peristaltor: (The Captain's Prop)
Several years ago, I had a quite adequate cordless drill set I got for Xmas one year. That was, I must repeat, several years ago. Then, I bought a heavily discounted cordless drill set with a removable head that could convert from drill to jig saw to sander, and all with the same battery pack that my first one used! This gave extra life to my first, now fading battery pack.

Then, with none of the battery packs working, I picked up another drill and battery pack in a pawn shop for ten bucks. The pack it came attached to was working better than the others in my collection, and my charger kept it running for a few more years.

Then, I had a drawer filled with three dead drills and a collection of potential toxic nickle cadmium batteries just waiting to poison a landfill. Dope that I am, I was determined to prevent that from happening. I bought a mediocre corded drill and resigned myself to packing extension cords for the rest of my drilling days.

Then, a glimmer of hope. [livejournal.com profile] solarbird posted a small lead acid gel cell from a UPS unit for sale, cheap. Soon thereafter, I inherited a cordless string trimmer from my sister that needed nothing but a new battery.

After I disassembled the string trimmer battery holder, I noticed how darned small the thing was. Why, it was almost as small as the little batteries that used to power my drills. And it put out the same voltage.This got me to thinking, which is most always bad. )

X-Posted to [livejournal.com profile] home_effinomic.
peristaltor: (Default)
It's old, so I apologize if this is old news to you, but seriously, check out Chris Martenson's podcast interview with Frances Koster. Dr. Koster runs something called The Optimistic Futurist, where he documents efforts to improve food, energy and fuel security in ways that make local investments in one's community both profitable and of benefit to the community Seriously, this guy is everything [livejournal.com profile] home_effinomic hopes to be!

For the poddy-device impaired, Chris provides a transcript! As an example of Teh Awesome, what would you, someone with money to invest and concerned about the old air conditioning unit in the local high school that keeps the power bills sky-high? The school district has no money to replace it, so why bother? Frances says,

An investor might for example go to the local school system and say I will fix the following nine buildings and I will loan you the money and you will pay it back to me out of a percentage of what you no longer pay the utility. And I also by the way get to keep the tax credits which you cannot use and get quite handsome rates of return while doing good for their local community – looking good at the Rotary Club and so on. These are enormously secure investments. You are not banking on a gold bubble or other volatile things; you are banking on the fact that energy prices are not going to go down.


He also notes of the tax credits that many municipalities are legal forbidden to take advantage of these credits, so it's not like they are going to waste.

When I have time, I'm going to mine his web site for nuggets such as these. Enjoy!


X-Posted to [livejournal.com profile] home_effinomic.
peristaltor: (Default)
I have books. I am, however, a cheap bastard, so I've never invested in "nice" bookshelves. As a result, I sometimes fashion plywood shelving and not bother to finish it because it is, after all, plywood, or out of desparation I spring for some Ikea monstrosity and call it good. Sadly, because these are Ikea monstrosities, I never buy enough shelves for my books, leaving most of them in boxes in the attic. I vowed long ago to actually do as my sister and brother-in-law do, buy nice wood and take some time with all the power tools I have cluttering the garage, but I don't. Why? Again, I am cheap.

Almost a year ago a solution was literally dumped on my lawn. )

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