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Thursday, October 31, 2019

A future solution to California's power failures

      We have recently seen how California's outdated utility provider PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) has had to shut down much of its power to customers in Northern California because of the possibility of their power lines starting a wildfire.  One of my relatives went 3 days without power.  Schools closed. Gas stations couldn't pump gas.  Food spoiled. Businesses lost millions.
       When you realize that much of our power supply hasn't changed much in the past 100 years and is dependent on generating power in a concentrated form and then having to transmit it over a large area you can see that it might not be sustainable in the future with the old technology and equipment.  At some point, the old technology breaks down in its efforts to supply enough power in our modern world.  Our power needs have far surpassed the technology that was created to only supply electricity to our lights.
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         So where is the future in our power supply?   You might look to your backyard.   You probably aren't aware that technology is developing that can create "mini-grids" and even "nano-grids."  With the technology in energy production moving from large power plants to smaller generating options you might one day have your own power plant in your backyard.  The technology in batteries and other small scale power generating sources is getting close to creating enough power to supply the electrical needs of individual homes.  Just like we now have cut landlines for our phones, we may one day be able to cut the cord to power lines.  Just be aware that chemists and physicists are now working on breakthrough technology that may create a new dynamic in power creation in our lifetimes.  At some point, cheap clean, electrical power won't come from a coal, gas, nuclear, dam or wind power source but from your very own nano power plant in your backyard.   And it won't come fast enough for California.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

County Council to hold hearing on 5 cent plastic bag fee

From the Columbia Patch:
A 5-cent plastic bag fee will be proposed by two Howard County council members at their Nov. 4 meeting.
"ELLICOTT CITY, MD — Two Howard County Council members plan to introduce a bill Nov. 4 that would require shoppers to pay a 5-cent fee to use disposable plastic bags, in hopes of prompting residents to instead shop with reusable bags. County Council Chairwoman Christina Mercer Rigby and Councilman Opel Jones are guiding the proposal, which if approved, would apply to disposable plastic shopping bags that are 2.25 millimeters thick.
The bill would take effect July 1, 2020, to allow for a six-month period to help retailers adjust to the law, the Baltimore Sun reported.
During the 2019 Maryland General Assembly session, the Howard County delegation advanced a bill sponsored by Del. Terri Hill to permit the County Council and the county executive to impose a fee, up to 5 cents, on plastic bags. The money collected from the fee would go into the Disposable Plastics Reduction Fund to be used for reusable bags, stream cleanups and other environmental cleanup initiatives."


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Plastic Bags

    By not vetoing a bill passed by the Legislature,  Governor Hogan let Howard County decide to impose a fee on plastic bags.  The issue now goes to the County Council to possibly impose the fee.  Four of the 5 Council Members seem to be in support of the fee legislation.  Here is the legislation:

HB1166 – Howard County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags Ho. Co. 04-19
  • Authorizing Howard County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for the use of disposable bags as part of a retail sale of products; limiting the amount of the fee to not more than 5 cents for each disposable bag used; defining “disposable bag” as a plastic bag provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale; requiring the county to use certain revenue only for a certain environmental purpose or the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the fee; etc.
    Howard County would be the second Maryland county to impose a fee.  This type of legislation is becoming more common as communities attempt to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our waterways.  A recent walk along one of the Columbia paths near Lake Elkhorn reveals the frequency of seeing discarded plastic waste on its way to the Lake.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Village in Howard Bingo Fundraiser

   The Village in Howard is holding a fundraiser.  Everyone who enjoys bingo and enjoys playing bingo is encouraged to attend. 
     The Village in Howard is a member-based COMMUNITY of Howard County residents 55 and older who want to continue to live independently in the homes and neighborhoods they know.  Membership benefits include not only various educational, social and cultural activities, but access to various services such as transportation, home repair from referred contractors, and assistance with simple house maintenance.  These benefits enable members to actively age in place.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

If you can't beat, outsmart them

Image result for confused telemarketer

     When you get a telemarketer on the phone just answer, "Hello, you're on the air." See how fast they hang up!

     I also have tried "babbling" into the phone with just enough words that they were unsure of what I was saying.  They would ask me to repeat what I said and then I would babble in a different dialect.  This is what happens when you are retired and have too much time on your hands.  And I don't have my younger brother around anymore to torment.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

What a "perfect" deteriorating President looks like

  I have written recently about the President deconstructing and yesterday he showed what that looks like. 

   Pity the poor leader of Finland for picking this time to visit the White House.