power to the coffee people

Tommie’s cafe at the wonderful public library in Livermore makes yummy sandwiches and pours high-quality McLaughlin coffee. It became a wonderful example of how an outspoken sustainable (aka “annoying”) customer can encourage a business to become more green:  Every time I went there for a cup of coffee I would purposefully leave my travel mug in the car and ask for a reusable cup. Every time I would end up walking back to my car to get my own mug—with a big, emotionally manipulative “sigh”.  Usually the baristas would only charge me for a small coffee to make up for my “inconvenience”. Until today when they were all smiles pointing at a new sign that was  advertising Tommie’s “House” mugs. A few weeks earlier I had a chat with the owner about offering at least one sustainable coffee with the result that “Sumatra Organic” has entered the six-coffee line-up. One more problem: the open ceramic mugs are not welcome inside the library. Tommie …?

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new home for a baby chicken

“Do you want a baby chicken?” asks the Mexican boy that lives across the street from me. I am not surprised by the question as my frontyard chickens are well-known in the neighborhood. He originally had two chicks but since the cat ate one  he is not allowed to keep the other. “Yes! Yes!” I answer emphatically as I had promised my French friend Olivia (who recently lost her Bantam hen) to find her a new chicken. I give the thirsty “poussin” (which is French for “chick”) some fresh water and Olivia gives it a new name: pous-pous.

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BART brutality arrives in Livermore … years before BART

Despite public reassurances from Livermore Police Chief Sweeney, neighbors and patrons of the redeveloped downtown area saw their biggest fears confirmed. The mere mention of a BART station in the downtown area has started to attract the lowest and most criminal elements of society: at around 11:15 PM on Saturday, April 24th of 2010 Police Officer Ryan Kiefer with friendly support of a bouncer from the Sapphire Restaurant and Lounge assaulted an innocent & peaceful citizen who was proudly working on his new iPad after watching “The Producers” at the Bankhead Theater with the fabricated accusation of planning a “sniper attack”. The brutal beating of this innocent area man (who had never even touched a gun his entire life) remains under closed investigation …

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the lion sleeps today

Earth Day in Livermore gave local businesses and non-profit organizations an opportunity to gain healthy and earth-friendly exposure within the community. A poster child of green was Rising Sun Energy who were offering free exchanges for halogen floor lamps (which produce mostly heat and waste electricity) with fluorescent versions. But the green spirit seemed lost on some: The Lion’s Club, for example, was fund-raising with unhealthy snacks, paper plates, and plastic cutlery still double-bagged in disposable plastic bags. Do you want 500 plastic bottles of Walmart’s Great Value Purified Drinking Water with that … (-;

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doubly green recycle monsters

Because I had volunteered to take care of the recycling bins in my building at my LLNL job, bottles and cans had been accumulating at an alarming rate behind my house. With Earth Day around and my sister in town it was time for a trip to the Refund and Recycle Center on 2680 Old First Street in Livermore. The process is fast, the staff is efficient, and the reward is doubly green: green feelings & green bucks. We made plenty of the first and twenty of the latter.

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angels of the dirt

Weeks of anticipation are over and the big day has come: this morning I find the first two eggs in the chicken coop. They are small and have two wonderful shades of brown.  I expect them to get larger as my three hens get used to “make me breakfast” … (-;

Which of all birds is more humble and more hard working than a chicken? They lay an egg every day, make everyone smile, and demand nothing but water and food scraps in return. They – literally – “poop it forward”. No bird is more deserving to be called an “angel” than the humble hen who cannot even fly properly. The proof is in the angel food cake.

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taming a swarm of honey girls

Dan the man called me @ work in just the right moment with long anticipated news. We had been waiting weeks for this opportunity – tens of thousands of beautiful girls with wings landed high-up in a tree in front of Dan’s house on S M Street. Three urban farm boys (Dan, his friend, and me) eventually managed to charm these feisty ladies into a wooden box, called nucleus or nuc. This felt like being alive … especially each of the 4 stings. After living like the “Na’vi” for two hours we had some well-deserved beers on Dan’s porch.  The next day at night I moved the nuc into my backyard.

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