Casaubon's Book

Archives for January, 2010

I serve on a committee at my synagogue that brings in speakers every year for a series of talks and special meals. It is a small comittee, and before I joined, the average age of the participants was probably close to 70. The former chair is a formidable and funny woman in her early 90s,…

New York Times on Living Chilly

Just over a week ago, I re-ran a post “How Not to Freeze” about what to do if you don’t have central heating in the winter in cold places. I was fascinated by the responses I got from people who by necessity and desire were living with minimal heat. My assumption about “how not to…

…you just gotta love The Onion. Not only is it a lazy-ass blogiste’s best friend, providing amusing commentary when you just can’t get a post up, but it also does a lovely job of illustrating the scope of our ecological problems now and again. You’ll enjoy this one. “It’s not like I don’t care, because…

A friend of mine, Colin Beavan (aka No Impact Man) once observed that cutting your energy usage should be as easy as rolling off a log – that as long as it is always easier to use more resources, and the path of least resistance heads towards taking the car or turning up the heat,…

There’s yet another kerfuffle about climatology going on. First, of course, there was climategate, whose total revealed knowledge is “if you hack into people’s private emails you might find out that some people, even climate scientists, are jerks sometimes.” Now there’s another one – in the IPCC report, there’s an error. That is, scientists took…

Finding Love

Nearly all the single readers I’ve met have told me how hard it is to find someone who starts with the same basic mindset that they do. They talk about going on dates and trying to figure out when to ask someone “so, do you believe that industrial society has a future?” Or “what do…

Queer in the Country

In my “Response to Zuska” in comments we’ve had some interesting discussion of whether gay, lesbian, bi and transgender folk will need to/be able to integrate successfully into rural communities, and I thought it was worth a blog post here as well, for folks who may not have read all the comments. As you all…

The definitive book on root cellars and the cold storage of vegetables is Mike and Nancy Bubel’s _Root Cellaring_, and I’m very fond of this book. Over the years, we’ve relied on it for all sorts of things, and it has helped us find a spot in our house suitable for natural, unrefrigerated cold storage…

Beginner Bees

So I’ve spent a lot of the last few months reading beekeeping books – all the ones you’d think plus a few others. I’ve spent a lot of time talking to various local beekeepers as well. There’s an old saying “one Jew, three opinions” – well, let’s just say that my major observation has been…

Buck-Bees-Sheep, Buck-Bees-Sheep

Earlier this week I wrote in “Pyr-Buck-Bees-Sheep” that I was struggling to get excited by my present book (still true, although a little better), and that what was keeping me going was farm planning – thinking about what I really want to be doing. I made my list of sustaining plans, to be paid for…