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Posts Tagged ‘filmmaking’

I suppose it isn’t the best sign that I’m recommitting to this blog on Saturday—after I promised my mom I’d post it on Friday. We talked last week and agreed we would post a new article every Friday to get back on track as I settle in to my new job and begin to find time to refocus on this project.

Because I have lots of ideas. There are some wonderful things we can do from two different cities. Everett is a wonderful place with a very robust green movement; it would be fun to compare, contrast, and even compete. May the greenest city win!

And I still have miles of footage from our shooting in SLO that I want to develop. Once I get all of my equipment up here from Cali in the next month and I once I get settled in to a workspace (my iMac is currently sitting on a dresser in our short-stay apartment) I can again dive into that great footage and put together some segments.

In short, we’re still here, and soon we’ll be back in full (or better) force—exploring, learning, teaching, and inspiring. And we hope you’ll join us.

Look for a new and insightful post from either me or my mom every Friday. It’s a promise from us. Well, for me it’s more of a commitment. We’ll call it a guideline.

Cheers and thanks for sticking around!

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Hey all, my sis-in-law, Shawna, turned me on to an incredible website (and movement) called Healthy Child, Healthy World. As the name indicates, it is devoted to one thing: the health of our children. It’s an amazing site, and obviously well-supported. And the topics (like GMO labeling and enchanced chemical regulations) are near and dear to my heart.

Take a look at this well-produced trailer to get a sense of the founders’ commitment and the scope of their project. It’s very exciting!

I wonder if Healthy Child will be able to generate that all-important critical mass to affect real and sustained change. I certainly hope so, because although the focus might be our children (which is plenty important enough), the effects of the changes would be far-reaching.

I’d like to know what you think.

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Bernie Sanders inspires me. He’s one of the few people who authentically represents the interests of his constituents and his country. In the video below, one in a series produced by Brave New Films, Bernie speaks eloquently about the connection between green policies and economic growth and the strides that the government has made in the past year towards a viable green future.

We could certainly use a few more Bernie Sanders on Capitol Hill.

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In our continuous effort to be absolutely ubiquitous, I have started posting on YouTube.

Our first piece is an excerpt from Episode 6: the “solar oven scene” to be precise. It’s fun and exciting. (My mom’s excited anyway). In the future I see us moving toward the YouTube format and away from the structured episodic format to give us more freedom and the ability to stay current. (Not that staying current is in any way related to my inability to stay on schedule).

So, what do you think? Any suggestions for quick, 5-minute bits we can do?

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Hey all:

After mucho technical difficulties, I’ve managed at last to get the full interview up. I hope you enjoy the topics. Adam’s a great guy to talk to, and I hope we can do it again in the future. So here, without further ado (or technical issues), is the video.

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All right, gang, we’re back with another jam-packed episode!

One of our goals has been to make this into a collaborative effort, and it continues move in that direction. Jeff Jensen, my friend from High School (that place I went to nearly 20 years ago!) sent me some music to include in this episode, and I’m thrilled to add him to our growing collection of great artists. (Now if only I could get Fear Factory. What, not the right tone? Okay, fine.)

It’s also really cool to see the progress we’ve made on both the filming and editing front. We’re actually improving. Although we can only improve so much with me in front of the camera….

This episode sees us doing a little catch-up to get on schedule with the seasons: we pack the summer garden tearout in with the what I call a “winter garden medley”—photos of the garden as it grows over three months. Now our filming schedule will only be a month off instead of six….

We also take a trip to Mt. Olive where I learn a LOT about organic farming, and, inspired by their worm bins (200 tons of compost?! Seriously?!), I set out to build my own.

Join us! And let us know what you think!

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And what a beautiful weekend it was for shooting scenes and planting veggies!

First, we prepped:

  • We soaked the beds thoroughly
  • I tilled to loosen the dense loam
  • We sprayed worm “tea” (read: poop) on the soil and then tilled it under

Then we planted:

Lots o' bounty!

As you can see, the right-hand bed still has some hangers-on from the winter planting. We’re going to make the plants in this bed multi-seasonal.

The mound in the middle is comprised of a) my failed composting efforts and b) my successful (though unintentional) greenhouse efforts: the little cantaloupes had started in the “compost” so I just transplanted them to the mound. I’m a genius (also unintentional).

potatoes-day-1

Finally, we planted some potatoes, some already started—again, from my composter-turned-greenhouse.

Now we water, we weed, and we wait for the sweet, sweet rewards!

How about you? Have you planted your summer garden?

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Tom Ogren is a genius. Last week we did a frenetic cross-town exposition on plants, allergies, and health with him. As he showed us around SLO, pointing out the allergy-inducing plants that abound in public places, it sunk in to me that we’ve been pretty careless about how we’ve landscaped our homes and our city. (I’ve created an interactive map of our journey so you can follow along and see which plants Tom identified).

Tom explaing the finer points of oak pollination to me.

Enter Tom Ogren. His findings mark the next step in creating a sustainable, livable environment. In a nutshell what Tom has discovered over 25 years of investigation and analysis is that allergies are getting worse—and we are responsible.

Why? Because we apparently don’t like cleaning up a mess.

Now, during our walk, Tom threw out a few latinate terms that I certainly can’t remember (you’ll have to read his book to get the full story), but the gist is that many female plants produce seeds or berries.

Which fall off.

Which we then have to pick, sweep, or scoop up.

So, to avoid the trouble, we just plant male trees instead. And this is where we shoot ourselves in the foot—or up the nose. Because male trees usually produce pollen.

Tons of it.

And since it doesn’t have anywhere else to go, it goes right up the schnoz.

Bottlebrush: it might look gorgeous, but you'll want to enjoy from a distance

Not that any of this was intentional: for many years landscapers and homeowners simply chose plants based on their aesthetic appeal. The most obvious example of this type of philosophy can be seen in the water-intensive lawns and plants that still dominant our cityscape. Now, however, given the burgeoning awareness of our limited resources, there has been a concerted move toward sustainable landscapes. Beautiful new front yards are beginning to appear based on this new, sustainable approach.

We need the same awareness to burgeon (I love that word) about creating allergy-free landscapes. It is a means of creating a sustainable environment for our eyes, lungs, and immune system. Seriously. Given the amount of money we invest in anti-allergy medications, this is a very expensive problem that could significantly reduced simply by changing our landscaping practices.

And some cities are already doing it. With Tom’s advice and guidance, several cities in the southwest and, believe it or not, in New Zealand, have adopted landscaping policies that forbid certain plants and that require the planting of female versions of others. They’re very progressive. Even feminist.

Lastly, Tom recommended a few things you can do to at least limit the effect of seasonal allergies. A list:

  • DON’T rub your eyes. Some pollens look like miniature ninja stars or balls of spikes, so rubbing your eyes when they itch will only result in itchier eyes that are now bloodshot
  • If you’ve been outside for a while (especially if it’s been windy), take a shower and put on fresh clothes once you’re inside
  • If your allergies are really bothering you, stay in the shower, close all the windows and the door, and make it hot—the steam will help clear your sinuses
  • If it’s a bad allergy day and you can make it to the beach, do it—the fresh air from the ocean will clear you up
  • Lastly, and most importantly, buy and eat local honey

I had no idea the last bastion of male dominance would be in the plant world. Go figure. Now that I do know, feminists unite! Let’s get female plants their rightful place in our yards and streets!

How about you? Do you have allergies? Have they gotten worse? How do you deal with them?

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We did some pickups for Episode 3 last week. Logan loves doing the “Man vs. Wild” thing. So he and Kaia went to find some lizards. It took a bit of searching: most of our reptile friends are doing their best to stay under cover and keep warm. But after much diligence (and an assist from dad), success! A couple of Sagebrush lizards to show off.

Logan’s pointing them out to the camera, explaining all the good things Sagebrush lizards do: “Kill bugs, and, um, eat insects.”

Kaia tells Denette, “It’s okay, mom, he’s sleeping. You can touch him now.”

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I recently saw a special on PBS about how the brain works. It said to keep it in good working order it has to be constantly challenged and stimulated with new and different kinds of activity.  I thought at this stage of my life I would be retiring and taking it easy.  Instead, I am learning what OIS, SP, and 1600 other new switches and gadgets are on a DVX camera. Just figuring out the difference between DVD RW and R was a challenge. Then there is the How to Upgrade Firefox without losing all my tabs and coordinating 15 different emails accounts as another source of “stimulation.”  I should be a fricking genius. They say, “Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your kids,” but in this case I would go insane if Samson had not inherited a ‘nerd’ gene. Must have gotten it from his father.

How old am I, you ask?  How rude.  But, if you must ask…well, Samson is 30 something.  I had him when I was in my late 20 somethings.   I can remember when Eisenhower was elected and I am one of the original flower children.   My kids like to think I was roaming the earth about the same time flowers originated.  All I know is that I am now officially old enough to qualify for everything with a number attached to it.

Over the past 8 months I’ve discovered that filming is another fun-filled activity that keeps the mind in a constant state of panic.  Learning to go with the flow helps, and when my grandson, Logan, strolls onto the ‘set’ with a wiggly lizard tail in his hands, or when Kaia darts in and out of a frame chasing the family dog you just have to go with the flow. We’re all about reality here.

Making time is the real trick. Samson is juggling a full time job, raising a family, and starring in a 30 minute TV series every month.  Needless to say this requires a superhuman effort on everyone’s part.  I would like to especially thank my dear daughter-in-law, Denette, for ‘going with the flow’ (riding the rapids might better describe it) and allowing this ‘adventure’ to unfold, such as it is.  Thanks Love.

What, exactly is this ‘adventure’?  It’s mostly a “how to” series, and in the coming weeks you will watch us build a solar oven and worm bins, grow a winter garden, visit SLO farmers market and an organic farm in Paso, and, hopefully, have some personal interviews with interesting people who are actually being the change they want to see.  We will show the upside and downside by doing it. We’re not going to try to make it all shiny and pretty.   This is life!

We also hope to make this ‘adventure’ a focal point for information and networking that has to do with becoming self-sufficient, sustainable, and viable as a community.  There is a lot going on all around us and we hope to make Hole in the Fence grand central for these new ideas, which feel to me like old ideas revisited and revived.  Remember how old I said I might be.  But don’t you dare say anything!

Get this address to anyone you know who has something to share.  Look forward to meeting and talking with you all very soon!

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