Celebrating Tiny Houses

I would especially like a tiny house and a tiny car. Otherwise known as a micro house and micro car. What other things have been trending as micro or tiny? Computers of course. But, I’m not a fan of smaller screens. I like to be able to see what I’m doing.toptinyhomes

Join Gizmag as we give a big thumbs up to ten of the most attractive, innovative, and downright interesting tiny houses we’ve come across in the past 12 months.

Source: Thinking small: Celebrating the very best in tiny houses

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?

Sign Aesthetics

I lost track of the source for this one.

  • Aries: Swimming pools, cold drinks in the summer. Hazy orange-yellow sunsets, passionate kisses. Hair touching, long car rides with friends, watching the sunrise. Long naps, yelling along to music.
  • Taurus: Secluded forests, slight breezes that sway tall grass. Long, meaningful text messages, chipped nail polish, the smell of the ocean. Having the music at full volume and drowning out the rest of the world.
  • Gemini: Long car rides alone, windows down, loud music. Poetry, typewriter clicks. Laughing so hard your stomach hurts. The color black and navy blue, the smell after the rain. Existentialism, looking at stars.
  • Cancer: Long, warm hugs. Hand holding, kept secrets and light-hearted jokes. The color blue, dogs, wild flowers that grow in your backyard. The smell of new books, and the sound of an old piano.
  • Leo: Clean sheets, sleeping in late. Sunlight pouring into your room. Stretching, the smell of chocolate chip pancakes. CD’s and clothes everywhere, intimacy. Bonfires, exotic beaches, and slightly out-of-tune guitars.
  • Virgo: Freckles, musical theatre, live performances. Harmonic singing, late night phone calls. Raspy morning voices, vanilla, and running until you’re out of breath. Art museums, dancing, dark circles under your eyes. Foreign countries and languages, dogs.
  • Libra: Smiling between kisses, art galleries, paint-stained clothing. The sound of the harp. Graphite, the smell of coffee. Kept promises, swimming, and colliding hugs. Intertwined fingers, cats, crying, and the smell of burning wood in the wintertime.
  • Scorpio: Comfortable silence, nature, relaxation, being home. Thinking, being with family, the color green. Intelligence, old books, and the calming hum of a car engine. Camping, imperturbability.
  • Sagittarius: Colorful hair, falling snow. Hidden rivers, small towns. Art stores, book shops, the smell of baked cookies. Long, meaningful hugs, hand-written letters. The calm before a storm, candids, canoeing. Friendship, drives at dusk.
  • Capricorn: The piano, antique shops. The smell of freshly baked bread. Herbal tea, late night sketches, seeing someone you love for the first time. Knowledge, the color purple, wit, slow songs, and sarcasm. Long, hot showers, the sound of the rain.
  • Aquarius: Travelling, foreign food. The gentle breeze of a fan in the summer, the smell of watermelon. Peaches, musicals, vinyl’s, black and white movies. Sleeping until noon, iced coffee, tanning. Perfume, the taste of champagne, blogging.
  • Pisces: Hanging plants, baby blue eyes. Trying to suppress laughter at 4 am with your best friend, horror movies, conspiracies. The smell of popcorn, swift kisses, constant eye contact. The Beatles, strawberries, and the color yellow.

Canadian Taxes

Reposted from an email:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he’s fed.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid.

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Airline Fuel Tax
Airport Maintenance Tax
Building Permit Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Death Tax
Dog License Tax
Driving Permit Tax
Environmental Tax (Fee)
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment (UI)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Gasoline Tax (too much per litre)
Gross Receipts Tax
Health Tax
Hunting License Tax
Hydro Tax
Inheritance Tax
Interest Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Mortgage Tax
Personal Income Tax
Property Tax
Poverty Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Provincial Income and sales tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Retail Sales Tax
Service Charge Tax
School Tax
Telephone Federal Tax
Telephone Federal, Provincial and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Water Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 60 years ago & our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middle class, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in “Hell” happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’
I hope this goes around CANADA at least 100 times.
YOU can help it get there.
GO AHEAD – – – be a CANADIAN !!!

You Thought it was Just Baby Shaking…

I read this whole thing in email. I don’t know how or why it was sent to me. I don’t have children. But, as I was reading it I had the thought… why don’t car manufacturers just have a setting which keeps the car from overheating inside? They have many other safety features for children/ parents. It would also save all those pets left in cars.

There are all sorts of stories that are almost identical to Brenda’s, all over the world. They are all incidents in which tired, busy or overwhelmed parents simply forgot to take their kid to a babysitter, or into the house after being out, and they were left to die in hot cars.

Each year in the US, about 37 babies and toddlers die when they are accidentally left strapped in car safety seats or become trapped in vehicles that rapidly heat up.
Since 1998, there have been at least 570 documented cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles.

It has become my mission to speak the message of being a “conscious” parent. I now appear in articles, blogs and the like discussing top tips for mums to slow down and stop being “rushing women”.

Here are some of my top tips to prevent accidents like this:

Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 000.
Be sure all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don’t overlook sleeping babies.
Always lock your car and ensure children do not have access to keys or remote entry devices. If a child is missing, always check a pool first, then the car, including the trunk.
Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is in the seat, place the stuffed animal in the front seat with the driver. Or, place your purse or briefcase in the back seat so that you will have to look in the back to retrieve it, thereby seeing your child.
Make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car. I see some stores has a sign on its entrance that reminds shoppers to be sure that they have all their children out of the car before they go in the store.
Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up to daycare

Where the Wild Things Are: A Pagan Celebration

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, September, 22, 2003.

Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox. I should be doing something, celebrating the changing seasons. But I’m not. I’ll be at work from 9:00am till 8:30 at night. By the time I’m done I will be too tired to drive myself home. But, I have to do that so I’ll manage somehow. Times like that I’m so glad it’s the car that does all the work!

Anyway, real life does interfere with how Wiccan or Pagan we would like to be. That’s ok, it’s reality. If I was to skip work and the big meeting after work, that would be living in some unreal imaginary world of my own creation. I have to work to make money to pay for my car, my rent and the clothes I wear while I do all those other things. Now and then I even treat myself to a new book, a fancy coffee or a day of window shopping.

It’s ok to live in the real world. It’s ok to miss a Pagan celebration. It would be nicer to not miss it. But, really as long as I’m alive and still on this planet I’m not missing a thing. As I drive I’ll be looking at the darkened forest I drive through on the way home. I’ll be watching for deer and foxes who sometimes show up along the roadside in the evenings. I’ll be listening to the sounds of the night as I drive with the windows down to let in all that cool night air and the scent of crisp Autumn leaves.

You may not light candles, perform rituals or chant pretty rhymes but that doesn’t mean you’re not celebrating along with the rest of the world. It’s what you have in your heart, mind and soul that matters, even if you only express it to yourself. You don’t have to prove how Pagan you are to anyone but you.

Show Us Your Debt! | xoJane

SHOW US YOUR DEBT! We’re Coming Clean About What We Owe and Why | xoJane.

My comment on the post:

I had to drop out of college when I couldn’t afford to finish my last semester. I was renting an apartment and sub-renting to another student. When she decided to move out I was sunk. Could not pay all the rent myself. Put stuff on a credit card and I still have a bad credit rating – even though my own checks on it say I have nothing bad. That was over 10 years ago. I wish I had been able to finish college, Corporate Communications. But, here I am. I keep my head above water and my only current debt is a department store credit card which was over $2000 but this tax season I used my refunds to pay it off, mostly. So, I’m mostly debt free but I don’t have a car or anything much to show for it. I wonder if it’s better to have the debt than to not have the debt?