Posts Tagged ‘ojai’

So much is wrong with so many places. I have spent months in many eco villages and other communal areas all around this country and here is what I conclude so far…

 

When choosing a location to live you must consider the quality of the survival basics such as water, food and shelter.

 

I only trust rain water I collect for drinking. (Everywhere has been over-ran with chemical pollution and do you really think a bottling company cares about your health?) People dump chemicals into their drains plus more chemicals are added to treat those chemicals plus fluoride etc. Even rain water is tainted in large industrial areas with bad air pollution so I avoid those areas as much as I can.

 

I avoid all processed foods, grow my own veggies and try to only purchase local farm grain, fruit and dairy products.

I limit my use of energy sources and maintain a solar and wind powered battery bank and I bike or use public transport or carpool as much as possible.

 

Considering the basics of survival when relocating a home base is what it all comes down to and I encourage everyone to examine everything closely.

Location wise….

The northern 2/3 of the US is too cold to promote a physically healthy lifestyle. The northwest (Idaho, Montana, Seattle, Oregon etc.) is a great environmental and artistic rich culture BUT it is very clear as you look around that a majority of those who live there very long become physically sick early in life. These areas are also the main areas for mining and natural gas drilling problems.

The eastern portion of the country is over populated and constantly facing earthquakes and sink holes caused by the removal of oil, gas and burning coal near the surface so I stay away.

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The southern 1/4 of the US (excluding coastal and lake side areas) is too hot during summer. Everyone is active from 5-9am and 8-10pm so getting things done outside like gardening and fitness is very limited. You find most people in doors in gyms or doing their own thing being antisocial until the sun starts to set. These areas are mostly over ran with oil wells and rivers are polluted with farmland chemicals. The exposed oil pollution through Louisiana, southern ARK and TX have caused many problems now but one of the most serious is the mutated mosquito which carries very serious diseases and it is not deterred by normal organic repellent solutions. I witnessed many bites while there and they do not go away quickly like a normal itchy mosquito bite.

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The Havasu and southwestern desert area is hot and arid and the lake does not have much for recreation unless you have a kayak, jet ski etc. The lake access points are commercialized with parking fees and park entry permits. There are a few free spots but no one really uses them. Most lakes in the southwest are primarily for drinking water so swimming in a lake is not normal. It is funny, but less traveled people here think swimming is ONLY for POOLS.

It makes me compare the area to the area around Phily. Because of the high population, lakes have been sold to resort developers and most of them require day passes to enjoy. One has to hike rivers to find a decent free swimming spot.

In Havasu and the rest of the desert, there is very little shade and camping and hiking for longer then a day is boring because the scenery is all the same. Most people who live there enjoy motorcross and ATV life. Not much wildlife either. There is very little rainfall for water collection and gardening and water bills are similar to what you are use to paying for electricity in up state New York.

There are not very many paved roads so the fracking is hidden from view. There are very few ground wells for water and I do not know of any reports of well owners experiencing poison/gas in their water. I’ve met GasLand director, Josh Fox and follow his research closely.

He has not reported about AZ cases yet that I have found. The aquifer below AZ is so small that any break in the border allowing methane or other gases in will taint a large portion of the water. My conclusion is that I would not move there.

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Enough with the negative… let’s talk positive.

California (from Northern LA to Oregon)
This is a Mediterranean climate. Year round food growing. Bountiful fruit. 50-85 degree constant. Plentiful rain and sun. Low cost of living in eco village areas which can be found all over the coast. Canyon areas are less populated and get a bit chilly after dark but it is only a few minute drive to the nearest warm valley. The area is full of Renewable energy, environmentally conscious people, and the fitness minded.
Central Arkansas
Year round growing weather. Not too hot. Fresh water lakes and rivers with mid level mountains and hot springs. Lots of hiking, caving and camping. Bluegrass friendly music and arts lovers. Lots of festivals. A fair level of fitness minded people. A high level of bugs though. Not as liberal so law enforcement is not as relaxed and there are a few DUMB laws not in favor of food stands and such.
Central Colorado
About the same as Arkansas but only the southern part on the east side of the mountain ridges stays warm most of the year an enjoyable outdoor lifestyle. It is very liberal and our human rights are not violated by law enforcement much.

 

South Carolina to Miami Keys Florida
Caribbean climate. Not as constant as California Mediterranean. More powerful storms but constant growing and rainfall. Fit people. More relaxed politically but not as earth friendly as California.

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The Helping Hands network is setup to match causes in need with help anywhere it is needed. When we struggle to find help, I go and live around the causes for months. Sometimes a sponsor provides everything needed and other times people directly connected to the cause provide everything needed. These projects have given me experience living in nearly all the regions of the US.

When not traveling for short term causes I return to previous causes sites to follow up. I currently enjoy the Ojai California (Northeastern LA) area during the winter where I focus on projects related to the return of industrial hemp. I would like to find a project to help in the Caribbean some winter soon hopefully also.

In the spring/summer I enjoy eastern Nebraska where I focus on renewable energy and community gardening causes. Nebraska has a low crime rate and low cost of living while providing 6 months of outdoor growing and moderate weather. There are plenty of lakes, hiking and camping. There are also street festivals every weekend and a large amount of big name concerts. The main negative of being in Nebraska in the summer is the chemical pollution of the air and water by big corporate farming and the increasing presence of pipelines.

In the fall I enjoy camping in the wild between Tyler Texas and Little Rock Arkansas. The area is similar to Nebraska but has even more wildlife to enjoy. It stays warm most of the fall and the law enforcement is usually welcoming to those who camp. The main negatives are the bugs, the support for big oil due to their financing of community needs, and the lack of recycling. Parks and road sides are covered in liter in this region.

If I had a family, I would prefer the Caribbean or Ojai areas but it would ultimately come down to my mates vote and proximity to family.

 

 

It was a busy week at work so I didn’t go anywhere other then Occupy LA.

Beside work tasks, we did a grocery trip on Wed and TR Will and I went to the bank.

Friday, I drove big momma and Brian to the DMV to get California IDs. They make out of staters take a written test but only require 2 proofs of ID and no residency proof just like I experienced in Texas.

Friday night I was still weak from a mild Bronchitas and I was going back out first thing in the morning so I stayed home and watched a movie.

Saturday I wanted to help a group clean up Venice Beach so I headed up there. It was sunny when I left south bay but it got cloudy as the bus went further north. I met a nice Australian family that worked for the same company in Dallas as the nice family I met with Bekah at Arkansas’ Albert Pike. Made for a fun chat about a wide variety of topics from the Occupation, IRS, Fed Reserve to talks about our travels. It was a great talk.

Once I arrived in Venice I could not find the group and I did not get a phone number so I rode around all afternoon between the Sana Monica amusement park and Venice. Will and I kept missing each other too even though I spent several hours playing soccer volley in the north green. I broke my toe when I kicked it wrong with my left foot. It would take nearly 4 months to heal.

There was also a Xbox skateboard competition going on that I recorded for awhile before heading back home.

By the time I got home Sung was ready to go out for his birthday. I showered quickly and then Neil, Sung and I headed back to the Sana Monica Del Rio hotel for a party. I almost stayed in from my long workout but it was a good thing they talked me into it because I would meet a special lady this night.

Upon entering the lobby I could see there where far less women and even fewer attractive ones so I picked a seat by the piano and started writing while enjoying the music. In the next section over I noticed a beautiful eastern european woman dressed in detailed fashion that fit her to perfection. Her blue jeans fit her curves like body paint and the array of bright colors of her top ensemble drew the males to her like the tail feathers of the peacock.

I studied how she talked to the men closely through the night and studied how her attention would wander in my direction while in discusions with others. By the end of the night I could tell she was single and not imprssed with the 10+ guys hitting on her so I moved to the seat near her and as she was getting ready to leave she approached me and started a talk. I told her we were moving on and simply asked her how I could get ahold of her and she gave me her number. While I was driving Bella and I exchanged some texts that made it clear she wanted to get to know me so I told her I would come back the next day.

Sunday Oct. 23, I made the boys a nice breakfast and then headed back to the train. From the LAX station I caught the Santa Monica bus and went to north beach. I got to talk to a nice lady and an ex pro baseball pitcher who had been extras in some movies on the way. Once I was at the pier I called Bella to see if she was free and she said she would call me when she made it to the beach.

We spent the next several hours walking the strand from north Monica to Venice. We passed Sung and his lady while watching the gymnasts practice. This father was training his 2 year old by holding him up in the air on one hand to improve the childs balance and confidence. It was amazing! After the cloudy sunset over the ocean we went a few blocks in land onMontana to a bakery for some hot cocoa and talked about dinner options. We decided to pick up some pasta and sauce veggies and go cook at her house. She has gone 11 years in LA without getting hitched or pregnant so I was not expecting any intimacy on the first date so it was easy to keep my hormones in check.

While cooking she explained her only other serious time with a guy and the only guy to visit her house was a pretty famous actor. I deffinately won’t be able to treat her to all the fancy fun that he did so I’m not sure how long she will be interested in me. We got along great and she taught me a lot about Lebanon and her Muslim culture. We cuddled while watching a movie and eventually stopped kissing long enough to force us to get up and take me back to the bike.

I lost track of time so I missed the last 2am bus and had to bike 15 miles home. Going around the marina Del Ray and the airport is such a hastle it took me until nearly 4am to get home. I then had to sleep on the bench and wait until someone came out of the condo entrance so I could get in. It was 6am by the time I finally got to bed but it was well worth it!

On Wed Sept. 28th, Will and I went to the LA Galaxy Champions league game against Monselia. We picked up 2 $40 tickets for $15 each in case we couldn’t jump a fence. It ended up being a waste because we found a spot on the press box.

I got careless and rushed my technique. The was a railing to catch my foot on the stadium side of the fence but it was just out of reach while holding on to the fence so I grabbed a cement rafter to turn around. My grip slipped and I almost fell which I would have resulted in my leg getting caught as I catapulted the back of my head straight into the cement. Fortunately, my angel caught my finger tip on the edge and guided me safely down.

Once inside we sat with the press on the first row of the 50 and got in some of the tv and media shots. Then we were asked to stay above the front section so we got some lounge chairs for the 2nd half.

It was tied going into injury time as LA scored in the last minute off a corner to avoid elimination from the tournament.

Thursday night I stopped at the Lawndale soccer fields to get a workout in and met some Turkish friends to play with on the winter league.

Friday the 30th, Sung/Sean and I went to a Dead cover band in Long Beach called Cubansis. On the way Sung got pulled over and fined $500 for tossing a burning item out of a moving vehicle.

Saturday was the beginning of the Occupy LA march and protests so I spent the day downtown. I met several wonderful new friends, including a few cute girls who would later dance the night away with me at the LA Decompression Burningman festival until the sun started rising over historic park.

I went back to the rally after the girls went home and Will was up playing cards still. It was almost 5 by the time I laid down in the van and then I got up at 7 to take the train home.

As soon as I got back Sung was ready to go to an Art walk event. An old brewery was closed down and remodeled into an artist commune. The place was amazing with all the self expression covering over 100 unique studios. There was a studio open for rent to consider for Shhmokewear but it was not available for viewing. It took us 4 hours to visit all the studios and then it was time for dinner. We stopped at a restaurant in Chinatown where a lot of movie scenes have been filmed in front. It was nice to have authentic sweet and sour pork and Saskatchewan chicken and $10 a plate was fair for L.A.

The next morning, Monday, I headed back to Shhmokewear to get the business plan done. After work Will and I went to City Hall to protest again with Occupy LA. We made several new friends each time we went over there. It was basically a big festival with media around. There is a tent for everything from general store to food and recycling. There are compost bins and drum circles and everyone barters and shares.

It is basically a temporary unitopia of traditional life like the old west gold towns. Unfortunate that there is not a continuous string of such events in more local areas for others to experience. The Occupy rallies would continue on in most major US cities for several months of 2011.

We went to the rally Monday and Tuesday but then Wednesday I went to the Further Fest at the Greek Theatre. You can take the train 15 blocks from the theater near Vermont and Hollywood and then bike up to the park. The first night I went straight to the Hyde Observatory above the theater to watch the show for free. I went in the wrong entrance and took an extra 20 minutes hiking up the Hyde trail.

Once I got to the top I discovered you could park for free at the top vs. Paying 15 down below. The trail by Hyde has several spots to put a chair or blanket down to watch the show plus you get an amazing view of the LA and Hollywood sky lines.

The temps dropped to 40 and I started shivering so I rode down to the theater to scope out ways to get in. The fence top was flat in front but extra security was on duty to stop jumpers. You could climb the hill in back and get over but you need a spotter on the inside to let u know a good time to come over. Once over you need to remove your hat and mix into the crowd to avoid being chased.

The next night Will, Brian and I rode with Scott and his lady to Furthur. This time I was in the lot 3 hours ahead of the show to experience the touring  flea market. It was quite an experience seeing all the colorful characters and their art creations they sell to survive on the tour.

We spent too long promoting Shhmokewear and waiting for scalpers to sell cheap before deciding to hop the back fence so the cross lot was taped off and being secured by security. I ran diversion while Brian and Will snuck around. After that I waited for 20 minutes before giving up. I went by the front gate so I could see the screen and hand out with the other members of Shhmoke that were there.

After the show we set up our merch in the path leading everyone back to their cars and we put Shhmoke cards on the luxury cars. It is a great way to break the ice with attractive people you want to meet.

Friday Will and I went camping. He showed me the sacred Oaji hot springs and hiking trails. We camped and cooked some grub about midnight after several hours of full moon yoga and hot springs rituals.

Saturday we hiked all day and swam in a freezing fresh spring water hole and then returned to Occupy LA.

The weekend group was 2x the size of the week day groups. All areas of the block and park were completely covered and there were now tippis and plywood walls for graffiti art in true Venice skater form. This night there was a community projector theater and we contributed Russo’s Freedom to Fascism.

After meeting several more new activist friends we headed back to the pad around 2am.

Sunday I toured Mariachi plaza shops for hand-made leather crafts then biked with 100,000+ at CiclaVia.org. The city of LA closed downtown and 40 other blocks to biking only to promote green living and transportation. It was amazing. There were events and bands on several streets and parks and it joined with the Long Beach south bay tri-athalon. I rode most of the route and then spent the afternoon making new friends playing volleyball and Manhattan beach.

I especially enjoyed meeting 8 new lady yogi friends who are in LA for a 9 week training by the airport. They were very friendly and added our LA Fun facebook group to keep in touch for future gatherings.

When I finally made it home for a night, Sung’s friend Neil was temporarily staying with us because the job we helped move him to San Diego for, had fallen apart. He was staying with us while lining up a new Dr. position.

We caught up on the weeks events and then passed out. Monday morning (10/7) I hit the hot tub, swam some laps, pumped some iron, did my yoga and then headed back to the Shhmokewear head quarters.