drink's blog

PG&E and Fires

I have been involved in a discussion about why PG&E is responsible for the damage from wildfires which they started by poorly maintaining their equipment, and the trees around it. The story is somewhat complicated, although the basic facts are actually fairly simple. There is enough blame to go around, but to understand it you first have to understand the setting.

On Land Area

Sometimes, people claim that Europe is tiny compared to the US, often when talking about public transportation, or about electrical power distribution, or internet access proliferation. These people are wrong. Here are the figures, retrieved from teh goog.

  • Area of Europe: 3.931M mi²
  • Area of US: 3.797M mi².
  • Area of continental US: 3.12M mi².

How fast should you drive a bus or motor home?

Since we got a bus to convert into an RV, I have been doing quite a bit of research into them, and gathering information which I might find useful. One question which came up was how fast one can and should drive their bus. There is a lot of variation, and many factors which come into play, but given freely available resources on the internet today it's actually not that difficult to figure out.

Thanks, Hulu

Trying to watch a YouTube video, I am confronted with an insipid ad for Hulu. At the end they claim they're about to ruin TV for me. Thanks, Hulu, you already have. How much did you pay for that commercial? Because it was too much. Tools.

Dear Amazon

I would like to be watching The Grand Tour on my Amazon Fire TV Stick, but your latest update has completely boned it and just trying to watch basically anything from Amazon is absolutely destroying it to the point that I have to cold boot it. Netflix and Youtube are working fine. Is this a divorce thing?

Freedompop is a Scam

I am a T-Mobile customer. I am relatively happy with the service, but the coverage is garbage. I thought I would try something else, and Freedompop offered me a SIM for $0.99, and then another sim for $0.01. Then they informed me that my trial began as soon as they shipped the SIM cards. Before I've even had a chance to do any testing, they sent me a reminder that I had only 3 days left of my free trial before they would start charging me money.

Choosing a Bus for RV Conversion

As I am about to start working on a Bus conversion, I'm finally ready to publish my research notes on choosing a bus for conversion. I'll have more to say later when I have more actual experience doing a conversion, but this material should be of some interest to anyone thinking of doing their own. I spent considerable time looking at buses and reading both school bus and professional bus driver forums before we made a purchase. Specific information on equipment will be largely applicable to the USA.

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Youtube RSS

A recent Slashdot story on RSS prompted me to comment on Drupal's RSS capabilities; This site has RSS because Drupal makes it trivial. But what most people don't know, because Google apparently doesn't want you to know, is that Youtube has RSS feeds. Using them permits you to build your own chronological subscriptions list without having to use Youtube's lousy interface. But how do you actually find them?

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RV weight limits in California

I recently found myself looking at school buses, for potential conversion into an RV. While there are many relevant criteria to be satisfied when making such a purchase, probably the most important is "will I be able to drive it?" I am not so concerned about physically being able to operate a bus, only legally. Most school buses in which I am interested have a GVWR over 26,000 pounds, which normally requires an upgraded, "Class B" license in California (and similar licensing in most other states.) But as it turns out, this is simpler than it seems at first.

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