How to put yourself on a money diet

first_imgFor the past six years, Eliza Cross, a professional blogger and freelance writer in Denver, has put herself on what she calls a “money diet.”Not that she coined the phrase. “Money diet” is a term that’s been around since at least the 1980s. For a stretch of time, maybe a week and often a month, you spend no money, except on essentials like groceries, gas and medicine. Unlike a food diet, where you want to lose pounds, the goal is to gain money. And if you do it right, Cross says, you should have more money than usual at the end of the month, and you may gain better financial habits as well.Cross has been putting herself on a money diet every January, for all 31 days. She writes about it and commiserates with her readers on her blog, HappySimpleLiving.com.And while Cross does it every January – “it’s a good time of year when we’re motivated to make changes in our lives, and a lot of us have been spending a lot over the holidays,” she says – you can obviously go on a money diet any time. That said, some parts of the year are probably more challenging than others, such as the middle of summer, when you may want to do things like go on vacation, visit an old-fashioned ice cream parlor or take the kids to the water park.It will help your cause if your family embraces the idea of a money diet. Cross is divorced and her oldest child is a grown-up, so that makes it easier for her than someone with an uninterested spouse and seven teenagers (although that hypothetical family would need the money diet more). Cross has a 13-year-old son, Michael, but so far, she says he has hardly noticed the extra-frugal periods. continue reading » 40SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Hereford Futurity results

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Hereford breeders from Ohio and surrounding states gathered Sunday September 27th, 2015, at the Guernesy Co. Fairgrounds in Old Washington, Ohio. The Buckeye Hereford Association hosted the annual event showcasing Ohio bred seedstock. Judge Lowell Midla of Marysville, Ohio evaluated the entries and complemented the breeders on breeding an excellent set of cattle. Prior to the show a complimentary meal was provided for the breeders and spectators by the Switzerland of Ohio Polled Hereford Association.2015 Ohio Hereford Futurity ChampionsGrand Champion Bull: GVF 10Y Homerun 41B, September 2014 bull sired by NJW 73S W18 Hometown 10Y, bred and owned by Green Valley Farm, Sarahsville, Ohio. Reserve Champion Bull: CVF Z79 Mohican P7C, March 2015 bull sired by Mohican Upnorth Z245 bred by Mohican Farms, Glenmont, Ohio and owned by Carmel Valley Farms, Racine, Ohio. Grand Champion Female: Creek o39X 10Y Viola 502, a January 2015 heifer sired by NJW 73S W18 Hometown 10Y, bred and owned by Creek Bottom Farms, Navarre, Ohio. Reserve Champion Female: UHF Kelly U07B, an April 2014 heifer sired by Star KKH SSF Bright Kelly 408 ET, bred and owned by Ralph E. Ullman & Son, Rinard Mills, Ohio. Grand Champion Prospect Steer: Grandview steer, an April steer sired by MCR Bluestem 977, bred and owned by Grandview Hereford Farm, Springfield, Ohio. Champion Expo Class Heifer: KH X73 Ladysport 0091 B58, an October 2014 heifer sired by Boyd NJW Stand Out 0091, bred Keayla Harr, Jeromesville, Ohio & owned by Emma Lewis, Litchfield, Ohio. Grand Champion Cow/Calf Pair: EML Legend of Ariel A241, sired by Feltons Legend 242 with a May heifer calf sired by EFBEEF Foremost U208. Pair bred and owned by Emma Lewis, Litchfield, Ohio.. Reserve Champion Cow/Calf Pair: Creek Trusts Viola 311A, sired by NJW 73S M326 Trust 100W with a March heifer calf sired by MSU TCF Revolution 4R. Bred and owned by Creek Bottom Farm, Navarre, Ohio. Best 6 head, Premier Breeder & Premier Exhibitor: Creek Bottom Farm, the Johnson Family, Navarre, Ohio.last_img read more

Announcing the March Featured Geocacher of the Month

first_img SharePrint RelatedMarch Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsApril 10, 2012In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community”April Featured Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsMay 11, 2012In “Community” March Featured Geocacher of the Month, AlexschweigertMany people know March’s Featured Geocacher of the Month for his ability to organize and lead incredible geocaching adventures. Congratulations to Alexschweigert for pulling in an incredible 232 votes to be named March’s Featured Geocacher of the Month.Alexschweigert is recognized for sharing his love for geocaching and the sea with others by inviting them to experience a geocaching adventure like no other. Alex chartered a ship for nearly 300 geocachers and led the Allerhalligen-Cruises on March 24th.That’s the fifth event of its kind led by Alex and his team involving chartered ships and a geocaching adventure across the North Sea. Alex also shares his joy of geocaching and life on the coast through his popular geocaching blog.According to one geocacher, Alex “is tremendously engaged and so much into geocaching that he is putting up great caches in his surroundings and besides that, he has the capability of putting on outrageous events.”Alexschweigert will receive a collector’s edition Featured Geocacher of the Month Geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat and certificate acknowledging his contributions signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com.Thank you to the fellow March nominees and all those who supported them. Those nominees not chosen as the featured Geocacher of the Month receive a gift of appreciation from Groundspeak. See a list of all the featured Geocachers of the Month here.The geocaching community is encouraged to re-nominate those who have yet to be honored as featured Geocacher of the Month.Featured Geocacher of the Month GeocoinIf you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for Geocacher of the Month, send an email to [email protected] nomination must meet the following requirements: Please include your name, the name of your nominee, their username, at least one picture of the nominee and description (in 500 or fewer words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the Month. Please inform your nominee that you’ve submitted them for the award. Nominations for the April featured Geocacher of the Month must be received by May 8th.Once we have received all of the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the Latitude 47 blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so we might learn from each other.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Roofing and Siding Jobs Are Energy-Retrofit Opportunities

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Unlike governments in Germany and the U.K., the U.S. government hasn’t yet enacted an energy policy aimed at addressing global climate change. As a result, prices for carbon-based fuels in the U.S. are far lower than in most European countries.If Americans continue along our current energy path, wrenching climate change is almost inevitable. That’s why many energy experts advise Americans to prepare for the eventual implementation of steep carbon taxes on heating fuel and electricity.One prominent environmental organization, the Union of Concerned Scientists, has called for an 80% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and two states (California and New Jersey) have adopted that target as a state goal. The 2030 Challenge, a program endorsed by the American Institute of Architects, sets a goal of implementing energy retrofits designed to reduce energy use by 50% at 1.5 million U.S. homes annually between now and 2030.It’s unclear whether the U.S. will be able to meet these challenging targets. But attaining the targets would require almost every U.S. home to under a deep-energy retrofit. In most cases, the work would require walls and roofs to be covered with a thick layer of exterior insulation.The logical time to do this work is when siding or roofing is replaced.It stands to reason, therefore, that siding and roofing contractors should:Unfortunately, few siding and roofing contractors have taken these steps. Although the upcoming need for massive numbers of deep energy retrofits is understood by many climate scientists and energy experts, this type of work isn’t on the radar screen of most contractors. In fact, customers who are interested in exterior foam retrofits have to search far and wide to find a siding or roofing contractor familiar with the required details.My good friend… center_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.last_img read more

The Loophole and the Ozone Hole

first_imgWho’s to blame?From what I hear, it was a manufacturer of low-end equipment that first walked through the loophole and starting making dry-ship R-22 units. When the EPA didn’t step in to close the loophole, the race was on. Both the EPA and the HVAC industry share the blame.The makers of higher-end equipment don’t want to give up market share to those on the lower end who can exploit a bigger price difference. The dealers and the contractors, likewise, have to compete, and the EPA has forced their hand by allowing this situation to continue.Both sides are to blame, but one is more to blame than the other. Yes, the HVAC industry is exploiting the loophole, but the EPA has the power to close it and has not. The EPA could have shut this down as soon as it became apparent.Carrier has even petitioned the EPA to close the loophole. John Mandyke of Carrier, in an interview with ContractingBusiness.com, explained it this way: “As an industry, we were prepared for the R-22 transition — manufacturers had invested in the new technology and contractors had invested in technician training, as well as in helping consumers prepare for this transition. The loophole threw all that up in the air.”As long as the manufacturers keep making the dry-ship R-22 units, though, the downstream companies — dealers and contractors — feel the pressure to play the game, too. Not all of them, however. I know of one contracting company that, out of the more than 2,000 condensers they’ve installed since this came up, only about 10 have been dry-ship R-22 units. Why you should ask for R-410AIf you’re a builder or contractor installing new HVAC systems or a homeowner in the market for a new air conditioner or heat pump, you really should make sure that you don’t get a new system that has what should be an illegal refrigerant. Here’s why dry-ship R-22 units are a problem:R-22 destroys more ozone than R-410A.R-22 will get more and more expensive as we approach the end of its production in 2020.Once production of R-22 ends, homeowners may end up having to by a new air conditioner sooner than if they’d bought the R-410A system.The presence of so many dry-ship R-22 units has stalled the full-scale adoption of R-410A systems.Even if you don’t believe or care about the ozone hole and skin cancer, this loophole is going to cost people more money when they’re being promised savings. Consider this: A contractor installs a dry-ship R-22 air conditioner for a customer this year. In 2020, manufacturers will stop making R-22. In 2021, it may be more cost-effective to replace the customer’s air conditioner than fix it because of the exorbitant cost of R-22. The customer gets 9 years of use from an air conditioner that should last 15.This whole dry-ship R-22 unit game has been a dirty little secret of the EPA and the HVAC industry with plenty of folks in the industry and government willing to justify jumping through the loophole. Yes, there are some folks with admirable ethics and good motivations, but those of us who are buyers need to be aware of this issue. A contractor may make a compelling case to you about why the loophole is a good thing. Don’t follow them through that hole; the footing isn’t all that steady on the other side. Holes are generally bad things. Those of us who teach building science spend a lot of time showing people how to measure the effects of holes, how to seal them up, and why they’re bad in the first place. That’s not universally true, of course. Some holes we do want, but we also want to be able to control what happens in those holes, as with a door or window.The story I’m about to relay to you involves two holes. One of them was discovered decades ago. The other just appeared in the past two years. These two holes are connected. The fate of the older hole, which we’d like to see get smaller, is now bound up to a degree with the presence of the newer hole, which the EPA could close up completely but hasn’t.This is a dirty little secret of the EPA and the HVAC industry. It involves the environment, the costs that homeowners pay to buy and maintain air conditioners and heat pumps, and a legal loophole that’s starting to look as big as the ozone hole. It’s the story of what’s come to be called the “dry-ship R-22 unit.” If you’re hearing about this for the first time, you’re not alone. I just found out about it myself. Yeah, but how many are really doing it?As it turns out, a surprisingly high percentage of new systems are in the “dry-ship R-22” category. Recently I was speaking with an HVAC supply house executive who told me that these loophole escapees make up about 30% of the units they sell. The author of an article on dry ship R-22 units on the Contracting Business website interviewed his local suppliers and found the following: “One supplier told me it was about even. Several more said they sell slightly more dry units than R-410a systems. One supplier told me they sell four to five times as many dry units as complete systems.”Yes, some of these might actually be used as they’re intended — as replacement components in existing systems — but I think most people in the industry know that the majority of these dry-ship R-22 units are new installs. Can air conditioning make you go blind?My connection to the world of heating and air conditioning contractors goes way back. My grandfather (Allison Sr., whom I called Pappaw) had a heating, AC, plumbing, and electrical business (Bailes Electric) in Leesville, Louisiana, and I used to spend my teenage summers going out on calls with him and my uncle. (The photo of the measuring cup below, which sits on my desk, is from an earlier business he had with his brother, Russell.)One of the things we often did on calls was put the gauges on air conditioners to check the refrigerant charge. Often, Pappaw or my uncle would prepare to fix a hole in the system by emptying all of the refrigerant first. Back in the ’70s, there were no refrigerant capture systems or regulations, so we sprayed a lot of refrigerant out of the hole at the end of the hose on the gauges. The refrigerants of choice at the time were the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which usually went by their trade name, Freon.Remember that stuff? I did a science fair project on CFCs and their effect on our atmosphere in 1978. It turns out that the stuff migrated up to the stratosphere, where it has a tremendous appetite for the three-atom form of oxygen, called ozone. That’s bad. Ozone in the stratosphere has a tremendous appetite for ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. That’s good. UV radiation, you’re probably aware, has a tremendous appetite for skin cells, causing cancer when we get too much of it. That’s bad.The bottom line: CFCs destroy ozone, which leads to more UV radiation, which leads to more cancer.The amount of ozone in the lower stratosphere has decreased about 4% per decade since we discovered this effect in 1974. In addition, a huge ‘hole’ in the ozone layer develops in the polar regions every spring, and scientists have documented the changes in the ozone hole since discovering it in the 1980s. The ozone levels in the hole are running about half what they were 1980. (See graph below.)You also may have heard reports of sheep going blind in Chile because of the extra UV. It turned out to be a local infection rather than the additional UV radiation coming in through the ozone hole. Still, CFCs destroy ozone, which leads to more cancer and other problems. The science is pretty solid here.In 1987, the Montreal Protocol began the phase-out of CFCs with a plan to move to less harmful refrigerants. In the early ’90s, CFCs were phased out and replaced with the HCFC R-22 in air conditioning systems. Its use was to be temporary, as the 1993 decision to move to more ozone-friendly refrigerants would end the use of new R-22 HVACR systems (the R is for refrigeration) at the end of 2009. The more benign HFC R-410A became the replacement, and it was set to become the only game in town for new systems manufactured starting in 2010. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a RESNET-accredited energy consultant, trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. A loophole the size of the ozone holeThe US EPA gave manufacturers and contractors some wiggle room, naturally. They couldn’t just tell the manufacturers they had to destroy all their unsold units in 2010. They also couldn’t just strand all the people out there who already had R-22 in their air conditioners. As a result, manufacturers could sell their stock of R-22 units until depleted, continue to make parts to maintain the existing systems, and keep making R-22 refrigerant until 2020.If you go to the EPA’s website to read about the phase-out of R-22, you’ll find this statement: “[H]eating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers may not produce new air conditioners and heat pumps containing R-22.”Do you see the loophole? As long as they ship the units “dry,” manufacturers concluded, they could continue to make and sell air conditioners and heat pumps designed to use R-22. Hence the term “dry-ship R-22 unit.” Rather than charging them with R-22 at the factory, they fill them with nitrogen and let the contractors add the R-22.Clearly, this violates the intent of the regulation phasing out R-22 when these dry-ship R-22 units are used as new installs. There’s your loophole the size of the ozone hole.last_img read more

Manitoba offers land to Indigenous community forced to relocate in 1950s

first_imgWINNIPEG – A northern Manitoba Indigenous community that was forced to relocate 61 years ago will be getting some of its traditional land back.The provincial government has signed an agreement to transfer 52 square kilometres of Crown land near Little Duck Lake to the federal government, so that it can be converted to a reserve for the Sayisi Dene First Nation.The community’s 250 residents were forced to move to Churchill in 1956 after they were blamed for a steep decline in the caribou herd — an idea later proven untrue.In their new location on Hudson Bay, food was scarce, housing was inadequate and many residents died prematurely.The Manitoba government apologized for its role in 2010 and, last year, the federal government apologized and offered $33.6 million in compensation.The community’s chief, Tony Powderhorn, says the land agreement helps address a long-standing wrongdoing.“It is a recognition that removing us from our land was wrong,” Powderhorn said at a signing ceremony at the Manitoba legislature Wednesday.“It is an important step in reconciliation.”Manitoba Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke said the forced relocation should not have happened.“They were relocated to areas devoid of the materials and resources that their people had always relied on. There was no adequate shelter, supplies or game to hunt.”In 1973, the Sayisi Dene left the Churchill area and moved back near their traditional territory at Tadoule Lake. The 52 square kilometres that will be transferred is further north, near the former Hudson’s Bay store where cargo planes were used to move the residents.“That’s where everything started and happened,” Powderhorn said.“We can probably go back and forth there (now), for maybe spring gatherings or something like that.”The community’s previous chief, Ernest Bussidor, was born one month before the relocation. When the federal government apologized last year, he recalled that many survivors of the relocation had suffered post-traumatic stress.“People freezing to death, fires, you name it,” Bussidor said.“A lot of children died. That kind of stuff never leaves you.”last_img read more

Mother filing complaint against RCMP officer for allegedly punching her son at

first_imgLucy ScholeyAPTN NewsThe mother of a 15-year-old boy is filing a complaint to the RCMP after watching a video of her son allegedly getting punched in the head by an officer during an arrest at the Melfort Fair in Saskatchewan.APTN News was sent a copy of a video, which appears to show an officer walking over to the teen, who’s lying on the ground underneath a set of bleachers, before swinging at his head twice.On Monday, RCMP released a statement saying the 15-year-old boy from Tisdale, Sask. was arrested at the Melfort Fair on July 20 for wielding a fake firearm.The teen cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. According to the release, an “altercation” took place between the teen and three “females.”The 15-year-old was arrested and charged with several offences, including pointing a firearm, possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose and breach of probation. There were no shots fired and no injuries reported.But the teen’s mother, who also cannot be named as it could identify the teen, said the boy “had a large red mark on his forehead from where the police officer punched him,” plus injuries from a fight with a girl.She said her son was defending himself after the girl confronted him. Someone else showed up with a pellet gun and her son “took it from him.”“Then the RCMP and other news made it sound as though my son was there to shoot up the exhibition,” she said.The RCMP phoned her and she spoke with her son, who informed her that a police officer punched him.“And then to actually see it on video made me sick to my stomach and the tears rolled down my face,” she said.The original video is about a minute and a half long, but APTN trimmed it down to 15 seconds because the rest does not show much more of the arrest.Her son was taken into custody and appeared in court on Monday.According to a statement sent to APTN by the RCMP, the officers were dealing with a “significant public threat.”“The situation was highly-fluid and the firearm had not yet been located,” the statement said. “Because the subject refused to comply with officers’ instructions, a determination was made to immediately effect an arrest utilizing an appropriate level of force to ensure public and officer safety.”“As is the case with any such incidents, a Subject Behaviour/Officer Response (SB/OR) report is required. It will be reviewed internally to determine if the level of force used was appropriate.”The mother said she has also filed a complaint against the officer in question with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.She said her son has had previous run-ins with the law, but that he has struggled with ADHD and had been seeking counselling.“And all I want is the best for my son and to help him get better. He needs the help.”[email protected]last_img read more