Monthly Archives: January 2012

Capt’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

As much as I’d like to claim these cookies as my brilliance, I can’t.  I found this on a blog called cookinginstilettos.com. They’re good. BUT (there’s always a but) they don’t taste like Captain! I mean, I couldn’t taste it at all. suuuuuper sad about that.  That’s not gunna stop me from eating the heck outta these cookies.
 
The original recipe only called for one “brushing”, I went with 2.
I also used light brown sugar ( because that’s all I had handy)
I used a 1/2 tablespoon measure to scoop the cookie dough… and ended up with over 6 dozen cookies… that way, I can eat more, and not feel guilty. 😉 (like you’ve never done that!?)
 
That’s all I have to say about them. Def going to look around for a more “Captainy” Cookie.
 
nomnomnom,
-Hey Waitress!!
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Fracking- economic and environmental impact!?

I have a friend who posted an awful picture of a deer covered in cancer on his Facebook page. The caption read “Cancerous deer shot in Dimock PA. Lived near a stream where fracturing water had been said to be leaking. Is fracking really ‘safe’ for us?” Then, a bunch of comments about how terrible coal, and oil companies are. Nevermind that they don’t know what caused this “cancer” because without all the facts it could be benign masses. Maybe the deer got skin cancer from too much sun?  Anywho… this post has been brewing for a while, and the deer picture got me riled up enough to browse some articles online.
Before I keep going, there’s some things you need to know about me. My husband used to work for Halliburton and a small “energy” company. He now works for a company that sells chemicals used by oil/ natural gas companies. He pays ALL the bills, I’m still unemployed. But, that’s a-whole-nother post. I have every intention of being unbiased… but it’s not always easy.
 
 
What is Fracking?
Hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling for natural gas and oil underneath the ground. Water mixed with other components is pumped into the ground to create cracks (also called fissures or fractures) to release the gas into wells that have been built for collection. (1)
Water, sand, and fracturing fluids (chemicals) are pumped into the producing shale (I’ll be using the Marcellus formation) to make fissure that allow the trapped natural gas to be removed. Steel pipes are cemented into place to protect groundwater, and to isolate the formation that is being drilled. (2)
 
 
Who (or what) regulates Fracking? I’ll be focusing on PA, and the Marcellus Shale.
The Federal government doesn’t require well-by-well “fracking chemical” disclosure, due to the “Halliburton Loophole”.  5 states have passed their own disclosure regulations (PA, AR, MI, TX, WY).
In PA a well operator submits a report to the PA DEP with-in 30 days of well completion that includes all chemicals added, and the percent by volume of all chemicals. Then, if any chemicals deemed hazardous by OSHA are used, those chemicals are reported the DEP, along with the compound’s chem­i­cal abstract ser­vice num­ber (unique identifier, like a fingerprint). Any OSHA deemed Hazardous Materials are to be listed on a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which is kept at the well site. Finally the report is viewed and filed by a regional inspector. The information is available through a “Right To Know” process, with the exception of “trade secrets” designated by the chemical operator. (3)
Other Regulators:
  • EPA-“The Agency’s focus and obligations under the law are to provide oversight, guidance and, where appropriate, rule making that achieves the best possible protections for the air, water and land where Americans live, work and play. The Agency is investing in improving our scientific understanding of hydraulic fracturing, providing regulatory clarity with respect to existing laws, and using existing authorities where appropriate to enhance health and environmental safeguards.”(4) The EPA regulates Class II Wells, which is the underground disposal of waste fluids, under the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. The EPA regulates disposal of flowback into surface waters the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, under the Clean Water Act.(5) Click here for Class II Wells definitions from the EPA.  I could spit back more of this stuff from the EPA- but I’d rather you read it all like I did! UIC regulations here.
  • Ground Water Protection Council- “The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) is a nonprofit (501(c)6) organization whose members consist of state ground water regulatory agencies which come together within the GWPC organization to mutually work toward the protection of the nation’s ground water supplies. The purpose of the GWPC is to promote and ensure the use of best management practices and fair but effective laws regarding comprehensive ground water protection.” (6)
 
What is the “Halliburton Loophole”?
 The “Halliburton Loophole” is political jargon for the following section of the Safe Water Drinking Act:
(See  it in the ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005.  Go to Page 102, Section 322. HYDRAULIC  FRACTURING.)
SEC. 322. HYDRAULIC FRACTURING. Paragraph (1) of section 1421(d) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42  U.S.C. 300h(d)) is amended to read as follows: ‘‘(1) UNDERGROUND INJECTION.—The term ‘underground injection’— ‘‘(A) means the subsurface emplacement of fluids by well injection; and ‘‘(B) EXCLUDES— ‘‘(i) the underground injection of natural gas for purposes of storage;  and ‘‘(ii) the underground injection of fluids or propping agents (other  than diesel fuels) pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations related  to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.’’ (7)
 
That Sounds like “Big Oil” can just dump anything in the hole… right?! Hmmm…
 
House Representatives  and Senators  have introduced legislation to protect drinking water from oil and gas development (H.R. 1084 and S. 587, the Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC Act))that  would close the Halliburton loophole. (8)
 
Industry associations claim that fracking fluids are 99.5% water and sand. (9,10)
 
 
Economics…
in January 2011 the cost of living was 90.3 (100 is nat. ave.)
the median household income (in 2009) was $39968, which is an increase of approx $5,000 since ’99.
the estimated median house/condo value (in 2009) was $126500, which is an increase of $41800 since 2000.
average yearly wages have been increasing since 2000.
unemployment has increased from 4.3% in 2000 to 8.1% in 2010.(11)
A study published in November 2008 showed that the oil and gas industry generates more than $7.1 billion a year for PA. This includes more than 26500 full and part-time jobs, with higher than average annual wages. “Big Oil” pays more than $200 million annually in royalties to landowners. More than 75% of oil and gas companies in PA are small businesses having fewer than 10 employees. (11)
 
 
Anti-fracking Claims… from Frackaction.com.
  • Enormous quantities of water & groundwater contamination
  • Above ground contamination
  • An industry that plays “fast and loose” with the rules, poor oversight
  • Toxic emissions, high carbon footprint
  • burdened local gov, decreased home values, limited jobs for locals
 
Hope it gives you something to think about.
-Hey Waitress!!
 
 
Sites to Browse & Works Cited
I found this website to be super helpful.
Marcellus Shale Formation on Wikipedia
(1)http://www.what-is-fracking.com/what-is-hydraulic-fracturing/
(2)http://www.energyfromshale.org/what-is-fracking
(3) http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2011/08/12/whats-in-the-frack-how-pennsylvanias-chemical-disclosure-rules-stack-up-against-other-states/
(4)http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracture/
http://seg.sharethis.com/getSegment.php?purl=http%3A%2F%2Funremarkableus.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost.php%3Fpost%3D341%26action%3Dedit&jsref=&rnd=1327784701835(10) http://www.energyfromshale.org/hydraulic-fracturing-fluid
(11)http://www.city-data.com/county/Lycoming_County-PA.html
(12)http://www.alleghenyconference.org/PEL/PDFs/EconomicImpactOilGasInPA1108.pdf
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Fav Fall/ Wintah Muzak!

These are my favorite fall and winter tunes. Most of them aren’t new songs. Deal with it. 😉 Along with these songs I have a standard list of 70’s & 80’s punk, 80’s pop, Metal, Grunge… and a random splattering of the occasional Country song. I used Pandora, up until my phone kept randomly dialling people while i was listening to music. Now I use SiriusXm.
  • I Feel Like Dancing- All Time Low
  • Weightless- All Time Low
  • Curse of Curves- Cute is What We Aim For
  • Catastrophe- Foreever The Sickest Kids
  • For the First Time- the Script … I know this isn’t a “running song” but I heard it, and stopped in the middle of a run to listen to it. I can’t lie, I teared up.
  • I Just Wanna Run- the Downtown Fiction
  • My Friends Over You- NewFound Glory
  • Swing Life Away- Rise Against … soooo pretty, and not what I expect from Rise Against.
  • Stuttering- Friday Night Boys
  • Rolling in the Deep- Adele … I just “discovered” her a few months ago. WOW.
  • No Rain- Blind Melon
  • Memory- Sugarcult
  • 1983- Neon Trees
  • Loser- Beck
  • First of the Year (equinox)- Skrillex
  • Short Skirt/ Long Jacket- Cake
  • Rock and Roll Lifestyle- Cake
  • Calling All Cars- Senses Fail
  • Punk Rock Princess- Something Corporate
  • 1901- Phoenix
  • Boston- Augustana
  • MakeDamnSure- Taking Back Sunday
  • If You Could Only See- Tonic
  • My Hero- FooFighters
  • How Far We’ve Come- Matchbox 20
  • Low- Cracker
  • Rock On- Generation X
  • Chasing the Night- the Ramones
  • If I Ever Leave This World Alive- Flogging Molly
  • Suburban Home- Descendants
  • Fall Back Down- Rancid
  • Wishlist- PearlJam
  • Straight to the Bottom- Weaving the Fate
  • Muzzle- Smashing Pumpkins
  • Kids- MGMT
  • You Get What You Give- Free Radicals
  • Stupid Girl- Garbage
  • Soldier- Otherwise
  • Fever- Bullet For My Valentine
  • Pepper- Buttholesurfers
  • Bully- Shinedown
  • Girls Not Grey- AFI
  • Kick Ass- Egypt Central
  • Still Frame- Trapt
  • Too Much Time- Styx
  • Use Somebody- Kings of Leon
  • Hooch- Everything
  • Breed- Nirvana
  • Like a G6 (Heros rmx)- FEM & Cataracts
  • Decadence Dance- Extreme
  • Roots Radicals- Ramone
  • Til I Collapse- Eminem
Ahhh… good times.
-Hey Waitress!!
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My Fav Reading

 
FIRST! A disclaimer. I read mostly fantasy adventure. You know, the kind with swords, dragons, magic, mysticism… not a big fan of the “urban fantasy” vampire & wolf stuff.  I also REALLY like Dystopian Fiction.
SECOND! Another disclaimer. I own a Kindle. It was the BEST christmas gift EVER. I love it. I also miss turning pages and the way books smell. That being said, as part of my criteria for “Favorite Reading” I must feel the need to buy a hard copy. Let’s have a little aside here and talk about the Kindle… Did I mention I love it? ‘Cause I do. A lot of the stories/ books I’ve read on it are cheap ($2.99- $3.99), or even free! The other thing I really love about the Kindle (it probably holds true for all E-Readers) is the exposure to self published or “unknown” writers.
THIRD! Another disclaimer. There will only b a few descriptions, and they’ll probably be “borrowed” from the cover descriptions. because I type slooooow, and I’d rather be reading then poking away at a keyboard!
FOURTH! If I gave you ALL of my favorite books this post would be waaaaaay too long. So my other criteria for putting this list together was I had to read (or re-read)  from 2011-present.
So, without further a-do… My Favorite Reading
  • Anthem– Ayn Rand
  • Night Angel Trilogy– Brent Weeks
  • Bloodsucking Fiends, You  Suck, Bite Me!- Christopher Moore. (He’s funny… and that’s 3 different books.
  • The Dresden Files– Jim Butcher. This series is the story of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only)Wizard P.I.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (series)- George R.R. Martin. The first book in this series is A Game of Thrones, which was recently turned into a HBO series.
  • The Shadow Dance Trilogy– David Dalglish. “Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Marshalling the thieves’ guilds under his control, he declares war against the Trifect, an allegiance of wealthy and powerful nobles. His son, Aaron, has been groomed since birth to be his heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. In doing so, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron control of his father.”
  • Desperate Times, Desperate Times 2: Gun Control– Nicholas Antinozzi. Story about surviving after a Socio-Economic collapse in the US.
  • A Dirty Job– Christopher Moore
  • A Dog’s Purpose– W. Bruce Cameron. “Tells the story of a dog who finds himself reincarnated and decides there must be a reason, a purpose he must fulfill, and until he does so, he’ll continue to be reborn.”
  • The Donzerly Light– Ryne Douglas Pearson. “…So begins Jay’s reluctant journey to a past he’s tried to forget. From his days ruling Wall Street as an impossibly intuitive stock picker, to just a few hours  before, when he pumped six bullets into a transient outside a dying Missouri town. A drifter he’d once thought was just an ordinary man.”
  • The Half-Orcs– David Dalglish. series.
  • The Tormay Trilogy– Christopher Bunn. A Hawk and His Boy is the first book. 
  • The Help– Kathryn Stockett. Yes, every once and a while I enjoy mushy, loveable, “real life” books.
  • The Mistborn Trilogy– Brandon Sanderson.
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy– Suzanne Collins. Hands down my favorite books of 2011.If you haven’t read it yet, you should.
  • Inheritance– Christopher Paolini. The first book in this series (the Inheritance Cycle) was Eragon.
  • The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption– Jim Gorant
  • The Kingkiller Chronical– Patrick Rothfuss. The first book in this series is The Name of the Wind. The series is the life story of a famous musician, mage, and adventurer named Kvothe. After gaining notoriety at a young age, he disappears from public life…
  • The Kinshield Saga– K.C. Mays. Series in progress…
  • One Good Dog– Susan Wilson. Yes. I like stories about how awesome dogs are. sue me.
  • The Penal Colony– Richard Herley.  Read the description here.
  • Ready Player One– Ernest Cline.
  • The Sisters Brothers– Patrick Dewitt
  • The Stormlight Archive– Brandon Sanderson. Starts with The Way of Kings.
and finally… I’m reading Terry Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth series. And LOVE it.
hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.
-Hey Waitress!
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