Monday, April 25, 2005

What will you do to survive after oil?

After reading this, I decided to contemplate this question. I've decided to do a survey of the few loyal readers. Imagine that tomorrow the cost for gas goes back to $5.50 a gallon (it is the price of gas during the oil crisis of the 1970s after adjusting for inflation). What will you do? Would you go out and get solar panels to power your basics, would you uy a bicycle or some other vehicle to get around? Would you move closer to school? Work? recreation? Would you plant yourself a garden so that you could afford more gas while replacing the garden foods you buy at the store?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

And Now for something completely different...

I am going to try something new on this blog since I don't seem to have a lot of time to write entries much like the last one. I'm going to call it "The webpage of the month."

I'll post it and talk a little about it. I hope to make it in regards to current events. I have been reading a lot in regards to the Amtrak crisis. Apparently Bush has cut off the "National Passenger Rail Line" in his 2006 budget. I think he hopes that the states will pick up the slack. In the meantime it looks like most of that money would instead be going to fix the crumbling bridges. Online groups such as The Friends of Amtrak have been fighting since 1995 or so when the push to cut off Amtrak began (I may be off on the actual date but that's not odd considering Clinton was intent on balancingthe budget).

In closing I have one other page to add. The Christian Science Monitor added a really good multimedia presentation back in 2002 which is worth looking at.

A little sidenote that has to do with Amtrak but more in terms of family history than anything else: When my brother was in Boy Scouts he and his fellow troop members going on this trip rode the Amtrak. I don't know if it was a good experience or not. I know that my brother's train coming back was delayed a total of about 10 hours (my memory may be wrong, you may need to ask him to know for sure) due to the fact that the long-distance trains have to run on the frieght-trains' lines who havethe right-of way.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Music and Memories

I remember hearing my dad play his guitar he liked to call Manuel. He would be sitting on his and mom's bed piddling with the strings, making sure they were in tune and strumming when it fit the moment. All five of us, dad sitting on one side, mom on the other with us three kids piled down on the other end. Sometimes he'd do little riffs, kind of classical and spanish in nature all at once. Other times is be boistrous strumming. Many years later my sister was given a chance to learn the basics from dad as well as my brother. My sister began learning, but seemed to give it up once Tarrith started learning it. I remember taking another guitar that was a pre-cursor to Manuel that my dad took with him when he went on a mission trip to South America with some people in his church away with me to college, but I never learned how to use it and when I was going to start I found out that the lathe was warped and it would have cost more than the guitar was worth to fix. I am sorry I never got it fixed so that I could learn to play as well as dad played Manuel.

Many years ago, long before any of us Solon kids were a twinkle in dad's eye and before he met mom, my dad was in the Navy servicing the early F series fighter planes on the USS Independence. On one of his many stops in that venerable ship, it stopped in Cordoba (correction from dad, the Isle was actually Majorca) off the coast of Spain. There is where my father found and bought Manuel. I used to imagine my dad negotiating with the sales clerk in spanish. Many years later when my dad was helping me with my Spanish in high school I found out that the clerk was English, but it never detracted from my idealist view of the shop and of the guitar that my father enjoyed playing.

I don't know if Manuel gets that much of a workout anymore. I hope my dad sometime takes it out on a lazy evening when Kathy is home to serenade her, or to just listen and remember.