Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Economically Stimulating

As of yesterday at 3:07 I am a veteran teacher. Yes, all it takes to get that title in my school is surviving one year and making the insane decision to return for another.

A week ago I got a water bill saying I had used 1038 gallons in 40 days. That puts me at 26% of the average American (down from 34% at last check). The drop is due to shorter showers (turning off water in the middle), plus some general awareness. I'm surprised how much it dropped! Maybe I really will reach 10% with the changes I've made recently, although the plants have been very thirsty as of late.

I finally took the plunge, wiped my computer, and installed Ubuntu. Wow. Its amazing. The 8 minute start up? Replaced by 1 minute. The slow run time from using incompatible programs? Gone. I easily installed every program I wanted and removed everything I didn't. The interface is easy, logical and simple- just like I want life to be! Plus, Linux people are often mathy, which means that a standard program is one that develops beautiful fractals. This makes me happy in a way I can't put in words.

Today as I was driving home there was a huge thunder/lightning/rain/hail storm. It was intense enough to slow even the crazy Boston drivers to a crawl. The sky was dark and the noise of the rain and hail drowned out the booming thunder, not to mention my podcast. At one point so much pea sized hail was falling that it felt like I was driving on gravel. I know rain and hail occur during the summer in New England, but it made me wonder what sorts of intense weather we'll be experience as the climate continues to shift and morph.

Last Friday I received my "Economic Stimulus Package" and decided to put it right to work. For Father's day (a week after most celebrated it) my family convened in CT to canoe down the Farmington River. I was more than happy to hand over $120 of economic stimulation to a local company that provided canoes and a van service to drop us upriver. It was an exciting (rapids) and peaceful (calm water) experience that the four of us will remember forever. Even though I think the check sending program is absurd, I look forward to being economically stimulating by donating to and supporting small organizations that emphasize experiences, not things.

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