Saturday, September 15, 2012

FTT Off-Topic: Being Earth-Friendly Is Making Me Hate The Earth

How I Will Remember Summer 2012
You know the drill; not sports, yada yada yada.

One of the things that I do, and have written about in the past, is the laundry. I've got a motor for work and OCD-ish tendencies, so letting things go for too long isn't an option, and we've been without a dryer for years now, ever since the old one broke and ate a repair bill. So what started out as a play to avoid spending money became that and an environmental approach, because the cost of drying your clothes can be up to 15% of your overall utilities bill, and my utilities bill is substantial enough as is.

In previous years, I'd hang things up indoors, on folding metal racks or on hangers and chairs, with the racks going in a room with fans and a dehumidifier. I'm never in a big hurry for clean clothes, so coming back for them a day later isn't a big deal. But as the kids have gotten older and I've spent more days at the gym,with more sweaty workout clothes, the laundry loads have gotten larger, and we've gone to an outdoor line system. I now have five of them hung up across the backyard, enough to handle about 4 full loads.

So, here am I, using a front loader washer and hanging my clothes in the sunshine, as earth-friendly as can be... but there's a fly in the mix. Or, actually, a mosquito. Or dozens, to be more accurate.

New Jersey's state bird should be the mosquito. Summer here is a muggy and steamy mix of thunderstorms and flop sweat under the best of conditions, and if your back yard -- or the backyard of any of your neighbors -- had any kind of standing water situation, you've got the little bitches. (Only the female mosquito bites. It's one of the more logical reasons, in my opinion, for chauvinism.)

How bad is the infestation? Well, I've got a machine to kill them back there, running 24/7. I only go to the backyard while wearing full pants and a long-sleeved shirt, regardless of weather or temperature, and while wearing a mosquito repellent fan on my belt. And I'm still munched. Oh, and there's a persistent patch of poison ivy that produced a week of pain a month ago.

So, that need to be earth-friendly and save on the electric bill... is at odds with the desire to more or less pave and pillage all vegetation in the back yard.

Give me the option of a quarter acre of paved asphalt, and I'll take it.

In a heartbeat...

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