Sunday, November 26, 2006

Aaron Rides His Power Wheels

These pictures were taken exactly a year ago. I wanted to publish them on the web and, with my blog, I finally can. My sister Leslie and her son, Austin, gave this Power Wheels ATV to my son, Aaron. He really enjoys it and even took a tour on it today. The lead acid battery that comes with it had a lot of range a year ago. Now after another year of repeated use it has lost a lot of its range, per charge.

I checked the web and there are third party battery suppliers that sell Sealed Lead Acid Batteries for the Power Wheels that have more range than the Standard Fisher Price Lead Acid Battery. But these batteries don't plug into the standard Power Wheels battery connector and I don't want to mess with the wiring.

One third party supplier has a more desirable solution. They sell the standard Fisher Price 12-Volt 9.5-Amp Lead Acid replacement battery along with their own improved charger for a little more than the price of just the replacement battery. Their improved charger design has indicator lights that tell you when the battery is charging and when it is done charging. It also stops charging automatically once the battery is fully charged. These added features will help the Fisher Price replacement battery to have a longer life.

Here is the URL to the page on that offers the "Power Wheels 12-Volt 12 Amp. Hr. Sabre Type Battery& Charger Set" for our Power Wheels ATV.

I'm going to order it after I receive some more payments from my customers. Enjoy the November '05 pictures of Aaron riding his Power Wheels in the company of his sister, Jennifer, and his mother, Linda.

"Ooh! A guy with a car!"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Who Killed the Electric Car? – Released To DVD It's worth seeing no matter what your political persuasion.

I rented and watched this movie, with curiosity and skepticism, and felt sympathy for General Motors and other car companies that are disheartened and amazed that California can place such enormous compliance requirements on auto makers, that no other state would even think of trying.

I believe I could understand why GM could see no return on investment for development of the electric car. I tried to not let the movie appeal to my emotions but pay attention to the compelling information that was presented.

A few impressive assertions that the movie communicated to me was:

A. That the battery technology for more practical range, per charge, was available but the rights to that technology was purchased by GM, who sat on that technology and then later sold it to the oil companies to be removed from deployment in the market place, for the time being.

B. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology has enormous technological hurtles to overcome to be practical to the mass market while plug-in rechargeable electric cars are already proven to be practical because you can refuel the car at home every night while your sleeping.

C. The electric car did not seem practical as a single principal vehicle to own because of the limited driving range but the gas/electric hybrid cars, that Honda and Toyota are selling, answer this dilemma by maintaining compatibility with our current widely available fuel source, but utilizing rechargeable electric power at the same time.

D. The real positive outlook regarding hybrids is that they can evolve into plug-in rechargeable hybrids that allow you to drive the first sixty miles of your day, using virtually no gas, yet you still can rely on gas when you need it.

One thought I have pondered is that GM spending a billion dollars for the development of an entirely new car technology is very low-cost when you look at what car companies spend just to develop a new gas powered model. It seems like for GM, under the Clinton Administration, development and marketing of a zero emissions car was part of the cost of preserving their privilege to sell their entire line of GM products in California, so keeping the development costs down and still loosing money on just the electric car was do-able so that they could be profitable in California with their gas powered line of products. So GM tried real hard to keep the development costs down. Then when Al Gore failed to win the white house, the status-quo could not be maintained. Now GM could appeal to a new president, who respected the right of corporations to only develop and market products that are profitable, and the incentive to continue with the money loosing electric car was lost. I don't know if President Bush was in collusion with the oil companies by letting the electric car die or if he just believed that big government should not mandate the production and sale of products that only loose money.

I never got emotionally caught up in GM crushing the electric cars. The cars were never sold to anyone, only leased. The cars were no longer going to be supported by it's manufacturer.

The movie did draw attention to the fact that the oil companies actively opposed the development and marketing of the electric car which hurts their image in the public eye.

I started to view this movie thinking I was going to see a lot of environmentalist crying over a failed pipe dream but instead I found it entertaining and educational to get a taste of a growing community of people that want to see transportation become cleaner and less dependent on the volatile oil business - and that this community is in-fact seeing progress and success.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Great Time At The Texas Road House

On Tuesday evening my Mom & Dad arrived in Independence, KY and treated my family to dinner at the Texas Road House. I had a really great time and my chicken salad dinner was very good.

Below is a picture of my Father, Bob Scott, when he was 18 or 19. The back of this photo was stamped, "August 11, 1949."

Saturday Morning Deer Sighting

This photo was taken around 10:30 am on Saturday morning, November 4. A deer stood in our backyard trail long enough so I could get a few snapshots.

Matt Comes Home From Navy Service For The First Time Two Years

This past week our nephew, Matt, was in town with his son, Boston. On Thursday, Linda took Aaron and Jennifer to the Cincinnati Museum Center Children's Museum, at Union Terminal, and met up with her mother, Myrtle; her sister, Carol; and Carol's son, Matt; with Boston and Matt's friend, Elizabeth. Above is a picture of Matt with Boston and Grandma Myrtle.