WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

June 2012

"Distrust That Particular Flavor"

Finishing this book this morning I almost immediately started reading from its beginning again. My reaction to this book of essays thusly reminded me of an idea I encounted several decades ago, about a "theater in the round" organization for a narrative where you fruitfully could grab onto it at any point to "take a spin" of its various actions.

I believe I finally ran into "that particular flavor" phrase last evening before falling asleep. I believed it referred to the idea of adding hardware to the physical body as that particular flavor to distrust in cyborgean futurism, but I cannot find it this morning. I know where on the page I saw it but it's not there now....

Anyway, a couple of comments, off the top of my head:

Being able to hear dead men talking as a completely new phenomenon -- as Gibson says -- may be literally true, but not really for everyone. Many of us have more vivid imaginations, I guess. Homer, Virgil, and Plato spoke to many of us and worked toward reprogramming many of us "cyborgs."

     --Which is not to say that I don't still love Gibson's visions, however, even though my first experience of robots was different. I never previously heard of Dr. Satan's robots. It is amazing what a few years of difference can do to the developing brain. I guess it's the "Butterfly Effect." I was born in 1950 and my first TV taste of robots came from Lost In Space of the 1950's TV shows. Assimov's ABC's of Physics helped me to weather puberty, btw, so that I Robot (both Assimov's and Spielberg's) spoke to me.

As a Garage Kubrick, rather than making a movie, I dream of helping to motivate (read helping to reprogram Americans) to self-sufficiently make their own green energy sources.

Thanks for listening and letting me get your attention with my "Serendipitous Art Reviews," btw. Now I really must get back to taking care of my obligations around the house and in my political party, for now, before I can get back to engineering wind powered electricity generators. But I plan to still do this, even though I am human and not corporately omniscient nor all-powerful.

This and That

This is brush cutting season for the Township, the power companies, and for us in southeast Ohio. Our trees have grown over the last 10 years that we have lived in our house, including the bushes which I am in the process of cutting half out -- the half closest to our house.

The lawn is so dry now that the bush clippings are going to cover the dry brown spots for at least cosmetic purposes, but this mulch might also hold some moisture down -- once I get around to sprinkling a bit of water there.

I am still only using electric cigarettes, even though I keep running into some dissatisfaction due to not knowing when to replace the nicotine segments and the frequency with which the batteries die. What saves me is that I purchased enough of the high nicotine components and enough of the batteries to keep the nicotine coming.

The lady at the store said I would naturally cut down on nicotine using these electric cigarettes and I am finding this to be true so far, although it has been two and a half weeks since I started on them.

Still making progress through Distrust That Particular Flavor. I really like the format of essays I never knew existed with current self-comments by Gibson on how he feels now that he did with the writing of them originally. I especially appreciate Gibson's candor about his own feelings and experiences that fed into his fiction and essays.

English classes always have teachers who ask students to tell what the stories read are about and I believe there should be more emphasis on the actual cultural settings and the whole oeuvre within the context of the biography. Shakespeare's biography was too hidden for this type of analysis which is why -- I believe -- it has taken so long to understand him.

While I like lots of writers, I don't think anyone holds a candle to Shakespeare, so I am not trying to put anybody into Shakespeare's league, but English classes could be better, imho. Now we have a contemporary writer, albeit in the sci fi and futurism genres, that students could have a chance at analyzing now with William Gibson....

Oh yes. And after reading Gibson's essay, "My Obsession" with his buying watches on EBay, I finally got disgusted enough with my recent taking up of computerized Solitaire (Spider) to finally quit playing it. I have played maybe 300 at the Easy level during the last few weeks, and I am well and truly sick of it. What a waste of time!

"Twilight Time"

A newish channel airs on our Time Warner Cable, called This. WSAZ seems to call this channel home now, too. I just happened to check out an afternoon movie that I had never heard of, today. They have a lot of this type of movie, too, in that they seem to be "sleepers." This channel is 990 on our cable system which is next to a couple more PBS channels where one can catch the Bill  Moyers show if you miss it on the other PBS.

Anyway, "Twilight Time" turned out to be a good movie for Americans to watch, even though it is about a family in Yugoslavia whose grandfather comes back to Yugoslavia to help raise two kids whose parents are missing. I would say that a lot of Americans should watch this movie, but I do not want to give more information because I don't want to spoil it for those who would consider watching it.

I suppose that This replays movies....

"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"; Dear Diary

I enjoyed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. As a romantic comedy it was a winner. I went to see this movie  feeling an obligation to support movies of the sci-fi genre, not expecting it to be terrifically funny, and it turned out that I was very moved and affected by it, much to my surprise. I guess this all points to the movie being a "chick flick" since I am a chick. I hope word gets around and crowds begin to develop for viewing this movie, but I suppose that this time of year is not so great for crowds....

I am still working on designs for a wind powered electricity generator that is low-cost, sturdy,  buildable by the average backyard mechanic, and makes enough electricity even when the wind is only 3-4 mph, at low altitudes.

Still also in the middle of William Gibson's Distrust That Particular Flavor, although, summer is not really the time to be concentrating on books due to glorious weather calling us out-of-doors. And we have a great dry spell until July 23rd when Warehouse 13 and Alphas start back up again. I am already missing Eureka, boo hoo.... Reminds me of the end of Dr. Who. I was despondent way back when. [Later Note: We have three more Eureka's to watch after June 25th! My bad.]

But yard and house work will keep me busy enough, I think, between now and July 23rd. A month! Yipes!

Yeah, well, I am still trying to figure out the best way to get rid of poison ivy, plus toying with ideas for building sheds. I am afraid I will never figure that last one out....

Platform and Shaft

Currently I sent an inquiry to Chicago Metallic about getting the central portion of their angel food bake pan separately from the outer shell. I know they will probably balk at this suggestion, but I hate unnecessary waste of materials. Why manufacture something that will automatically go to the junkyard?

I would drill holes in the central pole in order to "key" the central pole to the central shaft of my whirligigs. I am also considering sawing the top of the central pole off, to use as reinforcement at the top of my PVC shaft. I can then drill the key holes further down the central shaft of the cake pan to use as a keyhole.

I am, btw, almost done with William Gibson's Zero History. We are practically all set up for the grand finale, now, of the action of this book.

Later note: The set-up continues, even through page 369....

Chicago Metallic responded through a user group/focus group spokes person, saying "no we can't sell partial pieces," but I still have a new appreciation for what they do sell since I started seriously investigating the "disk to shaft" connections.

I am, therefore, rethinking the possibilities of sealing up coils that are interlaced inside an outer shell metallic shell. Finding a used pottery wheel was one idea to use it as a sort of centrifuge, but I have no idea how long it takes for resin to solidify, nor how toxic its fumes are... The flat disk is, of course, the easiest to seal up with resin, because gravity aids the flow of the resin.


I get caught up in projects, sometimes, that are not so important as I imagine at the time. My latest is trying to get an outdoor building up this summer. Yesterday I decided to focus more on the actual generator for my whirligigs.

I did some web surfing today for "disk connection to shaft" and found some good info at,,, and These concern "saft collars, "flange face on the shaft," and "key the disk and the shaft" from the

I'll be seein'  y'all real soon, lol....

Movies and Books

Mature audiences should not let one movie get away -- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Besides wonderful advice for people considering retirement or already retired, this movie has several tried and true, mature actors that you don't want to miss. What to Expect When You Are Expecting is for a younger crowd that strives to be "politically correct" and I would call it humane.

I am currently immensely enjoying William Gibson's Zero History. Once I get over the fact that this is one author who does not seem to care whether or not you can understand what the dialog and terms he "reports" refers to at first, I start to get into the pace of the humor and life gets better all 'round.

Now I am starting to look forward to Don't Trust That Particular Flavor which is billed as non-fiction short pieces. I almost feel as though Zero History is a transition book from speculative futurism to non-fiction, anyway. Gibson was there when many of us were struck by the possibilities of computers back in the 1980's during the revolution to personal computers, and finally, reality has begun to catch up to Gibson while he has begun now to portray life in our current time frame. Was it Albert Einstein who said, "Time is relative?" Gibson, like the rest of us, seems to have gotten into sync, finally, with today's world, and not just with the futuristic visions that many of us were having during the 1980's -- as fruitful as those visions indeed were....

I seem to recall speculation that some artificial flavorings could cause Autism, so the title of the next Gibson book that I plan to read makes wonderful sense. For that reason and because even food coloring comes in oh-so-slightly different chemical formulations where I am allergic to one green mouth wash but not to another, depending on the # attached to the yellow element. Beware food additives! I saw a TV program showing how some artificial flavors are really raunchy and you would not eat the product if you knew just exactly what the artificial flavors were made from.... But, I have yet to read this book, so stay tuned....

Oh! A Conference I Could Go To!

June 21st in D.C., a Free Conference on alternative energy! D.C. is not all that far away from here, btw. Hmmmm......

The notice came to my email from the current issue of Renewable Energy World
For some reason I am finding this whole issue exciting, even though I have so far only read the headline-synopses that come with pictures....

I wonder where all my newly found optimism is being generated? The application of advertising techniques in this magazine? Or is it the headline where an Eastern Indian-sounding name proposes that we bypass the electric utilities?

No. I think maybe the idea reported in this issue that wind power resources have increased the electrical generating capacity in the U.S. more than nuclear and coal have done so over the last span of some years. Hooray!

What I can not understand is why Obama is putting import duties on cheaper Chinese solar panels. Oh yes. I forgot. Lack of consumer protection aspects of Chinese products. Things such as lead in children's toys, etc. China seems to lack the tort lawyers that we enjoy in the U.S. to help protect us from harmful products.

But getting the solar energy field primed for explosive growth seems more important to me. So many benefits would accrue by having a thriving solar -- even just installation -- industry. Jobs created by the need to install all those cheap panels. Oh but the import duty has been applied already.  Damn. Well, let's "hope" there is something wrong with those cheap panels in order to justify Obama's protectionism. I thought that protectionism is what caused the final downturn in the Big Depression!

Who knows?

Overwhelming Lettuce & Fathom Tonight

Some say, "Freedom isn't free," and I can add that even food from the garden that is free of pesticides and herbicides comes with the cost of cleaning the little bugs and bits of dirt off it. I imagine that is why I will not be able to give away enough of the lettuce to make a dent in our surplus, although we are eating a lot of it ourselves. It tastes so good that I do not need salad dressing -- the way I put together salads, with cauliflower, broccoli, avocado, tomato, cucumber, celery, spinach, green pepper sometimes, and sometimes oregano.

I enjoyed The Tempest tonight at the theater, with Christopher Plumber as Prospero. The little panel talk afterwards also was enlightening, what with 12 microphones on each actor to make sure the audio worked well for the 10 cameras that were capturing the live performance. Editing must have been "fun" after the two days of shooting at the Canadian Stratford Shakespeare festival.

The audio at the beginning of the play was inferior. I could not understand anyone in the initial storm. Likewise I lost interest enough to fall asleep when lots of guys were talking fast near the beginning of the play, but once I finally woke up, the audio was fine.

I enjoyed watching the petite Oriental woman who played Ariel and the angel's wings near the end of the play.  Both an Oriental actor and angel's wings appeared in our local version of the play in 2009. Ariel is, btw, the name of an angel in the bible.

Fathom Events [.com] seemed to be careful not to put the year on the production, so I have no idea which production came first, btw, our university's or theirs. Our university's production had an Oriental young man as Caliban, which was a different take on that character as he portrayed Caliban as an innocent child in contrast to what we saw from the Fathom Event just now, and from the other productions that I have ever seen. I enjoyed our university theater department's most recent version of Caliban, btw.

My Cup is Running Over!

Our garden now produces more than we can eat so I am searching for more people to give food to, which is not a bad position to be in, considering how many people are going hungry these days.

I am still learning about the different species of lettuce, and will probably try Black Seeded Simpson again this year. I do not recall it bolting to seed, but I had it planted in the shade decades ago. So far none of the 150 lettuce plants have bolted to seed but they get at least two inches taller every day, I swear. I remember that my mother worked in a lettuce greenhouse when she was a kid in northern Michigan. She got me started on gardening.

One of the secrets to growing plentiful lettuce is potassium or potash -- I learned from Organic Gardening. If you have neither, then burn some newspaper, cardboard, dry grass and twigs plus logs to make ashes for your lettuce bed, except for anti-burning laws. Some neighbor might have a fireplace, though, with ashes to get rid of.

We may even get bushels of tomatoes this year, I fear, plus we have way too many zucchini and cucumber plants. I imagine I will be donating excess veggies to the Food Bank and Salvation Army this summer.

Progress is also plentiful in my quitting smoking department this week! I finally got over my fear of electric cigarettes and got a strong enough refill cartridge after making sure I had enough of the batteries and chargers. Today is five days without regular cigs and it appears I am on my way to being able to leave cigs completely out of my life! Yay!

Hopefully I will soon be able to concentrate on building an actual electricity generator to test and develop so that I will be able to write a book about how to do this and be able to sell the book.....

Garden News

If anyone knows what this flower is called, please send me an email or leave a comment.
This plant is almost as tall as the fruit tree it is standing next to, but I can not for the life of me remember what the name of this flower is.

Hint: it is not a Day Lilly. Our Day Lillies have a different leaf structure.
A picture of our pre-bloom day lillies follows:

While the top flower has a different leaf structure on its tall stem:

The Experiment with the upside down leachbed liners has an official result now, btw. I was testing it to see if it would keep a battery dry enough in the rain. Since I am now battling spider mites and spider mites like it relatively dry, the answer is "Yes, the upside down leachbed liner would keep a battery dry enough, but at what cost?" We do not want to provide an excellent environment for spider mites to thrive and multiply, now do we? No. We do not.

The upside down leachbed liner also provided a siren call to snakes, and perhaps even to infants and rodents as a place to hide under. So, it is official: no upside down leachbed liners as recommended designs for infrastructure to house electrical equipment in the yard.

As for artistic endeavors, I appreciate the gentle shine on the gravel behind these Lamb's Ear plants. The sheen reminds me of a painting of a Paris street in the rain....

I am sorry that I do not recall the painter's name. It was a picture in the "Masterpiece" game, btw.

Oh yes. Our vegetable garden exploded with lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber plant growth in the last couple days.

OMG -- More Gibson!

As a staunch fan of William Gibson's Neuromancer I am giddy with the prospect of reading Count Zero which I had not known existed. Amazon has acquired a longer list of Gibson's books than it used to have, including this one that comes from nearly the same time as Neuromancer and is equally still seemingly predictive of future technological developments.

Unfortunately I also read at Amazon -- or somewhere on the web -- a review of the more recent Zero History, panning it, but it is so inexpensively easy to buy lots of books at Amazon that I purchased several of Gibson's books that I haven't yet read, including Zero History. The negative review had also mentioned that Zero History and another book are follow-ons for Pattern Recognition -- a book that is special to my heart, too -- and another -- I forget which.

I am in hog heaven right now, although I found I had to read the first 13 pages of Zero History twice due to my having been sleep deprived for the last 5 days. But 13 pages were not too much to read last night before Count Zero introduced several more characters -- apparently to run in parallel with Turner, our protagonist.

I wondered at my stupidity for not knowing of the existence of Count Zero, but I decided that was just my mother's voice in my head, with her super critical opinions. She always asserted that if you love somebody you should know everything you can possibly find out about them. Hogwash. The unfolding of that information is life. Besides, I would not now have Count Zero to read for the very first time if I had played detective on Gibson's oeuvre back in the 1980's beyond figuring out that the Walt Disney movie Tron actually pre-dated Neuromancer.

Science fiction writers are a gregarious bunch, lol.... Anyway, I was depressed, but now I am excited, even though I still have poison ivy to search and destroy as best I can on our one acre plot of forested land, and around the periphery across the way....

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the character, Holly of Eureka. Finally TV sci fi is starting to catch up technologically with Gibson's AI projections into the future! The last part of the latest episode has Holly displayed on a wall, interacting with her still breathing lover. Smooch that wall, Fargo!

Happy Summer, y'all!

Harried Day

In addition to the poison ivy and weeds I am trying to eradicate, I discovered after web surfing to find a way to kill chiggers, that what people think are chigger bites are actually spider mites. They say that spider mites are quick moving and thrive in the dry weather we've been having. Lots of great information came up from the web on this topic. Soap and water get rid of the adult spider mites, but neem oil is needed to kill the eggs and larvae, so I will continue to be busy with yard and housework for the foreseeable future.

Actually, I am working toward erecting a metal building but I must first hack my way through some brush that has grown around the site and over the metal, which is how I got started on my poison ivy discovery.

Still I think about magnetic experiments throughout the days, and purchased some small wheels for new experiments today -- one metal and one plastic wheel. I will have to cut the rubber tires off them, but this year's yard work takes precedence. I had fun today touring the hardware store with new eyes, looking for parts. It felt almost as though I was touring a museum as I investigated various shapes of different metals for potential experiment parts.

My thought currently about Mylow's most recent HJ-inspired magnetic creation is that I might get the same effect with a sufficiently thick, curved ferroalloy acting as Mylow's base magnet with the three neodymium magnets perched on top, but still with the stator-rotor relationship back the way Mylow had them originally, though I can see why he changed it -- because the rotor would be too lopsided now, weight-wise.

I have other recent HJ magnetic motor experiments from YouTube floating around in my mind, so I am also trying to imagine recreating those when I tour the hardware store. I must keep my purchases to a minimum, however, so it is just as well that I only bought a few things today and that I have much yard work to accomplish before I get back to HJ magnetic motor experiments.

Dear Diary (Plus Glitch)

I must get cracking on two projects. 1a) Clear away weeds in the backyard, 1b) Look into moving the metal building floor back to its old foundation now that the trees above it have been removed; 2 a) Get cracking on building electricity generators for my whirligigs, and 2 b) Tear myself away from HJ magnetic motor experiments.

I am finding it very difficult not to think about Mylow's latest set-up on YouTube (YT). I made one practically like that and start to wonder how to negate that initial resistance. Maybe setting some smaller, larger, or multiple magnets somewhere around that initial stator magnet could absorb all the excess opposite pole's flux that appears at that point.... I cannot seem to be able to tear myself away from wondering, although at times I have actually gone back to planning and at least wondering how to accomplish specific phases of the wind powered generator project, such as figuring out how to cast an upright drum of resin that will encase the stator windings.

Also I am working on ideas for getting my workbench cleared off of the previous owner's jig so that I can make a large enough secure pad for my drill press, plus another pad for the Dremel tool. Oh I have so many projects having to do with organization that I have little time for hiking 15 miles per week to lose weight. Woe is me.

Later Note: Minor glitch: Where I was not running the riding mower over tree roots that were growing upwards, weeds grew up. Also in the enclosure that protected our cherry trees from deer nibbling, a very nasty weed has thrived: poison ivy.

I knew we had some on the upper road perimeter of our property, but poison ivy is quite insidious with its roots spreading possibly as pervasively as both honeysuckle and black walnut. It sure does get around.

Somewhat luckily -- since we also have box elder with its attendant babies growing all around our place -- poison ivy is now fruitful with its nearly grape-like bunches of white flowers and berries so that it is easy to discriminate among all the box elder leaves, which ones to avoid, but nearly every tree trunk now has poison ivy started at its base. I wonder if this poisonous sucker/parasite  runs underground along tree roots?

Giving Up on Perpetual Motion

I have just about had it with trying to make a Howard Johnson magnetic motor. Not being a physicist is probably why it took me so long to come to the conclusion that this is impossible. Magnetic fields can and do change, as does the center of gravity of a disk as you continue to pack it with various items around its circumference, but I have started thinking of magnetic fields as sort of like water. It may change for a short period of time, but it always finds its equilibrium and stays there until something else changes.
And I have come to decide that you always have to put more into a system than you can get out of it in the long run. I know. This seems counterintuitive when you think of biological systems such as human population growth. You must continually work to stop it in order to get population growth under control. Life finds a way, is what they say, but so does water flowing downhill, and magnetic fields finding their equilibrium. Magnetic fields are always balanced, even though their instantaneous adjustments make it seem that there is some way to fool Mother Nature.
And I still wonder why nuclear physicists seem to be able to make abundant energy when matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Tell that to Hiroshima!
But anyway, as with cigarettes, I hope to finally mature enough to put away childish things, and get back to productive enterprises. At least I finally feel that it is a dream, rather than simply accepting authority because everyone else does so....
And I can still use the magnets to make electricity generators, btw.
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