SW Homeowner gardening classes start in February
NMSU Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service and Sandoval
County Master Gardeners will present SW Homeowner gardening classes
starting in February. Morning classes will be held at Sandoval County
Visitor Center in Bernalillo (264 Camino Del Pueblo) from 10:00
to 11:30 a.m. Afternoon classes will be held at the Village of Corrales
Senior Center, 4324 Corrales Road, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The
cost is $15 per person or $25 per couple (for seven classes) or
$5 per class only payable at door.
• February 14: Soil, Climate—Rudy Benavidez
• February 21: Appropriate Trees, Shrubs, Vines—Connie
• February 28: Fruit Trees—Elizabeth Gardner
• March 6: Landscape Design—Darlene Bassett
• March 13: Vegetables—Loren Meinz
• March 20: Small Fruits—Elizabeth Gardner, Herbs—Leah
• March 27: Lawns/Ground Covers—Rudy Benavidez
Sandoval County Master Gardeners will also present a free lecture
on home vegetable production by Loren Meinz at 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
on February 4 at Meadowlark Senior Center, 4330 Meadowlark Lane,
S.E. in Rio Rancho.
For further information, call Rudy Benavidez at 867-2582.
Sustainability’s Economic Dimension Workshop
—NM SOLAR ENERGY ASSOCIATION
Join us in Albuquerque on February 9-17 as we hold the vision of
co-creating a world that works for everyone. In an exciting nine-day
exploration in design process, you will discover the fundamental
pattern shifts that are beginning to happen in our economic and
monetary systems necessary to make that world a reality. You will
apply these design patterns, principles, and practices in your personal
life and projects so that you can begin bringing forth that world
in your life immediately.
What a treat for us to have four great leaders of the new social
and economic paradigm joining us for this exploration: Rich Ruster,
Ph.D. in holistic psychology and whole systems science, and author
of The Homing Process: A Unifying Theory of Evolving Systems
& The Human Dream Blog at richardruster.com;
Vicki Robin, co-author of Your Money or Your Life, Transforming
Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence;
Maggie Seeley, Managing Partner of Green It! The Sustainability
Team, City of Albuquerque consultant; and Laird Schaub, Canbridge
Consulting and Facilitation, teacher, trainer, and facilitator in
consensus decision-making and conflict resolution.
Come explore with us such subjects as Shifting the Global Economy
to Sustainability; Local Currencies; Right Livelihood; Social Enterprises;
Ecovillage Principles; Natural Capitalism; Ecology of Commerce;
Triple Bottom Line; Nurturing Local Economies; and more.
This course is the Economic Dimension of Ecovillage Design Education,
an advanced sustainability certification curriculum endorsed by
the United Nations. For more information, visit www.ecovillagedesignsouthwest.org
or call Robert Griffin at (505) 366-4700.
When you care enough to flush the very best
"Over here," the salesman said, understanding my wife's
question perfectly, "you can see a top-of-the-line system."
We were in the middle of Remodeling Hell. I had had no idea there
were so many decisions that could be made: kitchen cabinets, appliances,
countertops, sink, faucets, floors. Wall colors, trim, furniture,
accents. Window sizes and trim. Bathroom fixtures. And now: one
very specific bathroom fixture.
"This one," he said rather triumphantly, "has the
Champion Flush." My wife's question had been whether all toilets
flushed the same.
I almost burst out laughing right there. I pictured the day, sometime
in the distant future, when the remodel would be done, and I would
be boasting of its features. "And the toilet!" I would
say. "You should see it!" I could take people on a tour
of the house, complete with demonstration. "Listen to this!"
I'd say. "It only uses one point six gallons in less than a
second!" Then, like the salesman was doing now, I'd say, "Go
ahead, reach under the rim there, feel the size of those holes!"
Although since the showroom toilet hadn’t ever processed any
actual waste, reaching into it was something we were more comfortable
doing. But even better, I would invite friends over to play with
the new toy. "Hey guys, why don't you come over for chili dogs
and beer. Then each of us can do a champion flush."
The salesman was a lovely man, knowledgeable, attentive—but
maybe taking his job a bit too seriously. "In tests,"
he said, "this unit was able to handle 29 golf balls in a single
flush." Then he saw the smirk on my face. "I don't know
what happened to the thirtieth," he deadpanned.
When I got home I Googled the phrase "29 golf balls."
Sure enough, the first result at the time was the American Standard
Champion Flush system. The company was exceedingly proud of its
technology. It had trademarked the term “champion” in
the context of flushing toilets. It took to the road for live demonstrations,
encouraging customers to "Bring the whole family to Flush Fest."
Who could have known that toilet technology would be such a hot
topic? In less than two years since my project began, the innovations
have flowed even faster: water-saving "green" toilets,
toilets with remote controls or automated sensors to raise and lower
the lid, and toilets with bidet-like functions to rinse and dry
your nether regions.
I can almost picture engineers sitting around their brainstorming
sessions. “We can rebuild it. We have the technology. We can
make it better than it was. Better... stronger... faster.”
The Six Million Dollar Toilet.
Obviously I have no idea how much such technology costs. But I’ll
bet it's worth it. Our lovely salesman informed us that the Champion
Flush was something like 30 percent more expensive than the standard
technology. And he said they were selling well.
My wife finally convinced me that we didn't really have the budget
for a Champion Flush. But weeks later when Greg, our plumber, arrived
to install the unit, he told me about a mix-up at the warehouse.
"You didn’t order it, but this is actually the top-of-the-line
model," he said.
"Not the Champion Flush!" Now that it’s the distant
future and the remodel is totally finished, one of my favorite memories
of the entire experience is the look of approval the plumber gave
me right then. He knew I knew enough about his job to be up on the
latest trends in sustainable toilet technology. It was like having
a secret handshake as we said, in unison, “29 golf balls.”
John Clayton is a contributor to Writers on the
Range, a service of High Country News
(hcn.org). He writes
and flushes in Red Lodge, Montana.