funny


Really? No Bid. Nothing. We had experience in the mountains and no one else wanted the contract. That is all they have to say? A company from the Secretary of Interior’s hometown. Zinke had nothing to do with it? WHAT!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/small-montana-firm-lands-puerto-ricos-biggest-contract-to-get-the-power-back-on/2017/10/23/31cccc3e-b4d6-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.f40f2a9969f7

Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on

October 23

For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.

Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy.

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SIGH. Go there and read. More next week.

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The news only gets better for renewables. Wind did not keep pace with Solar but wind had a huge head start. Coal is fading in the rear view mirror and natural gas is neck and neck. I think the US is finally catching on, but you can bet the first things Trump will go after will be subsidies and the EPA.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1108084_more-solar-energy-was-added-in-2016-than-natural-gas-or-wind

More solar energy was added in 2016 than natural gas or wind

Renewable-energy growth has accelerated in 2016, but this may go down as a milestone year for one renewable-energy source in particular.

Together, all renewable-energy sources are expected to account for 8 percent of U.S. electricity-generation capacity in 2017, according to the Department of Energy, and solar energy is responsible for most of that growth.

For the first time ever, new solar-generating capacity is expected to exceed new generating capacity for wind and natural gas.

DON’T MISS: We’re there! Renewables now cheapest unsubsidized electricity in U.S.

The final tally won’t be available until March, but enough new solar installations were expected to be completed in 2016 to outpace wind and natural gas, according to Scientific American.

A total of 9.5 gigawatts of solar-generating capacity were expected to be built in 2016, tripling the amount installed in 2015, the magazine said, citing Energy Department data.

That amount would exceed the anticipated 8.0 GW of natural gas capacity, and 6.8 GW of wind capacity.

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Go there and cheer. More next week.

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Yes I am a Headline Whore. But this is a very real nitty gritty get your hands dirty post. Most of the posts here are about environmental theories, or solar power writ large. But many environmental issues involve a compost pile and turning them, or washing off crud from recyclables. In this case if you have grass, and live in town you have to cut it. That means you have maintenance things to attend to. So here they are.

http://www.familyhandyman.com/automotive/lawn-mower-repair/lawn-tractor-maintenance-tips/view-all

The Family Handyman

Lawn Tractor Maintenance Tips

Professional tips that prevent expensive repairs

Following the lawn tractor maintenance advice in your tractor’s manual is the best way to keep it humming along smoothly. But owner’s manuals usually only tell you basically what to do and when to do it—they seldom include the tips and real-world wisdom gained through experience. So we asked veteran mechanics which steps are the most important and how to make lawn tractor maintenance and tubeless tire repair faster and easier.

You’ll save too. Dealers typically charge more than $200 for routine maintenance that includes an oil change and new spark plugs and filters. But you can do all these things—and more—in just a few hours. A lawn tractor maintenance kit from your dealer (less than $75) might cost a few bucks more than buying parts separately but ensures that you get all the right stuff. And new tubes for a tubeless tire repair cost from $5 – $15.

Clean the mower deck

Remove the belt guards and blow off the debris that wrecks belts and pulleys. Scrape away any debris buildup under the pulleys with a screwdriver.

(thus it starts)

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Go there and read a heck of a lot. More next week.

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Nico the Ninja told them to save energy and they do.

https://www.saveonenergy.com/kids-learning-center/saving-energy/

A Ninja’s Quest to Save Energy

Nico loves saving energy and natural resources and wants to share his knowledge with you! Join Nico and learn the best practices of saving energy.

dot dot dot Unfortunately the actual site is graphics heavy and I am no good at copying such things, but I am going to put up the Teacher Guide. I think you will get the idea. dot dot dot

The Kids’ Guide to Saving Energy is a useful resource to incorporate into your elementary classroom’s curriculum to help students understand the importance of saving energy. Have your students complete the guide during class or as an extra credit homework assignment. Discuss the guide in class and have your students present to the class ways they saved energy at home. Below are some suggestions on how to incorporate each page of the guide into your lesson plan:
Page 2:
SaveOnEnergy.com® created Nico as a fun way to teach students about energy. As your students connect with Nico, be sure to tell students to check out the other kids’ guides and continue to explore with Nico!
Page 3:
Ask students to volunteer to read aloud the reasons why conserving energy is important. Then, review the following discussion questions with your class.
1. Do you think saving energy is important?
1. What is energy conservation?
2. What is energy efficiency?
3. How do you think we can conserve energy in the classroom?
Page 4:
Have the students define renewable and nonrenewable energy. Then have the students place each renewable energy source under the proper category. If students are unfamiliar with certain energy sources, have them look up and define the words. Then, have your students brainstorm ways in which we can use renewable resources for energy and discuss the advantages of renewable energy.

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I also love that Nico is half of Nicodemus. Go there and read. More next week.

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But had I read this article before dealing with the problem in my basement I would have known to go straight for the water sources and not messed around with the other stuff I put outside on the porch or on the compost pile. But getting rid of that stuff did not hurt. I mean pancake mix that is two years old. Plant dubris that is months old and could act as food for the midges. So the energy saved in this case is MINE and that is important too.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/midges.htm

Residential, Structural and Community Pest Logo

NCSU logo - click for NCSU home page

http://entomology.ncsu.edu/

 

 

BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF NON-BITING AQUATIC MIDGES

By: Charles Apperson, Michael Waldvogel and Stephen Bambara, Extension Entomology

Insect Note – ENT/rsc-15

Non-biting midge flies or chironomids commonly occur in inland and coastal natural and man-made bodies of water. These midges are commonly known as “blind mosquitoes” because they are mosquito-like but do not bite. Midges are also called “fuzzy bills” because of the male’s bushy antennae. These aquatic insects are tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions. Chironomid midges are found in swift moving streams, deep slow moving rivers, stagnant ditches, and in lakes and ponds that are rich in decomposing organic matter. The presence of certain chironomid midges is often used as an indicator of water quality.Bodies of water in urban and suburban areas are subjected to intensive human use through residential, recreational and agricultural activities. Through runoff, these ponds and lakes often become exceedingly rich in nutrients. Consequently, the variety of organisms in such habitats is usually low with just a few pollution tolerant species developing large populations. Some species of chironomid midges that are tolerant of low dissolved oxygen conditions often are a major component of the bottom invertebrate organisms of urban and suburban lakes, ponds and storm water retention ponds.
BENEFICIAL ASPECTS
Most species of chironomid midges are highly desirable organisms in aquatic habitats. Midges are an important food source for fish and predatory aquatic insects. Larvae “clean” the aquatic environment by consuming and recycling organic debris

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Go there and read. Got the little bastards. More next week.

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So after the Election we took three days off and went to Giant City State Park and drove over to see the Garden of the Gods. Giant City was disappointing:

https://www.google.com/search?q=garden+of+the+gods&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many wilderness trails. Especially popular is a hike on Giant City Nature Trail, home of the “Giant City Streets” huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago .

Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, just minutes south of Carbondale, the Union / Jackson county park was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures. Eons of geological faulting and folding have molded a landscape like none other, which is now clothed in lush garments of fern, moss, large flowering mints, hundreds of species of wild flowers and 75-plus varieties of towering trees. The natural splendor of Giant City has made it a renowned retreat that attracts more than 1.2 million visitors annually.

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But Garden of the Gods was amazing:

http://www.shawneeforest.com/Hiking/GardenoftheGods.aspx

More than 320 million years ago, the wind and rain patiently started to chisel away at large deposits of sedimentary rock located in what is now, Shawnee National Forest . Over the years, the elements have sculpted some of the most stunning and extraordinary rock formations known to man. This garden of sandstone sculptures and vast untouched wilderness was fittingly named Garden of the Gods.

The park contains a variety of plant and animal life, adding to the scenic beauty of the Shawnee Forest. Garden of the Gods covers more than 3,300 acres of forest throughout the Southeastern Illinois counties of Saline, Pope and Hardin. There are also plenty of trails for backpacking and horseback riding, allowing nature lovers a welcome tour of what the lively environment has to offer.

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Go there and be envious. More on Tuesday.

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This concludes my meditation on handicapped devices for the home. It was never meant to be a catalog or even a realistic sampling. After all, this is a blog about energy and the environment. That said, this is a blog that envisions humans being good to the planet and using nonpolluting energy sources not as living in a cave huddle around a fire. It is actually about improving the efficiency and quality of life for everyone including the handicapped. Today’s post is one from my deep past. My grandmother was in a wheelchair for 30 years. Her legs were paralyzed from the waist down. We had a Hoyer lift in our home for that whole time. So this is for you Treva where ever you are.

http://www.1800wheelchair.com/product/5463/hoyer-heavy-duty-lift-with-optional-scale

Description

Hoyer’s Heavy-Duty Power Lift features a power operated base with a clearance of 4.5″. The 6-point cradle design maximizes patient comfort, and the long padded handles offer a plethora of grip choices. This lift also features an extended reach for floor pick-up capabilities. Emergency stop and power manual lowering for added safety. Optional upgrade model features a scale for convenient weighing.

Features

  • Power operated base
  • 6-Point cradle design for maximum patient comfort
  • Long, padded handles offer a plethora of grip choices
  • Extended reach for floor pick-up
  • Emergency stop for added safety
  • Power manual lowering
  • 700 lbs. Weight capacity

Included

  • One Hoyer Heavy-Duty Power Lift with Optional Scale
  • Free Shipping
  • Limited 1 Year Warranty

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I have been talking about a workshop regarding being handicapped and the last disability that I tried out was an arm amputation. They used a fancy belt to tie down one of my arms. They chose my dominate hand to immobilize so I would get a stronger effect. I have to admit that it made things pretty difficult. Opening doors was ok, but writing was nasty and do not get me started on going to the bathroom. They asked us to commit to picking a handicap and “living it” for a week. I chose to be an amputee and did it for 5 days. It made going to college a big deal.

And on a separate note, there is some confusion about whether these things we have been discussing are aids or aides. Some people including google seem to be confused about which one is right to use so I have been using them interchangeably. I am no word geek so you can figure proper usage out on your own. Thus people get around it by calling it assistance.

http://www.disabilityproducts.com/cgi-bin/disabilityproducts.cgi/scan/fi=products/st=db/co=1/sf=additional_categories/se=Bedroom%20Comfort%20%26%20Safety/op=rm/nu=0/ml=50/tf=description/to=x.html?mv_session_id=AQsksk89&mv_pc=3&header=Bedroom%20Comfort%20%26%20Safety

COMFORTABLE FOAM WEDGE
Our new, polyurethane foam wedge allows you to relax more comfortably in bed with less back and neck fatigue. You can sit upright or lay back, simply by changing its position, for visiting, reading, writing, watching TV, or other activities. Unlike stacked, lumpy pillows, this lightweight foam wedge maintains its shape and position during use. It features a removable, machine washable, white zippered cover that breathes for comfort, and will not retain heat. Each wedge is 24″ x 24″ wide, in a choice of three different elevations. Use the Available Options drop down menu to choose the wedge that’s right for you.
#HEFW40-

Available Options: 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Man, I have been all over the map this month. Jumping from topic to topic like a gyrating Spider Man. Still this is a pretty cool site with pretty cool people so:

http://www.thisamericanland.org/blog/?cat=31

More on Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Author: Jeanna Thomas  |  Category: Behind the Scenes, Caroline Raville, Environment, Landscapes, Season Two, TAL on PBS

This is the third in a series of blogs written by This American Land host Caroline Raville on her recent experience shooting  a story for season two at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Read the first two blogs in this series, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Season Two and Host Caroline Raville on Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

And now we are crossing over the mighty Paria River,” Dr. Titus observes.

I look down below. I see dirt and a puddle. Dr. Titus and Scott Richardson are grinning at my incredulous look as we bump along the pockmarked road. Apparently, this crack in the mud does become a river occasionally. Escalante experiences extreme weather ranging from boiling, fly-infested summers to frozen winters. Still, the evidence before me seems to suggest that this place is in a constant state of dry heat.

We drive deeper into the monument, and the paleontologists decide to take a quick detour promising spectacular views. After a steep climb with some seriously wicked turns, we find ourselves looking down on a valley littered in rock formations. There are the tar colored hills which look like a blackened sand dune. Further up, rust tinted rocks roll in the shape of a dragon’s back. And above are the whitewashed peaks dotted with green scrub brush. These layers are a physical timeline that helps scientists to establish the changes in habitat that occurred here. From ocean floor to swampland to the now arid desert, Escalante has experienced some major changes during its existence due to plate tectonics and the resulting mountain building.

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Go there and read. There are even pretty talking pictures. More tomorrow.

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OH and some housekeeping issue. The below websites asked for “links”. So by posting them here I believe we are linked. I have never used either so these are not endorsements, but they seem legitimate. As with all of the internet, buyer beware.

www.interectsolar.com

http://www.specialawnings.com/

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They are small and slow, but they don’t go far. Still it is an interesting development. I mean I do not see electric 707s anytime in the future, but for enthusiasts like with the ultra lights, it has to be an exciting time. Did I mention you have to have a fairly good sized body of water to take off and land?

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/it_s_an_airplane_it_s_a_jet_ski_it_s_the_electric_flynano

It’s an Airplane, It’s a Jet Ski, It’s the Electric FlyNano

The newest electric airplane to make its first flight is squarely aimed at recreational fliers, even those without a pilot’s license. The FlyNano turned some heads at last year’s Aero Friedrichshafen aviation trade show in Germany thanks to its interesting design. The FlyNano is a miniature electric flying boat, making it essentially an airborne jet ski.

The original airplane was going to have a gas engine powerplant, but the Finnish company says the ever-improving electric motors and batteries means FlyNano will be an all-electric airplane moving forward.

The first flight was a very short one, just a handful of seconds. And the airplane didn’t really get out of ground effect. The wing area looks rather small for an electric airplane compared to other models we’ve seen, which tend to have the efficient, higher-aspect-ratio wings typical of sailplanes.

The designer claims a 10,000-foot ceiling for the airplane, but that might be a bit optimistic with the current setup. FlyNano says it will continue flight testing throughout the summer. We’re looking forward to seeing longer and higher flights, though the FlyNano could be fun as an aircraft designed to fly in ground effect.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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