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the accidental grow house

So a couple of weeks ago I had a PG&E energy auditor come out to my apartment to do an assessment. Basically, I figured that it'd be hypocritical of me to preach energy efficiency without optimizing my own usage. I'll leave it at that since no other energy nerds read my blog here. Ok.

Anyway, Mr. Auditor is pretty impressed with how neuroti..er, efficient our apartment is, but he has one last place to check: the attic. Now, I've never actually been *in* the attic at Presidio Gomez, but I didn't think there would be any real surprises up there. So dude climbs up in the attic and I'm waiting patiently below, and he starts talking about how it's none of his business whether or not someone grows pot, and he smokes the occasional joint himself on the weekend. This strikes me as a bit weird, so I ask him why he's bringing it up. He says that the "grow operation" in the attic should be set up on planks and not on the ceiling - that way the insulation can be left in place. So, apparently the guy that lived in there before us was a grower - that much I knew, but I thought he'd confined it to the 2nd bedroom. Apparently not, and he did such a lousy job moving out his operation that the auditor dude thought that we'd moved the equipment and stashed it with the idea of putting it back after he left. So it appears that the grower had shoveled about 10'x10' square of R39 cellulose insulation off a section of the ceiling and didn't put it back. This pretty much explains why our heating bills suck from November to March.

At least it wasn't more fucking mold.


glassbooth is a useful tool for sorting through the primary presidential candidates. it works in two steps: first, you tell glassbooth what issues matter to you. glassbooth then generates a poll around your issues and matches you to candidates who think (or claim to think) along your lines. this is a decent way to do an end-run around the cult of personality garbage that comes with mass media democracy.

my highest match (94%) was kucinich. progressive environmental policy? check. universal health care? check. equal rights? check. totally unelectable? check.

speaking of unelectable - can't believe huckabee won iowa. don't evangelicals have jobs? who bussed them to caucus? frankly, i'd like to see a california proposition for secession.


A Cold Night in a Dead Tree (2 of 2)

a short note - an introduction by way of apology, i reckon:

i made a real effort to avoid any sort of artistic flourishes with this narrative. my instructor cautions against "spiritual inflation," and i tend to fall prey to that. i tried to inject some of the humor of the situation, but, in retrospect, i neglected to accurately capture some of the misery (and a moment or two of abject terror). next edit, maybe.

xposted to swinney and myspace

a cold night in a dead tree (part 2 of 2)Collapse )

dan Le sac + scroobius pip

old news, new to me (and possibly you):

vector - feministe - read their blog. at least go read the bit about what happened in nola if you don't already know.

i have this thing i wanna write, but it's still brewing. needs yeast.

A Cold Night in a Dead Tree

amazing tales of survival

Originally uploaded by christobal
So, for those of you interested in seeing photographic (albeit low quality) evidence of my trip up Hanson Ridge, you should direct your browser to my flickr account.

I wrote a trail narrative for my nature writing class, and will be posting it in segments both here and at myspace.

Incidentally, for those of you who don't know me, the reedy albino sasquatch perched on the roof of the hut is Gabe, not me.

me vs. wild / birthday wishes

Tomorrow morning I am heading into southern Humboldt for some "survival camping." This is supposed to be experiential fodder for a nature writing class I'm in right now. It seemed like a good idea in October, but December is looking like a different story. Last weekend, the ridge we're heading for received 5 inches of rain in 48 hours (not unusual in a temperate rain forest*) and the night time temps drop into the 20s - the textbook makings of A+ hypothermia. Ideally, we'll be building debris shelters and gathering food, but it's late in the year and food will be in short supply and the weather will suck. As a contingency, we're taking food and emergency shelter (i.e., a tarp). My trekking partner grew up in an orthodox commune in Sonoma county, flintknaps, and makes his own bows/arrows. He also has Lyme Disease - which has been acting up lately. Whatever happens, we certainly won't die of boredom.

* more temperate rainforest trivia: The tropical rainforest has greater species diversity, but in terms of raw biomass/acre, we Cascadians come out on top. It's tough to compete with 18,600 cubic feet of living wood in a single tree. (more on redwood ecology)


Hey Johnny,

I know you read LJ occasionally, so maybe you'll run across this. I hope your birthday is good, wherever you are these days. Get a message to somebody and let us know you're ok, even if you don't want to tell anyone where you're at. Take care of yourself, and call me some time.

...and found!

a happy update on my missing brother:

he showed up at the excalibur looking for the bag he'd forgotten there last week, and they informed him that he'd been tagged as a missing person. LVPD was notified that he had been "found," and he called his girlfriend to let her know he where he was and that he was heading for the bus depot post-haste.

i won't get into details here in a public forum* , but he's had intermittent problems with dissociative behavior in the past, and i think this one just took it up a notch. he's on his way back home to colorado, basically in one piece. thanks for all the concern and help spreading the word. i really appreciate it, and so does the rest of the family.

* (although i might expand on it a bit behind a friends cut later)
(xposted to myspace)

gone missing

this is a long shot, but it's easier than emailing everybody and hoping it makes it through spam filters.

my brother john disappeared in las vegas on june 13. his bag was recovered from his room at the excalibur hotel. last we heard he was heading to the stratosphere to ride a roller coaster or something like that, but we don't know if he made it there or not. a missing person report has been filed with LVPD.

a few of my old friends from reno have migrated down to vegas in the last few years, and maybe you guys might have seen him. others of you know him, and there's a chance that he might come by looking for a place to crash, depending on his state of mind. he's going through a really tough period in his life, and he's had intermittent mental health issues since he was a teenager; i'm concerned that he's in some sort of a dissociative state and wandering vegas - not the best place to be if you're out of sorts. if you see him or hear from him, please leave me a message and ask him to call me, his mom, or his father. thanks.

not my favorite picture, but the best likeness i have of him:

behind the cutCollapse )

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