June 29, 2008

So… what is my type…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 7:36 pm

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one with limited knowledge and a passionate thirst for more over the one with vast knowledge and a feeling of contentment.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would chose the one who makes me laugh the most, rather then than one who laughs at all of my jokes.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who likes 65 degrees over the one who likes 95 degrees.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who would choose to “do” rather than to “view”.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one that would rather look at animate objects over the one who prefers material things.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one that was comfortable with her sexual history… regardless of its scope.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who was more reckless.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who likes to walk the furthest.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one almost certain to piss me off at least once a week.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, who knows more than me and is not afraid to act on that.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one with a packed suitcase… just in case something comes up allowing her to travel.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, and one had larger breasts, it would still be a toss up, I don’t care.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who likes Shakespeare.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one with browner eyes.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who was embarrassing in public.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one I could not tell my parents everything about.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who spoke a language I did not understand.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who will fight with me, relentlessly.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one with darker skin (no, a tan does not count, in fact, is probably a detriment due to health issues). This is either because or in spite of the fact that I am gleaming white with freckles.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one with Cathrine Zeta-Jones figure, not Angelina Jolie’s.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, Angelina Jolie’s attitude wins.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who would not hesitate to hurt my feelings, if necessary.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one most comfortable in sweats (away from the house).

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who did not notice me because she had her nose buried in a book.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the woman who can teach me the most and will make me a better person for knowing her.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who is willing to spend my last dollar on someone else.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who plays *with* the kids at the park.

If (and only if) given the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who eats fruit over candy.

If (and only if) given the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose the one who does not smoke.

If (and only if) presented the choice between two otherwise completely identical women, I would choose you… but… you already know that.

Thank you…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 6:36 am

When I need to see where I am and what I look like, I use a mirror.
When I want to see where I am going and what I’m capable of, I look at myself through your eyes.

When you look at me, you see all of my untapped talent, my potential, and my capabilities.
You see things no one else has ever seen, least of all myself… and you share it
Simply by looking at me.

When I want to see how powerful, courageous and good I can be, all I need to do
is take a look at the possibilities contained in a passing glance from you.

You are the greatest window and the most optimistic view of my future.
You eyes contain the perfect me, the me I hope the world will someday see.

I have come to the frightning conclusion…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 5:15 am

“I have come to the frightning conclusion
that I am the decisive element.

It is my personal approach thta creates the climate.
It is my mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power
to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or
an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
and a person humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
if we treat people as they ought to be,
we help them become whet they
are capable of becoming.”


June 28, 2008

Sudden Prayers Make God Jump…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 5:01 pm

Many of my mothers favorites sayings have stuck with me throughout my entire life.  In fact, as I have written here before, they have formed the basis for the man I have become.  One of the phrases I recall her saying often during my childhood was “sudden prayers make God jump.”  The implication, of course, being that people tend to forget their faith unless they need it, at which point it becomes paramount.

I was reminded of this phrase by an article in Time magazine that a friend of mine gave me yesterday.  The article was about how America treats their military veterans, and it included the following rather famous quote from a sentry box in Gibralter:

God and the soldier, all men adore
In time of danger and not before.
When the danger is passed and all things righted,
God is forgotten, and the soldier slighted.

This makes me wonder.  What is going to happen after Iraq and Afghanistan.  How are our troops going to be received and treated.  The number of veterans seeking assistance for homelessness is up 600% (yes that’s right six hundred percent) in the past year according to a Rand Corp. study, and we still have the PR “benefit” of the war being in progress.

I have written before about the effects of war and stressful situations (Stanford blog).  This is a thought that continues to weigh heavily on my mind.  As you also know, if you read my blog regularly… I do not support the war in Iraq.  I’m also not supportive of the way the war in Afghanistan is being conducted.  However, despite both of these opinions, I do support the men and women that are over there doing their jobs, as ordered.

Sudden prayers make God jump, however, in recent history veterans of foreign wars don’t even get the chance to be startled. Who is going to support them this time when they come home.  Are you, or is another generation of American soldiers soon to be the “slighted soldiers” immortalized in that sentry box?

Support the troops, bring ‘em home is a bumper sticker I see all over the place.  I just hope people realize getting them back home is only half the battle.

I’m just say’n…

June 26, 2008

To be or not to be… for child rapists, anyway, we have an answer…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 4:40 pm

I find myself at sixes and sevens over the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding the death penalty.  For those that may have missed it, in a narrow 5-4 vote, the Court found the death penalty to be unconstitutional, by way of cruel and unusual punishment, as a remedy for child rape.

This continues a judicial trend away from capital punishment.  Similar rulings have been handed down over the past few years about whether juveniles and those suffering from mental retardation can be put to death (no, on both, were the rulings).  As a fairly outspoken opponent of the taking of lives, in any capacity, this is a trend I tend to support.

However, I have conflict on this one.  I am also an ardent defender of those unable to defend themselves.  Every fight I have been in, during my adult life, has come as a result of me stepping into a situation on behalf of someone unable to defend themselves.  I cannot imagine a more defenseless scenario, or a more heinous offense, than the raping of a child by an adult.  Just the idea of it chills me to the bone and sends me directly to the heavy bag to work off frustration.

If my child were raped, you could probably start fitting me for my prison garb right now, because if I catch the guy… well… I don’t know that I can make any promises that he’ll see a court room.  So, if it’s okay for me, it has to be okay for society, right?

And there’s the rub.  I don’t really think it is okay for me.  It is an emotional weakness on my part that I’m not afraid to acknowledge.  Rationally, sitting at my desk, with my children safely playing with their grandmother, I know this.

The problem I have is how to advocate, in earnest, for something I know I probably would not want to uphold myself.  I can see, feel, and experience the anger, nay… the rage… a person would feel in that position.  I know what I would do, if I were left unchecked.

Which, perhaps, is the best argument of all in favor of the decision handed down yesterday…

June 23, 2008

Five easy pieces…

All I ever needed to know about life, I learned from my mother.

This is not to say that everything I know came from her, but there were key life lessons that she made sure I understood at an early age. My son asked me the other day for a “primer” on being a good person. What he would have to do, other than the basics of going to work and being respectful, kind and thoughtful. After acknowledging that he had a pretty good start with that list, I decided to give him a little list of quotes my mother shared with me growing up (no, “I’m going to make you life a living hell” is not on the list). Now, I’m going to share it with you.

What you think of me is none of my business – This is a lesson I learned early in life. At the end of the day, the only person anyone has to answer to is themselves (and, perhaps their spiritual inspiration, if they are so inclined). Noone else matters. Further, there is little positive effect that can be gained by focusing on what other people think about you. While there is some small benefit in re-enforcing your positive view of yourself, once you go down this road, you open the door to being externally motivated, and from that point on anything, good or bad, can waltz right in. You are far better served by having your self-worth set by none other than yourself.

Leave it better than you found it - The “it” in question can be anything. From your bedroom or the kitchen to the country or even the world. This is a simple guideline to every interaction you have in life, regardless of size. It is within each of us to do this. It really does not take that much effort, just bend over and pick up some litter while walking back to your car from a day in the park, or take a moment to talk to a person who is obviously having a bad day. You would be surprised how little effort it takes to make a visible and measurable difference in the world.

Hope is not a strategy – Take the time to know what you want to do, and why. By no means should you live a structured, controlled and boring life. As outlined below, you must, at times, throw caution to the wind and just go for it. However, that should always be part of a bigger plan or purpose. Have something that guides you through life. It can be as simple as a mantra, or as complicated as wanting to eradicate world hunger, and it can change so long as it is there.

If you’re walking on thin ice, you might as well dance – No, this is not carte blanch for reckless and irresponsible behavior, however, there is something to be said for getting the car out of third or fourth gear and leaving a little rubber on the road of life. The best stories in the world are the ones you have experienced yourself. Live it up, take some chances, and create great realities. Take the road less traveled, but don’t expect that to make the difference. Take initiative and you, yourself, will be the difference.

If all of your friends were going to jump off a cliff, would you do that too – so much of the worlds “institutional knowledge” is based on ignorance, bigotry and fear that it makes the extraordinary popular delusions somewhat palatable. However, neither, of course, passes for actual truth. Basing your actions or opinions on those of the masses or the majority, while sometimes fine, is often simply wrong. Never let yourself just “go with the flow” of public opinion, be sure to know what the facts are and make up your own mind.

Then, if cliff jumping looks fun… dive in… or should I say… dance!!

June 20, 2008

The problem with Democracy

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 10:13 pm

Democracy would never work in our (the United States) capitalistic business world. At best, in business what you get is a aristocracy or plutocracy. The reason is simple, if the employees of the company (its citizens) were voting periodically for the CEO, the CEO would be bound to the whims of a special interest group… the employees (before you mention companies with boards… that is not a democracy either that is an oligarchy).

The CEO would not be able to look at the long term big picture of the company and act in its best interests because, at times, the best interests of the company are not in keeping with the best interests of its citizens (see layoffs, pay-cuts, furloughs, benefits reductions etc.). As such the CEO would be handcuffed by his (or her) desire to retain their position through another election cycle.

The CEO would not be free to make the tough decisions that are necessary from time to time to keep a company in business. Elected officials in democracies face these same limitations, and this, my friends, is the problem of which I speak.

I still believe in the concept of democracy. I still believe, in its imperfect form, that it is the best form of government; However, this is a serious limitation. One need only follow the news with a discerning ear for a day or two to see the magnitude of the problem. How many times do you hear, as a reason not to take some action that everyone agrees is in the country’s (or world’s) best interest in terms of long term sustainability, “it would hurt the country’s economy.”

This country should be reducing its dependance on foreign oil, I do not know a single person that disagrees with this statement. Yet, twice today, I listened to reporters quoting people (in one case the President himself) saying definitive action on the issue at hand is being delayed because it would be bad for the economy.

This country was founded by idealists who were more interested in the general good of the country than individual or economic advancement. Democracy worked as long as a person of this mind set was sitting in the White House, but it has been a while since we enjoyed that luxury.

Bad for the economy, short term, versus having a sustainable economy for the next millennium? Honestly, this seems like an easy choice. However, with their hands tied by election politics, important, even critical decisions are being shelved in favor of a slightly stronger economy. Even worse, these inactions are causing a situation where the very economy they are attempting to preserve is virtually certain to take far greater hits in the future.

The bottom line is that the quality of any government, especially a democracy, will go only as far as the selfless integrity of its leader. So perhaps the problem is not with democracy… but rather with who we are electing as its stewards. I have no desire to invest the power and future of the country in one person indefinitely. However, I would like to see a government that is free to make the tough decisions, unshackled by special interests, even of the special interest group in question is the general population themselves.

Sometimes the will of the masses is not in the best interest of the masses, or their country. Just because something is popular does not mean it is right (suffrage, slavery, prohibition, etc. etc. etc.). I mean, if all of your friends jumped off a bridge…

June 14, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame… unless, of curse, I’m gay…

Filed under: Observations — sbj @ 6:55 pm

This morning, while walking out of my office building, I was approached by a man who had a cause, and he was going to have it heard. His cause, it turned out, was “preserving the sanctity of marriage”. He was concerned, that after the California “one man one woman” law was overturned, Idaho’s might be next.

In a (soon to be) related incident, I saw this article last week in which I learned that straight people can have lesbian people removed from a baseball game for showing affection. Lets see someone try to do that to the happy couple getting engaged on the jumbo-tron. I’ll be the first to say that an over-the-top make out session as a family event is not the epitome of good judgment. However, as far as I can tell, that was not the case here, and it also should not be grounds for eviction.

The repeated claims of “I am being forced to talk to my kids about this” infuriate me… you are a parent, it is your job to talk to you kids about this. Further, I can assure you, with the “quality” of television, movies and popular music these days (including the song below; yep, that’s video with lyrics… available at any internet equipped computer near you, the songs actual video is far more suggestive), your children are not seeing anything new, unless you home school them in the basement or under a rock.

My teen has heard that song… more than likely, so has yours. Step up to the plate and be a parent… it’s your job.

But, I digress… that particular rant was not my point (I know, take shelter, right?).

Here is the thing, I have a problem with hypocrisy, and to me this whole situation is wrought with it. We live in America, land of the free (when convenient?) and the home of the brave (yet homo-phobic?). We fight and defend the right to have our capitalistic society. The land of opportunity, where anyone can earn, in one year, the Gross Domestic Product of half (or more) the nations on the earth* if they just drop out of Harvard and build a better mousetrap (computer operating system).

Have I sold the bitter angry vibe yet… because… well… I am.

Again, we justify a war because we need to have some level of control over oil. We justify hoarding a ridiculous portion of the worlds wealth, while others die of starvation… daily, even hourly.

There is a web site where you can figure out where your income fits in to the global average. I make roughly $50,000 a year, with which I support two children and myself. This is the lower end of middle class for a family my size in the United States. Yet I earn more than OVER 99% of the wage earners in the world, over 99%. I’m not going to repeat these numbers here, but see my about page for some cold hard facts about my personal “wealth” and how it relates to the rest of the world.

I do not understand a country that is willing to go to the mat to protect the “right” to hoard wealth and the “right” to the natural resources of other countries, when at the same time it does not respect the rights of its citizens to choose who they want to spend the rest of their lives with. It makes no sense to me. This country is all about having whatever you want, provided you are willing to do the work to get it. And yet, the most basic human want/need, companionship is regulated with partisan oversight. Children can play Halo, world of Warcraft, and other violent sim’s, but they cannot see two people expressing their love for each other on a casual Monday evening at the ballpark, unless those two people happen to be of the opposite sex.

To me this is hypocrisy, and I don’t like it. I’m not trying to bash America and all that it stands for. What I’m trying to say is, not everything we do is in keeping with what we stand for. What I’m saying is that we have some trash blowing around in our yard, and I think we should pick it up. Bigotry, ignorance, and fear are very real forces. Forces that can be overcome. In doing so, people become better. I love my country, and I want it to be the best it can be.

Regulating love and affection is simply not “the best we can be”. I’m sorry, it’s just not, and I expect more from the most powerful nation in the world.


*that is not a fact… it is an illustrative comment… I have no idea how many countries GDP Bill Gates out earns as a percentage of the world… but would be interested in knowing if someone out there has the 411 :)

June 13, 2008

Adding new definition to “running out to vote”…

Filed under: A life worth living,Observations — sbj @ 5:32 pm

Tomorrow marks the beginning of a roughly two month journey being undertaken by two teachers and nine high students. This journey will take them, in an RV to all 48 contiguous states (plus Alaska and Hawaii, if they get a sponsor).

They are taking this voyage in order to encourage, you, me, and the folks next store to get out and vote in the general elections this fall. The group (and related web site) are calling themselves Run To Vote and here is the deal. For everyone who comes out and registers to vote one of the members will run a lap (or a quarter mile). They have a vote log on their site where you can monitor their progress, in miles and registered voters.

If you want to support them, they take donations to cover costs. Another option, which I may do myself, is to meet up with them and run a few laps along side them for support.

Check out the web site, and plan to get out and support this industrious group of high schoolers (and their teachers). Oh yeah… and plan to vote, this will be a historic and exciting election year, why not be a part of it???

June 11, 2008

Measuring a persons quality of character…

Filed under: A life worth living,Observations — sbj @ 8:33 pm

Sometimes, when you are just dinking around, going through life, minding your own business, you run across someone that just blows you away. I dink a lot… so perhaps I have more opportunities (although, I am not that good at minding my own business… so… hmmm). In any event, this seems to happen to me more often than some others.

But I digress…

A friend of mine, from online, has had such an effect upon me. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have already been introduced, she wrote the blog about Pay It Forward that I wrote about in March.

She hit it out of the park again today with her post about Freecycle in which she talks about a 1 year old baby on dialysis and what she was able to accomplish for this child through freecycle.org.

It is a moving story, but it does not start (or end) there. She is constantly doing things to make other people happy. Her online feeds are consistently full of funny and uplifting banter, and when I say full… I mean FULL. It is constant, and, refreshing.

Yesterday, my friend had to deal with a very painful and personal experience. Through her pain and anguish, she continued to entertain by providing post after post of funny light-hearted material. The idea of making other people happy, smile and laugh permeating through her own crisis. Less than 24 hours later, she produced the post I referenced above.

Go read that post now, and appreciate someone who I have come to admire. I have been told that you never really know a person until you have seen them facing adversity. It is what they do in those times that marks the true measure of the quality of their character. In that case, I believe the bar has been set quite high in this case, and I’m proud to say I know the person who placed it there.

Thanks Twila, for your inspiration :)

June 7, 2008

A Toast to Mr And Mrs Jacobsen

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 6:04 am

I did not get a chance to offer a toast to my brother tonight, so I want to do so now. I do not prepare for toasts, so I did not know then, nor do I now, what I was (am) going to say… but I will speak from my heart about my brother and his new wife.

Here is to my brother Jaryd, we have seen so much together, and I have had the joy of seeing so much through your eyes. I have learned much from watching and being around you (like the joy of changing and subsequently cleaning cloth diapers). I have watched you become a man, a good man. Even today, as we prepared for your wedding and then waited for the festivities to start, I watched you, and was better for it. I watched how you handled your nerves, I watched how you cared for everyone at the wedding, regardless of what doing so meant to you (you were willing to forgo a set of wedding pictures to get me some food… don’t worry I will not tell Steph.. Oh wait… I already did…). But, what really choked me up was the little things, like watching you wipe the tears from your (soon to be) wife’s face during the ceremony. So that she did not have to put down her bouquet, so that she did not have to smear her makeup… so that everything would be perfect for her. I watched you be a man I am proud to be related to. You have grown up younger brother, and I could not be more proud of you.

Here is to my new sister, Stepahnie. You finger dance, and really… what more could a man ask for!!! Marni, in her toast (yeah, she got one and I didn’t!!!) Mentioned, Myspace. I’d like to mention it too. Jaryd has an account, and, shortly after meeting Stephanie, he changed his status to, quite simply, “I am Happy”. Nothing could be more obvious. Since he met you, he has had more energy, more inspiration, and so many more smiles. It has been consistent since that day and you have been the source. So I say to you thank you. Not just for finger dancing… but for making my brother a happier, better, more complete individual. Some say a measure of a persons worth is in how they effect others. In this area, I think it goes without saying that you are priceless. Thank you Stephanie, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

It is common, at this juncture, to say good luck, I am not going to do that. I believe marriage is a journey and while I want the best for you on that journey, I do not believe, from what I have seen so far, that luck is what you will need. Instead, I want to say to you… Bon Voyage. Enjoy the trip. Make the most of it and live every day like a fabulous vacation. Be everything you can be, for each other and for yourselves. Its your trip… make the most of it!

Bon Voyage, Mr and Mrs Jacobsen, Bon Voyage.

June 6, 2008

An unusual shout out (I)…

Filed under: Observations,Unsung — sbj @ 4:57 pm

Today I’d like to give a brief shout out to garbage men (and women).

Yeah, I said it… props to the local sanitation engineers.

While these folks usually only get attention for leaving peoples cans on the street or “not in the cart I brought them out in” they are a vital part of the comfortable society we live in. They handle the stuff we don’t want to deal with, and they do it without any real praise of accolades. Police fire, ambulance and all manner of other public servants are given attention and support, but when was the last time you heard anyone do anything for the local garbage crew.

In the aftermath of 9/11 how much coverage did you see about the people getting their hands dirty cleaning up the mess? Virtually none.

In the aftermath of Katrina, did you get to know any of the hard working people restoring some sense of normalcy to the people who returned to New Orleans by regularly coming by and taking away the refuse from their rebuilding efforts? No.

These folks work hard everyday, doing a job I certainly would not want to do. Today, when they come by my house to empty my two cans of trash they will get a little more than they bargained for. Something they usually don’t see unless it’s the end of December. No, not a Christmas tree… today they will find a little gift of appreciation.

And who knows… if they are up on their blogs, they might see this thank you note as well :)

June 2, 2008

A little story, about and open letter…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 10:16 pm

I read a very well contrived and executed open letter to Twitter today regarding their recent problems and the potential dangers they pose to Twitter should they continue.

Reading it reminded me of my own experiences of two years ago, with my own start up company. We were just starting to build up a head of steam in our industry niche when we had a massive system failure. Our backups were not satisfactory and we were literally down for just over six weeks.

Our service provided travel management reports for corporate clients of large travel agencies. These reports are used on a daily basis by travel agents and corporate travel manager to manage millions of dollars a year in corporate travel. On our busiest days we were serving tens of thousands of reports. And then, for 6 weeks… there were none.

Over six weeks later, the system came back up and we began serving reports again. We did not lose a single customer, not one. Part of this, I’m proud to say, had to do with the quality of the service we were providing. However that was not the largest reason we retained all of our clients.

The reason we did not lose a single client was because we communicated with them, every day whether there was something new to share or not. The only way for one of our clients to not know what was going on with the service, and what progress we were (or were not) making, was to opt out. We bombarded them with information and I personally spoke to every client who would take the time to listen to me as often as possible.

Once you go through a disaster or two, you quickly realize that while you make your money selling superior products and services; those things are only commodities, their power to help you retain your clients lasts only as long as they remain the most practical decision. Your relationships, with your clients, however, are the foundation, mortar and grout and hold your business together. Those relationships have the potential to survive almost any disaster, this I know from personal experience.

I really hope that Twitter reads that post, and elects to follow the fantastic advice therein. The value of communication by a strong knowledgeable advocate in the community cannot be overstated.

If I had a dime…

Filed under: Uncategorized — sbj @ 7:49 pm

It appears I’m on a bit of an environmental kick these days.  Today’s issue, gas lawn mowers.  A friend recently suggested an entry on the gas guzzling environmentally challenged lawn mowing practices of suburban America (my words not theirs, but, the idea was the same).  At first I did not take the topic all that seriously.  How much damage can that little tiny lawn mower engine do anyway, right?

Well, quite a bit, it appears.  A few fun facts about lawn care (gas mower style):

One hour of mowing (my son takes around 90 minutes on our lawn at home) is the equivalent of driving 350 miles in your car, in terms of volatile organic compounds.

One hour of mowing emits the same amount of pollutants as eight new cars, driving at 55 MPH for the same amount of time.

Garden equipment engines make up roughly 5% of the nations overall air pollution, and significantly more than that in metropolitan areas.

Not everyone believes in Global Warming, or an environmental crisis.  So, lets look at it from another standpoint, a dwindling natural resource (oil) and the old fashioned bottom line (money):

Weekly, around 54 million Americans mow their lawns, to do so they use roughly 15 million gallons of gas (that’s $60 million at today’s average pump price).  Over the course of a year that is 800 million gallons, ($3.2 billion dollars).

The EPA estimates that annually 17 million ($68 million) of those gallons are spilled while filling lawn equipment (this has a direct effect on the quality of ground water, last environmental comments I promise-ish), more than all of the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez.

If I had a dime for every gallon of gas that will be spilled around the country this year alone, I’d be comfortably retired by Christmas.  I’m not sure I can work that deal out, however, so instead I’m going to start advocating that people take some action on this individually.  For example, if you can, get a push mower (they have cordless electric ones). A reel mower, in addition to being better for the environment, will actually make your lawn look better than a rotary mower, and the blades only have to be sharpened every 8-10 years (as opposed to annually with a rotary mower).  Either that, or send me that dime, and we’ll call it even…


Note: lawn care facts from here

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