E. R. M. (Electric Riding Mowers)

Some, a few might remember, some time ago, I predicted them. After using my electronic push mower a few weeks, it seems the logical progression.

Therefore, I had no surprise when I saw a number of them on display, but for over $5k. Really?!

I don’t know. Maybe someone saw my suggestion and designed the things. For the sake of my ego, I will say it was my idea first. However, my idea was simple, something that might cost a little less than a grand. I mean, all you need is put a seat on the mower I have and add some power wheels. My goodness. Did anyone hear of keep it simple stupid!?

I started doing the math. If I pay a kid 10 dollars a week, 26 weeks a year, that’s 260 a year. In ten years, I’m still better off paying the kid and I don’t need to get out in the summer heat.

I guess it is okay for some with really big lawns, but mine is not that big.

Besides, if I pay the kid, I save the cost of the electricity. On the other hand, if I ever get a 1 or 2 acre lot, I will likely buy the big expensive one. I mean, unlike electronic cars, the mower would always be near a charging station… that is as long as the power grid holds.

Joe and His Green Crowd FIGURATIVELY Got Shot Down

First, let me re-emphasize “figuratively.” That does not mean literally. No one shot at them, not even a peashooter. I say that lest someone misconstrue the meaning of my words.

If I heard the report right, a federal judge just OKed Phillips Petroleum’s drilling in Alaska, or at least the preparation for it. Now they can build the road, which will permit them to move their equipment in. Biden fought to stop them. He loves drilling for oil and mining for all sorts of things, as long as it is not within the US. He does not like anything benefiting American industry unless approved by the greenies.

I just love it when Joe and his greenies suffer such setbacks. To be sure, when they have setbacks, the American people benefit. In this case, it just might help hold the price down at the gas pumps. The only people that don’t like that are the greenies, those building wind mills and solar batteries, and those invested in EVs.

AND, by the way, from another but related report. Did you hear? The Saudis decided to decrease oil production. Or was it that they will try to increase prices. Either way, it is same, same.

The Unanticipated Obvious

I’ve said it and said it again. I barely made it through high school. I have no college degree, though I did have a littie college. Yet it seems I anticipated something the guys with with the big degrees overlooked. At least, they chose to ignore it.

When they first started really pushing the electric autos, I actually wrote a post pointing out that the electric power grid would need some serious beefing up.

I don’t guess anyone paid any attention to me because it was only today I heard of anyone else taking note of the problem. As obvious as it was from the beginning, it seems to have taken about 4 years to realize that the grid just isn’t up to it.

Their suggestion to deal with the problem is to charge the batteries at work during the day instead of at home at night.

Guess I can’t have an electric car. Can’t plug it in at work. I’m retired.

Revisiting Electric Vehicles

Saw an ad on TV tonight, another electric vehicle. Looked it up on the internet… nearly $50,000. I’m guessing that after taxes and such, you’ll likely sign a contract for at least 55 grand before you get the keys.

If you have the spare change and you’re interested enough in keeping the planet green, you might not consider it a problem. On the other hand, if you regularly drive over 200 miles a day, you might want to reconsider.

So, I guess keeping the earth nice and green might still be a little expensive, especially for those of us living on Social Security. Considering my current income, it just might take me…. Never mind. I’ll let you do the math. Enough to say I won’t live nearly that long, unless I stumble onto the fountain of youth.

Problem I Didn’t See with EVs

Last winter, hundreds of cars were stranded along, I think, Interstate 81 due to snow. This was especially hard on those with electric vehicles. They sat there with the rest of the cars with their heaters on… until their batteries ran down. Then, they had no heat. Worse, unlike they gas powered cars, they could not get their heat again until they could be recharged.

Natually, they were stranded until either they could get recharged, or until they could get towed. According to the news story I heard, most of those with EVs in the traffic jam simply walked to the nearest place they could get a ride.

When I heard the story, it made me think again about buying an EV. I think I have the solution though. I buy one of the pickups and carry a generator around in the truck bed. Should the batteries need charging, I simply start the generator and plug the car into it. At the least, I will still have heat or air-conditioning should I get stranded.

Then again, I could simply carry a propane heater around with me. That would work too. However, there might be a safety problem with that. Besides, I’d still not have air-conditioning. If you are in a mosquito infested area, that would be a real problem.

Perhaps the simplest solution is to avoid the electric vehicle altogether until someone comes along with something that really works.

Still, I like the generator idea. You never know when one would come in handy along the way.

$10 Dollar Gasoline???

In the 70s an unexpected problem arose. The price of gasoline went to over a dollar. Well yes, it was a problem that caused many problems, especially in a world of approximately 30 cent fuel.

Suddenly, people were playing over 3 times as much, when they could find it. But it caused an odd, unexpected problem for those selling it. I remember it first hand. I was there.

Some dealt with the problem by selling gasoline by the liter. Some simply painted a one in front of that portion indicating the price and the cost of the sale.

Of course, now, very few expect $10 gasoline. However, that would only require a little more than doubling. Back in the 1970s, it more than trippled. One day it was 30 cents. 6 or 7 months later, it was 1.10 and climbing.

That was when we could find stuff. With it going up so fast, I suspect some held onto it as an investment comodity. They could not resist holding onto a few thousand gallons knowing the price will go up 3 or 4 percent in a month. In itself, this would drive the prices up.

Those of us buying the gas, dealt with the problem in three basic ways. We drove less. We pumped our own gas and we stayed away from name brands. Before, I bought only Standard and Chevron gas. After, all I looked at was the price.

Then again, frequently, we settled for accessibility. Many stations were out of gas or claimed to be. Some stations had 2 hour lines. Then they’d sell out on the car 2 cars in front of me.

In the long term, we bought smaller cars with smaller less powerful engines. It meant putting up with rougher rides in cramped environments and much less trunk space.

So now, the price of gas flirts with 4 dollars a gallon, we lack these methods we used last time around. I already buy Mapco gas. I pump my own fuel and my little 100 hp motor has problems with steep grades and I can forget toeing even a small trailer. A boat or travel trailer is out of the question. I’m already considering one of those Flintstone cars powered by foot power.

I suspect most of us would prefer that gas stay down perhaps to the 2 dollar range. For that reason, if nothing else, I’d strongly suggest firing all those dems in Congress, House and Senate. Most of them like the thought of 10 dollar gas. They want us to buy the more expensive, smaller electric cars, which do little or nothing to decrease “green gasses.” Actually, they’d prefer we walk, ride bikes, buses or trains while they ride in chauffeured luxury cars or fly around in private jets.

So, unless you like bicycling &+ buying gas by the liter, you might want to vote Republican. You might want to encourage your friends to vote Republican. You might even want to encourage your advisories to vote Republicans.

Paying 10 dollars a gallon is more than crazy. It’s crazy nuts. Then again, $2.50 a liter might sound better, but it won’t help the budget one iota. Indeed, just as I saw in the 70s, the price of everything will go up to match the increase in the cost of energy.

I Knew it Had to Happen!

When they came out with battery powered push mowers, I knew the battery powered rider mower would be next. I even predicted it in one of my posts.

When I visited Lowes this afternoon, I noticed two zero turn machines that had electric mower trademarks on them.

I made a point to check them out on the way in. They had a sign on it that bragged 2 acres on a charge. I actually do have a decent sized yard, but it doesn’t get close to a 1/4 of an acre. Sadly, my yard just doesn’t justify the price tag.

Even so, considering my age, I was still tempted. Maybe I could use it to make money. I could advertise a green friendly way to keep your lawn well manicured. I wonder just how many lawns it would take to justify spending $5500.

Maybe one or two of my readers can figure a way to pretend I need a zero turn rider mower.

Maybe they will come out with a little lawn tractor mower soon. Maybe they will come out with one I can afford. In the meantime, I guess I will trudge behind the one I have. At least it’s electric. That will make those “going green” nuts happy.

Oh. And by the way. I won’t have to pay road tax to cut my grass.

Surprise, Not All Stove Are Hot

It is something, likely, as old as stoves. Most folks quickly learn not to touch hot stoves.

Actually, it is not so important today as it was a couple of centuries ago when ole Ben first started building stoves. Generally speaking, when someone would touch a hot stove, they were not apt to repeat it.

Actually, I suspect it went back even farther than that. Before there were stoves, there were fireplaces. Before fireplaces campfires, or their equivalent.

I even heard a tale of one of the big wigs at Levi learning not to kneel next to campfires…first time. It was then that they decided to remove one or two of the rivets from the area just below the fly of their famous canvas trousers.

The one thing brought away from the first experience was the probability of pain, sometimes a little embarrassment too. However, here’s the news. Not all stoves are hot. Not all rivets are hot. It just is that once exposed to these experiences we mostly come away thinking they are, or at least can be. It is referred to as inductive reasoning. Because the first stove we touch is hot, we assume all stoves are hot.

What if the reverse is true. What if the first stove you touch is ambient temperature? Do we then assume that all stoves are cool to the touch. If we do this, we expose ourselves to many painful experiences. This is called inductive reasoning.

While it is useful, it can easily lead to errors. For instance, if we see a brown Labrador retriever, it would be wrong to assume that all dogs are brown and weigh eighty pounds. Indeed, it would be wrong to assume that all Labs are brown. Oddly there are some that are black.

On the other hand, suppose we touch a hundred cool stoves. Can we then assume are stoves are cool? If we see a hundred brown Labs, are we to assume that all labs are brown.

You see, even though we see a large number of examples, we cannot truly assume anything.

Until we see a large enough number of examples, we cannot positively say that we know all labs are brown and that all stoves are cool. Even when working with large numbers, inductive reasoning can lead us astray.

I wish that kids in the eighth grade were required to spend a few hours learning about inductive and deductive reasoning. I am convinced the concept is extremely important in so many parts of life.

Let’s take for instance, the woman that is robbed by an African American. Is it right for her to be afraid of all African Americans? Of course, not. Yet, it may take her years to get over the experience. Our fears are not always founded on good logic. Indeed, her fear might keep her from many good friendships.

The somewhat opposite of inductive reasoning is deductive reasoning. In deductive reasoning, we draw conclusions from many, perhaps exhaustive numbers of examples. It is best that these examples are at random. It is the way that medical research is done. I suppose we can say that statistics and deductive reasoning are interrelated. The more the examples and the more random, the more accurate will be the stats deductive reasoning that depends on the stats.

If we have a random selection of a million dogs, it is likely that only a few will be Labs and we will likely see a few black dogs, white dogs and even a few multi-color dogs. Therefore, we can have a more accurate idea of the coloring of dogs. If we take a random measurement of a million stoves, we might actually find that only 30% are hot enough to cause pain, or even discomfort. (only a wild guess, not am actual statistic)

I’m not going to try to create an equivalent example with the thievery. It’s far too complex and there are too many ways it can go wrong with my imaginary statistics. Moreover, I am not going to suggest that a woman should get robbed a million times. Two or three maybe, but no more. Still, the principles remain firm. With a larger number of examples, we would be able to draw more accurate deductions.

However, we need to be careful about drawing snap conclusions. When we go from the millions of examples and try to derive a single situation from millions of examples, we can still be wrong. For instance, if I may. It would not indicate that a thief is of any ethnicity, and it would be wrong to make any such suggestion.

Yet, every day, I see some people blame Black men because of individual as well as vast statistical data. Those methods just don’t work. And, by the way, the methods don’t work on Caucasian policemen, again, regardless of past inductive or deductive reasoning. You cannot convict a policeman based on past experience just as the woman cannot convict based on past thieves.

Perhaps the most horrible example of inductive reasoning is when the person says, “Single parent families are just as good as two-parent families.” Then they go about calling out two, three or four examples of good kids brough up by single parents. That logic has two holes. First, it is based on a very small count of examples. Second, there is the probability that, if there is a second parent, the child would likely have turned out better. The statistics back it up. We are talking millions of examples not just two or three.

On the other side of the coin, I see people say that a particular person turned out good or bad because of his parent(s). The stats prove that some good kids come from bad or broken homes and bad kids come from homes with good parents.

In this case, the inductive logic gets us nowhere and the deductive logic only shows trends. The trend shows overwhelmingly that two parent homes are better. But logic tells us that it is only true if they are good parents. Abusive and or alcoholic parents rarely qualify as good parents. Yet, again, some good kids come from homes with abusive parents. Sorry. I have no explanation for that. I’m not sure there is one.

For those who are not truly familiar with the terms inductive and deductive reasoning, may I suggest you take an hour or two and look into it on the net. Most will find it far more complex than most of us realize. For instance, one thing that must accurately be determined in inductive reasoning is an accurate correlation. For instance, that dance by that Voo-do doctor likely has nothing to do with that solar eclipse. On the other hand, all that rain I dumped on my lawn the other day likely had nothing to do with the thunderstorm we got the next day, though it did seem a little coincidental. If we collected enough data, it is likely to be proved that the one thing had nothing to do with the other.

What Happens When the Lights Go Out?

It’s one of those frequently asked questions, especially after the lights go out.

In the home, it means we break out the flashlights 🔦. If it goes on too long, it means we start looking for somewhere to plug in the cell phones.

In hospitals, the question becomes, how long will the generator hold up?

On the other hand some will be looking for a place to plug in their vehicles. For sure, with the load they put on the grid, they just might be the reason for the sudden darkness.

It sounds like a good reason to add to the grid, both in generating power and distribution. I mean, you just might want to get out of Dodge before your neighbors find out the grid went down when you plugged in your brand new Tesla, especially if it is in the middle of the Super Bowl.

I Have Decided to Do My Part

According to those in the Biden WH, we should do our part to save on energy usage. My first thought was “Forget it!”

Then I had second thoughts. I have a fantastic idea on how I can do my part. All I need do is go out and buy a horse and buggy. Being as I am retired, I could use it for 80 to 90% of my travel and my use the car for the rest.

Actually, better yet, I could sell my car and just rent an auto when I need it. It might save me a dollar or two.

Wait a minute. What am I thinking of? I can’t get a horse. I think they have laws against that sort of thing here in the city.

Oh, well. Guess I’ll have to settle on my car, at least until they change the law. And I would really like to get a horse. I like horses . It’s maybe better anyway. I’ve kinda gotten used to air conditioning and I don’t think I can put one on a buggy. The extension cord would be too long.