Making a Buck Off Vets
Nov23

Making a Buck Off Vets

Our nation’s Military and Military families are facing serious issues: parents who are still deployed, parents struggling with PTSD and horrific physical injuries, not to mention the shocking fact that up to 25% of the nation’s total active duty and reserve personnel rely on food stamps and food pantries to put dinner on their tables. There are many kind-hearted people who want to help with their donations. Unfortunately, there...

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Always and Forever a Brat
Nov19

Always and Forever a Brat

There is a Hurricane Katrina sized shitstorm brewing among present and former military dependent groups on Facebook and elsewhere and it centers on the name we go by: Military Brats, Air Force Brats, Army Brats, Navy Brats or just plain Brats. I’m not sure when the children of serving military started being called Brats — but it’s been a tradition for well over a hundred years. There’s a story floating around...

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Hell on Wheels
Oct29

Hell on Wheels

By now, most people know I’m on Team Prius. I’ve had three so far, starting from when they first rolled out in the U.S. in the Year 2000. I’m always looking for ways to be more eco-friendly, but the big impetus was the election of George W. Bush. I was so furious and so concerned that this would set us back environmentally that I went out looking for an electric car. They were just being pulled off the market, so I...

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Oh, That This Too Too Solid Flesh…
Oct08

Oh, That This Too Too Solid Flesh…

I’m at a crossroads here, folks. It’s not even New Years, but it’s time for some resolutions. After months of home buying and selling madness that led to an unscheduled visit to the emergency room for an intestinal infection, I find myself in the worst shape of my life. Which is a complete bummer, because, before I derailed, I was in Week 9 of the Couch to 10K program and was getting faster every week. I was also an...

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The Politics of Niceness
Oct03

The Politics of Niceness

I had an interesting exchange on Facebook today, which started when someone quoted Ashton Kutcher. Yeah, I know, Ashton Kutcher is as amusing to poke fun at as Gwyneth Paltrow. And I admit, I couldn’t resist. But aside from Ashton, it got me thinking about what I’ve always thought is one of the root problems here in the West — especially in light of the fact that the West is a place so many come to from other places....

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D-Lite
Sep03

D-Lite

So recent routine bloodwork shows me to be deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency? Wasn’t that something that plagued Victorian slum-dwelling urchins? Who then developed rickets? How did I get a 19th Century condition? And does this mean I’m now destined to become a chimney sweep? Surprisingly, Vitamin D deficiency isn’t as uncommon as you’d think in this century. No sooner had I posted this on Facebook...

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Put Down that Ice Bucket!
Aug21

Put Down that Ice Bucket!

Am I the Cassandra of California? Or am I just the only person who realizes we are in a drought? An epic drought. A drought that will have profound consequences for our economy (and I mean the US economy!), our food supplies, even our way of life. So excuse me if I’m recoiling in horror from this ALS ice bucket challenge. As a farmer in California, every drop of water is precious to me. And even if our state leaders and most of...

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Salmon Daze
Aug20

Salmon Daze

We’ve stepped it up in our goal to eat more locally. Last Sunday, we crossed over into the “you eat what you kill” phase. Andy went salmon fishing off the Golden Gate and bagged two 20 plus pound salmon — the limit. That meant that, within mere hours of when they’d been swimming along near the Farallons, these two fish were being hauled out of a cooler onto our back porch where we started wondering what...

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The Zen of Canning
Aug11

The Zen of Canning

I’m surprised more Buddhists don’t can. Because you have to be in that Zen mindset to survive canning. And Zen was just what I’ve been needing after a nightmarish three months of buying and selling real estate that left me, at certain points, driving around the Bay Area in a Prius with two terriers in crates not certain where I’d stay for the night. I’m not quite sure if I’m up to telling about...

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Vox Clamantis in Deserto
Apr03

Vox Clamantis in Deserto

More and more I think there should be an entrance exam for anyone visiting California, either for tourism or for permanent residence. And that exam would be all about understanding the ecology of The West — possibly with several volumes of John Muir and Wallace Stegner as texts. Because while both those great environmentalists advocated living lightly on the land, they understood, perhaps more than anyone not from a Western...

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