Tuesday, August 24, 2010

California Really is Smarter?

Redoing the windows in the dining room is a time-consuming, multi-step process that just seems to be dragging on and on and on. I've been stripping the existing paint off of them (probably lead based), in hopes that the raw wood and a modern primer will increase the longevity of the paint. I don't relish repainting these. As I was working outside with the paint stripper, I read the back of the can. Among the many, many detailed instructions and dire warnings was a phrase that I've seen often, but never pondered.

"This product contains materials known to the State of California to cause cancer."

How does California know that the material causes cancer? Did they finance their own study with tax payer dollars? what about the other 49 states? Are we dumber? Do our states not know that these materials cause cancer? Did we not finance a study? Does my state not care that these materials cause cancer? Are the other states just taking advantage of the California law?

Are these paint stripper fumes making me high?

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Some time ago I blogged about my musical dilemma. My existential music crisis started developing two years ago when I started listening to an online radio station of a college friend. I quickly realized that I really, really missed music. My wife and I had spent almost ten years getting married, buying houses, having kids, moving and living a fairly busy life. In that time, something had to give. I hadn't realized that I had stopped following the music scene. Last year my MP3 streaming DVD player died and I caught the tail end of an NPR program discussing Pandora. These three things forced me to re-evaluate the place of music in my life and I knew that I wanted (actually needed) to find a way to stream our MP3's around the house. I also started listening to Pandora. I've never claimed to be a music buff, but I realized that it's an important part of my life.

What I ended up finally buying was a Logitech Squeezebox and a year long subscription to Pandora. It's funny how technology changes our lives. I thought I was buying the Squeezebox to listen to our MP3's that we ripped from our CDs. But now I spend 95% of my music listening time on Pandora. I didn't anticipate that.

If you are looking for a means to listen to Internet Radio, I'd highly recommend the Squeezebox.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Dear mosquitoes,

In case you’ve forgotten the rules, I’ll lay them out for you.

  • You do not like the sun. If I am in the sunshine, you are supposed to leave me alone.
  • You live in woods, tall grass and in shade (see point one above).
  • You do not live on shortly mowed lawns, driveways or any other hardscape.
  • A light breeze is enough to keep you from landing on me and feeding.
  • Regardless of location, the hours between 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm are all yours. Anyone stupid enough to be outside during these times is fair game. They go outside at their own risk.
  • If it is not between 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm or if I am not in the woods, tall grass or shade, then you are not supposed to be feeding on me.

Failure to abide by these rules will result in something drastic on my part.

Thank you.