Not long ago I took the trolley from National City where I live to the train station in downtown San Diego to to Santa Ana where I was picked up by my youngest son and grandson for a day’s visit. It’s about a two-hour trip. The occasion was my youngest granddaughter’s season-end gymnastic competition – amazing what 9 year old girls can do on parallel bars and such. Both exciting and scary.

I take the train not so much out of environmental consciousness, but as a way to avoid driving on Interstate 5 which often jams up in either direction. I love the train trip because I love looking at the scenery, even when it’s a route I know well.

This time, in addition to a wonderful view of the seashore, some interesting wetlands, and peeks at interesting neighborhoods, I was also noticing the amazing number of self-storage places along the route. Some are just dull buildings, others attempt, under some city council’s guidance I’m sure, to disguise themselves with phony windows, and other slapped on details that won’t fool anyone. Why they caught my attention this time is anyone’s guess, but they did, and I started wondering about them and what they say about our culture. self-storage

Storage stats

I’m not surprised we try to disguise these buildings… not just because they are ugly, but because the cover up what I consider is our shameful collection of stuff. According to the Self-Storage Association (who knew) in 2014 the self-storage industry is estimated to have generated some $24 billion in annual revenue.

That’s not the only statistic that I find shocking: [click to continue…]


There’s a theory that even super busy folks can get project like a blog or a book done if they devote only 5 minutes a day to it. This is more or less in addition to their normal duties. It’s purpose is to find a way to make progress on  something important that doesn’t have the urgency of many day-to-day projects and tends to get postponed over and over again.

Too busy making money

When I complained to a Master Mind group that I didn’t have time to work on two important projects because I was too busy with the work that made money, I was challenged. First they both reminded me of the saying, “it’s not about the money.”

This is considered by many to be a spiritual principal in Debtors Anonymous – some days I agree, others I don’t. I’ll discuss this in another post.

Writing 5 minutes at a time

The second suggestion was to work on the two projects – this blog and something I’m calling ‘the family story’ which is, I suppose, a memoir of my family and was actually requested by one of my kids. [click to continue…]


Buy American Will Create Jobs – And May Be More Sustainable

Everything is sooooo connected. In theory we know that – this video puts forth the idea that if we can increase buying American made goods it will create a million jobs in the USA. How to buy American made goods Of course, it’s not as easy to buy American as it once was. Reading labels […]

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Climate Change Solution? Let’s Try Mimicking Nature

We all know the planet is in trouble, or at least it is for critters like ourselves and who knows how many species. It’s easy to target big oil, and they (along with us) have their part to play. But there’s also big agriculture. And a whole lot of good intentioned bad science. Joanna Macy, […]

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A Truth About Connecting or When Someone Says ‘How Are You?’

“Hello, how are you?” “Fine, thanks, and you?” And so it goes. You ask how I am and I give you a pleasant sounding but knee-jerk response. Generally there’s no connection in this scenario that happens often several times a day. I told a bit of my truth A while back Intuit called to see […]

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What Do You Love? Who Do You Love

You know, when I think of particularly, but not exclusively, the women I’ve known and know now, I’d say the biggest problem we’ve all had is low self-worth or poor self-esteem. And yes, some men suffer the same way. At least in the United States. I’ve also come to believe that low self-esteem supports patriarchy, […]

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Two Years, One Plastic Grocery Bag

Last year I wrote about my venture in not bringing home plastic grocery bags. It’s gotten way easier not to bring them home. Most of the time when I empty my reusable shopping bags I take them right back to the car. I think I’ve also convinced one or two people to try the same […]

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Oil and Honey – A Review

I saw this book in the rack for new books about the environment at the library, but I read the title as Politics and Money, not Honey and took it home thinking I’d learn about fossil fuel profits. When I picked it up at home and realized my mistake, I promptly put the book down […]

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Dolphins, War, Drones & Global Warming

Apparently the U.S. Navy has been using trained dolphins and other marine mammals to support the Navy in warfare situations since the 1960s. I became aware of the program when, some 20 years ago, I was living on a boat in San Diego Bay and saw the Navy training dolphins from special-built skiffs. Those wondrous marine mammals […]

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11 Ways To Make Gift Giving More Sustainable

According to several sources, if everyone lived the way we most of us do in the U.S. we’d need something like 5 earths to be sustainable. And according to Thomas Friedman in an op-ed piece for The New York Times the consumption world around would require about 1-1/2 earths. He’s using Global Footprint’s numbers and you can find […]

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