Spring is finally here – yes it’s rainy today and chilly, but there’s fresh green out there too – it’s springtime in Missouri
And this is Easter week – for everyone who celebrates it, have a wonderful, happy, and loving Easter!
And – you probably know what I’m going to say. It’s a lovely tradition to give gifts at Easter.
These are often considered gifts:
These are living creatures. Please, please, don’t give them as gifts. They’re not toys.
Have a wonderful and loving Easter.
It’s January 28, and of course I’m rememering the Challenger.
This pretty much says it all:
Why did I put that pic first? Because before they were astronauts – even more important than that they were astronauts – first they were just people. Courageous, outrageous, fun-loving, silly, ordinary people. Well. Maybe not ordinary.
And here’s the official one:
Yes, they are heroes. Not because they died. That was just – stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. They were heroes because they wanted to go, and worked for it, and knew it was risky, and WANTED to go.
So this is for Greg Jarvis, Christa Mcauliffe, Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnick, Dick Scobee, and Michael Smith. Thanks, guys. You’re not forgotten. R.I.P. and God bless.
It’s all over the web right now – the Humane Society worked undercover at a farm owned by Smithfield Foods, probably the main pork producer in this country. The Yahoo News article can be found here:
Undercover investigation of Smithfield Foods reveals factory farm horrors. If you enjoy eating pork occasionally, you might not want to read any further. But you probably should –
And yes, you probably should. I did. I’m writing to Smithfield Foods to let them know why I’m boycotting all of their products. And am researching right now to find local farmers who sell retail groceries (at farmers markets and such) as well as to stores. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while – now I’ve gotten a kick in the butt.
I’m not a vegan – leaning more that way as time goes by, but not yet. I just don’t want to support companies that torture animals, every day, all year long, because it makes them a little more money.
I’ll pay more. I’ll sleep better. Support local farmers!
Saw this in the news today: Sotheby’s is going to be offering a 24.78 karat, uber rare pink diamond for sale next month:
Just for giggles, let’s compare it to these:
Pink 12mm x 10mm vintage glass diamond jewels I have available in my Etsy shop
Of course the two are worlds apart, and the cut of the diamond is incomparable.
However – the diamond is expected to fetch up to $38 million dollars at auction. Yes. That was “thirty eight MILLION”.
The vintage glass jewels sell for $3.19 a pair.
So my point is, both are pretty. Yes, absolutely, the diamond is rare and incalculable and like that, but — who buys stuff like that? This isn’t even sour grapes on my part. Why would a person want something like that? Just to show it off? Well, yeah, but — I mean, who cares? It’s simply a cultural / ethnic / socioeconomic gap so wide it’s funny.
I mean – what planet do THEY live on?
I’m probably joining a very big bandwagon here, but I don’t care – they need to find a way to let Vermontasaurus live.
You’ve probably heard about it, but if not, here’s the short form: Brian Boland, a gentleman in Vermont, decided to turn a bunch of trash, scrap lumber, discarded broken ladders, and you name it, into a… well, a dinosaur-ish creature. This was apparently a spontaneous idea, and a fun one, and the stuff was just trash and junk, and he (and a bunch of volunteers) made – Ta Da – Vermontasaurus:
Vermontasaurus, The Only One Of His Kind
And they – the guvmint, the revooners, the permit people, the Official Nameless Ones, are probably going to make him tear it down. It’s probably a fire hazard, or somebody might stab themselves on a rusty nail, or maybe kids will god forbid play on it.
Yes, kids should probably stay off it. And I guess they have to think about the fire thing – although the ‘raw materials’ trash was allowed to collect, and nobody hollered about it. But either way, dammit, this is Art, or at least Fresh Air, this was spontaneous or so we’re told, and it’s fun. At a time when we could use a little of that – well we always need fun, truly – but right now? with all the bad news out there? Come on.
Let the Vermontasaurus live.
Only, maybe not so much. Like most of us (well here in the U.S. anyway) we recently got a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau (or whatever their official name is) telling us that we were going to get a letter from them soon, requesting accurate updated census information about our household.
Then we got the census form. Then a few days later, we got another piece of mail from them, reminding us how important the Census Data is, and saying if we hadn’t mailed it back yet, would we please remember to do so Real Soon.
Now first off this seems like a lot of (expensive) mail for them to generate. The guys on the news say it’s worth it because there are so many people who won’t bother, and the census people have to send real live humans to each house that doesn’t respond, to get accurate data, etc etc. Okay fine, I’ll go along with that.
But: the instructions on the census form very clearly state that you are supposed to fill out the form with accurate information AS OF APRIL 1, 2010. And they’re already asking why we haven’t returned the form. Note that I am writing this blog entry on March 27, 2010 – and we received the “why haven’t you returned your form yet” postcard FIVE DAYS AGO.
Well, duh, it’s not April 1, 2010 yet. (Gotta wondered who picked April-Fools-Day as a return date, too.)
I know a lot of households won’t change from, say, March 20 to April 1. But, sadly, many of them will. People die, people move out, people split up. The kids leave. The kids come home. His or her kids come home – and need to be counted in census because they have to fit into classrooms.
So is this a case of “you can have it now, or you can have it right”? Do they want us to follow their instructions? If not, why did they include them? And if they DO want us to follow their instructions, why are they bugging us?
So first off I should say that I never use dryer sheets. I don’t think we need them (the only thing that ever gets static-y is the few silk things we’ve got, and I’m totally willing to deal with that). I think it is a deliberate Proctor-and-Grumble-ish advertising invention to make us think we need them. And, we have birds. The fake perfume in the dryer sheets is poison to birds (and to us too, only we are bigger).
But a whole lot of people do use them, and think they need them. So I’m just asking, if you buy them, please do reuse them! Turns out there are a bunch of nifty things to do with them. These ideas aren’t original with me – I’ve gotten this handy list from Daily Green Cheapskate over on Yahoo. (Love that name, by the way.)
A few highlights from the “how to reuse dryer sheets” list:
1. Use them more than once. (Back when I did use them, years ago, this totally worked. They’re good for three-four washes at least.)
2. Anti-static dust wipes (use them to clean your monitor and TV screen – they’re great for that).
3. Pot scrubbers and sink / tub scrubs.
4. Dust-free blinds: Not only do spent dryer sheets make a handy wipe for metal and plastic blinds, but the chemicals in them help to repel dust.
5. Get your shine on: When used as a polishing rag, dryer sheets make mirrors and chrome appliances shine. They’re also great for cleaning windows and other glass.
They’re also recommended as sort-of-sachet. Put one in your glove box or underwear drawer so you can smell that creepy sweet scent for ages. (Can you tell I don’t like the smell? Yeah.)
Check out the full article here.
And for even more super useful info on how to go green easily, go to The Green Cheapskate Blog. There are TONS of good ideas there.
And it’s fun. And you’ll feel good about it
I saw the most amazing creation over at Ecofriend.org. This building is a teahouse, very much in the tradition of a handcrafted Japanese structure – but this one is made entirely of recycled paper.
Now this time I’m not suggesting we should go build our house out of recycled paper – at least, not without an engineer’s knowledge of materials and how to adapt them to building techniques. But I do suggest that we could all be inspired by this structure.
One, we can learn – or remember, because we already know it – the all-important concepts of reuse, rethink, recycle… and “rethink” is a real important part of that trio. Take a look at some of the stuff you’re about to discard. Some of it can have a new life. Some of it can have a very COOL new life.
And if a building out of recycled paper isn’t in your immediate future – what about an ottoman or footstool, built with “bricks” you made yourself of paper? Or… well, you’ll think of things. Unleash your Mad Creative Scientist and make something for yourself!
Woo hoo! I don’t know details yet but it doesn’t matter – we’ve rescued Captain Phillips!
Check out Drudge Report or Yahoo News.
Back to our regular programming shortly
I would say “I’ve seen it all now” but I’m totally not going down that road. Still, this one made me laugh. I was bumbling around this morning, looking at this and that, first cup of coffee, have to Get Moving in a Minute, and stumbled on this:
Star Trek: perfumes. Really.
And they have one named “Red Shirt”. They have named a perfume after all the poor suckers who died! I mean, it’s funny and all, but… please explain the marketing strategy to me. Why would some committee somewhere think that is a winning strategy?
I got a chuckle out of this whole thing, mostly, but… Red Shirts? Maybe I’m just missing the point?