WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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WindTapper's Blog

November 2015

The Peripheral in Kindle

Reading The Peripheral on Kindle now. 86% of the way through and I'm a lovin' it! Mind you, 25-35% through I was considering setting up a graph of all the characters in order to get some sort of handle on who and where they all were. But now I'm OK and diggin' the book.

Finally, a book comparable to The Neuromancer. All those decades ago when I had just graduated with a B.S. major in Computer Science, minor in Psych.  I was very into AI, epistemology, info retrieval, etc. in 1983. Now I have additional credentials in English (2009), Electronics Servicing (1992), and Indexing (1992), but still a sci fi bug after all.

In high school I couldn't tell whether I liked literature or science better. Took an interest test. They came out exactly the same.

So anyway, I just signed up on twitter to follow the #GreatDismal. Boy am I behind the times. It took a while to get our phone charged so I could get the confirmation code, and all....

I am Wolanda Babyside, with a very old picture of me playing Indiana Jones, climbing out of a Kiva on a cliff in New Mexico  at Chaco Canyon, I guess. My photo's face resembles one of my uncles when he was younger. I must have been, let's see now....1986 -- that would have made me 35 years old when it was taken. I wonder if I made my user name WBbs on twitter. I'll have to find out.

Health Tip

WebMD dot com gives oodles of health tips, delivered to your email.

Here's one of my own:

Find a way to securely raise up the keyboard for your personal computer so that you can type and play Spider Solitaire standing up. I find that three games at the easiest level adequately substitute for "The Daily Constitutional" if you get my drift.....

Retired persons and possibly students should take note of this. Active workers, probably not so much, as they are on their feet all day....

Product Idea -- For "The Cloud" Crowd

Energy Conservation demands that we find a way to humidify our houses passively in the Winter, during the heating season. For the last 20 or so years we have employed humidifiers that run electric fans -- at least -- and possibly water heaters as well.

With central heating you already have a major fan blowing the hot air into our rooms. We need a passive humidifier which is actually pretty simple, to place next to the heating vents. We already use distilled water because all our local water comes from limestone lined aquifers that leave far too much calcium inside our pipes and within evaporation containers, btw.

A simple, small drying rack whose feet stand inside a plastic tub. That's all I'm asking for.

Surely some factory could make such items rather cheaply and ship them to the U.S.?

They should be called Passive Humidifiers or Energy Efficient Humidifiers. The consumer merely pours distilled water over a towel that hangs on the rack, with excess water descending in the tub. The tub can also be filled so that water is drawn up through the ends of the towel that is lying across the rack, to create a source of water when the warm air flows across the towel.

Details: The rack plus tub should be compatible with both the wall and the floor heating ducts, which are both aligned and adjacent to the bottom of outside walls.

Come on, somebody! This is a free product idea! Have at it!

Later Notes (11-21-15 5 a.m.): [Prices quoted here are OLD, out-of date!] Upon searching through Google Images under "Mini drying rack", the best - for the price and sizes -- that I found are one urbanclotheslines dot com, for $24.71.

BTW, makes you give them your email in order to shop there. I already get too much email, thank you very much. KTMart is in Korean, which I cannot understand. Bearstitches dot com wants you to download plans to make your own dryers, and I don't like to download stuff. Camping World has a sale, at $40.22. All of the above except for downloading a DIY project probably charge beaucoup bucks for shipping. Perhaps the kohls rack was too large.

Also, btw, some lovely drying racks for produce and herbs reminded me that this is the season for drying fruits, etc., if you are ever tempted to buy that papaya. Although, I froze the last one, cut up into little pieces and put into little bags inside a larger bag. The little pieces stick together, however, in the freezer bag....

inhousehydro had a dryracm for 30.99. I can't recall what I felt about that one, but sometimes size is too large, although, the price is more than the one at urbanclotheslines.

Part of the problem is finding a rack that whose feet will fit into a tub. That ain't goin' to happen anytime soon.

As stated earlier, prices were out-of-date. Upon purchasing from urbanclothesline I found the best price was $34 something. However, shipping costs were very minimal, at $3.99 for two 32 inch dryers, total. That ain't bad.

Nov 22, 2015:  Walmart had two or three short racks that I could use, so far, and they are very inexpensive. $10 for one, $15 for another. For under a table where the hot, dry air blasts our living room I put down a boot rack, a tray on the bottom shelf, and a wet towel that made it through the night still damp. The shoe rack expands tremendously, but was "repurposed" as a show rack over a cold air return where it would at least dry out any shoes that make it onto it....

Still Spinning

After a couple wind storms and time attacked our whirligig, and after it lost about half of its blades due to their brittle, time-worn nature, the gig is still spinning.

I should retire it and build a new one, but I am enjoying seeing how it still spins. Let's see how few blades it truly takes....

The top tiers of blades on both hoops have lost nearly all their blades, plus a few more on their bottom tiers. The plastic is so brittle that I cannot reorient any of the blades, because the handling means they will break off of the gig.

The lifespan, therefore, of one of these gigs is probably one year. Luckily, I used the segmented hoops, so I'll be able to build a new gig, no problem.

WindAndWeather Dot Com

What lovely products are available from Wind And Weather! Except, their website is not fully functioning. I cannot place an order for any of their products. I wonder what's up with that?

Some of their whirligigs seem to have a stationary section inside the rotating blades, so I thought I might perhaps set a generator inside some blades, such as inside KA6609, for example. However, even though that item is on sale at the moment, the website will not let me "Continue" to make the purchase.

Oh well. They have so many great video's, too, of their whirligigs spinning.... on their website. Those videos work. Check 'em out!

Halloween Aftermath

Our town has a 2-block party on Halloween. The newspaper says arrests are up this year -- or was it citations? Sorry that I haven't paid that much attention to the stats. A college town with a Halloween bash on its main street is quite a site to see! Halloween is Athens Ohio's festival.

We had some sort of storm, too, that evening. I've been cleaning up the yard a bit. Somehow we got a fresh bunch of little black spiders -- possibly newly hatched -- on the front door of our mailbox, and now the mailbox is falling apart on its surface. I treated it with straight neem oil which apparently did not agree with the surface treatment, which is now falling off.

Plus, the whirligig is much worse for wear. Can I assume that some goblins took a whack at it? I don't recall that much wind, but now there are several of the upper blades missing, strewn across the lawn, and a plastic dish was overturned off the top of the ceramic pipe -- lying on the ground.

Perhaps the local ghouls didn't like that we did not hand out candy. But we have no kids -- never had kids.... Oh well. It might have been the wind after all....

Some pix:

I'll spare you the yardwork pix. I did another layer of cement for the laundry post, but I am still waiting for more leaves to fall before I clear all that away. Xmas shopping is well along, though. And we have two more days over 70 degrees with no rain, yet to come, so I'll be busy.
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