Archive for August, 2007


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech

“USA Today is running a pretty good article on solar power that gives an overview of the current state of the industry. Highlight include production costs of $1.19/Watt for First Solar, 40% annual cost reductions over the last five years, revenues expected to triple in three years, and a prediction for 2014 as the year when solar photovoltaic power plants become cheaper than other forms of generation. From the piece: ‘Like wind power, solar energy is spotty, working at full capacity an average 20% to 30% of the time. Solar’s big advantage is that it supplies the most electricity midday, when demand peaks. And it can be located at homes and businesses, reducing the need to build pollution-belching power plants and unsightly transmission lines. In states such as California, with high electricity prices and government incentives, solar is already a bargain for some customers. Wal-Mart recently said it’s putting solar panels on more than 20 of its stores in California and Hawaii. Google is blanketing its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters with 9,212 solar panels, enough to light 1,000 homes.'”

$1.19 per watt is INCREDIBLE, since best I could do was about 4.30 a watt. We’re getting to the point where “off the grid” living would be realistic.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Humor, Life Stuff, Tech


From time to time, I just fall prey to something stupid, that I just have GOT to have. With the release of the Simpsons movie, Fox had made 100 Special edition Xbox 360s, in a special simpsons paint scheme. Being so rare, these things went CRAZY on ebay. The highest (so far) went for over 4000$

First auction attempt was ended shortly before it was completed. A fraud, a hacked account.

Second auction attempt completed. I sent the funds via paypal, then things looked fishy. Not a verified user, hotmail email address, shill bidding. I filed a dispute within a few moments, which locked the funds, pending rcpt of the item. What most people don’t realize, and Paypal doesn’t really explain so well, is that yes, you are protected, up to 200$. You are only protected OVER 200$ if the seller has 50 or more pos feedback. This user did not. 36 hours after the auction ended, and I paid, the auction VANISHED. It was if it had never happened. So I sit and wait for Paypal to unlock my funds.

Let this be a valuable lesson to you as ebay buyers.

Not bright enough to give up, I tried once again. I found on in Florida, and begin an email exchange with the seller. Seems real, offers “local” pickup, and represents himself as a Police Officer. With the power of the internet, I’m able to find This lovely news story of an officer involved in a dual tazing traffic stop He does an incredible job of keeping his cool during the event. Oh the power of google.

Hopefully it will all work out, may take a week to get synced up with the guy. I’ll make sure I don’t speed once I get there, Being tazed would piss me off.

And no, I didn’t pay $4000.00 With the normal prices going from $1000-$1500, I paid a LOT less.

UPDATE!   Its saturday night, and its HERE!   It was a long boring drive to Yehaw Junction, but it was worth it.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff, Money


The United States – The most powerful country on the planet. We have satellites that can watch a man scratch his ass from space. Then, with pinpoint accuracy, we can deliver a bomb to that location to kill that man, yet cause little to no damage to things around him.

All these amazing things, including my ability to write a check to the IRS, mail it, they receive it just days later, cash it, and I can see this cashed check on the internet, twenty four hours a day. Amazing things.

What I truly find amazing is that it can somehow take the “IRS computer”30-45 days to post the payment to my account.

What do they run there? A bunch of Commodore 64s? What kinda scam are they running?

Even more amazing is that I can type this entire blog entry while on hold.