A Grumpy Hobbit: A Belated Merry Yuletide and Happy New Year Post

It has been nothing but work work, sleep, work, work, sleep, work work workYEAH CHRISTMAS BREAK,… sleep sleep sleep sleep,…That is what it has felt like for the last few weeks, and thus my absence from blogging.  Do not fear, the Grumpy Hobbit will return in the New Year, the Tiny Home Project is still ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: A Belated Merry Yuletide and Happy New Year Post

It has been nothing but work work, sleep, work, work, sleep, work work workYEAH CHRISTMAS BREAK,… sleep sleep sleep sleep,…That is what it has felt like for the last few weeks, and thus my absence from blogging.  Do not fear, the Grumpy Hobbit will return in the New Year, the Tiny Home Project is still ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: I need a little advice – MIG Welding

In my tiny home project I am coming up against designs that need special fitting and design.  Buying off the self is very expensive and doesn’t always fit my design perfectly, so I have to modify my design to fit the prefab crap you can buy.  Solution, make the stuff myself.  Problem, need to weld.So ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: I need a little advice – MIG Welding

In my tiny home project I am coming up against designs that need special fitting and design.  Buying off the self is very expensive and doesn’t always fit my design perfectly, so I have to modify my design to fit the prefab crap you can buy.  Solution, make the stuff myself.  Problem, need to weld.So ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – The Tiny House Project – Trailer Design CRITICAL IMPORTANCE (Part One)

My current job, it is not mentally demanding and it allows me time to think through problems and find different solutions.  This often means that a design I figured out the day before goes in the filing cabinet and a new modified design or a entire new design is born to solve the same problem. ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – The Tiny House Project – Trailer Design CRITICAL IMPORTANCE (Part One)

My current job, it is not mentally demanding and it allows me time to think through problems and find different solutions.  This often means that a design I figured out the day before goes in the filing cabinet and a new modified design or a entire new design is born to solve the same problem. ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – The Tiny Home Project – Minimum Requires For Going Off Grid

PLANNING FOR THE PLAN Well not without a plan and money. Going to a Tiny Home and living off grid is a little more complex than going camping for a weekend or even camping for week.  It is basically “I’m going camping forever, but still want all the nice things we enjoy in our technological ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – The Tiny Home Project – Minimum Requires For Going Off Grid

PLANNING FOR THE PLAN Well not without a plan and money. Going to a Tiny Home and living off grid is a little more complex than going camping for a weekend or even camping for week.  It is basically “I’m going camping forever, but still want all the nice things we enjoy in our technological ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – The Tiny Home Project – The General Plan

Many people are looking at tiny homes.  This solution is not for everyone and it requires a good deal planning and prep-work.  One of the very first things you need to do is down size.  I mean down size with a vengeance!!!  I have already accomplished over the course of the last few years and ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – The Tiny Home Project – The General Plan

Many people are looking at tiny homes.  This solution is not for everyone and it requires a good deal planning and prep-work.  One of the very first things you need to do is down size.  I mean down size with a vengeance!!!  I have already accomplished over the course of the last few years and ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – Rechargable Battery Packs

In my first article about Going Green – Transportation I touched on Electropeds/Electro-Peds and the battery requirements and costs.  That was on November 22nd.  The thing that was burning my butt was the cost, a 48volt, 1500 Watt – 20Ah battery pack that uses Lithium-Manganese based chemistry was expensive ($850.00 USD) and I seriously got ...

A Grumpy Hobbit: Going Green – Rechargable Battery Packs

In my first article about Going Green – Transportation I touched on Electropeds/Electro-Peds and the battery requirements and costs.  That was on November 22nd.  The thing that was burning my butt was the cost, a 48volt, 1500 Watt – 20Ah battery pack that uses Lithium-Manganese based chemistry was expensive ($850.00 USD) and I seriously got ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Hemp Revolution

  Hemp has enormous potential to help us build an ecologically sound society. It can replace most uses of tree-derived paper products and lumber, thus saving vast amounts of forests. It can eliminate and replace most uses of synthetic fibres, which are used in clothing, furniture, carpets and textiles, and virtually all uses of plastics, ...

Bill Longstaff: The global economy—a case of bad engineering

For a number of years I toiled in the oil industry as an engineer, and not infrequently lessons I learned from my engineering experience return to inform me in other contexts. Recently I have been thinking of the global economy in such terms, and it fails miserably to pass the test of good engineering. When ...

Eclectic Lip: Wiki-immortality!

My August Canadian EV car sales stats update went up recently. Which was cool. Cooler still, I had a chance to wax poetic about sustainability, and my new-found optimism that we’ll avoid the worst of our dystopian horrors. I was invited to be a guest lecturer for an engineering course at UBC (APSC 150) where ...

Dead Wild Roses: Roads: Why Are They Still Asphalt?

We live in an age of innovation. Using the great scientific advances of previous generations and implementing them in new and creative ways is huge part of our progress. No longer burdened by what we can do (mostly), the question for most fields now is how we can do it better. Can we do it ...

PostArctica: Strandbeests by Theo Jansen

Theo Jansen (born 1948) is a Dutch artist. In 1990, he began what he is known for today: building large mechanisms out of PVC that are able to move on their own, known as Strandbeest. His animated works are a fusion of art and engineering; in a car company (BMW) television commercial Jansen says: “The ...

The last of Nortel’s legacy sold off

Nortel’s patents sold for 4.5 billion dollars–a true indictment of the many dollars and years of R&D investment.  Some of Canada’s top scientists worked there–it truly was an innovative company (unfortunately with bad management). It is also very sad that Nortel’s leadership, including Mike Zafirovski, did not know the true value of what they had ...

New Ontario Liberal Commercial

I just saw the new Ontario Liberal commercial and I must say that I really like it.  I’m not sure it will help the election, but it really instills some Ontario pride.  Many Canadian provinces have strong identities, and some are having a strong economic resurgance, largely based on resources.  But Ontario can claim to ...

The Importance of a Technology “Anchor”

Not a long post from me today, but just a link to an article in the Globe and Mail that explains what RIM’s misfortunes could mean for the city of Kitchener-Waterloo.  I doubt that they will become the next Nortel, but hopefully they won’t.

Ottawa Tech Sector / RIM

A while ago I was going to post a quick something that I saw about the Ottawa Tech Sector from the Ottawa Citizen, but didn’t post it.  Unfortunately things didn’t seem to be going well in Ottawa high-tech despite some encouraging signs from some companies.  Article below: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/thinning+ranks+Ottawa+tech+sector/4564755/story.html?cid=megadrop_story But now it seems we could have ...

An Aside – Engineers in Politics

Just saw an arictle in EE Times, a kind of article that started this blog!  From south of the border, a call to run for office for the nation’s engineers.