Monday, December 29, 2008

For an Eternity



I have been obsessing over this new phone…The Samsung Eternity. It has a 3.2 mega pixel camera. I really don’t know what that means exactly but I know it’s GOOD. I played with it in the store, the pics are incredible. Yes this is what’s important to me in a phone. That it works, takes pics, and has a reminder feature and stores numbers with pictures.

Anyway if I add a line its 9.99 a month for 550 minutes shared (way more then enough, I don’t use the hone much) and my kids can have my pink phone. For when they are away from me, they can’t take it to school or anything.

The cost of the phone is about 200 in store then I get a 50 dollar rebate in the mail. I checked three AT&T stores and this is the best deal I have found so far.

I don’t need this phone, my pink phone works fine, and it just takes crappy pics and has no key board so texting is a pain. The Eternity has a QWERTY keyboard. It’s a touch screen; you can use the touch screen with gloves on. I don’t have to sign up for a huge ass data package (Like with the iphone.) And yes I know it’s an iphone copy.. I just don’t care. I want it.

I am going to buy it on Friday.

Consumerism is alive and well. -Sigh- But I did my research.. I want this phone! It has 3g! I don’t know what that is but I want it. Look!

Also called the SGH-A867, the black-and-chrome Eternity has a 3.2-inch display with haptics vibrating feedback, Samsung's TouchWiz interface, and an accelerometer. Inside you'll find support for AT&T Mobile TV, GPS, a 3-megapixel camera, messaging and e-mail, Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, AT&T's Video Share, a full HTML browser, 3G connectivity, a speakerphone, and organizer options. The Eternity is $149.99 with a two-year contract.


Does the SD slot mean I can take pics and then use the SD card to print them out?

key specifications
• Camera Resolution : 3.0 Megapixel
• Video recording : Video recording
• Music Player : MP3 Player
• Mobile TV : AT&T Mobile TV
QWERTY keyboard
The Eternity™ has a unique onscreen QWERTY keyboard you can access in landscape or portrait mode (or even switch between the two). In either mode, the Eternity™ lets you type as fast as you talk.
3.0 mega pixel camera
With a full 3.0 megapixels, the SAMSUNG Eternity™ will shoot beautiful pictures every time. There’s also a digital zoom, brightness control and camcorder that shoots videos of up to one hour long.


Video review!

The good: The Samsung Eternity has an attractive design with a intuitive touch-screen interface. It offers a solid assortment of multimedia features and good call quality. It also has impressive battery life.
The bad: The Samsung Eternity's virtual keyboard isn't available when entering message recipients. It lacks a camera flash, Wi-Fi and voice dialing and the 3G connectivity could be stronger.
The bottom line: The Samsung Eternity succeeds as a multimedia device, but without Wi-Fi and full e-mail support, it stops well short of being a business-friendly device.
Specifications: Band / mode: WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900 ; Talk time: Up to 300 min ; Combined with: With digital camera


Pictures taken with the Eternity..
I tried to post them but they are huge.

http://www.infosyncworld.net/resources/products/samsung/samsung_eternity_s00.jpg

http://www.infosyncworld.net/resources/products/samsung/samsung_eternity_s01.jpg

http://www.infosyncworld.net/resources/products/samsung/samsung_eternity_s02.jpg

http://www.infosyncworld.net/resources/products/samsung/samsung_eternity_s04.jpg


And a message board



See, Alex? At least I am a smart consumer.. ist.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas on Masslive




“Omg! I saw someone today buy king crab legs with food stamps and I am angry because I pay 25 grand in taxes a year and have to eat tuna out of a can.”

Several people chime in about how everyone on welfare is scum and should be shot, even the little welfare babies’ cause they don’t deserve to live. (So far it hasn’t turned into a race thing, but the day is early!) I read all of this quietly and sigh. By the way.. 68 bucks in crab legs? I’m not even sure you’re telling the truth. In fact I just called the S&S on Northampton st and Alaskan King Crab legs are 16.99 a pound so they got 4 pounds of mostly shell.. That’s not exactly a feast, you know?

This one made me snicker…

13712.6. whats wrong with the picture

is that you must make more than anyone in holyoke and you are eating tuna. how many kids do you pay child support on, 9?


Then someone makes the obligatory post (it was not me this time) about how it’s not a big deal and immediately they are called names and assumed to be on welfare.

You have to be poor to have compassion for your fellow man?

Now you know the original poster who is so upset about the food stamp purchase is a devout Catholic or Christian.. So let me just remind them that Jesus was a welfare baby who was born in a dirty freaking barn because his unemployed parents were poor run aways. They would have qualified for food stamps and when the three wise men showed up.. I bet they would have bought them crab legs if they could have.

I know I get on this a lot but I have been on welfare, I have used food stamps. I have seen you give me a dirty look as I swiped that god awful blue card. When I was making nine bucks an hour and the holidays rolled around.. everyone got food gifts from us.. Because I could use my food stamps to buy chocolates or exotic ingredients.

What I think is being forgotten by those so upset is that today is Christmas Eve. Let them eat cake! Or crab. Because I want to be happy today I am going to assume that the shopper has kids and maybe Christmas crab is a tradition, maybe this is a tough year and they already scaled back gifts, cable, activities and the guy just doesn’t want to see the look on his kids faces when they serve spam instead of crab. Who the hell knows.. and who the hell cares?

There are jerks out there abusing the system, I know. But do we have to collectively punish them all for the screw ups of a few? And before anyone goes there.. let me remind you that in Massachusetts we have the Family Cap law, you cannot be on welfare and have a baby and get more money. You get NOTHING for any baby you have after you sign up for assistance. Your family is capped.

Merry Christmas to all the scrooges out there and to all my fellow Holyoke’s who try to make every day the best it can be in our sad little city.

I am buying some crab tonight I think. With cash.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Being Poor


I came across this today and it really struck me. I have lived more then half of these things, my children have too. I think most people have at least experienced something on this list. Especially in Holyoke. Have you?

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends’ houses but never has friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won’t hear you say “I get free lunch” when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching that box of Raisin Bran you just bought and trying to think of a way to make the kids understand that the box has to last.

Being poor is wondering if your well-off sibling is lying when he says he doesn’t mind when you ask for help.

Being poor is off-brand toys.

Being poor is a heater in only one room of the house.


Being poor is knowing you can’t leave $5 on the coffee table when your friends are around.

Being poor is hoping your kids don’t have a growth spurt.

Being poor is stealing meat from the store, frying it up before your mom gets home and then telling her she doesn’t have make dinner tonight because you’re not hungry anyway.

Being poor is Goodwill underwear.

Being poor is not enough space for everyone who lives with you.

Being poor is feeling the glued soles tear off your supermarket shoes when you run around the playground.

Being poor is your kid’s school being the one with the 15-year-old textbooks and no air conditioning.

Being poor is thinking $8 an hour is a really good deal.

Being poor is relying on people who don’t give a damn about you.

Being poor is an overnight shift under florescent lights.

Being poor is finding the letter your mom wrote to your dad, begging him for the child support.

Being poor is a bathtub you have to empty into the toilet.

Being poor is stopping the car to take a lamp from a stranger’s trash.

Being poor is making lunch for your kid when a cockroach skitters over the bread, and you looking over to see if your kid saw.

Being poor is believing a GED actually makes a goddamned difference.

Being poor is people angry at you just for walking around in the mall.

Being poor is not taking the job because you can’t find someone you trust to watch your kids.

Being poor is the police busting into the apartment right next to yours.

Being poor is not talking to that girl because she’ll probably just laugh at your clothes.

Being poor is hoping you’ll be invited for dinner.

Being poor is a sidewalk with lots of brown glass on it.

Being poor is people thinking they know something about you by the way you talk.

Being poor is needing that 35-cent raise.

Being poor is your kid’s teacher assuming you don’t have any books in your home.

Being poor is six dollars short on the utility bill and no way to close the gap.

Being poor is crying when you drop the mac and cheese on the floor.

Being poor is knowing you work as hard as anyone, anywhere.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you’re not actually stupid.

Being poor is people surprised to discover you’re not actually lazy.


Being poor is a six-hour wait in an emergency room with a sick child asleep on your lap.

Being poor is never buying anything someone else hasn’t bought first.

Being poor is picking the 10 cent ramen instead of the 12 cent ramen because that’s two extra packages for every dollar.

Being poor is having to live with choices you didn’t know you made when you were 14 years old.

Being poor is getting tired of people wanting you to be grateful.

Being poor is knowing you’re being judged.


Being poor is a box of crayons and a $1 coloring book from a community center Santa.


Being poor is checking the coin return slot of every soda machine you go by.

Being poor is deciding that it’s all right to base a relationship on shelter.

Being poor is knowing you really shouldn’t spend that buck on a Lotto ticket.

Being poor is hoping the register lady will spot you the dime.

Being poor is feeling helpless when your child makes the same mistakes you did, and won’t listen to you beg them against doing so.

Being poor is a cough that doesn’t go away.

Being poor is making sure you don’t spill on the couch, just in case you have to give it back before the lease is up.

Being poor is a $200 paycheck advance from a company that takes $250 when the paycheck comes in.

Being poor is four years of night classes for an Associates of Art degree.

Being poor is a lumpy futon bed.

Being poor is knowing where the shelter is.

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.


Being poor is seeing how few options you have.

Being poor is running in place.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn’t leave.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'd love to call you sometime




Why do men ask for a womans number and then not call? Seriously. I admit it, it's bothering me. And what you said.. Was that a line? Because it freaking worked, I can't stop wondering what in the hell you were talking about. I swear to god I was 13 the last time I saw you. So what kind of first are you even talking about? If you had called, I would have asked. I hope this isn't like when I was 13 and it took you like 2 months to call and say Happy Birthday.
Meh.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Buh Bye Bratz!

I am bound to piss off someone’s mother today but can I tell you how pleased I am that MGA has been told to stop making Bratz dolls?

No more Bratz Dolls will be sold after 2008!


Personally I don’t give a damn about Mattell, Barbie, Carter Bryant (who sounds like a sleaze) or MGA. What I do care about is your daughter growing up to be a hootchie and dating my sons. And yea I really do think these dolls encourage very hootchie like girls.
I even have examples!

That is a dress. It is a whole outfit. That doll is completely dressed about to go out and be a really well behaved good girl with good grades and a bright future. As a hooker. The purple lipstick really completes the look.

Baby Bratz… BABY Bratz. The toddler has make up on and it dressed like a 22 year old about to get her drink on. If she were 22 that would be just fine, but she’s 2. And wearing combat boots and a mini skirt. Because 2 year olds want to be sexy too. Love the eyeliner.
-cry- The shoes. If those shoes were in my size they would have six inch heels. They are the length of the dolls hands.. my hand is six inches from palm to middle fingertip. My feet (Yes I just measured) Are only 8 inches long! These dolls are marketed to your 7 year old. Why can’t she still be wearing keds and patent leather? Doll 1 form the left is not so bad to be honest. Sadly she has obviously been hit in the face with a baseball bat at her last frat party sp that her lips are permantly swollen but she is decently dressed. Doll 2 is apparently trying to make her gynecologist’s job easier, who needs a paper gown when you’re already flashing your cooter at the world? It just goes on from there.. too much make up, too little clothing, too extreme styles for children dolls. It is not the clothes and make up itself though. They are styles and colors I might wear and therein lays the problem. I am a grown woman, little girls do not want to dress like me (Unless they are incredibly precocious little dears!) but they do want to be like their dolls.

Suddenly Barbie seems like nun. I played with Barbie, My little Pony and something called Star Faries.

I had a blue plastic castle.

When I was 8 my father drove down here form New York and bought me this, then go drunk, yelled at my mom and drove away. A few weeks later my star Fairy castle disappeared. I was smart enough to not ask about it.
Disclaimer.. I am aware that responsible parenting can make toys such as Hootchie Mama Dolls acceptable but how many irresponsible parents have you come across in your time? Exactly.
Sidenote.. can you still even buy Keds tennis? Remember Jelly shoes? I grew Up in Jarvis Heights, back them there was a brook running though it and Scott’s tower only smelled like pee a few times a year. Chamura pool was a quarter to get into but they let us poor kids in for free anyway. I think childhood in Holyoke is another days post.
What was your favorite toy growing up?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Better late then never!




Things I am grateful for.

Oranges in December.
Kids that scrape the ice off my windshield without being asked.
Cake, in a jar!
My avocado plant is 12 inches high.
I have the luxury of throwing out leftovers sometimes
A decent job in this economy
The man at Nicks Nest who said I was a good mom.
Next years desk calendars came early.
Everyone coming to help at the BookFair
Holyoke’s Bloggers
The nice rep at Comcast who didn’t hang up when I told him the rate hike was fucking lame.
Spellcheck.
Netflix.
Glitter in a glass tube
Chunky heels on boots
Brown paper wrap and jute twine
My ninja like bow making skillz.
LOLCATS. (Shut up, there funny)
Red cell phones
Camping at the beach, I am so ready already.
Space heaters
Lentil soup and goldfish crackers
Coffee
My 5 and a half readers!
And one of the biggest things I am grateful for.. College. I want to be a writer, a photographer, a teacher, a nutritionist, a horticulturist, a chef and raise goats. How lucky am I that I live in such a place and such a time that I can want all those things and someone will actually say that I can do it all. There are people in places so unlike what we have that it would shock most of us pampered spoiled brats. Even those one welfare are affluent as compared to most farmer laborers in Africa.

I realize I left out health, family, love and all that cheesy crap but I figure enough people said that boring crap to cover me so I wanted to list the little things, the things that make every day a little brighter. Like having a good pen. You know what I mean? Driving down Riverdale and hitting all green lights. Getting something nice in the mail. Hand lotion that smells like the holidays. Bread. Post it notes! Chocolate donuts (Which I can’t eat, I just like to look at them and sigh wistfully) Rollover minutes. Lazy Sundays. Pizza with spinach and kalmata olives. The Asian art display at George Walter Vincent Smith. Physics. And Alex actually knowing what a Charter School is.

Oh and let’s not forget.. I am grateful that 20 bucks this morning filled my tank. I would have high fived the attendant but bullet proof glass hurts my hands.

Tag, your it, what are you grateful for?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Buy Nothing?



Buy Nothing day, formally known as Black Friday. I will buy nothing today, not so much as an internet cookie. I will not be shoved, sworn at, stressed out or freaked out today. Though I admit it is easy to do when you have to work all day.

I never did Black Friday, even before I realized what a wasteful event it is. My kids get very little for Christmas. They get enough, more then enough really, but not a whole lot. I do not delude myself that they are perfectly happy about this. Sure they would love a never ending shopping spree, so wouldn't I. But I have tried hard for 12 years to instill in my children a love of all things intangible.

Christmas at our house is a holiday to be together and to love. It is not an excuse to go broke and buy junk. It seems silly to me to hear so many people crying about how hard it will be this year to provide a 'good' Christmas with the financial melt down. (Which really did not affect me and my credit and debt free lifestyle. Why will it be hard? Does the latest techno gadget really make Christmas 'happen' for you?

My recipe for a 'good' Christmas..

Snow
Twinkling white lights
Hot chocolate
Slippers
Corny music that only sounds pretty Christmas Day
Family

Stir well.

What makes your Christmas good?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Atlantis

Thanks Rachel for this…





Atlantis is a landscape created by Gayle Chong Kwan out of semi-opaque plastic food packaging that the artist collected from London dwellers. The project was inspired by the lost city of Atlantis and it is no coincidence that many of these food containers are often to be found at the bottom of many bodies of water, forming a new sort of city created from waste. Climate change, urban planning and communal living are all themes evoked by this fascinating depiction of the Atlantis we are creating.

Artist: Gayle Chong Kwan
+ arts-co.com



I love those pics, the eerie lighting is perfect. It reminds me that plastic itself is pretty eerie.. It’s never going away and we better figure out what to do with it all.

And Mike.. the guilt! Thanks for pointing out my plastic coffee lid last night. When I got home I dug out all those great travel mugs I have and should be using.. and will be for Tuesday nights “I need to be awake enough to drive home after this meeting’ coffee.

It’s been crazy here in the midst of our Plastic Revolution and we have been slacking off like 17 year old but it’s less then an ounce pot head. The kids have end of term exams all this week which at least means no homework, scout meetings, basketball and an awards ceremony for Soccer tonight. This weekend we are goingt to see a play, go to a scout event and then a Falcons game. Sunday is officially homework day for me, it has to be.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Random Tuesday





My boss wears way too much cologne.

Mattresses are entirely overpriced.

I hate having to go to the post office when it’s cold out.

It’s freaking cold out.

I think I look kind of great today.

I think loosing all this weight has inflated my ego.

I have to write a poem about a kiwi.

All my bills are paid and on time this month.

We made pumpkin bread this weekend and it’s already all gone.

I wish Tuesday Scouts was at 6 and not 7.

I wish Alexander was on this coast and not that coast.

I need to get keys made today.

Does the White House use CFLs?

Do you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Butt!




Part of my day job deals with traffic tickets. Yesterday an interesting one passed my desk.. Littering. A 1500 dollar ticket for flicking a cigarette butt onto the ground at a truck stop. The guy who got the ticket is livid and spent a good 10 minutes shouting at me because I expect him to pay it and pay it promptly. If not, he will be out of a job.

When he calmed down he apologized, he really is normally a good guy. He asked what I thought about the ticket and I had to be honest.. I think it’s great. I think it’s about damn time we started enforcing litter laws. Cigarette buts are trash, they are poison, they smell bad and why should I or you, our children, our pets and our wildlife have to deal with someone elses dirty stinking habit?

It is estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That's billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, beaches, nature trails, gardens, and other public places every single day. In fact, cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate tow, NOT COTTON, and they can take decades to degrade. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque setting, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal.

This has been an on going problem in Holyoke and everywhere. Next time you see someone flick a butt.. walk over and say.. “Oh look, you dropped something” And point it out. Just.. you know.. try not to get shot.

Friday, October 24, 2008

White Privilege



I am white. My friend Sean says I am so white I am like the bleached white flour used in making wonder bread before it’s even mixed with all the water and chemicals. I think that means I am super dorky white. Sean is a big black man from Texas who wants to buy my children Pimp cups (I’m not really sure what those even are). Little does he know I plan to stealthily teach his baby daughter all about Greenpeace and peta! Ha! Win!

Ok maybe not Peta.. I’m not that crazy.

Anyway that conversation got me to thinking about this article I once read..

This is your nation on White Privilege

Go read it, it’s quite interesting.. I will give you a few snippets here.. Warning.. this is politically charged and NOT all are my personal views, I just find it interesting.

White privilege is when you can develop a pain-killer addiction, having obtained your drug of choice illegally like Cindy McCain, go on to beat that addiction, and everyone praises you for being so strong, while being a black guy who smoked pot a few times in college and never became an addict means people will wonder if perhaps you still get high, and even ask whether or not you may have sold drugs at some point.

White privilege is being able to say that you hate "gooks" and "will always hate them," and yet, you aren't a racist because, ya know, you were a POW, so you're entitled to your hatred, while being black and noting that black anger about racism is understandable, given the history of your country, makes you a dangerous bigot.

White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she's disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you then go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you're black and married for nearly 20 years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called "terrorist fist bumps."

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.

White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.


Just something to think about this weekend.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are you sure?



This flier was handed out on Suffrage Day, April 24, 1915.
Notice that there are only 11 reasons listed. Also, the last line of text reads,
"Give this to a friend and ask him to vote for it."



Massachusetts 2008 Ballot Questions
Ballot Question 1: A Proposed Law to Eliminate the State Income Tax

Question one.. I am 90 percent sure I am voting No. It comes down to simple math and common sense. Income tax accounts for 45 percent, on average, of our state budget and that money has to come from somewhere. Losing the State Income tax will not get rid of blight or welfare or pork barrel programs. If we don’t pay it on what we earn we will pay it at the store, at city hall, excise tax, property tax, higher registry fees. I find it much more reasonable to pay tax on what I earn.. If I make 500 a week and you make 1000 a week it makes no sense for us to both pay say.. 300 bucks to renew our drivers licenses. It makes more sense for us to both pay a percentage of what we earn.

Ballot Question 2: An Act Establishing a Sensible State Marijuana Policy

Last year I was approached to sign the petition to get this question on the ballot.. and I refused to sign. I come from a family of heavy duty drug addicts and I was once a heavy pot smoker myself. Those of you who know my oldest son and how smart he is .. would you ever guess I spent the early months of that pregnancy high as a kite? I’m still thanking god for his health every day. The day I found out I was pregnant I never did another drug. What I am saying is that I know first hand what drugs are and what they do.. Pot is not harmless.. it’s NOT like a beer or cigarettes. My instinct is to vote no.. no no no.
On the other hand I would vote to make pot entirely legal and taxable. If it were legal and taxable it would become like alcohol and could be more controlled and dealt with by the public. We can teach responsible use like we do for drinking. Right now all we can teach is ‘No, Pot is bad! Stay Away!” Which is right.. but if we make a little bit ok.. it just seems to me like it makes us hypocrites.
“Drugs are bad!.. but you can have a tiny bit.”
Seriously? Who can say that to their kids?
“Stabbing people in the face is bad! … but you can stab them just a little.”
Ok so I am exaggerating but you get my point, no?
I can’t make up my mind.

Ballot Question 3: An Initiative for an Act to Protect Greyhounds
I didn’t even know about this question. Excuse me while I go look it up.

This proposed law would prohibit any dog racing or racing meeting in Massachusetts where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs. The State Racing Commission would be prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request for racing dates for dog racing. Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the Commission. The penalty would be used for the Commission’s administrative purposes, subject to appropriation by the state Legislature. All existing parts of the chapter of the state’s General Laws concerning dog and horse racing meetings would be interpreted as if they did not refer to dogs.
My grandfather adores greyhound racing and as long as dogs are not being abused I’m not really sure why this is a problem. People race and enjoy it.. Why is it bad for dogs? And why are we so much more concerned, as a society, for animals then we are for people? What about homeless starving children in our own towns? What about abused babies?
Greyhounds? Really? Let ‘em race. I’m more concerned with the decline of the climate and toxins in our food to be too worried over a dog race.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Economical Romance!

If I ever hit my head really hard and get married again do you think anyone would object to this being our wedding song?



Lyrics

Parody of T.I.'s smash hit "Whatever You Like" By Wierd Al

Hey girl,
You know our economy's in the toilet
But I’m still going to treat you right

I said you can have whatever you like (if you like)
I said you can have whatever you like (if you like) yeah, yeah

Tater tots, Cold Duck on ice
And we can clip coupons all night
And baby you can have whatever you like (if you like)
I said you can have whatever you like (if you like) yeah, yeah

Take you out for dinner, anywhere that you please
Like Burger King or Mickey Ds
And baby you can have whatever you like (if you like)
I said you can even have the large fries (large fries) yeah, yeah

Baby, you should know I am really quite a sweet guy
When I buy you bathroom tissue I always get the two-ply
Want it, you can get it, my dear
I got my Costco membership card right here, yeah

You like Top Ramen, need Top Ramen
Got a cupboard full of 'em, I’ll keep 'em coming
You want it, I got it, go get it, just heat it
Dump the flavor packet on it and eat it

Pork and beans and Minute Rice
And we can play Cribbage all night
And baby you can have whatever you like (if you like)
I said you can have whatever you like (if you like) yeah, yeah

I can take you to the laundromat downtown
And watch all the clothes go round and round
And baby we can go wherever you like (if you like)
I said we can go wherever you like (if you like) yeah, yeah

Hottest shorty I know, if you had some lipo
You could be second-runner-up Miss Ohio
Seven dollar bills rolled
Up inside my plastic billfold
Buy you a bagel even if it isn’t day old
And you never ever gotta wear your sister’s old clothes
As long as I’m still assistant manager at Kinko’s
Cut your hair with scissors and a soup bowl
You ain’t got to pay me, that’s the way that I roll

My chick can have want she want
At Wal-mart she can pick out anything she want
I know girl you ain’t never had a man like that
Who doesn’t make you buy generic brand like that, Yeah

You like my Hyundai, see my Hyundai
I can take you to see your cousin Phil next Sunday
But that’s kind of far and I’m not made of cash
Do you think you could chip in for gas?
Mac and Cheese would be all right
But let’s send out for pizza tonight
And you can order any toppings you like (if you like)
I said you can even have the last slice (the last slice) yeah, yeah

Ran myself a cable from my neighbor next do'
Now I can get free HBO
And baby you can watch whatever you like (if you like)
I said you can watch whatever you like (if you like) yeah

And you can always ride the city bus
Got a stack of tokens just for us
Yo, my wallet’s fat and full of ones
It’s all about the Washingtons, that’s right

You want White Castle, need White Castle
Long as you got me it won’t be no hassle
You want it, we’ll get it, just don’t be a hater
If I grab a bunch of napkins for later

Thrift store jeans on sale half-price
The underwear at Goodwill is nice
And baby you can have whatever you like (if you like)
I said you can have whatever you like (if you like) yeah, yeah

Baby, I can give you anything you please
Even share my government cheese
And baby you can have as much as you like (if you like)
I said you can have as much as you like (if you like) yeah, yeah

Dear Connecticut Ren Faire




Dear Connecticut Ren Faire,

This was the second year I took my kids to the CTRF, We actually came twice but I wanted to tell you about Sunday the 19th, closing day from the point of view of my family.

We got there around 1 and thankfully missed the long lines for tickets.It was cold and windy but we were undeterred (Well I was deterred but kids are never cold.) We bought our tickets and missed the college student discount you offered last year but it is still well worth the money. This year I not only brought my children but I brought the 6 year old daughter of a friend who had no idea what this was. She does not speak in front of people she doesn’t know and in public will mostly whisper. She is painfully shy. Unlike my own children who are loud and adorably obnoxious. No, really.

Pirates at the gate had her eyes so wide I thought they might pop out of her pretty little head. We took our Mandrake Mystery paper and realized we should have brought a pencil, but I applauded that you did not give out those little wasteful golf pencils that end up on the ground and in the trash or sticking out of a previously happy little eyeball. That is not an idea for a Zoltan trick either.

Trick or Treating and a mystery to solve! You could not have put together two better things in our humble opinions. The three of them Belly danced for clues and hopped on one foot and had to cross their eyes and tell scary stories, it was really great fun for me to watch.

Most amazing of all was that one booth demanded a song.. from my sweet little princess who had barely uttered 'Trick or treat' for the last hour. (Yes she really is a Princess, I bought her pretty hair bows to make it official) There she stood, like a deer in the headlights

"Do you know I'm a Little Teapot, Little Mistress?"

She looked sideways at me as if to say Excuse me but there is a weirdo man speaking to me and you need to make him stop … I began to interject that she does not speak..

"Yes.." She said, clearly. I shut my mouth and the boys stopped being hyper (Thank the Play Free Devil Sticks guy for the Pixie Stix, really)

There she was .. Miss I am too shy to speak in front of anyone I have not known since birth.. Singing, loudly! And people clapped! I swear, Erin, I did NOT tear up. Much. The kids got their clue, solved the mystery and got knighted. How cool is that? They got KNIGHTED. I cannot tell you how awesome that is to kids.

We watched the Duelists, my boys adore that show (They don't get most of the jokes though thank goodness) and Rosalitas puppets. We ate a pickle and a bread bowl and watched the most dramatic wedding ever! When my little Princess for the day saw that .. How can I express into words the joy on her face? This time I teared up, for real. She clapped without me prompting her and yelled and cheered when the evil Morganna was beaten. She watched Zoltan from start to finish, even when I covered my eyes and turned away. I was worried it might too much for this delicate little flower.. how naive am I? She LOVED it. She picked out some fairy stones and danced to the pirate music.. a little anyway. She was enthralled with the .. Tree Spirit? And still has not figured out how that can be a person in there so tall. I've decided not to explain stilts to her. Why ruin the magic?

My kids, who have a seen it all before kind of pre teen 'tude let themselves be kids for the day. They Trick or Treated and raced around for clues, they battled a man with foam swords but spent so much time laughing at themselves they both got thier butts whipped. Thank you for helping me remind them that being a little dorky is not so bad.

I may sound dramatic myself over all this but this little girl recently lost her mother, two sisters and may soon be losing her grandmother. She doesn't have a whole lot to smile about these days. Shes only 6 years old. Thank you for helping me expand her world a little and see her smile agian.

Next year, I think, we might actually dress up. We want too.. we just haven't gotten up the nerve yet! I guess I have taken up a lot of space here to say, simply.. Well Done.

Always,
ReduceHM

P.S. What are the chances of getting some recyling bins for next year? Or maybe a whole recycling ‘green’ committee? It will help save money and the planet!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Mall Killed holyoke


Everyone is talking lately about bringing big business to Holyoke. I get the thought behind this, tax revenue, lower crime, safer streets, more jobs but I like to think I am looking at a bigger more long term picture.

A Wal Mart in Holyoke will cause pollution, trash, litter, poverty, traffic, strain our hospital and any number of other small trickle down effects. BMaverick is snorting so hard right now he just inhaled his moustache.

I do understand what Wal Mart would bring as well.. more jobs, competitive grocery prices, convenience. I just happen to think it’s worth it, to me, to drive to Big y, BJ’s, Price Rite and even Trader Joes if it means I feel better about my purchases.

Every dollar you, as a person, as a voter, as an American spend.. is a vote. Every single dollar is a vote. Think about that. If you buy flip flops made in china by pre teens who can only pee once a day and eat nothing but rice while working with toxic chemicals that cause burns and rashes.. you are essentially saying to that 12 year old girl that you don’t give a flying fuck abut how she was ripped from her family, half starved, abused and hit.. you just want cheap flip flops you didn’t have to drive more then 4 miles for. And maybe that’s ok for you. I can really understand that. Not everyone has an overdeveloped sense of empathy. Not everyone should.

But it matters to me. If I want cheap flip flops, I will by them second hand, because then my buck, or by then only 25 cents, goes to support something I believe in like the Salvation Army or some Joe the Plumbers tag sale or Big brothers and Big Sisters.

I do not really know if it is possible but wouldn’t it be nice to see downtown go the way NoHo has? Small independant shops, people WANTING to come there. I like spending an afternoon lazily poking around Main St in Northampton. We grab lunch at Bueno Y Sano or Sushi at Soo-ra, Ice Cream at Harrell’s and pick up some groceries at Cornucopia I can’t get at S&S or Big Y.

I take my kids to downtown Holyoke now and then.. I do not want them growing up in fear of their own city. We use our heads.. lock up the car, don’t leave things in plain site etc. I try to shop there.. but it’s just cruddy that nothing is really.. there. We use Chips to fix our car, even though he has no weekend hours and once got hair cuts down there but never will again because no one spoke English and they really butchered my oldest sons’ hair. He wore a hat every day for a month.

Lowes alone will not “Save Holyoke” So tell me.. what will?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Craptacular


The ren faire was great! We will be going back next Saturday as well. On Sunday we drove over to Chicopee and watched the Toy Run leave form the Wal Fart parking lot. How amazing was that! There had to be abut 500 bikers all with toys driving over to Brightside to distribute the gifts to the residents there. For those of you who do not know.. Brightside is something of a modern day orphanage for troubled youth. We even saw a few people we know. Hey Michael!

After that and an extra long trip to Radio Shack so I could hem and haw about getting a cell phone that like.. works and stuff. (And takes pics.. I want a flicker photo stream so bad!) They kind of laughed at my old cruddy phone. It’s worked forever though and it’s CHEAP! It’s just a little tracfone. We have been thinking about dumping the landline though and just using a cell phone. Here is the math..

I pay about 40 bucks a month for Comcast phone service. And then another 30 bucks a month, on average, for my tracfone. I make almost all of my daily calls from work and rarely use my land line. So why not dump the land line and pay 60 bucks a month for an AT&T cell phone and then I can also email pics to my family without having to lug around my camera and then upload the pics later. I think the average cost will even out so I might not actually save but.. along with dumping the landline.. we might dump cable TV too. It’s crap and we rarely watch it. I will miss some channels though.. Food network, TLC, Discovery, Science channel and the Green Channel.. Oh and BBC. Maybe we could just go back to super basic.. That would include some of those channels still I think.

Anyway so after Radio Shack (I have to THINK for a week before I actually buy the phone and all) we went down to McCray’s Farm. All I have to say is…

PUMPKIN ICE CREAM.

Go get some, bring me some too! It was heaven in a hot and crispy waffle cone. There is no better fall moment then that. The little guy got orange pineapple but was not duly impressed. We strolled about the animals, which stank to high heaven and then took a hayride to pick pumpkins. Someone left their trash on the wagon and it nearly ruined my mood. Is that silly? I can’t help it. How hard is it really to throw your shit out? They have cans EVERYWHERE you lazy jerk. Trash on the pumpkin patch is just.. craptacular.

We got great Pumpkins though! Mien was two toned, green and yellow but both super bright. I think it’s actually a gourd. What do you do with a gourd anyway? Can I eat it?

We finished off the day at home making wheat bread form scratch. The price of bread is killing me these days. But this took 4 hours. There has to be a better way. Anyone have any tips on quick cheap whole wheat bread?

Friday, October 10, 2008

After the Bailout




After The Bailout
by Andrei Codrescu
All Things Considered, October 9, 2008 ·

I was sharpening my chain saw when they called me from Washington, D.C., to ask me how to fix the economy.

This request focused my thoughts, or the lack of 'em, to such a fine point, I gave my 14-inch Echo an edge it never had. Good enough for cutting half a cord at least, to keep the wood stove going through October. I love not paying the oil company a nickel. Except for the half-gallon of gas and the chain oil, but I'm fixin' to make the thing run on plum brandy. I've got a plum tree.

Ah, where were we? The economy, yes: $700 billion is more than enough money to buy every able-bodied American a chain saw, a solar-powered generator and a stake in a communal well and windmill. Also, red dirt and plum trees. That would probably only cost about $100 billion, and you can use the other $600 billion to buy everybody their house outright.

Now everybody can own their house and be green and self-sufficient, and can go back to whatever they were doing before the world ended: watching TV. Except for me. I was sharpening my chain saw.

So I go back to it, and I see a line of refugees coming up the road to move in with me. Oh my God, it's the '70s again. All my deadbeat friends — dead and alive — are being chased out of their homes and heaven for not owing any money. They are debt-free in a world that can't exist without interest rates. The dead are especially egregious in this regard; you can't squeeze even an extra penny out of them.

Oh, no, now that they are getting closer, I don't even think it's people from the '70s: It's people ... from the future!

It's worse than I thought: These are people independent from foreign oil, carrying solar-powered chain saws, full of American ingenuity. After the bailout, they owned their own homes, they didn't pay into a corporate energy grid, and they didn't worry about food because they grew it on the roof. They didn't drive, because they didn't have any jobs to drive to, and every garage in America was the site of an invention that was so darn beneficial nobody needed anything from the store.

Without worries about money, without a job, and with extra space in the garage to grow food and invent, these people forgot about the stock market, stopped borrowing money, even forgot how to shop — in short they stopped being American. These un-Americans got their exercise raking the compost instead of circling the mall; they home-schooled their children and were never again embarrassed that their kids knew more than they did. Heck, they were in heaven, the place where the pursuit of happiness leads to when you stop pursuing it.

Such self-sufficiency made the economy grind to a halt, so the government had to do something again: They called in the Army to chase everyone out of their self-contained greenhouses.

And now they are coming up the road to my place because I'm a poet, and I live in a compound defended by polygamist haikus.

"What did you do wrong?" I asked the first of the refugees to get over the palisades.

"Nothing," he said. "We just got out of debt and stopped watching TV! So the urge to buy things on credit disappeared. So they sent in the troops. First thing they did was to put a 40-inch plasma TV in every room and fixed it just so we couldn't turn it off. Just like in Orwell, only with much sharper images. They are calling this the Second Bailout, or the Bail Back In."

"At least the Second Amendment is safe," I said. "Nobody took away your guns, and the Founding Fathers didn't say anything about TV."

And with that, my chief haiku welcomed them thus:

make yourselves at home

you won't be bailed in or out again

you're safe in Second Life

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thee, Thou and wow!

This weekend we are heading down to the RENAISSANCE FAIRE. Which is in all caps because I cannot spell and so I copy/pasted that from the page. We went last year for the first time and I will admit that last year I had doubts…

Everyone is going to be a world class nerd.

I will look really out of place.

I will want to laugh rudely at everyone.


Yea.. I’m not really that nice when no one is looking. Within seconds of walking though the gate though I realized that I was wrong. And more.. I was jealous! I want to be cool enough to wear a freaking fairy costume and feel perfectly okay abut it. Seriously! Maybe even some Dragon Pajamas!

Apparently he sells ice cream and that’s really his costume.. It’s no joke.

Check out Tony Mateus blog and visit to the Faire last weekend here. His pics are fantastic.
I avoided the giant Cholesterol fest masquerading as a Turkey leg (but good god that smelled good, for a carcass and all) and watched all the shows.. Including ZOLTAN THE ADEQUATE
Fire eating, insane magic, crowds going wild. It is just a few things you can expect at this magic comedy show you won’t forget. Tat guy rocks! I nearly peed my pants laughing. And those Duelist guys are pretty hot.

I got turned onto it by my dear friend Erin who helps run the faire while working and jogging and obsessing about pasta and spending too much energy making silly people happy. If I can get her to wear some fairy wings I will be sure and post pics!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Well, now you know.



Here are some simple tips to help you in working toward a life without plastic, or a life of safer, more informed plastic use. I borrowed this list and held onto it so long I cannot recall where I pilfered it from, sorry!

Avoid polycarbonate (#7) baby bottles and sippy cups. For baby bottles, try and use glass (e.g., Evenflo), polyethylene (e.g., Evenflo, Medela, Playtex) or polypropylene (e.g., Gerber, Medela) instead. Sippy cups made of stainless steel (e.g., Kleen Kanteen), or of polypropylene or polyethylene (e.g., Avent, Evenflo, First Years, Gerber, Playtex) are safer. Be sure to check the bottle or cup to be sure of the type of plastic it contains. As for baby bottle nipples, try and use silicone which does not leach the carcinogenic nitrosamines that can be found in latex.


If you must use polycarbonate (#7) bottles, avoid heating food and drink in the bottle. Heat it in a separate container and transfer it to the bottle once it is warm enough for the child to eat or drink. If the plastic is showing signs of wear – scratched, cloudy – discard the container.


For drinking water, try and avoid plastic bottles. If you do use plastic bottles made from #1 or #2 plastic try not to reuse them as they are intended only for single use. One alternative is a stainless steel water bottle. For storing large quantities of water, glass and stainless steel containers are also available. If you use a #1 water bottle, try to consume the contents as soon as possible because leaching of antimony increases with time.


Try to avoid heating foods in plastic containers, especially in the microwave oven, which can cause the plastic to degrade and leach chemicals faster. As well, leaching increases when plastic comes into contact with oily or fatty foods, or when the plastic is scratched, worn, cracked, or sticky.


Use plastic wraps with caution, especially in the microwave, and try to keep the plastic from touching the food. Alternatives include wax paper or paper towels.
Try and use alternatives to plastic packaging and storage containers. Cloth, paper or cardboard are possibilities for transporting groceries. Stainless steel and glass food storage containers are available.


Avoid plastic dishes and utensils for meals. Alternatives include glass, ceramic, wood, stainless steel, and lacquer ware. Offer your child or grandchild a non-plastic dish set made of either stainless steel or wood (safely coated using the Japanese lacquer technique).

By the way, I have no idea what the safer japanese laquer technique is or if I even spelled that right but I DO know what Bento Boxes are and 'Laptop Lunches' both are very cool and most are earth friendly though not excatly wallet friendly and since frugalness supercedes eco awareness in my world.. my kids just eat school lunch and I sigh deeply wishing I had the time or money (or energy, lets face it) to pack them up a delicious healthy lunch that they wouldnt be afriad of getting picked on for.

Coming soon.. The Farm, The Painting and the Transfer Station.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bail who out?


I'd like someone to come and buy my bad debt and bail me out. I made some bad choices.. Why isn't anyone cleaning up my mess? I also bought a vacuum that works like crap; the government should come and fix that too. -tic-

In all seriousness.. I think this big bailout is a bad idea.. coming at the end of a long line of really shitty ideas. Like war, destruction, taxes, sub prime lending! (I was I the only broke single parent who choose NOT to take one of those loans? Where my bailout for that GOOD choice??) George bush is determined to make sure he goes down as the worst president ever, anything good he ever did will be forever erased by this last big bang.

Maybe letting the American economy suffer is not such a bad thing. So a few people won't be able to buy Wii's this Christmas, boohoo. Maybe seeing a few victory gardens won’t be so bad. Canning food? Not that hard, I have been doing it for ten years. Stretch a meal, add beans, there cheap and healthy. Buy second hand clothes, it's easier then you think and no one will actually know. Learn to budget! I have a fantastic link on how to budget that’s so easy a toddler could do it.

Why would it be so bad for Americans to get a little financial smack upside the head? We consume too much and we waste too much. We should have to tighten our belts. This government bailout is a cop out and does a disservice to the taxpayers. Why should *I* have to pay for a bunch of rich guys to stay out of debt/ Are those same guys going to forgive my debts/ or yours? -Insert canned laughter-

By the way.. my kids are getting a Wii because they and I saved for one. Shocking concept.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The good, the bad and the cancer causing causing crap.


Now that you know what each of the numbers represents, here are the kinds you should look for at the store:

Safer Plastics

#2HDPE, #4LDPE and #5PP

These three types of plastic are the healthiest. They transmit no known chemicals into your food and they're generally recyclable; #2 is very commonly accepted by municipal recycling programs, but you may have a more difficult time finding someone to recycle your #4 and #5 containers. Milk, water, and juice bottles, yogurt and margarine tubs, cereal box liners, and grocery, trash, and retail bags. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. # 4 LDPE Some bread and frozen food bags and squeezable bottles. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones, but not as widely recycled as #1 or #2. #5 PP Some ketchup bottles and yogurt and margarine tubs. Hazardous during production, but not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones. Not as widely recycled as #1 and #2.



#1 PET

#1 bottles and containers are fine for single use [what is fine about single use???] and are widely accepted by municipal recyclers. You won't find many reusable containers made from #1, but they do exist. It's also best to avoid reusing #1 plastic bottles; water and soda bottles in particular are hard to clean, and because plastic is porous, these bottles absorb flavors and bacteria that you can't get rid of. Also used to make soft drink, water, sports drink, ketchup, and salad dressing bottles, and peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars. Not known to leach any chemicals that are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.


PLA

PLA (polylactide) plastics are made from renewable resources such as corn, potatoes and sugar cane and anything else with a high starch content. The starch is converted into polylactide acid (PLA). Although you can't recycle these plant-based plastics, you can compost them in a municipal composter or in your backyard compost heap. Most decompose in about twelve days unlike conventional plastic, which can take up to 1000 years.

Plastics to Avoid

#3 PVC

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is often used frequently in cling wraps for meat. However, PVC contains softeners called phthalates that interfere with hormonal development, and its manufacture and incineration release dioxin, a potent carcinogen and hormone disruptor. Vinyl chloride, the primary building block of PVC, is a known human carcinogen that also poses a threat to workers during manufacture.Most cling-wrapped meats, cheeses, and other foods sold in delicatessens and groceries are wrapped in PVC. To soften into its flexible form, manufacturers add “plasticizers” during production. Traces of these chemicals can leach out of PVC when in contact with foods. According to the National Institutes of Health, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), commonly found in PVC, is a suspected human carcinogen.


#6 PS

This is baaaad stuff. Extruded polystyrene (#6 PS; commonly known as Styrofoam) is used in take-out containers and cups, and non-extruded PS is used in clear disposable takeout containers, disposable plastic cutlery and cups. Both forms of PS can leach styrene into food; styrene is considered a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It may also disrupt hormones or affect reproduction. Foam insulation and also for hard applications (e.g. cups, some toys) Benzene (material used in production) is a known human carcinogen. Butadiene and styrene (the basic building block of the plastic) are suspected carcinogens. Energy intensive and poor recycling.


#7 PC

#7 Polycarbonate (PC) is found in baby bottles, 5-gallon water bottles, water-cooler bottles and the epoxy linings of tin food cans. PC is composed of a hormone-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A, which has been linked to a wide variety of problems such as cancer and obesity.Baby bottles, microwave ovenware, eating utensils, plastic coating for metal cans. Made with biphenyl-A, a chemical invented in the 1930s in search for synthetic estrogens. A hormone disruptor. Simulates the action of estrogen when tested in human breast cancer studies. Can leach into food as product ages.

But don't worry, the government will keep you safe.. right?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Little Giggles

I said to bigkid tonight.. "I should laugh more, shouldn't I? I am too tense and worried all the time."

And bigkid said.. "I'm not like that!"

And I said.. "One day you will be all grown up and be that way too."

And bigkid said.." No, Mom.. Laughter will always be my second language."

What a wonderful thing to think. Laughter should be everyones' second language.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Plastics, De-coded


If you click on the above photo the picture will open larger for easier viewing.
There are many types of plastic in common use. Plastic must be sorted by type for recycling since each type melts at a different temperature and displays different properties. The plastics industry has developed identification codes to label different types of plastic. The identification system divides plastic into seven distinct types and uses a number code generally found on the bottom of containers. The following table explains the seven code system.

Plastic #1: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE)
Common uses: 2 liter soda bottles, cooking oil bottles, peanut butter jars. This is the most widely recycled plastic and often has redemption value under the "Bottle Bill."

Plastic #2: High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Common uses: detergent bottles, milk jugs.

Plastic #3: Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Common uses: plastic pipes, outdoor furniture, shrink wrap, water bottles, salad dressing and liquid detergent containers. Please note that plastic bags are not accepted for recycling curbside. However, stop and shop and Big Y Supermarkets accept plastic bags for recycling. Please remove food waste and receipts.

Plastic #4: Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
Common uses: dry cleaning bags, produce bags, trash can liners, food storage containers. Safeway Stores and Lucky Food Centers accept HDPE (#2) and LDPE (#4) plastic bags for recycling.

Plastic #5: Polypropylene (PP)
Common uses: bottle caps, drinking straws. Recycling centers almost never take #5 plastic.

Plastic #6: Polystyrene (PS)
Common uses: packaging pellets or "Styrofoam peanuts," cups, plastic tableware, meat trays, to-go "clam shell" containers. Many shipping/packaging stores will accept polystyrene peanuts and other packaging materials for reuse. Cups, meat trays, and other containers that have come in contact with food are more difficult to recycle.

Plastic #7: Other
Common uses: certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware. This plastic category, as its name of "other" implies, is any plastic other than the named #1-#6 plastic types. These containers can be any of the several different types of plastic polymers. Recycling centers cannot recycle plastic #7. Look for alternatives.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This is not real.




I had to share this post made by Crunchy Chicken over at .. http://crunchychicken.blogspot.com/ Go check her out.

Why I love Sarah Palin
As the Republican National Convention wraps up I thought I'd take a moment to publish this list. I think it's very enlightening.

Top 5 Reasons Why I Chose Sarah Palin as my VP
by John S. McCain

1. She knows how to cook a mean wolf steak with polar bear sauce

2. She's young and hot and well, who knows whether or not Cindy will be in a disfiguring accident - it's good to have a backup

3. When I go hunting with her, I don't have to worry about getting accidentally shot in the face

4. She's good at eliminating, I mean, firing people, so I don't have to get my hands dirty if someone doesn't, well, work out

5. Cindy, Sarah and I would make a great threesome

Googled Holyoke Pics and got these...

Any idea where this was excatly?

For all intents and purposes, the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside is–at least for the moment–the largest mall in New England. It will soon be eclipsed by the Natick Mall, which is nearly doubling in size, and technically, the Northshore Mall in Peabody, Massachusetts is the largest shopping center in sheer square footage. However, Northshore’s floorspace is tucked into its five massive anchor stores, two of which are currently dark, while Holyoke Mall is a true giant.
View from Mt Tom. So pretty!


Holyoke High School Football Field. Has it ever looked so nice agian?


Holyoke Childrens Muesum. Giant germ fest.

Just a lazy sunday picnic in the hood.












Thursday, September 4, 2008

Disguntled


I have a friend who saves her pee, dilutes it and uses it to fertilize her garden. I have another friend who washes all her laundry by hand to save water. Another who makes all her own shampoos, soaps and skin products. Several who can their own winter fruits and veggies. And a handful who are making a huge effort to buy NO plastic what so ever.



Me? I do the little things. I pick up other peoples trash, I buy the product with less packaging when given the choice. I buy mostly organic. I use less harsh detergents and soaps. I turn down the heat and I try very hard not to buy plastic crap.


So when someone who doesn't even know me that well makes a joke about my eco-awareness.. it's funny, even to me, the first time. The second time I chuckle, the third time you get a dead pan stare and the fourth time I am going to start making fun of your faults and believe me.. I will out funny you.



No one likes having their beliefs trounced. And these are not my beliefs. It isn't like being an atheist or a catholic. It is not black and white. The world is hurting, the planet is suffering, these are facts. Look out your window and you will see it yourself. I am saving the world today, one square inch at a time.


What the hell are you doing?


All photos were pilfered from this fantastic article, it really is worth a quick read.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Buh Bye Summer


Rudds! is it already closed for the season? I feel like Rudds has single handedly cut off Summer. Like a pissed off girlfriend. Is it really closed? has Rudds given us all summer blue balls??

Or is Rudds just playing hard to get?

When does the Holyoke Public Library start Fall hours? I hate the summer hours. They close at like 6 pm. I like to take my kids there during the school year once or twice a week and do our homework together. I find we all get more done when we are away form the distractions of home.

What else happens in Holyoke to tell us that summer is over and winter is about to come and laugh at us as we shovel out our driveways?


By the way.. does anyone else find the shape of Holyoke to be.. rude?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The BPA Primer


I borrowed the following from The Green Mommy. It is an excellant explanation of BPA which is a main componant of most plastics. Plus I have nothing interesting to say today except that Holyoke did a great job on the Fireworks!


What is Bisphenol-A (BPA)?
BPA is a chemical compound invented in the
late 19th century by a Russian chemist. Manufacturers use this industrial
chemical to primarily to produce polycarbonate plastics like plastic water and
baby bottles, plastic children’s toys, pacifiers, CDs and DVDs, medical
equipment and much more. It is also used to manufacture epoxy resins like those
found in food cans, circuit boards, dental sealants and some paint.

In short, if it’s plastic it probably contains BPA. The US, on average,
manufactures almost 800 million kilograms of the stuff each year. It is
everywhere.

What’s wrong with Bisphenol-A (BPA)?
Oral toxicity of BPA is
relatively low. For example, your average lab rat would have to eat 3.25 grams
of the stuff to kick the bucket. But I doubt any of my readers would consider
pouring themselves a bowl of BPA and chowing down.

The real concern regarding BPA lies in consistent, long-term exposure
to the chemical. You see, BPA is a known endocrine-disruptor. The chemicals that
comprise BPA–when compounded as they are–mimic estrogen in the body. Our medical
and scientific community has known about BPA’s estrogenic effects since the
early 1930s. That’s almost eighty years.

What are the health risks and diseases associated with exposure to BPA?
The risks are many, and great. As more research continues on the subject of
BPA exposure and health issues, the chemical is linked to a greater number of
diseases. This represents a short list.
Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
Lupus
Breast Cancer
Prostrate
Cancer

Reproductive System Cancers
Ovarian Cysts
Decrease in Male Fertility

But isn’t our exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) minimal?
“Minimal” is a
subjective term.
The American
Chemistry Council
, PlasticsEurope and Japan Chemical Industry Association over at Bisphenol-a.org would have you
believe that your exposure to BPA is minimal indeed and utterly safe, but do you
really trust the industry–those who profit on the continued production of this
chemical–to give you a straight and honest answer on its safety?
Sadly, a 6-year
study on BPA exposure
indicates that 95% of the adult population is so
exposed to BPA that we actually excrete the chemical in our urine. A different study conducted in 2003 and 2004 concluded that 93%
of tested children excrete the chemical through their urine. The chemical is
also present in the amniotic fluid of pregnant mothers as well as the cord blood of the infant at birth.

When it comes down to it, do you want to to expose your body or your
children’s bodies to any level of a known endocrine disruptor or human
carcinogen?

What’s the government doing about bisphenol-A (BPA)?
While the US
government seems to have little interest in protecting its population from the
negative effects of BPA, other governments are taking the lead in fighting
against BPA’s manufacture and use. On April 18th of this year, Canada became the first nation to ban the use of BPA in baby
bottles
thus helping to protect the nation’s youngest citizens from greater
exposure to the chemical. Canada’s ban is slated to become law in October 2008.
The City of San Francisco, always a forerunner on issues such as this one,
banned the sale of products for young children that contain BPA (like baby
bottles) in 2006.

If you are concerned about BPA exposure and would like to see your
government follow Canada’s lead, contact your legislative representatives. (US
citizens can do so here.)
How are we exposed to Bisphenol-a (BPA)?

While BPA is everywhere, food and drinking containers seem to pose the
single greatest risk for BPA exposure for adults and children, while the fetuses are exposed to the chemical through their mothers.
Breast-fed infants are exposed to limited amounts of BPA through their mothers’
milk while infants who are formula fed are exposed to approximately 11 times
that amount through infant formula and plastic baby bottles.

Examples of Products Containing Bisphenol-A (BPA):
While this list
is hardly complete, it should offer you a good idea about the types of products
you should avoid if you intend to limit your exposure to BPA.

Cans of Food: Cans of food are often manufactured with a lining that
contains BPA. The purpose of this lining is to protect the food contained
therein from the metal of the can. It also helps to prevent canned food from
developing that off-taste that marks it as, well, canned food.
Plastic Water
Bottles: Water bottles made of polycarbonate plastic often contain BPA. The risk
of BPA leaching from the bottle into your water increases with subjecting your
bottle to extreme temperatures like sending it through the dishwasher or placing
it in the freezer.
Infant Formula: Cans of infant formula are a notorious source
of BPA exposure
. The lining in the cans of both powdered and liquid formula
contains BPA. When the formula is fed to an infant, that infant is ingesting
BPA. Indeed, 1
in 16 babies fed formula are exposed to harmful levels of BPA
.

Plastic Baby Bottles: Like polycarbonate water bottles for adults,
plastic baby bottles also pose a risk for BPA exposure. The risk might even be
considered greater since these bottles and the formula in them are often heated
which increases the rate at which BPA leaches.
Plastic Food Containers:
Plastic food containers often contain BPA and, like baby bottles, the rate at
which BPA leaches from the container and into your food increases with extreme
temperatures. So microwaving your container is a bad choice as is freezing it.
Other Sources: Without a doubt, food containers comprise our biggest source
of exposure to BPA, but that does not mean it is our only source of BPA
exposure. Indeed, BPA is an ingredient in many other manufactured products such
as CDs and DVDs, baby pacifiers, children’s toys, sports equipment etc.

Limiting Your Exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA)
While you cannot avoid
exposure to BPA entirely, you can limit your exposure to the chemical by using
appropriate forethought, caution and by purchasing products that are BPA-free.
Glass Jars: As an alternative to canned foods, you can purchase foods in
glass jars or jar food yourself with mason jars. While the
lids on these glass jars may still contain an epoxy with BPA, that is a
considerable amount less than a can that is completely lined with the same epoxy
resin.
Non-plastic Water Bottles: Ditch your polycarbonate plastic bottle
and opt for a water bottle that does not contain plastic. Sigg water bottles offer an
excellent alternative to polycarbonate plastic water bottles and are attractive.
They also have a lovely line of kids bottles that could replace a BPA-containing sippy cup.

Breastfeed: Breastfeed your baby and continue to breastfeed your child
until they are ready to wean. By breastfeeding you not only limit your baby’s
exposure to the BPA in the lining of formula cans, but you also limit your
baby’s exposure to the BPA in plastic baby bottles. If you encounter
difficulties breastfeeding look into support from organizations like La Leche League and consider milk sharing or donor
milk programs
that will get the good stuff into your baby’s belly.

Use BPA-free Baby Bottles: If feeding your baby at the breast is not
always possible, and you must use a bottle either occasionally or frequently,
try using glass baby bottles or BPA-free baby bottles. We used glass
baby bottles from Even-flo
for my son. BornFree bottles are BPA-free and present an excellent
alternative to polycarbonate plastic baby bottles.
Non-plastic Food Storage
Containers: My heart will always rest with mason jars since they’re relatively inexpensive and fairly
accessible. I use them for food storage, not just canning.
Other Sources:
When it comes to children’s toys, switch from numerous cheap plastic toys to a
few hand-selected wooden or cloth toys. There’s a handful of
BPA-free pacifiers like those made by Gerber which
are made of latex and those made by Binky which are silicone.




Friday, August 29, 2008

EcoBags


I ran over to Stop and Shop last night to pick up a few things for supper and to use a couple of coupons. I had a rain check for pencils. Anyway, it was one of those rare times when everyone I interacted with at the store was perfectly nice and helpful. The cashier especially was an absolute doll. I had several complicated coupons, my rain check, two free items and my own bags. What's more is that she remembered me and my bags! I use organic cotton string bags and when someone compliments them I immediately whip out a card for this site.
I had given her a card before and she actually checked out the site! yay! The more people that buy these bags, the better. Did you know that for every reusable shopping bag you use at Stop and Shop they take a nickel off your grocery total? It's not much, I know but last night I saved a quarter. If I saved a quarter a week that would be about a dollar a month and 13 bucks a year. For thirteen bucks I can take my kids out for ice cream. Buy an inner tube for their bike; buy myself a small lobster, new make up, a pair of clearance shoes at payless, five cups of coffee at DD or three gallons of gas. Oh, and I earned another 10 cents off a gallon gas which will come in handy if gas jumps again due to Hurricane Gustavo.
The boy who set fire to the parsons Mill in June was found guilty. Being that he is only 13 though we will never know what happens now. Does he go home? Lock up? Foster Care? I hope it's not lock up; kids just come out worse from those places. I say that only because I know it to be true. I worked with those kids. Maybe this case will be different. Who knows?
Fireworks tonight! I'm so glad Holyoke is still having them. The kids and I are going to watch them with the Republican Social Worker and his kids. What are you doing for the fireworks?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sauce, I makes it.

Less then a week until School starts. Is anyone NOT excited? Well, besides kids. We met the kids new teachers this week already and I already know of them, she is fantastic and just pushy enough to keep my little guy on his toes.

Gas is still at 3.56 at my local Stop and Shop, plus 10 cents off every time i spend 50 bucks in the store. How sad is it that i think that's cheap!

Big Y has local tomatoes on sale this week for a dollar a pound, yay! I'm thinking about picking up about 20 pounds and making some yummy pasta sauce for the winter. Opening a canned jar of summer 'mater sauce in january is like crack for your taste buds. Seriously.

Apparently I have nothing really interesting to say today, but I have not yet checked out Masslive. :o)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Polluters


Pollute

Rustle Rustle..
In the grass.
The soft wind
Blows across the soccer field.

Hurry Hurry
Cry the kids.
The warm air
Stinks of some stupid guys cigarette smoke.

Puff Puff
The man huffs.
The hot ash
Falls to the ground to meet the dirty squished butts of his brothers.

I'm taking a poetry class this semester. I wonder if bad poetry still gets an A for effort.

We are only in week 2 of soccer season and already people are trashing it up. leaving Gatorade bottles littering the field, flicking butts all over the parking lot. Little bags of chips fly around in mini sidewalk hurricanes. Then they go home and scream at their kids for leaving a wet towel on the floor. Seriously?

My car is always messy but I don't mind. It's messy because I pick up the trash they leave behind. But not with a Nifty Nabber -ahem-. Nothing drops from my hand to the ground. I take it home and toss it in my recycle bin. It is probably the simplest thing I do all day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Drop at a Time

I'm back! It's been so long since I last posted I am sure I haven't any readers left, in fact I think I can hear a cyber echo in here. Holyoke is much the same, though wetter these days. We had some crazy rain for a weeks and most of my tomato plants keeled over. My peppers are starting to grow though!

Pom, my once favorite juice, has gone over to the dark side and now uses plastic bottles. Their website has a bunch of reasons why, such as it creates less pollution to make plastic bottles as opposed to glass (Can that really be true?!) But ignores the fact that glass can be reused, repurposed and easily recycled. If you leave glass in a landfill it will never turn toxic, it won't kill birds and fish and eventually it will break down. Plastic is forever, like diamonds but less sparkly. I have no favorite juice now AND I am running out of drinking glasses.

My Eco-Kids are doing well and soccer season is on it's way. I am dating a republican social worker... that's actually not a joke either. Ha! We have gotten our weekly trash down to about 2 bags full! The recycle bin is chock full every two weeks. Keep in mind though I hope to eventually only have one bag of garbage and nothing in the recycle bin. Sadly cutting out plastic is extreamly hard for us. Sometimes it's a time issue, as in I don't have time to search for wooden toothbrushes. Sometimes it's a price issue, I can't afford 50 dollar mascara in a metal only tube. And sometimes it's just.. not gonna happen, as in I tried to make my own shampoo but it made my hair feel like microwaved dry 'sgetti. Not pretty.

So I have come to feel that for me it's going to all about doing what I can. I brush my teeth a few times a week with baking soda, but not every day. I use my deodorent rock when it's cooler, but not for the beach. I buy organic foods when I can afford them, but not when the rent is due. I bought a cozy wool sweater to help me keep the heat down this winter. I invested in super warm camping socks for the boys for the same reason. I stopped buying commercial dish soap and sponges and switched to Dr. Bronners and dishrags.

If anyone is still out there.. What small changes have you done?
 
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