Green is the New Frugal

Or is frugal the new green? It doesn't really matter, but it seems the two terms have almost become interchangeable lately.

Being in the automotive industry, our company has taken some fairly drastic cost reduction measures, at least in terms of large businesses. The company president has told us to bundle up because the heat has been turned down, and personal space heaters have been outlawed. We are starting to utilize the power saving features on our computers and monitors. The lights get shut off when we aren't using them, and much of the time we open the blinds and leave the lights off. Most people in the office don't mind because they understand that it helps the company save money and preserve jobs. But, it has become somewhat of a joke that we are just "going green".

Our company has supported Kaizan and efficiency initiatives for a long time, and much of these efforts have saved our company money while simultaneously reducing our impact on the environment. Years ago we implemented methods for recycling waste heat to warm the building, and replaced the sodium lamps on the shop floor with fluorescent lamps and skylights. But, this recession has made our company even more conscious of expenses and in the process more environmentally conscious.

Not only has our business become more environmentally aware, but many individuals have too. More people are brewing tea and bringing it into the office in reusable containers rather than buying drinks in albeit recyclable cans and bottles. In general it would seem that the use of reusable containers has risen around me. People have also been turning their thermostats down and reducing their fuel consumption. These people don't have to worry about being chided for being cheap because they are being green. It's a great alibi.

So, if anything positive comes out of this recession maybe it will a more solidified green movement in our country.

Calories in Christmas Ale

If my calculations are correct, then The Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale has approximately 242 calories per 12 fluid ounces.

After looking through what search results have brought people to my site, I noticed that quite a few people have landed here in search of the number of calories in the Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale. This is because for my Imitation Christmas Ale Recipe I show the number of calories in it. So, because I am curious, and to help these people out, I will perform an experiment. I will measure the final gravity of Christmas Ale (which of course requires that I drink one) and use the rest of the information I know about the beer to calculate the calories.

Alcohol(by weight) = 76.08(OG-FG) / (1.775-OG)
6 = 76.08(x-1.014) / (1.775-x)
6 X 1.775 - 6x = 76.08x - 76.08 X 1.014
10.65 + (76.08 X 1.014) = 76.08x + 6x
87.8 = 82.08x
x = 1.070

Now, we can calculate the calories:

C = 851(1.070-1)(1.070+3)
C = 242.45

If anyone sees an error in my calculations then please let me know.

Job Comparator - Version 3

Today my wife pointed out that she was not able to use the Job Comparator, my new tool for comparing earnings, without logging in. And, I said that was because you have to be logged in to save data. And, she replied, “why can’t you just disable saving when I’m not logged in”. What a brilliant idea. So, I have updated the application to allow people to use make job comparisons anonymously, then if they would like to save their data they must log in.

But, what happened to version 2? Well, there was just a little user interface imperfection in my first upload, and that was fixed in version 2. So, now, it is at version 3.

Job Comparator

A while back I received a call out of the blue from a recruiter, he had a position that he felt would be perfect for my skill set and wanted to know if I was interested. I am always interested in hearing about new opportunities, so I told him to tell me about the position. We talked about the details for a while before getting down to the most important piece of data, the salary. The position paid more than my current job, but it was also in Cleveland, which means a much longer drive in the winter. I needed a way to see if the increase in pay was going to offset the additional time and expense of driving to downtown Cleveland.

Many years ago I wrote a program using Delphi (Pascal) that would do this sort of thing, but that was long gone. So, I started to create an Excel spreadsheet, which worked well. But, I thought that this would be better as a web based application. I had been toying around with the Google App Engine since it came out, but never really finished anything worth publishing, and I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to finally dive into cloud computing.

OnBase Printing One Page

We had a problem where our OnBase COLD processing PC was importing text documents as one page. In the document viewer, OnBase would show the logical page break (a blue line), but when it printed only one page would come out. If I right-click on the document and select properties, towards the bottom is the document statistics which showed only one page.

I called support and they directed me to edit the onbase.ini (Start>Run>onbase.ini) and had me change “SetPageToZero=0” to “SetPageToZero=1”. Then I need to restart the COLD processor, this forces the import to evaluate how many pages are actually there.

Imitation Christmas Ale Recipe

(If my calculations are correct, the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale has 242 calories per 12 fluid ounces. I have noticed that quite a few people are coming to this page in search of that information, so I performed some calculations to estimate the number of calories in Christmas Ale.)

Every beer loving person in Northeastern Ohio loves the Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale, myself included. But, as I said before, the price for a six-pack this year is up to a whopping $11. Don’t get me wrong, the craftsmanship and taste make it worth the price, but the recession is forcing me to be a little more frugal this year. So, being an amateur brewer, I decided that I should attempt to emulate this great beer. You can be sure that I will still have Christmas Ale in the refrigerator this holiday season, but there will be less there and it will be sharing shelf space with my homebrew.

Time for Some More Homebrew

I was bottling up some 2007 mead (honey wine) recently, when I realized that it has been quite a while since I have made a full batch of homebrew. I checked, and the last full sized batch I made was the Holiday Genniuss (an Irish stout) from 2005.

Normally, at this time of year I would be getting my fill of the Great Lake Brewing Company’s Christmas Ale. But, this year a six pack costs about $11, and with the recession in full swing I feel less inclined to splurge as much. I’m sure I will still purchase my fair share of Christmas Ale, but it will definitely be less than usual.

An urgent message to GM suppliers

Because our futures are linked, I want you to know that General Motors is doing everything possible to deal with the impact the financial crisis is having on the domestic auto industry. Yet despite our successful efforts to restructure, reduce costs and enhance liquidity, we are facing an uphill battle with the current administration and Congress in securing a bridge loan.

That’s why we need your help now. Simply put, we need you to join us to let Congress know that a bridge loan to help U.S. automakers also helps strengthen the U.S. economy and preserve millions of American jobs.