Friday, November 30, 2007


I've finally told Mom about this so I don't have to keep myself from writing about it here anymore.

Today is my V-day. It's the seventh anniversary of my vasectomy.

You may have gathered that I'm childfree. This means that I've made a decision never to have children. I get along with them alright. I was almost a grade school teacher. It's just that too many of my fellow elementary education majors were blithering idiots and spending the rest of my life working with them would have motivated me to inspect the tread of a moving semi long ago.

I'm not going to go into my motivations or debate my evilness unless some commenter really wants to get into it. That's all for another post. No, I'm mentioning it because a guy I used to work with in Kansas City, I'll call him Mr. Lager, is in the hospital right now getting his own vasectomy done.

We both got what's called a "no-scalpel vasectomy". It's kind of a misnomer. There really is a scalpel involved. Instead of opening things up and really rooting around in there the doctors just make a 3mm incision or two and pull the tubes that need cut, poisoned, cauterized, and tied to the incision to get the work done. Then you go home, flop down, and spend the rest of the day with one cold beer in your hand and another down your pants. You'll need some extra support down there for a couple of weeks and walk like John Wayne for a few days. You should go back for three sperm count tests three months apart. After that you don't need to worry about birth control ever again.

It cost me about $300 from Planned Parenthood. There's all sorts of videos, reading, and counseling you have to go through first. They want to make sure you really want this and to dispel any myths and questions you might have in mind.

For me it got rid of the need for birth control, convinces women that I'm serious about this and will not be changing my mind for her, and keeps some particularly evil (yes evil) woman from trying to "oops" me.

Mr. Lager, have a frosty one on me and another on your privates.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Planes, Trains, or Automobiles

This is the question I have to ask about how to get back to Smallville for Christmas. Do I fly, drive, or take the train.

I used to fly all the time. My parrot would go in a cat carrier and slide under the seat in front of me. But the government is worried about the bird flu so I can't take her on flights anymore.

For the last three trips I've driven. Last Thanksgiving I carpooled with a friend in New York. Last Christmas I rented an SUV so I could bring my new Segway back. This Thanksgiving I rented a Prius. It's a 21 hour drive no matter what. Any time I shave off the trip, for whatever reason, gets lost by pulling over for naps.

I was thinking about leaving Gandolf with a bird sitter this Christmas and taking a train back. But the closest the train comes to Smallville is about an hour away, stops between three and four o'clock in the morning, costs more than renting a car and takes even longer.

I haven't ridden a train before so I'm still tempted. It's just asking someone to drag themselves out of bed at some gawdawful hour to pick me up isn't really me.

Before I write it off completely let me see what plane tickets cost this close to Christmas.

I waited too long. The plane tickets got me, too. There's so many people grabbing those last few seats that I had to restart several times.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

DARPA Grand Challenge

I've mentioned the DARPA Grand Challenge and DARPA Urban Challenge competition a few times.

DARPA is short for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. They're the mad science wing of the Department of Defense. They were founded in response to the launch of Sputnik.

About 1 out of every 10 projects yield something useful. This includes the creation of the internet. Yes, it started as a network between a bunch of universities on the west coast but it was planned and paid for by what was known at the time as ARPA and the original network was called the ARPANET. The extra "D" was added during the Clinton Administration.

My original point was to show you the DARPA Grand Challenge episode of "NOVA". "NOVA" also has an episode for the more recent Urban Challenge, but I still don't know when it'll air.

Solar Decathlon: The Germans

Sadly the German house won the Solar Decathlon. The lines were huge, the house crowded, the engineering certainly unique, but I don't think they deserved first. Not for the stuff one could see anyway.

Here's a few pics of the inside. I'm sorry they're not better. The house was small and crowded so it was hard to get a good shot.

This is the bed. Instead of folding up into the wall or being up in a loft, like some previous years, it's recessed into the living room floor. The floor can be closed up on it during the day. Impossible to fall out of and a good use of space. However, I have enough trouble getting out of bed when I just have to swing my legs around. You want me to have to pull myself up off the floor too?

The description is gonna have to do the work here. The kitchen counter is level and a table fits over it. The table is on casters. The legs go around the counter and the table top just clears the sink and stove. You pull it out and swing it off to the side. It blocks that end of the kitchen but you now have counter space and cooking space. Also, it requires that you clean up properly so the table can be put away and the passage cleared when finished.
What you see here is the table pulled out about a foot so you can see under it.

There's already a stove, but I'm pretty sure this isn't a microwave. Not sure just what to call it. You can see me pushing a button. These buttons move a platform up and down. When up the platform is the bottom of a cooking box with a vent. All the waste heat gets pumped elsewhere. Instead of opening the front you just lower the bottom.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Book review: The Golden Compass

Apparently this is a book that I should have read 20 years ago or so. The people I know who were big readers as kids all did.

The story happens on an alternative England where people have beings that are tied into their very being and can change shape until the person reaches puberty.

There's a little girl who thinks she's an orphan being raised by her uncle on the campus of a prestigious university. Of course, she's the chosen one. She can't know it or what she's supposed to do won't happen.

Children are disappearing all over England including a friend of the girl's.

One day a woman comes along to take her off to a proper ladies school and make the girl her assistant. Of course, the woman is one of the "Gobblers" who have been kidnapping children.

Before leaving the Dean, or something, gives the girl a golden compass that can tell you the truth if you know how to ask and how to read.

Once the girl finds out that this woman is responsible for kidnapping her uncle and the children she runs away. She flees with some gypsies whose kids have been taken. They head to the north to free the uncle who is being held captive by talking, armored, polar bears and the children who are being held, not completely against their will, in a school/laboratory. In this school/lab the kids are tested regularly to see if they're attracting a strange substance called Dust that is attracted to you when you hit puberty. Then their spirit creature thingy is cut off so the Dust isn't attracted to them. This is very traumatic for the kids and they're never quite right after that.

The Gobblers are a church based group that thinks the Dust has something to do with original sin. They're trying to find the source of the Dust and stop it.

The book is written for kids to young adults. Not just in subject matter, but in the way things are worded. Like the reader is simple. The story ticks right along and should convert well to a movie.

Some people are complaining that this book and the pending movie are anti-christian. Not so much. It doesn't attack a belief system. However, one of the significant bad guys is an unnamed, Old Testament based, church. It's the church that's bad, not the faith.

I think the movie should make better use of the story than the book. The book is best for reading to kids before bed.

There's two more books. I'm not rushing them to the top of the stack, but I hope to get them read and reviewed in the next few months.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Movie Review: Hitman

First I need to tell you about the game "Hitman". I love this game. Not everyone does. Some people I know don't have the game playing skills or strategic skills to play this game. Others prefer more shoot-em-up games. Me (and my parrot) love "Hitman", "Thief", and other sneak around games. Instead of running along a set path and shooting everything that moves you have an open area, a mission, and you get to solve it however you like.

In the "Hitman" games you play Agent 47. You're one of a legion of cloned super assassins. However, of all the clones you alone rebelled against their control and went off on your own.

To describe the game play I'll describe level one of "Hitman 2". A priest who was giving you shelter as you tried to leave the life of an assassin has been kidnapped. You got in touch with "The Agency" and they'll help you find him if you do a few jobs for them.
As the level starts you find yourself outside the compound of the guy who took your friend. There's a large front gate with two guards, a side gate with a guard inside, and a side-rear gate with two guards inside. A delivery boy is bringing groceries in the side-rear gate. A mailman is coming to deliver flowers to the front gate. The guard in the side gate will come out to pee in a little bit. You need to check the basement for your friend and kill the guy who owns the place.
You can play the level one of several ways. Get a loud gun, kill the guards in the front, and let everyone rush you.
You can get a quiet gun, quietly kill all the guards along the perimeter, work your way inward killing everyone and everything until the boss is left undefended.
You can kill the delivery boy, take his clothes, walk in the side of the house right past the guards.
You can wait for the guard to come out the side door to pee, kill him, take his clothes, hide the body, go into the garage, get the sniper rifle, leave, go up on the hill across the road, snipe the boss as he's practicing his golf swing. Go look for your friend while everyone is running around looking for the sniper.
You can knock out the mailman, take the clothes and the flowers, hide the body, put your guns in the grocery crates, approach the front gate, get frisked and waived on, deliver the flowers, when they turn their back you sneak into the kitchen, take your guns out of the grocery crates that have been delivered, sneak upstairs, go out on the balcony, peer through the keyhole, wait for guards to pass, go inside, kill a guard, take his clothes, kill the boss and his guard, get the car key, go downstairs, see that your friend was moved, get to the garage, steal the car and drive away.

In the trailer they play up the religious aspects mentioned in the second game. It leads you to believe they really did it up for the movie. But there's no mention of it anywhere. They also play up the music and many other aspects familiar from the game.

In the movie we meet someone who is what Bruce Wayne would have been if he'd become an assassin instead of a vigilante super hero. He knows how to fight, plans carefully, avoids personal entanglements, doesn't get emotionally involved, and doesn't want others doing his job.
He's one of many children kidnapped from around the world and trained as assassins. After pulling off a job killing a promising Russian presidential contender he finds that the man he killed is still alive and now there's a hit out for him. He and the hooker/girlfriend of the Russian politician are on the run for their lives while trying to solve the puzzle of who is trying to kill them and why the man 47 killed isn't dead.
The makeup, costumes, and cinematography match the game. The music is played in the beginning but ignored after that. The movie is shot like a series of game levels cut down to show only what's needed in 2 hours. They do the fight scenes without resorting to Matrix-type effects. They show some of the setup like you might do for a level but not enough for my tastes. I would have expected a few mini "Oceans 11" or "Thomas Crown Affair" type scenes.

For an action movie from 10 years ago this would be considered pretty damn good. But we've had "The Matrix" and a couple of "Bourne Whatever" movies to spoil us.

What really makes me keep from giving a glowing review is the fact that there's a few scenes that got re-dubbed badly so that the words and the lips start to give you a translated kung-fu movie feel.

Not sure if I'll get it on DVD. I want to like it more than I did.

Friday, November 16, 2007

WHAT!? What do you want!?!

Sorry, it's been one of those mornings.

The 20th anniversary of this department is this year so the boss lady wants to have a party next month. She wants the carpets cleaned and today is the one and only day that this is gonna happen.

At the same time we're trying to get another medical book off to the printers today before we all start doing Thanksgiving stuff.

These alone I could do. But the old boss has been working on this war atlas that should have been done a year and a half ago. He comes in for a week or two every other month or so. He was supposed to leave yesterday morning but the new boss wanted him to stay and talk about something. So he's still occupying the place where the cleaners NEED to start. We can't get his stuff off the ground. I told him flat out that he needs to go. He's still asking me to do mindless little tasks that any two year old could do.

"Burn this disk."
"Print these files for me."

I told him to print his own files. He's an idiot but I know he can do that. I told him I'm busy trying to do stuff for the person really in charge. Stuff that must be done today or not at all. He screams at me and tells me that I don't set the schedule. I told him he's right. "I don't set it, you don't set it, she doesn't set it, the cleaning staff sets it. They're here now or never and YOU'RE in the way."

Boss lady was right there and didn't say a damn thing either way.

sigh - the test pattern above means I'll be away for the next week. American Thanksgiving holiday and all that. I'll be back on Monday the 26th.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Return to roof

I gotta give Eric and his boys credit. They went up on my roof Wednesday morning, tore the surface off the roof, replaced the bad wood, put down insulation, covered the insulation, and got the rubber sheeting all put on in one day.

When I got home around 5:00 I saw someone on the roof waving a torch around. When I stuck my head through the newly re-opened hatch I saw them sealing around the pipes that stick through the roof. Everything else was done.

I'm used to tar for roof work. They used the torch to melt rubber sheets together and to make them stick to most everything else.

They had an extra guy or two up there to speed things along because they knew that today was gonna be a wet one. Really, if you're not in the area you don't know, but today is a real stress test for any roof.

They do have to come back Friday. They need to seal over the walls I share with my neighbors. Don't want water getting between the walls. Then they're gonna silver the rubber. That's when they paint the roof with a highly reflective material so birds flying over the house have heatstroke instead of the sun heating the roof.

I highly recommend using Eric and his crew at "CCI" for any serious housework. There's none of that starting a job and then vanishing for a few weeks. The work is solid and fast. He does it like he was working on his own house.

I posted his phone number after he finished my back wall. You can look it up for yourself or ask me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Solar Decathlon: window slats

First, the fundamentals. We've covered this before. The Earth's axis has a tilt of 22.5°. This is why we have seasons and why the days get longer and shorter as we orbit the sun. We here in Washington DC are located at a latitude of 38° (rounded for ease of math). So the sun never passes directly overhead even at the height of summer. Over the course of the year the angle the sun hits the southern exposure of the buildings changes from 38° at the Equinoxes... Equinoxii... Equinoxen?... Sept 22 and March 22 to 16° at the Summer Solstice (June 22) and to 60° at the Winter Solstice (Dec 22). By putting slats over your windows you can see out, keep out the summer sun, and let in more winter sun.

This side view of window slats shows how they offer varying protection based on the angle of the sun.

So obviously these would be popular at the Solar Decathlons.

These metal slats protect the deck. You can see that the slats are at an angle to allow in more winter sun than a standard horizontal model.

These two pictures show a fixed horizontal model modified to allow windows to open. A cable runs through the metal tubing that connects the slats.

These fixed horizontal slats are on tracks so they can be slid aside.

These were designed for shielding sliding glass doors. The whole thing slides aside and has the added feature of allowing sections to swing up to become huge slats that are spaced further apart.

QOk, but why would you want one on your house? Won't awnings do much the same thing?
AAwnings don't typically stick out far enough to provide the same solar protection and do very little except right around noon. Mostly they keep the rain off.

QI have blinds that can be easily lifted out of the way or adjusted to let in more light or block it completely.
ABut the sun has to come into the house before the blinds work. The outdoor slats keep the sun from getting in and heating the house.

They also offer the benefit of acting as shutters during storms. Hail and hurricanes are much less likely to smash your windows with slats over the windows. The rest of the house, however, is on it's own.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Roof stuff

As I mentioned on Oct 30 my roof leaks. Mostly in one particular spot but there's little spots all over. I called my handymen over and we went up on the roof last Thursday to have a look. Their conclusion was much the same as mine. The pea gravel, which they say should never have been put on this roof, makes it impossible to see where the leaks are and rule out just slapping on a new surface. So the surface is going to get torn off, insulation installed, new surface, rubber, tar, and then silvering on top to reflect the sunlight. It should have an insulating value of 25R even before I start putting on my multi-ceramic paint on the underside.

I suppose I should tell you about the multi-ceramic paint. I'm no expert. I've just discovered it myself. Even a Google search comes up pretty empty. It looks and acts like white latex paint. The difference is that it has a pretty high K value.

OK, K value. R value is a deceptive way to measure the insulating value of something. See R value was created as a marketing tool of OwensCorning. They define what it means so that their stuff always meets the guidelines. It typically assumes no wind or humidity at all so that the insulation can get shot to hell when there's any moisture in the air or a breeze. But it's what we know so it's what we use.

K value is a scientific definition for the thermal conductivity of a substance. The higher the number the more it resists transfer of heat.
More at

That said, I have no idea what the K value of the multi-ceramic paint is. It's about 20R, however. So a simple coat of paint under the new roof should bring me to 45R. More if I stick with my plan to attach a face to the roof joists and paint one or both sides of that.

The downside is that the stuff costs $100 per gallon.

I also picked up my bamboo flooring the other day. When I finish the wall, which should be done between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'm gonna rip up the carpet in that room and put down bamboo flooring.

Some of you are gonna protest. This is because you probably picked yours from Home Depot. I almost made that mistake, too. I only dodged that bullet because they stopped selling bamboo flooring.

See, there's soft bamboo, hard bamboo, and a medium bamboo. Home Depot was selling the soft stuff because it's cheap. People would get home, install the soft stuff, bring in their furniture, roll across the room in their desk chair, and leave grooves. Then they'd scream and yell at Home Depot for selling them crap. Home Depot had to offer lots of refunds and make lots of replacements. They lost money by selling that stuff so they stopped offering soft or hard. I got the hardest stuff available. It can be dented, but you'll need a 300lb woman in stiletto heels to do it.

In other news, I had to reprogram my digital thermostat. I went all summer without AC and went without heat as long as possible. But I did finally break down about a week ago. But last winter I had it topping out at 60°F when I was at home and awake. This winter I've had to reprogram it to top out at 65°.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Solar Decathlon: drains

When you have a 2GB memory card you take more pictures than you might otherwise. Including some lame stuff. I'm trying to skip the really lame stuff, but leave the only slightly lame.

These first two pictures are of a custom dish rack for drying your dishes. It's a stainless steel trough that runs along the wall behind the sink. There's wooden blocks that can be placed to cover the trough when not in use.
You can see in these pictures that it's elevated above the counter. So if you have the room you can put one in as an after thought instead of redesigning the kitchen.

Not really an environmental improvement so much as just something different that I thought looked cool. Same with these next two pictures.
Nifty shower drain, but I think walls around it would still be appropriate.
This is kinda slick, but I think I'd want the faucet on the other side. When cleaning the sink I don't want to have to keep hauling water up to the upslope side.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Solar Decathlon: Enough of the plants already!

Let's finish up the Solar Decathlon plant features

This house channeled all the rain to one point. From there the spout shoots it into a basin. From the basin there's three gutters with holes in them that run off to the sides to water plants. They said there's a basin under the deck to hold more water for dry spells.

The house with the scaffolding around it had a trellis clipped to the scaffold. The plants grow up and shade the house. My problem is that it also allows a place for mosquitoes to hide when the little bastards should be dying from heatstroke under the beating August sun. DIE YOU LITTLE BASTARDS! DIE!

A nice greenhouse for people with good knees.

A lovely water feature was built into this deck. I believe there were goldfish in there if for no other reason than to eat the mosquito larve that the standing water will attract. Stupid mosuitoes. I hate them so much.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Solar Decathlon: plant walls

A popular feature in this year's Solar Decathlon were plant walls. They're much like green roofs but more visible and easier to water. Some ran the runoff from the roof through the plants.

A close up of a plant panel.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Movie Review: Bee Movie

I'm gonna rip off an old post by Barry Smith. He provided the pics and the inspiration, but I'm rephrasing what he wrote.

Look at these Pixar posters. What do you notice?
They're colorful, they show the title, they show the characters, in small letters there's the company name. So what?

Now look at these Dreamworks posters. What do you see?

They're colorful, there's the characters, there's the company name, and in big letters there's the name of the voice actors. In the Shrek poster the names are bigger than the title.

This tells you something about the priorities of the studio. Pixar places the importance on the story. This is something Disney forgot how to do which is why Disney finally paid Pixar to take over Disney animation. They paid the owner of Pixar to become the majority stockholder in Disney. Pixar IS the star.

Dreamworks places the importance on the actors. Their movies aren't really bad, but they can't compete with Pixar. They need the famous actors as a crutch.

Barry goes on about it. Go read his post at
Be sure to read his now defunct comics at

This brings me to my review of "Jerry Seinfeld: The Movie" also featuring Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Jerry Seinfeld, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Jerry Seinfeld, Barry Levinson, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Jerry Seinfeld, Sting, Oprah Winfrey, Megan Mullally, Rip Torn, Michael Richards, Carol Leifer, and Jerry Seinfeld.

The hype behind this movie makes you think they're trying to start a religion, not pitch a movie. Most of the commercials were based around Jerry instead of the movie. Going in you knew that there was a bee that talks to humans and that Jerry Seinfeld was the voice of the bee. Other than that you knew almost nothing. Not even the other voice actors.

"Bee Movie" seems to be an attempt to get back some of the success they had with "A Bug's Life"... er, that was Pixar, I meant "Antz". You remember "Antz", don't you?

A bee is getting ready to enter the working life but can't pick a job. One thing leads to another and he gets the chance to see the outside world. There he discovers that humans are stealing massive quantities of honey from the bees. The bee sues humans and wins. This ruins bee society and endangers the planet as a whole.

The whole thing is amusing, but there's only a few laugh out loud points. It's very colorful.

I seem rather scornful of the movie but it's not as bad as I'm making it. It's a good story about someone trying to find their place in the world. A different director would have made the exact same script funnier where it should be funny and more horrific where it should be horrific. Even the environmental slant is really only visible if you're already aware of it.

It's not worth all the hype they put into it. I won't get it on DVD. But if you really miss "Seinfeld" or have kids then go see it.

In related news, Pixar's "Ratatouille" comes out on DVD today.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Solar Decathlon: Hydroponics

Hydroponics. I love hydroponics. It's growing crops without soil or having to get out in the beating, burning, Kansas summer sun. There's no problem with droughts or having harvest rained out. It'll be the major source of food if we ever get to Mars.
I wanted to buy my neighbor's house largely to have a place to install a large (for a residential area) hydroponic garden and grow fresh veggies all year long. That and I wanted a place to put a pool table.

I forget which school built this house, but they put a rather nice hydroponics system right outside the front door. Just step outside, get the morning paper, and pluck a salad. But being outside means that it's still seasonal. I'd want a wheeled rack that I could move indoors for the winter.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Book Review: The Years of Rice and Salt

Another book by Kim Stanley Robinson. This author is not for the young reader or the weak reader. Nothing particularly violent or sexual. He's just really hard to read at times. But this is one of his easier books.

This is a book in the alternative history genre. Instead of a simple "What if the South won the Civil War?", "What if Hitler won WWII?", and "What if we lost the Revolutionary War?" this book asks "What if the Black Plague wiped out 99% of Europe instead of just 30%?" and covers history from then until the near future. It tells the story in 10 novellas with each covering a different point in history.

Book 1
A scout for an invading Mongolian Khan discovers eastern Europe is devoid of life. The villages are all empty. Upon reporting the plague the Khan tries to have him killed so he can't infect the army. He flees and gives us a tour of Europe down to the Mediterranean where he's captured by slavers. He's taken around to China where he meets up with a black slave. Together they escape, find work in a palace, and are eventually executed together. They meet up again in the afterlife and are reincarnated.

These two are the connecting thread that connects all the stories. Sometimes it's clear who they are and other times it's not.

Book 2
We attach ourselves to a guy whose life is saved by a tiger. What with one thing and another he leaves his home and goes to wander the world. He finds work with royalty, he's fingered by former friends who are now rebels, he is sent to Medina, and eventually finds himself with a group going to colonize Europe. In Europe they try to establish a multi-faith community that follows the laws of the Koran as they're written instead of how they're interpreted by tradition.

Book 3
Having just fought off an invasion from Japan, the Chinese launch an attack on Japan. As is typical, the weather doesn't cooperate. Instead of a storm the wind just dies. The ship eventually lands in what seems like San Francisco. They meet the natives, train a young interpreter, and accidental give the natives smallpox.
Very apologetically they leave and head south. They go along Baja California, cross the equator, and end up in Peru. They meet the Incas who try to sacrifice their young interpreter friend. They return home.

Book 4
This book covers mostly the scientific revolution in the Middle East. Optics, gravity, the scientific method, anatomy, ballistics, metallurgy, and much more. This is cast in front of a background of an impending invasion from China.

Book 5
Japan having been thoroughly beaten a Ronan (Samurai without a master) has fled to the new world. We find him in the New York area. He's warning the natives of the threat from China. They're not the friendly traders they've seen. When there's enough they'll try to own the land and make the natives obey their laws. So the Ronan teaches them to make guns and immunize themselves against smallpox by rubbing smallpox scabs on wounds.

Book 6
A more philosophical chapter. This covers more of the faiths, interfaith conflicts of the age, and efforts to make a more uniformly acceptable faith.

Book 7
India has the great technological advantage. They've harnessed steam. They're the closest, in the old world, to gender equality. They're the most American nation. They have trains, steamships, and hot air balloons among other stuff. Then they send people into China to try to stir up revolution.

Book 8
World War 1. It's hard to figure exactly when it starts, but it seems to be between our own two world wars. It then lasts 67 years since there was no Spanish Flu to end it.

Book 9
Late 20th century/early 21st century. Nobody really won, but the Muslims have lost worse than others. Nobody is happy with how things sit. But scientists are figuring out Uranium and the danger of a bomb made of it. An international coalition of scientists unify to standardize weights, measures, the length of years, make sure nobody makes the bomb, and work toward peace.
Some hints about what happened in the Americas.

Book 10
Sort of a wrap up chapter. It takes place not long from now. History, philosophy, and the meaning of life.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Solar Decathlon: Plant rack

One of the houses at the Solar Decathlon had this great plant rack and watering system.

The full rack.

The water tank and closeup of the spigot.

Closeup of the actual pot holder.

The watering system is just a drip hose run back and forth at the high point of each pot.

Come on, Dad. You've got enough scrap metal around the farm. You can whip out one of these.