Thursday, July 19, 2012

People Still Idle in their Cars?

Even though New York City has had a hard time enforcing its no-idling law passed in 2009, a number of years ago I took on a personal initiative to limit idling in my car to a maximum of one or two minutes.  It is simply bad for the environment and bad for our health.  I am the first to admit that I can not do without air-conditioning in the summer - -  but I also don't like the idea of all the toxicity leaking out into the air in a concentrated area while I am not driving.

Mike Bloomberg recently got a lot of press when he debuted his modified home air conditioner installed in his SUV.  If I were his driver just waiting around all day for Mike to show up, I'd be pretty happy, too.

Living here in the suburbs I am reminded that I pretty much live in a bubble.  If I were living in an environmentally and health-conscious place like Portland, Austin or Boulder, surely I wouldn't be inspired to write this blog entry.  But in the suburbs, people idle.  People idle for 1 minute, for 5 minutes, for 20 minutes.  I am astounded.  Maybe people think that since there is plenty of space out of the city they can idle.  In New York City everyone is packed in like sardines so it makes sense to have a no idling law.  More likely they simply don't think at all.

So, parents waiting for your kids who are 30 minutes late from a camp trip pick up:  

Get out of your car and enjoy the outdoors!

Yesterday, even the old school classy grandpa, dressed in his golf whites, checking in with his wife via cell phone in his seasoned Philadelphia accent, managed to turn off his engine and hang out near Cricket Field for 30 minutes until the yellow school buses rolled in.

Cricket Field

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My LL Bean Boat & Tote

Grew up with these excellent bags - they were our "swim club" bag.  LL Bean has improved the bag tremendously over the years with various sizes, a zipper top option, and different colors.

I have no clue if other people have done this, but here is how we personalized it.  We brought the patches to a shoe maker.  Unless you have a heavy duty sewing machine, don't kid yourself that you can take this on by yourself.  The canvas is thick and if you want a good, solid job done, pay the approximate $5 per patch to have it sewn on and do it right.  No, you can not rely on the iron-on stickiness on the back of the patches.  Don't be cheap.  Bring it to your shoemaker.  And if you bring more patches, maybe you can strike a bulk deal.

It is still a work in progress, there may be more patches to come, but this is it for 2012...

Our patched up LL Bean Boat & Tote Bag.  It has an outdoorsy, New York State, Canadian, heady feel.  We so LOVE our bag!

From top left, clockwise:  Lake Placid, NY, Appalacian Trail (The "AT"), Canadian maple leaf (with deep Canadian roots, I can legitamately state "Oh Canada, my home and native land"...BTW do yo know how long this patch has been sitting around?  Likely since 2000!  Time to use up the stuff lying around!), and 2012 Phamily (purchased at the recent Atlantic City  Phish show, from Phanbadge...btw how thrilled was I to find this?  I suggested to Brian, the purveyor of Phanbadge, that he check out this blog, since I surmised he was a family guy however just like most folks, this stuff is still quite verbose so little expectation there).

Long Lake, just one of the many stops we have made in the Adirondacks over the years, Stealie - Grateful Dead 

From top left, clockwise:  Bronx Zoo, our backyard playground for 5 years when we resided in the Bronx, NYS Environmental Conservation Junior Naturalist acquired when we car camped when Concealed Light was 3 and the Wolfman was 1, Swimmer vintage circa late 70s/early 80s this person definitely was a star swimmer! (I personally never got to swimmer level, only to Intermediate, don't think American Red Cross uses these designations anymore, but do you remember Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, Swimmer, and what was next?)

other side of the bag

From ADK Outlet in Lake Placid; I waxed poetic about them in another post

Here is what LL Bean wrote to me:

Dear Ms. Loonin,

Thank you for contacting L.L.Bean with the great story of your Boat and Tote bag. It brought smiles to me and my peers faces.  I have forwarded you email to our Corporate Office to let them see your Boat and Tote bag.

Thank you again for contacting L.L.Bean Ms. Loonin. I am hoping someday to see an update with more patches.

Heather B.
L.L.Bean Customer Service

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