The Ergosphere
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Better than chocolate

Blogging is a very human activity.  There's dry facts, wet blankets, gut-busting humor, warm camaraderie, hot flamage, cold hostility... the full spectrum.  And then there are the things that make your day.

The following is the "mystery letter" I received last Thursday.  I could have posted it sooner, but for a blogger whose raison d'etre is to promote ideas it looked like it arrived just a few days early.  I'm sharing it with the gracious permission of the author, jffchrstn at netscape dot net (who I hope will document and pass on his plans!).

I have meant to write you for a while now and give you my appreciation for being a voice of possibilities of a different energy future. In finding your posts on the Oil Drum and reading your blog you have inspired me to quit wringing my hands and standing like a deer in the head lights. I am moving forward on finishing my Super insulated retrofit of my great grandmother's farm house and incorporating a combined heat and power unit powered by biomass gasification. The figures you site of different energy sources and your methodology of harnessing those have taught me to look closer at trying to manage the entropy of a fuel source through prioritized utilization and by the best efficiency means. And not to be narrow sighted on ones vision of energy generation and fuel type to the exclusion of better possibilities or combinations.

My original plan for this house has evolved over the years. As I have gained more knowledge and skills my progress slowed because of my uncertainty in my original assumptions. But now I have been gaining a renewed drive and will finish the mechanical portion in the coming months. I want to thank you again. My expanded goal now is that I may help my neighbors and community as the time comes closer to Peak Oil and how that plays out for civilization in the coming years. My fear is that I will not have enough time and money to start and finish all the projects I feel will be necessary to have working and documented. I feel these projects will help me and family live a good life and that I will be able to show others and pass on the theory and plans so that they can copy them and pass it on. I guess this is my version of investment for retirement planning. I will not bore you with a bunch of details of these projects unless you're interested but I would like to ask you if I run into a technical or theory problem if I may call upon you for an opinion or be pointed in a direction to find what I may need. I have not found anyone in my local area that has much of a technical interest in alternative energy let alone someone who could be a mentor. I am always amazed how near sighted and biased people can be in the face of empirical data and the shear denial when you try and extrapolate a future. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and or respond to this letter.

Jeff Christian

It's everything I was hoping for when I kicked off this blog:

It's the best thing I could have received:  knowledge that it all makes a difference.  (Without this blog, I am nothing.)

Of course, any area where I have knowledge - or where the readers here might - is fair game for questions.  If interest develops I may post threads for exchange of information; open discussion here has already brought up useful things, like pointers to data on the Listeroid engine family.

PS:  Friday is The Ergosphere's 2nd birthday.  There will be a small blog-flurry in celebration.

Stop yakking, and cut the cake!
Wrong frat; I'm a member of ΔΠΓ, not ΔΤ&Chi.
Congrats E-P. Its great to hear feedback like that. I know that your insights are much appreciated by me as well and were partly responsible for my current thesis research topic on alternative fuels. Your posts on ethanol and zinc-air inspired me to do some research on my own and find out more. That eventually turned in to the impetus for my undergraduate honors thesis. I'll send you a draft when its done (sometime in May). Cheers and keep up the good blogging...
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