1. I started a post a while back (http://307andbeyond.tumblr.com/post/29932422392/old-but-not-broken-a-while-back-i-blogged-about) and I intended for it to be part of a series.  As these things always seem to go I got distracted – as such I have yet to revisit the topic.   A good church sermon and a well-timed email from Patagonia about their common trends initiative (http://www.patagonia.com/us/common-threads/), however, have reminded me of the topic.

    The foundation of my prior post was my weariness with American’s wholesale acceptance of idealism that pushes the NEED to upgrade every time the newest thing comes out.  It has created a dependency on STUFF.  What ever happened to the idea that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” - My feeling is that we lost this idealism when we started letting ‘stuff’ determine our happiness.

    The worst part is that I have let myself fall into this trap.  I, however, am tired and fed up with it.  There is no happiness in ‘stuff’ – it just breaks, gets old, gets boring, becomes outdated, etc…

    The important things in life love you back.  When you keep yourself focused on love – particularly God and his love – you love people more abundantly and simply use stuff.  But when you love stuff you lose sight of God’s love and you end up just using people to get ‘stuff’ – what a sad way to exist.

    So I am checking out of modern idealism when it comes to stuff.  Just like the old farm tractor – If it ain’t broke I won’t fix it

  2. Domestic control of foreign oil


    So as of late I have been on this big ‘made in the USA’ kick.  I have many reasons for this ‘shop America’ stance; quality, supporting local business, etc…  The most important reason, however, is that I want it to be known that I do not support unfair treatment of labor.  

    Growing up in a small coal town in Wyoming the labor unions were a very real and important part of our community.  One particular memory that jumps out at me is when I was 5 (maybe 6) a grocery store strike made it so we would have to drive all the way across town to buy groceries (for several months).  It was never even an option to cross the picket lines, regardless of how convenient the store was. Those laborers on strike were my parents friends and our neighbors, we would not dare disrespect their struggles.

    As such, I want it to be known that when given the option I side with my fellow laborers.  Thought I may not know them personally I want it to be know that I am mindful of their conditions and choose not to support those responsible for putting them is such circumstances.

    Thank you REI for letting us know when we have the option to buy “Made in America”