Bakersfield is Number 2 in Toxicity

I just heard yesterday that Bakersfield is in the number 2 spot for the most toxic cities and i just so happen to live in Bakersfield so I thought I would weigh in.

America’s 10 Most Toxic Cities – Source Forbes.com

Number of unhealthy air quality days (2009): 43

Pounds of on-site toxic releases reported (2009): 2.2 million

EWG top water concern: N/A

“The EPA says when the Air Quality Index for an area climbs above 100 (ratings range from zero to 500, with zero being the best) it can bring on respiratory problems for people with lung disease, children and older adults. Above 150, everyone can suffer. Most cities don’t even have a single day each year when the AQI is above 100. But Bakersfield, Calif., which ranks second on our list, had 43 such days in 2009, Fresno (No. 3) had 29 days, and Los Angeles (No. 6) had 14.”

For the last 11 years that we’ve lived here in Bakersfield, we’ve seen that they show on the local news the air quality level for burning wood, that is during the cold seasons, and it surprises me because most nights they tell you that you can’t burn wood in your fireplace.  The people who ignore that will get a ticket.  I assume if a cop sees smoke coming out of someones chimney they will write the ticket then ring the doorbell and give it to you and tell you to put the fire out.  I haven’t had that experience so it’s just a guess.  We don’t burn wood since our living room TV sits in front of the fireplace covering it from ever being used.

What I do notice about our air quality is that you can smell how nasty it is.  What it smells like to me is, well you know how hose water tastes?  That’s how it smells.  Sometimes it smells like that leftover food that you left in your fridge for over a month and decided that it’s time to toss it out because the smell is getting so bad.  I smell that smell every Tuesday night which is trash night in our neighborhood which leads me to believe that every week someone has discovered some old food and decided to toss it with their trash.

They didn’t even mention our water quality which is a huge issue for me because our water smells and tastes like hose water and it looks white when you pour water from the tap into a glass.  I suppose it has gotten a little better but it still smells and tastes bad.  Where is Erin Brokovich when you need her?

I hope this is a wake up call for the city of Bakersfield.  Clean up your act!  If I see one fish with 3 eyes I’m outta here!

If My Nook Has Skin, Is It Alive?

I bought a Skin for my Nook from DecalGirl.com last weekend and it came today.  When I heard the mail drop into the slot earlier I got all excited and ran to the door but the large envelope wasn’t out there so I figured I’d get it tomorrow.  Then the doorbell rang and it was the mail carrier saying she saw it in the back of the truck and drove all the way back over here to deliver it.  I’m so glad she did.

Last night I was getting antsy and went on YouTube to see how easy or difficult putting the skin on a Nook would be and the person who posted a video showed how easy it was, how it’s not sticky at all and it doesn’t stick until you press on it so I had hope that I wouldn’t screw it up.  Well, mine was sticky, so sticky that the backs touched as I was taking it off the sheet it was printed on.  I almost ripped it while trying to take the pieces apart.

Putting it on was really difficult, in fact you can see some white on the sides of the front here and there where there isn’t supposed to be white but I couldn’t help that.  It stretched in some places and there is a crease at the bottom which I’m afraid to fix out of fear that I’m going to stretch it out even more.

The back on the other hand was as easy as apple pie.  Maybe because it was one solid piece or maybe because the back of the Nook is less shiny and more rubbery than the front of the Nook.  I don’t know, I just know it looks so awesome.  I was getting so sick of looking at the beige color of the Nook, I wanted something that was colorful, although this is really dark it still has color in it.  And it has a library which makes it even cooler to me.  I’ve been wanting to buy this skin for my Nook for such a long time and I thought why not, just do it and I did and I’m so happy I did.

The only downside that I see is when I’m holding it I can feel the edges of the skin on the back since it doesn’t go all the way around.  I made a stand to have it sit on so I don’t have to hold it so I can use that when I’m reading at the desk.  I also made a case for it so I will put it in there when I want to hold it.  Either way it’s a win for me.

Ok now I’m off to read more of this book I’m reading before shows come on.  Later!

The Bicycle Seat

Well I got my bike seat today.  I almost didn’t get it because the mail carrier left it on my doorstep where anybody walking by could take it.  They didn’t even bother ringing the doorbell.  I’m about to go out on it now.  BRB.

The website where I bought this seat from, The Bicycle Seat suggest that you ride it for 40 minutes so that you can make adjustments here and there so it’s comfortable.  They suggest that you lower the seat 1 inch which I’m not quite sure that works for me, I’m probably going to have to raise it back up.  But I had to adjust my gear shifting thingamabob because when I was riding it I felt like I was riding faster than the bike was capable of so I adjusted that and it works for me.  I adjusted the seat so it’s down a bit in the back as per their suggestion and that kinda helps.

I do kinda feel strange though while riding it.  I can actually feel my “sit bones” sitting on this seat.  Before it was just my crotch area that was sitting on the seat.  Now I won’t have to make any more adjustments to my shorts while riding.  They usually ride up because of the “horn” or “nose” of the seat.

Well, I don’t really have the time to test it out for a full 40 minutes today because I have lots to do but tomorrow I will be on my 2 hour / 20 mile bike ride so as soon as I get home (probably 6:30 or 7am) I will definitely be back here to blog about my strange new experience.

 

Fine for Watering Lawn

I don’t know if it is just Kern County or if it is all of California or what but I saw on the news today that the city is banning watering of the lawn except for Mondays and Thursdays before 5am and after 4pm.  You cannot water your lawn except on those 2 days or you will get a $300 fine.

Well if that’s the way it’s going to be then our lawns are going to die because I’m never going to remember that.  I’m probably going to remember to water the lawn on a Wednesday at noon then start watering.  Then I will probably hear the doorbell ringing and have it be Bakersfield Police with a ticket for watering my lawn.  Bogus!

What about back yards?  They can’t monitor people’s back yards.  I just think the whole idea stinks.  I can understand the drought problem and I respect that they are trying to save water but $300 fine for forgetting that I can only water 2 days a week only before 5am and after 4pm?  That’s stupid to do that.  They don’t realize that in Bakersfield it gets so hot and so dry that the lawn dies if it’s not watered everyday.  Twice a week isn’t going to keep my lawn alive.

Well, maybe that’s a good thing then because then I won’t have to mow it as much.

Make Your Own Cigarettes

I woke up this morning to the sound of my doorbell.  I stumbled out of bed and went to the door and there was nobody there.  I said “hello?” and the neighbor kid popped his head out and said “oh did I wake you up?”  I said “yes, you did”.  He said “oh well never mind” I said “wait, you woke me up, what do you want?”  He said “I just wondered if you would do something for me but I know you probably won’t want to do it”.

Kid, if you know I won’t want to do it then why are you waking me up?  SIGH!  – by the way, he is 21 lol I call him a kid because he acts like one.

Anyway, he wanted me to go to the store to buy a pack of Newport Cigarettes for him.  Not just the store next door to my house but the store a block away.  I don’t think so.  It ain’t happenin’.  I told him no because I quit smoking in 1996 and I swore that I wouldn’t go running errands for people wanting to buy cigarettes like I did for people when I did smoke because I’m trying not to support that habit.  Yeah I know, douche ex-smoker right?

So I remembered when we first moved to Bakersfield we met this guy named Troy and he rolled his own cigarettes with this little hand-held machine where he placed a cigarette tube with a filter on the end (it looked like a cigarette but it was empty) and he put the tobacco in the machine and he did a slide motion with the machine and pulled the filled cigarette out.

So I went online and did a search for it and found 2 products.  They aren’t cheap.  I didn’t find the hand-held one but these are still good I guess.  There is the PREMIER Excel Cigarette Injector Machine at Amazon for $34.99 or you can buy it used for $20.  Then there is the Top-o-matic Cigarette Making Machine W/handlewhich is a bit more expensive for $79.99 but you can buy it used for $35+.  I’m sure that any cigarette store sells these for less than you can buy them at Amazon, who knows.  I haven’t been to a cigarette store because they opened right after I quit smoking.

But with these machines you can make your own cigarettes for $1 a pack.  That’s pretty good right?  When I quit smoking the generic cigarettes were .99 cents per pack with tax so about $1.07 total.  Hell when I started smoking in 1985 cigarettes were about $1 a pack for the regular brands.  Now cigarettes are like $5-10 per pack so I think that this is a good thing to suggest to my neighbor so he can roll his own for a lot less.

The reviews that I have read say that the cigarettes you buy and the ones you roll taste about the same.  All you do is buy your cigarette tubes with the filter already on.  Those are about $2 for a cartons worth of tubes which adds up to .01 one penny for each tube with a filter on it.  The tubes w/filters are all different.  You can buy full flavor or lights or menthol or menthol lights etc.

Then you buy your tobacco which is about $20 for a can or bag.  I actually don’t know how much they cost.  I went to PipesandCigars.com and found this one particular brand called Drum and it’s about $21.99 for the can.  I don’t know how many cigarettes or packs or cartons that rolls though.  But you can buy them in your local cigarette shop I guess, they will tell you how many packs you can make with each bag or can.

I am certainly not promoting cigarettes here but I can say that the government is screwing people out of their hard earned money by raising these bullshit taxes for cigarettes and I think that people should stop buying the pre-rolled cigarettes and just roll your own.  It’s time to give the power back to the people and let them decide how much they want to pay for a pack of cigarettes.

It takes less than 10 seconds to “inject” your own cigarette with these 2 machines I linked above.  You can make an entire pack of cigarettes in about a minute or 2.  Hell, you can just roll a whole cartons worth and use the box that the empty cigarette tubes came in to store all your cigarettes then go out and buy a tin that looks like a pack of cigarettes or a cigarette holder like they used to use back in the 20’s -50’s (remember I Love Lucy?  They always had those things).

Watch this video I found.  Oh, it’s not me by the way hehe.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LarY6qeopBY

Edit: I found out that the tobacco to make 1 carton of cigarettes is now up to $29.  YIKES!  But that still beats $45 for a carton I guess.

Bike Supplies Arrived Today

Well today my Blue Wave Camelbak 70oz/2 Liter backpack came as well as my Sweatvac Ventilator Cap (Diablo).  I’ve been waiting for it all morning and the stupid mail carrier didn’t even ring the doorbell.  What the hell!  This isn’t a very good neighborhood for leaving shit on my doorstep.  Hello!

Anyway, it came and so I’m happy.  Of course I tried on the skull cap immediately and thankfully it fits perfectly.  I started wondering maybe I bought one that was too small or too big but it’s perfect so that’s good.  I had this f’d up dream last night that I got it but it was 1 inch thick all the way around and it was a lot bigger than it really is and I was pissed off in the dream.  Also it wasn’t Diablo, it was blue and black lol.  I put it on and it covered the top of my head and parts of my face and it was so heavy lol.  Well, the real one is ultra-thin and lightweight, it’s so light you don’t even know you are wearing it after a while.  I wore it around the house for half hour and not realizing I still had it on.

My Blue Wave Camelbak is really nice.  It’s red and black and it has 2 compartments for you to carry other things.  I like it.  It’s 70oz which according to the tag is 2 liters and that’s enough for me.  Normally when I go riding even when I did the 18 mile trek, all I had was a 32oz cup.  Actually when I was doing the 18 miles I ended up having to refill it at one of the rest stops which was fine.  The water wasn’t great out of the drinking fountain but it was fine until I got home.

So all I need is my front wheel from Snider’s Cyclry and then I’m all set.  I was supposed to have it yesterday but they told me Monday so now I have to wait until Monday which is fine I guess.  I can wait just a couple more days.  But if they still don’t have it I’m going to raise hell because I can’t stay this fat forever lol.

No Energy Today

I was woken up by the doorbell today at like 10 something am cause this guy wanted to mow our lawn since we have let it go lol.  I had already planned on mowing it today and so Darrin told him we were going to do it today.  I got in the shower to wake up then sat and watched TV for maybe 20 minutes and decided OK, I’m going to go mow the lawn.

I did our tenants lawn then I did the front of our lawn but not the side, I filled 1 green can with just all the cut grass but I really didn’t feel like I had enough energy to finish.  Besides that the lawn mower kept stopping and it won’t turn back on now so I’m going to leave that to deal with tomorrow.  The green cans go out tomorrow night so I have a full 24 hours to get it done (git-r-done hehe).

I went to the kitchen to make a ham sandwich for lunch and I got all the dishes from yesterday that I had no energy to do plus there is a dryer full of t-shirts that I have to fold and a washer with whites I need to dry.  I really need to get some energy.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I just feel very lazy today.

You know how when it’s a crappy gray day outside with storm clouds and you tend to feel depressed and it makes you lazy?  That’s how I feel but the sun is shining and it’s nice outside.  I don’t know why I’m feeling this way.

I also want to read but don’t feel like it and I have to watch the first 3 episodes of Dollhouse on Hulu so I can talk about that.

Maybe I’ll go make a latte.  I’ll have to go to Albertson’s on my bike to get some creamer because a latte isn’t a latte with just milk, it tastes so much better with flavor.  Yeah, I’ll go do that, I bet you then I will have so much energy I won’t know what to do with myself.

Delivery

I was supposed to get a package this morning and the driver rang the doorbell but the batteries in our doorbell are dead or dying so we didn’t hear it.  They left a note saying they showed up but there was no answer and so I got a call from my pharmacy who delivered the package saying that they will call the delivery company about a 2nd attempt.  They called me back saying that I’d have to wait until 5pm.  I told them that the delivery company will have to bang on the metal door and I can’t count on Darrin being awake to get it for me so I gotta stay home until they show up.

I just hope they come before too long because I can’t ride my bike if the sun starts to go down because I don’t like riding it at night.  First of all the generator on the bike gives me more resistance, which isn’t bad if I wasn’t so heavy I guess because then it would give me a better workout but I would rather get that better workout when I’m thinner heh.

If I have to just end up staying home today and not getting any exercise that’s fine I guess.  I know it’s going to take at least a year to get this weight off so what’s one more day eh?  This just means that I won’t take Sunday off.  Normally I like to ride 5 days a week and take 2 days off but I don’t mind riding 6 days.  I actually don’t even mind riding 7 days but I do like to give my legs a break every so often to help recharge them.

I was just hoping that this Friday when I weigh in I will actually show that I’ve lost some weight.  I don’t see any weight loss so far from last week.  I could weigh in every 2 weeks, it doesn’t have to be every week.  I mean, actually I could weigh in once a month.  It doesn’t matter when I weigh in, as long as I weigh in.  I would prefer not having to weigh in on a weekly basis because it makes me feel bad when I constantly weigh myself because I feel discouraged when I do weigh myself.

Edit: The package finally came at 1:45pm and I had plenty of time to go on my bike ride but just decided not to.  I like going at 10am when it’s still early.

Beverly Hills

Well Darrin had a design job today and so we drove to Beverly Hills (I was the navigator with my GPS on my laptop).

I was sitting in the car with Flower while he was doing his job by looking at the rooms that he is going to be designing. I didn’t want to take the focus away from him by being there especially with Flower and I heard a dog barking so I figured staying in the car was the best course of action. I was wrong.

This woman whose house we were parked in front of was getting paranoid. Well, who could blame her, its million dollar mansions in Beverly Hills. She called AAA because I guess 1 of her cars wasn’t starting and she came up to the car and I rolled down the window and she was all “how long are you going to be here?” and I said that the person I’m here with is a designer and he’s across the street and I was asked to stay in the car.

She walked away but I was so uncomfortable being in the car so I just came up to the house and rang the doorbell and they let me in. I sat on the couch while Darrin was telling them what he was going to do blah blah blah. Of course the focus was then on me and Flower lol.

Anyway, it’s good he has a design job. No painting WOOT! Hehe.

Update: They decided not to do it with Darrin after all and we wasted $60 on gas to get down there for nothing.  Darrin asked to be compensated for the gas and his time but they refused.

Flower

We almost lost Flower today. We came home from an appointment and as soon as we walked in the front door I went to the bathroom and of course Flower was so happy to see us that she followed me in and the door was closed and she was stuck in there with me. I got out and she left and went in the living room and I went into my room and I remember seeing her eating a treat on the living room floor.

About 20 minutes later I was still in my room and Darrin came in to ask me if I’ve seen her and I said yeah, the last time I saw her she was in the living room with you. Just then the doorbell rang, some guy was walking in front of our house and saw a little toy chihuahua walking around on the corner and he picked her up and brought her to us.

OMG We are so lucky. She doesn’t have a collar, no tag because Darrin doesn’t want to spend the $5 for a tag. She could have gotten hit by a car. She’s not a very bright dog, there is no telling what could have happened. I mean, she let a stranger pick her up, that tells you how friendly she is and someone could have just taken her home with them. We could have lost her forever.

Never take things for granted.