Legalize Neighborhoods Again! (Anybody else ready to start a campaign?!)

calling for the common good

September 26, 2008

I appreciated this discussion on NPR a few days ago …

Neal Conan with Jim Wallis & Russ Roberts

I was cheering inside (okay, maybe even whispering an amen or two) as I listened to this piece on NPR today.  (Got especially fired up over the bit about ownership; go get ’em, Mr. Jalopy!)  Here’s the teaser:

On a basic level, the [maker] movement is about reusing and repairing objects, rather than discarding them to buy more. On a deeper level, it’s also a philosophical idea about what ownership really is.“If you’re not able to open and replace the batteries in your iPod or replace the fuel sender switch on your Chevy truck, you don’t really own it,” Mr. Jalopy argues. “The terms of ownership are still dictated by the company that assembled it and glued the iPod shut so that you couldn’t get into it.”

Mr. Jalopy, helped codify these ideas in 2005 with the Maker’s Bill of Rights. The list of 17 directives includes: “If it snaps shut, it shall snap open” and “Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.”

NPR, California’s Maker Age

Can I get a witness?

buyers beware

July 11, 2008

So you knew the price of groceries and gas had gone up.  Did you realize the size of your cereal box and kraft cheese package was shrinking?!  (Sneaky manufacturers–or something like that!)  I might not’ve believed my ears … if I hadn’t (come to think of it) wondered about that smaller yogurt container just the other day.

We’re not hallucinating, ya’ll.  Checking for prices and sizes maybe just the start of shopping smart!

(They’re using words like “epic.”)  I’m a sucker for this kind of spent.  Details here.

props to my buddy, josh

June 26, 2008


So … my all-time favorite album commemorating unrequited love is a little-known freshman project entitled About A Boy.  It just so happens I was suffering through my own season of prolonged & traumatic heartbreak when introduced to classmate/song-writer, Josh Bales (who told me such raw materials had been the inspiration for his first album).  Of course, I prefer to forget the fact that he was wrestling with (and writing songs about) such themes at age 16, while I was merely sulking in the company of his reflections … at age 28.  But catharsis, thank you very much, was had by all.  And yes (take this, ex-loves-of-our-lives), we’re the better for it!

Now, though, it seems we’ve both turned a happier-corner.  Just today, I uncovered Josh’s latest project –which (though-country) showcases his style & finesse in a way that’s distinct and (let’s go ahead & say it) more accomplished than his other stuff.  (Though my favorite song may still be a number from his album just priorHymn for All the World, a ditty Josh performed on graduation day in the company of a few hundred church leaders … commissioned to serve across the globe.  I cried.)  

In any case, I’m giddy to think I get to enjoy this old companionship (and now) in some brighter (more countrified) spaces!

And that’s saying a lot.  This guy’s like the energizer bunny.  More here … on what many are saying was the greatest US Open ever.