Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I'll tell you what I'm very aware of today. This horrific pain from a hernia repair yesterday. Spent a very restless night. I woke up a number of times not only in pain, but sweating like a pig.

Overall everything went as expected. This morning things don't seem as intense. Which I'm taking as a good sign. I was going to try and go to work tomorrow, but I suspect I won't be up for it and will end up working from home.

Gotta run, time for more Percocet :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Awareness vs. Action

Last year was the year of mindfulness, or awareness if you will. Being mindful of the things around me. People, places, sounds, emotions, myself, pretty much everything. It's amazing what you will see, hear and feel if you just pay attention.

I started this out of a search for something to help me be more in touch with my own physical, emotional and spiritual self. What I ended up with is far more. Being more aware of all that surrounds me. There are a couple of books I'd recommend to anyone who is interested in something of this nature. Both by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The fist is "Wherever You Go, There You Are". The second is "Full Catastrophe Living". I made it through Wherever You Go, but didn't quite have the patience for Full Catastrophe. It's a bit more geared towards really dealing at a deep level of living life with all the junk that it throws at you, ie "The Full Catastrophe".

And as 2008 is now in full swing, I've found myself being all too aware of the amount of consumption that my life is involved in. Everything from my driving habits to the amount of paper towels I'm using after washing my hands. So this year is my year of action. I'm pledging to myself to be more active in reducing my waste and minimizing my impact on Mother Earth.

It's amazing the amount of information that is out there available on this topic. So much so, that it can become overwhelming. I'm trying not to be discouraged by it all. And realizing that even small contributions can have an impact. How many times have you heard "A penny saved, is a penny earned"? Imagine if everyone on the earth didn't flush the toilet once after taking a leak? How many billions of gallons of water would be saved? Ok, yea I know, most people don't have flush toilets, but you get the picture.

Today, I'm starting to try and reduce the amount of paper that comes into my mailbox. I've already been reminding myself to put the junk mail in the recycling. But, I really want to get rid of it all together. No paper wasted and hopefully some minimal impact on the amount of energy it takes to produce and deliver the crap. The Direct Marketing Association has some pretty simple steps that you can follow to reduce the amount of mail coming into your mailbox. They've provided a short list of things you can do. Such as opting out of those annoying "You're Preapproved" offers and how to get your name off of mailing lists all together. So, hopefully I'll start receiving less mail in the near future.

Of course the user experience in removing your name from list really sucks. I'm not really 100% sure what I opted out of. But at least I should receive some reduction in mail in the coming months.

One other thing you can do to reduce the amount of mail, is to sign of for online billing or have your bills directed to your credit card. I think I've got just about everthig either "e-billed" or showing up on my credit card. With any luck I won't be getting any mail at all!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super fat birthday Tuesday

22 primaries, Fat Tuesday and my birthday, all on the same day. I should have gone to New Orleans and celebrated. Instead, I'm here in Madison waiting for the 9+ inches of snow that is headed our way.

Speaking of primaries and candidates, I had two very interesting conversations in the past week. One with a friend, who in the past has been relatively liberal in his view points. When I asked what his take on the candidates were, he stated that he was leaning towards supporting John McCain. Which really surprised me. Since, when you really get down to the meat of the matter, McCain is just a continuation of what we currently have. And I'm pretty sure my friend doesn't really care for what we currently have in place, ie Bush.

The other conversation I had, and this one really blew me away, was with my brother. He tends to lean towards the right. I'm not sure I'd call him a conservative, who knows what the means anymore, but he does have more of a Republican bent. When I asked him the same question about the current candidates, his reaction was more leaning towards Obama. Which I found totally refreshing. His statement was that he felt that McCain would be a continuation of the existing "regime" (my word, not his). And he felt that Clinton would be pretty much the same. After all, we've had a Bush or a Clinton in office for the past 20 years. But Obama is a new face. Someone that might be able to attempt to make some changes. New ideas, not part of the existing establishment and someone feels that to be successful, he needs to facilitate change.

Is it possible that Obama could pull votes away from what have traditionally been votes on the Republican side? Are people that fed up with the current state of the federal government that they'd vote for change? Even though that person might be viewed as a liberal and pretty much against all that has been established by the conservatives of today?

I'm all for it. "Rock and roll" Obama!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wind power

Oh baby!! I just received a letter from Madison Gas & Electric that my electric power is about to switch over to 100% wind power. I've been on a partial program for over a year. They have recently added more capacity to allow home owners the option of receiving their power from renewable wind power.

But my question is... how do I know that the little electron doo-hickies traveling to my CFL's are from wind. Do they look different?

I'm cold, time to turn up the thermostat... guilt free!