Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas lights more efficient nowdays

Christmas lights galore. This house along one of my favorite bike routes across town.

I remember government officials asking people, back in the 1970s, to have less Christmas lights.

Now there is less guilt, partially due to light emitting diodes. They use much less power for same amount of light.

Inventor of light emitting diode was recently on NPR Science Friday show. He was discussing the art of invention. Started working with the concept in 1962.

I remember "sterio light" would come on in a hifi amplifier of the 1970s. That was my first experience of light emmitting diodes. Now thay come in many colors.

If we can't change our consumptive ways, maybe technology can patch the problem for us.

Don't worry, be happy.

Actually, I like technology and innovation. It is what saves us as world circumstances change.

Miniblinds in space to combat global warming?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Bicycle Shadow.

This is the shadow of me riding my bike holding a camera.
Friends were just over looking through many of my photos. Someone said, "why don't you put this one on-line?"

Picture taken on a road south of Washtucna, Washington in 2001.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Problems Funding Local Government In This Narcissistic Society

Today's news says, median price for a single family home in King County (where Seattle, WA. is located) tops $3000,000.

Meanwhile a lot of industry and jobs have evaporated. As industry goes overseas, the source of wealth, for American cities, has shifted.

It is now "home ownership."

This makes it harder to fund local government because industry is easier to tax, politically.

It is easier to tax "the other guy."

The "big bad industrial monster" is easier to tax than homeowners who vote.

Home ownership has become the wealth machine driving urban economies on the west coast.

Appreciation in home value has been so intense that people can earn more, just sitting in a lawn chair and watching their home values climb by, say, $30,000 per year, than working. Industry is no longer the machine for creating wealth that it used to be.

Local government is needing to shift some of the tax burden to home owners, but it isn't easy to do politically. It's "taxing voters." Industry is easier to tax.

With industry in decline, but house values continuing to explode one wonders where this economy might lead.

A topple tower?

What keeps house values so artificially high?

In Bellingham, many new residents have recently sold their California homes and bought up here. They often have enough left over money to retire early. That keeps consumer spending up so our malls and stores look prosperous. Local government finds it harder to tax this wealth than the "old factory" wealth of past decades.

An economy based on Narcissism.

Yet as housing and health care costs continue to go up, the cost of providing government services rises.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Bellingham Peace Vigil each Friday.

Federal Building is now owned by city of Bellingham. It is a historic building still housing a postal substation and some other offices.

A pedestrian oriented substation as parking is limited in that area.


People should be less addicted to oil anyway.

Someone got me to hold his sign about oil while he snapped pictures of the vigil several months back.