Saturday, October 13, 2007

Recycling day

I don't know what it is about recycling places that I love so much. It's raw material potential.
Recycling plant
Recycling plant
Recycling plant
Recycling plant

SUCH a green nerd.

We don't have recycling containers at our apartment so we collect it in the storage unit and take it to two different places (because one takes paper and another doesn't). It's fun for me; thankfully the girlfriend is tolerant (and generally wonderful).

Friday, October 12, 2007

"...favorite fuel..."

Great article from my former online addication, VWVortex, about hydrogen cars. Things are looking very optimistic for H2 if you believe the news.

High-insulation hydrogen gas storage tank
^^Click that, it's neat

The article talks about HICEs, hydrogen internal combustion engines. This is kind of the stop-gap to the fuel cell cars you hear about. A regular car of any type can be, with the right equipment, converted to be able to burn H2. That doesn't mean a quick trip down to the VW dealership, a free cup of coffee, and an hour of your time. Storage, delivery, and combustion all need to be altered to make a standard car run on H2.

General Motors and BMW have been working together to establish an industry standard for the refueling apparatus

Music to my ears but not something I thought I would ever read!


My blogging this week has fallen by the wayside this week primarily because of school but partly because of this blogging scholarship I didn't win (or qualify for or even receive a reply about).

I seem to have gotten it in my mind that I was a contender for this little battle of wordsmiths. I wrote a charming and funny entry, made sure the blog was up to par, and sent everything in. And got nuthin back. Win some lose some, right?

Well, a loss is a waste if you don't learn anything from it so I'm looking for the lesson. Here's what I have so far.

- This blog sucks and I should stop it. Or, adopting a different tack, this blog is mediocre and I should concentrate on it.

- Life consists of victories and defeats and how you handle either one says something about you.

- Unless you're getting paid for it, the point of creation (ie artistic or otherwise) is catharsis and/or self-satisfaction and/or experimentation. Even if part of me is, I really should be writing for ME.

So, I'll go ahead and come to terms with my crushing defeat in due time and continue posting. I would ask for your input but I'm not supposed to care what you think, remember?

Monday, October 08, 2007

More on the Loremo

I like this thing a lot....

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Who are you?

Your reality is what you hold inside of your head. You carry this around with you from place to place, letting it shape the world around you. You can be honest about it or you can lie about it but how you describe your reality to others does not change what it actually is.

Who you are, however, is dictated by your interaction with the matter around you. Your thoughts don't make you and your words only decorate. It is your choices, what you do and how you do it, that make you who you are.

So don't worry about your motivation or your obsession or your perspective or your belief or your fears or your dreams because no one else worries about these thoughts of yours either. Concern yourself with what you do, what you affect, what you built, who you help and construct a person, a personality, a reality everyone can see.

Slow down

Southern California has an interesting way of hijacking your visual focus as well as your thought process. Everything is shiny and "pretty" (as in makes a huge effort to be pretty) and "attractive" (as in literally attracts your attention). Huge chrome rims on shiny black SUVs are all the rage as are big sunglasses (on guys and gals) and subwoofers and tattoos. It really is like it looks on TV.

Another thing you might notice about SoCal is a general lazy attitude combined with a need to move quickly. On the freeway, everyone is on their phone driving 85 mph to go somewhere - anywhere, really. Who knows where they are going and who cares to be honest. All I know is they do it fast.

This is probably the worst state to start watching my speed but it is a huge part of getting better gas mileage. When I got to this state over two years ago, I was so happy to be able to drive at 90 in the left lane and never get a sideways glance. I'd sip my americano while flying up I-5 on the way to La Jolla for work. Boy, those miles would just roll by. I've always been conscious of the poor fuel economy but it was one of those things I just let go, like going to the gym but remaining a smoker. I figured, hey, I'm recycling, I drive a 4-banger and I'm going to save the world someday so I'm going to drive quickly.

Well, my cognitive dissonance has caught up to me so I have decided to lower my speed on the freeway. I now do everything in my power not to break 70 mph, which means I'm typically doing less and I'm never aware of doing more (meaning if I look down and see I'm going over, I always slow down). Here is the basic reason why:

Fuel consumption at high speeds

I got the image from here, FYI.

Point being, over 60 mph, your MPG drops significantly. The lesson here is slow down for better gas mileage. In this case, the difference between the 60 and 80 for these cars ranges from 5 to 10. These are smaller cars too; I can imagine in a pickup or and SUV or something with some extra displacement, the difference is going to be large.

Here's what I really think: I really think that a nation-wide conversation about fuel consumption (NOT ECONOMY) must always include a talk about the speed at which people drive. The nation slowing down by 5 MPH on average right now, today, would have an exponentially greater impact on pollution and gasoline usage than an increase on CAFE standards. Does that mean we don't need CAFE standards?? NO, of course not. People driving at 80 in a Suzuki is more efficient than a Dodge Ram. But if you shop for a car based on fuel efficiency and you're still above 70, you're being stupid.

What about a speed control on the freeway? This would certainly be unpopular with, well, everyone but what if you're car simply couldn't go about 70 on all of our highways and byways? Is that an infringement on rights? Do you have a right to break the traffic laws for your own enjoyment or for your lack of planning? Do you think the negatives would outweigh the positives in this case? Is this too extreme? What do YOU think? Be honest...

Meanwhile, you can find me in the right-hand lane, "putting" along at 70, watching S500s cruise past me, and spending just a little bit less.