I grew up around farmers who often used words, or didn’t, in hopes you would hear what they wanted you to hear rather than what they actually said.
I once asked a fellow to suggest a good car body repair guy.
“A lot of people like Ted Jacobs,” Jake said, (the names are not real) then after a short period of thought, “And some think Ken Strasbaugh does a pretty good job.”
“You didn’t mention Jimmy Godson,” I noted.
“You could go there,” said Jake.
I took the hint and didn’t.
Continue reading Industrial strength obfuscation
A new bridge is planned for Fairfield Road in Hamiltonban Township. Or maybe Highland Township (as it appears to be on the county’s online map.) There seems to be some question which end of the bridge is the municipal line, but it is a state road, and therefore a state bridge,
A look underneath the existing structure reveals a need for some repair — not immediately, but soon.
Continue reading “You just have to think ahead.”
My wife-slash-Resident Travel Agent and I went to Florida recently. We left my Jeep in Long Term Parking and flew to Fort Lauderdale, where I signed for a rental car to use for the week.
Renting a car for a trip actually is a good way to go. You get a fairly new vehicle, and all you need do is drive – and turn it in when you are done for someone else to clean out any dog hairs or French fries you might have dropped between the seats.
Continue reading That’s a mid-size car??
I could tell you where this shot was taken, but that would spoil half the fun. If you know, give yourself 10 points. If you don’t, go take a drive in Adams County, PA, find it and then take your 10 points. (I’m really a generous scorer.)
Thing is, I enjoy history. Not book stuff, but real wander-around-in-it history.
Continue reading Collecting bridges
Electric Vehicles are coming – as soon as the charging stations are built and the price comes down. They have the mirror image of the problem Marcellus Shale drillers having.
Nissan Leaf has sold about 1,400 of its all-electric LEAF so far this year, down about 70 percent from 2011 sales. The company only sold 370 of the “clean” little commuter cars in April.
High entry price, commuter-centric miles-per-charge, and few charging stations hinder rapid market expansion.
Continue reading …
A recent thread about sidewalk cafés in Philadelphia reminded me of a thread I’ve followed many years in the town where I live – making a portion of downtown pedestrian-only. The idea benefits everyone who shops, works and even breathes in the burg that tries it.
It’s a hard sell, though. We Americans have a long independent streak.
Continue reading …
Shell Oil Co., a child of Royal Dutch Shell – the latter reportedly the largest oil company in Europe and second largest company in the world – is thinking about building an ethane cracker plant in Monaca Borough, Beaver County, 30-some miles northwest of Pittsburgh, Pa.
The proposed plant would be used to “crack” ethane from natural gas derived from wells drilled into the Marcellus Shale in the southwestern region of the state. The cracking process results in ethylene, used mostly in making plastics.
The plant will benefit from Act 16 of 2012, a bill the Pa. General Assembly adopted to exempt the giant firm from paying state income and property taxes for 15 years. Continue reading “Poverty-stricken” Shell Oil offered $2B taxpayer handout to set up in Pa.
While some of our politicians and fossil fuel barons try, with varying success, to convince us we’re not digging up enough coal, oil or natural gas, the folks who we are told are selling us our oil are busy building a city that doesn’t need it.
For the first time in more than a half-century, the U.S. exports more fuel than it imports. We still are the world’s largest importer of crude oil, but a huge portion of the imported crude becomes exported product, including fuels. Continue reading While we continue to subsidize fossil fuels, at least one American industrial giant invests in green technology in, of all places …
Wind power, a Pennsylvania state politician recently said, is accomplishing one thing: spending taxpayer money.
But there is growing evidence it is doing other, more positive things, such as creating jobs and supplying the electrical grid – with considerably less risk than the Keystone State’s other burgeoning energy source.
Continue reading …
We had picked up the Messeder Space Pod in Myrtle Beach on a Thursday afternoon and headed home. Somewhere a little south of Petersburg, Va., we decided to start looking for a place to pull in for the night.
So we asked Sally G, our faithful GPS, to find one. She found several. We picked the closest one and dialed the phone number. A fellow whose gravelly voice came from National Geographic’s “Swamp Men,” only friendlier, listened patiently while I described where I was – some exit off I-95, northbound toward home.
“It’s not that I don’t want your business,” the proprietor said, “but I’m over on (Interstate) 85, and that’s pretty much out of your way.”
Continue reading …
According to several sources, including the refinery owners, the U.S. EPA is not the source of their woes – unless we count a planned 25 percent increase in U.S. vehicle gas mileage scheduled by 2015. … Continue reading …
The U.S. Senate this week decisively shot down a proposal to eliminate subsidies to Big Oil & Gas.
The tally was 51 senators, including two Republicans – from Maine – voting to end the subsidies, and 47, including four Democrats – from Alaska, Lousiana, Nebraska and Virginia – voting to keep them. The 100-seat senate has a nifty rule in place designed to increase the power of the minority party: 60 votes are required to pass a bill.
It’s probably coincidental that the four states whose Democrat senators opposed the repeal are heavily involved in oil production or transportation.
Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. Bob Casey voted to repeal the subsidies, and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey voted to keep them.
A report published last year said Pennsylvanians provide nearly $3 billion in subsidies to fossil fuel producers. It’s a subject that draws little media attention. … Continue reading …
California has a suggestion for Pennsylvania: use some money won from companies which have harmed Pennsylvanians’ health – tobacco money comes quickest to mind – to improve the health of the aforementioned residents.
Help support electric cars, for instance, in a public-private partnership that offers something more than tax breaks to petroleum fuel producers.
The Golden State has won $120 million from resolution of a power crisis a decade ago, in which companies such as Enron shut down power plants to create electricity pseudo-shortages and drive up consumer prices.
Now California intends to use $100 million of the money to help a company build electric car charging networks in densely populated areas such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Joaquin Valley – areas that could benefit from a reduction in gasoline-powered vehicles that daily are stuck in barely rolling traffic jams, replenishing any smog the sea winds might have blown away.
The remaining $20 million reportedly will benefit programs to lower consumer electricity costs.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett wants to place money from the state’s tobacco settlement into the General Fund, where it can be spent on … lots of things his constituents want, or think they want, especially if what they want involves burning fossil fuels. … Continue reading …
You can’t look out a window from 30,000 feet and see a flame burning on a wastewater treatment plant in Richmond, Va. I wonder what a wastewater treatment plant would have to burn to make that much flame.
I made that note on a drive last week to Florida, a purpose of which was to gather some photos and maybe contact some people working to get better wages for migrant farm workers. You can’t do either of those things in an airplane at 30,000 feet.
I sleep when I fly. When I drive, I think a lot, and talk to a voice-to-text app to keep notes. Such as, in 2,600 miles of driving, how much construction is putting people to work … Continue reading …
I don’t know whether it’s global warming, climate change or as my spouse chooses to believe, the snow thrower we bought last year, when we thought more snowy winters to be in the offing.
I pulled the machine out of the shed in October, when we had a pretty serious snow – for South-Central Pennsylvania. About eight inches of the white stuff blanketed the ground. I cleared the driveway and the extra parking space – and have not used the machine since.
I suggested maybe we spent the money unnecessarily. Wife suggested it was money well spent.
On the other hand, Continue reading …