Monday, November 24, 2008

Here is an interesting place to go...

Museum of Retro-Technology

I got there by way of StumbleUpon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vacation - Day One.

A walk in the park with Madam. I get more exercise on days off than during the work week - especially the dark part of the year. I hope to make a long walk Friday while the rest of the country goes shopping.

Love and paces.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nearing the end of the commute.

I've been driving to San Francisco daily since April. The project is just about done. I'll be glad to get a change of scenery and stop spending so much on tolls. I would prefer to not drive to work, but the project is 5 miles long.

Love and fatigue,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wat Buddhadhammadharo

Worshipers at the Theraveda Buddhist Temple in Concord, CA. Madam is near the left of the frame.

Love and reverence,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Plug In Hybrid Pickup Truck

The following is an extract from a tweeting with my son about Hybridizing a pickup truck.

Beamish boy and I are planning to hybridize my Toyota Tundra. May take a few years.

See for some of the seeds of this idea.

Retro-fitting pickups, vans and SUV's would have a greater impact on reduction of FF (fossil fuel) use than the new, small hybrids.

DavidJHFoster I suggested pulling out the back seat of the cab (calling it a seat is GENEROUS) and replacing it with a battery farm.

StephenHFoster Large vehicles = plenty of space for the battery farm (how do you like that term).

DavidJHFoster This way he can run the truck while on the job site without even starting the gas engine.

StephenHFoster The IC (internal combustion) engine can operate at it's "sweet spot" the one speed with optimum efficiency.

DavidJHFoster Also Solar cells on the roof to charge said battery farm, the truck does spend a lot of time parked in the sun.

StephenHFoster The target group of vehicles typically has a higher total miles demand for an average day, so a hefty battery farm is called for

DavidJHFoster The rear seat could easily house 8-12 standard car batteries, though we should probably mount non standard battery packs

Probably a good idea to use the same thing standard hybrids do, only more of them.

StephenHFoster For important, in-depth background on PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)'s go here:

Battery technology is changing pretty fast.

DavidJHFoster Reading something about the use of regenerative braking systems in pure electric cars, might be worth looking into.

An additional advantage of the solar cells on teh truck would make it possible to plug the truck into the house.

Pumping power into the house when the truck sits unused for extended periods. Also great for power if it was used to go camping.

Saves money even when not being used!

StephenHFoster The use of PHEV's for electrical surge capacity has been discussed on CalCars. PG&E is exploring an economic model to do that.

Regenerative braking would be standard. Railroads have been using it for decades

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Day Job

I am a construction critic; I watch other people work then say things about the result.

Behind me is excavation for an underground high-voltage power line in San Francisco.

Love and industry,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Sky Is Falling

Well, no.

I am disappointed that Prop 8 seems to be passing. I really do not want the law to have that kind of authority in my life. Perhaps in a year or so it will be time to counter with another proposition:

"The State shall have no authority to limit participation in marriage except to limit it to adults."

Of course this opens the door to marriages of more than two people. Ok, no problem, we are talking about adults here; it them becomes the concern of contract law.

Love and opening the flood gates,

End of the Race 2

"If my daughters should be so fortunate to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what changes will they see; what progress will we have created?"

I think we hit a home run this time.

Love and halleluia,

End of the Race

"Nothing became him in this campaign as well as the leaving of it."

McCain just gave the most gracious concession speech I've ever heard. The guy really is a stand up dude. Now let's see how well the president elect does.

Love and amazement,

Apres Vote

Madam downs chips and salsa at Taqueria Los Chivos, right across the street from our polling place.

Love and democracy,

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Lincoln Highway

I was channel surfing when I came across a show about the Lincoln Highway on one of our PBS stations. A little nosing around netted some of the following websites:
Lincoln Highway Association
James Lin - Lincoln Highway

My challenges will be finding a year or two to spend on a trip and convincing Madam that she would survive a trip through desolate Nevada and Utah.

Love and wandering

Bradley Effect

I recommend the following....

Berkeleyan - Bradley Effect


Infrared Film

I have two rolls of Kodak High-Speed Infrared film (HIE) in my refrigerator; they expired in 2007 so I guess I should not wait any longer to use them.

I ran an exposure comparison test using the D200 and got an approximate 9-stop adjustment for the R72 (infrared) filter. The image came out black because the digital sensor is not sensitive to infrared.

Normal black and white film is slightly sensitive to infrared, and I've had some interesting effects show up when using the R2 (red) contrast filter. I had shot a test roll of HIE last year with the F3 starting at an assumed ISO=12, I think. I'm not sure I got usable results - though some frames came out.

Tonight, when it's dark, I'll lock myself in the bathroom with the house lights off and load another roll into the F3. I'll post here again when results are up on Flickr.

See also: Wikipedia-Infrared

Love and exposure,

Buddhist Thought

"Your external home isn't your real home.
It's your supposed home, your home in the world.
As for your real home, that's peace.
The Buddha has us build our own home
by letting go till we reach peace."

-Venerable Ajahn Chan

Photo taken by cell phone at Wat Buddhanusorn, Fremont, California.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

In the middle of...

... reading Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, translated from the French Balzac et la Petit Tailleuse Chinoise. Translation by Ina Rilke.

Set in China during the early 1970's. A sweet and funny story.

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