Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I logged on tonight to post for the last time in 2008, and saw that it was to be my 100th post. Interesting... It's especially interesting that all those landmarks are converging, as the intention of my post involves the question of "why?"
I'm asking myself this as I write this...why?
Why do I blog? Why do I risk putting unfiltered thoughts and other stuff out there in cyberspace, some of which pisses folks off, some of who I know? Why do I post all this crap? ...and most of all, through it all, why does it appear that I bring to this a take-all-prisoners approach?
Before I try to answer that question, I want to explore the definition of something...I want to define what I see as a PERSONAL ATTACK in my blogs.
To frame this question, let's review the landscape. I post to four (4) blogs: The Rant from Boulder, this one (the oldest of the 3 that I manage -- started political, turned somewhat environmental), The Different Stages Music Project (music stuff, gets the most readership of my 3 by a long shot), and The Joyful Left (my youngest puppy, my political dumping ground).
To begin with, most of what might be construed as an "attack" tends to only occur on The P-patch (this blog) and The Left...and as far as I can tell, all of my intentional personal attacks have been politically-based and aimed at public officials, such as Dubya and his junkyard dogs Cheney and Rove.
Oops, another personal attack. Wanna know how I really feel?
Here's a bit on how I feel. The way I see it, it's only a personal attack if I refer to someone by name. That being said, I have been known to post rants, including some recently, that have been interpreted as personal attacks. That's fine; I can't control how my material is interpreted. However, unless I referred to someone BY NAME (that is, USED THEIR ACTUAL NAME IN THE POST), then I'm confused as to how it can construed as a personal attack.
Help me understand this. Factually speaking; if I go on a rant in a post, and it involves a person who I leave vague by leaving out their name, then it could theoretically refer to anyone. Am I wrong?
Everyone carries baggage around, and I'm certainly no exception. Blogging is my brain dump and my therapy...it's a way that I have found that works very, very nicely for my "putting it out there" so that I can be set free of the frustrations in life. Rather than carrying it around town, I can harbor it all in a blog in cyberspace.
That might be something to think about next time you read one of my posts and feel like a rant or complaint I have is aimed at you...that is, even if you're not referred to by name and only interpreting the post as such...because, it really may not be aimed at you. It could be meant to be about someone else.
Understand that this is how I cope...this is like my journal of sorts, and to couch it differently than I intend, water it down, or simply not leave it out there would be doing everyone -- including my readers and myself -- a complete disservice. I MUST be honest about my feelings in my blogs, or it fails to serve the fundamental purpose for which it was intended.
I hope that adds some perspective. I walk around with good intentions, and try to believe that most others walking around out there also have good intentions.
I still love all of you...a happy and prosperous 2009 to everyone! Now let's go grab a beer before the New Year hits and we can't get a table at the local pub!
Monday, December 29, 2008
The holidays are going well in the Sweva camp too...with plenty of family time. For some of us, the extensive family time during the holidays can be both a pleasure and a loathe all at once.
That being said, I'd like to make a list of a few pet peeves involving family over the holidays...some of these are from direct experience over the years, while others are merely observations.
As usual, nobody is spared the wandering crosshairs of the Swevablogrifle. There is no escape...so if you're offended, deal with it or talk to your therapist about it.
- Not pretending to be surprised when opening a gift...or at least taking interest and expressing thanks when you open a gift that you knew you were going to receive, through no fault or negligence on the part of the gift giver.
- Getting showered and dressed for wintry conditions to go out somewhere...then someone changes their mind about something (therefore throwing off your schedule for the day) and you don't end up going out after all.
- Excessive complaints about crappy weather. Everyone knows the weather is crappy out. We don't need to be reminded of it...and we certainly don't need to be reminded of it excessively for five minutes.
- Forcing family to watch crappy Clint Eastwood movies...like Every Which Way but Lose, and THEN Any Which Way You Can after they protested the first movie...that is, AFTER you watched it on your computer that same morning in front of them and laughed at all the funny scenes when they couldn't see what you were laughing at...but the scenes probably weren't going to be that funny to anyone but you anyway.
- Hogging the laptop computer to watch crappy movies and blog about pet peeves...when someone else needs to use it for more meaningful reasons.
- Intentionally harassing someone and making them lose their appetite. For example, talking about how bloody hot dogs can be as someone (who doesn't often eat meat) takes them out of the refrigerator to cook them...so then they're grossed out and forced to eat only tomato soup.
- Family members who listen to the rock band Rush...and then complain about the singers of rock bands other family members listen to.
- Lack of appreciation for driving in perilous wintry conditions. Now we're getting serious! If, through conversation, outright complaint, pale-faced fear venting, or otherwise; family mentions braving unpleasant and dangerous driving conditions to see you -- citing specific examples in which they were in peril -- it might be a good idea to take some semblance of interest in their dangerous journey or express some degree of sympathy...or at least make an effort to pretend. ...and who knows...it might help family want to make the effort to actually see you again the following year...just a hunch.
- The original details posted regarding this one were too hardcore to leave in this post...so it got transferred to somewhere else. Let's just say it gets the grand prize, as it exceeds the arena of rude and taboo, and ventures into the ridiculously moronic. It's not as if a person doesn't know that they're overweight to begin with...so they certainly don't need to be reminded as such in front of the family as certain gifts are unwrapped. I find it rather shocking that some human beings don't understand how they come across to others.
- Oh, here's one more that piped up from across the room. A man declaring that he wants hot dogs for lunch, and offers to make some for the family, but then sits down to write a pet peeves list.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I couldn't help but get a kick, and a little head scratching, out of this that I saw: the latest catchphrases from The Rachel Zoe Project...and FYI, I don't know anything about the show, I've never watched the show, and don't necessarily plan to anytime soon either.
Translation: "I cannot go on living without this gown/bangle/patchwork for poncho."
Catchy? Yes, and so true. Who says fashion isn't a matter of life and death? A-
"You look bananas."
Translation: "Even a monkey could see how hot that is."
Catchy? This goofy gush would've been perfect...if 'Hollaback Girl' Gwen Stefani hadn't claimed it first. F
Translation: "This is the one that will save the day."
Catchy? Cute, but everyday use ("That egg salad is totally my hero sandwich?") is tricky. C+
Translation: "I have a good feeling about this."
Catchy? We're definitely getting a witch vibe off this one. Oh look! We're already using it! B+
"You are shutting down."
Translation: "The intensity of your fabulousness is causing my nervous system to fail."
Catchy? Honestly? This one is just plain bananas. We die. A+
I didn't do it! I swear, I'm not into trends!
Now, be off with yourself, I'm off to the mall... to "be seen," baby!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Luckily NRDC is all over it...go to their site to find out more.
Here's an article from Robert Redford on the issue.
Part of the change Americans just voted for in overwhelming numbers was to move away from the failed energy philosophy of "drill, baby, drill" to a more farsighted strategy, emphasized by Barack Obama, based on clean, renewable energy and efficiency. Yet on the very day that we raised our voices for change, the Bush administration dragged us in the opposite direction.
The Bureau of Land Management cynically chose November 4 to announce a last-minute plan to lease huge swaths of majestic wilderness in eastern Utah for oil and gas extraction one month before President-elect Obama takes office.
As its clock runs out, the Bush administration also is trying to open-up drilling all over the Rockies and Alaska, to green-light oil shale leasing, and to weaken the Endangered Species Act. Though sad, it's no surprise, coming as it does from the same crowd that designed a misguided national energy policy in secret meetings with the oil, gas and coal industries.
The BLM didn't just try to slip the audacious Utah lease maneuver past the American people on an historic election day, it actually hid the ball from its sister agency, the National Park Service, and then rejected the Service's request for more time to review the scheme.
Among the 360,000 acres to be auctioned for industrial development is pristine land near Canyonlands National Park, adjacent to Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. This Christmas gift to the dirty fuel industry includes parts of Desolation Canyon, named in 1869 by the explorer John Wesley Powell, which has been proposed for national park status. In fact, the BLM itself described Desolation Canyon nine years ago as "a place where a visitor can experience true solitude -- where the forces of nature continue to shape the colorful, rugged landscape."
Words alone cannot do justice to the beauty of these places, but they do capture the absurdity of the Bush plan. Oil and gas drilling in Desolation Canyon? Industrial development along the meandering Green River? The thought makes one wince.
The Obama transition team already has signaled its opposition to the leases, and said that once in office the Obama administration will try to reverse them. Let's hope that's possible. Utah's eastern expanse is one of America's few remaining wilderness treasures. It's our land, it's our legacy, but will it still be here for our children and grandchildren? We made our wishes about that known loudly and clearly on election day.
We voted to take control of our own destiny by breaking our addiction to dirty fuels. We voted to re-power America with clean energy from wind, solar and geothermal power. We voted to use of our greatest resource, American ingenuity, to build economic, energy and climate security, and to preserve our natural heritage. Yes we did. And yes we can.
Robert Redford, an actor, director and environmental activist, is a Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and is the founder of Sundance, in Utah.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Now for the real reason for this post: I simply can't get enough of the Kennedy-esque thinker pose. Oooooooo, he's sooooo smart and cool-looking. Me likey. Me likey good Prez. Me likey and wanty smart Prez.
Me likey and wanty good smart Prez that cares about the future of the planet and leads us to a clean energy future.
Otherwise, I guess if my other friends aren't going to acknowledge my birthday, I'll acknowledge the slight.
It's a sign, apparently, of how apathetic I've become. Am I really chopped liver? Or a skid mark on the ground?
I don't usually make a big deal of things, especially days and anniversaries...like birthdays. It seems a bit senseless, stupid, and like a waste of energy.
But this is 40. FORTY!!! ...and the 18th is over. That was yesterday...so something belated is a facsimile at best...I'm also, ironically, feeling guilt over being angry. I really can't believe this is what I'm focused on the day after my birthday. Have I lost my mind?
For some reason, this one hits a nerve. I'm pissed...and I need to vent...and attacking someone directly for forgetting your birthday seems a bit over the top and arrogant, so I'm turning to the blog and unleashing on the cyber universe.
That's just how I feel, and to state otherwise would be lying...and I think I have a right to be pissed. Christ almighty, I turned 40, and two of my best friends didn't acknowledge it whatsoever. No call, no email, nothing.
Normally I'd say it's a sign of how detached we've become, living in different cities, or how busy our lives have become...but there's no excuse to blow off a friend on their 40th, barring being literally incapacitated for 24 hours or braindead...and even then, that would hardly be half an excuse.
I'd at least acknowledge my friend, at the very least, through an email if not a phone call...hell, I even sent out a red alert email telling them I was freaking out about it (something I've never done before), and I still didn't hear anything.
Beyond that, I don't really know what to say. I'm shocked, speechless, hurt, and a bit bummed about this.
It doesn't help that I've been wigging out over turning 40, either. I think it has to do with the fact that I recall this landmark birthday for my folks, so now I have a point of reference to that effect.
I'm older than most of my friends, so they probably don't understand this feeling...and I know a few of them who will probably bug out when their day comes. Fortunately for me, though, I'm the one who gets to walk over the bed of coals first while some watch in shared pain and sympathy and others just continue on, unaffected, with their daily business. I'm the crash test dummy.
Unfortunately, it's all part of an emerging pattern...but hey, don't mind me! I'm just another bitter 40-something. Let me know how it feels when it's your turn...and don't tell me you won't "wig out," because YOU WILL...even if you don't want to admit it.
So I have nothing more to say on this...oh yes, I do have something else to say! I was also dissed by the Rolling Stones!
As my 40th approached, I'd been tripping hard over a lost song of theirs from the 70s called "Time Waits for No One," which is off the CD It's Only Rock and Roll. While I own probably over 20 Stones CDs, oddly enough this isn't one of them.
So I scoured the city yesterday looking for this one. I'd seen it countless times over the last 30 years in the bins of record and music stores...but I couldn't find the damn thing yesterday ANYWHERE to save my life...and I checked EIGHT PLACES around Seattle. EIGHT. Silver platters, Fremont, Everyday Music on Capitol Hill, and several places in Bellevue...and I got totally dissed.
...but through all the slights and disses, I'll decide to focus, at the end of this post, by thanking family and friends who were kind enough to remember the big day through phone calls and emails...and to KJ. You're the best. Thank you so much for everything.
Okay...so now I've vented. I'm choosing to view this as a wakeup call...moving on now...I'll get my dirty panties tied out of the knot their in, I promise...
...but I need some time to cool off from this one. This hurts.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Come January, the environment will have the most ardent ally to ever enter the Oval Office...however there's DEFINITELY work that needs to be done before then to hold the Bush Administration at bay on certain issues.
Here's more insights from the NRDC:
It sure feels good to be an environmentalist this morning.
Just the sight of people going to the polls yesterday was a welcome reminder that President Bush's unrelenting assault on our natural heritage will soon come to an end.
And if that weren't uplifting enough, there is the stunning outcome of the voting itself. An advocate for the environment, Barack Obama, will be the next president of the United States.
Talk about transformation!
Before I go further, let me remind you that NRDC is a tax-deductible, non-partisan organization and, as such, we did not -- and cannot -- endorse specific candidates.
But I can tell you this: Hundreds of NRDC attorneys, scientists and policy experts have worked night and day for eight long years to stop the Bush-Cheney juggernaut from laying waste to our public lands, national forests, wildlife refuges and ocean ecosystems. Thanks to your phenomenal support, we have succeeded to an extent that few thought possible.
Barack Obama's election is a huge win for everyone exhausted from playing defense. Count us among them. It rekindles our hope that environmental protection may be restored to its rightful place as a treasured American value.
On the most important issues of the day -- from global warming controls to clean energy solutions to wilderness preservation -- President-elect Obama campaigned on behalf of far-sighted policies that NRDC has championed for years.
But hope alone will not turn those promises into reality. It's time to get to work.
For starters, our next president will take office in the midst of an economic cataclysm. He will be faced with monumental challenges and beset by powerful special interests.
We've got to make sure that his New Energy for America Plan goes right to the top of the national agenda -- along with its commitment to creating five million clean energy jobs, putting a million hybrid cars on the road, scaling up renewable energy, and capping global warming pollution.
America's economic and environmental salvation lies in that high-tech, clean energy future. That's why NRDC will be pressing the White House to tackle this do-or-die issue in its first 100 days.
Then comes the hard part: we'll have to move that legislation through the new Congress, where the same old polluters -- Big Oil and Big Coal -- will be lying in wait. They're not about to surrender their stranglehold on our economy without one heck of a fight.
NRDC is building a new and unstoppable coalition -- of green groups, young people, mainstream religious organizations, high-tech businesses, and labor -- that can wage and win this looming battle for a viable economy and a livable planet.
In the meantime, hundreds of NRDC staffers will focus on reversing the terrible environmental damage the Bush Administration is leaving behind in its wake. We'll be working to restore protections for wild forests...safeguards for endangered species...prosecutions of air and water polluters. The list goes on and on.
And that's before we feel the full brunt of new attacks that we know are coming from the White House over the next 80 days. Because lest we forget: President Bush is not gone yet.
His executive agencies are racing to carry out policies that would trigger an invasion of chainsaws into the Alaskan rainforest...expose Greater Yellowstone's wolves to mass killing yet again...and promote massive oil and gas exploration in the polar bear's Arctic habitat.
NRDC is already mobilizing to block these and other eleventh-hour raids on our natural heritage. Rest assured, we will not rest in our defense of America's environment until the last Bush official leaves the White House and turns off the lights.
In the weeks ahead, I will be reporting to you in more detail on our action plan for the final weeks of the Bush Administration and the first critical months of the Obama Administration.
But I can share one key element of that plan right now: You. Again and again, you've helped us defend the environment against the most withering attacks in modern American history. And we are far stronger today for having endured and prevailed.
NRDC is emerging from the Bush fiasco with the most potent combination of grassroots activism, courtroom power and legislative clout ever assembled by one public interest organization. It is an operation driven by your unwavering idealism and your unflagging support, which you've maintained even in these difficult economic times.
That idealism and support will soon be put to the ultimate test.
Come January, we will be granted a fleeting moment of opportunity -- a matter of months -- for turning environmental promise into legislative reality. We must strike swiftly if we are to defuse the twin crises of fossil fuel addiction and global warming -- or the Earth we leave our grandchildren will be unimaginably different than the one we now know and love.
It's a tall order. But the last eight years have prepared us like nothing else could. NRDC is ready. I trust you are, too, because we'll need you there with us more than ever before.
Natural Resources Defense Council
P.S. The next 80 days are absolutely critical, as we fight off this president's last-ditch attacks on the environment and gear up to advance a visionary agenda in January. In all my years at NRDC, I can't remember a time when your gift would accomplish more. Please consider making a donation today.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Can the Panarchy Theory and Christaller's Theory successfully be applied to work together? It might be a bit of a brainmelter...but I thought I'd throw it out there.
A totally random question, huh? A little background on this...
My landscape architect colleague Kimmus over at The Spadefoot Toad brought up a theory in one of her comments on this site a few days back, and I wanted to respond with a friendly challenge of sorts. So this is it.
The fact that she's a UofA student with a big brain, and that I'm an Arizona State alum having pickled my head with too many drinks shouldn't matter, of course.
Here's what she brought up: The Panarchy Theory. Here's a little of what she had to say about it:
"The Panarchy is a representation of the ways in which a healthy social-ecological system can invent and experiment, benefiting from inventions that create opportunity while it is kept safe from those that destabilize the system because of their nature of excessive exuberence."
"Modern democratic societies are clearly vulnerable to the same process but they have invented ways to diffuse large episodes of creative destruction by creating smaller cycles of renewal and change through periodic politcal elections. So long as there is an attentive and literate citizenry, the painful lessons learned from eposodic collapses of the whole societal panarchies can be transferred to faster learning at smaller scales."
Here's the theory I bring up: Chrisstaller's Theory. It's one of the central principles of economic geography, and was a focal point of my studies at ASU. It's a theory based on what location and the marketplace bring to bear on issues such as city growth (see extensive details below or go to the link, also provided below).
So, again, the question I have is this: what is the best example we can think up in which BOTH theorems would apply and work together successfully?
I'll give Kimmus the first crack at this, since she's the student and I'm having to work over the next couple of days on indexing.
So here's a protracted report on what Christaller's Theorem is about...and I've also spelled it out here on this site. Keep in mind that this is REALLY heady stuff, so if you're not into giving your brain a workout, don't invest your time here.
Central Place Theory (CPT) is an attempt to explain the spatial arrangement, size, and number of settlements. The theory was originally published in 1933 by a German geographer Walter Christaller who studied the settlement patterns in southern Germany. In the flat landscape of southern Germany Christaller noticed that towns of a certain size were roughly equidistant. By examining and defining the functions of the settlement structure and the size of the hinterland he found it possible to model the pattern of settlement locations using geometric shapes.
Christaller made a number of assumptions such as:
All areas have
• an isotropic (all flat) surface
• an evenly distributed population
• evenly distributed resources
• similar purchasing power of all consumers and consumers will patronize nearest market
• transportation costs equal in all directions and proportional to distance
• no excess profits (Perfect competition)
Explanation of some terms: Central Place, low order, high order, sphere of influence:
- A Central Place is a settlement which provides one or more services for the population living around it.
- Simple basic services (e.g. grocery stores) are said to be of low order while specialized services (e.g. universities) are said to be of high order.
- Having a high order service implies there are low order services around it, but not vice versa.
- Settlements which provide low order services are said to be low order settlements. Settlements that provide high order services are said to be high order settlements.
- The sphere of influence is the area under influence of the Central Place.
Details of the theory
The theory consists of two basic concepts:
-- the minimum population that is required to bring about the provision of certain good or services.
• range of good or services
-- the average maximum distance people will travel to purchase goods and services
From these two concepts the lower and upper limits of goods or services can be found. With the upper and the lower limits, it is possible to see how the central places are arranged in an imaginary area.
Arrangement of the Central places/ settlements:
As transport is equally easy in all direction, each central place will have a circular market area as shown in C in the following diagram:
However, circular shape of the market areas results in either un-served areas or over-served areas. To solve this problem, Christaller suggested the hexagonal shape of the markets as shown in D in the above diagram. Within a given area there will be fewer high order cities and towns in relation to the lower order villages and hamlets. For any given order, theoretically the settlements will be equidistance from each other. The higher order settlements will be further apart than the lower order ones.
The three principles in the arrangement of the central places:
Christaller noted three different arrangements of central places according to the
1. The marketing principle (K=3 system);
2. The transportation principle (K=4 system);
3. The administrative principle (K=7 system).
1. The marketing principle
The following diagram shows the arrangement of the central places according to the marketing principle. There are ___________ orders of central places. (note: There can be many orders of settlement.)
(a) First order service center providing first order services
(b) Second order service center providing second order services.
(c) Third order service center providing third order services. The different orders of settlements arrange themselves in a hierarchy.
Generally speaking lower is the order, larger is the number of settlements and
higher the order, greater is the area served.
If the arrangement of the settlements is according to the principle k=3, the theoretical number of settlements will progressively divides the previous order by 3 as shown in the following table:
Cumulative total Actual number
7th order 1 1
6th order 3
5th order 9
One high order central place is serving three (including itself) of the next lower order central places. The relationship of the market area between a lower order center and the centers of the higher level can also be indicated by the value 3.
2. The transportation principle
Christaller pointed out that the marketing principle is an awkward arrangement in terms of connecting different levels of the hierarchy. As an alternate arrangement, Christaller suggested that central places could be organized according to what he called the transport principle.
The traffic principles states that the distribution of central places is most favourable when as many important places as possible lie on one traffic route between two important towns, the route being established as straightly and as cheap as possible. The more unimportant places may be left aside. According to the transport principle, the central places would thus be lined up on straight traffic routes which fan out from the central point.
When Central places are arranged according to the traffic principle, the lower order centers are located at the midpoint of each side of the hexagon rather than at the corner. Thus the transport principle produces a hierarchy organized in a k=4 arrangement in which central places are nested according to the rule of four.
The following table shows how the k=4 principle can be interpreted:
Level of hierarchy Equivalent number of central places dominated by higher order center... equivalent number of marker areas dominated by higher order center
1. Metropolis 1 1
2. City 3 4
3. Town 12 16
4. Village 48 64
5. Hamlet 192 256
3. The administrative principle
Christaller’s other suggested organizing principle was based upon the realization that from a political or administrative viewpoint centers it was unrealistic for centers to be ‘shared’. Any pattern of control which cuts through functional units is potientially problematical. Christaller suggested that an arrangemnt whereby lower order centers were entirely with the hexagon of the higher order center would obviate such problems. Such a pattern is shown in the following diagram. All the six lower order centers are fully subordinate to the higher order center which, therefore, dominates the equivalent of severn market areas at the next lowest level.
Evaluation of Central-Place Theory
The following passages are some of the evaluation of Christaller’s central place theory.
Can you summarize the ideas?
The pattern of cities predicted by central place theory may not hold because of the failure to meet initial assumptions.
1. Production costs may vary not only because of economies of scale but also by natural resource endowments (i.e. not a homogeneous plain)
2. Transportation costs are not equal in all directions
3. Rural markets (initially households) are not evenly distributed
4. Non economic factors (culture, politics, leadership) may be important but not evenly distributed
5. Competitive practices may lead to freight absorption and phantom freight (other forms of imperfect competition)
What are the advantages of central place theory?
The theory does a reasonably good job of describing the spatial pattern of urbanization. No other economic theory explains why there is a hierarchy of urban centers.
Heilbrun wrote: "A hierarchy is by definition a systematic arrangement of the classes of an object." In this case the object is economic centers, large and small. The central place hierarchy provides a description of the relationship between a central place--higher order place--and its tributary areas--lower order places. Once this hierarchy is pointed out, anyone can see it.
(An aside: There is a hierarchy of towns in North Dakota--and make no mistake about it, the four cities top that hierarchy. Hierarchy has become a dirty word in some academic circles, but with central place theory, hierarchy is as natural as the ecological spread of vegetation. The question is--will there be a stable long lasting relationship, or a ‘dysfunctional' one? In biology, if one species dominates too much, it ends up killing itself off. The cities need the ‘export dollars' provided by people in small towns, and the small towns need the specialized services provided by the cities. A strategy which helps both of them develop--in which state level development resources are shared--seems to be reasonable and wise.)
Central place theory does a good job of describing the location of trade and service activity. (It also does a good job of describing consumer market oriented manufacturing.) Trade and service activity has an increasing relevance as the U.S. economy shifts from manufacturing to services over time. Small-town community economic developers can secure quite specific, relevant information about what kind of trade or service enterprise will likely work, and what kind of enterprise will not likely work in a given small community.
Christaller's model will never be found in the real world because:
- Large areas of flat land are rare, with the presence of relief barriers channeling transport in certain directions.
- Government intervention can dictate the location of industry.
- Perfect competition is unreal with some firms making more money than others.
- People vary their shopping trends, not always going to the nearest centre:
* People or resources are never perfectly distributed.
* Christaller envisaged each centre with a particular function whereas they have many which change over time.
• Application to Economic Development
Applying the central place theory, many studies have been done regarding to establishments and retail viability. For instance, in his article, Shonkwiler (1996) summarized important knowledge already established by other researches.
1) Average transportation costs per purchase are lowered by multipurpose shopping trips.
2) The consumer might find it desirable to shop at multiple locations on a single trip.
3) Not only population but demographic characteristics, socioeconomic structure, potential expenditures, and shopping behavior are the most important factors to explain spatial clustering.
4) Although a major tenet of central place theory was that producers tend to locate as far as possible from competitors, firms may recognize the advantages of agglomeration and the benefit of centrality that result from adjacent location.
5) The development of central places depends on factors such as transport costs, expenditure shares for relevant goods and the cost characteristics of stores.
6) Planning commissions continue their efforts on industrial recruitment while the pursuit of other development strategies such as retail-sector expansion may be overlooked.
Moreover, in his statistical analysis of rural retail business, Shonkwiler (1996) concludes, “retail business interdependencies exist and minimum demand threshold values for various retail sectors are sensitive to the presence or absence of other type of retail firms.”
Additionally, in his regression analysis to rural communities, Mushinski (2002) concludes “incorporating explicit geographic interdependence between establishments in a place and sources of supply and demand in neighboring areas” exists, and is “particularly significant on the supply side.” Moreover, “outlying establishments tend to reduce the number of establishments in a place, which underlines the importance of spatial competition in retail development.”
Central Place Theory in Australia
Walter Christaller Central Place Theory" states that the central place (Melbourne) provides the hinterland with goods and services that are of high cost where as low cost necessities would be supplied by local markets in the hinterland. High cost goods would be sold in larger cities because the thresholds for these goods would be high enough to sustain a store. Low cost necessity goods like bread and milk would be sold at small markets in the small towns surrounding the central place. In light of this theory we can see that population distribution would decrease as you made your way out of the central place and then begin the rise again as one became closer to the next central city. At the midway point between the two central cities you would find the least expensive land. This land was often used for purposes such as farming and grazing.
Christaller’s theory, however, does not hold in Victoria for several reasons. To begin, there were only few supporting cities located around Melbourne like Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong (all to the west). There were no other central cities either, the nearest would be Sydney which is over 900 kilometers from Melbourne. There were however, a multitude of small cities caused by the gold rushes of the mid and late 1800s. This caused Melbourne’s hinterland population to fall dramatically as it reached the outback.? This would lead us to believe that Melbourne could be sketched as a central city with several concentric circles, each one holding less and less population. This concentric circle concept is altered by the fact that Melbourne is sitting on the rather large Port Phillip Bay.
The largest factor contributing to the non-conformation with the Central Place Theory is the actions of government officials in Melbourne. After the initial railroad entrepreneurs fell into bankruptcy the government was forced to buy them out and make a go of it themselves. However, these government officials found they could use the railroad to line their own pockets. The scheme went as follows; First, the officials would trek out into the bushland and purchase cheep grazing land. Then, they would build a railroad line out to their once inexpensive land. This caused land prices to soar. The more wealthy middle and upper-class citizens would purchase the now subdivided land and build their own houses. Public transportation made it possible for these citizens to reach the outer suburbs. Reasons for this were threefold: transport time in and out of the city was now very small. Train transport was much faster then omnibuses and trams; they provided exact schedules which made it possible for passengers to rely on them for everyday transport; the price of a ticket was within the budget of its upper and middle-class passengers.
This caused a ring of unused land between the central station (Flinders Station) in Melbourne and the final termini of the railroads. The unused land stayed unused because the lower-class
workers still had to be within walking distance of their work and the mid and upper-class preferred to either be in close, upper-class, suburbs like St. Kilda, Windsor, Brighton and Kew or in the far out suburbs of Frankston, Pakenham and Whittlesea.
This situation, however, fixed itself over time. Lower-class workers became more wealthy due to government intervention in the case of workers rights and to the rise of unions. This new found wealth allowed them move out of walking distance and into the previously uninhabited band of land between the outer and inner suburbs. Another factor leading to the settlement of the inner area was that the railroad made an allowance for special worker trains that cost less and where directed right to the factory areas.
So that's it...how 'bout that for some easy reading? Let me know your thoughts.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Today we're pissing in the pockets of the Mobile Tech Dummies (MTDs) of the world.
After hearing about the train conductor in Los Angeles who was text messaging 22 seconds before a head-on collision occurred with another train, it reminded me of the reason why I limit my use of mobile technology...and why my annoyances with MTDs is more justified than ever before.
You might say the definition of a train wreck has been retooled with the alleged carelessness exercised by the erroneous behavior of that conductor, if in fact he was not paying attention while text messaging. The evidence is there.
To begin with, I seldom text message. It's not my thing...but I understand why other peeps do it. It's a good way to perform quick communique without having to speak to someone, or a way for co-workers to send quick reminders in the middle of an office meeting (which may or may not be a good thing). I get it. I'm not into it, but I get it.
Now let me tell you what I don't get. I don't get it when I see peeps living their lives through their mobile devices...and that's totally a perception issue...because, literally, there are some out there who seem to have their device popping off every second, or they're busy sending a message.
I don't get that...I don't get those MTDs walking around, their heads down and both thumbs clicking like mad on the gadget. I've nearly been run over by them on the streets because they weren't watching where they were going...one time I decided not to alter my course, and let one bump into me just to prove a point.
My next step, when that happens again, is to swipe the gadget out of the MTD's hands and launch the stupid thing into orbit.
So, if you haven't figured it out by now, I hereby DECLARE WAR ON MTDs!!!
Now let me tell you what is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. When it comes to operating equipment such as any sort of vehicle, the line must be drawn there. Many laws have popped up all over the country to this effect...but that doesn't mean that the laws are being followed. In my state, where talking on your phone while you drive is illegal, I still see it happening on the road everywhere I go...and it's usually the driver serving all over the road in front of me.
Oh, that also applies to operating trains, my dearest train conductors of the world (monkey train conductors are exempt, of course).
So for those of you who are curious, or clueless, here's 10 of Sweva's helpful list of MTD ettiquette:
- Turn your gadget off in the movie theater, or put it on buzz.
- Don't be rude to your family, friends, and sig other...when out on a date or at dinner, turn the thing off.
- Take it outside when you're in a restaurant.
- Keep it down on public transit...listening to someone talk about their life story on the bus into the city is BEYOND ANNOYING.
- Turn it off when you go to bed...unless you're really anticipating a call, or maybe it has an alarm device on it.
- Leave it at home when on vacation, or if you must have it, keep use to a minimum...I'm always puzzled how someone lying on a beach vacationing feels compelled to remain so connected...better yet, go out of the country, where you may not be able to use it anyway...which goes back to what I first said...in leaving the stupid thing at home.
- Follow the flight attendant's instructions and turn it off on the plane.
- Don't phone or text while driving.
- Don't phone or text while operating a locomotive.
- If you can't follow any of these suggestions, I'm guessing your consideration for others is completely out the window...so you might as well have the stupid gadget surgically attached to your face, because it's all we know of you anyway.
Hope that helps! Text away...but keep it out of my path, or you'll get the hose turned on you and you'll end up with a busted gadget (see the future of your device pictured above, following your encounter with me on the street).
Oh, and you'll probably want to send your pants to the cleaners.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I guess I had to work my up to it...so here he is, in his unshaven glory!
For those of you who don't know, John Muir (1838-1914) is universally considered to be the Godfather of the modern environmental movement in the United States, and his legacy has transcended international boundaries.
An avid conservationist his whole life, it was Muir's vision that was instrumental in shaping protection for pristine areas up to this day. Having attempted to approach several government officials and Presidents on the matter of conservation in the late 19th Century --- with a focus on the Yosemite Valley --- he finally got the attention of a young and gregarious president, Teddy Roosevelt, who had been an avid outdoorsman his entire life. The events that followed gave birth to the expansion of the National Park system as we know it today.
Muir also founded the Sierra Club, which has grown into perhaps the most politically influential environmnetal advocacy group in the country.
Muir led a fascinating life. He once walked 1,000 miles from Indiana to Florida. He would have walked all the way to South America from the United States, had he not contracted malaria. The illness required him to recover in San Francisco in 1868...an interesting turn of fate, as historical events reveal.
When he was in California, he sought out a site in the mountains he had heard about known as "Yosemite." Upon his visit to the place, he commented: "No temple made with hands can compare to Yosemite."
His study and fascination with the Yosemite Valley (more like an OBsession, but in a good way) continued over the next few years, and as a practicing geologist he was the first to conclude that glacial action shaped the valley, which flew in the face of prior theories that it had been formed by a cataclysmic earthquake. The scientific community rallied around his theories, which were validated over time. Muir also studied the Sequoias near Yosemite and put their majesty in the national spotlight.
In the late 1880s, Muir's push for Yosemite as a National Park began in earnest. Following the example of Yellowstone National Park (the first national park in history) Muir believed that federal control of the site was necessary to ensure its preservation and elimination of exploitation. While Congress responded to Muir's pleas for preservation, 1890 legislation saw it fall under State control, which was encouraging but only a partial victory.
Muir's efforts to establish Yosemite as a National Park culminated in 1903, when he visited the site with an outdoorsy, independent-minded President, Theodore Roosevelt. Muir joined Roosevelt in Oakland to travel by train and stagecoach to the site. While traveling to the park, Muir told the President about state mismanagement of the valley and rampant exploitation of the valley's resources. Even before they entered the park, he was able to convince Roosevelt that the best way to protect the valley was through Federal control and management.
After entering the park and seeing the magnificent splendor of the valley, the President asked Muir to show him the "real Yosemite." Muir and Roosevelt set off largely by themselves and camped in the back country. While circling around a fire, the duo talked late into the night, slept in the brisk open air of Glacier Point and were dusted by a fresh snowfall in the morning. The experience made a lasting impression on the president, to say the least.
Years of long and exhausting efforts on the part of Muir paid off in 1905...through pressure from the Sierra Club and with enthusiastic support from President Roosevelt (who also had a high approval rating at the time, and thus the voice of the people), Congress transferred Yosemite into a National Park in that year to safeguard it forever.
I've only just begun to touch on the enourmous shockwave Muir has laid on the land of this country, and the generations he's inspired. After all, where would we be today without his vision and persistence?
Here's links to his published materials through Google books...they might also be available at Amazon:
- The Eight Wilderness Discovery Books
- The Yosemite
- John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
- The John Muir exhibit
- Ecology Hall of Fame: John Muir
- National Park Service: John Muir National Historic Site
- Even a hospital is named after him!
- John Muir Global Network
- John Muir Charter School
- America's Library: John Muir and the Sierras
This is yet another example of a growing plug-in movement in the country.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
In the last year I have tried out participation in programs with local organic farms...it's the way George Washington and John Adams ate...it's the real deal!
While it started a bit trial and error and as a learning experience, it has ended up being very rewarding. I'm still doing it, and have been since February...so that alone should say something.
Just so you don't have to go through some of the issues I went through, allow me to impart some advice to you when you're considering one:
- Depending on where you live, you should have several to choose from in your area. While the idea of doing a little up front homework online might make you scratch your head, finding out your options in what is available to you will certainly pay off.
- A farm that knows what they're doing should have a website that's easy to navigate.
- You should be able to determine if they're certified organic...and if they're not, they might explain why on their website...most that aren't will claim that the certification costs money, but I don't know the validity of that. If they don't explain why they're certified organic, then ask. If it seems hokey from there, then move on. FYI - The better organic farm I've gone with in the last year was certified AND more affordable.
- You shouldn't have to pay more than $30 a week for a produce box. I currently pay $28 per week...that's $4 per day. That might seem like lots of money for veggies, but remember that you're getting the FRESHEST POSSIBLE stuff that you can't find in most grocery stores...and you're supporting a local organic farm, so there's something to be said about pride in purpose.
- When you pick up your veggies, it's already put together for you, and you'd be surprised at how much you get in a box...I can assure you it's more than enough to keep a household of two fed for a week, and we can't always finish everything!
- When given the option, get on board with a several week or seasonal program, which should usually offer a discount. It's all about long-term savings, and you worry less about when you pay.
- A farm that cares about its clients should allow you to modify options on your produce week to week.
- A good and reliable farm should have drop-off locations near your neighborhood.
- I'd suggest going with a weekly pickup, rather than bi-weekly, as some farms allow. It will provide you with fresher produce, and you won't ever wonder: "Is THIS the week I pick up my box?"
- Mark your pickup days, and when your program expires, on a calendar...as it then becomes a "happy errand" that's part of your weekly routine.
- Be courteous to your pickup spot and follow the etiquette; if you can't show up during the prescribed pickup times then alert them as such...don't be noisy...and return your boxes disassembled (per requests), for example. Just use common courtesy and common sense.
- Offering to be a pickup spot might sport you some free produce...but I'd try out the program first.
- Don't be taken aback if the produce has dirt on it. You need to wash the stuff no matter what...remember this is organic stuff!
- Don't expect the produce to look "pretty." For example, apples won't be shiny because they won't have the gross waxy stuff on their skin...remember this is the REAL DEAL!
- Eat fruit quickly...it can go bad fast...but remember you're getting more the following week!
To further educate yourself, you may read up on organic farming. It's worth a try, and you might be surprised at the benefits! S
Monday, September 22, 2008
How are you REALLY expected to "try them out" so you know which one to get?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Hey, why not.
Here's his blog chronicling his sailing adventures; I guess you'd call it the official Captain's Log: ~ The Blue Water Log Of The Yacht Barraveigh ~
All aboard! Sorry, that's a train...what do ship captains say? Ahoy matey! Anyway, it was good to hear from Whitey, who appears to be going by Cap'n Bobby as the, um, captain.
As buddies we've been out of touch for years, but we go way back...let's just say we were hanging out before Cobain pulled the trigger...which was also before everyone kept in touch online.
He was good to me. He let me crash at his place repeatedly when I'd had too many. We had many interesting conversations, including a philosophical discussion about "what constitutes a speciesist?" in which we decided that we "favored mammals" over all other species. He helped me problem solve when I ran into college-related financial crises. One of the good guys.
I also recall that he let me store my belongings at his place over the summer (piled up in the entryway room, mind you) for virtually nothing, except for the price of one of my good kitchen knives...hey, maybe it's on the boat with him!
I can't imagine the numerous friends I would have had the luxury of keeping in touch with using the net. Keeping in contact with Whitey was one of those casualties. It's good to be back in touch!
As I thought about it, I recall Whitey mentioning that he always had a dream to sail around the world...it's a fluttering memory, but it's familiar. At any rate, it's what he's been doing over the last 3 years...read all about it at ~ The Blue Water Log of the Yacht Barraveigh ~...and you'll get more out of it if you start at the beginning and work your way forward.
Here's an excerpt from one of his posts on April 27, 2006:
"Whenever I pull into a new anchorage I have a little procedure. Once the anchor is down, and I'm sure I'm not dragging, then I shut off the engine, put on The Police's De Doo Doo Doo, De Daa Daa Daa on the outside speakers and then I do a naked back flip off the stern rail. That's my thing. Mine. Don't copy it. This time there was a human watching from the pier. I couldn't tell if it was male or female. Pretty far away. I did hear them call their friends over though. This island was a prison colony. Not much for entertainment and they must have been hoping for an encore. One's all ya get."
Here's one more excerpt from May of 2006:
"My first stop was Paquera where I met my taxi driver Lecho and his family to take them sailing (remember the previous 12 hour trip to Tamarindo to pick up the outboard and his kids and I scooped melons off the road?). Only thing that was strange about this sail outing is that it was a different family. Different wife, different kid. When they went to the head I asked him what was up. 'Shh, I have 3 families.' I guess a taxi driver can pull that off."
So there it is...one of the more interesting blogs I've run into recently.
So since Whitey set sail in December 2005, it would seem to me that he's missed quite a bit back here in the States...heck, I still hear trickles from things I missed after 3 weeks in Peru last month. Something is recalled in the news or something, and you think: "Oh, we must have been in Peru during that."
Anyway, here are some thoughts about what he's missed, most of which he's probably better off:
- McDonald's ushering in the healthy menu in the fast food industry (merely in response to the documentary Super Size Me)
- The new Batman movie...sorry Whitey, it was really good
- Carbon Footprint Obsession Disease
- The new Radiohead CD In Rainbows, and the following tour in which they kept track of their carbon footprint.
- The new Rush CD Snakes & Arrows, and their world tour that followed...I KNOW he's bummed about that
- My obsession with Neil Young
- The deaths of Tim Russert, Bernie Mac, Syd Barrett and Rick Wright
- The rise of Barack Obama, the primary drama that ended in the defeat of the Clintons, and the surprise of Sarah Palin
- McCain explaining how he knows how to use "THE Google"
- Crocs (and Croc beads)
- Computer hard drive size expanding into terabytes
- The first AND second issues of the iPhone
- Wide use of wiki technology (depends on his online access and usage)
- Gene Simmons Family Jewels
- Seedless watermelons? Maybe not.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Read up on the GM Chevy Volt for the details. Apparently there's some sort of buzz with folks on the waiting list mentioning that they're disappointed that it doesn't look "futuristic enough."
Whatever, peeps, chill out! The design looks fine with me...but I'm not exactly what you'd call a car junkie. If it in fact gets the 2 cents per gallon that GM's advertising, that works for me.
As I say to car dealers and essentially anyone's ear I get for a second or two on this issue: "Wake me up when you get a plug-in."
The only question about this that remains unanswered is the price tag...I'm guessing it will be painfully out of reach to the average driver and most American consumers.
Hey, cool dashboard!
Like most new products, it will probably take some time for consumer confidence to rise. We might need to wait out a few issues of these new vehicles before they're affordable anyway.
Still, the news is reassuring that we're ACTUALLY heading in the right direction. S
Monday, September 15, 2008
There's lots of goodies here, but definitely SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST for a MUST SEE movie of Zorn during his years as the Seahawks QB...you gotta love a lefty with a Dutch Boy haircut throwing the pigskin.
You even get commentary from Snoop Dog and can evaluate Zorn's singing abilities in a milk commercial!
Have a zany, Zorny day!
Latest headline from 10/05: Timing Turns Out Perfectly for Zorn, Randle El
Past headlines, in reverse chrono:
- 09/28: Redskins hand Cowboys first loss
- 09/22: Turnovers, field position help Redskins win
- 09/15: Zorn gets his first win!
- 09/08: Zorn goes mountain biking with Dubya (very amusing)
- 09/07: another article on the bike ride
- 09/05: First week loss to the New York Giants
- 09/04: Zorn's future begins now
- 02/10: Zorn plays viola and speed skates
- 02/09: The Redskins hire Zorn as head coach
He's a childhood hero admired by a bunch of us who grew up together in Seattle in the late 70s, when he was the Hawks QB...and threw passes to FG kicker Effren Herrera in trick plays such as the one in 1979 against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football...and then a few years later in another pass he overthrew the receiver and it went through the uprights...and then to everyone's horror he conducted -- with blissful and clueless passion -- the Seattle Symphony.
How can you not like a guy like that? We absolutely love this guy. We even attempted just over 10 years ago, in the infancy of the internet, to form a movement to have his #10 retired by the Seahawks. Who knows, if he comes back to Seattle to be a head coach, that might tip the scales and warrant a new review of that possibility.
For now, however, the first head coach stop is in the "other" Washington. We wish him luck!
I'll keep this post up-to-date with the latest on how he's doing there...and I'll try to update this post weekly with the results from each game as the season progresses. I might even throw in a little Zorn trivia.
Look for the link in the margin to reach this post. You gotta love a lefty QB who's name begins with a "Z." S
The ZornSkin Watch for 2008
09/04 -- Giants 16, ZornSkins 7 - L
09/14 -- ZornSkins 29, Saints 24 - W
09/21 -- Cardinals 17 at ZornSkins 24 - W
09/28 -- ZornSkins 26 at Cowboys 24 - W
10/05 -- ZornSkins 23 at Eagles 17 - W
10/12 -- Rams at ZornSkins
10/19 -- Browns at ZornSkins
10/26 -- ZornSkins at Lions
11/03 -- Steelers at ZornSkins
11/16 -- Cowboys at ZornSkins
11/23 -- ZornSkins at Seahawks (Zorn's Seattle homecoming!!!)
11/30 -- Giants at ZornSkins
12/07 -- ZornSkins at Ravens
12/14 -- ZornSkins at Bengals
12/21 -- Eagles at ZornSkins
12/28 -- ZornSkins at 49ers
THE ZORNSKIN'S 2008 RECORD: 4-1
ZORN'S LIFETIME RECORD AS AN NFL HEAD COACH: 4-1
2008 NFC EAST STANDINGS
New York Giants. . . . . . . . 4-0
Washington ZornSkins. . . . 4-1
Dallas Cowboys. . . . . . . . . 4-1
Philadelphia Eagles. . . . . . 2-3
See #10 Zorn here in all his glory during the fledgling days of the Seahawks! I like how they also ranked the Zorn to Largent passing combo ALSO as #10 of all-time...this is classic stuff!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
it's a concept that's been on my mind for quite some time, however it's been challenging to find the time and the method by which to approach it, as it involves literally EVERYTHING we do in all sectors of our existence and living.
So when I put that post out there; while thoughts shared on the subject from other bloggers and environmentalists were encouraging, they were probably skeptic, at best.
Even the main theme of the post, from my end, involved questioning whether or not it was possible. I believed that is was, and have maintained that position...however, as a geography major with a background in urban and environmental planning, my knowledge of how carbon negative works on a nuts and bolts level is minimal, if nonexistent.
I simply don't have enough of a science background to prove anything works (or doesn't work)...I can only go after the theory with what I know.
...but wait! Ah ha!!!
I now have some REAL INFORMATION to support the theory that carbon negative can work...and it directly involves a company and their process of manufacturing.
The company is called Guayaki, and they make herbal beverages. I chatted with a couple of reps for this company last night at Seattle's September Green Drinks event. As I read a flier from them, I noticed the equation of their carbon output in their manufacturing process (below).
Correct me if my math is wrong, but I'm seeing a carbon negative result in that process.
My conversation with a rep named Hailey brought up another variation on this theme. She mentioned that we can't think on a level of just neutralizing our carbon footprint. We need to go beyond that and think along the lines of "rehabilitating," as she put it in perfect form.
What she's talking about involves turning the corner in our own minds and how we live our lives...a sort of "paying it forward" approach.
Meaning, in other words, not just "trying" to go CARBON NEGATIVE, but fully embracing it.
I tasted the beverages that they offer, and I have to say they're really tasty with a smooth flavor. Think of it as a step up from the Arizona Tea line that you see on the shelves in grocery stores...this stuff is also available in those same stores too.
I'm very encouraged by this. This company is worth a deeper analysis to see how others can follow their example. S