Sustainable SW Blogs

tiny bubbles

The Field Lab - Fri, 2015/05/22 - 3:59pm
1 lb 11.42857 oz sterling silver casting grain...enough for 44 coins.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

just so so

The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/05/21 - 4:31pm
My surgeon still won't commit to allowing me some weight bearing - more healing going on but my hardware is blocking a little too much of the view in the xrays.  Scheduled me for a cat scan next week.  Then it will be OK to walk...or wait some more...or a bone graft.  My doctor reminded me that my break was about as bad as it could be - without loosing my foot.  Got no choice but to roll with the punches.
Checked the weather down south before I headed out and it didn't look good.  Drizzle all the way from Odessa to about 20 miles south of Alpine.  Started thinking I might get swamped out.  There was a big thunderstorm south of TFL but it slid by.  My road home was dry as a bone.  68,73,61,0,B
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Odessa - Land Of Enchantment

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/05/20 - 5:20pm

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The Good Life Lab's Blog Babies - Anikos Herbal Education

Holy Scrap - Wed, 2015/05/20 - 5:03pm
Since my book, The Good Life Lab was published in June 2013, I've received sweet letters of praise that I have savored as they fill my heart to the very top.

More than a few who wrote to me said the book influenced them to make a decision different than the one they were about to make before reading the book. One reader said, "I was afraid to read your book." She knew it contained a something that may sway her. It did. Usually the through process people describe to me is something like, "I was going to move to the city and start building a career but decided to take a six month road trip with my husband first and think things through." Then comes a story about remembering that they had a dream that would not take flight if they took the career path before them. Then the new decision. "So I decided to by our family farm and raise my kids there." Or in Aniko's case, she went to herbalism school. When she wrote to tell me about her life changing decisions I replied suggesting she start a blog, advice I give to everyone starting a journey. Journey's are important, interesting, and ought to be shared. Here's the one she started. Yay Aniko!

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Swap-O-Rama-Rama @ The Maker Fare - Ten Years of Good Fun & Creative Reuse

Holy Scrap - Wed, 2015/05/20 - 11:05am

This year marks the tenth that Swap-O-Rama-Rama was produced at the Maker Faire (in San Mateo, CA). From the start this has been a charmed pairing. I remember the very first year in which I, along with the MF staff, celebrated as Swap-O-Rama-Rama was immediately embraced by Maker Faire attendees. Local talent showed up in droves to teach attendees to sew, stitch, deconstruct, and hack textiles. Thousands of pounds of textiles were repurposed and saved from landfill. Silk screeners threw down designs that were so out-of -the-box that lines to obtain them wrapped around the 6,000 sq ft room that the swap was in. Today the event features a speaking lounge for talks of all things fashion and textile. The fashion show was packed with creative people young an old ogling over the new creative opportunity made available at the faire, textiles!!

Today I take a back seat to the Swap-O-Rama-Rama's production. The San Mateo faire swap is produced by Erin Scholl who also runs a regular running Swap-O-Rama-Rama in the bay area. Thanks to Erin and the fantastic and loyal staff that she's put together for yet another fantastic event. Here are some photos from the event that took place last week.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Exactly How Long You Can Be Anywhere

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2015/05/19 - 7:23pm
Since leaving New Mexico, a state that could easily be called the free spirit of the west, I have noticed that free space is hard to find. Today I encountered a sign at Whole Foods that indicated exactly how long I was expected to spend in Whole Foods according to Whole Foods. The length of time is not more than 90 minutes at which time the corporation will have my vehicle towed. Now this is in spite of the fact that the Whole Foods I visited contained a brewery, pizza restaurant, sushi bar, and a fireplace with seating around it. Have fun, but not more than 90 minutes of it.

This was in keeping with signs we've read all along our route from Colorado to Cali. A sign posted in a public park in the county of Del Norte, CA read, "no free picnicking." Really. Why? Ubiquitous were signs stating, "No Overnight Parking."

Growing up I recall that my friends and I regularly parked around the burbs. Favorite spots included behind the Morton Village Shopping Center, the woods behind the USPS building, in sumps, cemeteries, and abandoned lots where homes had not yet been built. Kids love these kinds of nooks. But even then, one did not have to hide, we liked to hide. We also hung out wherever we wanted and regularly parked in any ol' lot, by a store or business, or an empty space be it an official park or not. Back then (oh my do I sound old!) cops took you home to your mother if you were found in a precarious position, not to jail. Humm.. do you think this may have to do with the fact that jails were not privately funded profit centers in the late 70s and 80s?

Before leaving T or C, a place where free space is still abundant, a friend from Wyoming told us that his state proudly hosted city parks with bathrooms and running water . They welcome guests (even those who sleep in cars and tents) for three days. Now that's more like it.

Although it has not been written, I think that we can say that it is illegal to live an indigenous life. No one is free to exist in space as space is no longer free. We are pointed to private property as the only space we have a right to exist in. If your lucky enough to own some, life is a little easier. If you add to this lonely picture that today more than half of the states in America have made feeding homeless people illegal, one has to wonder where the heart of our nation has gone.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Leave It To Neil

The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/05/19 - 3:50pm
My friend Neil in the UK passed this on to me on Facebook today.  The stamp act of 1906 which governs the sale of precious metals in the US.  I researched this two years ago when I did the first round of minting.  To the best of my knowledge, every piece I have sold so far (and intend to sell in the future) "has been within the actual fineness of the silver or alloy thereof of which such article is wholly or partly composed shall not be less by more than four one-thousandth parts than the actual fineness indicated by any mark".  Regardless of the silver content...each piece contains 100% love.
No one knows how many laws there are in the United States.  Apparently, no one can count that high.They’ve been accumulating, of course, for more than 200 years.  When federal laws were first codified in 1927, they fit into a single volume.  By the 1980s, there were 50 volumes of more than 23,000 pages.And today?  Online sources say that no one knows.  The Internal Revenue Code alone, first codified in 1874, contains more than 3.4 million words and, if printed 60 lines to the page, is more than 7,500 pages long.  There are about 20,000 laws just governing the use and ownership of guns.New laws mean new crimes.  From the start of 2000 through 2007, Congress had created at least 452 new crimes, so that at that time the total number of Federal crimes exceeded 4,450.Of course, times change and laws need to be updated.  But many laws detract from, rather than contribute to, our quality of life and overall well-being.  It is impossible for anyone to know all of the laws that affect them and it is, therefore, impossible to not break any laws.  How many of the 4,450 laws have you broken?- See more at:  
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East Forest In Portland - A Boondock for Aesthetic Junkies

Holy Scrap - Tue, 2015/05/19 - 9:10am
My dad is in his 80s and of a generation that is wildly impressed by the wonder workings of the internet. He is truly Amazed by the friends I have who live in various states and countries, all of whom I have web-based relationships with. His orbit is limited to where he can drive or walk. When I told my dad about boondocking he could hardly believe the oddities of modern nomadic life.

Since we moved into the Honda Element, Mikey and I have boondocked with Mikey's aunt in Coos Bay and recently in Portland with our friends Trevor and Katrina. Boondocking is a hybrid of staying at someone's home and living in your vehicle. When boondocking we sleep on our 4" memory foam bed in the Honda, use our hosts kitchen and bath, and charge electronics off their power. Its a nice hybrid, having your own personal space and giving your host some.

Visiting Trevor and Katrina I wondered if I got a glimpse of what our dog Sesame experiences on the road. Each time the car door opens a new world appears with smells, sounds and sights different from the last. Trevor and Katrina's home is a noticable aesthetic shift to an earthy, Etsy'esque, creative, play space with its own unique sound track. Trevor handmade much of the furniture and the sound. A musician and woodworker, his home is a fingerprint.  I appreciate people who recognize that details matter. Scent, sound, pace, color. . . some people can dial up beauty in each moment.

At home in New Mexico and in the car on the road, the ONLY music that Mikey and I play without asking the other's approval is Trevor, aka East Forest. I am pretty sure Trevor has connected to something as primal as my DNA. I am grateful. After a couple of days in their dreamy wonder-world we invited them to check out the Honda-world in their driveway. I was hardly surprised when Trevor recommended we get glow in the dark stars for the ceiling or a bliss light for ambiance. Silly me, how did I not think of that! This is what friends are for.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

sterling futures

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/05/18 - 4:40pm
Back in 2013 when I started the minting project, silver was about $22/oz.  So far this year the low was $15.39/oz.  The price has been creeping up the last 2 weeks ($17.69 today) so I just ordered 25 troy oz of sterling silver casting grain from my favorite jewelers supply.  Decided to add some more to the stockpile since I will also be minting a limited number of the 2013 Benita coin in case anyone still wants one.  Once the price of silver hits $19, it will be cheaper (but not easier) to find flatware deals on Ebay.  The nice thing about casting grain is that it can go straight into the mold eliminating the steps of chopping and nugget making.  81,91,63,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

The Thing About Doing New Things

Holy Scrap - Sun, 2015/05/17 - 7:36pm
Readers of this blog know that Mikey and I enjoy newness. We embrace change and like to reinvent ourselves. Mikey admits, "I like to do whatever is trending." But change is also a sign of the times we are living in. People today must be adaptive. Many of us will have dozens of jobs in our lifetime and move from place to place having no connection to land. I find it to be true that what is trending is often interesting - not so much fashion and pop music but health and lifestyle. Trends carry the memes that express the collective unconscious, and map where we're heading, what we need, and what we are learning. One thing is for sure, newness triggers awareness. The trend we're currently following, living out of a Honda Element, has me spinning.

It has been a month on the road and I'm triggered, downright irritated, and awe struck. Jostled from familiar, comfortable, routine life now regularly kicks up metaphorical subconscious dust. My sketch book journal contains more than a few scribbles like this: lose, misplace items, no systems, ever day anew = need to let go, trust more, accept chance. Here's another. . .  things happen ready or not. A hike without water, suddenly dinner = be flexible. Social anxiety. What armor is going up here? Must have enough downtime in which to recharge. The funniest recent scribble was, I am too old to do this. There is also this note to self: return to retreat practices, create an on the road set of practices: yoga, meditation, and morning pages.

You can see in these notes a desire for order and repetition. Perpetual newness is currently more tiring than exciting which is interesting because when I was a bit younger it was the other way around. This sparks contemplative questions about aging. What is this tendency telling me about myself? How should this decade of life be different from the previous?

Another observation that I've made is that I tend to do, and therefore become, the things I most need to learn. Throughout my life I've been called fearless. What I know to be true is something a little different. When I'm fearful I take on the thing that I'm afraid of. This is different than being fearless. I'm acutely aware of this right now each time I load a new GPS map in GaiaGPS on my phone, fill my hydration pack with water, and head out on a trail that leads me into a wilderness - to a place I've never been. I could find myself lost or become injured. I could panic. These are reasons to do it. Joy is an afterthought. Each time I enact this ritual I ask of the fear, will it be this time that it subsides? Maybe it never should. This might be the voice of my common sense making sure that I remember a lighter, knife, mace and extra water.

Living in a car, a condition in which each time the front door opens reveals a different set of faces, ideas, geographic icons, weather patterns, communal memories, and cultural trends ...  dials up everything I can muster about adaptation. Newness is all there is. Sometimes one finds there is no where to go. No where to park without paying, rest without noise, or change clothing without public view. There are many opportunities to see culture anew, to notice what it tells us about how we've shaped the world and how we may wish to change it.

I know that what follows is likely adaptation and then assimilation. Further down the road there may even be mastery. In this moment my brain is seeking for repetition, systems, and order. Ways to make linear and familiar what is chaotic and even frightening, though more often tiring. I remember that throughout my lifetime I amassed tools. I am a yogi, Sufi, athlete, artist, contemplative, entrepreneur, adventurer, nomad. Life calls for a review.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Matthew 13

The Field Lab - Sun, 2015/05/17 - 5:50pm
For a reason I don't remember, I signed up for a calculus class my sophomore year in college.  About 3 weeks in, I skipped a class (I really didn't like calculus) and ended up missing a vital lesson.  From then on nothing made sense and I never understood anything else from then on.  I ended up failing the course.

Matthew 13:12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.Mark 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?Matthew 13:19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.

Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.1 Corinthians 13:13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.Matthew 13:23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
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free range roosters

The Field Lab - Sat, 2015/05/16 - 3:04pm
Woke up this morning to the sound of my roosters in front of the hut.  Seems the boys broke out of their coop and decided to try out free ranging for the first time in their lives.  Since they were so well behaved (they didn't attack me when I led them back to their coop), I will start letting them out to experience the world on a daily basis.  81,93,63,0,B
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Next class-Basics of Biodynamics this Sunday

Home Grown New Mexico - Fri, 2015/05/15 - 7:13pm

It’s not too late to sign up for this class on this coming Sunday!

Sun. May 17
Basics of Biodynamics
Time: 1 pm —3 pm
Instructors: Poki Pottin & Dominique Pozo
Location: Gaia Gardens-2255 Paseo de los Chamisos • Santa Fe


Come learn the basics of using biodynamics in your garden. Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced garden ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Poki will explain the principles of biodynamics and show you how to apply it to your gardens.

Help keep this class free! Become a 2015 Member for only $35 – includes all classes and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

coin clamp

The Field Lab - Fri, 2015/05/15 - 5:03pm
for fine sanding80,87,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/05/14 - 4:01pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs


The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/05/13 - 4:40pm
Here are the 3 stages of finish before the stamping:
1. Fresh from the mold 2. Random orbit sanded with 220 grit 3. Hand sanded with 320, then 400, then buffed with 000 steel wool.Note:  Only about .3 grams per coin is lost in this finishing process 76,83,62, .35",B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

bench block

The Field Lab - Tue, 2015/05/12 - 5:30pm
Just got a little bench block today.  Need a nice smooth chunk of steel to set the coins on for stamping.  This is 3/4" thick and 2 1/2" square for $12.  Hard to believe it is cost effective to get something like this delivered to the middle of nowhere with free 2 day shipping.  64,75,63,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

graphite from back home

The Field Lab - Mon, 2015/05/11 - 3:59pm
Found a good source on Ebay for graphite blanks to make my molds.  Chopped up a few pieces with the table saw today.  Funny thing is it comes from Hudson, NY.  That was just down the road from where I used to live.  78,87,57,0,W
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Arcata Community Forest

Holy Scrap - Mon, 2015/05/11 - 9:46am

Arcata Community Forest, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

A lovely forest loaded with single tracks and a walkable distance from town.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Satan's Top 10

The Field Lab - Sun, 2015/05/10 - 3:06pm
Lie #10: GOD doesn't exist.Lie #9: There is no such place as hell.Lie #8: This life is all there is. When you die, you cease to exist.Lie #7: Sin really isn't serious...just be a good person.Lie #6: GOD would want you to be happy, so do what makes you happy.Lie #5: Acquiring possessions will make me happy.Lie #4: GOD doesn't love you.Lie #3: Salvation is unattainable for me.Lie #2: Once you're saved, regardless of how you live, there's nothing you can do to lose your salvation.Lie #1: You're saved the moment you believe in Jesus.
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