Saturday, September 10, 2011


Like dishes in the sink, half-imagined blog entries can stack up, get rotten, begin to smell, and finally just make the kitchen a depressing place to be avoided.  Fortunately, unlike dirty dishes, half-imagined blog entries can just be swept away like a pile of paper plates.  So I won't write about the hurricane's snapped oaks and the flies that swarmed upon them.  Or our 5 days of house camping after Irene passed through, camp stoves and candles.  You won't hear about the Red Portage potatoes or why I had to replant a late crop of Jacob Cattle beans.  I won't discuss the boys' meander through the end of summer, Monica's days at camp, or Patti's visit from Japan.  My outrage and weariness with U.S. politics, our dysfunctional news media, my sense of being in a country steering toward the rocks -- all that swept into the bin.  Because otherwise I'd never start writing again.

A big part of my neglect of this blog has been due to work.  There's our usual pattern of laying the groundwork for a research project, conducting the research, reading and analyzing the data, re-tooling the research, drawing our conclusions, and writing up our reports.  Normally there is a fair amount of filler in those work-hours: administrative work, back burner issues of company infrastructure, and so on.  But in this late summer we have 4 distinct projects all coincidentally in full flood of research and analysis.  And we shift between them all the time.  One of the big labor unions has us working on how to frame the idea of unionizing in new ways.  For a science advocacy organization we're working on communicating about the importance of regional food systems for sustainability and loosening the hold of agribusiness.  We're analyzing the mediascape for a coalition that wants people to understand better the importance of improving job benefits and maintaining job quality even in hard times.  And finally we're working on how to talk to Americans about raising taxes rather than just hacking away at budgets.  They're all difficult and complex challenges, and haven't left much creative energy for blogging away.

So I'll just post a picture of a happy Nico to please the family relations, and start getting back to it.