Wednesday, February 25, 2009


All of the packing is done. The car is ready - and all we have to do is get up early and get on the road Hopefully I'll be able to post from the road ... but we leave tomorrow morning for Yellowstone!

Friday, February 20, 2009

When You Must.

In the paper last week was an article about a mammoth that was found in LA while digging up a parking garage. As a child this was a dream. Finding dinasuares in your yard.

A friend of mine sent me this funny toy. What will they sell these days??

And finally - this other photo is from my mother with the question "When your mom said not to take candy from strangers - this is what she was talking about".

Hope your Monday is bright!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bend's Teeth

This morning we are taking the big man into the vet to have all (but his front two fangs) pulled. We have known since he was young that he has bad teeth. Vets in the past have told us that he will probably be an old kitty with no teeth. Well I guess he is getting close to old and will have no teeth. He has been going crazy all morning long because he gets no food or water. We are going to get ready to put him in the cat carrier and take him down to Cottonwood. Wish him luck everyone! Poor guy is going to be pissy.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Warm Days.

The house smells of heating manure. The cats are sunbathing. And I have the bug to work in the garden (which is currently under a few feet of manure and in no shape to be played in). Spring fever is biting me on the arse.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Backyard Bird Count

We read about this in the paper and are participating. I hope all of you out there take the 15 minutes and do your part for the birds of America!

Basically you get a check form and watch birds in your backyard. Then you mark off which birds you see and they do some number crunching to tell for regions about different birds.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day.

Enjoy a cup of coffee with a loved one. Eat some chocolate. Day dream over a cloud!

Mike gave me Japanese yarn and buttons today. The yarn is amazing and the buttons are out of this world cute. Now to come up with a project for them!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Going Green #4.

The cost of shipping shit on the planet is one of the biggest overlooked green issues - I believe. So you use cloth bags, you recycle, you try to cut down on everything – but you still shop online and have individual items shipped to your house. Let’s map out the life of an item. I want a new top that is made in India. First there is the shipping of the materials from the fabric factory in China to the manufactures site. Then they are shipped from India to a distributor in America. Then they go from there to say an Amazon warehouse. After that – I order the silly shirt and it is boxed and shipped from New Jersey to my house in New Mexico. This is a flight ride or a truck ride across the country.

Let’s look at the numbers and assume that the item is traveling by plane most of the way. [A plane like a Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel (about 4 liters) every second. Over the course of a 10-hour flight, it might burn 36,000 gallons (150,000 liters). According to Boeing's Web site, the 747 burns approximately 5 gallons of fuel per mile] If a standard plane gets 0.2 mpg and we look up flight distances for each of our trips we find: China – India (~2000 miles), India –USA (~8000 miles), New Jersey – New Mexico (~1700 miles).

How many gallons of fuel did we use to get that shirt to my back? 58500 gallons of gas!

Now of course you will say that there were other items on the flight. That it wasn’t just the one shirt. But, how many shirts would you need to make it worth the trip?

Of course there is the thought that driving around looking for the exact item you want can be more costly, in the way of gas, than just ordering online. I haven’t really seen anything that proves this though.

Ordering online might be easier - but is it better for the environment?

Avivah. Maybe a bit more research on both of our parts.
According to UPS and other mailing people they use a Boeing 747-400. It gets ~3378 g/hour (at a cruising speed of 576 mph). If in our case we are going 11700 miles it would take ~20 hours (with no take-offs and landings). Which would equal 67560 gallons of gas. Now jet fuel is more expensive than regular gas (~$3.50/gallon). So if we got 1000 shirts on that plane at that cost and gallons used it would be ~$236.46 in shipping cost alone.

Last bit is that there has been a shift from large ocean cargo to more airlines because of cost. Still are large percent of stuff is shipped by boat over seas ... but not all. And I was just trying to give a back of the envelope look at gas cost for items. Cargo ships are worse for the environment than planes when it comes to emissions - and I'm not even going to start taking that into consideration.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When Cameras Scare You

This is absolutely the best in 'high definition'.

Zoom in ('double-click' an area) and watch it focus. Then zoom some more and wait for focus. What a surveillance tool this is ! This picture was taken with a robotic camera and weighs in at 1,474 megapixel. (295 times the standard 5 megapixel camera).


Friday, February 06, 2009

60 what??

It is 60 degrees here today. When did summer hit? I got a new macro lens for my camera and took some shots with it this afternoon. Mike comes home tomorrow from Japan. I tried to buy some manure for the garden today but it is still too early - I guess the season for cow shit is short or tight or just not winter time.

I also made a stop at the local thrift store today (looking for items to felt up) when I came across this skirt and platform shoes. They were $.50. I'm so lucky!

Thursday, February 05, 2009


Oh Spring .... My bulbs have not started to pop up yet - but I'm sure they will soon. It has been very warm here lately and I fear that winter is over. Well, fear might be a bit strong. I'm always up for the changing of the season.

I've been working like a busy bee around the house trying to finish up craft projects and get stuff in place for spring house work. Long list - but I'll post it at some point. 2 quilts down, a number of sewing projects done, and knitting projects in progress ... but going fast.

Mike has been on travel for the past couple of weeks. Ukraine and now Japan. I hope he finds me some lovely tea or yarn in Japan. We are also leaving in a couple of weeks for a tracking class in Yellowstone. I'm excited to freeze my butt off :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Go Green #3.

Most of you do or don’t know that I grew up pretty poor. We never had new things and in particular I was never able to own books as a child. What’s in a book you might ask? Well, I had and still have 3 books from my childhood (the only books I ever owned when I was younger), two picture books about gnomes and a dictionary. Because of my strong desire for books and lack there of, I was a big library person. I read every single book in my elementary school library (winning me an award when I finally left). I particularly loved the fat neglected books that people always forgot about. The librarians would always comment on the checking out of a book that hadn’t been lent in a decade. As a working adult the first thing I did was start to buy books. Used books at first, and then new books. I now have a massive library of books that I just like to have around.

What does all of this have to do with being green? Well printing and not reusing books is pretty wasteful. So, this past weekend I went to the public library (which is a 10 minute walk from my house). I got a library card and borrowed a book that I’ve wanted to read, but I know I’ll never read again. I’m sure that I will not be checking out my favorite authors or books that I know I will want to read over and over again. But, as a first cut – I think checking out books that are one use – is pretty good.

How hard it is for people to get over crap that they were brought up with! Childhood does a number on a person.