Thursday, June 10, 2010

Keep your eye on the oil... i mean the ball!

"He who foresees calamities suffers them twice over."  Bielby Porteus

So i realized something about myself and how i have been acting every time i think about oil and its part in our society.  It is really depressing me.  I am someone whom truly believes that peak oil is the most dangerous thing that will happen in our future.  It will happen, gas will be many times more expensive than it is right now, every product that our society produces will increase in price.  Social unrest will spread throughout the world as the old paradigm on infinite growth disappears.  Everyone that believes in the "American Dream" is going to get really pissed off because all these things are based on technologies that have oil products at their core.  Wars are already being fought to control oil resources.  A war with Iran and a civil war in Saudi Arabia are distinct possibilities in the years to come that would destroy the supply of oil to the world.  These thoughts are all very depressing.

So while i don't feel good about these situations there is little value in thinking about them.  I do not really understand how i fell into this psychological trap but, I am in the trap.  So while i know basically that we all must prepare by obtaining useful skills for the post oil/industrial/knowledge era, i am not going to worry about what disaster is going to happen next.

So time to focus on skills, i wonder what i should learn first...  I am thinking blacksmithing, building my own forge and tools should be fun.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Commandments of Anti-Consumerism

1.   If it's been advertised, let your middle finger rise!
2.   If it's all shiny and sparkles in the light don't let a salesperson convince you its right.
3.   If you think that if dropped it will fall apart don't buy it, its not smart.
4.   If the warranty is not for your entire life, screw it, it will only give you strife.
5.   Don't purchase it if it doesn't feed you, clothe you, shelter you, get you paid, or get you laid.
6.   If it's cheap and it's not food, buy it and you'll be screwed.
7.   If it is made by a corporation, getting you to buy it is like wrong hole fornication.
8.   If it has a tank, and you need to fill it with gas, its designed to take your money and kick you in the ass.
9.   If it enhances your sense of vanity, leave it and keep your monetary sanity.
10. If it comes in a plastic bottle, run away from it at full throttle.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Consumerism has got to die!

So its been a while, i apologize i have been preoccupied with school and other things.  (i have an exam tomorrow) but i needed to do something to take my mind off school and those other things.  I want to elaborate on points i mentioned in earlier posts.

1.  Buying shit.  Women and men buy things that are in fact useless pieces of junk.  If you do not believe me watch the TV show hoarders.  People need to understand that there are only a few somewhat essential things for living.  Fridge, Stove, Washer, Dryer.  But even the washer and dryer are not really that essential.  the dryer certainly is not.  A Clothesline is a cheap and effective drying mechanism!  A washer can be the kitchen sink.  TV's are not important, a bed is not even that important.  i once had a roomy who slept in a sleeping bag on a hardwood floor for almost a year.  never once did he complain, of course he was from china and i have no idea what conditions he was in while he lived there.  Having a walk in closet full of clothes and then using another closet in the house for your clothes is a bit too much.  I know women will get pissed off, i was just describing my wife's way of storing clothes. you do not need buy all those clothes.  Now there are other things you may need in the course of daily living.  like pots and pans, a briefcase, and shoes.  I would make this suggestion: buy things built to last, like cast iron pots and pans, a leather briefcase that is guaranteed to last a lifetime and those leather cowboy boots or shoes.  Now it is certainly more expensive to buy things that last forever or at least as long as you will last.  But the benefits outweigh the costs.  I myself am a backpack guy, i never liked briefcases.  i don't know why but they just don't feel good to me.  anyway i bought this backpack recently.

I have to say its a solid backpack.  The whole reason i bought it was simply because i was buying too many backpacks over the years and my current backpack made by SHIFT motorcycle gear was falling apart.  The manufacturer of this leather pack (a small operation in San Antonio Texas) guarantees this backpack to last 100 years.  Every time i pick it up i have more of a belief in the 100 year promise.  I have been using this backpack for a month and it still has not worn in yet!  That is how tough it is.  Now how much money have you spent on backpacks, or briefcases, or luggage over the years?  I know i have spent close to 600 or 700 dollars on backpacks since the beginning of high school 16 years ago.  it does not make sense to continually buy so much crap when you can buy something once and have it forever.  So splurge for something that is going to last as long as you will.   I know my next waste saving purchase is going to be a straight razor, i do not want to buy replacement cartridges at 20 bucks a set when i can spend a 100 on a straight razor and 20 bucks on a strop one time.  My whole point is that financially it makes sense to buy something that will last, and things that will last forever are greener than plastic mass produced crap that falls apart.

Also growing your own food is somewhat hard where i live, even though we have some small crops it should be easy.

 However the gardeners came around and destroyed the little seedlings that had a rougher time starting up because presumably they looked like weeds.  The only things that are growing in our garden is garlic, cilantro, and corn.

 everything else was killed off by the gardeners.  The cool thing about the gardeners is that they take care of the lemon and orange trees in our yard, so we can harvest them whenever they are available.
Lemon tree on the right behind the small palm, orange on the right, behind the lemon, and also lemon on the left.

Because i rent i cant just go digging up the grass like id like to.  but we do have a small space to grow things.  The garden is moving and should be up for its first harvest in about 2 months.

So what simple things could you buy that will last forever and you will actually use them?  Or more importantly, what do you buy that is useless crap? And what are you growing your garden?

Just for the record i find myself buying useless crap sometimes too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

health care in the U.S.A.

health care is important, its important because if the "State" foots the bill for your health care, chances are you will be better off. In the coming economic strife, when oil becomes scarce and expensive health care is going to be very important but difficult to obtain unless bills more extreme than the one currently in the house and senate are passed.

If your reading this and your American you no doubt have heard about the health care debate. i think both sides of the spectrum have missed the boat.

i woke up this morning and was fascinated by "The Roundtable" on ABC. Now this network is supposed to be a moderate in terms of coverage of politics. So i assumed that it would be a debate on the worthiness of health care for everyone. instead it was a discussion about the upcoming election for Ted Kennedy's old seat as this is a seat that could help the republicans filibuster (Fillibuster means you are able to read anything in the house of representatives instead of voting on a specific bill) I think most political americans miss the point.

I think they missed the point because they do not think about the consequences of health care for everyone. Let me give you an example. Both my sister and my dad have had serious surgery at the hospital close to where i grew up. My sister broke her foot in three places required screws and plates be inserted in her foot as well as 30 something stitches. My Dad has a heart attack while on the golf course and was rushed to the hospital. When i was standing in front of my dads bed and visiting my sister the LAST thing i was thinking was how much money this would all cost. all the care my dad received was free, all the care my sister received was free.

If you are an American and your dad had a heart attack (i know such a stretch due to americans healthy eating lifestyle) or maybe your mom has cancer, would you not want to not have to think about how bankrupt your family is going to be in order to pay for your families ESSENTIAL surgery?

Nearly every time i see a health care debate, i wonder. Why all the debate? this is not something that is debatable.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

water, do you know where it comes from?

Now its a given that water comes from the sky. but on the trip up there its got a lot of chances to pick up pollutants. so when the water falls and hits the ground and hopefully finds its way into the water table it still probably has a lot of pollutants in it. so when it finally finds its way into your tap how clean is it really? now i remember growing up and drinking right from the tap, and when im really thirsty i still do. However ever since we moved into town when i was a kid my mom never let us drink the water. i am not sure if this was paranoia or just common sense. I would go to other kids houses and see them drinking water from the tap and would take part in that mainly because i was too young to understand. Now with numerous water scandals taking place not only in Canada but also the United States i am not so sure about the water.

Now i have done some checking on where i live and where my water comes from. It travels nearly 300 miles before it gets to my tap. since i live in a desert it does not really make sense to stick around should something happen to the dam. It travels along aqueducts from there to here. but the big test is whether or not it is potable water. most locales offer a breakdown of recent water tests. however if you have made a diligent search for this information and have come up short you should talk to district representatives staff in order to find out this information. all of this of course could be a dead question if you are familiar enough with science to test the water yourself at your point of consumption. Its actually quite interesting, i spoke before about questionable happenings with regards to water. The link to the 2008 water tests on the imperial irrigation districts website is broken. more investigation is definitely needed. If you think just because you do not drink tap water that you would be immune to these concerns you would be mistaken. When you drink pop (soda, soft drinks) from a fountain system at say a McDonalds, or even a classier establishment, they more than likely do not put Culligan in the fountain. So what goes in there? The tap. Another thing to consider.

So be informed. A lot of dangerous health conditions can arise from drinking contaminated water depending on what is doing the contamination.

So some of the things to consider:

1. Live near a well or source of clean water, or water that can be cleaned by boiling. (i am guilty)
2. Get a copy of your water tests for your city or district and if possible test your water yourself.
3. If you can not get a copy of those water tests, annoy the hell out of your district or senate representative.
4. Remember if your water is not safe now, how safe is it going to be when water plants become ineffective because of the cost of solvents and other oil based cleaning agents. Or the energy needed to sustain them is too expensive. Many things can go wrong at big complex plants.

I remember once at the science fair where i went to elementary school there was a little girl who did her project on how to make water clean. i wish i had paid more attention. But i think i was taken in by how smart and cute she was. Damn the hormones of childhood.

Ryan Williams

Thursday, January 14, 2010

That place we all live, neverland.

If your reading this your addicted to oil. No seriously, that computer your surfing with is made from crude oil. I have created this blog to help in the inevitable changes to come. In the land of "never ending" supplies of oil that everyone seems to be living in. now i am positive that we all know or at least those of us that are willing to pay attention to the occasional price of a barrel of oil, that crude oil is not made in a factory. It is not grown either. you can not distill it in a apparatus similar to those making alcohol. Although you can burn alcohol as a fuel (thats a discussion for later on), oil is quite finite.

I am convinced that in the next fifty years cars will just be lumps of metal sitting in a junkyard and those of us still alive will tell our kids "in my day we used to travel in those things, and we did not even need a horse to pull it!" They will scoff at us and ignore what we have to say as every generation does. it will be a return to the preindustrial age, but with relics all around to remind us about how decadent life was when you burned a black fluid and it made so many things move and created so many things that will never dissolve back into the earth.

Forget about airplanes, unless your flying a hang glider your not going to see anything larger than a bird flying around. The new mass transportation will be trains, and perhaps those two things that most humans are born with attached to their legs.

Some things we will most likely not lose. Mathematics, most forms of knowledge. although some knowledge will be useless as it is totally based on manipulating oil. is the world better off with oil? i cant answer that. i do not believe anyone can answer that?

One thing is certain. we are approaching a point where most of the population of the world will not be able sustain themselves as the price of oil will rise so high as to be too costly. Supply and demand is such a bitch.

This is not about what is going on now. it is about what you and your family is most likely going to have to do 10 years from now in order to get by. If you lost your job at the Toyota plant 15 years from now because no one is buying a new car, this blog is for you. Thats right your in trouble. because if you do not learn skills to help you survive in a preindustrial mindset then your family might only be able to afford the food it can grow on land they most likely do not own.
We need to rediscover life before oil. I hope some people will join me on this path. as we walk further into the future we get closer and closer to the point where oil will just be too expensive to burn, and only the rich will drive automobiles.

I know i will see this in my lifetime. I am 28 years old. I want to be able to adapt to what the world will be like when i am fifty and thrive until i finally die, hopefully around 100. It is time to leave the pixie dust behind, and start realizing that just believing is not going to make it happen. Just believing is not going to make food magically appear on the table Peter Pan. Its time to leave Neverland, and never come back.

-Ryan Williams

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, but the one most responsive to change." Charles Darwin.

P.S. If your curious why i believe such things, check out a blog i follow from Mike Ruppert. he has written some very important books that everyone should read. and go see his movie, Collapse. it will scare the shit out of you. maybe enough to start learning how to survive without oil.

The End of Pixie Dust

The best of life's
All encompassing duet
nature and modern

can't miss dust
it's in everything
finite amount

world reserves
depleting every day
the end of dust

-Ryan A. Williams