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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for November, 2007

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas, Part 1

Posted by Josie | November 29th, 2007 | Filed under Positive Change, Sustainability, Who We Are



1. Wrap your gifts in reusable cloth grocery bags instead of wrapping paper.
2. Rent a Living Christmas Tree.
3. Copy the tree at Rockafeller Center and use LED Christmas lights.
4. Adopt an acre of a Costa Rican rain forest for a gift.
5. Offset your holiday travel by purchasing Green Tags, or give Green Tags as a gift for loved ones coming to see you for the holidays.

A Board for a Deck

Posted by Rick | November 27th, 2007 | Filed under Personal Reflection, Who We Are

board_deck.jpgI’ve been hiring a handyman named Rob to help out with some home improvements in preparation our new family member. It’s amazing how, on a 100-year-old house, a small list of upgrades can turn into a hefty amount of work. At a certain point, I finally had to tell Rob that I’d have to save some of the jobs for a later date, when I could sock away a little more cash to pay him.

This left one important task undone before the rainy season: staining the deck. In my mind, I reasoned that I could dedicate a sunny weekend to this job”one that most people don’t hire someone else to do anyway. When I explained my thinking to Rob, he surprised me by saying that he’d be willing to work out a trade for sanding and staining it. I wondered what he could possibly want of mine.

“I noticed in your basement that you have like seven surfboards,” he said. “I’ll do the deck for an old board and some surfing lessons.” I immediately thought of the only board I have that would work, an 8-foot beast I’ve affectionately named “The Banana.” It’s the board that got me stoked on surfing in Oregon”the first stick I slid along the green face of a wave on.

“Deal,” I said, but insisted that he take one of my wetsuits as well, to make the trade fair.

He started the deck a couple weeks ago, but then the rain came, accompanied by massive surf that isn’t kind to beginners. So now the deck’s a quarter sanded, but I have a feeling he’ll be back to finish when the weather lets up. He seemed pretty stoked on our arrangement, which reminds me of the first phase of the One Red Paperclip phenomenon, where a guy traded a paperclip for a house in a series of amazing exchanges. Long live bartering!

Nothing to See Here

Posted by admin | November 24th, 2007 | Filed under Partnerships, Positive Change, Who We Are

4_binoc_252x180.jpg826CHI dwells behind the Boring Store, a store advertising approximately nothing, boasting a complete lack of customers, and stating that it might carry apertures, openings, perforations, pits, cavities and punctures, holes and hollows. Within, one can find (if one looks hard), all the supplies a secret agent could possibly need in the big city: underwater voice amplifiers, glasses with cameras installed, and of course, the signature 826CHI mustache on a stick, an essential insta-disguise for anyone hoping to remain undetected. The Boring Store and its important merchandise provide much-needed funds for a non-profit offering free services to any school aged children in Chicago, but the real magic happens in the back room.

On this particular Thursday I watch a hoard of fidgety 4th graders peering through the window that divides the Boring Store from the “publishing house.” Straight ahead they glimpse a closet, chained shut and plastered with signs proclaiming “KEEP OUT By Order Of ADMIRAL MOODY.” “NO TRESPASSING ALLOWED!” “PELIGRO! NO TRASPASAR!” The students look nervous.

The other volunteers and I look nervous too. We explain to the students coming in the door that we work for a publishing house with the meanest boss alive. This could be our last day; we may, in fact, be fired if things don’t work out. Admiral Moody insists that we publish at least one good story a day, and refuses to accept anything with violence or unhappy endings. We desperately need the help of a 4th grade class to achieve this goal, and so we quickly herd them in front of the photographer (who snaps their “author photo”, complete with the requisite serious face and serious looking mustache on a stick that all authors of course wear) and then seat them on a rug to await orders. Read More »

Welcome Little Fish!

Posted by admin | November 16th, 2007 | Filed under Who We Are


We just got the good word that our man in cyberspace (and the lineup), Rick, and his lovely wife, welcomed their little boy into the world today! Everyone is healthy and happy, and chilling out. Congratulations!

Take care you two. Get some rest and enjoy the bliss! Swimming lessons, soft top boards and mini-wetsuits will be here before you know it!

Everyone at Nau sends the love.

Support Experimentation

Posted by admin | November 15th, 2007 | Filed under Positive Change

billy2.jpegIt’s great to see artists coming together to encourage creativity and expression outside the traditional commercial scenes. I had the pleasure of experiencing such an effort in New York last Sunday night, when I went to see Billy Martin at a space called The Stone. Located in the East Village, The Stone describes itself as a not-for-profit performance space dedicated to the EXPERIMENTAL and AVANT-GARDE.

Each month a different musician is responsible for curating the programs with 100% of the nightly revenue going directly to the artists. The space is intimate and has the feeling of being in a small musician’s studio with only the audience and the performer present–no bar or other distractions.

Billy had all of his percussive toys laid about the room and spent an hour and a half utilizing video and his imagination to build an immersive soundscape of rhythms that completely mesmerized the audience. This included providing a live soundtrack to a Japanese anime based on the work of Jim Woodring called Frank.

I hope that more artists can come together to create these types of spaces and experiences to inspire audiences and performers alike and I encourage everyone to support them. Do you know of one in your area?

“Green Week” Should Last All Year

Posted by Rick | November 12th, 2007 | Filed under Positive Change, Sustainability

TV_Green.jpgNBC just finished their “Green Week” and the irony of a network that’s owned by General Electric telling people to turn off the lights during last Sunday’s Football Night in America wasn’t lost on us. Asking people to turn off their televisions would have been a little more of a stretch though, and even the sportscasters who explained the benefits of energy conservation had their massive plasma screens going during the minute-long blackout before kickoff.

The good news is that, once again, we’re seeing the biggest influencers of the American public raising awareness of sustainability and social issues. That’s a pretty amazing thing. When shows like Days of Our Lives incorporate environmental elements like green weddings into their stories, it may not be the answer to saving planet Earth, but it certainly will help adults across the country realize that this whole sustainability thing isn’t some radical idea spawned by wild-eyed liberals. Now if we can only get people to remember that being green should be a year-long practice…

Confessions of a Future Ecodad

Posted by Rick | November 8th, 2007 | Filed under Personal Reflection, Sustainability

Baby_room_sm.jpgHaving a baby on the way is pretty crazy. So much anticipation, preparation, and opportunity to be a rabid consumer. It seems like everywhere my wife and I go there’s something cute, plastic, and “required” for a first time parent to buy. Changing tables, baby bathtubs, bottles, mobiles, strollers, not to mention the clothes. Even the staunchest minimalist has to admit that a tiny pair of Vans warms the heart a little.

But the thing about babies is that they could care less what they’re wearing or how they get around. They have a few basic requirements: to stay warm, dry, well-rested and fed. They grow so rapidly that they need to overhaul their wardrobes faster than a crazed fashionista, meaning that many of the clothes showered upon them at a baby shower go virtually unworn. That’s why my wife and I tried to encourage people attending our shower to give us their second-hand clothes and baby toys. It was pretty cool because a lot of my friends who already have kids had some very gently used clothing and even better, toys that had been passed along a few generations.

There are some things that can’t be passed down, though”like diapers… Read More »

Red Gold

Posted by Eugénie | November 6th, 2007 | Filed under Environmental Change, Outdoor Sport, Positive Change, Sustainability


Our friends at Felt Soul Media rolled through town recently and left us a copy of the trailer for their next film, “Red Gold.” Anyone who’s even remotely concerned about wild salmon, gold mines, and the tensions in between, should watch this trailer and then wait (expectantly) for the full-length film, due out this spring.

You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll likely be moved to act. Ben Knight and Travis Rummel started Felt Soul as a way to blend their greatest passions: fly fishing, photography, and filmmaking. The two are insanely talented. Over the years their films have evolved from entertaining fish porn to some of the most inspiring short films I’ve seen (see “The Hatch“). Read More »

Calling All Citizens of Oregon and Friends of Oregon

Posted by admin | November 2nd, 2007 | Filed under Environmental Change, Positive Change, Sustainability, Who We Are


The fate of Oregon’s future is in voters’ hands right now.
Voter turnout has been frighteningly low for our current election in Oregon. Increasing turnout is critical to passing Measure 49, the ballot measure to fix Measure 37 and protect Oregon’s farms, forests and watersheds from sprawling subdivisions, big-box stores, strip-malls and gravel pits.

Please email or call all your friends, family and coworkers in Oregon and remind them to vote Yes on 49 and drop off their ballots at a ballot box.You can also tell coworkers and neighbors that you can collect ballot envelopes on Tuesday with the pledge to carry them all to a ballot box before 8 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Ballots must be dropped off at a ballot drop off site by 8 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 6. It is too late to mail in ballots. Ballot drop off site locations are listed HERE.

A YES vote on Measure 49 is the only way to stop the damage unleashed by Measure 37: massive subdivisions, strip malls and big box stores on farm land, threatened water supplies, forests, and special places that we have so carefully protected over the years. The timber industry and developers who stand to make a fortune from an unchanged Measure 37 have already spent $2 million on misleading and confusing ads.