Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Green Thing

The Green Thing

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24- hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please share this with another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.

The Green Thing

US Soil

I can’t think of a better word than "PRICELESS" FOR THIS. . .

picture of this Army soldier in Iraq with his tiny 'plot' of grass in front of his tent. It's heartwarming! Here is a US soldier in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box.

He asked his wife to send him dirt (U.S. soil), fertilizer, and some grass seed so that he can have the sweet aroma, and feel the grass grow beneath his feet. When the men of the squadron have a mission that they are going on, they take turns walking through the grass and the American soil -- to bring them good luck.
Of all the things he could have asked his wife to send to him from home...........he asked for American soil. WOW.

If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors.. Sometimes we are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that we take for granted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pricing Artwork

People often wonder how much they should pay an artist for custom graphics, including "simple" designs like logos. Let me share my thoughts.

There is a story about a factory manager who kept hearing a noise. After months of not being able to locate it, he called in an expert, The expert arrived, walked around for fifteen minutes, took out a hammer, and tapped a pipe. The noise stopped immediately. The manager was greatly relieved until the expert presented him with a bill for five hundred dollars! "Five hundred dollars to tap a pipe with a hammer!?", exclaimed the manager. "No." said the expert, "A dollar to hit the pipe and four hundred and ninety nine dollars to know where to hit."

We pay for a specialist's expertise. Hopefully you choose someone who is creative and knowledgeable, but remember, artists are specialists too. There is free clip art in abundance on the Internet and in books. We pay artists to create something that is uniquely our own. Simplicity is often valued more than complexity in a design, logo, or illustration. Pricing is often associated with usage as well as the artist's reputation.

Al Hirschfield, was famous for his extremely simple (looking) caricatures that graced the pages of New Yorker Magazine. Most school children can duplicate Charles Schulz Snoopy as well as the whole Peanuts Gang. The McDonald's Golden Arches, Nike Swoosh, and the MacIntosh Apple are recognized all over the world. Many of Pablo Picasso's paintings look like they were done by a drunken fourth grader until they are examined closely.

If you are looking for an artist for a project, look first at their established work and style and see if it looks like it will represent what you want. Go from there. My grandparents paid seven hundred dollars for a logo for their riding school. It was "merely" a silhouette of a horse and English rider jumping a fence. That was over thirty years ago! You can pay tens of thousands of dollars for a "simple" logo these days.

The most import thing is that it represents you and your concept and will it serve its purpose well.

The Graphic Artists Guild (www.gag.org) publishes an annual guide with pricing recommendations, but they are guidelines only.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Proposed Budget Cuts

The truly amazing thing here is that US tax dollars were never intended to fund any of these programs!


Proposed Budget Cuts

These are all the programs that the new Republican House have proposed cutting. Read to the end.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy. $445 million annual savings.
Save America 's Treasures Program. $25 million annual savings.
International Fund for Ireland . $17 million annual savings.
Legal Services Corporation. $420 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Arts. $167.5 million annual savings.
National Endowment for the Humanities. $167.5 million annual savings.
Hope VI Program. $250 million annual savings.
Amtrak Subsidies. $1.565 billion annual savings.
Eliminate duplicative education programs. H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.
Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.
Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding. $47 million annual savings.
John C. Stennis Center Subsidy. $430,000 annual savings.
Community Development Fund. $4.5 billion annual savings.
Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid. $24 million annual savings.
Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings
Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20%. $600 million annual savings.
Essential Air Service. $150 million annual savings.
Technology Innovation Program. $70 million annual savings.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program. $125 million annual savings.
Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization. $530 million annual savings.
Beach Replenishment. $95 million annual savings.
New Starts Transit. $2 billion annual savings.
Exchange Programs for Alaska , Natives Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts . $9 million annual savings
Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants. $2.5 billion annual savings.
Title X Family Planning. $318 million annual savings.
Appalachian Regional Commission. $76 million annual savings.
Economic Development Administration. $293 million annual savings.
Programs under the National and Community Services Act. $1.15 billion annual savings.
Applied Research at Department of Energy. $1.27 billion annual savings.
FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. $200 million annual savings.
Energy Star Program. $52 million annual savings.
Economic Assistance to Egypt . $250 million annually.
U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.
General Assistance to District of Columbia . $210 million annual savings.
Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. $150 million annual savings.
Presidential Campaign Fund. $775 million savings over ten years.
No funding for federal office space acquisition. $864 million annual savings.
End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. More than $1 billion annually.
IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget. $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees. $1 billion total savings.WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of. $15 billion total savings.
Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
Eliminate Mohair Subsidies. $1 million annual savings.
Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings
Eliminate Market Access Program. $200 million annual savings.
USDA Sugar Program. $14 million annual savings.
Subsidy to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). $93 million annual savings.
Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. $56.2 million annual savings.
Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs. $900 million savings.
Ready to Learn TV Program. $27 million savings..
HUD Ph.D. Program.
Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years
My question is, what THE HELL is all this doing in the budget in the first place?

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles
Twisted Faces Web Site

Kowulz on Facebook

Dave Cowles's Facebook profile

Caricatures by Rock Kowulz