Posts Tagged ‘PC’

Change the World Wednesday – 12th Mar

Cloro was a great one for licking his, apparently, he kept them in good working order

Cloro was a great one for licking his nuts, apparently, he kept them in good working order…

I am crazy. It’s 2am and I’m at the keyboard with a tankard of iced sparkling mineral water, it’s too early for coffee; and too hot (I’m sweating). But don’t expect me to stay up and finish this, it’s just until I get sleepy again… then it will be crash until coffee.

I am still catless, but apparently not for long. You’ll have to read Legacy to find out why.

Carnaval is well in the past, back to work. The garis (street sweepers) and council have reached an agreement and are back to work.

My PC is still behaving like a PC should, so it seems as though my troubles are over for the present, despite the fact that it looks like a gutted box beside me with its blinking lights.

I like the lights blinking on and in the PC, they’re a comfort, they indicate that things are as they should be.

I had an interesting conversation with a fregües (regular) at the bar during the week. He uses disposable cups for his beer, which I think is totally crass.

Blue Plastic Cup

The terrible convenience

The bar has them for the kids who buy soda to drink in the praça (park) and some of the regulars have taken to using them for beer.

I challenged him on it. He just considered a convenience. When I asked him how many barrels of oil would be wasted in his lifetime just for his convenience, he replied, “guilty as charged.” Now this guy is no fool, he’s a maritime engineer, but even for educated Brazilian, it’s hard to get the message across. The next time I saw him at the bar… yes, he was still using a disposable cup.

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On with this week’s CTWW. It’s a good one and I can get right into it.

If you haven’t already done so, replace at least one incandescent light bulb with a CFL or LED bulb.


OR … If you have switched all your bulbs to Eco-friendly varieties, please conduct a brief analysis of your home furnishings. Are items sustainable and Eco-friendly, made from materials like bamboo, cork, or recycled content? Were they made locally? How many pieces are second hand? Do any items contain foam (cushions, pads, etc.) which typically are treated with fire retardants (toxic chemicals)? Has anything been varnished or finished with lacquers (both contain harmful pollutants)? Do you have wood furniture? If so, do you know where the wood came from and whether or not the trees were sustainably grown? The idea, here, is to start thinking about the sustainability of our furnishings and raise our awareness on the types of items we should both support and avoid.

Part One I am in the process of changing over, as much as I was against CFLs initially, because of disposal and breakage problems, I have had to toe the line, because in Brazil this year incandescent light bulbs will become illegal, to make and to sell.

I would prefer LEDs, but I haven’t found them in our part of town yet, we do live out in the styx a bit when it comes to innovation. You see people think that Rio stops after you have passed the posh suburbs of Barra da Tijuca and Recreio, once you go over the hill Grota Funda (now you can go through it, we’ve got a tunnel) the world ends. But I will keep looking.

Part Two (This will have to wait until the real morning, you know with coffee and daylight)



Okay, we’re ready to continue…

At the start of summer I made a big purchase; not a thing I do often. I bought two new fans.

ana_pesquisa__17_Now fans here in Brazil, and probably everywhere, are big on plastic.

You can see them in all the stores.

In my efforts to avoid plastic, it was a criteria that I set myself.

ventidelta-coluna-premium-60cm-pretoI found what I was looking for a nearly all metal model.

One was an upright, the other on a tube base for a table.

The only visible plastic is the name plate on the front, the blades and the small clips to hold the front grill in place.

So yes, I consider the environment when I buy.

Now as for the rest of my furnishings.

In the living room, I have two new items, a coffee table and a bookcase stand; both are made of wood. But the wood is a composite type, which I consider more ecological that real wood because it is usually made from recycled wood.

beerboxEverything else is second hand and some is just boxes, like my beer box.

Oh, there is another one on the other side of the TV for my wine bottle candle holders.

My sofas, 3 & 2 seat, were rescued from the street as discards by a neighbour, they have foam in them, actually they had foam in them, there is not as much as there should be. But to compensate for this, the one I use most is covered by a camp mattress and a blanket and the cushion is an old doubled over pillow.

So rather than rushing out and buying new stuff, I make do with what’s available. When I do, I do consider the environment as well as the cost, because I can be a real Scrooge.

Change the World Wednesday – 5th Mar

It doesn’t look any different, but it’s working

I cancelled my PC hunting trip last week. Not because I don’t need one, I do. But before I could leave the house, you guessed it, another PC drama. I decided to give the reinstall of XP another go and I was lucky, the full reinstall was a success… except for one thing, when I connected to the net my PC was sending wi-fi, but not receiving. Convinced that the problem was the server, I rang, he came, plugged in his laptop to my net; BINGO! Worked perfectly, the problem was my PC – the plug unit into the motherboard was kaput. He suggested that I bypass the connection.

Straight into town, and bought a new net board, plugged it in and BINGO AGAIN! Fixed the problem for R$31; cheaper than a secondhand PC.

All the glamour of carnival, like nowhere else on earth

All the glamour of carnival, like nowhere else on earth

Brazil is in the middle of Carnaval week. Started Friday, the last Rio parades were Monday night. But nobody wants to work, nobody wants English class, so the whole week is a waste.

Unfortunately carnaval is probably the most ‘ungreen’ time of the year.

This year is made worse by the garis (street sweepers) going on strike for better pay and conditions. The strike started on Saturday and Rio looks like this now.

The city centre after street parades - not a pretty sight

The city centre after street parades – not a pretty sight. Just look at all that plastic!

With no end in sight. The workers have set their demands, and the city council countered with a fraction that left the talks at a stalemate.

A street sweeper earns currently about R$780+/- a month ($360). That’s the minimum salary. That is not enough to live. I couldn’t live on that, I am trying to this month because of a lack of classes, and I can’t, I have had to fall back on resources. Brazilians don’t have resources.

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Anyway, on with this week’s CTWW.

This week Small is challenging us over our wardrobes (closets) and our addiction to fashion.

This week, choose two outfits and wear them exclusively for the week. This does not include undergarments. To make this challenge work, do not wash clothes more often than usual. If you feel that your clothing needs freshening up, try hanging it in the bathroom while you shower … or hang it outside for “airing”. The idea is to see if we can live with less while maintaining water conservation and good environmental practices.


OR … If you absolutely need more than two outfits this week, please do an analysis of your closet. How many items do you have? Where (which country) were they manufactured? Are you aware of the factory working conditions in that part of the world? What materials are used? Are any natural fibers dyed or bleached? If cotton is used, is it organic? Do any items include plastic (buttons, trim, etc.)? Take an honest look at your closet. Once you’ve gathered the results, how could you make your wardrobe more Eco-friendly?

The world of fashion is one of my pet hates. It is totally unnecessary and self-serving. I hate the idea of ‘brand labels’ and I refuse to buy them.

This is totally unnecesarry, a waste of resources and blatant consummerism

This is totally unnecessary, a waste of resources and blatant consumerism, besides they look ridiculous

Men’s fashion as well.

The whole fashion industry should be dismantled and we would be doing much more for the planet than we are currently.

I, by necessity, fall naturally into the first category; mainly driven by my frugal needs.

Two outfits, is easy. I have a pair of jeans for work and going out, and two pairs of shorts, one of which is due to fall off me and for home use only, the other for wear outside the gate.

My wardrobe consists of three pair of jeans, one newer pair for everyday use, and two older pair kept for emergencies. All my shirts are secondhand and most of my T-shirts, although I have had to buy a few with pockets. I have one good pair of shoes, and my old sneakers as a reserve, I have two pair of flipflops, they break so easily I have a new pair still in the packet ready.

As to where they are made, I have no idea, but most are natural fibres.

Because I wear my jeans for about two hours a day for part of the week, they only get washed every two weeks. I have dispensed with washing the shorts that are due to fall into pieces; washing could hasten the process.

My washing load this week: one bed sheet, one pillowcase, one pair of socks, three pair of underpants, one tea towel, one hand towel, one bath towel, one white shirt and a T-shirt.

That about covers it. A little of both parts of the challenge.

Change the World Wednesday – 26th Feb

Her avatar

Her avatar

A sad note to start of the day. Lois, of Living Simply Free and a regular contributor to CTWWs and other environmental matters has decided to step back from blogging. Lois has been an inspirational source of what can be done, and I personally will miss her well thought out and pertinent contributions. She explains all in a post New Adventures, then follows up with Paradise Lot – I Thank You

Lois, good luck for the future.

No wonder it died; half its guts are missing...

No wonder it died; half its guts are missing…

I had a drama on Monday, of course, it had to be a Monday; perpetuating the myth.

My PC died again. Third time in as many weeks. All this began to happen after Brazil suffered a pane (power cut) that affected half the country three weeks ago. I was forced to reinstall XP again, to compensate for the corrupt config.sys file. But it has led me to believe that my PC needs to be rePCed.

Now I am not going to rush off and buy a new one (ecologically unsound), I am opting for a reconditioned one for a quarter of the price. Also, the reconditioned one comes with XP, not the horrendous Windows 8 that would be forced on me if I bought new.


I wouldn’t touch Windows 8 with yours…

I see they have put the ‘Start’ button back on, but why on earth up top, why not where people were used to it?

One of the things I hate about Microsoft is they force things upon you.

Like last night with my laptop at work, it upgraded IE, to 8. I didn’t want it upgraded and I couldn’t stop it. The only useful function for IE is to download FireFox; the programme is useless, pathetic.

</rant over>

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Now we must truck along. This week’s CTWW.


To begin, test your water conservation knowledge by taking this QUIZ.



Install at least one low-flow aerator on a faucet in your home. These are relatively inexpensive from hardware stores and are easily installed (just screw them on).


OR …

If you’ve already installed aerators on your faucets, choose one other way to conserve water this week. Need some ideas? Eat no meat, pork or poultry (they all require a lot of water to produce). Reduce or eliminate spending (except for true essentials). Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. Review your water bill history to determine periods of high use and make plans to reduce during those times (it’s also a good tool for determining leaks). Fix leaky faucets or toilets. Consider removing some of the lawn (or all of it) and planting native shrubs, plants, trees, etc. When refreshing your pet’s water, or changing the water in a fish tank, use it to feed your plants. Get creative and find a way to reduce your water footprint.

First part. Well, that was a failure – 1/5.

Second part. I have only one tap in the house, the kitchen sink, and it has an aerator. The other tap in the bathroom leaks, so I disconnected it because I never use it. Done √

Third part. In the heat of our present season, I take many brief showers to cool off during the day and night. I bought a large bowl to put in the shower to catch the run off, and that goes on my houseplants and garden. I am already eating less beef, so that is also a saving. I keep iced water in the fridge, rotating two bottles from the tap to the freezer to the fridge. My water bill is static, I always get charged the minimum, so my water use is below that level. Done √

Now I’m off, going to hunt a new PC.


Simple Green Ideas

Most people today have an old PC around the house or in the shed. That old PC has a monitor…

Try this!


Simple Green Ideas

If you’ve been using computers for as long as I have, you’re bound to have an old one lying around the house or garage.

A little imagination…


…and you’ve got a new mail box.

Change the World Wednesday – 14th Nov

On time today!

*Checks calendar* to make sure.

In my last CTWW I said I was about to make a big purchase. I did, you can read about it on my post In Dire Need of Therapy it tells the story of my find. It also tells the story of last week’s CTWW, buying local instead of a big chain store. My previous fears were that I would only find my digital camera at an affordable price were unfounded.

I also bought a new TV remote control. The original that came with the TV worked, but required numerous presses of each button before anything happened. No, it wasn’t the batteries, I had changed them. I found one in the local mercado popular (street market) for R$10, at a store it would have been twice the price. But there was a price tag, many of the products, not all,  in these markets have been smuggled across the border from Paraguay, so you can never be sure that you’re not supporting the contrabandistas (black marketeers, smugglers), life is fraught with uncertainties.

So, I managed to keep to the spirit of the challenge, did you? Did you forgo your Starbuck’s and McDonald’s?

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This week’s CTWW is the last of the year. Sadly, Small Footprints is going to do a disappearing act until January. I calculate that is eight CTWWless Wednesdays.

*Stares blankly at screen wondering what I will do on Wednesdays*

I’m sure you will all join with me and say that she will be missed.

On with the game…

This week reduce! For example, reduce the length of your showers or the amount of time the TV or computers are on. Reduce the amount of food you cook (and eat) or reduce the energy used to cook food (try raw foods or energy-efficient counter-top cooking devices). Perhaps you can reduce the amount of garbage your family generates … and even reduce the need to recycle. Reduce the number of miles you drive or the number of trips you typically make in a week. Try turning off the lights for an extra hour this week or adjusting the thermostat by a degree. The idea with this challenge is to take at least one activity and make it more Eco-friendly by reducing.


Or … Since we all have an impact and can do a little something to reduce, we don’t have a second level.

Let’s see now…


If I reduce my shower time any further, I run the risk of becoming like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown cartoons; seriously. But I turn off the power so that I have ‘cold’ showers during the spring and summer, and much of the autumn.

I already turn off my TV if I’m not watching it. Even between programmes. Although I still have the problem that my On/off button is broken, so it is on standby until I get that fixed.

I already reduce the amount of food I cook. Sometimes, like yesterday, I cooked too much bolognaise; it’s in the fridge and today I am going to make pastry (I never buy) and make little pies to take to the botequim (bar) after work and share with the fregües (regulars).

I don’t have any bench top appliances. I consider them to be an unnecessary luxury, or undesirable like microwaves. Remember the best place for your microwave is the scrap metal yard; they’re dangerous. Check these posts, Make you Fink on Friday, Popcorn is Dangerous, another Make you Fink on Friday, and if you want more, do a search for ‘microwave’ in this blog.

Hmmm, raw foods, does sushi count? I love sushi.

I already recycle where possible. I only trash stuff that is really unrecyclable or soiled.

Lights get turned on at the last moment.

I don’t have a thermostat.

I don’t drive.

My worst enemy is my PC. My PC is 24/7, it works whenever I am sleeping. But I do turn off the screen when I am, or when I am away from the house; I don’t wait for the screensaver cycle. I know it can be adjusted, but that would drive me batty during periods when I am reading or thinking.

I will still think of something.


Do you remember this little cayenne pepper plant?

CTWW 25th April

It’s a big boy now…

Ready to flower

Second result with new camera. You can also see my little bonsai, and the fern I yanked out from the compost heap sitting beside the TV. It’s blurry, I’m am still learning to ‘drive’ it.

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