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November 2008
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More better Solar soon.

Living in Arizona makes Solar power generation semi attractive. The biggest stumbling blocks are price, and efficiency. The lads at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed and demonstrated a new coating that captures 96% of the solar energy. Up from the 66% on its best day for current solar panels. Plus panels can be fixed rather than requiring stuff to move them to track the sun.

The price is still high, (which makes payback a bitch) and I am still looking at ways to mount them on roofs that will not leak. There are a lot of promises out there, but I remained unconvinced. Keeping them from being blown off is a plus as we do get wind storms with the rain we do get.

Becoming History Voting Today

This morning it was 61 degrees, and the sun was rising  as I cast my vote. Lines were forming, a lot of provisional ballots were being cast as my neighborhood is in flux, and the booths were filled as I waited to cast my vote. Obama if it matters.
In 36 years of voting, this is the first presidential election where I have voted for someone rather than against. But that's just me.

Voting is probably the single most important right you have. The news has been full of stories about lines and waits at the polls. And your point?

Bring a book, mp3 player, talk to your fellow voters, become part of history. Whoever your vote goes to, be satisfied that you have participated.  I would hope that you vote for my guy, but in any case, the act of voting as an expression of your will is the single most powerful right you have.

Artroom Expansion Recycling

One of the things I like to keep my eye on is the possibility of recycling and reusing things on various projects. One, is that I am lazy and anything I can do to minimize the amount of trash and garbage generated on a project is that much less to clean up and throw away. I read or saw a statistic recently that new construction wastes between 20-30% of materials delivered on a site. When I was a full time drywaller, I saw that every day.

Two, is thinking about using materials in the most efficient manner, so as to get the most out of it. I hate tossing things out, which is why I have an enormous collection of odd bits of things that don't work in old locations. 

Three, is saving time by not having to run around for materials to build things, and saving money by not buying new, when used will work.

The Artroom Expansion did use a lot of new material, being new construction, but there was very little scrap as I did a little planning. I was also lucky in having a client who felt the same.

This was the 'original' cabinet and counter assembly in the artroom. I emphasize original as the client got the cabinets from another project, so they are already second generation. 

So what did we do? The countertop became the backing for the glass cutter.

The trim around the old counter became the trim for the new counter.

The cabinets got moved and mounted on the wall.

The artroom sink got a solid surface shelf for the new window courtesy of the bathroom remodel project.


In the expansion, the counter for the sink is a reused counter.


The FRP sink sidewalls are the remains of a project for the clients husband. The cap on the top of the sidewall as well as the splash below the window are also from one of the bath remodel projects.


Last but not least, are the windows that were in the original wall.