Monthly Archives: June 2011
I’m right on the edge of wanting a new phone…my iPhone 3g is old enough that it’s just plain starting to Not Work Any More, since the rest of the systems are now intended for Shiny New iPhones.
Planned obsolescence pisses me off, which is why I’m holding onto the thing out of sheer spite, but it’s letting me down far more often than it’s giving me what I need–and what I need, primarily, is a phone with calendar, email, and GPS capability. I don’t really care about being able to play Angry Birds on it; I need it to do those very simple things. I want something with decent enough battery life that I won’t have to charge it every single day, or worse, worry that it won’t get through the day on a single charge. And I really really want something that will irradiate my brain or hand or right butt-cheek as little as humanly possible should I need to keep my phone near those particular body parts for extended periods of time.
My options seem limited. We’re on AT&T network, which does not have too many phones in the low radiation range. According to the Environmental Working Group, the two lowest-radiation smartphones are the LG Quantum and the Samsung Captivate. The Samsung runs Android, which I like in many respects, but which seems to have some battery life issues. (When you read a boast saying “great battery life! You should even get through a whole day on a single charge!” you know whoever wrote it has expectations that differ a bit from mine!) When a system boasts of being able to run many simultaneous apps…well, the catch there is that battery life can drain pretty fast if you are not careful.
The LG Quantum is a Windows 7 phone, with the lowest radiation emissions, and it seems to be well-reviewed. That’s the one I’m looking at now.
Then there’s the other question–do I yield to the whole Consumer Buy Something New mindset, adding more Stuff to landfills and worse, more electronic waste, which tends to be more hazardous than a lot of trash? (Not that I would trash the iPhone; I’d keep it as an iTouch and use it for music and stuff.)
There’s ebay. People who don’t share these concerns who post, “Hey, I just bought the new iPhone 4, and I want to sell my Quantum–only used for a month!” Part of me goes *headdesk*whatareyouthinking*headdesk*!! when I hear this kind of thing; the other parts goes, okay, maybe I’ll buy your phone, it’ll avoid my having to sign up for two more years with this company I don’t know if I’ll want to stay with for that long…
I don’t know…any thoughts? What do you guys think?
A couple of posts I’ve seen recently have gotten my radar up, and now I feel like I’m verging on paranoid. While the FDA and EPA of this country have a less than fab track record, I tend to have a little more faith in stuff that comes from international groups like the World Health Organization–and so, when they say, “Hey, guess what? Cell phone radiation is likely carcinogenic, and whaddya know, we’re now seeing all these people with brain tumors on the right sides of their head behind their ear–ya know, where you hold your cell phone? Dudes, get headsets, okay?…(and dudely dudes, don’t carry the thing in your front pocket either, if you have significant hope of producing offspring one day, ‘kay?)”
Beth at My Plastic Free Life had up a really good post a while ago about how we might reduce our exposure to cell phone radiation–pointing to the Environmental Working Group’s site telling the different radiation amounts emitted by different phones and giving tips for how to avoid as much radiation as you can.
In tomorrow’s post I’ll talk about my own phone purchasing dilemmas…the “whether” first, and then the “which”…
In the meantime, I’m using a headset, texting more, and not carrying my phone in my pocket.
Come on over to the Green Phone Booth for the tale of how I survived a 6-year-old girl birthday party with the house pretty much intact…
It was a lot of fun, actually–it’s sort of silly, I guess, how much I obsess over “omg what will other moms think of me” (like when I mail invitations 6 days before the party, or freak out that the school’s address list might not be accurate and not everyone got theirs, so will they think they didn’t get invited, or OMG this one got paint on her skirt, or God knows what-all else…I worry a lot. I have no natural social skills, so anything I get right is usually because I obsessed over it.) , but I just sort of do…still, I think a good time was had by all. And little girls at this age are just…fun. I like them.
Anyway, come over and read the account! (This made for a really
cheap frugal and financially conscious party as well!)
I think most of my readers know that I am passionately committed to supporting women’s right and ability to breastfeed their children for as long as it works well for child and mother. But normally when I think about this, it’s about nurse-ins and free formula samples given at the hospital, mothers whose own parents and family discourage them, pumping time and space for working moms, and women who get sideways looks when they nurse in public. But…important as all those issues are, they pale in comparison to what happens to a poor woman in a developing country when she is “booby trapped” out of nursing at the beginning of her baby’s life, discovering once her milk has dried up that she is now utterly dependent on formula, for which she may or may not have access to safe potable water to mix it with, or funds to keep purchasing it…that’s why there is an International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes.
Which the Nestle corporation flagrantly ignores.
Please, if you didn’t know about the international Nestle boycott, spread the word about what they and other formula marketers are doing to women in developing countries, and consider joining the boycott as well. It’s not easy, as this company manufactures, like, everything…but it’s easier than being a mother with no real support for breastfeeding and lots of formula samples shoved into your face…
Boycott Nestle. Visit and support sites like The Leaky Boob and Peaceful Parenting. Let our voices be heard–it’s not so much that “breast is best”–it’s that “breast is NORMAL.” Of course every woman should have the choice of what and how to feed her child…but does that unsupported formula-pressured mother have a choice? Really?
Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this picture?
Oh, by the way, JDRF stands for “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Yes, diabetes.
And buying one of these mega-super-wee-wee-wee-all-the-way-home drink jugs, so that KFC will donate a buck to diabetes research–what an AWESOME way to fight diabetes!
I mean, right?
Unbelievable. Check out Marion Nestle for more on this, including JDRF’s response justifying this choice–that they do type I diabetes, which is not obesity related, so that makes this endorsement fine.
Check out this fairly cool tutorial:
I think I could totally make this. More than that, I really like the theory behind it. A full gathered skirt, but with a gathered waistband in the front and elastic in the back. This enables zipper-chickens such as myself to avoid having to learn to make zippers, or measure our waistband fabric too thoroughly, or all kinds of stuff like that.
If I do it, I’ll let you know… This one looks fun, and I find I
need want a couple more big long full foofy skirts…
Today over at the Green Phone Booth I have a post about some pretty awesome Portland, OR teens…come check it out!
I’m a bad mom.
My daughter’s birthday was over a month ago, but with work craziness and parents visiting and all the Stuff we had going on, I completely didn’t plan her a party. (Ahem…neither did my spouse, so I can’t take all the blame, but still…)
So we’re doing it next weekend. And we’ve decided (I totally didn’t talk her into this!) on a “B-earth-day party.” Yes, I know Earth Day was even longer ago than her birthday. But I say, every day can be Earth Day!
But now I need to make it happen.
My spouse did the invitations and name list, and he’s addressing them. Which is awesome, because it’s where I totally fall down on the job. But where I’ll be “on” is the part where we figure out what to do.
So we’re talking about up to 10 girls, if everyone comes. I’m thinking we’ll beg our neighbors to borrow one of the big tables they always set up in their garage to put in the back yard for crafts and foodstuffs. That way we can have the whole thing outdoors. Hopefully the anti-rabbit fences I have up to protect my garden will also work against 6-year-old girls.
Here’s what I’ve got in mind at the moment; it’ll be a work in progress through the week, and I desperately welcome any suggestions!!
Food: fruits, veggies, some other Foodstuff Of Substance yet to be decided by the b-earth-day girl. Cake will be chocolate with blue frosting and decorated with really unattractive green imitations of the continents. (I’m not so good at cake decorating…I may break down, even for earthy-stuff, and buy a cake…) I’m guessing she’ll go with chicken nuggets or something else not very earth-y, but I can only do so much…
- We’ll paint/decorate little terra-cotta flower pots, fill them with dirt, and either plant some seeds or transplant some nice little live thing. My own perennials are absolutely not yet up to this challenge; maybe another year. I’ll probably have to go buy something that I can divide among 10. Or, as I say, we can use seeds. I still have a gajillion nasturtium seeds that never got planted…
- Pine cone bird feeder. Here is a set of instructions that do not involve nut butter. (My kids don’t have nut allergies, but it seems inevitable that someone at the party will!)
- looking for some kind of flower or butterfly-on-a-stick thing to stick into the full flowerpot. Hmm…still hunting.
- These pounded flower bookmarks look cool too…
- Or these egg carton bugs…
- Earth Day relay race–a few sites have something like this, with varying levels of complication, but the simplest seems to be that each team member has to run to one box and get a recyclable, run it to the recycling bin, and then run back to the starting point before the next person goes.
- Earth Day bingo–I’ll have to make my own cards, but essentially (for the 6-year-old age group) we’re talking a card with E-A-R-T-H across the top and pictures, like flower or rain or rock or whatever, underneath. If something doesn’t in fact happen, this is very likely to be it…I’m not sure I’ll have time to make this happen.
- Maybe a neighborhood scavenger hunt…again, a work/thought in progress, I need to ponder this one…
- If we had a flatter surface, water bottle bowling could be fun; my kids used to do that all the time, before I stopped buying seltzer.
Love this post:
I mean, how cool is that? You go out and pick your berries, you bring ‘em inside and clean them off, you cook them up, dump ’em in jars and process them. Jam done.
It’ll be a few years for us yet…we have two blueberries, two elderberries, a raspberry, and a bush cherry all valiantly trying to establish themselves back there. But they’ll do it. The blueberries (two varieties, so they can freely pollinate one another) were the first to go in, and they are looking fabulous. The first elderberry I got took a while to get going but is looking good now, and the second one only went in last week. In-between were a “carmine jewel” bush cherry and a red raspberry cane. The bush cherry is looking exactly like it did when I planted it–I’m still waiting for new growth, and a little concerned that I haven’t seen it yet.
The raspberry was weird. If you’ve never purchased a fruit plant in “cane” form, it’s the most bizarre thing–essentially you purchase this little chopped off foot long stick with roots. You stick it in the ground (they suggest to dig the hole and then make sort of a hill in the middle around which you arrange the roots in all different directions), and fill it back up, and in a couple of weeks instead of just a stick in the ground you see a stick in the ground with little raspberry plants growing around its base. This UK blog post has a picture..
So next year hopefully we’ll start seeing a little fruit, and by three years from now hopefully I’ll be jammin’ but good!
This past weekend was my last directing the choirs at my church job–I will be leaving the position this summer to start full time doctoral work. The choirs sang gorgeously, did a little sung blessing thing for me, and we had a party afterwards in the parish center (and the smaller group went out for dinner the night before, to celebrate the year and the transitions and our wonderful accompanist who is going to marry the love of his life next weekend). It was an awesome few days.
And they gave me gifts–the kind of gifts you treasure as much because you can tell by what they chose how well they know you as by the gifts themselves. (That’s a confusing sentence…does it make sense?)
One of the groups gave me gift certificates to Clover’s Garden Center, which I haunt the way some women haunt shoe stores. And I have much haunting yet to do this season, since my poor lavender and chamomile plugs didn’t make it through the shipping process from Richters. (Despite this–I highly recommend Richters for anyone looking to have healthy herbs, plants or seeds, shipped to them. It was just bad luck that the poor things hit a huge heat wave in the Chicago area and just got shocked out of existence, and the company was very responsive and credited me for the lost plants. And I got plenty more plants from them in the same shipment that did make it and are thriving beautifully.) The other gave me a gorgeous dwarf Korean lilac bush, already well-grown and absolutely beautiful. (And another gift card…) They also made a beautiful framed display of the CD we’d all made together last year, and everyone signed the mat. One of the groups made me a framed and signed photo of all of us in the group, as well.
For me–these are absolutely perfect gifts. Things that will keep on growing, that will be part of my life for years, giving color and sweet fragrance to the place that is my home, that will be permanent testaments to these years of friendship and work together. Things that honor what is really important to me–the names and faces and memories, and the love of growing green things.
My friends are awesome.