January 19, 2008

The Recyclenator

The 3rd Saturday of every month in the Rouge is recycling day. It's designed for those who live in apartments or the weekly recycling pick up does not come. Well lets say that it has been more than a month since I was able to get to the recycling pick up. It made me realize just how much one person can generate in a given year. Just in the couple of months that I had accumulated my recyclables I had amassed a stack of twenty four 1/2 gallon jugs of either milk or juice. I wish there were stores in which you could just buy bulk. Not like Sam's Club or Costco but one where you can take an empty glass jar and get fresh salsa, or a jug to get milk instead of getting rid of the container. Other countries reuse glass beverage bottles, you just pay a deposit on the bottle and every time you return the used bottles you only pay for the beverage in the bottle. If you cash the bottles in you get back your deposit. Some states do have bottle deposits, but the bottles are not reused, instead they are ground up. Some get formed back into bottles, but it just seems like a useless waste of energy when you could have simply washed and sanitized the bottles. Oh "convenience," gotta love it sometimes. Are we really that busy in the US???

One other note on the recycling stop I did today. Besides burning the gas to deposit my recyclables (which is wasteful) the trucks that they bring to the site to collect the goods idle the entire time they are there. What a waste and such an almost hypocritical stance. Oh and the recycling program is co-sponsored by Exxon....hum. But to give them credit, the Rouge is trying harder each year to reduce its footprint. The recycling website keeps updating so there is hope!

Finally, I will confess that I am a total junkie for a new TV show that I thought I would never like. Yes, I am an addict of..........."TERMINATOR: The Sara Conner Chronicles." Its on Fox every Monday night at 8pm CST and I found the first two back episodes this weekend. I was perusing the new Itunes and stumbled into the TV shows they had for sale. The pilot was free, downloaded it and watched. It was good (in my opinion) and found the next episode on Fox's website. They post the latest episode about a day or so after the show airs. You know what I will be doing on Wednesday evenings from now on! Haha

January 18, 2008

Flash Fridays

Today will be short, its Friday, time to take a little break. My new "hobby" has been a foray into photography. Earlier posts show a few candids. I will admit that I am a total novice and any advice, techniques, or tips is greatly appreciated. I've started low and hope to take my camera to its limits before I decide to upgrade. Currently though it is taking me to my limits and making me look like a fool:-) My setup is a Nikon D40 with two Nikkor lenses (55-200mm 1:4-5.6G and 18-55m 1:3.5-5.6GII). I've protected the investment in a Pelican 1300 case. Everything fits just snug and perfect!
My friend David has been a generous work colleague while he was down in the Rouge and helped point me in the right direction in several instances. He oh so subtly pointed me in the right direction today and my thanks goes out to him. Ken Rockwell Out!

January 17, 2008

My Fortune Says "Cold it will be..."

My lucky numbers are 1, 27, 47, 15 and 9 and you write the word map with four horizontal lines and a vertical line (last part is made up.)
Part of the Chinese American food culture is the ubiquitous fortune cookie. Turns out this icon of cheap (and expensive...sometimes) Chinese restaurants may actually be Japanese. Turns out, an author in Japan has spent the last several years tracing the origins of this unique desert with deep thoughtful fortunes tucked inside. Remember to always as "in bed" after you read the fortune. I found it very entertaining and it makes me wonder how many other "cultural or ethnic dishes" we really eat are not really from where we believe the originate.

If you are looking for a job, female, and petite click here. No it won't lead you to a creepy web page I developed looking to get your information and "chat." Instead you could just be on your way to 1000 mph world record...or a big pile of smoking debris. Sponsors are appreciated! This article was courtesy of the quick eye of Matt!!

Finally there is proof that its never to cold to exercise. This article reminds me of the sub zero mornings that we were required to run in back in college. I will tell that there is nothing better than seeing icicles grow off of your eye lashes at 6 in the morning...So as the temperatures have dropped here in the Rouge its been fun to watch the number of Cajuns in coveralls that come out of the woodwork when it drops down to below 50 degrees. Then you forget its only 50 degrees because the smell of fresh fireplaces fill the air...for three days a year. Though, in defense, it is supposed to get below freezing for like the 3rd time this winter this weekend. Ah...the joy of Louisiana winters!

January 16, 2008

Wet Wednesdays

When it rains it pours and today was really one of those days. Not only did it seem to rain for almost 24 hours straight, but work just kept "raining" in the office today. The GIS lab is really starting get busy with lots of documentation and other "fun" stuff to work on. But do not be deterred, I will still find time.

The Republican parties Michigan primaries were Tuesday and there was a lot of talk about the economy (which is slowing) and the auto industry (Detroit auto show is this week...go figure) and I happened to stumble this article that just really rubbed me wrong to start with.
Why? Because it argues contrary to the American bred paradigm of the "American Dream" of good jobs, prosperous economy and a powerful consumer base. We (Americans) say that free trade is good until it bites us in the butt and we get undercut by foreign competitors and then we complain that its not fair for taking away good jobs and our lifestyle in which we are accustomed. But the author points out that we contradict ourselves in so many ways that it does not even allow us to justify this argument. I got what and started to agree with the author (to an extent) when he talks about shampoo. Read it and see what you think. Remember to remove yourself as an American and be objective when reading it. I don't totally agree with everything said, but it made me question myself some...what do you think?

Now back to that Detroit auto show I found some nice cars that, if given the "proper financial situation," I wouldn't mind having. Heck even for the environmentally conscious millionaire, there are some green (seriously, the car) options coming your way. Audi was looking pretty good here and seriously, who would believe that this is the Lamborghini mascot? Anyways, another long day, more pictures will hopefully be up this weekend. Cheers

January 15, 2008

"Nano" Black Tuesday

Though the workload on this tuesday was huge, I've decided to go small on today. No, not short on what write, but about all things small. Lots of interesting stuff is happening with nano technlology and I found some cool stuff for today.

What is a nano? Well it could be an ipod in a wide flavor of colors, its 1 billionth of a meter, or it could just produce the worlds blackest black. A researcher working with nano tubes of carbon has created a material that is 30 times darker that what National Institute of Standards and Technology uses as the current benchmark of blackness. The article goes on to talk about how the material could be used in solar panels and a new type of stealth technology. Now thats what I'm talking about!

Today is short because its just been a long day, so I guess this was a nano post!

January 14, 2008

Biofueled Blackberrys

Today was a busy day in the office so not a lot of interesting reading occurred. First though I have something that I really need to get out. Why of all places do guys (not sure about the ladies) feel that it is OK to conduct business and personal calls while on the toilet? It is at least a weekly occurrence when I will walk into the men's room and either 1.) hear the tapping of someone typing on their blackberry, or 2.) someone conducting a business call from their stall. I guess in today's business driven society that even going to the bathroom is time wasted when you could be working.

So with that off my chest I turn to the billionaire mogul Richard Branson and his attempts at helping to reduce global warming. In February, Virgin Atlantic will run tests flights on one of its jumbo jets using a blend of 20% bio-fuel and %80 standard aviation fuel to fly from London to Amsterdam. It is an interesting concept, as many have said that finding a suitable and sustainable alternative fuel source for aviation was one of the greatest hurdles in the energy equation. Branson, who has all the money anyone would need and then some, has been accused of being hypocritical because his business help to contribute to global warming. Virgin (in my opinion) is one of the leading companies in actually attempting to try and use new technology to offset their footprint. So to me, Branson is getting his house in order and if you have the means, and your house is in order (unlike Gore, who runs a huge electric bill),then more power to you. Either way it will be interesting to see where the bio-fuel is composed of and if/when they will up the percentage of bio-fuel-to-conventional fuel mixture. Its a start and a I feel a push in the right direction. Interesting point to note (this is at the end of the last link), if Branson is correct in his assumption of the profits he will make in the next 10 years ($3 Billion US) then he will committed more money on an annual basis to renewable and alternative energy sources than the United States government! The $150 million (US) pledged by President Bush to research alternative energy sources is purely laughable.

January 13, 2008

Its all about oil

One thing you will find about this blog (and me) is that the country of Dominica is dear to my heart. Eventually I will post an entire entry just about some of my experiences on the island. In a way I wish I would have wrote or started a blog about it when I was there three times over the course of a year in 2006. So look forward to reading about that.

If you want a crash course on Dominica look here. Earlier this year, the Around the World for Free team stopped by the island for a longer than expected stay and did some amazing stuff. Defiantly worth the look and you can see some of the beauty of Dominica. Check out Alex's trek around the world, definitely and amazing adventure this guy is on. He was in Dominica on days 20 -29, check it out!!!

Today I discovered that Venezuela is likely to build an oil refinery on the "Nature Island of the Caribbean." This does go both ways and I feel that the government of Dominica is as much to blame as Chavez is. You can not blame the people to want jobs and economic prosperity, but so much revenue and image is tied to the nature and beauty of Dominica. Its what the tourists come for. Its just a shame to see this happening, but what position am I to say what is right and wrong for the people of a nation? Check out some of the Dominica blogs on my main page, they are pretty interesting and give some good insight island life.

Tomorrow, back to the grind....