the Trash vitae

Trash is the editor-in-chief of an independent Colorado micro-publisher/ design studio. I dabble in digital photography, the lost art of film image making, and guerilla digital video. DrMAC Studios specializes in books and videos on self-reliance, gardening, dumpster diving, urban foraging and living off the excesses of others.
This blog documents my daily experiences with the rest of the world

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lowes blows...

After making a cuppla bucks last night on a CL sale of stuff I dumpied, I took a bike ride on the dumpie bike over to Lowes to check out their clearance plants to see what kind of food plants didnt sell too well. Man was I f'n surprised. racks and racks of dead/ near dead plants at 50-75 percent off. The only thing I can think is that they bought way too much, and given the sorry state of economic affairs they didnt sell. Now they cant afford to water the tenderlings so they are letting them die. I wish they would just put them out to the dumpie so some kind hearted plant lovers could grab them up either to revive or use in the compost bin. But alas. I gues old man Lowes will try to profiteer off of the near dead plants as long as he can.

Being that I was on the dumpie bike and had to be particular what I rescued I grabbe a cuppla grape vines (still in pretty good shape) for $4 each (regularly $20 ea) and planted them in the baskets of the dumpiebike and rode home. The grapes may not be good this year as its a tad late in the season but the leaves will be good for stuffed grape leaves at the very least.

On the way back I saw a cuppla signs for a moving sale so I dropped off the grapes , grabbed a refill on my coffee and rode over to see what kind of deals I could find. Got a pair of jeans (Levis- Strauss) in one size bigger than my usual for $2 and a tamale/ corn pot with canning attachments for another $2. Also picked up the SUnday paper that was laying in front of an empty house (victim of a foreclosure as the notice was on the front door) .

All in all a successful SUnday morning

Saturday, June 28, 2008

a SAturday morning surfing find..

gimme a f'n break. a green razor. If the force that oversees our creation and evolution had want us to not have facial hair or leg hair or underarm hair he would have not given it to us or on the other hand thru evolution we would have lost it. But I cant believe the lengths that corporate America will go to "pimp" the green movement. I for one would not buy this. When I stopped shaving about 20 years ago I was still using the old Schick that my father used. One blade two-sided stainless steel handle. Built to last. And for the disposal of the blade there was a slot in the back of the med cabinet that sent the blade into the house structure where it wodl be safe.

Anyhow if you are interested in the details on this. check this out here.

Handle is made from 100% recycled plastic, including Stonyfield Farm® yogurt cups
Ergonomic handle with contours and gripping regions enhances performance and control
Titanium coated triple blades with Vitamin E and Aloe lubricating strip offer a close shave and are easy to replace
Replacement blades available in packs of 4
Handle also works with Personna® Acti-Flexx® and Gillette® Sensor® blades

Jack of all trades..Master of none

I was doing some minor, minor plumbing yesterday and I recall that just a few years ago I had never plumbed.. I knew nothing about plumbing. I learned by DOING. Sure I made mistakes and errors but I was able to correct them at minor fiscal expense.
I began thinking about my entire generation and the next one coming and how little we know about living in a way that doesn’t need specialists/ consultants to take care of all of the things we don’t know how to do. I have spent years teaching my children that "can't" is not a legitimate term to use in any instance. You can do almost anything you want to. If you choose not to do something then that is your choice. You can do it but you choose not to.
Now, perhaps specialists are needed and I’ll survive just fine, but I suspect that I will be better served by having a general knowledge about a lot of things and being able to do more things for myself this being able to pass that general working knowledge down to the next generation.
I then wondered if I would be able to learn all of these things. On top of that, I thought of what I do know above and beyond the “average” person my age and I began to wonder if they’d be able to catch up if the time came that it was needed. Is the learning curve too great? Have we gotten too far away from the lifestyle where you could do things for yourself? I hope not.
We should all make it a goal and a responsibility to ensure that our children and grandchildren have the survival knowedge and skills necessary to exist in this ever declining world. That too me is one of the most important things to pass down besides the learning to learn is the learning to be self-reliant when necessary.

Living with a sellout

When the COMCAST beast added the planet green channel a few weeks ago I was excited to see the Living with Ed show that everyone was talking about. People have said that I am like Ed in that I am an eccentric old hippie living very eclectic and non-traditional. So I began watching this show in earnest. I was excited to see someone with money and prestige living like he did. But alas after a tad I began to follow the adventures of his simple green moving to normalcy and his followoig of whoring products to which he attaches his name. He lost touch of his roots. I guess it was the money and the fame coming back.

Alas as I was dared to by a colleague I wrote to ED and asked him why he didnt publicize and forward the non-corporate green methodologies that we dumpies and freegans and downright poor people follow in our efforts to survive. ie dumpieing, freeganing, rainwater collect in covered garbage cans instead of $300 models, riding dumpied/ refurbished bikes, etc. His response to me was quite short and I will include it here

" I did all that stuff on the cheap for years…from 1970 to 1982 everything I did was home made and scrapped together. Lots of those tips and stories are in my book LIVING LIKE ED as well.

So he gave up the "living cheap" stuff back in 1982. This is 2008. That is 26 years he has been buying green environmentalism. And now that its chic he is making money and gaining prestige by "pimping" it to the yuppie masses. Another sell-out.

But the show is entertaining as is the entire Planet green network.. As for the producers of Trashed. THank goodness for the stupid waste criminals for without them I wouldnt have half the crap I have saved from going to the landfill in support of my own endeavors.
Maybe I will create the new low-budget" hit comedy for the masses "living withTrashdigger"

Friday, June 27, 2008

the summer shed project

all winter long I have been contemplating a larger shed at the homestead to protect the bikes, increase the size of my work shop, store more food staples and dumpie finds for eating and selling on the CL. I think I have found the inspiration I need.

HAve a gander around and see what is possible.. I did. ANd now I am off to gather pallets in my daily rounds. I think 4-6 pallets for the floor will do well. SImple design. MAybe a few plexi-glass windows for light and a potbelly stove for winter work..

Monday, June 23, 2008

what a great way to end bike to work week

Pull out the tent, the camper, the winnie or just sleep under the stars in your own backyard or on your porch this weekend.

If you’ve got a wish to get outside and check out the great outdoors with friends and family, consider getting involved with the Great American Backyard Campout set for this upcoming Saturday.

Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, they’re asking folks to register their campsite and take part in what may be the largest concerted camping effort in backyards across America since the Revolution.

Of course, you’ll need to provide the gear, s’mores and fun yourself, but there’s no doubt it could be a great way to bring out the kid in those around you while inspiring some of the real kids around you to take a new appreciation for nature itself.

To date there are approximately 19K people signed up to participate, but there’s certainly room for a few more.

Registering for the Great American Backyard Campout
To register just head over to the Great American Backyard Campout’s website and fill out the details of where it is you’re camping out, whether it’s in your own backyard or even your favorite campsite nearby. They promise to load you up with packing lists, recipes, wildlife guides, activities, and tips to help ensure you have a great time

Friday, June 20, 2008

a natural version of "Round-Up"

Tired of those pesky weeds taking over your yard?  For months now I have been scouring for a natural version of round-up. Well this morning while listening to a podcast I got the recipe I was looking for.
Try this this simple homemade recipe to stop them in their tracks. Start with a quart size spray bottle. Mix 1-1.5 cups of vinegar (preferably 20% acidity) and 1.5 cup dish soap. Add solution to the spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water. Shake well. Spray directly on weeds. The vinegar kills the weeds while the dish soap holds it in place. The best time to spray is in the middle of the day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

10 keys to succesful DDF life.

Listed are the 10 KEY FACTORS that define a DDF home in the 21st century. The principle that underlies all these factors is that DDF is a way of life not just a hobby or passing trend

While these 10 factors make up the “ideal” of DDF, it is understood that individual circumstances vary greatly and that many of these ideals will perfect with time.

I. Grow your own FOOD and Dumpie the rest.
More than 50% of your diet should come from the home-grown food and the dumpie finds.

II. Use alternative ENERGY sources.
E.g., solar, wind, in conjunction with energy efficiency and conservation measures to reduce usage. Also the implementation of free resources (pot belly stove, firplace chiminea

bikes, walking public transportation.

IV. Keep expenses for produce to the minimum by dumpieing and foraging.
Practice creative dumpstering.

Re-use, recycle, repair refurbish.

VI. Reclaim GREYWATER and collect RAINWATER.
Though in Denver its illegal fuck em . Hard times require hard choices

…in the manner of past eras. Develop back-to-basics homemaking skills, including food preservation and preparation. Develop hobbies and interests that can benefit you as well as society. wood work, gardening, reading etc

VIII. Do the work YOURSELF.
Learn to do home and vehicle maintenance, repairs and basic construction.

IX. Work at HOME.
Earn a living from the land or hand work done at home. Develop a homebased economy

X. Be a good NEIGHBOR.
Offer a helping hand for free. DDF is a community-based way of life, not a business opportunity. Be a neighbor, not a business person. Share the wealth

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A sign of things to come

As the waters are receding in Iowa, it appears this corn crop is ruined. Higher prices for corn, corn as fuel, corn as Safieway and Wallmart bags, corn for cobs etc are not far behind.
I think I will have to plant some sweet corn in the garden this summer

on another note

roses escaping their yards in search of greener pastures....
Much like those of us who are constantly lurking over the fences, into the sideyards, or directly into the dumpies scavenging for our daily treasures.

Monday, June 16, 2008

and now for some infant garden pics

These are the first shots of the urban homestead garden. The tomatos and other veggies will be added to the gallery later.

my answer to high priced gas

this is the dumpie bike that I use for the day to day foraging and scavenging and of course getting to the park and ride for work

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy daddys day

I love the back door library, ie the local used bookstore who throws away boxes of books every weekend. This morning as I was going to get my fathers day breakfast,thru the front door, donuts and danish I ran by the library and found lots of books that i wanted but could not easily warrant buying. HST, Roth, Updike and many other classics of modern lit. All for free. Heck I didnt even take the dumpiemobile. I put em all in the basket on the dumpie bike. ANyhow on the way back with my finds I cut a nice bouquet of wild roses for the wife to make the breakfast table smell good. The cost for the breakfast $5. The memories I will have of this day... priceless.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

new link to the left

I found an interesting site this morning relating to common sense survival skills .
Though that since I will be returning there. I will include it to the left.

A few questions to ponder and discuss

borrowed from MOther Earth News...

What steps would you take to prepare if you knew that five years from now everything would cost 10 times what it costs now — gas, food, electricity, solar panels, hybrid cars — everything, but your income would not change? What would you do now to be in a better place to cope?

* Do you have a bit of land and the skills to grow and preserve a good portion of your own food? If not, could you join with your neighbors and garden together on open land one of you owns?

* What about fuel to warm your home? Do you know how much firewood you could produce from one acre?

* What would it cost you to commute to your job if gas cost 10 times more — about $40 per gallon? Should you consider moving closer to your work, or getting a vehicle that gets better mileage? Maybe invest in an electric bicycle?

* Could you keep goats and learn to make your own cheese? If you don’t have much land, you could keep a couple of goats in a very small area and bring food to them. They love to eat twigs and leaves — perhaps you could harvest brush along public roadsides for their feed.

* Chickens can be great, sustainable sources of eggs and meat, but remember — commercial feed would cost 10 times more than it does now, so could you grow their feed at home?

* Would you plant some peach pits and have your own peach orchard?

* Could you grow your own herbal medicines?

* Or do you think it would be foolish to work to become more self-reliant, because you believe that if things got really bad, roving gangs with guns would steal your food and fuel?

* Are you already 50 percent self-sufficient? 90 percent? Tell us how you did it, and how it feels.

* Do you despair that we may be doomed? Or are you determined to choose a course that you think will assure you and your family of a good life, full of delight, no matter what comes?

* Whatever your perspective, I want to hear your thoughts. Discuss below.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A sign of things to come

thought you all might like this one.. Sad but true

how to beat the high cost of gas

thanks to

i love this cartoon.

gather rainwater and snow.. GO TO JAIL

Unbelievable but true. IN this Depression era economy it is apprently illegal to set up a rainbarrel to collect rainwater and snow melt from your roof. Apparently the water that falls on your roof is the property of the stateof CO. How  did I find this out? A cohort of mine and I were talking about my primitive means of gathering rain water for irrigation of my small container veggie/ her garden. He like my system so well that he said why dont we sell the plans that I developed and  attempt to sell them to locals for $1. I did.
Within minutes a woman came back and informed me that rain water collection was illegal in CO. What BS I thought so I researched it further. Apparently due to semantics she  is right.  
Will I take mine down and disassemble  it?
When HELL freezes over. My water is returned to the soil and the water  tables and aquiferand wherever the hell else it goes  after it makes a pitstop  in my 'maters and Zuchs and the other assorted growing goodies.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I just added a link to Planet Green TV

This is a new venture of Discovery channel as part of the Green Revolution. Most of the shows are pretty good and will help in giving the rich and well to do a chance to join the Green movement for a sustainable planet.. $35k hybrid cars, $150 rain barrels, $50 organic wines, etc etc. But what about the rest of us.

While created  all good intentions this is one of the reasons I have started this blog. To show that the  traditional Green framework still holds true. Those of us who grew up with the original Mother Earth News. Popular Mechanics, etc can do the same things cheaper. 

All it takes is some imagination a a serious desire to "think different".
Hopefully this blog will help make that connection possible.

vote for nobody

thought this graphic give a reasonable impression of what I think of the current political situation in Amerikka

Welcome to my NIghtmare

Having used my Yahoo group for the last several year I have decided to come into the 21st century and start blogging in a different environment. One where I can add pics, videos etc. Along with my rants and raves of trying to perpetuate the "you dont have to be rich to be green philosophies.

I hope you enjoy