Monday, May 05, 2008

This isn't the real Mexico.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

If you're not too busy celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the worthless frogs or working your way towards the worm at the bottle of a bottle of mescal, I'd point you towards the following diversions--

* Today is also anniversary of the sole lethal attack by the Japanese during WW II on American civilians on the mainland of the United States. It happened right here in Oregon.

* Swinebread, my kids spent Saturday watching Iron Man and partaking in Dim Sum and Free Comic Book Day. Once in a while my kids will tell me how cool I am. It's really not me. I just have cool friends like Swinebread.

* I caught Gordon Smith's new tv ad this weekend and it really gave me a chuckle. Smith doesn't have a challenger to his seat until after our primary on the 20th. Rather than wait to see which of the two democrats will be running against him he instead ran an ad attacking them both. This doesn't exactly exude quiet confidence on his part. Good.

* I'm going to pick-up Mario Kart Wii next weekend. Now if I can just figure a way to keep the missus away from it and the television. I can't afford to replace another flat screen.

* I continue to be scared by the growth of ocean dead zones. Besides the other side effects of global warming this is one that hits home for me directly. We going camping and crabbing off the coast every summer and the areas where coastal sea life can survive are shrinking at an alarming rate.


Arkonbey said...

You're as cool as your friends, because like begets like!

Mario Kart is addictive. I was over a friend's house this weekend and wanted to get going on my 200 mi return trip, but we just HAD to play a few games. 3 hours later...

I've got that 'global warming depression', but I find that it only takes a little bit of good news to help. Here: public transportation usage is up nationwide. In Dallas it is up 41%.

That and this is cool, too.

Dean Wormer said...


Yeah, loved the previous versions of Mario so I'm sure I'll dig this.

Great news about public transportation! I heard a statistic on the radio that Toyota sales had gone up roughly 50% last quarter with most people driving off in Hybrids!

I've read through that wind stuff and I'm having a tough time figuring out cost. Have you crunched the numbers? Would it be possible to get completely off the grid with that? Do you need a big battery?

Don Snabulus said...

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo, amigos y amigas!

Don't blame the missus...stories of broken flat screens are rampant out there. Sony is actually toughening their screens as a result.

Regarding wind, I think you have too many trees Dean. You are better served with solar in your location. Even without the trees, our percentage of moderate wind is pretty low (even in winter) compared to the gorge and areas near large bodies of water. If you lived on a steeper gradient, you might be able to generate micro-hydro power.

Dean Wormer said...


Solar's a little cheaper as well, right?

Is it possible to get completely off the grid?

Fran said...

I think that mentally and emotionally you are off the grid.

And I say that with a lot of love.

Truly, I do!

Swinebread said...

I thought the Dead Zone were also caused by runoff from farms and overfishing too

Spirula said...

Well, at least the Japanese "dumb-ass" bomb worked. With our "dumb-ass" bomb we only managed to...bomb ourselves.

Don Snabulus said...

I'm with franiam regarding your location outside the grid Dean... :D

Seriously though, I think you have two major obstacles to overcome in going off the grid.

1. Winter in Oregon: the lack of sunlight will deplete your batteries unless...

2. Everyone drastically changes their lifestyle. People that go off the grid drastically curtail their electric usage. Minimize TV and computer time, buy refrigeration/freezing that is made for off-grid living, and absolutely NO electric heating (gas or wood only).

In Western Oregon, more people opt for a grid-tied system that allows them to lower costs while keeping power during peak times. You can still benefit from the lifestyle changes, but you can also play Wii and write blog posts without worrying about depleting the battery pack.

Don Snabulus said...

Check out Home Power Magazine for more information. We subscribed to their magazine for a year and it has a lot of good info. They also sell some basic education CDs I think.

Arkonbey said...

Snab: I'll check out that mag, definitely. Thanks for that.

Dean: I haven't crunched the numbers yet; helixwind hasn't written me back with a quote, yet.

We get wicked, monkeyfear-inducing wind in the late fall/winter/early spring and our house faces SSW so solar summer could work. Right now the cost would even out if the crash comes in less than 10 years.

Dean Wormer said...


Thanks. I wonder if the conical design of those mills makes them easier to turn/ work at a lower wind mph.

It sounds like I'm going to need to go solar.

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