Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Really Big Houses

Posted: April 28, 2020 in Being Green, Rant

A few years ago, tiny houses were getting a lot of air time on cable TV. Nina and I were intrigued by them and watched many of these shows. Now there aren’t nearly as many of these shows on TV. If the decrease in shows is related to the popularity of the houses themselves, then perhaps the craze is over.

It seems the opposite of tiny houses, really big houses, have not lost any of their popularity. I follow a few architecture and green building Facebook pages and they regularly post photos new, big houses. Whether traditional or green construction, it pains me to see so many big houses promoted on these Facebook pages. I understand that some people need large houses — large families and multi-generation families living together are some very good reasons for having really big houses.

Unfortunately, as I read the stories about these houses, it appears that rarely do people really need a really big house. So why do I dislike these houses?

Regardless of how green you make a really big house, it takes more more materials to build and more resources to operate. Even with an all-electric house, you need more panels and more batteries to operate the house *heating, cooling, lighting, etc). You could power 2 or 3 “right-sized” houses with the number of solar panels that I saw on one so-called green house.

I will admit that when we first imagined our Green Dream Home, we thought we wanted an 1,800 – 2,000 square foot house. Ultimately, our house came out to 2,200 square feet. Not a mansion by any means but about 10% larger than we hoped.

…on the internet.

Want to prove your point by finding an “expert” who agrees with you? Just search the internet.

Want to find a set of data with pretty graphs and charts that prove your point? Just search the internet.

I think you get my point. I have Facebook friends (the vast majority who are real friends and acquaintances) from across the political and ideological spectrum. I assume that with good intent, they post things to prove that their world view is correct and that you should agree with their world view. I think my world view is correct too, but I found one chart on the internet that I believe is truly correct regardless of your world view:

Outcome of political argumants

I’ve posted this a couple of times on Facebook and am thinking about doing it again.

People!

Posted: April 24, 2020 in Rant
Tags:

I did a short, easy ride today. It was easy from an effort perspective because I am still recovering from my injury. It was not easy because of all of the bozos out there. First there were the people in cars who, despite the lack of traffic, still passed me too close. Current law requires that cars give cyclists 3 feet of clearance when passing, yet in 12 miles of cycling, I had two drivers pass me with less than 3 feet of clearance.

Second, there were the people on bicycles who decided that they needed to pass me closely. the 6 feet social distance directive applies when you are passing someone on a bicycle. If you are going to pass someone, call out that you are passing and make sure that you can give a wide berth. It’s not that hard.

Last is the people going to the beach. I sort of get that people want to be outside, but once again, there are social distance directives and many people are ignoring them. Once again, it’s not that hard. Also, if you can’t manage a couple of months in your dwelling without “going crazy,” you would have done that well in the Great Britain during the World War II Blitz. There are similar consequences for you and those around you for not obeying COVID-19 rules as there were for breaking rules related to the Blitz.

"Blinkers"

Posted: November 27, 2005 in Rant

While I’m on the subject of cars, either the reliability of turn signals in today’s cars is abysmal or turn signals are now an option on most cars. (Rhetorically he asks) “Why don’t people use their turn signals anymore?”

Did they stop teaching people how to use them in Driver’s Ed? Do people believe that they can transmit their driving intentions telepathically? Did they take the need to use turn signals out of state’s vehicle codes? Perhaps the need to use a turn signal (especially with a large SUV) has diminished greatly in a society full of “go for it” people.

Personally I think that the diminishing use of turn signals is merely a symptom of the diminishing consciousness of our collective society. Most people are so wrapped up in the small world of their personal vehicle that the well-being of their fellow drivers is a minor consideration. How often do you see someone in front of you who has the “body language” of wanting to change lanes or make a turn? When do they actually use their turn signal?

It seems that most people use their turn signal as a last resort. I am supposed to know that they want to change their direction of travel. As part of my hobby of observing human behavior, people end up using their turn signals after they start to actually make the maneuver (changing lanes, making a turn, etc). The use of the turn signal becomes an after-thought or worse, a statement of “I’m coming through whether you like it or not!”

Do I see this problem resolving itself soon?

No. In fact, it is getting worse rather than better.

Why?

How many people can hold on to a steering wheel and a cell phone while using their turn signal, all at the same time? 😛