TOD: LOCAL Open Thread - Shopocolypse Edition

New Movie "What Would Jesus Buy" Starring the Rev. Billy Coming to some local theaters

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday (or Buy Nothing Day) behind us, I thought it might be nice to let everyone share their experiences over the holidays.

How did you get to your destination? How far did you go and did you carpool, walk or take public transport there? Was there any talk over the table about oil/gas prices or global warming? What's the general feeling around your area about these issues? Did all your relatives and friends get caught up in the shopping madness looking for the best deals on stuff they need?

And, under the fold, as an antidote to the usual Christmas shopping madness, I bring you The Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping...

As promised, here's an antidote to the usual Christmas shopping madness; I bring you The Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping...

Will you survive the fire? The Shopocalypse, the shopocalypse!
Can you feel the heat in this shopping list.
The neighbors fade into the super mall.
The oceans rise but I – I must buy it all.
Shopocalypse, Shopocalypse…
It aint the blues, it’s convenience

Will we drive fast all night - to wilderness, into the wilderness!
Will we die of fright when the logos hiss
Can we go home, break in our own front door
The TV stops to hear our insides roar
Shopocalypse, Shopocalypse…
It aint the blues, it’s convenience

Will a hard rain we pray confuse the darkest gods,
confuse the darkest gods!
Did Jesus buy on time to improve his odds
The brightest lie it screams into the happy face
The bluest sky betrays, betrays the human race
Shopocalypse, Shopocalypse…
It aint the blues, it’s convenience

Will we sit down and write a blood-stained hit
Will stand and fight, to live without it
We say no, say yes – I’ll love one time well
I take it back, not now, it’s a hard hard sell
Shopocalypse, Shopocalypse…
It aint the blues, it’s convenience

Beatitudes of Buylessness

Blessed are the Consumers, for you shall be free from Living By Products…..

Blessed are you who stumble out of branded Main Streets, for you shall find lovers not downloaded and oceans not rising.

Blessed is the ordinary citizen who holds onto a patch of public commons, for you are the New World.

Blessed is the artist who is not corporate sponsored for you shall give birth to warm fronts of emotion and breakthroughs of Peace.

Blessed are you who confuse “Consumerism” with “Freedom,” for you shall be delighted to discover the difference.

Blessed are the advertisers and commercial celebrities, for you are waiting for the remarkable restfulness of honesty.

Blessed are city neighborhoods that people have flown from in fear, for your children shall return to illuminate the dark economy.

Blessed are the workers in the supermalls, for the town your employers’ killed shall come back to life!

Blessed is the breadwinner with out-sourced dreams who sits in the SUV stuck in a Christmas from Hell, this year a gift will set you free

Blessed are the young women in sweatshops, for the things you make will fly you like magic evening gowns to the City of Light

Blessed are you who disturb the customers, for you might be loving your neighbor.

words: bill talen
music: william moses

I hate to sound overly b*tchy, but such movies are the last thing I'd spend money on at this point.

The irony of "consuming" such a film is nauseating.

who knows, its entertainment, Rev Billy has been around for several years. He used to be on the US club circuit, and I heard him on radio promoting his shows for several years. I imagine that "act" has run its path and he is hoping for bigger things. Is he SINCERE, and does the movie have a message, have to see it to say. Reverend Billy's act I have heard is not high brow humor.
However, imo a waste of money is not necessarily so. It might be, for you, but it might have a message that gets thru to someone in the audience, and they will change. That benefit could far outweigh their ticket price.

Movie demographics in the US have a very young audience.

There is some irony, but I "consumed" this film last night and am heartened to find I now have the definitive answer to the mush of December, the most depressing time of the year for those of us who don't buy or pray our way into the anxiety-ridden apex coming up on the 25th of next month. "It's a Wonderful Life" not.

There isn't much most xmess seasons than could make me guffaw the way "What Would Jesus Buy" did. I wrote the good reverend this morning suggesting they at least put the lyrics to their new versions of "Joy to the World" and "Deck the Halls" up somewhere. They went caroling in suburbia last year and sang these. The homes they visited all seemed to be tremendously enjoying the songs. If I had a better singing voice, I'd consider doing it myself.

There is of course, some irony in consuming what you have to to with your computer to visit The Oil Drum. If it is counterpoint to dominant culture, this film is too.

My wife and I volunteered at a local church,12 miles from home, and helped serve Thanksgiving Turkey dinner to about 150 folks. Some of our kids and grandchildren gathered in Virginia and are quite unhappy that we didn't join them. Our families have always celebrated a modest Christmas as both my wife and I were born during the Depression and our parents were never big on consumption of anything.

Mea culpa. Drove 900 mi round trip in an SUV with only one passenger. Total fuel consumption: about 64 gallons of gasoline (over a barrel of the black stuff.) Total cost: about $205.

Highest price paid: $3.64 for regular unleaded in Baker, CA in the Mojave Desert.

It was a trip from the unsustainable megalopolis built (literally) on crude oil (now completely depleted), Los Angeles, which arguably will be among the hardest hit by PO given the long commuting distances, lack of public transportation and collapsing real estate market, to a very survivable locale: southern Utah, rich in natural resources, where a significant percentage of the population has a year's supply of food in storage, small towns in which few things other than the best hiking and backpacking are more than a few miles away.

Interestingly, the freeway was packed between LA and Las Vegas, literally packed with large inefficient vehicles (like mine). Despite the price of fuel, the freeway between LA and Vegas is so crowded that many people have begun flying instead. The days may be numbered for these two forms of transportation, but no one seems to have noticed yet. They are too distracted by the 50K their home has declined in value in 2007 to notice an extra $100 per month fuel cost which is still seen as a nuisance more than anything else.

$150 oil will not be enough to force conservation, it will have to be $250 and up.

I will "consume" the movie when it hits the library and after after waiting in line for a painful amount of time. That's what my tax dollars are for. ;D

As to shopping on Black Friday, Hon. #2 Daughter and I went to the fabric store. After thinking I was ahead of the game in making holiday gifts, aforementioned daughter told me there were requests from a couple of her friends for flannel p.j. pants that only I could make them (right).

Travel time wasn't bad (it was about 7 miles one way) and we drove. In doing this (we got there around 7:00 a.m. and the store was packed) except for the gas and time expenditures we saved more than $50.00. (Yes, I would've purchased the fabric anyway because I'm a sucker. It was worth the trip for fabric that usually retails at 5.99/yard selling for 0.99/yard.)

That's the only story I have about Black Friday other than Hon. #1 Daughter ended up working. I know she walks to the local mall (in Melbourne FL) from school. It's about 2 miles. I have no idea how her day went.

My boyfriend and I carpooled with my grandparents to my sister's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Grandpa recently found out that my boyfriend has a big ole Dodge truck that his parents gave him, and he's mystified by the fact that we insist on carpooling, biking and busing everywhere. (Anybody want a big ole Dodge truck?)

We don't talk about apocalyptic things in my family, but topics of conversation were the Exxon settlement for fishermen (we're a fishing family), the process of refining diesel (we're a fishing family that's ended up working in refineries), and then there was some conversation about what fishing must have been like before hydraulics and diesel. Grandpa launched into a few stories of his childhood in the depression.

Black Friday, I went to my job at a department store and it was boring. The customers mostly just went around looking at prices and bought up all the smallest poinsettias. My hours keep getting cut, which is nice because I have more time to study for classes and sew.

This thanksgiving, I helped insulate a house for a poor family who I have known and helped for years. I also installed a triple-paned window to replace their leaky window in the front room. I'd built that the previous weekend from salvaged windows purchased at the Habitat for Humanity store.

Total mileage, one quarter of a mile.

I bought nothing on Thanksgiving Day, or on Friday.

After working, we drank tea and ate rye bread with margarine.

The conversation revolved around their working as a janitor at a nearby mortuary. Fascinating thing, death.

This thanksgiving, I helped insulate a house for a poor family who I have known and helped for years.

Thank you. I can't think of a better way to spend the holidays.


Most of the time is 'buy nothing' day - and the last 4 years I observed buy nothing day.

But 2/4/8 gig flash ram on a discount, along with the $120 rebates on Samsung 245BW monitors (ok, bought at 4 AM on Thursday) bought because of 'need' (The open source nvidia drivers want matched monitors so my present 21/22 inch 1600x1200 monitors no longer work at 1600x1200) I'm "justifying" the purchase on the idea of lower power consumption. The bicycle lifts were on sale at harbor freight and the blood pressure monitor was 'on sale'. Bought a few CVS cameras to hack.

Spend the whole damn day in the car friday, and yesterday asleep - trying to catch up on sleep.

Today - re-lace a power bike hub one I put away all the 'treasures' from Friday.

Actually, I went fly fishing for steelhead.
Being a non christian who has not participated in this holiday madness for quite some time, my advice to the reason based community is just stop, quit buying. After a few years your meme infested religious friends and family will get the message that you are serious. It will all fade away.
(it is going to fade away anyway, get it over with now)

Hmmm, Harbor Freight, yeah, I tried to get their on-sale bike lifter. They used to be a good place to stock up on cheap tools and misc, mostly from China, while our US$ is still worth anything. Lately their service seems to be falling apart. Like most other US businesses I've been dealing with -- perhaps they're sensing, even if subconsciously, that their world is about to collapse, so "who cares"? Anyway, they used to send you back-ordered stuff later, now they simply cancel 1/3 of the items in your order, with no explanation (but still charge you the whole shipping amount, and still ship what they do ship in 2 or 3 boxes...). You'd think when you order on-line their system could tell you if something is not in stock?

Anyway, I stayed home these 4 days, but it seems that, for most, the American way of life is not negotiable

I didn't do any shopping, but the wife got some stuff for her oldest Granddaughter's birthday, important since we won't make the long trip to New Hampshire from OK even for Christmas. She got up ther during the nice part of the year anyway.

I did come across a posting for a **National** round table hosted by the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado. Not sure how "National" it will be but I'm anxious to hear about it. It googles pretty quick and is under their eventss heading, but it takes place this next week.

Thanksgiving day I was up at 9am (after a late night in the Recovery Room taking care of a hormone and horsepower addled 20 year old who crashed his Ninja 1200 on the interstate doing 170mph) and put on the peanut oil to boil in order to fry up a turkey. That task completed (without burning down my house or sustaining 3rd degree burns) my roomate and I drove 4 miles to church for the annual Thanksgiving dinner (of which said bird was a big hit. Once you have a fried turkey you'll never go back).
Then took a ride on my bike (BMW Dakar 650) over the river and through the woods to my mom's house about an hour north for a somewhat subdued and alienating experience re dinner with my family (My mom and youngest sister, with whom I do not get along well). Coming back home (to Charlottesville through the Central Virginia Piedmont) after dark was cold, but the moon was full on bright and was a beautiful ride. Black Friday we walked a couple miles downtown, patronized the local freakadelic tea room with a lunch of mint tea, pita and hummous, then walked back home. Other than supporting a local mom and pop (hippie and hippette) place, nothing was purchased. Total fuel expended; 1/2 a tank of propane to fry the bird, 2 gallons gas on the bike ride (70 mpg bike makes it a bit easier on the wallet these days).

SubKommander Dred

Made our traditional trek to Grandmas' house. The Sentra (2.0 L 4 cyl) will easily do 32 to 34 mpg at 65 to 70 mph. 36 is probably achievable at 60 or so or on freeways where you aren't slowing down and speeding back up for towns. 40 mpg would seem to be out of the question, although aero seems good it's just too heavy, 2900 lb. range. It has variable valve timing and is equipped with the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Quite interesting to drive, totally different than a conventional automatic trans. It does seem to be more efficient and surprisingly peppy.

We always spend the night so that wife and her mother can do their annual Black Friday shopping ritual. Kids and Grandpa and I stay far away, lol. Grandpa and I agree that rampant consumerism has taken over.

The women came home satiated complaining of lack of trunk space,lol. When questioned, they said that the 4 AM crowds seemed to be about the same as last year. It will be interesting to see business reports.

I spent turkey day with about 25 people, mostly peak oil people, at a friend's house. I helped a lot with the cooking we did (it was potluck so this wasn't so terrible).

I had to go to the post office on Friday, which was my only trip out of the house, and it was not even crowded despite the fact I figured it would be. I don't shop unless I have to anyway, avoiding a day that glorifies it is just something I've pretty much always done. The little television coverage I saw about how completely insane it's become was alarming.

I'm spending the entire four-day "weekend" with my six-year-old daughter. I live about 85 miles from her right now, and, when I move to Vancouver, BC, will be more than twice as far. At times, I worry about how much I'll see her going forward due to my fears about Peak Oil, but I also feel like my graduate education is important enough to pursue, even as global civilization appears to be entering crisis. Post-graduation, perhaps I'll have an extra edge as I attempt to position myself much nearer my child. Currently, the distance makes for some poignant times together, but also special ones, too, for she gets lots of my attention when we're together. Right now, she's still asleep as I type these words, on a cold and foggy morning. The low this morning was around 23F. Crispy. Lots of frost on the ground.

My biggest purchase, aside from gasoline, has been two DVD movies for us to watch when we're hiding from the cold in the house, and not doing other things like building Lego horse carriages and castles. On Black Friday, as I drove back from Tigard to Corvallis, I took my daughter to the coast and visited the beach at Lincoln City. My girl had lots of fun digging in the sand and finding seashells despite a very chilly evening. Even as a very cold breeze swirled around the littoral zone, many people were out on the sand, some flying kites, and others enjoying the unusually-low tide. One family carried some food onto the shore--a huge swarm of gulls piled around these folk. I wondered: When the opportunity arose, would the future poor in America be desperate enough to beg from the well-off in such a manner? The possibility seemed all too real. A spectacular sunset and moonrise greeted us just before we left, a theme that would repeat the next day.

Below, the moon cuts through electrical infrastructure over Lincoln City, OR, as the sun sinks into the Pacific on 23 Nov 2007:

Yesterday evening, we went to the Finley National Wildlife Refuge and had lots of fun seeing many birds through a telescope, wandering around some old farm houses and walking a few of the muddy trails. Maybe the beach trip from the day before inspired her, but for some reason my little-one liked to jump up on park benches and pretend that they were surf boards. Off in the distance, we heard the staccato rapid-fire of semiautmatic guns. The shots rang hollowly among the leafless oaks, willows and ashes. In the near future, would sounds like these become as common as the sound of passing cars in our cities and suburbs, or would transition be more peaceful? The birds, safe on the refuge, didn't noticeably respond to the firearm reports. Within a few minutes, however, a huge herd of elk streamed out of a nearby woodlot and walked around the shore of a small lake. We watched this drama from a safe distance, before the chill dug in deep and we headed back to the car. As with the beach, we had a spectacular sunset, here seen from Finley:

I posted this following part on the Drum(stick)Beat, but feel it is relevant enough to include in this TOD Local post, too:

Amidst the Busiest Travel Day of the Year
A look on the ground during year three of the oil-production peak-plateau.

Yesterday afternoon, I joined the 40 million or so Americans who traveled more than 50 miles one-way for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Despite the high gasoline prices and the gloomy economic situation, the roads and stores were packed. Cars filled the First Alternative Co Op parking lot, and only luck of timing provided me with a slot--right in front of the entrance, next to the banged-up bike shed. A sign on the door indicated that the store would be closed for Thanksgiving, a fact that probably accounted for some of the urgency to gather food. Fortunately, I found my items quickly and managed to get into a fast line.

Back in my car, with the yellow low-angle sun streaming cheerfully through the windows, I quickly made my way onto the Corvallis surface streets, only to find that a squeeze of vehicles had jammed-up downtown. Getting to King Tin proved to be slower than usual, but not completely annoying. After my restaurant pick-up, I rolled back into the city center and into near gridlock. The stretch of Van Buren just before the bridge, with its short blocks and numerous streetlights, proved to be a nightmare. A familiar pain for any long-time Corvallis resident, but amplified to near-absurdity this Thanksgiving Eve by a mad rush out of town. At one point, the signals went through three cycles before my traffic line budged.

Once I got through the crush, the trip down Highway 34 to I-5, though heavy with car and SUV, went smoothly, with speeds up to the 55 mph limit at times. A few recreational vehicles and other traffic situation created brief bottleneck, but slow-downs were infrequent and short-lived.

In a quest for coffee, I stopped at the Chevron near I-5 in Albany and wandered into a madhouse. During the day, an invasion had ensued: Vehicles of all types surrounded the food center. The pumps were full-up as people sought that all-important $3.15/gal fill-up. California license plates were surprisingly common, with soft-blue Washington tags scattered among the familiar Oregon Douglas-firs. Inside, a line of people waited for the bathroom. So many people filled the small store that I had to ask two gentlemen who had camped in front of the coffee table to move out of the way. A mom with a young blond-haired girl squeezed past me. The toddler loudly exclaimed she didn't want to go potty as they pressed their way to the facilities. As I waited my turn, coffee in hand, many items passed over the checkout counter. Business seemed brisk, though I had no idea how it compared to last year.

From the looks of everything, it appeared that this Thanksgiving Holiday was progressing in the business-as-usual fashion: A frenzied rush of fossil-fuel reducing activities. As I stood in line, I wondered just how many more holidays would be like this? Given recent surges in oil prices, the world's three-year oil-production plateau, and a US economy that apparently had gone haywire, even Thanksgiving 2008 seemed somewhat of a question mark. Interesting times indeed.

I returned to the road. Soon the onramp to I-5 brought me to a big slowdown on the superslab. I have never before encountered stop-and-go traffic in the vicinity of Albany and Millersburg. A total LA nightmare out in the Mid-Willamette Valley farm country. At that moment, I knew the trip take much longer than normal. And it did--nearly twice that of a typical day, with numerous slowdowns along much of the route. Between the vehicular density-waves, I did achieve the speed limit, 65 mph. These episodes didn't last long enough for me to switch to cruise control.

A major rear-ender that left two cars immobilized in my lane near the I-5 and 217 junction capped off my travel experience. The backup left me parked for some minutes before I could merge into traffic and squeeze by. Police had arrived by the time I reached the wreck. One driver stood frozen in front of his smashed Honda Accord with both hands on the hood. Maybe he had been in an indignant mood.

All said, it's quite a relief to be off the road, in the house and with my daughter. Indeed, I think its time to get off the keyboard and play.

Thanks for your tolerance of a repeat post.

As is evident, my activities are still quite FF-dependent. Oh well, here's to Alan's transportation plan! May TransitOD be strongly implemented soon! When I can no longer afford to operate a car, may there be a transport system in place to help me be there for my daughter. :o)


graywulffe in CVO, OR

I spent T Day at the Turkey Rod Run in the infield of Daytona International Speedway. About 35 of us rent an infield vendor space and sell old car and motorcycle parts. We have been doing this for about 15 years and we all take our parts and food/refreshments to an attendee that brings a van with large open trailer. We set up a large display and party tent. Round trip from my house is 24 miles...about 1/2 gal of gas on a Harley.

About 8-9 thousand hot rods and motorcycles are on display at the event. Most owners of these rods have spent many years restoring them but seldom drive them on the street. The infield is large and to see most of the vehicles on display requires at least five miles of walking, probably much more.

We fried 4 turkeys and all brought covered dishes. Everyone arrived on motorcycles, mostly old Harleys but there were a couple of BMWs and one Honda. The Honda rider was the youngest in the party...age 32.

We had a very good time, lots of laughs, and consumed various beverages.

My wife went to her eldest daughters house for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

Just passed by the track to the "Cancun Lagoon" next door for Sunday brunch. Today is my wife's birthday and we celebrated with friends at the restaurant. Things were breaking up today at what my wife calls the Turkey Trot. Very few of the Rods are driven to the event. Rather, most are transported via open or closed trailers pulled by large trucks or SUVs. It is not a low energy (oil) event. The participants come from all over, a 2,000 mile round trip not being unusual.

Well, Joe, you are right. The Turkey Rod Run is definitely not a low energy event and for the past few years I have wondered when the last one would be. I hope to be at the last one.
Otoh, brunch at Cancun Lagoon (we call it the Yuppieville Strip because of all the chain restaurants on what we still call Volusia Ave) is not exactly a low energy event, either. Shipping food by air freight will soon be a thing of the past.
I would have been impressed if you had said that you and wife had prepared brunch for your friends on your patio and your friends had arrived in car pools, bicycles or on motorcycles...Or, even if you had patronized one of the local mom and pop restaurants that are being displaced by the chain restaurants.
When the FWOs are gone, the chains will be gone. That will be a fine day.

Hey, cute post, so I'll throw in my 2 cents...

For thanksgiving we fasted. Various reasons, mostly just general cussedness. No fuel burned, little energy used.

However, the next day is an eco-holiday we have celebrated since '91, and it's also "pie day", which meant cranking up the 40mpg hyundai accent (bought after it was vandalized for just $1100!) and doing an early-morning food run on the local town. Pies which were $10 the day before were 50 cents each, as is always the case. Much else was also slashed to 20% or less. We fill the freezers then, leveraging the odd habits of the human populace and the idiosyncracies of the marketplace. (Indeed, if one simply shifts the celebration of any holiday to one day after the official day, consumables are nearly free).

It was a decent day in Hawaii, my wife spent time training the dogs, who brought us up some nice avocados from the yard. We provided care for my elderly mom next door. I did some rare online shopping attempts because on Wed my monitor went kaflooey, and my wife had thoughtfully put all the power supplies to the spares in a 'safe place', which means they're gone.

So that means I'm using a 13" monitor from 5' away (a peculiarity of my ergonomic computer setup) and will want to snag a larger one cheap somewhere. Since I passed on the sales, that'll probably mean snagging one off craigslist.

A decent holiday with little energy use, even if I didn't celebrate the same one other people were.

Well I had a friend down from Northern California. He is now talking about not driving again simply because of the traffic.

We have talked often about ways to go between SF and LA that are reasonable. The train is pretty much a joke tourist trap not commuter. No real answers. And no sign of traffic slowing.

After this ate at a few local places but spent the majority of the vacation guzzling wine and nursing a hangover.

I've always been of the opinion when its time to party.



Spent the day huntin’ down injuns ( walked a group of 5 ten year olds down to the riverwalk park).

Turkey dinner at our house with fam & friends (only the one who could get here under their own power).

We all sat outside under the covered porch at a 10’ long table which my wife draped to the ground with heavy table cloths. I then placed a small 10” square electric heater under the table.

I wanted to test out this concept.

It got down to 34 degrees but with a coat and hat and the lower half of our bodies under the cover it was very enjoyable until late in the evening. The Oregon Pinot Noir probably helped as well as the couple dogs that crawled under the table too.

Did my world famous boneless Turkey, split the back open, bone the bird, stuff, put back together and sew, flip over and roast. To carve just slice straight across the whole bird. A real show stopper.

8:00am Black Friday I walked up to the huge Fred Meyer (think medium sized wallmart) and went into the electronics dept. A few folks wandering round, not the jostling crowd like last year. Walked right up to the cashier at the counter with a small alarm clock and as he started to ring it up I asked where the ear phones were (for the laptop), went and got them thinking there would be a line but nooooooo. In and out in 10 min.

My wife had to return something and was really not relishing the thought of the massive lines that always for at the service counter. There was one other person in line with her.

Again thanks to all and a special shout out to WT for hitting me with ELP at just the right time in our lives. I can honestly say my family and I are much better off than before in all the ways that matter, $ wise too.

Been lurking at TOD for years. Don't ask me why this post was the one that inspired me to actually create an account and post a comment.

For Thanksgiving I stayed home with the husband and the baby, and my parents stayed with us for a few days. We (gasp) didn't have turkey, but some lovely, local, grass-fed lamb instead, with roasted root vegetables from our CSA share. On Thanksgiving day and the day after, we sheet-mulched our front yard (taking advantage of the grandparents watching the baby). Finally used up that cardboard we've been stockpiling for that purpose, along with compost and wood chips. We now have a permaculture design for the area around our house (zone 1) that we want to implement ASAP. Avoided shopping, although we've been creating a list of items we do want to buy for PO preparedness, with the current focus being medical supplies. I've been trying to come up with a comprehensive list of useful first aid items, OTC medications, simple diagnostic instruments, etc-- anyone know of any lists out there of good post-peak medical items to have? Including useful medicinal plants to grow or forage in New England?

I have been thinking the same thing about medicinal plants. I ordered my garden seeds today from they also have a section on medicinal plants. We spent turkey day with 25 family members. We ate 1 ½ turkeys that I raised this year, not much work. Tried to cover PO with a few of the family. They all know something has changed with us, as we have started our ELP plan. The real eye-opener for me was my sister-in-law nephew, he returned last month from Iraq and his stories were something to listen to. He is a Marine and has done 3 tours. He was very upbeat about his mission. We have asked so much from our young people, I hope the war will end. But what I know about FF depletion this is probably just the beginning.

I've been lurking at TOD for the past couple of months but I thought I could add something of value here.

I've dabbled in homeopathy and some herbal medicine for the past couple of years, starting with my pets, and expanding to myself and loved ones. Certainly in a post-peak world conventional medicine would likely fail, in supply if not in efficacy, so I think alternatives are something to look at.
Certainly having a medicinal garden and knowing how to use it is a good idea.

I don't consider myself to be a herbalist (yet), but this could be a starter list for you:

Astragalus (this would be a house plant in your area)
Mint (spearmint or peppermint)
Goldenseal or Oregon Grape
Aloe Vera
Ginger (again, these last two would be house plants)

Depending on what you anticipate, others could be added, and perhaps substituted for these. Find a good herbal reference book (strangely, I still use "Herbs for Pets" because I like the writing, but I'm sure there are other excellent human herbals out there). One thing is sure, you will never look at roadside weeds the same again.

Also, at the risk of sounding excessively quirky, you might investigate homeopathy. Myself, I would never be without my homeopathic emergency kit. The best ones for the money are at NHS Online: The basic emergency kit is all you need and the remedies last a long time. It does take a lot of study, though, as it works differently from conventional medicine. A Good starter reference book is Miranda Castro's "The complete Homeopathy Handbook". Not sure how easy it would be to get remedies post-peak, but the system was created prior to the oil age and I suppose one could make them by hand if you had to.

On Thanksgiving I hauled my family to church. My wife and son participated in the choir - it was a nice celebration.

From there we went to my parents house. My three brothers, aunt and extended family were there, about 20 total. My parents/brothers farm and I garden. For the meal we had a turkey, goose, potatoes, squash, corn, apple sauce, pumpkin pie, and apple pie all from home grown items. We also had bread from a local baker. When I learn how to grow cranberries I should be set.

We made the evening run to the in-laws for the left overs.

I boycotted black Friday, but my wife went to the grocery store. She said there were maybe 10 people in the store.

I spent the rest of the weekend with my three sons cleaning and making home repairs. I did have to make one trip to the local big box home improvement store. I spent some time walking the store, but became utterly depressed by the holiday junk. They have gone from being a hardware/lumber store but now will sell anything to make a buck. I left the store with my 2 items I needed and now junk.

As I went through the house I became depressed with the stockpile of junk we have accumulated. I have been fighting the battle with my wife. We were both pack rats, but I have broken the habit. I started donating my clothes, kitchen supplies, and my childerns toys to the local charity pick up. I have also changed my shopping habits. If it is not something of high quality that I will use often I don't buy it. I don't look for deals on things if I really don't need it.

I started to apply the same logic to my Christmas gifts. I look for quality, high value products. Something that they will have 5 years later and use on a frequent basis. I will take quality over quantity. It also means that I need to know who I am buying for that much better. I have spent Christmas opening presents that I knew I would never use. Now I would rather get just one quality gift from the heart instead of a pile of plasticrap from walmart.

Next year I hope to extend my boycott on black Friday to more of my family and friends. And maybe figure out those cranberries.

On Thanksgiving day, I painted my house in the cold while my wife and friends cooked the turkey. I must paint the house by January for the house closing. My wife and I are "retiring" to a very pretty and very sustainable town in Mexico, with 2000 centimeters of rain annually (it rains an hour each day, and then the sun returns) and an average temperature of 19.2 centigrade. Everyday, I am planning on what to do to thrive there after the collapse, which comes soon in Mexico. Mexico's oil production is declining at 15% a year and oil is the economy, government revenues, as well as the currency to buy food from the U.S. We need to get her family out of Mexico City, which will be the first large city to implode into chaos and death. I am glad to get out of New Hampshire soon. A blockage of the Strait of Hormuz or a power grid failure could mean we would never get to Mexico. It will happen sometime. When the power grid fails, everything fails. I am glad to relocate. I don't want to be stuck in New Hampshire and freeze and starve to death at sometime in the maybe not to distant future. I know Mexico as well as the U.S. and I'm happy to think about my future. The government does not have a plan B, but I do. Now, if I can just get my wife's family moving. The turkey dinner and red wine were delicious. I'm looking for visitors to this town who later may decide to move there too. I have lots of good ideas for thriving. I've been thinking about Peak Oil since I was 10 years old. My dad worked at the refinery in Philadelphia, he saw the future pretty well. My name is Clifford J. Wirth. Cheers!

Thanksgiving was a cold, overcast day. The frost dove a little deeper, and I realized I probably wouldn't finish the water line I was working on. Maybe we'll have a thaw yet-it still hasn't snowed-and I can get back to it.

Just immediate family for the holidays, but missing one member far away. Dinner was centered on peacock, butchered several days before. A fine bird, very similar to pheasant. We let them go wild, and harvest several a year. They stick around the barn, looking for spilled or left feed, roost in the trees, nest on the ground. All dinner homegrown, save cranberries, wild rice for stuffing, flour and butter for a great selection of four pies.

Next day my wife went skating on the pond. I got in the way. We worked and tagged some sheep born out of season. I built some feeders, moved some hay. Colder than the day before, high around 22. Went to town that night for a movie.

I have rarely shopped on Black Friday, have sorta 'celebrated' buy nothing day before it was invented,but this year was an exception. I generally plan on buying new stuff that improves my energy efficiency.
Western PA - pretty low insolation, not ideal for solar panels.
Can't seem to figure out where my avg. of 22- 30 Kwh /day goes. (without springing money for a kill a watt). Will look at meter more often.

Probably pre 2000 fridge, and electric Dryer(used 4-5 loads a wk,Heat pump for temps between 40- 68F, SatTV 2dishes,dishwasher 2x a day)
Kwh per day has gone up from 2004, from 22-26 in Oct./Nov and can think of only satTV dish addition.
Not big consumers, have CFLs almost everywhere.

So bought new fridge - which satisfies household craving for new stuff, while reducing kwh use. Went with lowest capacity feasible without going overboard on efficiency vs cost -ie Kemore not Sunfrost.
>Bought 4 LED gizmo, to avoid using 2 conventional lightbulbs in bathroom/closet etc)
>Bought Solar outdoor lamps to avoid using 24/7 gaslight.

Looked at frontloading washers, but read horror stories of mold, may look at spin dryer ($499)instead, and Whitney under ($50)clothesline for Summer months.

Hi coldturkey,

Some satellite receivers/PVRs/cable boxes consume 50 to 60 watts even when turned off, so I have mine plugged into power bars or switched outlets so that they can be completely powered down when not in use (obviously, that may not be practical in the case of a PVR/Tivo). You indicate that you have two satellite receivers, so simply by killing the power to these two devices when not in use could potentially cut your power consumption by 10 per cent.

You also say you operate your dishwasher twice a day and I'm guessing this might account for another ten per cent of your total usage. If you can somehow get that down to an average of 1.5 loads per day or less, the savings should quickly add up.

And if you leave the door open so that the gasket can breathe, you shouldn't encounter any mould and mildew issues with a front loader. I think some of the early Maytags were somewhat susceptible to this, but I've never had an issue with any of my front loaders (Electrolux design).


As opposed to the Spin Dryer, try a clothesline. I don't ever use a dryer - too much of an energy hog. I like the freshness, towels dry better, and if it rains, leave non-delicate stuff out longer - the wife doesn't want her unmentionables left out in the rain. I wonder if the rain is too clean for them, but I haven't asked.

We made close to a 900 mi round trip. We asked for the smallest and most fuel efficient car they could give us at the car rental place. They gave us a Chevrolet Cobalt - I would have preferred something even more fuel efficient, but it wasn't too bad. I refilled three times, and am leaving them the car with a little more fuel than we started with, so we did a little better than 30 mpg. I would have hoped for a little better, but I could have also done worse.

We advertised on for someone to share the ride, but had no takers. I just don't think the time is quite ripe yet for that - maybe in future years.

Friday was indeed "Buy Nothing" day as far as we were concerned.

Traffic was heavy but flowing smoothly both ways. The state troopers were out in force, and so most traffic was moving at and not above the speed limit. The worst traffic jam we experienced was at the gas stations Sunday afternoon. Gave up on the first one, then had to wait over 20 minutes at the 2nd before we could get it. Precursor of things to come?

What would Jesus buy? The accounts we have of his life suggest that at least during his years of ministry, he bought nothing at all. He lived extremely simply, and his needs were pretty minimal. Judas (of all people) was the group treasurer and presumably purchased provisions for the group when needed (with what was left over from his hand in the till). They pretty much lived off the land (gleaning wheat in the fields), off the kindness of others (Mary & Martha), and by miracle (loaves & fishes multiplied, water into wine). The only financial transaction involving Jesus that we are told about is when he tells Peter to catch a fish, find a coin in its mouth, and use it to pay the temple tax for himself and for Peter.

What would Jesus buy? Probably not most of the crap that we buy in such wasteful abundance!

Thanksgiving day was very quiet and local. Drove 18 miles round trip to spend it at my folks' condo. I brought the dinner: Grass fed steak; sweetpotato and pecan casserole (local sweet potatoes, pecans picked up on a recent trip to Texas); pumpkin green chile caserole and scalloped potatoes -- all local. Peak oil was briefly discussed. Other than family matters mostly we discussed whether railroads would see an increase in business because of high cost of fuel for trucks or whether economic depression would hurt the railroads as well. (You can see the intersection of many different rail lines from my folks' window).

On buy nothing day I gave into my PHQ (personal hypocracy quotient) and used a gift card to buy a cup of coffee and hang out with the gang. Then finished digging out the survival garden I am starting this year. Planted garlic.

Bought nothing else but two more cups of coffee the rest of the weekend.

Spent T-day with 9 friends and family that live in my small town in N. California. Had to make two trips to get all the food, beer, guitars, etc. over there, but it was a fabulously beautiful day and it's only about 6 blocks (I walked).

Had a second T'day on Saturnsday with family and friends in the next town over. Decided to take the bus and walk, which was pretty horrible. Lots of homeless hanging/scrounging around the bus station and riding the bus. The couple behind be reeked like stale whiskey while the aroma of fresh feces wafted up from the seat in front. Fortuneately, me and my buddy got a ride back to our town from one of the guests who had driven there alone.

I should probably feel more compassion for people down on their luck, especially this time of year, but frankly when you get asked for money/cigarettes/"nugs" once or twice a block you just get sick of it (most of the "homeless" here are young, able-bodied dope-smokers who came here from back east and want to "opt-out" and not support "the Man". Except when they want free food, etc. from the rest of us who actually work. I'm sorry. I've worked some really crappy jobs to make ends meet and have the opinion that if you can contribute to society, you should.)

On the walk to my cousins we discussed how miserable the bus ride was, how it would be better if more "normal" people rode it, and how we decidedly did not like being in the vanguard of bus riders. This is one of the first good things I hope to happen when gas gets really expensive: better bus service with a smaller percentage of bums. I'm tired of dressing down to avoid getting "spanged" at the bus stop.

On another note, I worked on Friday. My office is right by one of the entrances to the Mall, which had a steady inflow of traffic all day. Pesonally, my only purchase all day was some beer to go with the leftovers.

Drove the family & dog 900 miles in the wife's Lexus 400h to see her dad up in Duluth, MN. (24.6mpg @ 70mph) - she doesn't like my Prius over 60mph (highways need to revert to 55mph soon). Last week we decided to scrap any spring break trip next year - air travel is so inconvenient & toxic..

Alan- there's some discussion now about light rail between Duluth & the twin cities. Albeit, someone editorialized how his van shuttle is adequate enough..

It was the first vegan Tgiving for my 13yr. old daughter and I! Went to walk around Miller Hill Mall on Friday - what a pitiful chaos. Some people pushing around shopping carts filled with plastic bags, overconsuming credit most likely. Kids and I were just watching people scarf up chinese toys - recall pending?

Father-in-law (Navy WWII) did speak with me about the fate of the dollar, the looming energy crisis, and how the his grandkids are going to adapt...

Hopefully our 9 year old will soon discontinue her santa list, then we'll have only a decorative representation of presents under the tree.