Saturday, August 25, 2007

Big Bear Hailstorm

Live from our deck, here's a little taste of the thunderstorm we enjoyed here today. The near 30 minute hailstorm was a very welcome relief to our drought-stricken valley. But due to the limitations of You Tube this is all I could upload, but you get the idea.

Peggy and I were in the middle of preparing for our big Labor Day Yard Sale next week-end, and, just minutes before this video was shot, I was using my skilsaw and drill there on the deck. You can see the quickly unplugged extension cord lying there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The Deck & The Margaritas Await Your Return
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
The guys next door, Grant and Bill, built this deck last month, finishing it just three days before Bill fell out of a tree he was trimming at his place down near the ocean.
Bill was only about 7 feet up when he fell but he landed very badly, breaking his back in several places, his neck, a couple of ribs, both wrists, and fracturing his skull.
The good news is that our friend and neighbor is going to be OK. The doctors say he's really lucky there was no spinal cord damage and he's home now, recuperating down at his full-time residence, after several weeks in the hospital.
The cabin next door belongs to Grant, and he and Bill use it for week-end getaways, nearly every week. Grant was up over this past weekend to put a coat of varnish on the deck, but Bill won't be traveling for awhile yet, so I thought I'd post this picture for him so he can see how nice the deck looks stained.
Bill has the carpentry skills, doing most of the work on the deck, and he and I much enjoyed gabbing and exchanging ideas as it took shape. We also had a blast christening it over Margaritas.
Peggy and I send our love, Bill...

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Click on covers to enlarge - © 2007 Joseph L. Bageant/Crown Publishers

I know, the year isn't over yet, and we've read a bunch of good books at Earth Home Garden in the past 7+ months, including Jared Diamond's Collapse, The Humboldt Current by Aaron Sachs, and Limits to Growth, The 30‑Year Update by Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows. But I'm willing to claim that no other book I read during the remainder of the year will resonate with me like Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting With Jesus.

Articulately profane, gut-wrenchingly honest, and frighteningly well-informed, Deer Hunting With Jesus paints a profoundly vivid portrait of what's become of America and the promise of Democracy, revealing in great detail the tragic consequences of blind faith, of a mis-informed semi-literate right-wing conservative working class, and the arrogant self-defeating intellectual elitism of the so-called liberal left. Joe tells his potentially depressing story with deep affection and generous humor.

If Deer Hunting With Jesus doesn't hit home with you, you're living in a different America than I am.

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