Sunday, September 30, 2007


Halloween is descending upon us. Wasn't it just yesterday that Halloween passed?

I remember seeing the Halloween decorations up in August. The commercialization of these "holidays" is getting bad. I mean, who thinks of holidays 2 months before they are to happen? Apparently here in the U.S. we do. I guess retailers need the consumer to keep it afloat.

Okay, well whatever the reason. I have never been a person that likes to spend to much on Halloween decorations. But when you have two little ones, I guess we do it for the kids. But then again, isn't that what the stores want? Don't matter, I will buy this end of year Halloween decorations at less than 1/2 price.

Whatever your plans are be safe. We will be have a get together here at the house. Take care of your little ones, use flashlights and make sure to check their candy before they get to eat it. Many bad people will be lurking in the dark spots for innocent children. Let us make it a good holiday for all of us.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Recycling Center Burning

As if the air quality wasn't bad enough, the Recycling Tire Center in my Town, is up in flames.

As you can see from the picture, the billowing smoke is up, up and away towards Maricopa. The winds blew the toxic smoke towards town this morning. The blaze started yesterday at around 2:30 p.m.

It is unknown what started the blaze, but fire officials state that it should be contained within the next two days. Two days?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Stars thru NVGs

We talk about noise pollution. We talk about smog, dust and other pollutants. But we never seem to talk about light pollution!

Light Pollution? Yes, I am a few miles from Kitt Peak Observatory off of State Route 86 west of Tucson, AZ. Kitt Peak has had some issues with the population growth that Arizona has experienced since 2000.

The population boom has enabled the construction of street lights minimizing the ability of the observatory to see into outer space. That is why I call it light pollution! Many cities are installing the low emission light bulbs. They give an orange low light glow enabling city dwellers to see the stars.

The pictures are taken through NVGs on my Treo 700P. Enjoy. The first pic is of Venus, I think, coming up from the east. The second pic I was looking up at the Big Dipper. Kind of hard to tell, but what do you expect from a 700P through NVGs.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fantasy Football

As everyone knows, football began on Thursday with the Colts romping the Saints.

Here we are three days later with the first day of football, Sunday. I am trying to watch two games at once, via my PIP. I don't have any fancy NFL package since it is not available through my cable provider.

But, something different about this year. I am enrolled in a fantasy football legue with some co-workers. Well, instead of really enjoying the game, I am flipping between two channels and at the same time watching my laptop, all from the comfort of my couch.

Yup, FantasyCast by ESPN. I am watching my Fantasy Team, as they trott around the league. Its pretty interesting trying to keep an eye on everything that is going on, so, I am probably going to get an epileptic shock from all the screen jumps.

Well, to all, enjoy the season and good luck with your Fantasy Football Team.

To Chew Gum

I have a question for you. Let us say that I get a piece of gum and begin to unwrap it. I put it into my mouth and start to chew. Do I offer it to people around me?

See, the reason I ask this question is because I chew gum, a lot. I do it because I am very conscious of my breath and wish not to offend any one at work. I mean, I can't constantly be brushing my teeth while working. My employer will begin to charge me vacation time for that.

So, what is the ettiquette for that? I mean, if I offer a piece of gum, that person may think that I am offended by their breath. Also, by not offering a piece of gum they may be offended that I did not offer.

Obviously, I work with people I trust and depend on. If I was to offer a piece of gum, then I would offer a piece of gum.

So, what is the ettiquette?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


For those few that wanted a chance to try something new, the Foleo has been dropped by Palm.

Many of you may not have known about it. It was supposed to be a "mobile companion" to the Treo line of Smartphones or any other Smartphone. Not a laptop, yet you can access the net and edit doc and sheet.

Oh well, better luck with the next endeavor. *Hmmmm, if they want to let me test one, I would be more than happy to do it.*

Ethanol Plants

Recently, an Ethanol Plant opened in my town. So, I was curious to see what the hoopla was all about.

First, a little concerned. My daughter has asthma and wanted to see how this would affect her. I mean, we keep our house clean, hepa filters etc etc. So now, I am concerned about this ethanol plant coming into town.

Well, I began to do some research online. Some, not much is the keyword. I work and have children, so I have to give them some of my time as well. So, if any of you have any information on this, a link or comment will be greatly appreciated.

The research began with the EPA website. I didn't find much there so I googled it. The first link was the first of my searches. It read ".......emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, particulates, and other hazardous pollutants." So it really puts out this stuff?

Granted, the quote came from a Minnesota area with like 9 ethanol plants. I am guessing they are much older than the one that just opened here. So I couldn't really find my answer.

The ethanol plant that opened here is a natural gas Ethanol Plant. No coal, or anything else, supposedly. Another article I read, says " Factories that convert corn tinto the gasoline additive ethanol are releasing carbn monoxide, methanol and some carcinogens at levels 'many times greater' than they promised, the government says." I kept reading and formaldehyde and acetic acid are two of the carcinogens released.

If you read this link:

It talks about "bad ordors" coming from the Ethanol Plants. Also, the public in Minnesota have complained about nausea, eye irritation, sleeplessness, and breathing difficulties. The breathing difficulties is the one that worries me.

Now, if you read this last link:

It says that newer plants are cleaner.

Well, I am just as confused as when I started looking around. My know how now is: Ethanol Plants have polluted rivers in the Midwest. They have polluted air and water else where.

So, what do I think. I think I am moving. I can smell the plant when I drive by it. It smells like..burnt sugar. I do get a dry throat when driving by and a not so good feeling when I see a cloud over it.

If anyone has any real "polluting" facts, I would appreciate it. All I know is that I see a white/grey smoke billowing out of the plant. I need to now, for my asthmatic child's sake.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

CFL Bulbs Fish Tank

I know I have beaten the CFL bulbs to death by now, but I had to add one more item.

As you can see by the picture, my last exchange was for my fish tank. The two bulbs that I exchanged were 20w Incandescent bulbs. I exchanged them for 2 CFL 10w bulbs. What is the big difference between the two you ask?

1st, Look at the acquarium. It looks more lively with the white light bulbs I bought compared to the picture on my main screen. 2nd, the 20w I am saving on energy can add up being that my tank light stays on for a good part of the day. I need it on to promote healthy bacteria. (We will leave that for another day.)
3rd, and the most important as far as fish are concerned, the heat given out by the lights. With the Incandescent bulbs, the top of the tank would get very warm. The water tempature would riset about 2 degrees. With the CFL bulbs, there is no heat on top of the fish tank and the water tempature hasn't changed since I turned them on. Read yesterdays blog on CFL and you will see the difference in heat.

Okay, still have the refrigerator lights left and that should cover my entire house. Oh, by the way, I paid $4.84/ea for the bulbs. If someone want to do the math, feel free.

Well until later.

EDIT: At 2:52 p.m. AZ time. Just received my bill in the mail. In AZ, the hottest month is August. My Electric Bill is 252.87, one year ago it was 378.89. Now, do you believe me?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fluorescent Light

I decided to show you a picture of the CFL bulb that I use. It is a Sunlight Bulb. It has a rating of 15w and is equivalent to a 60w Incandescent Bulb. If you go here:

you can read all of the specs on these types of bulbs.

Like I said in an earlier blog, the difference in heat produced can make a difference in your cooling costs. According the website, link above, an Incandescent bulb can produce 350 degrees of heat, where as the Fluorescent bulb produces 90 degrees of heat. Imagine the difference that is with 62 bulbs!

I know that some have doubted my savings, but I tell you, my outside lights are always on at night to include my stairway safety lights.

Of course, there are many lights out there but this is the ones I chose. You do the math. Of the 62 lights I changed, 23 are 15w Fluorescent lights that were exchanged for 60w bulbs. The remaining 37 bulbs are 13w Fluorescent exchanged for 60w bulbs. The lesser wattage bulbs went into the kids, wash, guest and living rooms as well as the den, hallways and bathrooms. The lesser wattage means less light level. Once again, check the website, link above for this info.

And of course, I replaced the two front lights with 23w bulbs, replacing two 60w bulbs. The 23w bulbs are equivalent to a 75w Incandescent bulb.

There is the abbreviated run down of where my bulbs went. I tell you, the less heat produced, added with the less wattage, has made a big difference. My electric bill has not been over $289 this summer. Last year, my peak bill was $380 (approx.)