Balls out – The elves are busy putting up Christmas ornaments downtown in preparation for the annual Silver Bells in the City festivities. Even the Christmas/Chanukah/holiday tree has been deposited in front of the Capitol, ready for decorating. Seems a little early when the temperature is still in the 60s. At this rate, will the tree have any needles left by December?
Sparrow’s Smart Heart Kit – You can register online to receive Sparrow Hospital’s free Smart Heart Kit and information on other health issues. Sparrow is also sending a desk clock to people who sign up, as long as supplies last.
Lots of corn left to harvest – The farmer down the road from me has not yet started to harvest his corn. Though Farm Bureau is reporting that Michigan farmers are enjoying a bumper crop, the ears on his corn seemed smaller than usual. And the rainy weather here in the Lansing area this fall means most corn is wetter than farmers want it to be, since paying to have the corn dried eats into their profits. Some fields also seem too soggy to handle the heavy harvesting equipment. A few more dry and sunny 60-degree days would help.
Solar storms – something else to worry about – The BBC reports that a solar storm could knock out electrical power here on earth for days, months, maybe years. In 1859, a solar storm called the Carrington effect knocked out all the telegraphs, the only communications media at the time. A similar storm today would devastate the electrical grid in this country to the point it might take a decade to rebuild. The only way to avoid catastrophe would be to turn off all the power during the time the storm moves through, but we currently do not have an early warning system capable of allowing us to do that. Not the cheeriest news. But at least if it does happen, you will be one of the few who can run door to door explaining to your neighbors why we’re in deep trouble.
Landscaping with grasses – Michigan State University’s Hancock Turfgrass Center on Mt. Hope and Farm Lane has helped popularize the trend toward using different grasses in landscaping, a true green alternative. The center has a display case outside the building where you can pick up an excellent handout on choosing and tending varieties that make the best sense for this area.
Google Health will keep your records for free – Those clever Google folks have a new beta health profile utility that I plan to use. You can set up information about yourself, import electronic records if they are available and even look for a doctor or medical services in your area. Google insists they will keep your records private, but read the terms of service closely. Something like this would have been a wonderful asset during the last years my mother was alive. She wasted many of her last precious hours repeating her medical information to doctors and nurses over and over again. It would have been great to send them to Google instead.