The Gypsy's Caravan

Friday, August 29, 2008

Quote of the day

"Read the grim lesson of history, here and abroad. When people do not turn on to politics, politics will turn on them."
~ Ralph Nader

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pic Party!

My sunny garden at work is putting out coneflowers by the dozens,

..along with red bee balm and these pretty allium

The moon in the morning,

The dew on the grass

Sedum preparing to bloom

Exuberant purple coneflower - they just love the heat and the sun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stolen shamelessly from ...

...the Alternate Brain.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MSNBC wrings hands, says Women stay home on Election Day..

Women now make up more than half of the electorate, but only 60 percent of this demographic voted in 2004’s presidential election.

From Wikipedia: 2004, the presidential election turnout was up to 56.70% of all US citizens old enough to vote.
Hmmm... seems to me that 60% is MORE than 56.70%.

That means that women tend to vote more than men. Wonder how MSNBC got that all turned around?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

R.I.P. LeRoy Moore

LeRoi Moore, saxophone player for the Dave Matthews Band, died Tuesday of injuries suffered in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle in June. He was 46.

Every time I've seen him, he was smiling.

Quote of the day

Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that it has always used whenever it wishes to deliver a message and that's its military power. That's not the way to deal in the 21st century.
~ Condoleeza Rice, Aug 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pic of the day

Friday, August 15, 2008

homemade vid -

Whoever did this should be hired by the DLC

a big tip o' the hat to Chet at Shakesville

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pic of the day


Friday, August 08, 2008

This is just Too Juicy!

*Via Alternate Brain

Oriental Lillies

I just love these lilies, and the lilies are loving all the rain.

Become a StrangeBedfellow!

UPDATE: as of 4:15 PM, $113853!
Check out the full story on the money bomb over at Glenn Greenwald's Salon

The sweet smell of radiation in the morning...

McCain’s plan to spend endless billions on nuclear plants without a waste disposal system in place is like building a massive hotel without toilets. I suppose you can always tell the guests to poop in buckets until someone comes up with a plan for plumbing. But the stuff piles up. And unlike the fecal droppings of tourists, nuclear waste will stay hot and dangerous for a thousand generations.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Quote of the day

If you want a short-term solution, try this: if the United States negotiated a deal with Iran that led to the lifting of US sanctions on Iran, it would immediately calm oil markets, and could lead to an increase in Iranian production of 1-2 million barrels a day after a few years. That increase would be 5 to 10 times McCain's offshore drilling.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pic of the day

Wild snapdragon and dahlia

WASHINGTON - Even if no new reactors are built, getting rid of the country's nuclear waste will cost $96.2 billion and require a major expansion of the planned Nevada waste dump beyond limits imposed by Congress, the Energy Department said Tuesday.

The revised cost estimate for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas came as the presumed Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, renewed his call for building as many as 45 new power reactors by 2030.

Such an expansion would require a waste disposal program well beyond what is envisioned by the current Yucca Mountain project, which itself has been highly controversial.

McCain is a strong supporter of the Yucca site, while his Democratic presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama, has opposed it and believes other options should be examined. Obama also has shown little enthusiasm for new reactor construction.

The government now says the Yucca Mountain project in Nevada will cost $38.7 billion more than was anticipated in 2001 when the Energy Department estimated the life cycle cost of the program at $57.5 billion.

Ward Sproat, the Energy Department official in charge of the federal nuclear waste program, said $16 billion of that increase is pegged to inflation. The program also has become more expensive because Yucca will have to accept more waste than previously had been anticipated since current reactors are being allowed to operate longer, he said.

So, while Bushco's inflation is costing us $16 billion on this project alone, it looks like we'll be paying for an expansion in this highly flawed plan to the tune of nearly $23 billion, because the powers that be are letting our old nuke plants operate beyond their planned lifetimes. We will also be carting highly radioactive materials all through our countryside - inviting attacks from who-knows-who, and then concentrating this material in an earthquake zone.

McCain is cheerleading this plan, and calling for 45 more dangerous and polluting plants to be built. If we were to build all the new nuke plants they're calling for, all the uranium we can get to on this earth will only last 10 years*. All the while, no one knows where we'll put the waste (which would be deadly for over a million years) from these newly proposed plants. Almost one for every state.

Where in YOUR state could McLame's new reactor be safely built?

read the whole thing

* (A year's worth of power requires 192,720 tons. 2.3 million tons would last 11.93 years, at 1 TW per year. Even worse, the arithmetic shows that uranium would be depleted during the 30-year ramp-up period. We'd never get our 11.93 years of going full bore.) The article this is taken from is here


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

McOil Laughs First


could be saved in one year if we all inflate our tires properly and tune our engines....

Four times as much as we could pump from the protected parts of the gulf and ANWR.

...and the McMuffin surrogates laugh and laugh.


Monday, August 04, 2008


The Republicans want to shut down the government to put more money in the bank accounts of oil companies.

Get the lowdown at Crooks & Liars


Sunday, August 03, 2008

My New Garden


This year we started a veggie garden in June - the second week of June. Yes a little late, and paying for that. The garden doesn't get enough direct sun either, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I asked the guy who came with the heavy duty tiller to break up the grass: "Are you doing more new gardens this year than usual?" and he said fully half of what he was doing this year was new gardens, and business was booming!


I put in some plum tomatoes for sauce, and a beefsteak and a cherry. The plums are doing the best so far.

savoy cabbage


These were the most surprising. I had picked up a couple of cucumber starts at the nursery, one for pickling, the other for eating. I hilled them up together. Then the fruits started coming, and I spent a couple of weeks wondering what was growing there - did I get a melon plant by mistake? I finally decided to bring one home and cut it open and see what's inside. The moment I opened it the smell of cucumber burst into the kitchen! The inside is just like a cucumber, only globular. The skin is tender (NOT - hubby says peel them) and the inside is wonderfully juicy.



Sweet Summer Days...

Happy Summer folks!


Saturday, August 02, 2008

L.A. City Council votes for ban on plastic shopping bags

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to ban plastic carryout bags in the city's supermarkets and stores by July 2010 -- but only if the state fails to impose a 25-cent fee on every shopper who requests them.

Council members said they hope an impending ban would spur consumers to begin carrying canvas or other reusable bags, reducing the amount of plastic that washes into the city's storm drains and the ocean.
I read last summer that there's a huge garbage pile floating in the pacific, bigger than the state of Texas. It's caught in a gyre (like a big, lazy whirlpool) with a good portion of it consisting of - you guessed it - those nassty plasstic sshopping bagses.

"Imagine a world without plastic shopping bags. It could be the future.

There is a growing international movement to ban or discourage the use of plastic bags because of their environmental effects. Countries from Ireland to Australia are cracking down on the bags and action is beginning to stir in the United States.

The ubiquitous plastic shopping bag, so handy for everything from toting groceries to disposing of doggie doo, may be a victim of its own success. Although plastic bags didn't come into widespread use until the early 1980s, environmental groups estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion of the bags are now used worldwide every year.

Critics of the bags say they use up natural resources, consume energy to manufacture, create litter, choke marine life and add to landfill waste."

I've assembled a good array of bags that I got on the cheap: the blue ones are teh best - big and sturdy, they fold down into little squares and snap together. I got them at Ocean State Job lot for 99 cents each. The Big Y canvas bags I got on sale for 2 bucks.

The Mrs Gooches bags are the crown, the proof, the ult: 5 mil bags, I got them in the mid '80s for free with my groceries. That they are still tough and useful over 20 years later while it's sometimes hard to get the flimsies home intact proves that we are way down the wrong fork in the road when it comes to grocery bags here in the US.

Bags add tons to state landfills; recycling comes up short

Every year in Washington state, people throw away about 270,000 tons of plastic bags and wrappings.

That's nearly 5 percent of all garbage going to landfills and incinerators in the state, according to Gretchen Newman, recycling coordinator for the state Department of Ecology.

And plastic bags are a major part of Washington's litter problem, cluttering streets, sticking to trees and polluting water, she said, adding, "It's dangerous for wildlife."

Despite the lightness of their weight, plastic bags and wrappings made up 3 percent of the volume of all litter on state roads and in state and county parks in 2000, the last year tracked by the state, according to an Ecology report. That's 283 tons of bag litter statewide.

One of the most dramatic impacts is on marine life. About 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed by plastic bags each year worldwide, according to Planet Ark, an international environmental group.

Last September, more than 354,000 bags -- most of them plastic -- were collected during an international cleanup of costal areas in the United States and 100 other countries, according to the Ocean Conservancy.

The bags were the fifth most common item of debris found on beaches.


Some countries are cracking down on the use of plastic bags. Here's a look at the issue:

# About 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year, according to Vincent Cobb, founder of

# Countries that have banned or taken action to discourage the use of plastic bags include Australia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan. Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, also has banned the bags.

# Australians were using nearly 7 billion bags a year, and nearly 1.2 billion bags a year were being passed out free in Ireland before government restrictions, according to government estimates.

# Plastic industry trade associations were unable to provide estimates of plastic bag use in the United States. However, based on studies of plastic bag use in other nations, the environmental group Californians Against Waste estimates Americans use 84 billion plastic bags annually.

When I'm done putting away my groceries, I fold up my bags and put them back in the car - ready for my next shopping trip. I include a couple of flimsies in with the rest, to contain meats and frozen foods without using new bags from the store.

What have you been doing to green up lately? Leave your tips in comments - I'm always looking for something more.


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