Saturday Linkages: Throwing Off the Shackles

Image: ©Dhiru Thadani via Strongtowns

Driver Killing Koreatown 4-Year-Old Sparks Protest Push For Vision Zero

Fire season continues with dry conditions persisting. Plus: Davis tornado, power shut-offs, and a new earthquake warning system

This TINY HOUSE will probably kill you

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recyclable Materials Good for Home Decoration

Invisible Handcuffs It’s time for workers to throw off the shackles of big tech

The Twittering Machine

I’m in the middle of reading Richard Seymour’s dystopian account of the glowing screens we’re all yoked to, The Twittering Machine (Amazon, Library), and I want to find the escape hatch in the Spectacle. Seymour notes that we are in an age in which we are all writing more than we ever did, in the form of posts, texts etc. But he asks are we “more being written than writing?” The book leaves me wanting to disappear into my wood shop to commune with a carefully curated set of had tools for the rest of my days on this earth. I’ve embedded an interview with Seymour on the appropriately named This is Hell podcast.

Beautifying the Home Grounds: Your Source for 1920s Outdoor Project Inspiration

I have a simple design process here at the Root Simple compound. I ask the house what it wants. The house, being a fuddy-duddy, vaguely colonial bungalow build in 1920, invariably tells me that it want something fuddy-duddy and vaguely colonial. It doesn’t want innovation or Starchitects or Pottery Barn or Ikea. The house doesn’t care what I want. My most successful outdoor and indoor projects have been ones that nobody notices, that look like they were always there.

If you have a fuddy-duddy 1920s house in need of some trellising, outdoor furniture or an arbor take a look at Beautifying the Home Grounds by the Southern Pine Association, part of the always useful Building Technology Heritage Library on archive.org.

I’m using Beautifying the Home Grounds as a design resource to replace the horrible flipper fence I installed a few years ago and the aging entrance arbor that fence is connected to. I’m thinking of going with arbor number 13.

I’ve already done the rendering in Sketchup. Boring, yes. But sometimes boring is just what your house wants.

Saturday Linkages: Move On Up

The news has been bleak. In times like these I always recommend a listen to Curtis Mayfield’s song Move On Up. Turn up the volume and listen to those lyrics.

Huntress a short film about the world of female bike couriers

Exclusive: carmakers among key opponents of climate action

‘Collapse OS’ Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse

Climate Beer: “Take turns expressing how your knowledge and experience of climate breakdown makes you feel.”

Climate scientists reveal their fears for the future

In its insatiable pursuit of power, Silicon Valley is fuelling the climate crisis

Hey Mayor Garcetti, where’s my bus lane?

Right Here Right Now

Making messy look good

The Mindfulness Racket: The evangelists of unplugging might just have another agenda

Arthur Boon’s ‘Make Do’ Chairs

Olive Questions

Lacking an Italian or Greek grandmother, I’ve got to crowdsource my olive curing questions. So, my dear Root Simple readers: have you cured olives? What method did you use and how did they turn out?

The Frantoio olive tree that I planted in the parkway a few years ago produced a bumper crop of olives this year. Last year every single olive hosted olive fruit fly maggots. This summer, to reduce the olive fruit fly population I put some torula yeast lures in a McPhail trap in the tree and removed any fruit that had any signs of infestation. I change out the yeast tabs every month. The strategy seems to have greatly reduced the infestation. I lost probably around a third of the olives but had more than enough un-maggoty olives to fill three half-gallon jars. Today I plan on sweeping up any olives on the ground and removing any remaining olives from the tree to, as much as possible, further knock the olive fruit fly population.

Contents of the McPhail trap.

I chose a brine method to cure the olives and followed the recipe in the informative UC Davis publication, Olives: Safe Methods for Home Pickling. With any luck I should have olives in three to six months. The Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog suggests changing out the brine periodically, which leads to more questions for readers: do you change out your brine? How did you season the brine?

While my attempt at growing annual vegetables was a disaster this year, let me say how thankful Kelly and I are to have planted fruit trees ten years ago. The most successful: pomegranates, figs and olives.

If you’d like to try curing olives, but don’t have any trees of your own, you can always forage them. In the past month I’ve spotted fruiting olive trees in Hollywood on a side street adjacent to the Kaiser complex, in a parking lot on Sunset Boulevard, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and on the streets of Phoenix, Arizona. Just don’t use the scarred fruit as that’s the sign of maggots.