Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good morning, everyone. There wasn't really much to say yesterday as most of the news consisted of continuing stories and I had a trip to the library planned and a couple of errands to do. The latter took more time than I expected because finding one of the items on my list was a very difficult task. We have not liked the local tap water for some time. It is very hard and making tea and coffee with it is less than satisfactory as the calcium mixes with the acids and tannins to make a scum that is unappetizing and hard to clean off the surface of the pots. We can't put in a household water softener system since we rent this little townhouse but we didn't want to get either the system that attaches to the faucet or the kind that works in a pitcher. Both require filters that have to be replaced and we didn't really want something else that has to be thrown in the trash. About a month ago I was skimming through a new book on basic food preservation methods and found a small section on water quality in the introductory chapter. That author suggested a couple of different low tech ways to get rid of the calcium. One of the methods was to boil water for 20-30 minutes and, when the water cooled, skim the floating calcium and then decant the remainder of the water, carefully, so the calcium on the bottom isn't disturbed. The procedure works beautifully--no floating scum on either coffee or tea and nothing sticking to the sides of the pots. So we decided that we would like a container with a spigot for the treated water. I tried Menards. I tried Home Depot. I tried Target. At Target I thought would look in their bottled water section for the larger sizes and simply take one of them home. Well those don't come with a spigot any more and I really did not relish picking up a 2 gallon jug every day to set up our coffee. I finally found what I wanted thanks to the suggestion of a salesperson at Home Depot. Someone he knew got a stoneware crock with a spigot from a local bottled water supplier. And that is what I finally got. It holds about two gallons easily. The only draw back was that it had been designed to be the decorative dispenser for the five gallon jugs and had no lid. But we are inventive we are. I figured we could use one of the small stoneware plates or a bowl until I remembered a set of stoneware canisters we got from one of the relatives. I am using the larger one to hold plastic bags in the sewing/computer room and have never used its lid with it. That lid now sits atop the new water reservoir. We always seem to want something that has been discontinued or that most stores sell only on a seasonal basis now-a-days and we are always out of season.

I saw this story right off this morning and thought: Kay, you are probably apoplectic right about now. And rightly so. For some time now, twenty years at least, I have had the nagging feeling that the late 20th century was an interlude or an aberration in human history. Most of us alive today cannot remember when unions were illegal and any attempt to unionize was met with state sanctioned violence. Most of us alive today cannot remember when the working class could live a middle class lifestyle because they were well paid. Most of us today cannot remember a time when the elderly did not have the cushion of Social Security. Most of us today cannot remember a time when children as young as 8 or 10 worked in often dangerous conditions doing hard labor for 12 or more hours a day and few would get through the 4th grade. But that is what we seem to be going back to.

Then HuffingtonPost had this little story that proves the old adage that 'figures don't lie, but liars figure'. It all depends on the numbers you use to do the figuring. We have been bombarded with stories of late about how unfair our corporate taxes are and that the 35% tax rate on business revenues is one of the highest in the world. That may be true but that doesn't say what proportion of the GDP businesses actually pay in taxes and that has been going down steadily since its high in the late 1940s. That raises the question: if our corporate taxes are the highest in the world how come business are paying so little of the tax revenues?

This should have come as a surprise to no one and I am amazed at the number of supposedly intelligent and supposedly well-informed commentators who were surprised. Much as I despise the loudmouthed bigots who have neither a sense of propriety nor shame, I don't see how the Supreme Court could have come to a different decision. I would suggest that communities who want to effectively and non-violently deal with these assholes take a page out of a couple of communities who did not get nearly enough publicity--they made sure that every available space anywhere near the funerals was occupied before the Westboro people arrived.

1 comment:

Looking to the Stars said...

I couldn't see the Supreme Court doing anything else also. Tho, it galls me to no end.

You're right we don't remember those times and I agree, we are heading backwards to those times. Shame on us.

I liked how you tackled the water problem. We use Waterwise, for us, it works great. We are always wanting or needing things that are out of season or are discontinued. I remember the days when that didn't happen. A store always carried what you needed, not anymore. Such is life nowadays.

take care