Out There


Posted in Uncategorized by Pete on January 25, 2012

So you wanna save the planet?

Let me explain.  No, let me sum up.  In 2001, when Tammy and I were making our way from Los Angeles to Anchorage via the Cassiar Highway in western British Columbia, we had the good fortune of driving through lovely Prince George.  We stopped and bought some groceries because it is the largest place you see until you actually get to Anchorage some thousands of miles later.   After paying for a pile of produce and canned goods at the register, the clerk asked if I wanted a bag.  We sort of stared at the pile of groceries and then looked back up at her, blankly.  Uh…yes?  Yes.  Yes!  I would love a bag, or actually several bags.  Her comeback?  Wait for it…  “How many?”  At this point I was realizing something funny was going on here.  I know my grocery store social pragmatics and this was in direct, clear violation.  “Um…as many as it takes?”  So they bagged them up, and then she punched some numbers on the register and charged me $.05 or $.10 per bag (ok, I don’t remember the amount per bag, give me a break and listen to the story!).  AAAHH, the light at last came on.

So back to saving earth.  These people think you can do it with cloth bags.


Now, I have no problem with this philosophy, in fact I find it eminently sensible.  It just reminded me of that story so I had to share it.

The Irish are apparently completely on board as well:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/02/world/europe/02bags.html


*****1/25/12 update – HMMM.  Just found this in the “drafts” section of the blog, meaning it never was “published.”  OK, let’s try this again.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Pete on April 18, 2008

OK, I wrote this post a couple hours ago already, and it was long, and funny, and profound. And mind-blowingly stupendous. It was SUPER. But now its gone! (Like Frank Sinatra…) But it was about bags. And saving the planet.

Let me explain.

No…let me sum up.

Tammy and I were driving from LA to AK (which is another story entirely), and we stopped in lovely Prince George for groceries on our way to the Cassiar Hwy in Western BC. Prince George is the biggest town you see until Anchorage, 1800 miles later.  We bought a pile of produce and a bunch of canned food. The cashier rang it all up and I waited expectantly for a total.  Instead of the usual drill, the clerk broke all the rules as we had this exchange:

Cashier: “Would you like a bag?”

Me: “uh…[staring at my pile of stuff blankly]…um…[staring at the cashier even blanker]…yes? Yes!  Definitely.”

Cashier: “How many?”

Me: “[blankest]…How many? uhhh….as many as it takes?”

I know my grocery store social pragmatics, and this was some very odd stuff indeed.  So they threw it all in bags and then counted them and charged me a fee per bag.  Aha!  At last I understood. As we left the store I commented that had I known I would have only asked for one bag.  Or just scooped it all into my shirt. Those Canadians don’t mess around when it comes to recycling. At least not in Prince George. None of this voluntary garbage (no pun intended), you’ll recycle or you’ll pay! : – )

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Back to saving the planet. These people here seem to think that bags are a way to do that. Hey, more power to ya. Those plastic bags all over are an eyesore and a total waste. Most of Ireland has even kicked the habit, apparently. How hard can it be to carry a bag or two folded up in your car? I wouldn’t know since I mail all my groceries in boxes…RECYCLED boxes I might add, but that’s another story too.

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forever baseball

Posted in Uncategorized by Pete on April 18, 2008

OK, despite living in western Alaska, faaaaaar from where it is supposed to work, we have XM radio here and it works great (for those of you into such things I get a BER rate of 0.0 or 0.1 on every channel – that means crystal clear digital sound). So I use it almost exclusively for listening to baseball, mostly the M’s. But tonight I noticed the only game still going was the Padres vs Rockies in the 13th inning, at 0-0, an oddity in today’s offensive environment. So I turned it on (instead of working on my paper on memory loss related to normal aging), and now hours later it is 1-1 in the 22nd (!!!!!!) inning! Right when I turned it on the padres were up with noone out and the first guy hit a double but was thrown out at 3rd base by 20 feet. ohhhhh bad baserunning. Especially when a pitcher who was pinch-hitting (!!) lined a 2 out single that would have scored the run.

On to the 14th, where the Rockies got a single and then 3 walks to force in a run. The last walk was with 2 outs and after a great at bat with lots of foul balls. Then the padres loaded them up too, got a 2-out single to tie it but the guy on 2nd was too slow to score and they didn’t have anyone on the bench or a pinch runner would have been in for him so they would have scored. The next batter, a rookie without a hit yet in his MLB career, went to a 3-1 count and then took a pitch that was ruled a strike but made the announcers howl with frustration. Then he grounded out, so on it went. As I’ve been typing this post, the rockies scored a run in the top of the 22nd off of 2 padre errors. Now San Diego is up trying to tie the game or its over.

This is the longest game in the history of both franchises. Surprisingly the fans are still there and pretty vocal, at 1:15 AM PST. “Let’s go Padres!” First Padre batter just got hit by a pitch so the tying run is aboard. I’m not sure if the announcers want the padres to score or not. : – )  Quite a game.

UPDATE – Padres also got a walk but failed to score in the bottom of the 22nd, so that’s it.  Time to write that paper.

PS – to see a map of all XM users and where they’re located (I’m on the Alaska image to the left of the “U” in “United States” – you can’t miss it), try this link:  http://ward.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=54863

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thanks to despair.com

Posted in Uncategorized by Pete on March 20, 2008

ok, so I’m messing with the header, and had to put the image up from one of despair.com’s shirts.  I didn’t ask for permission, so hopefully I don’t get in trouble.  That is partly the reason for this post.  #1, I think at this point literally NOONE reads my blog since I’ve told noone.  At this point its pure catharsis, but maybe later I’ll put a link to this on our website and maybe on my email signature.  #2, if you do read it and you don’t know about despair.com, check it out (this is the part where I’m hoping to avoid trouble with the crack legal team at despair.com).  They have fantastic posters, calendars, and yes t-shirts.  If you’re not a dark, sarcastic gen-xer you might not appreciate it, but I think most of it is fantastic stuff and am the proud owner of a poster, calendar, and even a coffee mug (the “pessimist’s mug,” and I don’t drink anything hot, but thats another story).  They are the one and only company that sends me spam that I am excited to read, often the kind of stuff you cannot read while drinking unless you want to make a mess.  They have a blog too, somewhere…  *****11/12/09 EDIT – that old header is gone.  Here is the thing I was referring to that used to grace the top of my blog:



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