Yeah Yep Cool Girl

Joys of Public Transportation

I have been riding my bike to work for close to 3 years now and wanted to list a few pros and cons…

Cons

  • A Wee Bit Cold in the Winter
  • Free Shower in the Summer

Pros

  • No Waiting
  • Cheaper
  • No nose in smelly arm pits.  (Okay so since I am tall I don’t have that issue)
  • Faster
  • Exercise
  • Chatting it up with fellow cyclists
  • Racing cars at lights  (Just Kidding)

and… No Yeah Yep Cool Girl!

Of course there are countless benefits of riding a bike.  I had to ride the bus to work a few times while dealing with a medical issue and boy, did I regret it.

It’s one thing when everyone has headphones on, but something about a cell phone conversation early in the morning really got under my skin.  I am polite and did not say anything, though I did nod my head in agreement with the conversation 🙂  I do find it very rude for people to have cell phone conversations or loud face to face conversations on public transit.  This time I was particularly annoyed…

  1. She was “like” yeah, you know.  LOL
  2. She kept saying “yeah, “yep,” and “cool” to her mother.  Granted my mom was an English major and told me the word was “Yes.”
  3. She said she was vegan and her mother was asking her all sorts of questions about groceries that she needed to get for her when home for the holidays.  What I thought was particularly funny is that she said “The grocery store near us does not have anything for me to eat.”  Okay, so they may not carry vegan chicken wings, but honestly….doesn’t half of everyone’s diet contain fruits and veggies?  I find it hard to believe a store would not carry those.  LOL  Perhaps she recently became a vegan, because when her mom asked her what kind of vegan cheese she wanted, she had no idea.

That’s It..

Not much in this blog post, but it was so memorable I needed to let the world know.  I don’t think a short phone conversation with high school level grammar would have bothered me, but a conversation that lasted the entire bus ride early in the am….just drove me to blog!

 

 

Your Bike Light is Too Bright

I don’t often have a driver of a car roll down their window to talk to me, but yesterday one did and we had quite an interesting conversation.

Firstly she said that she was a cyclist and that my bright head light which I happened to have in flash mode was blinding her from behind.  When I was behind her I noticed that she seemed to have her hand up to her window much like I have done when bright lights hit the mirror just right.  (I wonder if my mirrors are not properly angled when that happens) In fact it seemed that she had her hand to her ear originally and I immediately thought cell phone.

You are going to get hit!

She did reference those with Epilepsy in this statement.  While I agree that some people are adversely affected by strobe lights from high school theatre warnings, I disagreed that this would make me more prone to getting hit.  I calmly stated “You saw me right?”

Apparently she was just having a bad day, but I thought it was particularly interesting that she decided to get into a discussion with me.  Granted when I see people with cell phones up to their ear I give them an evil stare, I rarely say anything.  I may gesture to put the phone down, but as they are in a car, I don’t want to fuel any rage and get run off the road or run over.

Turn your Headlights On

Okay…so I was a little bit snarky as I asked her to turn her headlights on.  I had come up behind her noticing her tail lights were not on which is usually indicative of the “My lights are on” when really just the day-time running lights are on.

Oddly enough she did not miss a beat to scold me for having a highly noticeable headlight as she turned on her headlights. 🙂

Be Visible and Be a Driver

So the moral of the story?  I don’t feel that I was doing anything wrong. In fact, I feel better about my $100 headlight as it makes me visible to drivers.  So much so that it annoys some of them.

Be a Driver. Be in the correct position in the lane, obey traffic laws, and staying alert and visible will help you survive the busy metro streets even during rush hour 🙂

Need some tips about driving safely as a cyclist? Contact your local bike advocacy group for safety class opportunities.

Happy Riding!

Why are ebooks so expensive?

Why invest in eBooks?

Devices such as the Nook and Kindle have been around for a very long time.  They offer convenience but have many limitations over paper backs.

Benefits

  1. No paper used to produce the book. (Environment Benefit)
  2. Can carry many normally heavy books in the palm of your hand.
  3. No recurring production costs. Once made into an ebook, which I don’t think costs much or takes much time when computers are used to type books in this modern age.

Limitations

  1. You cannot lend them.  Sure you can lend some to others with the same book reader, but just for a limited time.
  2. You cannot donate / sell them when done.
  3. You cannot fill your library with them.  Okay…so unless you are rich and have a library you need to fill with first editions of rare books, you may not see a real need for a physical book.

Why?

Back to the original question…..I don’t know.  Perhaps it is because we are paying for the convenience?  or more likely, the middle men are greedy. I hear that authors make very little on a paperback and likely don’t make any more on eBooks.

To make matters even worse, often times the paperback costs the same price as the eBook.  For me, I want to go Green for the sake of the environment.  This is the reason I bought my Kindle.  Not to mention that the entire 7 book Harry Potter collection takes up virtually no space on a shelf or my Kindle.

The biggest hesitation I have is that I cannot lend the books to friends and family, or donate them when I am done reading.  Resale value of eBooks is not very high. LOL.  Now I did buy my mother a Nook for Mother’s Day which would have allowed me to share, but she promptly sold it and bought yarn with the proceeds.  She also does not pay for any books and found the Nook worthless.

eBooks should be $2

I heard that an author gets only a small portion of a book sale. Since there is virtually no cost to make an eBook, why not get rid of the middle men and make eBooks economical as well as convenient!

Doesn’t Pay to Go Green

Saving Green != More $ Green

Going “green” to save the planet does not always put more “green” in your wallet.

Now there are some cases when you can actually save money such as rechargeable AA batteries, but for the majority of recycled products you buy, you actually pay more.

Why is that?

You would think that if products were made from existing products the cost would be cheaper.  For example there is no cost for raw materials and in many cases the recycled material is already in the form needed for the recycled product.

Companies are slow to embrace, charging consumers more for the “new” thing.

Not sure it does cost more to produce a recycled product, but I would not doubt it is because companies have not invested in the necessary equipment.  This is the reason Hybrid cars are so expensive and take so long to deliver to the customer.  There is a bottleneck in some part of the manufacturing process.  Hopefully is not on purpose.  Did I tell you I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist? 🙂

A local Honda dealership was handing out information sheets showing why is was “not worth going green.”  They based it on the cost of the vehicle and available units on the lot, using the current price of fuel and longevity of the rechargeable battery to show that it would not be any cheaper to by a Hybrid Civic over the conventional Civic.  This was such a disappointment.  How many prospective buyers of a Hybrid were convinced it was not worth it?  It comes down to the failure of Honda to meet the demand for the Hybrid Civic and mass produce it at a reasonable cost.

Successful Product Launches?

Here are a few that have made media attention…

  • Reynolds Wrap introduced a 100% recycled option for aluminum foil.  Why did they not replace the existing product?  Are people concerned that recycled products are dirty?
  • Glad recently announced to have reduced the amount of plastic used in ALL of their garbage bags without compromising the product.  Great work Glad!
  • Deer Park announced several years ago now I think, that they reduced the amount of plastic used in their disposable water bottles.  Much better, but why not install water dispensers using the trucked in spring water and stop making disposable bottles?
  • Recycled Batteries have been around for a very very long time.  I remember the “yellow” ones, NiCad, from years ago.  They were weak and took a very long time to charge.  Batteries today home much more power and some even can hold a charge for months unlike the traditional ones which start discharging as soon as you remove them from the battery charger.  I would have to say that recycled  batteries have personally saved me lots of money over the years, especially now since they are widely produced and the novelty of them has past. Much like the Compact Florescent bulb.  At one time very expensive and now very cheap to produce and purchase.  True that we have moved on to LED bulbs because they don’t contain mercury, are even more energy efficient, and produce less heat.

Getting Local

So I am from NY, not the city, but upstate.  Over the years the number of products that can be recycled had improved.  I remember as a child on a few plastics, I think only #2, were recyclable.  This may have been due to the rural area I grew up in, or the limited demand for recycled products of the other plastics to not make the collection profitable, but one thing was always great……

5 cent bottle redemption!

Why cannot something so simple be implemented everywhere?

Not only would more people recycle to get back the nickel they spent when they bought the product, but it also reduced the number of recyclables in the trash cans.  If you did not want the nickel, there were many others going through recycle bins and trash cans eager to redeem them.  Not to say this is idea, but it was a win for the environment and a win for the person struggling to eat on the street.  Not to mention countless schools paid for trips with can and bottle drives.

The nations capital

One wonders why DC does not have a bottle redemption, or at least place recycle bins near community trash cans along the streets.  Heck, just paint half of them blue, slap a recycle logo on it and just maybe, people would carry that can a block further to recycle it.  As it stands now, unless you are in a very limited area around the Mall or Golden Triangle, there are no recycle bins.  Even those were just installed within the last few years.

Recycling trucks come down the same streets, there would be little to no additional cost.

While we should not need to “pay” people to recycle, installing bottle redemption machines at local grocery stores would seem to help.  They could operate much like a change machine either dispensing cash or a redeemable coupon for money.  The crushed output from the machines could then be emptied into the stores recycle bin for recycling.

Why Not?

So my question is…why have the local environmental groups not made progress in this area.  It seems like such a basic “need” which would not take much to implement.