John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

What a great idea

Vermont’s largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity now comes from renewable sources such as wind, water and biomass.
With little fanfare, the Burlington Electric Department crossed the threshold this month with the purchase of the 7.4-megawatt Winooski 1 hydroelectric project on the Winooski River at the city’s edge.
When it did, Burlington joined the Washington Electric Co-operative, which has about 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont, which reached 100 percent earlier this year.
“It shows that we’re able to do it, and we’re able to do it cost effectively in a way that makes Vermonters really positioned well for the future,” said Christopher Recchia, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service.
It’s part of a broader movement that includes a statewide goal of getting 90 percent of Vermont’s energy from renewable resources by 2050, including electricity, heating and transportation. Across the state, Vermonters are urging their electric utilities to provide them with renewable sources of power, and the utilities are listening, Recchia said.
It’s also a growing movement across the country, as governments and businesses seek to liberate themselves from using power produced by environmentally harmful fossil fuels.
Diane Moss, the founding director of the Southern California-based Renewables 100 Policy Institute, said that she wasn’t sure if any other communities as large as Burlington — a city of 42,000 — have reached 100 percent, but that many are working on it.
“It’s these front-runners that are showing that it’s possible,” Moss said.
Nearly 1,000 businesses both large and small and many communities have also committed to 100 percent, she said.
Greensburg, Kansas, almost wiped out by a 2007 tornado, rebuilt with energy efficiency in mind. A 12.5-megawatt wind farm went online in 2009, producing electricity in excess of that consumed by the community of 850, said Administrator Ed Truelove.
“We’re trying to be as sustainable a community as we can be,” Truelove said.
For both Burlington and Washington Electric, reaching 100 percent was the result of a yearslong strategy to wean themselves from traditional sources of power in favor of renewables.
Utility officials in the lakefront city known for its liberal politics and extensive social service network first began discussing becoming 100 percent renewable a decade ago. Four years later they realized it could be done.
“The transition in thought from 2004 to 2008 was ’We want to do this’ to ’This actually makes economic sense for us to do this,’” said Ken Nolan, the manager of power resources for Burlington Electric.
Neither utility claims that each of their customers’ lights comes from renewable sources all the time. When the wind isn’t blowing and the rivers are low, they will buy power from traditional sources that include electricity generated from fossil fuels.
When the resources are right, though, they get more than they can use, and the difference is sold to other utilities. Over time, they sell more than they buy.
Another caveat that, to some, minimizes the 100 percent achievement is that both Burlington and Washington Electric sell renewable energy credits for the renewable power they produce to utilities in southern New England where their value is highest.
In turn, they buy less expensive credits from other sources to offset the credits they have sold.Sandy Levine, of the Vermont office of the Conservation Law Foundation, commended Vermont utilities for seeking renewable sources of power but questioned the credit trading.
“They are selling the renewable energy credits to customers in other states. Those customers have the renewable and clean energy benefits of that power,” Levine said. “Simply using accounting measures to make claims about clean energy doesn’t get us there.”
Patty Richards, Washington Electric general manager, said the utility does sell high-value credits and then buys less expensive credits, which help keep rates low and ensures their power is 100 percent renewable.
“It’s like if you get a big old car you’re never going to use, you let somebody rent your car, then you rent back a little smart car or a scooter or something because you don’t have the need,” Richards said.
Taylor Ricketts, the director of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, an interdisciplinary research center that works on sustainability issues at the University of Vermont, a Burlington Electric customer, said reaching 100 percent was a big achievement.
“It definitely makes me feel better here at UVM to know that every time I turn on a light switch or fire up my computer or anything else, to know that it’s 100 percent renewable,” he said.

#vermont#renewable energy

I adore autumn

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Roger's girlfriend

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Roger's girlfriend: Peggy Carey, right, was Roger Touhy's girlfriend in 1932 and 1933. Carey, shown here as she arrives at a Chicago airport just after w...

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Tommy Touhy in court circa 1934

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Tommy Touhy in court circa 1934

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Roger at a press conference in 1959

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Roger at a press conference in 1959

Roger Touhy, Gangster: From the film, "Roger Touhy, Gangster"

Roger Touhy, Gangster: From the film, "Roger Touhy, Gangster"

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Roger, with Gus Schaffer behind him, in St. Paul ...

Roger Touhy, Gangster: Roger, with Gus Schaffer behind him, in St. Paul ...

Roger Touhy, Gangster: newspapers

Roger Touhy, Gangster: newspapers

Frederick Childe Hassam - At the Writing Desk

Following Fitzgerald: And in the end, we were all just humans

Following Fitzgerald: And in the end, we were all just humans: “And in the end, we were all just humans… drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Take away its power

I’ve been working on trying to find a positive aspect in everything no matter what it is. So I looked over the tragedies of my life; like being born poor, raised as an orphan, my failures along the road of life, and I asked myself “Where’s the positive?” 

I looked and I looked and I looked some more but I couldn’t find it.

I thought about it for months. I went over each horrible event and I think the answer might be that those episodes made me a better man. They gave me a sense of humility and with time a higher sense of social intelligence that helps me to better understand what others are going through.  I see them as part of the positive and in that I took away their power  

What I've lost.

The other day I mention to someone, in the course of a conversation, that I pray every day and they said “I didn’t know you were religious”

I’m not religious.

I’m not religious because religion is belief in someone else’s version of spirituality. I try, and please note that I used the try, to be a spiritual person, meaning I’m developing my own experience with God. 

So I pray. And so question is then, what have I gained from taking a few moments to pray, which means stopping to examine my daily life and speak to God?

Actually, I haven’t gained anything from it.  I mean nothing, tangible. But I’ll tell you what I’ve lost from prayer. I’ve lost my perpetual anger that has ruined so much of my life, I’ve lost my hostility over being born poor, I’ve lost the sense of being alone in the world….I’ve lost a lot and I’m a better man for it. 

Don’t get discouraged with the world

Don’t get discouraged with the world because your decency and kindness gets trampled on and remember that more often then not you won’t see the results of your good work in the world. 

But don’t stop because your decent makes a difference.

When I look back on my life in foster care and I look past all the dehumanizing meanness and the coldness of it all…and I have to look past it to see  all of those wonderful people who made a difference in my life, and they were many and they weren’t extraordinary in anyway. They weren’t brilliant, rich or beautiful; they were common and ordinary but they saved me. In a hundred small ways, they saved me and gave me faith in the human race that I needed not to fail. They cared enough to spare a poor kid a few moments of their time and looked past all the things I was and saw all the things I could be. That’s all it takes to change a persons world, a moments kindness. It goes deeper and lasts longer than you know.

Keep your chin up and stay decent. 

For almost all of my life I never discussed being born poor

For almost all of my life I never discussed being born poor or raised in foster care. I didn’t discuss it with anyone, ever, under any circumstances.  I thought that if I did discuss it I would have to come up with reasons for it all, why I was born poor, why my parents were they way they were. I thought that I’d need excuses and apologies and I just didn’t want to deal with it, especially when I was younger. I thought there was a sort of nobility in keeping it in but there isn’t.  I realize now, all these years later that true courage is in facing who and what you are and to own it. You don’t have to explain it. You don’t have to apologize for it. You don’t have to wear the mask of normalcy. Be who and what you are. That in itself  is an enormous act of courage. Just because we accept things doesn’t we we resign our ambitions to improve ourselves or to better our lot in life. It just means you understand that it is what it is. I look at it this way. I know who and what I am and I’m happy with that. The mistake I had made all years was thinking that happiness was outside of me, that happiness was being middle class normal. I thought that if I could have that, I could have happiness. But that isn’t how it works. This is how it works; happiness is something that you are and it comes from the way you think about things.

The bad guys

You know why the world so often seems like a miserable place? Not because the evil doers. There aren’t enough of them to make a lasting difference. The world seems so awful sometimes because of those hundreds of millions of people who look at evil, watch it happen and do nothing.  


You can get motivated but to stay motivated you need to make motivation a habit. And that’s not easy. It’s something you train for, its something work at. 

Talk it out

It took me years of heartbreak and loss to figure this simple formula out……express your feeling of anger WITH WORDS and tell people why you’re upset. Tell them you don’t want to be upset.

 I had an awful temper problem and I would just blow up and the cost to me was incredible.
So I learned to explain my anger and not to act on it, I try to explain it in a reasonable, non-threatening manner.

Do that and watch how positive the path to an open, calm solution will arrive. 

Slow down.

Before you speak, listen to what is being said.  Before you react something, think it through first.

Then think it through again.

If you still feel you need to react, okay, go to it.

 If you’re going to criticize, wait it out, hold your tongue and see the above to steps.

Pick your battles carefully. Sure, you can win certain struggles but as a natural born fighter I can tell you this; sometimes having peace in your life is a lot better, a lot better, than being right. 

also,when you have a cold, take a hot shower

Does someone matter in your life?

Does someone matter in your life? Tell them. 

Just say to them “ I want to be sure you know that you matter to me. You make a difference in my life” 

That’s all you got to say.

You have to say this to them at least  because, as I must keep reminding myself, surprisingly, people can’t read our minds or are hearts and life is short. People can go away and out of your life forever very suddenly.



There’s no such thing as destiny because destiny says that no matter what you do, it will happen anyway. That’s insane. 

God gave you free will, use it, make things happen in the future. 

You have that kind of power. 

Destiny is a lie that lazy people use as an excuse for not trying to control their lives.

Don't worry be happy

My experience is that we spend most of our worry time worrying about things that will never happen.

Bad day.

Bad day? 

Don’t worry about it.

I’m old and I can attest to this as as a fact;  in a couple of hours you won’t even remember it  because in the long run, we don’t remember days, we remember moments in the days. 

Know when to run

Know this; if some one dislikes you its because they see you as threat to some part of their life or they dislikes themselves and you represent everything they have failed to be.

In other words, they want to be you.

Just avoid these types of people.

Their easy to spot. They always seem angry and they never stop looking for the insult in every word and the conflict in every situation.

The battles these people are fighting is within themselves. Run from them. Don’t walk, run

Roosevelt was right

Teddy Roosevelt was right, believe you can and your half way there...it's all about faith.

.....I'd love to try this...well, in theory I would love to try this.

Physical attraction

Physical attractions are great, they really are , but they don’t last. Connect mentally, its rare and its sexy and it can last for ever.

Work it out

Find a way to make it work. That’s what makes a great relation; two people caring about each other enough to figure out a way to make it work. 

Talk it out. Communicate and communicate to make it work, listen to the other person and listen to understand. Don’t listen to reply. Without communication the relationship fails. 

Trust each other and trust that whatever the issue is that it will eventually work out because without trust between you there is simply no reason to continue. 

Understand that people are often unreasonable and self centered. They will occasionally forget or overlook all of the good and kind things you’ve done. That’s human nature. Forgive them. That’s how it works in the long run, forgive them. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse poor behavior, the behavior we all exhibit from time to time, but forgiveness does prevent that behavior from destroying everything there is between you.  

The bottom line is this, relationships are hard work, they are easy to start and hard to keep alive.  You both have to work at it everyday.

Know this

Know this;

You can change. You are capable of change.

You have a worth, a value. Don’t ever think you don’t.

It’s normal and sometimes its even healthy to struggle.

It’s all right to be hurt. It happen to the best of us. Give it time, time heals all things.

Just because some clown doesn’t see your value that doesn’t decrease your value.

People will treat you as you allow them to treat you.

Everything will be all right, but that doesn’t mean everything will remain the same.

The good lord loves you more in a single more than any one else will live you in an entire life time.

You have to have faith.

Let your faith in God be bigger than all of your fears combined and you will overcome.

Live in the moment

Where ever you are, be all there. Live in the moment  

The happy people of the world are constantly evaluating and then improving themselves. 

The unhappiest people are usually judging and evaluating others.   

We are shaped by our thought and not the other way around.

We become what we allow ourselves to think.


Before you pray, forgive. It takes a second. Just say “Dear God, please forgive me my trespassers as I forgive those who trespassed against me”.

If you don’t like that wording, come up with something else but remember the process; forgive and then pray.  

Feed your faith

Feed your faith in yourself  and your doubts will starve to death. 

Feed your faith I God  and your love for others and your self-respect will grow. 

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of thoughts

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of thoughts that you allow to go through your mind so to be a new and better person you have to learn to think in a news and positive way.

Best free advice you'll ever get

                  Make your opportunities


Listen to your instincts.............
because they’re probably right.

........also don't drink and climb on high wires 

Being happy doesn’t mean having the best of everything

Being happy doesn’t mean having the best of everything, although having the best of everything is wonderful. When I was a boy we lived, barely survived really,  in about the worst place in town, a cobblestone, dead end street, darkened by the shadow of a massive old foundry that never closed and whose noise drowned out everything else, all day and all night with the smashing sound of enormous machines.  The river was nearby and it was badly polluted and smelled to high heavens. It left the stench of rotten eggs on our clothes and on us.  We had no toys, we lived on welfare and we wore our shoes until they literary fell off our feet.
But yet I recall those years as the best and happiest of my life because I shared it with my brothers and sisters. I was never alone.  We dreamed up more adventures in one day in that God forsaken neighborhood then Hollywood could make up in a decade. We made the best out of what we had. And that’s the key to being happy; make the best of what you have.

You know I think about those years a lot. Every now and then I go back there. The cobble stone are paved over and the factory is closed and the river runs a little cleaner these days but otherwise it’s all the same.  Vast herds of poor kids run the streets in second hand clothes. The poverty is still there, so I asked God, I said “Hey, God, why don’t you do something about this?” and God said “I did, I brought it to your attention” 

A body can be sexy

A body can be sexy and a face can be pretty or handsome but the mind, ah! the mind is beautiful. 

You reach in a point in life

You reach in a point in life when it dawns on you that the journey to understanding isn’t about becoming something, it’s really about un-becoming all the things about you and within you that don’t work, that hold you back, that lessen your light.

It dawns on you that losing those things draws you closer to becoming the person you are meant to be and then you realize that you can spend your days looking for a light in the world or you can just become a light in the world and save yourself a lot of time

How do you know you met the right one?

How do you know you met the right one? How do you know you’ve finally met the person that will fit directly into your life?

Well, for one thing you will have a sort of instant understanding of why all those others that came into your life are no longer there. 

You instantly know why all of those other relationships didn’t work out.

You’ll know why it was so important to be just be who you are, why it’s good that you didn’t change yourself to fit another persons likes.

You just suddenly get understanding of a lot of things.  

To us it’s a miracle. 

For God it’s just another day at the office.

....here look at this and smile because happy is good for you

Try to see people the people in your life the way God sees them.

Try to see people the people in your life the way God sees them. It will change everything about you because we change the world by changing the thoughts we think about the world.
Here’s another way to think about this; Do you want to see God? It’s easy. Look for God in others and eventually you will see God in your self. Kinda cool how that works out isn’t it?

You and I are children of God. Think about that. A child of God. How fantastic is that?

Look at this, organized Crime at work