Friday, July 10, 2009

Super yesterday; Mercury in bulbs revisited

Yesterday was a super day. In my little neighborhood a gentle sea breeze kept the temperatures in the low 70s, the sun was extremely nice through those wispy, passing clouds. The best part of the day, I think, was the lack of any rain or shower activity. We could surely use a lot more days like yesterday. Well, in fact, we just may be getting one again today. The whole weekend also looks rather nice, except the weather people warn us of some possible showers or thundershowers late Saturday into Sunday.

The job could have waited until the weekend except another job is planned for tonight. That job, of course, was the mowing of the lawn. I did it probably a couple or three days before it really needed to be done, but Gator Daughter is stopping by after she gets out of work this evening for supper. Yes, we are of the old school that still calls that evening meal “supper” instead of “dinner.”

After we feed her, she is going to use the tractor to tow a fertilizer spreader. Because of the rain, we are running a couple weeks late to put down the #2 step, if you use the Scott’s system. We don’t, but the stuff we put down has the same formula and costs many fewer dollars. Step 2 should have been dropped about two weeks ago in our yard. We will attempt to get back on track at the end of August with #3. The final step will be at the end of October.

GD spreads the fertilizer for us because it’s easier for her to reach back to run the drop lever on the tow behind spreader.

Then, although the package says the stuff is pet safe, we don’t like to take chances with Gator Golden or her dog munching on the grass for at least 24 or more hours to give the chemical a chance to set. So, that’s part two of her visit. She will take both dogs back to her house in Portland for the weekend. GG stays there each time we go through this process as well as when GW and I take our overnight or longer vacations so the dog is very used to being there for a doggy sleep over.

GD will bring the dog back home Sunday evening and enjoy another meal.

Speaking of vacations, next week is vacation week for the Gator Dude and Gator Wife. We don’t have a lot planned for this year except for some possible day trips. GG would accompany us on those. It’s simply getting too expensive for extensive travel for an old retired couple, so we’ll just take it relatively easy for the week.

That does mean that my posts here will be changed somewhat, probably rather generic as I may write some of them in advance. There’s also a possibility I’ll miss a day or two, so just understand next week is our vacation week, we’ll be just fine, and if a post is missing, it’s not portending doom and gloom. (Thursday’s revenue news, however, has given me a chance to start the week with a blast.)

Yesterday afternoon while riding around the yard on my lawn mower, I was listening to the Howie Carr show on WGAN Radio. The radio I use has a two-fold purpose; it is a radio and it is a hearing protector for my ears. At one point, Howie was discussing those CFL (fluorescent) light bulbs I’ve mentioned here a few times.

They contain mercury and we all know mercury is a hazard both to human health and the environment. After my last post, my Fearless Friend took me to the woodshed pointing out that the bulbs contain a tiny amount of mercury and the hazardous potential is miniscule. He pointed out that the new bulbs have only a fraction of the amount of mercury thermostats, which are banned in Maine because of the mercury and which I often use to compare the safety of the CFL bulbs and those now banned thermostats.

This is not an authoritative argument; I’m only repeating what I heard Howie Carr say and I don’t remember his citing any authority, either. So you can accept or reject these facts depending on your feelings of Howie Carr.

Howie said a proposal by President Obama would require the use of CFL bulbs everywhere and he himself has ordered all the bulbs in the White House to be changed to the energy saving fluorescents. Here’s the kicker: because of the safety issue, the President’s proposal also would require…that’s how Howie put it, require…every household in America to develop an evacuation plan in case a bulb or bulbs should break.

Every family should already have a plan in case of an emergency and that plan should be practiced so everyone would know what to do. In case of a fire would be one good example of why such a plan might be needed. But a governmental requirement to have a plan in place in case a light bulb containing mercury should break just might cause a lot of people to think twice about those bulbs.

Howie also said the bulbs are made in China, not America.

I reiterate: this is the result of just one, unsubstantiated comment I heard on a talk radio show yesterday afternoon.

I hope you have a super weekend.


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