Monday, April 30, 2007
Friday night - Nick & I met my friends Jason & Jayne for a drink (or three) at Orleans in Davis. J. & J. are former co-workers, who know about Nick from reading the blog, but had never met him. Which we all thought was weird . . . and kinda stalker-ish. Situation resolved! We caught up on each other's lives, watched the Sox game on Orleans' big screen, and Jason & Nick got free Newcastle T-shirts. Good times.
After J. & J. left (they were cooler than us & had a second engagement), Nick & I wandered down to Anna's for a belated dinner. A little buzzed, I waxed nostalgic about the year I lived in the area. After a steak burrito & a chicken quesadilla, it was home to my place to watch the first of two Sox victories this weekend.
Saturday - Got up around 9:30, had oatmeal, bananas & coffee for breakfast, sent Nick home to watch the NFL draft, and headed to a student's house to tutor. Rejoined him at his place in the late afternoon & alternated between the draft (we got Randy Moss! I don't know whether to be excited or worried!) and the Sox game.
My college friends were doing a Southie pub crawl to celebrate my friend Tim's girlfriend's birthday. Nick, his roommate Moose & I joined them for Murphy's Law, L St. Tavern, the Beer Garden, and Tom English's Cottage. The blurry pic above is my friend John & I at the Beer Garden. After they all headed home (pansies!), we finished up the night at the Quencher.
Sunday - Around 5am, I got up to pee. Disoriented & still a little drunk, I ended up taking a header into Nick & Moose's bathtub instead. Gave myself a nice big scrape on the chin, for which I concocted a cover story in case the higher-ups at the office were curious. If anyone asks, I opened my car door too quickly & bunged myself on the chin. Got it? ;)
Hours later when we woke up, Nick & Moose heard the story & nearly died laughing. Nick & I then went grocery shopping, which was a good way to ease back into consciousness. Back to his place for a late breakfast of cannoli & coffee and an afternoon of being lazy.
After a yummy late lunch of cheddar-wurst & potato pirogies, I tutored a couple of students. Then, home to my apartment to watch the Sox wail on the Yankees for the fifth time in six games. Huzzah!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
- Replaced three conventional light bulbs (two 60-watt & one 150-watt) with 15-watt CFL bulbs. Not only are these bulbs cool-looking, they will use less energy (in the case of the 150-watt bulb - 10 times less!). This will bring my landlord's electricity bill down a bit (electric is included in my rent) & only cost me $3.
- Plugged my TV, DVD player & cable box into a power strip, which I will turn off when these appliances are not in use. This is a similar savings to the British electric system, where you have to flip a switch on each outlet before the electricity flows to it. It should help me reduce the amount of electricity that "leaks" from my outlet even when my appliances are not being used.
- Purchased the "Puddle Jumper" TerraPass to offset the CO2 emissions that were generated by my recent round-trip to Edinburgh. It cost me $9.95 & came with a break-down of what my money bought. 33.3% went to Renewable Energy Certificates & 66.7% went to Carbon Credits.
- Use reusable bags for grocery shopping. I bought a cloth bag at Stop & Shop (usually near the check-out) awhile ago, but haven't used it consistently. Considering I most often use the self-checkout, there is no excuse for not bagging my groceries in the cloth bag.
- Bring a metal spoon into work for my oatmeal. I eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast & it creates a lot of waste if I throw away each morning's plastic spoon.
- Walk (instead of drive) to the grocery store/Dunkin Donuts near my office. I often take the car (because I'm lazy), but it's a mere 1/10th of a mile away. Unless it's pouring, there's no real need to drive instead of walk.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I've always thought of myself as an amateur environmentalist. I love & appreciate the natural environment, I've made cursory stabs at consistent recycling, and I'm completely anal about turning off lights when you are not using them. I've filled in many, many form letters to senators and large corporations to protest drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, support higher standards for fuel emissions, etc. However, I am fully aware that there is much more that I can do.
Today's email brought a note from Daily Candy, advocating one of the newest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. It's called TerraPass & the basic idea is similar to the idea that allowed this year's Superbowl to be "carbon neutral." From TerraPass' website:
"The first step you can take to fight global warming is to reduce your carbon footprint through conservation. Drive less. Turn down the thermostat. Buy locally produced goods. Then use TerraPass to reduce your carbon footprint all the way to zero.
When you buy a TerraPass, your money funds renewable energy projects such as wind farms. These projects result in verified reductions in greenhouse gas pollution. And these reductions counterbalance your own emissions."
For $79.95, I can buy a "Road Tripper" driving pass, which offsets up to 20,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide. This is about the amount that my Jeep produces in one year. If that seems a bit steep, $29.95 will offset 2,309 lbs. of CO2, which is about 1.5 road trips to my family's summer home on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Or, just $9.95 will buy a TerraPass designed to offset the 2,386 lbs. of CO2 that my recent round-trip flight to Edinburgh produced. You see where I'm going with this? The possibilities are endless.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Since no one I know is the CEO of a large coffee corporation, I can't make a difference that way. However, there is something that I can do, that we all can do: buy Fair Trade coffee. And not just coffee, really. Buying any Fair Trade products is one way that consumers can help raise demand for products that are produced in a sustainable way. I'm sad to say that I saw many more Fair Trade products for sale during my time in the U.K. than I have seen here in the States. But shops that carry Fair Trade products are out there. Here is a way to find a Fair Trade retailer near you.
By the way, the reason I was watching PBS alone on a Friday night (not that there's anything wrong with that!) is because Nick is away this weekend - at a bachelor party (boo! hiss!). However, since I usually spend most weekends at his place, this has been a lovely excuse to putter about the apartment in my PJ's - sleeping when I want to, reading when I want to, and not showering at all! He gets back tomorrow, so I'll have to motivate myself somewhat. Ah well - it was nice while it lasted! ;)
Friday, April 13, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Here's a video of our morning in Crossal and another of our afternoon at Dunvegan.
Sigh - back to the real world, I suppose. ;)
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Standing stone at Clava
Monday, April 09, 2007
Near St. Andrews castle
Thursday, April 05, 2007
The sunset shots are over Duddingston Loch, located between the city proper and Duddingston Village (where my friends live). The pics at the end are in the Sheep Heid Inn, which is a 14th-century pub and one of the oldest in Scotland. It's, as Iain says, "a cozy wee place."
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
Plus, there are currently 679 of them, so I'm actually doing you guys a favor by sorting through them first. ;) I promise some photos tonight.
In the meantime, here is one of my favorites. Nick using the tripod I gave him for Christmas to take a photo of a lovely Isle of Skye sunset.