Sunday, December 10, 2017

Recycling -- Nothing About The Bakken -- November 10, 2017 -- Another NFL-Free Sunday

Another NFL-free Sunday. I see the Dallas Cowboys play some other team today. All the sports talk radio here in the Dallas-Ft Worth area is that the Cowboys still have a chance to make the playoffs. They "simply" have to win all four of their remaining games during the regular season. There will be a dozen or so NFL games today. The final scores will be: 24 -17; 13-6; 42 - 36; 13-0; 34-24; or some variation thereof.

I'll be watching our oldest granddaughter at a water polo tournament later this afternoon. She has two games. The score will most likely be 11 - 9 and 12 - 10. 

The Re-Cycling Page

I can't remember if I posted this; I probably did. A year ago, or maybe it was two years ago, I told my wife that most of our recycled cardboard goes to China, but China no longer wants that cardboard. They have too much of it. I left it at that, pretty much forgot all about it. Until today, scanning through the links at The Drudge Report.

It turns out that as of January 1, 2018, China will no longer take any of our waste or our recycled plastic or cardboard or whatever.

From NPR:
The U.S. exports about one-third of its recycling, and nearly half goes to China. For decades, China has used recyclables from around the world to supply its manufacturing boom.
But this summer it declared that this "foreign waste" includes too many other non-recyclable materials that are "dirty," even "hazardous." In a filing with the World Trade Organization the country listed 24 kinds of solid wastes it would ban "to protect China's environmental interests and people's health."
The complete ban takes effect January 1, 2018, but already some Chinese importers have not had their licenses renewed. That is leaving U.S. recycling companies scrambling to adapt.
My hunch: regardless of whether China has too much cardboard or not, American recyclers were not particularly careful about separating garbage from cardboard, and the Chinese took notice.

Another hunch: Americans are going to see their monthly recycling (and, by extension, all their waste removal) rates go up. And we'll soon see another NPR story about Americans running out of landfills and dumping stuff into the ocean.

My suggestion for cardboard: send it to Washington, DC, and the kids there can use cardboard for makeshift sledding, from a post dated January 22, 2016.

I do believe I've discussed my thoughts on recycling on the blog.

The Literature Page

I almost ways take a book with me no matter where I go. It's amazing how much free time or wasted time there is standing in lines or waiting for things to happen. I've talked about this before. My 30 years in the USAF "taught"  me never to leave home without a book.

Right now, my "go-to" book when leaving the house: Growing Up With The Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet, translated and edited by Jane Roberts, c. 2017; softcover, from Amazon.

It's an incredibly delightful book but I can't imagine anyone reading it except really, really obsessive students of art history. And their professors. And a few people like me. Those with NFL-free Sundays.

Julie was the niece of Edouard ("Vanna, I would like to buy a vowel") Manet, among the most famous Parisian painters at that time, and the daughter of Berthe Morisot, an accomplished landscape painter. Julie began her diary on Thursday, August 24, 1893, when she was fourteen with these words:

I have often wanted to keep a diary, so I think I'll start one now. I suppose I might have left it rather later, but the longer I wait the later will be -- and, after, I'm still only 14."

Her last entry was Saturday, December 23, 1899, although a comment by the editor suggests she may have occasionally continued her diary after she married.

The translation is incredibly good. No, I do not read French and I don't have a copy of the diary in the original French, but I can say it's an incredibly good translation because the book reads so incredibly well. It is definitely a book I will re-read.

The book is a relatively small softcover; the feel of the jacket, though paper, almost has a soft leathery touch which makes it nice to hold. The font is perfect. The editor chose not to use footnotes but rather end notes. There are 472 end notes which provide much interesting trivia -- but very important trivia -- about Julie's entries.

Although written by a teenager -- age 14 - 20 -- it reads as if it had been written by a much older person -- let's say 29 years old. I don't know if that's a compliment to the writer or to the translator. If a 14-year-old really wrote this well in the late 1900's -- well, it certainly speaks volumes about the impression I have of US millennials' ability to write.

She didn't make many entries each year, and most of the entries are very, very short. Most of the entries are simply rather mundane, mostly of her visiting the homes of family friends -- all artists we know: Renoir, Monet, Degas, for example, and few poets, we know less well, Mallarme, for example.

A lot of death in her diaries. I can't recall if she mentioned when her father died (I will have to re-read the book) but when her mother died in 1895, and at sixteen years of age, Julie was an orphan and moved in with her cousins whom she adored.

That's about as far as I've gotten in the book, but every day, I read a few pages while standing in line or waiting for some event to begin.

It's the kind of book I hate to see end.

Best Sellers

#8 on non-fiction best-sellers in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: Elf on the Shelf. Seriously. It's probably the history of the book. I would not have taken notice except my wife pointed it out.

Our older daughter loves Elf on the Shelf; both my wife and our younger daughter "hate" Elf on the Shelf.

Of course, knowing that my wife hates Elf on the Shelf .... it made the perfect gift ... yes, I bought her one -- actually I had our older daughter buy one for me -- and put it in in the corner between her mirror and the medicine cabinet in her bathroom the other night. When she saw it the next morning, she freaked out. Mission accomplished.

I had not heard of Elf on the Shelf until last week when I saw one over at older daughter's house. I knew I had to  have one immediately.

Part of the ritual after buying this ridiculous little thing is to name it. On the drive to school on Friday, my wife and the two older granddaughters agreed on "Manuel" from "Fawlty Towers" fame.

I would highly recommend Elf on the Shelf if you have someone on your list in your household who hates such things. It will give you daily pleasure to see them freak out.

The On-Line Shopping Page

So, last night, May told me that she had just thought of a small -- about $12 -- Christmas gift for someone in the family but she was unable to find it at Target, where we had been earlier last evening. She said perhaps i could order it from Amazon. With less than four clicks I had ordered the item. Within one minute (I think is was actually instantaneous), I received a confirmation that Amazon had received my order. This morning I received an e-mail message saying that the item would be here tomorrow, Monday. I ordered it last night, Saturday, late evening, and it will be here tomorrow.

Mid-week, last week, we received a message from UPS saying that a package from Costco would be arriving on Thursday, four days earlier than expected. I wracked / racked my brain trying to remember what we  had ordered from Costco. To the best of my knowledge, we've never ordered anything from Costco. We simply drive the pick-up truck to our neighborhood Costco whenever we run out of paper towels. We may need a bigger pick-up truck next year: buying in volume saves one a lot of money. But I digress.

The UPS note said the package weighed 8 pounds. Then I figured it out. A very nice family sent us a fruit (and chocolate) basket last year for Christmas and my hunch was that they did it again this year.

They did. The gift arrived three days earlier than originally promised but a day later than the revised delivery date. That suggests to me how busy UPS already is, considering we live five minutes from the UPS terminal at the DFW airport.

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