- "inventing things" that others at the time were working on (calculus for newton the mouse/gui for jobs)
- intolerable personalities that would vocally attack and embarrass others in public
- dietary issues
- bizarre behavior around finances, both died unbelievable wealthy for the time, but only occasionally showed any interest in acquiring money
- Newton was obsessed with the occult and Jobs with the modern hippy version
- perfectionists that took over industries that they had little experience in (Newton completely changed how money was coined, Jobs changed the cell phone market)
- insight into how things work and should be that others did not share
- family issues - both were essentially given up by their biological parents
- oh yeah…apples...
Truth is I have wanted to make my own clothes for as long as I can remember wearing them. I know the limitations of premade goods. They don't fit right and buying them offers no clear view of their real cost: fuel burned, people taken advantage of, resources pillaged, toxins emitted. By making my clothes myself I put myself in the position to choose materials wisely. I choose waste. And when that won't do, I have a bolt of undyed woven knobby silk from India and some natural dyes to color it with.
Today I started with the fulfillment of a winter promise, to try. I started even though I didn't know how. I pulled out the book Generation T by Megan Nicolay. Megan gave me a copy back in 2005 when she was promoting it at Swap-O-Rama-Rama in Brooklyn. It helped me to modify two t-shirts that were headed for the trash. To one I a added a collar more suitable to my tastes, to another I attached a border changing the fit to dress like so I can wear it over leggings. It was a good start!
Next, make a paper pattern from a top I like. - Wendy
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach activist preacher Reverend Billy Talen winds up a sermon with a New York City spin. He is qualified to deliver the message. He is a New Yorker, part of the Occupy Sandy movement and he is out on the street helping people in the city put their lives back together. Today Billy is featured on Treehugger with a sermon spun for the occasion, the biggest shopping week of the year coming on the heels of Sandy.
Treehugger summarizes Billy's point. In our frenzied race to buy more and better stuff, that resource-intensive stuff, we're literally helping to conjure more powerful hurricanes, more floods. Scientists agree we're now heading toward a potentially catastrophic 4 degree C temperature rise by century's end. And especially those at the top and those not yet made homeless by a superstorm, don't much seem to care. We buy on. We drive on. We're mesmerized.
Reverend Billy has been preaching and touring with his Church of Life After Shopping for about ten years. He just completed a book, The End Of The World (OR Publishing, 2013). He also contributed to the foreword of my book, The Good Life Lab (June 2013 on Storey Publishing). Keep an eye out for them both.
My iPhone 4s is now 1 year old and it's battery is barely making it through most days. I spent $8 on eBay and got a replacement that was straightforward to install. After 10 minutes 4 screws being removed the new battery was in and working.
We just received our Natural Gas bill for mid-October through mid-November. We had installed a inexpensive flash hot water heater for our house at the beginning of this billing cycle and it appears to have cost us $5 more than our usual bill. It might be important to note that we only used natural gas to heat the house two times during that window and we had a four day period where there were 15 guests staying with us. Regardless of the details I'm thrilled to see we can have hot water for less than $5 a month.
Wendy keeps walking around the house saying "How did I get so old without knowing about the hot water bottle". She is now obsessed with these little bottled in their cute cozy's made from recycled sweaters.
Wendy and I have been enjoying a sweet mulled mead for the last few nights. We have been heating up mead on the stove with a mix of mulling spices, lemon zest and 50% apple cider. The drink is warm and intoxicating. We strain and store in a thermos to drink trough the evening.
HSHS neighbor Laura seems to always have raised garden beds that are bursting with amazing lettuce. We got a text form Laura to help ourselves to some greens so we did! Thanks Laura.
On the way to LA I spent one night at The Spring where my friends bought me a birthday facial, one designed for aging skin of course. I loved it. Even Mikey noticed my skin when I got home. At the spa I learned about vitamin C syrum for reducing wrinkles and removing sun spots.
By now your probably thinking that for a homesteader I'm sounding a bit, well LA. I did not buy a hundred dollar pair of jeans or handbag with a large gold ornament on it. No stiletto heels or logoized sunglasses either. And I won't be getting botox. I did not buy vitamin C syrum. But I did learn to make it!
Here's the recipe I started out with, it took 5 minutes to make. I'll test it all week and see if modifications are needed.
Equal parts: vitamin C, vegetable glycerine, and distilled water.
Sources of vitamin C - (some people mix the two)
Synthetic: L-Ascorbic Acid
Natural: Camu Powder
Mix vitamin C powder and water first until well blended, then mix in vegetanle glycerine. Store in an amber bottle in the dark.
Note: Once soluble vitamin C goes rancid fast, make only enough for a week, then make a fresh batch. Also, vitamin C syrum can cause age /sun spots if applied in the morning. Apply at night before bed. Application: can use on sun spots to reduce them, on wrinkle areas like crows feet, or on the whole face.
Cameron gave a talk on making quality inexpensive wine starting with 1/2 ton of grapes. We have been making from kits for years at Holy Scrap, but it was amazing to see the process scaled up from 1 case of wine to 30 cases at a time. Unfortunately, there are some significant equipment expenses such as a crusher / de-stemmer, macrobins and a big press to deal with. Looks like we need to cut a deal with the some nearby vintners or eat the up front costs. This size of wine production seems ideal if you can get a half dozen homesteaders to go in on the gear together.
Heather Stewart gave a inspiring talk on building elegantly designed home furniture from a single sheet of plywood using a large CNC. While this could be done using traditional power tools such as a jig saw one can imagine the possibilities of producing large quantities of furniture or doing more intricate designs.
Our grow season is long enough that our apple trees put out fresh blossoms and sometimes even set fruit into early November. I've started harvest the blossoms to make tea. Maybe some other blog readers can comment on the taste. I'm guessing that it will be sort of a sweet rose taste since apples are descended from roses.
There seems to be a fair amount of home shopping and sales going on in our little town. I don't know what's different about this year, but I suspect it is in part due to having a coffee shop that is open 7 days a week.
Our cat has been slowly recovering from his skunk attack. I've been draining off the puss building up in the abscess we popped a few days ago. He's being a good sport about it, but it's so sad to see our fearless hunter in this compromised state. He doesn't seem to mind getting wrapped up in a towel and having his ear cleaned every 4 hours with hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol.
I'm always happy and impressed when situations like this get figured out through friends and networks. Thanks everyone.
When I confronted the vet and asked why she gave those shots I reminded her I asked only for a rabies shot she said quite plainly, "You cant prove that." I knew then what I was dealing with.
This week our cat Scardy got skunked. When his behavior got unusually angry I looked him over and found what looks like a bite on him. His behavior is much like the description of rabies. I called the same local vet simply because the next nearest is 100 miles away and we considered this an emergency. We're concerned we may get it, the dog or the other cat. She denied me service.
I can't help but notice that her arrogance may prevent a problem for our local community. What if he has rabies? What other animals may be infected by her refusal to treat him? If not for me, or my cat, she owes it to the community she serves to contain the situation. When she denied me she did so knowing there is no other vet for 100 miles.
Herein lay the downside to small town life. Monopolies are common. When they occur behavior like this follows. We're driving the 100 miles tomorrow. It's probably for the better. Lets just hope things stay calm until then.
After a bath of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda our cat still smelled a bit skunky. We put him in a small tub with a 1/2 gallon of tomato juice and things improved quite a bit. We should do one more pass so he doesn't smell like a pizza.