Monday, November 21, 2011

Small Things

Three weeks after the freak Halloween snowstorm and some 60 leaf bags later, things are finally more or less back to normal at casa Jersey Knitter. The giant brushy debris piles are picked up,Ginkgo the hanging branches are chopped down, and the Great Wall o' Leaf Bags was whisked away. Now there's just the usual fall clean up to manage. I'm very thankful for that – by contrast, I hear some of my neighbors have been indulging in rather un-thankful screaming fits at township employees and utility workers. Yeesh.

Were I the screaming type, what would make me want to scream in terror and frustration is the concern that extreme weather events are the new normal (terror!), yet various vested interests have blocked implementation of climate-adaptive policies and programs (frustration!). Roundabout Exit 151 the most casual of gardeners knows what many lawmakers deny – the frost-free dates are rolling back, it's hotter, rainier, windier, buggier, and snowier – global warming is real.

Which leaves me grateful for small things. The last time I was in Portland, I spotted a VAWT, or egg beater style wind turbine on the waterfront. I'd read about them but had never seen one. This one was, as advertised, quiet – quieter than the ambient noise of the wind, passing pedestrians, and mewling gulls – which raises my hopes for small scale and even residential applications. I took a short video of it, turning the camera because it's tall, forgetting that for videos orientation is more important and harder to correct than for still images. Oops.


After some tweaking, that's all fixed – plus there's a title and modest special effects.

Wonderful to relate, there are wind installations in the U.S. that at times generate so much power it becomes necessary to completely shut down fossil fuel plants and steeply cut back on nuclear power generation to prevent damage to the grid. Power storage rather than power generation is the issue – happily, innovative solutions are available. Why is this not being talked about more?

However that may be, I have another pair of carbon footprint socks to show off. These are mansocks, Father & Son Socks by Mona Schmidt, worked in Opal solid and sized for me. Although the fancy stitchwork shows well to the human eye, it's a challenge to capture it in a photo.

Father & Son socks

It'll be interesting to see the patterns these socks impress into my feet, one more small thing for which I'm grateful.

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