Thursday, October 26, 2006


Brownies so good
you can eat them for breakfast

1 stick melted butter
2/3 c baking cocoa
1 container formerly frozen apple juice concentrate
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

2.5 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
1 cup steel cut oatmeal
1/2 cup water
1 tsp baking powder

1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts

bake at 350 until done.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

pics for Karla

Here are some cutie pies. Ever notice that Ian is always in the tub?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Weekend that would never end

We had a long weekend. It was MEA and school was off for Thursday and Friday. And then by Saturday both Galen and Clay caught some pink eye. The pink eye was very catchy, because we knew the their cousins had all had it and even grandpa caught it. So I knew I had to keep them home from church- which made the weekend even longer and then Galen had to miss school on Monday too. So that by last night he was so off schedule that he didn't want to sleep until almost midnight.

So it was tough getting him up this morning- however the magic of chocolate bunnies work very well and soon he was bouncing off the furniture. Amazing what a little infusion of sugar and caffeine (in chocolate bunnies??? that must be a whole lot of chocolate) can do.

Anyways, our long weekend did not seem to slow down October sales.- And I ran into a new type of customer. One who is very easily offended. Which always is interesting, because no offense was intended or even implied, but hey that doesn't make a difference if you happened to stir up some unhappy memories, I guess.

Anyways, on to life..... Have fun!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Failed States

More from Plan B

"We talk about the developing world and the developed world, but this is the deteriorating world."

(I'm skipping info on environmental refugees and lots of wonderful info about how to tell if a state is at risk of failing)

A loss of political legitimacy is an early sign of state decline. Another characteristics of failing states is a deterioration of the physical infrastructure- roads and power, water, and sewage systems. Care for natural systems is also neglected as people struggle to survive. Forests, grasslands, and croplands deteriorate, creating a downward economics spiral.

Failing states are of growing international concern because they are a source of terrorists, drugs, weapons, and refugees. Not only was Afghanistan a training ground for terrorists, but it quickly became, under Allied occupation, the world's leading supplier of heroin. Refugees from Rwanda, including thousands of armed soldiers, contributed to the destabilization of the Congo. As the Economist notes, "Like a severely disturbed individual, a failed state is not just to itself, but to those around it and beyond."

Early Signs of Decline

More from Plan B

For the first time in modern era, life expectancy, a seminal indicator of development, has dropped for a large segment of humanity. For the people of sub-Saharan Africa, a failure of leadership is quite literally reversing the march of progress. Is this failure of the political system an anomaly? Or is it an early sign that the scale of emerging problems can overwhelm our political institutions?

The stresses on our early 21st century civilization takes many forms. Economically we see them in the widening income gap between the world's rich and poor. Socially they take the form of the widening gap in education and health care and a swelling flow of environmental refugees as productive lands turn to desert and as wells go dry. Politically we see them manifest in conflict over basic resources as cropland, grazing land, and water. And perhaps most fundamentally, we see the stresses the world is facing in the growing number of failed and failing states.

The social and economic gap between the world's richest 1 billion people and its poorest 1 billion has no historical precedent. Not only is this gap wide, it is widening. The poorest billion are trapped at a subsistence level and the richest billion are becoming wealthier with each passing year. The economic gap can be seen in the contrasts in nutrition, education, disease patterns, family size, and life expectancy.
So while roughly 1.2 billion people are undernourished, underweight and often hungry...roughly 1.2billion people are over nourished, suffering from excessive caloric intake and exercise deprivation.....

Disease patterns also reflect the widening gaps. The billion poorest suffer mostly from infectious diseases-malaria, TB, dysentery, and AIDS. Malnutrition leaved infants and small children even more vulnerable to such infectious diseases. Unsafe drinking water takes a heavier toll on those with hunger weakened immune systems, resulting in millions of fatalities each year. In contrast among the billion at the top of the global economic scale, it is diseases related to aging and lifestyle excesses, including obesity, smoking, diets rich in fat and sugar, and exercise deprivation, that cause the most deaths.
Illiteracy and poverty tend to reinforce each other because illiterate women typically tend to have much larger families then literate women do and because each year each year of schooling raises earning power by 10-20 percent. In Brazil, for instance, illiterate women have more then 6 children on average and literate women only have 2.

The connection between poverty and disease is strong, but it has been broken for most of humanity by economic development. The challenge now is to break this link for that remaining minority who do not have access to safe water, vaccines, education and basic health care.
David Barker of Britain's university of Southampton observes soberly "that 60% of all newborns in India would be in intensive care had they been born in California."

HIV should be seen for what it is- an epidemic of epic proportions that, if not checked soon, could take more lives during this century then were claimed by all the wars of the last century.
Michael Grunwald of the Washington Post writes from Swaziland, "In the country side, teenage Swazi girls are selling sex- and spreading AIDS for $5 an encounter, exactly what it costs to hire oxen for a day of plowing."

While the HIV epidemic is currently concentrated in Africa, air and water pollutants are damaging the health of people everywhere. A joint study by the University of California and the Boston Medical Center shows some 200 human diseases ranging from cerebral palsy to testicular atrophy, linked to pollutants. Other diseases that can be caused by pollutants include an astounding 37 forms of cancer, plus heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, dermatitis, bronchitis, hyperactivity, deafness, sperm damage, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

notes of the day

I would like to write more from Plan B, but I have seemed to have misplaced my marked up version of the book. I hope I will find it soon.

Anyways....anybody who doubts global warming obviously has not stepped foot outside today. It is 8pm and about 80 degrees in the middle of October. My tomatoes are still on the vine and still ripening. My watermelon is also still growing. And in case you are wondering I live in Northern MN- not Florida, Missouri or any other place that is supposed to be this warm in October. I think I will plant a peach tree.

Want some peaches?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Dear Amy

Jumping off a cliff can be pretty enjoyable when you have your hang glider :)