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27 December 2009

Foreboding


Just a feeling. Somehow I expect stormy days ahead rather than smooth sailing. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

Picture from New Mexico, 2006

23 December 2009

Plastic Bags are Saving the Environment?

The plastic bag industry, which has been killing marine life with its products for years, is marketing itself as an endangered species in need of environmental protection.

That’s right — the plastic industry’s renamed itself the “Save the Plastic Bag” coalition. And it’s arguing that the California Environmental Quality Act — which requires environmental impact reports for projects and plans that may harm the environment — applies to plastic bag bans! The industry’s saying that cities and counties must be required to conduct time-consuming environmental impact study to see if banning plastic bags could be bad for the environment.


The biggest reason the plastic bag industry is stating that they are helping the environment is that if plastic is banned, everyone will turn to paper bags instead, further harming the environment. Because of course, banning plastic, charging for paper would never force people to change their habits and carry a few bags in their trunk.

Seriously, just go buy some Flip and Tumblebags. Sure, they are nylon instead or organic cotton/bamboo, etc. but they hold 25 pounds each and smash into a ball the size of a small fist. I take a few of these everywhere I go and use them for everything from grocery shopping to carrying my lunch to work. I am in no way hindered by the lack of plastic bags, and don't require paper either. I hate it when big business decides the best way to fix their issue is to sue instead of just accepting that maybe they are the problem instead of the solution.

Best Card Ever


"I just don't find it funny at all. If it had been about a black child or an overweight child the store would have been shut down by now."

If I could get a box of these I might actually be tempted to send Christmas cards to people. These are fantastic. Only way to make it better would be to somehow show that the kid is also a step-child.

Go Gingers!

Readers by Author

Stereotyping People by Their Favorite Author

Some of my favorite authors on the list:

Ayn Rand - Workaholics seeking validation.

Haruki Murakami - People who like good music.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Sommeliers.

Richard Dawkins - People who have their significant other grab them under the table in order to shut them up whenever someone else at a dinner says something absolutely ridiculous and wrong.

How Clean is your Water?


I'm a big advocate of drinking tap water. I bring my own bottles to work filled up, I drink pretty much nothing but plain, boring tap water all day long. And while it is good to know that my city's tap water is in the top 50 cleanest in the country, it still makes me sad it is all the way down at number 50.

Dallas didn't even feature in the top 100, so I suppose moving back to Plano was a good idea. If it weren't such a hike to get to work, moving to Arlington would seem a good plan, considering it has the best water in the country, although after 8 years, I no longer could attest that claim.

Check out your own city at Environmental Working Group's "What's in your water?"

22 December 2009

Colors Are Wrong


And according to Starbucks, Wishing make the Holidays.....

..via Exploding Dog

Breakfast of Champions


Oh hells yeah. Oatmeal is awesome.

19 December 2009

Meow: The Zombie Kitten Apocalypse


..via Nag on the Lake

Design Flaw


I saw this in a local Starbucks the other day, and the wording really caught me off guard. I understand they are trying to convey that Starbucks uses nothing but the best, but I keep reading it to mean that 3% of their beans are the best in the world and the other 97% of their coffee is from other sub-par beans. Perhaps it should have been worded along the lines "Can you spot the coffee made from the top 3% of the worlds best coffee beans?" A few extra words makes all the difference.

Lazy Saturday Movies

So browsing the upcoming movie trailers on Apple, I was pleasantly surprised to see a trailer for The Other Side of Paradise, starring an old friend, Arianne Martin. Known her about a decade, from our beginning times as stupid, innocent kids working at Circuit City to later working at Starbucks together. Knew she had finished this project up a while ago, incredibly glad it is getting some recognition. Trailer below:


In other random movie events, can anyone see the reason why Death at a Funeral has been remade, exactly the same, but with a different race and more well known actors? Check out the trailers to see the exact same movie. And really, the midget has to be played by the same actor in both versions? Can someone please give Peter Dinklage some other movies so he doesn't have to play the same part every 3 years? Should I expect to see this in 2013 redone with an Asian cast? Maybe some Eskimo's?

17 December 2009

Ataque de Pánico!


I especially like the stroller just being dumoed down the stairs. Good parenting during panic.

Jacked from Diablo Maldito

Is It?

14 December 2009

12 December 2009

Continue......


Not all measures are the same; perspective changes everything. Today, I am an optimist.

06 December 2009

Evolution of a Hispter


See? I was never cool enough to be a hipster. Besides, if I ever had a Vespa the fuzzy hat would be out in lieu of full white leathers.

Evolution in Action

Putting out seeds and bread for the birds in winter can do more than fatten them up — it can alter the course of their evolution, according to scientists.

They say that the British fondness for bird tables has caused a group of the European blackcap to break their custom of migrating to Spain and instead spend the winter season in Britain. In fewer than 30 generations, birds visiting Britain have evolved different-shaped wings and beaks.


Interesting that this can be seen over one human lifetime.

Getting Rid of Swine Flu


For the nerd in all of us. Part of Stormtroopers 365 by Stéfan

Rent a Tree



Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, each year you bring to me delight.

Of course, the famous carol doesn't mention the 33 million delightful Christmas trees across North America that end up in the wood chipper each year.

An Oakville native living in Burnaby, B.C., hopes to change that.

Jeff Ferguson and his business partner, Sean Macalister, recently launched Evergrow Christmas Trees Co., which rents live trees to customers, drops them off in a pot, then picks them up after Christmas and replants them.


Stolen from Steve

05 December 2009

If Atheists Ruled the World

All text taken directly from online Christian fundamentalist forums. http://www.fstdt.net

No matter what beliefs I hold, I don't know if I could say all that with a straight face. Kudos for the acting.

02 December 2009

Ah, Texas


Teo days ago I was outside at a party wearing a tank top. This morning I have snow on my car. Tonight, dry again. Gotta love the seasons.

01 December 2009

Something Like This


31 20 31 31 20 31 37 20 32 38 20 33 33 20 34 37

I Seem to have a Problem


Phones I have carries in the last year: Motorola SLVR (1+ years), Apple iPhone 2G (6 months), Blackberry Storm (4 months, prior to dropping), Blackberry 8830 World Edition (used phone, connector broke inside of phone, 1 month), Blackberry Storm (non-broken option, 1 week), Blackberry Tour 9630 (2 days). This is not counting the other 2 phones I carried before the Storm while owning the iPhone as well.

Technology and I are not friends it seems. And, I need to go recycle all of these instead of throwing them in my kitchen drawer.

Crossing my fingers I can keep from breaking the Tour, as this is by far the best phone I have ever used since the iPhone. Much more versatile for work usage, and still able to customize and add applications like crazy. I think I am in love.

29 November 2009

Recession


Unemployment 2007-2009 by county
"But years later, when we saw the lights going out, one after another, in the great factories that had stood like mountains for generations, when we saw the gates closing and the conveyer belts turning still, when we saw the roads growing empty and the streams of cars draining off, when it began to look as if some silent power were stopping the generators of the world and the world was crumbling quietly....

"The plane was above the peaks of the skyscrapers when suddenly, with the abruptness of a shudder, as if the ground had parted to engulf it, the city had disappeared from the face of the earth. It took them a moment to realize that the panic had reached the power stations - and the lights of New York had gone out."
- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

..via Nag on the Lake

Passive Agressive



Only the beginning, read the entirety.

Update: Re:Vision Dallas


Forwarding Dallas is modeled after one of the most diverse systems in nature, the hillside. The site is a series of valleys and hilltops. The valleys contain trees and more luxurious plants which transition into more resistant plants as the altitude increases. Atop the hills, solar thermal, photovoltaic and wind energy is harvested.

Design components include:

• Heavy utilization of native vegetation
• Open ‘green’ spaces including wooded paths and interior courtyards as well as green roof prairies and orchards
• 100% prefabricated construction system, integrating building materials from local sources
• Housing options from studio apartments to three bedroom flats fit to accommodate approximately 854 residents
• Combination of photovoltaic (solar) and wind power which will providing 100% of the energy needed for each resident
• A Southwest façade set up for solar gain in a venetian-blind-like system which adjusts according to the season
• A Northeast façade made from prefabricated, thick, high thermal mass straw bales provides added insulation
• Rooftop water catchment system designed to recycle water collected from rooftops and store underground for later use
• Public green houses, including a sensorial greenhouse, swimming pool green house and meeting point green house
• Water permeable paved areas to prevent pooling and flooding

So back in June, I found about the Re:vision Dallas program. Now they have decided the winner, with the groundbreaking set to being in 2011. The winning project is amazing for the capabilities it allows for residents, as well as setting the bar internationally for creating a sustainable city ground. Sure, it is only one block now, but they are already talking about setting up the entire section around City Hall to be created the same, allowing revitalization in a much needed area of downtown Dallas.

I truly can only hope that I can afford to become one of the estimated 854 residents when this is open to rent. For everything it can offer, I would accept the long commute time and the high rent cost if it meant I could be part of a community that is actually something of which I can be proud to live in.

..via Mother Nature Network

26 November 2009

21 November 2009

Ocean Pulls Me Close

I Love This Man

Gnismer Farms

So this morning my boss and I got up at a disgustingly early time for a day off and drove out to Arlington to a local farm to get veggies. While they had a lot to choose from and I really wanted a ton of everything, I limited myself to some swiss chard, broccoli, eggplant and tomatoes. The farm is within 45 minutes from my place (5 mins from my old dorm! How did I not know about this years ago!), all organic, and with produce available both on a wagon to choose and pickable, depending on time of year. This is probably the last of what we will be able to get this year, but starting in April there will be red center strawberries available. Lunch today was sauteed swiss chard with garlic, pearl onions, walnuts and lemon juice. Something so simple and yet so incredibly tasty.

20 November 2009

Donate Turkey Fat

So, while not a tradition in my family, it is common in the south to deep fry turkeys for Thanksgiving. Not a fan of fried foods, this sounds disgusting to me. However, for those that do and live near me, evidently my city of Plano accepts donations of turkey fat to be turned into biodiesel. And from what I can find with my limited internet skills, Plano seems to be the only city that actively does this. How strange?

Something Pretty


So, really, not as depressed as I seem to sound. Enjoy the pretty picture in place of some smiling sunshine.

Sometimes


Turning both your head and heart off is impossible...where one is right the other can't stop. Too much introversion and time spent alone seems to equal the reality of realizing that the past does not go away, no matter how much time you spend away from it.

19 November 2009

Annoying...


I need a smaller camera to carry around with me.

...

I often spend hours pursuing wonderful things. And then they do not work out. The folding goes wrong. The idea becomes boring.

These are the worst nights of my life. Where my hands are active, yet controlled by a midget halfway across the world that has Parkinson's.

I am also working on being less politically correct. Fuckitall is the drug of choice.

Never Lets Me Down

"Do not let your spark go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

-Ayn Rand


She knew me before I knew me. Or life at all.

18 November 2009

Fresh = Happy

Latest haul from the local farmers market for weekly foods at work and such. Root vegetable medley: new potatoes, beets, radishes, carrots, pearl onions plus some zucchini to round it out.

So, I am incredibly excited to go with my boss this weekend to a local metroplex farm and go harvest real, fresh veggies. Would love to join a CSA this next year, and whatever I am unwilling to try (jalapenos, cilantro, etc.) give away to people at work. Yes, I am a nerd who has completely accepted this and has an unnatural obsession with vegetables. Enough so that it has eclipsed my love of bread.

Bonus points for my awesome me-sized wine rack in the background and crock pot full of origami stars and cranes to be used in a future art installation.

12 November 2009

Sometimes Green isn't Green

Obama sips it. Paris Hilton loves it. Mary J. Blige won't sing without it. How did a plastic water bottle, imported from a military dictatorship thousands of miles away, become the epitome of cool?

Probably one of the best articles I have read in a long time. It makes you want to support the company as well as burn it to the ground. Conservation hidden under capitalism that does nothing to help out the people that are most affected. I am completely understanding of needing to make a profit, but I cannot understand how looking out the door of your business and seeing the people that live around you doesn't make you do more, especially with 3% GDP of the entire nation.

I am completely disappointed in the 'green' movement if this is the result. But some resuable bottles and then be an activist in working to make tap water cleaner.

11 November 2009

Every Continental McDonalds Mapped


To gauge the creep of cookie-cutter commercialism, there’s no better barometer than McDonald’s – ubiquitous fast food chain and inaugural megacorporate colonizer of small towns nationwide....

Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!

This actually makes me miss the days of Manifest Destiny when the land was wide open and not clogged with 13,000 horrible locations of just one of many fast food chains.

Kinda Glad There's no Funding

Geostationary Banana Over Texas is an art intervention that involves placing a gigantic banana over the Texas sky. This object will float between the high atmosphere and Earth's low orbit, being visible only from the state of Texas and its surroundings. From the ground the banana will be clearly recognizable and visible day and night; it will stay up for approximately one month.

Self


...a frozen sculpture of the artist's head made from 4.5 litres of the artist's own frozen blood taken from his body over a period of five months. This work is repeated every five years and will result in a unique record of the artist aging.

Reason # 456 to Move

Dallas police wrongly ticketed at least 39 drivers for not speaking English over the last three years, Police Chief David Kunkle announced Friday while promising to investigate all officers involved in the cases for dereliction of duty.

08 November 2009

Mouth Watering


I am not a chef. I do not enjoy cooking. But even so, every now and then I can create an amazing concoction.

Wild salmon, organic seasoned asparagus, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, capers. Sauteed in a (vegan) butter/lemon sauce. This was a meal worth creating. This was a cheap, yet incredibly decadent meal.

I think I could easily give up beef/fowl. I do not eat pork already. But there is no world I can imagine where I could give up fish and seafood. Meals like this make it impossible.

Mark Your Calendar


November 27, 2009. The biggest shopping day of the year. Do something better. Buy NOTHING.

I've always hated this day and tend to sequester myself to avoid the craziness. This year is helped along by being volunteered by my boss to work instead of enjoying the company holiday like everyone else.

Regretsy: Handmade? It looks like you made it with your feet