Trey???
7/31/2005 09:49:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
Dave Matthews Band
July 30, 2005
Randall's Island, New York, NY


#41
One Sweet World
Dreamgirl ...>
Don't Drink the Water
Time Of The Season
Hunger for the Great Light
You Might Die Trying
Crash Into Me
Jimi Thing G1
Tripping Billies
Steady As We Go
American Baby Intro
American Baby
Dancing Nancies ...>
Warehouse
Louisiana Bayou G2

Encore:
Old Dirt Hill
What You Are

Guests:
G1 Trey Anastasio
G2 Robert Randolph
Going to NYC for the weekend
7/29/2005 08:12:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
Going to catch a concert, and play some golf. Have fun all...
I took a Quinnipiac Poll for the first time today
7/27/2005 10:05:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Selected randomly, by phone number, I guess. I answered 30 or so questions ranging from "Do you approve of the way that George Bush is doing his job as president?" [NO], to "Would you vote for Eliot Spitzer or Rudy Guliani [Spitzer]. They asked how I thought Pataki did over his 3 terms [guess how I answered that one], and if I thought that Hillary was going to run in 2008 [yes], or if she should pledge to serve out a full term when running for re-election to the senate [didn't matter to me]. She also asked me the likelihood of me placing my vote for Hillary in 2008 for the Democratic Candidate [response withheld]. I did answer that I was pleased to date with the job that Hillary and Schumer have done to date. There were questions on Medicaid reform, and other potential political matchups. Surprisingly, nothing on the war in Iraq or the war on Terror. I was secretly hoping for a question on Karl Rove, or the president's handling of the issue, but nope, no question on that. Most of the questions related to NYS in particular.

Overall I was pretty psyched to take part in the poll and look forward to the results.
Zoning laws - Anti-Sustainability in Central NY
7/27/2005 04:19:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I read in multiple posts about raising chickens as a simple way to improve your self-sufficiency. Here is a older guy minding his business in a CNY community who will now have to get rid of his 4 chickens, due to a change in zoning laws.

Frazier, 67, said he's had chickens since he moved into the house 40 years ago. He's currently raising four birds - a rooster and three hens. The hens deliver about 10 chicks a year, Frazier said. He takes the chicks to a friend who owns a farm.

"When I moved into the house 40 years ago it was zoned to have livestock, and I've had chickens ever since," Frazier said. "I've never had any problems."

...

Only once in 40 years has a neighbor complained, Frazier said. That was when the chickens got loose and were walking along Downer Street.

"I never even knew they were there," Beckhusen said.

Now I am not sure that I would want to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning to a bunch of roosters, but if no one even noticed that the guy had them, what is the foul?

There will be many zoning battles going forward if the Long Emergency predictions come true.
Thoughts on Sacrifice
7/26/2005 10:16:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Ianqui at The Oil Drum is talking about sacrifice. Liz is talking about sacrifice at Sustenance.

I posted my comment over at The Oil Drum and thought that it was worth a cross-post:

The current administration missed a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on the mass-patriotism post-911, and instill a sense of duty and sacrifice as it relates to the 'war on terra' our over consumption of oil. I think that GWB and others felt that their chief obligation to the nation was to "keep the economy moving forward," and ignored problems that were at the root of the confict that we are in. With every news conference, we have heard that there is such-and-such terror alert in the this big city, but by all means continue to go about your daily life. Let it have no affect on you (and your spending.) The messages coming out of Tony Blair after 7/7 were strikingly similar: If you change your lifestyle, then the terrorists have won.

While this is true that the terrorists goal is to disrupt the economies of their enemies, preaching over and over that we should be 'going about our business' and not 'changing anything in our daily lives, except being vigilant' (whatever the hell that means) The undelying message is frightening: If you make changes in your life, such as conserving energy to reduce our foreign oil addiction, and trying to influence others to do the same, it isn't "American" or "patriotic" to do so. That's letting the terrorists win. Rationing means we're losing the war, etc. Thoughts?
A long essay full of practical information:
In formulating a practical plan, we can generally identify and focus on two principle themes as a guide for what preparations we might make. Those two themes are: the most immediately pressing concerns pertaining to Financial Meltdown, and the more protracted issues involved in addressing the need for social transformation toward a personal and cultural lifestyle that is both Locally-Based and Sustainable.
I regret that I missed this prior to today.

My (now admittedly similar) essay. [Slightly lower defcon than Deconsumption.]
My sales tax on clothes is now higher than Manhattan's?!?
7/26/2005 08:03:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
This makes me want to vomit. Like upstaters can afford to pay sales tax more than NYC residents, and like we are going to spend $199 dollars to get down to NYC to clothes shop.

Pataki is such a tool. I can't believe that his friends and confidants are telling this man he should run for president.
Bottle Laws and Recycling
7/25/2005 08:13:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
[Interesting discussion on waste reduction and garbage here.]

The "bottle bill" is a tool used to increase recycling of plastic and aluminum drink containers. Living in NY state, I thought that most of the country participated in a similar type of program.

Boy was I wrong.

The states in dark green are those with existing bottle laws. Those in light green have bottle bills "in the works".

White states have none.

It just seems a no-brainer to me. $0.05 at the register isn't hardly missed by those in the middle to upper class. College kids, those with less fortunate financial situations, and the homeless all have an incentive to pick up and return the cans/bottles for money. If you are concerned with putting the $0.05 deposit on it, you can return the bottle yourself and get your money back. Regardless, all are helping to reduce litter, increase recycling, reduce production costs of new aluminum and glass.

I think that people in those states without bottle laws (MO!) should be pushing for their addition. I think that NY states bottle law should be expanded, to include bottled water and iced tea drinks. Why the exemption there? And nowadays, everyone is walking around with their own bottle of water.

thoughts?
Fresh Blueberry Season Has Started!
7/25/2005 05:45:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I stopped to get some sweet corn on the way home from work, at a local farmer's stand. They had the most beautiful blueberries there, so I had to get a quart. I made a type of blueberry cobbler recipe for dessert tonight. (The berry to butter ratio is good, so it is a bit healthier than my last recipe posted for dessert.)

Berry Crumble

3 c Blueberries (or any combination of raspberries; blackberries, Marionberries; etc. )
1/2 cup Sugar
Juice of lemon
1/4 ts Cinnamon
3/4 c Flour
1/3 c Butter
1/2 ts Salt

Wash the berries and put in a buttered, 9-inch square baking dish, or casserole of a similar size. Add 6 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon and stir to coat the berries. Combine the flour, butter, remaining sugar and salt and mix with a fork or your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the mixture over the berries and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Just Berry Recipes is located at www.justberryrecipes.com

UPDATE: (picture of the finished dish)


Smells like a pastry shop in here!

A Pact (circa 1997)
7/24/2005 05:43:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
A Pact...

(prefaced)
  • I know that I have debts to society which must be paid.
  • I know that I must work hard to gain my place in life.
  • I know that there are others that depend on me and that there will be sacrifices to be made.
  • I know that hours must be put in, and some days time will be short.
  • I realize that there will be transitions in my life where things may not seem very clear and there will be many paths leading from my door.
  • I realize that temptation will be an ever-present force to be dealt with, and there will always be an easier way out.
  • I know that the mind is not always clear, and it takes a few skinned knees to learn how to ride a bike.
  • I know that an excuse comes more readily to the mind than does fact.
  • For me, perfection is not the goal, only genuine happiness.
  • I know that I am not perfect, and that imperfections are part of who I am as much as my strong points are.
  • I know that life is a continuum of highs and lows, and that for every high point reached, an equivalent low will take place.
  • I do not seek a middle ground without these fluctuations, for what would life be without happiness and tears- it would be death.
  • I know that there are forces shaping my life that I have no control over, and I know that it is impossible to control my destiny.
  • However, fate does not run my life and make my decisions for me.
  • I am the equal and opposite of fate.
  • My decisions carry the same strength and same level of consequence as those decisions that are predetermined or that are made for me.
(stated)
Therefore, I promise to make those decisions count. I promise to make memories that will last the day, the week, the year, the lifetime. I promise to be aware and to see all of the experiences that are happening, and to make things count, not just let them pass me by.

I promise to give myself some time each day, be it a fleeting moment to hours on end, so that at the end of the day I can say to myself, "look what I did..." And at the end of the week I can say, "look at the things that I did." And at the end of the year I can say, "look at the many, many things that I have done..." And at the end of a lifetime, I can just sit and smile.

(aside: that's it. that's the pact. Simple yet life fulfilling.)

written in college. 1997. Copied from a printed email. Worth sharing with all.
Getting rid of clutter can ease the soul...
7/24/2005 04:41:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

De-Cluttering the garage Posted by Picasa


De-Cluttering the garden (Mrs. Baloghblog's effort!) Posted by Picasa



De-Cluttering the basement Posted by Picasa

I was still on a roll after cleaning out the garage that I turned my focus on the boxes of crap that I had accumulated in the basement. Most of it consisted of old school papers and materials, but there were some choice pictures in there, good for blackmailing unsuspecting grown-ups. I tossed all the old correspondence and love letters from college in the recycling bin, deciding there was no longer a need to hold on to those in married life. Man, I feel like there is a great weight lifted off of me. I did enjoy my walk down memory lane, and there was a remaining box of things that I couldn't bear to part with, but I do feel better having gotten rid of most of that "junk". I saved anything useful, and have a box of books and a bag of clothes and winter garb to donate to the Rescue Mission. Not enough for a garage sale, so some of the less useful stuff had to be junked.

Now I am tackling all of the papers that have accumulated in the office, If I don't post for a few days, send help, I may have drowned in there...

Go read BuffaloPundit
7/20/2005 07:52:00 AM | Author: baloghblog

On Medicaid/MCare fraud:

We need a governor who will, frankly, give a shit about what’s going on. One who will work tirelessly to come up with real solutions to fix what ails New York, and not just pay lip service to reform. We need a governor who won’t pander to the lobbyists and special interests.

What New York needs to do in order to halt upstate’s brain drain and survive is hold a constitutional convention. Every single way of doing business needs to be re-examined. Every single thing that government does needs to be judged on performance - and if it’s not performing, it needs to be fundamentally changed, or scrapped altogether.

Via NYCO

Spitzer better not let us down.

Who also has this cool link of a map of Upstate bloggers and their links.
Blueprint for the "mud room"
7/19/2005 11:11:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

blueprint for the "mud room", my dad is going to check over the specs. Posted by Picasa

Thank you to The Reader's Digest Complete Do-it-yourself Manual (2005). (mine was the 1973 version from the church's booksale)

When completed it will be insulated from floor to ceiling, and all walls. This will help to cut down on the heat loss when leaving via the garage in the winter. Cleaned out the garage today. Actually parted with some of the crap I've been accumulating since we moved here last year. I fought it, but after all that my wife was right, and I felt good de-cluttering.
Where have I been?
7/19/2005 07:25:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
Well, my mind seems to be stuck in one of those phases where I am doing a lot of thinking and planning but not getting a whole hell of a lot done. I have about 50 ideas in my head, spawning 50 projects more that I don't have time for, all well getting back into the swing of things and keeping up the summer weekend schedule.

So anyways I figured I needed to make a list and start to prioritize, so I will post what I am working on, and perhaps any enlightened souls that come by my blog can offer me any tips. FYI I am still in the brainstorming phase of several of these projects which may or may not come in to fruition. I realize that I can't do it all, but hell, you can try can't ya?

To keep you from falling asleep on the keyboard, I am only going to post about the ideas that are related to peak oil, sustainability and Syracuse. The others can remain on the honey-do list for now.

1. Draw up plans for a "mud room" in the garage. I would like to create a small ante-room that separates the freezing cold garage in the winter (or likewise boiling garage in the summer) from the climate controlled air of our kitchen. I think that insulating this room, and providing a buffer from the cold (or hot) air would help us reduce our heating/cooling bills. I imagine that this will only entail putting together a framed wall, tying it into the existing beams of the garage, applying insulation, and putting up drywall(or wood panelling) and a door. If I get really into it, I suppose that I will have to tackle putting in new stairs as well.

What I don't know so far: How do I connect the wall into the concrete floor and what can I use to seal it from moisture and salt on the garage side?

[estimated cost $400]

2. Price and install new windows in the bedroom, office and bathroom. (the most used rooms in the house) I have a source in the construction supply business, so I can get the windows for a fair price, just "slightly" less than Comfort Windows and Door's $800 per window offer. I am just concerned about being able to trim out the windows on the outside of the home with the vinyl. The contractor that we were led to never called us back, so I think that we will have to do the job on our own.

[4 windows + trim material and insulation = $1200. Labor = blood, sweat, tears, case of ice cold beer for after-installation party]

3. Purchase and install new duct vents in the guest bedroom, and dining area to allow shutting off of heat/air, and increase circulation of other rooms.

[4 vents = $60]

4. Insulate water heater and pipes to the bathroom shower/kitchen.

[I am guessing $50?]

5. Research prices for used wood burning stove and 1/2 cord of wood. I guess I will start checking the local classified ad papers and swap sheets. New stoves are out of my price range at the moment, and I think at this point that a gas stove insert wouldn't improve the efficiency of my heating, compared with the gas furnace. Am I wrong?

[Again, guessing, $150 stove, $50 wood?]

6. The largest project and one that I have the least time for: Biodiesel. I am in the "pipe-dreaming" stage on this one. I am starting to gather info into this at The Higher Pie, Veggie Avenger, and Riverstone. I guess that I am wondering if I have what it takes to get in to the whole process of brewing bio-diesel, or if I should go the route of the SVO tank in a diesel car. I guess I am looking for any insight into my options that anyone has. Especially, how to go about finding a used diesel burning car for cheap.

So anyways that's what is floating through my brain lately, along with many other ideas, some outlandish, like ripping off the outside (north) wall of the house and "super-insulating" it against the heat and cold. Stay posted and I'll let you know if I get organized, get rich and get started on the next batch of projects.
I made the Post-Standard newspaper
7/18/2005 11:00:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
UPDATED:

One of my friends alerted me to the fact that my essay Why Syracuse, New York is the right place to weather the coming oil shortage made it into the Post-Standard as a blurb in the July 12th paper.

I don't have a copy of it. Nor can I link to it, other than to confirm that the article is in the archives. Maybe someone kept a copy of it and I can post it.

Article 1 of 1, Article ID: 0507120080
Published on July 12, 2005, Post-Standard, The (Syracuse, NY)

NEW YORK ON THE WEB

Could "lowly Syracuse" turn out to be one of the top cities in the nation to weather "the coming oil shortages?" Local blogger Steve Balogh thinks it could. It's all got to do with Robert Congel, nuclear plants, ethanol, bad weather and ready access to beer and wine. Check out his reasoning at www.geocities.com/stephenbalogh2000/pictures/Could - lowly -
Not a big deal for some, but for me it makes me happy that someone at the paper noticed my blog and is spreading the word. Better not quit my day job yet...
First Hungarian Visitor!
7/18/2005 05:15:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
For those of you that don't know, I am a second generation American of Hungarian descent. Thus the name Balogh. Stat counter reports showed that I had my first Hungarian visitor today, so I am pretty siked. Not that I talk about Hungary on my blog or anything, but just a little ethnic pride I guess.

FYI:
We pronouce our last name more like ba-low. My relatives in Buffalo pronouce it Bay-low. When we visited Hungary last year they said it like bul-lug. You can pronouce this blog anyway you like.

FYI II:
You should definitely visit Hungary if your travels take you to Europe. We enjoyed the most out of the Eastern European countries. More so than Vienna and Prague. The food was great, the people were unbelievably nice, and hospitable. They treat you like royalty there. You see, 20 years ago, Hungary still had a communist government. So tourism wasn't that big. Now they are really getting the hang of it. And not being on the Euro yet, your money goes a long way. You have to get the Bikaver wine (translation "bull's blood" -- red and strong), with a dish of chicken paprikash. Heaven I tell you. Finish your night off with a shot of Unicum and a Dreher beer. (Literally, your night will be finished after a shot of that stuff!)
This is why I read Ianqui every day
7/18/2005 05:04:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I am glad that A Ianqui in the Village is at the top of my blogroll. Not just because it happens to be alphabetical, but because of great lines like this:

Manna-chunk:

Route 80 was just a gigantic dickhead that never stopped giving us the finger.
For those of you that have never had the pleasure of travelling on Route 80 west on a friday evening, these 14 words sum it up exactly. 4 lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. We had the pleasure of hitting some of it last Sunday on the way back to Syracuse from NYC. Turns out that it was actually an accident this time, and we squeaked thru just before they closed the road off to remove the rolled-over SUV (no injuries). Most of the time, there's no accident. There's no anything, all the sudden it just miraculously opens up and you are free. No hint to what was causing the hours of frustration in the first place.

My point is that if you've never been over to Ianqui's site, it is worth a read.

My addition to her list of funny sounding NJ names: Netcong. We always know we're getting close to the city when we hit Netcong, NJ. Sounds like NJ's version of Vietnam to me.
Cross posted last post at DKos
7/12/2005 09:47:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I have started a diary at Daily Kos. I have loved that site ever since I discovered blogs in general. I hope to stir up a little more conversation about peak oil and sustainability there. For now I just plan on posting some of my earlier posts, but plan to write some of my more politically motivated entries over there.

(Romehater, I understand if you don't want to follow me there...) ; )
Sometimes the thought of peak oil gets a little overwhelming. You try to wrap your brain around the whole concept, and what it means for you, your nice car, your "small" mortgage for the house in the hills. But it's too much... One day - you think about starting your own farm to be able to provide food for your family, the next - you want to build a pantry in your basement and stock up on all the things you'll want to have if things go bad. Somedays you just want to go back and "take the blue pill" instead of the red and forget that you even knew it was coming.

What can you do with all of this nervous energy and worry? What can take your mind off of it?

[Besides red wine and sex?]

Try doing something from scratch. I don't know why, but I have found it very therapeutic lately. Something about getting your hands dirty, or your creative section of your brain re-awakened, or learning how to do something that will help you out in the future, that eases stress.

Just some ideas for you, I know not all apply to every individual, but maybe it will spark another idea in your head, or maybe you'll end up liking something you never thought you would.

Cook something:
Bake a loaf of bread (from scratch): knead the dough, get the bread to rise, bake it and savor your creation. Who cares if it doesn't taste like wonder bread, and looks slightly lopsided.

Or consider making pizza dough, and bake a pizza from scratch.

Bake a batch of toll house cookies. Not from the tube, from the recipe on the back of the semi-sweet morsels. Share them with friends and family.

Get in touch with your masculine side:
Pound a few nails - build something with wood, nails a hammer and a saw. Make your own shelf, make a bird house, whatever floats your boat. Learn how to use a level, and how to cut a square corner. Get good at measuring twice and cutting once. (my dad's carpentry mantra)

Split a few logs. Make a fire. (not for you city folk- but there are many state parks near the big cities, get out and do a little camping.) Grab your iron skillet, put it on the red coals and cook something up.

Relearn how to catch a fish. If your a carnivore, learn how to clean it, and have a fish fry. If you're veggie, then catch and release - no harm no foul.

Get in touch with your feminine side:
Learn how to sew a button, sew a patch, hem a pair of pants. Learn how to knit a scarf to keep you warm in the winter.

Make candles - all you need is some paraffin wax, string for wick, scented oil if desired and a double boiler. My wife has made some great candles over the past several years. Economical, and could come in handy in power outages.

Be creative:
I know that I loved a brand new spiral notebook when I was a kid. It was a blank slate and endless opportunity. I would write fantastic stories in it, let my mind imagine anything that it wanted to. I don't write stories any more, sadly the TV writes my stories for me. Most of the time the TV doesn't have anything I want to watch on it now (except Lost). Maybe I'll pick up a new spiral notebook at CVS this week.

Play with your kids, nieces/nephews, etc. Make up a new game. Make a play with your kids stuffed animals.

Paint a picture. Ahem, I mean paint a picture.

Make your own music. I prefer harmonica, and do a lot of drum solos with my pen... But I did attend a 'jam session' once and messed around with a mandolin, while others played guitar and sang, it was one of my fondest memories of NYC.

Write a letter. By hand. On paper. Grandma would love to hear from you. So would your mom and dad, or your best friend from college. Everybody loves to get mail that isn't a bill, or credit card solicitation.

Be a farmer:
Grow some food.

Grow something, anything from a seed. Sunflowers work quickly, and never fail to amaze me - such a huge flower from a tiny seed.

Learn how to compost. Use it around your flower beds and veggie gardens for rich soil.

Final Thoughts -
It takes a lot longer to do something from scratch. It takes a lot of effort and some know-how. Sometimes it doesn't come out like you planned. Sometimes that the beauty of it. You learn from your mistakes. It feels good to make something out of raw materials and to use what you've created. Sure it costs 99 cents for a loaf of white bread in the supermarket, but as they say, knowing how to bake your own bread, is priceless.

Knowing how to do many of these things, even at a basic level will help you to become more independent and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Blogging Around the Clock is on!
7/11/2005 08:30:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Get on over to Sustainablog and catch up on the posts. Up to 23 at last check, and he is going all night long to raise money for a good cause.

Here's some info on it.

How It Will Work: Quite simply, I'll be blogging for the next 24 hours. Now, I won't stay glued to my chair for the whole time -- my butt's old enough to flatly reject such a silly notion. But I will post 2-3 times every hour until 9am tomorrow morning.

Join in: Comments, as always, are open -- join in the conversation. Also, I've got a whole bunch of items ready for posting, but that doesn't mean I can't use help -- if you run across something interesting, send it along to jmcstras at animail dot net or mcintirj at lincolnu dot edu. You can also IM me through Yahoo! IM, or Skype me (though I just installed that yesterday, so be patient if I'm slow to answer) -- links are one the sidebar.

Making Your Donation to the Earthways Center: I'm still taking pledges, so feel free to email me. Whether you've pledged or not, you can make your donation to the Earthways Center through this online form on the Missouri Botanical Garden's website.
Perhaps look for a post from baloghblog a little later on...
Mel Karmazin - (No Longer) Corporate Douchebag of the Week
7/11/2005 06:21:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
UPDATE:  Hats off to Mel Karmazin for getting the Sirius/XM merger approved.  I still really love my Sirius radio, and looking back I'm surprised how pissed I was about Air America leaving.  This was all pre-Howard, so I guess it matters a lot less to me now.

Looking forward to the new Sirius XM service.

My email to Air America Radio:

Leaving Sirius was the stupidest decision you corporate douchebags could have made. I thought that you were trying to promote the liberal/progressive agenda, and trying to reach as large an audience as possible. At first I was pissed and thought about leaving sirius to go to XM, but then I got to the bottom of it, and found out that your company had made the decision to leave Sirius over money. Seems like BS to me. There were plenty of ads playing when I listened to your network. Anyways I think you've pissed alot of people off, and can't believe that you'd pull a neocon position and chase the almightly dollar instead of keeping a large portion of your listeners.
Sincerely,
Disgruntled.





Why Karmazin gets the above title? He let Air America go. It ain't the Howard Stern Satellite radio network buddy. Spend a few bucks. Keep Air America.

Observation-
7/10/2005 09:55:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
My wife and I stopped at a gas station off of Rte 81 in Pennsylvania on the way home from a weekend trip. Gas was at a low price of $2.19 there. ($2.41 in my hometown) There was an unbelievable line of cars waiting to get to the pumps and a chaotic scene once we got to pump area. There was no order to the line, b/c of a tight turning radius, and several large SUV's and V8 trucks positioning themselves. People we're getting frustrated quickly, and we could feel a sense of unease quickly come over us. We got our gas and got out unscathed, but the line had grown considerably by the time we left.

I was a twinkle in my father's eye during the oil shortage in the early 70's, so I have no history with the long lines that formed during the shortage. I have to believe though, with the "road rage" that is rampant now, there would quickly become a phrase "gas station rage" that would enter the country's vocabulary.

It was easy to see how tempers were rising today - even with ample gasoline available at a "cheap price". I can't imagine a scene with even more stressed out people paying $5+/gallon, with limited supply.

I think that I have been a peak oil optimist, preferring to live in a sort of denial, thinking utopian thoughts about a future without oil - surviving on our "skills", and our preparation, adapting to a new way of life. The glimpse of the future that I got today was ugly, with nothing utopian about it.
Thoughts on the Destiny USA R&D Park
7/06/2005 04:19:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I was thinking today about how the folks that are running the Destiny USA project in Syracuse have put a lot of emphasis on how the R&D park and the Destiny USA Resort will both be built with sustainable design, and powered by renewable resources.
The R&D Park is anchored by the one million square foot Signature Building with an arch spanning more than 150 feet above Interstate 81 and Interstate 90 where more than 150,000 cars pass on a daily basis. Like the balance of the R&D Park, the Signature Building will be built using sustainable design standards, powered 100% by renewable energy and operated using state-of-the-art technology and the best in environmentally friendly practices. The facility willhave an iconic presence in the Upstate New York skyline.
What I don't hear much about is how the hundreds (thousands?) of people that work there will be able to get to work without using a tremendous amount of gasoline. There is a section in their press release:
A transportation network that includes monorail and a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system will connect the complex to Hancock International Airport, theInter-Modal Transportation Center, DestiNY USA and beyond.
"...and beyond" is meant to imply that there will be public transporation that will bring people to the site. At the current rate of use of Centro (6%), that means that 94% of their workers will still use their cars with gasoline burning engines to get to and from work.

What is my point, you ask? It seems to me that the noble idea to create a space using sustainable methods, and powered by renewable sources is negated by having hundreds of cars driving there from around the region.

I hope that the Destiny planners can incorporate public transportation as a vital part of their planning and development. Beyond the Regional Transporation Center, and all it's glory, that is.

My 2 cents:
  • Consider light rail transportation to park and ride areas dispersed throughout the region. You can clearly see the rail tracks on the Google Map of the northern area of the city where the project is planned for. These tracks run to the east and west suburbs, as well as the North Country and Tully Area, along mostly undeveloped routes.
  • Dissuade workers from driving to work using cars solely powered by gasoline, and add incentive for cars run on bio-diesel, and hybrid engines. Such as preferred parking, etc. (hell, it works in union run factories... the imports get 2 rows in the far lot)
  • Consider an employee purchase plan for electric or plug-in hybrids, and provide places to "power-up" the cars with renewable energy at work during the day.
  • Incentives for taking public transportation or car pooling.
Just some off my thoughts on the project. Any others?

UPDATED to include others discussing Destiny USA:
Joel Makower: Destiny's High Wire Act
World Changing: Eco-Mall of the Future. Well sort of...
Back to work today...
7/05/2005 07:47:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Started back to work today, surgery is healing nicely. I have a tan that says, "yep, I've been sitting in the sun, reading, drinking and having great conversations." The "farmer" part of my tan says, "yes, I've played 36 holes of golf in the past couple of days."

So back on the road, burning up my precious gasoline.

Working on a couple of good posts, just found out about the Peak Oil News and Message Boards and signed on as a user, so I have been perusing the topics over there. Some good stuff, and insightful thinking.

Hope to post again soon. Working on the next challenge of the week. Seems to be that many people like to do easy things like change a lightbulb, driving slow is not as easy. I will have to come up with something moderately challenging, but simple enough to get a few good replies.
Storing the peas
7/03/2005 11:29:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

storing the peas for later. Blanched with seasoning and a touch of butter, then frozen. Posted by Picasa

Also, I almost soiled myself when a rabbit came shooting out of my garden as I picked the last of the peas. I then was disheartened as I saw that the tops of all my carrots were gnawed off. I might have to hire the evil german shepherd who lives behind me to start guarding the garden. I thought that the hedgehog was the worst of my troubles.
I'm back... Soon to come: The 4th Quarter Shortfall
7/03/2005 11:00:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Why this fall will be a precursor of times to come. Why to worry.

[sarcasm] What to do? [/sarcasm]

p.s.

for "C.B.'s" bro:

rave girl Posted by Picasa

DMB setlist 7.2.05:
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Best of What's Around
When The World Ends
Rhyme & Reason
Dreamgirl
Hello Again
Out of My Hands
Smooth Rider
Crush
Hunger for The Great Light
Lie in Our Graves
Louisiana Bayou
Say Goodbye
The Stone
Two Step!!!

Encore:
Dreaming Tree [tease]
Old Dirt Hill
What You Are
Back from vaca, harvesting snap peas
7/03/2005 06:07:00 PM | Author: baloghblog

Snap pea harvest. (not counting all the ones I ate off the vine!) Posted by Picasa


After the husking... Posted by Picasa