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Monthly Archives: September 2012

English muffins

Onion sandwich on English muffin During the heat of summer, I slacked off on baking. On a shopping trip to Whole Foods, I broke down and bought some English muffins. They were addictive, so I resolved to start making them when cooler weather returned. The English muffins from Whole Foods were only marginally decent. They […]

Regulatory capture

Americans pay four times more than the French for Internet and cell phone service The last time I posted on how Americans are being ripped off on the cost of Internet and cellular service, the U.S. ranked around 11th, as I recall, on Internet speed. Now we’re 29th and still falling. As the article says, […]


In “Revolution,” the suburbs take on the look of medieval villages, with crops everywhere and chickens running loose. I’m a great fan of dystopic and post-apocalyptic literature and movies. When good writers let loose their imaginations on where trends might be leading, or what a post-industrial world might look like, they always come up with […]

Technology arrives slowly in the sticks

The iPhone line outside the Verizon store at Madison-Mayodan, 7:45 a.m. I bought an iPhone 5 today. But there’s a story there. For the past four years, I’ve used a cell phone that weighs 10 pounds. This is because, when I first came here to live in the woods, nothing else would work. A powerful […]

Season total: 44 quarts

I canned a bunch of sauerkraut today. It’s a shame to have to can sauerkraut, because it’s a living fermented food. But there was no way I could eat it all before it went bad. It is outstandingly good sauerkraut — all organic from the abbey’s spring cabbage, made with with sea salt. I’m done […]

Foyle's War

Foyle’s War, no doubt, is old news to many of you. But I don’t have cable or satellite. It’s Netflix that provides the entertainment at Acorn Abbey, and so I always run a few years behind. This BBC series has been through seven seasons, starting in Britain in 2002. It was brought to the United […]

Rural culture, rural politics

Our No Fracking in Stokes organization, which has been very successful in focusing attention on the dangers of fracking, had a picnic Saturday for our active supporters. We did it in the style of an old-fashioned church picnic. Church picnics aren’t as common as they used to be, I think, but people around here sure […]

Is it true what they say about America?

Al-Ahram My recent post about Wallace Carroll left me thinking a great deal about Mr. Carroll, and so I thought it was time to read Persuade or Perish again. I had not read it since I was in my early 20s. I was too young then to understand the book very well, and I knew […]

The stink of propaganda

One of the authors of the study, Ingram Olkin, has been doing propaganda work for corporations since the 1970s. When the story first came out on Sept. 3 about the Stanford study that slammed organic foods, was I the only person who caught a strong whiff of propaganda? At the time, there wasn’t much that […]

Unmanageable chickens

There are three escaped chickens in the circle — Josephine, Fanny and Fiona. First it was only Josephine who was escaping from the chicken fence. Then she taught Fanny, Fiona, and Helen how to do it. Evangeline, the rooster, has never escaped, nor has Patience. The rooster is just too dumb, I think. And Patience […]