U.S. gas prices – thank you environmentalists

Sooner or later I guess this topic was going to get mentioned here.

U.S. gas prices have doubled and more in the past couple of years.  It must be hurting millions of people directly (getting to and from work or school for example), and hurting many businesses too, which must deliver things and have things delivered to them and so they must raise prices on everything in turn to make up for it.  It seems the U.S. government has totally distorted how it reports inflation because gasoline and food prices alone are skyrocketing.  Maybe the drop in house prices is counteracting that some!

The politicians are arguing over causes and remedies, but while they do NOTHING, quietly, millions of people are driving a little less, maybe trading in the old clunker or big SUV for something much more efficient, sales of hybrids have skyrocketed, and the American people are being very sensible about all this.

We’ve all heard it’s ‘greedy oil companies’ that are the cause but that really isn’t the case – they process crude oil and refine it, etc., and pass along the costs they must pay.  Now global demand for oil and gasoline has been climbing and is projected to climb a great deal more as prosperity increases in China and India in particular, as they hold almost half the world’s population!  U.S. gasoline consumption has not increased significantly in decades.  Increasing overall demand puts upward pressure on prices if supply is not increased.

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Amazing Logitech MX revolution mouse

[amazonify]B000HCT12O:right:product[/amazonify]An old Logitech mouse I had broke recently so I began looking for a new mouse. Since I spend a LOT of time at this computer, I need something that’s comfortable, and very functional. I’ve come to rely on middle button click to open links in new tabs in the FireFox browser, rely on the forward/back buttons on the side, etc., so I can’t go back to something basic.

So recently I bought a [amazonify]B000FFEUII::text::::Microsoft wireless mouse 5000[/amazonify] mouse from Newegg. BIG mistake. First off, it’s junk – very cheap and light. I should have known because in fairness, it is cheap, as in inexpensive. Second, I have big hands and found the positioning of the forward/back buttons on the side way too far back so I had to make a very awkward move to get to them. Finally the middle scroll wheel ‘click’ was way too hard to engage and definitely gave me hand ‘ache’ after hours of use.

So I’ve been on the prowl for a new mouse. I’ve been eyeing the [amazonify]B000HCT12O::text::::Logitech MX Revolution mouse[/amazonify] for a while, which they claim is the “world’s most advanced mouse.” Lofty stuff, so I broke down and got one. Figured I could return it if I really don’t like it. Well so far I’m AMAZED.

First thing that’s different is the shape. Instead of a regular ‘big egg’ shape, this one has a concave area for the thumb which is VERY comfortable.

I like a mouse that requires VERY LITTLE EFFORT to click, scroll, move, etc. This mouse is very light in use, although not light in overall weight so as to feel like a piece of junk. It’s very nicely made as are all Logitech products I’ve found.

It not only has the usual left/right buttons, scroll wheel, and side forward/back buttons, it also has a programmable button behind the scroll wheel (which they default to a configurable ‘search’ function, and they also have another ‘thumb wheel control’ on the side that can be used for a variety of things, but by default it’s used to flip through the running programs, and is GREAT. The thumb wheel is not a continuously turning wheel but it can be rolled forward or backward to an extent, a bit like a one direction joystick. I set it to do forward/backward scroll and oh man, it’s great! But wait, there’s more…

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New Canon XSi (450D) – great camera!

[amazonify]B0012YA85A:right[/amazonify] Canon’s ‘digital rebel’ line is about to evolve once more with the new Canon XSi (or 450D as it is known in some parts of the world). Just as the XTi leapfrogged in some ways the semi-pro 20D/30D with automatic sensor cleaning and more megapixels, the XSi brings features from the 40D plus some … Read more

starlite pool enclosure lighting

We have a pool and I’ve put some landscaping lights around the outside of the screened enclosure, but some more ‘ambient’ light would be nice. Came across a very interesting product recently called Starlite 7 from Starlite Lighting Systems. It consists of UV resistant translucent colored plastic pieces that fit into the aluminum pool enclosure … Read more

Arthur C. Clarke, sooner or later it was bound to happen

[amazonify]0451457994:right:product:thehigginswebsit[/amazonify][amazonify]0553287893:right:product:thehigginswebsit[/amazonify]Arthur C. Clarke, writer, visionary, and scientist, born 16 December 1917, passed away on Tuesday 18 March, 2008, at the age of 90. To quote the opening line from one of my favorite books by Clarke – Rendezvous with Rama – “Sooner or later it was bound to happen.” Arthur C. Clarke wrote so eloquently, … Read more

Canon 40D reviews

[amazonify]B000V5P90K:right:product:thehigginswebsit[/amazonify]I’ve had my Canon 40D digital SLR camera now for a few months and really like it. Some photographers are very much into the computer editing of photo, but I’d rather get usable or near usable images right out of the camera. The 40D is a lot more adjustable than the 20D I had before … Read more