After you become a full member at Twin Oaks, you can take up to a year long leave of absence (which we call a PAL) and return without having to do the visiting process over again. Basically, you drop your membership status for the time you are away, and you return as full member with your previous labor balance intact. If you have lived at Twin Oaks for three or more years, you have the right to return to the bedroom you were living in before you went on PAL.
In hopes of starting a new community, i have largely dropped out of the general management of the Twin Oaks Hammocks business. i do continue to do some work with Hawina and Dawn and Gordon mostly on retail marketing of our website (TwinOaksHammocks.com).
We are exploring discount codes to find out which advertising we are using works. And i am pleased to announce that this blog has it’s own discount code. When you buy a hammock, before you check out if you enter the discount code PAXUSBLOG you will get 10% off, which is our deepest retail discount and cheaper than you are going to find these hammocks anywhere.
But if you want to win your hammock instead of buying it, you can enter one of our two Fathers Day competitions. Before you get your panties in a twist, we have defined father so broadly that a 3 year old girl could qualify as a deserving dad. Here is the link to the 500 word essay contest or the 2 minute video contest
Spring is here, relax a bit and enjoying it.
i check my blog statistics regularly. Which generates far more questions than answers for me:
- Why do i have clusters of readers in Pakistan and in the Philippines?
- Why do i get so many people finding the blog thru image searches?
- Why are there some many people who found me by searching for just “Red“
So the other day i come in to look at traffic, which has been a bit down recently and i see that there are over 2000 hits for the day on an old post (which i might get 400 or 500 on a popular post most days). And as i look more carefully, these are all coming in thru an image search for “Bart Map and Schedule”. And when i check further, completely inexplicably to me this image which i put up in that post
is now ranked number one on Yahoo Images if you search for “Bart Map and Schedule”. And almost as quickly as it came up, the traffic from this vanished in the days following this promotion. The image remains in its top ranked position, but the traffic spike abated.
This is an image i stole from the regular BART site, as i presume hundreds of other people have. But for mysterious reasons i have been promoted to this top spot.
i have long been slightly on the fence about going barefoot. i definitely like the way it feels and i also appreciate the foot protection and speed afforded by shoes. Today i fell off the fence.
“You know that there are studies showing there is a preventative effect on Alzheimer’s and other aliments by going barefoot.” Feonix said.
And i saw my mind decisively shift. Even if there was only a small chance that there were significant health benefits from walking barefoot more often, i live in places where i can often easily be barefoot. And on this day i was working at a craft fair on the beautiful Lyndhurst estate outside New York City, and i kicke doff my shoes. i carried them with me some, where they made occasionally convient detached pockets, but mostly this afternoon i was bare foot on grass. More generally on the commune it is fairly acceptable and accessible to be mostly barefoot, Rowan has modeled this behavior for his full 17 years of life.
Am i sure this is better for me? No.
And i dont need to be completely sure to try something which might be good for me and see how it works. And it also works for me to step out of shoe conformity, to test whether we have hurt ourselves by donning shoes.
And there is a kind of primitive appeal to the entire idea. What if this presumed benign technology turns out to be the source of a number of problems ? Have we heard this theme before?
The first time i played pick-up ultimate Frisbee i was introduced to a new way to select teams for the many one-on-one sports out there. As we gathered as a group someone said “find someone of about your ability and pair up with them. Everybody on the left is on this team the rest are on the other.” It was fast, it felt fair and it was completely novel to me.
I selected my fine friend Rabbit as my partner, not so much because we were the same ability, but rather because i knew him. This was a tremendous mistake. Rabbit could outplay me in almost all aspects of ultimate. The afternoon was frustrating and exhausting. And what was clear was that this was my choice. This also demonstrated the self-correcting nature of this system, since i would not repeat this mistake.
I thought to myself afterwards: why don’t we select all teams this way? It seems to be better in every way. I mentioned this to a couple of players who were often selected as captains. They did not see a reason to change from the existing system which rewarded their talents. They talked about team work and balancing abilities, the need for leadership. None of it was convincing. This was one of the foundational moments in my embracing anarchism. The broken system was perpetuating itself, despite clear better alternatives.
i had a bit of the same feeling when i saw this video:
This design takes exactly the same footprint in terms of space and makes it better for bicycles and safer for car and bike interaction. And why does this better design not happen (in the US)?
Thanks Basha for your comment and your link to this informative YouTube video on the history of Dutch bike culture and how it advanced after WWII. Instrumental in this it turns out was:
- Dramatic increase in car culture with increased affluence
- A significant increase in children killed by cars and the resulting protests
- The 1973 arab oil embargo, which hit the Netherlands far harder than the US
- National level political will to resolve these problems.
Check out this video
Duke energy has announced that it will not be building two new reactors at the Shearon Harris site in North Carolina after wasting $70 million on the ill conceived pipe dream, which it wants the rate payers to reimburse. Duke, which is the largest utility in the US, decided in February to shutter it’s idled Crystal River reactor both because it had one of the most expensive malfunctions in US history and because the utility was able to bilk rate payers for $1.6 billion for closing the plant.
And while both of these announcements are good news, Duke is hardly retiring from it’s plans to build reactors, because it has been so profitable to plan them even when they are not going to build them. The case in point is the two Levy reactors Duke “plans” to build in Florida, the most expensive reactors in US history at $24.7 billion. [Remember that this is the proposed cost going into the project. Typical reactors in the US are well over 200% overbudget, meaning the actual cost of this project might well be over $75 billion]. Despite there not being a single brick laid at the Levy plant, Duke has already gotten $1.5 billion from Florida rate payers for the proposed project, which means it can simply pocket $150 million in profits – even if it never decides to build the reactor.
This nuclear cost crime is so unpopular in the state that the unusually pro-nuclear Florida legislature just tightened cost recovery requirements to include that the Public Utilities Commission needs to determine that the project is not just feasible but “reasonable”. This will make it slightly harder for corporate criminals like Duke to get away with these tricks, but sadly only slightly.
The organizers made a deal with the forces which control the weather. “If you don’t really need it to rain, it would be great if you could hold off until after the celebration”. With this deal struck, the rain remained at bay until after the circle was open.
One of the things which is significant to me personally is that my son chooses to come to these rituals. Last year he played the role of the element of fire during the callings. When i was a kid, there was nothing about the spiritual or religious experience of my parents that i would choose to do.
Part of what gives people confidence to try climbing the poll after the dance is complete is that even if you don’t make it, the crowd cheers for you. It is not about success, it is about being willing to take a chance and try.
On the surface this might appear quite mundane, just moving food from place to place. But this is more like a complexly coordinated dance, where some participants need to opt out of heavier packages and people who are on top of it are always moving.
But using this approach no single person is burdened for very long, there are lots of short treks and you can always extend your rest by stepping out of the queue or by taking on another job in the unload. And there is a beautiful self-correcting aspect to these lines where people move closer to each other or further apart depending on their enthusiasm and ability.
And as Confucius once said “Many hands make light work.” We were done in less that 20 minutes, moving food to feed a couple hundred. A handful of introductions and some sweet conversation later, we were back in the dining room finishing up other conversations.
Today brings another first in American gay history: NBA player Jason Collins comes out and becomes America's first openly gay and still-playing male major professional athlete. I'm not really a sports girl, but this is a big deal and as a queer gal I'm grateful to Jason Collins for being brave enough to be the first. I look forward to the day when this kind of an announcement is no big deal, and it's people like him who will help us get there.