Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Pretty Much My Point All Along

I'm a pretty bad hippie. I wear deodorant, use electricity, am not a big fan of patchouli oil, and really don't like reggae music. I wear clothes that I bought from the store, and I even pay someone to cut my hair sometimes. Heck, in Portland people threw labels like emo / hipster around.

But this is Not Portland, where recycling is de rigeur No, if you're interested in reducing your environmental impact and work at Starbucks in and around Tacoma, WA, a "hippie" is what you become.

Whatever, I'll take it, with my "for here" coffee mug, my bicycle, my "this slide-lock plastic bag can be reused!" I'll take it, most of all, with my vegetarianism.

I admitted to a bit of logical laziness and irrelevant Making the Point decision making this week when I didn't eat any of the calamari. In truth, it is Just Easier to be a vegetarian entirely (lacto-ovo-vegetarian, technically -- I avoid eating anything that is the flesh of a member of the animal kingdom. Crap, do I have to put fungi- in the "do eat" list, too? No one does that, I suppose) than it is to make a long list of check-boxes of what is ethically acceptable for me to eat.

The entire list of my diet and my decisions about it are best saved for a little later, especially if I discuss "The Omnivore's Dilemma" as Ryan did.

Instead, I'm going to focus on one article, and one change, for the time. If you couldn't tell, the title of this post is a link to the article in question. The point is, according to the staff of, that if you make one simple dietary change, choose to avoid beef and other commercially-sourced "red meat." Apparently, their research shows that this is considerably more important than the whole "locavore" movement, whatever other benefits there are from eating produce from next door rather than that from, say, Chile. Apologies to Chilenos, who probably shouldn't eat Californian produce, either.

This isn't so hard, is it?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

We're back, ladies and gentlemen. I know I've got a lot of catching up to do, so bear with me.

First of all, there's a new trail in town. The Milton Interurban Trail is completed at last, fully paved -- and very nicely done, I might add. There are little concrete stripes with inlaid metal mile marker plates at half-mile intervals. There are benches, wastebaskets, and one picnic table overlooking the little protected wetland valley. It's like this:

It does take away some of my solitude, though. From my back window, I used to only be able to see the wetlands. Now, you can see the trail. Admittedly, you can't actually make out the asphalt, and only barely see people walking along it, but it's still a change. It's made worse by the trees, of course. My landlord had a number of trees at the edge of the wetlands cut down. It makes the whole area look a little more sparse. The idea was that, after two years of some serious windstorms, the trees might end up in the buildings if they were blown down, which I can understand, I suppose, but I'd still prefer to have them there. They weren't massive firs or anything, just fairly serious -- oh, I'm not very good at botany. Those deciduous trees with the fairly narrow round trunks, smooth bark, and smallish leaves on lots of branches. Erm, the same kind you can see in the photo above.

But that brings me to this:


I think I've shown you what my street looks like before. Looked like, anyhow.

I'll see if I can't get a photo of the new, improved version later today, but this is the hill I go up, every day, on my way to work. On my 40-lb commuter, it's definitely enough to get the blood moving. Well, one of the fun things about it, indeed, one of the things I enjoyed about living in Milton, was the way you had to climb up though what felt like a tunnel in the trees to get here.

The entire righthand side of firs are gone.

In the disused top part of the Lloyd gravel pit, we'll now have STONE RIDGE Senior Community. "We put the LIFE in senior lifestyle!"

Yes, I'll bet you do.