Disclaimer

Oftentimes I will write of things that pertain to our family owned business 'Primal Aspects' but understand the views expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of 'Primal Aspects'.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Moving Right Along!

As we mentioned awhile back, Em and I have been rethinking what we want to do with Primal Aspects and where we want to go with it from here on out. In that vein we have been revamping the website to make it more interactive, easier to expand and maintain. Well, as a result of these changes we've gone with a Wordpress powered format. So, we are integrating the Art of Emily Dewbre-Young and the Self Sufficient Living of Primal Troy. This blog will remain up for archival purposes but new entries will now be available on our new site. If you've been following posts here on Primal Troy then you will be able to follow similar content there under the categories and/or tags Troy, Self Sufficient and even more specific topics such as permaculture, gardening, etc. If you are interested in the artsy side of things then look for Emily, art, artwork etc.

With no further adieu, here is the new place to follow along. Hope to see you there!

Primal Aspects - The Art of Emily Dewbre Young meets the Self Sufficient Living of Primal Troy

Friday, February 03, 2012

What Do I Think?

People are asking me what I think about the announced 13,000 layoffs and major restructuring at my employer American Airlines. Well,our family has for several years lived a life within our means and stayed out of debt because we didn't see things staying the way they have been. Too many industries in the United States, not only the airlines, are farming out work to lower paying facilities elsewhere because people demand cheaper, better, faster.

Well, usually you end up only getting two out of the three in the end. I think the fate I and many of my co-workers are facing is the same fate that the American working middle class in general faces. As Americans, we have voted for this every single day and with every single dollar we choose to spend with companies who put profits before people. Eventually, in the interest of being competitive in the marketplace our children may well see the day when 13 year olds live in company owned dormitories to work 12 to 16 hour days to be roused out of bed and given a biscuit and cup of tea before being led to their workstations. If they are lucky enough to have a job. It is, after all, what we as a people seem to be voting for. Sure, there are a few weirdos like myself who read labels and pay attention to where things are made and what the companies who make them actually stand for but the vast, overwhelming majority of my countrymen and women shop by price alone. I'd say easily 80% or more never look any further than that. Don't think it can happen here? It has before and it can again if people let it.

In this world we are all interconnected. Whether or not you care about that impoverished wage slave in Bangladesh making the parts for your electronic gizmo for pennies a day and living in a hut. When all the jobs are gone here and people are hungry enough, and desperate enough, and the already bankrupt government can no longer provide unemployment insurance and social services because their tax base is mostly out of work. What then? Never mind the "official" unemployment rate where after you haven't found anything in two years you're magically no longer counted as unemployed. I mean the actual number of people who can't find a job that will actually support a family.

I am reminded only of this quote:


"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be very uncomfortable if you are one of the facts that needs altering." - Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor Who. 

This quote is from the 'Face of Evil'. He's describing the Tesh and Sevateem.

So what I think is this. Keep living as self sufficiently as possible. Build your life towards increased liberty. Stop trading your time and money for material things that will be obsolete before you're finished paying for them. Leave something worth inheriting behind for your children. A piece of land they can grow their own food on. Our previous generations should never have left their family farms behind and moved to the city. It only ended with the rich getting it all and the working people getting crumbs and self imposed slavery via massive consumer debt to pay for mountains of things that have no real value. Then when you're old and sick big pharmaceutical companies, medical insurance companies and other parts of the medical industrial complex pick over whatever things of value you might have had left leaving nothing behind for your kids but bills. It's not the way things used to be and it's not the way things should be now either.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A Round Of Funnies


Our lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk, (I will be drunk),
At home as it is in the pub.
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillage's,
As we forgive those who spill against us.
And lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is the beer, The bitter, The lager.
BARMEN.


What's brown and sticky?

     A stick!

Wait...here's a better one...


What did the cat say after eating two robins lying in the sun?

     I just love baskin’ robins!


Five surgeons around a campfire........

        #1 The first says: "I like to see accountants on my operating table,
        because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered. "

        #2 The second responds: " Yeah, but you should try electricians. Everything
        inside of them is color coded. "

        #3 The third : " No, I really think librarians are the best, everything
        inside of them is in alphabetical order. "

        #4 The fourth chimes in: " You know, I like construction workers.... those
        guys always understand when you have a few parts left over. "

        #5 But, the fifth shut them all up when he observed: " You're all wrong.
        Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no
        testicles, no brains, and no spine, -- and the head and the butt are
        interchangeable.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Cleaning Out My Rant Box


HEY! Wake up! There's more to your life than football and comic books and video games right?

<<<----- What could possibly go wrong?


Monsanto - Eat more GMO animal scat FERTILIZED CROPS...from livestock feed GMO FEED, grown from GMO SEED! TRIPLE YOUR exposure...maybe your babies will be born with frog legs!

What got me on about this? Oh, maybe the fact that the USDA  has now forced Whole Foods to accept Monsanto. In other words, the government has now told Whole Foods, we don't give a damn whether you like it or not you will sell these frankenfood products or else! What?!? What country are we living in again. If a big company like Whole Foods can't decide for itself what it will and will not sell what chance does a little mom and pop business stand? Stories like this right here tell you exactly who is really running the country and all the people still running around yammering about Republican this and Democrat that, left wing, right wing, liberal, conservative, blah blah blah just don't get it. No matter what stripe mouthpiece you put into office the real powers that be, the real owners of this country, the real overlords are the gigantic megacorportations who are "TOO BIG TO FAIL" and will pass whatever regulations will benefit them and screw the little guys. If they gamble and lose with your money they will have their puppets in government force YOU to foot the bill. Remember that little thing called the American Dream? Where a little guy or gal could start up a small business, work hard and become successful. Yeah?! How is that supposed to happen in this environment? If you manage to carve out a nitch big enough to threaten one of these powerful entities they will crush you like a small, family owned grape farm under their feet.

Yeah, you can buy burgers made from ammoniated beef, which is exempt from USDA testing because the ammonia in the "meat" supposedly makes it safe; Which it doesn't, and the ammonia isn't listed as an ingredient because it is considered a "process". Google it! It will make you sick. So, yeah, you can go to store and buy this meat that has been sitting in a vat and then in a freezer for God only knows how long, but you can't buy a gallon of fresh milk that was in the dairy animal an hour ago from your neighbor without risking them going to jail. There have been some cases where judges made statements saying growing our own food/dairy is not a right. How scary is THAT?? More people per capita get sick each year from deli meat than raw milk, but I don't see them making it illegal to buy THAT.

How do you divide people up so you can get the control to do these things?

You rile people up about higher taxes without distinguishing between taxes on the rich, big business, small business, the middle class or the poor. Then you further insist that making such a distinction is class warfare. It's bullshit! The same technique is easy to use for regulations. Bad regulations (often dreamed up by the same interests that overall deregulation would benefit) can be used as examples to make people trust regulatory actions as a whole - and the baby goes out with the bathwater. In fact, the bathwater never goes out, 'cause you can bet those regulations that actually aren't good for society will be overlooked when the deregulating frenzy is in full swing.

My thing about extreme conservatives is this. The conservative movement is supposed to be about 'You don't affect me and I won't affect you. Live your life without intervention from the government or other citizens and you should do the same.' When Nixon and Reagan decided to bring the religious factor into the party, they took over. The problem is that they want to tell you what you can do in your bedroom, in your house, in your life because of what their concept of 'God' says. That's so not what the original idea was. It's not what 'conservative' is supposed to mean as a political movement.  I like the original idea of what conservative is supposed to mean. But I hate the idea of what they've become. Let me do what I want, went I want and how I want. If I tread on your rights, then call me on it. Otherwise, leave me alone. My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.

The reason the 1% are in power is because our government treats them like gods, bailing them out when their overall stupidity from bad business practices causes their corporations to fail financially. This practice is also destroying "Mom and Pop" businesses because if the large corporations continue to be resuscitated through bailouts, it doesn't allow new companies, who may possibly be better at conducting business, to replace the old ones.

Americas future is Chinas today, when regulations are totally out of the way our children will be free to enjoy the Chinese work week of 70 hours @$100 a week with no overtime.

‎"I Recognise the right of every American to use the resources of this great nation, I do not however recognise the right to deny those resources to this or future generations through squanderance or misuse." THEODORE ROOSEVELT

When you have government favoritism regulating most of an industry out of existence EXCEPT for the corporations that happen to have 2 or 3 congressmen on their board, then regulations only serve to unfairly limit competition and allow bad companies to grow huge (Monsanto) while the market they're engaged in (farming) gets decimated by their lawyers. Monsanto writes its own FDA policy, with a revolving door between their corporate board and the FDA. Another reason the Occupy Movement has a good point - Get corporate money out of the political process.

Corporate greed is also why you don't have an electric car, or a cure for diabetes. When its more profitable NOT to fix a problem, corporations DON'T.

Do you think Monsanto execs eat Monsanto products?

Resources:


SodaHead - USDA forces Whole Foods to accept Monsanto

Food Democracy Now! Stand up: Family Farmers vs. Monsanto

FDA Says Walnuts Are Drugs

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Solar Screens

Em' and I know a lot of people here in our local community who are also small business owners. If you support a small, family owned business you are supporting someone's kid getting to take those extra classes or extracurricular activities they want to learn about instead of helping some CEO buy yet another vacation home somewhere. You're also helping your neighbors have a vibrant, healthy local economy with good jobs to go to. So, in that vein I would like to focus today on our friends Tommy and Beth Sparks who I know personally. While I was working at Headquarters in the Facilities Maintenance Department for American Airlines I met Tommy and he was for a time my Crew Chief there as well. He immediately struck me as an honest, hard working guy that you could depend on to do what needed to be done. He would go out of his way to help someone with a problem and would tell you up front what he thought without sugar coating or beating around the bush.

Anyway, Tommy has, for several years now, been helping people lower their electric bills in the summer here in Texas by custom building solar screens for their home's and installing them. He works with the best materials on the market and will travel to your site throughout most of the North Central Texas area to measure your windows, evaluate your needs and give you a free estimate. Installing these screens on your windows, especially any southern exposed windows, on your home will drastically improve your indoor air temperature and will also help prevent sun fading of your carpets and furniture. Window blinds help some but with them the sun, and therefore the heat, has already passed through your window and builds up in the space in between the blinds, curtains and window where it radiates out like a space heater. This makes your air conditioner work harder. Put your hand on the curtains inside your window on a hot sunny day and feel the heat sometime.

The thing with solar screens is they stop this heat before it ever reaches your window so it doesn't get in your house in the first place. The screens themselves don't break down in the summer sun so they will last you many years and they help improve the appearance of your home as well. One thing to keep in mind about solar screens is they make your windows work kind of like security glass. In the daytime when it's bright outside but your home's interior is not so bright you can see out but people outside can't see in. At night time the opposite is often true. If you have your interior lights on but it's dark outside don't forget your neighbors might see you if you go streaking through the house to answer the phone that was ringing while you were in the shower. So, unless you're a bit of an exhibitionist, remember to close those blinds at night. ;-) I know it may seem kind of unlikely but people get so used to the comfort of their homes in the daytime with solar screens that they sometimes forget that they even have blinds.

Resources:

Eagle Solar Screens

Monday, January 30, 2012

Edible Landscaping

So, a week or two ago there was this article making the rounds about a town called Todmorden in Great Britain where the entire town is full of raised bed gardens where residents can plant, tend and take whatever herbs and vegetables they want. According to the Mother Nature Network article the town has about 15,000 residents and is located 20 miles from Manchester and is home to Incredible Edible a project which grows and campaigns for local foods. I found this all very inspirational and it reminds me a little bit of what Jack Spirko has mentioned a few times on his show The Survival Podcast. If you drive around a typical area in suburbia and see the manicured lawns, ornamental shrubbery, etc. Then look at the local parks, medians in the roadways planted with ornamentals and grass. If you were to just take out 1 in 10 of those plants which produce nothing and replace them with something edible can you imagine what that would do to help fight hunger and to give us the ability to produce our own food?

How arrogant have we become as a society that we actually breed trees like the Bradford Pear or pistachios that produce no fruit or nuts because we consider the food they produce to be litter? Look around your yard and see how many Photinias, Yaupons, and Box Shrubs there are. What if you just took one or two out and replaced it with a dwarf fruit tree or a berry bush instead? Wouldn't it be nice to walk right out your door and be able to pick fresh fruit? You could save a few bucks at the grocery store and would be in control of what pesticides, herbicides, etc. would be on them. There are plenty of natural ways to control pests so you would have clean, healthy food for your family. I plan to do some of these things this year with our yard. You might want to consider it too. I saw some nice looking peach trees at Lowe's last weekend for about $22 each and blueberry bushes too. Not to mention dwarf apples, plums, pecans.

Well, now I'm just making myself hungry. Have a great day! :)



Resources:

Todmorden: A Town Where Greenthumbs, Not Sticky Fingers, Prevail

Mother Nature Network



Friday, January 27, 2012

Downward Class Migration

In this video Jack Spirko talks about the slippage that has occurred over the past several decades in what it means to be middle class in America. How it's not just that Joe Blow has fallen out of the upper middle class and into the lower middle class but that what it takes to stay in a class position has changed. What roles debt financing play in this and how you can insulate yourself to some degree from it. Well worth checking out!



Resources:


The Survival Podcast Episode 761 - Downward Class Migration - More discussion on this topic.