Wednesday, December 13

What a Difference a Week Makes

Seven days ago, I posted about our local Ginkgo tree in all its glory. The post, here, noted that the fall color of the Ginkgo is quite brief. Well, today, that same tree's photo is below. All that's left of its foliage is what is still on the ground underneath. Note that the neighboring Maple trees haven't changed much in the intervening week.

King Richard's Reign was Short

Wednesday, December 6

Think Globally and Act Locally

In previous posts, here and here, I discussed how much oil is wasted on things like plastic bags - and straws. Sadly, I FAILED to adequately consider Khal and cafiend's suggestions about reducing the use of bags at the store. Reusing lightweight bags for produce and meat is indeed a viable option. It becomes more viable yet if a dog poop solution not involving bags can be found. I will address those observations in  a post to come soon.

Also, even more sadly, though my post was made nearly FIVE YEARS AGO, nowadays neither link take one to a place that is useful in discovering where to take a pesky plastic bag. The site that worked before, now provides no useful information at all. It shows a generic "Discover our New Home" page without any clear indication about where the new home is. THAT page is shown below:

Luckily, clicking through the various places that WERE listed provided a page that will identify the closest places that will recycle plastic bags. That site can be reached directly here and is a "dot org" site. As you may see, the closest locations are 25 to 50 miles away. I suspect few people are going to go to that amount of effort to recycle plastic bags. Still, at least both of the places identified were still in business, unlike the equivalent search five years ago.

Since that post, "bag bans" have been implemented in places like California and Washington State, and have been attempted in places like Laredo and Austin, Texas, though the courts ruled that such local bans were illegal. Perhaps Texas did the right thing for the wrong reasons. As it turns out, these bans have actually INCREASED the amount of plastic bags going in to landfills. The most recent LA Times story on bags may be found here. A related evaluation, summarizing the Times findings, is here.

Lighting Up a King

While I'm not sure if Rantwick plans to do a post about his "King Maple," here in North Texas, we were treated to a brief show of autumn color by the very same tree I posted about two full years ago, here. Unlike 2021, however, we had a brief bit of Indian Summer while the tree was showing close to its very best, and it was much better than the photo in the afternoon sun as sunset approached.

As in 2021, we had a brief freeze; followed by moderate days. Sadly, I expect this display to be brief as there's a cold front expected by the weekend and the tree will quickly become bare. Perhaps this tree is honoring King Richard III, another monarch whose rule was very brief.

King Richard's Tree in Texas?

Tuesday, February 14

Try Traffic Engineering when Cyclist Solution Fails


Our garage equivalent of a painted cycle lane

Cyclists seem to delight in the notion that they can change motorist behavior with "education." Well, that might be so, but motorists are a powerful special interest and such suggestions go nowhere.

At my house, the motorists have trouble parking in the garage without hitting a post or straying over too close to the middle of the garage. I first tryed the cyclist solution of gently "educating" my motorists by installing a flower target for parking position as in the photo at the start of this post.

Well, the cyclist solution didn't work, so I took a "traffic engineer" approach and simply cut away the offending post. Fondly, I leave the flower in place as gentle encouragement. I think we won't see drywall on the front bumper any more...

Cutting away the post avoids problems (I hope)

Sunday, December 18

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

On occasion, I notice that cycling has its seasons. One such appeared here. Other things around our neighborhood are interesting or odd (or both), such as here. Right now, as in the video below, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Have a happy one. In North Texas, it looks like we'll be at our coldest of the year, but it looks like a cold and dry Christmas.