Category Archives: Cheap

Share a ride- Share a bike

Here’s something of interest to all that are looking for alternative and shared (image that concept sharing) transportation. This is a human alternative to dense urban commuting. B-Cycle in Denver, CO is running this concept.

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Digital, smigital

3,2,1 are you ready? Ready for the digital TV switch? Yes/No. OK we have a digital TV and got one of those flat antennas. We have no cable provider where we are ( a rural area) because let’s face it…there’s no revenue to be made out our way. We had satellite and that was OK for a time and then we noticed the same programs endlessly repeated across ‘sister’ networks so that is no more.

We had an old rabbit ears systems that had great reception of the digital stuff…but you know… it looked archaic and stuff. So we got one of those new fangled planar (flat) thingys that was supposed to be DTV ready and can be placed “anywhere” but for best results should be laid flat. OK, just a crappy signal…moved to a wall a got a little better…no high up on a wall …a little better. How damn high does this have to be to work 20, 50 100 feet in the air with a high gain amp? What a joke! Now I’m reading that some people are out of luck because they have ‘advanced’ entertainment centers that will not work unless they get more gizmos to get the ‘improved’ signals. And to top it off the cable networks are requiring some people to get even more (at a fee) stuff just to get this signal. Is digital really ‘better’ or just a way to get a few select industries ( most of this stuff is made offshore) more profit?

Has anyone out there (the viewers) realized that we might get more channels with ‘better’ picture and sound but the content is still the same crap we have had for years? Just because the signal is ‘better’ does not mean the intelligence is.

FIAT to snag some Chrysler?

What happened? I thought there was to be this SMART Car thing and now for the saving of Chrysler via FIAT so they can have a way to get back into the US? I don’t know…I am really starting to doubt the US will see the ‘promised’ economy cars we have been talking about for so long. I have nothing against the idea of bring in some other groups such as the FIAT 500, but I just want to see somebody make a move to get something, anything here that will be saving on fuel.

I have really just thought that gas was going down just before the Inauguration  and then take off like a bottle rocket so we are FORCED to leave oil behind just a little ( to help the move toward more ‘green’ cars) . OH Well…just another bluff.

A possible FIAT import?

A possible FIAT import?

65mpg car made to save US – NOT!!!

So I’m reading about this neat little Ford car called the Econetic that gets 65 mpg. Just when we need something to really help US and the overrun costs of fuel we are told ‘nope not allowed’. You have got to be kidding. This is ridiculous! With the Smart Car still to be really seen here, now we have a chance to have an option. But, Ford says NO (really our environmental rules) to something that would improve our standing in the ‘green’ footprint and fuel consumption arena. And then Ford says it would just be too expensive for us to have it made here! Ford says no, our great government says no, and of course we are being told that WE say no. Come on now! What do YOU really think?We keep being told about all these great fuel saving veichles and yet are told we can’t have them. We are only allowed somewhat improved efficiency vehicles that still are getting about 30mpg or less . My 1972 VW Bug gets 34mpg! How long did it take for us to get back to those levels??? PLEASE COMMENT!

Ford ECOnetic from Business week article 9/19/08 - David Kiley

Ford ECOnetic from Business week article 9/19/08 - David Kiley

We drink too much water and carry it in Nalgene (potential BPA) – wooha!

OK this is getting a little old don’t you think? First they told us to drink 8 or more glasses of water a day. Now they are telling us that we really don’t need that much. Now they are looking at the containers we put it in. What is really going on here?

This chemical called Bisphenol A (aka BPA) is now the threat to us (of the day). But what I have been noticing in this recent hub-bub is that there are a myriad of ads being placed for not only stainless steel water containers but also for using those cardboard ‘brick’ boxes to have food and liquids packaged in. Is it really the BPA that has been ‘reported’ to cause problems for fetuses and the like that is under scrutiny or is there something else going on? I did note on various TV reports that the threats were listed but no substitutes mentioned. In a Green Guide posted back in 2006 there are some alternatives listed that come from Nalgene. But if you look at another Green Guide article from the same year there is an intense examination about this chemical. Remember that was in 2006 this is 2008 and now it’s time to scare folks again in the mainstream media.

However, take a close look at the Nalgene products and see how this not only impacts them, but any company that uses the whole series of plastics labeled with 1 through 7. Now what, most plastics are made with some form or another of petroleum, right? Perhaps there is something more than just the BPA that can cause problems. But here’s the twist. People scared about this will toss these out and it will go to a landfill and get compressed and scratched (the process that releases BPA). Now what? Where does that all go? Most likely in a few years we will be hearing about BPA increases in the water table and the EPA will come up with even more regulations.

Nalgene bottleNalgene JarTSA approved containers

All pictures from the Nalgene Web site: http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/productuses/index.html

But notice the picture on the bottom. These containers have been approved by the TSA for things you can carry your doodads and liquids onto a plane. Yikes! better throw them out as well. Just forget about flying or let alone making it across any airport inspection point without a full cavity search (yippy!).

Corn…Everywhere!

I came across a short series of videos about how much corn we really consume without even knowing it… Does this make sense or not? Why so much?

So what do you think? Are we turning into the next ‘corn fed beef’ ? This is a big concern to me. Another point is that more and more corn is being used to make next generation fuels. This drives up the cost of corn overall. There are alternatives to this using cellulose processing that can make alcohol based fuels from many different sources and does not have to use corn. Leave some comments here on this interesting (and possibly alarming) topic.

An Intriguing little term…’NOprah’

I was reading across several news sites and blogs and came across a new term ‘NOprah’. What does it mean? How did this happen? Could it be that there are people that actually DON’T like Oprah Winfrey?????? It can’t be. There’s got to be some mistake. I mean who could not find the great works and inspiring words she provides on a daily basis in e-media and print intriguing? Then I started to think about new hype that is spinning around her name ( and not given the right to use) on many,many e-products that are pushed on us each day.
Slick marketing people have started to realize is if you use the name Oprah in any way like ‘As talked about by Oprah’ or ‘As shown by Oprah’ we just can’t resist at least reading more about what is being pushed on us. How does it work? Why do we constantly need to have something that a celebrity endorses ( or not really endorses) ? So what? An article released way back in 2006 from the Columbia News Service talks about how we either love or hate these little words uttered by such names.
How many people came here just to find something about Oprah just becuase I tagged the name? Just because a particular satellite radio group mentioned a program starting an the network saw their stock value suddenly raise and Oprah had not been heard yet! Wow! This is fantastic! Maybe a way to monetize your blogs even more?
But let’s pull back a moment and really think about what is going on. I wonder If any of the books, self-help shows, entertainment programs, or what have you would have made it without her. I really wonder what happens in the dimly lit board rooms of the ‘O’ Empire and what the authors or show hosts give up to become part of the ‘O’ legion. I wonder even more how much Oprah is actually involved in these deals (if at all) and if the contracts are more soul binding than realized to a mega-corporation built totally on a name of fame?

I hope there are a few out there will think about cultural icons and what they really do to/for us over time and if we could make it without them. I hope e few of you will leave comments on this.