Doggy Booties

We are feeding a neighbor’s two dogs and cat while they are vacation. We are to let the dogs out of the basement and into the fenced back yard while we prepare their food. Then we let them in and feed them.

We were instructed to put doggy booties on the dogs if there has been any rain — to prevent muddy feet from coming into the house. Unfortunately, last evening some rain had fallen, so we found the booties and started the undertaking.

Putting booties on the feet of lively, large dogs (80lb German Shepperd, 65lb Lab) is not easy. Fortunately, the dogs are sweet and cooperative, allowing two relative strangers to impose a significant indignity upon them with no complaints. We finally got the booties on and let them into the backyard. Every time we saw them run by, there were fewer booties on their feet. When they finally came in, there was one booty left — seven missing. So I went into the growing darkness looking for doggy booties.

In his Headlines segment, Jay Leno regularly says that no dog or cat likes having clothes forced on them. I don’t disagree. It’s still raining, and I think we’ll drop the new technology and use the old-fashioned method — drying their feet with a towel.

Sesame: Consider the Source

I received a comment from John Grey about my post on Eat More Sesame. Based on the link he provided, I’ll be eating less tahini and more freshly ground sesame seeds. The information below is from

Tahini is a refined food, don’t use it. It’s made from ground peeled sesame seeds, the bran is missing. Sesame butter is made from ground whole brown sesame seeds. It’s a whole food, but not freshly made. Make your own sesame spread, fresh, by blending whole raw sesame seeds with water. If you do use sesame butter, be sure not to get the toasted kind. Sesame oil is a refined food, don’t use it. Beneficial substances are lost when oil is made: fiber, minerals, IP-6, etc. Chinese sesame oil is a refined food made from toasted sesame seeds, don’t use it. Use uncooked fresh whole foods.

Buying sesame seeds.
There are three types of sesame seeds: Brown, black and white.

White sesame seed is a refined food, similar to white rice. It starts out as whole brown sesame, then the outer
bran layer is removed. Don’t use it.
Brown sesame seed has a milder flavor and less antioxidants than the black seeds.
Black sesame seed has more antioxidants and a richer flavor. Black sesame has a reputation in both the Ayurveda and Chinese traditions as an anti-aging food.

Find a natural food store or co-op that sells black or brown sesame seeds in bulk. Buying from the bulk bins saves you money, and reduces consumption of throwaway plastic packaging. The black seeds are best, brown is next best.

Using sesame seeds.

Grind the seeds fresh shortly before using them. You can dry grind them in a blender, on the ‘Pulse’ setting. It only takes a few seconds. If you hold the ‘Pulse’ button down for too long, the ground seeds will cake together. If you put too many seeds in at once, they may cake together.
You can use a coffee grinder (but not one that’s been used for coffee, the taste will get in the food).
Hand-operated spice grinders are similar to a pepper grinder, but with a small glass jar on top.
Mortar and pestle is a traditional low-tech tool for grinding and blending.
Sprinkle the ground seeds over cereals, vegetable dishes, or fruit.

Randy California’s Spirit

During 1965 jazz drummer Ed (Cass) Cassidy was playing gigs with Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal in a group called the Rising Sons at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles. It was here that Cass and Bernice Pearl met and were soon married. A year later Cass took the family with him to New York City when he went to play some jazz gigs. With high hopes they loaded up the ‘ol yellow Chevy which they called "The Yellow Submarine" and headed across America.

When they arrived in New York City Cass discovered that stepson Randy’s guitar had been lost in shipping. Randy went to Manny’s Music to replace his guitar. He was only 15 when he met Jimi Hendrix.

"Jimi was playing a Stratocaster in the back of the store and our eyes met and there was instant spiritual contact" recalls Randy. With the boldness of a teen, Randy asked Jimi (not knowing who he was) if he could play that guitar. Jimi complied and was so impressed he invited Randy to play with him at his gig in the Village that night. The Marquee read "Jimi James & The Blue Flames." For the next three months, five sets a night, Randy played in the band. "It was an incredible experience," says Randy. "A lot of people don’t know this about Jimi, but he was one of the most gentle and generous people I’ve ever known."

To distinguish Randy from the other Randy in the band, Jimi started calling him Randy California and the name stuck. After three months Jimi was ready to go to England to put together another band and he invited Randy along. His parents refused to let him go…he was only 16 years old! This was right before the Jimi Hendrix experience. Jimi never forgot the friendship.

In January 1997, Randy California went missing and presumed dead after being sucked into the surf off the coast of Molokai, Hawaii. Witnesses report that California pushed his 12-year-old son, Quinn, out of the current, saving the boy’s life, before being dragged in himself. His body was never found. Source: Randy California & Spirit

Spirit_12 Spirit released one of the most critically acclaimed albums in the history of rock music.  The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.  It contained the song Nature’s Way, which has become an anthem for a generation, expressing Randy’s strong feelings for the earth and it’s inhabitants.  Nature’s Way has been re-recorded by more than 20 artists and used in many films. Source: Randy Tribute

Nature’s Way

Dave Pollard’s post below reminds me of the song Nature’s Way by Spirit.

It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way of telling you in a song
It’s nature’s way of receiving you
It’s nature’s way of retrieving you
It’s nature’s way of telling you
Something’s wrong

It’s nature’s way of telling you, summer breeze
It’s nature’s way of telling you, dying trees
It’s nature’s way of receiving you
It’s nature’s way of retrieving you
It’s nature’s way of telling you
Something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way
It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way
Something’s wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong

Dave discusses nature and overpopulation, from How to Save the World:

Viruses (like smallpox), bacteria (like anthrax) and prions (like Mad Cow) are nature’s way of saying Slow Down — there are too many of you, with inadequate biodiversity, living too close together for the good of the whole life organism that is Earth. Nature has been wired for billions of years to counter excessive growth of any species because that is the best way to optimize the overall health of the planet.

But, of course, no health official who wants to keep his job would dare say that all efforts are futile — indeed, worse than futile, because they just prolong and worsen the inevitable "correction" to restore natural balance. Don’t expect the WHO or the CDC to stand up and say:

We need to reduce and reverse human population growth rates quickly and drastically, and spread out, and stop sending animals across borders, and stop crossing borders ourselves if we don’t have to, and stop narrowing the global diversity of foods we eat to such a few homogeneous varietals of each crop and animal, and stop keeping animals penned up in large numbers in close quarters pumped full of antibiotics and hormones and soaked in other antibiotics, and stop poisoning the air and the water and the food we eat with stuff that makes everyone sick and weakens our immune systems, and stop swallowing antibiotics don’t need them.

After all, that would be heresy, outrageous, an insult to human pride and ingenuity, against the will of God, and a denial of our manifest destiny. But this is the obvious, and the only sure way to prevent pandemic. The only real question is whether we will be smart enough to realize it, and do something about it, before nature gets tired of waiting and does what she must.

Progress in Solar Systems

In the hot and humid South, why aren’t roofs on homes and office buildings covered with solar panels?

In the summer, air conditioners are sucking expensive electricity to keep homes and offices cool and the sun is heating the roofs to high temperates. Solar panels could generate electricity for the air conditioning and deflect the heating of the roofs. Plus, we could reduce our funding of terrorism in the Middle East by buying less oil to generate power.

To add solar panels to a home:

Evergreen Solar is selling a new roof-mounting system for its solar panels. The company says the product can be anchored without penetrating the surface of a roof, and can withstand winds of 130 miles per hour. The product’s frame also acts as an electrical grounding system. Link: Evergreen Solar reports sunny sales in Q4 – 2005-02-24 – Boston Business Journal. Evergreen Solar is a developer and manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules — the engines of solar electric systems — used in remote power and emerging grid-connected markets.

To build a home with solar panels in the roof:

Kyocera has introduced a new solar roof tile. The solar tile is designed so that it blends in with standard roof tiles. Kyocera calls the solar tiles "MyGen Meridian". The company says the tiles were produced in response to homeowner’s associations that have been critical of conventional solar panel installations due to their ‘added-on’ look. Link: MetaEfficient

Solar Shingles — yes they do indeed exist and are available now. This new style of solar collector lets homeowners build electrical generation right into the roof itself. They can be added to existing homes or built into new homes. It saves money because the shingles serve a dual purpose — as a roofing material and as a power plant. Unlike solar panels, they do not disturb the natural lines of the house. They are also very durable (warrantied for 20 years) and are not prone to high winds (up to 80 mph). Each shingle costs around $120 and produces about 17W of power. Solar shingles qualify for alternative energy rebates in many states. Some states, such as California, will cover 50% of the cost. The DSIRE web site lists what incentives are available at the state and federal level.

Available from: CET Solar or OK Solar or AltEnergyStore.  Link: MetaEfficient

Jimi Played Guitar for Engelbert Humperdinck?

Question for musicians…
Hendrix couldn’t read music — and he was behind the curtain: How did he know what to play?


From Legendary rocker JIMI HENDRIX once filled in for ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK’s unwell guitarist – but hid behind the stage curtains so the audience wouldn’t realise who was playing.

The late PURPLE HAZE star was touring Britain with Humperdinck in the 1960s when the unnamed musician fell ill just before show time.

And, while Hendrix’s unparalleled musical prowess saved the day, his identity couldn’t be revealed for fear of distracting the audience away from Humperdinck’s performance.

Indian Humperdinck – real name ARNOLD GEORGE DORSEY – says, "That was my first UK tour and CAT STEVENS was also on the bill.

"He saved my bacon once when my guitarist fell ill just before the show was due to start. ‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘I’ll play for you."

"I told him he couldn’t just walk on stage with me – he was much too big a star."

"So he played behind the curtain. It sounded as though I had three guitarists instead of one that night."

Books about Sustainable Product Design

ESP Design has a great list of books about Sustainable Product Design. is an online resource for professionals and students interested in Sustainable Product Design.

ESP (Entirely Sustainable Product) Design focuses on the different factors involved in Sustainability.

The site contains background information about sustainable product design, practical information on how to design sustainable products, and links to other useful resources.

via Jeremy Faludi

Christians for a Greener World

Jeremy Faludi reports:

A common stereotype in the US is that Christians are conservative, and people who care about the environment are atheist liberals, or at least non-Christian. In fact, however, there are thousands of Christians worldwide, even socially conservative ones, who are concerned about saving the environment. There are dozens of faith-based environmental activism groups worldwide. Even if there weren’t, the impressive social leverage and organization of churches is not to be underestimated as a way to change the world, so it should receive more attention.

In the US, the larger regional/national organizations tend to be multi-faith (though most of their members are Christians, due to US demographics). Some, like National Religious Partnership for the Environment or Web of Creation, act as networks and clearinghouses of information, while others, like California Interfaith Power and Light are action-based and grassroots, helping members to perform energy audits of their churches and make efficiency improvements to their buildings, as well as educating.

There are many faith-specific organizations as well, such as the Evangelical Environmental Network (coiners of the phrase "What Would Jesus Drive?"), or the Lutheran Earthkeeping Network of the Synods; a good denomination-specific list can be found at Eco-Justice Ministries.

Link: WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Christians for a Greener World