Life in the West

Desert benefits

One of the great benefits of living in desert southwest is the early start of the spring growing season. With the end of January comes the arrival of Growers Supply, Ramm Fencing and many other catalogs to get the spring projects underway. With a much expanded garden (double the size) and probably doubling the number of trees planted on the place it will be a busy spring. Probably won't figure out how to incorporate a water wall this year but just might get a system for collecting rainwater.

A bad day

Sometimes it seems days just start out bad and get worse. Then again it could end up getting worse.

A new year....

New Year's resolutions have never been high on my list of priorities. In part it is because I always have a plan. The next few years mapped out, the next goals and important things to work on in life. These aren't things that wait nicely until December and then organize themselves into a great list ready to get a jump on January 1.

None the less, here are some things I aim to do this year:

  1. Stop reading meaningless blogs - There are blogs I read just because I can. The best way to make sure I read your blog is to tell me not to google you. I've been reading some blogs whose authors wish to be anonymous for the last couple of years, not because they are good, just because I can and I know who the authors are. I'll get precious time back by taking them off my list. Same goes for technology pundits who spend more time spreading flame wars than doing productive things. Sure there are occasional gems in the midst of such mud-slinging, but the cream will rise up and be picked up by others who have a stronger stomach for tolerating the junk.
  2. Exercise more - Is there a list this isn't on? Somewhere between the hours of work and darkness I need to find more time to have a life!
  3. Use less energy - The goal will be a 50% reduction in the energy that I consume. It will be a challenge as I've never been one to leave lights on needlessly or be wasteful, but there is always room to improve. In a few years the goal will be to be a net producer of energy instead of a consumer, but that's a ways out yet. A few simple changes to my driving and car-maintainence have already netted a 33% reduction in the energy I use in the car. Getting more conservative will help and there is likely a hybrid in the future, if not this year then next. Anyone interested in reducing energy consumption will find some great tips at the Rocky Mountain Institute website.

On the verge of winter

Less than a month from the start of winter the southwest has turned colder. The thermometer at the ranch this morning dipped into the teens. Of course it could be colder, like it was in Denver.

Giving thanks

The past weekend has been a great celebration of the many wonderful things we have in life. As in too many years past this year saw the marking of Thanksgiving with our troops in harm's way around the globe. While debate continues about the reasons for the current conflicts and their intended goals the inescapable conclusion that oil plays a major role in many of the conflicts around the world.

Beyond being a source of conflict the consumption of fossil fuels is contributing to unprecedented changes in thin outer layer of the planet, our atmosphere. With this time of year providing a great opportunity for reflection, thought and contemplation, and with new-year's resolutions just around the corner it is time for each of us to ask what we might do to help end the conflicts around the globe and make sure our planet is fit for generations to come.

In other words take a few minutes and look at changes you can make today that will have large impacts on our quality of life. Also very important is that folks take a look the facts about the costs. For too many years we've been told that it is "too expensive" for polluting businesses to clean up. The reality is that running cleaner businesses can not only be better for the future, but cheaper and more profitable for the business owners (stockholders) today.

A busy week

It's been a busy week leading up to the Nevada Day holiday Friday. The marking of the 2005 Nevada Day reminds me that 19 years ago I was writing an essay for the What Nevada Means to Me essay contest in Junior High. All the more appropriate that I saw an eighth-grade math test in my RSS feed tonight.

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Calculus would have probably been more difficult if the results were different.


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