Friday, January 5, 2018

Urban Ore

I hope I have the nomenclature right. As I understand it, ore is the term the solid waste community uses to designate what goes into the recycling bin.

I follow an industry newsletter for the waste industry. I'm not witting about how to evaluate the stories, but it's an interesting focus on the business end of housekeeping. The history of American housekeeping (see all three volumes of Susan Strasser's blockbuster trilogy that starts with "Never Done") is the history of industry stepping in to lighten the burdens of life support. 

Come to think of it, the history of the industrial revolution is the same. If I remember correctly from a PBS documentary, the iron cooking pot and the sewing needle were the first two industrial consumer items. In the northwest, that level of technology persisted until the Twenties, and still does in some circles.

Considering household waste as raw material for industrial production lends a note of seriousness to procedures that have long been trivialized as insignificant compared to "real" work outside the home. I was surprised to run across the term contaminated waste in a recent newsletter. Ore with even a minor amount of waste that is not included in the list of desirable contents is unusable. Because it takes so much energy to generate the waste in the first place, I submit that contaminating recycling is an offense against carbon conservation, no matter how minuscule the excess -30- More after the jump.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Paring A Room

Every year the cycle of holiday events makes slightly different demands on the space inside the house. Over the decades I've rousted and edited the contents of each room so many times that only essentials remain. My side bag holds the personal kit of daily life, so a room needs only to be furnished for immediate use. 

The least appealing room on each floor holds furnishings in reserve. Isolating inactive inventory is the most effective and efficient change I have made in conventional housekeeping practice -30- More after the jump.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Daylighting Dinner

I rise very early. Doing so gives me peaceful and uncrowded work days in a dense neighborhood just minutes' walk from downtown. The rest of the family rises early, too. Over the holiday, I realized that we had revived the old practice of having the main meal at midday. I grew up understanding that to be old school farmers' practice. Living off the grid at an isolated cabin taught me the value of putting a meal together when I could see what I was doing.

Casual scanning of a City Light newsletter brought my attention to the plan to charge different rates for power consumed at different times of day. Early rising has yet another advantage now besides uncrowded busses and clerks who are not yet fried from their day of customer service -30- More after the jump.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Tray

Christmas brought a new serving plate to the inventory. It's a disc of aluminum treated to have an iridescent surface. I needed an extra dish to put dinner on the table, and the new one arrived just in time. It seemed out of harmony with the existing collection of traditional serving ware. As I was drying it after the meal, I realized that the iridescent surface picks up the subtleties of tarnish on the old plated silver I use for this and that -30-
More after the jump.