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Lettuce September 27, 2009

Posted by bibliosk8er in gardening, sustainability.
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Planted some lettuce last weekend. It is now coming up. Behold – baby lettuces that will grow up to be eaten.


Cars and community September 26, 2009

Posted by bibliosk8er in urban/suburban life.
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This post is kind of random, just kind of brought on by some experiences from this week and a book I’m reading.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my parent’s house due to a family illness, which has put me more in the car traffic pattern than normal. My typical commute, by car or bike, is pretty short. 7 easy miles of fairly slow streets – about 15 minutes.

Commuting from my folks house is a little longer, and uses busier streets. A more intense commute. More people driving like assholes. More people taking unnecessary chances with their driving.

My normal commute is really pretty tranquil, so the alternate commute is really a wake up call, just reaffirming how stupid our cities are laid out.

Over the last week I’ve been reading this book It’s a Sprawl World After All. The book is about, obviously, suburban sprawl, and its negative effects on our national culture — the destruction of “genuine communities”. Anyway, I’m about 2/3 the way through the book. The book is a little repetitious. I don’t disagree with most of the issues he discusses, but there is a lot of fluff. A lot of “filler” text. But I digress…

Experiencing this commute while reading this book has been kind of weird. We’ve been lucky enough to arrange our normal, day-to-day life with very little commute. So this week I had a chance to observe the crazy lifestyle, lack of civility, and overall stupidity described in the book first hand.

Now, on the other hand, our neighborhood had our yearly picnic today. We have a really good, voluntary neighborhood association. Not the kind that enforces dead restrictions, but rather one that promotes a sense of community within our area, known Greenwood Hills, in Richardson, Tx.

Turnout was good, and its just always nice to get people together like that. While we do live in an inner-ring suburb, it is an older suburb, and it feels practically urban compared to the newer, outlying communities. We can actually walk to the grocery store, pharmacy, nearby schools, banks, etc. The firefighters from the neighborhood fire station were there with a fire truck to show people, several of our city council members were there.

So while we aren’t Mayberry, we do try to get to know each other and have some interaction.

Garden, Sept. 2009 September 21, 2009

Posted by bibliosk8er in gardening, sustainability.
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Yesterday I recharged the soil in square foot garden #4, and planted it full of different varieties of lettuce and spinach.

The other gardens are in various states. Some new tomato plants are growing, and a few other things. Overall I was not happy with the summer harvests. We got lots of tomatoes, but not much else. It was just too damned hot. Next summer we’ll try some squash and a few other new things.

I’ve noticed after two years of doing this that our Bell Pepper plants grow well during the summer, but I guess due to the heat they don’t really produce until September/October. So right now we actually have a nice crop growing.

bell peppers

Pedals September 1, 2009

Posted by concreteguy in bikes.
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IMG_5715Replaced the original plastic pedals on my Townie with these killer aluminum BMX pedals. One of the plastic ones broke the other day. I got 1000 miles out of it. Not bad. These new ones should outlive me.