Blog Archives

So Dollar Bills are Costing Us Money?

clipped from

Replacing dollar bill with coins could save billions: government

(Reuters) – Replacing $1 bills with coins of the same amount could save the federal government $5.5 billion over the next 30 years, officials said on Friday.


Analysis by the U.S. Government Accountability Office showed the savings would come from replacing bills with more durable coins.

The report was not the first time the GAO has recommended the money swap, but the agency said past efforts to buoy support for the $1 coin have been hindered in part because the $1 bills have remained in circulation.

Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada that use a coin advised the GAO to pull the bills from circulation to hasten public acceptance.

The GAO said a change to coins from dollar bills would present some upfront costs and assumed a four-year transition period.

Private companies also said altering current equipment to take and store the proposed $1 coin would be an expense, the GAO said.

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This is interesting…I guess it saves money to make the change because paper money wears out and it costs extra to print more. 

Hey, I’ve got an idea… why don’t we go back to gold? Gold $1 coins would probably be much smaller than silver-ish ones and take up much less pocket space. Easier for private companies to adjust their coin machines…especially if the $1 gold coin is the size of a nickel.

Waiting for the refrigerator man… Fighting Fruit Flies.

The repair guy from GE is coming this morning some time (they said between 8 and Noon and we’re well into that now) to look at our noisy freezer that’s dripping water into the refrigerator section below. I tried defrosting (which on a frost free machine is hard to do) and that didn’t solve the problem. I have a feeling that there is a fan part that needs to be replaced. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, it is raining out, so I’ll have to get wet walking the dogs. They don’t mind, of course, but I do. It’s cold as well (my back deck thermometer hasn’t hit 60° yet), so this is going to be an uncomfortable walk. Still, of course, without a car until tomorrow when we go down to Linda’s to pick it up. So I’m trapped in the house again today.

I have been battling with fruit flies for the last week or so… they pop up everywhere… drains, fruitbowl, cutting board area… and, since we don’t use any poison sprays, getting rid of them was a real problem. Until I did my research, of course, and discovered how to make “fruit fly traps” which have worked so well that you hardly see any of the little bastards around.

How does one make a fruit fly trap? Simple. Start with a good, widemouthed jar (we always have plenty of old Ball jars around which we use for canning) and put in about an inch or two of warm water with a squirt of dishwashing soap. Then add a shot of apple cider and a shot of red wine. Cover the top of the jar with a piece of Saran Wrap and use a rubber band to keep it tightly sealed at the neck of the jar. Now comes the tricky part… you have to punch a few very small holes through the plastic wrap… small enough for the fruit flies to get in but not so large that they can go right out again. I use a nut pick to punch the holes, but a fork could do it, too.

Then all you have to do is put the jar wherever the greatest number of the pests have been spotted. I made four jars and put them in various places in my kitchen. Now all you do is wait. In about an hour or so you will notice a distinct reduction in the bugs. The next day when you check the jars you will find they are full of little drowned fruit flies. Amazing!

I change the liquid and reseal the jars every few days and my fruit-flies are now nowhere to be found (on the first refill day there were much fewer of them caught in the traps, so we are succeeding quite well.)

I think I’ll post this bit about my fruit fly traps over at Panhandle Vegan… I know my friends over there could probably benefit from the strategy.

Funniest Commercial on TV: the 2011 Mediocrity!

This is showing up on TV now…it leads you to a web site:

It’s only after you got to the site (which is pretty complete… and all beige) that you find a secret button that takes you to the real sponsor…Subaru.

For your morning entertainment…

“The Coffee Wars” by Kill The Lobster:

Barbara Ehrenreich on Positive Thinking…

Thought I’d pass on 10 minutes of education today… perhaps it will help you see how we got into the mess we’re in:

After you are done watching, try to think positively again. Hopefully, it will make you more realistic.

I’ve been cooking…

…and I just finished making the sugar-free, vegan, organic carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting. It took me about an hour altogether, giving me a chance to unload, load and start the dishwasher as I waited for parts to cook or stand.

The original recipe is over at my Panhandle-Vegan blog where I am about to list the modifications I made.

I haven’t tasted it yet… I’m waiting for Elly to get home from School.

I have great confidence, however.

Fat Diabetic Vegan is now down 47 Pounds…

The last time I posted an update on my weight loss activities (back in June) I had lost 35 pounds. As of this morning, I’m now down 47 pounds, with 103 to go on my overall goal of 150 pounds.

So that means I’ve lost 47 pounds in just about 10 months. I know to many folks who watch those horrible nutri-whatever commercials on TV that that may sound like a lot, but when you start out at 385 pounds it is really only s small achievement.

I do feel a lot healthier and have more energy than before. And my blood sugar seems to be easier to control, so I won’t complain.

It is also 10 months or so since Elly and I adopted the Vegan Lifestyle (and I started my other blog, Panhandle Vegan.) Of course, this has a great deal to do with the weight loss… it has caused a complete change in my “eating lifestyle”, but that change had been surprisingly easy to pull off.

Someday I am going to head a post that says “Thin Diabetic Vegan is Down 150 Pounds.” It will be at least another year and probably more… so please bear with me.   -BT

Black Friday

Today is Black Friday.

It has only been in the last couple of years that stores gave actually referred to “Black Friday” in their post-Thanksgiving-sale ads… There was a time that they didn’t really want you to know that it was the point on the fiscal calendar when they went into the Black…or started to earn a profit, as opposed to being in the Red, or losing money. Once upon a time the retailers did not want you to know how tenuous their existence was… it would be more like begging than selling.

This year’s Black Friday is supposed to have an increased number of shoppers from last year, but it is not likely that they will actually make an increase in sales… and it is possible that they won’t go into the Black today, but may continue to be in the Red right through the year’s end.

Speaking for myself, unemployed and very low on funds, this is not a shopping Black Friday for me. I believe that there are a vast number of folks like me as well… folks who are thinking of MAKING holiday gifts for Friends and family, or buying less expensive and more practical things… grocery store coupons, perhaps… for giftgiving. I won’t be helping retailers get into the Black this year… not because I don’t want to, but because I can’t afford to.

I have been watching the commercials on TV pushing the Black Friday Specials from store to store. There is a sense of desperation here, hiding under an advertising agency mask of granting special favors to beloved customers (something which happens rarely in economically profitable years) from a powerful friend who just knows you need a new blender or washing machine. I feel for them… I really do.

But today, Black Friday, I’ll be staying home.

Vegan Shopping

I’m in the Cafe at the Charles Town, WV, Martin’s, having spent an awfully long time in their health food department (and some of the regular aisles) looking at labels befor buying anything. I kept a recipe for Vegan Sausages up in my monitor as I shopped and got what I think are workable elements (had to replace the oat flour which they didn’t have with another flour from the same health food company that looked like it would comply.)

My wife asked for frozen Vegan meatballs (not made with meat, of course) and I got 3 kinds for her to try (and had to be careful here… some of the Natural and organic products have some dairy attributes way down on the ingredients list.)

And I splurged on fruit… apples, peaches, oranges and some frozen fruits to use with seltzer fizzees which I make with seltzer, light soy milk and some liquid stevia flavors.

Hopefully I’ll survive the week.