Friday, October 29, 2004

My Meeting With Congressman Jay Inslee

Some people wondered, "what was Inslee doing in this (the 2nd) congressional district?" Wouldn't he be campaigning in his own (the 1st) district?

It was a local forum on Energy. Introducing something called Apollo Pac.

I was impressed. Remembering that "can do" spirit that got Americans to the moon, why can't we develop alternative energy with a similar gusto? Wind energy, solar, hybrids, bicycles, transit, changing town planning, no shortage of innovations for adding to the mix.

About 30, or so, energy minded folks gathered to hear his presentation and then participate in a lively question and answer session.

Forum organizers were smart enough to reserve the space for at least an hour after the formal "question and answer" so people could mingle, among one another, networking so to speak. A lot of Bellingham's creative thinkers were there. People need to talk to one another as well as hear from the "big guys," like the Congressman.

Rather than zipping off, in some limousine, Inslee stayed in the room also. He joined in to some of our circles of discussion. I was happy to interact with him, as well as others in the room. Even shook his hand. Hope I didn't give him the slight cold I have.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Green Manhattan

Prettier than a rural sprawling Walmart parking lot. This is one of many nice views I snapped in 1993 when I had an opportunity to walk in New York City. See below, my review of article on Green Manhattan.

Those interested in planning, bicycling and environmental issues would be interested in an article called "Green Manhattan." It's in the October 18 edition of The New Yorker Magazine. I xeroxed a library copy, 7 pages. Haven't yet found it on line.

Talks about Manhattan Island as being the greenest city in America. Not necessarily by external appearance, but by per capita consumption of resources by its residents.

Being able to live with-out a car and not having a lawn to put chemicals on all ads up to lowering one's ecological footprint. It talked about apartments that are easier to heat than suburban homes. Finding ways to keep the impact of human existence confined to urban spaces, rather than sprawling into more and more pristine spaces.

Urban environments can be fun, like not having to drive 20 miles just for a candy bar. What about being able to walk to a great concert?

This article is a good resource for people interested in ideas like in-filling or the Washington State Growth Management Act.

"Green Manhattan," in the October 18 2004 New Yorker Magazine, by David Owen.

I just got to thinking, "urban sprawl" should be renamed "rural sprawl." Urban development often gets a bad connotation even though it is the efficient way to accommodate population. Rural sprawl is caused by people moving farther and farther into the countryside.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Green Slime

Green Slime; a difference in this world

I wasn't planning to add my "two bits" toward a better world when I set out for yesterday's errands, on my bicycle.

One of the things I wanted to do was to put some green slime into my back tire. It prevents flats.

As I was squirting slime into my tube, the manager of the filling station I stopped at (where there is a free air hose) came out to fill another tank.

He was quite intrigued by the slime. Said, "I think I'll stock it in my store." "It makes sense." "There's Fix It for car tires, there would be something for bike tires as well." "It just never occurred to me." "We get a lot of bikes past here; they could use it."

I showed him the tube and explained that I had gotten it at a bike shop. Having it stocked at the mini-mart could add a level of convenience for bicyclists. Bike shops tend to be open more limited hours.

Riding a bike is a unique way to go. People don't see something like green slime every day. This little trip might have made a difference by influencing the inventory decisions of a popular mini-mart.

I often find my self answering questions about my bike, travel and lifestyle as go. These impromptu and unplanned conversations might do more than this blog. Who knows. If I was traveling like just about everyone else, in a car, people wouldn't notice.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Autumn scene along Interurban Trail in Bellingham

Autumn scene along Interurban bicycle trail in Bellingham, WA. between Old Fairhaven Parkway and Old Samish Highway.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Fort Ord bike path into Monterrey, CA. & more from my 2004 bike trip

Great bike path into Monterrey, CA. Goes through old Fort Ord. Each day, I am posting a few more images from last summer's trip.

I am posing in front of the carillon at top of Hoover Tower on Stanford University Campus. One of many things I visited during my 2004 bicycle tour.

Santa Cruz Surfer Sculpture. Seen along West Cliff Drive.  Many would say this surfer guy is younger and cuter than me, but he doesn't talk or swing his arms.  A standing model.

Phone booth at Madona Inn, San Luis Obispo, done in stone. These are some more pictures from my recent bicycle tour.

A home away from home that is larger than my home at home. This RV was seen proudly displaying the American Flag at a campground near Roseburg, OR. Spotlight illuminates flag showing thanks for nation that makes such large motor homes possible.

My bicycle is many times smaller and just think what this nation would be like if more people biked.  The flag could remain the same however.

More pictures from my 2004 bicycle tour.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Dialog About The War From Canada Side Of Border

I tuned in for a few minutes of the Ideas show on CBC Radio. Heard two folks discussing Iraq war. One seemed somewhat in favor of invasion while the other was against. The "in favor guy" sounded clear and articulate, to me, while I don't really remember the point the "opposed guy" was trying to make.

Ironically, a story told by the pro invasion person caused me to think of the war as a failed policy.

He spoke of traveling around in Iraq meeting many folks who were happy to see American troops depose Saddam Hussein. One young man expected Hussein to be deposed and then he could get a ticket to immigrate out. He wants a better life for his family. Out somewhere. The speaker suggested, to the comfortable audience of Canadians, "maybe Canada." "Or maybe USA." Someplace besides Iraq.

Now, some good natured North Americans are getting nervous.

He said many Iraqis are disappointed. They expected miracles from the Americans.

He even joked that the Iraqis might be disappointed that America hasn't done anything about their hot summers.

I say, "We can't even prevent our own hurricanes."

Who is making all these promises to the Iraqis?

Are they watching Hollywood TV?

Can we even deliver on promises made to our own, American, people?

What will happen to the many families, in that part of the world, with 8, or so, kids?

We may not be up to this task.