Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bird Box Animations

I just came across this series of animations a couple of weeks ago. Any dog person has to love Car Park.

And if you liked that, this is from the same studio, Bird Box:

Check out their home page for a bunch more. Great stuff!

Yay, Sox!

Congratulations, Red Sox, for a great World Series! Even this generally-doesn't-watch-baseball fan got pretty enthused about the series this year. We stumbled into the playoffs by accidentally tuning in about ten minutes before Ortiz hit his grand slam home run a couple of weeks ago. And from there on, we were all in. Way to go, Bosox!

I found myself wondering, though, why the two teams don't come together and shake hands at the end, the way sporting athletes used to do. For all of the excitement, I feel as if we've lost something in our obsession with the win. I think acknowledging each other as worthy opponents makes the sport larger, not smaller--and I wish we could have a movement back in that direction. Imagine a game like tonight's, but with both teams out on the field at the end: the losers congratulating the winners on their win, and the winners sharing just a bit of the spotlight to acknowledge that the other team put up a hell of a fight.

Well, why can't I do my bit right now? Cardinals, you put up a hell of a fight, you played some great baseball, and you managed to grow beards without looking like mountain men! Congratulations to you, too, on a great series.

What the hell, while we're at it--congratulations to the fans! And to the new owner* of the Boston Globe! Beers all around!

Boston Globe photo by Barry Chin

*John Henry, who also owns the Red Sox.


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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Surplus Energy!

Yesterday was our first full day of generating power from our solar panels. It was a pleasant, mostly sunny day. I just checked our energy output for the day, and we seem to have generated a cool 30 kilowatt hours of current total. Here's the graph, peaking between noon and 3 p.m.:

According to a recent electric bill, last fall we used on average around 20 kilowatt hours per day. I have no way of checking directly, but if that pattern still holds, we generated half again as much electricity yesterday as we used. We sold power to the grid!

Power too cheap to meter! Power from the people!

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

IT'S ALIVE!!! Bzzzz-t-t-t!

Our solar panels went live today, shooting electricity to to the grid! And to us! Time to celebrate!

Besides saving the Earth, we have a new way to waste time: logging in to see exactly how much power we're generating (12 kwh for the afternoon, the last time I checked). It's a cloudy day, and we were already past peak sun when the switch was thrown. I hope we get a sunny day this weekend, so we can stand around and look at the meter.

The switch is ON!

Fun fact: While the technician was showing me the website, a graphic informed me that we had, in effect, charged 4400 AA batteries since he'd switched it on. Or charged 2500 cell phones. Or burned a gallon of gas, but without the carbon emissions.

Solar rocks.

So does this movie.

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Space Beer!

The indomitable Dogfish Head Brewing Company has done something I'm pretty sure no other brewer has yet attempted: cooked up a special brewsky with real, pulverized moondust in it—Celest-jewel-ale! How's that for rocket juice, Tom Corbett? I'm sure it has special medicinal qualities! Unfortunately, you can only get it at one location, Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub. Well, blast my rocket wash!

Here’s my very own Dogfish Head keg tap handle, which I won at a raffle at my favorite beer and wine store

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A Bird in the Kitchen... worth how many in the claw? 

I got up this morning to the sound of Captain Jack howling and scrabbling frantically around the living and dining rooms. What I found when I arrived was a terrified bird flying back and forth in the room, arousing great interest from Jack and Moonlight (the cat). Finally it flew into the kitchen, and I managed to get a few pictures.

Who can tell me what kind of bird this is?  Gray, with a spotted underside, and (though you can't really see it in these shots) a longish, narrow beak. You can biggify by clicking on the images.

I opened the kitchen window screen, and after a few minutes the bird found the opening and shot out of the house like a rocket. I'm still not sure how it got in—maybe through a torn screen in my office, up on the third floor. If so, that meant it found its way down the hall, and down the narrow stairs, before meeting up with the local guards.

All's well that ends well.

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