Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eco Tip #4

Carry a handkerchief to dry your hands after washing them so you don't waste paper towels. It can also double as a napkin or a rag or a tissue as long as you've only used it to dry clean hands earlier in the day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Apathetic Smoker

Today I was riding my bike and saw a woman at a red light throw a burning cigarette out her window. I picked it up and told her that she dropped something. She replied that she didn't drop it. I tried to hand it to her and she took it, but then threw it back on the ground. I said something about how she could at least extinguish it before littering and she dismissed my advice. Then the light turned green and she took off.

I rode away dismayed at my lack of impact in this situation. She didn't even care! What's a guy to do? I think I decided that next time I should throw the still burning cigarette stub into the back seat of their car! Opinions? I know it could be slightly dangerous, and no I wouldn't do it to a truck full of rednecks with a shotgun rack on the rear window.

I just feel like smokers don't take account of all the litter they make so they need to have a reason to think twice about it. You might not see it from where you sit, but take a close look as you walk along the beach or a roadside and you'll see that a large fraction of the litter is comprised of cigarette related objects, mostly butts. Sometimes you'll see a McDonald's bag, but for some reason people know that they shouldn't throw out their grease stained paper bag while they can't realize that throwing a cigarette out the window is bad. Especially one that's still on fire.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eco Tip #3

Hang dry your clothes.

I'm fortunate enough to have an outdoor clothesline where my clothes dry pleasantly on nice days. If that's not an option for you, then you can use an indoor drying rack or even just hang shirts from hangers (you can also clothespin socks to the bottom of hangers) and hang the hangers on your fan's light kit. The extra air from the fan will help. Other places you can hang clothes inside include: shower curtain rods, door frames, pull up bars, wire shelving, and any other place where you have a place to put a hanger that will leave decent air flow around the garment.

Not only is it energy efficient to hang dry your clothes, but you also reduce wear and tear on your clothes because they aren't being super heated in the dryer. According to this website, clothes dryers can use between 1,800-5,000 watts. If your load takes one hour to dry, then hanging it gives you an energy savings of 1.8-5 kilowatt hours.

Today is Earth Day, making today a great time to try hanging your clothes if you never have before.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City Name Stealer State

Georgia is a city name stealer state. I'm sure they made up some of their own, but check out these stolen city names:

Lake City

There may be more, but I say a state with this many stolen city names is a city name stealer state.

p.s. I realize that Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies and as such, may have been the first to name a city such as Springfield

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Timing the Palace Saloon 5k

I got an email from Jacob the timer asking me if I wanted to help him time the Palace Saloon 5k this past weekend. It's a point to point race, so there's a little bit more set up and break down involved than starting and finishing in the same area. Of course I was excited to see a part of racing that has eluded me until now. I got to help set up the finish line area and cone things off. I saw him set up the wireless transmission for the chip timing. I used some really expensive equipment at the starting line and I learned a lot about RFID timing. Part of my job involved standing over a camera with an umbrella so it didn't get rained on. I'm fine doing such menial tasks all the way up to my important job of not messing up the starting data when I had to transport the timing mats and the computer thingy.

I liked it a good deal and I must have done an alright job because I got invited to work a marathon with the same people!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Eco Tip #2

Borrow a book from a friend (or go to the library) instead of buying a copy for yourself.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cut the Side of My Lips

I cut the left side of my lips about a week and a half ago. That's probably the worst spot to cut your lips because it splits open every time you open your mouth to take a big bite of something or to yell. I'm still not healed. I felt it crack open when I was having dinner tonight. Be careful with the side of your lips.

Pick #237

Na Palm - "Go Go Girl" from Dirty Girls Like Dirty Beats

You can download this album here for free.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

National Right to Work

This senator is trying to eliminate forced unions. I'm glad to live in a right to work state and I think that everyone should have the choice of whether or not they want to join a union. See what you think.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Safety Maps

There's a website where you can make a map about where to meet up when certain types of disasters strike. Sounds like a good idea, but I can't think of an example for myself to use.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Eco Tip #1

I've decided that I should make a blog entry series about eco tips. They won't be as regular as picks of the week, but will hopefully now be a recurring entry type on my blog.

Tip: refill old travel toothpaste containers by putting them head to head with a full size tube and squeezing the full size tube. Note that you might have to finesse this a little bit.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pick #236

Them Two - "Am I a Good Man" from Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label

Band of Horses used this song as their encore this past weekend. I guess they've recorded it and some people think it's their song. It's a little bluesy for BoH, but they pull it off nicely.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tally Bike Routes

Here's a map showing lots of different kinds of bicycle routes in Tallahassee.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sharpen Your Knives on a Coffee Mug

So, I was recently reminded that you can sharpen knives on the bottom of a coffee mug. This is good since I've been complaining that my santoku knife is getting dull. Over the weekend I tried sharpening it by honing the blade on the unglazed portion of the bottom of a coffee mug. In the process, I managed to cut my finger. I stopped short of an optimal sharpening, but the difference was very noticeable.

Today my roommate cut his finger with the knife; a cut that probably would not have happened had it been duller. He cut himself in the same spot I did. Strange coincidence. Anyway, you should try coffee mugs for sharpeners. That way you won't have to buy a sharpener. Save money, save space in your house, save resources.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Large Bills Not Accepted

While I'm on the subject of legal tender, I want to vent. It pisses me off when gas stations, or any business for that matter, says that they don't accept bills over $20. Isn't my money legal tender for all debts public and private? Don't they have to accept my money?

I can understand that sometimes at a garage sale or if I owe a friend that the individual might not have change for a large bill and that issue has to be worked out person to person. However, businesses need to be prepared to take large bills. I want to go to a gas station and slap a Benjamin down on the counter and say I want to fill up on pump 5 and see what they do. Could I get them in trouble for not accepting my money? Maybe the FBI could get involved like it did with the Liberty Dollar.

Does anyone know anything about the legality of "not accepting" large bills?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Minting Mayhem

I would have believed that this article I just read came from The Onion. Instead, it's on the FBI's website. It's about a guy fined and put in prison for minting his own money (well, it was part of an organization) and trying to mix it in with the US money supply. The Liberty Dollar coins do kind of resemble US currency, but the bills are far from it.

The Supreme Court said that Liberty Dollars are not legal tender and that use of Liberty Dollars as circulating currency is a federal crime. Now, I certainly understand that it's not legal tender. But I don't think that it should be outlawed as currency. It was backed by the gold standard and I think the value was supposed to be pegged about 1:1 with the USD. If I want to trade you something for a Liberty Dollar or a pack of cigarettes or one of your used DVDs, that mutually agreed upon transaction makes us both better off. Of course it's way more common to trade USD for goods and services in this country, but people can barter favors or have plenty of other ways to pay for things than using greenbacks.

The Liberty Dollar coins maybe should have been altered a bit so as to be obviously different that the money put out by our government. I do not believe that making your own money is a federal crime, but I could get behind that sort of label for counterfeiting. The problem is that these notes were good. They were not fraudulent. They were backed by gold and you could cash them out for precious metal. There are tons of other examples of privately minted money. One of the earliest examples I learned about was babysitting vouchers. The vouchers allow you to redeem one hour of babysitting for a 1-hour note. It was a way for families in an area to trade babysitting services with other members of this group instead of paying teenage girls.

There's no reason that I can't print money that says Tallahassee Treasury and circulate it around town. As long as a value is agreed upon (I think I'd like to peg it to the US Dollar), then everyone can use it. Maybe it'd only be accepted in Tallahassee where people know that other Tally residents will take the TT notes for payment. I realize that these notes would not be legal tender and that's certainly ok. Anyway, I believe the FBI is out of hand in this case.