WOW #12

The Word Of this Week is

green-collar

Definitions for green-collar

noting or pertaining to workers, jobs, or businesses that are involved in protecting the environment or solving environmental problems.

a green-collar worker. Also, green collar.

Origin of green-collar

1990-1995

Green-collar entered English in the early 1990s. It’s based on the model of blue-collar and white-collar, with the green element coming from the sense “environmentally sound or beneficial.”

See also; boondoggle, porkbarreling, social engineering, featherbedding,

While most of the words in the English language are hundreds, or thousands of years old, it is interesting to see technology cause the invention of new ones within our lifetimes.

I am all for green energy, and saving the planet – BUT….let the politicians get their hands on it, and we’re all fu….bar-ed.  About 5 years ago, I wrote of having to pay for the privilege of being one of the first users in Ontario to have a time-of-usage, smart electrical meter installed.

Ontario was having brown-outs. We were right at the edge, between generation capacity and usage.  We were told not to do laundry, or run our dishwashers during the day.  Wait till night-time, when industrial usage goes down, pay less per KwH, and Conserve, Conserve, Conserve!

We conserved….and the total income of Ontario Hydro went down, and the big bosses’ pay and bonuses were in jeopardy, so they raised the rates. With higher rates, we learned to use even less….and the total income dropped, so they raised the rates again, and ended the time-of-use difference.

A couple of nuclear stations, and hydro plants like Niagara were being upgraded. With reduced cash flow, soon a large debt built up.  The bosses added a ‘debt reduction charge’ to our bills.  I pay an extra $10/mo.  It was ‘temporary,’ like that 100-year-old temporary Income Tax.  5 years later, the debt is retired, but still we pay.  To cover the costs of their own inefficiency, the bosses added a ‘power distribution charge’ to our bills.  I pay another, extra $30/mo. whether electricity flows, or not, as owners of cottages and cabins which are closed-up for six months have found.

Wind Turbine

Desperate to look like they were solving a problem, the Provincial Government signed 25 year contracts for Green Energy. The wind turbines and fields full of solar panels that I also wrote about 5 years ago, were just the beginning.

Since then, the Government has forced the towers into dozens of locations where they are not wanted – and may be dangerous. Often placed so close to housing subdivisions or farm buildings that, if they fell, they’d just miss houses or barns, they continue to grind on.  They produce ground-conducted sub-sonic vibrations which cause headaches, nausea, and vertigo in many people and animals.

Ignoring the wasteful bureaucratic administration costs, nukes can produce power at about 4 cents/KwH. Water can do it for about 5 cents.  Solar and wind power costs us almost 25 cents/KwH.  The nukes and Niagara are back, running at increased capacity.  We are now awash in a sea of abundant electricity.  Having learned to conserve, we now have so much unused electric power that we sell off the excess, including the expensive green, to Quebec and the US for 3.5 cents/KwH!

In the last ten years, the cost of electricity in Ontario has risen by 50%, bankrupting or closing many small businesses, and causing larger ones to move where power is cheaper. It was a strong deciding factor which caused the closing of my last employer.  Gee, thanks politicians – not!

Going Green may be the way to save the planet, but if it’s happening near you, keep one hand on your wallet, and the other on your ballot. Keep the Pols away from it.  I know that private corporations have to make money, but too many Governments waste, lose or just throw our money away.

Gimme That Old-Time….Everything

Always eager to be “right up-to-date”, in 1981, a large theme park was built at the north end of Toronto, called Canada’s Wonderland.  Year by year, more rides and attractions were added.  I saved up my pennies, back when we still had them, and by 1987 was able to visit for a day.

A few years later, the owners did as many Canadian business people do.  They sold out to the Americans, and the place became Paramount Canada’s Wonderland.  Like Military Intelligence and Business Ethics, this makes sense only if you squint your eyes a lot.

Back when computers were only a gleam in most people’s eyes, there was a booth with a computer.  It was loaded with tons of basic facts, and, for the lordly sum of $1, it would provide a laminated sheet, showing what things were like on the day you were born, and compare old prices to (then) new.

27 years later, I ran across it during a flurry of spring cleaning, and I’ve scanned and included it, so that you can have a double chance to compare, what things cost, first in 1944, and again in 1987, so that you can really miss “the good old days.”

Time Capsule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this was an even older newspaper sheet from my home-town weekly.  Printed April 1, 1981, it gave replays of local things which occurred 10, 20, 50, 100 years before.  From twenty years earlier, in 1961, there was a story about me and nine others from my little sharpshooter rifle club.

Apparently we went to the next small town for a challenge shooting match, and beat their ten-boy team quite handily.  Our informal little rifle club had officially become the Junior Conservation Club, but somehow, in the article, we were listed as the Boys’ Athletic Club.  We were many things to many people, but one thing we weren’t, was athletic!

Pick A Number

This will be a list with numbers, just not a numbered list.

We had two women start work at the auto-parts plant at the same time.  I don’t know how long they had known each other, possibly from high-school.  They had worked together at a cookie plant.  When times got tight, and they both got laid off there, they both got a job just outside the city, at a chicken processing/packing plant.  When that company had to cut back, they both came to work for us.

Like the Polish Contessa at the deli, they both came to work immaculately turned out.  They wore clothing to a vinyl-parts plant, better than I would wear to church, if I attended church, perfectly coiffed and full makeup, with gorgeous nails.  After about a year, one of them managed to swing a job in the office, as the general manager’s assistant.  About the same pay, but with office hours and better working conditions, if you didn’t mind being on your knees under the desk, looking for the cigar.

When the other one got transferred to my line, as the inspector/packer, I found how she kept the gorgeous nails.  She had most of the guys, excluding me, beguiled into doing a large portion of her work.  She suddenly started yelling at me one day.  “Don’t do that!  Oh, that’s horrible!  Don’t do it!”  I found out that I had yawned, and she saw the back of my throat.  Another day, she suddenly wailed, “Oh, that’s terrible!  I hate that! Why did that have to happen to me!??  Uck!”  It turned out that a drop of water, distilled from the muggy air had fallen on her from the mold-chiller pipe.  It doesn’t come much purer, especially in a manufacturing plant.  I often wondered how she had conceived and bore two children.  I did not wonder why she had an ex-husband.

The wife and I are not butterflies.  We have always planned long-term, and have done more so as we age.  In almost 45 years of marriage, we have lived only five places, the last three, 18 years, 13 years, and we’ve been in this house for 10 years and expect to go out feet-first.

Despite the work I’ve done on it, the back lawn gets more and more uneven from ant hills, worm castings and frost heave.  We have flower beds along the fences but have turned them more to shrubs and bushes.  The disabled wife loves to garden, but finds moving across the lawn increasingly difficult.  As a result, most of the flowers we have, are in pots, on or beside the back deck, or in planters, hanging from fence posts.  Since they’re not in the ground, they require daily watering.

To facilitate this, we have five 55 US gal. plastic barrels catching rain water.  One is at the front of the house, under the porch downspout.  Three more are at the side of the house, on concrete paving stones.  I diverted the rear downspout and ganged the three together with hoses.  When one fills, the overflow fills the other two.  There is one more, at the back of the property which I filled by hand, as a last resort against drought.  As the mobile mate, it is my daily job to take water from these barrels to the plants.

Early in the season, when the plants are few and small, it only requires one two gallon watering can to do them.  As the season progresses, and the wife pots more plants, and they all grow, the task grows with them.  We planted three tomato plants for home consumption, and those babies want water.  Soon I add a small long-spout waterer, then we include a larger long-spout for the hanging baskets.  Then it goes to two of the two gallon, plus the two smaller.  I think I’ve reached the max by now.  I now need to lug two of the small, two of the medium and five of the two-gallon.  Come on, weight-loss!

When I was making 450 Jeep parts a day, I thought of the old Tennessee Ernie Ford song, I Load Sixteen Tons.  I asked the Quality Control guy one day how much each part weighed.  The answer, the next day was, 18.2 pounds, times 450 parts/day equals 8200 pounds.  But wait, I had to lift that off one production table and place it on the press, and then remove the same weight in finished parts and place them on the inspection table, so I moved it twice, for a total of 16400 pounds a day.  No wonder I have to watch my weight, now that I’m retired.

With all the roofs and pavement and hard-packed lawns, the city has trouble dealing with storm-water runoff when it rains, so they’ve instituted a runoff levy to pay to upgrade the system.  If you catch, hold and slowly release 13,000 liters of water, you get the levy refunded.  Despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for years, my five barrels only total 10,000 liters.  There was a company selling rain barrels at the Cherry Festival, but even if I could squeeze in one more, it would only get me to 12,000.

Also for years, we have composted garden and kitchen scraps.  They disappear and come back as more top-soil the wife can use in her gardens.  We have four composters, two near the house, handy for kitchen waste, and two more at the back for garden scrap.  We also have one Green-Cone Digester.  As the name says, it’s a flat-topped green cone, almost as big as the composters.  Inside, with about a half-inch of air-space, is another black plastic cone.  These two trap and hold solar energy, so that this thing can break down stuff like meat and bones that can’t go in a regular composter.

My Depression-trained Scottish mother and relatively low income have taught us how to conserve and stretch our resources.  We were reducing our carbon footprint long before others had heard the words.