Over at ProgressiveWayneCounty.org, I just posted the list of alternative transportation goals for Richmond, Indiana that I came up with in March as a part of my work on the committees that are implementing Richmond's Comprehensive Plan. Comments and feedback welcome (there or here).
Recently, the Summersault staff was eating together at the Golden Corral here in Richmond. They were out of the feed buckets that you just strap onto your head and tilt up, so we ended up having a conversation. We noted that they have pine nuts on their all-you-can-eat salad bar in large quantities.
Pine nuts are an essential ingredient in good pesto; my recipe is available to qualified persons on request. They are also excellent in salads, lightly toasted.
A to-go lunch buffet for one person at the Golden Corral costs $6.69 (no drink), and they give you a container that I estimate could hold around 3 to 5 pounds of pine nuts, depending on what kinds of spill-prevention mechanisms you're able to install on the fly (a small bread bag from your pocket should be fine). Pine nuts generally cost quite a bit at the grocery store or your local food cooperative, and even if you buy them in bulk or from discounted online dealers, they can cost as much as $11.99 per pound.
So, is it safe to say that the best deal on pine nuts in town, and perhaps globally, is to fill up your to-go container with them at the Golden Corral in Richmond Indiana? Beautiful.
There is a strange and unique destination out there in the political blogosphere called The Daily Kos. You may have heard of it - it's been called everything from one of the most defining websites of the modern political debate, to an analog of the Klu Klux Klan. I suspect it's actually somewhere in between (but for those who don't like encountering ideas they don't agree with, be careful about clicking through, you may find yourself uncomfortable).
I recently tried an experiment, where I took a couple of my blog postings from here, and cross-posted them on an account at Daily Kos. As a result, I got to learn about the strange culture that's evolved on this headline-making site. For example, a posting there is actually called a "Diary" (not a diary entry, just a diary). And there's apparently a whole crew of users of the site who go through reading the hundreds of diaries posted throughout the day, and they "Rescue" them, which means they highlight them for the rest of the users of the site to read. Apparently, I hit the Kosian jackpot of having my first two diaries ever rescued and discussed. Most interesting was how many people commented on the entries compared to their life on this site. I suppose that when you've built a critical mass in an online community, the content gets a lot more attention, no matter its quality.
Anyway, it was fun to know that a site read (and often condemned) by various national political and media figures had, for a brief time, a little linkage to my self-indulgent ramblings.
Now, slackers, how come I can't get 33 of you to comment on a blog post here?
If you grew up in the 1980s, it was hard to miss the dark and brooding song "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. I remember brooding to its tune myself at times, and of course the part where the drums come in was a pivotal moment for those who played along with our own "air instruments."
That's probably why I can't stop laughing at this:
I thoroughly enjoyed this post by Dave Pollard: Need Less.
The essence of radical simplicity, of the gift/generosity economy, of natural community, and of natural entrepreneurship, I think, is needing less. Needing less makes us, as individuals, members of enterprises, communities and societies, more self-sufficient, and more resilient, and allows us to give more with the 'excess' time, energy and money that we have by virtue of needing less.
Dave goes on to list a few ways that needing less in everyday life might manifest itself. Perhaps obvious to some, overly abstract to others...a pleasant reminder for me.
Having some time to relax also meant lots of time to catch up on reading I've been meaning to do for a while now (though there's plenty more). Here's a quick run-through with my comments:
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. A great, compelling story that is so rich and enjoyable. Reminds me of how I felt reading A Prayer for Owen Meany or To Kill a Mockingbird. I can also recommend Monk Kidd's The Dance of the Dissident Daughter.
- The Soul Tells A Story: Engaging Creativity With Spirituality In The Writing Life by Vinita Hampton Wright. I couldn't enjoy this one as much, perhaps because it seemed to define spirituality a little too differently than I do, and the resulting instructions/advice just didn't feel as applicable. It also wasn't as tightly structured as I would expect a book on creative writing to be.
- Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World by Bruce Schneier. My review of Secrets and Lies is at the Summersault Weblog.
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Another really fun book that will appeal to fans of the "Narnia" and "Harry Potter" style of adventure-telling. Also coming out in December on the big screen as a motion picture starring Dakota Blue Richards and Daniel Craig - worth a see.
- The Assault on Reason by Al Gore. My review of The Assault on Reason is in my last weblog entry.
- Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision and Whose Freedom?: The Battle Over America's Most Important Idea, both by George Lakoff. If you read this blog with any regularity, you already know I'm a fan of his stuff.
- Codes, Ciphers, Secrets and Cryptic Communication: Making and Breaking Sercet Messages from Hieroglyphocs to the Internet by Fred B. Wrixon. Nothing gets me up in the morning like a Bifid Cipher.
- The Woman and the Ape by Peter Hoeg. Highly recommended by Anna Lisa, and I've always enjoyed books with large primates as main characters.
I'll post reviews of these as I can. Your own reviews, recommendations and comments welcome!
The tail end of the trip I just returned from took place in Nashville, TN and was charged with readings and viewings about the occupation of Iraq and the current political trends in Washington: I finished reading Nashville resident Al Gore's book The Assault on Reason and then later the same day, saw the new documentary film No End In Sight. The two tie together nicely, and so I have a review of them both here.