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DayCreek Journal

June 25 , 2006

Only 2.3 Walls to Go!

Thanks to the helping hands from the Oneida Nation,
Wall Number 62 is almost complete.

A group from the Oneida Nation arrived here last Monday to learn about cordwood construction. Their plans are to rebuild a sugar shack that burnt down a few years ago. Cordwood is an excellent choice for this project. This will be a community project involving a number of different age groups and the beauty of building with cordwood is that most anyone can build a cordwood wall—young and old alike. What a great way to involve an entire community.

Having a crew of ten really made wall building go fast. Think what an entire community could do! If all goes as planned, Jo and I will be traveling to Oneida sometime next year to help with this project. We can't wait!

Midwest Renewable Energy Fair
Jo and I just got back from this year's Midwest Renewable Energy Fair and it was invigorating to see so many people there. It's heartening to know that there really are people out there who care about this planet and are looking for ways to reduce our dependency on foreign oil while helping to stem global warming. We are however the minority. The majority of the U.S. population is still quite oblivious to the quandary we may soon find ourselves if we continue to consume energy, materials and food at an astounding rate. The U.S. is the most wasteful country in the world! Sadly, I feel it won't be until some major event occurs that the majority in this country will wake up from this “golden slumber”.

The keynote speaker on Saturday was James Kunstler who gave a speech based on his latest book: The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century.

Whenever I see a book that depicts a rather bleak, scary future I read the book with a skeptical eye or I just don't plain read it. Too often than not, the books that sell are those that strike fear into the hearts of the reader. It's the same way with the news that we get everyday—it's the negative news that sells.

I approached Jim's speech in the same way that I approach a book—with an eye of skepticism. That doesn't mean that I'm not open minded, it just means that I try to do my best to see both sides of an issue.

His humorous speech brought to light how the United State 's infrastructure is unsustainable and how we may soon have no other option but to change our wasteful habits. Eventually it will just be too costly to live in an unsustainable community such as suburbia. James painted a rather bleak future for us IF we sit back and do nothing.

Now I have to admit I shake my head more often than not at the ignorance level of most people here in the United States. We have been living on easy street way too long. You don't have to look very far to find someone with a cell phone pressed to their ear while driving down the road in their gas guzzling SUV, wearing designer clothes, shoes and sunglasses on their way to a shopping mall to buy more designer clothes, shoes and sunglasses that they really don't need. Then after they have closets and closets filled with the stuff they don't need, they go out and get a 50-year mortgage on a 5,000 square foot, energy guzzling house that they don't need.

You know, it really is scary and we should be scared. The problem is the majority of the U.S. population is too busy at the mall to read any books, let alone James Kuntsler's book.

So if the American public won't read a book, how about going to see a movie instead? Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" will scare you even more and it's not fiction. At least that's what the climate scientists are saying—Al Gore got it right. So wouldn't it be great if every American went to see this movie, including the president? That would be great but ...I think the Dukes of Hazard III will be out soon, Al Gore's movie may have to wait.

2 Out of 13 Ain't Bad
A couple of weeks ago, I finally roughed-in our staircase—no more ladders!. For those of you following the journal, Jo and I had a disagreement as to the shape of the staircase. I wanted a spiral staircase and Jo wanted an “L” shape. As it ended up, 13 stairs were required and with not enough room to do a traditional “L” shape, I had to put in two winders. So we compromised in the usual manner: Jo got 85 percent of what she wanted and I got 15.

I still need to fabricate a railing and the final hardwood boards won't go onto the stairs until after most of the inside construction is done, but at least we can now go up and down the stairs and I can enjoy my two spiral stairs each and every time.

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One of the many sounds of summer comes from the Eastern Wood Peewee. A frequent visitor to our forest, the bird is always in search of a tasty bug.