instant gramming

February 19, 2008

Bike payoff calculator!!!

Ok, so I've been thinking about the pros and cons to buying a road bike to commute to work. I decided it would be fun to set up an equation to weigh the cost of a bike against the cost of gasoline needed to drive. I have been struggling to find a simple type of interactive spreadsheet to embed in a website so that a reader can manipulate the numbers like mileage and price of a bike to determine a payoff for herself...well, this is the best I found ( Enjoy switching up the numbers--it is pretty user friendly. Note: the double-slash (//) denotes text; I recommend only changing the miles to work, mpg, gas price, and bike price...

My formula can be written simply as this: (B(((X/25)*10)*G))/4, where X is the number of miles commuting one way during the work week, G is the price of gasoline, and B is price of your dream bike!!!

Some other considerations: you can increase commuting mileage by including trips to a restaurant or grocery store to which you might alternatively bike; also, within a year's time from now, gas prices will probably rise above $3. Both of these changes will result in a decreased payoff time...

February 16, 2008

Ode to Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Freshness

I was taking a shower tonight and enjoying my invigorating, eucalyptus-scented, liquid soap by Dr. Bronner's when I decided that I would dedicate a blog entry to this wonderful "all-one" wash. Dr. B's six liquid soaps are made of organic coconut oil & organic olive oil (with retained glycerin), organic hemp oil, organic jojoba oil, cage-free water, citric acid, and the organic essential oil of your preference. Supposedly, the soap can be used as a shampoo, body wash, dish soap,laundry detergent, and toothpaste. In addition to all this goodness, I found that some Bronner-friendly stores (like Clintonville Community Market) offer 5 gallon tubs with push-pumps to refill empty Dr. Bronner's bottles, thereby reducing waste! In fact, the bottle I am using has been refilled twice since I bought the peppermint soap senior year of high school--but only twice, which could be attributed to its hyper-concentrated strength, or my lower-than-average shower participation [Note to self: write blog about our hyper-sterile-obsessed society]. The eucalyptus is a bit overpowering--a scent akin to Vick's VapoRub--but I am really enjoying it. Dr. Bronner's story (the abridged version, as stated in 4 paragraphs on the company's website) is pretty exciting: evading Nazis as a Jew in Germany and rebelling against manufacturers of synthetic surfactant formulations...
Ok, bedtime. Gotta take Alden out for the fifth time this hour. Peace and soapy suds

February 15, 2008


--Edit: "Meet Alden Paczki, born November 22 (Thanksgiving Day), 2007 and destined for greatness. "Paczki" (pronounced "ponchky") is a type of Polish donut--C and I learned about these on the CBS Sunday morning show the day we adopted little Alden. This was the name we almost settled on, but couldn't stop laughing everytime we used it--so we decided to find a more serious name for him. Alden means "old friend," and we know he will live a long and joyful life with us and always be a friend.--

C and I are trying to be patient with puppy training, but it's rough. Actually, the first 3 days were smooth, with minimal accidents inside and mostly gentle play. We're trying to learn all we can to teach him how to be an obedient dog. I also hope that puppy socialization will help "Aldo" learn how to play well with others.