Saturday, May 30, 2015

"What Stands in a Storm"

I plucked this book from the library shelves as a filler to read or not, depending on how well I liked it.  "What Stands in a Storm" turned out to be one of the saddest yet hopeful books that I have read in a while.  I was wiping my eyes as I read it coming home on the train one evening.

The book is the true story of the "three days in the worst superstorm to hit the South's tornado alley" to quote the book jacket

Having gone through one really big earthquake and many smaller ones, I will sign up for an earthquake any day of the week rather than face a significant tornado.

Highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mad Max weekend

The Missus, Young Son, and I saw the new Mad Max movie over the weekend.  Putting the usual issues of logistics aside (how the heck do they feed, clothe, arm, treat for illness, etc all those hundreds or so crazed post apocalypse warriors?)  it was a pretty darn good flick.  Definitely to be seen on the big screen.

The theme of the movie has been seen and played out many, many times in the past but it was effectively done this time around.  I was a bit leery about seeing it as the movie has been touted as a feminist movie with 'strong women' who rescue Max and not the other way around.  I was prepared for two hours of man-bashing (well, plenty of men got bashed, mashed, shot, crushed, burned, and otherwise confounded but they deserved it) but instead was treated to scenes of competent women who could take care of themselves.  That's the kind of woman I like!

Hopefully not a spoiler (alert! alert!) but I liked the woman who went down fighting, shooting to the last.  As Jack Harper said " We all die.  It's how we die that matters."  Heavy stuff.  Jack Harper wasn't in this movie but the sentiment makes the jump to Mad Max.

Go see it.

Things that just don't make sense...

Saw this on the internet this evening.  An AP photo from Libya.  Music to kill your neighbor by?

It just keeps getting better!

So I got a call and and email from a chap last week who wanted to give me a 240v charger for my electric roller skate.  Seems that GM has a tie in of sorts with Bosch for a rebate on car chargers.  Since the rebate is $500 and their lesser grade charger is $500 I selected that one and the charger is mine!

The charger is in the mail and winging its way to me.  How much better can this get you may ask?  I'll tell you.  The RS has over 300 miles on the ol' odometer and it has cost me about $10 in juice for all those miles.  Now we ask, how much better can it get?  Stay tuned....

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grouch estates goes solar!

The Missus and I are turning to solar power for Grouch estates.  The process will take about three months before everything is installed and switched on, which puts us right smack in the hottest part of summer for our happy valley.  At last we will be able to run the air conditioning at a temperature lower than 84F!  

This program has us paying a low fixed power rate to a provider and reaping the Edison credits for selling back our power that the cells generate.  Not sure how the third party power provider makes money in this whole thing but we're promised a 30% reduction in our annual power bill plus the excess power generation credits that we can cash in at the end of each year.

Now, if we add one of those new Tesla house batteries, maybe we can just about cut all of our power purchases!

Stay tuned for further developments.

Goodbye old paint

I feel like the old cowboy who must say goodbye to his faithful steed.  Yesterday I sold my Dodge Stratus.  It had been a faithful companion for the last four years but with the new electric roller skate I no longer needed the Stratus.

I placed a 'for-sale' ad on Craig's list and sat back to wait for the calls to flood in.  After all, it was low miles, beautiful condition and priced at only $4,800.  I only got one call, from a local car dealer seeking to entice me to trade it on a new car.

Young Daughter who is a Craig's List Jedi warned me that it was overpriced for CL by $1,800.  'Everyone is cheap on Craig's List' were her words of wisdom.  I cut the price to $4,000.  No bites.

I reduced the price to $3,900 and the calls started coming in, including one from a young boy who was asking questions on behalf of his father who I could hear mumbling in the background.  When I turned down his offer of $2,000 he hung up without saying goodbye.

Two guys wanted the car but one of them got to it before the other.  The buyer was a retired Marine NCO who needed the car for his long daily commute.   We hit it off right away (even though he was a Marine and me being Army) and I cut the price some more for him.  I think he would've paid my asking price but I cut it anyway.  He and his wife were so happy that they got the car that they hugged each other!  Made me feel darned good.

So goodbye old paint, you were a steady steed for four years.  Take care of Gunny and be as good to him as you were to me.