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Chaos, Havoc, and the American Abyss

Part I: Chaos, Havoc, and the American Abyss

Reposted from my blog at IntegralPermaculture.Wordpress.com

“If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look at the worst.” – Thomas Hardy

In the final days before the 2016 American presidential election the pundits were out in force, engaged in collective hand-wringing. …

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Added by David MacLeod on November 28, 2016 at 7:45pm — No Comments

Slow Sand Fresh Water Filter

I live in an all-electric home and when the power grid is out we have nothing. No water, no sewer, lights, cooking or anything else. I will have a generator to run sparingly to keep the freezer and the refrigerator going. Our home is a passive solar home with great insulation.

If the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake happens, the grid could be out for a year. During that time, with the well pump not working, we will need a source of clean fresh water.

A slow sand filter, made…

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Added by David Culver on November 22, 2016 at 6:54pm — 2 Comments

Second Aid: Lessons Learned From Past Adventures

All too often I’ll run into another hiker and the following conversation ensues:

“How many nights are you staying out?”

“None… I hope. We’re on a day hike.”

“Then why are you carrying so large a pack?

Allow me to unpack my answer… an answer that addresses situations well beyond wilderness travel. An answer that extends into my settled, civilized life as well.  Why, at home, are Cindi and I prepared for a major natural or…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on November 3, 2016 at 11:51am — No Comments

Company Day Hike To Mt. Pilchuck Led To Team-Affirming Helicopter Rescue

Sunday, September 4th, 2016.  Hikers from our company: Rick Dubrow, Cindi Landreth, Cathie Bertola, Shawn Serdahl, Justus Peterson.

typical-ankle-buster-trail Injuries usually happen upon descent.  So it was on Sunday, 9/4/16 at the 4,420 foot level of Mt. Pilchuck.  Five of us, all co-workers at A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio, on a company dayhike, heard someone screaming in pain from above; close by.  In moments we reached Patricia, a fit 59 year old Peruvian child…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on September 12, 2016 at 6:10pm — 2 Comments

Justus Peterson’s Journey Towards ‘Greener Pastures’: a Mid-Course Correction

On January 15th, 2016 I went back to work for A-1 Builders after an interim period of 10 years of lucrative employment in the oil industry.

I turned my back on the oil industry for a number of reasons, but ultimately it was for my health, both physical and mental. But my journey goes deeper than being just about me; my journey sheds light upon our culture’s ‘jobs versus the environment’ debate; upon this region’s challenge to manage the explosive nature of oil by rail;…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on June 29, 2016 at 9:24am — No Comments

Efficiency Without Sufficiency Is Insufficient

I’ve spent my adult life reducing my ecological footprint, struggling with possible next steps because they are, frankly, enormous.  Giving up air travel, for instance.  Visiting my aged parents in Florida and accessing the wilderness in the southwest are particularly appealing.  [I can, and do, purchase carbon offsets for such travel – though offsets are an admitted distant second to actually hanging up my wings […

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Added by Rick Dubrow on June 2, 2016 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Time for a wellness exam?

No, not for you!  Nor your kid.  I’m talking about your house.

When was the last time someone knowledgeable was in your crawlspace or attic?  What… you don’t hang out there and know its current condition? C’mon now

That’s my point… for the same reason that annual wellness exams are recommended for you, someone experienced should periodically study your home’s health and well-being.

How often?  One obvious time is when you’re about to…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on January 14, 2016 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Conditioned Space

Feelin’ pretty cozy?  Chances are you’re reading this blog post while inside conditioned space whose air temperature is being controlled by you or some other human.  We typically move around from conditioned space to conditioned space:  our car, home or place of work.  We’ll go outside and travel through unconditioned space in order to gain access to our next managed, conditioned cocoon. Comfort zone to comfort zone, minimizing discomfort while in transition.

Comfort drives so…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on December 23, 2015 at 1:43pm — No Comments

Passing the Baton

If all goes well I must relinquish the throne here in about three months.  That’s the optimistic time frame when A-1 Builders will morph into a worker-owned cooperative (WOC).  I use the phrase ‘must relinquish the throne’ rather lightly given that I’m bringing it upon myself; this shift in power is voluntary. Instead of Presidential decisions, they will be made by 6 hopeful owners, myself included, each of whom has worked here at least 5 years, each person bearing one vote, 6…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on November 27, 2015 at 1:10pm — No Comments

It Takes a Village...

Have you seen the finished Community Bicycle Repair & Information Station, or C-BRIS, that we designed and built on our property on Northwest Avenue?  Better yet, have you used it?

It’s here for you; built for you… hoping to help you get on your bike more and more.  And with…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on September 23, 2015 at 4:49pm — No Comments

Patterns for Navigating the Transition to a World in Energy Descent



Integral Leadership Review Integral Leadership Review (ILR) has published the paper I presented to the recent Integral Theory…

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Added by David MacLeod on September 3, 2015 at 12:14pm — No Comments

Be Working On Yours

This builder doesn’t build house boats.  No, the typical home we work on simply doesn’t float. Not a big deal, unless predictions come to pass that waters may rise.

Data is already in hand confirming the truth of these predictions.  Daily we learn more and more about the perfect storm, brought to you by the science of climate change. Water is expected to rise by such-and-such an amount by so-and-so a date, and, for those of us with eyes open, we’re observing…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on August 6, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

No "Happy Chapter" here

I’ve heard this term ‘happy chapter’ used to refer to so many a documentary or news report that, although terribly depressing, ends on a happy note.   So, for example, a piece about global warming might end with a description of what’s being done about it.  ‘There’s work being done’, implies the happy chapter; ‘others are on top of it. Not to worry all that much.’

Yes, there’s a compelling motivation for me, or any author or news reporter, to leave you upbeat. …

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Added by Rick Dubrow on July 7, 2015 at 11:32am — No Comments

Enough Already

Some of our favorite readerboard quotations are submitted by our friends and neighbors, and one of these recent gems suggests that ‘one must break down before you can break through’. This adage surely rings true as it relates to making lifestyle changes seemingly necessary as our environment deteriorates. Human nature appears to require pain in order to spark change. And the greater the urgency for change, or the more immense the needed change, the more intense must…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on June 5, 2015 at 1:54pm — No Comments

Culturally Induced Madness

When I was born in 1951 new homes averaged about 300 square feet per person.  Compare this to about 900 square feet per person in 2003… a tripling in size in just 50 years. With this super-sizing comes the inherent fact that our homes generate more pollution and global warming gases than our cars! Our homes demand more energy consumption (12.2 barrels per person per year) than the food we eat (10 barrels per year) and the cars we drive (9 barrels per year).

No wonder…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on May 4, 2015 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Chicks-Red Layers

My daughters and I hatched out 26 chicks in our old-fashioned turn it yourself incubator.

We live on a city lot and need to sell them before the neighbors find out :-)!

These are a Rhode Island Red/Leghorn cross, so as one buyer said, "They will lay out the wazzoo"

Hatched date April 7

Straight Run

$3 each…

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Added by Rosette on April 23, 2015 at 8:59pm — No Comments

Mutating Within

I’m 64 years old now. Beyond 60, the youth of old age.  Approaching retirement; defining retirement; exploring succession planning.

What will A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio look like during, and after, Cindi and I extract ourselves from the helm.  Will this extraction be slow or sudden? Will we reduce our hours along a descending, straight line, or along a series of steps leading from fulltime to zero? Great questions, ones we’re discussing daily.  But this…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on April 17, 2015 at 6:23pm — 2 Comments

Watch Our Cycling Kiosk Emerge

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Added by Rick Dubrow on April 3, 2015 at 11:37am — No Comments

Pulverized, Ground-up Civilization

Dust permeates our indoor environment.  It’s everywhere, some of it natural – dead skin, soil, pollen, dust mites.  Some of it unnatural - chemicals, pesticides, rubber, herbicides - all these and more comprise the dust inside our homes and places of work.

What many people don't know is that toxic chemicals are brought inside all the time, simply by wearing your shoes indoors, or from your pets coming in after romping around the yard.  We…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on March 16, 2015 at 10:38am — No Comments

Anonymous Resistance

All too often it can prove edgy to speak your mind.  I get that. Your values surface to the tip of your tongue but you hold tight for fear that you’ll expose a part of yourself at odds with your co-workers; at odds with your spouse, church or employer.

“Do I dare speak up?”

How do you decide?

The answer requires a slight detour.  Let’s focus on an unintended consequence of our military-industrial complex:  the steady loss of…

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Added by Rick Dubrow on February 12, 2015 at 11:14am — No Comments

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