Sunday, February 08, 2004

Dinner on the Bluff

Last night we went to one of the "Dinner on the Bluff" series organized and hosted by the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning center. Last night's event's topic was "local flavors" and we enjoyed a fabulous menu of locally grown and raised flavors masterfully prepared by chef Laura Thompson.
We spent a fabulous time with Katie & Harlin as well as Jim and Fred. For a long time I've wanted to talk to Fred, since he is one that has a nice wind turbine right behind his house (the big white timberframe south of town). I am a little concerned that he mentioned that his 20 kW Jacobs Wind Turbine does not perform as well as he expected, but he explained that it could be a function of where they placed the turbine.
I also finally had a chance to introduce myself to Joe Degen, Executive Director of Eagle Bluff. I had found out that they have installed an anemometer (wind meter) and was interested in getting a hold of the data. It turns out that Eagle Bluff does not have an anemometer installed at their site, but on the Fountain tower and one in Pilot Mound.
Joe also introduced us to his wife, Mary Bell, who has a strong interest in Wind Energy and writes for the Fillmore County Journal. Especially an article about Garwin McNeilus that she wrote a while back, is very encouraging, as it mentions that Garwin has plans to build a 10kW turbine for $10,000.
Once again we find ourselves renewed in our excitement about moving to this community of interesting, smart, open-minded and environmentally concerned people. We hardly can wait to move!

A visit with IPS

This Friday we went up to the cities to finally visit with the renewable energy firm that I had found on the web, Innovative Power Solutions. Their website (especially their "Build your own system" link from the homepage) has been quite helpful in designing our electrical system.

We met for over one-and-a-half hours with Roger, Mario and Lobos. Mario had some very good feedback on various aspects of our design and we feel comfortable moving ahead working with them on our system.

News from my Dad

Last weekend my mom called to let me know that my dad is in the hospital (again). As some of you know, my dad had an "aortic aneurysm fixed with goretex" in the fall of 2000, but as the surgery took much longer than expected (6 hours), it was very hard on his body. He was on the ICU for almost 6 months and for the first 5 months in a coma and the doctors almost giving him up after he developed antibiotic resistancies. But then, around January/February of 2001 he suddenly bounced right back, went to rehab and was just the same. Amazing!

So, needless to say to hear the news that he's back in the hospital brings back some memories. But my mom and dad are vey optimistic. It turns out that he was not feeling well last Saturday and decided that there was no way that he would go to bed that night with such a strange feeling regarding his heart. Also his bloodpressure was just way to high, so around 10 PM they called the hospital and after describing the symptoms, they sent an ambulance. After some tests and a relocation to a heart-specialty clinic, it turns out that he will need a triple bypass.

Righ now the surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, the 18th. We'll keep our fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Detailed Design Reviews started

Last Wednesday we finally started our 'detailed design review series". The first topic was "log homes" and I shared some of the things that we learned. The invitation to the design reviews goes out to 50 of our colleagues at Mayo and we are grateful for their time and feedback. Their interest in our project is a great motivator for us! Next Wednesday, the 4th of February, we will start talking about the electrical system.