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Wed, Oct. 24th, 2007, 01:20 pm

Happy birthday to me.

Tue, Oct. 16th, 2007, 01:44 pm
I want to punch mayor Dave in the face.

Does Madison's mayor do anything that isn't a publicity stunt?

Madison just got 5 new hybrid diesel-electric buses. They tout this as a big environmental and financial thing! Look, these 5 buses together will save us 7300 gallons of diesel fuel per year!

The manufacturer's expected life of the NiMH batteries is 6 years. That's 43,800 gallons of fuel saved. At $3/gallon that's $131,400 over 6 years and 5 buses, or $26,280 per bus.

The buses only cost ~$200,000 more than a standard bus each!

So the mayor saying that these will save taxpayers money in the long run? Crap.

But it'll help the environment right? Too bad at least half of that $200,000 premium is additional manufacturing costs for the batteries and hybrid drive systems most of which is fuel cost. So ~$100,000 in coal to save $26,280 worth of oil? I don't know, but I don't think that's worth it.

I wish I could find a copy of the study that was done years back demonstrating that an all electric drive with a diesel powered generator as backup to the battery was significantly more efficient than the "synergy" drive type hybrids that drive the wheels directly with the combustion engine. I thought that it had been done by GM, the manufacturer of our new buses which use a direct drive from the diesel engine.

Oh, and one of the advertised features of the buses? 50% faster acceleration! That's the way to save that gas.

Also, hybrid buses made with ultra-capacitors, which are too low density to be practical for hybrid cars, have the advantage of never needing a staggeringly expensive and environmentally damaging battery replacement.

Tue, Sep. 4th, 2007, 01:46 pm

So, as of at the latest Friday evening my laptop has gone missing.

A large group of people tore my house apart looking for it. I'm reasonably confident that if it were in the house we would have found it unless someone deliberately hid it.

The last time I saw it was Wednesday early morning; it was in my living room. I didn't go looking for it between then and Friday. I'm forced to assume at this point that it was stolen from my living room.

So I guess if anyone sees a Panasonic Toughbook C-28 around Madison with significant wear where one would put their wrists when typing if one were a lazy git and a power cord that looks like it has been repaired right where the power cord meets the power supply it's probably mine. Those things aren't exactly common.

Here's a picture for anyone who doesn't know what one looks like:


If people could keep an eye out for it I would really appreciate it. I know that the rate of recovered laptops is really low, but I'd like to try to get it back.

Tue, May. 1st, 2007, 12:18 am

Hah. So I'm selling another car for a different friend. This one is fancier and more expensive. It's an '97 Audi station wagon with 86,000 miles on it. They're asking $9000. I put up an ad on Craigslist.

Know anyone looking for a swanky car?

Also, I promise I'll start posting things again that are not cars for sale although I don't promise that they won't be the same sort of vagary that I used to post.

Mon, Jan. 15th, 2007, 10:06 am
Re: Car

The Contour I have for sale is a '99 with 92,600 miles. It has a four cylinder and an automatic transmission. It has air conditioning, power mirrors, and cruise control. It has manual windows and locks. It has a radio with no tape or CD player. The tires are good, I drove it today in the snow and it handled well. It doesn't have a lot of power but it gets decent mileage. The body is in good shape and doesn't have any dings or rust.

The only problems it has that I know about are the door switch for the dome light doesn't work so you have to turn the light on and off manually and the driver side sun visor is missing the clip to hold it in place which doesn't really affect anything.

Sun, Jan. 14th, 2007, 04:51 pm

Anyone looking for a car? A friend of mine moved to Texas and left me her car to sell. It's a '99 Ford Contour in good condition. It can run off gasoline or compressed natural gas. She wants $2000 for it.

Fri, Dec. 8th, 2006, 07:56 pm

I've a house full of food and nothing I want to eat.

Mon, Dec. 4th, 2006, 05:14 am

I love the full moon, I stepped out into dusk at midnight.

I'm leaving my curtains open tonight and not really feeling a need to sleep.

Thu, Nov. 30th, 2006, 11:05 am

The problem with my voicemail message seems to be that too many people panic upon hearing it.

Fri, Nov. 17th, 2006, 12:14 am

Wikipedia quote of the night, from the entry on distillation:

"Distilled beverages such as whiskey and vodka are a part of many people's lives."

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