Amen!

“Québec is the first Canadian province to adopt a ZEV mandate. As of today, close to half the Canadian ZEV fleet is located in Québec.
 
The National Assembly unanimously adopted the Act last October, and it came into force this month. The automakers subject to it must accumulate credits by selling zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) or low-emission vehicles (LEVs) on the Québec market. The credit target is calculated by applying a percentage to the total number of light-duty vehicles that each automaker sells in Québec.”
 
See Québec issues final regulations for ZEV mandate
Amen! It’s hard to disagree with a regional government giving automakers a little nudge. They are going to issue credits for each EV sold according to its range and require each automaker to reach some level of credit or face a fine. Automakers can trade credits.

Such a tactic won’t affect the final share of EVs out there but it will accelerate the shift in technology. I like it. It’s gradual and not painful. All they have to do is sell the cars they’re making. Perhaps putting EVs on display and telling salespeople to offer them in a reasonable way would take care of that. Today, in my province, EVs are as scarce as hen’s teeth and few if any are on display. Is it the chicken or the egg that’s missing?

Come on Manitoba! You know you could do this too.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Having a Heat Wave

Forecast high this afternoon is 5ºC. That’s 18ºC above normal…

I do intend to celebrate by going out for some yard-work but it’s also a reminder that global warming is real. 2017 was the warmest year on record according to some. I would not argue against that.

Other than a welcome break in winter there are downsides. If this warm spell lasts too long, my trees will sprout and have new growth killed off when the cold returns. That’s why places like Calgary have few trees. Winters there have too many warm spells for most trees. I think I can handle a day or two… We shall see.

Posted in horticulture, weather | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Trump’s Health

In the face of the GOP’s apparent inability/disinterest in impeachment in 2018 and the lack of any movement in the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, we are left only with Trump’s health or lack thereof and the Russian investigation to rid us of Trump’s treachery this year. I expect the Democrats will take over Congress in November so impeachment will be a good prospect for 2019. It’s still unclear whether or not the Russian investigations will bear fruit sooner.

On health, I am somewhat of an expert being nearly the same age and sex as Trump. I’m still not convinced we are the same species but we definitely have some of the same ailments. Like Trump, my doctor feels my heart is strong…

There were several points in Trump’s prognosis which attracted my attention, at first on my own knowledge of the matter, and subsequently on question from the news media:

  • weight – I was surprised to learn Trump had only gained 3 pounds last year. Pictures of Trump during the campaign and today really show much more than that. I expected 40-50 pounds of increased weight. He does play golf a lot but he uses a golf-cart instead of burning calories and then tucks away multiple burgers and ice cream. I can gain 10 pounds over Christmas. A year of eating like Trump would put on way more. Related to weight is the BMI. Apparently, Trump has grown an inch in the last year to lower his BMI from the obese range by a hair. That is very convenient. Last year, Trump was the same height as Obama. I’m allowing an inch for the hair. Obama is 6 foot 1 inch. Like everything else, Trump lies about his height.
  • heart – Trump’s doctor went on about how Trump’s heart pumps blood and pronounced him in excellent health for his age. When Sanjay Gupta pointed out evidence of heart-disease, the doctor admitted there were signs and could not explain how that was excellent except to state other men likely show similar signs… and that old men can change their habits to prolong life. Like Trump loves to change. Yeah, right…
  • dementia – Clearly, Trump can function at a reasonable level cognitively to be POTUS but there have been many instances of obvious impairment/weakness/dithering to suggest closer inspection. Trump’s doctor stated he saw no such signs and would not have done a screening except Trump asked for it. The doctor even stated he had seen no sign of repetition in speech. I wonder what channel the doctor watches. Perhaps none. I think repetition is a routine part of Trump’s public unscripted utterances. Oh, yes, it’s a symptom of dementia. Trump has a few others like an inability to follow a reasoned argument and jumping from one contradiction to another in a short period of time, suspicions, confusion, etc. We’ve seen them all but the doctor has not. Clearly, there are two Trumps. That’s schizophrenia.

So, I wouldn’t bet Trump cashes in his chips this year but it’s possible. I’m going out for a 3 mile hike now so I don’t wind up like Trump.

Posted in food, politics | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Epitaph For Trump

“In case you weren’t counting — and I was — Trump uses the exact phrase “no collusion” seven times in that answer. He goes with the alternative “nobody’s found any collusion” once. Let’s call it a soft eight.”
 
See Trump uses ‘no collusion’ 7 times in a single Russia answer
There’s one thing for sure, Trump’s remarkable, like saying opposite assertions seconds apart, repeating things three times whether he believes them or not, oh yes, and saying “Believe me” and “than ever seen before” far too often. I came upon the article linked at the right and an image of Trump’s tombstone popped into my mind. I doubt he will even have a tombstone. He’d probably want something more grand or private so birds wouldn’t soil it… Anyway, I imagine there will be a coal-fired device built in that repeats “No Collusion!” three times in rapid succession every fifteen minutes.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Winning Some And Losing Some

I was poking around PlugShare.com and found one of my favourite (accessible along well-travelled routes) EV charging stations was gone, the Shell station on the Trans-Canada Highway at Brandon, Manitoba. Anyway, three more take its place, one of which is a shopping mall welcoming tourists like me and another is Home Depot welcoming shoppers. I often shop at Home Depot for nuts and bolts or whatever. So, as the economy of EV charging stations grows and matures, things change but generally for the better. The number of EVs around here is still very low so there are plenty available to me and my shiny bright red Solo EV but as EVs become more common so will charging stations and proper stations serving mainly the motoring public will find a business model that works. So, far, it’s mostly about providing service to the public or customers and that’s OK but it may not scale if the number of EVs grows dramatically. We live in interesting times.

UPDATE I’ve just discovered that the Plugshare Application from Google Play still shows the Shell station in Brandon as a charging station while the plugshare.com site says it’s a “place”, not a charging station. Confusion reigns. Fortunately there are several other charging stations in Brandon as stated previously. I would expect both applications would be on the same database but perhaps some genius thought otherwise.

UPDATE Problem solved! It turns out there is a configuration item on the menu of the website that allows filtering what types of charging stations are displayed. The Shell station’s outlets are ordinary wall-mounted (actually they are on posts in this case) receptacles, not J1772 or such fancy things. So we’ve not lost anything and we are winning a lot of outlets in Brandon. It’s cool. Just drive around with the appropriate adaptor and Shell is available. They also have an ATM and fast food place… I like fast food even when I’m driving slowly…

UPDATE Then there’s Patient Advocate Pharmacy in Winnipeg… It seems the charging station is gone but the pharmacy remains. I didn’t even have a chance to visit. I visit pharmacies regularly and that one was very close to home. I would have given them some business.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , | 64 Comments

The Last Gasp

“While the year saw the rise of Trump, this is not the beginning of his term, it is the end. As painful as it has been to watch him and his supporters rally, theirs is merely a last gasp of a dying world view.
 
Ten years ago, when my father-in-law was dying of esophageal cancer, we called hospice in. I’ll never forget what they told us: that just before death, we might see a surprising surge of energy in him, something that doctors refer to as “terminal lucidity.””
 
See 2017 was Trumpism’s last gasp
Trump may have squeaked by the post in the election of 2016 but he’s stirred a hornet’s nest for the 2018 mid-term elections. I predict he’ll lose control of Congress and be impeached in 2019 if the GOP doesn’t come to its senses sooner. Even if he hasn’t committed “high crimes” his “misdemeanours” are there for all to see. Trump is wrong for this century, wrong for USA and wrong for this world. It’s time he moved on to retire on some golf-course or other.

Those who supported Trump out of pique at Hillary are regretting their mistake. Those who did too little because they thought Hillary was sure to win are mobilized to fight like their lives depended on the outcome, which may well be the case. Trump has united huge blocks of voters by leanings and demographics to support anyone but Trump next election and that will be that, Pence holding the reigns of the GOP going off the rails. Congress could even impeach Pence for not uniting the cabinet against Trump’s obvious treachery and deceit and insanity. Surely there will be the cabinet-shakeup of the century. Surely the cabinet needs new blood just about everywhere. It has lead USA down a rabbit-hole.

Whatever the outcome of 2018, Congress will start cranking out veto-proof legislation that actually fulfills some sane goals for USA: a solid economy built on industry and free trade, universal healthcare, DACA that works, immigration that makes sense, real justice, taxation that deals with accumulated debt sooner rather than later (for deficits in the good times make no sense), and repairs to the fabric of society including its infrastructure, education and regulation.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

2018 – The Year of the EV in Canada

It’s true. Canada is lagging other developed nations in adoption of EVs. Just read the report, Stuck in Neutral, by Clean Energy Canada. We are several times less in adoption even compared to USA with Trump at the helm. We should be embarrassed.

The government of Canada will release a plan to go electric in 2018, something that spells out a strategy for decades ahead. I hope it will come in time for my purchase of a bright shiny RED Solo EV, if it’s a retail rebate, a rebate on the cost of installing a charging station or a rebate on the cost of installing solar panels. I’m going to do all three in 2018/2019 if all goes according to plan and I live that long. Subsidies should not be necessary. I’ve done the maths and electricity will revolutionize travel in the 21st century as well as ICEs did in the 20th with or without subsidies. It’s just that a little push helps and I can use my savings to plant more trees… Just the “buzz” about subsidies will get more people thinking of going electrically.

I think the Solo EV is poised to do well in 2018, catching this wave. It has a very low purchase price already and a subsidy will make it stellar. It has the highest range per kWh of all the well known EVs just because of its size and it carries one passenger from A to B in style with the stereo blasting oldies or whatever… and IT’S MADE IN CANADA!!! IT’S MADE IN CANADA!!! IT’S MADE IN CANADA!!! Repeating things three times helps Trump. Maybe it will help adoption of EVs. 😉

Quoting the report:
“While the spread of infrastructure is helping transform so-called “range anxiety” into range confidence, consumer education helps too. Studies have shown that electric cars available in Canada meet 90% of Canadians’ daily driving needs. According to Transport Canada, the average Canadian drives just 50 kilometres a day, a distance
easily covered by EVs.

It’s no wonder a recent study concluded it’s five times more difficult to purchase an electric car in Canada than in the U.S.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are working to develop a national Zero-Emissions Vehicle Strategy. It’s a critical opportunity to put Canada in the EV game. To succeed, it will need to accomplish four things:
Define success

Make it easier for Canadians to choose electric

Make it easier for Canadians to plug in

Maximize clean-growth opportunities”

Amen! I’ve always been a little out of fashion but 2018 looks like I will catch the EV-wave in Canada.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Gold

Correlate the price of gold (weakness of USD) and the recent tax-cutting legislation and one notices that on the promise the USD grew stronger and on the facts the USD grew weaker. That’s what happens when one has a multiple-bankruptcies-are-smart POTUS… Who needs a war in the middle east to create turmoil when one has a fearless leader who cares nothing about the national debt or even solvency as long as he “wins”? Expect the price of gold to continue to rise as this nut-case keeps adding to the burden of future tax-payers while telling current tax-payers he’s got their back…

Posted in investing, politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh Oh! The EV Game Is About To Change!

See An In Vivo Formed Solid Electrolyte Surface Layer Enables Stable Plating of Li MetalOMG! A simple yet effective redesign of lithium ion galvanic cells has been demonstrated giving much higher performance. If this works in EVs, it’s a game-changer, total freedom from “range-anxiety”.

With my Solo EV, I’m not too concerned about range except in winter. I can plan trips well within the published range of its batteries over most of the prairie region of Canada with existing public charging stations. If the range were suddenly multiplied, EVs would be a “no-brainer”. They would have about the same range as gas-guzzlers without the worry of driving a fuel-truck in traffic. Unfortunately, it will likely take a few years to make this technology widely available but I expect EV-makers will jump on this opportunity.

Posted in technology | Tagged , | 21 Comments

The Writing On The Wall Is Green, Not Black

“GE’s deal-making worsened its exposure to fossil fuels. Rather than transforming into a clean energy powerhouse, GE doubled down on fossil fuels in 2015 by acquiring Alstom’s power business, which makes coal-fueled turbines. The $9.5 billion deal was GE’s biggest-ever industrial purchase and made GE Power its largest division. GE also increased its oil and gas footprint by merging those businesses with Baker Hughes (BHGE) last year.
 
GE Power is in shambles today because power plants are increasingly ordering solar and wind technology instead of gas and coal turbines. As GE’s (GE GENERAL ELECTRIC CO) orders have tumbled, it’s been forced to offer deep discounts on products and services. Now, the business is grappling with massive overcapacity. In response, GE Power recently announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs in a bid to shrink its footprint and slash $1 billion in costs.”
 
See GE has a fossil fuels problem

It’s been clear to me for years, clean renewable solar/wind/renewable energy is a better deal in every way: lower costs for energy and less maintenance. It’s sad that GE had to learn the lesson the hard way by losing on its investment in a big way. Let’s hope they invest in greener energy sooner rather than later. It’s not enough to cut back on dirty energy. They have to go green to keep up with the rest of the world.

Ten years ago TLW and I made a big investment in renewable energy. We bought a solar/geothermal heated house. Our heating costs are much lower than using fossil fuel and we have lower maintenance and no pollution. This year, I will also buy my first battery-powered EV and a solar charging station for it. I’ll be laughing all the way to my grave over skipping gasoline pumps and oil-changes. GE, get with the programme.

Posted in investing, technology | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

The Cycle of Life

One of the most important characteristics of living things is that they die. It’s a necessary part of life so that new living things have opportunity for growth and progress. I helped celebrate life yesterday, attending the funeral of a paratrooper/farmer/hunter uncle, Lewis Radford. He was like a second father to me when I was young, teaching me a lot about hunting, shooting, reloading, welding and how to maintain an even keel in good times and bad. He died old, 94 years, and he was a picture of health, vigour, and humanity for many decades. He worked hard and grew kilotons of wheat on the dry hilly lands of southwest Saskatchewan.

My family and I drove west along the Trans Canada Highway for the funeral and we left earlier than planned to avoid the brunt of a winter storm. As it turned out we suffered only some gusty winds and light rain at the edge of the storm after we entered Saskatchewan. Some memorable moments of the trip:

  • At the church in Gull Lake, I was surprised to see my uncle’s military memorabilia on display and that the urn was a 50 calibre ammunition box. While I knew well that he had been a paratrooper in WWII, voluntarily jumping out of perfectly good airplanes in the dark to trouble tyrants, to me he was the ultimate civilian, helpful and productive economically and socially, not a celebrated killer.
  • Near the end of the ceremony, as a young granchild’s patience evaporated, she squirmed in her mother’s arms to examine the dour individuals in the pew behind hers. She gave us all the warmest, most sincere smile I’ve ever seen. The cycle of life is thriving as it should.
  • Relatives met at the grave-site at sunset, placed the urn and buried it with reverence but good humour. Chilly wind could not displace the warmth that filled all of us.
  • Afterwards we met at the family farmhouse, renewing acquaintances, sharing memories, laughter, conversation and good food.
  • I came away with three heads of Uncle Lewis’ wheat of which I will thresh and plant my own small crop next year in my garden.
  • On the drive back, my family stopped the car and got out to witness a clear cold dark prairie night sky from horizon to horizon. It was awesome.
Posted in family, food, hunting, weather | Tagged , , | 48 Comments

Bore-sighting The Buffalo Classic

With the help of a table and some cushions I set up the Buffalo Classic for bore-sighting. I picked a spot on the wall at the other end of the rec-room and aligned the bore. Then I adjusted the Williams WGRS peep sight to a point about 1.6 inches below the spot. That gives me about 16 MOA elevation, about right for a 200 yard zero with Berry’s 350 grain RSFP bullets at 1700 ft/s, what I will use for plinking and close-in hunting. I verified the rough setting by picking an aiming point 100 yards away and checking the sight-picture. It’s looking good. Now all I need to do is clean up the manufacturer’s rust-protection, get some ammunition and plink. I’ll probably weight the butt with a few pounds of lead too, in case I use those awesome 300JHP’s at full throttle (~2500 ft/s)…

Posted in firearms, hunting, technology | Tagged , , | 15 Comments