"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saturday Project

New Boat Hoist

Archive photos of the old lift : Seeberger Lift - a photoset on Flickr

Construction of new one: Boat hoist - a photoset on Flickr

New going together with white oak for the "hoops" - the verticals and crossbars, these carry the load.

The old lift dis-assembled and new one to fit dimensions of "Chip's Ahoy"
Chip's Ahoy Restoration - a photoset on Flickr

One of my few indulgences
She turns 60 just a few weeks after I do ...

Not so Green after all?

Global Warming - Carbon Dioxide - Environment - Climate Change - Air Pollution - New York Times:

"The worst of the carbon-offset programs resemble the Catholic Church's sale of indulgences back before the Reformation,%u201D said Denis Hayes, the president of the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental grant-making group. %u201CInstead of reducing their carbon footprints, people take private jets and stretch limos, and then think they can buy an indulgence to forgive their sins.

This whole game is badly in need of a modern Martin Luther, D Mr. Hayes added."

Are the candidates listening?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Alternative to "Corn Flakes"

This one might make sense, CO from industrial processes converted to Ethanol... not relying on Govt programs to convert corn ...

Carbon Gas Is Explored as a Source of Ethanol - New York Times:

"SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 : A New Zealand company said Monday that it had secured financing from an investor in Silicon Valley to produce ethanol from an untapped source of carbon monoxide gas. The company, LanzaTech, based in Auckland, said it had developed a fermentation process in which bacteria consume carbon monoxide and produce ethanol. Ethanol can be used as an alternative fuel or an octane-boosting, pollution-reducing additive to gasoline."

As opposed to wrong headed policies which are a flat out bad idea.
Check this:
Foreign Affairs - How Biofuels Could Starve the Poor - C. Ford Runge and Benjamin Senauer

Even Greener and Greener

BP Global - Environment and society - Carbon footprint calculator

Used a different "carbon footprint calculator" (BP) and found that our "footprint" may be even smaller.

Combined with our prior calculation on our woodlot, it looks like we may sequester 245% of the carbon we generate.

Lots of assumptions in these tools, so I'll be real conservative and call it 2:1

Then we take a look at the rest of our woodlot:

Factors Controlling Long- and Short-Term Sequestration of Atmospheric CO2 in a Mid-latitude Forest -- Barford et al. 294 (5547): 1688 -- Science

"Net uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2)measured by eddy covariance in a 60- to 80-year-old forest averaged2.0 (plus or minus) 0.4 megagrams of carbon per hectare per year during 1993 to 2000, with interannual variations exceeding 50%. Biometry indicated storage of 1.6 (plus or minus) 0.4 megagrams of carbon per hectare per year over 8 years, 60% in live biomass and the balance in coarse woody debris and soils, confirming eddy-covariance results.
Weather and seasonal climate (e.g., variations in growing-season length or cloudiness) regulated seasonal and interannual fluctuations of carbon uptake. Legacies of prior disturbance and management, especially stand age and composition, controlled carbon uptake on the decadal time scale, implying that eastern forests could be managed for sequestration of carbon."

Taking the lower end of the estimates, it looks like we almost match our footprint with the non-pine portion of our lot.
"Back of envelope" (spreadsheet) numbers look like sequestration of over 22 tons.

BP Calculator came up with footprint of 25 tons.

"Carbon Footprint" (Carbon Footprint calculator) came in around 32.5 to 35 depending on some assumptions.

"Climate Crisis" )An Inconvenient Truth > Carbon Calculator) came in between 22.5 and 25 depending on assumptions.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Well, with Earth Day and all the concomitant news and feature stories tied to the “Greenhouse” and carbon issues I decided to do some rough checks on our household “budget”

Quick check online and found Carbon Footprint calculator

Pulled together some good estimates (I happen to track our uses) and the results run something like this

All real estate (utilities use) comes to about 35metric tons of CO2, layer on assumed other use (per the calculator) and we get about 40 metric tons.

Then checking the carbon sequestration of just our red pine acres (about 15) and we get a number of about 60 metric tons annual “capture” (from an EPA site I lost track of)

This gives us from 150 to 175% capture vs generation, without even calculating an additional 35 acres of hardwoods, various other plantings and the like.

I feel better already, and don't need to "buy" carbon credits like some politicians seem to do.

I'll now probably try to refine my numbers, hopefully feel even better (G).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Unclear Concept

Or maybe "Fuzzy Logic"
Agressive move into a dying business.

Yahoo Strikes Ad Deal With More Papers - New York Times:
"On Monday, Yahoo announced a broad deal with publishers representing 264 newspapers to sell national advertising across their Web sites. It may be the clearest sign to date of the company's efforts to extend its advertising platform beyond the panoply of Yahoo sites."

This followed by news of earnings drop of 11%

Monday, April 16, 2007

Some BIG Trees

Capping our first day up the coast we visited Armstrong Redwoods

Some damn big trees, even if not quite as big as some of the "Giant Sequoia" further inland.

I guess that, on average they stand 5plus times as tall as our pines, and, of course, much greater diameter ... but then our pines are just over 45 years old, not up to 1400 years!

A few more shots here (Redwoods - a photoset on Flickr)

California Cruizer

Posted recap or our brief trip to Russian River and Napa here : Earthy Delights: California Dream'n

Here's the rental car we cruised in. Strange "features" that we finally got use to. Things like having to jiggle the steering wheel to get the ignition to work, and annoying "alarm" linked to the top being down. If I only lowered the top to where the servo motors whined, not continued until they "chirped" there was an alarm at low speed telling us that the top was down ... like duh!

Overall an OK car, but more styling than substance. It's actually not that much smaller than my 93 Seville, and has excess headroom - maybe six inches worth. Little trunk space, small rear seat, long expanse of dash.
But it was a rental, the only rag-tops they had.

Even with temps in the high 50's we got our dose of sunshine.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Couple of day side trip to Sonoma and Napa
Blogging unlikely for a bit

nice drive up Rt 1 from SanFran - almost miss having a 'cyle for this leg ... somethign sorta lazy with lots of torque

instead, we had a wierd V-Dub convert ... odd car.
top down most of the day, soaking up Vitamin D, mid 50's almost warm for us

more likely later

Lives on the Record and on the Web - New York Times

Not much bloggin
On left coast with daughter/grandson
But friend Keith had this piece today ...
Read it
Lives on the Record and on the Web - New York Times

Monday, April 02, 2007

Reflecting on the late great PCForum

Looney Dunes: Loss

Some email "conversations" today and I have yet to post on all the wonderful people I met over the years (trying to promise to do so...)

I have been reflecting on Esther's decision to wrap it all up.

Seems that maybe there isn't all that much left to create/invent.
A new Google?
I don't think so.

Thinking about electricity, Edison and Telsa created major infrastructure, microwaves and toasters, power tools and PC's are applications.

The internet and IT are now ubiquitous, there will be many many applications, but will there be revolutions?

Some posts and comments on Education

John Robb's Weblog: Pull Education


John Robb's Weblog: Lifelong learning for Alumni

Back on VRM topic

Got home last night/late afternoon just as we got some good rain/wind
About half an hour later, just as we'd finished unpacking, power went out.

Couple hours later, set up generator, and run to "Art's" (Tim is smart and has big generator... everybody knows there's a hot meal and cold beer at Art's) for supper.

Around 8-8:30 I call our electric company to get an idea about when to expect power back on.

Well, the robo-voice passed me off to a "real live person" because we've consolidated all of our accounts.

Lame-o can't find our address, multiple "please spell your last name", "please repeat your phone number" queries.

I pointed out that the whole damn area was out, but he thought we were in Bay City, not Maple City ... come on...
Simple: I enter my phone number for the robo-voice, you DON'T need MY particular address, there are Consumer Power trucks out on the road!!!
Just tell me what your system has for anticipated power restoration...

And for what it's worth, there is info on the web (without power, how do I get to the the damn web?)