TechFriday or maybe Tesla Friday as production shuts down

| February 10, 2017

This was going to be a normal Tech Friday post, but instead it will marry the automotive technology leader Tesla with a bit of news on their higher-volume / lower priced Model 3 sedan due out this summer. The company stated that all was on schedule for meeting their targeted July production date and they […]

LED bulbs failing way too soon

| November 29, 2016

It is a little disappointing to not get the number of hours out of LED bulbs as they advertise … something in the neighborhood of 50,000 hours. I’m not sure there is any warranty on Chinese Ebay bulbs, but I do know that I really liked these smaller "very low wattage" bulbs as outdoor end […]

John Deere 330 Diesel 10K Generator project update

| October 13, 2016

After doing a little maintenance and replacing the front tires on the John Deere 330 last month, I finally finished the simple 10K generator setup and wired up a new longer power-to-house cable. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to come up with a mount that makes it easy enough from my wife to connect the generator […]

Generator cage project and relearning TIG welding skills

| September 21, 2016

In a previous post, I sketched out a "Generator Cage," for the lack of a better term, for our sailboat Encore. The idea is to slip off a Sunbrella cover so we can use the Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator mentioned here on the aft deck when needing power at anchor to charge the batteries and […]

How loud are Honda and Predator inverter based generators?

| September 19, 2016

Good question: By ear, the slightly smaller and far lighter Honda EU2000i inverter based generator is definitely quieter than the less expensive, but larger in dimension, weight and power Predator 2200. Read on for a few more points. I like both of inverter generators and each will serve a slightly different purpose. The Honda is […]

Ominous skies as storm roll through

| August 29, 2016

It is not all that unusual to have storms roll though on hot summer afternoon/evenings, but the dark skies with wind and lightning keeps me attentive to the weather after recent damage in Indiana as well as Ohio (or a Lightening Bolt Killing 323 Reindeer in Norway!) We had a hot weekend with temperatures in the […]

Planning for a grilling/greenhouse/generator/rain porch space

| August 25, 2016

After we “cooked” our generator (my fault for not telling Brenda to prop open the enclosure door), I’ve been tinkering to get parts in order to fix it as mentioned before … but my best attempt as scrounging parts has failed. I could only come up with a possible match for the windings and the […]

Our BMW X5 35d loves cheap diesel fuel ;-)

| August 14, 2016

First let me qualify, this is the discounted United Dairy Farmers (UDF – Mobil) price for diesel … but I’m not complaining about $2.14 either (current Aug 2016 price). It isn’t like we need an excuse to buy milkshakes, but their summer promotion in discounts fuel is the little push I need to bring home […]

How will the Elio achieve 84 mpg?

| June 17, 2016

Another Elio Motors update detailed more on a variety of engineering points (my previous posts) … particularly on how the Elio will achieve the advertised 84 mpg. Powertrain – An Efficient Union of Technology and Efficiency The other system we’re checking out this week is the Elio’s powertrain, which will help the Elio run as […]

Two more florescent to LED replacements – shoplight this time

| May 15, 2016

  After having success in replacing a couple less expensive warm white 2 foot florescent light tubes with LED tubes the other day, I opted to order a couple 4 foot LED tubes to replace my failing "cheap" shoplights over my garage workbench (eBay $22 w/shipping). I often leave this light on 24 hours a […]

Crude Oil paralleling the stock market and world economies

| March 23, 2016

Looking at the Finviz chart of the wild second half of 2015 slide for crude oil, one would think we Americans would be cheering since we love driving big cars. Unfortunately lower crude prices (and prices at the pump) are also indicators of a struggling domestic and world economy. U.S. companies need strong international economies […]

The stock market drops again as oil prices remains weak

| December 11, 2015

Stocks have been in decline as investors wait for the Fed to either “move” or get off the pot this month. Adding to the misery for those who are thinking they are in long “safe” dividend paying stocks, like those in energy, they are nervous too.  While the economy is not particularly bad, the deflationary […]

Crude oil falls below $37 per barrel – a 7 year low

| December 8, 2015

Warmer forecasts, no production cut by OPEC and inventory surplus is keeping energy prices low and crude oil has moved to seven year lows. The impact is being felt by small leveraged U.S. oil companies who are on the brink of bankrupcy and even creating waves throughout the economy. As I tweeted… Oil prices fell […]

My favorite inexpensive smaller low wattage LED light bulbs

| November 4, 2015

Over the last couple years, my son-in-law and I have been slowly upgrading our home light bulbs with varied LEDs. For both of us it has been an experiment in getting the most satisfactory bulbs for the least number of dollars … unfortunately that usually means ordering a box from China in bulk (gambling with […]

Enjoyed The Daily Skimm’s review of the Keystone XL Pipeline

| November 3, 2015

TransCanada requested a suspension of the U.S. permit on the Keystone XL Pipeline and one of my favorite “short take” email headlines did an appropriate refresher: Keystone XL Pipeline: not a beer. It’s a major oil pipeline project that would carry a LOT of crude oil from Canada to Texas. It’s also a major political […]

Thoughts on the constant force in nature to produce energy

| February 5, 2015

Years ago back when I was in high school and college, I still had an uninhibited imagination when it came to what mechanical innovations were possible. I wasn’t yet tainted by the words “no, can’t, impossible, unrealistic, etc.”  In those days I was studying engineering and all things mechanical, I thought by now it would […]

The average Jane and John has a few more dollars to spend

| December 29, 2014

As the year draws to a close, we can be thankful for economic boost coming from cheaper gasoline.  The chart above show just how rapid the decline in the price of Crude Oil changed. It illustrates the unbelievable shift in the cost of energy for all of us. It is partially due to demand, but […]

Fuel prices– What is wrong with this picture?

| December 23, 2014

A local convenient store today in Liberty Township, Ohio … December 23, 2014. As a Volkswagen TDI and Mercedes diesel car guy … there is something wrong when the spread between regular unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel is this much – over $1.50 difference! Ugh … back to driving the Honda Pilot, at least for the […]

How low can it go … Crude Oil that is!

| December 15, 2014

Wow! … I’ve watched oil continuing to dip lower on Monday afternoon (WTI $55.40/barrel) and this rapid drop in recent weeks has “for some reason” caused equities to sell off. Normally one would see lower oil prices as a good thing for the stock market since it makes goods and products less expensive and gives […]

An update on my dad and his not so friendly visitor

| December 13, 2014

Wow … just couldn’t believe the lower gas prices this week as oil continues to tumble down under $60/barrel. The abundant supplies and inventory along with the recession in Europe and slowdown in China has really put pressure on world prices. I’ve seen news photos of gasoline selling under $2.00 out west and while driving […]

The breakeven price for oil is between $10 and $100 per barrel

| December 1, 2014

Last week oil prices hit multi-year lows after the Organization of the Petroleum Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain their current production rate. This indicated that they are either comfortable with the current price of oil or more than likely want to force producing areas with a higher cost per barrel to stop exploration, drilling and […]

Clean Diesel Technologies granted new Spinel™ patent

| November 5, 2014

Diesel exhaust treatment technology has vastly improved diesel engine emissions over the past decade along with ULSD fuels, but the technology is costly primarily due to rare earth metals. According to a press release yesterday, Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc $CDTI announced new proprietary Spinel™ technology will replace the use of platinum type metals in catalytic […]

Can a Kyocera 135 watt solar panel produce enough juice?

| October 24, 2014

The last 24 hours I’ve been running a two person battery test to see just how comfortable we can be on minimal amp hours. Obviously we need to do better since even with a fair amount of sun hitting Encore’s single Kyocera 135 watt solar panel our battery bank is depleting. The clouds are passing […]

Bureaucratic pet peeve–selecting Ohio utility energy providers

| September 30, 2014

Residents and businesses in Ohio “choose” which companies provide the energy used by their utility company, which can in most cases reduce their bills. This competition should be a good thing, one would think, but each year consumers go through a multi-step process to confirm our energy provider choice … and each year it is […]

Westport $WPRT poised for growth when energy prices rise

| September 24, 2014

With the lower cost of domestic natural gas here in North America, the next couple of decades will continue opening the doors of opportunity for innovative  companies who finding better ways to utilize this domestic and abundant clean fuel. Westport Technologies (WPRT), a leader in advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, has fallen flat as […]

CNBC talks boom growth with North Dakota Sen Heidi Heidcamp

| September 15, 2014

Since visiting my son Taylor a couple times in northwestern (Williston) North Dakota, I pay closer attention to what is happening in his area and the boom growth as well as the politics around moving energy. Unless someone sees the train tanker cars lined up or drive on the roads which are packed with truck […]

Reducing the IRS corporate tax bite with oil industry MLPs

| July 22, 2014

After my recent visit to North Dakota and the oil fields … AND seeing what has happened in one short year, I talked with my son ways of trying to invest in this oil boom (the “invest in what you know” philosophy). Of course I tried to look at what he sees from a “planners” […]

Nissan EV Leaf replacement batteries cost $5,499 with exchange

| July 3, 2014

If you’re thinking about saving a few fuel dollars and are contemplating driving an electric-vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, be sure to factor the price of a new battery into your “energy savings” numbers. Nissan’s replacement battery for the popular EV Leaf is $5,499, which includes a $1000 credit for the old battery. That’s a […]

Trick question: Coal or Natural Gas, which is a cleaner energy?

| June 17, 2014

While listening to CNBC’s Squawkbox yesterday morning, Southern Company’s CEO Thomas Fanning sees exporting U.S. energy as economically a best path forward. The strategy is not without debate and hits opposition from both sides – the anti-fossil fuel greens and conservatives wanting to preserve our nation’s natural resources for America’s future. That argument aside, one […]

Is Westport Innovation’s stock finally turning up? $WPRT

| June 16, 2014

While keeping tabs on a hedge fund analyst and his comments over at Seeking Alpha, I read a little bit on $WPRT and the recent management change and where they still in relation to their “natural gas vehicle/truck conversion” peers. Having watched my shares lose value this past year, I’ve been wondering why Westport hasn’t […]

Kickstarter Heatworks project inches closer to shipping

| June 11, 2014

Investors and pre-order buyers are still in the “wait” mode for the innovated water heater from Heatworks … but the CEO Jerry Callahan does a great job of keeping his Kickstarter investors informed. That said, I’m looking forward to installing the Model 1 later this summer and will be updating the blog on how it […]

Gas prices rise as Memorial Day kicks off summer driving season

| May 23, 2014

I’m probably not the only one noticing the annual Memorial Day jump in retail gasoline prices kicking off the summer driving season. Yesterday most of the  stations locally (north of Cincinnati) bumped prices up to $3.85–plus per gallon for regular grade fuel. Thankfully on the drive home, I fueled up the old Mercedes 300D for […]

Praise for Duke Energy’s use of information technology

| April 29, 2014

Rarely do we talk about near monopolies, government agencies or utility companies in a positive way when it comes to servicing their captive market or hostage customer … where else can we go? We shouldn’t be surprised since where there is little competition, there isn’t the same motivation to excel with customer service as when […]

Alaeros Energy to test their floating wind turbine at 1000 feet

| April 8, 2014

Is a helium filled floating wind turbine practical? Alaeros has already tested theirs tethered at 500 feet and is attempting a world record 1000 foot where the winds are stronger and steadier. Hmm, perhaps instead of mounting a wind turbine atop a stainless steel pole on our sailboat I should rig a floating turbine in […]

Canadian options will make the Keystone Pipeline delays costly

| April 3, 2014

As the U.S. continues to delay and “study” the Keystone pipeline as a way to efficiently move North American crude oil from east of the Rocky Mountains in both Canada and the Dakota Bakkans to Texas refineries, other options and pathways are moving forward. Energy pipeline company Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. ($KMP) held a […]

The Keystone Pipeline and the Political Theater of the Absurd

| March 12, 2014

I keep thinking that something has got to give in Washington DC when it comes to the how the Obama administration and many in congress bog down the greatness of our country. The  lack of an economic recovery is hurting the middle class and there isn’t a commonsense reason for it. Take the debate over […]

Joined a Kickstarter project called HeatWorks

| February 8, 2014

Monitoring Kickstarter projects is a great way to see just what entrepreneurs and inventors are coming up with … and to rejuvenate pride in American Exceptionalism. The other day I saw a guys talking about Mobile Personal Theatre headphones  called Glyph on the business channel CNBC which was pretty neat. I’ve micro funded a few […]

Prepping for an Electromagnetic Pulse — EMP strike

| January 25, 2014

No … not what you think. I have not gone down the Doomsday rabbit hole … just yet, but for years I’ve been interesting in self-sufficient living and do my share of reading. I enjoy reading both fictional thrillers about EMPs (ie. One Second After) and books oriented towards self-sufficiency. I’ve spent a few hours […]

Five-fold increase in trading volume for Hyperdynamics $HDY

| January 22, 2014

Although I’m pretty conservative when it comes to investing and stocks, I do pay attention to the occasion stock tip when it comes from business people I respect. One fellow I know who attends shareholder meetings and get to know the interworking of companies has taken a substantial position in Hyperdynamics Corporation. I’ve added a […]

An energy saving improvement and a night light option

| December 5, 2013

I purchased a new 12 watt LED bulb for reading(larger bulb in left of photo) that promised to offer a few more “soft but bright” lumens from my chair side lamp. I “was” using two Cree LED bulbs (smaller bulb in left photo), but the light output still wasn’t comparable to a good three-way incandescent […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.