Wednesday, July 30, 2008

At the Refuge - Cyril




Cyril is a Pionus parrot. Check out those gorgeous feathers! I don't know her very well and I don't know Pionus parrots very well. But in the interest of getting outside of my comfort zone, I was working in her room tonight. She made quite an impression.

The first thing I saw was an egg. In her cage. She was up on a perch, not particlarly interested in it.

When my African Grey, Kiwi, lays an egg, she turns into a holy terror. She will not leave her cage and she will charge at anyone that comes close. Wait. I think I have a picture of this:



See? Serious business. But Cyril took it in stride. I literally removed the egg in order to change her paper and she didn't move. She let me pet her head. And when I brought her dinner, she chowed right down. No drama at all.

She has had some medical issues, but it looks like she is just on some dietary supplements at this point. "Sweetheart" is her reputation among the volunteers. Cyril is up for adoption and you can read more about her here.

This is to Make My Mother Mad.



She stopped reading the books and cursed Jo Rowling's name the moment a certain someone that we all loved got avada kedevra'd (I don't remember how to spell that) in Book 5. I like that this is more creepy than mind-blowing.

I Didn't Do It!

It is a testament to my enduring immaturity that the word "Boring" is one of my more frequent exclamations. I even say it to my boss. I have been careful, however, not to use it in front of my nephew. Because the only thing more annoying than a 30-something declaring something Boring is an actual child doing it.

The other night, I called my brother to express my feeling that he had completely missed the joke in a random Star Wars blog that I had sent him. He put the phone on speaker and placed it in the middle of the table. Because his family was eating dinner. Please note: I do not answer the phone when we are eating dinner. Unless perhaps if it is my brother, so that I can tell him to go away because I am eating dinner.

He asked about my trip to Washington. Where I met my father and step-mother. Oh, yeah. That would have been a better reason to call. I explained that I met Grandpa Bradley and Susan. "Then what did you do?" Alex asked.

"We went to the museum to look at the paintings," I replied.
"Boorrrring!" he proclaimed.

I demanded a note to the permanent record that I did not teach the child that word. It was so noted.

Breakthrough?

I mentioned earlier that I am fostering an Amazon parrot from the Refuge while the building is under construction. Manu seems to prefer men to women in general, but I think he is very content in my home. He has been warming up to me and I was pondering whether I might adopt him altogether. Then we held a volunteer meeting at my house and as soon as Manu saw our director, he was all kisses and cuddles and happy in a way I had never seen him before. I was totally deflated

While he may be content in my home, he will never be that blissfully happy. I began to ask myself a bigger question: is a “good home” is good enough or do we wait and find him “the perfect home” with a guy that he loves as much as he does our director. I still haven’t heard a good answer.

When the bathroom gutted last week, I had to send Kiwi the Grey and Manu the Foster Amazon to board at the Refuge. We had to put them in rather small cages – Kiwi’s was too small for many of her long, hanging toys. And I was worried about them both. The job took six days and they didn’t work on the weekend. I called the Refuge on Saturday to say that I couldn’t pick them up until Tuesday. And I asked how they were doing. Manu was a “complete delight” with our director. And “a little stinker” with every other person that approached him.

So the birds were gone for nine days. I picked them up last night. I walked in and opened the door to the cage where Manu stayed while I went to pick up Kiwi and put her in her carrier. It is always good to give Manu a minute before you try to touch him.

Once she was settled in the carrier, I went back for Manu. He stepped right up.

By “stepped right up”, I mean no coaxing or bribing. No implied threat of toweling. I mean I held my hand out and he stuck his foot in the air and climbed on my hand. And I must have imagined it, but I could swear that he cooed.

So I am all floating into the room with the carrier. He wouldn’t go in or anything, but he didn’t bite me, either. I left him on a perch while I clean up the cages and gathered the toys.

He came back to my house and had his evening snack and watched Kiwi tease the dog like he had never left. Now I don’t know what to think.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stupid Baby Names

My nephew, Alex, is getting a little sister. There hasn't been a girl in the family in over 30 years. We called it "The Elizabeth Curse" because that name was planned for each baby that later turned out to be a boy.

So now they are having trouble coming up with a girl's name. I clicked off ten on the phone the other day - all rejected - and they want a new list of ten by Saturday. I barely have nine. I'd better go hit the family tree again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It is done.

I am exhausted from trying to put by bathroom back together. But thrilled to be able to shower in my own shower. Here are some more bad pictures. First is the finished vanity. Eight drawers!


The lights, which really mask the paint color. Which is fine because I meant it to be a pale sage-like color and it came out rather minty. The "before" picture would have shown you the icy blue brother to this minty tone, so it is all rather cozily familiar. Oh, and the mirror has panels that are on there yet. We meant this to be recessed, but some pipes or something made it impossible. Whatever.

Perhaps a better view of the tub. You know what rocks? I have had the same shower curtain for about ten years. And it still matches this. You might ask why I want to keep the same shower curtain. It is machine washable. And I like it. And I generally hate everything else.

And finally the commode, which seems much smaller. Why is that? Because the vanity is much higher now. The one single thing I learned in this process is that counter tops were lower to the ground because sinks were actually bowls, rising that much higher off the surface. Now that sinks, you know, sink, there is no reason to have kiddie sized counters. Unless you have kiddies. I do not.


I can't wait to go get my birds tomorrow.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Last One Writing

In each account profile, Blogger shows all of the pages to which the account holder has authoring rights. My other one is a blog I created as a small piece for our group's final project in E-Commerce, last spring. I should really delete it.

This blog, of course, was created for the same class. And I wondered if any of my other classmates were still writing. So I went back to the "Blog Rating" form we were required to submit on each person in the section. Of the fifteen students in my section, I am the only one still writing. Worse than that - I am the only person to post a thing since the class ended. And only one other student has posted since the "blog assignment" deadline. One guy deleted his page altogether.

I took the summer off from school, so I am not in touch with any classmates right now. The blogs would have been a nice way to keep up!

At the Movies: The Balcony is Closed

I read the Tribune, so I missed Roger Ebert's blog at the Sun Times on the "new direction" of his show, At the Movies (or whatever they call it these days). You can read it here.

I remember when Gene Siskel died, in early 1999, one of the things Ebert said was how sorry Siskel would be to miss the Star Wars prequels. That made me rather teary.

I have been of the opinion that Ebert has gone soft over the last few years. In that he seems to like just about everything. I remember watching a few years back and saying, "When did Roeper become Bad Cop?"

I don't know what they plan to do with the show, except that Ebert expects to have some role in the development. I don't imagine they will keep it home-grown.

To sign off, this is the review they did when The Empire Stikes Back was re-released:

What is the Centerpiece of the Bathroom?

Last weekend, I spent Sunday afternoon removing every last thing from the cabinets and shelves. I left for Washington Monday morning, to minimize the number of days I would have to (gasp) share a bathroom with another human being.

When I returned Thursday night, I lamented that I hadn't taken any "Before" pictures. You know, to show the Internet.My mother, with whom I share this house, replied that she would be too embarrassed to show the "Before" pictures anyway.

By Friday afternoon, the job still wasn't complete. This is not a complaint, in that I understand that tearing apart an entire bathroom and putting it all back together takes time. But that is also three more days that the birds are boarding, and I don't like that, either.

However, it did give me the opportunity to take a few bad "In Process" pictures:



The bath tub is installed. With tiles!


The vanity is sort of there:



You can see the lights are there. Kinda:


Where the toilet should be. But where is the toilet?

It's like "Where's Waldo?" In my garage:


I am amazed at how disruptive home improvement projects are. My hat is way off for people that can Do it Yourself.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

IMDb.com



Most of my friends already know about this website, but for those that don't use it:

The Internet Movie Database is the official data source for all things Hollywood. It covers television as well as film. Have you ever found yourself watching a movie and thinking, "From where do I know that guy?" IMDb has the answer.

When I first started watching House MD, I couldn't place Lisa Edelstein, the actress who plays Dr. Cuddy. IMDb had the answer - she played a small role in the early seasons of The West Wing. Eight years ago. I never would have come up with that on my own.

My mother watches tons of old black and white films, and I can't tell you how often I look at the screen and say something like, "Is that Gerald O'Hara?" Of course, I meant the actor, Thomas Mitchell. IMDb allows me to look up a character name to find the actor!

Every episode of every television show. Every obscure actor. Ever wonder what happened to the kid in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? He is a Hollywood martial artist/stunt coordinator.

The answer to every third question in my house is, "You know where the Internet is..go find out!" And this website is the reason why.

Clothes Dryer

I am back from Washington, but my bathroom project isn't finished. So I am without my birds, Kiwi the Grey and Manu the Foster-Amazon until Tuesday. More time to fool around on the Internet. From The Chicago Tribune:

But even in real life with a budget, my family and I have scored big with one simple lifestyle change—we hang dry all of our laundry. It has reduced our power bill, and turned us, like converts to a new faith, into proselytizers.

I am, of course, aware that the dryer uses a lot of electricity. And this is a nice idea, in a Laura Ingalls way. But what the article (which you can find here) fails to mention is that after "do not leave your bedroom windows open", the most common piece of advice given to people that suffer from allergies is, "do not line-dry your clothes outside". The wet clothes will pick up all of the allergens you are trying to avoid before you even wear them.

So it is a nice thought, but not happening in my house.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Volunteering in the Airport

One last thing about the airports. USA Today had an article about Volunteer Aides helping confused travelers at the airports:

Last year, about 1,600 Travelers Aid volunteers — including many people who retired from the travel industry or love to travel — assisted some 6.5 million people at 25 airports, including Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Washington Dulles. That's up from around 4 million a year before 9/11, when travel became more difficult, says Travelers Aid CEO Ray Flynt.

God Bless them, because I just could not take that gig. You can find the rest of the piece here.

They Told Us It Would Get Worse II


After the debacle of trekking to Washington, I spent my few days in town and came home today. I have never seen DCA so crowded in my entire life.

There were weather problems yesterday, but by the time I arrived at 12:30 the drama should have been long past. I checked the Departure board. My flight was all running as scheduled. The next flight was cancelled. And one later in the evening.

It looks to me that United is scheduling the O'Hare/Washington flights every hour, then canceling the ones that do not sell well enough. If that is going to be business as usual, we won't be able to count on any flight. And I am going to seriously consider driving when I have to do my Tour of the Offices this fall.

Coincidentally, I saw today that MSN Money has an article on the 12 Most Outrageous Fees and the travel industry was highlighted. Here is my favorite bit:

The careful-what-you-ask-for fee. If your Air Canada flight is delayed due to weather or heavy traffic, agents will be happy to help you find a hotel, restaurant or flight -- as long as you've paid a $25-to-$35 "On My Way" fee. Once this was something airline agents did, you know, just to help out. But in this age of fees in flight, the travel experience has been deconstructed.

For example, check out this
list of fees from Delta Air Lines, which will now charge a $3-per-bag "administrative fee" for curbside check-in and a $25 "handling charge" for awards tickets that use another airline.

What do the airlines say? Basically, you asked for it. You wanted cheap flights, and you still demand cheap flights. But with already slim profit margins and rising fuel prices, fees are the only way airlines can remain competitive.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

They Told Us It Would Get Worse


I am flying back to Washington DC in the morning, so I went online tonight to check in and print my boarding pass. If you are not in this habit, please start. It really saves time at the airport. And by going online earlier...

I found that my 8am flight had been cancelled and I was automatically rebooked on the 11am. By clicking around a bit, I was able to find the last available seat in coach on the 10am flight. In the middle seat of the last row.

Everyone and their dogs told us that flying was going to become even less pleasant. In fact, the route from O'Hare to West Palm Beach is discontinued, along with the route to Ft. Lauderdale beginning this September. Those are the airports closest to my grandmother. She is going to have to pick me up in Miami - I'm not sure I can afford the cab.

However. The Monday morning 8am flight between O'Hare and Reagan National Airport is sacred. Is sacred too strong a word? No. Rumor has it that after September 11, there were five minutes of discussion involving shutting Reagan Airport down permanently. It is too close to the Capitol, the White House and the National Mall. Why did the discussion last only five minutes? Because it would inconvenience the members of Congress to shut down that airport. They use it.

When it first became apparent that United Airlines was in serious trouble, which I remember to be not long after September 11, we were told that service was being scaled back. I remember thinking, "Damn. Can't count on flights every hour on the hour (between Reagan and home). Poor me." That was sarcastic. But the truth is, there wasn't much change. Maybe they pulled a 2pm sometimes, but overall there was always a flight. And often, if I was at the airport early, standby was still an option. I imagine because every midwestern Member of Congress flies through O'Hare to fly into Reagan.

So the fact that the Monday 8am flight was cancelled the night before a flight worries me. What the heck could be next?

What Does it Cost to Have a Pet?

Liz Pulliam at MSN Money is one of my favorite online writers. She does a lot of work for people that are badly in debt, and also has some practical help. The best piece of advice she gave for me was the idea that people are obsessed by the idea that we need an emergency fund equal to six months salary (or expenses, depending on who you ask). So many people find that unattainable that they don't even try to save it. A better idea is to try to have $500 saved. A crazy number of urgent, unplanned expenses come in at around that number - transmission leak, radiator stuff, vet bills. And if you have that $500, you are not sticking it on a credit card that you can't pay and digging yourself a hole. So. True.

This weekend, she has a piece on the cost of pets. The idea is to be aware of the total expenses before adopting a pet. She included a great table, which I can't seem to publish in Blogger. But the totals show the lifetime cost of a dog is between $8,000 and $9,000. And the cost of a cat, that tends to live longer, is around $10,000.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Northern Illinois Lego Train Club



I knew we had a train club in the area. I did not know that we had a Lego Train Club. I didn't know there was such a thing as a Lego Train Club. I took my nephew, Alex, to their show at the Barrington Library today. And then stole this picture from their website because I never remember to bring a camera anywhere.

If you put about eight dining room tables together
, that is how big the display was. They had built an "el" train, a Metra train, Hogwarts Express and several others that went around different themed displays. Including the Jedi Temple. And that black building in the picture is the Sears Tower. I was very impressed and the kids were very excited. I had a hard time getting Alex to leave.

The only downer was that I there wasn't much at his eye level, so I had to carry the kid around the table. A lot. I am looking for some Advil now.



At the Refuge - Maxine


Maxine is a darling Goffin's Cockatoo that is very serious about who she likes and who she doesn't like. She only likes other Cockatoos. And apparently, she is at the Refuge because she bonds too tightly to her people.

Wednesday night, I was in her room pulling water dishes to go into the dishwasher. Maxine jumped right out of her cage with no preamble and no invitation. But she was just sitting on her door and - it looked to me - flirting with Leo, the Goffin's in the cage across from her. While she was out, I pulled out her dirty paper and put in a fresh sheet. She was still flirting with Leo. So I went to the other room to get her fresh food and water.

When I came back down, she was on top of the cage of Henwen, a new Umbrella Cockatoo. I was nervous for a moment because:

1. Maxine doesn't always play nice with others.
2. Henwen is three times her size.

But Henwen was the one afraid! Henwen jumped to the bottom of her cage in a panic. It looked to me that Maxine was only curious about the new bird in the room, but she refused to step up so that I could move her away.

Lucky for me, Maxine is a bird that doesn't mind being in a towel.

Maxine is available for adoption and you can read more about her here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Consumer Report - Costco

The Costco near my house has put in a gasoline station. I went there for the first time today.

My Observations:

  1. The cost was $4.23 per gallon, which was two cents less than the BP up the block. The BP had about the lowest price around this weekend, but it is not reliably so.
  2. It was 10:40 a.m. on Monday and I snuck into the last open spot for a gas pump. Not a good sign.
  3. Remember that Costco is members-only and accepts American Express or debit cards. Not a problem for me, but not easy for everyone.
  4. To get to the Costco, you have to go into the Costco parking lot. Not exactly swinging through at a stop light.

Conclusion:

Two cents per gallon is not worth going out of my way, and certainly not worth having to wait to get to the gas pump. But I'll use it if I happen to be over there. During the week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Have You Heard This Plan Yet?



Have you heard of The Pickens Plan? I saw a television commercial for it a few days ago and finally went to the web site this morning. The scariest thing is a widget with the current cost of crude oil. I had been looking for one to replace the puppy thing to the right, but I can’t look at that every day.

Anyway, Pickens is a (former?) Texas Oilman pushing a new energy program. This was from a Press Release:

Step #1: Using the United States' wind corridor, private industry will fund the installation of thousands of wind turbines in the wind belt, generating enough power to provide 20 percent or more of our electricity supply

Step #2: Again funded by the private sector, electric power transmission lines will be built, connecting these wind power generating sites with power plants providing energy to the population centers in the Midwest, South, and Western regions of the country.

Step #3: With the energy from wind now available to operate power plants serving the large population centers in key areas of the country, the natural gas that was historically utilized to fuel these power plants can be redirected and used to replace imported gasoline and diesel as a fuel for thousands of vehicles in our transportation system.

I don’t know if this is going to work. Natural gas isn’t exactly a renewable fuel, and it isn’t getting any less expensive to heat my house. But points to Pickens for trying something. You can find the TV ad here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

At the End of the Day


After I woke up, fed the birds, went to the Library Sale, took the packages to the Post Office, went to the doctor, had lunch, spent another hour at the Library Sale, did the grocery shopping, closed up the Refuge and picked up McDonald's for dinner:

I sat in the family room, talking to my mother and eating my dinner. Kiwi the Grey came over wanting a French Fry. I gave her one and sent her back to her perch. She finished it. Knowing she wanted another, I looked her in the eye and said, "No more. You stay there."

Not 30 seconds went by before she dive-bombed me and took a french fry out of my hands and flew with it to her perch.

She went into time-out.

So I took Manu into the shower. Kiwi likes to be in the room with the shower on because she likes the steam and starts grooming. Manu got right into the water. When I thought he was perfectly drenched, he lifted his wings and turned around as if to say, "Excuse me, you missed one right here!"

This terrible picture is Manu perched by my window trying to dry off before bed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

At the Library - Sale Weekend



I spent the better part of the day helping to set up for our Anniversary Sale. All books are half priced, except those listed on our Amazon web site. Basically, we hauled out all of the donated books that had been sitting on closets waiting for space to open up. My friend Carole and I listed books online while the other volunteers tried to bring the rest of the room to order. Carole and I had the easy job.

I just checked the website, and four of the books we listed today have already sold. Four! Plus two that I listed last night. I can't tell you how exciting that is. Last Spring, for my Marketing class, I wrote a Marketing Plan for UBS. I set a hypothetical goal of 10% sales increase from 2007. My plan for getting there started with maintaining the 2007 level of in-store sales and doubling the online sales. If my math is correct, we are way ahead of schedule. And I am even happier to say that I am not the one buying all the books!

Last December, at our holiday sale. I bought twelve. Today, I am pleased to say, I walked out with only five.

So if you are around Glenview this weekend, stop by the Library (9-5 Saturday and 1-5 Sunday) . There are plenty of great books at bargain prices!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At the Refuge - Pepito


We don't take in many small parrots, and when we do we don't keep them very long. Easier to place, I guess. Pepito is our current resident shorty. Isn't he darling?


Pepito is pretty nippy, so he wasn't getting much time out of the cage. In fact, I'm not sure I saw anyone else picking him up. One night, when he didn't want to go back in he started biting my hands. The thing is that if a bird bites, people don't want to handle them. If people don't handle them, the problem gets worse.


So I bring Pepito out to have a snack and wander around every week. I fold up a towel, place it on my hands and offer it to him. He jumps right up, all charming-like. I give him a snack and he chows down while I work on cleaning cages. When he is done, he might wander around exploring the counter for a bit. Then it is time to go back to his own space.


I will drop a towel over his head and swoop him up. He is not afraid of towels the way many birds are, which is great. Then I deposit him back on the floor of his cage and he goes to eat his real dinner. Every one is happy.


Pepito is available for adoption and you can read more about him here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I Can't Be the First Person to Notice This



The similarity between Heath Ledger's Joker and Brandon Lee's The Crow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More about Starbucks


Back in the dark depths of winter, in my Marketing class, we did a case study on Starbucks. The case took the position that Starbucks had created a "luxury product" that anyone could afford and was selling "prestige". I trashed it. I expressed utter despair with the riff raff that now frequent the place and the revolving staff of child labor. I said that Starbucks corporate, in trying to be "prestige", had positively lost its soul. I explained that, while not a coffee drinker, I was once an extremely regular patron that now prefers to read a book over a diet Coke at McDonald's.

I earned some negative comments from our class "facilitator". He seemed to think that I missed the point about Marketing.

The Tribune had a great article that suggests that I was not alone.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

PAWS Report

I am very sorry to be cramming another "Save the Dogs" report down your throat, but my brother went to school with the reporter on this story so I feel like posting it. Yes, he is the son of meteorologist Steve Baskerville.


If you do happen to feel that you could stand to read more about it, here is the scoop directly from PAWS Chicago:



video

More Rampant Consumerism


This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a tiny picture of the "Sloane Leaning Desk", from Crate & Barrel. I don't know why I walked into a Crate & Barrel in the first place, except that it was the Christman season. I saw this and have been coveting it ever since.

Since we are getting ready to make our now-annual call to 1-800-GOT-JUNK to clean out some more stuff, I took another look at it. It comes in three colors - white, mahogany and bamboo wood. The first two cost $129. The third, the one that matches the rest of my life, is normally priced at $199. Now on sale for $179 and advertised as all "green".

Does one spend an extra $50 for something cool from the already over-priced Crate & Barrel? I checked the Internet. Target had it in black for $98. Someone is selling them on Ebay. Leaning desk plus the two matching Leaning Bookcases were $200 after shipping. In the wrong color.

Yes. I bought it. In bamboo. And it is lovely. But for that extra $50...it should have come assembled.

P.S. Isn't buying bamboo stealing food from the endangered pandas?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thoughts on the Declaration


This morning in the Chicago Tribune, columnist Dawn Turner Trice noted that in the Declaration of Independence, the most often quoted line is about our unalienable rights. But the document actually ends with a thought about our citizen responsibilities:

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

I don't much go in for the "What the Founders meant by this" arguments. Because context matters and anyway; we don't know. But I think Turner Trice has nailed it by saying that in our divisive blah-blah-election year-blah-blah we ought to take a minute to remember that we are responsible to each other for something. And our independent spirit is great, but there are other ideals just as lofty that should not be ignored.

Haven't read the document lately? Please click here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

At the Refuge - Meeting the Public

When we manage to find the right event at the right time, the Refuge will bring a few birds and make an appearance at local events. On Friday, we (and by "we" I do not by any means mean "I") will be at the Art Fair in Glencoe. Here is the schedule according to the Village Website:

Celebrate JULY 4th Glencoe Style!

Bring your family and join friends and neighbors on Friday, July 4th for a day of fun and festivities beginning at 8:00 a.m. The schedule of events for the day:


8:00 am Two-Mile Rotary Fun Run (starts at the train station)
10:00 am Art Fair (Wyman Green, between Village Hall and the Library)
10:00 am Family Games (Kalk Park, east of train station)
2:00 pm Parade – (Theme is “Go Green on the Fourth!”)
6:00 pm Park and Ride to the Beach (from Village parking lot and train station)
6:30 pm Barbeque at the Beach
6:45 pm Children's Entertainment at the Beach
7:15 pm Music at the Beach by BBI (for all ages)
8:45 pm Beach Entrance Closed
9:00 pm Fireworks on the Beach begin (rain date 7/5)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How We Know It Is Really A Recession

Doing Something Different


This story in the Chicago Tribune caught my eye yesterday (photo by David Maxwell of the NYT).

Have you seen the new milk jugs? These are in my Costco, but not the regular grocery store. It is easy to see from the shape that they would be easier to ship, but the plastic also seemed heavier and I wondered whether that would be "greener". I guess it is.
Apparently, the general public is crying because they are not as easy to pour. I don't remember having a problem with it. Anyway, if this is a better way to package, then I think everyone should be quiet and get on board. From the article:
"Experts say the redesign of the milk jug is an example of the changes likely to play out in the American economy over the next two decades. In an era of soaring global demand and higher costs for energy and materials, virtually every aspect of the economy needs to be re-examined, they say, and many products and procedures must be redesigned for greater efficiency."
I say good on them for thinking outside the proverbial box and trying something different.