Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gingko revisited; Hooded monk; Beet juice; Climate change; Announcing

Re aforementioned Ginkgo trees on South St.:




On a recent early still-dark morning I arose
from bed with my hooded Lawrence
sweatshirt pulled over my head.

I saw in the gray mirror
in the chilly heat-down apartment
that at long-last I did resemble

the monk in the old framed NYT Book Review
section that has hung on the wall
in our presence for many long years.

I'd had the prescience
to know a good thing when I saw it
and took the news photo to be framed

not knowing
that someday I myself would look like that;
surely we grow into reality eventually
if lucky.


Beet it 

(from the Waukesha Freeman 11-19-14)

With bone-chilling temperatures hitting Waukesha so early this year, county roads will once again be soaked in a salt brine/beet juice solution to melt ice and keep drivers safe. 

The county began experimenting with an 85-10-5 percent mixture of salt brine, beet juice and calcium chloride, respectively, during the 2011-2012 winter, according to Chladil. 

“It helped the salt work better in those colder temperatures,” he said, referring to the extract from the root vegetable. “It is sticky, kind of like pouring a Coke on the sidewalk, so it helps hold the brine down to the pavement, giving us longer residual (effects).” 

This combination has been especially effective in temperatures under 15 degrees, working as well as straight calcium chloride, but at a reduced cost. 


Beets. huh?

Here at the raccoon headquarters
we drink bottled beet juice
from Switzerland
for our health

proving once again
the ubiquitous generosities
of nature around us.


Son David Jr. at the new solar panel collectors at St. Paul's UCC, Hubertus


"My name is Peter Bakken, and I’m here to speak on behalf of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, where I am Coordinator for Public Policy, and on behalf of Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light, for which I serve as Coordinator.  Both organizations share the conviction that confronting climate change and building a clean energy economy are urgent moral imperatives.

Curbing carbon pollution is a moral issue.  Climate change threatens the health of our families, communities, and the earth itself.  It is also an environmental justice issue, because it is our poorest and most vulnerable neighbors -- especially seniors, children, and the chronically ill -- who are most at risk.  They are also the ones who have the least ability to protect themselves from the harmful impacts of air pollution and climate change.

It is distressing to realize just how much worse global crises such as hunger, poverty, lack of potable water, armed conflict, and refugee resettlement will become as a result of climate change.  Many individuals and organizations in the faith community are committed to acting on climate change as an extension of the work they have already been doing for years.

But as people of faith, we see signs of hope in the fact that more and more individuals and communities of faith in Wisconsin are taking direct action against climate change.  Many congregations are generating their own clean, solar power and improving the energy efficiency of their buildings.

We know, however, that our individual and congregational efforts alone are not enough.  We need strong state and federal public policies to support those efforts and replicate them on a scale equal to the magnitude of the challenge. Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light and Wisconsin Council of Churches therefore strongly support the EPA plan’s emphasis on promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency as alternatives to carbon pollution-producing energy sources.

It is fitting that we are raising these issues in the week before Thanksgiving, for our sense of responsibility is rooted in an equally deep sense of gratitude.  In the words of the Wisconsin Council of Churches’ public policy statement on the environment:

As citizens of Wisconsin, we have enjoyed the beauty and the bounty of our state and wish to preserve it for all who live here and for those who come after us. We know that change is urgently needed if we and our descendents are to continue to enjoy the blessings of this gifted land. The beauty, integrity, and diversity of the earth are an inheritance from the past that we hold in trust for future generations. We must not foreclose their opportunities by causing major long-term or irreversible global environmental changes, or [by] diminishing the continued fruitfulness of the earth .  [Abridged]

The stakes are high, and time is short.  As people of faith, we support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan as a vitally important step in securing the blessings of this gifted earth for all its inhabitants, now and for generations to come.  Thank you."

Dr. Peter W. Bakken
Coordinator for Public Policy, Wisconsin Council of Churches
Coordinator, Wisconsin Interfaith Power & Light



Announcing a grand new book
just happens to be authored by a Dix clansman

(front and back covers)

The adventure tale of Steve Dix during the Vietnam era (1970s) has been
long sat upon by Steve as he pondered how and when to tell the story.
He fled the United States for Canada and ultimately the Yukon Territory
where he, his 18 year old wife and their baby, son Roger
(who grew to become a long distance runner) toughed/eeked out an existence
on the run, far north of the border.

With little money but with the remarkably kind aid of Canadians
and the existing international Vietnam war resistance underground network
Steve and family bravely escaped the US and a war they felt like many others
here and abroad was wrong.

Shirking military service went counter to the duty proclivities of Steve's
parents of the WW II generation -
including my dad and other two brothers of the Dix family
who served honorably in that war and who returned
intact  physically but not without deep psychological scars.

Cousin Steve and our other cousins felt the ravages of WW II
in our own ways, stateside.

This is a book of courage, perseverance and Steve's self-belief
 destined for vast reading and possible theatre-showing, I think.

It is being launched to the reading public Dec 6th at a book-signing party
but is available now through Amazon, Balboa Press, or community

Some correspondence with Steve Dix follows:

In the Yukon Steve and wife built an A-frame rough cabin
with hand tools and the bounty of trees around them
on a remote riverside land-stake.

Chinked with a plentiful supply of moss,
heated by a makeshift oil drum wood stove and with
sleeping space for their then TWO children
in a devised loft at the top of the dwelling,
they survived.

Received fom Steve today via Email:

Hi David (GP),

Thanks for the laminated card.  I think I’ll display it during the book launch party on the 6th. of Dec.
I have not read “Inside Passage” but indeed, it sounds like a good read.  On my list it goes.

  If you know anyone who would like a signed copy of “Finding Honor” I would be happy to ship one to them.  All books I send out from now on will be at the book rate which is much lower than 1st class mail.  The book rate is only $3.17 so I would include that shipping charge in the total cost.  I found out that it only takes two to three days longer than 1st class postage.  

When I started to write the story it began as a screenplay but I soon realized there was so much I wanted to say that I had better attempt to put into book form.  However, having said that, I would love to see it become a movie.  I am going to send out an email invite to the book launch party to as many people as I can think of even if they live far away.  It serves as another way to get the word out.  More than half of the people on my email list do live too far away to attend but maybe they will be interested enough to buy a book anyway. 

It sounds as though you are experiencing an early winter.  But not as severe as the Buffalo NY area I guess.  Our days continue mild with highs mostly in the 40’s & lows in the 20’s.

All for now,

Cuz Steve


To especially Dixians but whomever:

Obtain your Finding Honor (with excellent pictures!)
by writing to Steve at the address on the above postcard. HIs Email address is