MPGe is a Lie

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The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Miles Per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe) "measurement" is how electric and hybrid vehicles compare "fuel efficiency". The rest of the world measures things differently, but we'll talk about that more later. What's strange, is that some really basic math suggests the EPA's MPGe numbers deceptively misrepresent an electric vehicle's true "fuel Read more

I'm Afraid...

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Third time I've had this conversation, this week alone. The goal is expressed as: I want to take this brilliant business idea, and make it my own. The dilemma: I'm afraid of leaving my steady "stable" income stream (aka: my day job). My answer: Ignorance is the parent of fear. Yes, that's a Moby-Dick quote. :-) Smiles I usually express my answer with a smile. If you told me, eight years ago, that Read more

New Voices

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The Million Dollar Handshake When I first met you, I had no idea what you said. If, alongside your smile and confident handshake, you asked me for a million dollars, I would have returned your smile, tried not to squeeze your hand too hard, and agreed without hesitation. After-all, "My name is Gregg, and it's a pleasure to meet you too..." Trying to explain this experience to someone with normal Read more

Saving water with Ollas

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Our modest little urban farm would soon demand over 120 gallons of water per DAY; threatening to set us back by ~$70/month in water costs alone...something had to change. Since we love growing our own food, and we've set aside over 3,000 sq-ft of land for this purpose, size reduction wasn't an option. So, we attacked the water "problem". Attacking The Problem We considered many water conservation Read more

Scythe vs Weedwacker

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Despite being a mechanical/electrical engineering geek, and being almost 20 years into a datacenter related career, power tool gadgets still seem very silly... The fact is for smaller scale urban farming, power tools are often overkill, as this video illustrates quite nicely: For those in the Portland Oregon area, our local Wichita Feed & Hardware has a decent selection of Seymour brand Read more

Disability & Binarism

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This isn't funny. Just because someone's rolling around in a wheelchair, doesn't mean they're bound to it for eternity. There are a multitue of valid medical conditions, where someone is typically wheelchair-bound, but still has the ability to walk limited distances or stand for short periods. The ignorant binarism illustrated in this photo reminds me of my own medical conditions. Most notably Read more

I Think I Can

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Lately, I've been bragging about what my little Smart Car can haul with its attached trailer, fondly called the Smart Cart. All-combined, this is a ~59MPG little setup. The most frequent questions: The trailer is rated up to 1090 lb of cargo (Max GVR: 1,250 lb) Does it need to be registered? No. According to the Oregon DMV "... You do not have to register a light trailer (which includes a Read more

Building The House

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I haven't yet spoken about a major remodeling project we're undertaking. Here's a primer, more details will follow in additional blog postings. Project Status & Scope Our project is ongoing, but by the time we're done, we'll be able to accommodate two ~800sq-ft residences (even though a developer would point out our R2a 1/4 acre lot can support four residences). We've left space for urban Read more

Solar Roadways? Are you Joking?

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This product has got to be someone's idea of a sick joke. But the internet seems ablaze with this silly idea. At least some places have kept their sense. Just crunch the numbers: you'll find that cost, complexity, and availability of raw materials will be your main constraints. If you think our recent war over oil was bad. Wait until we need the rare earth materials necessary to pull off Read more

What's the point of Solar energy?

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Using solar makes us feel good. Who doesn't love having someone else pay their electric bill, by way of government subsidized equipment. Nothing says efficiency, like churning money through large organizational bureaucracies... No, wait, I forgot! Solar can help reduce dependence upon other power sources. Just look at the German world record setters! They recently met nearly 75% of their PEAK Read more
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