Feb. 9: Panama City, Minus the Plan and Canal

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 02/09/2015 - 08:29

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on February 9, 2005]
I've had some good times so far in the Florida Panhandle!

On Friday I followed the route Bruce suggested around Pensacola to the west and north, but even that far from the coast I saw lots of hurricane damage. The sides of the roads were littered with asphalt shingles and vinyl siding, even as construction workers were scrambling to put new flimsy shingles and siding in their places! Those who do not learn the lessons of the past...

Feb 3: Florida

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 02/03/2015 - 08:49

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on February 3, 2005]
As I write this, I'm still in Alabama, just across the border from Florida, but by the time I send it I'll be in Florida at last. I wound up staying in Alabama a couple days longer than I expected!

Jan 31: Alabama

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 01/31/2015 - 00:00

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on January 31, 2005]
I was all set to go to church Sunday morning in Gulfport, but I underestimated how long it would take to find the place. Rather than arrive late, I decided to head on down the road. By the time the service ended, I was already in Biloxi!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The clouds were gone by 11 and stayed gone all day, and there was no wind, so although the temperature was cool it wasn't chilly.

Mississippi (the state)

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 01/29/2015 - 09:07

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on 1/29/2005]
The campground where I stayed Wednesday and Thursday night in New Orleans was very brightly lit all night, for security. The first night I draped the space blanket, which I assumed to be opaque, over the top of the tent to try to blot out the light, but some came through. Between that and the sound of the nearby highways and railroad tracks, I slept poorly. I woke around 4:00 with chills and put my hat on. With it over my eyes and earplugs in my ears, I finally slept soundly until 7:00.

Zen and the Art of Jim Henson

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 10/12/2014 - 10:18

Years ago, I taught an informal class where I gave a quick summary of the plot of Robert M. Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which has never been made into a movie) and then made the case that Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal is in fact a movie adaptation of it. Since I know a number of people who have found Z&AMM too difficult to read, here is the breakdown:

Super Plant!

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 09/21/2014 - 11:49

It was the early summer of 1999. I had been living in the Stevens Square neighborhood of Minneapolis for a year, following graduation from Grinnell College. I was working part-time for Twin Cities Free-Net and spending the rest of my time absorbing the many opportunities the Twin Cities had to offer. I was volunteering with the neighborhood organization (SSCO), among other places.

Build me Up, Buttercup

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 03/15/2014 - 17:31

It was the first week of March, 2008.  I had taken the train from Fairfield to Boston for my first DrupalCon.  The weather was cold and rainy all week.  I was staying in a big, institutional hostel that felt very much like a YMCA.  They even provided flip-flops for the showers ... I'm guessing there had been a problem with athlete's foot!  It wasn't homey, but it was affordable.


Flavor not Found in Ordinary Ground Turkey

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:01

When I lived in Fairfield, Iowa from 2006-2008, I had two options of veterinarians to bring my cat Simon to, and I chose the holistic one, only partly because he was closer to where I lived.  Simon had had a lot of trouble with bladder crystals living in the Twin Cities, and I knew it was from the processed food, and I wanted some help choosing something less processed.


Picking up the Gantlet

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:02

(I originally wrote this article as a submission to PermacultureNews.org, but decided it would be better as a blog.)

I don't know about you, but I was really shaken by Peter Harper's insightful critique of permaculture last summer, “Permaculture: The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” It has caused me to rethink the way I approach my urban farm, at least for the coming year. Let me explain.