Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stop providing public smog

I think all of the major cities should switch their trains and buses to Fuel Cell vehicles. Fuel cells already work and are viable in larger vehicles (although not cheap). However, one of the biggest issues with large cities is air quality. The government should not be another contributor.

No public transportation should be emitting these pollutants. This comes with the benefit that since major cities will be using hydrogen on a larger scale, there will have to be refueling stations in the cities. The refueling stations will provide a place for consumer purchased fuel cell vehicles to fill up.

I also think the new vehicles should not be fuel cell only. We know that hybrids reduce the amount of fuel that is used, that should not change with fuel cells. The hydrogen may be cleaner and not produce pollutants, but it will still need to be filled up. Using hybrid technology that is already being used should be able to be used in conjunction with the fuel cells to make the vehicles travel farther on the same amount of hydrogen. This will also help to alleviate the amount of hydrogen that needs to be produced to fuel the public transportation system.

Once the large cities have it working, the medium sized cities could then also get on board.

C'mon government. You want to say you are building an energy driven economy and fighting global warming at the same time. Stop taking useless 3 or 5 mpg increases over 10 years, and jump into removing all gasoline use from public transportation. Get the buses, public, then school switched over. Then mandate Tractor Trailers switch and get the biggest fuel hogs immediately off of gasoline. The smaller vehicles will continue to get more efficient, or will make the jump to fuel cells. Make that happen!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer weight loss

I've let myself get fat. Too fat. I've moved up a pants size and if it weren't for expandable waist pants, I would be up two sizes.

I plan on posting a once a week update on where I'm at and what I did in the previous week to exercise.

Today: 241 pounds.
Previous week.
Sunday: 3 mile bike ride. 1.5 mile run.
Saturday: Some pushups.
Friday: Walked to the library and back about 1.75 miles
Thursday: Funeral in the morning. Run at night about 1.5 miles.
Wednesday: Visitation - standing around for 5 hours, no exercise.
Tuesday: On vacation at waterpark. Walked some.
Monday: On vacation at waterpark. Walked some.

My goal is for next week's exercise to look a lot more consistent.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What smarter grid?

Everything I've read about a smart grid is based on houses being able to run without electricity, with the electricity being supplied by a PHEV. However, if I'm driving a PHEV and lose power at my house, I don't want to use my car to power my house, then also run my car dead. I want to be able to take my car and leave without it causing my house to break down again.

Instead, the smart grid technology should be giving houses their own battery. Then my house is not broken if I need to go somewhere in my car. Also houses could be cycled and not all run off the grid at the same time. If every house has their own battery, then only half would have to be on the grid charging at a time. This would immediately cut the electricity need in half. It's much more realistic to have clean energy generated when the demand is only half of what it is now.

If you take RMI's approach and make houses even more efficient, then we wouldn't even need half the power that we need now.

Let's get some of the battery technology that we have been trying to build for cars, and take advantage of the cost improvements, in order to make houses able to run without the grid.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Baseball game 5

Game 5 and the 3rd this week.

The kids did good again. We got another putout on the bases. And Chloe, the youngest on the team, nearly got a hit. She it the ball and ran to first. But the other team was able to beat her there and get the putout. I was so excited and hollering "run, run, run" I may have scared her some, she's the 2nd fastest on the team and was slowing down as she got to first, she was also still holding the bat. It was awesome, and sad at the same time. If she'd have dropped the bat and ran then she would have made it.

We hit the ball well, but were unable to score. We just couldn't get enough hits in a row. Zion, the oldest on the team had two rips into the outfield (actually on the grass), the first was a double, the second was on the first base side so he only got a single out of it.

I'm still waiting for Ady to get a hit. Her swings tonight were a little weak, she moved her arms through the motion, but the bat pointed straight down. I definitely need to work with her more on how to swing the bat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baseball game 4

Game 4 from 7:30 PM tonight.

Wow! My kids going into 1st and 2nd grade vs a team that is 7 and 8 year olds. I chatted with the other coach and 8 of his 10 kids were in the 8 year old category, while my team is all 6 and one 5 year old.

We lost, and we only played 3 innings in the one hour time limit. The other team scored 17 runs.

However, our team scored 4 runs, and we hit the ball a ton. We didn't make any outs on the bases, but we came close a few times. The older girls were just too fast for us.

The lowlight of the night was before the game started and Ady was taking batting practice. She hit the ball twice really well, then hit it with her finger. It smashed her finger, the same one she had smashed previously.

Fortunately I was blessed with many highlights. A couple kids got hits that haven't been hitting. We scored 4 runs. And Ady played really well, even after having smashed her finger before the game. I am a very proud coach.

Baseball game 3

Game 3 was tonight at 7:30 PM. We lost.

Last week the pitching machine went bad enough that the other coach and I agreed to pitch to the kids ourselves. That was probably the biggest mistake. Despite pitching to the kids all the time in practice, I could not get them a good pitch to hit, and the limit of 3 strikes was really a problem.

We did get our second putout of the season when the pitcher picked up a short hit ball and ran home and touched the plate before the running attempting to score. The very next batter she had a second chance to do it again, but didn't because the umpire had moved in front of the plate to remove the dropped bat for safety. She was visibly upset that she could not make another out at the plate.

While game 2 was great because all of the kids were focused, game 3 was riddled with distracted and tired kids. I was constantly telling kids to stand up, something I have not had to do yet this season, and telling them to put their gloves back on. I even moved the girl playing pitcher out of pitcher after having told her several times to keep her glove on. Pitcher is probably the only position that a ball will get to on a fly, and I didn't want her to get hurt.

Sadly, one of my parents called and said her daughter would not be playing softball anymore. She wasn't having fun and they aren't going to make her go to it. My team now officially has 10 kids on it.

Game 4 is tomorrow night at 7:30 PM. Hopefully the kids are a little more alert.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Repaying TARP

I've read that there are up to 10 banks that will be repaying TARP funds. This seems to be generating quite a bit of excitement as these banks which were not stable very long ago have now quickly turned around their fortunes.

What I haven't read, and can't find anywhere, is what is the profit to the government. These funds were being "invested" in banks and were going to pay back more than was loaned over the long term. Is the government actually following through on having them repay the amount plus some amount of interest?

I also can't find what happens to the TARP money. Congress basically gave a blank $750 billion check to the treasury. Once they've spent it and money comes back in as these banks repay it, when does it go back into the congressional coffers? When is that money no longer just an extra $750 billion for the treasury to play with? They have already purchased GM, which they are now running and subsidizing both. I don't like the nationalization of any business, and I don't like when the government subsidizes that business at the same time.

Ford is out there right now struggling through the tough economy working through it's own turnaround without a penny from the government. GM is now owned by the government. In order to make sure people can get money, the government handed over billions to GMAC to guarantee financing for GM vehicles. When GM declared bankruptcy the government also started helping GMs suppliers. As it stands now, basically every business related to Ford is being run as a business with no intervention, while everything that is related to GM is getting handouts from the government.

I prefer that tax incentives are used to entice people/companies to do things, rather than money just being handed out. Since there is the new CAFE standards, I think that for each 5% that a company betters the CAFE standards they should get some kind of tax break. It's like setting the standards up as a C- on the grading scale, and rewarding companies for getting A's.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Fortune cookies

The kids and I went to Chinese for dinner tonight. I think one of the reasons that they like chineses so much is that they get the fortune cookies. Ady and Jonas now read their own.

Today our fortunes went like this.
Me: Leaders are readers.
Jaden: To be content with little is true happiness. (Obviously written by a woman)
Jonas: Know and believe in yourself, and what others think won't disturb you.

Ady: Anyone can "start", only the tortured will "finish"
(it actually reads Anyone can "start," only the thoroughbred will "finish!")

Ady read hers over and over, but kept saying tortured instead of thoroughbred. After having run a marathon, I think tortured may be just as correct.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Baseball game 2

In our second game of the season we played well.

We faced an odd spring loaded pitching machine that made it more difficult for the kids to hit than before. At the end of the game we had 6 hits, and no runs. We outdid our opponents who only had 4 hits and no runs.

The most exciting moment came in the second inning when we recorded our first putout at first base. Savanah moved to her right 3 steps, picked up the ball and ran back to the base to make the out. There were two other times during the game that we nearly had a putout at first, Savanah was just late on one time, and Kailyn was just late once.

Sadly our last out was made with the bases loaded, one more hit would have given us a win. Three of our team did not make it to the game.

After the game the other coach and I talked for about 10 minutes. Neither of us like the pitching machine. It's not consistent in how it's throwing and the kids are having a hard time getting hits, we both would prefer to have coaches pitch to our own kids. Hopefully a conversation with the woman in charge will allow us to switch from the pitching machine to coaches pitch. Hopefully then the kids will have more fun and success hitting the ball.

Our next game is not until next Friday.