Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Decline of Blogging

I read an interesting article in the New York Times about the decline of blogging this morning and I've been thinking about it all day. I don't know very many people who blog anymore (the ones who are still at it do a far better job than me!). The young people I know use tumblr (ugh! don't get me started on that!) and facebook to take pot shots at each other, and if I go up just a little in age, I think I start to see a lot more twitter users. I'm nominally active on twitter (just for link sharing for the most part), really slacking off on the blogging (I haven't even gotten the archives back up yet after my move last summer!) and fairly busy on facebook (at the moment, that's the best place for me to keep up with my family, so that's where my primary energy gets spent). But my heart still prefers the blog -- it's more expressive and open to extended discussion. I just wish I had time for it -- for writing at all -- these days.

I hope to get back to it at some point, so I'm not ready to shut things down here yet. In the meantime, I'll keep posting pictures, and if you watch the column over on the right (or subscribe to my tweets), you'll get a smattering of links throughout the week. What's keeping me busy so far this year is the usual family distractions and continuing adventures in the kitchen (thanks to our ongoing efforts to eschew processed food -- I have got to get back to posting some food porn!) -- and more recent efforts toward weaning the household away from the use of petroleum products in general (it's amazing how often these pop up in moisturizers!) and plastics in particular.

After reading about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (aka Plastic Soup) some time ago, I ran across the blog, Fake Plastic Fish -- which has since become My Plastic Free Life -- last summer and was immediately drawn in by by the challenge. But I was also overwhelmed by how ubiquitous plastic has become in my life. It's everywhere!! And seemingly inevitable.

But I resolved to take baby steps, day by day, and try to gradually find alternatives to gratuitous plastic consumption here at Chez 10K. I've given up bottled water and plastic shopping bags, switched to milk that comes in returnable bottles (it's cheaper -- and hormone-free!), and I've been poo-free so far in 2011. And working on all the other stuff. If I can find a freezer to fit in the spot I have available, I'll be able to do a lot of my own food preserving, which will save me from buying a lot of stuff that comes in plastic packaging... and so on...

But that's largely what I'm up to these days. The warmer weather has me thinking idly a little more than usual these days. As I get out on my bike or running through the neighborhood, I have a bit more time to let my mind drift and it feels really good. Perhaps it will even help me dream up a stray post or two!

(Oh, and I've also been spending a lot of time lately organizing, tagging and weeding my entire collection of photos as I move them onto the cloud for off-site storage -- and let me just say that you, my subjects, are such beautiful people! Seriously -- you take my breath away!)

So, please bear with me a bit longer as I try to get things in order around here... AND let me know what you are thinking!


Keera Ann Fox said...

Congratulations on cleaning out the chemicals of your food and household!

It is said that the biggest problem with running out of petroleum will not be getting our cars to move, but replacing every single item currently made out of plastic: Syringes, ball point pens, cell phone covers, jars, packaging, tires, elastic bands (because rubber isn't made out of rubber any more), CDs, plexiglass, synthetic leather, sunglasses, Vaseline™, etc. etc.

I keep being shampoo-free in the back of my mind, but haven't yet made the move. How did you do it and what's it like?

alice said...

Thanks, I'm just getting started, but it's a fun project!

And yeah, we may figure out how to get our cars to run on something besides petroleum, but what will we build them out of?

Going poo-free went smoother than I thought it would. I first considered it last summer, but decided to wait until a less sweaty time of year to give it a try. I have been using the baking soda and vinegar washes as per the instructions since the first week of January. My hair felt a little heavy and stiff for the first few weeks, but that's been gradually fading away. Well, and I'm probably getting used to the new "normal" some as well -- I don't know that my hair is ever going to be as light and fluffy as it was when I was constantly stripping all the natural oils away. But these days it feels and looks clean and I love getting to use apple cider vinegar in the shower -- to me, it smells so much better than any of the chemicals that are used to give shampoo a scent!

I'm not planning on being strident about it, though. I did pick up a Liggett's shampoo bar to try out at some point. They come wrapped in paper, so there's no plastic involved. When I'm on the road, I think that might be more convenient to take a bar of soap rather than trying to carry baking soda and vinegar (well, at least when traveling by plane, anyway). Plus, I wonder if it might be nice to really suds up my head occasionally once it gets hot out this summer. So far, though, I've been on a few runs that have made me pretty sweaty and the baking soda and vinegar have rinsed my hair out nicely.

I'll keep you posted! ;-)

Keera Ann Fox said...

A TED Talks speaker suggested that all cars have interchangeable, rechargeable batteries, and gas stations would recharge and swap out batteries. Sounds like a viable alternative to pumping gas to me.

I've now read the description for going poo-free and I think I'll try it, though I'm still thinking this should be a vacation experiment. :-) I also didn't know why shampoo was invented in the first place. Going without the sudsing is the challenge. That always feels so luxurious.

alice said...

Yeah, definitely a vacation kinda thing, unless you're one of those people who can get away with various bad hair day cures (likes scarves, hats, ponytails or turbans). There will be a week or two when your hair just doesn't look its best.

I read your comment this morning and figured it was a sign that it was time for me to try out my Liggett's shampoo bar, as you got me thinking about the luxury of suds. I tried it when I showered after my run this afternoon and really loved the soap -- both for my hair/scalp and for my face. It smelled wonderful (a very light olive oil and lemony scent) and it sudsed up like crazy (next time, I'll take it easier)! My hair felt a little stripped while I was still in the shower, but once it was drip dry, it felt just fine. Now that my hair is dry, it feels lighter and fluffier than it has in a while.

So, if you don't want to go entirely poo-free, I think Liggett's, or something similar (any sort of vegetable-oil-based shampoo bar) would be a reasonable compromise -- either used regularly or as an occasional treat (that is, depending on your motivation for going poo-free -- it does free one from the plastics and mysterious chemicals, anyway).