How do you have fun on a Tuesday night? I like to unwind with a little amateur plumbing repair. This Tuesday I dismantled the kitchen faucet assembly, rushed over to the hardware store minutes before closing time and pawed madly through the plumbing section for valves and bits. Then I ran back home to reassemble the whole mess and I only had to reverse one valve body! In the process I also banged my head under the sink. All of this so I can stop a maddening drip at the kitchen faucet. Yep, good times at our house.
Observing the news over the past year I've come to a (probably obvious) realization or two. Climate Change is rapidly growing in global awareness, importance and the discussion has become heated (pun intended). It appears that our planet is rapidly approaching a point of change (cultural, economic, environmental, etc.) driven by climate change. Change brings uncertainty, so governments, companies, and people have chosen to either fight change or promote their vision of change.
The Santa Fe Community Convention Center (quite a mouthful) has just earned the LEED Gold certification. This means that the new convention center 'was designed (by Santa Fe-based Spears Architects and Fentress Architects) and built using strategies aimed at improving ...
On my street, 'keeping up with the Joneses' is something that comes up once a year around Christmas time. My neighbors have a unusually competitive streak when it comes to Christmas lights (instead of the traditional luminarias). I don't try to top anyone's holiday light show, but I do hang a few strings to participate. This year I finally upgraded to LED Christmas lights as the old lights were in pretty rough shape.
The phrase 'Smart Grid' has been thrown around quite a lot recently. Unfortunately, it isn't clear to many of us what a 'Smart Grid' actually is. Some folks at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque have built and are testing one of the first pieces of the future smart grid - a smart building. The Mechanical Engineering Building at UNM has a newly refurbished solar-thermal energy array that provides 90% of the building's heating needs and 35% of its cooling.
0n December 22, 2008 a 'storage pond' dam broke in Harriman, TN flooding the Tennessee River Valley with over 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash sludge. What wasn't known at the time of this man-made disaster is how many more Coal Ash dump sites exist in the U.S.A. Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice and the Sierra Club the EPA released a list of 584 coal ash dump sites across the country. 35 states, including New Mexico, have coal ash dumps containing arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxins.
Carbon Footprint. Peak Oil. Energy Independence. All of these are different ways to talk about how fossil fuels are a finite resource and supplies are running out, quickly*. Given that crude oil, dirty coal and natural (methane) gas reserves are at, or near, peak production how will you prepare for short supplies and high prices? In other words - Do you move off the grid or stick it out in town? Doug Fine has staked his claim on the Funky Butte Ranch in the backwoods of southwestern New Mexico while I'm here in suburban Santa Fe, NM.
Could New Mexico be on the path of a new High-Speed Rail Corridor running from Texas to Colorado? Imagine being able to take a bullet train from El Paso, TX north to Denver, CO with stops in between at Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Colorado Springs. You could catch a dedicated, high-speed passenger train instead of spending hours driving by car or trying to book a flight that doesn't connect through Phoenix, Dallas or even further away.
Oh I felt so clever last night. I had radishes and pearly barley to use and, strangely enough, I found a recipe that used both. Thumbs up! But it involved turning on the oven to roasted some very pretty cubes and slices of vegetables. Thumbs down! It was hot yesterday evening and the house had not cooled off yet. But when I get an idea in my head...
Welcome to Bike to Work Week 2009! This is your annual reminder that bicycling is a great way to get in shape, save money on gas, explore your neighborhood and reduce your carbon footprint. To top it all off, riding a bike is fun too! Below is a schedule of Santa Fe Bike to Work Week free events to check out. Enjoy the warm spring weather and pedal on down to the Railyard Friday morning for a festive Bike to Work Day fun and giveaways. You know you want to ride your bike, so the question is what is stopping you?*