Monday, March 30, 2009

A New Reason To Avoid Florida

Jason and I find ourselves in an ever-constant quest lately to figure out where we would be willing to live if we were to have to move out of state for jobs. We've nixed most of the South because we're crazy liberals and don't really want to hang around the Bible Belt too much. We've also decided against Arizona and New Mexico because neither of us speaks Spanish, neither of us thinks 106 degree weather sounds appealing, and neither of us are really in love with the idea of having to shake our shoes out every morning to make sure there are no scorpions inside. No thanks. We also said no to Florida. When I tell people this, I often get "WHY? It's so nice down there!". Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Florida as much as the next person, but for visiting, not for living there. It's fine for a vacation spot, and it houses Disney World which everyone knows I love, but it's not somewhere I want to live. Again, people always say "But WHY?". Ok, here's why:
1. Hurricanes
2. No winter, so bugs grow to be the size of Buicks.
3. Hurricanes
4. 'Gators

And now we can add a new item to that list. #5 is now BURMESE PYTHONS!! ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?!

Apparently, during the last hurricane season, a pet shop was blown over and some of the reptiles escaped. Well now they have been breeding at an alarming rate and Florida is now overrun with 30,000 Burmese Pythons. I would post a picture, but I'm HORRIBLY afraid of snakes. No joke. To the point where I can't look at the most recent Buns Eye View post because it's all about how Buns had an encounter with a snake, complete with Buns Eye Pictures. *Side note: Amy, if you're reading this, I'd have FREAKED OUT if Jason brought a snake into the house for the cats to play with. You are a stronger woman than I.* I have an irrational fear of snakes, and in case you were wondering, Burmese Pythons aren't the small Garter Snake variety. They're the giant squeeze you to death and can eat an entire full sized deer variety. WHAT?! HOLY F*CKING ASS CRACKERS! It's making my skin crawl just thinking about it. I can't even handle pictures of snakes, or snakes in the pet store behind glass (they can break out, they're just lulling you into a false sense of security, I know it) let alone walking out of my hotel room to see an 18 foot (yes, they grow to 18 feet long) 200 lb snake slithering across the lawn to scarf the poor bunny who is just minding his own business. *shudder* And these bitches travel like a mile and a half a day sometimes, which means they're going to get bored with munching on all of the Poodles in the retirement communities and start moving North. They like warm weather, which means pretty much anywhere up to Tennessee is their happy playground, and all the way up the coast into Southern Virginia. Yet another reason to rule out the South thankyouverymuch.

And I want to know how the state of Florida plans to round up 30,000 pythons, which they're trying to do, and what the hell they plan to do with them when they do catch some. I guess they've been picking up pythons found in people's yards etc. for a few weeks now, but 30,000? What the hell are they going to do with 30,000 snakes? Make an Indiana Jones movie?


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Going Green

I'm a big fan of the "Green Movement" that is sweeping the country. I really like that people are being more environmentally conscious and thinking about the impact they personally have on the Earth. I love that there are companies out there like Seventh Generation who are making concious effort to create products that are safe for both people and for the planet. That being said, I've never used anything these guys make, primarily because I bought cleaning supplies in bulk at Sam's Club 3 years ago and still haven't managed to go through all of them, and while I love being environmentally conscious, I also don't want to waste stuff by tossing it in the trash when it's still perfectly good. So, I'll probably look into buying some Seventh Generation stuff when my supplies run out because I like their philosophy (and if anyone has used any of their stuff, please tell me how well it works!). Jason and I aren't exactly hippies about our environmental activism.  We aren't the "shower once a week, eat only what you can grow" type, but we do what we can.  We use energy efficient light bulbs, we recycle, we have energy star appliances, we carpool to work and school whenever possible.  We would compost our waste, but we're not really in a situation where we can do that at the moment.  We would also grow veggies in the back yard over the summer if we had the ability to do that.  Those are goals for when we live in our own house...some day.  But, my point is that we try.  No, neither of us has gone to buying all organic and earth friendly products, because some don't work as well as the ones that ruin the earth and that's sad but true.  We also haven't gone to mowing the lawn with one of those motorless push mowers.  

My point in all of this, is that I get so annoyed by the people who have suddenly started using their "going green" as a status symbol.  Like, "I'm so much greener than you!" as if we're in some sort of competition.  I thought we were all in this for the greater good, to help clean up the messes we've made in the past, not to compete for who can be "greener" than their friends.  I think that's really just missing the point.  Ok, so I don't use recycled toilet paper, because it's one-ply which means you're just going to use more of it in the long run anyway, so that's not helping much, but you do so that makes you somehow more elevated in conservation status?  Why do people even care about this?  Isn't it enough to just do your part and improve what you can in whatever ways possible?  Maybe everyone isn't able to afford eco-friendly household products or organic produce, because unfortunately those things are still at a premium price, but they change out all of their light bulbs and carpool.  Isn't that something to be commended?  I think it's about helping where you can.

Oh, and someone recently pointed out that they order most of their eco-friendly products from, and that left me scratching my head.  These products are shipped to grocery stores and drug stores all over the country in large quantities, which means that by shipping in bulk, he carbon footprint of the shipping is reduced.  Then you can take your small, hopefully, fuel efficient car to the store and pick up the eco-friendly products.  But, instead, for the sake of convenience, fleets of these guys...

...are going out to your house, each one using up a ton of fuel to bring your small packages to you and leave them on your doorstep so you don't have to be bothered to go out anywhere?  That seems more damaging than not using the recycled toilet paper the truck is bringing to your house. 

That makes no sense.

But hey, what do I know?  You're probably greener than me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meet Grover

This is Grover. Ok, not really, it's a picture of someone else's car that I found online that happens to look exactly like my car, so for the sake of this blog, that is Grover. Grover is my car. I got him about 2 months after Jason and I got married, after the two of us got fed up with my other car breaking all of the time. Grover is my first NEW car, as in new and never owned before. I've had several new to me cars, and none of those worked out so well. My green Dodge Neon was horrible and broke every 10 minutes. The head gasket blew 3 days after I got it, the radio completely died in it, the gas gauge didn't work, the gas tank had a hole in the top so that, while it was not leaking gas, it was taking in mud that was constantly clogging the fuel filters. The calipers locked up on it a million times and the brakes went out every 2 or 3 months because the calipers kept locking up. I did not love that car. Then I spent a while driving around in the Intrepid that my parents bought for my sister but she decided she didn't want, so they bought her a Cavalier and when the Neon crapped out for the millionth time, they let me drive the Intrepid. That one was nice, because it smelled like smoke from the previous owner being a smoker, and then my mom driving it around and smoking in it. It was the size of a bus, it didn't manuver very well, it was dirty inside beyond the point of being able to clean it, in the winter you had to start it and let it run for about 15 minutes before you could drive it if you wanted to avoid it stalling on you the minute you made it to the end of the street, the repairs it needed were actually going to cost more than the car was worth at one point, and it was kind of a hoopdie. So, needless to say, when Jason told me he had crunched some numbers and we were able to afford a new car, I did the most enthusiastic happy dance EVER.

I got Grover because I like the way the Vibe looks, I love having a hatch back and the seats lay down so that you can haul stuff (which has come in handy like you wouldn't believe), it gets awesome gas mileage, and it's super roomy. I am going to drive this car until the wheels fall off. I'm in love with it. I have never been so happy with a car in my life! And, now Grover is completely and totally mine. That's right, no more loan on it. Through some pretty crafty saving, Jason and I have managed to put together enough money to pay off the car loan 16 months early. Heck yeah! I'm sure GM is going to be VERY sad to lose my interest payments for the next 16 months, but life is full of disappointments and I'm sure they'll get over it. So now, Grover belongs entirely to me. I think that as a reward for paying him off early, I'm going to have the car detailed when the weather breaks and I don't have to worry about dragging salt into it anymore. Then he will be pretty and shiney and smell all fresh and clean. HOORAY!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I named the car Grover because he's blue and also because he takes me Neeeeeeaaaarrrrr and Faaaaaaaaarrrrr. Yes, I know I'm lame.