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Messages - Eddie

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1
Agelbert Newz / Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« on: Today at 01:00:13 PM »
I have the two turbines I bought from Mike after I took my turbine building course. I built one like my little one, and I helped build one like my bigger one, but I had Mike build the ones I bought. Experience is worth something. His simple designs have been proven. Nothing fancy, but plenty of them in service.

For wind, its a relatively easy job to build a turbine from commonly available stuff, if you can get magnets. I went for simple rather than high efficiency.

Sourcing and erecting a tower is a much bigger job, imho, than building a turbine. And with 9mph wind, it's more of a novelty here. But on some days in winter it would no doubt be nice to have a turbine spinning, even here. I have not ever gotten a tower up. Expensive, complicated job, usually requiring a crane. I've been shopping for a good tower deal forever.

I have a low wind Mallard LW built from a repurposed Delco car alternator, and a bigger Mallard SP80.



http://www.mikeswindmillshop.com/product/low-wind-mallard-lw


Nice! micro wind has been mostly destroyed by low cost solar. as mentioned the tower costs and maintenance make them non competitive except on the best wind sites. ...

True. As you said, the advantage a wind turbine could have over photovoltaic is strictly in places where there is a lot of pretty constant wind, particularly at night, I might add.

Great for boats.  Boat mounted turbines max out their performance when you're actually under sail, so its a little different than a land based turbine.

Wind generators really produce power when sailing on a reach. The wind coming off the main sail gets directed back to the wind generator at a higher wind speed causing the wind generator to produce power.

The coast here is windy enough to make them work at anchorage, but that isn't a given everywhere.

2
Agelbert Newz / Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« on: Today at 12:00:11 PM »
I have the two turbines I bought from Mike after I took my turbine building course. I built one like my little one, and I helped build one like my bigger one, but I had Mike build the ones I bought. Experience is worth something. His simple designs have been proven. Nothing fancy, but plenty of them in service.

For wind, its a relatively easy job to build a turbine from commonly available stuff, if you can get magnets. I went for simple rather than high efficiency.

Sourcing and erecting a tower is a much bigger job, imho, than building a turbine. And with 9mph wind, it's more of a novelty here. But on some days in winter it would no doubt be nice to have a turbine spinning, even here. I have not ever gotten a tower up. Expensive, complicated job, usually requiring a crane. I've been shopping for a good tower deal forever.

I have a low wind Mallard LW built from a repurposed Delco car alternator, and a bigger Mallard SP80.



http://www.mikeswindmillshop.com/product/low-wind-mallard-lw

3

Doomstead Diner Daily 6/17 The Fathers' Day Edition

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News flash. After the heads are busted and the votes are recounted, Erdogan will win by a small but significant margin. Guaranteed.

4
You're not really describing what's going on today in our "state economy". In your example you are not looking at spreads, which is what you have to understand to see how this theft (and it is theft) works.

We have interest rates being deliberately fixed at negative real rates. It's the spread where the theft comes in. If interest rates could fluctuate freely, then the cost of capital would rise when inflation rises.

The theft occurs because savers are not compensated adequately for the use of their capital, basically. In 1981 we had high inflation (12%)but Volcker raised interest rates to 20%.. Savers did great. It was a good time to retire and live on a fixed income.

Now we have a 2% Fed funds rate and real inflation north of 5%.  Prime rate interest is at 5%, but the 5 year CD is only paying 2.9%.

Savers are losing value every day, and the government gets the windfall.
I have an old copy of the wealthy barber on the bookshelf. The bones of it are still true about controlling debt, living modestly, budgeting and paying yourself first but what is funny is where the barber suggested parking your money. You guessed it bonds and savings vehicles. At the time paying 6-10 percent... Perfectly good advice then, good for a chuckle now. As a saver I've been hammered for the last decade. Yeah yeah cry me a river right. I've never made the leap to gold. Its always seemed like a dead end. I just could not imagine anyone around here trading anything I need for gold. Tractors, paid for land, tools, food stores all are inflating so probably a good store of value for someone at my level. They are my hedge.
Cheers,  David

I cut my teeth on that book and others like it.

The Richest Man In Babylon

The Seven Laws of Money

The Millionaire Next Door

So, all those books turned out to be fairly bad advice, once debt got cheap and the banks and the government decided to reward speculators and punish savers. The tide turned about the time I graduated college.

So when I read those books in the late 80's and took that advice, it probably did as much damage as it did good for me.

In the final analysis, it probably didn't matter that much. Why? Because when regular people can profit from leverage, they ususally can't get any. That's how banking works in the real world, for ordinary citizens.

At the time I should have theoretically really leveraged myself in the early 90's.....a guy like me could not borrow money very readily. In '89, when I bought my first house, I had to luck onto an owner-finance situation, because the banks wouldn't loan me the money. I could only borrow money for business against solid assets like equipment. The equivalent of a car loan. (At a 12% floating rate, with the notes coming due and having to be renewed twice a year.)

If I could have financed an office, for instance, in 1990, It would be a paid for asset now that would be worth maybe 5X the purchase price. But money for that was not to be had. Now I could get the money, but it's way too late. Humans don't live and work indefinitely.

Leverage is much more risky now, but easier to come by. It doesn't make sense, really.

One thing has stayed the same. If you stay out of debt, it makes your life simpler. Does it tend make you more affluent over time? Not as predictably as those old money books claim.

Debt can work for you or against you, depending on whether you use it to acquire assets, or whether you use it to finance a lifestyle you can't really afford. Most people do the latter.

5
I promise to educate myself better so that I can discuss this topic with a better knowledge base.

I've always been interested in Cuba, and I've read a lot of books that on touched Cuba in some tangential way, or were novels set in Cuba since the revolution and since the USSR folded and left Cuba twisting in the wind. But I have not read nearly the entire story.

I'm not anti-Cuba. I was very happy to see sanctions lifted and I'm sorry to see Trump reversing what was obviously such a good thing. I'd love to see Cuba, and see how they do such a good job of feeding people with very little to do it with. I have always felt that US policy towards Cuba was stupid and ineffective and motivated by the politics of fear, which is what drives American politics in general.

It still looks like a dreary place to live. I still think communism, as it exists in the real world, sucks. I'm happy however, for people who want communism to have it.

My expectation is that in the long run, it won't much matter. I expect to see a much more socialist government here, once the Boomers die off. If we get that far before BAU locks up, that is.

Governments of all stripes are going to get more repressive. You have to find a life somewhere between the cracks if you can.

6
If Cuba were really a successful revolution that replaced a bad government (And I certainly do think the pre-Castro Batista government was completely corrupt alright) with a good government that provided a decent life, then you would NOT have had wave upon wave of refugees leaving ever since the beginning, and which is only coming to an end now, with the borders being closed for real.

Only weeks ago were Cubans finally denied instant green card status here. Did you know that?

Since 1959 it's been instant asylum, pretty much no questions asked. For years now they've been coming across the Mexican border into Texas by the thousands.

It's interesting, the pattern of immigration. First it was the rich leaving. Then the small business people. Then the cab drivers and barbers. Then the working class.  Finally it was mostly the young, who had no future.

What I've seen completely lacking is a migration into Cuba by disenfranchised Europeans and Americans looking for a better life. Or even people from Central America.

Not even the Venceremos Brigade, which is (or was) made up of silly US social justice warriors who thought they were commie wannabes.

Almost nobody wants to move to Cuba. It's a tough life in Cuba.

The one real gain I see is healthcare. And that has resulted in a bumper crop of old people. Yes, Cuba has serious unfunded liabilities related to elder care.

Those poverty stricken people communism was supposed to save? There are some still.

Government is government. There are always powerful people who run things and get special treatment and more and better food, housing, etc. etc. Cuba is no exception.

I have no wish to trade my current repressive government for an even more repressive government so that I personally can live a lower standard of living. Tell me again why that's a good thing?

Oh yeah, cuz billions are starving.




7
You're not really describing what's going on today in our "state economy". In your example you are not looking at spreads, which is what you have to understand to see how this theft (and it is theft) works.

We have interest rates being deliberately fixed at negative real rates. It's the spread where the theft comes in. If interest rates could fluctuate freely, then the cost of capital would rise when inflation rises.

The theft occurs because savers are not compensated adequately for the use of their capital, basically. In 1981 we had high inflation (12%)but Volcker raised interest rates to 20%.. Savers did great. It was a good time to retire and live on a fixed income.

Now we have a 2% Fed funds rate and real inflation north of 5%.  Prime rate interest is at 5%, but the 5 year CD is only paying 2.9%.

Savers are losing value every day, and the government gets the windfall.


8
When the Fed raises enough to cause the economy to finally tank, anyone over 70 should put any cash savings in CD's probably. The next peak might be the last one for a long time. Our pals at Goldman-Sachs have the highest rates as of yesterday, at  2.9%.  That's on a five year CD, but requiring only a $500 investment.  If they get to 3.9%, I'd be willing to lock that in for a long time, if I intended to hold cash savings.

I'd be surprised if we got there.

And if interest goes really high, then you have the risk of the bank failing as your primary risk, and not the normal risk of just making the wrong investment. We'd be in a real serious inflation, which could easily get out of control.

I still like tangible assets, but uncertainty in all asset classes because of bubbles means that leverage is getting riskier. So you have to use less. Or none.


9
Environment / Re: The Environment Board
« on: June 16, 2018, 01:59:55 PM »
Quote
Eddie: Not the worst thing, for most of us.

For you, anyway. But for the starving billions, and for the millions of refugees on the move, and for the rainforests and all their wildlife, and for the fish in the rivers and oceans, it can't come soon enough.  For those lucky enough to be surviving on mailbox money for now, the amount they enjoy this BAU life is only a little above zero, and when it reaches zero, watch out.

It will come unwound soon enough. I live my life one day at a time. There is no reason to feel guilty for having a decent life. Every day is a gift that I gratefully accept.

I am not in charge of what happens to the starving billions, just what happens to me. Your concern for them is admirable, though.  I suggest donating your living body to them when the cannibalism starts, if you're still kicking. Maybe if they're hungry enough, you can be of some service to 3 or 4 individuals, out of those crazed hordes.

10
Agelbert Newz / Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« on: June 16, 2018, 01:46:46 PM »
From my inputs, they claim I would need 67 X 360W PANELS :o plus a 13.5KW battery. Besides the fact that I could only get about a third of that many panels on the south side of my roof, it's just too much money.  :(


The way I would recommend using solar in your unique situation ( should you ever wish to) is to build a very simple parallel system with one large panel (scaling up eventually to perhaps two panels)  and a small battery array, and run SOMETHING off it. A dedicated circuit for your refrigerator, perhaps. If that's too big a load you could run lights.

An MPPT charge controller helps with the shade problem.

I think it makes really better sense here of course. We have 5 hour sun. I could run my energy-sink McMansion with pool from a good rooftop grid-tie, and it would make my house more desirable to sell when I finally do downsize. I just hesitate to take on debt for that. But it would be required, because TPTB requires the job be done by pros, which implies it gets done fast and you have to pay for it all at once.

11
If I actually owned the 1/3 acre lot where my home lives, I would probably pay more in property tax than I now pay in rent!

In your case, renting makes far better sense. Property taxes here are lowish compared to Vermont, but they are going up like crazy. Sometimes renting is really smart. My business saves a ton of money by renting, even though I don't love the space. Most dentists get conned into building some Taj Mahal building. I just decided it does not make sense for me. My practice takes on very little debt. I do have to finance big tech purchases. I was completely business debt free for many years. About three years ago I had to upgrade my x-ray to digital and buy some expensive LED lights and some good digital video cams, since careful documentation has become such a requirement to get paid. It's almost paid off, finally.

I need new treatment chairs, which I'll probably have to finance. Maybe not, if I replace them one at a time.

The older one is, the less leverage makes sense anyway. I am deleveraging, even though I have some debt still. When I quit work, I intend my leverage to be fairly minimal.

If real estate falls (and I do expect that, in the fullness of time) I need to own what I rent to my tenants, to cover those taxes and still make anything to fund my wife's old age.

12
Agelbert Newz / Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« on: June 16, 2018, 12:52:51 PM »
I am thinking about trying to accumulate some more PV panels. I have a better opportunity than I've ever had before. Mission Solar is still a going concern in San Antonio (I think they are, anyway), and they are selling cosmetic blems for less than .40/watt, and they have them for sale locally here in Austin. Panels up to 360W apiece.

Whomever the seller is, they have varying quantities. Looks like not too much available in this last ad. I get the impression from their ads over the last several months that it was the factory selling unsold inventory, and not some reseller. Don't know though.

Usually, when I find a great deal on panels, they're in CA. Shipping is costly and the freight drivers are careless with the goods. I know from prior experience.

https://images.craigslist.org/00D0D_3kAa9w0Gfa2_600x450.jpg

Actually, it's the fork truck drivers on the freight docks, and not the real freight drivers who cause the damage, as far I as could see. I hereby correct my error. You truck drivers take note.


13
Agelbert Newz / Re: Agelbert's Newz Channel
« on: June 16, 2018, 12:36:29 PM »
I saw the post but have not yet read it. I'll take a look.

I tend not to get excited with new tech until somebody makes it real and I can buy it and use it. I've been disappointed many times by "breakthroughs" that turn out not to be practically usable when push comes to shove. All real breakthroughs are welcome. We could use several about now.

14
Agelbert Newz / Re: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq preview
« on: June 16, 2018, 12:08:20 PM »
2019 Hyundai Ioniq preview

Aaron Cole

Jun 14, 2018

The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq returns this year as an inexpensive alternative for green car shoppers on a budget. 😎

Its lineup has fully matured now; the Ioniq is available as an affordable hybrid, a slightly more expensive plug-in hybrid, or a fully electric model available in limited areas. We say: green, greener, or greenest—no bad pick.

The most notable change for the Ioniq this year is the addition of standard automatic emergency braking on the Hybrid SEL, the bread-and-butter trim level that likely starts at just more than $25,000 (Hyundai hasn't yet announced pricing for the 2019 models). The SEL trim level includes heated front seats, 16-inch wheels, power-adjustable driver's seat, and LED daytime lights.

Value-minded buyers can find nearly as many features for less money, however. Likely starting around $23,000, the base 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Blue is equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility, cloth upholstery, a 6-speed automatic transmission, 1.56-kwh lithium-ion battery, and 15-inch wheels. The base Ioniq Blue has the distinction of being the most fuel-efficient car without a plug on sale in the U.S. with a 58 mpg combined rating. Other Ioniq Hybrids are rated at 55 mpg combined due to added weight and different tires.

At the top of the pile is the Ioniq Limited that swaps in leather upholstery, a sunroof, 17-inch wheels, and Hyundai's telematics system for more than $28,000 to start.

A spend-up package is available for SEL and Limited models that upgrades the touchscreen to an 8.0-inch unit with navigation, adds premium audio, wireless cellphone charging, and advanced voice recognition.

Plug-in hybrid and all-electric models are available in base and Limited trim levels. Plug-in hybrids likely will cost nearly $26,000 and electric models ring the bell at just over $30,000 before applicable federal and state incentives are factored in.

The Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid swaps out the hybrid's 1.56-kwh battery for a larger 8.9-kwh battery system that delivers an EPA-rated 29 miles of electric range before the 1.6-liter inline-4 internal combustion engine kicks in. It's rated at 52 mpg combined as a hybrid.

The Ioniq Electric is limited in availability—and in other ways. The electric Ioniq only offers 124 miles of range, significantly less than the Bolt EV and the upcoming 2019 Nissan Leaf with a bigger battery. The Ioniq Electric is only available in Southern California too 👎, and a confusing charging reimbursement program was dropped for 2018. That may not matter to seasoned EV owners who are accustomed to off-peak charging or who are familiar with existing charging infrastructure, but the Ioniq Electric is hardly appealing to first-time EV buyers with its limited range and availability.

In any powertrain configuration, the Ioniq's best trait may be its ability to blend in seamlessly to everyday operation. There are no "look at me" styling cues to give away the Ioniq's efficient powertrain, and it's dangerously close to being completely normal.

That also figures into the Ioniq Hybrid's usability. The cargo hold is still 23.5 cubic feet (marginally smaller than a Prius) but its wide opening makes most of that space usable. The Ioniq's touchscreen and infotainment is still one of our faves, made better with smartphone compatibility that new buyers might prefer.

We still think the most likeable part of the Ioniq Hybrid is its low price and three available powertrain configurations that is, so far, unmatched by any of its competitors.  


HI-RES GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1117217_2019-hyundai-ioniq-preview

Thanks for this. I have learned to love my plug-in hybrid. The Hyundai sounds like a pretty good car.

I lean toward my next car being another Volt. When the eV battery range gets to about 50 miles, that means most of my driving is accomplished by grid power, and could be accomplished with PV power. But the small FF engine makes it possible to still make road trips when necessary. It's a good combination for someone who still needs to drive as much as I do. Volts still go for 35K+ though and when the Trumpites eliminate eV subsidies, it won't be a cheap car. My out of pocket for my volt was only 25K, and I got 4 yrs at no interest. Next time it's gonna cost more, maybe 10K more.

15
Marathon Man Newz / Re: Che Guevara, From The Historical Evidence.
« on: June 16, 2018, 11:35:29 AM »
His own quotes reveal him to be something other than a hero. I don't buy the narrative of folk hero and brave iconoclast at all. It is a made-up story. The Motorcycle Diaries is not the real story of Che.

Spolier alert: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid probably weren't nearly as cool as they appeared in the movies either.

I haven't read Humberto Fontova's books on Che and Castro, but I'm putting them on the list. I have read his other two books, I have a feel for who Fontova is. He's a truth teller. jmho.




“To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the paredón [execution wall].”



“A petty concern with mere evidence is an antiquated and bourgeois feature of the captalist legal system. We are revolutionaries. We convict from a revolutionary passion.”


“We executed many people by firing squad without knowing if they were fully guilty. At times, the Revolution cannot stop to conduct much investigation; it has the obligation to triumph.”


Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy.


“What we affirm is that we must proceed along the path of liberation even if this costs millions of atomic victims.”

“We must eliminate all newspapers; we cannot make a revolution with free press.”

“I ended the problem with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain. . . . His belongings were now mine.”

“My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood.” “I’d like to confess, Papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing.”










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