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Voting with your Wallet – part 1

Like a tree falling in the forest, so are the ripples in a pond.

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – Dalai Lama

drops in the oceanSometimes you might wonder if your small actions can actually make a difference. Do the choices you make have an impact outside of yourself?

Consider, this morning, I made a pot of coffee and am drinking it in my dining room. I was out already this morning, and sometimes I will stop and get a cup of coffee at a coffee shop (Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Wawa or the local coffee shop Dosie Dough). But today, it was my own pot.

For me personally, I usually drink my own coffee. I brew it very strong and I like it that way. Also, the cost per cup is somewhere south of $.10 per cup. And I drink a lot. It is a choice I make. So consider yourself. How do you make this decision each morning (if you are a coffee drinker that is)? Not everyone is as cheap as I am.

So think of the options you may have. The local gas station. Its convenient. It is on the way to wherever you are going and you need gas. The coffee is passable. Dunkin Donuts. Usually convenient. Likely to taste the same each time. Pretty cheap. Lots of options if you like specialty drinks. McDonalds. See Dunkins. Starbucks. Strong coffee. Trendy. Expensive. The Local Option. A small restaurant you may have near your home or workplace. Convenient – maybe. Friendly – hopefully.

Each option comes with its own positives and negatives. And in the end, may have a negligible effect in the grand scheme of things. Who cares what coffee you drink or do not drink. But it is decisions like this that we might want to put a little more time and effort into considering as we go throughout the day. Can each of them make a difference? Is your choice of coffee like that pebble dropped into water?

Small Choices Big Consequences

The Red Hen restaurant

Small choices and their meanings have taken a rather large part of the discussion in the National headlines this weekend. The case of the owner of The Red Hen, a small trendy restaurant in the Washington DC vicinity. The President’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders,  and her family visited the restaurant over the weekend, and were asked to leave by the owner because the owner did not want to serve someone connected to President Trump.

In itself, this was pretty inconsequential. The Press secretary had the grace to walk away and find another place to eat. And had it not been for social media, and one of the employees of The Red Hen bragging about it online – which quickly went viral, the event would have gone pretty much unnoticed. Just a business, refusing service to someone for their own reasons. But the viral nature of things has made that pebble of discourtesy seem more like The Rock of Gibraltar falling into the ocean. And the ripples will surely be felt for a while.

Why?

The actual act of refusing service and asking someone to leave should not be a consequence. No laws were broken. And from the report of the exchange from all people who reported it, from all political perspectives, though uncomfortable, did not cause much of an uproar or public scene. In our society, choices can be made. But before we make these choices, we should consider what the unintended consequences may be. Like the Tree that falls in the forest, did someone hear it? And what did they do as a result?

Did the owner of the Red Hen consider the effect of refusing service to President Trump’s Press Secretary. Could she possibly have imagined what the result of her decision would be? Did she consider that:

  • Her employee would brag about it on social media?
  • @PressSec would acknowledge that comment on Twitter and say to her over 3 million followers that she had been asked to leave because of her beliefs?
  • The President of the United States would comment about it as well?
  • Maxine Waters would use the event as a nationwide call to action to be rude to anyone associated with the President?
  • A late night host suggested that other restaurants might choose to taint the food they serve to people they disagree with – going so far as to ejaculate in it before serving it?
  • People would flood Google and Yelp with bad reviews about the restaurant?
  • Pictures of her family would be plastered all over the internet with alternating positive and negative comments?

Few people would consider that a small decision in our daily life could have such far reaching effects. The owner and her employees felt that they had to refuse service, because they did not like Mrs. Sanders, and what she represents. Itself, a small decision. But as we see, the consequences are not.

While I could go on and on about the many effects in the whole world (and I would like to because I live for that), it is not relevant to the main purpose of this article. I brought it up because, from the beginning, I started this blog and my garden this year to make a difference. The difference I hoped to make was a small one in the Grand scheme of things. It was to transform my yard into a place where I could grow healthy food for my family and share the experience with others.

It is issues like the one we faced this weekend that assure me that we should be staying closer to home – especially when it comes to food. Who knows when someone might choose to do something malicious for whatever reason. And even if its not malice. I recall stories of high school friends telling about how they would clean (or not) their fast food stores. About how they had swatted flies and served them with food. I can only hope that these were mini urban legends. But I tend to believe otherwise.

Comedian Eddie Murphy performed a Stand-up comedy movie called Delirious. He told a story about eating at a Chinese food restaurant and how people often make fun of the accents. The joke came when the waiter went in back and says under his breath, “I maka special won ton soup for you.”

This is not a new. People have been horrible to each other throughout history. But we might hope that we have evolved just a bit. Since that is probably not the case, We should start be watching ourselves when in public.

 

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Willpower – Starting Tuesday my Diet is Done!

Starting Tuesday morning I will have completed the 30 day Reset Diet I started last month (on April 29th in fact). So I will be able to eat food again. I say this to be funny because the point of the diet was to eat “Real Food” for 30 Days. It is shocking how different it is not eating food that we find at the stores and in our cupboards.

Zero Sugar

The point of the diet was to cut out all unnatural sugar from my diet.To do this means cutting our virtually ALL processed foods. No wheats and grains. No Milk. So most of my diet was Meat, Hard Cheeses (which are OK), fruits and vegetables, olive oil and butter are OK. So some of the food I could eat is incredibly decadent (3 egg omelettes with sausage or bacon), choices were often limited. And you find that all the fresh fruit and vegetables are a little expensive as well.

But, I cannot argue with the results!

20 lbs in 30 days!

I wanted to lose weight. And I did. Clothing the I had pushed to the back of my drawers and back of my closet now fits. I have to use a belt much more often with my bigger clothing. The jeans my wife bought me for Christmas a year and a half ago I can now wear. This is exciting!

It’s like Drinking from The Fountain of Youth

Joint pain reduced. Though I am unclear on the exact reason, the pain in have had in my knees and ankles is all but gone. I walk up and down the steps with ease. I get out of the car and do not feel like I am 80 walking up the walk way. I can roll around on the floor and play with the kids and not have to pull myself up using the couch. It is like drinking from the fountain of youth.

One of the symptoms that I noticed prior to starting the diet was that I was taking 2 ibuprofin almost every morning for pain. I hate being beholden to medications. So needing a pain killer bothered me.

As I found this weekend, I have unbelievable stamina. I spent the weekend plowing out my garden patches. Most of it had to be done with a shovel. My arms and shoulders and wrists and hands are sore, and I want to go to sleep early. But the job got done. And I noticed as I was digging the gardens – digging deep inside to move all that dirt – that I had the stamina to keep going.

Willpower

There are many takeaways I have from my experience with the diet. An important one is Willpower. Having the strength of will to keep on throughout the whole thing. For the most mart I did not cheat on the diet. There was one day I had to use a commercial salad dressing that had some sugar in it. Really bugged me. Some of the sausage I bought had some sugar. But I went out of my way to be sure that I was not breaking the rules I agreed to.

That agreement I must say was one I made with myself. Looking at the parameters of the diet, I also have some of my own restrictions – self imposed of course. 1) I do not eat beef, 2) I never eat anything with artificial sweeteners, and 3) I do not eat food after 8:00PM. Probably the beef issue was one that makes this diet difficult. The choices you have are limited already. And steak and hamburger are easy to cook with and easy to get while you are out to eat. Without sugar or artificial sweeteners, the only sweets I ate were fruit. That is not a terrible loss for me. But for others it could be a deal-breaker.

So where does the willpower come from? For me, I have made this type of commitment before. When I was about 23 I quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey. For nonsmokers, this may not seem like such a feat. But it was easily the hardest thing I have ever done. As I remember, it started with a commitment. One day I decided to quit. Of course, there were other factors.

It began as a bet, or more of a dare. My girlfriend at the time was going on an airplane trip and decided she would quit smoking. She said that I should too. And smoker who hears this kind of thing will usually react the same way – with righteous indignation and horror. Despite ALL of the medical and health reasons someone should quit, none of them matter to the addicted mind. There is no logic to the desire to smoke. It controls you.

She left, and I proceeded to drink and smoke throughout the weekend (it was a party weekend for some reason). I found myself waking up Sunday morning (late) having smoked my last cigarette. I did not go out and buy more, and without thinking about it, got through the day without a smoke. As I sat that night with crazy, serious cravings – and no cash in my pocket to go to the store, I thought, maybe I could do it. At that point, that was the longest period of time I had gone without nicotine. 1 day. I would see if I could make it two.

After that Monday, it became a goal. To make it through the week. I remember very little of that week, other than insane cravings. It was hockey playoffs and we went out to bars to watch the Kings. Not having a cigarette in my hand, I found other things to do with them – like drinking heavily.

Every minute of every day required willpower. Every habit, from your coffee in the morning to how you end your meals and what you do when you get in the car, you find involved cigarettes. By the end of the week (5 days clears the nicotine out of the system) I realized that I NEVER wanted to go through that again. And have held on to that fear ever since when any craving comes up.

I used that willpower has a competitive cyclist, when I would have to dig deep within myself physically during races or climbing hills.

I used that willpower each time I have been on this diet, reminding myself of my commitment, and desire to lose weight and stay with it.

And I hope I remember this willpower as I set out throughout this summer – as I really want to keep the weight off. Though I do not want the rigor of the diet, I love the results. It is a choice. And paying attention to that choice when I need to to be aligned with my goals.

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My First Mint of the Season

Spearmint picked for Tea

Last night, I picked my first batch of spearmint for the year. I am an absolute fan of Mint Iced Tea – Ice Tea in general. I drink a lot, so I am careful what it is that I am drinking (specifically that it is natural, has few calories). And my seasonal favorite is Mint Ice Tea.

As long as I have had a piece of dirt to grown things on, I have planted mint. My preference is Spearmint over peppermint, but either will do. I have found that the many varieties of mint that have been created are kind of mind blowing. The most interesting to me would be the “Chocolate Mint” variety. My mother in law found some once, but I thought it was a little weird.

My present mint patch is along the side of my house. And unfortunately it has not done so well in the past few years. I do not know if it is because I over cut it (usually 5 stems every other day). I would say it is low sunlight, but it used to produce much better. I will be looking into what I need to do with the soil to improve the yield, as I will be drinking this all summer.

Over the winter, I have looked for other alternatives, when fresh mint is not around. The closest thing to my tea is Boston’s Mint-in-Tea. I used that for a couple of years until my wife and I found something better. Just squeeze an orange and a lemon in a gallon of tea. During Mint season, I still have to make the orange-lemon for my wife (she is not a fan of Mint tea.).

 

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So Hows the Diet?

As of now, I am completing my 3rd week of the 30 day Real Food Reset. This is the third time I am undertaking this diet in the last 6 years, I am pretty clear on what I need to eat. Though it is not always easy.

What were/are my Goals?

When you undertake any plan like this, there have to be goals. Why the hell am I doing this to my body? To my family?

  1. To Lose some weight – I wanted to go on the diet because I felt fat. I was holding steady between 215-220 lbs. At 6’2″ tall, this does not appear bad. But I could feel it. I felt it in my joints. I felt it in my waistline. I had a number of pairs of pants and shorts that did not fit. Some of my large sized T-Shirts were tight. I had underwear that bound up in the wrong places. I wanted to fit again. Ideally, I wanted to lose 20 lbs by the end of the diet.
  2. To feel younger – I do not look my age thankfully. I was just at the Doctor’s office in March. He checked me over and stated, “you definitely do not look or have the health of a man of 50.”  So that is good. BUT!!!! Every morning I was taking 2 Ibuprofin tablets to take the edge off. I have bad knees. Walking down the steps in the morning, I was having to hold on to the railing to steady myself and to provide support for my creaking, aching knees. Some days I just felt old – too tired or too achy to want to move. I would get out of the car and feel like I was walking like an old man – stiff and limping.  I hate being tied to medications to get through the day.
  3. To be Healthier – Part of my plan with the expanded garden was to have fresh fruits and vegetables. But other times when I have grown fresh vegetables, no one will eat them. I wanted to be in the groove of things when food started coming up. What do you do when you have 50 zuccinis and 70 cucumbers sitting on your counter – across the kitchen from baskets full of green beans, tomatoes and peppers? So this is kind of a getting ready phase. I wanted to be used to eating fresh fruits and vegetables. And my recollection from the past was that I ate a lot of fresh, whole foods.
  4. Change Some Bad Eating Habits – Over my life, I have developed a number of what I would call good eating habits. They are choices I made than incorporated into my everyday diet that I believe lead to better health. These include:
    1. I Do Not Eat Beef – that is cow meat. I stopped eating it back when i was racing bicycles because it used to make me gain weight. I had tried being a vegetarian, but that lasted a month. it was too difficult to keep up with. But I retained the ban on beef. After a couple years, I lost the enzymes to digest it. So not I not only dislike the taste, but it also makes me feel ill.
    2. I Do Not Add Sugar to anything –  Coffee, tea, cereal This started back in 1985 when I went away to college. I did not want to gain the Freshman 15, so I enacted a number of rules. Sugar in the coffee was one of the biggies. And it has expanded from there.
    3. I Avoid All Artificial Sweeteners – They are bad. Bad chemicals that are bad for you. Saccharine/Sweet & Low, Aspartame/Nutrasweet/Equal, Sucralose/Splenda. I stopped these back in about 2012 for all the right reasons.
    4. I Do Not Drink Milk – Every morning I used to drink a glass of Milk and a glass of Orange Juice. When I stopped to think about it, i was adding about 500 calories to my day that I did not need. So I broke that habit. I do not have a problem with Dairy, or milk in foods. i just avoid that extra calorie bomb every morning.
    5. Eating After 8:00 – This was a tried and true rule I learned while bike racing and trying to maintain weight. Eat early enough that your body can metabolize it before bed.

All that being said I have enough bad habits.

  1. Ice Cream – I love Ice Cream. And when I want it, little things like my eating after 8:00 rule go out the door. And is one scoop ever enough? No!
  2. Compulsive Snacking– My rule of thumb is that if I did not start eating, I will not keep eating. One little bite is never enough. Chips, cookies, M&M’s, pretzels. you name it. By the time I am done, you can usually count the calories up to equal a full meal
  3. Sports Energy Drinks – I do not generally drink soda. And I never drink Diet soda. But I am drawn to sports energy Drinks. Monster and Rockstar are my favorites. But like my Compulsive habit, if I do not start, I am good. I have found that when I start drinking them, it will be daily. And I can follow history to tell me that when this “habit” begins, it will end with a total ban on my part because I have gained weight. This diet cycle proves that true again.
  4. Caffeine and Alcohol – These are not necessarily bad habits. I still drink coffee (black) like a fiend. Alcohol I drink socially – and only wine and beer. they are potentially unhealthy habits. And I list them because so many in the medical establishment say so.

RESULTS AFTER 3 WEEKS

  1. If you took the hint from the header picture on this post, I have lost 15 lbs in 3 weeks. Actually, after the first 10 days, I had lost 10 lbs. Announcing that sounded cliche last week, so I have waited until today. Every time I have been on a diet, I like to compare the amount I have have lost to a cut of meat. Because that is equivalent to the weigh I have lost.
  2. I eat at least 10 helpings of Fruits/Vegetables per day. This is major for me. Back a couple months ago, I took notice of the fact that the only thing that I could call a vegetable in my diet that day was potato chips. So for today, for example: Breakfast: Fresh salsa (Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions), Smoothie (Strawberries, Pineapple, Banana), Lunch (potato), Snack (peanuts), Dinner Greek Salad (Lettuce, Olives, Tomatoes, Onion). This is about average.
  3. I feel better. I do not have to hold the rail going down the stairs. Balance is better. No appreciable pain. No Ibuprofin every morning.

I still have another week on this diet (or 10 days). I really really really want to drop below 200 lbs.

So. If you have read this far, it is time for a little homework. What are your Good Habits and Bad Habits? If you are game, make a list. Take a sheet of paper and divide it in two. List out the habits you have that you think are healthy and unique to you. Then dig a little deeper and list the bad habits.

Is there something you think you should change?

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Mad Max Pt. 3 – What’s Beyond Thunderdome?

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this series, you might want to go back and read them.

Mad Max 1 showed a world where people and society were breaking down. The people are living, but the fabric of society was ripping. The line between morals and values was blurring. And the value of life was seen as lost. You saw no bombs, but things looked bleak.

The Road Warrior made it clear that society was lost. What happens when government is no longer there for people’s protection? We see people scraping by for an existence. Joining together when they can, but relying on the good graces of others. And these ties prove to be not so binding.

The third installment, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, takes us a few years down the road from when The Road Warrior takes place. You know this first due to the fact that Max’s hair is longer – very 80’s esque. And also, the desolate desert has moved on. Gone are the recent trappings of the past world.

There is little or no traffic in the way of cars. Lots of getting around on foot or with pack animals.

And as with the first two movies, this one is packed with important takeaways that speak to protecting ourselves now.

Up Another Notch – Better soundtrack

Unlike the previous movies, the Mad Max franchise decided to upgrade with more acting firepower. Well, maybe one names actor – Tina Turner – who is more a singer. But a big name nonetheless. And the bonus was that they get Tina Turner singing the opening song. I often wondered which was the bigger draw for Tina – the chance to act or a vehicle to put out a hit song. Both seemed to work. Here is the song – We Don’t Need Another Hero:

Now you might not see the value of a good soundtrack, but that is my own litmus test. I love music. It speaks in ways that the actors, the script and the setting cannot. It set the mood. And in this case, it lived beyond the movie and helped to bring in new viewers (who were probably confused as hell trying to understand what was going on.

Additionally, the costumes showed a world without the trappings of mass production. In Road Warrior, people were wearing the clothing they got away with in the aftermath whatever apocalypse happened. In Thunderdome, people are wearing much more rag tag clothing. Its either Rags or feathers or leather or whatever people could stitch together. It is truly devolved society.

Bartertown

Bartertown

The One “bright light” in the desert becomes the shanty town city of “Bartertown” Max is led to it after his wagon (sorry no cool cars in future apocalypse world) and camels are hijacked by a flying vehicle (desert life still sucks as much as during the Road Warrior). Max follows it into the distance to Bartertown to try and retrieve his things from the thief.

Bartertown is the conflux of devolved society. People are allowed to come in if they have something to trade (and will pay for the opportunity). It shows the state of society in the apocalypse – no money, all trade by barter. It’s a come together swap meet. Max has to finesse his way in, as he has nothing to trade anymore. He offers his “skills.” He finds himself in one of those “Offers you cannot refuse.” Auntie (the punked out version of Tina Turner). And she conscripts Max to face Thunderdome – a apocalypse-day version of a Gladiator Fight.

“The Law” of the new land is one of power. Power is controlled by dictatorship by Auntie, who uses her own form of Democracy/ Mobocracy to control Public Opinion. They come together at Thunderdome – like a WWE cage-match. But its a fight to the death. The law of Thunderdome:  “Two Men enter, one man leaves.” The offer/deal Max cannot refuse is to kill his opponent. When he realizes that the brute he is charged with killing is mentally challenged, he will not, thus breaking the deal. Which brings up the next law,  “Bust a deal, face the wheel.”

Here brings in a new form of justice, where you are pretty sure this cannot be good. You see a “wheel” that is spun, like on wheel of fortune. And reading through the possibilities, there is a small chance of “aquittal.’ Though the rest speak of potential horror. Amuptation. Death. Forfeit Goods. Underworld. Aunties Choice. As Max spins the wheel, his winner is Gulag. Now what could that possibly mean.

Fast forward to Max sitting backwards on an old horse tied up. In front of the horse’s nose dangles a jug full of water. And they place a large Mask on Max’s head and slap the horse to go running into the desert – where it gets lost, keels over and dies – with Max still strapped to it with this goofy mask on.

So what does this mean to our world today? DEMOCRACY – Consider the number of times in the past 2 years our governmental system has been called a “democracy.” And people say this with a straight face, thinking “democracy” is a good thing. Their lack of understanding about it astounds me. Under a true democracy, the Mob rules. If it comes to an up or down vote, protections on your liberties are basically gone. Think of one of the most well known Mobocracy trials – that of Jesus Christ. Pontius Pilate asked the crowd who they would like him to save. And it was not Jesus, but an actual criminal, Barabas. The founders of the USA considered democracy, and chose instead to make us a republic. This gives the chance for discernment before a wild and crazy, emotional decision is made.

DICTATORSHIP – in the absence of laws, people with power (money, goods) and Charisma will rule. And it is in their best interest to rule with an iron fist. Then the rules become whatever that person may decide.

SURVIVAL – Or survival of the fittest. Consider whether you are able to defend yourself now. Are you physically fit? Are you emotionally prepared for adversity?

And what about the Children?

Now we come to the points that were actually the main reason I began thinking about Mad Max in the first place. Max is then rescued from the desert and brought to an oasis in the desert. And here are a group of Children ranging from very young to teenagers. They have been left here post-apocalypse to survive. And as a result, they have become their own cargo cult. Being young, they have just enough where-with-all to survive and feed the little ones. After that, what have they become?

After capturing Max, they introduce them to their Now. Together, they tell the story of their life, which they tell from memory around the nightly campfire. They call it “Telling the Tell.”

“We got it mouth to mouth, so you gotta listen it. Remember. Cause what you hears today you gotta tell the birthed tomorrow.”

The oldest among them act out the story – with modern props to tell the story. About Captain Walker – the pilot who brought them to safety to this place. With the use of a viewmaster camera they tell a a basic story about how they got there and what they know about their history.

It is in this story, that the true tragedy of apocalypse can be seen. What happens to the history of society. The oldest and the wisest are only as knowledgeable as who they learned from – and how much they remembered. Can they read? It is all fractured history. They take Max as the Hero of their world. He, to them, is Captain Walker, returned from myth. To them, he is the savior. To Max, they are just an encumbrance.

In the end, he steps up and is able to rescue at least come of the children. They fly out of the desert to a city, where they find themselves alone with buildings and more of the trappings of the past. Still spreading their version of the past – telling the tell.

I remember this when I am teaching my own children. Which things do they need to know first? Is it self defense? Is it survival? Is it history? The importance of freedom?

At least for now, much will be about gardening – call it survival.

 

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New Moon in Taurus – May 15, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

FROM ORACLE REPORT (www.oraclereport.com)

Happy New Moon in Taurus! The new month offers us the gain of a new opportunity or the regaining of one that we thought was lost to us, specifically by following the line of integrity and crossing the line of possibility.  As we journey through this year’s astrological theme of “through imagination, a lost opportunity is regained,” this month we work this with the angle of the degree of today’s New Moon: “a well-kept public park.”

New Moon Phase:  begin, initiate, wish, set an intention

Moon in Taurus

Sun:  25 Taurus –  “A large, well-kept public park”

Earth: 25 Scorpio – “an X-ray photograph”

Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained”

Emissaries of the Aeon Sophia:  Shodashi (She Who Aligns With The Highest and Best)

Emissary of the Aeon Thelete: Ian (He of the East)

I am excited for the energy of this New Moon Phase. For the Aries cycle, the symbol “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained” speaks to making plans and acting on them to create a new reality. For this blog, that is about my garden. Starting my garden. Planning the garden. Preparing the soil. Planting the seeds. Nurturing them. All about getting ready.

A large, well-kept public park

The Taurus cycle speaks of how I want it to be. It is clean. It is natural. It is part of our world. While it is not exactly public, anyone can see it – we have no fences or gates. And my hope is that the neighbors along our alley will see it and ask. I want to share the fruits of this garden with friends and neighbors.

I like where this symbol is leading. Being New Moon, it is time to set intentions by it. And my vision, is in color and I am loving what I am seeing. It is now up to me to make it happen.

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Happy Monday! May 14, 2018

Happy Monday! Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year – R.W.EMERSON

Balsamic Moon Phase:  release, transform, prepare for the new

Moon in Taurus

Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained”

Emissaries of the Aeon Sophia: Chinnamasta (She Who Expands the Mind) and Shodashi (She Who Aligns With The Highest and Best)

Emissary of the Aeon Thelete: Ian (He of the East)

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Mad Max Pt 2 – When Things Fall Apart – The Road Warrior

We left off talking about Mad Max – and how there are lessons embedded in the movies that point to why we should be considering preparing.

The first movie ends in true 70’s style. Max drives off, feeling bleak, to unknown destinations. And while he is exiting a brutal environment, filled with sociopathic players and actors, It is grounded in a basic reality.

The Road Warrior makes no pretense about normalcy. Its all pretty much summed up in the opening narration:

My life fades. The vision dims. All that remains are memories. I remember a time of chaos, ruined dreams, this wasted land. But most of all, I remember the road warrior, the man we called Max. To understand who he was we have to go back to the other time, when the world was powered by the black fuel and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel — gone now, swept away. For reasons long forgotten two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel they were nothing. They’d built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked, but nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. Cities exploded — a whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear. Men began to feed on men.

On the roads it was a white-line nightmare. Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice, and in this maelstrom of decay ordinary men were battered and smashed — men like Max, the warrior Max. In the roar of an engine, he lost everything and became a shell of a man, a burnt-out desolate man, a man haunted by the demons of his past, a man who wandered out into the wasteland. And it was here, in this blighted place, that he learned to live again.

I include the entire quote because it is a great example about the state of mind of people when society falls apart. And it is the backdrop of the next two hours of action-packed car chase war. More to the point. It sets an imaginative standard for the mind of people that have been labeled as Preppers.

This community can be defined in a lot of ways. But to keep it simple, they are people who are preparing for disaster.

  • They want to be ready to survive in case society breaks down.
  • They want to be self sufficient.
  • They want to be armed (call that guns) so they can defend themselves from anyone who tries to take what is theirs away from them. Other people. The government.
  • They want food on hand in case food is no longer available.
  • They want actions plans in place in the case of a nuclear bomb attack. Think bomb shelters from the 1950’s and 60’s.
  • They seek survival skills like self defense, outdoorsmanship, dry camping.

For Max in the Road Warrior, you see life in this chaotic dystopia. People Need Defense. People need Gas. People need food. And there are those who will try to make their way on their own. And there are others who will be out to take it from those too weak to defend themselves. 

  • Food and water are a problem. There is an iconic early scene when Max and his dog top and have a meal. Max pulls out a can of Dog Food and proceeds to eat it. When he is done, he throws it to the dog. They are in a desert and there is no Wawa around the corner to get a drink and a Hoagie.
  • Life is brutal. It is kill or be killed. There is a scene where a young boy (called the Feral Kid) confronts the leather gang with a metal boomerang. He throws it to get their attention, and deftly catches it with a heavily gloved hand. He then throws it at one of the leaders and plants it in the guy’s skull. The leader, then tries to throw it to get the boy, who jumps in a hole. Another of the leather gang runs to retrieve the boomerang as it comes back, and it chops off the man’s fingers – to the guffaws and laughter of his compatriots. What a cool Toy. What great friends. This speaks to the mindset of people no longer in civil society. Life and death (and violence) and the norm.
  • There is Safety in Numbers – But you are on your own – Max is a loner and drifter. Just looking for gasoline and staying alive. The group he runs into has gasoline, and is hoarding it from all attackers. Gas is power. no one has money any more. Most of the people are scraping out an existence.

Of course this is a movie, but it shows a stark example of how things fall apart. And add to the question of what preparations do you make in the case of disaster. Think of the people in new Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Or after a hurricane. An earthquake. A volcanic eruption. There are so many action movies that set these scenes. And while it is drama and entertainment, it makes you stop and think about what you might do should such an event happen. Do you have a safety plan? Can you protect yourself? Can you protect your family?

Because the first problem is the event itself. Then you must ask, can you survive the aftermath. And in that aftermath, what will be left of society as we know it.

In part 3, (Of Mad Max and of this study) we will explore exactly that. What happens after the Zombie apocalypse. What is left? Who is left? What do they become?

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Tuesday May 8, 2018 – Garden Update

Tuesday May 8, 2018

Third Quarter Moon Phase:  revise, realign

Moon in Aquarius/Pisces 11:11 pm ET/3:11 am UT

Sabian Symbol for the Solar-Lunar Year: “through imagination a lost opportunity is regained”

Emissaries of the Aeon Sophia: Chinnamasta (She Who Expands the Mind) and Shodashi (She Who Aligns With The Highest and Best)

Emissary of the Aeon Thelete: Ian (He of the East)

Third Quarter Moon phase, the time of the lunar month when we take stock of what developed and any feedback or messages during Disseminating Moon phase and then assess what needs to be revised and realigned.  This is all in service to the intentions, ideas, hopes, wishes, or dreams that were “seeded” during the New Moon phase.  We are working on making things better.  It’s like fertilizing and watering seeds so they have their best chance to make their way to the surface and sprout.  This is conscious co-creation with the force of Life.

Up until the end of April we were still seeing frost. At that time, i decided to plant seeds under our front porch to prepare for after I prepare the garden beds.  As you can see, I am getting excited with the progress of my seedlings:

 

Early root veggis – like broccoli, cauliflower, beets and carrots. Onions are in the green container

 

These are the herbs – sage, basil, oregano and the like
Zucchini, Cucumbers and Tomatos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only thing I am waiting for is to rent myself a rototiller and turn the soil. There is way too much to do by hand (and foot and shoulder). It shouldn’t take more that a couple hours to turn it all over and get it ready to plant.

Astrologically, the Biodynamic Calendar that I am following suggests transplanting to begin around the 19th. So I should be fine. I will talk more about the  Biodynamics Calendar later. Like the farmer’s almanac, it offers a wealth of information about planting times and astrological aspects to pay attention to during the planting cycle.

Weedkillers

While I am at it, I just saw another article about some of my favorite (haha) weedkillers.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/08/weedkiller-tests-monsanto-health-dangers-active-ingredient

Much can be said about these toxic chemicals. But of the many reasons for taking my gardening into my own hands, it is to be able to have fresh food that i know is not polluted by these chemicals. Monsanto’s “Roundup” chemical name Glyphosate is the main evildoer that I am aware of. I could talk for days about this chemical and its effect on the environment, the plants, the insects (bees and Butterflies) that are truly killing ans destroying our environment. As if the lessons learned by DDT were not enough, our government is allowing it to happen again.

It reminds me of stories about the Dust Bowl during the 1930’s. There were a combination of causes for this tragedy. It is funny that the environmentalist/globalists forget about it and they have allowed the terror of Glyphosate to devastate us today.

The most obvious was a shift in the regional climate in the Midwest and Southern Great Plains. There was a drought.  The entire region had been over farmed, and the design of the farms did not lend itself to soil preservation. They should have been planting protective tree barriers. So drought plus winds created dust storms. All living crops were often destroyed by the wind and dust – as well as pests. Livestock died from the devastation to their food sources. Images about farmers having to move (The Okies from John Steinbeck’s novel the Grapes of Wrath) are a mainstay of any Great Depression history book. In the end, the drought ended in about 1939, but left the breadbasket of America a changed place.

A very big part of the Victory Garden movement was a result of this devastation. People still needed food. And much of our farmland was not effective.

Today, our problems are also man made – Glyphosate and other weed and pest killers are poisoning our food sources. And the long term effects are much more onerous. The plan created by Monsanto with Glyphosate is that, after introducing the product, they began selling genetically modified crop seeds that would make the plants impervious to the chemicals. Once they add in neutering the seeds (so that farmer’s would have to always buy new seeds each year rather than planting seed crops). Monsanto can get them both ways. They have to buy the chemicals and all their seeds. They created a monopoly for so many aspects of the Corporate farms. And they did it with congressional approval.

Luckily, countries around the world have seen the potential devastation and have put a stop to most GMO seeds. But among the casualties in the US include the Monarch Butterfly  and Honey bees. You can say what you want about the butterflies, but the loss of the bees would and could be catastrophic, as plants will lost the ability to be fertilized without the bees.

The Zombie Apocalypse could come from so many different sources (war, disease, starvation). This is but one example. My own little garden will not solve the problem. I just hope it helps tell others about the problems.

P.S. As I was posting this report, I came across another article worth looking into about GMO seeds and Monsanto: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/monsanto-rna-interference/531288/