December 6th, 2019

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Biking and Mass Transit

There are efforts underway to combine biking and mass transit.  This makes both options more effective.  Bicycles help people get to bus or train stations, and from there to destinations too far to walk.  If people can park their bikes at a station, or carry them on a bus or train, that encourages more biking.  This also improves accessibility for people who can bike a short way, but not a long way.  Support the addition of bike racks at stations and storage space on buses or trains in your area.
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Today's Adventures

Today we went holiday shopping with my parents at the outlet mall.  Sadly, there's not much left of it, and the last kitchen store is closing.  :(  I think the only non-clothing store remaining will be Harry & David's. 

We did score a number of excellent items for the kitchen, including a Vitamix blender.  I wasn't sure just how much could really be done with a fancier blender, but the included cookbook is ~350 pages, so it will be exciting to find out.  :D  I also spotted a set of better lifting forks.  Our old ones have only 2 tines each, these have 4, and I imagine will work much better at hoisting fall-apart-tender food out of a crock. 

I found several pairs of socks and a few other odds and ends.  We got pears and ruby chocolate from Harry & David's.  I wish I'd thought to grab 2 bars so I'd have a spare to try baking with.

We plan to go out another day and do more shopping elsewhere.
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Birdfeeding

Here are some tips on feeding the birds:

Meet your feathered neighbors and learn what they like.

Provide water if possible.  The cheapest solar-powered option is simply a bowl of black stone or ceramic that will draw heat from the sun to keep water liquid longer.  

Attract chimney swifts.  If you find a plain concrete tower unsightly, round ones can be painted or covered with false bark to resemble trees, while square ones can be decorated with artwork.