Car Seat Alert

January 6, 2007

This really isn’t on-topic for the blog, but I’m not seeing this story get out far enough or fast enough.

If you drive and you have small children, or know anyone who does, read this Consumer Reports saftey warning about child car seats now. The failures they are reporting on aren’t just buckles coming loose. In some cases, the whole seat is getting ejected. I heard a report on this on NPR last evening, where the expert from Consumer Reports was talking about how cars are being designed to withstand side crashes, but car seats are not. Imagine getting T-Boned in a car crash and your infant seat, with infant strapped in, getting bounced around the inside of your car. It’s like a pinball machine with your child being the pinball…

I’ve got small kids, and know plenty of other people who do as well. Please help spread the word.


Now Blogging at Groovy Green!

December 16, 2006

I’ve accepted an invitation to contribute to the blog at Groovy Green. I’ll be posting more sustainability-related stuff over there, while focusing more on peak oil, political and economic stuff here.

If you haven’t checked that site out, I encourage you to do so. There’s a growing community of writers over there reflecting different facets of the green living crowd.


December 13, 2006

This is a placeholder until the new site becomes active.


November 21, 2006

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the States, so that means a short work week for yours truly, and probably a lighter posting load as family events dominate the latter half of the week.

I’d like to take a quick second to thank the regular readers of this blog, and to especially thank the owners of other blogs who have MEOW on their blogroll. I started this blog as a way for me to think and write about peak oil and it’s related issues in a public forum of some sort. I’m grateful for those of you who have found your way here and think enough of my writing to keep coming back. I sincerly hope I’ve given you some additional information and insights to ponder concerning our eventual transtition to a low-energy future.

As a small way of saying thanks, I’ve added links to all of the other sites I’ve found that have a link to here. Please take some time and check these other sites out.

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, have a happy holiday. I hope you’re able to spend it with those people who matter to you.


October 24, 2006

My son had his pre-kindergarten screeing test yesterday and handily passed. While we think he’s a smart little guy, he’s right on the cusp of the age range for going to school in fall 2007, and we were not sure if he’d be ready or not. He may still not be ready from a maturity standpoint, but at least in the school district’s eyes he’s shown all of the prequisite skills needed for entry. In light of this, we decided to celebrate last night an took him to his favorite restaurant (the Rainforest Cafe at the Mall of Mammon) as a surprise.

He was thrilled. I personally think the food is mediocre and overpriced, and the anti-consumerist in me hates going to the temple of materialism that is the MOA, but in the eyes of one special little 4 year-old, that place is a slice of heaven. I still winced when I got the bill, but seeing the joy on my son’s face made me remember that there’s more to life than money.

After enjoying a loud, racuous meal, we got back out into the main area of the mall when the missus declared that she had “a few things that she needed to pick up while we’re out here.” So we ambled down one of the concourses towards a soap shop. We both noticed that a sizeable percentage of the mall patrons that night were Muslim… maybe forty percent or more of the people. This seemed rather odd to us, until I remembered that we were getting towards the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan. In fact last night was the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr if my dates are correct, which is a major holiday in Islam. There were many Somali families out and about that night, dressed nicely and looking to enjoy themselves. The amusement park was busy, and the sounds of laughing children filled the air. An unusual Monday night in Minnesota for many of us, but a special night for some.

While I tend to do more ranting on this blog than anything, there’s much more to life than simply wringing one’s hands about the future. What comes will come, and while it’s important to be aware of the changes that are coming in life, that’s no reason to not celebrate the joys that happen in the here and now. Yesterday was a particularly good day for people in my circle of acquaintances; we had one child pass a milestone on his path to maturity, my brother-in-law got a new job with a hefty raise that will help him support his family better, and some close friends had a healthy baby. If that day isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is.

Make Money Fast!

August 17, 2006

Want a quick way to double your money? Hoard old coins. With rising commodity costs for metals, it’s turning out that a lot of US coinage is currently worth more than it’s face value.

One quick example: US Pennies minted between 1959 and 1982 are almost pure copper. Currently, the metal in one of those pennies is worth $.023. Likewise, soaring nickel costs mean that current nickels are worth $.068 each. Current dimes and quarters are still worth more than their metal, and will be for a while due to the fact that they’re mostly zinc.

If you’re lucky enough to have pre-1964 dimes, quarters and half-dollars, you’re sitting on a silver mine of sorts, since all of these coins were 90% silver. You’ll occasionally pull one of these out of everyday circulation, and I personally keep them when I do. A pre-1964 quarter is worth over $2 just for it’s metal these days.

For more information, check out Coinflation.

Slow Posting Week

August 17, 2006

Apologies for the relatively light posting this week. I’m still carving my way through Edward Griffin’s “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” and I’ve got some more things I want to write about it, but it will take me some time to get my thoughts in order.

In the meantime, I’ll hopefully post some smaller articles of note. If nothing else, relative peace in the Middle East combined with a lax start to hurricane season and resumption of some flow from Pruhoe Bay have resulted in gas falling to the ‘bargain’ price of $2.84 or so around here. I can’t help but thinking this is a bargain when I see it, even though I realize how the price has gone steadily up since early 2005. Everything we’re seeing indicates that we’re in the ‘plateau’ of peak oil production. Production may rise a bit, then fall as some fields decline or come online. The price of oil (and everything that depends on it) will move accordingly.

As a piece of advice, if you have a desire for any durable goods from overseas, I’d buy yourself a Christmas present or two this year. The next few years will be the end of the window for getting goods from overseas cheaply, I think, so do yourself a favor and get the good stuff now while it’s still reasonable.