The downside of solar

Last night I decided to turn off the power to my home so that I could drain my batteries using my solar system to cycle them. I do this about every other month to keep my batteries working well. Usually what happens is that when my heating system comes on it may overload my inverters and they will trip offline and I will reset them in the morning and commence to charge the battery. This morning appeared to be normal except that the inverters did not trip offline and one was trying to charge the battery while the other one was cycling between charging and floating the battery. I had never seen this happen before. Things were looking very strange and I discovered that the voltage at some Outlets was only 40 volts. After many hours of troubleshooting I narrowed the problem down to two circuits in the basement near my heating system. I discovered my booster pump was broken, the power supply to my computer was damaged, and it appears that some of the refridgerators and freezers are acting up. I called the company that installed my heating system and they will be sending their top electrician to troubleshoot what went wrong. Even now when I try to turn my computer on the voltage fluctuates on my lights and my lights dim. So I feel quite isolated right now because I’m afraid to use any sophisticated electrical devices in my house. It’s been a pretty Freaky Monday.

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Musings on Dubai and me.

After some frustration with trying to connect with my mongodb via nodejs I thought I would chill out with this interesting video:

I really like this music for the most part and this video shows some parts of the Bahamas I have been to.  Never got to Dubai however.

As I now contemplate that I may never see that place due to a long string of financial disasters since 2000 I was reminded of the saying of Solomon:

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

Especially when I thought of the fact that this beautiful city of Dubai was built by slave labor.

Somehow, doing my taxes is also very hard to do right now.

When I was rich I was so unhappy because my wife and I could not agree on anything and though we could have traveled the world for the rest of our lives in luxury it wasn’t something she wanted to do.  Her proposal on January 1st of 2000 to sell our MSFT stock was prophetic and is still haunting.  That was the peak… THE PEAK… of the stock of ALL TIME – the very DAY she suggested it and I passed.  Projecting back with the coulda-woulda-shoulda thinking that haunts me, I could easily by now be worth over 100 million dollars.

Soon afterwards when she said through tears that we had to go back to Woodinville to finish the kids High School education and I needed to get back to “normal” life… it broke something inside me.  I could care less about money or security and literally began the self-destruction of my life – not consciously but it began nevertheless.

I often wonder if I am better off now than I would have been had I followed her advice and played it “safe”.  Would my marriage have survived?  Would I have been happier than I am now?  Where would my kids be now?

I perceive that my kids hate money in general because they saw an unhappy marriage in the midst of wealth.  I don’t think money was the cause but it was an enabler for Debbie and I not to deal with our real issues till too much time had past to fix them.  I certainly hope that such a perception by them will keep them out of the mistakes I have made.  I suspect their views may change in time.  Money is very nice to have for many things, but it is a real trap at the same time.

I have enjoyed about 10 years of retirement and am seeing the distinct possibility that it may come to an end – if I can find a job in these tough times and at my age.

So I take some refuge and consolation from Solomon.  I have lead a very interesting life and I certainly hope for another chapter of God’s amazing provision, but it may not be in the cards.  I may have to face head-on the consequences of years of mistakes and poor decisions and every day of it will be hard.

My hope is that I can spend most of my time helping others and thus comforting myself and find joy in what is left of this life.  Teaching kids chess, helping people with computers, trying to solve problems with software, providing a home for other families and hopefully sharing my place with guests, giving them memories for their families and sharing what blessings I have with them.

Its hard not to cry being alone much of the time in a beautiful place, actually sitting only feet from where my wife gave me the most amazing financial advice ever, with everything I really need and want right now except family and a clear financial future.

So I will take consolation in listening to MR. Bogdan Postolache’s wonderful composition which I hope you enjoy as much as I have this evening.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.


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The Painful Process of Lowering Expectations

Moto sleepy on run livingroom ranch

Ah, what are cats for?  Maybe just for lessons in life.

For the last several nights my cat has been restless and wanted to go out and come back in several times, waking me up each time.  In the summer, she stays outside all the time. We have a nice spot in our nursery where she can be warm and comfy.  But in the winter, I let her come inside especially at night.  There are conditions however, and over time, these need reinforcement.  She knows she better not scratch up the woodwork or furniture and she better not poop in the house either.  As long as she behaves, I let her go out and come in as she pleases.

But over time, the boundary creep sets in.  Things get taken for granted and she begins to expect me to be her door keeper, sometimes 4 times in a night!  When this happens its time to kick her out and make her stay out.

Such nights are difficult because she is constantly scratching to get back in.  What can I do?  If I let her in, she will continue to be master of the house and I her door slave.  So I spend a night listening to her scratch and feeling for her bewilderment as she wonders why she can’t come in at night in the winter when she was in just fine last night.

I must be an evil master.  I must have gotten into one of my ‘moods’ again.  I tried to explain it to her this morning, but I doubt she understands.

After a long night of suffering, I let her in and we resume the dance of life together and I hope tomorrow night, I will only have to let her out once, if at all.

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Laborador being naieve again

In a recent email to me from my congressman, the honorable Raul Laborador, he recently said this:

That’s why on Thursday I voted for bipartisan American Safe Act, which passed the House 289-137. The bill requires the FBI Director, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence to certify that refugees entering from failed states do not pose threats to our national security.

ISIS is a CIA front used to create false-flag operations which is being used to cause the american people to be so afraid that they will demand a totalitarian state so they can be safe.

I keep hearing Obama and others in this administration saying that their top priority is to “keep Americans safe from … (insert your current boogeyman here)”.

No.  Their primary job is to “Support and defend the Constitution for the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

Virtually ALL our problems are outgrowths of violations of the letter and spirit of the constitution – ALL of them!

Mr. Laborador, please get on with what you took an oath to do.  Stop voting for anything unconstitutional and call everyone else in congress out on this as well.  Stop funding black budget items – just say NO.  Don’t let the propaganda of the press or your fooled constituents talk you into doing anything unconstitutional.

Thank you sir.

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Hosed by the cloud again

For some reason I can no longer add any posts to any of my blogspot blogs so I will have to blog things here.  Specifically, my political blog: is no longer growing.

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My Bio

I have been one of the most blessed people I know.  Dumb luck got me into more cool things than I deserve.  I was born to parents that met working on the atomic bomb and who later worked at the Lawrence Livermore Lab where as a High School student, I got to work on the Octopus computer system – largest in the world at the time, and got to babysit a computer club 8080 home built PC for the summer.  I later moved a few blocks from Processor Technology who were building cool PCs in their garage.  I got to help assemble these one summer.  Because my dad lost all his money about the time I graduated (due to a crook of a partner) I decided to go into the Navy as a Nuc so I could earn my GI Bill.  Six Amazing years of schooling and working on the devil boat (SSN 666) the most famous submarine in history due to the secret mission it did which I got a metal for but didn’t actually do (I arrived on the boat just as they finished their op).  Ops that I did do on that boat were either liberty runs or weekly ops – really easy and fun duty.  I got to spend two years in the shipyard with the boat witnessing the 3rd worst Nuc incident in history which allowed me to spend the remainder of my enlistment as a semi-civilian at the shipyard.  I then attended UC Berzerkeley on my GI bill and graduated with high marks and got snapped of by Microsoft who humbly waited for me an entire summer while my new wife and I traveled Europe for our honeymoon.  When I started work at Microsoft the market crashed so I got better stock options than people that had been there for 5 years!  Spent 20 years working as a developer with some of the smartest people in the company and got to work on such cool projects as OS/2 (best ship party in the company’s history – 2 weeks in Maui with my wife!) NT and Windows and later on Sidewalk (you never heard of sidewalk but it was a major website done in C++ before ASP and C# and PHP were invented) and Messenger.  I retired at my ranch in Idaho which I bought as a hedge for Y2K.  Lost most of my $ from 2000 on due to not getting out of the market and have been kicking myself since.  I have a wonderful Son and Daughter both of whom are married and doing well.  I should be a grandfather in a week or so of writing this bio.  My wife is currently separated from me and I am in a life recovery mode, living in a paradise better than I deserve yet not sure what the future holds for me.  Living life one day at a time and thankful for each one.

This is the short version.  Man I have been blessed!

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The Entitlement Mantality of Cats

My Cat

My Cat

As I write this post, my cat is pawing at the door to get in – again.  She expects me to let her in because I let her in yesterday – the first time in several months.

As winter comes around my conscience nags me more about enforcing my rule on Moto to never come into the house again.  This rule was made based on about 15 incidents where Moto pooped in my house rather than let me know when she needed to go outside to go.  (Yes I could have put a litter box in the house for her but I don’t really consider my home her hotel or smell like a litter box.)

For several weeks we had a very good working relationship.  I would feed her outside, she would eat, poop, and paw to come in.  I would let her in and she would hang out all day in the sun and snuggle with me in bed.  If she needed to go, she would let me know and I would let her out and back in.  A perfect relationship.

This ended when she just decided, even on beautiful days, that she really didn’t want to ever have to leave the house.  She would hide herself when it was time to go out and eat.  I would leave the food outside, thinking that eventually hunger would prompt her to go out.

I was surprised at her response.  Instead of asking to go out, she would just poop on the rug in our basement – usually in the same general area.  She would go out to eat and I would leave her out as retaliation for her indiscretion.  She would then stalk the doors of the house, knowing about when I would leave the house and where and would proceed to sneak in.  Once in, she would bolt for the safety of a couch or go downstairs where she had many hiding places.  She would of course never come when called and I would proceed to leave her inside, only to find more poop and eventually she would leave to eat and then sneak in again.

Eventually I raised my preparedness when exiting and simply would never let her in. Since then she has been an outside cat most of the summer.  Now that fall is coming, she wants back in and proceeds to wake me up at night several times in an attempt to get me to let her in – as if nothing had happened.  Sometimes she will even scratch the doors or weather stripping to get me to let her in.  Our deck railing is so scratched up you can see it from a hundred feet away – needless to say, I don’t appreciate my deck being her scratching post.

I love cats, when they cooperate with me.  I love to pet them and have them cuddle with me in bed or in a chair.  But they seem to have a different mode of operation from that of a dog.  Most cat lovers will have a scratching post and litter box in their house – is shows who is master I think.

A dog will generally do just about anything to please you and can often be trained to even become useful to you.  Cats on the other hand just don’t fit that role.  You can feed your cat caviar or cheap dry food.  You can house them in a mansion or a cat house.  You can give them attention or not.  But it seems, no matter what you do, you generally don’t see a cat be thankful, helpful or obedient.

I have seen Moto thankful on very rare occasions, and I love it when I see that.  But most of the time, when I feed her something special, or pet her, or let her stay inside on a cold night, she acts the same as if I had done nothing.  It is as if she owns the house and I am her butler.  Though she is entirely dependent on my feeding and housing her, she seems to care less and assumes an heir of control and supremacy.

I know if I let her in now, she will be scratching again tomorrow evening, the precedent being set, she will expect to be let in and will scratch even longer than tonight because past experience dictates to her that I will eventually give in.  The only way I can stop her scratching is to reduce her expectations by NOT letting her in.  Sad.  I would like to have the option of being nice to her without the expectation that I will be so tomorrow – or suffer the consequences.

She is a queen, entitled to whatever she wants, when she wants it, regardless of past offences, your mood or resources.

I think as far as cats go, Moto is generally pretty good – which explains why she is still around – though I don’t think I could ever get myself to kill or even abandon a pet.

So I contemplate what to do this winter with Moto.

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