Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Dominate Energy Efficiency

Check my stats. When the gas company comes a'sellin' I say "Good DAY, Sir. I said Good Day!"

I'm 25% below the average home use for a similar sized home in the area, and I shaved 3 CCFs of gas from our usage compared to last year despite a bit of a cooler November. I'd also like to add we keep our house at about 70 degrees. We could try to insulate our house more, but so far most of our gas usage comes from the hot water heater. We should insulate that better, as well as the pipes to carve our use even more.

And so far this year I have over 5 cords of wood for under $200. Sha-frickin'-zam.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Layin' Down My Mad Iron Age Skills

Yesterday I was splitting some wood I had cut from the fallen beech tree when I got a glimpse of human history.  The grain of the beechwood is twisty and irregular so even landing a solid whack with a steel maul usually only results in a shallow dent. It's some tough wood.

So what I have to do is sink a steel wedge into  the large stump with a sledge hammer. Then with the hammer side of the maul I pound and pound and pound between 5 to 20 times before the chunk of beech splits open.

Even cutting and splitting easier wood in any reasonable timeframe requires an iron axe at the very least. Copper would be way too soft. Bronze, maybe, but still pretty soft.

Without iron, we would stare helplessly at trees. They would be solid, enduring objects we had little influence over. Sure we could take down a tree with stone or copper, but it would take so long as to be nearly impractical.  And once down, then would come the daunting task of hewing it into timber or sectioning it into firewood. And forget about working with wood with any precision to make wheels or furniture or wooden for clearing the land for cultivation, forget about it.

Without that one material, Iron, all the heating, industiral, and constructive benefit of wood would be locked up into solid, seemingly impregnable objects. We'd be pretty helpless to do anything to or about the trees in the world.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Liberal Bias in the Everything

So I've been reading lately. It's a mega-conservative blog. And the most common thread there is about Liberal bias...

...and there's liberal bias everywhere. Just prior to the election the big uproar is with the liberal bias in the Polling. Apparently every active pollster in the world including the "conservative" Fox, Rasmussen, and the Mason-Dixon pollsters are in on some nefarious scheme to make Obama APPEAR AS THOUGH he's distantly ahead in national and some battleground state polls.

Why? Just to be assholes, apparently.

So we have liberal bias in the media, in polling, in primary education, in college education, in science, in Hollywood, in most of the world, in video games (video games!?!), in the Internet, in the United Nations, and my personal favorite...a liberal bias in Economists and Fed chairmen Ben Bernanke. Yes, as more economists point to Obama's plan as preferred over McCain's, folks are now screaming liberal bias in the field of economics.

Why, everywhere you turn, the institutions of our civilization seem to ooze with liberal bias. Everybody just wants to keep the poor conservatives down. It's not like lthey've dominated congress for 6 of the past seven congressional electoral cycles, or the presidency for 5 of the past 7 presidential electoral cycles or anything. Poor poor conservatives, so out in the cold, struggling just to have their voices heard amidst a world that seems to tell them that they're constantly and hopelessly wrong about so many things. Reality itself seems to have taken on a liberal bias, trying to make Republicans look bad on the economy and stupid on national policy.

But it's not real. It's only liberal bias.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finance Darwinism

I have invented a term. Finance Darwinism.

Basically, organizations adapt to take as much of your available money as they can at every stage of your life.

In the natural world, food doesn't go uneaten for very long. Cellulose is hard to digest and for a very long time, nothing ate it. Plants just died and sank into the earth and became coal. Over time, critters adapeted to eat cellulose.  Why? Because food doesn't go uneaten.

Now consider that money is food. Given a median household income there will be no point in your life where one expense ends without another beginning. Do I have proof of this yet?'s just a hypothesis...

...of course some of this comes from us personally, where we have excess money all of a sudden and we think of ways to spend it. But Some degree of that has to be external insurance company knows when a demographic is suddenly free from other expenses and they increase premiums at that age, for example.