The Blog Of Destiny

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I like little scamps

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Squirrels and Geese

Squirrels and Geese are some of my favorite animals. Here's a link to a small photo album of squirrel and geese photos I took recently. Have you ever noticed how smart squirrels are?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Our Winter Garden

Here's a photo of the winter garden which my uncle, Daniel, and I planted. We tilled the soil, removed all the grass, mixed in organic fertilizer and peat moss, smoothed it out and planted everything in rows. We have: collard greens, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and lettuce. Later, we'll add some swiss chard. I really enjoyed tilling the soil, planting the seedlings, and getting very dirty.

Having a more intimate connection with the earth is especially meaningful to me because it reminds me that it provides everything I need to live. It's a lot easier to see my place in the world when I'm aware of where my food comes from and how it is grown.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Raleigh, North Carolina Greenway

Some of my favorite places in Raleigh are the Raleigh Greenways. They are a great way to enjoy Raleigh's beauty, especially in the mornings or evenings. The greenways are a network of roads for pedestrians and cyclists that are separate from the network of roads dedicated to motor vehicles.

Lots of people live right next to the greenway and have little paths from their back yards that lead to it. It's common for residents to mark their greenway entrances with non-native plants that stand out from the native plants.

You might be interested in more greenway photos or a map of the greenway system.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Winners and Losers: Car Manufacturers and Easy to Find Fuel Economy Ratings

If you're shopping for a fuel efficient car online, some manufacturers make it easy to find fuel economy ratings and some make it a hassle.

- Toyota: From their main website, hover your mouse over the vehicle type you're interested in, click "View All", then click "Sort by miles per gallon". Street and highway ratings are provided.
- Nisan: From their main website, click "See all vehicles", then click "View by gas mileage". Street and highway ratings are provided.
- Honda: From their main website, click "All Models". Only highway ratings are provided.

- Chrysler
- Ford
- General Motors

For the losers, I couldn't find fuel economy ratings for all their cars at once. I had to look each car up one by one, and even then the ratings weren't easy to find. By contrast, makes side by side fuel economy comparisons easy. Toyota even has Miles Per Gallon as a separate easy to see tab on all its vehicle specifications pages.

Observations: In general, Chrysler, Ford, and GM are lagging behind Toyota, Nissan, and Honda in fuel efficiency. The US auto makers may not want potential customers to be able to easily compare their fuel economy ratings because their Japanese competitors have better ratings in general. Or, maybe it didn't occur to the losers that anyone would want to compare fuel economy ratings because they're not good at anticipating the needs or desires of their customers. My guess is that they didn't anticipate the needs of their customers, so they didn't focus on becoming fuel economy leaders. Then, now that they realize their mistake, they don't emphasize their inferior fuel economy ratings.

Aside: I started doing fuel economy comparisons because I want to be able to pick a fuel efficient rental car. Last time, I took the word of the rental agent, upgraded to a supposedly more fuel efficient car, then found out later that the upgrade wasn't any more fuel efficient. The best place I've found so far for such comparisons is the US Government's Fuel Economy website. On that site, you can search for cars by Miles Per Gallon and look at the most and least fuel efficient cars.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Please Wear Me When I'm Dead

When I die, I want all of my friends and family to wear some of my incinerated remains. Wear me however you like, but may I suggest depositing some of my ashes in a small pendant and wearing the pendant around your neck? I know that you'll miss me, but this will keep me close forever. You may be thinking that the $595 price tag is not exactly cheap, but ask yourself one question: can you put a price on love?

I wish I knew who thought of this lovely idea, because I'd like to shake his or her hand. How precious!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Is a Country a Company?

A few days ago I listened to a Marketplace news item about France, its tax rate, and how its tax rate is influencing the behavior of its wealthy. To summarize: France has a "wealth tax" of 60%, while neighboring countries have either lowered or eliminated their wealth taxes. About two wealthy French people per day are immigrating to lower tax countries, which has cost the French government about 30 billion USD over the past decade. Meanwhile, lowering or eliminating the wealth tax is politically unpopular among the less wealthy French voters.

Since hearing that story, I've been thinking more about immigration. If immigrants shop for countries in a way similar to the way customers shop for merchandise, is a country like a company? Are there other similarities between the two? I'll be thinking about this more, but I'm pretty sure that this "country shopping" trend is going to become more common as more people become globally mobile. As the world moves toward speaking one common language and economic ties between countries become more numerous and vital to prosperity, immigration will become easier and easier. Then, even more so than now, countries like France will have to adapt to this new marketplace or become less prosperous.

If you’re interested in the Marketplace story, you can listen to it or read a transcript (listening to it is more fun).

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A dream is just a wish and a wish is just a dream that you wish would come true. It could happen to you, oh de boodelly oop!