Posts Tagged ‘Lixo’

Change the World Wednesday – 31st Jul

Well, this week has been kind of rough.

Apart from the cold that has devastated Brazil for the last week and destroyed many crops that have already had an impact on the market. Milk has shot up in price, from R$2.70/lt to R$3.30/lt because cattle feed has gone up in price. I ask myself, why don’t they feed the cows on grass? Grass doesn’t go up in price.

LixoatrestThe major upset this week, was the unexpected death of Lixo, my cat. He was poisoned, along with the neighbour’s fox terrier. You can read my post RIP, my Friend for the full story.

Lixo was AWOL for three days, then on Saturday, I heard the news.

My little furball rubbish (Lixo is Portuguese for rubbish) has been recycled. He is buried along with Herbie under a small palm tree that my neighbour grew from seed in the praça he loved so much.

It was with tears that I cleaned up Kitty Korner for the last time.

I remain hopeful; all my cats have come from the street, so it won’t be long before another comes along, that I can repurpose.

Click on the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW, is about the Tar sands oil pipeline, an important issue, not only for the USA, but globally.

Have you heard about the Tar Sands Oil Pipeline? It not only threatens wildlife and natural habitat, it threatens drinking water. While it directly affects Canada and the United States, it sets a dangerous precedent worldwide … that the use of fossil fuel is acceptable. Let’s raise our voices and let the world know that we not only want to stop the Tar Sands Oil Pipeline but we want sustainable, environmentally-safe energy. Please sign this Petition (appropriate worldwide).

 

OR …

Choose any of the petitions found HERE (or choose a cause specific to your area) and take action.

 

OR …

Contact your public officials via letter, email or phone regarding your environmental concerns.

Because of the anonymity I maintain on the net, I will not be signing petitions, but I will spread the word and urge all my readers.

My reason for anonymity is not cowardice, for those of you who have known my blogs over the years will be aware that because I am outspoken in many areas; an attempt to be anonymous is a case of self preservation. My blogs have already been wiped once, and I don’t want to lose all my work again. Just because I am in Brazil, doesn’t mean that I am immune from NSA; it turns out that Brazil has the highest rate of eavesdropping by NSA in Latin America, and Brazilians are not at all happy about this.

The world is changing, and it is not for the better.

Change the World Wednesday – 17th Jul

failed_stampZero waste this week….

So why did I have three bags of rubbish to put out tonight instead of my usual one or sometimes two?

Another of life’s paradoxes.

It was all packaging, so I didn’t actually waste anything. No food went out (I didn’t burn any toast this week), nothing reusable went out.

How many of you would have tossed this orange?

amouldyorangeI made juice from three of them that had snuck up on me in my fruit stand, it was delicious. Just cut the mouldy bits off, perhaps a little more generously because the soft pulp extends further into the fruit than the affected outside signs

So much food is thrown away because of blemishes or a little mould, when they could be used.

fishinglassI didn’t even throw the broken wine glass out, it has been put to the side. I didn’t break it, I discovered that the base was broken in two when I unpacked it. Unfortunately it was past the date when I could have taken it back to the store. So eventually, I will glue the base and use it for…. something; I haven’t decided yet.

It’s too small for a fish bowl. Besides some clown would put wine in it, then I’d have weekly trips to AA with a fish.

Probably end up as a candle holder.

Some rocks, compost and moss, perhaps. A mini terrarium with a fern…

Update:

My turning to the new fangled lights is timely. Brazil is banning the sale and manufacture of incandescent light bulbs from next year.

Small suggested, in a comment, that my Bread’n’Butter Pudding sounded great. (Last week)

Mine aren't as burnt... but you get the idea.

Mine aren’t as burnt… but you get the idea.

Recipe:

Old bread crusts or rolls saved in the freezer.

Pyrex dish, butter bread (NO margarine, it’s yucky) and line dish. Throw in some sultanas. Slop on some dollops of any jam (jelly for our US cousins). Make scrambled egg mix with less milk than eggs and with some brown sugar and a dash of vanilla essence, pour over bread until soaked and covered. Sprinkle with some cinnamon or nutmeg. Bake at a low heat until solid. Serve, eat, enjoy. It’s about as simple as a dessert can be. This recipe originated in England during WW II when there was food rationing and nothing, but nothing  could be wasted.

Click on the banner for the full post

Okay, on with this week’s CTWW.

This week review your activities and come up with at least one more way to live green. Similar to our energy challenge, this will be easy for “newbies” who have plenty of options to choose from and tough for seasoned “greenies” who will have to dig deep. Let’s see how green we can be!!

Oh, pooh!

Recycle, upcycle, repurpose… They’re all on the cards around here.

Lixo at lunch

Lixo at lunch

Here’s an example. My cat Lixo (means rubbish in Portuguese) is a green cat.

I love my Lixo, but I don’t pamper him. He’s a cat after all. Here he is at lunch -terrible photo.

You’ll notice that there isn’t a special cat bowl, nothing that has been especially bought  for him.

He’s a happy cat.

Now let’s take a closer look at Kitty Korner.

KittyKorner3Kitty Korner is a cut down milk box carton, lined with two polystyrene slabs cut to fit. His dish is a polystyrene tray, and his milk dish is an old margarine container. Lixo is quite happy with his Kitty Korner and asks for nothing more. He’s only interested in the food.

Now while I try to avoid buying stuff in polystyrene, sometimes it’s unavoidable, because of supermarket or hygiene rules. But when I am lumbered with the stuff, it gets reused, upcycled, repurposed. Oh, and when it gets dirty, I wash it and use it again and again, until it breaks, then it goes out in the trash. For example, that marg container, I have been using for three years, it rotates with a cream cheese container of about the same age.

So, my suggestion for something green and new. Is don’t buy your pets purpose specific things, where possible, reuse, recycle, upcycle or repurpose.

Perhaps with a dog, you may have to use something a tad more sturdy than polystyrene as most dogs would just chew it to pieces all over the backyard. Perhaps an old enamel dish…

enameldish

How green is your pet?

Change the World Wednesday – 22nd May

You could of course extrapolate that to “Go green!” and Let’s go green!” and then it has a lot of meaning for the whole process of CTWW. The people who participate in CTWW challenges are leaders. The ‘goers’ are the politicians. The leaders get things done, the politicians wait for things to be done.

So, stealing Small’s thunder for a bit; let’s get more things done!

atorre

My torre serving more as a liquor cabinet

Moving along…

My torre arrived and is installed; as predicted it came wrapped in plastic and had some thin polystyrene pieces protecting the layers. The main package was cardboard, so the pollutant waste was less than I had thought.

On Thursday, I bought a new coffee table. I won’t bore you here with the whole story, should you feel the need to be bored click on the link for the full saga; I can assure you that the first half of that post is less than boring, you may be shocked or indeed it may pique your interest.

.

Having got this far… I need more coffee.

BRB

acaffeineloadingOut of yesterday’s coffee for a quick fix; have to brew some more.

Oh, so you’re just going to have to sit there and wait.

If you think I am going to write something of interest before the coffee is ready, then you’re wrong; with a capital WR!

I don’t care, it’s just the way things are.

If you try to get anything tangible from me at this point, you are wasting your time and placing your life in danger.

And, don’t start with that “you’re addicted to coffee routine” again… I am NOT!

The crisis has been averted, coffee is ready, resume your places everybody, the post can continue.

*as if nothing untoward happened*

220px-Energiesparlampe_01_retouchedYesterday, I bought one of those economic lightbulb thingies. Basically, it was in a fit of pique because my last incandescent burned out in less than two months. I also gave a fleeting thought to economising.

It wasn’t one of those squiggly ones, they are terrible; everytime I see one, I want to reach for another bottle of wine.

Gone is the soft warm glow of my 60w incandescent. Instead, this post is being brought to you by the harsh white glare of austerity; I feel like a Greek… maybe I could get an EU bailout, they seems to be all the fashion.

Click on the banner for the full post

This week’s CTWW.

Level 1 (The Green Novice) – This week, for at least one full day, disconnect from the Internet except as needed for work (this includes hand-held devices).

 

OR …
Level 2 (The Advanced Greenie) – Disconnect from the Internet, except for work, for the entire week.
.

There are more Levels, but in the need to economise, you’ll have to click on the banner to see them, that is should you feel the need to seek a higher plane than us lowly beings down here.

atommorrow

A blathering wreck

This one is terrible. In 24 hours I would be a blathering wreck without even considering the consequences of a whole wekk. (Typo left to show how nervous I am) I would feel like Oklahoma, devastated. I don’t want to look like Hilary Clinton!

Seriously, my PC is 24/7, even when I am sleeping my PC is working. How else am I going to pirate English textbooks like a responsible teacher? Of course, I can do without the movies and music, but my pursuit of perfecting the English language is my greatest virtue… in fact, it is my only virtue.

I am going to have to claim ‘work’, not because of the overnight downloads, but because of my blogs. I drink coffee, I am a serious blogger. Many of you may/may not be aware that I have eight blogs and they take a lot of work to maintain my target of a daily post on them all; as it is I don’t always achieve my tally.

Probably more important is the high possibility of a systems failure if I switch the PC off; sometimes it restarts good, but other times I have a bitch of a job. You see my PC is a girl and suffers from PMT = PC mental tantrums.

Not Lixo, but you get the idea

Not Lixo, but you get the idea

I do, however, switch off the monitor physically overnight because Lixo can’t sleep; he sits up all night in my chair trying to catch the status bars on the downloads as the creep across the screen.

Then he spends all day sleeping on my clean shirts. He says he is ironing them, but I don’t believe it, because an iron doesn’t leave cat hairs over the black one.

.

Some of this post has been serious, some parts not so serious. That’s what happens when you overcaffeinate.

Change the World Wednesday – 3rd April

Running a bit late this morning. Big tropical rainstorm last night lots of rain, lots of lightning and lots of wind. The net went down. for a couple of hours. But that is normal for the Third World, you get used to it.

Stylized waterdrop footprintLast week’s CTWW was about your water footprint.

Boy did I get a surprise.

1848

Initially, I thought it was ho-hum, at least I did until I saw reports of 100+ and 400+.

Then I went, oh dear!

I wasn’t doing so well. My big culprit was food, or more specifically meat.

In Small’s last week’s CTWW gave these figures:

  • Beef 1 kg = 15,500 lt of water
  • Pork = 4,800 lt
  • Chicken = 3,900 lt

Now while that isn’t an end all definitive list, it did show me that the amount of beef that I consume (Oh, I do love a BBQ) was where I unwittingly used most of my ‘hidden’ water.

no-beef4After much gnashing of teeth I thought about what I could do.

The result is that I have imposed on myself two beefless weeks each month. Monday – Sunday, the first full and third weeks  of each month.

I am now in the middle of my first week.

Last night at the supermarket, I bought no beef, only chicken for three days, pork for one day and fish for two days (I already have fish in the fridge for one day). I have bacon to make a bacon & egg pie and ham for snacks.

By doing this I have roughly halved my beef intake.

agreencatEven Lixo P. Cat has joined the the effort.

Not by choice, I might add.

He is having chicken as his meat supplement instead of mincemeat (ground beef for our American cousins), and fish ‘flavoured’ dry cat food that probably doesn’t have any actual fish in it as much as his meat ‘flavoured’ doesn’t not have any actual meat in it.

My Lixo is a ‘green’ cat.

When I unpack from the supermarket, Lixo is a great helper. He carefully inspects each item as it goes into either the cupboard or fridge.

Last night as the last item was hidden from his feline eyes. He looked up at me quizzically and ‘meowed’, and I could just read his mind… “Where’s the beef?”

Onward!

Click for the full post

This week’s CTWW.

This week, apply the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, etc.

Once again, it’s rather a large challenge to hop across to Reduce Footprints to read the rest, just click on the banner and you’ll be transported from Kansas…

cd2I am already green here. I haven’t bought a CD for music in years, I download from the net. The same with films, although I do have one or two currently. I have in the past given DVDs to neighbours when I am done with them, so they have been recycled.

I wouldn’t use a CD as a coaster, because coasters need to be absorbent or you drip condensation all down your front.

But I can imagine that they could be used decoratively as dangly things in the wind, like chimeless wind chimes.

As for disposal, Brazil is just not up with this type of specialised recycling and if they were added to the ‘plastics’ would no doubt be discarded at the recycling plant. Anyway, in our area we don’t have selective recycling for anything.

You do see this in 'posh' areas, but Zona Oeste (West Zone) is not 'posh' enough

You do see this in ‘posh’ areas, but Zona Oeste (West Zone) is not ‘posh’ enough

Our recycling is more like this…

Catadores roaming the streets looking for stuff to sell on

Catadores roaming the streets looking for stuff to sell on

That’s about it for this week, on with my beefless week… Chicken for lunch!

Change the World Wednesday – 23rd Jan

Last week’s CTWW was about picking an area of the house and organise it.

I chose my junk drawer…

Before

junkdrawertidy

After

Medications, etc to the right; soaps and extras to the left, tooly bits and things in the middle.

I’m afraid I didn’t throw away much, in fact my discards amounted to a perished rubberband. But I did find the remains of a packet of parsley seeds that I will have another shot at propagating as a house plant/s.

On with this week’s challenge without further ado.

.

This week start an “Action” journal. List the Eco-tasks you’d like to accomplish this year. This can be done in an actual journal, a blog … or even on a piece of paper. Get the whole family involved since we’re often more inclined to follow through on a task if it was our idea in the first place. Put the list of actions somewhere accessible so that it can be referenced often. As actions are completed, mark them off (ah the sense of accomplishment).

And then she asks, “Are you game for this activity?”

Lixo cooling off on the slate floor of the shower, it’s the coolest place in the house on a 40 degree day.

I’m game for most things, but I hate making lists.

I’ll have to think about that. If I do it it will be on this blog with updates. Getting the whole family involved, I checked with Lixo, he’s on, not happily but he’s on board. He’s all the family I’ve got and has been warned that he will eat all his cat food before he gets more.

Let’s face it, Lixo is a cat, he views the world differently from us hummins.

.

5124He knows if the cat dish is full or empty.

#1 :: A new fridge to reduce the electricity gobbling monster I have currently. –

#2 :: Change the element in the shower head. The current one only works on Low and Off, which is good for saving energy, but the with winter only a few months away, when the water is intolerably cold, I do like a Hot shower in the winter. I have the element, it’s in the little white plastic bag in the ‘tooly’ section of my junk drawer. It’s been there for a few months now… procrastination.

#3 :: I haven’t got a three yet.

I live from day to day and don’t make many big plans. But here is the story on the fridge (reprinted from Life is a Labyrinth, my personal blog).

“Last night one of my students told me of his plans, to finish his project at work, get involved in Carnaval, take his holidays and get married to his long term girlfriend. But to do three of these things he needs a lot of money, he then informed me that English teachers are on the expendable list. Two more lessons until Carnaval and that’s it.

But the sun shines.

Having polar bears in the kitchen is not recommended

He wanted to know if I could use a fridge. Now the fridge I have works, but has to be defrosted manually every couple of weeks. If I don’t preform this ritual, I have polar bears roaming the kitchen at night. But it has kept my beer cold for the last year. The fridge I have been offered is like a limousine compared to the truck that graces my kitchen at present. And the price is unbeatable, the last two lessons free and R$100. It is almost new, It still has the warranty adhesive.”

I collect the fridge tomorrow night. So, challenge accepted and unlocked. You’ll note the little green tick (check for our American cousins) beside it on the list.

Now I need more coffee, it helps me do stupid things faster.

I got dobbed

I didn’t have a post planned for here today, and I haven’t yet found anything satirish enough to make the grade.

The Sunshine Award

And, lo and behold, I awake after my customary morning nap and there in the mail box is a ray of sunshine.

I got dobbed, ah nominated for a Sunshine Award.

Our Tiny Earth, who is the culprit, ah the nominator says this, “I am nominating you for the Sunshine Award. Your blog inspires me to keep on”

I am an inspiration.

I am suitably humbled, which is inversely measured by my cynicism and stoic superciliousness. I always do this when I am faced with embarrassing situations, it’s a defence mechanism.

The acceptance of this award is, of course, binding on certain rules; tasks, if you like.

The Rules:

1. If you are nominated, you must blog a post linking back to the person/blog that nominated you.

Done

2. You must answer some questions, nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post!

Done

3. You should comment on your nominees’ blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them.

Done – sort of

So, here are the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher?

Does one have a ‘favourite’ philosopher? My life has been measured by an amalgam of philosophers, ancient and contemporary. To say that one was a ‘favourite’ would be to demean the contributions of the others. George Carlin would have to have been the bluntest; he didn’t call a spade a spade, he called it a f***ing shovel!

2. What is your favorite number?

12, because that’s the number of children that I have sired and/or raised beneath my roof and will carry my legacy into the future.

Lixo P. Cat

3. What is your favorite animal?

Cat, I was raised with one in the bassinet. Ironically, my current moggy is the mirror image of him, a ginger tabby named Lixo. Lixo is Portuguese for rubbish, I named him that after he was dumped from a car in our local praça like a piece of rubbish as a kitten. Sometimes, in moments of endearment when he does that cat-thing and stops in front of you when you are walking I called him Fluffy Nuts, simply because he has.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?

Twitter:  @whopaysthepiper  Facebook – I don’t FB

5. What is your favorite time of the day?

Any part of the day that involves coffee, or appropriately beer (after the sun has topped the yardarm).

6. What was your favorite vacation?

The year I planned to spend in Europe in 1992. On my way to Madrid, I stopped over in Rio de Janeiro for ten days and have never left. I never got to Europe. Living for twenty years in the 3rd World has shown me that life can be a vacation; something you’ll never realise living in the 1st World.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking, although the last three years it has involved a walking stick, so I should say, a fast hobble.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Iced tea, or Iced coffee, followed by apple juice.

The passion fruit flower

9. What is your favourite flower?

Passion Fruit. One of the most intricate flowers that exist.

10. What is your passion?

Life and its indelible imprint.

10 Deserving Blogs.

Now this is where, I have a problem.

My reply to OTE’s comment advising me of this nomination was, “sadly I will have to think seriously about the 10 bloggers, the last time I did a meme of this nature, not one of my nominees participated leaving me disappointed and disillusioned with the practice. I vowed not to participate further. I have noted a distinct change to the nature of bloggers since I moved to WordPress; Blogspot bloggers were always guaranteed participants. But I thank you for the opportunity; it’s not my intention to demean the gesture.”

I have participated, because I think it would be priggish of me not to do so in light of the generous nature of the award.

The one bloggerette that springs to mind, one that has inspired me, and inspired the creation of this blog, Small Footprints, has already been nominated. I single her out as my inspiration to things ‘green.’ That is not to belittle the efforts of many others.

I would like to throw the award open and invite the bloggers I have linked on my side bar to consider themselves worthy of this handsome award. If I didn’t think them worthy, they wouldn’t be linked. Proof of the pudding, etc. The rules apply, of course.

Change the World Wednesday – 11th April

"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!"

Like the white rabbit of Lewis Carroll, I’m late. I’m not usually late, but today it is justifiable.

No, Lixo did not have hiccoughs (Hiccups for our American cousins who don’t know the Queen’s English), which had I thought of it, would have been a good excuse.

I wrote a short post earlier this morning on Things that Fizz & Stuff about the full English breakfast and after dithering around a bit decided on a nap, when I woke it was 11am and I had a craving for, yes you guessed, an English breakfast. Succumbing to my pregnancy-like desire for the absurd, I proceeded to cook an English breakfast with what I had available. Two eggs fried, rashers from a left-over scrag-end of bacon, and thermonuclear tomato rings on toast.

Yummy.

Now in the last two days I have learned two things. Actually, I probably learned a lot more, but at 60 one tends to forget minor bits and pieces, or the irrelevant.

No. 1 Soy ink. Yes, there is such a thing as soy ink. I had no idea until I read yesterdays guest post by Brian Knight on Reduce Footprints. I wonder if it tastes as good as the real ink we used to fill our ink wells for our dip pens? Life is full of mysteries. BTW from the further reaches of my childhood memories, blue/black tasted better than regular blue.

No. 2 Thermonuclear Tomatoes. Yes, it’s true. No, they were not grown in Japan. I discovered thermonuclear tomatoes when I got the idea for my post about the English breakfast. It was mentioned in the article on The Guardian. Come on, you didn’t think that I was that intelligent to think of such a description, did you?  <——– Rhetorical question (you will be penalised for answering). But, it’s true; you slice a tomato and put the rings into the pan to fry along with the bacon and other goodies, it’s not until they are on your plate that you realise their thermonuclear properties. Left for a few moments before eating, the eggs and the bacon become cool enough, but the tomatoes can still scold your your mouth stupid, because of course they are basically water.

On with the day…

CTWW this lovely sunny Wednesday morning.

This week take at least one evening, turn off the computer and television … and read a book. This exercises the mind and imagination while saving electricity. Please share what you read and how you read it (book or eReader).

I don’t have a book. *wails in despair*

I don’t have an eReader either. What is an eReader anyway, is that like a Tablet? When I was a kid tablets were things your mother forced down your throat when you were sick, along with idle threats about your future survival on this planet. I’m still here because I took my tablets.

As for a kindle… well, kindling wood was the fine wood we used to light the fire in the lounge and the kitchen incinerator. I’m not so sure that would be good to read with.

Bayeux Tapestry depicting William the Conqueror

The part of Rio de Janeiro that I call home doesn’t have a place to even buy a book in English. Although I can well read one in Portuguese, for pleasure, I prefer English. You see English is a far more flexible language than the Latin based ones. Our ranges of adjectives and adverbs simply outstrip the Romance languages; for that we can thank the French and William the Conqueror. You see English has about 400,000 usable words, whereas Portuguese only 200,000. I tell my students that English is really a mongrel of languages, no idea who the father is.

To get a book in English I would have to go to Barra de Tijuca, the same place I go each month to get my filthy luchre (pay day). As an aside, if you say ‘pay day’ to a Brazilian, hears it as ‘peidei‘ which means, ‘I farted.’ So you never say ‘pay day’ to a Brazilian, if you didn’t.

Kitteh going to hell in a handbasket

Going to Barra twice in one month is just too loathsome to imagine. The expression ‘To hell in a handbasket,’ springs to mind; although you are in a bus, on a hot day the effect is similar.

So now we come to the challenge. How can I compete?

I usually arrive home about 7:30pm. Now that hora de verão (DST) has finished, it’s dark. The first things I do are flick on the PC, and then the TV on the way to the kitchen for a ‘healthy’ glass of fluoridated water from the fridge.

So to avoid the temptation, the only way out is not to go home.

I’ll have a leisurely dinner at Braseiro, my favourite BBQ restaurant and watch their TV because it will be on anyway. No PC, so no temptation.

I know this is not quite in the spirit of things, because I am neither substituting the PC nor TV with a book. But there is an additional benefit. The lights at home also stay off for about an extra three hours. Then, of course, I get to eat all that delicious BBQ and salad. “Heads, I win; Tails, you lose!”

Does that count?

Major Update!

I won! I won! *Dancing insanely around the room*

I won a copy of Born of Blood!

What a perfect day, and now I have to go to work… bummer.

Thank you so much Brian.

The truth is in the blood

.

%d bloggers like this: