Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sign up for ClimateSmart

I just signed up the Toy House
for PG&E's project ClimateSmart. This is a voluntary program wherein PG&E customers can pay a minuscule fee to offset their household greenhouse gas emissions. The funds collected will pay for forest restoration and other greenhouse gas reduction programs.

The cost for a given household is based on the actual gas and electricity consumption for a given month. For an average PG&E residential customer it amounts to a mere $4.37 per month, less than 15¢ per day. PG&E provides a page which allows you to estimate your charge for a given month.

Our little house is comparatively frugal with utilities. For November our cost would be just $2.30, about 8¢ per day.

The funds will go entirely to greenhouse gas emissions programs, and their use will be certified by independent auditors.

If you are a PG&E customer, I encourage you to sign up. It costs pennies a day, and will help do some good. Even if you're a global warming skeptic, consider that the money will help the environment in other ways as well, such as improved forests and wildlife habitat, and in alternative energy development to make us less dependent on fossil fuels that are going to run out someday anyway. And face it, even if global warming really is just a scare tactic of the lunatic left, is it wise to assume that pouring unnatural amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is entirely without consequence?

Just be aware
that signing up is not a substitute for energy conservation. It's better to not make greenhouse gasses in the first place than to clean them up after the fact. In that respect it's the same as any other housecleaning project. So while you're at it, replace your most frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescents, and find other ways to save energy. I like to make a game of it, to see how much energy (and how much money) I can save.

Here again is the link: PG&E ClimateSmart

Friday, November 23, 2007


The Herald has its Rants and Raves. I'll put in my Boos and Bravos.

There was an interesting collection of letters in the Herald of Thanksgiving Day. Usually, there's maybe one or two that are worth reading. Today they all had something interesting to say, except for the little four-liner at the very end.

BRAVO to Gordon Smith of Monterey who wrote to support the retention of Monterey Bay Kayaks on the waterfront. As he notes, demolishing their building won't do much to improve views, but will deprive residents and visitors of recreational opportunities. I only wish he had also made the same mention  of Adventures By The Sea which is also threatened.

BRAVO to Dan Shafer of Monterey, a former sports writer for admonishing sports columnist John Devine for writing a "guilty until  proven innocent" diatribe against Barry Bonds.

BOO to Cindy Stanley of Monterey for her misinterpretation of a protest last weekend outside the Presidio of Monterey. The protesters had a huge banner opposing torture. Ms. Cindy took it as an anti-military protest, and even went as far as to launch a counter protest at the same site. Note to Cindy: Being anti-torture is not the same as being anti-military, but your counter-protest implies that you are pro-torture.

BOO to Joe Vierra of Salinas for blaming Democrats for rising gas prices. Supply and demand has nothing to do with it? And what about the price increases that occurred while the Republicans were  in power?

BRAVO to Diane Stotler of Seaside who complained about the lack of recycling facilities for compact fluorescent light bulbs, which the law says can't be thrown in the trash. The only place that accepts them is the waste facility out past Marina, and nobody in their right mind is going to drive 20 minutes to throw away a light bulb. Why, I threw a dead CFL in the trash just tonight.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Early Bird

It was discussed on the radio tonight that Thanksgiving seems to be the one holiday that people still honor for its original intent. Look at President's Day, Labor Day and Memorial Day. They've become excuses to go shopping. Christmas, likewise. Independence Day? Picnics and fireworks. Easter? Chocolate paradise. But Thanksgiving is thus far untainted by selfish pursuits.

People save that for the Friday after.

In an effort to accommodate all that pent-up shopping energy, major stores are competing to see who can get these people in their doors first. A few years ago they started opening at 8:00am. Then 7:00. Now Target is opening at 6:00 Friday morning.

That's nutty. Who in their right mind would get up on their day off and shop before breakfast? Nobody in their right mind, but that still leaves a lot of Americans, judging from the state of things these days.

But for sheer audacity, the prize goes to Mervyn's. A totally tasteless commercial has run in the last few days wherein a hostess at Thanksgiving dinner yanks the tablecloth out from under her guests as soon as they are served, and tells them dessert is in the fridge. She's in a hurry to get to Mervyn's because they're opening at

get this

4:00 freakin AM!

If I was an employee at Mervyn's, I'd tell the management where to go, then I'd show them my tail waltzing out the door. There's no way I'd want to go into work on four hours of sleep and deal with self-absorbed customers who have only had four hours of sleep.

Really, people, there's nothing in a Mervyn's store that can't wait until after lunch.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pain in the neck

I've been dealing with a literal pain in the neck. So far three doctors, a physical therapist, X-rays, and MRI, and a Christian Science Practioner (not in that order) have failed to find any cause for the problem and so far no real solutions.

But I am inundated with diagnoseseses. Everyone knows someone who had something kinda similar at one time or another so they know just what I've got. Apparently I've got Parkinsons, a food allergy, stress, pinched nerves, and muscle spasms.

And of course, the sure fire cures are ibuprofen, hypnosis, a heating pad, ice, alternating heat and ice, Tiger Balm, a chirporactor (or not), acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation, past-life regression, counseling, a mediterranean style diet, yoga, and prayer.

It's all a pain in the neck.