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Diary, October 1999

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Saturday, October 16, 1999


With the expectation that this would be one of the last saturdays with nice weather before the winter comes, I decided to do something about
the garden.

I discovered about five different kinds of mushrooms on the grass. I do not know the exact number, as I am not an expert on the determination of mushroom species. I made a nice video recording of all the different mushrooms. (follow-up)

I pruned the holly plant in back garden, and found that many of the branches had little white flowers at the foot of the leaves. Next, I did some pruning in the front garden. Actually, not real pruning, just reshaping some of the fir like plants.

Then when I was cleaning up, and our container for compostable waste was almost full, I decided to cut of some of the lower branches of the willow tree in the back garden. But this ran a little out of hand, as I ended up with a stack of branches that could easily fill the container by itself.

Saturday, October 23, 1999

More mushrooms

When I looked at the grass today, I saw that some of the
mushrooms had died away, but also many new had appeared of a kind that I had not seen last week. I immediately decided to take a picture.


Curly kail

It seems that the curly kail season has started again, because we found it in our supermarket. Without hesitation we bought one bag of freshly cut curly kail, and all the other ingredients: gherkins, pork cut in cubes, and smoked sausage. The recipe for curly kail hotchpotch is simple: peel the potatoes and cut them in small pieces. After having washed them put them in a large pan. Rinse the freshly cut curly kail once, and add them in the pan with the potatoes. Put the pan a little water on the fire, and start frying the pork. Ten minutes before the potatoes are ready, add the smoked sausage in the pan (alternatively you can also put in the microwave). When the potatoes are ready, remove the sausage, add the fried pork cubes, some milk, and smash everything into a nice hotchpotch. Serve with the smoked sausage, the gherkins, and some vinegar (if you like).


Escaping the global energy crisis

Lately, I have been caught up by thinking about how to escape the global energy crisis. More and more, I feel that the source of our riches lies in the availability of cheap energy. Just try to imagine what would happen if energy would cost hunderd times as much as it would cost now. Because of this, I believe there will be a global economical crisis as soon as our main source of cheap energy, fossile fuels, will dry up. And sofar, no alternatives have been found. Even the so called environmental clean sources of energy are not really clean, because to create them fossile fuels are used. The main reason why solar cells are that expensive, is because of the amouth of energy that is needed to create them. In a sense solar cells are just like batteries: not producing energy, but storing fossile energy, and releasing it when lit.

Many attempt have been made to reduce our current energy consumption, but without success. They may have only slightly reduced the speed at which the consumption has increased, but that is all. The misleading thing is that energy has only become cheaper and cheaper in the past decades. But will it continue like this? How hard will it hit us, when we are running out of fossile fuels. Will we see a complete collapse of our society, or will there be a gradual transistion from a the golden age of cheap energy to what follows? Will future generations refer to us as the generation that burnt it all?

I fear that transition will not be gradual. I have often said to myself, that I might end my life with farming. I also believe that we will see horses again appear in our streets. How can I, with my family, escape this global crisis? Should I build an energy saving home? Should I buy a farm, and try to become self supporting? But what if society collapses, and I find hunderds of people at the gate of my farm, begging for food, or worse, kill me for it. Should I emigrate to another part of the world, far away from the western world, such that people cannot reach me whenever disaster strikes? I have been thinking about whether it would be possible to build a home in the middle of the desert, where there is plenty of solar energy. But what would be the costs of such an undertaking. Just think about the cost of Biosphere 2.

Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Eastern Mysteries

The latest trend in home decorating products is called Eastern Mysteries. Yesterday we received two advertisers displaying products (like candles and photo frames) decorated with Chinese characters. It looks like the artistic value of Chinese characters has been finally discovered in the west. When I came home, Li-Xia showed me a tea-pot she had bought which had the word "Tea" printend on opposite sides in English and Chinese. A few weeks ago, I by accident dropped our tea-pot, so she did have a good reason.


Feeding Andy with a tube

Li-Xia is rather successful with feeding Andy food in his mouth using a small 2.5 cc injection tube. But only when he is watching his favourite video about the adventures of a small car called "Brum". The video contains several stories. Whenever one of the stories is comming to an end, he refuses to eat (swallow) more, until the next story has started. Until now, he only accepts the regular tube feeding milk, and nothing else. It seems to be some progress compared with before, when we could only feed him through a nose tube, but there is still a long way to go.

New kind of Chinese tea

I brought some tea with me from the area (home town, they say) where my mother-in-law was born. It's a kind of tea with very light coloured leaves. Some almost look like white in their dried form.

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