My Kitchen, My Choice

The Gas Stove Story

The American public is being prepped for possible action by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission who say they are reviewing possible health hazards posed by gas stoves and will likely take action to regulate the appliances at some point in the future.

Oddly enough, Canada isn’t jumping on that bandwagon yet, but… early days…

Are Gas Stoves Really Responsible for 12.7% of Current Childhood Asthma Cases in the US?

Recently there have been stories about the risk of childhood asthma caused by natural gas stoves. It has been suggested that this news was one ‘trial balloon’ to influence public opinion on gas stoves.

Pushback about the validity of the Gruenwald Asthma-Gas Stove Research paper came from independent sources such as this:

… the Gruenwald et al paper seems to have some clear challenges that would typically preclude it from consideration in a policy-making process. Its underlying data is of low statistical power. Its conclusion is directly contradicted by more recent studies with significantly greater statistical power and it relies on a statistical tool that is considered invalid in situations with confounding variables yet it is being used to analyze an association that is absolutely rife with confounding variables.
– Blair King, Professional Chemist, Analysis January 12, 2023

How Much Pollution?

Stanford Researchers estimate, (based on a study of 53 California homes) that  methane leaking from natural gas-burning stoves inside an estimated 40 million U.S. homes has an annual climate impact comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 gasoline powered cars.

This suggests one stove releases emissions equivalent to .0125 gasoline-powered cars.

To put this into perspective, The U.S. Department of Energy has calculated the annual well to wheels emissions for vehicles (they used an average driving distance of 11,579 miles per year.). An All Electric vehicle emits 2817 pounds of CO2 equivalent. A gasoline vehicle emits 12594 pounds of CO2 equivalent.

By extension then, a stove would emit 157 pounds a year, though that doesn’t include emissions from manufacture, etc. Put another way – each year a gas stove releases the equivalent emissions of driving a gasoline car about  144 miles.

In response to the possibility of any mandated ‘mitigation’ strategies, this comment appeared on Twitter a few days ago: “My kitchen, my choice”. I thought this variation of “My body, my choice”  was quite funny and apropos!

“…we currently live in a political climate that prioritizes grand symbolic gestures without regard to unintended consequences or even whether they will achieve their purported goal.
– Tristan Hopper, National Post: You want to ban me? A gas stove makes its case

The Babylon Bee, a satirical news site, offered this story:  “Biden Calls for Two Weeks of Not Cooking on Gas Stoves to Flatten the Curve”.

Other Reading:

Steve Everley, Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Energy & Natural Resources, Current Research

Time: The Best Stove for Your Health and the Environment
Gas-Stoving America
Do Gas Stoves Cause Childhood Asthma

Data Sources:
U.S. Department of Energy Emissions from Electric Vehicles
U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Climate and Health Impacts Natural Gas Stoves
Study on Natural Gas Stove Emissions in 53 Homes

Another One Bites the Dust

And the Chief of all the Appliances in the house said “Who among you feels not up to the tasks demanded of you?”

And the Washing Machine (a mere 4 years old but beginning to wonder if there was more to life than water in, water out, water in, water out) said, “I feel not so desirous of being bubbly this week. Might I take a rest?”

And the Chief said, “So be it. I shall make it so you striketh against the Tide Pod and so you shall rest for a while.”

And so it came to be.

And the Chief waited a suitable amount of time – until the human inhabitants of the abode were lulled into false security.

Then the Chief asked, “Who among you cannot face another winter of being a burning inferno?”

And the Furnace said, “I feel I am cracking up after 30 years of faithful service. Might I take a rest?” “Me too, me too”, chimed in the Air Con and the Water Heater. “We know not how much more of this we can take before we leak out vital fluids.”

And the Chief said, “So be it. I shall make it so you and everyone in the darkness of the basement are given a full and lasting retirement. You need never work again.”

And so it came to be and the humans in said abode faced a costly HVAC and Water Heater replacement that exceeded the price they got from selling ‘Wanda, the BMW’. And the Chief was pleased that it had successfully granted the wishes of the inhabitants of the basement underworld AND found a new and happy home for Wanda, which wasn’t even in the game plan!

Flush with success, and before the new inhabitants of the basement even arrived, the Chief approached the Refrigerator. “Are you tired of being cold, cold, cold while everyone else is basking in the heat of this very warm summer?”

And the Fridge, also only 4 years old and unaware of the expectations of how long a fridge will perform, said, “If I see one more bag of Sugarsnap pea pods, I think I am going to barf.”

And so the Chief caused the ice in the ice maker to melt and run onto the floor and all the cold to flee and the Fridge felt warm and cosy for the first time in, well, 4 years.

The Chief, well satisfied with what it had achieved in a mere 4 months and humming the tune ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, contemplated how long to wait before approaching the Dishwasher,  the Clothes Dryer the Deep Freezer, the Water Pump and/or the Septic Pump.

Quirky Quips and Quotes – Laundry in Limp Mode

Preamble: A few years ago our Jeep suddenly lost it’s zippy acceleration while we were driving home from Arizona. We took it into a Chrysler dealership. They couldn’t repair it for days, but said we could drive it home. It would be a slower trip than usual because the Jeep would be running in ‘limp mode’.

Fast forward to this years snowbird return to The Red House. We unpacked and I started to do laundry. Oh, oh – our four year old washing machine quit after just one load. It’s electronic dial spit out an ‘E-11’ error code. The Car Guy did a reset (unplug and plug back in) but it didn’t help. He made sure the water wasn’t blocked and that the pressure was okay. Check, check. He contacted the warranty repair company. That put us on the list for repair, but it has been two weeks now and we still don’t have a date they can come out.

The pessimist in me thinks it could be a long time before the washer gets repaired – so I thought about whether a washing machine has a ‘limp mode’? I started to test various combinations of water temperature, wash cycles, etc. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve been able to use the machine on ‘tap cold’ mode on the ‘rinse again and spin’ cycle and one wash cycle – as long as I don’t push the ‘pods’ soap button. Fingers crossed.

I briefly wished I still had my trusty old Maytag washing machine. It would have been 44 years old now and it would not have given me grief about eating another ‘pod’. Mind you, it only had one cycle that reliably worked, it didn’t spin the clothes very well, it refused to wash sneakers or quilts and it sometimes took a walk about when it was out of balance… but it never had a hissy fit over the type of soap I gave it.

Have you ever taken anything out of the clothes basket because it had become, relatively, the cleaner thing?
– Katherine Whitehorn –

I love those 17 seconds when the laundry is all caught up!
– Author Unknown –

Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you’ve got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn’t your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.
– Jerry Seinfeld –

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his sweat-shirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me, “What setting do I use on the washing machine?”
“It depends,” I replied. “What does it say on the back of the shirt?”
He yelled back, “University of Oklahoma.”
– boardofwisdom.com –

A clever take on the song “I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)” by The Proclaimers. “But I would walk 500 miles, And I would walk 500 more, Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles, To fall down at your door.”

Other Posts of this nature: Clothing Quotations

This is the Week That Was: Amazon, Time, Invention of Ikea (Video)

Andy Amazon

I, however, am expecting those craft supplies…

If it wasn’t for the delivery guys, our social life would be almost zilch.

The only upside to Covid is that many retailers have made online shopping really easy! We don’t need to drive anywhere, delivery is quick and products are available that aren’t always stocked in the local stores.  What’s not to like!

The King/Queen of online shopping is Amazon. It has more than 2.5 million retailers selling on the Amazon marketplace (according to Marketplacepulse, 2019).

We ventured out last week to buy a new kitchen tap set at Home Depot.  They were out of stock, but we could order online from them. Delivery was in one to three weeks. Amazon had the same product for the same price and it was delivered two days later… though it might take The Car Guy one to three weeks to decide whether he is going to call the plumber to do the install.

IKEA

How did IKEA come up with their business and marketing plan? Dude Dad has this very funny explanation!

Too Early for Christmas?

This ‘Lest We Forget’ admonishment arrived in my Facebook feed a few days after I had put up my Christmas Tree. I’m not really sure how decorating for Christmas implies disrespect for anything, but if that is what some people feel, then they have every right to feel that way…

…and I have every right to do what feels right for me. Hence the tree. Right now it is the brightly lit beacon in the corner of the living room that dispels the late afternoon gloom that came after we changed the clocks.

My previous post about time change was:  Daylight Saving Time.

My Remembrance Day Posts were:
Lest We Forget
Belgium – WWI Memorial – A Brooding Soldier
In Flanders Fields – Canadians in World War One

This was from this past spring. Turns out that 4 months wasn’t forward enough.

Indoor Cold Storage – Project Accomplished!

New fridge

The new fridge finally arrived. Twice actually. The first time, the delivery truck couldn’t negotiate the deep snow in our drive way and had to abort the mission. With little hope that the snow would melt before spring, The Car Guy abandoned his plan to mow the grass one more time this fall. He removed the mower from the tractor and installed the snow blade. I helped him. We had some brief discussions about either buying a new tractor with easier implement changing, or moving to the city…

Two days later the fridge was delivered. If you have been following the Fridge in the Middle Story, you will note that the fridge just fit into the cabinet and all is right in the kitchen again. Now, and here is the ‘cool’ part, we have a water and ice dispenser – and not just cubed ice – crushed ice too!

Think of the summer drink possibilities – except now it is fall.

Fridge with a graphic filter

Or, it should be fall except  winter arrived first. The two seasons have been exchanging blows – snow, some melting, more snow, some more melting. Today we are back into snow.

I tried to dig the potatoes during one of the melting spells, but the garden was one large mud patch. It just wasn’t worth the effort for a bucket full of potatoes. It really is too bad, because the hills I did dig yielded very few potatoes, but they weren’t scabby. First time ever. The weather forecast says we return to normal fall weather next week. Maybe I’ll get the spuds out of the ground yet.

Spuds, taters – is there another word for potatoes in your part of the world?

I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot. Potatoes want to see.
– Bill Callahan, Letters to Emma Bowlcut –

Another snow day

Fridge in the Middle

The Car Guy and I decided to replace our refrigerator. It is over 20 years old and well past its ‘best before’ date.

This is a haiku
Haiku’s don’t have to make sense
Refrigerator
– Author Unknown –

The appliance store had so many fridges to choose from – at least, that is what we thought when we first walked in the door! But, as our sales associate, Todd, walked us through the choices, it became clear that our new fridge would be ‘one of a kind’. Yes, if we wanted a fridge with an ice maker/water dispenser, with two upper doors and a lower freezer, that would fit in the space we had, in the colour white (to match the appliances we weren’t replacing) – our selection was one fridge.

So we ordered the fridge. It was supposed to be delivered in a week – two weeks tops! That was almost two months ago.

On a very local scale, a refrigerator is the center of the universe. On the inside is food essential to life, and on the outside of the door is a summary of the life events of the household.
– Robert Fulghum –

In the meantime, my old fridge is in a ‘not so convenient’ place in the kitchen. The Car Guy had to pull it out so that he could add the plumbing for the ice maker/water dispenser. He also had to raise the cabinet above the fridge by one inch.

He didn’t move the fridge back into the fridge ‘home’ because the fridge is heavy, awkward to move and only fits into the space if you give it a mighty shove… and the new fridge might arrive any day now!

Figuring out why people who choose not to do something don’t in fact do it is like attempting to interview the elves who live inside your refrigerator but come out only when the light is off.
– Eileen Pollack –

A fridge in the middle of the room seemed like a huge inconvenience initially. Now it is merely a mild annoyance. We can still use the fridge, even if the doors don’t open all the way. We can still get to the coffee maker and we can squeeze by the fridge to get from one room to another!

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?
– Erma Bombeck –

In the grand scheme of  Red House Renos, the ‘fridge in the middle’ is way down the list of projects that seemed to take forever to finish!

Open your refrigerator door, and you summon forth more light than the total amount enjoyed by most households in the 18th century. The world at night, for much of history, was a very dark place indeed.
– Bill Bryson –

What is the oldest appliance in your house? Which one would you love to replace?

How many times have you been watching an episode of ‘South Park’ and thought, ‘I’d like to be able to watch this on my television while hooked into my mobile device, which is being controlled by my tablet device which is hooked into my oven, all while sitting in the refrigerator?’
– Trey Parker –

Over the Air Television – Anticipating a Better Picture

557-ota-antenna
Christmas Reindeer inspect the new flat antenna before it is positioned for best reception.

One of the things on our Christmas wish list this year was a gift for our TV set.

Television – in my lifetime, I’ve ‘seen’ it all! Our first TV had rabbit ears which were enhanced with wire and tinfoil. In later years we had roof top antennas, then big satellite dishes, little satellite dishes, and cables. Our first TV gave us one station. In later years we had dozens of stations, then hundreds of stations. Our TV screens were sometimes as small as a laptop computer, sometimes big boxes that took two men to lift, and finally flat screen lightweights that hung on the wall.

We wanted to see if we could ‘cut the cord’ on our Satellite TV service. To do that, we needed a digital antenna that would pick up free Over the Air (OTA) television. The Car Guy chose a TERK omni-digital antenna for 1080 HDTV broadcasts.

Like children who peek at their presents before Christmas morning,  we opened this  gift a few weeks ago. The installation was very easy once The Car Guy had finished exploring all the possible ways not to connect the cable.  We were pleasantly (okay ecstatically) pleased with the crystal clear High Definition picture we now receive thanks to an uncompressed signal.

The antenna cost just a little more than the price of one month’s satellite TV and gives us free TV from 6 local stations: GLOBAL, CTV, CITY, CBC, YES and OMNI.  Three of these stations broadcast the seven shows we like to watch each week. What a great Christmas present!

Have you ‘cut the cord’ on your TV service? Discontinued the phone land line and gone cellular? Turned off the internet for more than a day? Moved out of your parents basement? Finished your Christmas shopping? Do you anticipate doing any of these things?

This week’s WordPress.com photo challenge is Anticipation.

Lighter Shade of Grey

Black and white. One viewpoint or the other. This or That. No compromise.

Shades of Grey. Not Black, not White. Somewhere closer to a common ground. Possibility of compromise.

A Lighter Shade of Grey. Serious contemplation, but viewed with a more light hearted perspective.Yes, I like that.

Which is why, for a while, I named my blog – A Lighter Shade of Grey.  I like to change things around now and then. Especially the furniture. But  the Never Ending Reno has resulted in furniture being placed such that moving options are pretty limited. Once the TV was mounted on the wall, the Car Guy gave me that look that said, “Eternity, this thing is here for eternity”. And that pretty much defines where the sofa and chairs need to be. The Dining Table is rectangular and the Dining Room is rectangular. And so on. Close to Black and White now, actually.

But words in a blog – now those are nice and grey. Not like a book, where, once printed, the white pages and black words are immutable. Blog words can shift and reshape themselves as circumstances dictate. Today I can look at something and think it is light grey. Tomorrow, I might have some new information, and my viewpoint might change a bit. I can rewrite and give it a different shade of grey.

Grey – the Shape Shifter. Kind of describes my hair too…

This is the Week That Was: January 29, 2011 – Authors

Stuart McLean
I just finished reading “Extreme Vinyl Cafe” by Stuart McLean. I love these stories about Dave and Morley – you’ll want to read the one about how Dave got to know the inside of the trunk of his car while looking for an escaped pet rat…

Robert Fulghum
Robert Fulghum is one of my very favourite authors. (Not a Canadian, unfortunately, but no one is perfect…) One of his essays last  month discusses Fulghum’s Tool Rule:  “Unpredictable complexity that replaces reliable simplicity is not progress.” He gives the following examples of simplicity that would be hard to improve on:
A Wheelbarrow
A pencil made of wood and graphite, with an eraser on the end.
A paper clip.
A clothes pin.
A claw hammer.
A pocket knife with two blades.
A classic mouse trap.
A shovel.
An axe.
A broom.
Can you think of other examples?

Rare Birds
Last night we watched a Movie called Rare Birds. Filmed in Newfoundland and Labrador, it stars William Hurt, Molly Parker, and Andy Jones. Mary Walsh has a cameo appearance. If, after watching the movie, you want to see this part of the world  for yourself, head over to the Newfoundland and Labrador website (which tells you what kind of Rare Birds you might actually see!) to plan your trip. Don’t forget that Icebergs and Whales can sometimes be seen off the coast of this dramatic land.

TED Talks
TED is a  nonprofit program dedicated to spreading Ideas. Themes include Technology, Entertainment, Design, Business, Science, Culture, Arts and Global Issues. To date, almost 900 talks have been filmed, and are available for viewing at the TED website. Try Sir Ken Robinson speaking on how Schools Kill Creativity then move onto his Bring on the Learning Revolution.

My just about favourite TV show was Top Gear. We got it here on BBC Canada. Yes, it was about cars, but it is a British Show, so it was nothing like anything made in the USA. We used to watch it when we lived in the UK, and were happy to find that we get it here in Canada too. One of the three presenters, Jeremy Clarkson, apparently lives in the Cotswolds, in or near Chipping Norton. We have toured through that area on several occasions and it remains right near the top of  my list of best places in the world to visit. I love all the old place names – Chipping Norton, Chipping Campden, Morton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water.

Top Gear Guest
Last night it was a Comedian by the name of Michael McIntyre. He did a short monologue about overtaking a Porsche on the motorway while driving his old British Leyland Princess. Of course, it might not seem quite so funny  if your ear isn’t tuned to the British accent, and you don’t know what the Loser Lane is…

Harley Owners Group
With the addition of a Harley to the Car Guys fleet, came the absolute need to join the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). The HOG Magazine arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, and one article was of particular interest – Sky to Sea. It tells the story of a couple, Bob and Candace, who had planned to ride across Canada. These plans ended when Candace died from cancer. Bob eventually decided to undertake the journey alone, and his blog, Sky to Sea, chronicles the trip. Very interesting blog, even if you don’t ride a motorcycle.

How to Boil Water on an Induction Cooktop

It was the start of Day 3 of the installation of the new kitchen counters. It was going well, but it was not over yet. It was a bit inconvenient not being able to use the kitchen sink or the cook top. And I was always looking for the telephone, because it wasn’t where it should be on the kitchen desk. All the pots and pans were on the table in the family room. All the cookbooks were on the dining room table. Toaster, coffee maker, the knife block – all were residing in places they shouldn’t be. We ate take-away a lot.

Last night, however, The Car Guy connected up the wires for the new Induction Cook top and we were ready to try out this amazing technology. We decided to start out boldly – we would Boil Water! Before you scoff, Boiling Water is actually a very complicated process. The simple act of heating water involves quite a few variables, including altitude, weather, water hardness and anything else that is in the pot such as salt. We chose to boil just plain water.

70-bosch

We chose three pots of different sizes, put some water in each, and set them on the cook top. I put the manual beside us on the counter top and opened it to Page 13 – Getting Started. I had, of course, read up to that Page at a previous sitting, because I am a Manual Reader. It might seem to you that there must be a lot of information to grasp before even turning an Induction Cook top on, but this manual doesn’t actually have Pages 3 to 6 for some reason. Pages 7, 8 and 9 are Important Safety Instructions and 10 through 12 talk about Things Never to do, Things Always to do, and Proper Cookware.

Before I had even got past the Familiarize Yourself with the Appliance on Page 13, The Car Guy was stabbing at the On/Off button. “I’m ready to boil water,” he said impatiently. “How do I make this thing go?”

I skipped forward to Page 15. Operation. Switching the Cook top On and Off. Adjusting the Elements. (I’d have to go back to Page 13 afterwards.) “Press the O symbol on the corresponding element,” I read to him, “Then press the number on the number bar for the required heat setting.”

boil water

He soon had all three elements turned on, and then stood there expectantly. It wasn’t very long before the water was merrily boiling in each pot. Satisfied that water would boil fairly quickly, he was eager to test out how hot the element is as soon as you turn the element off. He started with the saucepan. Element off, pot removed, gingerly put finger on the element. And sure enough, it wasn’t hot enough to burn anything. Next he removed the fry pan, and that element wasn’t too hot to touch either. The last pot was a simple small pot intended to quickly melt some butter or something like that. When he turned that element off, and removed the pot, the element indicator warned him that the element was too hot to touch.

Then, like a kid with a new toy, he returned all the pots to their home elements, and turned them all on again. Soon they were all boiling. Then he turned the elements off, and suddenly they weren’t boiling. On – off – on – off. Satisfied that he could boil water, he wandered off. I think he hoped that the new cook top would also wash up the pots and put them away.

What he really would like to do is duplicate the video demonstration where they have cut a fry pan in half, set it on the element, then crack an egg into the fry pan, such that half the egg is in the fry pan, and half is on the element. The egg in the fry pan cooks, and the egg on the element doesn’t. I think it would be a good party trick, but I’m not ready to sacrifice a fry pan for it.

A nuclear power reactor is just a fancy way of boiling water.
– Leslie Dewan –