8/16/13

Happy Customer



After seeing the ads for years and doing some online research, I decided to make the big jump. It was time for a new thumb. My previous thumb was becoming a little embarrassing, you know, with all the new thumbs out there and all. The nail on the old one came out a little crooked, and looked a little stained. Thumb Joint 1 (TJ1) creaked just a tiny bit in the mornings and TJ2 has never quite performed as well as the slick, flexible ones that some friends have. Plus, it was just getting kind of boring. The general look was outdated, and some of the freckles had lost their crisp lines; they barely looked like smudges anymore. I had never gotten a new one. I’d waited 26 years, I deserve this.

I decided on a ThumJam 5S. It’s the newest, fastest, smoothest thumb out there, and I haven’t regretted my choice for one second. The reviews say that its TJ1 flex time is 5 milliseconds faster than Original Thumbs, and TJ2 range of motion up to 1.5 degrees greater than the first several versions. I really think that I can almost feel the difference. Though, I think my favorite feature is the color-selectable nail. By pressing a hidden button at the base of the cuticle, you can cycle through 8 colors in 15 shades. I know that you can paint older models, but this is so much more convenient. I don’t know how I lived without this feature before. There’s no going back now! Another huge benefit is that ThumJam manufactures all of their products in an eco-friendly factory in Ethiopia (strictly self-monitored by ThumJam’s internal human rights team in order to avoid any possible abuses of their most valuable asset, their employees). All of their thumbs are manufactured from 100% natural, organic sources: all certified not to be stolen from the illicit Blood Thumb Black Market.

I know that some people would propose that Original Thumbs are completely sufficient, and there’s no need for replacement. However I think that my modern audience would agree that these Luddite arguments hold no water in today’s high-tech world. With personal efficiency increasing daily, those without Updated Thumbs will surely be left by the wayside as the rest of us gain valuable seconds of productivity with our super-capable appendices. I truly hope that these misinformed naysayers understand the seriousness of their decisions. These archaic opinions put themselves and their families at the risk of social ostracism and even financial ruin as they fail to keep up with the pace of progress.

Surely there were other ways to spend the money, but since the actual procedure was at 50% off for this month, it seemed like it was the right time. Besides, it seems to me that most major world issues are under control. Poverty is surely almost gone, I know that personally I never see any signs of it. I drive nearly 40 miles on that new interstate to get to work and see only nice cars. As humanity, I think we’ve moved beyond issues of suffering onto issues of progress. If we don’t focus on efficiency and innovation, we’ll surely become stagnant. I have my new thumb installed, integrated, and functioning for less than $4500, and with the basic maintenance plan, I’m only paying $110 monthly. Even if societal issues still existed, surely that amount wouldn’t make a difference. This was not just a purchase. It was an investment. Essential to progress, for the good of society.

So, here I am, another happy customer.

8/9/13

Rainwater Continued...

Rain is still a very big deal for us. Every facet of our life is affected by it. The condition of the roads, the water in our shower, sinks, toilet, and pila, the health of our garden, the sustenance for our animals, the ability to speak in our own home. Our cistern is continually filled by it's abundance here. We just found a scholarly work detailing that in our area we receive ~125 inches of rain a year. It is a lot of water.

We put together a little video below to show a few quick scenes during a typical nightly rainfall.

  video

What you just saw may seem pretty trivial, if not boring, but for us, it is what keeps us alive (for that matter it's what keeps all of us alive). Rain on the roof, falling in the lettuce and cucumbers, drenching the rooster, going through the filters and into the cistern, and into the pila. Rain is a constant blessing for us, a way that we see God work nearly every day. Every time that the noise starts up on the roof, I breathe out a little prayer of thanks and relief. At the same time,  you can't help but think about places like Sub-Saharan Africa where they receive next to no rainfall and live in similar conditions. I can't even imagine. We all need to be so grateful every time we see the drops start up. In the States, we might be a little more isolated from it under insulated roofs, using running, purified water systems, but that doesn't mean that we need it any less. The fact that clean water falls from the sky is nothing less than a miracle. What a design.

8/2/13

Food pumps.


We have this amazing stuff growing in our yard, moringa. It is an extremely nutritious small tree, high in vitamins, high in protein. We planted it in our yard last year and eat it off and on. The raw leaves have a very unique, strong flavor -- a bit of clover mixed with tabasco. Not entirely unpleasant, but definitely an acquired taste. Or in the words of many, many Honduran friends, "It tastes like a weed." Not an inaccurate appraisal.

In the development world, moringa has been praised for years a vital tool as a nutritional supplement in poor, tropical areas. Originally from Africa, it grows extremely quickly in the correct environment. We planted ours from seed last July. As of January, the tallest was 8' tall. I cut it off at the 6' mark only to turn around and cut off the additional 12' feet of growth over the past 6 months. It doesn't grow like a weed, it spanks weeds in the growth department. Weeds grow like moringa.

Needless to say, these things are magical, natural nutrient pumps. You stick a seed in the ground and it goes to work turning air, water, and dirt into vitamins and protein in the form of green leaves. As mentioned above, it isn't our favorite thing to eat, however, we still mix it into soups, rice dishes, and others as a supplement. Used in this way, moringa has incredible potential to improve the diets here in rural Honduras. However, I have another personally preferred use for it.

As good as moringa is at transforming the elements into a usable form, there is another champion in this area. Our little friend, the humble chicken, is also a magic worker. Chickens are meat wizards. You can throw anything into their pen and they go to work, transforming your waste into delicious, tasty meat. Not only that, the females literally lay meat drops in a box every day. It is a miracle. If you feed your chickens highly nutritious things, they grow even faster and lay even more eggs. Enter moringa.

You see, chickens clearly don't care about flavor. So, they don't care that moringa leaves have a little whang to them. All they care is that there's abundant food. The only thing that I care about is that they love it and it means that we'll be eating more meat as a result. Chickens + Moringa = More food for the gringos.