Energy Stories

Web Log

30 March 2009 - I have just reorganized the opening page of this site and created a few new pages. But I haven't added anything in the way of content at the moment.
Instead, I've been working on two products to help save water and electricity. The main reason is inspiration. I'm excited to come up with some new ideas, and have put in some work already to build a prototype for one of them.
So, why have I taken off down this new road? Well, very few people have donated to Energy Stories so far, and although I can't blame anyone for that (I have not put up any new content in the last few months), I still have to pay the mortgage and bills. Although I have struggled to maintain focus on my 'day job' (that of FileMaker database designer), I find myself 'pulled' in a way, toward some new projects.
It occurred to me that I might be able to develop some energy and water saving ideas I had into products and sell them in quantity. Clearly, this may seem to fly in the face of the 'consumer society' criticized in "The Story of Stuff," so I'm working diligently to create things that represent a 'win - win' for the planet. That is, the overall impact on the planet will be less with these products in use, including the cost to the environment to make and sell them, as compared to not having them available. I hope to 'close the loop' if possible, by keeping the amount of toxic materials used in their manufacture to a minimum, manufacture them with as much recycled materials as possible, design them to be easy to repair (rather than thrown out) if necessary, and make it possible for them to be completely recycled when their useful life is over. It's a tall order in todays industrial culture, so I may not get all my design requirements met the first time around, but these are my goals. Stay tuned and please send me email if you want to know more. The address is on the 'about us' page.

13 November 2008 - I realize that I haven't done enough to tie my two main web sites together. I've been keeping a blog on the Open Eyes Video site this past week, so you might be interested in what I've written there.

11 November 2008 - What happened? ... That is, why did everything on this web site seem to stop, almost 'mid sentence' so to speak, some time in mid October?
Well, it goes something like this: In mid to late October, the pace of work at our house picked up considerably. Temperatures were unseasonably lower during parts of September and October, so the rush was on to get our heating system working as soon as possible. Crew members were here every day and significant progress was being made each day. It was all I could do to shoot video & photos, take some quick notes, help with the process of digging holes in the walls (or floors, or whatever - see photo below), then crash at the end of the day and get up the next morning and start all over again. It was exciting and a lot of fun and sure beat sitting in front of a computer all day. Thus, work on this web site fell to the wayside.
Then, there was the question of what was the most important content. The next video to edit was the gas line being installed from the street to the front of our house. Although the video is fun to watch, it's long, takes a lot of editing, and isn't central to the topic of solar energy. I still plan to put it up, but instead, people keep asking me, "Well, does it work? Are you staying warm?" But most of what I have recorded is the process of installing it all. It's kind of hard to make video of warm rooms. What does warmth look like? We can't show a fire in the fire place - ours doesn't even work (can't be used because of cracks). Anyway, that's not what's keeping us warm.
Finally, there have been only two contributions in the whole time the site has been up. I've netted a grand total of $40.00 so far. This was from friends who handed me some cash when they found out what I was doing. No one has ever clicked one of the "Donate" buttons on the contributions page. While those two donations were heartening, I have to keep paying the mortgage, other utility bills, etc. Also, I had clients (I do FileMaker Pro consulting) who had waited patiently for me to stop saying, "I'll get back to you when the solar system is in." So I've had to concentrate on earning a living, for now.
Some people have told me, "I had trouble getting some of the videos on your site to play on my computer." Problem is, they didn't remember which videos and I forgot to ask what kind of computer, system, browser, etc. they're using. So, if this happens to you, please send me an email, with details of which video won't play and what kind of computer, etc. you have.

So, yes, I want to edit the video of the gas line being installed, and all the other stuff I've shot, and get it up on this site. And yes, I have lots of other ideas for what to do next, other people to interview, etc. And, sadly, all it takes is money. That's because money buys me time to work on this instead of other things that I have to do make money. So far the alternatives seem to be either apply for grants, etc., or stop working on this.

Glenn, in goggles, prys molding to expose pipes