Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun with the Sun

I’m busy building the Powerful Mark V (Speed Racer Reference) Solar Water Heater. It’s finished but I need to wait until next weekend to tie it into the houses water.

As I quick side project I thought I would solve the worlds water problems.

There are lots of places in the world that have limited or no access to clean drinking water. Whether it’s due to geography, pollution or because the small town they live in tried to cut corners and rebuild the city water system on the cheap, messed it up and had to wait to rebuild again until Obama handed out stimulus checks for “Shovel Ready” projects, people need clean water.

So I built a quick solar powered still.

I took one of the bottles I had in the Solar Heater Mark I and attached a hose I had from the Washing Machine, these screw right on. One the other end I attached an empty bottle.

I dug a hole about ½ inch deep behind the Solar Heater Mark I. I put the empty bottle in that hole and put the full bottle back in the heater.

As the sun warms up the water in the heater it will evaporate, filling the empty bottle with warm water vapor. As this warm water vapor comes in contact with the cool plastic that is touching the ground it will condense.

The droplets of distilled water will collect in the empty bottle giving me pure clean drinkable water.

This set-up is just a test model. I figure I can build a bigger system using two 10-gallon cans and tie it to the main house water with a valve and use an aquarium pump to supply my house with clean distilled drinking water on tap.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting Into Hot Water 3

Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, at least I think it was supposed to be an anonymous donation it might just be that I have trouble figuring out my paypal account, I can start building my solar hot water heater.

The $10 in my paypal was enough to buy a key part to my solar panel.

With this key part I had to take apart the Mark III and get it down to just the frame.

I added some dowels to hold the hose.

Then I built the back out of particleboard. Not my first choice for building material, but I had some laying around from when I built my home office a few years ago and messed up the order.
As you can see I cut some holes for the hose to go into.

I took some foam insulation that I had left over from when I first moved into my house and was using it as room dividers (long story).

I painted it butterscotch chocolate brown. Purists are going to tell me I should have painted it flat black. My response is if someone donates enough for me to buy a gallon of flat black paint I will take my solar panel apart and paint it that color, until then I need to go with the stuff I have.

I carefully measured out the legs for it to sit on. This seemed like a good idea at the time.

After that it was a simple matter of wrapping the hose back and forth around the dowels I put in the solar panel.

I say simple in a satirical way as wrapping hose around anything is like herding cats. No matter how straight you get the hose in the beginning, it gets a mind of its own and tries to get kinky. Kinky is a great quality in a mate, not so much in a hose.

After finally getting the hose installed, I just had to move it to the roof.

The move to the roof had two casualties, The legs that I carefully measured.

I ended up propping it up on the old water heater chimney, that actually gave it almost the perfect angle.

After installing it on the roof I connected it to the house water supply to check for leaks.

When I repaired the damage from the old hot water heater exploding I set it up so that it was simple to connect a new source of hot water.

After seeing that there were no leaks, I re-installed the storm window.

I can’t wait until tomorrow when I get to see if my hard work paid off.

Like always no kittens were harmed in the making of this solar panel.

5/24/09 Update: My first day to try out my solar hot water heater and it was overcast all day.
I was hoping it would clear up so I could give it a real test but mother nature can sometimes be a mother.
At around 3 pm I stopped waiting for the clouds to clear and grabbed a couple of bottles from my Mark I solar heater (the foam insulation box with a window over it).
I washed my hair with the lukewarm water from the Mark I and got in the shower ready to use the other bottles if necessary.
To my pleasant surprise the water was cold, but not painfully cold. A little colder than what I would call a "cold shower" but not painfully cold.
Taking a sailor shower, rinsing turning off the water lathering up then rinsing again, I had enough heated water (can't really say hot) to shower better than I have for the last week.
If that's the coldest it gets I could probably tolerate not having a hot water heater until September.
Just in case I'm planning on adding another 4 square foot heater next weekend.
I can't wait to try it out under sunny conditions.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting into Hot Water Part 2

As I explained in Part 1 of this series, my Hot Water heater exploded recently and my mortgage company is asking for my next two paychecks. As we are going into summer I don’t see the need for paying $30 a month to heat water when I am paying to cool my house at the same time.

In the end of September I will break down and buy a tankless hot water heater but in the meantime I am determined to build a solar hot water heater using only the materials I have laying around (Luckily I’m a bit of a pack rat) and the money I make off this blog.

When I am finished I hope to have something that looks like this:

Artist’s conception actual result may differ.

For the last 3 days I have been showering using the water heated with my Solar Hot Water heater Mark II.

It gives me 6 liters of warm water that I can use to clean myself off with fairly well, but it is not terribly convenient, as I have to go out and carry the bottles into the shower, use them, fill them back up and carry them out again.

To make something a little more convenient, I’m going to actually do some physical labor.

Pricing out what I need for a solar hot water heater, I’ve learned the tank (to hold the water after the sun has heated it is the most expensive part of a solar heating system. The plans I’ve seen say the easiest way to get one is to buy an electric hot water heated and don’t plug it in.

That defeats the purpose of what I am trying to do, so I have come up with a cheaper solution. The same water storage system I used in the Mark I and II. Two-liter soda bottles.

It turns out the tops to the Two-liter bottles screw perfectly into 3/4” plumbing connectors. These are fairly inexpensive and I hope to raise the $10 or so to pick up the connectors by this weekend.

Thanks to a government grant, aka: Food Stamps. I should be able to get enough two-liter bottles to hold over 4 gallons of water. By taking sailor showers I should be able to get by with that.

While I am waiting on the $10 to build the plumbing part I decided to build the container.

I had an old 10 foot 2” X 6” and a old storm window laying around and I thought they would be perfect for my experiment.

I cut the 2” X 6” into 2 55” pieces and 2 25” pieces (the dimensions of the storm window) I nailed them together to form a box and screwed the storm window on to it.

As a test I used an old door as a back, I plan on making the real back this weekend. This is just the first piece to my project but I think it looks pretty decent.

As always no kittens were harmed in making this solar heater.

I have heard that cats get very hungry watching humans work, so that could be considered harming the mother of the kittens. So I remedied that.
Quick Update 5/19/09: It was a sunny day with temperatures in the low 70s and I found a major problem with my Mark III solar heater. It gets the water too hot!

I came home at 5pm and grabbed three bottles to wash with. I unscrewed the top of the first one and noticed it produced small bubbles, I thought I just didn't clean out the soda well enough. As I started pouring it over my head to rinse my hair I found out it was scolding.

I dumped 1/3 of the bottle out and filled it with cold tap water and it was cool enough to wash my hair with.

I grabbed the second bottle to wash my body with and realized I hadn't cooled it off. I had to run the cold shower while pouring the scalding hot water over myself.

If you've ever used those old sinks that had the hot and cold at opposite sides you've got an idea of what I had to do.

Taking a shower that is both 50 degrees and 150 degrees is not pleasant.

This weekend when I tie the system into the main water I will have to keep in mind that the system can potentially boil water. (Using soda bottles to store the hot water is out of the question as they will explode.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trying to get into Hot Water

Last week my hot water heater exploded. It literally sent hot water shooting throughout my bathroom that took a week to dry out.

I had to shut off the water for the night, the next day I managed to get the parts to cap off the cold water going into it only to remember (after the water still on the floor reminded me) I had to cap off the hot water as well since it would still flow into the heater every time I ran the water.

I’ve finally gotten the busted hot water heater out and on to my back yard and sealed off the water so we can resume normal living (without hot water).

While the hot water heater is gone I repaired the floor it was sitting on and put vinyl tile around the area where the hot water heater was.

This disaster coupled with the fact that I need to send my mortgage company my next 2 paychecks made me wonder if I in fact need a hot water heater during the summer months when the temperatures are between 80 to 90 degrees.

A quick hop into the shower and attempting to wash in 50-degree water told me. “Yes I do need to have some hot water.”

I quickly devised a solar hot water heater, it will heat up to four liters of water to a temperature that does not cause me pain and I don’t have to run around the house naked doing jumping-jacks after a shower trying to get my body temperature back up to normal.

I chose a green material to make the solar hot water heater out of, to gather more solar heat, symbolize the fact that it is very good for the environment with zero carbon emissions, and it was the only thing I had laying around.

As you can see from the picture it is cheap but it does have its limitations. This I noticed when the temperature only reached 64 degrees and it was overcast all day.

On a pleasant day with a partially sunny sky, I can get the water up to what I used to consider just a little too cold for showering.

I have since added a few ideas to improve upon this technology. I put the bottles into a box made of foam insulation and put an old window over it.

I of course, had the strictest supervision while making this elaborate devise.

The box you see is the box I that I made this winter to cover my air conditioning unit. I had forgotten about a strange property of that box. It controls the weather.

This winter I put it over my air conditioning unit when the temperatures were below zero, and the next day temperatures jumped into the 60s. With the house buttoned up so no air could get in temperatures inside shot up to the upper 70s and I had to take it down to use the air conditioning to cool off the house.

The next day temperatures plummeted. The rest of the winter followed that pattern I would put the box on, temperatures would get close to record highs. I’d take the box off and we’d get near record lows.

Meteorologists said we were on the edge of a high pressure front that moved back and forth all winter, but I know it was that box controlling the weather.

When I stepped outside this sunny warm morning to build my solar water heater Mark II I had forgotten about the weather controlling effects of that box and used it as the main part of my heater.

Naturally as soon as I had the heater put together the sky immediately became overcast.

After letting the bottles sit out in the heater under mostly overcast skies for 4 hours I was astonished when I grabbed them to bring my contraption in before it rained that they were heated to a pleasant temperature.

I was able to take a nice shower with water heated by the sun on a mostly overcast day.

I had the idea to run a garden hose up to roof to let it sit there full of water and warm up that way, only to find four small problems with this plan as this picture shows.

To make a system that will give me even more hot water next weekend I plan on scrounging around under the house and take apart some of the old iron pipes (I had replaced a few of them with PVC) paint them black and send water up through the old hot water heaters chimney to get some hot water that way.

I expect this will give me just enough hot water to wash my hands. Which is actually a huge plus as my current solar powered hot water system becomes unusable when my hands are soapy.

For a solution that might (big emphasis on the word might) get me through the hottest of the summer months and then save me money when I get a real hot water heater in the fall, I will have to spend some money.

On the back of my house I have a steel roof. The roof faces SSW, not ideal but workable. It is a 14’ by 30’ exposure that gets hot enough in the summer to burn flesh.

My plan is to cover it with iron pipes (copper would be better but I am a horrible solderer) painted black spaced 1’ apart. This will give me a 420 square foot solar receiver. If I did my calculations right, that will require 420 feet of pipe and give me an 11 gallon hot water heater.

Now all I have to do is come up with the money to buy 420 feet pipe.

So I am asking anyone who likes this blog to help me out. I will be setting up a donation button where you can donate to my homemade hot water system. All the proceeds from both donations and what I make from my advertisers on this blog will go towards building a homemade hot water heater and I will keep my readers informed of the progress.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cursed Ship

I’ve had another fiction story published, Cursed Ship, it’s about a Moon Ferry Pilot explaining how his career was ruined by being the first pilot of a Moon Ferry that had killed 4 people in the trip before.

Despite the ominous theme it is a cute little story that I am proud of, please check it out at:

Unlike the last story I had published last month in Raygun Revival “Long Term Thinking” which had a fairly technical discussion about Buckypaper which was hard to condense and make interesting, although I believe I did a good job making it enjoyable. “Cursed Ship” is more like a ghost story set in orbit.

I got to add in a few techie details, which the geek in me loved, but I tried to make sure a non-techie could skim past those few paragraphs spread throughout the story and still find it enjoyable.

With this story the character and story are definitely the main focus and the science elements are merely an elegant backdrop. That’s not always easy to do in a science fiction short story.

As always I hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. All comments are welcome.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Why should we go to the Moon?

If you’ve followed Project Savior Reborn for any length of time you will know I’m a space geek, it’s rare that I go a week with out writing something about space or a month when I don’t have a link to Bad Astronomy in one of my posts.

I hang out at a lot of sites where stating the idea of going to the Moon is singing to the choir, the idea is so ingrained that we should go to the Moon is so obvious that there is no need discussing it.

Then a wonderful thing happened at someone broke in a said going to the Moon was a waste of time and it is mankind’s destiny to be confined to the planet Earth.

Naturally I launched a bunch of ad hominem attacks against him and called him a stupid idiot, even though I feel that people who use ad hominem attacks are gay. However I know that some bright people do feel the same way, they just don’t say it on message boards about space.

So I will point out some of the reason that humans should and even have to return to the Moon.


Technological and Engineering challenge: Tomorrow’s Aerospace Industries rely on the challenges we put today’s students and interns through today. Back in the 80s Ronald Reagan talked about an Asian Express Aircraft.

An Aircraft that could travel at hypersonic speeds from the US to Japan, cutting the transport time from the better part of a day to a few hours.

Now, over twenty years later, we are no closer to building a commercial hypersonic airplane than we were then. The reason: NASA hasn’t been building new rockets, just maintaining the old ones. Rocket configurations need to be tested in the upper atmosphere to see how their thrust adapts up there. Hypersonic jets need to have their thrust adapted to the conditions up there.

A commercial aircraft builder isn’t going to do the extensive testing needed, which because of the engineering challenges would need to have the students from a lot of universities working on it. This open structured research makes it possible to test a lot of variables quickly but means that the results from the tests are pretty much open to everyone. No commercial aircraft builder is going to put forth the billions of dollars needed to do the testing, knowing a rival aircraft builder could use their results to get a plane to the market faster.

NASA is in the reverse position. If they do the upper atmosphere testing and an aircraft maker makes a hypersonic craft they can buy the hypersonic craft to continue research. Plus if they open a new industry in the US it is easier for them to get a larger budget.

New Industries:

The big short-term benefit of going to the Moon is the opening up of new industries. When we first went to the Moon whole new products needed to be produced.

Computers needed to be sped up by several orders on magnitude, parts needed to be put together with unprecedented precision, leading to ISO9000 standards. Even tailoring needed to have a scientific approach in order to assure safety standards on the spacesuits.

In order to return to the Moon and stay there, we will need new industries as well.

Since at optimum every pound of material put into Low Earth Orbit needs to use 24 pounds of fuel to get it there (In reality this is much higher) the quest for lighter materials for space operations is a must.

Research is being done in to Buckypaper (Carbon Nanotubes in a polymer) that is as strong as steel but so light that you could cover an entire football field with it and it would weigh less than a gram.

Transparent Aluminum, something that has only existed in Star Trek and in the form of Emeralds, is now being produced.

Both of these industries are in there infant stages, and at the moment it is cost prohibitive to use these materials in cars or planes, but a robust space program would need these as every pound of steel replaced by these products saves at minimum 24 pounds of fuel, a lot more if it is used in something that is repeatedly sent into space.

With a market for these products, private industry has an incentive to do more research into bringing the costs down, making these products available for more uses, giving more incentive to research more until these products become commonplace.

This will give us more fuel-efficient cars and planes, and lead to new products that can only be dreamt about now. Just as when Aluminum was as expensive as silver, I doubt anyone dreamt of using it for a soda container.

Another industry that will receive a boost from a robust space program would be small scale recycling.

On the Moon (at first) anything brought from Earth would cost literally millions of dollars per pound. You don’t want to bring something all that way just to throw it out. Making a Lunar Outpost will require Extreme Recycling. Everything sent up there will need its entire lifecycle planed out.
After this extreme recycling style is made, few on Earth will take it as far as the Astronauts on the Moon, but some aspects will trickle into the market place, conserving resources here on Earth.


While the Space Race was going on, millions of American students were inspired to become scientist and engineers. As it became obvious that America was abandoning the great plans NASA had for space, the students in the 70’s and 80’s took down their model of Skylab, took Neil Armstrong’s picture off the wall. Stopped working out orbital mechanics of the planets and turned their energies towards developing the most awesome mullet that anyone had ever seen. (OK maybe that was just me.)

While girls would sleep with me just because of my awesome mullet, part of me will always wonder, if I had spent the energy that I put into developing my mullet and put it into designing a new spacecraft, would humans be colonizing the rest of the solar system by now? We will never know the answer to that, but if we can inspire a generation of youth to master the solar system, it might stop the 30% dropout rate among students.

Medium Term (The next 50 years)


Helium 3 has the potential to make fusion power a reality. He3 extremely rare here on Earth, but plentiful on the Moon. Fusion Power could not only free us from fossil fuels, but it would open up the rest of the solar system.

It is no secret that oil has peaked, it took us 125 years to burn through our first trillion barrels of oil, we will go through the next trillion in 25 years. At the current rate of growth in consumption we would need an addition 3 trillion barrels of oil to get through the next 50 years. No estimates, no matter how optimistic, assume the Earth has that much oil.

Not only do we need to conserve as much energy as we can and use renewable sources whenever possible but we will need a true replacement for fossil fuels, only fusion offers to be that replacement for the next millennia.

Fusion from He3 hasn’t been proven yet, but if we don’t have access to an abundant supply we can’t even do the necessary testing to see if it He3 fusion can give off more energy than it uses. The longer we wait to do the groundwork the longer it will be until we get results.

Space Infrastructure:

One argument against NASA going to the Moon is that with the success of Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, space should be left to private industries. This is a false dichotomy, as NASA operates a Lunar Colony it opens up opportunities for private space industry.

The ISS will need to be a stepping-stone for the initial lunar operations. It is too small to do this alone and NASA will need to use its rockets for the actual Lunar Colony. This gives private industries an opportunity to contract some of the launches to the ISS and beyond.

NASA will need to train its astronauts in low and zero gee, Virgin Galactic is in a perfect position to contract some of these training flights both in its version of the vomit comet and in SpaceShip Two. Having a full 7 minutes of weightlessness is the best training for long-term weightlessness.

NASA will also need to have more astronauts in Low Earth Orbit, If Bigelow Aerospace knows it will have a contract for hosting a few astronauts in its space hotel it will have incentive to build more.

As private industry steps up to fill NASA’s needs in Low Earth Orbit, NASA can contract that work out. Just like the Federal Government uses commercial airlines for flying even though it has a huge fleet of its own jets.

With a robust space program mining the Moon private industry can take over Low Earth Orbit operation until companies are ready to set up their own bases on the Moon.


The Earth is not going to be perfect for humans forever. A huge solar flare could set the atmosphere on fire, a large comet could send the ecosystem out of whack. In 5 billion years the Sun will turn into a Red Dwarf consuming our humble planet.

Humans will perish if we don’t go into space. By spreading out throughout the Solar System it will take more than one of these events to completely destroy humanity. Space is humanities destiny, if we stay only on Earth we shall die.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Explaining the economic meltdown to my bank.

This is an actual conversation I had with a bank representative. I’d like to think he wasn’t a representative sample of the people who work in the banking industry, unfortunately I know that he is.

I have changed the names of the bank and the representative, edited out the irrelevant parts of the conversation, and of course added links so that the reader doesn’t have to just rely on my word and degree in economics but the conversation was real.

“Mr Nelson, This is Mike from Big ol’ Bank.” The voice on phone said after I identified myself. “I’m calling about your Mastercard account which is about to go into charge off status.”

“Well that sucks.” I responded.

“Um, yes it does.” Mike replied. “You borrowed $1,000 of the bank’s money and we would like it back.”

“It wasn’t the bank’s money.” I stated.

“Yes it was!” Mike replied indignantly.

“No it wasn’t.” Giving him a rebuttal I had learned in kindergarten before continuing. “You see when I deposit $1,000 dollars of actual cash into your bank, you turn around and lend $900 of that money to borrowers in secured loans. You know, loans backed up by tangible goods like cars and homes.

“The sellers of these goods then deposit the money in your bank or others like it and the process is repeated. So my $1,000 then becomes $10,000 as it goes through other people’s hands. This process is called the Money Multiplier.

“Having created $10,000 in new money that is backed by real goods, your bank goes through and looks at the value of those goods and issues credit cards and unsecured loans based on how much stuff people have bought with borrowed money. This new money isn’t based on anything in reality so the bank charges more for it.

“It goes through the same Money Multiplier and becomes $100,000 in new money. The bank is relying on enough of the people taking out credit to continue to expand the money supply so that enough new money comes back to them to continue to write unsecured loans based on future money.

“Unfortunately, even though this new money isn’t backed by anything tangible, it is still based on people’s tangible assets and for the last 10 years the United States has not only not been creating more real wealth, you know tangible items that will be around for a while like cars and planes based on new types of designs, infrastructure programs like renewable energy projects, and new transportation systems, but the pool of money at the bottom has been shrinking. With public investment in Research and Development in relation to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) slashed to half its rate as it was in the 1960s. With no new sources of wealth have being created, banks like yours needed to find a new way to expand the Money Supply.

“Naturally, they could have lent money to innovative companies that were developing new products so that more real wealth was created making a larger pie for everyone, but they couldn’t be sure how much of the bigger pie they would get. So instead they created a new market that was one-step father away from reality with Mortgage Backed Securities.

“These securities, are not backed on the actual physical property, but on the future payments made by the borrower. The curious property of these securities is that they promise to pay back the money based on the idea that in the future (which is now) mortgages will be riskier so the payments will be higher, but were promised to have the security of a market that is expanding. In reality it was the opposite, they paid at the lower rate of interest of a growing market and had the risk of a down turned market.

“Using this new form of imaginary money banks like yours were able to run this through the Money Multiplier and turn the $100,000 that is based on my original $1,000 into $1,000,000.

“As this whole house of cards began groaning under the weight of having $1,000,000 being propped up by only $1,000, banks like yours started having people take out more and more of their savings, the bottom of this inverted pyramid, to make payments on their loans, the top of this structure.

“A responsible money manager would consider it part of their fiduciary duty to look at this trend and stop putting investors money into these schemes, but instead banks like yours treated it as an opportunity to get short term growth at the expense of the people’s whose money they were managing by creating Default Credit Swaps.

“This created more money by gambling on bad debt. Banks like yours tried to grow the original $1,000 dollars I put into your bank into $10,000,000 that was based on basically thin air.

“Playing with someone else’s money like that is being negligent in your Fiduciary responsibility at best, criminal at worst. But people like you created their own delusional reality and said ‘hey, its our money we can do whatever we want to with it.’

“Taking this idea one step further Bernie Madoff and others like him simply skipped the idea of even loosely basing their money creation schemes on real tangible assets and just made stuff up. Since money managers like your bank stopped looking out for the people who entrusted you with their money a long time ago no one bothered to look over their schemes, banks like yours figured it was a way to grow that $1,000 into $100,000,000.

“Unfortunately, you can only deny reality for so long, and this whole house of cards started falling down. When it did people lost their jobs and started using their money – and it was their money, not yours like you claim – to buy things like food. This removed the part of your whole scheme that actually had some basis in reality, so suddenly the real wealth that the $100,000,000 was based on was pulled out and banks like yours started scrambling to grab the one millionth of a percent of the real money that economy had been based on for the last ten years.

“So you can claim that that money was yours until you are blue in the face, the reality is that the money never existed, it was figment based on your banks word that if something happened you would use the money that people trusted you with, to make good on it.”

“But you borrowed the money,” Mike told me. “The bank was counting on you to pay it back.”

“Maybe in the fantasyland that you live in, Mike.” I corrected him again. “But in the real world things work a little different.

“I gambled that money. I took the risk that my economic condition would stay the same or get better. I was wrong. It got a lot worse.

“Now if my gamble had paid off, I would have been more than happy to share the rewards with your bank, but since it didn’t I’m asking you to share the pain.”

“The bank didn’t give you that money to gamble with.” Mike said.

“Of course it did.” I countered. “If the bank wasn’t prepared to lose the money they wouldn’t charge interest. The high interest payments on the unsecured loans reflect the fact that some of them are going to go into default and the bank will never see that money again. I accepted that if I used that money and my gamble paid off, I’d have to give the bank a large share of the reward, I have done that in the past and your bank gladly took the money. This time it didn’t pan out that way and the bank needs to accept the loss.

“To expect to share in the reward if something goes well, and share no part of the loss if it doesn’t, isn’t banking its highway robbery.

“So Mike, are you saying that you are just some common thug who goes around stealing from people?”

“But the bank lent you that money.” Mike said ignoring my question. “How would you feel if someone took $1,000 of your money and didn’t pay you back?”

“Well, from the perspective of the strange alternate reality that you live in, Mike.” I answered trying to put things in terms he would understand. “I lent you several million dollars that never got paid back to me.”

“You did not!” Mike exclaimed defensively.

“Did too, too, too, too, too.” I said, countering his kindergarten level rebuttal with a rebuttal I learned in 1st grade, before explaining. “I’m sure you are aware of the TARP or Troubled Asset Relief Program,your bank gladly took hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Money that I will be paying in taxes for decades.

“The idea behind TARP was that your bank, and others like it would use that money to replace the money at the bottom that people are taking out now to use to feed themselves. That money was entrusted with you so that you could lend it out and start the money creation process up again, not at the level it was with people trying to turn $1,000 into $100,000,000 but at least to give people confidence back in your bank after you screwed people over acting like their money was your own personal play money.

“Instead of your bank using that money in a responsible way, it took a large share of it and gave it to the very people who started this mess as bonuses for doing such a great job in screwing the country over. The rest of it you hoarded in low rate of return investments. So your bank had no problem giving money to wildest hare-brained schemes imaginable when they were using other peoples money, when they got a gift of a truckload of money and told to risk it, they suddenly got conservative and put it into investments that pay out so slowly my grandchildren won’t be seeing a return on the money.

“And you have the gall to sit there and brag about how all that money is yours when it comes from hard working people who build things of value trying to create some wealth in this country, while you play games and destroy everything that we have built in this country.

“Shame on you Mike. I don’t know how you sleep at night.”

“Mr. Nelson.” Mike shouted. “Are you going to pay this money back or not?”

“Listen Mike I don’t appreciate you taking that tone with me.” I scolded him. “You called my house, and have been taking up my time with your delusional ranting, I demand that you be at least a little respectful.

“To answer your question. In your little bizarre alternate reality, where up is down and right is left, how would someone pay anything?”

“We can do a check by phone.” Mike said happily.

“How can we do that?” I asked. “In your warped reality any money I put in a bank is the bank’s money. So according to you, if I put the $1,000 into a checking account and did a check by phone you wouldn’t get the money because it stopped being my money as soon as the bank got their hands on it.

“You see how reality starts getting in the way of your delusions, Mike.

“I tell you what, Why don’t we do this? Since you are clearly working in make believe land why don’t I give you an imaginary $1,000 that you can put in your imaginary account. Then everyone will be happy, I imagine.”

Next week I will post the second part of my conversation with my bank where we discuss the difference between real laws and imaginary laws.