The Root of All Weevil

Spontaneous generation?

They just are there–in the five pound bag of flour you just brought home yesterday. There, in the mixing bowl that was going to hold the biscuits for dinner, but now, in a puff of white smoke, ground grains with tiny hard beetles go into the burn pit out back.

But don’t blame the insects. They are just doing what they do to make a living, wingless though they are. They have learned to hitch-hike around the world over the past few thousand years as post-glacial humankind cultivated the land, then stored, then globally-shipped wheat products everywhere.

Read the details at NPR, and just go ahead and enjoy a little crunch in your next batch of pancakes.

New Book: Fifth Risk

We are lurching forward into an unknown and unchartable future where there are no rules or precedents in the halls of government. Where might we end up when uninformed democracy breaks down and unconstrained capitalism drives us to the brink?

“Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge.

Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview. If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system—those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.”

Read more about and from the book…

Old Dog: New Tricks? Maybe.

Merwin you can't plant a forest SustainFloyd Floyd Virginia
The bones of trees

Just when a geezer gets comfortable with “the way things were” they morph out from under him.

And that isn’t all bad. Nothing like a rocking boat to test your equilibrium. So now that I’m paid up for another year of life on Fragments without any great notion of the so-what of such a choice, WordPress mixes it up and changes their editing platform.

And so I decided to change up my Style plugin for a while and see what a visual change might bring about.

I actually have a long list of potential blog posts, but am yet to be convinced that this tree falling in the forest will make any sound. Things have been this way for years now, and the old blogging hay days are long past. And yet I can’t quite say I’m done.

I will give this “blocks” approach to editing some weeks of use and see if I get inspired–as in come to sense I am not bowling alone.

Let’s just toss in an image here and see how that works.

Okay, this one of tree silhouettes from Rocky Knob–already in the media gallery from long ago–prompts the possibility of a future post on trees–when the piece is cleared for public release. This work has been invisible to Facebook and the blog, but which kept me pleasantly busy for a couple of weeks in December. More, perhaps, soon-ish.

Let me know of any viewing issues with the new template.

The Future We Want

Blue Ridge Mountains from the air

The future we want begins when we find and pursue the greater good for each other, other living things, and future generations in place, in the small pockets of belonging, in the rural and urban places of America. My place is Floyd County, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. This essay was part of SustainFloyd’s annual report for 2017, and it seems fitting to offer it more widely at a time when we need hope and vision.