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By: JP Harr

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Monday, 20-Oct-2008 05:53 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Generator Shaft

Inside the power generation house, this is the spinning shaft of one of the generators. It is, in a word, immense. Down below, there are a series of venetian blind-like vanes that allow water in to spin the turbine. Above the shaft are the rotor and stator, charged by DC current, picking up electrons and sending the power out of the building. The current is sent through step-up transformers, routed through a switch yard, and pushed along wires to the nation's power grid. Just one of these spinning generators creates enough electricity to power the entire city of Seattle, Washington and its surrounding suburbs.

Tuesday, 7-Oct-2008 02:28 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Like I Told Paparazziboy, Here's What Happened Last Saturday

Saturday after buying that beater Acura then getting tags at the DMV (fun!) and getting a few car things done, I opened up the garage to assess my projects. What stood out were a handful of bicycles that I had purchased over the summer. I had a his-and-hers set of bright green Huffy Sportsman bikes from 1971. They each had racks, lights, 3-speed hubs, original whitewalls, and I picked them up for $5 each at an estate sale. I planned to eBay them and make my money back x10 or so. Then I also had recently picked up a 1962 Royal girl's bike, made in England, black with raised rib fenders, for $40. That wasn't the same great deal, but after cleaning up, I was probably going to keep it.
I have a neighbor who loves bikes. Builds heavy-duty commuter bikes with welded-on racks and generator hubs and lights and batteries. He buys up bike shop inventories and is always getting and giving and selling and building. He came over while my garage was open, asking if I wanted to see his newest acquisitions. After visiting a while, we started bartering. Soon he had all three of my bikes, and I was back home with a lightweight aluminum-and-steel hybrid road bike frame, two new complete wheels and a freewheel in back, handlebars and stem, two brake levers and a front brake, etc. I'm building a single-speed lightweight stripped down bicycle like I see all the cool people riding. It'll have one brake, on the front, one gear, one water bottle, and that's about it. With ring gear and rear sprocket combos and by adjusting the length of the chain, I'll find a ratio that I like. Checking the WWW for other riders' preferred combos, it shouldn't take long to find something that works well.
On Sunday afternoon I dug through Don's boxes of goodies for a crank hub and arms, a seat post and seat. I have pedals and will have to come up with the gears and chain. Right now all my existing parts are assembled and the bike feels nice and light, stiff and responsive. It's a fun little project I've been wanting to do, it cleans out my garage, and it'll make me even more cool than I was before! Plus, the Bell's Oberon beer, a local favorite, tasted very good.


P.S. My brother-in-law once told me a story about shopping for hiking gear, willing to pay a lot more for stuff that weighs a little bit less. It all adds up, you know. And then he started thinking about how much consumers spend for lightweight this and featherweight that, carbon fiber bikes and ultra fabrics.... And then he thought, "or I could just lose ten pounds of fat...."

Friday, 19-Sep-2008 16:28 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Sky In Eastown As I Envisioned It

--- rotated cropped saturated contrasted negativized and made yet more contrasty ---

Check this out, yo:

And this, too, if you love music:

You gotta watch this to the very end to receive maximum satisfaction:


Monday, 1-Sep-2008 23:41 Email | Share | | Bookmark


Friday, 8-Aug-2008 03:38 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Acadia National Park / Mount Desert Island / Bubble Rock

view xtra large!
Grrrl Power!

Seriously, this kid pretty much kicks ass with her grrrl power. Check out those muscles! I love strong women. =)

Weird thing is, she's only twelve years old; almost thirteen. It's a funny feeling being amazed by one's own kids.

Anyway, this place is called Bubble Rock, located atop a steep granite mountain(ish)top on Mount Desert Island / Acadia National Park. We were creeped out that we couldn't see anything over the edge. We knew something was down there, but for all we could see, it might have been a pit that lead straight to hell!
The hike up, wet and humid and steep and rocky, was completely satisfying, Olivia nearly running up the mountain, but out of breath like her old man. When we got to the top, we gave each other those freaky pin-prick heart attack sensations by getting too close to the edge.
The easier foto location was actually on the other side of this rock, but the wind was blowing rain right into my lens that way, so I moved back up and around to this side of Bubble Rock.
Olivia had fun posing, wondering aloud if anybody had ever been on TOP of the rock. Wondering next if anybody had ever fallen off this rounded, rocky mountain, she nevertheless felt pretty safe within a few minutes and started making me nervous again.
And I hoped, though I didn't wish it or anything, but I hoped that if we accidentally pushed the rock over the edge ~ if it was just the rock's time to go ~ that we did it on a clear day so that I could witness the awesome spectacle that would result.

For all my female friends out there: Grrrl Power!

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