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hunter's Journal
hunter's Journal
August 24, 2015

Any god threatened by a graphic novel or an ancient monument is not a god.

The gods of the grifters are not so sturdy.

August 21, 2015

Most "shit stirring atheists" have plenty experience being opressed by "religionists."

Their pushing back is entirely good, reasonable, and necessary in a free society.

I'm a Catholic heretic. My mom was going to be a nun until she met a leering, smoking, hard drinking priest who didn't seem all that holy to her. My mom bounces around between extremes, so of course she ended up with the Jehovah Witnesses, and meeting my dad, both working in Hollywood, they married and had a whole mess of kids Catholic style.

As a little kid who was already very weird, I ignored the Pledge of Allegiance to fidget at my desk, increasing my reputation for weirdness. My fourth grade teacher, who was a very wonderful person in many ways, used me as an example of religious freedom in the U.S.A.. Is it any wonder I hated school? I was always an outsider, an alien.

Unfortunately my mom has a tendency to say whatever she's thinking, sometimes about her conversations with God, and she also loves politics. That got us kicked out of the Kingdom Hall, bouncers at the front door style. After that we were soon Quakers. My mom could say whatever was on her mind, people listened respectfully, and then the Meeting moved on.

I still didn't say the Pledge in school. Quakers don't do that. I've seen my mom get in pissing contests with Catholic Bishops, and I was worried she might make a scene at my Big Catholic Wedding. (My wife is Mexican Irish Catholic, my mom's family is frontier Wild West Catholic.) I was even more worried about my crazy grandma who had a history of corrupting nice Mormon boys, throwing crockery at firemen, and biting policemen. (My grandpa was not a nice Mormon boy, but the two of them conceived a baby and fled poisonous religious tongue wagging and discrimination to non-Mormon California to work in the shipyards as welders.) My mom and her mom did not cause trouble at our wedding, they seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. My dad, my brothers, religious heretics all of them, had a grand time making small talk with the priest about fishing.

My own relationship with the Catholic Church is complicated. Someday maybe I'll write a novel.

I know all about religious social pressures. It's not the atheist community imposing their beliefs upon anyone under color of authority.

My most disturbing heresy is time. I believe there is no such thing. Time travel and faster than light travel are impossible. We are all moving at the speed of light, nothing slower, nothing faster. Everything is relative and both the past and the future are fuzzy clouds of probability we are free to wander in from our own "now."

It's all stories, and the stories never end. The universe is very big, and our human minds are very small. We must cherish one another. What we "believe" changes both the past and the future.

August 19, 2015

The oil and automobile companies are not willing to change their business model.

The cheapest methanol is made from natural gas. The first attempt by ARCO (now owned by BP) to supplant gasoline with a natural gas product was MTBE. That was a disaster, MTBE got into lakes, rivers, and groundwater.

The oil companies are now using hydrogen derived from inexpensive gas, and electricity generated in coal fired plants, to transform heavier oils (like the Canadian tar sand crap) into gasoline and diesel fuels for conventional cars and trucks, distributed through conventional channels. There's no reason to use methanol or ethanol for anything. There's no economic reason to replace existing underground tanks certified for gasoline, gasoline- ethanol blends, or diesel with methanol certified tanks.

Gasoline and diesel fuel can also be synthesized from gas or coal. This is done on a very large scale in some places. The U.S. Navy has developed a process that uses electricity from the nuclear power plant on an aircraft carrier to extract carbon dioxide from ocean water to make fuel for both it's jets and accompanying fuel oil powered vessels.

Methanol is corrosive stuff, and its vapors do not play well with traditional lubricants and sealants. Experiments with the fuel in the 'seventies and 'eighties did not end well. Those problem has largely been solved by modern material science.

If you are looking at alternative fuels, my favorite is dimethyl ether (DME). DME is handled like liquid propane, and works as a fuel in very efficient, high compression diesel engines, and as a home heating and cooking gas, producing no troublesome particulates as ordinary diesel and gasoline powered vehicles do. DME can be made from cheap fracked gas, coal, or agricultural "wastes." A DME diesel plug-in electric hybrid vehicle might compete favorably with a Prius if the fuel was widely available.

But personally I'm sick of the fueled automobile age and would like to end it in favor of walkable cities, slow 35mph electric vehicles, and a massive expansion of electric powered railroads.

Every community could have a large railroad station at it's heart, handling both cargo and people.

People would walk, ride bicycles, of drive urban electric cars to places they worked and shopped. Electric cars parked and charged underneath solar roofs is an ideal arrangement. Employee and customer cars don't get cooked in the sun, and they are refueled as they are parked.

Still, it's better to work at home or walk to work.

A larger community might have just a single fuel station for people who still have reason to use dangerous, polluting, and obsolete forms of transportation. The sound of internal combustion engines or gas turbines is not music to my ears.

I hate my car. It's a nice comfortable car that cost $800 and has a salvage title. There's an analog fuel injection computer in this car that's lasted over 300,000 miles without a fault. I'll never buy a new car, especially a new car with all the systems computerized, cell phone network connectivity, and copy protected spyware installed as standard equipment.

Profile Information

Name: Hunter
Gender: Male
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 38,363

About hunter

I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.
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