Archive for September, 2008


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Life Stuff

I’ve known Carlos a long time. Great guy.  I make fun of him, because that’s what I do.  I am told I have less things to make fun about now, hes taken the plunge.  My cameras and I were there to witness it all. Everyone is very happy that he’s completed this terribly long path to citizenship…   This will certainly be one  for my picture wall!

Congrats Carlito!



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Tech

So I love electronics,  Everyone should know.  So I thought it would be a fun weekend project to bring Ty over and do some kit building.   This project is a freeduino board. freeduino_serial2.jpg  Is a great source for everything about this chip. Its extremely cheap (< 20$) and is quite powerful in what it can do, and what add-ons are available for it. More info on that as we build more things

Its amazing, both projects worked perfectly the first time….



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff


Tracker #1 has been moved to its new home, and wired up to the system.  This baby really kicks out the power, all day long.  Sadly we’ve had terrible weather for the past 3 days, so I am unable to get a real  idea of the full potential.

Many thanks yet again to Jim (and helper Mike) for the unbelieveable help in this.  We almost lost Jim in the attic though.  It does get hot.



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Rants, Tech


HD DVD sales are currently strong in the States, reports the Financial Times.

The doomed high-def disc format was effectively cancelled by backers Toshiba and co earlier in the year, after the rival Blu-ray format emerged victorious, but “tough economic conditions” have breathed new life into the platform.

Aggressive price cuts for the hardware – said to be around $60 for HD DVD players, some of which upscale ordinary DVDs – have apparently made them attractive to cash-strapped consumers.

In addition, the cost of discs has fallen to around $10, and can still be found online at Amazon and as well as smaller electronics stores.

“We expected to see a huge increase in Blu-ray sales [with] HD DVD dying but it just hasn’t happened”, Jeff Wisot, vice-president of marketing with, told the FT. “HD DVD sales are still very strong.”

Ryan Kugler, president of Distribution Video & Audio, a buyer of excess video and audio inventory, has sold one million HD DVDs that were returned to the studios by big retailers and expects to sell another two to three million for Christmas.


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Money, Solar Power

Just a note of interest.  Solar power purchases are exempt from Florida Sales Tax



   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Tech, Treehugger Stuff

I’ve crossed another milestone, a new record has been set here.

A new peak output, I’ve produced 16amps of 120v during the day on solar.


Next step should get me over 20amps! Perhaps this weekend?


   Posted by: RobPatton   in Just plain weird, Money

Man Sucessfully Used a $200 bill

HALIFAX COUNTY:  North Carolina cops are searching for a guy who successfully passed a $200 bill bearing George W. Bush’s portrait and a drawing of the White House complete with lawn signs reading “We like ice cream” and “USA deserves a tax cut.” The phony Bush bill was presented to a cashier at a Food Lion in Roanoke Rapids on September 6 by an unidentified male who was seeking to pay for $150 in groceries. Remarkably, the cashier accepted the counterfeit note and gave the man $50 change. In a separate incident involving a different perp, Roanoke Rapids cops Tuesday arrested Michael Harris, 24, for attempting last month to pass an identical $200 Bush bill at a convenience store.



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Humor

Everyone needs one of these!



   Posted by: RobPatton   in Money

The financial meltdown, in pictures.



   Posted by: RobPatton   in House Stuff, Solar Power, Treehugger Stuff

Well, my good buddy Jim (and his son Alex) came over today to help me (read: let me watch him work) put the last 6 solar panels up on the roof.

Jim as been my solar teacher, years ahead of anything I’ve done. Hes great with helping preach the word of renewable energy.  With his HUGE solar install, and his Plug-in Prius, he stays on the bleeding edge of Alternative Tech.  He still insists on using his Sony Floppy disk camera, though…..


This go round we tried out a new flashing that the company makes, and it works VERY well.


Six of them to add for today’s install


Today’s upgrade yields me 50% more power, followed shortly by the tracker which will more than double what I had before today.  It should be good times for free power…


All he asked is for some BBQ (actually he asked for Sonnys, he got Bubbalous) and a charge for his (nearly world famous) car….