Rocking Red Rock Canyon

Photo by Michael Balen, courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

Photo by Michael Balen, courtesy of Bureau of Land Management

The outstanding Tumblr of the Bureau of Land Management posted this gem from it’s BLM-Nevada photo contest. The photo was taken at Red Rock Canyon in Nevada. As Balen states on the BLM Tumblr, he was trying to emphasize the contrast between the dry desert and the abundance of life in the colorful wildflowers above.

The Weekend: Get ready



“Keep close to nature’s heart & break clear once in awhile,climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean -” -John Muir


Living without money


A few years ago, Mark Boyle read the famous Ghandi quote –  be the change you wish to see in the world. So he decided to give up money — of which he had plenty. That translated into changing his lifestyle drastically — feeding himself with foraged or wasted food, cooking outside rain or shine, living without electricity in an old van and brushing his teeth with things like cuttlefish bone and fennel seeds. He’s written a book, called The Moneyless Manfiesto. He recently did an interview on “Wild Economics”, with Permaculture magazine.

Here are some of his thoughts, from a 2010 writing:

Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter. I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual. And that independence is really interdependence.

Could we all live like this tomorrow? No. It would be a catastrophe, we are too addicted to both it and cheap energy, and have managed to build an entire global infrastructure around the abundance of both. But if we devolved decision making and re-localised down to communities of no larger than 150 people, then why not? For over 90 per cent of our time on this planet, a period when we lived much more ecologically, we lived without money. Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species most out of touch with nature.




Photographer, multimedia producer and artist Jimmy Chin has been working on a video project with Camp4 Collective, entitled Pause. In this post — How a 60 Second Video Can Change Your Day — Chin talks about the concept, which he describes it as “bite-sized visual poetry, something easily digestible.” Above is Pause #1, but there are many more on the website.

A Monday Moment: The obituary of Mary A. Pink Mullaney



At a previous newspaper, part of my duties as a General Assignment Reporter was to work the obituary desk — editing and writing obituaries from funeral homes to family members to close family friends. It was a job I had a reverence for: as my editor said,  there are two times someone gets in the newspaper: when they’re born, and when they die.

All obituaries, even the formulaic ones that state so-and-so died this day and the funeral is this day, have the footprints of someone, even in their simplest form. And that makes them, to me, all special. But once in a while, you read a truly great obit — that makes you wish you knew the person.

Sometimes it’s the way it’s written, sometimes it’s the stories enclosed within. This one came courtesy of a post on a social network from a friend who saw it in his local paper on a Mary A. Pink Mullaney. Enjoy, the heart of the obit is below sans the survivor list and details, but pay the Legacy site a visit.

“Mullaney, Mary A. “Pink” If you’re about to throw away an old pair of pantyhose, stop. Consider: Mary Agnes Mullaney (you probably knew her as “Pink”) who entered eternal life on Sunday, September 1, 2013. Her spirit is carried on by her six children, 17 grandchildren, three surviving siblings in New “Joisey”, and an extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life.

We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Pink during her 85 years, among them: Never throw away old pantyhose. Use the old ones to tie gutters, child-proof cabinets, tie toilet flappers, or hang Christmas ornaments. Also: If a possum takes up residence in your shed, grab a barbecue brush to coax him out. If he doesn’t leave, brush him for twenty minutes and let him stay. Let a dog (or two or three) share your bed. Say the rosary while you walk them. Go to church with a chicken sandwich in your purse. Cry at the consecration, every time. Give the chicken sandwich to your homeless friend after mass. Go to a nursing home and kiss everyone. When you learn someone’s name, share their patron saint’s story, and their feast day, so they can celebrate. Invite new friends to Thanksgiving dinner. If they are from another country and you have trouble understanding them, learn to “listen with an accent.”

Never say mean things about anybody; they are “poor souls to pray for.” Put picky-eating children in the box at the bottom of the laundry chute, tell them they are hungry lions in a cage, and feed them veggies through the slats. Correspond with the imprisoned and have lunch with the cognitively challenged. Do the Jumble every morning. Keep the car keys under the front seat so they don’t get lost. Make the car dance by lightly tapping the brakes to the beat of songs on the radio. Offer rides to people carrying a big load or caught in the rain or summer heat. Believe the hitchhiker you pick up who says he is a landscaper and his name is “Peat Moss.” Help anyone struggling to get their kids into a car or shopping cart or across a parking lot. Give to every charity that asks. Choose to believe the best about what they do with your money, no matter what your children say they discovered online. Allow the homeless to keep warm in your car while you are at Mass. Take magazines you’ve already read to your doctors’ office for others to enjoy. Do not tear off the mailing label, “Because if someone wants to contact me, that would be nice.”

In her lifetime, Pink made contact time after time. Those who’ve taken her lessons to heart will continue to ensure that a cold drink will be left for the overheated garbage collector and mail carrier, every baby will be kissed, every nursing home resident will be visited, the hungry will have a sandwich, the guest will have a warm bed and soft nightlight, and the encroaching possum will know the soothing sensation of a barbecue brush upon its back. Above all, Pink wrote – to everyone, about everything. You may read this and recall a letter from her that touched your heart, tickled your funny bone, or maybe made you say “huh?”

Tuesday Inspiration


Spotted this video online via Mountain, about single-track mountain bike trails in the Grand Tetons.  The goods really start around 1:14.

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