Sunday, October 29, 2006

I don't know how you dayshifters do it. The crowded busses, the crowded offices,
the dark walks to work. Tough stuff. It's been a rough first week. I've learned
that I don't just have difficulty sleeping when I have to wake up early for a plane; I can't sleep worth a damn if I have to get up early for anything. And I've been trying to get up early, with some success, so that I can write some poems before work. Because after work I'm pretty wiped out. But that's probably because of the waking up to check the alarm clock forty nine times a night, paranoid I'm not going to get up in time to write. This is the downside of having been so hooked into a routine the past eight years. Like coffee, a routine can get the job done, but, as with coffee, if things don't go as planned you wind up with a junkie's headache. Right now I'm just eager to get into a nice new routine so I can stay sane through eight hours of my co-workers non-stop chatter. Don't they ever shut up?? They do not. When I worked swing shift I only had to see them two hours a day. But when I worked swing shift I only got to see my wife (awake) for an hour a day. So this is the better deal. And I've certainly capitalized on the new freedom to have a normal cultural life. In the first week I already attended a mindbending Daniel Pinchbeck reading, an amazing poetry reading up the Space Needle, and a great Halloween party. I'm not even counting all the meals I've gotten to eat with my family. When I do the math it all seems well worth the mind-created problems which aren't actual problems after all--things are as they are. Adjustments take longer than a week, right? Besides, who needs a stupid routine to write when I'll have the November 30th deadline of a 50,000 word novel hanging over me starting Wednesday? Gulp.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A few weeks ago one of the clients at work said, "Don't worry, Pete, there's light at the end of the rainbow." I haven't been feeling worried but I do see the light: Next week I switch to day shift. I've been working swing (which is 2:30-11:00; a lot of people confuse it with graveyard) for eight years now so this will be a major change, almost like getting a new job.

The actual working aspect isn't ideal, I'll be working at the same time as my bosses and sharing the office I had to myself--with the stereo to myself--with two other people, but the other changes more than outweigh that. Most importantly I'll get to see my wife for more than thirty minutes at a time. We'll be able to eat dinner together (no more institutional lasagna!). We can go to movies. Poetry readings. Plays. We can see friends! It's all very exciting.

Since I'm such a slave to routine there will be a period of adjustment, especially figuring out when I'm going to write. If I can write a couple hours a day and get some amount of reading and music listening in, then I 'm fine. But right now I'm in an unmotivated limbo. We just got back from LA and that was so fun that it's hard to focus on a daily grind. And it seems silly to start any new poetry projects since November is going to be devoted to doing what Dup is doing: writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month. Join us!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

15 things you can do to stop global warming from

15. Use a push mower to cut your lawn instead of a power mower.
CO2 reduction = 80 lbs/year

14. Buy food and other products with less packaging, or reusable /recyclable packaging instead of those in non-recyclable packaging.
CO2 reduction = 230 lbs/year

13. Replace your current washing machine with a low-energy, low-water-use machine.
CO2 reduction = 440 lbs/year
Wash clothes in cold water, not hot.
CO2 reduction (for two loads a week) = 500 lbs/year

12. Turn down your water heater thermostat; 120 degrees is usually hot enough.
CO2 reduction (for each 10-degree adjustment) = 500 lbs/year

11. Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most-used lights.
CO2 reduction (by replacing one frequently used bulb) = 500 lbs/year

10. Install a solar water heater system to help provide your hot water.
CO2 reduction = 720 lbs/year

9. Recycle all of your home's waste newsprint, cardboard, glass, and metal.
CO2 reduction = 850 lbs/year

8. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket.
CO2 reduction = up to 1000 lbs/year

7. Caulk and weather-strip around doors and windows to plug air leaks.
CO2 reduction = up to 1000 lbs/year

6. Leave your car at home two days a week (walk, bike or take public transportation to work instead)
CO2 reduction = 1,590 lbs/year

5. Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to find out where your home is poorly insulated or energy-inefficient.
CO2 reduction = potentially 1000's of lbs/year

4. Insulate your home, tune up your furnace, and install energy-efficient shower heads
CO2 reduction = 2,480 lbs/year

3. Drive a fuel-efficient car (rated up to 32 mpg or more).
CO2 reduction (fuel-efficient car)= 5,600 lbs/year
or buy a new hybrid gasoline electric vehicle which gets 50 to 70 mpg

If your family did all of the items above, you could cut CO2 emissions by more than 15,000 lbs/year! (Visit the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and consider investing in green energy to help offset your C02 footprint).

2. Tell your representatives climate protection is important to you. Your elected officials make critical decisions in your name that either hurt or help the fight against global warming. In the US Congress and in the statehouse, your representatives need to hear that you want action!

To find your state senator and state representatives contact information, go to:

To find out how to contact your federal Representative go to:
To find out how to contact your federal Senators, go to

1. Learn more and tell your friends, family and colleagues. Sign up for the monthly on-line e-bulletin to stay informed about climate protection in the Northwest. Subscribe to the NW Climate Connection.

Support Climate Solutions. If you appreciate in-depth research, most up-to-date policy reviews and cutting edge solutions, please join today! Joining Climate Solutions gives you the political strength to make the positive changes we need to stop global warming.


For a customized estimate of your household's CO2 output, use the following formula:

Units x Conversion factor = total
1. Estimate gallons of gasoline purchased per month. (From last month's gasolinereceipts, or number of miles driven monthly divided by your car's miles per gallon) ____ gallons x 20 = _____ lbs. CO2
2. Find your electricity bill from April or October (as an average for the year) and find kWh used or gather your electricity bills for the year and divide by 12. _____ kWh x 1 = _____ lbs. CO2
3. If you use natural gas, find your April or October bill (as an average bill) and find how many therms you used. _____ therms x 12 = _____ lbs. CO2
4. If you use heating oil, estimate total gallons purchased per year and divide by 12. _____ therms x 12 = _____ lbs. CO2

Monthly CO2 emissions from household = ______ x 12 = ______ lbs of CO2 (Annual CO2 emissions from household)

Climate Solutions
Main Office:
219 Legion Way SW, Suite 201, Olympia, WA 98501-1113
Phone: 360-352-1763; Fax: 360-943-4977
Seattle Office/Northwest Climate Connections
1601 2nd Avenue, Suite 615. Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: 206-443-9570; Fax: 206-728-0552

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The World Can't Wait

There are major anti-war protests happening today. Click here to see if your city is taking part. It's a beautiful day for Seattle's. Any suggestions what my sign should say?

Monday, October 02, 2006


How many weird things can YOU point out about this ad?