is carlton a mormon?

who broke my window?

i remembered this video the other day. i don’t know why, but maybe it’s better that i don’t know. this commercial played a hundred times while watching afterschool cartoons growing up. now that i saw the video again, i can’t stop humming this damn music. i wonder how i can remember a lot of the lyrics to the song but then have trouble remembering the difference between cabbage and lettuce while at the grocery store.

always a good reminder of where we stand

Pale Blue Dot by Voyager 1
Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan


everytime i see this picture it puts things in perspective of where we stand in this world of ours. carl sagan says it best:

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

stop fracking around

after getting the volt, i wanted to see what the real cost savings is compared to regular gasoline. PGE offers some great nerdy stats on their website if you are on the ev-a tiered electric plan. my household is in the lowest tier ($0.09/kWh) most of the time. this is especially remarkable considering i live with a family that leaves lights on in empty rooms, uses high-energy devices like hair dryers and curling irons, and a pool pump that runs a few hours a day. the hair dryers and curling irons have a positive impact on female appearance, so i consider that an acceptable trade-off.

tiered ev-a plan usage stats per day

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 12.25.19 PM
after digging into the hourly stats and using my best estimation based on time-of-day usage like running the clothes dryer and that aforementioned pool pump i came up with this:

ED: 50 miles of driving back and forth to work is $1.00
ED: 250 miles for the week = $5.00

compare this to wife’s car at about 20mpg, and assuming gas is $4.00:

WIFE: 50 miles of driving back and forth to work is $10
WIFE: 250 miles for the week is $50

for the year, that’s $250 for my car vs $2500 for her car but this number reflects the best case, and there are plenty of things that could affect that number, such as:

  • using electricity all the way back and forth to work. currently, i have to dip into about .2 gallons of gas on a couple days because of traffic flow. my range actually increases when i am in stop-and-go traffic because of regenerative braking.
  • gasoline is priced at $4/gallon. currently, you can find it at ~$3.80/gallon if you look. in the midwest, the electric car advantage wouldn’t be so great because gas prices are below $3.50/gallon, but i think there would still be considerable savings.
  • whether it’s me of the wife driving the car. she tends to have inefficient driving techniques while on electric power along with using the AC at all times. i only use the AC when the temperature runs into the 90’s or i have guests in the car.
  • summer electricity is cheaper than winter electricity.
  • west coast vs east coast geography since i believe that natural gas powers lots of our electricity here in the west but some electricity on the east coast is still powered by coal and is more expensive. also battery efficiency drops in cooler temperatures, such as in the northeast. here in california, it’s 70 and sunny for half the year.

i’d still like to get solar panels for the roof to offset my monthly electric charge by selling my electricity back into the grid. how cool is that?