Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thoughts on Education and Creativity


Ken Robinson has some important points I wish all parents would consider. Plus he has a nice British accent!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Zombies for Health Care Reform


Zombies for Health Care Reform, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

On Sunday Eden and I joined a throng of zombies down at Courthouse Square to draw attention to the need for health care reform.
I reckon there were about a hundred of us, along with a marching band and a lot of photographers.
We marched down Fourth Street, down past the library and up Third. I have no doubt that we made all the difference, just like the final snowflake that starts an avalanche. Harry Reid announced today that the Senate bill will include the "public option".
Ironically, it's the corporations that are the true undead.

As Krista Brown wrote in her fantastic blog Undercurrents:

After seeing the film The Corporation awhile back and reading Ted Nace’s Gangs of America, this idea of the act of incorporating being akin to creating a Frankenstein is not far off. A corporation enjoys the rights we as individuals do and yet it has superpowers, can shape shift (into new and diverse businesses), has an insatiable appetite (for profit), is immortal and cannot be held accountable. When you start to look a bit deeper at the nature of the corporation, it is frankly terrifying.

So, in the legend, when it becomes clear that the Golem must be destroyed, the rabbi can return the monster to earth by “removing the word of God”. When a corporation crosses the line, what recourse is there? That’s where the “revocation of charter” action starts to sound very interesting.

In the good old days, that’s what we Americans did. Revoked charters. Slam. Firstly, corporations back then were limited to the state where their charter was issued and it was so only with the clearest of terms and purpose, with a built in expiration. So when a corporation stepped out of bounds (by causing public harm, for instance), we the people revoked that corporation’s charter and it died. Slam. Death penalty.

Yes, let’s move beyond anemic slap-on-the-wrist fines. Gross polluter? Slam. Violation of human rights? Slam. Repeat offender? Slam. Could the modern day corporation, so different a creature from its early American predecessors, be kept in line with stricter limitations and the threat of death? I really don’t know.

It's a grim business when an able body has no soul.

It's Your Choice...


It's Your Choice..., originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Use Your Brains...


Use Your Brains..., originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Use your brains. Or we'll eat them.

Affordable Health Care


Affordable Health Care, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Dreaded Swine Flu - Check This Out


Here's a link to a fantastic site on the dreaded SWINE FLU "epidemic" and the vaccine. Check it out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Alive!


It's Alive!, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Jerry got the cob oven up to 1000 degrees or so. He's got this fancy laser thermometer with pinpoint accuracy. The outside top got up to about 150 degrees. He cooked the pizzas on the 700 degree bricks. They cooked in about one to two minutes!
We had caramelized onions, two kinds of peppers, red sauce, pesto and bechamel sauce, olives, mushrooms, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, regular mozzarella, fresh basil and two kinds of roasted peppers. I think we made at least 12 small pizzas, maybe more.
Each pizza was different and I wanted to try them all. Oh dear, I ate way too much.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yosemite


Half Dome, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Last week I took Eden up to Yosemite for four days of nature classes. This was arranged by some local homeschoolers with the Yosemite Institute.
We camped in the Upper Pines campground from Sunday afternoon to Saturday morning. It was incredibly cold in the mornings, especially the first few days. I'd never camped in the cold before. We had extra sleeping bags and wore lots of clothing to bed.
And there were bears. The first night, some idiots next to us kept a box of food in their tent! A bear ripped right through and dragged it out. Rangers came and there was a big commotion (about 2am).
In fact there were bears around every night and we were very careful not to have any food outside the 'bear box'.
During the day we had ground squirrels, jays, black birds and ravens all after our food. We had to be pretty careful! No bugs though.
For me, it was a rare opportunity to be off on my own, all the time while Eden was away with her group. I loved it!
We had been encouraged to bring our bikes and I was so grateful. Yosemite has awesome bike paths, though you want to stop every twenty feet to gape at the views.
There were 13 homeschooling families, with a whole passel of kids. Eden and Aja were in the younger group, which was good. The teen group did some very strenuous hikes! At night we'd have sing-a-longs around the campfire and it was really fun.
After a few days I felt part of this group of very warm, welcoming folks and their interesting kids.
I even got to do a little EFT, helping a little girl and one of the moms with height phobias. I'll tell you, Yosemite is a great place to work on height phobias.
We ran into Meredith and Steve, and Meredith's folks on our last day and got to hang out with them a bit.
I also met a number of really nice international travelers, out there on the trails. I met folks from France, Turkey, South Korea, Denmark, Germany, Australia and Belgium. This helped me appreciate what a jewel we have here in our own backyard.
Eden did not want to come home! But I'm planning a trip back in the Spring, and this time we may even take Krista and India with us.

ps, of course I have lots more photos on Flickr.

Happy Campers


Near Twins, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

Even though it was VERY cold in the mornings and evenings, Eden and Aja had the best time. Eden did not want to come home. I too loved the simplicity of our meals, and the freedom to wander the park on foot or by bike. The days were sunny and even warm once in a while.
But eventually we ran out of cookies and had to come home.

Above Vernal Falls


Above Vernal Falls, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

This was probably my favorite spot. It was a monster climb to get up there (at least for me), but it was so beautiful. I sat in the spray of the little waterfall, letting the spray mist me while I ate lunch.
The river turned into a water slide over the smooth granite surface, and I'm sure I'm not the only one wanting to strip down and splash into the Emerald Pool that feeds Vernal Falls.
My friend Jason read that most of the park fatalities are from people accidentally going over the falls. Oops.

Yosemite Institute


Yes We Can!, originally uploaded by Robbi Baba.

This was Eden's group for the four days, lead by Casey, teacher extraordinaire.