean temperatures in the equatorial pacific we should receive a typical monsoon rainfall of 5" this summer. We were in a La Nina pattern (dry weather for us) and now are shifting into a neutral pattern.
Here's the latest: a fresh coat of paint, a new rug (made of recycled coke bottles) and a shade sail (lovin' that shade!). The couches are a disaster of another variety. I had made them from foam I bought and upholstered with 10 year UV rated shade cloth. But a doggie friend of Sesame's gutted it. The doggie owner was kind enough to send me some fabric to redo the cushions. I finally reupholstered them on the day of the first rain we have had in a year. It became immediately evident (by the water stains) that this is not outdoor upholstery fabric! I will be redoing these couch cushions AGAIN making that 3X in 2 years. Sigh. Anyway, here's the final pic of the redo.