Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Beginning to Live Green

These days at the Blair household we're trying to live a little greener. No, we haven't gone out and swapped the Suburban for a Prius, nor have we gone to 100% LED lighting in our fixtures or installed any solar heating on the rooftop of our apartment. We have been trying a small experiment and have been holding out all our paper from the trash bin (keeping it just to the side actually), with the intent of recycling it. It's a small thing on the way to becoming truly green, I know, but it's a start. 

I saw a news blurb last week about Utah having the dubious notoriety of being the fifth worst waste management program in the US (read about it here) That's a fairly impressive claim considering per 2006 census data, Utah numbered 2,550,000 people. The main reason for this is that we have no established recycling process (like New York does). Families can elect to have a supplemental recycling can (at the rate of 40 a month, someone chime in here if it is more or less) which gets picked up bi-weekly: most Utahns, like me, simply toss out everything. Paper, glass, steel, aluminum, old toys, food, etc. 

So what? When I toss out my trash, according to the Waste Management billboards on their trucks, it gets incinerated for power plants, or sorted and recycled there. Accoring to another of their billboards, the dumps where the trash is hauled provides wildlife habitat too (I am not even going to go there on that one).

The silly thing to me is that we could be sorting our own garbage into recyclables and non, then tossing it out, and in the long run we'd be more responsible for the environment, and we could reuse some resources. But recycling takes a little effort. And it costs a little more. And in this day of save a buck or two at the expense of leeching toxins into the ground water, what do we do?

May I suggest Government Subsidiaries. If the government will subsidize a TV tuner for when we all go HD in February of '09, why not set something up for recycling? If lobbyists could get that lovely piece of couch potato sponsored legislation through, surely we could be recycling a bit more with a bit of government assistance. It says something when we'll so readily lobby for TV, yet still struggle to figure out how to recycle. 

OK I am turning rant mode off now.

My paper recycling is still in it's infancy, facilitated along solely by the recent purchase of a cross-cut paper shredder. I had several years worth of receipts and old bills which were cramming my filing cabinet to the bursting point. Necessity was the mother of involvement in my case, otherwise I'd still be in my "toss it in the trash" ways. I had three garbage bags full of shredded bits, and no place to put them. I felt a bit guilty just tossing them in the old dust bin. 

Thankfully, in the parking lot of my local elementary school, resides a paper collection bin. It's owned by Reddy Therm, a local insulation company who employs several hard working gnomes to turn all my old paper into handy useable cellulose insulation. It's like magic!

The great idea of it all is that all my junk mail, all my old bills and shredded credit card receipts are helping to heal and cool someones house. My already used paper still has a useful life ahead of it. That idea just plain made me smile. But perhaps the best part of it all is the idea that the reams of cast off artwork from my two toddlers will be doing the same thing (as I've been adding them to the growing pile). And that draws near to the beatific. Hyrum and Maddy's artwork (albeit a bit shredded and more extreme neo-cubist than intended by the original artists), will live on providing a buffer against the harshness of the elements. And that, albeit a literal take on the arts, still embraces the spirit of the arts. And that's pretty amazing.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Follow Up Post About Apple and the "Coming Recession"

I was reading here at work during an anomalous quiet moment and stumbled 'cross the following article. All I can say is I am all for lower prices, albeit not if the function suffers.

read on:



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Damn snow...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quite Possibly My Quote of the Year...

I like quotes. I'm one of those people that collects them. I read them again and again. Derive meanings from them. Try to pick them apart from another angle.

My favorite this year (and from one of the most determined humans ever) is this:

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts"
-Sir Winston Churchill

So think about that a little bit when you day is crap and you feel the same. The courage to continue is what counts.

What does it foster in my thoughts? Sucess is not permanent, it has to be consistently reached for or, The sucesses of now will fade into the mundane of tomorrow. Let balance prevail. Or This moment of failure, is but a small section to the whole aspect of my life.

And for me, this insight into self is invaluable. That is why I like quotes.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

If You're Gonna Be Insulting Me, At Least Use the Spellchecker...OK?

So Melissa and I have a Red and white Boston Terrirer for sale on ksl.com. The breed is AKC certified and registered, and completely legit. Every now and again we get an email from an anonymous user who has feces for brains and gets all ranty on us. It is disturbing, but mostly for the fact that the person comes across as a uneducated zealot, bent on their own rhetoric and enjoying the luxury the anonymity of the internet allows.

I am adding the email, Melissa forwarded it to me just a few minutes ago. All I can think of when I read it is what were you thinking? Some folks just cant get that brain-keyboard thing mastered. And so I believe I will continue to read this kind of internet spew for many years to come. Sigh...

For your reading pleasure:

"> To: mestebla@hotmail.com
> Subject: Female Red Boston Terrier Puppy
> From: rescue@data.bonnint.net
> Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 17:12:25 -0700
> Dear KSL Classifieds Seller,
> Below is a message from a KSL Classifieds user. It has been forwarded to you by ksl.com. Before you respond to it please BEWARE OF FRAUD! The following articles have been provided to help you recognize fraud and help keep you from getting ripped off.
> Name: Be responcible
> Email: rescue
> Ad Number: 2503255
> Ad Title: Female Red Boston Terrier Puppy
> if you are the breeder of these red dogs you need to be responcible and pull them out of the shelter! we are sick of getting your shit bred bostons along with the other rescue people in utah Your breeding crap then when the stupid puppy buyers are sick of the hyperness and see what a real bt sappossed to look like and not what you have bred they turn them into rescue, where we have to play clean up your crap spay and Nueters micro chipping etc if your going to breed this crap then Back it up get them out of rescue programs step up to the plate and help maybe use the money you get from your "Rare" breeding practices and Donate it to Utah boston Terrier rescue who I know has foot your bill on atleast 1 or two pup out of litters, we now have one in Rescue. and we know its yours your the only one that breeds "rare" Crap reds Your a joke One of these days Im sure someone is going to come after you with charges.. just getting enough of them in rescue to prove you are the producer is the key and we only need 1 more of your dogs to come into any rescue, shelter, or foster we will have all the proof we need to slap you with these medical bills."

So if you feel the need to sign this individual up for some spam mail, please be my guest. Just be courteous and use the spell checker. OK? :)