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Comment: Re:I hope he doesn't build wood frame. (Score 1) 426

by drinkypoo (#49513075) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

If the house outlives its owner, it's done its job.

This mentality is why we can't have nice things — literally. We used to build things to last. They were so good and lasted so long that we would actually upgrade them. Now we build things to be as cheap as possible. They are so flimsy and disintegrate so quickly that we won't pay a dime more for them, either.

Now I'll grant you, it doesn't do you any good to build a home out of rough 2x6 when you site it on a flood plain, and many of our communities are in retarded locations. From that standpoint, it makes sense to build disposable homes. But in other countries, people are living in homes which have stood for hundreds of years, and they're not stick shit shacks. If they are timber structures, they're built in a way that we don't really build any more. We call it overbuilding, but that's arrogant nonsense.

Comment: Re:Look at previous disasters (Score 1) 331

The most local radio stations in Santa Cruz are the university station which is weak and an AM station which is literally in the middle of a slough at sea level.

Now I live in Kelseyville, which has three radio stations I get clearly, but all of them are repeated and I wouldn't count on 'em.

Comment: Re:Tired of this from valve (Score 1) 206

Wait, you left this anonymous comment? Because that was really fucking douchey. I assumed, since it was an anonymous comment, that comment was a reply from the same person who left this comment.

Now yeah, I did fail to put the comment together correctly — I failed to include the anonymous comment that would have made it make sense — but you failed to log in for just one comment you made in the thread.

So everything you said was factual, but it was not clear, because it wasn't clear that you said all of it.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 480

by drinkypoo (#49507291) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

To really handle it, you have to be able to prevent solar producers from putting power on the lines if there's too much production for the consumers.

Or come up with new ways to use the power, which ought to be pretty easy. Make carbon fiber, or hydrogen. If the power is just going to waste anyway, and the power company is serving as a waste load, efficiency doesn't matter.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 480

by drinkypoo (#49507281) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Unfortunately, the power company is still expected to make sure that the power comes in at the right voltage and frequency. And with control on only part of the inputs, that's a lot harder. The fewer inputs they control, the harder...

Yeah, but as it turns out, they're not actually very good at it. Any inverter worth more than a couple hundred bucks is better at producing a reliable sine wave than PG&E, for example.

As the amount of electricity you draw from their generators goes down, they're going to reach the point of needing to charge you a flat fee just for the connection to the power lines,

I sure hope it's a flat fee. I live in the sticks.

Comment: Re:Look at previous disasters (Score 1) 331

Can you cite a source for that kind of prohibition?

Here's an example, when I worked for Cisco in Santa Cruz we couldn't have a generator fuel supply on site because of local regulations, so we had a natgas generator. That's great, except that in a real situation you're supposed to shut off the gas. It's only useful for riding out simple power outages, which we never had.

Comment: Re:Me personally? no.. (Score 1) 331

I remember reading an article on building a cheap dipole antenna, is that still the smartest thing I can put up with minimal effort? Is it worth it to put it along the inside of my attic, or do I really need to have it outside? My home is on a rise. I have a HR2510 I scored for ten bucks and I want to see if it works. If it does, perhaps I'll learn how to use it :p

Comment: Re:Look at previous disasters (Score 1) 331

People with amateur licenses are helpful for some things, but they're absolutely useless for disseminating information over a wide area that's otherwise disconnected

Useless is a strong word, and "absolutely" is a strong modifier. Neither is warranted here. People with amateur licenses can put the word out manually to other people who can do the same. Meanwhile, those people are likely to have disconnected power sources, while many radio stations are in urban areas and are legally prohibited from having inexpensive, functional backup power.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 331

Jokes aside, most of us live in areas that are not prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or Godzilla. If you do choose to live in such places, it is important to be prepared, and have an emergency kit. In which you can just pack in a good ole' FM battery.

It would be much wiser to pack in a good ole' hand-crank FM radio. Prices range from just a few bucks on up. Around $30 will get you a halfway-decent radio/flashlight combo.

Of course, $5 will get you a hand-crank cellphone charger...

Comment: Re:What? (Score 2) 331

It's not just you, but I'm guessing you've never been in a tornado/hurricane shelter without power huddled around a battery powered radio listening to storm updates.

I bet you're right. I haven't either, but I still own a wind-up radio that's stored with all my disaster relief supplies. (That's not mine, mine is not for sale, just the first link I found with the same thing. I got mine at a yard sale.)

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling