Archive for March, 2009

Another Take on ‘Earth Hour’

I believe we need to invest heavily in alternative, renewable energy sources. I support efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels — even when it pinches my pocketbook. I really do. But I have to think twice about the Earth Hour campaign.

Yes, some of the pictures of brightly lit cities going dark were impressive. But what did it really prove? The more I questioned myself, the more cynical I became about the exercise. Here were some of the biggest energy wasters on the planet– the office complexes that leave interior lights on all night, the miles of purely decorative exterior neon, etc. — sending the rest of us this ‘message’ that we need to save energy. By turning out their lights for an hour. Wow.  One whole hour.

Doesn’t our planet deserve more than an hour?

Let’s not even talk about Las Vegas, one of the most outlandish energy wastelands ever created. Officials there might as well have crooked their fingers in the corners of their city’s mouth and waggled it’s tongue at us as they turned off the lights for an hour. It was insulting. Honestly, Las Vegas sending a message to the world that we need to save energy is as offensive to my intelligence as my government giving billions of our tax dollars to AIG so they can pay bonuses to their executives. But let’s not even go there.

Here’s an idea. Instead of the cities turning out their lights for one hour next year, how about they put together a plan to trim back their energy usage over the whole year. Figure out which of those decorative lights they can do without, or come up with an alternative energy source to power them. Get the office buildings to come up with a way to cut unnecessary lighting during off hours. Eliminate some of those highway billboard spotlights. Increase homeowner tax incentives to install energy efficient appliances.

As the old cliche goes, actions speak louder than…er…’messages’ in the dark!

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Gadget Geek

I am no domestic goddess–not even close. So I’ve never contemplated myself as a gadget geek – one of those people who has every kitchen gadget known to man or woman. But today as I was looking for a place to store one of my crock pots after I finished washing it, I took stock of myself. More accurately, I took stock of my kitchen cabinets.

I have three crock pots – small, medium and large. I actually have four, since the lid broke on my large one last fall and I had to buy a whole new one of the exact same model since the manufacturer doesn’t sell replacement lids. I kept the crock itself and the ceramic liner, thinking they’d be good backup in case I had a problem with one of the parts on the new one. So I guess I have 3 and 2/3 crock pots.

In my cabinet, I noticed I also have a mini-chopper. I had gotten tired last year of my hands smelling and my eyes watering as I chop onion and garlic. Next to the chopper was the electric knife and the Mr. Coffee ice tea maker. Of course, I also have a Mr. Coffee coffee maker on the counter. Right next to my second fave gadget (next to my crock pots) the quesadilla maker. The quesadilla maker really shouldn’t count since it is just a bigger version of the George Forman grill, but shaped like a chili pepper. The George Forman I have is the small once, nice for a single chicken breast or a grilled cheese sandwich, but not big enough for a quesadilla-sized tortilla. A bit perplexed, I scanned my other cabinets and found a coffee bean grinder and an immersion blender (love that thing). Back in a corner of the kitchen counter I spyed a deep fryer. Next to the toaster (come on, everyone has a toaster, right?) . I went for my least-used cabinet, thinking there’d surely be space in there, only to find the electric skillet that occupies that space even though I have a perfectly good stove and regular skillet.  Luckily, I was able to shove the medium crock in above the skillet box.

Whew. Kitchen chores done, I washed my hands. The soap dripped into my palm from a motion-sensing automatic dispenser by the sink. Hey, it doesn’t count if it runs on batteries, right!

That quickly, my sense of self was called into question. Am I a secret gadget geek? No, couldn’t be. After all, I don’t own a bread machine, and my toaster oven stays in my RV, yet to be used on a camping trip, but there just in case.

Nope. No gadget geek here. I’m not going to tell you what I found when I scanned my bathroom cabinets.

Have a great weekend, and try not to count your own gadgets next time you open your cabinets. It’ll just make you crazy.

Blogging elsewhere

 

No blog today. I wrote one. Really. But I sent it to my most wonderful agent to post on her blog. I\’ll throw a link out here when it\’s  up.

Edited Friday night – sitting in the operations base of a mock disaster mobilization drill this evening about to stretch out on my cot in a warehouse with about 80 other people and try to get some sleep before an early reville. My agent, Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency, has posted my blog entry on her site: http://varkat.livejournal.com/  Check it out!


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Fantasy Romance Novella

What am I reading today?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker - Just started, but I'm intrigued so far!

Last five books read:

TEXAS GOTHIC - Rosemary Clement-Moore - Awesome! Great fun and spooktastic at the same time!

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - Ransom Riggs - Really creative idea. Enjoyed it very much!

BOOTSCOOTIN' BLAHNIKS - D.D. Scott - Very enjoyable, fun book!

THE GOOD DAUGHTER - Diana Layne - Awesome! Get it now!

GOT YOUR NUMBER - Stephanie Bond - Fun little mystery!

What’s on my TBR List?

GOOD OLE BOYS - Denise Barker

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