Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So I got to Philly safely. Left there Sunday and though, "oh shit, I left my computer there" when I was a hundred miles or so out of town on the turnpike. After freaking out for about five minutes, I was suddenly relieved of leaving that technological anchor far behind. I'd be back on Thursday to retrieve it.

So this is the first few days without a computer since 2003. Conceivably the first vacation I've had where I was not tethered to my laptop searching for a wireless signal somewhere. The freedom is refreshing.

So I type on my nephew's laptop. A fun few days in Cleveland, a mighty city I have only fond memories. In Pittsburgh now, and back east towards Philly tonight, staying at an old friend's place up in the Laurel Highlands.

More soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Here is a song I always think of when traveling out of Bellingham.

Woke up this morning
with love in mind
It was raining outside
but my love still shined
Kept me warm
till my plane touched the sky

And I've seen love
make a fool of a man
He tried to make a loser win.
But I've got nothing to lose
I can't get back again.

Man made rules
been holdin' back my love
Can't hold it back no more.
Churches long preach sex is wrong
Jesus where is nature gone?
What am I doing here?
What am I doing here?
What am I doing here?

Woke up this morning
with love in mind
It was raining outside
but my love still shined
Kept me warm
till my plane touched the sky

- Neil Young

Headin' out to the East Coast, Lord knows I paid some dues gettin' through.

10:46pm sitting in SeaTac waiting for a 12:50 red eye to Minneapolis, then on to the City of Brotherly Love. More later.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Here is a picture of my ex-dog that I found last night. It was taken back on the Utah Salt Flats back in 2005 or so. I was told that Sam Dog passed away last year. He led a noble life.

As I have housemates, one nice addition to the house is a dog. One is here now, and another will be coming in to take Mortimer's place when Mort moves out with his owner, which should be this weekend. Dogs embrace all the good attributes in people, and they are always wonderful to have in the world.

Although I am traveling all next week, I will be returning to a white/yellow Labrador Retriever living with me. Labs rule. Hopefully he can co-exist with the chickens, being the lab that he is. We shall see.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I increasingly listen to the terms corporate fascism and anarchy being thrown around with regard to the current state of the flagrant havoc that the corporate structures wreaking havoc upon our society with virtual impunity. Obviously BP is one that will never be responsible for the catastrophic impact it's had on an entire region of our country.

But another even more pervasive problem is the hydrofracking of the natural gas that lies within or beneath the shale bedrock oncetain areas of the U.S. Years ago I read about the release of horrible and hiigly toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and environment and the subsequent poising of many residents of the Front Range in Colorado. Now this problem seems to extending into my beloved home state of Pennsylvania. (Here is a primer I strongly encourage you to check out.)

Or nation is in peril. Our capitalist system is derelict. We are a country in collapse on many fronts - sociologically, ecologically, politically, economically. I am glad I am not bringing children into this world. They will see a vastly different world than I have seen. No Brady Bunch or Leave It To Beaver for them. I guess we are too fat, sick, dumbed-down and in debt to dig any deeper than what we're spoon fed on FOX, CNN, MSNBC...

So sad. At least we have gas for our SUVs and McMansions. At quite a hefty price though.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Supposedly this June is one of the rainiest on records. To me, it just seems like a normal Junuary in Bellingham. I know that many of the the crops and seeds that people enthusiastically planted in April have faltered and struggled with the onslaught of chill and precipitation. My garden seems to be doing well, although I planted in a low-maintenance fashion to require minimal effort. And it is nice to live on a tenth of an acre, as managing a city lot of this size is not overwhelming.

9:15am on a Tuesday, and the vicissitudes of business ownership in a time of waning government and private institutional support can be rather challenging and discouraging at times. But other times, and generally, I view the silliness of getting overly stressed about these things that I really have no control over. And that always puts me in a better frame of mind.

Traveling on Friday, for a ten-day trip back east. I enjoy traveling back there because it makes me miss Bellingham so much. And I get to return to a wondrous summer of idle evenings in the park, or fun with friends and the myriad activities of the mountains and sea.

The picture above was taken from a path along Whatcom Creek near my house a few months back.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Valley

Capitalism calls, and I am ready to serve. This moring, I write from my perch in the little convenience store in Happy Valley where I used to help out a friend once in a while. He is out of town and asked me to help him out to keep the gears of Mother Commerce greased and turning smoothly. So here I sit listening to a 9/14/88 Grateful Dead concert on Sirius Radio. (I was at this run of Madison Square Garden shows, but not this specific one.)

In additional to manning the helm of this ship, today I will be writing one of two business plans on my plate – one alone is usually a daunting task. But as is typical, the preceding trepidation of nearly overwhelming tasks frequently outweighs the act of actually preforming them. Will I ever grow out of that? But this morning, in spite of being out way too late last night at the Wild Buffalo, I feel content. An old friend came in from out of town last night, so it’s always nice to show a vistor around your funky town. It’s hard to be humble when you live in one of the coolest towns in the U.S.

Day Five of the cleanse, and all is well. I’ve been strict on my raw fruits and veggies intake (except for those two lonely bite-sized Three Musketeers I found abandoned in the back room) and dropped six pounds so far. But it’s back to oranges, pears, carrots and miscellanoeous smoothies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nama Cleansing

Today is Day Three of my raw veggie and fruit (and coffee) cleanse. The second day is the hardest from a hunger standpoint, but beyond that it turns less of a physical hunger versus the mental concept of what food really is. But on Day Three, you body starts doing some funky things and you begin to feel the effects of the change upon one's body. I cannot fathom much more than a week of this, but I will keep pushing through the weekend and beyond. The thought of not eating things like ice cream and pasta is worse than actually forgoing it.

Luckily, I ate at Nama for lunch today (a business colleague took me) and realized how flavorful raw foods can be. Bellingham is lucky to have such wonderful restaurants.

But tonight is more fresh local greens with Spring Tonic and Olive Oil (although technically it should be cold pressed, it may not be). Oh well, when you design your own cleanse, you can bend some of the rules.

A good day ending a busy week. Livin' the life in Bellingham. What could be finer?

Thursday, June 17, 2010


"In a nutshell, in this era of corporate anarchy, corporations do not have to abide by any rules—none at all. Legal, moral, ethical, even financial rules are irrelevant. They have all been rescinded in the pursuit of profit—literally nothing else matters." - Gonzalo Lira

I am not going to go off on our crony capitalist system that is breaking down before our very eyes. Social and moral responsibility of the corporation has turned into reprehensibility. And by this, I speak of such looming examples as the banking and energy industries. Our existing corporate structure is on the brink of systematic collapse and the majority of Americans can do nothing more than blame either of the two political parties - in effect the same party - and continue to be spoon fed their news by the corporate elitists.

It would be more fathomable if the average American was benefiting from this greed, but unfortunately most are not. Our wealth, savings and future prospects are basically dwindling to nil while the wealth of this nation becomes more and more concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer, at unprecedented historical levels. How much longer is this model sustainable?

On a brighter note, Day Two of a raw vegetable body cleanse. Maybe I'm in a pissy mood because I woke to my house mate's Rocket Donuts and it will be another week of carrots, lettuce and apples. This is the third cleanse I've done, and I was lucky enough last night to volunteer at the food bank with a girl that works at a new raw food restaurant in town: Nama. Maybe a raw food diet won't be so bad.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I frequently conduct business in Kent. The thought of waking up at six a.m. to drive a hundred miles was less appealing than actually doing it. I am lucky to drive through Seattle once a week so that I can appreciate the other six days of the week that I can get around by bike.

But today I need to head a bit further south to write a business plan for someone. If I must say so myself, I am rather good at business writing. And for that specific reason that I write here see business writing is rather bland an boring - sort of the physical equivalent of sitting at a desk all day. Writing here, on the other hand, can take me in any direction, like a kite dancing on the breeze, for better or for worse: rants, gratitude, joy, or just bitching about something or other.

At any rate, time to sign off and feed the machine. This image was taken from the Internet, although the weather is quite similar today as it is in the picture. I guess it's a good day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Oil

Yesterday was a wonderful bicycle ride out the back side of Lake Whatcom, down SR9 to Sedro Woolley, and then back up Old 99. It was a glorious day of sun and seventies, and a pesky headwind across the Skagit flats the kept my speed lower than anticipated. I still manage fifty or sixty miles. I have a friend staying with me from Michigan by was of Alaska, and I told him that Saturday's perfect weather is pretty much what we can expect all summer. Once we get through June, at least.

But I cannot stop thinking about how virtually every element of our life is reliant upon petroleum products. I've read where it takes thirty calories of energy to produce one calories of food in the U.S. agri-economy. I wonder if we will ever question at what cost this wasteful lifestyle comes to our health, environment and overall quality of life.

Although the Gulf of Mexico (and potentially the northern Atlantic Ocean) can pretty much be considered a dead body of water for the next decade (or possibly much longer - I've read more accurate description of the oil spewing from the sea floor is more in line with 850m gallons per day), there is a similar catastrophe brewing in the Athabascar. The tailings ponds are said to be the second largest damn in the world (next to the Three Gorges Dam) and it is already leaking into the Athabascar River. The Arctic Ocean is consequently the next vulnerable body of water to fall prey to our pursuit of petroleum.

Oh well, at last gasoline is still three bucks a gallon - at the pump at least. I wonder what the true price of a gallon of gasoline is?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Here is a picture from a hike a few weeks back. It was a pretty easy hike - up an old logging road that has since become a thoroughfare for hikers getting closer to the beauty. But the mountain still a long ways off, since this picture was taken with the telephoto. Living in the city (albeit a small city), one forgets about the beauty, smell and energy given off by the majestic conifers.

It was when we came upon Wells Creek Falls that I understood the appropriately named Cascades. (Actually the revelation occurred a few weeks earlier, but my embellishment sounded more romantic.)

I am glad to be able to write here and remove myself temporarily from the rigors of starting multiple companies at one time. But it is better to be busy than not. I am a grateful individual: moist, lush, vivacious Bellingham in the springtime.

But back to the salt mines at the coffee shop on Railroad. Arrgh.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Well the chickens have grown quite a bit since I last posted pictures. They all seem to be acclimating well, although there is definitely a pecking order. The older (and larger) hen is definitely the matron of the ladies. I sometimes fell as though the younger ones are being kept from their food ans sustenance, but they all seem to be in good health.

But I find them to be beautiful animals and much more intelligent than they are given credit for. They live a pretty good life, and I draw the line at eating these wonderful little birds, although I will gladly enjoy their daily offerings of eggs. The Rhode Island Reds are still laying an egg (almost) every day, while the younger ones are still in their pre-pubescent phase.

Soon enough I will need to further ramp up my egg consumption. Wonderful chickens.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I usually listen to the radio for an hour or two in the morning before I begin my day. If I am luck, it is the CBC out of Vancouver; I find the caliber of their reporting to be far better than anything stateside.

Today I happened to wake up to KGMI here in Bellingham (I fell asleep listening to Coast-to-Coast AM last night) and they were reporting on the protest at the BP/AM-PM stations in town. I wonder how many people will drive their petroleum-powered vehicles to protest BP's destruction of the Gulf of Mexico in the company's pursuit of crude oil to satiate the demands of the consumers that buy fuel to drive their vehicles?

It is so easy to point the finger at someone or other. We are all to blame for this disaster, and these catastrophes will probably set the new standard as oil becomes increasingly riskier and difficult to obtain. By my calculation, the oil drawn from this giant reserve will only supply roughly 150 days worth of oil on the global market. Doesn't seem like much to be considered a giant field. The days of easy oil are indeed behind us.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Well in the absence of my writing, Spring passed me by. I was still able to enjoy it though. May days of sun, and more days of rain and clouds. There are times you need to cut the grass (what's left of it in my yard) twice a week in the height of Spring. If you don;t have time, or if the weather does not cooperate, then quite a challenge faces you when you have a reel mower. Last week I needed to cut a portion of the back with the weed trimmer, as it was just too high.

Fortunately, my neighbor cuts the front, as I traded (or gave) him things and I guess it is the other half of the trade. I am notorious for trading things but never following through on the receiving side. So I guess in actuality I am not trading things, but giving things.

After a busy, albeit productive day, thank goodness for CBC Radio Two and an easy chair.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


After a few months of taking time off from writing, I decided to once again post to my blog. Much has happened over the past two months - jobs, life, seasons,...

But today we are planning a hike up to an area of old-growth forest somewhere around milepost 49 on the Mt. Baker Highway. It is rainy, but that's alright. I don't have a whole lot more to say in my reintroduction of web logging.

The picture was from the Columbia River, just before passing through Astoria. We took a boat from Portland to Orcas Island a few weeks back. What fun. More later.