Archive for May, 2009

So this is our backyard, inner-city garden. From Grass to greens. First we watched where the sun hit our yard so we could pick the best spot. We decided that 10×10 was big enough. My wife is cutting the border while baby watches. Cutting the sod was tough work. Wear gloves to avoid blisters. Shake out the chunks so you preserve as much soil as you can. You also save the worms this way and keep them in the garden. Making the fence was the hardest part. Even deciding on a design. Because we have a crawling/ walking baby, we needed something stronger than just wire. So we got cedar rails for their natural weatherproof-ness so when the baby teethes on them, he doesn’t get a mouthful of paint or varnish. Coating the bottoms of the posts in roof pitch was nasty. We also have groundhogs around, so the rabbit fence is good for keeping him out too. We buried it 4 inches below grade for that reason. We started the cold weather veggies early and used a roe-cover for them so that when May rolled around, we already had salads ready to eat. Now we have : lettuce, chives, carrots, beets, radishes, basil, tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, peas, cucumbers, and spinach.

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IMG_2456This is a question I ask myself sometimes, lying awake at night. Where would I get clean drinking water? What about food? Would the government intervene? How effective would they be? We all saw the response to Katrina and that was a localized incident. What if there was a nationwide, or even worse…worldwide crisis? Could you protect your family? What happens when my car runs out of gas and all the stations are run by armed gangs who demand $1,000 a gallon? Do you have a plan in place?

I have camping gear, and books on survival, but would they really be useful? If things really started falling apart, would I want to move out to the woods? Probably not. I would protect my home. But I don’t own a gun. Don’t misunderstand that I’m not armed (potential robbers reading this) I have several swords, knives, and a hunting bow. But a gun trumps a knife almost every time. People sometimes comment on how uncivilized third-world countries are, but if you took away grocery stores, indoor plumbing, and most importantly, a visible police force, watch how fast our “civilized” society descends into chaos.

We have our own vegetable garden, but it’s not enough to live off of. We have a pond behind our house, out in the park, but that is run by city pumps, not a free flowing stream. There is a stream a few blocks away, but would a Brita filter be enough for us? If we had to live in the woods, I’m sure we could do it, left to our own devices. But another factor is a bigger issue. Human nature can be ugly, greedy, and cruel. I’m more worried about the roving gangs of opportunists who take what they want by force. Against them, my family would fall. Unless we banded together with other neighbors and became similar to what we were protecting against.

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An interesting take on this situation is a book by Larry Niven titled “Lucifer’s Hammer.” In it, an asteroid strikes the Earth, thrusting humanity, and California in particular, into chaos. Gunman control decaying supermarkets, military leaders go AWOL and from their own mini armies, roving the counrtyside taking what they want, and good people just trying to survive get caught in the middle, constantly heading for higher ground and a safe place that only exists in their dreams.

I ask these questions, because in todays’ uncertain economy, they bear thinking about. You may call me an alarmist, but so far, I haven’t stockpiled any freeze-dried foods, grain, water, gas, or guns. Hmmm… I wonder when the local Army/ Navy store closes?

These are a few more of the tribal style tattoos I’ve designed over the years. If you decide to get a tattoo based on one of my designs, I’d love to know…and see some pictures. Thanks!

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Two days ago, I set Andrew down on his feet and he stood for 3 seconds before he fell. I tried it again yesterday and he did it for a full fifteen seconds. Now he can do it longer. He is rock solid too. No wobbles. He even tried a few steps towards me but he fell. He can do tiny steps to correct for balance though. Pretty exciting. We have to do a whole new round of baby proofing now.
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banana-nut-cheeriosWhat’s the difference between real banana flavor and natural banana flavor?

This is a drawing I did based on a collection of Viking Fairy Tales.

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