Winter wonders

Took the opportunity to take Katja skiing today.

We met some of our friends on the mountain unexpectedly.

It was a great time on the mountain. A few great runs in. Lunch and a few more runs. I even tested out the Slalom course, a first for me. The weather was fickle and wet. By 3:30 out outer layers were wet and we called it a day.

Often as it is the case Katja falls asleep on the way home. So this day I again fell into my own thoughts. We passed a great many tress which had suffered fractures due to the recent ice storm. The greatest extent of the damaged trees was near Pleasant Hill. On the way up we counted among the trees 4 fallen telephone/power poles. The way back was different from the drive up in several ways. Among them there were now a number of backyard fire burning mounds of fallen branches. Evidently this practice was so well loved by those of Pleasant Hill and Springfiled that the whole valley from Dexter to Eugene was covered in a yellow haze caught below the ever dripping gray rain clouds. Breathability was noticeably affected and not for the better.

I passed one rather large burning pile and thought that it was rather odd that they didn’t cut it up for fire wood. That way at least the burning would have a purpose beyond clearing the field or yard area. At some point these trees ar seen a “excess” and rather than a limited commodity. Firewood is easy to come by. It’s cheap, maybe too cheap.

In a sense though isn’t the current situation with many of the fallen trees and limbs due to a lack of pruning? Granted we usually only have cold snaps like that once every 15 years or so in this part of the country. But when pruning isn’t done using it a similar perspective that the trees are really “excess”?

Another way that the drive differed was that on the way up Katja was reading Prince Caspian from the Chronicles of Narnia. While she knows the story well from audio books she definitely likes to read.

I asked her what one might learn from a book like Prince Caspian. To which she replied that there really isn’t much one can learn from fiction.

I said that I didn’t think that was true. In fact I thought that there was quite a bit one could learn through fiction. While it maybe not true facts or true events the kinds of decisions and scenarios one is exposed to through the narrative can influence us in indirect ways.

I asked her if she learned about morals at school. To which she replied “no”, to her recollection all discussion about right and wrong was about rules: school rules and classroom rules. Again I followed up with a question. I asked…what makes rules right or wrong? It’s about what we believe isn’t it?

Lidl in New York

Lidl is one of those low cost groceries in Europe which is trying to exercise its brand in the United States.

My experience with Lidl is that its product line is not all that great.

Most chocolate bars in the dark chocolate area have “chocolate liqueur” rather than cocoa as its ingredient.

When I looked at its granola options each granola had high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient.

Finally, we bought a can of black peas and sixty percent of the can was water.

In the USA Lidl as experienced in New York may be a low cost grocery, but it is also a low value product line.

Plastic in sawdust

As woodworkers, we use a lot of resins, plastics, and other synthetic materials which get filed, ground, shaved, or sanded, along with wood and disposed of along with sawdust.

This means that woodworkers in their modern art context often contribute to the production and proliferation of microplastics. It also means that the “sawdust” isn’t 100% biodegradable.

What methods are there at the individual workshop level to filter it these plastics from biodegradable materials?

Food containers

I have noticed the proliferation of plastic food containers recently. Sometimes there are even multiple layers of plastic encasing food goods. The whole situation is endemic to the international commercial practices around food sales. I seem to remember more glass containers when I was a kid… but that may just be me.

The recent discussion about PFAS chemicals has me wondering how many of these chemicals are used in food packaging?what are our products shipped in?

Has anyone noticed how they pack those organic foods into PFAS coated containers?

Why did these olives need to be sold in a plastic bag rather than a glass jar?