Sew what about the cataclysm?

August 14, 2008

Next time you rip a seam or pop a button on your shirt, don’t throw it away or reach for the duct tape. Instead, stop by your local fabric store, pick up some needles and a few spools of thread. While you’re at it, grab a few extras for your cataclysm survival kit. With a little practice, you just might survive the cataclysm in style.

Listen here, or read tip #26 Mending is better than ending.

Right click here to download the mp3.

[Leopard-Skin Pillbox-Hat by Bob Dylan]

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#26 Mending is better than ending

August 11, 2008

I don’t care what anybody said before the cataclysm; afterward, mending will be better than ending. You can learn how to do it under duress, or you can start practicing now, while you still have access to these few pointers:

Mending is better than ending

Mending is better than ending

1) Needles are very sharp. This is why they invented these cheesy little pillowy things to hold them. You can make your own, and it doesn’t have to look like a strawberry.

2) Getting thread through an eye of a needle can be as hard as getting into the kingdom of heaven, especially as you get older. The trick is to moisten the end of the thread and twist it quickly between your finger and thumb. You can do it with spit, which you’ll be glad for when water is scarce post-cataclysm.

3) Only pull the thread halfway through, then tie off the two ends together. You have a nice knot that won’t slip through the fabric, and you have a double-length of thread for faster mending. Skilled seamspersons will tell you this creates crude and clumsy seams. I tell you it’s faster and easier, and reduces the chance of the thread slipping out of your needle accidentally.

4) Sew up seams from the inside (the part people don’t see), not the outside.

5) When sewing a button back on, stick a toothpick between the button and fabric. That will leave a little room for give in the thread, so the button can be twisted into the buttonhole more easily.

6) When matching thread to fabric, if you don’t have the exact right shade, pick a thread that’s lighter than the fabric, not darker, unless you have permission from Mr. Blackwell.

Next time you rip a seam or pop a button on your shirt, don’t throw it away or reach for the duct tape. Instead, stop by your local fabric store, pick up some needles and a few spools of thread. While you’re at it, grab a few extras for your cataclysm survival kit. With a little practice, you just might survive the cataclysm in style.


How to survive the coming caffeine cataclysm

July 21, 2008

Where will you get your caffeine fix after the global climate change cataclysm? Not just you, what about everyone else in the northern hemisphere? Think of it – grumpy, headachy nations with their finger on nuclear hair-triggers, all in caffeine withdrawal. Listen here and learn how to prepare. Or read the post here.

To download the mp3, right click here.

[Loveless Couple by GTS]


#24 Getting your fix after the cataclysm

July 15, 2008
How will you get your fix after the cataclysm?

How will you get your fix after the cataclysm?

As I sit here sipping my daily cup of tea, it suddenly dawns on me: Where will I get my caffeine fix after the global climate change cataclysm?

This thought should strike fear in the hearts of all who live in the northern hemisphere. It’s not your own withdrawal you need to worry about either. It’s all those other people who haven’t planned ahead for the cataclysm. Think of it – the entire population of United States and Canada in caffeine withdrawal.

Grumpy, headachy nations with their finger on nuclear hair-triggers, and no access to their daily dose of joe.

Sure, they’ve got chicory in New Orleans, but have you ever tried to get a buzz off that stuff?

There will be a few mitigating circumstances. For one thing, lots of people won’t survive the cataclysm so they won’t be around. But because less of the planet will be habitable, we’ll all be crammed closer together as we suffer our withdrawal. A recipe for disaster, to be sure. It is possible that with weather patterns changing we might be able to grow coffee and tea in places where we can’t now. But those plants will take a long time to get to the point where they can produce an adequate fix for all who need it.

You could add coffee to your cataclysm survival kit, but you just can’t pack enough to meet your needs forever. The better way to prepare for the cataclysm is to break the caffeine habit now. Say adios to your morning cuppa. Taper it off slowly if you must; go cold turkey if you dare.

Switch to a morning beverage that grows locally. Grow your own mint and rose hips for tea. No caffeine, but it’s better for you, and won’t require global shipping and logistics to get it in your cup.

Coffee photo by Arnaud Gaillard


Adding trees to your survival kit

June 14, 2008

After the cataclysm, you’re going to wish you had more trees. They’re useful for so many things. Add them to your future stockpile by planting them now. Listen here for more, or at blog52.podbean.com. Or read post #20 Be Johnny Appleseed in the 21st century.

If you don’t see the embedded media player above, right click here to download the mp3.

[N’gotolen by Rokia Traore]


#20 Be Johnny Appleseed in the 21st century

June 12, 2008

If you want to survive the cataclysm, you’ll want trees. Lots of them.

To make sure there are plenty of trees around when you need them, start building your stockpile by planting now. They can take a long time to grow to a useful size, as Johnny Appleseed knew. This isn’t for instant-gratification types. Then again, neither is the cataclysm.

What can you use trees for after the cataclysm?

1. To escape rising floodwaters

2. For storing goods away from thieves, bears and other land-based beasts

3. To protect yourself from the relentless sun burning down through the thinning ozone layer

whattreesaregoodfor4. Fruit

5. Medicines

6. To consume excess CO2 (aka “carbon sequestration“)

7. As a sort of panopticon

8. Firewood

9. For the beauty they provide

10. A home for your peafowl

11. Home-building and furniture-making supplies, so long as you don’t overdo it

12. A lovely visual depiction of the word “dendritic

Take, for example, The Larch.

Get planting now. On your land or someone else’s.


Angelenos prepare for the cataclysm

May 28, 2008

Folks in South L.A. show how tip #12 is done. They’re prepared for the cataclysm – are you?

clipped from www.latimes.com
For many, the image of South Los Angeles is that of a paved, parched, densely packed urban grid. But increasingly, it is also a place where untold numbers of barnyard animals — chickens, roosters, goats, geese, ducks, pigs and even the odd pony — are being tended in tiny backyard spaces.

“Most people don’t realize just how many farm animals there are in the city,” said Ed Boks, the general manager of the city’s Animal Services department.

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