Posts Tagged ‘driving’

Change the World Wednesday – 9th Apr

Can’t a girl have a wash in peace?

First up this week, I have a new kitten. Those of you who are regulars will know that I love a cat in the house; and my last one disappeared some months back.

The full story on Got Pussy.

She’s had her morning play, 5am – 6:15am, that’s why I am here so early, and now she’s sleeping on the arm of the sofa which she seems to have adopted as her ‘place to be.’

Now that Clorinha has ensured that I am awake, I need my second coffee…

One flopped flip-flop

Last week one of my flip-flops flopped.

What do you do when this happens?

My story is on a post: Frugal or Stingy.

My second goiabeira (guava tree), which I didn’t expect to fruit until next year, has produced one small but growing goiaba. I watch daily for more, but so far in vain. My first tree has produced enough so far for several litres of fresh guava juice.

A couple of years ago I planted an inhame (cocoyam or taro) and it never did much except produce the distinctive dark green leaves which are at least decorative; well, I think so.

It has resurrected itself

It has resurrected itself

My first encounter with inhame led me to describe it to my mother as a hairy potato, I didn’t know at the time that it was taro.


Hairy potatoes

I am in an artistic mood. It happens from time to time, I can’t help it. It’s an affliction that I suffer from.

This time I am recycling my oldest PC case, well beyond it’s ‘best by’ date. I want to use the case as a base for a small table for my laptop when I teach classes at home, because my present arrangement is rather precarious and threatens to send the whole lot crashing to the floor.

But that’s not the arty-farty bit.

A couple of weeks ago I rescued an old clock frame from the trash on the street. The clock was stuffed, but the frame was in good condition with the glass intact.

Having gutted the old PC – DDR266 which is so old it was steam powered and would grunt and wail if faced with today’s internet speeds, I was left with a circuit board and bits and pieces…

I am now preparing to combine the two and make a portrait of a PC.


PC guts loosely mounted behind frame

I still have to prepare the background which will be an oil painting of some description, haven’t decided yet and assemble. So it’s a case of recycle, repurpose and hang it on the wall. All in good time; you can’t rush art, some would call this procrastination.

Click the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

Last week we dealt with the ocean, this week is similarly a broad subject, the air.

But first, more coffee.

This week, for at least one day, leave your car parked. Instead, walk or ride a bike.


OR …

If you don’t drive or can’t do without your car, please choose other actions designed to reduce air pollution. Need some ideas? Avoid power tools (such as lawnmowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, etc.) and use manual tools instead. Stop smoking! Choose water-based products (paints, solvents, etc.) instead of products which contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Avoid commercial indoor air fresheners. Drive smart (accelerate slowly, turn off the engine if the car is stopped for more than 30 seconds, combine errands for one trip, etc.). Reduce energy use (much of the world’s energy is derived in ways which pollute … think smoke stacks). Add house plants to your home. Plant a tree. Use natural, safe cleansers. Buy locally produced items (reduces transport pollution).


Part One:

I do… no car. I walk hobble everywhere, or take a bus.

Part Two:

I don’t have any pollutant machines. Last week I cleared the weeds from my gutter with a spade, nearly killed me, but I managed.

I am not this size now

I am not this size now

Stop smoking! I am a smoker, and while I have stopped at various times in my life, I am currently a smoker. At my time of life I have few enough pleasures, among them smoking, chocolate, wine and fine dining. I have long concluded that when I stop smoking I pile on the weight; last time 10kg (22lbs) in six weeks. So I have to balance, risks of being overweight with the risks of smoking. You may see this as justification, but it is a battle I have faced all my life, I don’t like being a bigger person.

I do have VOCs, well, I think they are VOCs… my oil paints and turpentine.  I don’t do water colours, my style doesn’t suit them. I tried them many years ago, in fact my first forays into painting were with water colours, but an accomplished artist told me to try oils, it was my style. I did and have never looked back.

Painted and sold some years back

Painted and sold some years back

So, I claim artistic license on this one.

I do use air freshener… One quick squirt, twice a week in the living room only. I am a smoker and when I have students at home for lessons, who don’t smoke, I prefer not to subject them to stale smoke.

Sansevieria trifasciata - known for purifying the air

Sansevieria trifasciata – known for purifying the air

Drive smart, I used to. But I haven’t driven for 20+ years.

House plants – Done, I have many.

Plant a tree – Done, I currently have five trees, four bushes and many vege plants in my yard.

Natural cleaners – generally done, I have few commercial cleaning products.

Buy local, except for the supermarket, I buy where I can walk. The latest example is the new sacolão (fruit and vege shop) that has opened near home. I now buy all my fruit and vege there.

Need more coffee, and I must change the kitty dirt box. Here I use sand, can’t abide these bought products.


Change the World Wednesday – 20th June

Oh poo!

I wait all week to participate and this week I can’t because I meet the challenge everyday. I don’t have the ‘convenience of a car.

I have added a second link to the verdurette idea.

Cold snap again today, I had to work early this morning and now I am feeling stuffed up again. I hope it passes, and doesn’t lay me up like last week.

This is the first image I saw on Google; this is NOT coffee, this is weasel wee.

I have been following some of the reports and events at the Rio +20 Summit, and I am not at all hopeful. I hope to have a rant on this tomorrow, it’s partially written, with luck I will get the impetus to finish. Freshly brewed coffee in the morning helps, in fact it’s essential.

Look at that insipid watery stuff, it looks terrible.

Decent Brazilian coffee is almost syrup-like, it curls your chest hairs, and makes you do stupid things faster.

Change the World Wednesday, this week is about, um, NOT driving…

This week we’re going to track the driving trips which WE DON’T TAKE. Yep … for every time that you walk, ride a bike or simply choose not to make a trip, keep track of it.

See what I mean, I can’t do it specifically, because for me it’s everyday. Besides, I spend most of my day here sitting on my chuff entertaining you lot. It’s hard work.

But I can comment. In the halcyon days of my youth, I had a car, I had several, but from the moment I got my driver’s license, I had a car. The old saying, have car – will drive; and I did everywhere. Walk to the shops, are you out of your mind? I’d no more walk to the shops than fly to the moon.

But then in those days, we didn’t have the same global awareness as we do today, and gas was a lot cheaper.

Cars became an addiction, we couldn’t do without a car. From the moment our pimples cleared up and girls began to flirt, the car became the very centre of our universe and that has never changed. Even after marriage 2.x kids, the car was the most important thing apart from the house. We became immersed in the belief that you can’t live without a car.

Vehicles like this are either going to be banned or be taxed out of existance

We need to change that. They say peak oil has already been reached, which means higher prices and riskier methods (fracking) to get more. Some of the info I read on the various web sites paints a pretty dim future. It was considered a crisis when oil reached $100 a barrel, now that’s standard and there are forecasts of $200 before the years out.

Now it doesn’t matter if you are driving a Prius or whether you have an SUV, either way you’re going to be in the poo, one deeper than the other.

So the need to drive less is not just important from pollution, global warming point of view, but also financially. You’d better get used to it; because those days have gone, they are not returning.

So for car owners, I think the challenge is very important. I honestly don’t now how I would have fared.

I have two neighbours here, who live less than 200 metres from the botequim, and they drive there. Then there are others who live further and they walk. There is another guy who lives even closer, and he bikes to the bar… 50 metres across the praça, and he bikes! At least that’s a bike.

Good luck to all those participating.

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