A Stick in the Mud for Wind Power

The Vortex bladeless turbine uses the wind to vibrate instead of spin. That makes it cheaper, quieter, and more reliable than a bladed turbine.

Source: This wind turbine has no blades — and that’s why it’s better | Grist

My first question… Does it still create as much energy as the turbines with blades? (It doesn’t).

My next question… What about the birds? I can understand how birds and bats fly into them. The colour is meant to blend into the sky (for human sensibilities, not birds).

As far as noise, we parked right next to one here in Ontario. Turned off the car (the car made more sound than the turbine) and just listened for half an hour. It was very quiet. Out on a backroad, in the middle of nowhere, for awhile we felt apart from all civilization. That feeling of being still after the world has ended.

Without blades the new wind power could be very low maintenance and have far less parts to replace. That’s a good thing.

But, they do produce less energy. The solution offered in the article is to have more of them. Is this practical?

How many can be grouped together before they lose efficiency due to blocking the very wind they rely on? How many land owners are going to want a forest of these on their land? How long will it be before the same people who protested the noise of wind turbines find these have a persistent hum or vibration or some other problem which gives them headaches?

I’m not sure a lot of the complaining about wind turbines is really justified. At least the human complaining.

Bladeless turbines may be less deadly to birds and bats, but we can’t be sure of that.

What will happen with more turbines in the same area of land?

There are no perches for birds. We don’t want to encourage the birds to use them, yet a forest of wind turbines take up space without giving the birds a place to rest.

Of course, the bladeless turbines will also be a colour intended to blend in and not obstruct too much of the view, for humans. Birds may fly into these man made forests and not see what they flew smack into. To a bird a forest of nearly invisible tree stalks without perches or branches waving in the wind to show their location may not work out so well.

Could these ivory towers be made nature friendly at the risk of becoming less tolerated by humans who enjoy the energy produced by them? Could bird houses, bee hives and bat boxes be included? Could they be made mandatory? Would that be unsightly or just unnatural?

Teacup and Saucer Birdfeeder

Source: Vintage Yellow Daisy Flower Table Top from TeaLighted Teacups

It’s such a cute idea. Of course, squirrels, chipmunks and everything other than birds will be in there and gobble it all up as soon as you turn your back. But, sometimes you just need to forget the facts. Also, you could glue the seeds down. Don’t pretend you didn’t think it.

Jewellery as Christmas Ornaments

jewelled ornamentsI like to buy new holiday brooches every Christmas season. My favourite to find (and collect) are the Christmas trees. Next are poinsettias and from there I like an assortment of Christmas things. I do prefer natural themes like birds, pine cones and snow people to the religious themed brooches. That’s just me as an Earth Witch though. Everyone has some part of Christmas which is special for them.

One thing about having a collection is finding a new and creative way to display it and store it (especially if you move often). I have found a few wonderful ways to display, use and show off my holiday brooches – and all my old sparkly brooches if I want to include them.

Decorate with Brooches this Year

You can make a holiday brooch bouquet. I first noticed this as a new twist on the wedding bouquet. Several brooches are gathered up, given a stem and then tied together with ribbon. There are a few other steps, but that is the basic idea. This can work with holiday brooches and be used to decorate inside your home over the Christmas season.

xmas tree broochAnother idea is to create a holiday wreath with your brooches. Cover a wreath form with gathered fabric which you can pin your brooches onto. Add extras and optional ideas like a big bow, some holiday ornaments or pin a few Christmas cards to the wreath with your brooches. Or, use the form of a Christmas tree, cover it with something strong enough to hold your brooches and create a Christmas tree decorated with all your holiday jewels. BHG has a jewelled wreath to give you an example.

A third idea which I have seen is to pin your brooches into the shape of a Christmas tree (use a luxurious fabric like velvet or something sparkly like left over wrapping paper) then place an elegant photo frame around your brooch creation. I found lovely inspiration for this idea at the Moon Diamond Etsy shop.

Rubber Ducks are Spooky Too

Halloween rubber duckiesThe typical rubber duck is yellow, squeaky and cuddly (according to Sesame Street). Halloween rubber ducks look a little spooky. I’d expect some misbehaviour, some tricks and not so many treats.

You may not want to take these rubber ducks into the bath tub with you. Sure they can swim around on the water but, can you trust them? After all, Halloween is not the holiday for good will, jolliness and the eating of large birds. It is quite possible the rubber ducks are not going to be the standard nice ducks, happy to decorate your room and wait for bath time.

That duck wearing the black cat costume, well, it looks like it ate the original yellow rubber duckie. The skeleton wearing duck looks far more like a pirate than a Trick-or-Treater. I’m not sure what the orange guy with the fangs actually is, but I have some theories. The vampire in the sailor suit tries to look non-threatening, even cute. Of course, that’s the one I trust the least. I like the Jack-O-lantern, but I suspect she is actually the leader of the group and the rest are squeaky minions.

Halloween rubber ducksBeware the Rubber Ducks of Halloween:

Don’t feed your rubber duckie. If these rubber ducks grow any bigger or spookier you will have to build them an outdoor pond – to say the least.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a few rubber ducks for Halloween. If you display them at the doors and windows they can scare away all the other little monsters that come out at Halloween. (Except of course, those little monsters related to you).

ducknoteBelow in this post you can see another rival gang of Halloween rubber ducks. These characters have to be sold separately, it’s not a money thing or a packaging thing. It’s the element of danger.

Glowing rubber ducksIf a few rubber ducks don’t scare you… why not get a few more?

You can tuck them all away in a strong box at night. Lock it up tight. That way you won’t have to keep one eye open all night… checking for rubber ducks.

The best thing about rubber ducks is not having to clean up after them. They don’t eat, they might squeak a little but they can be great listeners. As a bonus, Halloween rubber ducks will share their candy (once you give it to them.)

If you were looking for a good pet this Halloween, consider a rubber duck. These guys come already dressed up for the occasion.

Just Another Ordinary Miracle

I love that song. So many of Sarah McLachlan’s songs are beautiful in that simple kind of way. Sometimes I wait for them to put out a ‘best of’ album cause I don’t want to spend the money OR start another collection of any kind of stuff, including CDs or DVDs for music or movies. But, in this case I might see what I can find next time I’m in Zellers. Would be lovely to listen to her at home while I’m writing.

Sarah McLachlan – Ordinary Miracle Lyrics

It’s not that usual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own

Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle

Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?

Its seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Tired of Flying Rats? (Aka Pigeons)


Have a look at these pigeon spikes. Fairly nasty, even I think impaling them could be a little extreme. However, not so long ago they used to be an ingrediant. So this is the lazy person’s way to hunt for pigeons. I bet you could be cooking up pot luck for the whole neighbourhood in some city areas. Feed the homeless potluck pigeon pie!

Although, I think people who live downtown sometimes get confused. There are so few wild animals down there, other than rats, pigeons, insects and the odd raccoon that they consider pigeons to be a real bird. They even feed them, on purpose. It’s really too bad and someone should suggest that they get out more. Out of the city that is. There are real wild animals still left. You don’t have to settle for flying rats who poop all over everything and everyone. City people… there are real birds just a little north of you (everything is north of the cities here in Canada).

I don’t know why these people want to hunt crows. I actually like them. They keep to themselves and clean up roadkill.

Hometown Computer Withdrawl

I miss my computer. It’s upstairs, ripped out from it’s umbiblical connection to the electric power of the great wall of… whatever great wall we have here in Canada, near me.

I keep thinking of things I would do if I was on my own computer. But, I’m not.

I’ve begun to have dreams about my computer. I think it’s sending me psychic vibes to rescue it from the dark hallway of powerlessness and quiet silence. It wants to beep again!

Poor thing.

Did you know that Skye gave the bird…
a new nest? She’s very brave. If you saw the picture of those baby birds you know they were truly ugly. About as far from cute and cuddly as you can get without running out of runway. You could say, Skye is for the birds. If you were so inclined.

Any Flimsy Excuse to Squish a Bug on your Monitor

You know you’re evil when something like “kitten in a sandwich” makes you laugh. Just so you know, I’m evil.

Today, now that I finally began moving things downtown to the apartment, I found a really interesting job here in town. I’m going to apply, to see what happens. Sort of a ‘why not?’ Why not? It’s a community news reporter, freelane for the local newspaper. Too bad I don’t still have the car, that’s one of the job requirements.

I am tired tonight. Tomorrow Gloria is picking me up at 9:30 and we are going out to Barrie to poke around the second hand shops. I’m getting pretty low on dough though, capitalist paper dough. The other kind I can manufacture myself, by the dozens even.

Are you watching Canadian Idol? I liked a redhead girl from London, Ontario but I don’t think she made it into the last batch of kids. I’m not sure cause it got pretty confusing at the end. I’m not even sure if I had her name right, Jen I think.

I like blogging at night. The TV is on behind me. Some foreign movie that I can’t understand but it’s making enough noise to remind me I’m not alone in the world. There may even be subtitles if I was turned around to read them. I’m not though. Too tired/ lazy/uninterested. The only problem are the dratted little flies and other buggie things. They love the light of my monitor. It sucks them in and then I slap them down. Not very nice of me, I know. But, the creatures keep drowning in my coffee mug and really… that’s just downright nasty of them. I have to choose between not drinking my coffee, plucking out their little black carcasses or just drinking them. I admit sometimes I just drink them. Protein and completely free and available. Suddenly I’m reminded of dating.

It’s a Rainy Day Today

Today it’s raining. I can see the wet pine trees outside my window. The birds are out catching easy worms and having bird showers.

These days people seem to have reversed their attitude about children. Now it seems children should be seen, heard and endured. Children should be left to run wild, without rules or any respect for other people or things. My sister has three children and I have none. I really wanted children, a husband, a place of our own but that isn’t how things worked out for me. She has those things and they aren’t valuable to her, not as much as her business/ career and having money.

She was here yesterday with her second husband and the offspring. It was a zoo. I’m not even going to type out all the details. She left us with a screen door to repair. At least the little girls got to play outside with other kids. They don’t get out with other kids usually.

Graham is having a thing cause I’m not ready to move into the apartment. I don’t know how I’m supposed to move in there as it is. I guess I am though. Family can be a blessing and a curse. Mine have a habit of making decisions for me and then making me feel everthing is my fault.

This is moody, gloomy blog post. I’m tired of writing it even.

I’m still looking forward to having my own place downtown. If I can get some kind of job I will be able to do a little decorating here and there. Some little curtains for the basement windows. A new computer desk/ cart which will take up less space than the table I’m using now. Lots of things to look forward to if it all works out.

I am still tired. Having Zack here means I am getting a lot less sleep. He does fine. He goes to bed by 9:00 or 9:30 and gets up about 6:00 (5:30 this morning). I get up when he does, he gets me up. But I go to bed about 1:00 or later. Just trying to get things done, some writing. The writing isn’t going terribly well as I have too many things crowding around in my mind. Still, when I’m not here I know I will be missing Zack. So it’s worth a little exhaustion to spend time with him now.

Ta Do Ron Ron

I will do the template here. Eventually. I don’t actually mind the minimal thing now, it’s starting to grow on me. I’m not fond of the blue however. I really only like blue when it’s that blue and white dresden pattern. I think dresden is what I’m thinking.

If I could do whatever I wanted today it would be a ROAD TRIP day. I feel so bland and the weather is clouding over. Which is fine, I like a good storm and rain. I like being out there in them, feeling the wind and rain on me.

The idiot starlings are back. You may call them grackle, or some other bird name. Everyone seems to think of them as something else. They are like small crows, only the real crows would kick their butt, I hope. I don’t like the starlings. They are greedy, bossy and extremely territorial, on MY territory. Don’t they know they’re birds, I live here – not them. When they get to the egg hatching phase they will chase me each time I dare to go out of the house. They dive bomb my head 2 or 3 times while I make a jog for the car in the driveway. I loathe them as I loathe few of the animal kingdom.

I want to take a large sized badminton racket and whack them with it, take that birdie! I want to carry a big vacuum hose and suck them up, that would surprise them in mid dive. Damned birds. I’d much rather have the crows, they have dignity and wouldn’t be caught with their nest any where near a human house. I wonder if I could coax them into becoming trained attack birds, on the hunt for starlings. Rip their feathers off! Drastic.. maybe, but you haven’t had starlings attacking you every Spring for the last 3 years.