Why not conservation?

In his State of the Union speech, Bush said he wanted us all to cut our gas consumption by 20% by the year 2010.  He proposed more fuel efficient cars and more ethanol as the means to get there.

I don’t understand why conservation wasn’t part of it.  If only 1 in every 5 people who commute to work carpooled, then that right there is a big part of the 20%.  When I drive to work, and I am waiting for a turn to drop off one of the guys in my carpool, maybe 20 to 30 cars drive past me on their way to work.  I’d be damn surprised if one of those cars has more than one person in them, and most are huge SUV type things.  I understand that in many places, people are coming from many different outlying suburbs to get to work.  But here, at least, most of these people are neighbors, coming from very close by developments.  It would add at most 10 minutes for them to pick up someone.

Or, people could plan their week better and make one less trip to the grocery store.  I mean, it wouldn’t be that hard to conserve gas.  It might not add up to 20%, but it would get us damn close.

Ethanol has a lot of problems.  It is not very environmentally friendly.  Beyond the green house gases that burning it causes, the mere fact that it requires fertilization means that the nitrogen cycle gets impacted to a very large degree.  That has a lot of consequences for the environment.

The only real long term solution to solve these problems (environmental concerns and dependence on foreign fuel supplies), it seems to me, is to start just using less of the damn stuff.  Stop putting so much pollutant in the air.  And one real way to start doing that is to conserve.  To carpool.  To plan our days better.  That will help a hell of a lot more than ethanol.

Rooting for Indy in the Super Bowl!

I got one of my two wishes for the conference championships. I was hoping for New Orleans to win, but they couldn’t get it done. It’s nice for my friend Bob, as Chicago is his favorite team. But, at least Indy got past New England, in dramatic style, and that’s who I’ll be rooting for in the Super Bowl this year. Manning is my franchise quarterback in fantasy football, the star of team Blasphemy. So, I gotta root for him.

Time sink: where did my Christmas break go?

One of the things I got for Christmas was Neverwinter Nights, which I’d been eyeing for a while so that I could play online with a buddy of mine up in Moscow. Anyways, I started playing on the day after Christmas and pretty much played all week (fortunately the Lab was closed so my life, while shut down for the week, didn’t get in the way of work).

I created a half-elf monk and played the standard campaign. It was pretty damn fun. I finished the game just last week, having defeated the big evil lizard queen. The story, while not overly deep, was still engaging, especially the betrayal of Aribeth (in the picture). The game play was nice, though it did require a mouse (just playing with the touch pad on my laptop would have been hard).

But, it was several days of just doing that, which is what I feared and the reason I haven’t bought a game machine. I’ve gotten this game out of my system for now, but when I get online with Bob, it might start up again. We’ll see.

Battlestar Galactica

My wife, Lisa, had heard about Battlestar Galactica from some friends and was intrigued. So, she rented the first season or two from NetFlix and started getting into it. Eventually, she got me to watch too.

Now, normally, I’m not a SciFi fan. I tend to like fantasy better. Science people seem to come in two camps: those that like SciFi because of its basis on science and those that hate it because of the liberties and non-sensical science that are often included. I fall in the second camp. I don’t mind fantasy because the rules are just made up and don’t pretend to be based on anything real. But, SciFi has the pretext of being based on science so I have a problem with Star Trek when everything seems to be solved by a “tachyon field.”

BG is different. It is SciFi and some things are obviously pushing things (the jumping of the ships, the fact that it is so hard to tell Cylons apart from humans when they have to be based on different chemistry, etc). But, it is more of a political drama with the SciFi as a vehicle. And, I have to admit, it is really good. I’m completely captivated as well. We are eagerly awaiting the start of the second half of season three.

I highly recommend the series to anyone who just likes a good story.

Blah, blah, blah… I've got the blahs.

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