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WindTapper's Blog

March 2016

Preliminary Don Quixote

17% into my Penguin Kindle edition of Don Quixote de La Mancha I offer a preliminary theory of review or literary criticism that is not yer average literary critic fare.

So, given the time frame of the writing -- contemporary to Shakespeare -- and the prison environment -- Cervantes was in jail for being an incompetent tax collector -- my theory is in its first stages. Cervantes was Spanish, of course, and I am reading the Penguin translation.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada by England was in 1588, so the slapstick comedy of the book can be seen as a way of dealing with the defeat. Trying to laugh it off by laughing at chivalric worldviews -- the righting of wrongs "for the honor" as aliens put it in The Fifth Element.

I feel that movies are a public dreaming, and this book is a social dreaming. Dreaming as it was described on TV the other day is the attempt of the mind to understanding the events of the day. I should really figure out what program that was because I am plagiarizing right now, I fear. The program was about memory, I think. The impression I gathered was that the brain tries to put memories into storage and has to figure out how to link the bits and pieces of memories to other memories or constructed memory conglomerates.

So anyway, this book is a social dreaming, trying to help the Spanish society figure out how to view the defeat of the armada, and the events leading up to its demise in terms of worldviews that probably need to be revised.

Later note: 26% into the book now. Thinking more about the time period. The revision of worldview was not accomplished everywhere at the same rate of speed. Revising value of monarchy and church edicts, laws, punishments, duties owed -- both monetary and service duties, honor, respect due, etc.

The Reformation happened in Britain after the Renaissance in Italy. The Dark Ages happened before 1066 when French nobles took over England, with their French ways and European tales of chivalry, etc. The knights, says Cervantes are linked to the Church. This brings up the whole Church doctrine of supporting kings so that Christianity could thrive, flourish, spread. The Crusades ostensibly were devised so that countries would go to the Holy Land instead of fighting among European nations. But the Reformation and other Church squabbles -- I know I'm glossing here -- possibly caused cracks in the whole chivalry creed.

Of course, "for the honor", or rather, for the spread of Christianity was used by Spanish conquerors as justification for plundering native peoples in the Americas, but gold for the monarchs came right along with this alliance between Church and king.

Cervantes was going back to the moral justifications for the knights errant as fighters for underdogs and women, but not so much for the king. Cervantes as incompetent tax collector is also examining how successful he was not in his idealism, protecting the unprotected from being taken advantage of. Don Quixote fights anyone, including clergy, whom he thinks is being unfair to some underdog.

So here I am trying to build mini windmills for the masses, trying to undermine the large companies who insist on building the giant windmills....

New Bottle

As readers are aware, the blades of the whirligig turbine actions are made from plastic one gallon jugs that originally held distilled water that we used in our humidifier vaporizers during Wintertime.

Kroger, Walmart, and smaller stores ran out of distilled water lately, and even Dollar General seemed to have run out, but no, Dollar General's distilled water was unrecognizable because it came in new bottles.

These bottles use a tougher, clear plastic, that I like very much. These should last much longer as turbine blades than the cloudy plastic.... I need to get some more of these and build a new whirligig in order to prove this.

Unfortunately for this project, the humidifier season seems to be almost finished. Pear blossoms were being pollinated by a hundred tiny bees a couple days ago, and I wrapped our apricot tree yesterday to protect its blossoms from a light frost last evening -- which never appeared.

However, the Weather Channel reported that a cold wave should arrive sometime next week, so perhaps I'll get a few more of the new bottles then....


Today was so sunny, and it was supposed to get to 63 degrees, but it was quite windy. It certainly didn't feel like 60 degrees. Today I decided that our whirligig has finally outlived its usefulness.

I had been admiring how much more stable its untethered trajectory is with its loss of blades, but at 20-25 mph wind, it was not spinning with much gusto. After I get taxes done I will replace it.

Considering the next set of experiments has occupied my thoughts lately. This is an understatement. I have so many experiments I wish to conduct, but little money with which to accomplish them, besides being so careful that I delay until I have an experiment that won't "burn the house down" or zap somebody to kingdom come. I could even kill a tree if I am not careful with chemicals -- even such a relatively harmless chemical as salt.

I do plenty of thought experiments -- this time trying to generate or collect positive and negative ions or electrons with which to create an electrical potential difference in the wind that naturally flows all around us, and under the precipitation that naturally falls onto us.

But Spring Cleaning is another consideration. I have collected so many turbine blades that parts of our house cannot be used for ordinary purposes due to their collection bags taking up space. I believe I will have to take some hard decisions soon, but AFTER I do the taxes....

If Wishes Were Horses

If I were an Industrialist I would figure out how to import aluminum magnet wire from China -- given that I had first tested the idea of using same in home-built, wind-powered, electric generators. I have demonstrated that low wind situations generate sufficient torque for generators, given the New Jersey based swivels and other low-cost materials I've been using; however, a ton of magnet wire does not get from China to here by accident.

Another hurdle is the storage of electricity in batteries or capacitors. Both present dangers to lives and limbs, as well as pocket books for their safe housing.

In my dreamland of science fiction somebody can develop a means for storing energy that does not present such dangers as massive shock potential, environmental damages, and costs for transmission beyond a beggar's salary.

Last night I tried to dream up solutions to energy storage. I came up with only a few stormy seas:

A. Somehow harnessing temperature differences to run generators of electricity [Good luck with that one!] Storage would depend largely on thermal insulation. A switch mechanism could bleed off excess hot or cold to warm or cool buildings seasonally. This brings to mind the solar heating of air that rises along an insulated column that could lie at a 43 degree, South facing hillside, or on the outsides of buildings that face South.... The wind generator could lie anywhere within the columns of air that are being heated by the sun. Of course, in the summertime, air cold be drawn in the front of the house to travel along the basement floor before being heated by the sun and vented out the top of the dwelling and/or glassed-in trench up a hillside. Water pipes could take heat to the water system. This does not store energy, however, for generating electricity when the sun does not shine. Also, I need to design a low velocity turbine for vertical rather than horizontal spinning. Our heat pump in the summer blows upwards, for example, as would the columns of heated air mentioned earlier.

B. Somehow directing light -- perhaps through fiber optics -- to drive electricity generation. Generating the light is another problem. Perhaps geothermal, as in the light from magma? I wonder how far down I would have to dig to find magma? Oh yes. That depends on where you live.  [ Which reminds me. These snake oil salesmen who tout Icelandic diets don't mention that perhaps Icelanders eat extra amounts of citrus in order to avoid scurvy, rather than their miraculous attributes being solely due to volcanic soils.] Anyway, B is the barest of starting brainstorms. It involves sunlight, too, but that is a far less constant storage system than a battery or large capacitor can be.... at least for now..... I bet the International Space Station has some interesting ideas on this topic.

Happy Saint Patty's Day!

My long lost grandmother is said to have spoken Gaelic, don't cha know.

So, in honor of Saint Patty's Day, I watched The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady today on TCM. See for details. The singer was every bit as good as Bing Crosby, btw. The movie was made in 1950. That was a good year.

Turner Classic Movies Channel is now showing Young Cassidy (1965) with Rod Taylor and Maggie Smith.

I just went to see Maggie Smith in The Lady in the Van (2016). It would be hard to imagine that the 1965 movie would be as good, but Maggie Smith is extraordinary.

Tainted Water

I think the Congress has the same problem as Flint Michigan. Somebody dumped toxic chemicals into the water that feeds their water supply and the result was a mixture that corroded the lead inside the water pipes. Lead poisoning causes insanity.

I think it was Warren Hatch on TV who said three times, about Republican refusal to deal with Obama's Supreme Court Nomination, that the Democrats would do the same thing.

That's a lie. Does he have Alzheimer's? And then there's Ted Cruz.

Reading about Cervantes being in jail when he got his idea to write a short story about Don Quixote I learned that Cervantes was jailed for being "an incompetent tax collector." Also, the Penguin edition calls Don Quixote and Sancho Panza insane, btw. (I'll have to find out more about Cervantes.)

I saw Ted Cruz say on TV that he wants to "abolish the IRS." What does Cruz think? That everyone will blithely write checks straight to the Treasury Department? Or is he, rather, trying to destroy the United States? Read The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America and What We Can Do to Stop It, by Tom Hartmann.

Is Cruz tilting at windmills? Doesn't he think that it takes money to run a country? Does he think that by wishing it, taxes will go away? Or that money will cease to exist because he promises to do away with taxes?

Sleepless in Athens

You know, there's a title of a movie: Sleepless in Seattle; however, I am not in Seattle.

Trying to figure out what keeps me sleepless in the middle of the night is a frustrating, multi-year quest. This morning (4 a.m.) I hear an annoying -- even if cute -- little "tweedle dee, tweedle dee" every so often. It is obviously a phone somewhere in the vicinity of my bedroom, which I cannot locate.

It tweets its little song every 5 minutes, first in one room, then in the other nearby. Whichever room I am not in.

I think it must be the old phone that I recently replaced, letting the cosmos know it needs to be recharged since it has been neglected since it was replaced. Now, where did I put that old phone? Oh yes. Back into its original box, in the hallway.

Now to test that theory. It sits now on our computer table, now with one of our cats that jumped up just now....

OK. The cat jumped back off the computer table while I was figuring out how to remove the Sim Card to get the phone to stop signalling low battery.


I suppose I wouldn't have noticed the offending signal except I'd gotten up to pee in the middle of the night, then started re-reading my Kindle edition of the Penguin most recent edition of Don Quixote. I had not, by the way, realized until this morning that I had read it once previously.

I recall that I have this recurring fantasy that I might learn some Spanish by reading the English and Spanish versions of the book, side-by-side. However, the Penguin explains to me why this is not possible.

I was content to try to read them page-by-page, instead, but as for now, I am still enthralled by the notes and links provided by the Kindle system.

I have yet to delve into the Spanish Kindle edition, and kitty-cat is back again.

One last note: I've remembered, after reading the translated Prologue and introduction by the translator, why I keep wanting to read this book. Our high school class of 10th or 11th grade -- I think it was -- at Maple Heights, went to see Man From La Mancha with Jose Ferrar at the Cleveland Playhouse theater. Our class song that year was "Dream the Impossible Dream" as a result of seeing that play.

I don't know if that was in '66 or '67 but I feel that play somehow affected us.... Now I am getting a truer version of Don Quixote as created by Cervantes (but rendered in mostly contemporary English). Did you know that Cervantes was a Shakespeare contemporary?

Oh yes. That reminds me. I can see if I can get a definition of "The Spanish Golden Age" from the Kindle database. Jesuits originated in Spain, and they were outlaws in Shakespeare's England, btw.

On the other hand, I am trying to get back into the habit of actually sleeping when it is dark outside. I have more spring cleaning, plus taxes to do when the day is upon us. I should get back to bed, GDI.

"The Lost Temple"

By Tom Harper, this book is freaking wonderful. I am reading it for the third time.

The writing is so vivid, it doesn't need a movie to be made of it. Although, its length is too long for a movie. Perhaps a short series? But with a book you can take a break, ya know.

Anyway, it is like time traveling up and down 3000 years in Greece, Crete, and academic Britain. Wars such as WWII, the Peloponnesian, modern Greek civil war, the Cold War; mythic, heroic, and peasants alike are all represented.

And codebreaking. Descriptions of cracking Linear B prove that thought exists. Psychologist philosophers have said that you can't get inside somebody's head. I disagree. The codebreakers that cracked Linear B got inside the heads of 3000 year old people.

Dear Diary

Lately I have spent time working in my mind on possibilities for building electric generators powered by the wind. My whirligig is on its last legs, but it is still spinning. This shows that I don't need nearly as many blades as I have been building.

Also, I am toying with ideas for covering or coating the plastic blades, to make them sturdier. Pieces of blades have blown all over our yard. We had wind gusts up to 50 mph yesterday, btw. Other possible uses for coatings could be to attract positive ions for eventual deposition via precipitation, or else via brushes to create voltages, or rather potential differences between the positive ions and negatively charged silicon dust generated inside the ceramic column by friction with sand.

My main project of brainstorming is still the "action at a distance" using magnetic fields that are turning over a sealed container which contains the coils, perhaps other magnets, and perhaps sand for pulverizing, plus aluminum to collect the negatively charged silicon dust.

I also went to see the Jesse Owens movie for inspiration to keep myself motivated to exercise. J.C. Owens was from Cleveland and went to Ohio State University, from where he went to the Olympics, winning 4 gold medals in 1936. I really enjoyed the movie and was disappointed that the audience was so sparse. Living in Ohio as I do, I am amazed that more people were not there. I am also from Cleveland, but swimming, basketball, and softball were my sports. I was also a referee and umpire in school.

At any rate, I recently joined a gym in order to get some of my muscles back again. I can't recall what my problem had been, but my exercising suffered terribly. Hopefully that is all in the past. (Later Note: A leftover wisdom tooth gave MULTIPLE problems -- now on its way to being mended.)

BTW, I highly recommend the Stock Gumshoe site for people tired of constant teasing from "The next big moneymaker stock" at
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