WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

April 2011

Free At Last!

Taxes are all mailed! Only three hours sleep, though, so I am disconnecting the phones this afternoon and taking a nap. Stargate Universe airs at 9 p.m. here and I must do dishes and make dinner before that. First things first.
However, part of the reason it takes me so long to do the taxes is that I am distracted by the up-and-coming freedom. I find my thoughts straying to designs for wind-power electricity generators. I even toyed with the idea of experimenting with the new pipe bender that I have not yet used. Hmmm. Pipe sculptures, anyone? They have 10 foot long conduit that costs only $3 each. Hmmm....
How about a planar sculpture for letting water drain under a platform holding up the stators? Or for awnings? I wonder if they sell aluminum conduit? Ah, there I go again. These thoughts contain perhaps some of the stuff that dreams are made on....
Yesterday, though, I was toughing it out with an abusive fellow member of a Yahoo email group. I left the group in a huff. Unfortunately, I left before I gave them this web address. They were hit by much Singles spam to which I objected. My spam blocker can't handle all that stuff. When I sign up for an email group I expect the bulk of messages to be on topic.... It was the noelectricbill Oh well. C'est la vie.
As for topics, I expect to get more on topic here, too, all this summer. I begin building wind-powered electric generators soon. Right after getting the grass mowed. One of my neighbors is ill and needs help with her yard, too. She is such a dear friend that she also comes first, but never fear, the will to produce and create is definitely here.

C'est la vie

Searching high and low for year-end tax statements is not my idea of fun. I couldn't say how many days I went through piles of papers. One thing that gets my goat is not being able to find something.
I had made a plan to finally, today, get in touch with companies in order to get the missing year-end tax statements. I started in again at 6 a.m. this morning, still rummaging through papers, after not being able to connect up last evening over the Internet with one account's tax statement.
In the finest of print at the end of a CitiMortgage January statement I found -- at around 7 a.m. -- the data for mortgage interest and property taxes paid in 2010. I certainly entertained the idea of a conspiracy to mess us over by corporations wanting to get back at us for ill will against banks for trading speculatively and otherwise with our money while sticking it to us in the back....
I found a bright red marker, circled and labeled the information as 2010 TAX INFO, which the statement author(s) had neglected to do.
I had a few other odds and ends of activities that I could escape to in my almost-never-ending procrastination machinations, such as tightening up the newly strung rope in the backyard on which I have hung three birdfeeders. I also delivered a couple books to the Post Office for Amazon sales, and got a new squirrel baffle, while also picking up a few tomato stakes (for 2 new trees), plus five Roma tomato plants.
I accidentally locked myself out of my van at the P.O. so I called a cab to take me home in order to break into our house to get a key, then the cab took me back to my van. Cost: $25. It might have cost $75 to call the locksmith....
So anyway, once I finally bit the bullet and sat down to get the names of the companies I would have to contact, a miracle occurred. Our missing year-end tax statements were sitting inside our formerly empty 2010 tax folder.
I was reminded of a myth my Catholic elementary school had in one of its readers -- the one with the lady lace-maker, a spoiled rich young female customer, and an angel. I suppose I was revisited by an angel. I'd been sweating over these missing reports for weeks....
Time for a nap. Stargate Universe plays tonight at 10 p.m. :-)

Engineering Dreams

As I find more ways to procrastinate going through two boxes of papers to find data I need for doing our taxes I cleaned off some grouting and shower faucets in preparation for re-caulking them this morning. And after going through several Bing videos on my way to shop online for grating ideas, my engineering dreams have turned toward practical designs of enclosures for batteries that will let air circulate (to prevent explosive hydrogen build-up) while keeping out pesky rodents (aka squirrels).
You see, I have a supposedly squirrel-proof birdfeeder now sitting on the ground, all open so that squirrels and birds might pick out the dregs of seeds. I abandoned that feeder because after a bird (tiny-brained) got trapped inside and died there I had put an aluminum grate over the holes where birds were only supposed to get seeds. One muscular squirrel leaped up onto the feeder and proceeded to bend the aluminum grating enough so that the aluminum eventually broke off.
Squirrels also like to store their plunder, including molding nuts, within wads of dry leaves. I must keep these critters out of structures that I build for housing batteries or for housing generator stators and rotators....
Ants are another species I must engineer against....

Dear Diary

I shipped my last copy of Shakespeare's First Folio on Tuesday; Wednesday finally shipping my only copy of Witch As Muse. These events feel to me as though I had turned a corner on my path toward a new career, although I still have two heavily highlighted books on Johannes Trithemius, plus two copies of In Praise of Scribes, plus The Steganographia for sale on Amazon -- not to mention approximately 350 "closed" books as well as another 175 "open" (posted) books on Amazon.
The hold up right now is having to go through a year's worth of my husband's mail to find data for doing taxes. I never laid eyes on several pieces of mail specifically marked as pertaining to tax information from several companies. Why I never saw them remains a mystery. Perhaps I will have to contact those companies....
On the brighter side, not being able to find what I need makes me so angry that I laboriously clean up piles of mail and other papers around our house. I do my best to stay out of my husband's autonomous spaces the rest of the year, but at this time of year I MUST intervene! I am not, however, implying that I do not have my own messes to contend with, lol.....

Whirligig Maintenance

Related to "Strength of Materials" research on my experimental whirligigs is my desire to record whenever something breaks down or needs maintenance. I hope to have real life experience to report regarding the materials that I recommend using in the instructions I am planning to create for sale to people wanting to build their own wind-powered generators of electricity. (I think that sentence needs revision, lol.)
Anyway, the whirligig on our front porch developed a periodic, faint, dull thud sound that I finally decided to try to fix last evening. The periodic thud sound is generated by the fisherman's swivel after some months of operating without the addition of librication. Some day I hope to develop a recommended schedule for oiling these swivels, but for now I must rely on my hearing -- mostly.
If you are sufficiently sensitive to vibration you might detect the thud if you are paying attention to the possibility of thudding being present. I sit on our front porch in order to smoke cigarettes, so I have plenty of chances to observe the whirligig's performance, since I hung it on our front porch.
Mind you, this whirligig is not decked out with the full weight of an electricity generator. It is just a preliminary experiment -- mostly for determining which blade shape and blade configuration works best of those most readily available to me during this past year.
I think I'll have to come up with a separate subject category in this blog so that it will be easier to use these entries to determine how often oil must be added to the swivels. This category is added today as "Maintenance."
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