Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oil Cartoon

It is hard to maintain any sense of humor about Peak Oil these days. Check out the Life after The Oil Crash website.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

What will they think of NXT?

This product is an environmentalists worst nightmare. Not only is the container the usual plastic crap that is designed for the landfill, it contains batteries and LED to light up the bubbles. If you haven't seen Annie Leonard's award winning video The Story of Stuff please check it out.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Farewell K&M Market

A few days ago (May 18) I wrote about the importance of supporting your local community market. I posted a picture of the K&M market right around the corner from where I live. I shopped there almost every day for 3 years. Today the place is gutted (remodeled) and being made into something else.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Leaf blower recalled just in time!

On May 16 2008 two model numbers of Shindaiwa leaf blowers were recalled. These nifty leaf blowers are to be worn like a back pack, and they are recalled due to a fire hazard.

I put leaf blowers in the same category as lawn mowers. When gas becomes so high that we can not fuel our cars, people will not be able to put gas in their lawn mowers or their leaf blowers. Like a chain reaction the objects that we valued one day will be useless to us the next day.

It is time to start re thinking our "lawns". In the face of fuel, food, and water shortages, trying to keep up with the Jone's may involve planting and maintaining a garden rather than our weekly lawn care rituals.

Shifting our rituals to survival mode is going to drastically change our economy as virtually every one and every thing is dependant on fuel, food, and water. Our homes and gardens will become even more valuable to us when there is no place to go anymore, and no way to get there even if there were.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

3 Blue Bowls

I got to visit my Grandmother who is 90 this Memorial weekend. While I was in the area I returned a borrowed book and visited my friend DD. Here are 3 bowls that nest "somewhat" that I gave to my friend DD last Christmas. These were my first attempt at doing a "series" of bowls, and I forgot to take a photo of them way back then.

DD's flower garden in the background enhances these glaze colors. I took notes on these bowls when I made them. But unfortunately these stock glazes have been discontinued by The Cultural Arts Center.

All is not lost though, because I am at a new place that has little restriction on experimentation. And I will have to experiment again in order to come up with something similar to the aqua that is on the inside and the royal blue on the outside. It is doubtful though that I will ever come up with the exact formula, or the exact firing conditions and variables that created these 3 bowls.

Check out my Ceramic Slide Show all the way to the bottom of this blog page.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday is Uncle Jay Day

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I like Mondays because it is the day that Uncle Jay updates his blog Uncle Jay Explains The News.
He has won an Emmy for his work and I must confess it is perhaps my favorite of all the blogs.

Because today is Memorial Day I don't expect any one to blog necessarily. No matter how grim the news for the week is, Uncle Jay can spin it in a way that it is funny. He uses sarcasm and satire mocking power point technology re capping the top news stories of the week.

The target audience is definitely adult, but Uncle Jay pretends to be explaining the news for kids. As he puts it on his web site Helping Small Minds understand the news. I spent hours one night just going back through the archives and laughing at the old news. Give your self a treat and check out Uncle Jay Explains The News.
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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pay Pals final days

I wrote a couple reviews on eBay about the dangers of using PayPal to pay for eBay auctions. I don't use PayPal because early in my eBay career they froze my account for 180 days. It wasn't for much money, but I decided I could not trust them with any of my money after that! So I closed my PayPal account and I even blocked them from contacting me.

EBay continues to promote PayPal as the safest payment method for online purchases, when in fact it may very well be the most dangerous method of payment. eBay owns PayPal, so it may very well be that they need to promote it. Not only can they freeze your PayPal account, they can also empty your bank account. And...if that isn't enough, they want to attach themselves to your credit card in addition to your bank account.

The most recent eBay changes include that PayPal can freeze a sellers account for 120 days or until the seller receives a positive feedback for the transaction. Most folks can not go ahead and just send out merchandise while their funds are being held. Most people won't leave positive feedback while a seller holds their item for 120 days. EBay has set up a sort of check mate situation between buyer and seller, while claiming that it levels the playing field.

If you have time, please read my eBay guides about PayPal and please vote. My scores on the two anti PayPal reviews have been dramatically low. I suspect the PayPal cheerleaders after having my review removed, now need to vote against me. No guide I have written has ever seen such controversy...and so many votes against it. I resubmitted my guide 10 minutes after it was removed and encountered some sort of automated system where if someone doesn't agree with my guide supposedly they can report it and it will automatically be removed.

When TSHTF (PEAK OIL) and credit cards and bank accounts no longer work for everyone, cash and money orders will be king. eBAy won't like that. They can't control cash sales. They consider cash to be the most unsafe method of payment and it is not permissible to even mention Cash Only in an auction...even if it is Pick Up Only.

It is said:
If 50 thousand people say a foolish is still a foolish thing. And if someone says PayPal is the safest method of on line payment 50 thousand is even more of a foolish thing.

I have survived on eBay as a seller without PayPal for a couple years now. I have 100% feedback score, and many repeat customers. I consider PayPal to be much like a parasite. If eBay is to survive, they need to remove it, or neutralize it before it locks eBay into financial doom. Please click on any of the icons below to access either my reviews, guides, or auctions. and please vote.

skymetalsmith ( 317Feedback score is 100 to 499) Member is ID VerifiedAbout MeTop 5000 Reviewer

2 Vintage cameras and a Harley Davidson letter opener

Here are some vintage items I have for sale on eBay right now. The Harley Davidson letter opener which is more like a dagger than it is a letter opener.
And these vintage cameras. 1) a Cintex Candid camera. 2) a Kodac box camera. Both cameras are in working order. The problem with either of them would be finding film. Here is my link. Click on my username to take you to My(eBay) World. In the left column you will see some of my listings. In order to see everything I am auctioning you would click on any of my auctions and then the view sellers other items button. I will be selling many more vintage and collectible items in the weeks ahead as I am helping to liquidate a friends mothers estate. Keep checking back.

skymetalsmith ( 317Feedback score is 100 to 499) Member is ID VerifiedAbout MeTop 5000 Reviewer

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Book Review and website

I spent the better part of yesterday reviewing and writing about Mathew Savinar's book THE OIL AGE IS OVER for eBay. I was astonished that no one had reviewed this book as the subject matter is on all of our minds. I also wrote a guide containing 10 things to do to prepare for the oil crisis (and inevitable economic crash). Mathew does not address the subject of preparedness much in the his book, but his website covers all the bases. I have earned the status of top 5000 reviewer on eBay. But in actuality my rank is in the 3900s. If you have time to read my reviews and guides please do, and vote on them. You can access my eBay reviews by clicking on the pencil icon in this eBay link.

skymetalsmith ( 317Feedback score is 100 to 499) Member is ID VerifiedAbout MeTop 5000 Reviewer

You can access my auctions by clicking on my username or my me icon (above) before the pencil icon. The link to my website is also at the bottom of this blog page. You can access Matt's website through my archives to the right of this page or the link at the bottom of todays blog.

note: I noticed that no one on eBay is selling a copy of Mathews book at this time. But you can get a copy from from Mathew's web site

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Ghost Stations

I pass this abandoned gas station several times a week. I always wonder what happened to it. As we approach Peak Oil we will be seeing lots more of these I am afraid. There is lots of wasted space to reclaim when we no longer need a filling station on every corner of every block. We can stop creating the "geography of nowhere".

The underground tanks are probably still in place. I wonder if they still are intact and could store water? I can easily imagine a roadside farmers market or food co op could replace this. The roof where the pumps used to be is flat. Maybe a garden could be planted up top. I can envision a rain barrel installed on the far building that has a slight pitch to the roof. The whole field behind could be a full sun garden.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008


These folks have the right idea. I found this photo submitted on a post I started on the Peak Oil website discussion thread on rain barrels. You can see from the photo of the house that at least 2 barrels are already in use. Wonder where they are putting this one?
Also check out my archives for other blogs about rain barrels.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

3 Rain Barrels

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one of my neighbors has a rain barrel.

Not just one rain barrel. One on the front of the house and one behind the house.

And one catching the rain from the garage. I will be contacting these folks to question them where they got them.
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