• You have never heard so much jargon at one time.

  • 26th Annual Dick Batchelor Run for the Children

    I ran a 5K today. Well, to be accurate, I walked a 5K today. I actually finished, too; 47 minutes and 44 seconds. I now have blisters on both my little toes, indicating to me that perhaps walking isn't the sport for me. But I've long been of the opinion that human beings are designed (intelligently or evolutionarily, take your pick) for walking. And judging from my state during the race, I could've walked like that for a very long time.

    Continue reading "Designed for It"


  • I'm thinking this is actually a big problem with democracy. Seriously. It stems from my recent experiences at the Re-Energize America panel in Orlando.

    We had just finished the panel and moved into the question-and-answer session. Since nobody had spoken about EVs, I figured I'd ask about my pet project: Electric Parking. Several people got up and rushed to the podium, so I knew they had agendas. I just didn't realize what we were in for.

    The first one rambled across several topics before landing in "Thermos bottles hold heat really well; why don't we just build all the houses like Thermos bottles?" Of course, there's only one real scientist in the panel, and there's no way to explain to a crazy why his idea is crazy. So they handle him carefully, telling him that they've improved insulation standards every year, and they're still working on it.

    The next guy isn't crazy, in my opinion. I make the distinction based on how long they take to get to their point, how many irrelevant things they say along the way, and how offensively they finally state their question. This guy was concerned that we would use nuclear power to make up any of the 75TW we were projected to need by 2014. The panel explained that we needed to consider power sources based on their total long-term impact, and that their pie-chart was made up of natural gas plants because they can actually be built, unlike nuclear plants.

    About this time I noticed that the line was done growing, checked with my ride to see if he could wait, got in line, and started to write my question on my Clie. The senator had to leave, but people kept shaking his hand and talking with him, so I figured he might actually be around when I asked my question. IF the next two people were fast enough.

    Of course not. The next crazy rambled, then asserted that we weren't addicted to oil, but rather war, and how were we going to break our addiction to war? OMG. Of course the panel had to handle that very carefully.

    And then they noticed the line had grown behind me. They said they'd take one more question, then meet in the antechamber to talk with people individually.

    Rats. Of course, after observing all this, I had to wonder if I'm one of the crazies. I don't think so, but how can I be sure? I know: I'll ask the Internet! Read the question I would've asked, and help me decide if I should voluntarily remove myself from the political process.

    Continue reading "Why do Crazies Talk First?"

  • Access Holes

    My EV has eight batteries tucked under the rear seat. Three are completely accessible; three are accessible enough to put your hand on the terminal and wiggle it. That leaves two stuffed so far under the sheet metal that you can't even see the regulator lights blink without a mirror.

    Inaccessible batteries are a bad idea in an EV. At the very least, you should be checking the connections periodically to make sure they're still tight. And placing your hand on a terminal to check for heat can be quite revealing. So we decided to cut access holes.

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Inaccessible Batteries"

  • I just got back from the Re-Energize America town hall meeting in Orlando. A Florida senator, Lee Constantine, was there, along with someone from the National Resources Defense Council, the Florida Solar Energy Center, a retired Navy Vice-Admiral, a city councilman, and a reverend. They talked about environmental conservation, from every possible viewpoint: environmental (of course), economic, military, political, and religious.

    But nobody said anything about EVs. Hybrids, sure; even plug-in hybrids, which the "mainstream media" still hasn't caught on to yet. But why not EVs?

    Continue reading "No EV talk at Re-Energize America"