Category Archives: simple living

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#382)

A gym bag containing wet clothes, a quart of milk, a dozen eggs, a rug (measuring 60in/152cm by 84in/213cm), and a new laundry bid which also contains 1/2 gallon of bleach, 4 lbs of dog food, two rolls of tape, and a pair of reading glasses.

Urban Simplicity.

Five Quotes about Bicycles

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle. ~ Elizabeth West 

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~ Ernest Hemingway

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off. ~ William G. Golding  

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood. ~ Susan B. Anthony

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

OK…I know I said five quotes, but here’s a sixth…seven counting the graphic 🙂

 I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair. That which made me succeed with the bicycle was precisely what had gained me a measure of success in life — it was the hardihood of spirit that led me to begin, the persistence of will that held me to my task, and the patience that was willing to begin again when the last stroke had failed. And so I found high moral uses in the bicycle and can commend it as a teacher without pulpit or creed. She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life. ~ Frances E. Willard 

Playing with Light

Since recently purchasing a small tripod, and using my bike as a platform, I have been able to take much fuller evening and night pictures with my inexpensive little point-and-shoot camera. I have always found the night to be very spiritual, and taking photos such as this is, to me, a form of contemplative photography. I usually carry a camera with me (and lately the mini tripod as  well) and as I pedal and coast silently through the chilly city streets I’ll often stop and take a few photos. Sometimes I find it a soothing and reflective experience…I have to really look at the object or scene before me–study it a bit–before I take it’s photo.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a brief story. Tonight as I was leaving the health club I had my little camera and tripod set up on the back of my bike and was about to take a picture. A guy I’ve met before was walking from the parking lot to the building. As he passed he asked what I was doing; I told him taking pictures of a tree. Why, he wanted to know; because I thought it was beautiful, I told him. Okay (but pronouncing it (ohkaaay) he said as he rushed passed me. I was hoping he would look up to see it, but I don’t believe he did…the above image is the one I was taking. The light–or the lack of it–really changes things.

Urban Simplicity.

Life in Motion

How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
~Dr. Seuss

Sometimes I forget about it…or at least refuse to be aware. It has been such a busy year–the past month especially–and now Christmas and the year’s end is just around the corner. But then when I slow down I remember. Sometimes I just need to stop and take a breath. And this is what I was thinking as I pushed the Mundo up the Plank of Gratefulness today, and as I stopped to look at the withered weeds and plants pictured above. It’s an image of where–just a brief time ago–I grew vegetables. It seems like just a few days ago that I was relishing in the fact that it was the longest day of the year and now–in two days–it will be the shortest (and darkest). Oddly, as I looked at the shriveled plants they looked beautiful to me. So after pushing the Mundo into the living-room (yes I keep my bikes in my living-room) I grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos. And as I was taking the photos–zooming in on them–it occurred to me that nothing is permanent on this physical plane in which we currently reside; everything is in transition…it always has and always will be. Life moves on and we must move with it. And with the sake of sounding hokey (as if I haven’t already) I also think that each of us has a purpose in this current incarnation which we find ourselves….whether we ever realize it or not. I’ll get off my little soapbox-pulpit now. Carpe Diem. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Urban Simplicity.

100% Whole Grain Bread (recipe, photos, info)

As many of you know, I like bread. A lot. I enjoy making it, but more importantly I enjoy eating it…and I do not believe it makes you fat. I could easily be a poster boy for the high-carb diet…I eat bread, pasta, or rice at nearly every meal and am well within my proper body weight. The key, I believe, is whole grains…they are really good for you. I also believe that everyone should make their own bread (at least sometimes)…not only will it nourish your body, but also your emotions; there is something very primal about having your hands in raw dough and transforming ingredients so basic into something so complex. It is, in short, an alchemistic art-form. And breads you purchase–even though they may say “whole grain”–have a lot of other things in it besides the grain. Take a look at this label for “whole grain bread”…a paragraph long list of mostly unpronounceable ingredients is unnecessary.  In truth, to make a really good and wholesome loaf of whole wheat bread you need only these four ingredients. In the recipe pictured here–bedsides the seven-grain mix–I count eight other ingredients…all recognizable and pronounceable. If you don’t have a seven grain mix you can use whatever grain you have (brown rice works great). This is made in the same way that I make Ezekiel Bread, only it’s easier because you can boil the grain all at once (click here or here for Ezekiel Bread recipes). Anyhow, this recipe is way easier to make than it may seem at first look. I hope you try it…both your body and soul will be glad you did. If you’d like to read more about how to bake with whole wheat–it’s similarities and differences with white flour–follow this link.

Urban Simplicity.

Whole Grain Bread
Makes 2 loaves
1 cup (6.6oz/187g) 7-grain mix
3 quarts (96floz/2.83L) water
____________
fully cooked grains
2/3 cup (5.3 oz/157ml) cookingliquid
2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheatflour
2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instantyeast
____________
4 cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheatflour
2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vitalwheat gluten
1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cookingliquid
____________
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) honey
1/4 cup (2fl oz/59.1ml) olive oil
3 teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) instantyeast
3 teaspoons (.5oz/14.1g) koshersalt
Combine the grain and water in a mediumpot and bring to a boil; lower the heat to simmer and cook the ricefor about 45 minutes or until very soft. As the grain cooks add morewater to the pot as necessary because the cooking liquid, which isfull of nutrients, will become part of the recipe. After the grainsare cooked allow them to cool in the liquid to room temperature,refrigerating if necessary. Then drain it, squeezing it with yourhands or the back of a spoon, reserving the cooking liquid.
Place two bowlsside-by-side; one will hold the pre-ferment, the other autolyse. Inone bowl combine the cooked and drained 7-grains with 2/3 cup (5.3oz/157ml) of the cooking liquid, 2 cups (11oz/312g) whole wheatflour, and 2 teaspoons (.2oz/5.6g) instant yeast. Stir just untilcombined then cover it with plastic wrap. In the other bowl combine 4cups (21oz/595.3g) whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons (.5oz/14g) vitalwheat gluten, and 1 1/3 cups (10.5fl oz/315ml) cooking liquid; stirjust until combined then cover it with plastic wrap (take care not toget yeast into this bowl). Allow the bowls to rest at roomtemperature for about an hour, during which time the preferment willbegin it’s job multiplying yeast and fermenting flour, and theautolyse will soak liquid, swelling the gluten.
After an hour or so, combinethe ingredients from both bowls into the bowl of an upright mixerfitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, olive oil, salt, and 3teaspoons (.3oz/8.5g) of yeast (add the yeast and salt on oppositesides of the bowl). Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container, cover itloosely, and allow to ferment for 1-2 hours, or until doubled inbulk. Deflate the dough and allow it to ferment an additional 30minutes. Turn the dough out onto afloured work surface and cut it into 2 pieces. Shape into loavesand place into lightly oiled pans. Loosely cover the loaves withplastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-60 minutes, or until doublein size and when gently touched with a fingertip an indentationremains. Preheat an oven to 450f (232.2C). Bake the breads forabout 30-40 minutes, adding steam to the oven a few times (eitherwith ice cubes or a spray bottle) and rotating the breads every tenminutes. The breads are done when they are dark brown and soundhollow when tapped upon. Remove the breads from their pans and allowthem to cook on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

I Like to Cook at Home

“Cooking is a great destresser because it serves as a creative outlet,” says Debbie Mandel, author of “Addicted to Stress.” “And while stress can numb your senses, cooking activates them. It’s a sensory experience with aroma, taste, touch, visual delight and even sizzling sound.”

I could easily start and finish this post with it’s title: I Like to Cook at Home. Though I cook all day at work I still like to cook at home; it’s my favorite place. Often the busier the day at work the more I want to cook myself dinner at  home. I don’t eat like I cook on the job–most chefs don’t–otherwise I would be either as big as a house or in the grave. At work I cook tons of red meat and often use cream and lots of butter. At home my meals are based on pasta, olive oil, bread, pizza, and vegetables. On-the-job cooking is often stressful; at home it is relaxing. Cooking at home can be a form of therapy. Most often it is just my son and I, or even just myself. The above picture is tonight’s meal in progress. Chicken ragu in one pot, macaroni boiling in another; broccoli aglio e olio sauteing in the foreground, and a seven grain mixture boiling in the rear (which I’ll make into seven grain bread in the morning). At work I never allow a radio or stereo playing (there’s enough white noise in a stressful kitchen), but at home I always listen to music or NPR; tonight I was listening to Fred Eaglesmith. I can’t image not wanting to have the desire to cook for myself; I feel blessed. People ask me all the time if I don’t get tired of cooking. No is always the answer. But if I were to elaborate I would say that while I still enjoy and feel lucky enough to cook for a living–no matter how stressful–my most favorite place to cook is at home, and sometimes just for myself.

I don’t have a typed recipe for tonight’s meal to offer, but this one–which contains fish and is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes–is really good and similar to the chicken version we had tonight. If you’d like to read an article I wrote for Artvoice a few years ago on these very same thoughts, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Olive Oil for the Dogs

That’s Franklin on the left and Maxwell on the right, and they love olive oil. Well, OK…they would love any food I gave them. And yes, while some may find a pug unattractive, I think they are almost too cute…they are great house dogs and companions; and it’s like having two little aliens follow me around the house all evening. Anyhow, I’ll get to my point. Most know that olive oil, which happens to be my favorite cooking oil, is good for us humans on many levels, but did you also know that it is good for dogs as well, specifically their skin and coat? And this, I believe, is true for any breed dog, not only pugs. But I have  to back up a bit. Pugs, I’ve come to learn over the last few years, are prone to skin problems; Maxwell and Franklin are no exception. They get rashes and itchy skin so bad that sometimes they chew themselves raw (literally). I’ve taken them to the vet only to spend big bucks on medications and physician’s fees with little results. A few people have suggested putting fish oil on their food, which I did for a while. Recently, though, I came to learn that olive oil is just as good. I put a tablespoon or so on their food in the morning and evening. It took about a month to really show difference but what a difference it is. Their coats are soft and shiny again, and they have nearly stopped scratching…they even smell less “doggy.”  The only issue is that now every time I reach for the olive oil when I’m cooking dinner they start going nuts because they think it’s their dinner time…

Anyhow, I just thought I’d pass this along to other dog owners.

If you’d like a few recipes (for humans) using olive oil, click here.

Urban Simplicity.

You’ve Got Mail…

I just thought I’d pass a long a bit of info on a new update to this page (shameless self-promotion is no easy task for me). I’ve recently added a mail widget to this blog…if you enter your email address you will receive an any new posts from via email. And just to let you know, I personally do not receive your email address; you will stay anonymous (at least to me). For those of you reading this at my main blog–UrbanSimplicity.com–the mail widget is on the left hand side of the page, below the categories and just below the members area. If you are reading this from my mirror blog–UrbanSimplicty.wordpress.com–the widget is on the right hand side at the bottom of the info bar. Lastly, whether you are a repeat reader or just stumbled up this site via clicks or searches, thanks as always for reading, commenting, and following. Peace. Joe.

Urban Simplicity.

How To Simply Live

The title of this post is a question not a statement, and I pose it mostly to myself. It could easily be rearranged to say How to Live Simply and have the same meaning. To live simply and to simply live are one-in-the-same in my opinion…and I’m still trying to figure out how to do this. I go through phases where I don’t think about it that often but I’ve been currently pondering it again. Because to me–in the spead up techo-world in which we currently reside–this is very difficult at times…to be in the world but not of it (and I often think of this Bible passage). Anyhow I recently read this pdf document titled The Art of Living Simply (click here to download it). I believe it is a synopsis of the book, Voluntary Simplicity, by Duane Elgin…and if you’ve never read the book and are interested in living simply I highly recommend it. Sometimes I really think that I complicate things in my life that do not need to be complicated; it’s in my nature. I’m trying to learn to just be. Anyhow, I found the document interesting and inspiring and thought I’d pass it along…below is the opening paragraph.

Peace.

Simple Living is “living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. This way of life embraces frugality of consumption, a strong sense of environmental urgency, and a desire to return to living and working environments which are of a more human scale.” (Duane S. Elgin and Arnold Mitchell)

How To Simply Live

The title of this post is a question not a statement, and I pose it mostly to myself. It could easily be rearranged to say How to Live Simply and have the same meaning. To live simply and to simply live are one-in-the-same in my opinion…and I’m still trying to figure out how to do this. I go through phases where I don’t think about it that often but I’ve been currently pondering it again. Because to me–in the spead up techo-world in which we currently reside–this is very difficult at times…to be in the world but not of it (and I often think of this Bible passage). Anyhow I recently read this pdf document titled The Art of Living Simply (click here to download it). I believe it is a synopsis of the book, Voluntary Simplicity, by Duane Elgin…and if you’ve never read the book and are interested in living simply I highly recommend it. Sometimes I really think that I complicate things in my life that do not need to be complicated; it’s in my nature. I’m trying to learn to just be. Anyhow, I found the document interesting and inspiring and thought I’d pass it along…below is the opening paragraph.

Peace.

Simple Living is “living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. This way of life embraces frugality of consumption, a strong sense of environmental urgency, and a desire to return to living and working environments which are of a more human scale.” (Duane S. Elgin and Arnold Mitchell)

Five Quotes from Leo Tolstoy

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”


“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”


“I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.”


“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

“War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.”

OK…so I said five quotes, but here’s a couple more.


“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.”


“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”

Five Quotes from Leo Tolstoy

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”


“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”


“I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means – except by getting off his back.”


“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

“War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.”

OK…so I said five quotes, but here’s a couple more.


“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.”


“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”

>Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#254)…and my "city-boy triathlon"

>

Two plastic soda crates.
Ingredients for dinner and a few other food items.
4.4 kg of dog food.
A set of Christmas tree lights.
4 large envelopes.
3 rolls of wrapping paper.
3 small Christmas presents.
3 rolls of Scotch tape.
A gym bag full of wet clothes.

This past week I seemed to drive my truck more than my bike (which always makes me a little agitated and annoyed)…not so much because of the weather (though it has been cold) but because of many small and unspecific circumstances. At any rate, I had the day off and was determined to do all my errands by bike, which I did but it ended up being a lot of physical exercise (which I felt I needed). Anyhow, at one point I had to laugh to myself as I felt I was on some sort of a city-boy triathlon; this is what comprised it: about seven miles total riding on a 55 lb. bike (including stopping at 4 stores, a bank, and a health club), 40 laps in a pool (a little over a half mile), then splitting and hauling a small pile of firewood using an axe with a semi-broken handle. I’m exhausted (but in a good way).

Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#254)…and my "city-boy triathlon"

Two plastic soda crates.
Ingredients for dinner and a few other food items.
4.4 kg of dog food.
A set of Christmas tree lights.
4 large envelopes.
3 rolls of wrapping paper.
3 small Christmas presents.
3 rolls of Scotch tape.
A gym bag full of wet clothes.

This past week I seemed to drive my truck more than my bike (which always makes me a little agitated and annoyed)…not so much because of the weather (though it has been cold) but because of many small and unspecific circumstances. At any rate, I had the day off and was determined to do all my errands by bike, which I did but it ended up being a lot of physical exercise (which I felt I needed). Anyhow, at one point I had to laugh to myself as I felt I was on some sort of a city-boy triathlon; this is what comprised it: about seven miles total riding on a 55 lb. bike (including stopping at 4 stores, a bank, and a health club), 40 laps in a pool (a little over a half mile), then splitting and hauling a small pile of firewood using an axe with a semi-broken handle. I’m exhausted (but in a good way).

>Let There Be Light…but it’ll cost you

>

This image was found here.
I love that old sign (above). “Do not attempt to light with a match.” “The use of electric lights is in no way harmful to health.” 
While the invention of electric lights goes back farther, their use as a common form of lighting is only a little over 100 years old…but look how far we’ve come. Imagine how odd (and a bit scary) it must have been for our great grandparents to walk into a room and flip a light switch for the first time. How odd it must have felt…it probably felt limitless; a candle or oil lamp would eventually run out of fuel or burn down, but the light bulb kept burning. 
It’s a little known fact that the city in which I was raised and continue to reside, Buffalo, was once called the City of Light. This was popularized during the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. While many link this particular event with the murder of the then US President, William McKinley, it was during this exposition that electricity was first showcased on a grand scale. With our proximity to Niagara Falls (and it’s hydro generators) Buffalo at the time was thought of as the most lighted city in the world.
Like many people, I try to turn off lights as I leave a room and don’t turn them on if I don’t have to. And sometimes, but not always, I light candles or oil lamps to supplement electric lights in certain rooms (I get used candles for free, left over from parties and weddings I cater). While it’s not especially conducive lighting to read by, I actually prefer the light from a flame to a bulb…more of a gentle hue than a bright light. Sometimes I try to imagine what my house was like when it was built (circa 1860, the best I can figure); surely there was no electricity in it then. And being a simply designed house the original inhabitants were most likely working folk, like I am now…they may not have had electricity well into the 20th century, maybe the 1920’s or even 1930’s. I can’t even imagine what they would think of the Internet.
Anyhow, I started thinking about this after reading a short article on Treehugger about the cost of operating a light bulb for a year. While monetarily to the consumer it is nominal, to the environment it is huge (I think). 
Copied from Treehugger:

For starters, it takes 714 pounds of coal to power a single light bulb for a year. Or, 143 pounds of natural gas. Or nearly 9 days’ worth of sunlight hitting a 100 square meter solar array. Or 0.035 pounds of uranium. Or over two and a half hours of a hydroelectric plant operating at 80% capacity.

Yow! I would never have thought it would take so much fuel to power so little light.  The below image was copied from Treehugger as well, and they originally copied it from GOOD which is where they also received their info. The image was reduced in size for easy uploading, to see it in it’s original size (where it will be easier to read) click here.  To read a short but interesting history of lighting, click here. I think I’ll go light a few candles.

Let There Be Light…but it’ll cost you

This image was found here.
I love that old sign (above). “Do not attempt to light with a match.” “The use of electric lights is in no way harmful to health.” 
While the invention of electric lights goes back farther, their use as a common form of lighting is only a little over 100 years old…but look how far we’ve come. Imagine how odd (and a bit scary) it must have been for our great grandparents to walk into a room and flip a light switch for the first time. How odd it must have felt…it probably felt limitless; a candle or oil lamp would eventually run out of fuel or burn down, but the light bulb kept burning. 
It’s a little known fact that the city in which I was raised and continue to reside, Buffalo, was once called the City of Light. This was popularized during the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. While many link this particular event with the murder of the then US President, William McKinley, it was during this exposition that electricity was first showcased on a grand scale. With our proximity to Niagara Falls (and it’s hydro generators) Buffalo at the time was thought of as the most lighted city in the world.
Like many people, I try to turn off lights as I leave a room and don’t turn them on if I don’t have to. And sometimes, but not always, I light candles or oil lamps to supplement electric lights in certain rooms (I get used candles for free, left over from parties and weddings I cater). While it’s not especially conducive lighting to read by, I actually prefer the light from a flame to a bulb…more of a gentle hue than a bright light. Sometimes I try to imagine what my house was like when it was built (circa 1860, the best I can figure); surely there was no electricity in it then. And being a simply designed house the original inhabitants were most likely working folk, like I am now…they may not have had electricity well into the 20th century, maybe the 1920’s or even 1930’s. I can’t even imagine what they would think of the Internet.
Anyhow, I started thinking about this after reading a short article on Treehugger about the cost of operating a light bulb for a year. While monetarily to the consumer it is nominal, to the environment it is huge (I think). 
Copied from Treehugger:

For starters, it takes 714 pounds of coal to power a single light bulb for a year. Or, 143 pounds of natural gas. Or nearly 9 days’ worth of sunlight hitting a 100 square meter solar array. Or 0.035 pounds of uranium. Or over two and a half hours of a hydroelectric plant operating at 80% capacity.

Yow! I would never have thought it would take so much fuel to power so little light.  The below image was copied from Treehugger as well, and they originally copied it from GOOD which is where they also received their info. The image was reduced in size for easy uploading, to see it in it’s original size (where it will be easier to read) click here.  To read a short but interesting history of lighting, click here. I think I’ll go light a few candles.

Take The Pledge (we really need it)

This site/campaign has been all over Facebook this past week. It is overtly suggested towards people in the U.S., the biggest gas guzzlers on the planet, but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt if others took this pledge as well…we may live in separate countries–and indeed have distinct languages and cultures–but we are all connected and part of the same human race.

I recently played the “car passenger game” while riding my bike, meaning I looked at cars as they passed to see how many had more than the driver in them. I only rode about a mile or so, and it was during rush hour so there were a lot of cars, but I kid-you-not that during the entire mile of pedaling I only saw 3 or 4 cars with more than the driver in them…one person each in those enormous metal shells. If everyone feels the need to be propelled (alone) by a gas-fed vehicle maybe we should all ride Vespas…it would be more efficient and way more fun on a hot summer’s day.

Anyhow, I also have to mention (confess) something during this blog post. Here I am babbling on about a Weekend Without Oil and I actually drove my truck today (alone; the only person in it)…only 4 times in the last 6 weeks, but felt like I had to mention this as I sat on my high horse talking about Vespas and bikes.

To take the pledge, click here. What I find interesting is that the items/actions they suggest (the criteria for the pledge) are not that difficult, sort of common sense in many respects…and if you are a regular reader of this blog something tells me that this will not be that difficult of a pledge to take. Maybe we should collectively take this pledge once a month…just imagine.

I’ve really been feeling lately how it is truly up to us (the people alive on this planet right now) to do something, however big or small…even the smallest steps will make a difference. This is our legacy…this is what we are leaving for our future generations. To put it a different way, imagine what it would be like if we knew that our grandparents or great grandparents knew back then what we know now–that our actions can have a direct impact on the planet and generations to come–and they did nothing about it. I personally do not want to be that ancestor. I hope that everyone reading this takes the pledge (or as much of it as they are able), we need it more than ever.

I’d be interested to hear what others thought about this site and their suggested pledge.

>Take The Pledge (we really need it)

>

This site/campaign has been all over Facebook this past week. It is overtly suggested towards people in the U.S., the biggest gas guzzlers on the planet, but I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt if others took this pledge as well…we may live in separate countries–and indeed have distinct languages and cultures–but we are all connected and part of the same human race.

I recently played the “car passenger game” while riding my bike, meaning I looked at cars as they passed to see how many had more than the driver in them. I only rode about a mile or so, and it was during rush hour so there were a lot of cars, but I kid-you-not that during the entire mile of pedaling I only saw 3 or 4 cars with more than the driver in them…one person each in those enormous metal shells. If everyone feels the need to be propelled (alone) by a gas-fed vehicle maybe we should all ride Vespas…it would be more efficient and way more fun on a hot summer’s day.

Anyhow, I also have to mention (confess) something during this blog post. Here I am babbling on about a Weekend Without Oil and I actually drove my truck today (alone; the only person in it)…only 4 times in the last 6 weeks, but felt like I had to mention this as I sat on my high horse talking about Vespas and bikes.

To take the pledge, click here. What I find interesting is that the items/actions they suggest (the criteria for the pledge) are not that difficult, sort of common sense in many respects…and if you are a regular reader of this blog something tells me that this will not be that difficult of a pledge to take. Maybe we should collectively take this pledge once a month…just imagine.

I’ve really been feeling lately how it is truly up to us (the people alive on this planet right now) to do something, however big or small…even the smallest steps will make a difference. This is our legacy…this is what we are leaving for our future generations. To put it a different way, imagine what it would be like if we knew that our grandparents or great grandparents knew back then what we know now–that our actions can have a direct impact on the planet and generations to come–and they did nothing about it. I personally do not want to be that ancestor. I hope that everyone reading this takes the pledge (or as much of it as they are able), we need it more than ever.

I’d be interested to hear what others thought about this site and their suggested pledge.