09 May, 2008

What to do with . . .

Most of the time, my blog posts are personal ruminations or spiritual insights that I express in a journalistic attempt to be supportive of my fellow sojourners. Every so often, I need to simply share information I glean from eclectic sources that I think may have value to someone reading this.

Such is the case for this entry.


Most folks are aware that postal rates are going up on Monday. The increase for first class is only going up a penny (as it did May, 2007; and probably will in May, 2008). If your local post office still has some, you can purchase the Forever Stamp at the $.41 rate and it will last, well...forever. These Liberty Bell stamps can be used throughout eternity if one has the excess financial reserves to buy a plethora of postage. Do I hear stimulus checks?

And while you are in line at the post office, look for the little white plastic envelopes that allow you to mail back small electronic devices and ink jet cartridges through the mail free of charge. The items must weigh less than a pound and fit in the little packets. Not all states are offering this service as yet, but here in California it is available.

Along those green lines of thinking and action, many people are finding themselves the proud owners of analog television doorstops that they will potentially need to discard by February 17, 2009. For some people, if their television is in good working order, they can purchase a converter box and it will continue to broadcast. For many people who have T.V. sets older than dirt, trying to upgrade the sets and the rabbit ears antenna might be too daunting for them. Such is the case of my elderly aunt, Sunny who lives in Los Angeles.

Next week, Don and I will drive up to L.A. with three new/used or refurbished television sets to replace her existing ones. The T.V.'s are from the 1970's and not operating well enough to warrant adding the converter boxes--which my aunt refuses to learn to use anyway. Sunny likes to have a T.V. in every room so she can keep up with her programs whether cooking or moving about her apartment. That is all well and good but we are having a difficult time finding two 13" digital sets and one 15" that will match her budget of $400. And being the GreenBean that I am, I realized that also meant how to consciously dispose of her old televisions, too.

Happily, the internet comes to the rescue again. I was able to research online various sites in her area that will take the televisions for recycling. I have sent email inquiries to confirm that they will accept the TV's and that there won't be a charge for doing so. It is hard enough to educate the populace that electronics cannot just be dumped in the regular trash, but if there is also a fee to recycle, that will be even more of a deterrent.

There are two sites you can check:
http://mygreenelectronics.org/
and/or
www.earth911.org
Simply by entering your zip code you will get a list of places that you can contact for further information. There is even an Environmental Recycling Hotline, 1-800-253-2687

Here is another really cool internet site to help the planet and you:
http://www.catalogchoice.org
This site (that is endorsed by the Ecology Center in Berkeley, California and others), helps you to reduce the number of paper catalogs you receive in the mail. You can register for free!! Although I do most of my shopping online, I llllove looking through catalogs, yet I know most of them only end up in my recycling bin anyway. If you're tired of being green, just think of what you are doing for postal carriers everywhere this holiday season when you lighten their load.

I am on a roll, here...
One other site link that is legitimate is:
HTTP://www.missingmoney.com
You might be able to find unclaimed money in your name. The process is easy and it is free of charge. Be wary of other sites that claim they can find your money for you for a fee.
Although more complicated a search, you can also check on:
www.unclaimed.org

In case you're wondering why I am still beating the green drum long after Earth Day, it is because I am still wrestling with what to do with the statistical information I learned this week. Crude oil is now up to $115 a barrel compared to last year when it was $64 a barrel. While we pay upwards of $3.87 a gallon for gasoline, Exxon-Mobil earned $1,300 a second in 2007. Adding insult to vast injury, the current war costs us $5,000 a second.

Math is not my forté, but that does add up right by anyone's calculations.

05 May, 2008

IS blogging dangerous?

This weekend, I happened to catch an early Sunday morning news show and the segment was inspired by an article in the N.Y. Times by writer, Matt Richtel: Is Blogging Dangerous?

It appears that there have recent deaths attributed to die-hard (no pun intended) or professionally paid bloggers due to their excessive stress levels.

Geesh.

Carpal tunnel wasn't enough of a risk but now we bloggers are having the media warn us of the occupational hazards of our avocation or pleasure.

It is true that the super information highway has become quite the Autobahn of technology but to equate it as a health hazard or risk feels to me, a bit exaggerated. It feels as if the media is looking to find an aspect of sensationalism in this story in order to sell more newspapers which in turn, will send more people online and generate an interest in blogging. And so on.

And what about the health risk of those people who are addicted to reading blogs?

What do my readers think about this one? Are we all in peril for our habit?

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...