I Gran Torino'd both yards this week--the place looks beautiful, if I do say so myself. The Pumpkins and gourds we grew will soon be placed on the front porch as decorations for fall. I've been pulling up expired cucumber vines to be followed by snow peas planted in their place. A good deal of our gardens will be resting over this winter..and we will compost them for next years crop. We did pretty good overall for our first year gardening...we gave vegetables away to those who needed them---sold some at the local farmers market---beautified our back lot---canned excess--maybe inspired others to garden for themselves---a very good first garden year as I look back.
I looked at gardening as a necessity for the future...a fall back in case of economic collapse much like the Russians went through in the 1990's. I've learned that on a 50x90 foot lot, in the city you can produce a tremendous amount of food with the proper organization and preparation. That we would have excess to trade or sell for other items that we might require. That we could grow herbs and spices to help out the stocks of prepared food we have stored. That I can hunt squirrels with an air rifle in the back yard if necessary...(trading off the karmic stain) That we could not totally feed ourselves..but we could come very close seasonally...and could use the excess to trade for food we could not produce...I discovered this year that with the right stock of food stored, our garden and trading of garden excess for additional supplies we could do alright--not great but alright for close to a year. The house is happy producing food and flowers, the yards look wonderful and artistic..and we give flowers and vegetables to the neighbors. I am happy.
From a bench rest I began sighting in the new air rifle this weekend. It is very strange that at 57 I am thinking about trying out for the Olympics. How weird is that Mal? Of course the only more non-athletic event than the 10 meter air rifle is Geezer electric scooter-chair racing. I have now joined the correct societies so that I may compete in selection events--I am selecting equipment. Reading. Keeping a practice log.
Trying to figure out which pre-selection events I have to compete at and what score is required to attend the try-outs. It is somewhat funny in that I had previously believed, (wrongly of course) that any citizen could show up and try out for any Olympic event that one's country participates in. WRONG--WRONG--WRONG--WRONG--WRONG! There are all these organizations involved, pre-events you have to perform at--requirements that must be met, societies that must be joined. BLAHBLAHBLAH. Who knew? I thought the Olympics were democratic--that the best who showed up attended...Nope. So I have to figure this out from the bottom. I've downloaded all the rules--but still cannot find simple answers to simple questions. I just want to try out you know? I am currently keeping the confusion on how to get there-as far away from actual practice as possible. I must admit that I am handicapped from the start by not being singled out at 16 to do this...and coached...and supported....and mentored. At least I have till 2012...I just want to say I tried---at something I apparently really enjoy. There's nothing wrong with trying---right?
This past week's average again was 53.7 MPG in the Prius and we used zero fuel over the weekend. JoJo rode her recumbent everywhere she needed to go. I am afraid that the current low pricing of gasoline due to the recession will reinforce societal stupidity but...The change to a cooler season increases my morning commutes mpg and this is great. I actually do believe JoJo and I have reached the lowest level of oil consumption possible for us--let's say 390 miles a week for me which includes daily commuting and required work driving once I arrive..and our gasoline usage is at about 8- 9 gallons a week for an average. I believe that while I am required to work this is about the reduction limit that we can meet. It is still hard to believe that just to work I require 32 gallons of gasoline a month! I will have to research and find out the comparison between us and the monthly gasoline requirements of the "average" American?
I'm currently reading Last Light by Alex Scarrow. I find it quite excellent. The descriptions of the middle east and the internal conflict which cuts oil flow to the west is really quite a thoughtful circumstance and right on the money as I remember from working in this region. There are two elements very well crafted within this novel--the first being the main character's focus on peak oil and his social isolation because of it, even within his own family. Secondly there is a scene where oil company workers with their Iraqi expediters are circled up in the desert with a Brit mechanized unit and the apparent walls between people cannot be broken even in a crisis. Last Light is a very good novel I recommend it to anyone interested in peak oil and self sufficiency.
"Age is a very high price to pay for maturity."