Friday, March 20, 2009

The Obama's Bring Back the Victory Garden

I have really enjoyed my "Victory Garden" this season. I commonly call it my winter garden, but whatever you call it, having fresh veggies just a few steps from the back yard has really changed my eating habits. And for the good, I might add.

In fact, right now, I have a nice bean and vegetable soup in the slow cooker and it cost pennies to make. While the strawberries have finished producing for the time being and the lettuce has gone to seed, I still have pak choi, turnips, onions and kohlrabi still ready to use; watermelon, green beans, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes freshly planted and potatoes that are ready to bloom and should produce about 65 pounds (from one, average Publix-purchased potato).

To top that off, I will have plenty of Mangoes in June, if the blooms are of any indication and my Avocado tree is covered with blooms (I think Avocados will be ready in August).
So you can just imagine my thrill that the Obama's have decided to put in a "Kitchen Garden" at the White House, with the help of neighboring school children, to provide fresh food to the White House kitchen and to feed the homeless.

White House blog entry.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm glad someone thinks like me

Call it intuitive, but....

Well... I called it. Our 500 drops of rain has awoken FPL and it has now decided that we are not paying enough. So, it is going to raise our rates so that we can continue to enjoy their high quality services, not to mention upgrade the nuclear plants to produce more power which, while it may be fine for keeping the air clean, will still continue to produce radio-active waste.

Lovely... just fucking lovely!

FPL wants to boost electric rates by at least $1 billion a year

The company submitted a proposal Wednesday to the Florida Public Service Commission to increase base power rates by $1 billion in 2010 and $1.25 billion in 2011.

Full Story

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'Tis the Season for FPL Ranting

We here in South Florida have a little less than 11 weeks to prepare for hurricane season. Last year, there was a storm two weeks before the season officially began.

I have just started making lists and I was hoping that Florida Power and Light (FPL) would also be working at making our fragile electric grid a little stronger. We lucked out last year with no strong storms, however, even after all the time since Hurricane Wilma passed, I still have 3 to 4 outages a week. Some weeks, it goes out every day. Some of my friends, along with me, have lost some appliances due to power surges.

Our bills have doubled and it has been promised that electricity cost will rise even more in the near future and most of us are just stuck with a company that doesn't care about its customers, I guess because there is no competition.

I just cannot accept the excuse that the reason power went off in 3 counties in the last 24 hours is because it rained. That is not an excuse. That is a cop-out.

Thousands still without power after South Florida rain storms

Electricity has been restored to about half the 24,000 Florida Power & Light customers left in the dark after heavy overnight rains doused Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, causing dozens of traffic accidents that snarled the morning commute.

About 11,200 utility customers are still affected.

As of noon, those still affected were 4,000 customers in Miami-Dade County, 3,200 in Broward and 4,000 in Palm Beach County, FPL said.

"It's a shifting number," said utility spokeswoman Sarah Marmion. "It's been going up and down all night long. We anticipate there will be outages throughout the day. But we have ample crews ready to go."

Among the reason for the outages are brittle branches that broke free during the storm and struck power lines. At least one transformer also malfunctioned somewhere in Broward, Marmion said.

The number of outages, Marmion said, is small when considering FPL serves more than 2.2 million customers in the tri-county area.

"We haven't had a storm in a long time," she said. "These are relatively common numbers."

Full Story

Blooms of Plunkett

Blooms of Plunkett
A Banana tree in the backyard in full bloom