I lay in the grim, gray dampness of the ward, among the grumbling numbers of tortured souls. Their sleep is never more settled than the hours they spend awake here, scraping slippers along the cement floors of the institution that confines them. I find it hard to slumber in the night, much better to nod away the daylight.
Once the nurses have retired I will rise, scurry down the hall in my bare feet, and meet the warm body of my accomplice. There I will commit the mortal sin that keeps me sane in spite of all that surrounds me. She has kept our secret thus far, although there is some murmuring now that has me wondering what trouble may await. No matter, tonight I will again tempt fate.
Aside from the stray squeak of my flesh, my travel down the corridor is without incident as it always has been. Once the lights are out they prefer to ignore the silence, even if they know it conceals a misdeed. Soon the warmth of her body will be pressed against my own chilled flesh, and liberation from this place will be embraced if only for a few hours before sunrise.
She is so glad to accept me into her bed, the modestly dangerous comfort of our dalliance shared between us. I smell the lye soap on the nape of her neck, and the sweetness of her breath as she exhales. It feels as if I have arrived to rescue her from despair, a heroic figure if only in my dreams.
We are both tired, the carnal pleasure we sometimes indulge distant from our minds. Instead we seek the embrace and the sound comfort it delivers. The room, the ward, the entire asylum is quiet save the occasional whimper of troubled repose. Soon this indisputably lovely moment leads me to the precipice of sleep, beyond which my mind wanders into the colorful reaches of existence imagined.
For some reason, the front page is not refreshing properly from my browser. I wonder if anyone else is experiencing symptoms. OlyBlog volunteers are aware and responding to the situation.
The recent debate about biomass energy has me thinking. I read the informative and compelling interview articles by Mike Coday in the July issue of Works in Progress (WIP). After reading the articles, it is important to note a major difference between the various projects. The proposed biomass plant at Evergreen would be a gasification plant. The other two, including the one in Shelton, would be incinerators. Different processes, and despite some significant differences (to give everyone the benefit of the doubt,) all three would largely rely on the same type of biomass material, slash from clearcut forest.
So while the two incinerators, due to their potential harmful environmental impacts, are prone to more opposition on more fronts than the proposed gasification at Evergreen, the gasifier would still also be fueled by agricultural processes which are fundamentally harmful (namely clearcutting.) By the way, I read an email today that said the Evergreen plant has been approved, and is on the fastrack for funding. Sorry that I am lacking details on that one. Hopefully more soon.
The point of all of this is to get off fossil fuels. And question I am after here and now, is whether it makes sense to first invest in the development of expensive alternative technologies and industrial practices, in order to replace fossil fuels like coal and petroleum—or whether it makes more sense to first promote resource conservation.
I read an article by John Dodge in yesterday's Olympian. It was about an expansion of the 550 megawatt Satsop gas powered electrical generating station. It's an interesting article for sure. It made me think.
The article includes a statement by local economist Jim Lazar. The statement by Lazar was about the important role of gas plants, like the one at Satsop, in a sustainable energy future. Gas plants could fill an important niche in filling in gaps where less harmful sources of electricity, like wind-power, become inconsistent or unreliable.
I wonder if there might be other technologies that could be available to fill in gaps - even before resorting to these giant gas turbines. For example, I think of a technology I saw one time on the discovery channel many years ago.
PNW Tech Forums is a new computer technology forums for the Pacific Northwest. Originally designed for IT Professionals, the Forums are open to anyone who has computer difficulties and needs free and local advice. Registration is free and there are no ads on the site. The author of the site lives in Olympia area and hosts the site locally.http://pnwtechforums.com
I want to point Ya'll to this excellent article about the Internet. It's from the Real Change Newspaper. a link and short excerpt:
Gaining the Web but Losing Our Souls, an interview with Jaron Lanier by Robert Alford
Tech pioneer Jaron Lanier says the seemingly liberating new technologies of the computer age are trapping users in a cyber world “that just cheapens everybody.”
Are you tired of emailing really long web addresses to people in your emails? Olympia now has its own URL shortener. Instead of sending a really long web link in your emails or in your documents, you can show your Olympia pride by displaying your OlyURL.ME web address. You can input the web address by visiting the OlyURL.ME website or drag and drop the bookmarklet to your web browser shortcuts.
The service is free and open to the public without registration. Show your Olympia pride by using your OlyURL.ME web addresses.
The September 2009 issue of The Progressive magazine features an article by Wendell Berry, Inverting the Economic Order. I think the ideas in the article are relevant to the upcoming City Comprehensive Planning Process.
There are a lot of common threads between the ideas that Berry presents, and ideas from Jerry Mander, who wrote In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of Indian Nations. Both authors discuss how modern society has devalued our relationship, as human beings, with the land that we call home (and which we depend on - and which I believe we, indeed, belong to.) Here's also a link to an interview with Jerry Mander. The interview appeared in The Sun magazine shortly after publication of In the Absence of the Sacred. Interview with Jerry Mander by Catherine Ingram.
Now here's a short excerpt from Inverting the Economic Order, by Wendell Berry:
Inverting the Economic Order
Wendell Berry in the September 2009 issue
My economic point of view is from ground level. It is a point of view sometimes described as “agrarian.” That means that in ordering the economy of a household or community or nation, I would put nature first, the economies of land use second, the manufacturing economy third, and the consumer economy fourth.
Reminder - Cooling a fevered planet talk is this Thursday. ...
Cooling a fevered planet: the politics & economics of solving the climate crisis.
We know the danger. We have the technology. So what's stopping us?
Presented by Gar W. Lipow & Dr. Zoltan Grossman on behalf of “the Olympia Movement for Justice & Peace”.
Thursday, September 3rd 7:00 P.M
300 5th Ave SW
Olympia, WA 98501
When big corporations thwart democracy they also thwart sustainability.
When resources are poured into unnecessary wars rather than peaceful solutions, this also drains investment from needed green infrastructure.
How corporate power, militarization are linked to the climate crisis, and how we can fight back.