Sun. July 4, 2021 – Independence Day…

Surprise! Hot and humid, possibility of rain… kinda like yesterday. So more of the same, and then possibly some tropical storm stuff coming. Joy.

Spent the rainy day indoors mostly doing auction stuff. I watched two auctions with good stuff that had very poor sales. One failed to sell anything on my watchlist, the other sold only 1/3 of the items. Both had higher starting bids. The prices were still discounted, and probably where the items would have sold, but buyers don’t like high opening bids. They want to feel like they’re getting a real deal, and they won’t if they are the only bidder. They will feel like they paid too much if no one bids against them. Turns out there is a lot of psychology to sales. (That should be obvious, but the sellers continue to bang their heads against it) I ended up buying stuff at two other auctions, mostly $1 and $2 lots of industrial stuff, or household stuff. There was a lot of stuff that went very cheaply.

The specialty tool I bought from amazon arrived, and it was clearly an open box item. Not sold that way, of course. It was cheap, and in fine condition, but I’d have expected to pay even less for it, if I’d known. I will likely only use it once or twice a year, just like whoever used it once and returned it.

In between the rain drops, I harvested another 1/3 cup of blueberries. I’m very pleased with the harvest from the skinny little twig ‘bushes’ this year. Goes to show that the best time to plant fruit trees was 5 years ago… so get something planted. It takes a while to develop.

Later today we’ll be taking child 1 to GS camp for the week. That should make it easier for me to do stuff, with just one child at home to keep occupied. I really hope I can do some of the stuff that needs doing.

———————————-

On this Independence Day, take some time to reflect on how far we’ve come away from personal independence, and think about any areas that you can improve your own independence, in whatever area you think you can. And teach your children well.

Of course, having a pile of resources helps maintain independence in a number of areas, so keep stacking too.

Celebrate what we had, and what we still have more of than almost anyone else on earth. If it turns out that these are ‘the good old days’, let’s make them as good as we can.

nick

48 Comments and discussion on "Sun. July 4, 2021 – Independence Day…"

  1. PaultheManc says:

    In the UK there are discussions about COVID vaccination of children – indeed, certain local authorities have already offered vaccination to children in contravention of government guidelines. If I had children, I would currently refuse to let my child be COVID vaccinated – risks vs benefits. The vaccines are currently authorised under exceptional/emergency rules and have not completed there normal approval cycle.

    My twitter feed introduced me to Dr Byram Bridle who is expressing serious concerns in Canada.  A useful introduction to his thoughts are https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByW3WrU_Xxs .

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  2. drwilliams says:

    “The Star-Spangled Banner,” originally “In Defence of Fort McHenry”
    by Francis Scott Key

    O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
    Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    https://starspangledmusic.org/the-star-spangled-banner/

  3. drwilliams says:

    Every year since 2004 Scott Johnson at the Powerlineblog has made two posts on important speeches made on Independence Day. I’m sure there are more, but I reread these two every year and highly recommend them.

    Posted on July 4, 2021 by Scott Johnson in History, Lincoln
    The eternal meaning of Independence Day
    “On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech.

    …”

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/07/the-eternal-meaning-of-independence-day-14.php

    Posted on July 4, 2021 by Scott Johnson in History
    The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)
    “President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today as the higher wisdom:

    About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/07/the-eternal-meaning-of-independence-day-2-7.php

  4. ech says:

    Dr Byram Bridle who is expressing serious concerns in Canada.

    Which he has no evidence for.

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  5. ech says:

    In regards to motorcylists: What is the medical term for a motorcyclist? Organ donor.

     

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  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    Quiet night and quiet day so far.

    only 84F at 1030, with 77%RH

    sun is out, but not a breath of wind.

    n

  7. Mark W says:

    Re Starlink yesterday. These articles always focus on radio propagation speed in a vacuum as opposed to light propagation in fiber. That’s only part of it. The article quoted yesterday had some inaccuracies. The round trip on Hibernia Express is 58.55ms, or 29.25ms one-way, Canada to UK. I haven’t seen realistic estimates of RTT on starlink yet.

    The issue boils down to the equipment in the path, not the speed of propagation. In an undersea cable, for financial use-cases, the circuit is switched with only regenerator equipment in most of the path. Switches add microseconds, routers add hundreds of microseconds.

    The path for starlink traffic traverses the internet, multiple routers, uplink, several satellites with routers, downlink, internet. Financial traffic will traverse only switches and regen equipment, saving several milliseconds over a satellite path.

    Note that the financial people can afford to pay huge fees for these direct paths, whereas for the regular user, starlink may actually be faster. Hibernia Express is 53 Terabits, Starlink is unknown?

    Also, it would not surprise me if Starlink has some new(ish) technology in the sats that is a hybrid of a router and a switch, to improve latency.

     

  8. Brad says:

    I know I’m naive, but…

    Direct paths and shaved microseconds should not matter. Not even to big financial institutions. They only matter, because said institutions are allowed to cheat, inserting themselves into the middle of other people’s transactions.

    Tax gains by how long a security has been held. Anything under a day, and gains are taxed at 100%. Or even 1000%. Problem solved.

  9. Geoff Powell says:

    @brad:

    Tax gains by how long a security has been held.

    Never happen. The vampire squids of this world will break out the lobby cannons to avoid it. Especially in the US. The sad thing is how small a calibre the lobby cannons need to have.

    G.

     

  10. drwilliams says:

    Better to tax per transaction to pay for the infrastructure.

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    Beware of unintended consequences. Big changes can have big bad outcomes.
    n

  12. JimB says:

    My point was that Musk has convinced backers with big bux that they want Starlink, and li’l ol’ me will (hopefully) benefit. The earlier two LEO systems failed for want of money. Third time’s a charm? I hope so.

  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    DoD wants starlink although they don’t name them directly in solicitations, there isn’t anyone else capable of providing what DoD wants.

    Iridium sat phones still work because DoD and .mil need them.

    What’s amazing is the amount of share holder and bank money that was wiped out developing iridium and competitors. I hope the same doesn’t hold true for starlink.

    n

  14. Greg Norton says:

    My point was that Musk has convinced backers with big bux that they want Starlink, and li’l ol’ me will (hopefully) benefit. The earlier two LEO systems failed for want of money. Third time’s a charm? I hope so. 

    Don’t forget about CLEAR, the most recent “pizza box” dream which melted down within the last decade. No satellites, but the promise was the same — fire the phone and cable company.

    The power and money behind the CLEAR debacle has their name on a concert hall in Seattle.

    https://www.mccawhall.com

  15. pecancorner says:

    Let me try again, without the single URL* to President Trump’s speech….

    Happy Independence Day, everyone!   Thank you for the links and lyrics, drwilliams.

    Went to church at the little local Methodist church (not our usual, but the whole congregation are our friends, neighbors, and family, so I’ve been going because it is 3 blocks away). We sang all the verses of America (My Country Tis of Thee) and America the Beautiful, and the pastor gave a great patriotic sermon.

    *Just as well I had to repost because I had the songs wrong in the first one. 😀

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  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    https://www.militaryaerospace.com/search?ebm_mae%5Bquery%5D=satellite%20mesh%20

    lots of articles, one of which must be the one that spelled out the DoD plan to leverage COTS space based mesh networks, along with public internet…. but I’m not re-reading them all.

    n

  17. JimB says:

    What is the medical term for a motorcyclist? Organ donor.

    I’m sunk. At my age I doubt any of my organs would be useful. Especially since I started riding at age 14. Can’t fix stoopid.

  18. JimB says:

    Oops, of course I started riding a two wheeler at a much earlier age. I blame my dad, who was also an excellent roller skater. I was nowhere near as good.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    Let me try again, without the single URL* to President Trump’s speech….

    Trump was the lead on the “This Week” broadcast’s roundtable discussion. The show was on the TV in the continental “free” breakfast area of the hotel where we’re staying.

    If the dollar price is $0 …

    The only reeducation I took away from the presentation is how the show director kept using Avery Harper’s bustline in the group shots to focus attention back on Martha Radditz’ face in the following close-ups whenever the topic changed.

    “This Week” certainly has fallen a long way in 20 years, the last time I watched on a regular basis. At least when Enron was a sponsor, a chance existed of real information being imparted.

  20. Alan says:

    Quiet here so far today, last night also…maybe because there’s yet another shortage…

    https://www.businessinsider.com/fireworks-in-short-supply-ahead-4th-of-july-prices-rise-2021-6

  21. Greg Norton says:

    lots of articles, one of which must be the one that spelled out the DoD plan to leverage COTS space based mesh networks, along with public internet…. but I’m not re-reading them all.

    The “spin” du jour of the company where I worked briefly in Seattle was military mesh networks using commodity hardware, building on previous tech the founders developed for first responder communications after 9/11. The DoD has been interested in adapting commercial tech for a long time, but the downside puts the country at the mercy of many overseas suppliers.

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    So how does the done nothing, has nothing step daughter of the VP stay in a $5000+ per night hotel?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9754999/Kamala-Harriss-stepdaughter-Ella-Emhoff-seen-France-GQ-editor-boyfriend-Sam-Hines.html

    Boytoy’s job doesn’t pay. Maybe he’s got money?

    Or it could be that they’re not paying…

    n

  23. Greg Norton says:

    Or it could be that they’re not paying…

    Step daughter of the future President of the US?

    Not paying.

    Go watch “The Last Movie Star”.

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  24. JimB says:

    Happy Independance day to all here. Quiet here, too. Our little town had its fireworks display last night. It is at the fairgrounds, 2.6 air miles from us, and near the low elevation of the valley. We are a couple hundred feet higher, and sat in comfy chairs in our driveway to watch it. Some years if it is windy, we sit in our living room. We get a larger angle outdoors, and can see all the private fireworks around the valley.

    It was billed as the biggest display in our history, in part because last year’s was canceled due to wuflu, and there was some money already donated. Our Lions Club runs it, completely on donations. I think last year was the first year skipped in its 50+ year history. Seems like the variety and colors get better as time goes on.

    One year about 20 years ago, we flew on a commuter plane out of LAX about 9 PM on July 4. We were surrounded by fireworks. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen.

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  25. lynn says:

    Went to church at the little local Methodist church (not our usual, but the whole congregation are our friends, neighbors, and family, so I’ve been going because it is 3 blocks away). We sang all the verses of America (My Country Tis of Thee) and America the Beautiful, and the pastor gave a great patriotic sermon.

    We had a combined service with about 700 people in our 900 seat auditorium. Then we had a couple of food trucks outside in the covered drive through with lots of tables in our gym XXX family center. BBQ and ice cream, a great combo.

    I was late to church so I did not catch the songs other than “God Bless America”. My arthritis is really bothering me right now with all of the rain. Me and my right hip are not getting along at all lately.

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9753683/Leader-Rise-Moors-militia-arrested-Massachusetts-standoff.html

    Things are getting weirder.

    I’m of two minds about these guys. They are right that simply having a gun isn’t a legal reason for suspicion or cause. On the other hand, wth were they actually doing? They’re buffoonish enough that if they had something planned, it would probably have been obvious, and there hasn’t been any statement about any threats.

    “I’ve got three guns”… oh you sweet summer child. That would be an embarrassing admission of inadequacy in huge swaths of the country.

    Two of their group are so crippled by pre-existing conditions that after a few hours on foot they needed to be hospitalized…

    LARPing? Pretty sure that is the fact if not the intention.

    Pretty dumb to drive thru an antigun state while armed up in the most visible possible way.

    —–

    and then there is this

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9754819/Alabama-police-search-suspects-home-Democratic-state-senator-shot-23-times.html

    Hmmm. Nothing says “we know where you live” like a mag dump.

    n

  27. MrAtoz says:

    My Jackery 2000 solar “generator” stopped charging yesterday. It won’t take a charge from solar, 12DC input, or AC. Output is fine with 83% left on the battery. I sent an email to Jackery and got an auto-response. I don’t expect to hear from them until Wednesday. I have a two year warranty on it. I always register expense stuff like that with the company. There is a short click when input is applied, LED power in illuminates, then goes out after a couple of seconds. I expect there is no self maintenance on it, but sounds like a circuit breaker is popping. About 40 pounds, so I don’t know how it will RMA. If they use UPS, I’ll just drop it at a store and let them do it. Since they sold out (still out on their web) I don’t know if they have backups to send out. I won’t settle for anything but a 2000. This could be *fun*. If I can get it out next week, YAY, since I’m going to Vegas for 2+ weeks. The Twins can accept a replacement delivery while I’m gone. Did I mention I don’t expect a speedy replacement. Currently using a Rockpals 300 that powers the Dometic and solar charges at the same time with no problem.

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    Sometime recently it started to rain… guess we don’t have to decide if we want to go to the pool this afternoon.

    n

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvQZcG2PHHc

    “Feels Like Rain”

  29. lynn says:

    “Boston police officers sing ‘God Bless America’ in cruiser”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgRLr0qSUtA

    We saw this in church this morning.

  30. lynn says:

    “Global Warming 33 Year Birthday a Celebration of Failures”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/06/30/global-warming-33-year-birthday-a-celebration-of-failures/

    “Climate alarmists are celebrating the 33 years that have passed since the June 23, 1988 Democratic Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing that opened the door on global warming climate alarmism with testimony from Committee Democratic Senators and supposed “experts” sharing their speculation of sensationalized doomsday perspectives allegedly caused by increasing global CO2 emissions.”

    All a bunch of lies and wild conjectures.

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  31. lynn says:

    To those interested, the ERCOT webmaster informed me that the old front web page with the 24 load / demand curves is still available at:
    http://www.ercot.com/mp

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  32. paul says:

    It looked like we were going to get some rain but the thunder and the clouds went around.  Dropped the temp from 86F to 80 for a couple of hours which was nice.

    I moved the potted plants from the covered porch outside the living room slider to the patio.  With the tomato plants.  They’ll get more sun and more water.  The tomato plants are not impressing me.  They look nice, smell good, but actually having tomatoes? Not so much.  Oh well.

  33. Alan says:

    The only reeducation I took away from the presentation is how the show director kept using Avery Harper’s bustline in the group shots to focus attention back on Martha Radditz’ face in the following close-ups whenever the topic changed.

    It’s Averi, not Avery…according to a friend…

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  34. Alan says:

    Three corners of the house now covered by LED floodlights, one more to go.
    One dead spot by the wife’s “she shed” that will need a solar-powered light. Will check at Costco on Tuesday. And an LED shop light for my shed.
    More/new exterior cameras next on the list.

  35. ~jim says:

    One dead spot by the wife’s “she shed”

    Does she sell seashells in her she shed?

    The other day someone mentioned a street sign which read “Seat belts must be worn”. Forgot to mention it at the time but my favorite is “Slow children at play”.

  36. Ray Thompson says:

    need a solar-powered light. Will check at Costco

    I have two of those installed in the RV cover. They work really well. Install the solar panel where it gets sun, then the light where needed.

    I have seven motion activated lights around the house.

  37. Alan says:

    Does she sell seashells in her she shed?

    No, she writes.

    The other day someone mentioned a street sign which read “Seat belts must be worn”. Forgot to mention it at the time but my favorite is “Slow children at play”.

    That was me. Remembered yours when I saw it. There’s also “Draw Bridge Ahead” – what if I don’t have pencil and paper?

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  38. Nightraker says:

    That was me. Remembered yours when I saw it. There’s also “Draw Bridge Ahead” – what if I don’t have pencil and paper?

    My favorite was McDonalds “Drive Thru Parking Only”.

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  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    I decided to clean out my pc and re run some of the cables under the desk.  It’s all still apart…

    Made dinner during that time though, and did some other cleaning as well.  Using the NVR pc to type this.

    n

  40. nick flandrey says:

    Ok back up and running with the keyboards swapped, some power cables cleaned up, and about a pound of dust removed from inside.  Two cans of spray air…

    I need to do the same with the NVR pc, it is so hot I can’t comfortably rest my arm on top of it.  Tomorrow for that mess.

    n

     

  41. lynn says:

    There is no firework shortage. My neighbors started about about 6 pm and got serious about 9pm. I just watched three finales from my backyard.

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  42. Mark W says:

    To those interested, the ERCOT webmaster informed me that the old front web page with the 24 load / demand curves is still available at:

    Thanks! The old graph is much more useful to a layman like me.

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  43. nick flandrey says:

    My 10yo listens to country music.  This has been in heavy rotation on whatever she listens to.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi7ORv3JOTc

    Jordan Davis ft. Luke Bryan – Buy Dirt (Lyrics)

    –I can’t find any bad advice in it.

    n

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  44. nick flandrey says:

    Weird, and starting to make more sense…

    Gunman who shot and killed pro-golfer, 41, at Georgia country club after he drove onto a green had two other bodies stashed in his truck and is still being hunted by cops

    Gene Siller, 41, was killed in a shooting at an Atlanta-area country club Saturday
    Siller was identified as the victim by the Georgia State Golf Association
    Police later revealed that they had discovered two bodies in the bed of a pickup truck nearby the scene of the shooting
    One of the bodies was identified as Paul Pierson, the registered owner of the truck
    Siller was a pro golfer, a golfing instructor and director of the club where he was found dead. He leaves behind a wife and two young children
    He reportedly tried to stop the truck from driving onto the golf course before he was shot
    The unidentified gunman is still on the loose as of Sunday evening

    –after the first one, the rest are free….
    n

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  45. lynn says:

    “Natural Gas, America’s No. 1 Power Source, Already Has a New Challenger: Batteries”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/batteries-challenge-natural-gas-elecric-power-generation-11620236583

    ” Vistra Corp. owns 36 natural-gas power plants, one of America’s largest fleets. It doesn’t plan to buy or build any more.
    Instead, Vistra intends to invest more than $1 billion in solar farms and battery storage units in Texas and California as it tries to transform its business to survive in an electricity industry being reshaped by new technology.”

    “Even in Texas, a state with a fiercely competitive power market and no emissions mandates, scarcely any gas plants are under construction, while solar farms and batteries are growing fast. Companies are considering nearly 88,900 megawatts of solar, 23,860 megawatts of wind and 30,300 megawatts of battery storage capacity in the state, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. By comparison, only 7,900 megawatts of new gas-fired capacity is under consideration.”

    This is my old employer in the 1980s. They are moving to solar and batteries. They are the still the biggest power supplier in Texas, 40% in the 1980s, 25% now. They supplied 45% of the power during the Texas freeze using stored diesel.

    Buy a generator now.

    Hat tip to:
    https://caseyhandmer.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/the-unstoppable-battery-cavalcade/

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  46. JimB says:

    Buy a generator now.

    I have one I have never used.

    My three off-grid friends haven’t run their gensets in years. The oldest installation, over 35 years,  has three generators: a small one for continuous operation with low fuel consumption, a big one for occasional use (powering larger shop equipment,) and a spare, which is an old unit demoted to emergengy use. The other two friends started with PV solar, so their gensets were for high power needs and emergencies. All have found it less hassle to upsize their solar systems, and all still use lead acid batteries. We are blessed with some of the highest insolation in the country, so batteries mostly need to carry them through the night. All say long term living with a generator is no fun. Fuel and maintenance costs can be high.

    Like SteveF, my priority is reliability, not lowest cost. I probably will get a system in a few years. It will be grid interactive, but with the ability to operate independently. It will have just enough battery capacity to get us through the night.

    I don’t plan on using a generator. The only fuel I would store is propane. No nat gas on this site, and storing diesel long term is asking for trouble. Gasoline would be good, and the most available here in emergencies. But running a genset for weeks or months is not something I want to do. Solar looks better all the time, at least for my needs.

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  47. Nick Flandrey says:

    Be prepared to do more and more of what you expected society to do for you in the past. Water, power, medical, safety….food.

    n

  48. brad says:

    All say long term living with a generator is no fun. Fuel and maintenance costs can be high.

    Perhaps only vaguely related, but: I have garden equipment (mower, weed-whacker, chainsaw, etc.) that’s all gas-powered stuff. Much of it I’ve had for 20+ years – we invested in good equipment, and it’s paid off.

    A neighbor just loaned me his electric weed-whacker to try. I should point out in advance that I’m using it to basically mow a meadow of grass and plants that are up to 6 feet tall. This isn’t lawn edging.

    Damned if the thing doesn’t work better than my gas-powered beast. The battery lasts about an hour of hard usage on a charge – then you either use a spare, or drink a coffee while it’s on the fast-charger. The thing is quiet, so you don’t have to wear ear-protection, and you don’t irritate all the neighbors. Add in: no engine servicing, no fuel costs (if recharging off of our solar), no exhaust fumes.

    It may just be time for new equipment. For anyone interested, here’s the company: Ego Power Plus

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