Happy Easter everyone!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Julie: How long have you guys been coming to Read, Write & Brew?
Cory: Since last fall. We moved here to Colorado from San Diego.
Julie: Did you guys grow up in San Diego?
Kim: I did. Cory grew up in Michigan – Upper Peninsula.
Julie: So what took you out to San Diego Cory?
Cory: Well, I originally moved out to Colorado, to Fort Collins, like, probably eleven years ago. And, uh, just met some friends and he used to be in the Marines, and he always wanted to get back to the surfing, and I loved motor cross, so the three of us moved out to San Diego so he could surf and I could do the motor cross.
Julie: Are you still doing any motor-crossing?
Cory: No, haven’t done it in a few years, but I still love the sport.
Julie: And what brought you out here?
Cory: School of Mines. I’m going to school there.
Julie: What are you studying?
Cory: Mineral and Energy Economics.
Julie: And how’s it going so far?
Cory: So far so good. It’s tough, but it’s going well.
Julie: How much longer have you got to go?
Cory: Ummm, a few years. It’s a PHD program, so probably another 4 years or so.
Julie: And then when you’re done do you plan on staying in Colorado, or do you plan on moving on?
Cory: The degree will take me wherever the market leads me, so…
Julie: Well good luck with that.
Julie: And what do you do Kim?
Kim: I’m an executive assistant and I work down in Denver.
Julie: So what’s your guys’ passion? What things do you love to do?
Kim: [laughs] Right now we just work on our house.
Julie: Are you renovating it?
Kim: Um, no. We just bought a place and it hadn’t been painted, so we’re going through the whole, having to paint every square inch of it. That’s pretty much what we do now.
Cory: Yeah, otherwise it’s just full time school, and walkin’ the dogs.
Julie: How many dogs do you have?
Cory: We have two. A little Lab, and then an Australian Cattle Dog.
Kim: Yes, they keep us busy. That was our routine, and so that was the hardest part about moving here is that, well coming from San Diego there’s so many coffee shops and different little cute eclectic places that we would bounce around and we had our little routine down and then when we moved it was hard to find another set of shops to go to. So, when Cory stumbled on your place…
Julie: Awesome! Do you find it harder to walk your dogs year round here? Do you let the snow stop you at all in the winter?
Cory: No. You really can’t. I mean, it limits where you can go, but for the most part it hasn’t been too bad. You know, and we live just off Green Mountain so, when it’s nice, there’s lots of places to take them.
Julie: So you guys love hiking and stuff too?
Julie: So we ask all our Java Junkies, what’s your favorite drink at Read, Write & Brew?
Cory: Oh, mine’s the ‘Black and Tan’ for sure.
Julie: I’ve noticed, every time you come in, Jefferson see’s you, gets a cup ready and just says to you ‘Black and Tan’?
Kim: Yep, and then I get the iced tea.
Julie: So what’s something most people don’t know about you guys, or would never know about you unless they asked this question?
Cory: Well, it’s not too wild or wacky, but we had the chance to travel to East Africa, Tanzania. We spent a couple of weeks there. And that was really nice.
Julie: Tanzania, wow! What was that like? I don’t know anything about that country.
Kim: It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. I ended up winning a sales contest at work, and so I got $10,000 to go on a vacation. So where would you pick if you had $10,000? So I decided we could either do something really fancy or we could do something that we would never do if it was our own money. So we went on a safari with a British company, and we traveled all over Tanzania and actually spent like three or four days, they let us camp in the bush with those big tents like you see in the movies… and um, yeah, they took really good care of us so, it was just us and our guide and, the guide specialized in birds, and Cory likes birds, and he also specialized in photography. So he’d always rotate the Jeep to the right light so we could get the best pictures of the animals.
Julie: So you got to see wild animals up close, like lions and zebras and…
Cory: Yeah, that was pretty much the norm. Every day you’d see elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras…
Julie: Did it freak you out to be so close to those huge wild animals like that?
Kim: It freaks you out! I mean, they were close. Like, the elephant would be just on the other side of the glass, you know, right here [we were sitting on the couches, and Kim was pointing to the window facing our patio].
Julie: That close!
Kim: Really close. We had one block the road, where you know, he moves to the side flapping his ears, showing his dominance. And then, there’s different techniques they use to try and move them, but…
Cory: You don’t know if they are going to charge or not…
Kim: Yeah they’d say ‘If they charge and we flip over, make sure you stay underneath the Jeep’, so [laughing] it’s real life stuff. So, I was probably more freaked out than Cory. Cory was loving it, but… at one point they found lionesses in the trees, and we weren’t supposed to go off the trail, but our guide was like, ‘we’ve gotta do this’, so he drove us into the trees and literally, if you stood up and looked out the skylight, the paw was just six inches above where we were and you could hear them breathing. They were up in the trees trying to catch some breeze… so, you’re like ‘they could just fall over into our truck [laughs] but they never did and I guess people, I mean, that’s why they’re paying the money, they WANT that experience. But, it was a little like, hectic for me.
Julie: How long ago did you do this?
Cory: It was... six years ago?
Julie: The way you’re talking about it, it sounds like it was just last summer or something. It sounds like it’s still so vivid to you…
Cory: Yeah, it’s definitely an experience that you want to try again… so we’ll probably go back again.
Kim: Yeah, but there is no real, like, as much as you’re paying, there’s not a lot of creature comforts. Because there’s no electricity down there, so everything’s generator.
Julie: But don’t you kinda want it that way though? I mean, you’re going out into the African jungle, wouldn’t you want the full wild, raw experience…
Kim: But it’s hot [‘hot’ said with great emphasis, then laughs. Cory even agrees]. After being in 100 degree weather all day, you’re like, I’d like some cool air or… and the showers are all heated by wood, so your temperature it’s pumped from wherever you’re at – so it’s just whatever it is.
Julie: Oh, so you can’t control the temperature to make it hotter or colder.
Kim: Yeah, and so you still have like lots of bugs, and you know, there’s still that side of it. It’s pretty gritty I guess, but, it was cool. We definitely say, if you get the opportunity, it’s well worth it.
Cory: And it’s to the point now where they have big lodges there too. Like, in the middle of nowhere you’ll drive up and they’ll just have this huge lodge, so you can stay in nice comfortable places, you know, or you could stay in the tents if you want. So it’s, it’s nice.
Wow – not everyone you meet can talk about an African jungle adventure like that. Thanks so much for sharing this experience with us, and thanks for being valued regulars at Read, Write & Brew. Enjoy spending your $10 gift certificate at the store. It’s our way of saying thanks for letting us pry into your lives and publish it onto our blog.
Monday, April 11, 2011
The New Normal predicts that in the emerging era, production and consumption will no longer be the defining characteristics of civilization – cultural richness, efficiency, cooperation, expression, ecological design, and biological restoration will be.
From the Chapter, “Living Wealth: Restoring the Economies of Nature:”
Old Perspective: Nature is, at worst, an evil enemy and at best a warehouse of resources we can convert to cash. Produced capital is more valuable than natural capital because we made it. By the force of technology, will, and human ingenuity, we can displace people, plants, and animals that were original inhabitants and replace them with malls, subdivisions, and electronic gadgets that are far more profitable. Pay no attention to the weeds, pests, toxic chemicals, slash piles, and tailings ponds that are side effects of industry, because that’s what money looks like.
New Perspective: Nature is far from being a problem; rather, it’s a symphony of tried and true solutions – a source of materials if harvested sustainably; and a “sink” that recycles biodegradable wastes. Letting nature go broke is like swinging wrecking balls against our own houses and places of worship. In many cases, the services nature provides, just in the course of being a living system, have far greater value than the minerals, processed food, and other products that come from Earth’s ecosystems. In the emerging era, restoration of natural systems and adoption of sustainable practices will be our civilization’s highest priority.
The key questions are:
- Will biological and physical scarcity stimulate beneficial changes in human behavior? Will civilization change its priorities because of new biological realities?
- Can we change the direction of our economy, from “Destroy nature, make money” to “Preserve and restore nature, save money”?
Too often, we respond to urgent reports about the decline of nature with a shrug of our shoulders. Since many impacts are embedded within our way of life – the way we manufacture, farm, generate energy, collect used material, etc. – we often don’t feel there’s much we can do as individuals. This collective shoulder-shrugging – a whole civilization deferring responsibility – is potentially fatal; many empires and civilizations before ours collapsed because of a lack of respect for nature. In our times, the throwaway lifestyle seems easy, but inevitably results in higher taxes, expensive health effects, and degraded landscapes that need to be repaired. These added expenses make our civilization unaffordable.
However, by “saving nature” we make life less expensive, creating jobs, recreation, health, and security; a stable climate, and a way of life that requires less maintenance. Yet, because our role as consumers has dominated our lives, we sometimes forget the many other ways we can preserve and restore nature: as teachers, students, farmers, designers, parents, voters, citizen activists, business owners, shareholders, churchgoers, vacationers, petition signers, meal planners, Internet users, and influential friends. In each of these roles, we can weave additional strands into the web of life.Evidence of the changing paradigm is all around us, as the word “green” begins to redefine our culture.
The excerpt above was taken from http://www.davewann.com/publications/the-new-normal/ Click on this link to read more from 'The New Normal'.
David Wann is an author, filmmaker, and speaker on the topic of sustainable lifestyles and designs. Simple Prosperity is a sequel to the best-selling book he coauthored, Affluenza, which is now in 9 languages. A third book in the “trilogy” about creating a more sensible way of life is The New Normal, which has just been published by St. Martin’s press. It presents 33 high-leverage actions that can shift our culture in a more sustainable direction.
He has also produced 20 videos and TV programs, including the award-winning TV documentary “Designing a Great Neighborhood,” about the Holiday neighborhood in Boulder. David is president of the Sustainable Futures Society and a Fellow of the National Simplicity Forum. He worked more than a decade as a policy analyst for U.S. EPA and co-designed the cohousing neighborhood where he lives, in Golden.
Come to Read, Write & Brew
Saturday April 30th
11.30am - 1.30pm
and meet David.
He'll be discussing his book 'The New Normal'.
There will also be copies available for purchase,
and to be signed by the author.