16 January 2008

"Intellectual heavy metal"

My favorite band and my favorite public radio show had a crossover event tonight when The World ran a segment on Bolivian fans of Iron Maiden. Apparently the band won't play in the country because of political instability even though they routinely travel to other parts of South America. The reporter (who has an incredibly cute way of saying "Iron") interviews a couple members of the band's fan club who've tried to raise money and corporate sponsorship to bring the band to La Paz, so far to no avail. If you want to listen to the story, you can find it here. (For the truly faithful: if you follow the link to the story, be sure to check out the glass-encased copy of the Soundhouse Tapes in the photo gallery.)

Labels: , ,

11 January 2008

Compost happens

Something I've been wanting to do for a long time is start composting. When we lived in Oakland, it seemed that half the trash we hauled down to the dumpster was vegetable matter. So when the City of Oakland started a municipal composting program, I was really excited. Unfortunately, they didn't provide the little composting buckets to apartments with more than 4 units. And because we didn't have much outdoor space, I was out of luck.

All that changed when we moved to Vermont and a 1.2 acre house, and I started a little compost pile within days of getting the boxes unpacked. I feel like we're diverting a lot of our trash away from the landfill now, and we only take out the kitchen garbage every couple of weeks.

Despite the virtuous feeling I get, I can't escape the nagging feeling that all I've really accomplished is to create a trash pile behind the garage. Maybe I'm just being impatient, but most of the things in the compost pile still look the same as they did when they left the kitchen. I've read a bit about carbon and nitrogen ratios, so I bought a rake to make sure we could put grass clippings and fallen leaves in the pile. I even bought a pitchfork so that I could turn the pile periodically. Things were starting to look up as winter approached. When I would turn the pile, the bottom layer looked a little more like soil than it looked like rotten vegetables.

Then December came. More to the point, then came one of the top five snowiest Decembers in Vermont history. Now I feel like I've created a frozen trash pile behind the garage. We keep adding kitchen scraps to it, but I doubt anything biological is going to happen until the spring. Luckily we won't be in a position to start a garden anytime soon. We did just have a bit of a warm spell and a lot of the snow melted, so maybe I'll give the pile a good turn this weekend. That should get things going!

Labels: , , ,

06 January 2008

Fall colors

Because I had such a busy fall, I was pretty remiss in updating the ol' blog. Now that I have a little time before classes start, I'm going to try to post a few things before it gets crazy again.

Yesterday I went through our digital photos and posted a bunch to Flickr. Many of them were fall color pictures, which seem a little outdated as I look out my window right now, but I wanted to get them up anyway. Fall in New England definitely lived up to the hype. You can find a bunch on my Flickr site, but here are a couple of my favorites:

Labels: ,