Saturday, February 26, 2011

2nd Annual Buckeye Gathering...

The native peoples that inhabited (and still inhabit) California (and a host of other places) were not the misled hands off nature conservationists that exist today...nor were they on the other extreme stripping the earth of its resources.  They were the ultimate managers of the land...thankfully using what they needed and tending resources to be there for the future.  Hundreds and hundreds of years of observation and trial and error imbued their peoples with a knowledge of how to use the lands resources...not just to survive...but to thrive.  While our land has but a shadow of the resources that once existed here...we can still use what is left of that increase our awareness of the natural world and how to use and not abuse it.

It's hard to describe...but there is something that is just so satisfying about going for a nature walk and noticing a game trail...or collecting materials and weaving a useful basket...or seeing a mushroom growing and collecting it for lunch...or starting a fire using just sticks...of hearing a bird song and knowing what it might be talking about.  It is a path to really understanding and appreciating the works of the Great Creator.  A path of true self reliance...not dependent on gadgets and manmade materials as so many of us are today.

While much of the knowledge of the native peoples has been lost as they have died...and as successive generations have become is wonderful that there are still groups that are working to keep such knowledge alive.  I went to the first annual Buckeye last year and had a life changing experience.  It's a family friendly environment...with classes running ALL DAY from top notch instructors.  A week long camping trip hanging out with really nice and smelly earthy folks wearing buckskins!  (just keeping it real!)  To learn more and to register...visit their site.  I hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Preserving Important Documents...

I've heard the question asked many times..."If your home was on fire...your family was all safe outside...and you could only take out 3 things before the house burned down...what would they be"?  It seems that most people that respond to this sincerely (after joking about big screen TV's)...generally mention things that would be difficult or impossible to photographs...sentimental items like stuffed animals...home movies...important documents...and so on.  I am left to wonder...if someone were really to try to collect those things to get the door REALLY long it would take to collect all those things?  Photographs are likely hung in frames...or on a computer...or in a plethora of photo albums.  Home videos might be scattered through the home on old VHS tapes...on tiny tapes...or on computers.  Important documents like birth and marriage info...and others may also be in disarray.  Without the luxury of might have a really difficult time collecting all of the items on their list.  I also wonder if they would physically be able to carry those items?

While there are a myriad of valuables where only the original will suffice (like a stuffed animal)...a great many of those irreplaceable items can be shrunk down and stored digitally.  Even a tiny keychain sized 16gb flash drive like the one pictured above can hold upwards of 14k photographs!!  16gb might be enough to hold every important document you own!  You might just stay on the curb and watch your home burn if everything you felt you needed was on a flash drive in your pocket.  The Patriot xporter flash drive is nice too because it is fast...has great reviews...and may withstand weathering like going through a washing machine.

I am by no means a computer tech.  Of course there are all kinds of opinions from tech to tech as to which brands are best...and which document back-up methods are best.  Some people like to back files up on DVD's.  Some like to back files up onto portable external hard drives.  (Which may be necessary for people with lots of home videos and other large files)  Some people are now even paying for back-up services that use off-site hard drives.

Now as far as how to do it.  If you are computer may either have to learn how and pick up some equipment (like a scanner)...or pay someone else to do your work for you.  Here is a site that discusses some of the "how".  When it comes to archiving old home video and audio...there are services out there that will take your old reel to reel and make it into a format you can enjoy without all kinds of defunct equipment and make it ready to be put onto run out the door.  A good friend of mine does that work and could help you tremendously...his name is Judd.

Whatever methods you is wise to get them all collected now and stored that when and if the day comes that you have to leave your home in a have it ready to go!