Saturday, June 26, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A Great Idea: Zumwalt Acres


A friend told me about Zumwalt Acres, an intentional community committed to sustainable agriculture in Illinois. This sounded too awesome to be true and I checked it out. Below are some excerpts from the website:

Zumwalt Acres is a Jewish regenerative agriculture community working to develop a replicable model of ecologically sustainable and socially just land stewardship in Illinois.

Zumwalt Acres is an agroforestry farm practicing methods of agriculture that are regenerative, draw down carbon, and align with Jewish values. It was founded by the youngest generation of the Zumwalt family and their peers in 2020 on land in Sheldon, IL that has been in the Zumwalt family for over 150 years. JR Zumwalt, our farm manager, grew up in our farmhouse. He has long envisioned a more sustainable and diversified system on this land.

We are also inspired by faith-based teachings on land stewardship and ecological values. Spirituality motivates us to infuse our work with care and intentionality, and reminds us of our obligations to future generations who will tend the land after us. Jewish tradition, in particular, will serve as the bedrock of our community, and Zumwalt Acres apprentices today are working to incorporate Jewish mandates such as the periodic fallowing of the land and the dedication of portions of our yield to communities in need into our practice. Our community of apprentices also work to maintain a household grounded in Jewish practices, giving us time to rest on Shabbat and guide reflections on our work through the holiday calendar. We look forward to cultivating an interfaith community that honors the array of traditions, beliefs, and spiritual connection to land that future apprentices may bring.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Family's Greatest Hits

The daughter was in her warm fleece nightgown getting lice treatment when the neighbor’s large, friendly cat (Abby) came by.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

I Can’t Escape Myself


When I let my mind wander on Pinterest I usually end up with the same style of images.

Screen prints for rock concerts long past and Soviet and Chinese communism, with maybe a touch of punk-rock pastiche.

I’m not sorry, but I’m forced to admit I’m not as mentally dexterous as I’d like to be.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

No Chaos at Archery Range


I’ve often walked or ridden by the Washington Park archery range marveling at how there is someone there every moment it’s not raining. Also, I’ve been impressed that those who do show up are no slack-jawed wannabees, rather carbon compound bows and other high-tech gear are regular sightings at the range.

With all this weaponry, I took a picture of the rules, procedures, and etiquette to better understand what goes on.

In my almost twenty years of living nearby I’ve never heard of an accident happening here.

Whoever is paying attention to safety I’m glad for it.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Pedestrian Bridge Causes Utopian Monologue

 A couple of months ago a pedestrian bridge was installed in Portland to allow easier access for bikers and walkers across the highway.

This got me musing about how great transportation by bicycle can be – that is if one feels protected by bike lanes and other infrastructure from the barrage of traffic.

On a drive with the family, I shared that as a young man I dreamed of an egalitarian society that respected minorities and individual freedoms and acted in a compassionate way to other nations.

Now I have abandoned such fanciful visions and instead dream of cycling infrastructure not just in cities, but also linking communities and recreation sites. How great it would be to ride an off-road bike path to the Oregon coast – the roads to the coast and Highway 101 are currently lousy with heavy traffic. Yet people still venerate these roads as a cycling ideal.

I dream of a better future.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Gratuitous Hood River Cat Pictures


Militarized Hood River

This Stryker fighting vehicle was recently on display in Hood River as a recruitment tool for the local national guard.

As a city dweller, I rarely see militarization (beyond the police).

This unit trains in The Dalles, a town about 20 miles east of Hood River.

I chatted with one of the officers who felt grateful the guard had mostly paid for his college. I just wish US involvement in foreign wars wasn’t such a tale of woe.  

Monday, June 14, 2021

From the Vault

I used to windsurf, storing the gear in a room under the house affectionately called the Board Room.

I haven't windsurfed in a few years, last year giving all the gear away to a super stoked 18-year-old.

This weekend I found a few pieces of windsurfing info most likely over a decade old. I felt nostalgic for the good times the sport had given me.


Friday, June 11, 2021

European Union Crashes G7 Summit

  1. Boris Johnson
  2. Joe Biden
  3. Justin Trudeau
  4. Angela Merkel
  5. Emmanuel Macron
  6. Mario Draghi
  7. Yoshihide Suga
  8. Ursula von der Leyen 
  9. Charles Michel

The last two representatives are from the European Union, making the total number of leaders nine.

How can the forces that be still call this the G7 summit if there are nine leaders present?

Once again the perfidy of modern life seems insurmountable.


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Shocking: Some People Cultivate Horsetail Rush

I found out today that horsetail rush, or reed, is a plant that some cultivate, actually finding it pleasant to look upon. 

My limited brain exploded that the bane of my gardening existence might be because someone at some point thought it might be a fun idea to plant it around the house.


As we know, the world is full of bad ideas.


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Northfield Is Not A Hell Hole

I was speaking with my brother about the town in which we grew up, Northfield, Minnesota. He had the wistful tone that no longer was the Northfield of our youth still the same.

That got me going on what was the essential quality of that place. Of course, I turned to the internet, which was no help at all.

“Northfield is a city in Dakota and Rice counties in the State of Minnesota. It is mostly in Rice County, with a small portion in Dakota County. The population was 20,007 at the 2010 census.”

I suppose that says it all.

My memories of Northfield are tied to the emotional state and level of development I was at when I experienced them. I stopped living there when I was a late teenager and generally have not been too nostalgic.

The main complaint from my brother is that many in the town commute to work in other places rather than being employed locally, giving short shrift to the social fabric of the town. As a teenager, I wasn’t so invested in the social fabric of anything other than what I might be doing that night or weekend. What others might be doing was also lost on me.

Rising above all this philosophy, I can say the core experiences of Northfield are tied to the landscape, the Cannon River, the blue light of winter on frozen fields. Everything else is commentary. I value community and human connection and believe that such can be found in Northfield today as well as other places.  

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Good Food Is Where You Find It

After buying a mattress in a strip mall overlooking a Walmart, we ate Huli Chicken sandwiches at Lilo’s Barbeque. Delicious! The bun, sauce, chicken, coleslaw all tasted fresh and tangy. A large line grew as we ate. I feel I will not be complete as a human being until I try the Big Kahuna plate.

Friday, June 4, 2021

My Own Propaganda


Using an old Soviet poster as inspiration, I've created my "Jewish Man Walk" propaganda. 

I dropped "Jewish Man Walk" into Google Translate and thus came up the red Cyrillic letters. I have no idea what such connotes.

I hope this helps our weekly get-togethers.

I also hope Bob and Mel don't get mad at me. This isn't a big risk as my wife doesn't think I captured their resemblances. 


Thursday, June 3, 2021

I Have Found the Counterculture


Look for the switching boxes on utility poles to get the inside scoop on all things subversive and disruptive.