Saturday, March 31, 2007

All We Got

Saw this on Neatorama. Three guys sharing one guitar. A real co-op.

Crane Creek Park

Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Yesterday was beautiful. Me and the girls headed down to our favorite stomping grounds to see if the creeks were still full and enjoy the fantastic greeness of it all.
Thank god for unschooling.
I'm so grateful that my girls love hiking and nature and have enthusiasm to spare.


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

There just can't be too many things more fun and wonderful than walking up a creek in the Springtime. Especially when the banks rise up and mysterious old trees harbor grottos under their gnarled roots and there are polywogs and the delicious cool sound of little waterfalls and hot sun pouring down and illuminating the pools.

Friday, March 30, 2007

seeding time

seeding time
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

This past Sunday we planted our vege starts. It was an ideal time to plant (according to our sources)--a waxing quarter Moon in Cancer.
We'd picked out these seeds with Meredith and Steve, we went halfsies on them, since our garden spaces are both rather small.
Eden, India and I took turns picking out favorite packets and we planted six cups for each variety. Eden pretty much went for the prettiest. India went for the sweet ones--watermelon and sugar pumpkin, etc. I got the Black Plum Paste tomatoes and all the peppers.

I'm planning on a major container planting this year on our deck. We've got a decent drip irrigation infrastructure in place already. Just need some pots and crates and soil. That said, we're still going to have to give some of these starts away!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another Vision Statement

Here's another little clip from the guy who did Think It So (just below this posting). I like it. I think it's probably pretty helpful watching stuff like this.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Think It So

Okay, here's another Law of Attraction video for y'all. I'm getting ready to try out his idea. I guess you can't really judge it until you do.

Eight Days In Bali

This is from my trip last year. Eight days boiled down to 50 minutes. Sorry the video quality isn't great--even so it took about 5 hours to upload to Google Video! If you're local c'mon over and I'll play the dvd version for you--and talk your ear off about Bali. If just one person sees this and decides to visit Bali, I'd be so happy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Monkey Forest - take 2

(I'm reposting this with a better quality video clip on Google Video rather than YouTube.)

I've just finished a video from my eight days in Bali last year. This is an excerpt I thought might have broader appeal than the whole 50 minute travel show. Everyone loves cute monkeys!

The Monkey Forest is right in the heart of Ubud and really fun to visit. The first time we were there Joyce had a monkey jump on her back! Enjoy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Finding My Element

Finding My Element
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

It's been about a year since I got back from Bali. I've been finishing up the little video I'd begun of my 8 day visit, and yesterday I came across some photos from my scuba diving experience.
I never planned on diving at all. I had journied to Ahmed, over on the eastern coast of Bali, to do some snorkling. But after my first exhausting morning of snorkling a bit of rough weather came in and it was much too choppy.
I asked my driver to take me for an ambling drive through the countryside and we somehow ended up at this beach with a dive shop. There is a wreck there offshore. A big US LIberty class ship from WWII is right there, about 40 feet off the beach! It's only down about 14 meters and is a major draw for divers and snorklers. I'd read about it in the guide books.
Some young French tourists were talking with the divemaster. He was telling them that they'd get all the equipment, a diving lesson and an hour long guided tour of the wreck for 150,000 rupiah. That's about $15!
The French people said they'd come back tomorrow. It was getting on toward late afternoon and the water was an unlikely color and the waves still rough. I sat there with my driver and the divemaster chatting for quite a while (getting up my courage).
I obviously went for it. And lived to tell the tale. In fact, I lived to come back the next morning and do it again!
The divemaster was very very careful to make sure I was safe and felt safe. I'll admit that I was truly scared--part of me fully expected to drown and I gave my driver instructions on how to contact Krista!
What a relief once we were in! It felt so much safer and more relaxed than any snorkling I'd ever done! And within a few minutes we were at the wreck and I'd never seen such diversity of coral and fish.
I think my Balinese guide knew ever square inch of the area and took me directly to see the various points of interest--the clown fish, the giant clam, etc.
The second day we went deeper (19 meters) into the wreck. Not inside any cabins, but down along the crowded and jumbled decks.
This was a ship that had been hit with a torpedo from a Japanese submarine. A rescue effort had been made and it was towed toward a port on the north side of Bali, but began to sink and was beached here. I'm pretty sure no one was even killed in the attack.
In the 60's a volcanic erruption and earthquake had caused the wreck to slide down off the beach to it's present location. I read that it's the closest wreck to shore anywhere in the world.
Anyhow, my WWII fascinated inner child was happy as a giant clam.
I very much want to return someday. It was an underwater peak experience.
(I've got a few more photos over on flickr.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

Sunny Days

Van Gogh
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I don't mind telling you it's been a little rough around here lately. First Eden got sick and since she still sleeps with us we got very little sleep. Days and days of really bad sleep. Ugh.
Just when Eden started sleeping through and we started catching up on our sleep debt, India got a raging sore throat. That was yesterday. Aaarrrgh.
Well, the weather has been great. The trees are flowering. I don't have to stagger off to some job involving whirling blades. Or sociopathic teens.
Life is good.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Who Killed The Electric Car

Our family watched this film on dvd (via netflix) a few days ago. It was full of surprises and new information for me and not only made my blood boil, but left me with new hope.
Why? Because we've already designed and mass produced excellent, efficient workable electric cars! I had no idea.

The reason I had no idea these cars were so great is the blood boiling part. They were never really advertised and virtually all of the wonderful cars that GM, Honda, Toyota and Ford all made were crushed or shredded. And Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles were used as a bait and switch. Grrrrr.

In case you didn't know this, there will never be hydrogen cars (aside from a few multi-million dollar prototypes). The hydrogen hype was a massive media campaign to distract folks from the demise of the electric cars. Why were they killed? And why no hydrogen? Watch the film.

But things have changed since they killed these cars. Katrina and Al Gore played a big part in our growing awareness of global warming. And the whole Peak Oil scare has had an impact on our collective psyche. Not to mention Iraq.

The battery technology was good enough already. Suddenly it's getting even better. I think we will have electric cars and plug in hybrids. It's just a question of whether we'll get them in time.

I didn't expect to like this film so much, or to get so much out of it. You might want to check it out.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another View of Iran

Via Neatorama I came across this gallery of photos of Iran.
"Ali Majdfar, an Iranian photographer, maintains an extensive gallery highlighting the vast array of people, landscapes, architecture, and beauty present throughout his native country. From snow capped mountains to beautiful tulip gardens, Ali shows the special nature and history of Iran that western media typically neglects".

For me the photos were as beautiful as they were surprising.

For Zoe Rose

Yesterday I helped my friend Karen get hooked up with DSL. She's not the most technologically sophisticated person ever, but does has many stirling qualities. Now that she can see my blog, I'm putting this cute kitten link up for her daughter Zoe. I know she'll like it.

So Karen, Click Here. (and hand the mouse cursor over to Zoe to interact with the kitten).

The Old Community Market

The Old Community Market
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

This morning Krista and I went to the new Community Market, over on Mendocino to get a few things. I brought my camera because I'd heard were some old photos of the old store on Morgan Street. The old store was torn down last year and it just about broke our hearts. Especially when we realized we had no photos of it.
I'm not sure who took these (it could have been me!). Krista and I both worked at the market, though mostly not at the same time. This was back in the mid to late 80's before India was born. In fact, Krista discovered she was pregnant while working there.
It was easily the most fun job I ever had--cashiering, stocking and ordering.
These were the days before Whole Foods and their corporate ilk. Most folks had never even heard the term 'organic'. We served the hard core health nuts, political activists and pre-yuppie/ex-hippy folk of Santa Rosa. And, of course, the residential neighborhood where we were planted.
Every item we sold had to pass numerous tests or we just didn't sell it. Vegetarian, no sugar, organic if possible, local if possible, cruelty free, fair labor practices, non offensive to women (this meant no 'diet' or weight loss products or sexist packaging). We looked at parent companies with a critical eye too. I remember debating whether 3M, which made scrubbie sponges, was okay or not.
The end result was that our customers could just relax and buy most anything we had to offer, without reading the labels and worrying.
Our motto was "Food For People, Not For Profit" and we kept our markup dangerously low. We all worked for starvation wages. But we had a mission and felt it was a noble thing.
It was a noble thing.
Whole Foods has done a remarkable job of giving their customers that same feeling of trust and safety. Only they haven't earned it. It's mostly just very clever PR. Still though, better than Safeway.
I guess we paved the way.

Register One

Register One
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

I seem to recall we had two registers with a third one added shortly after I left. This was just before the days of scanners, though at some point all the bulk stuff got numbers we would enter in manually. I learned pretty much every number and every price in the store.
If I do say so myself, I was a pretty good cashier. Except that I would put on terribly inappropriate music. At least until one day I overheard this little old lady grumbling under her breath "EVERY time I come in to this store they're playing this HORRIBLE music". I became a reformed character after that.

The Couch

The Couch
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Our store was a worker run collective (not a co-op). A bit funky around the edges, but hey, we had a couch in the front window where customers could relax and eat. We also had a wonderful black cat named Babbs.
I met my dear friend Meredith here almost 20 years ago.
I notice a basket of toys on the end of the couch here. Kids could just sit and play while their folks did the shopping. What a good idea.
As a worker run collective all our important decision making (make that MOST of our decisions) were made by consensus. We'd have meetings all the time. That was the only really stressful part of the job,

The Front Doors

The Front Doors
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

The Community Market (or SRCM as we called it) had taken over Bacon's Market, one of three little neighborhood markets in the old Junior College area. For years it was run by some fairly militant feminists and I remember it being a bit scary to shop there in the early eighties. Over time things mellowed out a bit.
Krista used to live next door when she was 4 years old. She says she remembers buying gum out of the gumball machine.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

It Pays To Enrich Your Word Power

Here's a link for all you word lovers out there. And here's a teaser example:

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

some of the comments are as good as the winning entries.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Guitar Case by Krista

Krista spent the day painting her guitar case. I think it came out fantastic!! You can click on the image to see a larger size.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Royksopp - Remind Me

I think you might enjoy this music video with it's astonishingly precise graphics. Somehow it reminds me of The Matrix.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Eden and I have a sweet morning ritual. She loves to play cards while we eat breakfast. Her favorite at this point is 'crazy eights'. She's also a sharp 'gin' player. We usually end with solitaire--we actually play together so maybe we should call it something else.
If Eden wants to play 'war' or 'go fish' she has to play with her sister. I can't stand 'go fish' as I ALWAYS lose. I pretend not to like 'war' either, just so Eden will seek out India to play with. Shhhhh.

Wild Daffodils

Wild Daffodils
Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

On the way back from the beach Sunday we took the scenic route and came across these 'wild' flowers growing along the road where there once was a farm. Beautiful.
I love Sonoma Country. Right now the plum trees, the acacias and the tulip trees are all in full bloom. The ditch willow are sending up bright orange shoots. The creeks are all full. And last night three racoons came and checked us out while we were in the hot tub.
One of them climbed up in the tree that overhangs the tub! That kind of freaked us out. They are so curious and not much afraid. We survived the encounter.

Shell Beach

Originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

On Sunday we went to the beach with Karen, Zoe and Maya. It was slightly overcast but quite warm and the ocean was amazingly calm. We ran into my old friend David and his son Orion there, which was a nice coincidence.
Shell Beach has beautiful rocks of all colors and a sweet creek to potter about in. We also found several big crabs and 'rescued' them from the low tide. A good time was had by all.
I've got lots of photos over on Flickr. I think they're good ones too. Check 'em out.