[A]ll that men do to secure greater justice, more widespread brotherhood and a more humane structure of social relationships has more value than advance in technology.

Gaudim et Spes


Researching fuel filters for Elsie (the Land Cruiser)…

Eventually I bought one from O’Reilly (because they have convenient online ordering and pickup is on one of the routes we go regularly…)

But here’s the other one I found online in order to cross-reference if need be.

I still haven’t installed the blessed thing.


This post is part of the thread: Land Cruiser – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Part of a larger work in progress…

The Path is full of smaller steps that can be taken right now.

Today, buy a solar panel. They can be had for about a dollar a watt, plus perhaps a small freight charge. (Our 250-watt panel for the Green Cabin came from Sacramento: about 600 miles for $50 shipping.)

It does not matter if it is plugged into anything today, this month, or this year. It is an investment for the future. I do not need to go into the false logic of “if everyone bought a solar panel today” for you to see the benefits of widespread, personal solar power acquisition.

The Path is incremental.

Today, start lighting your home, one night a week, with candles only. Divert $15 monthly from your electric bill to beeswax (or lamp oil).

Today, light one room with rechargeable battery powered LEDs. (For a bonus, charge those batteries from that solar panel!)

These are not absolutely sustainable steps. Each one of these modern day technologies has modern day societal and technological (and sunk energy) costs. But these are the types of steps that lead to a truly sustainable future.



This post is part of the thread: The Path to Sustainability – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love


For you love all things that are
   and loathe nothing that you have made;
   for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
   or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they
   are yours, O Lord and lover of souls,
   for your imperishable spirit is in all things!


What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it. I have only contempt for the world’s threats, I find its blessings laughable. I have no fear of poverty, no desire for wealth. I am not afraid of death nor do I long to live, except for your good. I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence.


Here’s the deal. The Decemberists had it right when they said “You must bear your neighbor’s burden…” [lyrics] At some point in your spiritual development, you will suddenly understand what Dostoevsky was talking about. When I first read about being responsible for all, I was completely confused and, quite truthfully, somewhat affronted. But this theme is echoed in the lives of the Saints and in scripture. We are responsible for everyone else.

Moreover, there is a twofold reality at work here, which is hard to perceive. The first part, which is clearly laid out by the catechism and upheld by the Catholic Church, is that there is no such thing as a neutral moral action. EVERY action, banal or batman-esque, has a moral coefficient — it is either good or evil. (An interesting corollary is that “0” or “zero” doesn’t exist.)

And the second part of the reality is that every action we make affects everyone else.

The internet is abuzz with this concept and variations of it (proceed with caution!), including statements from the Jewish community, the new agey/Buddhists, random musings, and  Pope Saint John Paul the Second!

John Paul II: “We are really responsible for all, (the) good of all and of each individual.”


We had some visitors on Friday last, and we swarmed up the hill and planted the large cedar cross I had made from two 4×4’s.

According to our visitors, the late Father Borden had said that the appropriate dimensions for a cross were the ratio of 1 for the parts above the cross and the arms, and 2 for the post below the cross. So we bobbed the arms to roughly that dimension, hoisted it up the hill, and bolted it to a large maple tree.


The responsory from today’s Office of Readings:


The time is growing short,

so we must rejoice as though we were not rejoicing;

we must work in the world yet without becoming immersed in it,

for the world as we know it is passing away.


1 Corinthians 7:29,30,31



I finally got around to installing the overdrive solenoid bypass on the 760. Ever since I first had the overdrive solenoid fail on a 240, I’ve always wanted to do this “upgrade”… It’s about $40 from IPD although you can always wait for one of their seasonal sales. It’s about a 5 minute job, and now my freeway RPMs are a 1000 revolutions lower, so I should get better fuel mileage and the engine and transmission should last a bit longer!

This post is part of the thread: Blue Volvo – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.