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How To Live Local: Creating Your Two Mile Map

Over the next couple weeks I have a few posts I will be doing that revolve around issues of sustainable living. In these posts I will be trying to avoid the more preachy, theoretical rants I can often find myself falling into. Rather these will be focused on tips and tricks, basic stuff that’s fun and easy to do. For the first post I wanted to say something about commuting and living life near your home.

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Bodies of Water in Paste Issue #35

  • Our musician friends from Highland Park, Bodies of Water, are in the “4 Artists to Watch” section of the most recent addition of Paste Magazine. They also have their song, “Our Friends Appear Like The Dawn” on the CD sampler if you can get your hands on a copy of the Mag or the CD you’re in for a treat. They also made a top 7 list.
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Elvis Perkins @ the Echo: Already Looks Like A Classic

This past Friday night I went to see Elvis Perkins with Emily, Cate and Bob. Recently, I found out about Perkins through Paste Magazine. Their review concluded with a statement that grabbed my attention. They said though this guy hasn’t been around long, and it may be too early to tell, the album feels like a classic. Hisdebut album “Ash Wednesday” has only been out a couple weeks and he’s making quite a stir with it.

I purchased the album directly after reading the review from Paste and I think they may have even understated just how good this guy really is. I’ve been hitting play and repeat on my ipod for the couple weeks as if I were trying to overdose on his music. And it just keeps getting better.

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UCLA and the Taser Incident – We Tase in the Stacks Now

I don’t go to UCLA, but because I live in LA this incident hits close enough to home to draw some reflection and criticism from where I stand. If you’re not sure what I am talking about Slashdot has a succinct explanation based on the article in the Daily Brun. This action has brought national criticism, and as well as a student uproar.

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A Little Time for Spiritual Inventory With Sequoias

Every so often I realize that I’ve been going full speed ahead for too long and need a break, this past week I had one of those realizations. I finally got to the point where I felt like I had been running with my eyes closed, not paying attention to those around me for some time. Emily and I decided to go up to Sequoia National Park for the weekend; we needed to get a little space, some quiet, and some beauty that comes from being surrounded by God’s creation.

The time was wonderful for both of us. It gave us enough time together to get caught up with each other, it also gave us enough time to take inventory of our lives. We both spend some time in prayer together using the Book of Common Prayer as a guide in the mornings. I also had time to journal a little and think through the course of my life over the past few months. This time of reflection and prayer was useful in helping me focus on the parts of my life I’ve ignored lately.

A few questions arose as I was reflecting that worked as a guide in thinking through and journaling about my recent experiences.

Questions to Aid in Spiritual Inventory

What have I rushed by so quickly that I have missed altogether?

Who have I harmed, ignored or worse used for my own gain in this time of negligence?

Where have I been dishonest with others, God or myself?

In what ways can find I wisdom to not fall into these ways again?

What things must I turn my attention to in prayer?

A Boy and a Fish

Later on, while Emily and I were sitting down for Saturday’s dinner at the campsite, a boy named Hollis and his younger brother came up to us. Hollis, about eight years old said, “We went fishing today and caught a lot of fish, we have two extras and would like to know if you want one.” I was a little taken-a-back not really understanding what he was talking about and told him we already had food and didn’t need any but thanks anyways. As he turned to leave Emily, who had stepped away from the table just before the boys came up, returned and asked what the boy wanted he explained himself again. Emily said, “sure we’ll take a fish” and the boys in delight ran off. Moments later they returned with a trout in a plastic bag, sure enough it was fresh.

I wasn’t even really sure how to cook it, so the boy explained to me how his dad did it. They were both sweet young boys, and their innocence and kindness struck me. It reminded me of how God shares with us unexpectedly, and how often I am quick to move on to something else instead of hearing people out (see the first spiritual inventory question). If I would have listened to the boy’s more closely I would have realized they were just doing a nice thing and weren’t trying to trick us or something. There are all kinds of thoughts that came through my head after those boys walked away. I was remind of Biblical stories like the “fish and loaves” and Jesus’ talking about the “the faith of a child.” But the simplest thing that should be taken away is the importance of sharing and being willing to receive a shared gift. This may have been the one thing I needed more than anything else this weekend: oh and the Sequoias of course.

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Sometimes We All Blackout

Lovedrug, a band some friends of mine are in, are coming into town on Saturday to play at the Knitting Factory; a line to one of their songs is the title of this post and the current state of my life.

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Bike to Work Day: Communities and Sustainable Life

[Updated] Thursday, May 18th was Bike to Work Day. The city of LA and its surrounding suburbs participated in various activities and sponsored prizes in hopes of encouraging people to ride their bikes to work more often. I participated in Pasadena’s Bike to Work Day and their sponsored events. Cyclists met in front of the central library from 7-8:30 A.M., ate a continental breakfast, had tune-ups done on their bikes, received door prizes and had their names put in various raffling drawings.  [You can also read this article on CICLE.org]

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Bike to Work Week

This coming week, May 15-19, is bike to work week.  I have already expressed my disappointment in not being able to participate because of my accident, but I thought I could pass along some links and what-not about biking.  There are some great resources on the web about getting started as a bicycle commuter, reasons why you should do it and other tips on “saving your tail??? while biking in the city.

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Since I normally love to write about my adventures in biking here in the city, I figured this post fits into that category. [Those of you with weak stomaches may wish to tune out at this time] Thorn and I paid the price yesterday afternoon for a lady’s indecision; in fact we ate the back of a parked car going just under 25 mph for it. “Sorry parked car guy, she drove off and left me to scrap myself off the ground, I didn’t leave my number.??? There was a little damage to the car’s rear lights, I had some of it in my knee.

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Blog Party #3

This Monday Night, May 15th, from 7:30-9pm I am inviting those of you who are free to join us in blog party #3. There are a few things you need to bring, a writing prompt to work on, any questions you may have about the technical aspects of blogging and something to drink. We will help each other out on techie stuff, and for those of you who don’t need any help you can use this time to hang out, drink a beer and work on a post, or listen to the new Gnarls Barkley album, which will certainly be spinning. Let me know if you’re coming and I will tell you where we live. The reason for getting together is to hang out, help each other with any questions and encourage that geek in each of us.

Oh – you need to bring a wi-fi ready laptop too.