Monday, February 29, 2016

Local Liquids

In my tea aside for the spices (vanilla bean, cardamom seeds, cinnamon sticks, ginger root) I add tap water run through our charcoal ceramic filter, various combinations of pasteurized whole cow, soy, rice, and almond milk, the later which is delivered here. Apply Denpasar made Bokashi Rub Oil to any skin thing like a rash or tag - can always take a sip too. Isopropyl alcohol for the ears after a swim which helps to dry them out and open them up so I'm not hearing challenged. Learned that hydrogen peroxide poured into a drain neutralizes undesired odors, and love the smell of the coconut shampoo. Soups is a whole other list. 

A Broken Promise

"May we meet again?" he asked, clutching her hand.
"Can you wait?" she replied.
"I can wait forever for you," he said with tears forming.
"Very well," she said, "Can you be here on this day next year. Can you wait that long?"
"I can. For you I can," he answered in a trembling voice.
"Very good," she said. "If you are here, I will be too. Goodbye for now."

She did not break her promise. He broke his which broke his heart - though nothing else was pressing. He was attracted to the unlikely and then the impossible.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Indonesians start paying for plastic bags in Jakarta

And it will be extended to all of Indonesia, 2nd only to China in plastic bag use - and plastic pollution etc., takes it more seriously. An article today from the Jakarta Post.

Here's an article from the Jakarta Globe saying that people are being supportive of the new policy.

Keep it up Indonesia! Individual efforts are futile without government programs, rules, regulations, and laws. And being the #2 polluter of the oceans with plastic, it's important for the whole world.

On our Expanded Ecological Footprint

The excellent Bali Advertiser has an article entitled What's Your Ecological Footprint?  I appreciate what the author pointed out and would like to add two other factors to the calculation. One is the relative importance of individual footprints and those of organizations from the Girl Scouts to corporations to media to governments and military and educational institutions. Another factor which can also be small or enormous is an individual's or institution's influence on others.

As for the first point, it seems to me as it has to others that the footprints of such organizations mentioned are momentous, their influence on our future towering, dwarfing our personal behavior in effect. As for the second point, it seems to me that one's actual footprint must include the reach of one's influence. Thus, Al Gore or Laurie David have, I believe, very large personal footprints and their work has even larger ones - think of all the energy expended in making a movie, people going to it, putting on conferences etc, but when their total influence on society is added to the calculation I suggest that they both have gigantic negative footprints and consider it petty but understandable to criticize their personal footprint harshly. Exxon Mobil and the Koch brothers (individually and as Koch Industries) naturally have huge footprints with any normal calculation, but when their extremely influential spending on propaganda promoting climate change denial is added in, their footprints are surely gargantuan. The footprints of politicians and decision makers at various levels in this thinking would mainly be shaped by their positions and not their personal habits. I imagine Fox News footprint as able to contain countless NPRs.

There's an American man named Emerald Starr by his Kahuna guru who has been here in Bali a long time. Here's a nine year old article on him in the Bali Advertiser. I've mentioned him before. As the article states, "He co-designed and created a permaculture retreat center on Maui." He designed and built the first resort hotel constructed with bamboo after first developing a method to prepare the bamboo so it would work. He's a presenter of Al Gore's Inconvenigent Truth material. He puts a lot of energy into what he does such as work on the revitalization of the Tirtagganga Water Palace and the co-creation of the nonpareil Uforia Chocolate at his Turtle Bay Hideaway. Building a large bamboo hotel and his other endeavors would increase his ecological footprint if we didn't include the benefits brought by helping to reduce the size of our communal footprint with excellent taste and tasty excellence.

Depak and Hira are a couple and a couple of Javanese of Pakistani Hindu ancestry who own and operate the small organic food store, Satvika Bhoga (Facebook page) in Sanur. At home they cook with biofuels and water their plants with a grey water system. At their bring-your-own-bag store they offer locally grown non GMO food, educate, and communicate. And Hira once sued Monsanta, making some waves, and benefiting us all though not winning the case. The energy they expend gives them a most compassionate and negative footprint in my view.

I helped to open a recycling center in San Francisco back in the early eighties and I could clearly see that the value of the efforts of the small percentage of do-gooders who'd drive their bottles, cans, and paper to a collection center was mainly as an educational first step toward home collection and that recycling wouldn't happen on a truly meaningful scale until it made economic sense and in order for that to happen there had to be changes in government and business and other policy. Thus some use energy, expanding their footprint, in an effort to reduce our shared footprint on a larger scale.

To me it's clear that the ecological footprint of the human race can only be shrunk below incredibly destructive and possibly extinction directed futures by massive changes in policy, practices, laws, regulations, education, information, and so forth from the largest most influential organizations - countries, corporations, etc. Thus our personal practices appear to me to be most useful as examples and not more significant than our efforts to bring others individual and collective into the movement.

May we live in a world that values pure air, water, land, and life.  - DC

Guardian article fact checking a politician's climate science denial and Climate change denial strong as ever.

Monday, February 22, 2016

On Having Work Done

A couple of days ago wrote about four hours of work done by two electricians here and the incredibly low cost of it. One thing I'd to add is that the quality of the work can be quite good, but to insure that, one is advised to stick with these workers, check up on their work. Of course that's somewhat true everywhere but it's very true here. In terms of farming and handicrafts and working for each other, I'm sure they have traditional checks and balances that work quite well.
Almost everything the electricians did needed to be redone in some way. The outdoor outlet didn't work. The control for the new ceiling fan didn't work - all speeds were the same. There were two lights on one switch I'd asked to be changed to two switches so we didn't need to have both on. When I checked they were both on both switches. Each of these mistakes was fixed in a minute or two so that the final result was perfect. But without staying on top of it, it wouldn't have been perfect at all.

This is a tropical place without a Judeo-Christian or Confucian ethic driving things. When I was here in 92, I noticed that people tended to do what they had in mind or were expected to and then sit or lie down. Nobody seemed driven but they also seemed to have a positive, even cheerful attitude toward work and there's lots of good hard work done here. Today I also notice that, drivers for instance, don't seem to mind waiting, even waiting for hours and hours - without reading or doing anything other than chatting some with each other. Most don't even charge for that time. I know a landlord who's had a lot of work done on places he's renting and have listened to his exasperated complaints about the quality of the work. He's been here for decades. He should know he has to keep a close eye on the work and then all will be just right.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Alright - it's the day the spirits of the ancestors go back to where they came from after their ten day visit since Galungan. Another 210 days till this repeats again. Everything's quiet, most places closed. Locals mostly staying at home or back to their villages. We'll spend some time at the beach. I'm bringing my Easy Breathe snorkel, short fins, and my small old laptop to sit after a swim in a little thatch hut and do whatever it is I do on these things. And drink some coconut water. - dc

Friday, February 19, 2016

Local Electricians and the cost of living

That's not our fan but ours has three blades which I think is best. Had a couple of electricians working here today for about four hours. They installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom which we wanted the landlord to pay for and finally broke down and did ourselves. Now the standup fan is out on the front porch where they put in an outlet. And they installed a new kitchen exhaust fan cause the old one had petered out. And a new control for the fan in my office which is really just a big closet and storeroom. And they changed some switches and lights so we had more control. Total bill -  Materials $86. Labor - $24 - Tip (which is not a local custom) - $6.66 at today's exchange rate. I never worry about asking for estimates because I know the cost will be less than I could imagine. Still we have to economize.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Ben Patra

Happy Birthday Chef - a song for Ben's birthday last year, performed a year ago today in his honor at the late great Warung Annapurna.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Everything is If

Everything is If. Katrinka said this the day before yesterday and I keep mulling it over like someone on acid who hears some simple statement and sees the whole universe and everything through that matrix. - dc

Friday, February 12, 2016

Habits Self Destruct, or Maybe Katrinka's a Witch

Today makes 11 years since I had any coffee.
The 9th, my birthday 11 since a puff of pot.
The last hour of last year 11 since any alcohol.
July 1st of last year 12 since any tobacco.
Unlike previous times, it was all effortless,
The results of requests I'd fairly forgotten.
Also unlike previous times, have had no related, leftover urges.
I wonder if I'll ever stop bragging. - dc

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Nice day

Today is Galungan, the most important holiday. I'd say "of the year" but it's not that simple. Some years it comes twice. It's not on a particular day but every 210 days. It's the celebration of dharma over anti-dharma when ancestor's spirits come to visit and hang around till ten days later on Kuningan. Penjor, decorated, curving, bamboo poles are everywhere in front of homes and businesses.  It's very quiet around here. Everything's closed, not much traffic. Workers have returned to their villages. Hot earlier. Drizzling now, a little lake forming in front. Peaceful. - dc

Friday, February 5, 2016

7 Reasons not to Move to Cambodia

from the Khmer 440 site - some salient points made that might apply to some other places in Asia as well.  On the other hand, have heard more praise about at least three days at Angkor Wat than anywhere else in Asia.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hujan Lebat!

That's our porch mat floating away. Heavy rains all day here in Sanur - cheating El Nino - really needed it. I lay in bed and sat on the porch and enjoyed it. That's the extent of what I can do for the last three days - except write this. - dc

Photo from Katrinka's Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


In bed. Fever and aching last night. Weak and sleeping lots today. Katrinka's being very nurturing. - dc