Camping season is winding down

October 16th, 2018

Greetings from my office in Myre-Big Island State Park!  It’s the perfect place for a client meeting, and a meeting with a local attorney, drafting a Petition for Reconsideration… nothing like having a fully equipped office with wheels!  The downside is that there’s a season where it works, and a season where it doesn’t — for sure it does not work in the dead of winter.

We’re getting to the end of the season, it came to an end too quickly.  There was about an inch of snow here, it rained/sleeted/snowed all night Friday and all day Saturay.  Sunday morning people cleared out of here like it was on fire.  Our furnace and little heater kept up well, and one down comforter was sufficient!

Cooking was kinda rough the first two days, but washing dishes was worse!  Then today arrived and the sun was out and it was beautiful!

Sadie got to play with her “cousin” Sandie at the dog park two days running, and she was a happy, pooped, and socialist puppy!  They’re getting along quite well, but Sandie is… well… a PUPPY!  She’s now bigger than Sadie, plump and jiggly, whereas Sadie is for sure greyhound style.

Got to see little bro’s “new” house, and, well, it’s a good thing he didn’t get the first one he told me about down there, Hwy 13 in Hartland, right near Bernie and Cheryl Hagen and right in Bent Tree!  DON’T YOU DARE!  I sent Alan and Sadie out to play while I was writing, and there was some serious bonding going on the first day at the dog park and Home Depot.  A few mods to the camper, we now have two more stable tables, and a new outlet where the camper was designed for an air conditioner plug, so running little electric heater and oven or tea kettle at the same time is no problem.  One less thing to think about.  It was odd, there were two circuits, everything was on one, and nothing on the other, but all set up and ready to run, just needed an outlet. Who needs an air conditioner, particularly in a camper!  But we all need another outlet, eh?

Only one more meeting to go, and then homeward bound!

 

 

Video of Thursday’s PUC meeting!

September 23rd, 2018

Here’s the audio and video of the Public Utilities Commission meeting of September 20, 2018, where the Commission decided to deny the Goodhue Wind Truth rulemaking petition and to approve the Freeborn Wind siting permit Recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge that the permit be denied, AND to approve the transmission line, for which Freeborn Wind does not have all necessary land rights — note the blue triangles — that represents the underlying fee interest of non-participants.

So, Thursday’s meeting?  Goodhue Wind Truth rulemaking petition and Freeborn Wind siting and transmission permit? Here ya go!

Video (can’t figure out how to download video)

Audio Download

Below the video screen is a list of agenda items.  Click #2 for their rejection of the Goodhue Wind Truth Petition for Rulemaking.  Click on #3 for their approval of the Freeborn Wind Site permit, and #4 for their approval of transmission for Freeborn Wind.  Liberally dose yourself with anti-emetic before watching!

Started going weird at 16:00 and by 17:00 it was orange?!?!

And it’s fine now:

https://api.misoenergy.org/MISORTWD/lmpcontourmap.html

Catching up…  Thanks to Bloomberg for finding this — a May 29, 2018 “confidential” memo, now attempting to use a “National Defense” framing to subsidize the failing coal and nuclear power industries:

Grid-Memo_5-29-2018

This is on the heels of his prior attempts to push coal and nuclear generation.  The claim is one of grid necessity, to keep it stable, don’t cha know.  Right…  If it weren’t of such immense scope and cost, I’d be Snorting Out Loud.  Instead, it’s the other SOL!

From the horse’s mouth to the horse’s ass:

PJM Interconnection said in a statement that the power system is more reliable than ever.

“There is no need for any such drastic action,” the grid operator said. “Any federal intervention in the market to order customers to buy electricity from specific power plants would be damaging to the markets and therefore costly to consumers.”

If PJM says it’s not needed, if FERC says it’s not needed or wanted… DOH!

As was attempted in New Jersey, a bailout for PSEG nuclear plants in Salem, First Energy is at it too:

Coal power company files for bankruptcy and asks Trump for bailout

First Energy, whose systemic problems and negligence brought us the August 14, 2003 blackout, are now posing as champions of grid resilience?

No, just no.  It’s obvious that tRump can’t change the market, the free market has spoken.  What would the cost of this be to us?  MASSIVE!  So now they’re trying every excuse to prop them up at OUR expense, our expense as rate-payers, and our expense as tax payers.  No, just no…

Third try… you are OUT!

Back from camping with a friend this week.  Last fall, a friend from Northfield mentioned that she’d like to visit Pipestone National Monument, it was on her bucket list, but there’s no campground at Pipestone, just an RV park (UGH!) nearby, sooooo, have pop-up, will travel, and we booked it in October!  Alan and I have the routine down, and it’s very different with a friend who hasn’t been camping in decades, and never in a pop-up!

Getting there… CapX 2020 and other transmission was EVERYWHERE!

The weather was bizarre.  Got set up, but had to do it quickly, as it dribbled a bit of rain not long after (whew, good timing).  But the WIND!  WHEW!  It was SO windy.  Tied down the awning right away, and ultimately had to use an emergency blanked clamped to the awning as a windscreen to be able to cook!  Put the camper’s stove on the table, set up as another wind screen, and propped up the Coleman in that, kinda precarious, but needed the shelter.  It rained all day and all night and the next day too, and most of the next night!!!  Waterlogged, for sure!

Hard to keep everything under the awning, and very hard to keep that emergency blanket “rain fly” in one place.  On the stove there is the makings of wild rice (and sweet peppers, corn, green onions, mushrooms, and a dash of cream!), to go with the turkey (so easy when we have electricity, the hardest part is fitting it in the convection oven).  Got the hang of this now, first one was Thanksgiving in Arkansas, and this was worry free, no way the wind could blow away that oven.

The next day, we hit Pipestone National Monument, which was cool, actually hot but windy to make it OK, and there was a class meeting in the grass near the building when we arrived, and the next day, we learned that the Minnesota Historical Society had a group that had been there the day before, I think it was part of the American Indian Museum Fellowship program.  Pipestone National Monument is a sacred site,and in many places, there are remnants of prayers and offerings.

There are active quarries, and inside, three stations for pipestone carvers.  The carver I talked with had been wanting a spot there for over a decade, and it’s a long-term family thing, with ties going back generations, with the next generation waiting for someone to retire before they can take a place there as a carver.  Throughout, I thought of Robert Rosebear — I’d commissioned a piece decades ago, and he put a lot more into it than I’d bargained for, much more, the detail was amazing, a round piece, 2-3 inches, completely carved out in places, with a moose on one side, and an accurate likeness of the recipient (friend of his) on the other side.  How he planned and pieced that together was amazing.  Rosebear had mined the pipestone for his carvings from the quarries here.  It struck me that natives have to go through a permitting process to mine pipestone, but how does that work?  How is it that the Pipestone National Monument got into the hands of the feds, and the feds are in charge of determining who gets to mine at this sacred site?  Seems a bit off…

But this…  GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

The following day, we went over to the Jeffers Petroglyphs:

It was impossible to get reasonable photos because it was at early afternoon, and the sun disappeared the petroglyphs, but staff tricks with boards and mirrors, and an occasional squirt bottle revealed them.  Here’s a depiction:

Thursday, it was off to Albert Lea for some pretty monumentous real estate closings  — the Bent Tree buyouts are DONE!  What an intense day!  And over 300 miles!

It’s good to be home!!