Quick Links 30th January 2017

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read, inspired me or just sparked my interest in the previous week, with a little background and my thoughts and other things that I’ve been up to in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.

Life In General.

My Grandma’s funeral was last Friday (27th), the service was very nice and another family era ends. The past week has been a mixture of work and making the final arrangements for that service.

After the cold, bright days of the previous week, this week has mostly been damp, foggy and chilly, and thoroughly uninspiring on the weather front. Life has felt a little bit like the weather this past week, I’m expecting sunnier times in this coming week.

Presidential Inauguration

Although I didn’t include it in last weeks post, I watched bits of the US Presidential inauguration, including President Trump’s speech, and also over the weekend the emerging attacks on the press, for reporting the facts or not the “alternative facts” that have been reported by the White House press staff.

As the week has progressed it seems to have become an ongoing train wreck, as one carriage after another slams into the buffers. More bizarre press conferences, the decisions on the Keystone XL Pipeline & South Dakota Access Pipeline, instructions to the EPA to take down its climate change pages (this was later claimed to be a misunderstanding with the media, and the pages are merely “under review”, at the time of writing the pages are still live, but it is unclear exactly what is going on), unofficial twitter accounts for EPA, NPA (seems to have stopped tweeting), NASA and others to overcome censorship or the alternative facts, mass resignations at the state department, the doomsday clock now at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight, the Mexican President cancelling his planned visit because of that wall and the closing of borders to immigrants and refugees and of course saying that torture was okay (because it works).

On Friday our Prime Minister met with Trump. It looks as though the meeting went without any major cock-ups, although it seems that the White House can’t spell her name correctly.

So far it looks as though Trump is living up to his promise of not being like any President before him, but that doesn’t look like a good thing, although trying to keep up with what is going on isn’t easy.


My meeting last Friday has turned into something a little more than I was thinking it would. This is a good thing, but I’ll have to wait and see how this works out in the medium term. No guarantee of any paid work yet, but I do find the discussion quite stimulating, and it would be good to work with the individuals concerned again.

I’ve also been working on some of the outcomes from other meetings that week, so although light on meetings this week, there’s been quite a lot of phone calls, emails and other activity.

I was also expecting to hear about some other work, although as I write this, it doesn’t appear to have happened so that might track into next week, or at least I’ll be chasing them after this comes out to see what’s going on.

Currently Reading

When the Trees Say Nothing: Writings on Nature by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

A Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk’s True Life (Journals Vol. 3) by Thomas Merton [GoodReads]

Wizard and Glass by Stephen King [GoodReads]. The next book in the Dark Tower series,  a book I’m reading for an online group.

The January Man by Christopher Somerville [GoodReads] – I finished this towards the middle of last week, but wanted to mention it here as it was such a good read.

Barefoot At The Lake by Bruce Fogle [GoodReads]

Woodland Ownership

If you go down to the woods today [TheGuardian] – interesting article on what different people have done with the areas of woodland that they have bought. Although it looks like my part of the world is quite an expensive one to own some trees in, it’s not entirely out of the question elsewhere in the country

Battery Storage

Although I applaud the use of batteries in the home to make better use of energy from solar panels i.e. use it when the sun isn’t shining. I’m still a little bewildered that this is still being described as “trials”. I know that this is exactly what it is, and in normal “on-grid” situations this needs to be explored to understand the impacts on the grid at a larger scale, but seriously is this really 2017, and we’re still only trialling this?

The Week In Wildlife – In Pictures

3 thoughts on “Quick Links 30th January 2017

  1. The President reminds me of an arsonist running around setting fires—and no sooner than one is extinguished by the fire brigade, he ignites another.

  2. I don’t know why it has taken so long to get main-stream solar power generation to the state, mentioned in the article. We’ve been running our household on our own solar power for three years now and it’s not rocket science.

    All I can conclude is that it’s taken so long because the establishment is still trying to figure out how to keep people paying for something that is free. Not that I’m saying that solar power is completely free; you still have to pay for the equipment to set it all up. But, after the initial investment, there’s really no other expenses you need to worry about. We built our system three years ago and have been reaping the benefits ever since. Once we get around to expanding our battery bank a little bit, we won’t even need to use the minimal amount of grid power we’ve been using to keep our fridge and freezer running. And apart from that very small bill, we haven’t spent anything on electricity.

    The establishment doesn’t like people like us. That is why there are laws in most towns and cities in Canada that forces households to be tied in to the grid and don’t allow people to completely “unplug” and run off of their own power. Saving the environment is not that important when there’s a possibility of using revenue.

    At least, that’s how it appears to me, looking at it from my perspective.


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