Monday, November 22, 2010

A Reasonably Bright Idea

Without going into specific details, many alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power, geothermal energy for home heating, and the like, are simply not economically feasable, unless you are happy taking a stack of twenties, and burning them slowly one by one. Geothermal systems will take upwards of thirty to forty years or more to break even, after which they will most likely need replacing, and the cycle begins again. Small wind power installations will take several decades to pay for themselves, and solar power installations will suck money from a bank account permanently. If you disagree with this assessment, show me your numbers, and I will dissect them and show you how wrong you are.

The only reason to consider wind or solar is if you cannot get 'municipal' hydro at the property you are trying to service, or if you are truly passionate about 'going green' and are willing to pay up to ten times or more than the going rate for hydro. UNLESS... you take advantage of the microFIT program, where the Ontario Power Authority heavily subsidizes the rates paid for hydro produced by small 'homeowner sized' projects. The subsidies for power produced in this fashion are not what I would consider 'reasonable', but are between five and fifteen times the typical rate of roughly $0.06 per kWh! These mammoth subsidies are what is required to make small ground and roof mounted solar, and wind projects economically justifiable, and move the payoff period from infinity down to a more reasonable decade or so!

Essentially, the biggest proof that solar and wind projects are completely uneconomical at present is the fact that that producers must be provided with MAMMOTH subsidies in order for them to actually see a return on investment. Coal power (as ugly as it is), Hydro, and Nuclear produce electric power for fractions of the cost of wind and solar installations, no matter what the scale.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August at the Cottage - Dropping Birches

Arrived at the cottage mid-August to find one of the birch trees near the house had lost its top. It was already dying off, as birches do, hastened by some rather hungry woodpeckers and "assups". A few days later the Husqvarna 353 came out, and within a couple of hours both trunks were down, bucked up, and ready for stacking and cleaning up. The second and third photos are of the stacked logs showing the woodpecker work, and the new view, including a red pine that I transplanted to the front of the brush pile. It was pulled from a stand of four, and would have to be removed regardless, so it might survive, but if not, oh well.






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Monday, July 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The May Two Four (part three)


On Sunday John and I 'toured' the crown land adjoining our property to have a look at the trees I transplanted a year and a half ago. The three trees (two White Pines and a Balsam Fir) have already begun budding out, and appear extremely healthy and vigourous. On our way back down the hillside we noticed these magnificent Luna Moths sitting on a bracken fern. They are magnificent, and measure almost five inches in wingspan.






Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The May Two Four (part two)


On Sunday John and I built a crib to raise the rainwater barrel, as placing it directly on the ground allows poor access to place a watering can under the spout for filling up. I busted apart two pallets made from round posts with flattened top and bottom surfaces, cut them to length, glued and nailed together a crib, then added slats to the top. About a half hour job between the two of us from start to finish.



Monday, May 24, 2010

The May Two Four (part one)


I arrived at the cottage Friday evening, after having dinner with my sister and her family in Barry's Bay. The next morning, after running into town on some errands, I arrived back and let buddy 'the wonder-poodle' out, who promptly leapt out the door at me, and pranced over the long, skinny visitor who was basking on the concrete pavers outside. It hissed up, made a few striking motions, and rattled its tail, warning us off.

I freaked out a bit, because all I know of snakes is if it rattles its tail and strikes out, it might be a Massasauga Rattler, the only venemous snake in Ontario. What little I do know however, is that the cottage is located well outside the normal range of that snake, or so I thought I knew. I got Buddy back in (who walked right over the snake on his way in of course!) and then phoned niece Rachel up, and had her google "Massasauga Rattlesnake", who quickly found out that mine was more than likely an imposter, and in this particular case was an Eastern Milksnake. The milksnake is virtually identical in colour and markings, yet is much slimmer, and though it 'rattles' its tail, it does not have actual rattles at the end. Phew!




Saturday, May 15, 2010

OPP Search For Canoeist on Carson Lake


Some unfolding news that I learned of this morning... Hopefully the canoeist in question went ashore to take a pee break and had his canoe blow away, however after two days, the likelihood of his having drowned is becoming more certain.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

IMAGES. GOOGLE.COM


I have found that a lot of traffic (anywhere from two to five random hits a day) arrives at this blog by the way of Google's image search engine, Images.Google.Com. With a standard search using Google, StatCounter saves the phrase that was used in the search, however it does not do so with the image search engine. So if you have arrived here by finding a picture, I would be interested in knowing what terms you searched for, and what image you found. Please post as a comment below, thanks!