Practical, Positive and Peaceable

I have a rule about Root Simple content that I call the three “Ps:” keep all posts practical, positive and peaceable (by peaceable I mean non-divisive). This is not to say that I think that we should all put our heads in the sand and ignore the important issue of our time. But if you want strife and conflict there’s plenty of options, especially on the web, and I don’t need to add my voice to the din.

So, ironically, I spent many hours over the past few days writing a cranky blog post that violated all of the “Ps.” In it I railed against Facebook, Elon “Rocket Man” Musk’s techno-utopianism and the horrible day LA politicians and film industry lobbyists stole the green bike lanes on Spring street. While these issues are significant, my post didn’t have anything new to say. I fell into the knee-jerk belligerence trap that Charles Eisenstein said we have to get past in a prescient lecture at St. James Church in London back in 2016. I listened to that lecture again last night and I suggest you listen too if you haven’t already (this is the second time I’ve posted it). In the lecture, Eisenstein articulates a new narrative outside of the old story of “separation.” Eisenstein says,

But on the other hand, we do know what to do. And often what we need to do are precisely those things that seem irrelevant. The heart says yes to them, but the mind says how could that possibly help? How could it possibly help to spend ten years trying to free one orca from captivity? How could it possibly help to spend ten years taking care of one old woman with Alzheimer’s? The things that draw us, our world story does not have a place for them, so they seem impractical, they seem unrealistic or naïve. But when we understand the deep root of the crisis, which is the totality of the story of separation that surrounds us, then we see that yeah, these are actually essential, because they change the foundation of the world-destroying machine . . .

On a personal level, it’s almost a cliché, but bringing more love into the world. And also on a community level, also through what you devote your life energy toward. If it doesn’t fit into the story of separation, if it’s dedicated to bringing beauty, love compassion…..this is not news to anybody, right? But I guess the reason I’m saying it is to illuminate the political dimension of it. And maybe that’s what the song is. To listen to what is beautiful, to what calls to your heart. Maybe that’s the organ that listens to the song, that guides you to do things that the mind, which is still lost in the maze, may not recognize as relevant, but which is actually our path to that more beautiful world that we remember and recognize and carry with us.

In between working on that unsuccessful and angry blog post I was finishing the dovetailed drawers I had constructed over the holidays. Rather than wasting time trying to fight Facebook I could have been writing up a post about those drawers. As Eisenstein suggests, perhaps its time to do the things that don’t make sense and that don’t seem important: pursue beauty, grow something, build something. Stay tuned for a post on those dovetails . . .

114 Will of The Weekend Homestead on Fire Safety

On the podcast this week I talk to Will of the The Weekend Homestead about fire safety and life on his rural Wisconsin getaway. Will is a former firefighter and avid YouTuber and reached out to me to respond to a post I did on open floor plans and fires. During the podcast we talk about:

  • Christmas fire safety–keep that tree watered!
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguishers and how to use them
  • Common causes of residential fires
  • What it’s like to be a firefighter
  • Will’s career in fireworks
  • Upcoming and ongoing projects: outhouse, solar power, Instapot, apple orchard, and Will’s SKYBOX

You can find The Weekend Homestead on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook.

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

113 Open Floor Plans and Dog Sports

On the Root Simple Podcast this week, Kelly and I discuss fire safety problems caused by open floor plans and modern materials and Kelly shares her favorite dog sports (picture above is of our Saluki Ivan in front of a neighbor’s non-open floor plan house). During the podcast we refer to our open floor plan fire safety rant, “Your Open Floor Plan is a Death Trap,” as well as Shigeru Bans’ wall-less house. Then we get to chatting about dog sports including canine nose work, agility, lure coursing, obedience and barn hunting.

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

Free Resources at the Public Library on Garden Fork Radio

At the risk of becoming the “president of an excuse factory” let’s just say that home remodeling has interfered with podcast guest booking. While there’s no Root Simple podcast this week, should you want to hear me blabbing you can head over to Garden Fork Radio. On the latest episode I talk to host Eric Rochow about my favorite place, the Los Angeles Central Library. In addition to the serendipity that comes from browsing the stacks, libraries also offer many digital resources for free such as: online classes via Lynda.com, magazines, the New York Times, downloadable music, the films of the Criterion Collection via a website called Kanopy and much more. Listen the the Garden Fork Podcast and then ask your local librarian to walk you through the digital resources offered by your library. And if you’re visiting LA, the Central Library is the most handsome building in the city.

112 Eric of Garden Fork on Glazing, Concrete Anchors and Mouse Traps


On this episode Eric of Garden Fork returns to the podcast to drop some opinions on window glazing, concrete anchors, mouse traps and Harbor Freight. Our fix-it rap includes:

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.