Grand Kids

Life is always interesting with the grand kids visiting. Tonight when I did my walkabout to make sure the house was in order, I discovered that I had spilled some oil when I topped up the damned ICEd vehicle… In the kitchen I heard a soft rushing sound. I checked all the bathrooms and the heat-recovery ventilator. All off. Then I went to the utility room and saw dripping pipes where the cold water is distributed. Sure enough one of the garden hoses was left running. It’s been raining for days. We had no need to turn it on but kids can turn things on just because they can… Sigh.

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On The Good Dying Young

It’s sad when the good die young but it happens too often, except in my yard. Lately, I’ve had a hare chewing the leaves off some of my seedling fruit trees. I hate that. Today, one of the grand kids found a dead hare in my yard, probably a victim of the neighbour’s prowling Siamese cat. I’ve seen the cat several times. It’s a hunter, and, apparently a killer. Maybe it’s a vegetarian… I found no wound on the hare although a canine to the neck doesn’t need to draw much blood. The hare was perhaps half grown and encountered the cat at ambush. It’s all good. One less hare to feed this winter…

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Intelligence Report On Solo EV

“The staff at DoubleTree did a great job of giving me an orientation on the operation of the vehicle, and the travel range of the car (160km on a full charge) was perfect for my travel between downtown Victoria and Nanaimo – I arrived with 30% charge to spare, and I was NOT light on the go pedal – getting the car up to 130km/hr on several passing occasions. While the Solo won’t win any drag races, 0-60km/hr in 8 seconds was more than enough to keep up with traffic both in town and on the highway.”
See Rent DoubleTree’s 2018 Electra Meccanica Solo in Victoria, BC
Since I can’t/won’t travel to Vancouver to test the Solo EV, I have to glean data wherever I can find it. Today I found a report from a guy who rented a Solo for highway travel on Vancouver Island. Driving 110km/h he covered 111km from Victoria to Nanaimo and had 30% charge remaining. I can do the maths:

  • 30% remaining means 70% was used.
  • 111km/70% is 1.58 km/%.
  • ergo, 100% range would be 158km, right on spec…

Google Maps shows the trip takes 1h27m, 1.2758 km/minute, 76.5 km/h average speed. While some stretches may be 110km/h, much is residential/commercial and slower. I found a maximum of 90km/h using Google Maps along Island Highway but some places do have higher limits. So, Robert Pogson tootling along at 70km/h on the fast parts should easily get well over 160km range because the air-drag is 40% at the lower speed (70, not 110, and 60% of drag at 90km/h). I love it! If I win the lottery I will travel to Victoria to rent me a Solo EV.

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WhooHoo! The Range Of My Future Solo EV Has Just Been Extended

I last wrote about the range of my Solo when a new charging station appeared on the road west towards Portage La Prairie. Well, today, I found a new station at Oak Hammock Marsh. It doesn’t much help me reach Gimli on Lake Winnipeg because there’s quite a bit of retracing footsteps involved but it does help me reach the bush where I grew as a boy and where I know how to find all the nuts and berries. Instead of being at extreme range, my boyhood haunts are now at a comfortable distance.

The world is changing one charging station at a time helping me and others drive electrically, efficiently and using renewable energy.

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EMV Meets LA

NEWS: Electra Meccanica Vehicles will open its dealership in Los Angeles October 12, 2018. This is a milestone. They’ve just repaved an old BMW dealership at Colfax Ave and Ventura Blvd in preparation for a soft opening next week and the grand opening will be held at the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica. Mass shipments to LA will be ~20 in November and then hundreds per month thereafter. They will load 5 per container…

EMV has also hooked up with DHL, the delivery people…

Sadly, safety compliance testing may not be complete in Canada until April/May 2019…

NB The CEO reports he can get 200km range on the highway driving Solo at 110km/h. I love that… 🙂 If I drive 70 km/h, I might get 200kmX(121/49)=493km range! Tesla, look out!

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“Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess announced recently at a management event that company employees will be asked to switch to clean electric cars with the promise of bonuses and other incentives. While top managers have shown little enthusiasm, Diess is of the opinion that the company cannot ask customers to buy clean cars when employees are still driving diesel.”
See VW CEO Wants Managers To Drive Electric
I agree! VW messed up royally with dieselgate and like most EV-makers has not done much to push EVs. If they ever want to return to leadership they need some top-down action soon. I doubt getting bosses to drive electrically will affect consumers but it’s sure to be noticed by middle management and employees. If they see the bosses are serious enough about EVs to drive them maybe the bosses will actually appreciate employees making and selling the things…

It’s just a thought. It may happen or it may not but the world would be a better place if one more EV-maker who also makes belching cars would not handicap EVs. We have the technology. No stone should be left unturned to achieve maturity in the market-place. I hope this results in more EVs in showrooms and being test-driven and bought by consumers. I think several makers of EVs have the malaise of treating EVs as second rate. Makers of EVs who make nothing else may also be ill with overconfidence. We need to cure both. The EV is the right way to drive and we had better mostly be using EVs in ten years or we are in serious trouble. The time to start was a decade ago. We’ll have to work hard to catch up to where we need to be.

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On Asparagus

Asparagus officinalis is one of the few vegetables that I can reliably grow in my garden. It’s tough and rides out the winter wonderfully well. Its roots are aggressive and compete well enough with weeds. Especially, I love it because TLW loves it. She wants the whole garden growing it… Why not?

Years ago, I bought 10 roots of asparagus from T&T Seeds. Most survived and thrived. Two years ago I bought hundreds of seeds from West Coast Seeds. Their offspring will produce in a year or two.

Today, I went out to inspect the garden/greenhouse for damage after an hour-long thunderstorm last night. There was no significant damage but the bright red berries on the asparagus plants spoke to me:

  • I stripped the berries from the plants into a small container.
  • I washed them and crushed them gently against a fine screen, about the mesh of mosquito netting.
  • The juice and pulp were rinsed away in a stream of water.
  • I flushed the seeds and hulls into a deep vessel of water and sunk a few “floaters” with bubbles attached.
  • The hulls floated and I decanted them and drained the seeds.
  • I’m drying the seeds in the stream of warm air emitted by a dehumidifier in the basement. They are looking good.

So, early next year, I will plant a few hundred seeds in good warm earth in trays and start a new generation of plants for the garden. Next June, I will dig a trench or three, place good soil in the bottom and plant the seedlings there. Each year thereafter I will add compost and soil to fill the trench. In a few years my garden will be very productive with minimal effort. It’s all good.

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PCI Express On the 96Boards Poplar

“I am very excited to let our readers know that finally, thanks to some developments in the past month, we now have a fully functioning PCIe slot on the Poplar Board!
Late last year, we saw the release of Linux 4.9 for the Poplar, which brought in support for PCIe. But even then we noticed that an externally powered PCIe Riser, like the one shown below, was required for most PCIe card to power up and get detected.”
See PCI Express On the 96Boards Poplar Enterprise Edition Board
It took a while but I can now buy an inexpensive ARMed card (or a second option) with a PCI slot for SATA or Ethernet or more USB ports… It’s all good. The world is moving on as it should and ARM is becoming more useful. I was planning on using a USB3 hub to add SATA but now I can move Beast’s PCI card over and not even have to disconnect the new 1TB hard drives. I like it. The Poplar is an older CPU but uses way less power than my Beast, so this year is probably the year…

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GOP Retiring In Florida

“Democrat Andrew Gillum leads Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis (Fla.) by 5 points in the race for the Florida governor’s mansion, according to the first publicly released poll since the state’s primary elections on Tuesday.”
See Post-primary Dem poll shows Gillum leading DeSantis in Florida
Right-thinking people all over USA are fired up or regretting their choices in 2016. It’s all the same. GOP are getting swept away at an enormous rate as the mid-term elections approach.

It looks to me that the House of Representatives will surely fall to the Democrats and the Senate likely will as well. It will be interesting to see how GOP in Congress behave in the period after the mid-terms but before January, 2019. Will they cling to Trump, an anchor around their necks, or will they move to impeach the tyrant/traitor/liar/fool? Either way, the GOP will likely lose the White House in 2020 as the GOP are going to fragment giving, finally, a third party as shot in USA. The Democrats could fragment as well. Either way, Pence will likely keep on doing stupid things in Washington for a couple of years. He wasn’t cozying up to Putin or laundering Russian money, as far as we know. It depends on how angry Congress is. If they are angry enough they will impeach both Trump and Pence.

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Thin Clients Revisited

I’ve long advocated using GNU/Linux thin clients in schools and offices. It just makes sense to save licensing costs and simplify maintenance. IGEL reports “Shipments of Linux-based endpoint devices” were 35% of units shipped in 2017.
See “Linux and the Thin Client Management Market
I guess I was ahead of my time. I recommended ~80% of seats could benefit from using thin clients and GNU/Linux could certainly do the job. That was in the day when web-browsers did not have to sling much JavaScript. Today the burden on clients is much greater. regularly chokes my smartphone… The downloads timeout. However, servers are now much more powerful and they can run the JS for the thin clients. Of course, most businesses and schools can control the websites browsed, cache stuff locally and avoid loading things up.

It’s all good. It pays to use FLOSS and GNU/Linux.

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Blood In The Water – 2018 Congressional Election

OMG! A few weeks before the midterm election and the sharks are gathering for GOP blood…

Last week, the House of Representatives seemed locked for a Democratic Blue Wave. It’s getting stronger. Everyone sees Mueller getting more convictions and hauling more into court for dealing in dirty Russian money or just dirt. Everyone sees the mindless repetition of “NO COLLUSION, NO COLLUSION, NO COLLUSION!” just isn’t gaining traction. Every week we see more signs of collusion and Mueller is months ahead of what is public. There is little doubt that Trump and Trump Inc. has depended on dirty Russian money for decades. Now even Trump’s inauguration was tainted with Russian money. When Trump was arguing his audience was the largest ever, he should have been arguing that it drew in more Russian money than ever seen before… People aren’t caring about reduced taxes and regulation. That’s chiefly benefiting Trump and his rich friends. What Trump has done lately for his base is take passports away from Hispanics along the US border, offend all branches of the military by raising the flag lowered for McCain after a few hours, ran the ineffective relief for thousands of Puertoricans, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths, and so on. What ever happened to “hiring the best”? Seems more like Trump has repelled the best and punished the rest.

The Senate? That was looking pretty safe for Trump. Last weeks, Cruz was ahead in the polls by 10%. Now he’s neck and neck… Last weeks, RCP has 7 tossup senate seats. Now it’s 9. Cruz and Scott are the only ones above water in that list. OMG! It’s a blue tsunami. Montana switched from “leaning D” to “tossup” and Texas switched from “leaning GOP” to “tossup”. Montana has way more Republicans than Democrats. For it to be close is a good sign. I like the flow of this. Need more polling…

Expect Trump to be impeached in January if not sooner kicked out. Pence is eager to hold the reins of power. A meeting in some beer-hall is all that would be required to move the cabinet to do the deed.

See RealClearPolitics – 2018 Senate Election Polls

According to WAPO, 60% would be happy to see Trump go. It will happen whether he and sycophants believe eyes/ears or not.

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No Acorns Today

I went to collect the mail today and stopped by a local oak that overhangs the road allowance to collect acorns. I found none. I saw none on the trees. I guess the oaks are preparing to smother the ground with acorns next year. I’ll be ready…

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