Thoughts for Today.....

If you tell your 19 year old daughter that you don't care what she does since she's now 19 and out of school, does it seem a bit contradictory to then get upset because she's out until 4am even on a work night? Granted, the daughter still lives with her mother, but it struck me as odd that the mom stated in one sentence that she didn't care what her daughter did but that she was very upset that daughter was out all night. What makes this even more interesting is that the mom stayed out until midnight or later several nights running a couple weeks ago. If you model behavior that you don't think is appropriate and you tell a person they can do whatever they want, why would you expect them to follow some other set of behaviors?

On the Environment....
With the recent LiveEarth concerts, there has been much discussion of the concept of "carbon-neutral activities" and "carbon offsets". I'm not sure I'm a big fan of buying compensation for an environmental insult. For starters it doesn't actually reduce power demands at all, so there isn't really any behavior change being learned. Instead, the contribution to greenhouse gases or carbon production is supposed to be balanced by another activity. The trick is that the other activity isn't actually practiced by the person or organization directly. Typically what happens is that the person or organization PAYS someone/something to handle it. To my knowledge there isn't any oversight of these things. Just how much compensation is necessary to offset the LiveEarth concerts in their entirety? Just how much compensating was accomplished and how was it accomplished? If corporations will play fast and loose with their accounting practices in contravention of various laws, what will they do about carbon offset accounting when the offsets aren't monitored at all?

It reminds me a lot of the emissions trading that goes on. Powerplant A might not emit as much pollution as they are allowed to emit, so they sell the extra capacity to Powerplant B and then Powerplant B doesn't have to actually upgrade its equipment to reduce the overall pollution production because it's now in compliance with the total amount of pollution emissions that are allotted to it. End result? No actual improvement in Powerplant B and no incentive for B to actually change things.

I realize this makes me sound like an anti-environment curmudgeon, but I'm really not. I'm just skeptical of buying your way out of doing whatever you want to do instead of actually changing power consumption, especially since buying the compensation isn't necessarily increasing the total amount of carbon compensation.

On Not Being Green....
There does not appear to be any recycling available in my neck of the woods. There is no office paper recycling at work. There is no site to drop off metal, glass, paper or plastics for recycling that I can find. I guess I got spoiled by curbside recycling pickup. Heck, you can actually throw landscape waste in the trash here. I haven't seen that option available for at least ten years. I guess there is unlimited landfill space here. Certainly nobody seems to be terribly concerned about their actions with respect to the environment. In fact, people are largely confused when I ask about recycling, talk about organic gardening or express concern for the environment. I wonder if people are at all curious about the heavy metal emission levels from the local steel mill. I can tell you that it's one of the larger polluters in the region, but I bet nobody else knows that outside of the steel mill.

On Becoming UnGreen
The pool is still lime colored. I tested the water. There is no detectable chlorine in it, despite having been shocked repeatedly this week. The pH was also very low. I added pH increaser this evening and will run the filter overnight. Tomorrow I'll have to get more shock chemicals. Vacuuming the pool doesn't seem to actually be accomplishing anything except pumping water out of the pool, which must then be replaced. Sigh....

How Does Your Garden Grow?
Speaking of green/ungreen things, I still haven't quite figured out getting my compost pile to compost. It's still just a pile of leaves and grass and food scraps. I might tear up the whole thing and move it to a new location in case that's the problem. I'll also be tearing up part of the garden this weekend. The lettuce section has gone to seed and the Nasturtiums appear to be about finished too. I'm surprised about the Nasturtiums. I expected them to keep growing and blooming until the first frost, but the plants are actually pretty stunted and starting to shrivel. I don't know if they can't take the heat, don't like the soil, need more fertilizer or didn't get watered enough.

The zucchini are slowing down their production a bit. I need to pick some dill, cilantro and basil. Especially basil. The plants are going great guns. I will make and freeze some pesto and also freeze the leaves themselves. The processing of the cucumbers and zucchini will happen in the morning. I'm running out of counter space for cylindrical green things. I just wish I could find the slicing/shredding disk for my food processor. It's not a big food processor, but it's a whole lot better than having to slice/shred everything by hand....

Did I mention that I have tomatoes now? I do. I've eaten six of them this week, plus a dozen or two cherry tomatoes. Yummy!!! Just in case you're wondering, I have not yet begun to turn red or orange, but it's not for lack of trying. :o)

Harry Potter Weekend
As the entire world knows, the final Harry Potter book comes out at midnight. I briefly debated staying up until midnight to go buy it, but then I'd be forced to stay up the rest of the night reading. So I'll go get it in the morning. I expect to finish it by Tuesday. I could probably finish it earlier, but I have other things I have to do this weekend. Sometimes it sucks to be the grown-up. In the meantime, I have to try and avoid spoilers. I'd rather find out what happens in the book by reading it myself than by having someone else tell me.

Making Progress...
I'm participating in the Mystery Stole 3 Knitalong. The pattern is being given out in pieces over several weeks. The fourth installment came out today. I'm still working on the first clue from a MONTH ago. Anyway, I have learned a lot from this project but none of it has to do with knitting. It has to do with taking large projects and breaking them down into manageable pieces so that progress can be observed. Observable progress seems to be linked to greater motivation to keep working and thus the project gets finished. It occurs to me that I need to break down the larger projects in my life into smaller pieces, write down intermediate goals and have measurable progress toward those goals and the end goal. Looks like I'll be making myself some progress charts this weekend and figuring out what I want to get accomplished first. The hard part might be restricting the number of "projects" to something realistic and reasonable.


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