Saturday, August 13, 2011

Waste Not

Have More

I read a story about international oil prices in the Christian Science Monitor.

It was about rising international oil prices;

“Many are forecasting higher oil prices next year, due to increased global consumption and decreased output from Libya and other oil-producing nations. That could threaten global economic recovery.”

My answer to this was to point out an opportunity for the United States to change from the worlds biggest oil consumer, to one of the worlds premier suppliers.

I wrote;
  • This story presents an ideal opportunity for America to profit, and demonstrate that we care about the future. If we reduce our extravagant waste of energy through conservation, and development of oil alternatives, we would have excess oil to sell to the international market.

KeithTexas wrote this reply;
  • Hey happy, if we started your plan today how long would it take to see tangible results?

I replied, (as Happy Phil);
  • If we all reduced our unnecessarily extravagant consumption by 20%, we would see dramatic results in savings immediately.  Right now, we consume 19,148,000 barrels/day of petroleum. We export 2,024,000 barrels/day. If we did a few conservation techniques, (air pressure in tires, a lighter foot on the pedal, stop taking unnecessary trips to the store, change the thermostat a few degrees, don't leave the car, or truck idling, etc.), in one day, we could reduce our consumption by 3,829,600 barrels/day and increase our exports to 5,853,600 barrels/day.The possibilities are dramatically positive and provide tangible results the moment we stop behaving like we think there is no tomorrow.

The Buick spends a lot of time in this spot conserving fuel.

At first I wasn’t going to do the math for the guy, thinking that if he did it himself, he would amaze himself with the astounding results, but I thought it might be fun to see just what the numbers a 20% reduction would reveal. I got my figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

There are other sources, like the CIA, but their numbers stopped at 2009, so I chose the current figures.

The U.S. is one of the top 3 oil producers in the world. We could be making money from our resource if we weren’t the worlds biggest consumer.


The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos, referred to as green tomato (Spanish: tomate verde) in Mexico, are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere. Often self-incompatible, tomatillos need a second plant to enhance pollination and guarantee fruit set.
(More from Wikipedia)

When I was out taking pictures in the garden, yesterday, I asked my neighbor, Connie, what these were that she was growing. They were like little lanterns on the vine. She said they were tomatillos, and then she gave me a fresh picked cucumber.

Another example of the Fibanocci sequence.

I mentioned to Connie that I once was told that traditionally, cucumbers should not be eaten after 4pm. I remembered today, that supposedly to eat them after 4 would give one the hiccups. If I eat the cucumber for dinner, I might just put that tradition to the test.

There are tomatoes a-plenty in the ‘A’ building gardens.

Time To Fret

I was talking to John Harrison, (violin maker and guitar player), about how my guitar is getting harder to play in tune. He said it needs to be re-fretted. He also asked if the fingerboard was deeply gouged. After looking closely, I have to say, “Yep, sure is”.

I suppose after more than 30 years of me playing on it, in all styles from gentle to ferocious, it might have a little wear and tear.

I will take it to John’s shop next week and we will see what can be done to bring back its former playability. It is my favorite guitar of all I have owned and played.

Today’s Relatively Appropriate Song;


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