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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:14 AM
Original message
Rethinking the Country Life as Energy Costs Rise
Source: NYTimes

June 25, 2008
Rethinking the Country Life as Energy Costs Rise

By PETER S. GOODMAN

ELIZABETH, Colo. Suddenly, the economics of American suburban life are under assault as skyrocketing energy prices inflate the costs of reaching, heating and cooling homes on the distant edges of metropolitan areas.

Just off Singing Hills Road, in one of hundreds of two-story homes dotting a former cattle ranch beyond the southern fringes of Denver, Phil Boyle and his family openly wonder if they will have to move close to town to get some relief.

They still revel in the space and quiet that has drawn a steady exodus from American cities toward places like this for more than half a century. Their living room ceiling soars two stories high. A swing-set sways in the breeze in their backyard. Their wrap-around porch looks out over the flat scrub of the high plains to the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

But life on the edges of suburbia is beginning to feel untenable. Mr. Boyle and his wife must drive nearly an hour to their jobs in the high-tech corridor of southern Denver. With gasoline at more than $4 a gallon, Mr. Boyle recently paid $121 to fill his pickup truck with diesel fuel. In March, the last time he filled his propane tank to heat his spacious house, he paid $566, more than twice the price of 5 years ago.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/25/business/25exurbs.htm...



Slide show available at the link.
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navarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. The entire suburban American Dream horse shit is based on cheap energy
and ignorance and short-sightedness and greed.

The ignorance, short-sightedness and greed ain't goin' anywhere...but the cheap energy is gone.

We live in interesting times...
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bperci108 Donating Member (969 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. To quote our recently departed philosopher George Carlin:
"It's called the "American Dream" because you'd have to be asleep to believe it..."

;)
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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. Poor Mr. and Mrs. Boyle
Moved all that way far away, quite possibly so they wouldn't have to mingle with Those People. Now the chickens have come home to roost. And they have to drive a pickup truck just to get to work! My heart bleeds.
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. That's what I was wondering.
Says his job's in the "high tech corridor."
Why the heck does he drive a pickup truck to a high tech job?
Get a hybrid, dude.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. Just desserts. Let them start conserving.
Otherwise, fuck them.
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paparush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. The suburban lifestyle is a cancer on the land.
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
5. Stupid article
Suburban life is not country life.

And nothing unexpected, End of Suburbia has been understood for a long time by the PO aware, google for book and film.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
33. They aren't really in suburbia.
Elizabeth is waaay far out there on the plains, at least 40 miles from Denver. It really is country living.

That being said, they must make some pretty good ching to live so far away from the Tech Center and commute an hour both ways to work. Meanwhile, in my true Denver suburbia, we have lightrail service and more houses for sale than you can shake a stick at. So my heart doesn't bleed for these folks in the least.
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. Country living
as I understand the word, has something to do with agriculture and primary production. Urban sprawl extending further and further has nothing to with primary production.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Exactly. These are just people keeping up with the damn Joneses
who moved out here first.

Btw, does "tama" refer to Iowa?
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Nope
Don't remember anymore where I nicked this nick from.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #33
46. true...that is really called "exurbia"
or a super-suburb....

Having once lived there, I can say the City of Atlanta is one of the more notorious exurban sprawl cities...Whoever could have guessed that living 35 highway miles away from your job would ever be a BAD thing? :sarcasm:
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. "Exurbia"
Fabulous term! Sounds like they're living in exile, which they are, in a way.

Or how about ber-suburbia? That seems fitting to me because they built a McMansion out there. I lived in exurbia in Western Mass, but that was because I couldn't afford to live in the city where I worked. I see that a lot in the mountains out here, especially. The service workers at the resort towns (Vail, Aspen) live in mobil homes in the middle of nowhere because they can't afford to live in Vail. Now those are the people truly hurtin' with these gas prices. You only make $5-6/hr, but you're paying over $4/gal and you sure as hell can't afford a Prius. :(
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powwowdancer Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Look a little deeper...
Wow, what a bunch of smug remarks! Not all of us hard hit are lounging in air-conditioned, cathedral- ceiling, hot-tub soaking luxury. True, the pics in this article depict that, but there are TONS of us in rural (a little bit past the suburbs)areas that are struggling to keep costs of living low (that's right, no air-conditioning). We bought in this area because it was cheaper and healthier. Now penalized by rising utility and gas prices and actually being forced into the city. Our homes are worth even less because home equity dissolving on a lower priced home and because of their distance from town, so we are forced to trade down in many ways (elbow room, privacy, from home to apt) My luxury of raising most of my own food is limited in town , as well as sacrificing this little (2 1/2 acres, not all of us are farming for profit) slice of heaven to someone who will probably never love it as I have. There are more of us than you realize out here trying to keep our property, and keep our carbon footprint minimal. We are but simple folks trying to do what's right for our families and for the planet. So... get off your your high-starbucks- guzzling horse and show some sympathy for your fellow man. Lots of us chose to live in the country because we could afford it, lots of us chose it because we couldn't afford to actually own property in town.
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. While what you say is true, the point is only the title of the article speaks
to country life - the entire article is about suburban development of what had been country properties, not people moving out to a country lifestyle.

There is a big difference in lifestyle, and in sympathies, for those who are invested in country living and those who are invested in suburban sprawl. A defining point is where is your work and your entertainment? If you have an 100-120 mile round trip commute by original intent, I have no sympathy. If the bulk of your life, not merely your home, is centered on rural living you have my deepest sympathy.
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. "Fuel Costs Shift Equation for Life in Far Suburbs" -- Title in the NYT's print edition
Front page, above the fold.

The web headline is misleading at best.

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bperci108 Donating Member (969 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Hang on; don't get your Irish up just yet...
You have the right idea, as you folks who have the small acreages can easily market garden instead of commuting to a high-tech job 60 miles away in a big diesel pick-up.

The economy is going to go through some continental-shift sized changes in the next decade or two- don't give up the ship.

And I understand the ire of some of the posters here; we've all seen what the BushCo. economy has done to the suburbanite yuppie scum that so vociferously supported them and then elected them in 2004 in spite of the evidence and the warnings.

It's poetic justice. :evilgrin:
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Growing your own food
Alas, moving back to a city will prove to be only a temporary solution, as the global distribution network starts to crumble because of scarcity of fuel to move things around, feeding population in the city bubbles becomes increasingly difficult and all sorts of social problems start to make life really difficult - even before actual collapse due famine and the pandemia and the die-off. Precise time table is impossible to estimate but the general direction is not too hard to see.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #15
27. Actually, cities got fed just fine before there were trucks
They didn't have all fruits and vegetables all year, as we do, but cities like New York and London were already huge in the nineteenth century.
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Rural vs. urban population ratio
And there were big cities also before that. But it's the age of oil that turned rural vs. urban population ratio really unsustainable. Point being, either majority moves back to rural life of primary production through manual labor or the majority dies of hunger etc.
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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #28
49. Skyfarming and permaculture
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jbane Donating Member (668 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. Lighten up tama
Hard times come and go and this too shall pass. I guarantee it!
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. I'm quite content
As they say: "There is nothing as important as gardening and even gardening is not that important."

It is a joy, living simple life close to earth. Yes, oil- and growth-dependent civilization is coming to end and rather sooner than later, but what is really important is that in the end the alternative way to live is so much better in so many ways.
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
57. @ this rate it is sooner than i thought, ouch
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. It was probably cheaper where you are because land was quite cheap far from where the jobs are
We had the same effect in Ohio. Coworkers of mine would buy property 25 miles from work so that they could afford "a few acres" on a modest salary. If they were 15 miles closer, those lots would have been $100,000 to $200,000 more (in today's dollars).
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kineneb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. Yes! real rural!
I live in a country "village" of maybe 2000 people, within walking distance of a small grocery, a few shops, restaurants, and the post office. The population of the entire county is only 65,000. My commute is usually across the house, and I try to have three "no drive" days each week. My "farm" is only 1/4 acre, which is a size I can maintain myself. The raised beds with drip irrigation have various vegetables, and I have planted fruit trees instead of shade trees. There is no lawn.

Some of us have chosen the simple life.
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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #20
50. It can be done without going "real rural."
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 11:22 PM by TWriterD
Good for you for putting the lawn to better use! I live just outside of the city in a townhouse and am designing a small permaculture garden (veggies, herbs, chickens, fruit trees, etc.). If all of my neighbors got involved, think of the possibilities.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
56. Ah, you city folk.
Just north of 800 souls in my little town. :hi:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
26. The article is really talking about exurban yuppies, not real country people
The exurban yuppies, the ones who moved out into former farmland because it was the only place they could afford a trophy house and because they were hoping to avoid dark-skinned and/or poor people, are part of what's wrong with America.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. They're moving this way, and I hope the price of gas bites 'em in the ass
before they get here. Already they're building condos on former wetlands so these assholes can spend their weekends on the river, driving their boats and jetskis and otherwise wasting resources. They act like they're a gift to us. Many of us would like to return them to the suburbs.
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
8. I am so torn on this
On the one hand, high gas prices hurt the working poor, the elderly on fixed incomes, and the middle class. But on the other hand, it has always made me crazy to see farm land or ranch land bulldozed under to make way for big, ugly houses.
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musiclawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
10. I work in the country, hence I live here.
But I several years ago I decided to do three things, knowing the shit would hit the fan soon:
1. Get a wood stove so I don't have to be reliant on propane soley for heat
2. Get a car with a small 4cl gas sipping engine, even though my old Hyundai Santa Fe got a decent 24 mpg
3. Grow more of my own food.

Well #1 has paid off big time. #2 has worked out well, so that even when I have to go to the city or the airport, I'm not blowing out a whole tank of gas. # 3 is still a work in progress.

But I think the biggest thing overall was buying a house 20 years ago with double insulation. It really is a thing a beauty when I compare my energy bills and feel the comfort of my house vs some others that I know.
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Country here, too.
And we managed to heat almost our whole home with our wood stove and a cord of wood this winter.
Plus people on this board gave me some good ideas about what to do with the ashes!

And I've got a sipper - always have.

I'm afraid to try my own food, though:
A. We're in high desert - what grows here?
B. I kill just about every plant I try to raise! :)
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Ash is good for fertilizing
Just google desert + garden etc.
This seems good place to start:
http://desertgardens.suite101.com/article.cfm/trees_in_...
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. I could recommend some good gardening books
DU has a gardening forum, too. good luck!
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I would appreciate that!
Gardening books would probably be really helpful!
I'm an "if you don't know how to do it, read a book about it" kind of person, but I just didn't know where to start. :)

Thanks so much!
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Ed Smith
...covers raised bed and organic gardening concepts. Deemphasize the section on "companion planting". I found those concepts to be hard to apply.

Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon...Covers fundamental gardening concepts with a thesis of gardening on a minimal budget if your goal is food production for your family. I have read that book several times over. I would recommend skipping the section on how to select a water sprinkler section. This book finally explained composting to me--although composting is of secondary importance. The real thesis of Solomon is how to provide soil nutrients for your vegetables.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I don't favor the close-in plant spacings after reading Solomon

Dave's Garden is highly regarded. I use it to research varieties of vegetables, but not much more. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf /

Look up articles at www.motherearthnews.com for perfectly written and edited articles.

Gotta go!
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. Watching these might be fun
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kimmylavin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #23
37. Thanks so much!
:hi:
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 05:15 AM
Response to Reply #37
52. Happy to help
Delicious vegetables are in your future
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. Looks like my retirement home will come cheap...eom
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
22. I'm a battle-scarred veteran of the ....
back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s thru 1990's. "Hobby" farms, but I sure raised a lot of hogs and cattle and chickens and turkeys and rabbits and ducks and goats(!!) and gardens during that period.

All I can think of when I read about Mr. Boyle's house and land and situation is.... 1)get a Prius to commute 2. Pull the swingset and put in a garden. 3).at least put a ceiling fan in that 2 story living room to pump heat back down (Colorado!) and maybe put a false ceiling in. 4)put solar on the roof... photovoltaic and hot water 5)raise rabbits and chickens

I could go on....

I don't trust the urban environment when the upcoming festivities hit us. Totally dependent on food supply lines, no place to grow food yourself, too many people who need/want a whole bunch of stuff around you, and no sense of community.

Suburbs... actually a little farther out than suburbs.. might provide much of their own food, security, and collective survival skills and materials. All people have to do is radically change their ideas about food, gardening, animal husbandry, community, and lifestyle. It's gonna happen anyhow, so we may as well embrace it.

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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. I was quite young and did not realize that the "back to the land " movement was happening
I think that there is a complimentary theme when times got "tough" in the 1970s that people started gardening to balance their food budgets or deal with one of the breadwinners being out of work.

Love your suggestions. How about (6) carpool?
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DailyGrind51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
25. I moved back to the city after living in the suburbs for 16 years and losing a job,
then I found another job located back in the suburbs. You gotta love irony!
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
29. NY Times is not exactly an expert on what "country" really is.
Sorry, but I doubt the NY Times has an unbiased opinion about "country" or rural life, and I doubt they'd recognize it if it bit them on the butt.

Ten years ago We bought a house in a very small rural (read as FARM) town with a population of about 250 on a good day. I drive 30 minutes door to door and my gas expense is getting larger all the time. I just traded cars and we shopped for one that had a decent MPG (30 avg reported.) It is a compact wagon and I love it. People where I live drive pickups because they haul farm supplies--not because they haul boats. These are WORK vehicles, not fun toys. There is a big difference in hauling seed corn and pulling a camper--ya know?

I resent it being implied that I am some kind of racist for living where I do--I grew up there and chose to move back there when my daughter was born because it was a mile from the Grandparents and because I knew she would go to one of the schools in the state with extremely high academic standards (and test scores to back that up.) My back yard opens up to the same school yard where I went to grade school, and I have a pretty good idea of both the merits and failures of the school system there. She also can run at will outside and be a kid in ALL ways--something that I was not confident she could comfortably do in a metro area.

I also want to add that my house cost between $50 and $30K less because it was 18 miles outside of a major town. By the standards of the NY Times, we live in a "suburb" because in NY anything within 18 miles of the city center IS a suburb. If the beans and corn I drive past every day are any indicator, I'm living in small town America--NOT a metro area.

YMMV, but some of you can kiss my entire fat "elitist" ass. You haven't got a clue.



Laura
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #29
40. I'll vouch. Davsand lives in the country-not even exurb, real country.
And far enough from a metro that no self-respecting latte-drinking suburbanite would go anywhere near it. Lucky Laura!!

Btw, it's also very near my ancestral home. I hope to inherit land and settle there in my dotage. Far from the riverside condos and assholes who dwell in them.

Hi, Laura! :hi:
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. Self respecting???? Wow. I really DO live in the willy wacks!
LMAO! Lisa, it is good to see you! At some point we need to get together and hang out. It has been too long!

:hi:


Laura
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
59. I hear ya on the biases of the NYTimes
I think there's a real disconnect between urban "liberals" and rural folks. There's a reason why people in Redding, California, mistrust the Bay Area and Bay Area values.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
34. Tip one....don't build a fucking castle next time...
...Idiots... :eyes:
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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
35. I am so incredibly, deeply torn.
I'm 100% convinced that the shit will hit the fan in a big way in the next decade or two.
I'm also determined to move back east to Louisiana within the next 3 years.. but I don't know where.

There are two options:
Option A: a house in New Orleans, along/near the street car line; or,
Option B: a homestead in rural Louisiana, where I'd be forced to commute to work (20-30 miles or so)

The City Option would have me very close to work (I'm a CT/MRI Technologist), but when TSHTF it will probably be a more dangerous place to be.

The Country Option would have me spending more money on commuting, but I'd have much more space with which to garden and raise chickens(which I LOVE!), and I'd feel safer there. We'd also be much less dependent-upon others out in the country, being able to draw well water and generate solar energy more easily.

One day I'm hearing the Mardi Gras parade music playing in my head, and the next day I'm hearing the sounds of the forest. I'm torn.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #35
43. Which streetcar line?
Canal St. got streetcars back right before the Federal Flood. And the St. Charles line is going down Carrollton again as of Sunday.

Then there's the Riverfront line, but that isn't of much use to locals unless they live in the Warehouse District, which offers absoultely no room to garden.

but when TSHTF it will probably be a more dangerous place to be.

Say, "will" probably be a more dangerous place to be when TSHTF? Been there, done that -- although next time, half the flippin' Nat'l Guard probably won't be in Eye-rack...
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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #43
53. Not sure which line yet.
I'm stuck here in Austin and haven't begun to look at what I can afford. :|

As far as my "dangerous place" quote, I'm more referring to cities in general.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
36. People belong together
In communities. In cities. In self-sustaining towns and villages.

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kevin881 Donating Member (429 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
45. I am an architect and urban planner, and I have to tell you....
Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 10:30 PM by kevin881
...many of us have seen this situation coming for years. No doubt that the suburbs "off the grid" of major cities (those without public transport leading into the metropolitan areas), are screwed. Rural areas might actually be better off, as "mom and pop" stores will pop up again and Wall Marts located off the interstate will not be as cheap if you have to travel 40 miles to them.

That said, in the rural lifestyle, people will be confined to the very small towns that they live in, without much possibility to travel to bigger towns or bigger cities very much at all.
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skoalyman Donating Member (751 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. I'd rather have a cabin back deep in the woods if the shtf
guess some how I'd migrate back to Louisiana
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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #45
54. I remember the little "Mom and Pop" stores.
We had one here in our little town. Literally, it was a husband and wife (Bill and Polly) along with a couple of part time employees and three aisles of stuff--along with a couple freezer cases and a meat cooler. He cut his own meat and it was always fresh, top quality stuff.

It was THE thing as a kid to go in there with a dime and buy candy.

My favorite story about that store was the experience of being a new college grad and coming back home to stay for a short time while my Mom went to stay with her sick sister. My Dad was not a cook, so I was back home with him filling in for Mom in the kitchen.

One afternoon I decided to make him meatloaf for dinner and had no hamburger thawed--so I went to "Bill and Polly's" to buy meat. I grabbed a bag of green beans out of the freezer case and walked up to pay. Clara (who sold me candy as a kid) said, "Oh no, Laura--you do not want those green beans. Your Mom still has some she canned last summer. She told me a couple weeks ago."

Yep, they knew THAT much about us all, and I did put those green beans back because I had NO doubt about what Clara was telling me. Seems unfathomable now, but we really were that connected to each other out here back then. Nobody thought much about it, either.

They ran that store up to the time they retired--maybe 20 years ago. He passed away a few years after they retired and the line at that funeral home was the longest I have ever seen.

I have to wonder--maybe a return to that kind of life might not be a completely bad thing--ya know?



Laura
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
51. Hmmmm...exurbs, I see disappearing. But not all suburbs.
Some "suburbs," like Irvine, Ca (in Orange County) have suburban homes as well as being the place where most people in the county work. It's hardly an inner city, nor are people stupid to live here. My husband lives 5 minutes from work, yet it's still a suburb.
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qwlauren35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
55. Ummm... what happened to carpooling?
Centralized bus drops? HOV lanes?

There are SO many possibilities... but I think we've gotten too headstrong to accept them.

When a family of 4 has 4 cars, you have to wonder whether they are being a bit extravagant. And to put my money where my mouth is, I guess it's time I started to consider some more car sharing. Or biking to work. It's doable.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
58. One of the problems with people living out in the sticks here: no access to reliable water
In Paradise last week, firefighters held the line at the town boundary, because the town has a water district and the hinterlands are all on wells.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. Oh shit, I didn't hear there was a fire up there too.
My late grandmother had a house in Magalia. I hope it's okay, the built a lot of it herself, and when her cancer was too far gone the one thing she insisted on was dying in her house.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-27-08 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #60
61. There have been a couple fires up there
:(
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