Archive for December, 2010

Biodiesel batch no.60

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Today I started drying biodiesel batch no. 60 – which means I have produced 3,000 Gallons (12,000 liters) of the “good juice” since November 2006. Praise the Lard! Collecting oil in Durham has become increasingly difficult. The competition is fierce and the restaurants are not as busy as they used to be and therefore they […]

ID theft – part II

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Today I went to the Durham Police Department to file an identity theft report because someone took out a payday loan using my name. When you research ID theft, most advice emphasizes the importance of filing a  police report. However, the officer I spoke with said he cannot do a report because the crime did […]

Identity theft!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Yesterday I got a call from a collection agency attempting to collect a loan a payday lending company had given to someone using my name.  A while ago I had received a letter from them to that same effect, but none of it made any sense, and so I filed it in the “whatever” bin. […]

Christmas snow

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

This morning we woke up to 3 inches of snow, after a fairly warm Christmas eve. The snow is wet and sticky. Wally and Cleo kept their faces mostly in their favorite hayroll. But in the morning, for a while Cleo was prancing around, bucking and rearing and shaking her head at the snow.

Happy Winter Solstice

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Once again, the longest night of the year is upon us. On Dec 21, daylight lasted only 9 hours 42 Minutes here in NC, 8 hours 22 Min in Freiburg, Germany, 4 hours 7 Min in Reykjavik, Iceland. In the old days, when people did not really understand how our solar system works, they worried […]

Lunar eclipse

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

An hour ago, at 3 AM Eastern, I rolled out of bed to check out the lunar eclipse. The moon was almost completely in the shadow of the earth. Only a sliver on the right side was still brighter than the rest of the moon. I bundled up and went outside and took a good […]

Germany plans to suspend the draft

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Starting on March 1, 2011, the German military will “suspend” the general draft that has been in effect since 1957. After that date, only volunteers will be drafted into German military service – which essentially transforms the German military into a volunteer army. This morning Der Spiegel reported that the general draft is only suspended […]

Look up

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Tonight, inspired by a recent post on BoingBoing, we braved the chilly 27F/-3C night and I handed the kids my trusty old binoculars and told them to take a look at Jupiter. As cold as it was, the sky was really clear and visibility was great. None of us had trouble spotting the four biggest  […]

The UN supports Ouattara – now what?

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Not sure this is going to help resolve the crisis in Côte D’Ivoire: The UN Security Council has issued a statement saying that Ivory Coast opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara won the disputed presidential election. The statement came after three days of debate at the UN, in which Russia expressed concern that the UN was exceeding […]

The crisis in Côte D’Ivoire

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

As of last weekend, Côte D’Ivoire has two competing presidents: incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo, and is challenger Alassane Ouattara, whom the international community considers the winner of the run-off election. The electoral commission, controlled by Ouattara’s party RDR, certified the result of the Nov. 28 runoff and declared Ouattara the winner with 54 percent of […]

First snow

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Today, we had our first snow this winter. The weather report called for some flurries tonight, but instead we had about a 1/2 inch of snow this afternoon.  I went out around 5:00 to see if I could get to the grocery store, but even Guess Rd. was totally covered, and so I turned around. […]

Russia 2018 – Quatar 2022? Really?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

FIFA just announced some interesting choices for the Worldcup hosts for 2018 and 2022 … Russia will host the 2018 Worldcup …  considering the  safety discussion around the Worldcup in South Africa, the safety discussion should be really interesting regarding the country with the worst hooligans and worst xenophobia problems in Europe.  And Quatar? Yeah […]