Friday, July 17, 2009

More Community Action! Through the Weekend and Wednesday at DBA 256

So all through this weekend there will be more work parties to help out Dawn of the Garden and Pam of the Yarn Shop.

ALSO! I'm looking forward to this. There will be a fundraising event at DBA 256, drinking beer and wine for a cause? Sounds good to me!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The First Organic Garden Shop in LA "The Garden" in Pomona Burned Down Yesterday

click here for more info at M-M-M-My Pomona
there are updates from community members there as well and links to News coverage.
The owner is Dawn Van Allen, she is also a regular on the workshop and lecture circuit for urban gardening among other things

The Yarn Shop next door also burned down.

These two businesses are well known among the community, in fact The Garden is the only place that Lisa ever frequents, and those that know us, know that Lisa almost never leaves the house, especially during the day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bicycling: The New Golf?

In New York (and Provo, and San Diego, and San Francisco) they are saying that Bicycling is the new golf. I'm not quite sure about that, and I don't think bicycling could adequately replace golf. I'm not a golfer, I've been golfing a handful of times, but I do think there are some fundamental differences that won't allow for one to replace the other. I do however agree that bicycling is picking up in popularity while golfing is declining, but it's not quite the same. So I've made a few comparisons (without addressing much in the article which talks more about the social aspects of golfing and networking):

Outdoors: Both "sports" happen outdoors, one in a very specific place that I find to be redundant and also not very conducive to the diversity of the environment. The other can happen almost anyplace at anytime.

Danger: Cycling is much more dangerous you cold get hit by a car! Though golfing DOES have its dangers.

Shoes: You can really golf or bicycle in almost any time of shoe. However, serious golfers and serious cyclists both have their own versions of cleats.

Clothing: I probably will not be wearing lycra anytime soon. Look at that style on those golfers though, I love it. Knickers also make perfect sense for bicycles. They'll keep your pants out of the chain instead of having to roll up your pant leg.

Folks early on seemed to recognize that golf clothing would work great for cycling. But somewhere along the development of bicycle clothing, clothes became geared only towards those who love spandex.

Fortunately, it looks like there are some folks who hate lycra as much as I do. This looks like a viable option, but i think there's still a ways to go.

Skill: Both Cycling and Golfing take adequate training. I know there are some people who teach their kids how to golf early on in their lives, but I still don't think it's as common as being taught how to ride a bike as a kid. One can learn how to bike in a day, it's much harder to learn how to golf in a day.

Transport: As we can see in this exhibit, it takes a bicycle in order to bicycle, and in order to golf one either needs to walk or use a golf cart. ALSO in order to GO golfing one needs to drive to the golf course with clubs in hand. In order to bicycle one just needs to jump on a bicycle. So you inevitably are being environmentally friendly, and with being environmentally friendly you are going to save money.

Here's a great article from Health & Fitness It talks about some more differences from golf and cycling. Things like Health benefits, Family time, Cost etc...

So is bicycling the new golf? I think it can be a viable way for execs to network over golfing, I think it's a better "sport" than golfing is by far. If I want to play a game that puts balls in holes I'll go play pool down on second street, (that guy really takes care of his tables AND cues they're PERFECT) and I'll bicycle there.

Bicycling is the new golf in that it is taking the place of many social aspects of golf while the popularity of the sport declines and while cycling ascends. But cycling will never take the place of the type of sport that golf is (for old white and asian men, which I will be one day except not plural)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bee Orgy

Found this in my yard today in one of the flowers on a squash vine. Thought I'd share it with you all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Future of Housing: Living Underground?

Bilbo's House
Originally uploaded by Jose Palad (modezero)
The ninja turtles did it, why can't we?

I've often wondered about the direction in which home building is going. "What will homes look like in the future?" And I always come to the same conclusion. Homes of the future are all going to be "underground" in one way or another. I put it in quotes, because the definition of "underground" in the way i speak of it can be disupted.

If we look back at the history of homes the first shelters were caves. It seems like a caricature of the cave person, but there is much evidence that points to caves being used as the earliest shelters by humans. See Lascaux. I'm also sure that trees were used as shelters, soon afterwards, sticks from the trees to prop an overhead structure up, then huts made of sticks and wood, and eventually that evolved into the modern day house.

I believe if the technology were available much earlier in our human history, we would probably be living in man made caves and underground. But it didn't and so instead, we are coming up with buildings with green roofs and living walls.

Windows. it seems silly, but that seems to be the most important distinction. When thinking of a cave, one typically imagines a dark, often damp, hard and sometimes scary place. Buildings instead, (particularly homes) are well lit, have windows to see outside and let in sun, are dry and very warm and comforting. With what is possible now and all the achievements made in engineering, living underground can be just as comforting, warm, well lit, and dry as living above ground.

Living underground is environmentally friendly on very many levels. More and more buildings today are taking advantage of the consistent 58 degrees Fahrenheit of being underground. Here in Pomona, the Center for Regenerative Studies has a building built into a hillside. This design takes advantage of the earth's natural insulation. Other buildings like that are popping up all over the place. Having a green roof also provides opportunities to grow food, and/or a place for wildlife to visit. The California Academy of Sciences building in San Fran does exactly that, it is planted with vegetation found specifically in the area where the building was placed. The Center for Regenerative studies also has a study building with a green roof that has some food plants growing on it. The same can be done with living walls.

When I own land, I'm going to build my home underground. And I mean literally underground, I'll likely be living in Pomona and since our water table is relatively high it'll look like a mound. It will have solar light tubes to let light into the home and I'll be growing fruits and vegetables all over it. Maybe it'll end up looking like Bilbo Baggins house from The Hobbit.