goal zero at Costco

Seems Costco has gotten Goal Zero to make them an exclusive Goal Zero power pack – the Yeti 1000.  Lithium battery, 42lbs, hook up to Solar panels or house current,  and only $1000.  If you check out their pricing, the cheapest cost per watt/hour is their Yeti 400 with the lead acid battery and that’s still over $1/ watt hour.

Now, if only the solar input connection worked!!  Know its not the panel of the wires as it works just fine with my Yeti 400 and the new unit is charging happily from the house current.

SIGH

Know, though, that Goal Zero has pretty decent customer service as I’ve had to use them in the past.  Lets hope they are as good with the Costco exclusive.  Or back to Costco it goes!

and yes, I know its made in China. . . .

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you cannot petition the lord with prayer

So said Jim Morrison, and exactly what does that have to do with this blog?

Recently I posted a blog expressing my concerns, my fears, and asking questions and was immediately blasted about spreading fake news and what was I doing about it.  Like a lot of people who are extremely unhappy with how things are going right now, this person was not specific about their POV, but still wanted to know what solutions I was bringing to the table. So what the hell, I’ll address some of the specific things that I’ve heard people protesting about. and I’ll talk about some of the things I’m unhappy about.

And that leads me to the title of this blog.  As someone who has been politically active for 50 years – yes, even before I had the right to vote – one of the things I’ve learned is “THEY” are not going to do anything about anything.  It MUST come from We The People.  and as an example, I’m going back to the dawn of time, the era before there were seat belts in cars.  If you aren’t that old, I’m going to suggest you check out some classic American cars, especially from the 50’s.  You will find cars that have more square footage than modern Tiny Homes!  and they did not have seat belts.  When a car would only do 25 or 35 miles an hour top speed, it wasn’t such a big deal. But by the 50’s it was BIG, HEAVY cars and HORSEPOWER.  people could drive at 100mph!  and when something that weighed 3 tons was traveling at those speeds and came to a sudden stop there was a lot of momentum for the contents of those vehicles and they usually ended up traveling forward, straight through the windshield!

And the cry was “They should do something about that”!  Well, seat belts were an option, an expensive one at that, costing about $150-$200 a pair, installed in the front seats.  But did people take that option?  No. it was too expensive.  Then when they went through the windshield of their car and were crippled or died, again, “They should do something about that” was heard.  So THEY did and made in mandatory to install seat belts.  and the prices of cars went up $500.  Yes, people would rather spend $500 at the dealer than spend $200 on their own.  and the word was made law.

But people still did not use their seat belts so ignition locks and automatic shoulder harnesses and beepers and flashing lights were invented.

And people used their seat belts but drove with their dogs and their kids on their laps. Or let them play in those spacious back seats until they had to come to a sudden stop and dogs and kids would continue on through the windshield and the people said “They should do something about that”.  So the law was passed about restraining your kids and not driving with anyone or anything on your lap.

Because people had stopped thinking and taking responsibility for themselves and were waiting for “THEM” to do something about it.  and that was then, and its gotten worse.

So back to modern times and people are unhappy.  Which is not unusual. No matter who is President, no matter who is in congress, there are people who are unhappy about it.  So what to do.

Well, if you are just unhappy with Donald Trump, the answer is Suck it up, buttercup!  Do you think everyone liked Ike (I Like Ike was one of his campaign slogans)? Think JFK won EVERY vote? that  people were as unhappy about the W winning the election  as they were about DT winning?  That’s how it goes. A lot of people were greatly disappointed in Obama, while others think he was the best president ever.  Both are right, because it is THEIR opinion and we are NOT marching in lockstep in this country. There are winners and their are losers and in part that is what keeps America on an even goal. We swing left, we swing right, not going too far in either direction, and averaging in the middle.  You work on the specific issues that are important to you – healthcare, poverty, the environment, etc – and you work to make sure there is a change at the next election.  THAT is the American way.

Some people say they want clean air, clean water, and good clean organic food.  At which I’ve got to say “where the hell have you been”?  The W put through the law that created Ethanol gasoline.  Causing BIG AG to start planting corn everywhere they could.  Corn is a heavy feeder and instead of rotating crops and letting the ground recover between plantings, it was chemical fertilizer to the rescue – which ran off into lakes, streams and rivers causing algae blooms and killing fish and leaving heavy chemical residues to leach into the ground and aquifers.  The last 8 years saw a VERY heavy shift to GMO’s.  that started 20 years ago (which would be the Clinton administration – and Hilary was a big proponent of GMO’s), but the big push has been in the last 8 years with more and more farmers being coerced into buying GMO seeds and using Round Up like it was irrigation water!  and DAMN the consequences.  Now Round Up doesn’t work anymore so there is a new batch of GMO seeds coming on the market along with a new round of herbicides.  and why doesn’t round up work anymore? because nature can do GMO’s too.  PLUS, once those genes are out there, they are there FOREVER and do cross into other species.

Yes, the GOP is dreadful on environmental issues – From their attitudes when Carter was trying for grass roots conservation and them saying “Its our right to use our resources in any way we see fit and if there is nothing left for our grandchildren, that will be their challenge to overcome” to Reagan’s interior Secretary James Watt and his condemnation of “environmental Extremists”.   BUT Fracking got a big push during the Obama administration and while we were all celebrating the demise of the Keystone Pipeline, he was okaying others left right and center, including the Dakota Access Pipeline which most of us wouldn’t never have heard of if it wasn’t for the Sioux tribes standing up against it.

Alternate energy sources are not the solution either.  BIG carbon footprint to build those windmills and solar panels.  The solution is to CUT our energy usage, not just find ways to keep being gluttons and what ever cost – because the cost is HUGE!

So yeah, the environment is at a tipping point.  Things like the heavy metals from the Animas water spill last year will NEVER be cleaned out of the river and WILL be detrimental to the people who use that river water, especially the Navajo that rely on it for irrigation of their crops.  Like GMO’s, we’ve reached a point where we have really limited our choices.

Then you have the over regulation of the organic food industry – now that’s something that can be worked on – that has made it impossible for organic growers to keep up with demand. and that has lead to things like Whole Foods marketing Organics when they are being imported from countries where there is NO regulation or certification for organic.

The only choice here is speak with your wallet.  Stop buying from groceries. Go to your farmer’s market, support your local growers, your artisan bread and cheese makers. Learn to make your own, grow your own if you can.  YOU are responsible for your well being.  Stop buying plastics; plastic bottles  – want Soda? get a Soda Stream and make your own. Get a water filter instead of buying cases of plastic bottled water which is often no better than your own tap water anyway!  Maybe that Berky water filter is expensive, but how much are spending every week on plastic?  Stop replacing your smart phone every time the latest model comes out.  Keep your car for 10 or 20 years.  The overall carbon footprint from keeping an old car is much lower than replacing it with a new one every few years to keep up with technology.  Keep your computer until it dies.  Use rechargeable batteries. Stop using plastic bags.  They are illegal in San Francisco, but why wait for someone else to TELL YOU that they are bad and FORCE you to change.

Be the Change You Want to See!!

Health care.  This is a biggie.  Before the Affordable Care act went into effect, a lot of doctors were establishing their own health care systems.  and this is a great idea. They were creating co-ops that their patients bought into guaranteeing them doctor visits and doctor time.  There are health savings accounts available that allow you to deposit money into them with a tax savings and that tax savings holds as long as that money is being used for health care, including glasses and dentists.  There are no minimum deposits, although there are yearly maximums.  and unlike your health care plan, the money accumulates, so if you don’t use it for years and years, you will have a healthy chunk in there should you need it. and it has no previous condition clause.  Top that all off with a catastrophic plan – usually minimum premiums with BIG deductibles – and you’re fairly well covered.  But all this needs to each individual taking personal responsibility for taking care of themselves and their families.

It does not mean we don’t keep the Medicaid program for those who need it, it just means the rest of us don’t lean on the government, but take care of our own.

Refugees – back in the day (post VietNam) we brought in a lot of refugees under private sponsorship.  What has happened to that?  Churches, quilting groups, bridge clubs, anyone who wanted to, would do the work of sponsorship. They provided jobs, places to live, made sure the refugees had clothing, health care, education opportunities, counseling if needed.  They didn’t wait for THEM to do something, they took responsibility and action.

The best poverty programs were always private and local.  People who could address what was needed in their communities because one size does NOT fit all.  Again, it means take responsibility, being active, being involved. Not expecting THEM to do something about it.

and lets be honest, is it appropriate to make someone else pay for YOUR conscience? you don’t want to pay for theirs, so why should they pay for yours?

Now one of the issues I hear a lot is “rights”.  What exactly does that mean?  We all have certain inalienable rights, guaranteed by law.  That does not mean people can be regulated out of being prejudiced.  It means they should not act on their hatred.  Unfortunately, ALL LAWS, are only enforceable AFTER the fact.  You can arrest someone for an act of hate, you can’t stop them from hating.  You can’t stop someone from drinking, only arrest them after they have driven DUI and done harm. You can’t stop someone from robbing the corner grocery store, only arrest them after the fact.  THEY cannot do something about it.  If you feel your rights have been compromised, call the ACLU. That is their job, to guarantee you are getting your constitutional rights.  Civil Forfeiture, the ACLU should be right on  it.  Unfortunately, they’ve been letting that one slide.  Matter of fact, they have been letting a lot of those civil liberty abuses slide.  But they are willing to be right there when its some event that will get them a lot of publicity.

If you don’t want civil liberty abuses, you want your rights, then work to guarantee EVERYONE their rights, even the ones you don’t agree with.  You can’t take someone’s rights away because you don’t agree with them, then expect them to support the ones you want!  That means you don’t like Donald Trump, you still have to let the ones who do have their way.  It isn’t just about YOU, its about EVERYONE!

Abortion is a common theme.  Well, abortion is legal under Roe vs Wade and that’s been challenged on a regular basis for the last 50 years. Its gone before conservative courts and its gone before liberal courts.  Every case is different and as long as people have the right to challenge a court decision, it will continue to come up.  Do you want to take away that right? then what other rights are you going to give up to make that happen.  Yes, you can’t take away other people’s rights because you don’t agree with their stance.  We’re back to Suck It Up, Buttercup.

Of course, I feel that people who are against abortion should be putting THEIR money where their mouth is. They should be providing support to that mother, making sure that baby is taken care of, goes into a good home.  Not making others pay for their conscience.

This is all hard.  Its much easier to say, Someone should do something about it.  But it always comes down to, you get results when you put in the effort.  If its your job, you get the paycheck, the raise, the promotion, for what you put into it.  If its your family, you get the good kids, the good lifestyle, for what you put into it.  If its your community, you get the good neighborhood for what you put into it.

If you are going to sit back and say “someone should do something about it”, you are just adrift in the stream and you will get stuck on the bank, or bang your head on the rocks, you’ll get tumbled by the rapids. So grab an oar and be the someone who is doing something about it, what ever IT may be.

 

electric Trike

have been looking for / at the idea of an Electric Tricycle for some time.  Living here, the days are usually mild, but traffic is getting worse.  It took quite some time yesterday to make the trip to the other side of town for a few errands and it was under 4 miles!  and a Trike will be quiet with low carbon footprint.

The market choices are increasing and I’ve been sort of waiting for a Pedego. They used to make a trike, and then they stopped and are supposed to come back to it next month. They are not cheap bikes, but there is a Pedego shop in town which would make it convenient for repair and parts. They are also not cheap.

But am now considering this worksman cycle.  made in America, but its biggest draw is the seat.  I’m a bit broad in the beam, so this would be a lot more comfortable than a bike seat! the negative is, just the basket behind the seat which would be a limitation for how much I could carry at a time.  Of course, the bike would make it so I’m more willing to go out a couple of times a week instead of just the one big run . .its also got a hefty 550lb limit.

Oh great, can’t copy and paste contents anymore!  What else can go wrong?? So I’ll type it out!

http://www.worksmancycles.com/pav3-3cb-eng.html

anyone have any experience with any of the electric Trikes on the market??

Thanks

eye in the sky

As it happened a friend dropped (literally) by the other day for lunch.  When he left town, in his helicopter, he buzzed our house and took some shots.  This was with his phone, nothing fancy.

As they were only from one angle, it was limited view.  BUT it was interesting to note what could be seen and what could not.  Such as, all the north facing roof still had snow, but the south, east and west facing did not; ie, we have good insulation up there.  How obvious it is that I am “summerizing” my greenhouse – that is using fabric to give a layer of dead air insulation and shield tender seedlings and later plantings from the heavy duty sun and minimize temp fluctuations, as well as keep it a bit cooler in the summer.

In this day and age of satellites and spy drones, one might want to get some aerial drone shots to see what can be seen and what can’t!

solar power

Finally saved up enough to purchase a Goal Zero 1250. and then discovered there is a new product, made in America, that is a 1000W unit with built in solar panels.  More expensive, but not really more than the goal zero kit w/ panels and easier to move around – as long as you have a cart, even with the lithium ion battery in the latter.

SO

am not doing it.

Have looked carefully at how long it takes to charge these things up using just solar power.  And while I do have an away use for the bigger battery, its not something I’ve ABSOLUTELY GOTTA HAVE.    And outside of the fridge/freezer, have nothing that can’t be powered with my Goal Zero 400.  For lighting have fallbacks of oil lamps, candles, as well as rechargeable lights.   If the S really HTF, things like phones and TV’s aren’t going to matter.  And even these bigger solar power battery units will only do the fridge for 12 hours and will take 2 days of strong intense sun to recharge, so WTF!  About the only thing they bring is buying the time to get all that stored food into cans or dehydrated.

so will look more at an extra 12v battery for the camper and a set up to use my solar panel (and maybe another) for charging it and a 12V run fridge for that.  The GZ unit I’ve got is easily transportable for using with a pump for moving water if necessary – either at home or away, like grabbing creek water to filter or purify.

If I were 40 years old or so, might be looking at using that bigger GZ for powering a small house and hooking up panels and a wind generator.  But I’m nearer to 70, not planning on going anywhere, so will look to use my money in better preps OR better technology.

any one experience this

had finally saved enough money for the Goal Zero 1250 and then found this company and their product.

Portable Solar Generator: Forty2

Made in America, includes the solar panels, 180W which is impressive

While I like the power supply separate from the panel so I can keep the panel plugged into charge while it is being used, this has its own pluses and either way you have to have long power sucking wires.

So before I bite the bullet for an alternate power supply for SHTF and my camper (which we are FINALLY getting to restoring), wanted some feed back.

Anyone?

calculating solar useage

This article came from Goal Zero for van/RV useage, but really can be extrapolated out for any use, for other devices similar to the Goal Zero, or even if you are building your own

http://www.goalzero.com/solarlife/2016/10/13/tips-for-installing-solar-on-your-van/?utm_source=Main_List&utm_campaign=6442268d91-11-9-16-vansolar&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f649b1a061-6442268d91-289602817&mc_cid=6442268d91&mc_eid=e44a9796ce