How To Become Clutter Free

How To Become Clutter Free

“Being patient, forgiving, and methodical set me free.”

How I did it: I visualized what I wanted my ideal space to be like.  I started sharing my goal with others.  I gave away or sold things that I found distracting.   

Lessons & tips: Take the risk to give / sell the things that take your attention away from what your goals are.   

Resources: Charitable causes will take any belongings you may not want or need.  It’s satisfying to think that someone else may get use out of what one doesn’t need.

It took me 3 years.

It made me Focus.

Inspiring Installation by Pete Ippel Created for the Museum of Ventura County Dia de los Muertos Community Celebration

VENTURA, CA – October 26th, 2010 – November 5th, 2010 – Pete Ippel, known for his conceptual installation pieces, has created a specialized artwork for the annual community observance of the Day of the Dead.

Pete Ippel Dia de los Muertos Altar made of re-used plastic bags - The Museum of Ventura County

Delicate and Imposing Dia de los Muertos Altar made of re-used plastic bags created by Pete Ippel. Installation at The Museum of Ventura County.

In Ippel’s Dia de los Muertos altar he has explored the properties of polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. The annual production of this material according to a 2008 study by Piringer & Baner is approximately 80 million metric tons worldwide.

The 11 foot tall stitched work will move with air currents when the cascading waterfall of bones and spirits rustles as viewers walk through the gallery. The piece’s monumental scale contrasts with its near-weightless materials. By integrating reused plastic bags into the installation, Pete Ippel gives items headed to the landfill, or into the ocean, an afterlife.

In addition the re-purposing of discarded plastic bags raises awareness about the Great North Pacific garbage patch. – Where the volume of photo-degraded plastic particulate is grater than the number of plankton.

There’s trash heap the size of Texas, in the ocean, made of plastic.

When you leave the house, please remember to bring your own tote-bags.

Pete Ippel is an artist and record setting high jumper who employs an iterative process honed by experience in research, athletics, and art to present complex ideas in compelling ways. Mr. Ippel’s art is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally.

You can see Pete’s art on line at, or email for additional information.

A Day Without Driving August 15th 2009

A Day Without Driving August 15th 2009
Follow the news on Twitter @ADWOD_Movement

A-Day-Without-Driving is a grassroots movement dedicated to educating the world about how we can decrease our carbon footprint…one mile at a time.

Together, we can reduce our dependency on domestic and foreign oil, remind ourselves of simpler times, create community, and most importantly – decrease our carbon footprint.

For those in San Francisco, come join A DAY WITHOUT DRIVING for a picnic in Dolores Park August 15th!

At A Day Without Driving, you can calculate your carbon impact, pledge not to drive for one day (or pledge an offset if you must drive), learn green driving techniques, support the development of green technologies, and help decrease our global carbon footprint.

SPUD Local & Organic Delivery is Fantastic

I was first told about SPUD (Small Potatoes Urban Delivery) and their Fresh Harvest Box from a co-worker who has a forty minute commute and picks her son at daycare on the way back home.

Local and organic delivery

Local and organic delivery

Her life is hectic and she mentioned that one of her saving graces was not having to go to the store to shop. She said she was sampling new foods by eating what was in season and expanding her cooking repertoire…all because of the little purple bin that was delivered to her door each week.

After listening to my co-worker’s high praise, I decided to check SPUD out and upon signing up I received a discount on my first five orders. The Harvest Box is a local, organic delight that’s delivered to my home every Thursday. The ease of use at which I fill my orders is astounding, and I can pause my delivery any time I go out of town for business or vacation.

In the past, I have found it challenging to create and prepare meals that are both satisfying and fast. Formerly, I ate mostly frozen entrees at home and actually ended up eating out a lot (delicious and expensive in San Francisco). I never considered myself a great cook (I found out later it was because I was cooking hungry), and as an athlete I enjoy eating healthily.

SPUD has helped me grow as a chef because fresh food demands to be used within the week before my next delivery. I have begun to plan meals around my deliveries and have found the recipes on the SPUD site quite helpful.

My method for cooking begins as I walk in the door like a ravenous beast and will usually start with fresh fruit or some raw veggies to stem the tide.
I relish the fact that I can pronounce all the ingredients on the products that I buy, I then choose a recipe and begin preparing my meal.

I’m also really impressed how much SPUD supports the local community, and makes it easy for it’s customers to participate in the company initiatives. I had been planning to do spring cleaning with my housemates, and we were going to donate our clothes, but it was a bit of a hassle because none of us had time to get the car and carve up our day.

SPUD simplified the process by picking up clothes in the bins that I hadn’t yet returned and then donated them to a great local cause. Presently spud is collecting school supplies and clothing for children to be donated to the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Cub.

Recently I’ve sampled local delicacies including grass-fed ground beef from Drakes Bay Family Farms (who are committed to sustainable agricultural and land management practices). In addition I also enjoyedKicks Cookies which were absolutely delightful…crisp, scrumptious, and produced in San Jose.

To sum up, this is why I like SPUD:
I have one less errand to run
It’s easy to modify an order
The produce is fresh
The products are local
I support my community

I highly recommend giving Spud a shot…it makes your weeks easier, you eat healthier, and you’ll enjoy opening your me.

Guide to the 2008 Candidates’ Views on Science

I from 1997-1999 I worked at the Paleontological Research Institution as a collections assistant before the Museum of the Earth was complete. I spent my days scrubbing 375 million year old fossils from the Devonian period.  I highly respect my peers who study science.  Below are a few selected gems of the outreach article published by the Museum of the Earth on the 2008 presidential candidates stance on science.

Senator John McCain
Senator John McCain

“McCain has an ambiguous record on whether he supports intelligent design in the science curriculum. In 2005, he said it should be taught:

Daily Star:
Should intelligent design be taught in schools?

McCain: I think that there has to be all points of view presented. But they’ve got to be thoroughly presented. So to say that you can only teach one line of thinking I don’t think is – or one belief on how people and the world was created – I think there’s nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought.

Daily Star: Does it belong in science?

McCain: There’s enough scientists that believe it does. I’m not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented.

But last year, he said the intelligent design theory should not be taught in the science classroom:

I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view, he said. I happen to believe in evolution. I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.”

Arizona Daily Star. 28 Aug. 2005.

Eagye, Abigail. “McCain talks war, religion, immigration”
Aspen Times 2 Jul. 2006.

Senator Barak Obama
Senator Barak Obama

From the York (PA) Daily Record:

Q: York County was recently in the news for a lawsuit involving the teaching of intelligent design. What’s your attitude regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools?

A: I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to
scientific inquiry.

Source: York Daily Record. March 30, 2008.

Governor Sarah Palin
Governor Sarah Palin

From NewsMiner.Com:

 “In response to written questions during the 2002 election:

Q: The education section of the Republican Party of Alaska’s platform states “We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory.” Do you support this position? Why?

A: I support this plank in the Republican Party’s platform. I believe society can have healthy debates on scientific theories, so equal representation of creation and evolution shouldn’t be an offense.”


From Framing Science:

“In running for Governor of Alaska in 2006, GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin said she supported teaching alternatives to evolution. When asked during an election debate, she said:

‘Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.’

She later attempted to clarify her statement by saying in an interview:

‘I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.’

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum

The daughter of a science teacher, Palin has said that she personally believes in creationism.

‘My dad did talk a lot about his theories of evolution,’ she said. ‘He would show us fossils and say, ‘How old do you think these are?”

Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, ‘I believe we have a creator.’ She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact. “I’m not going to pretend I know how all this came to be,” she said.

Sources: Nisbet, Matthew C. “VP candidate Palin supports teaching creationism” Weblog entry. Framing Science. 29 Aug. 2008.

Kizzia, Tom. “‘Creation science’ enters the race” Anchorage Daily News 27 Oct. 2006.

From Infidel Guy Radio:

“In October of 2006, the Anchorage Daily News reported that Palin said the following about creationism at a debate:

“Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information….Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of
information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”

Sources: Gene, Shinai. “Politics: Palin on
life, faith, and creation.” Weblog entry. Infidel Guy Radio. 30 Aug. 2008.

An interesting article on VP hopeful Gov. Sarah Palin in the LA Times:

Palin treads carefully between fundamentalist beliefs and public policy

A post from Harvard University Press Publicity Blog on Gov. Sarah Palin:

On humans, dinosaurs, and Sarah Palin 

Senator Joe Biden
Senator  Joe Biden
From Fox News:
“‘I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey!’ the senior senator from Delaware exclaimed [referring to Intelligent Design]”

Source: Sammon, Bill. “Biden’s embellishment could provide easy fodder for GOP” Fox News Online. 23 Aug. 2008.

From Melissa Rogers:

“Joe Biden on teaching intelligent design in public science classes:

Pres. Bush’s comments last week “supporting the teaching of ‘intelligent design’ alongside the theory of evolution in public school science classes has fueled concerns among some of the wall between religion” and gov’t “could be breached.”

“This is a nation founded on the idea of the separation of church and state. After 200 years, why the hell would you want to go messing with that?”

Source: Rogers, Melissa. “Biden on religion’s role in public life and church-state issues”. Weblog entry. Melissa Rogers: thoughts on news about religion’s intersection with public affairs. 23 Aug. 2008.