Monday, May 31, 2010

Someday, gasoline powered cars will be the stuff of old car shows

Part of display in Boulevard Park during the Ski to Sea race.

From what I hear, natural gas (often used in home heating) could power vehicles. There's still quite a bit of that in the USA and it burns a bit cleaner than oil. Might work for a while at least.

Lots of bicycles parked around Fairhaven District for the festival at end of Ski to Sea weekend.


Better, more costly regulation of oil industry

Oil has been too cheap. Increased safety procedures and environmental mitigation will most likely add to the cost of producing oil within the US. Also remember that bad things like spills can happen overseas as well. As we increase the cost of domestic production, we should do better than just start importing more cheap oil from overseas.

We've allowed the economy and people's lifestyles to develop around the assumption of cheap oil. Reducing executive salaries can take up some of the cost, but most will likely be passed on to the consumer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bicycle powered blender

I tried one of these bicycle powered blenders at the Farmer's Market. Takes about one minute to make a smoothie. Normally, I don't drink smoothies, but wanted to try this. Cost $5.

Next day, I explained the process to someone who ask me a few questions. When he asked, "cubed ice?" I thought he asked, "cute men?"

The answer was, quite a few cute men around the market.

We both got a good laugh out of that one. I heard cute men when he asked about cubed ice. My mind was following the money thinking, "was it worth $5?" Part of the equation of value is the experience. Cute men would add to the experience.


On another note, today was the festival in Fairhaven which marks the last day of Ski to Sea.

I bought this T-shirt.

Marketing bicycling.

Also, the festival in Fairhaven was more enjoyable than years past. They had a section of booths for non profit organizations. This was a nicer atmosphere than having all of the festival be commercial and a beer garden.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Whatcom PFLAG in 2010 Ski to Sea Parade

Turning the corner of Cornwall and Champion.


Rainbow banner.


Betty Desire and sign for Bellingham's gay pride events, July 7 to 11. That parade and festival will be on Sunday July 11. More details at Bhampride.org.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

They could try pouring drilling mud and concrete into Facebook to slow the leaks

Woops! Maybe that's a solution for the BP oil leak.

I'm not worried about privacy leaks on Facebook. If I put it up there, it's for the public anyway.

On the other side of the coin, it's easy to just feel like a "needle in the haystack" on the Internet. Can anyone find this blog?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mysterious power wheel

Mysterious through the glass of a display window at American Museum of Radio and Electricity. One can barely make it out, but it's a stationary bicycle hooked to a generator. It can power amplifiers for concerts.

There's the reflection in the window of another bicycle parked behind me. Also my reflection in the window.

More information on the power wheel at Makeshiftproject.com according to the sign.

A vendor at the Bellingham Farmer's Market has bicycle powered blenders for smoothies. I tried it last week even though I don't normally drink smoothies.

Bicycle powered appliances may not save that much energy in the great scheme of things, but they can be good publicity. In the home, heating and air conditioning are usually the big energy hogs. On the road, it's motorized transportation and bicycles do help there.

On the other end of the spectrum, I remember some people who went camping in a large RV. Everything in their RV was "power this power that." Power windows, power steering; even the can opener. They couldn't open a can without starting up a gas powered generator.

Monday, May 24, 2010

How I-1098 could even help control state spending. Yes, for the state income tax on wealthy

Washington is one of the few states with no state income tax. I-1098 would create an income tax for couples making over $400,000 and individuals making over $200,000 per year.

It would raise around 1 billion dollars plus cut some other taxes.

Wow. That's quite a bit of money it could add to state government that's strapped for cash even though, I read, it would only tax the top 3 percent of incomes in the state.

Ya, I guess there is a lot of money out there in the hands of the wealthy.

Some say the state should do a better job controlling spending.

Well, what would they cut?

I'm not opposed to that idea either. There's a lot spent by the state on education, for instance.

I'm not against education, but many of our university presidents make well over the amount that would qualify them to pay this tax. Let's tax back some of that income.

Not just college presidents, but there are many other high end employees of the state that would be fertile ground for collecting this tax. Also many contractors who claim to be in the private sector, but end up getting much of their revenue from doing work for the state.

We could tax back some of this excessive income as a way of controlling state spending.

Sounds kind of funny. Pay large salaries and then tax it back.

Well, maybe that's the only way we can get the markets and political realities to solve the problem.

A reason why some of the state salaries are high is the whole "keeping up with the Joneses" idea. They go up when high end private incomes go up. This is what institutions claim they have to do for retaining and attracting talent.

Both government and private enterprise are often locked into a bidding war for what is supposedly thought of as talent.

Maybe some of those high end people are really talented, but listening to news about corporate executives and the 2008 banking debacle, I wonder.

The whole picture, both public and private, is driving up costs so it's time to tax some of that income back if we want to maintain the level of services that our state provides.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Our star, more interesting to me than Hollywood stars

I just found this video about the sun and our new Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite. Produced by KQED TV in San Francisco.
About 12 minutes. Looks even better directly from Youtube in HD mode.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bike To Work Day again in 2010

Yes, they did have great artwork for their poster in 2008 that they used again in 2010. Worth repeating. Image taken from one of their posters. Vince is a good artist.

May 21 is Bike to Work and School Day in Bellingham.

Also I have my own Bike to Work Day page with links to their info pages and my own customized Google Map for the more bicycle friendly Bellingham routes.

Hope the weather is OK, but it's a bit iffy this year. Forecast calls for scattered showers and sun breaks. Many will ride rain or shine. Also one can remember that any day can be a bike to work day except that May 21 is the day in 2010 when celebration stations are up at the party happens early that evening in Boundary Bay Brewery.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oil spill response. She tossed out her car keys after reading my letter to the editor

In 1989, my letter to the editor was a contributing factor for a local woman to throw out her car keys. Bellingham Herald did an article about her back then. My letter was one of the factors leading to her lifestyle change at the time.

This was not long after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Another ride with your politician


New place where the trail goes under I-5 just north of Fraser St.

Flag seen in background is at Diehl Ford.

Each year, people gather with some local politicians to go on a bike ride. The politicians get to see parts of the city from a bicycle perspective.

This year, the group went from Depot Market Square to civic field. A fairly short ride with good conversation along the way. Ellen Barton, seen at right, from Whatcom Council of Governments leads the ride.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More bike signs starting to appear in this area

A dip in the trail along Interurban Trail south of Bellingham.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

I lucked out

Biked up to Fragrance Lake near Larabee State Park on Saturday. Found this table of snacks set up in the woods. A Skagit running club was just finishing up their event. They were about to toss everything so they said, "help yourself to as much as you want." The home made peanut brittle was particularly good.

Thousand point plunge in stock market

I slept through it.

Blink and you probably miss it.

I have a small amount of money in a mutual fund. Hope it rode out the blip OK. I wouldn't know for quite a while as the fund charges a fee for hour by hour access to watching it on the Internet. I haven't paid that fee.