Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: Compromise

The remaining Blue Dog Democrats in congress, my own congressman Ben Chandler included, have been doing interviews saying that the Democrats need to turn away from Progressives like me, and start compromising with the GOP/ Teabaggers. My question is how can you compromise on the GOP / Teabagger “issues”?

How is President Obama supposed to compromise on his position that he was born in Hawaii? Ben Chandler might not like it but on this issue Obama has no choice but to stick to his guns.

How are thinking people supposed compromise on the fact that 97% of climate scientists agree that Global Warming is real and manmade? Unicorn power isn’t going to solve this.

How is anyone with a brain supposed to compromise that over 150 years of scientific study shows that evolution is real and ongoing? Replacing Creationism, which has the scientific virtue of being falsifiable (and has been proved false) with Intelligent Design, which merely takes the one scientific virtue out of Creationism, is not a compromise.

How is someone who has studied even the most elementary teachings in biology supposed to compromise with someone who insists that legal protections be given to a person before pregnancy, at a time before pregnancy can be determined?

How can someone who believes that all Americans deserve to have the same rights compromise with people who believe that some Americans should be treated as second class citizens?

These are not even, or shouldn’t be, Progressive vs. Conservative issues. These are issues of reality vs. fantasy.

There can be no compromise on these issues because on one side there are facts and on the other side there is complete and total fantasy and fantasy based policies cannot work in the real world.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Ben Chandler

My wonderful congressman Ben Chandler is blaming Obama and Pelosi for his miserable showing in the election.

"If not there, where else does the responsibility lie?" said Chandler, D-Versailles.

There is an old saying when you point your finger at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you. Chandler is one of the few surviving members of the Blue Dog Democrats, Democrats that vote with the Republicans the majority of the time. The Blue Dogs lost 20 seats in the past election, the progressives lost 2. The reason Chandler nearly lost to Andy Barr, whose claim to fame is that he was the only member of Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s inner circle to not face indictment, was that people prefer their Republican Congressmen to have an R after their names.

Chandler blames Obama for not focusing on the economy. The way Obama could have done that would be if his original larger stimulus package had gone through, the reason it didn’t was the Blue Dogs stood against it and made sure the final version was watered-down so it was less effective. The Blue Dog who dug in his heels the hardest was Ben Chandler who voted against the original version.

Chandler goes on to say how Obama’s taking on healthcare reform was a mistake because only the Progressives and most of the Democrats wanted that or in other words the Democratic Base. Chandler repeatedly said he did not need the Progressives to vote for him, and he is surprised that they didn’t vote.

So to Ben Chandler I say, “Shut-up Stupid, if you do everything in your power to turn off the Progressive base in the most Progressive district in your state you are just asking to lose the election. If it weren’t for the fact that I went to the voting booth to vote for the Progressive Jack Conway, you wouldn’t have gotten my vote and I’m sure over 800 people felt the same way. Enough Progressives held their noses and voted for you to give you your 800-vote victory and you are blaming them for it being such a close race. In the next Primary I vow to vote for anyone who run against you.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Silliness: Get off my phone.

Normally I use the Saturday Silliness to take a break from anything doing with politics, but this clip of Glenn Beck is so outrageous that I know people from all ends of the political spectrum that can't stop laughing at it.

As far as his "logic" I think Cenk does a better job at analyzing that than I could.

BTW: This clip is from the The Young Turks the most viewed internet news program. It is worth checking them out.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Boobs

In the latest book I’m writing my heroine ran into a problem, she is well endowed, she lost her bra and has to go on an unexpected space launch. She had a busy day. I figured the g-forces and vibrations would make this a problem. Then I started researching it, and found it wasn’t anywhere as bad as I thought.

The Space Shuttle hits a maximum gee-force of 2.5g, a roller coaster hits a maximum g-force of 3g and when jogging women’s breasts hit those g-forces on every step. Although in my neighborhood I don’t see any Double D women jogging without a bra, and I would notice that. I’m sure at some point in human history before bras were invented women did have to run without them.

But just because it isn’t a major problem doesn’t mean I can’t have a solution to it in my book. So I did a few hours of research into women’s breasts. It’s just one the things I have to do to get the science right for my book.

Without having any support the higher g-forces through jogging or an unexpected space mission causes the breasts to pull on the skin and cause mild pain. The first solution was the bra to transfer the stress from the skin to straps, so instead of pain on skin of the upper chest it put the stress on the shoulders. In the 60’s women started to have a say in what they could do with their bodies and just transferring the pain wasn’t acceptable so the sports bra was invented.

Besides spreading out the area that held up the breasts over the entire shoulder, the sports bra also covered them more to reduce vibrations or to use the technical term, jiggling. The major drawback to the sports bra is in order to reduce jiggling it has to be snug around the upper chest, which makes it harder to breathe.

The perfect bra would become rigid enough to suppress jiggling on the higher stress but loose under lower stress. Luckily NASA has come up with two materials that when combined could do just that.

First is memory foam, this is a foam that can change its shape to react to different input. In the UK they have some bras that react to heat so as a women’s body temperature rises, like when she’s working out, the foam expands to reduce jiggling and spread the stress over her entire upper body. The problem women have with these bras is body temperature also rises when they see an attractive guy. So they can hide their arousal about as well as a typical high school boy. The men around them have not reported any complaints.

The second material that could help is Sensor Fabric, this is actual fabric that can monitor the stress it is put through so it knows where it is being stretched and slackened. It is currently being used just to record the jiggle so bra makers can locate all the stress points and design better bras, but as the technology evolves it could be used to transmit the rate of jiggle to the memory foam so the foam could put just the right amount of pressure on the breast to keep it from jiggling under stress like jogging, but allow the breasts to move freely and naturally under normal conditions.

Using these advanced materials in bras could eliminate the pain in the shoulders and back that well endowed women feel when exercising, playing sports and of course those pesky unexpected space missions. This will lead to a fantastic future for all boobies.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

The thing I am most thankful for is having my work appreciated. So having my Solar Power Minion Trap being used fills me with joy. The look on the minion's face was worth the effort:

I am also thankful for the 91 fans of this site. It makes doing this all worthwhile. Thanks everyone.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Temper Tantrum: Fair Use

17 U.S.C. § 107
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.[1]

Recently Gawker had a run in with Sarah Palin over the Fair Use of 21 pages of her new book. Palin feels that by using her actual words and putting them in their correct context, Gawker made Sarah Palin look like an idiot.

Here is how she won this battle in court.

Gawker used the leaked pages to comment on her book, fulfilling the 1st part of fair use. The book was intended for a general audience, fulfilling #2. Gawker exposed her work to an audience that the publisher wasn’t targeting so if anything it might lead to a few more book sales, fulfilling #4.

That leaves #3: the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.

The amount and substantiality of the portion used is in no way a set thing. Like revealing that at the end of Titanic the ship sank is more substantial than the stupid scene with Leo and Kate on the front of the ship.

So the only case Sarah Palin has for it not to be fair use is that the 21 pages of racist, idiotic ranting covered everything that a reader is expected to learn in the entire book.

So her lawyers must have convinced the judge that the 21 pages that Gawker posted, which made Sarah Palin look like an idiot, would leave the same impression on the reader as if they had read the whole book. That Sarah Palin is an idiot.

Based on this ruling I can safely put out a spoiler for the book: Sarah Palin is an idiot.

(I can’t wait to see how many people will find this site by googling, “Sarah Palin is an idiot”)

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: What’s real and What’s unreal

“One of the definitions of sanity is the ability to tell real from unreal. Soon we'll need a new definition.”
Alvin Toffler

It is almost two years until the Presidential Election and the Republicans have three candidates, Fox News, Mark Burnett and the Republican establishment.

Two of the likely Republican candidates work for Mark Burnett, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. He is the producer of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” and “The Apprentice”. While I actually like Mark Burnett’s shows (for the most part) it is insane that reality TV is pathway to anything, especially the White House.

Fox News has Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin on staff as “News Contributors”. Of the three only one appears to take the job seriously and that’s Mike Huckabee who will have people he respects, but disagrees with, on his show and get into in-depth discussions with them. Needless to say because of that he is considered the long shot. Newt and Sarah just come on to spout ridiculous and inflammatory comments that Fox can then report on the reactions to those comments.

Finally, there is the Republican Establishment of Mitt Romney and a bunch of little known others. Romney is trying to become the first non-Protestant to win the Republican Nomination. He thinks he has a chance because the primary results of 2010 show that the GOP has become much more tolerant and not caring as much about ideological purity. In other words, not a chance in hell.

That leaves a bunch of candidates that no one has ever heard of. It was hard enough to get your name out there and show what makes you different in the past elections. Now serious GOP candidates have to battle the giant megaphones of Fox News and Mark Burnett. They are trying to counter the random shouting by holding a debate on Politico and NBC with the idea that the Fox “News Contributors” aren’t supposed to work in that capacity after they officially announce they are running for office. Of course Fox news follows its own rules about as well as they follow the FCC, and tend to look on them as vague guidelines.

If Fox wanted to pretend it is “Fair and Balanced” they would make sure none of the “News Contributors” would comment on the debate but I’m sure they will, it makes for good ratings.

Everyone knows “Reality TV” is not “Reality” not even close. So while it is fun to see cooks battle it out to become a chef at a 4 star restaurant or get a modeling contract that isn’t quite as good as the ones that girls they beat out get on their own, using the reality TV model to choose who the next leader of the free world is idiotic.

So to Mark Burnett and Fox I say, “Shut-up Stupid, go back to making entertainment shows. When you become the megaphone for the Presidential Candidates, even if it is only one party, you destroy the system.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Ending the War

Wars are easy to start but very tough to end. Just this year World War I officially ended as the German government sped up payment on their reparations. It is time to start ending a few more wars.

The one war that really should end is the cold war with the Soviet Union. The fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists should be ample reason to end this war. Currently a new START treaty needs to be ratified by the Senate. This isn’t actually much of a new treaty it is almost identical to the START treaty Ronald Reagan negotiated back in the 1980s but it is an important step in finally ending the cold war.

In this treaty the US gets almost everything it could want. The Russian stockpiles of nukes are reduced to an amount where they can destroy the world with a little left over. The US can still destroy the world several times over. The US is allowed to verify the condition of Russian nukes, which will make them harder for terrorists to get their hands on. All in all it is a win-win for everyone except two groups.

First the praise Reagan, hate Obama crowd who can’t stand to see Obama do something Reagan failed at. Even though the times are as different as they could possibly be.

Second the Military Industrial Complex. From the bomb makers to congressmen who continue to get funding for having bases exist just to guard non-functional weapons that will need to be destroyed under this treaty.

There is no other reason to oppose this treaty. It is a critical first step in ending the cold war. Once we end the cold war we can look at ending, WWII (bring our boys home) the Korean War (open up North Korea to the rest of the world) and maybe even the war on terror.

If we can end the cold war it will lead to a fantastic future.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thieving Thursdays: Science Fiction

Once again I will steal a paragraph from an article I like and link to it.

In the guardian there is an interesting article about about how mass media has turned "fact" into "fiction" so that Science Fiction is no longer escapist reading but it is now truer than the fiction that is being presented as fact.

Stranger than science fiction

Realist fiction struggles to grasp a world increasingly ruled by unreality. We need science fiction and the strange inventions of fantasy to help us understand the modern world.

From The Guardian

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Writing Wednesday: Balance

The main thing I hope to gain by writing a book in a month is the ability to turn off the damn internal editor that has been slowing me down. I can’t say it is totally working but at least I have an excuse to try and ignore that pesky little voice and write something that I know I will have to go back and edit.

Like I figured as soon as I got passed the first Act the words are just flying out. My heroes have been captured by the villain, who I have no problem writing as he was the hero of my last book that got stalled at the 50,000 word mark. So now the villain is doing a huge info dump of his motivations all in one chapter that is now over a quarter of the book.

My internal editor is now screaming at me to balance out the book and have the huge info dump be broken into several chapters over the next 10,000 words or so, and I am blissfully ignoring that voice.

It is sort of liberating just letting the words flow even if I know I will be cursing myself in a few months when I have to go back through and edit this so his motivations are stretched through the next 5 to 10 chapters.

But for now I’m doing a good job at ignoring that pesky little voice telling me to balance out the book and not have the justification be almost as long as the description of the result.


So far I’ve written 14,000 words and gotten to the point where I can’t type fast enough.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Update: Needless self-congratulations.

It’s halfway through the NaNoWriMo contest to write a book in a month and was off to a slow start. I struggled through the first act describing my main characters and world they live in. This is something I struggle to do with most of my novels, with THE PIZZA DIARIES it was different because I didn’t write the first act until after I finished the book and even then it was only a couple thousand words, followed by a 60,000 word second act and a 30,000 word third act.

But I’m done with all that and on to the second act with three colorful characters that I now know pretty damn well.

I still haven’t snagged my counter but as of today I’m at the 12,000 word mark that leaves only 38,000 more to go.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Downtricklers

One of the most important things that congress has to before the end of the year is vote on extending the Bush tax cuts. Obama wants the middle class tax cuts to remain but make the tax on the top 2% of the country expire, the Republicans are calling for all or nothing on the tax cuts.

The Republicans say that by giving millionaires over $100,000 in tax breaks it they will trickle the money onto the middle class under what is known as the Butake school of economics and point out the last fact that last President to raise taxes on the rich during a recession was Ronald Reagan (Just joking they don’t care about facts).

The fact is Downtrickling has never worked, if the tax cuts stimulated the economy then they would have during GW Bush’s administration but instead the middle classes income growth was negative. If the rich trickled on the middle class it wasn’t with money. This year the rich are experiencing record earnings while the middle class experiences record misery. Expecting the middle class to get excited at the top 1% of taxpayers enjoying themselves is like expecting the victim of Butake to get satisfaction during the act.

So to all those people who continue to push trickle down economics as if it were a legitimate economic theory I say, “Shut-up Stupid, Downtrickling is not helping the economy it is just giving the middle class a Golden Shower.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Silliness: Conan O'Brien and Gordon Ramsey

Note to Self: Don't eat Norm Macdonald's cooking.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Space Based Solar Power III

I’ve written about the benefits of Space Based Solar Power before, here and here. Unfortunately one weakness that I have is I tend to be too American-centric, and concentrated on how space based solar would help Americans, which it would, and forgot there is a whole world out there with some places that could get even more benefit from space based solar than the US.

India is a country that would benefit greatly from Space Based Solar. With a billion people they are very concentrated into large cities. The bigger the city the less effective ground based solar is and more effective Space Based Solar becomes.

The dream of Space Based Solar is coming one step closer to reality with the Kalam-NSS Initiative . The idea is that India has the greatest need for Space Based Solar and the US has or is building the infrastructure to build the project. A joint venture between the countries makes huge economic sense. If India is the first country to build a solar space station with the help of the US they get a new source of power and the US gets thousands of jobs in the space industry, it’s a win-win proposition.

As I’ve noted before all the intermediate steps; a super heavy lift launcher, an ion tug to move stuff from low Earth orbit to Geostationary orbit, lighter solar panel, ect. These are all good by themselves. Once the first solar space station is made the others will be cheaper as we can use the experience gained to lower costs.

This initiative is a good step towards a fantastic future.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thieving Thursday: That Atheist Bitch

Having less time to spend on this blog each week I’ve decided that each Thursday I will steal a couple paragraphs from someone else’s blog and link to them. Yes I am really bad at stealing, which is one of the reasons I don’t do it for a living.

This week I am stealing the first two paragraphs from a friend of mine, Kylyssa Shay, and her blog That Atheist Bitch where she talks about DADT.

Some people voluntarily decide to go out and risk having to kill someone or get killed themselves by joining the armed services. They risk their physical and mental health for something they believe in, our country. Due to these brave volunteers, America has not seen a draft since 1973. We owe them a lot.

So why do we care who they love or what bits get them aroused? What difference could a person's sexual orientation make in his or her ability to serve as a soldier? Not only that, but gays and lesbians are already serving and already have served in our military with distinction. DADT is a blight on our nation's honor.

Read the rest of the post here

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Writing Wednesday: The middle of the first act.

In Science Fiction or Fantasy the middle of the first act is probably the toughest to write. There are a lot of things that need to make it to the page. I’ve introduced the characters and their situation in a way that is hopefully interesting. I’ve identified what their struggle is and what motivates them to take on the struggle. Now comes the middle of the first act where I have to dig a little deeper into their characters and make them 3-D while at the same time do some major world building.

In a book set in present day Earth the writer doesn’t have to go into heavy descriptions of the normal scenes, like if the main characters are going from the library to the suburbs you can have them hop in a car or taxi and everyone knows what that is like. In a future utopia that is based on a lie, it’s not that easy, as they have to take the convenient freedom tube filled with propaganda posters from the city to the ‘burbs.

As I’m writing this I have to show how growing up in this society that I’ve imagined has affected them and their outlook on life.

This section is the place that I have the hardest time, balancing character building, world building, and moving the plot forward while trying to avoid the horrible info-dump.

As you can guess by this little post I’ve fallen a little shy of my goal for writing this book. I’m currently at 8,000 words and I wanted to be around 10,000. Luckily I know how I write and once I hit the second act I speed up considerably then pound out the 20,000 to 30,000 word third act in about a week.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 8, 2010

Evil Minion Monday: Solar Trap 2

With winter right around the corner the Evil Minions have been picketing my back door in protest over the fact that their Solar Powered room is broken. Over the summer it rotted a bit and when I bumped into it with a cabinet I had made it fell to pieces.

Hoping to make the protests subside I built them a new one. This one addressed some of the problems I found with the old one.

The old one had just one small opening that led to the porch. During a snowstorm last winter a Minion got trapped inside. My wife heard it’s cries and went out and saved it but hopefully I can avoid that happening this year.

I had also intended it to hold only one or two minions, one day last winter it got into the single digits and when I went out their were five evil minions in a cuddle puddle inside.

In the spring one of the minions had kittens and the solar room became their play area, but there isn’t much room to play.

So for the Solar Powered Minion Trap 2.0 I addressed all these problems.

I made it two rooms so the minions could have more fun. For the base I made a frame out of old plywood with a hole in the bottom so if it snows the minions can go underneath and get out under the porch. I also cut a hole in the back so the heat from the first room will heat the second.

I built a frame around the window and they had the first room.

I built a box with another window on top.

Then I put the two together next to the porch and the minions now have a place to hang out this winter.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Stop the Insanity

When the Native American’s in America’s Southwest needed to kill Bison they didn’t walk up to one and hit it over the head with a stick, mostly because the Bison didn’t approve of that sort of behavior and tended to kill anyone who acted that way. Instead they got them to panic and herded them over a cliff. When herd animals panic they form groups and then the group thinking takes over the individuals caution.

Unfortunately, humans are pack animals and respond much the same as herd animals. When humans react like the Bison it is called groupthink.

Putting it really simple groupthink is when people start valuing conformity over facts. A group will try to minimize conflict and reach consensus by not analyzing, and critically testing ideas. Individual creativity, uniqueness, and independent thinking are lost in the pursuit of group cohesiveness.

Here are the eight symptoms indicative of groupthink.
1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
2. Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
3. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
4. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, disfigured, impotent, or stupid.
5. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty".
6. Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
7. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
8. Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.

You would have to be blind not to see this behavior in most of the major institutions in America right now, from the Banks throwing the entire economy in to risky derivatives because they were “Too Big too Fail” to the Republicans apologizing to BP that our Gulf Waters messed up their oil drilling.

One of the worst ways that Groupthink has infected our major organizations is to loop itself around and make leaders believe that Groupthink is good for an organization and make them hire only people who fall for Groupthink.

Major organizations from Wal-Mart to Wall Street are using the OCEAN model of personality test. OCEAN stands for Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Of these 5 traits only one has a real purpose in measuring how well an employee will perform, Conscientiousness. Employers have been asking applicants these questions for years, “Will you show up to work on time? Do you finish tasks or like to leave them halfway through?” This test is totally unnecessary for that.

The others are downright dangerous for a company to test for. Openness High scorers tend to be original, creative, curious, and thoughtful; Low scorers tend to be conventional, down to earth, narrow interests, uncreative. Of these two types which do you think employers want?

For entry-level work employers want conventional down to earth types that will do what the high ups tell them to do. This would be fine if the higher ups were original, creative, curious, and thoughtful. But if you don’t let this type in then there won’t be any creative types to promote. A good organization needs both.

The extraversion and agreeableness keeps dissenting thoughts from entering into the groupthink reinforcing the bad behavior.

So I say to all the companies that promote using these tests for hiring, “Shut-up Stupid, You are promoting Groupthink which is causing bad decisions and destroying the very organizations you are working for.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Silliness: The Addams Family Values

Here is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, Raul was an awesome actor.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Really small scale solar

My house was built in 1920 that makes for some problems with the stuff that wasn’t originally planned for, like plumbing.

The bathroom of the house was just sort of tacked on to the main house so getting heat in there is a bit of a problem. In any other room this would be no big deal but with the bathroom we have to make sure the crawl space stays above freezing.

Once a year it seems the temperatures in Kentucky drop to near zero for a week and we have to turn the heat up so high in the bathroom it is unbearable or else the pipes freeze. This year I came up with a solution I’m hoping will work.

The bathroom is on the southeast corner of the house so it should get a decent amount of sun so I made a small 8’ x 3’ solar collector.

I made a simple pressure treated frame and put it on the spot I needed heated up.

I filled a storage bin with water to act as a thermal mass so I don’t lose all the heat at night.

Covered it in black plastic so it will absorb the maximum amount of heat during the day.

Built a simple frame and put translucent plastic on both sides to let the sunlight in.

Used bubble wrap as insulation.

Finished covering it.

And put it in place at the corner I needed to warm up.

I covered the sides.

To add the warmth at night I placed an access way so the minions can get in form a cuddle puddle. I’m not sure how much heat a minion gives off but if 10 of them curl up in there it should keep it warmer.

I’m hoping that this solar collector does three things. First it should warm up the crawl space at night. Second it will keep the area it is in front of warmer than the outside air slowing the heat loss at night. Third it will provide some shelter for the minions in bad weather.

While I was working on that I took the opportunity to seal off my air conditioning unit using foam insulation, duck tape and a minion.

With this combination of solar and minion power keeping the crawlspace to my bathroom warmer I should have a fantastic future, or at least avoid a huge pain this winter.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thieving Thursdays 1

The march to restore sanity and keep fear alive has come and gone. So I have an opening on Thursdays and not as much time as normal, so I will evilly steal a couple of paragraphs from someone else's blog and post a link to their site.
It's evil ideas like this that convinced me a life of crime wasn't for me.

From: A Newbie's Guide to Publishing WITH A LITTLE HELP

If we're not in competition with one another, then it makes perfect sense to help each other out. After all, we're all in the same boat.

I do this a lot. Anyone who has ever done a booksigning with me knows that I spend a lot of time pimping my peers' books--often moreso than I pimp my own.

That said, here are some writers I'd like to share with you.

He goes on to list the books that some of his friends have on kindle. If you like books it's worth checking out his list

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Writing Wednesday: The Internal Editor

It’s NaNoWrimo time of year when writers are encouraged to write out a book in one month. I’m going to try it this year. I had been thinking about putting up the little progress bar on this site. I should have thought about it earlier because a lot of people seemed to be like me and waited to the last minute and now their site is as slow as molasses. So it will be a while before I get the progress bar up.

I’m not too concerned with writing the 50,000 in a month, I’ve done it before. I’ll either be able to turn my internal editor off or I won’t. The internal editor is what killed me writing my last novel that I am stuck at the 40,000 page mark.

When I finished THE PIZZA DIARIES I went through and did a huge rewrite 30,000 words and changed it from a 65,000 word novel to slightly over 90,000 added another bad guy and some new characters because my main character didn’t have enough to deal with.

Then because I’m a glutton for punishment I did major revisions to two of my other novels and joined Scribophile an online critique group where I critique other people’s work and they critique mine.

Then I sat down to write another novel and it went incredibly slow as I would write something, critique it, rewrite it and repeat. And after all that the first half of the first draft isn’t all that much better than my other first drafts.

So with this one I plan on just writing whatever crap flows out of my head and fix it later, hopefully I can get my internal editor to turn off and I can return my other novel and quickly write the second half of.

To encourage me to write the novel I won’t be blogging until I write 1,500 on the novel so there might be some days I won’t be posting and my post will probably be a little shorter than they have been, which might not be to bad of a thing.

I plan on keeping everyone updated as to how I’m doing in this and it and if NaNoWriMo’s site starts working I’ll put a little progress bar on this site.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election night live blog

11:30 This is too depressing I'm going to bed

11:24 Money won this election, the elections that outside interests flooded with millions won. There has to be a way to inspire Americans to build things again. We can rebuild again and I have a plan to do this.

11:15 The Progressives (except Yarmouth) and the blue dogs got beat like a liberal at a Rand Paul rally. It's sad that only the ones who refused to make a stand will survive. We are rewarding the mediocre.

10:55 There are still a hell of a lot of races too close to call. The message has tonight has to be that we are a very divided nation.

10:35 Russ Fiengold just lost Wisconsin! the only one to vote against the Patriot Act. Damn this is bad.

10:28 Chandler is about to declare victory, I'm glad it was a squeaker. Colorado defeated the proposition to declare a "fertilized egg as a person". So you can't declare an extra dependent just because your a woman. (I personally agree with the current laws that you have to be 18 to be declared a person).

10:22 ran across this site http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/ check it out.

10:15 Even though the old people have come out heavily the close races aren't falling to Republicans there are an awful lot of "too close to call".

9:55 SC voted against medical marijuana they are still the most backwards.

9:40 Vitter won, now the taxpayers will have to pay for it when he has a hooker put him in diapers.

9:15 Rick Perry won governor of Texas does that mean they will secede, and surrender without a battle again?

8:50 It does suck Taliban Dan won, but the GOP isn't getting huge wins yet.

8:45 Alan Grayson a unapologetic progressive has conceded, boo hoo he was my favorite Rep.

8:37 Dems won W. Virginia so far it is not looking like huge wave for GOP they have picked up 4 in the house, and 2 in the Senate

8:35 Chandler is tied at 50/50 there might be no blue dogs left.

8:15 Chandler is falling behind in the outside counties 51 to 49 it is going to be close, good give him a scare. Maybe he will realize that he does need the progressive vote.

8:00 O'Donnell (a financial supporter of this site) was totally crushed in Delaware has to make a statement saying, "I am not a Senator"

7:59 Yarmouth was just declared the winner in Louisville. Woo-Hoo

7:45 I just learned that the new mayor of Lexington is openly gay, not openly enough I didn't know. I just wanted him to win because he was a cool guy. It is great that KY will be considered progressive in something.

7:35 A weird thing is happening Conway is closing 55% to 45% as the more conservative districts are reporting in. Not good enough to win but it is weird.

7:30 Yarmouth aka "Congressman Awesome" is only 52% to 46% I was hoping for a blowout.

7:20 So far no seats have changed hands Dems holding their seats and Republicans holding their seats.

7:15 Chandler is pulling away 56-44 I was hoping it would be closer to give Chandler a scare.

7:10 AP is calling it for Paul, and DeMint (duh) so the tea party is doing OK so far.

7:05 New numbers Conway 50% to Paul 50% Conway needed to get huge numbers in Lexington and Louisville he isn't getting them.

7:00 Ben Chandler 53% to 47% Like it or not Chandler will probably be the Blue Dog in congress for the next two years.

6:50 Right now Conway is kicking Paul like a Paul Supporter would kick a girl's head, but that is just because Lexington reports first Conway 58% to 42%

6:45 No surprises so far from KY, Ben Chandler is ahead, Hal Rodgers (R) has held on to the seat he had since the Civil War (citation needed)

6:40 Fox exit polling asked voters how their vote related to Obama,
38% Against, 37% for, 36% said he wasn't a factor. So that's what Fox thinks 111% of the voters think. I wish they would hire a 3rd grade math teacher to work at Fox.

I heard some encouraging news earlier that in Lexington by 3pm they already had 50% of registered voters show up. The GOP was hoping for low turn out under 40%

It's 6:30 and I'm going to try live blogging for the first time as the election results come in. I don't know how bad this will work bare with me.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Election night live blog

It's 6:30 and I'm going to try live blogging for the first time as the election results come in. I don't know how bad this will work bare with me.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Monday, November 1, 2010

Results should matter

With all the negative advertising about taxes and the deficit it’s hard to get the truth to be heard but here is what the dems have done in the last two years on that front:

Obama and the democratic congress have reduced the deficit by the largest amount in history, taking it from $1.4 trillion to $1.2 trillion. The Republicans have offered no realistic plan to reduce the deficit.

Obama and the democratic congress passed the largest middle-class tax cut in history.

As far as other accomplishments that they are taking flack for:

The auto bailout:
GM was ready to fail and through a domino effect of having their suppliers go under the entire American auto industry could fail, Ford would have likely gone under, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda would have had to move most if not all of their operations out of the US. The ripple effect would turned the Great Recession into the Greatest Recession.

Today GM is profitable and even though they still have troubles and they aren’t likely dominate the auto market like they used to they are reopening factories and the US auto market is recovering.

While far from perfect the healthcare bill stopped the worst abuses of the insurance companies and will cut the deficit by $138 billion. More importantly it will save the healthcare industry from pricing themselves out of reach for the majority of Americans leading it to destroy itself through demand destruction.

Alternative Energy:
This has been the biggest secret program ever undertaken in plain sight. G.W. Bush launched an alternative energy program for America, and like most of the things that Bush cared about he did it in the most backassward way possible. He offered huge tax breaks for investing in alternative energy. This plan did help start up some research into new ways of producing energy. When the economic crashed and burned all those new companies and the research they did would have been lost. Obama used grants and guaranteed loans to get them back on their feet making them some of the safest investments in this economy. Between the government investment and private sector investment research into alternative energy has became an Apollo mission scale program that will have positive returns for generations. This has led to America reducing the amount of oil used even as the economy grows. Alternative Energy has the potential to keep the half trillion dollars a year we send to hostile nations for oil back here in America.

Private Sector Jobs:
As much as the GOP says they want the private sector to take care of jobs, they are down right lousy at doing that. In the last two years Obama and the Democrats plans have lead to more private sector jobs than the entire 8 years that Bush was in office.

Tomorrow the choice is fairly clear, we can keep the Democrats who have actually produced results in power, or we can turn the congress over to the Republicans, who even though I disagree with most of their ideas have the virtue of never getting anything positive for this nation done.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts