Archive for June, 2010

Why

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Freedom and Fresh Breezes

Freedom and Fresh Breezes

I watched as the big white gull hopped frantically around in the sandy beige rocks of the beachside jetty that runs along Coast Highway 1.  Slowly I approached the obviously injured bird, not wanting to create any additional panic for it.  As I peered at the damage, it tried to sequester itself deeper into the jetty shadows which grew blacker as the sun rapidly disappeared.

Both it’s wings hung askew, broken at the shoulder hinge. Having raised birds, I knew what this meant. The animal was in shock. Maybe a car hit it. Not sure. But it was looking at the end of it’s high flying, trash picking, crab eating, mussel flinging days. It would die after awhile.

I waited till the last person had left the beach and then quietly approached the bird and grabbed for neck and body. It did not resist, not that there was much choice for it. I am fast, and knew what to do. I had made my own choice.

As we walked across the darkening beach cool wet sand crunching underfoot, I could feel the heartbeat, smell the salt air, and as we gingerly reached the top of the jetty turned and said goodbye to our sea and a chill breeze rose.

On the drive home the bird sat in my lap. Wrapped in a towel so that it would not move and with a hand on it. Steady.

As the stars winked on overhead, that gull looked at me and knew. You can tell what a suffering creature knows. If you get really quiet inside, they talk to you. All animals will. I said I was sorry, and thanked him, wrapped my towel over his head, lifted my axe and swiftly crushing it’s neck, I felt life leave.

I know it is “only a seagull”, but I cried.

We all have choices.

I hope that you get that.

At the Western Gate

At the Western Gate

Hazardous Materials Basics

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Hazmat Ready?

Hazmat Ready?

As everybody runs to pitch in at ground zero in the Gulf, I want you all to be aware that there are manifold issues related to working in and around high VOC environments. VOC is an acronym for Volatile Organic Compound.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound

Levels of VOC’s vary greatly depending on atmospheric conditions and combinations of additional toxins, both natural and man made, which can have potentially serious long term effects.

One thing people may not be aware of, is that your skin and your eyes are actually also very effective systems whereby toxics can enter the blood stream. If you get contaminent on the skin use a very low VOC solvent to remove it. Cleaning agents such as Dissolve It (Citrus based) or vegetable oil, followed by  soap scrub, safely remove contaminents without assisting them into your blood stream.

Impermeable Hazardous Material setup

Impermeable Hazardous Material setup

Should you taste contaminent in your saliva, you have it in your blood stream. Many VOC’s can and will be processed by your body’s filter organs. But when you taste it, your organs are being impacted. You will also notice a change in your body odor, as your system attempts to rid the toxins via the respiratory path

Here are a couple recent articles related to the Gulf Coast cleanup efforts

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/86/473/Gulf_Coast_Toxicity_Syndrome.html

And for some scope. Check this.

Cautionary advice.

Wear a respirator that is properly fitted for your face. Respirator cartridges have an exposure limit time based on volume passage and contaminent levels. One telltale that your respirator is in need of a cartridge change is that if when you go to place the mask on, it smells of contaminent.

Keep your respirator in a well sealed ziplock bag when not in use.

Regularly remove the cartridges on your mask and clean the mask using a cotton swab and alcohol. Air dry, reinstall cartridges.

A link for treatment of airborne contaminent illness.

http://www.discountsafetygear.com/fullfacemasks.html

Rescue Ready USCG

Rescue Ready USCG

The basic rule of thumb when working in hazardous environments is to stay clean.

Certain toxins can accumulate in a biosystem over time, pre disposing the creature to various maladies that range from respiratory irritation, right down to various cancers and other serious ailments.

So no matter how benign one thinks a situation is, be aware that things can go from reasonably safe to hazardous, in the space of a wind or current shift. Be prepared. One would not go in to space without proper training and equipment.

Hidden Toxins

Hidden Toxins

Never enter a hazardous material environment without BOTH in place. No matter what anybody says, you must be the steward of your own health and safety while in the field.

Hmm. Black Tide. That gives me an idea.

Workplace

Workplace

Elephant Hunting

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Connect

Connect

The last time I passed through customs, I was on my way home from Bali. No matter how wonderful the travel destination and experience, I always relish the return to American soil. There is something very  comforting in speaking with a Customs Officer who I know is not going to charge me a tout (bribe paid as a form of tax, on something that should be free anyway) and who appreciates the price paid for the soil on which he stands, and protects.

As I said my hellos and thank yous to the same guy whose line I had been through several times before, and headed out to pick up my baggage, something odd struck me. LA seemed far more run down and disheveled than Denpassar Bali, which I had just flown from. Trippy.

I realized it then, and do so with greater alacrity now, that we as a people in this country, are exceedingly vulnerable, possibly more so than we have ever been since we became a country. We are divided.

“United we stand, divided we fall” is an old wisdom. It was penned by Aesop BC. Before Christ. Old. Enduring. Think about that. It exists to this day because people tend to forget certain unpleasant aspects of their world in the life process. So mankind has needed this reminder. As a result, the saying has endured.

The prior blog laid a lot of information out. It was done with a distinct sense of purpose and great forethought. I want the knowledge in it to be followed by the acquisition of wisdom. We cannot continue in our past vein of polarity in this country. That is a tall order for a system founded on adversarialism: to kill our penchant for choosing sides.

As I watch people lining up to do fund raising “For the Gulf” there are several big assed Elephants in the room.

Here they are, described in brief.

The people of the Gulf States are screwed. For a LONG time. We have unwittingly created not just the death of an eco system, but a vast economic death. Giving money, while a nice gesture and possibly short term help, IF one chooses a charity that does not spend 90 cents of each dollar on infrastructure, is not going to  get those people out of the woods. Think Third World desperation, despair and powerlessness. THAT is one of the elephants we have created.

If you watched the news report in yesterday’s blog and know anything about the oil industry you will realize that it not only supplies oil, but jobs. It also is a filthy business. It has been polluting the Gulf Coast for decades. So IF you are one of those that is on the pole end that insists on the cessation of all offshore oil activity, congratulations. This could possibly occur. You just raised the cost of oil and its minion of oil based manufactured products. You also just killed off all of those people’s jobs, and welfare, I am sorry to point out,¬† will be paid for by all of us. Great, more social and economic destruction. Nice work. Problem is, that you use the oil every day too.

If you are on the other end of the pole, you are all for headlong development. More jobs. Independence from foreign oil suppliers. Less war and death, and oddly enough, the death of the Gulf Coast eco system, already strained. Since the Gulf Stream connects virtually 50 percent of the world’s oceans directly, you just quite possibly killed the ocean and the jobs and food source of millions of people. Nice work, once more.

Now for all you ignorant, well intentioned, self righteous pole sitters, it should be pretty obvious: our arrogance is the biggest elephant in the room.  Number Two is the massive loss of the eco system that will create a huge chain reaction of death and destruction in every realm. Number Three is the death of the economic system of the Gulf States and another massive blow to the US economy.

We are about to experience unprecedented suffering in this country.

But there exists a Fourth Elephant. Remember all the politically inspired Global Climate Change uproar which one of our corrupt leaders implemented? Al Gore and his climate change, make me some money folks?  Well, between that lovely little volcano that spewed as much ash and toxicity into the air this past year, as 20 years of US industrial output (or more) and the poisoning of the ocean by the Horizon disaster,  we are now going to experience REAL global warming effects, and soon.

The Earth is what one could call a “Smart system.”¬† It is going to engage ALL of it’s resources to fix itself, as the narrators pointed out in the video in the prior post. We will see storms, we will likely experience earth quakes, and a huge number of minute microbiological effects that will not be so readily apparent, and that are already engaging to right the system.

Pay attention to what you believe, and become willing to follow. I suggest we all place Aesop’s words in our heads and hearts. We will need each other more now, than ever before.

Speaking of united. Allan Weisbecker’s POV on all of this is a¬† GREAT READ.

Here is an interesting and rather innovative resource. Consider that we are the solution. Not just part of the problem.

Lets go kill some Elephants.

Towards Light

Towards Light

Fear Anger Hope

Monday, June 21st, 2010
Process

Process

Fear, anger, hope.

These three things are very inter-related and part of the process of progress.

I find myself falling into fear, that entities which we have entrusted, like Government, Industry, and aspects of modern culture, such as certain Environmental PACS, have totally failed the Earth, as evidenced in the recent potential Global killer, that is the Platform Horizon Wellhead Blowout.

The fear generated by this realization leads to an intense burning anger.

That anger causes a hell of a lot of introspection of myself, what I stand for, and a VERY close look at the things I am able to affect in this world, that could contribute to a course change.

In my life, I have always been about social contribution through enlightenment, and understanding of Man’s role in this world via a relationship with God and Nature. In my experience, Science has always proved God, and vice versa. The entire world gives testimony to the glory and power which created it.

So out of all of this examination, there arises amidst the dark swirling clouds of a prior Eon’s birth and death throes, (which MADE the oil which may kill off a substantial portion of our planet) a glimmer of hope within a very serious message of impending doom.

Here is a very close look at the Gulf Disaster . Make sure to watch the News report at it’s end.¬† Yes, you should be scared, as well as angry. That is a righteous response.

But………..

Below are two links. They will make you sad, they will cause you to fear, you will get angry, feel sorrow, and at the end of it all, a small light will begin to flicker inside. Grab that. The other stuff, it just needs to be experienced, for you to find that little glimmer. We need informed hope.

Story One A beautifully done grand perspective on our struggle to exist.

Story Two is a piece that I shot while working under Cinematographer Greg Huglin. Edited by my friend and colleague Rob Dafoe. I WANT you to ponder the Gulf Sea. Consider also, that this was shot in the waters that I grew up in off of Santa Barbara and the Gaviota Coast. These pods have existed there for ages.

In 1969 I lived in Goleta. I saw the affects of the well head blowout that affected my beach, and gave rise to the modern day environmental movement. I swam, sailed, dove, fished and surfed in an oil soaked ocean, much as the Chumash who inhabited my home, generations before had done. But I am convinced what I experienced, was far worse in terms of oil contact. It went on for decades. (Think about that.)

The tale of the 1969 Union platform blowout is here.

A couple weeks ago, I was up working on the Gaviota Coast. Beaches once soaked in oil were now clean. For the first time in my 50 year long life, and possibly ever, they were pristine in appearance. I suspect that the Environmental movement had nothing to do with this, nor did the EPA. The steady pumping of the reserve simply lowered the pressure, and both the issues from the old wellhead blowout, and natural seeps, slowed to their lowest point.

I shot a few images to illustrate Man’s relationship with the coastline that has been my home. When I get angry, part of my process is to create something positive. Jeanette Ortiz, who is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and connected human beings that I know, collaborated with me. Donna Von Hoesslin helped style the work. The four images in this post, are part of a 24 image collection we created as an homage to the Gaviota Coastline.

Organic Relationship

Organic Relationship

Now ponder this. We have drilled a hole into the past, and unleashed a geologically based poison into the Gulf waters. All of what we know and have done in the past may now be ineffective. We could be wrong about everything. Our Govt. agencies are wrong, our environmental groups are wrong, we were wrong. Wrong about what?

Our choice to disconnect our culture from God and subvert our role in creation. We placed commerce and money in the position of being our God. We cut ourselves off from Wisdom and Truth. Wrong choice.

Timeframe

Timeframe

Reconnect. It is where the hope lies.

Here is a beautiful invitation to do that.

Better

Better

Here is a piece on Jacques Yves Cousteau , that is probably one of the more succinct and pertinent instructionals which I have read, with regard to Politics and the Earth.

Broken Bells. Good name. Sobering social commentary, exquisitely produced.

Steady on.

Hope.

Father

Sunday, June 20th, 2010
Jon, (The Muay Thai Kid) and I

Jon, (The Muay Thai Kid) and I

The word evokes a plethora of meanings. But as I sit at the monitor this Father’s Day, and ponder the men in my life, the one arch thought that precedes all, in the jumble of rapid fire synaptic responses that flash through my ADHD mind, is that “Father” is a verb, and denotes an ongoing actionable process.

I am surrounded by a deep cadre of males in my life. Being a male is a fairly simple and basal thing. We pretty much chase females. That is our deal.  The males in my life are there by choice. I have embraced them, and the reason that I have done so, is that they have chosen to become Men. I want Men around me. Being a man is a choice, or maybe more accurately a series of daily choices, that involve sacrifice and love for that tribe of people which surround you. (They all exemplify this process. )

So is being a Father.

On this Father’s Day, I am very grateful for the circumstances, the vision and wisdom of a certain ex wife, who helped teach me what it meant to become a Father, and for my sons, and the sons who I have linked arms with.

Together we are an amazing force of nature.

Something pretty.

Below is a tiny sampling of some of the Brothers and Men, who have inspired me to engage life as a Father. Click on any of the images for a short back story.

Shoemakers Brothers

Shoemaker Brothers

Dale Velzy

Dale Velzy

Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown

Al Merrick

Al Merrick

Reynolds Yater

Reynolds Yater

James Coburn

James Coburn

George Orbelian

George Orbelian

Joshua Pu'u

Joshua Pu'u

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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