Friday, March 6, 2009

Earth Day

On April 22nd, I'm going to try again to clean up Lake Michigan. I tried last year on the Wisconsin side, but didn't do much good. The water looks cleaner here on the Michigan side of the lake, so I'm hoping for better results. I'm also going to be more scientific about it this year by sampling the lake water for bacteria and contaminants before and after I filter it.

My portable water filter will clean about 8 gallons of water per hour, so, if the weather is good, I hope to run at least 80 gallons of lake water through the filter during the day.

We set up the filter, go get a gallon jug of lake water and dump it in the tank. When the clean water starts coming out, we drain it into another gallon jug and pour it back into the lake. It's a slow process, but it leaves us plenty of time to barbeque.

With all the people out of work around here, we're hoping we can hire a few people to help out this year. Maybe set up another portable filter. Clean 160 gallons of lake water.


Cypher Blueman said...

I've been up that way once. Let me ask you something about that lake. Is that where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down?

Billy Glad said...

All of the great lakes have had their share of wrecks, but I believe the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior.

quinn the eskimo said...

Izzat the lake Detroit sank into?

Listen to bloody Cypher, eh? Half the things in the world, he can tell you all about. But give him a Great Lake and they all look alike. Sheesh.

Billy. Laughed like hell at this post. I work on this shit for 20+ years, sweat blood, and looking at the world these days, I wonder why I didn't just go fishing instead.

Well, I know why actually - I hate fucking fishing.

Ok, I'm gonna give you some inside dope on how to get volunteers, and motivate them. You need a mental comparison that'll be REALLY clear to them. Visible, memorable, tangible if possible. That's the rule. You know, they're always comparing the amount of garbage we generate to so many Olympic-sized swimming pools or football stadiums full of crap, right?

So. I'd suggest you do some quick research, and find out how much urine an average human being releases when they pee in a lake. Then you can tell the volunteers, "By cleaning 160 gallons of water, it's the equivalent of 7,800 pee'ing swimmer episodes." Or whatever.

That should get 'em pumped.

Let me know how this goes. Word is that I'm quite good at coming up with these comparison thingies, just a gift really, so if you start up another green project and need a little help - just let me know.

But forget about asking fucking Cypher, that Dude'll have Detroit located somewhere near the mouth of the frigging St. Lawrence next.

quinn the eskimo said...

Bluedude clearly never grew up on Gordon Lightfoot either:

"In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early."

"Gitche Gumee" is the spelling from that Longfellow fellow. Donner probably knew him. Same dude as did Evangeline. Which concludes in an equally gloomy manner.

"Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches
Dwells another race, with other customs and language....
And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story.
While from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced, neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest."

Shit. You know what? I just checked to see if Longfellow ever wrote about the Donner party. I donno if he did, but his Evangeline came out in... 1847. A damned depressing year, it sounds like.

Billy Glad said...

Well, thanks, quinn. Maybe I better forget about using those unemployed people. If one of them even steps in the lake, they'll undo all my hard work.

Cypher Blueman said...

You got me. I didn't grow up on the heels of Lightfoot, but I liked that one song. Sadly I considered Lightfoot's music too light. However, i was quite enthralled with Joni Mitchell and Leon Russell. Stevie and Aretha also. For a time there was Paul Simon. I outgrew that. I liked James Taylor.

Maybe working in pop bands to make a buck kept me from enjoying the music. None here, I venture, knows "Color My World," which I had to sing at weddings, hiding behind my Rhodes.

And it's a good thing donner didn't find Evangeline. He could stir up a soup he called
Gitche Gumme" though sometimes he called it
Gitche Gloomy.

quinn the eskimo said...

Color My World, as in Chicago? Dude, if you had to sing that at weddings, I hereby take back all my insults. That's inhumane.

As for the Lake issue, Billy, you may have triggered one of those entrepreneurial surges I'm prone to. Self-filtering swim suits.

Gotta be a market for that.

gasket said...

I grew up in Cleveland (which is on Lake Erie, for the geographically challenged), and the radio stations there played Edmund Fitzgerald incessantly from 1976 until 1979, when it was replaced by Pink Floyd's The Wall. To this day I wanna puke every time that song is so much as invoked, which is mercifully rare anymore. Just my luck, this blog mentioned both songs within the span of a week.

Billy, I think you should turn your attention to Lake Erie instead. As you can see from this picture, there's not one drop of clean water in it, so even 80 gallons filtered would, in fact, make a ginormous difference. Besides, there's plenty of good barbecue in Cleveland. (Shout out to my homies in Lakewood! w00t!) I recommend the Tick Tock Tavern for a local feel and all-you-can-eat walleye specials.

Cypher Blueman said...

If gasket hates the song, then I hate it also. It's that damn boat on the river bottom boating polluting the lake too. Billy, I seem to have taken the wrong boat with my first comment and distracted the group from the issue. Can I fix it with a song? Nah...

Listen up ! I am not lying when I tell you that the password to post this very comment was "shipla."

Can't make that stuff up.

Billy Glad said...

We're actually thinking of going down to Cleveland to see Mariza. Chicago is the nearest real city, but we missed her there. If we tried Erie, we'd have to change the filter every 5 minutes. What's the point of an issa butterfly/vagina/mouth/demon? on a rorschach, young man?

But here's a real intelligence test. AP reporting on Obama's healthcare plan.

"Obama says he is not wedded to a plan on how to fix the problem. But one proposal he has endorsed, giving people the option of buying medical coverage through a government plan, is drawing opposition from Republicans.

"Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., emphasized that point in the GOP's weekly radio address. "I'm concerned that if the government steps in it will eventually push out the private health care plans millions of Americans enjoy today," Blunt said."

Hahaha! Blount is putting down the healthcare plan his family enjoys.

Tell me this. If the government is so fucked up and the private sector is so great, what is Blunt -- blunt = dull? -- worried about? The private sector can compete with the public sector any day of the week, right?

I wonder what it's like to be a stupid Republican like Blunt and see the whole fucking lie come unraveled right in front of your horrified eyes.

quinn the eskimo said...

That was yesterday's lie, Billy.

Blunt's already staring at a brand new bright & shining lie.

GirlFromTheBronx said...

I used to have a pin from the first Earth Day in 1970. Sadly, I lost it. I looked on line to see if I could find an image of it. No luck, but these were kinda nice.
My favorite
Your post made me remember how incredible the feeling was back then and how we all felt we could make a difference. I’m still working on getting my guy to re-cycle as much as I do. Sigh...

BTW, you're really going to try and see Mariza? That's great. The symphony here sent out a blurb to make it a "Pay what you will Concert" because of the economy. I hope people show up.

quinn the eskimo said...

GFTB. Earth Day and the actions of all the millions of people means something to me. Some days all I can think of is how far behind we are and how much stupidity we face... and the other days, I look at what's been done. When I was a kid, that beach of mine got destroyed. They put in a causeway, 12 miles East, and the whole beach washed away. No sand left, just bare red-hard mud. The bald eagles were pretty much all gone by then too. DDT and stuff. The forests were all mini-sized, because the British Navy had taken any tall tree in the province. Nobody did anything green, and thought you were a commie if you did.

Now? Well, with a lot of little efforts, the sand's sticking, and we have half a beach back. I counted 14 bald eagles - at one time - in the chestnut tree at the bottom of our lane. The forests aren't huge, but the biggest trees are 20 years older now, still growing. And we now recycle more than anyone in North America. 00's of jobs, 95% of people participate.

Recycling is actually one of the biggest economic success stories in history - not that the business press is gonna cover it. Half of the fibre that goes into paper and cardboard, in the world, comes from recycled paper. Half. Think about that. We'd be cutting down TWICE as much without it. Half of the plants and jobs in that industry, from recycling. Similar story for steel - where the mini-mills (which use scrap steel) grew up. Aluminium too. Of course the big industries took advantage of that, paid hardly anything for those materials we all set out... but at least, we kept some manufacturing. Kept some trees. Fewer landfills. And I think, somehow, just doing those tiny, basic things, again and again, helps lay down a pattern that we're gonna need. That we can't JUST have it all, instantly, unthinkingly. At least we have some kind of alternative example now.

So slap that guy of yours, eh? Even if the global markets for all raw materials have presently crashed, make him recycle. At least the paper and cans. Those're important. For his own good.

And mine. ;-)

GirlFromTheBronx said...

Slapped, snapped and smacked!

Thanks Quinn! I was hoping someone would start to testify on the subject. Amen to all that. I will point that fellow right here! But If the standard wisdom is that paper and cans are the top offenders, then I guess we're doing okay as a family. I feel better now.

Billy Glad said...

I don't know about this recycling thing, girl. I just put my bottles and cans out. Lady walking her dog. Dog walks up to the tub in front of the house next door and pisses all over their bottles and cans.

Cypher Blueman said...

Fuck recycling ! Strelnikov !

GirlFromTheBronx said...

It takes a fucking village! Hillary!

Cypher Blueman said...

Wrong generation, GFTB. Wrong village. Wrong spelling of Hillary.

Kyle Reese said...

Hey, blue guy with that shit on your head. What's that about Hillary?

quinn the eskimo said...

Dog piss is antiseptic, Billy.

Human mouths are filthy.

Dog's doing you all a favor. Give him a bone.