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Solar Panel
Harvesting the sun for my house
Sat January 30 2021  11:43amMisc.


solar panel

Have recently purchased and installed a solar panel with its various components. Not motivated primarily by ecological nor economic concerns. The grid for large areas of Nicaragua gets its power from a well engineered and environmentally friendly hydroelectric dam just north of Jinotega. My monthly light bill is typically between $U10 and 15 for around 80 to 100 kilowatt hours of energy consumption. But Disnorte is poorly administered and unreliable. Besides, I like the idea of being a bit more independent. Call it a learning experience, if nothing else, and a possible hedge against future needs.


batteries, inverter, etc.

This initial modest experiment isn't intended to make me energy independent. As a beginning, only one of the house's three circuits are solar powered: the most critical circuit containing both refrigerator and computer. The entire system consists of a 300 watt solar panel mounted in an open area on the roof, three 12 volt batteries for night time and other standby power, a 1200 watt inverter to convert the solar and battery DC current into 120 volt 60 Hz AC house current, a controller and cables to connect all these, all located indoors in a spare room, and a double throw knife switch (in a different room, not pictured) to switch the circuit back and forth between solar and Disnorte, if needed.

Speaking of learning experience, I've already learned that the inverter's internal circuitry is particularly sensitive to short circuits and reverse polarity (blush!) Am also still learning how the panel, controller, and inverter interact, and hope to perhaps take better advantage of the panel's full capacity. To that end, am supposing that the panel is most efficient when facing the sun more or less directly. The panel as pictured is mounted at an angle of 24.5° to the south of horizontal. For late January in Nicaragua, this is not too far from ideal, but that angle ought to vary from time to time for greater efficiency. You might be interested in a javascript routine that I wrote to help in this regard.

Perhaps more articles to report on any progess or regress.

  2 comments
rev. Fri Feb 12  8:31pm
 
DePyper
Honoring the name my father gave me
Thu October 24 2019  4:33pmMisc.

Am planning some small website changes soon, but first want to publicly clarify another matter that is of great personal import and may also have a slight impact on the planned website changes.

My family name is DePyper, a compound, two-part surname of Belgian origin. Am not sure of the etymology; it may originally have meant something like 'the piper', as in the village flute player, or, more likely, 'of (the town of) Pyper'. Either way, 'Pyper' was the important part, and 'De' (or 'de') merely the prefix.

I grew up learning to write my family name as DePyper, but also to recognize and accept De Pyper and de Pyper (w/ space) as correct spellings. I suppose a similar etymology and usage existed for such names as McCargar, O'Brien, and Van Dorn, and that these folks have faced similar name distortions as follows:

The misspellings seemed to have begun 20 years ago or more, first with phone book listings, then junk mail, then bank accounts, utility bills, government records, etc. 'DePyper' was corrupted to 'DEPYPER', thus destroying the name's compound essence. Am guessing that it had to do with the conversion of all records to digital databases. Dull-witted database engineers thought to use the last name as a key field, and, to make their own job easier, in typical non-unix mentality changed peoples' names to all upper case, true family identities be damned. In some cases, the same dull wits then attempted to ameliorate their thoughtlessness by capitalizing the first letter, thus further morphing my name to 'Depyper'

I would dearly love to join or launch a lawsuit against Molly Mulcahy Crawford and/or the State of Minnesota, if I could find a competent law firm

Nor was it always a matter of engineering incompetence. Take, for example, Molly Mulcahy Crawford of Minnesota's Office of Vital Records. She not only claims bureaucratic authority (for 'standardization') to clobber peoples' family names, but also to change the words 'mother' and 'father' to gender-neutral 'parent', all this on birth certificates created decades earlier. In addition to the degradation of de-sexing my mother and father, this leads to practical problems for me in Nicaragua. In Spanish, 'parent' must be translated as 'padre', resulting in a translated birth certificate claiming I have two fathers! This goes far beyond innocent incompetence, and amounts to a deliberate socialist agenda to arrogantly usurp peoples' personal identities and alter the natural facts of their lives, falsifying millions of legal documents in the process. I would dearly love to join or launch a lawsuit against Molly Mulcahy Crawford and/or the State of Minnesota, if I could find a competent law firm willing to tackle this criminal outrage.

In the meantime, I post this blog article as a public assertion that I, Gerald Joseph DePyper, reserve the God-given right to reject any or all attempts to address me by a name that I do not recognize as my own. Any human authority that purports to alter my name or my personal history thereby abdicates any authority over me they may otherwise have claimed. This includes especially Molly Mulcahy Crawford and the State of Minnesota.

As for my family name, the criteria are simple: To be acceptable, my last name must be written as a compound, two-part name. This can be done by using mixed case (lower case first 'e' followed by upper case 'P'), or, less preferably, as all upper case or all lower case with a space between the two parts. The use of both mixed case and a space is quite acceptable. Here summmarizes the rules:

  • Acceptable variations of my Christian (given) name:
    • Gerald Joseph
    • Gerald
    • Jerry
  • Variations of my family name (surname):
    • Acceptable variations:
      • DePyper
      • De Pyper
      • dePyper
      • de Pyper
    • Acceptable, with caveat: I reserve the right to accept or reject the following:
      • DE PYPER
      • de pyper
    • Unacceptable variations. The following do not pertain to me:
      • DEPYPER
      • Depyper
      • depyper

The above applies to my name in this earthly life. Rev.2:17 holds out the promise of a new, wholly unique name given to me by The Lord Himself, if I prove faithful. Honoring the name given me by my earthly father may be part of that faithful duty.

  1 comment
rev. Nov 26 2019  6:40pm
 
Unrest in Nicaragua
The crisis in Nicaragua: A foreigner's viewpoint
Wed July 4 2018  3:23pmMisc.

It started out in April as a peaceful protest of Daniel Ortega's proposal to cut social security benefits, and of his tyrannical repression of dissent. So say the news reports. But from the beginning it has involved looting, burning, and extracting 'donations' from motorists who want to pass through. And when Ortega quickly renounced his social security proposals, the protests only intensified. For a couple months now these 'peaceful' demonstrations have been occupying marketplaces and interfering with transportation (including transportation to and from the hospital). Many of the youth manning the roadblocks are recognized as local thieves and loafers, no job, no schooling, still living with mama, occupied with little more than their noisy motorcycles (which Mama bought for them).

Strangely, most of the shooting casualties are the youth themselves. Like a buddhist monk burning himself in protest? Some say it's because the loafers themselves are working for Ortega in order to discredit the original protesters (???) Maybe it's something like the U.S. anti-war protests of fifty years ago or so, where the original sincere protesters were soon joined by druggies, hippies, and other riff-raff, where the only order was disorder. These loafers seem to have nothing more in mind than making a mess.

Or, perhaps - like 50 years ago in the U.S. - the media and academics and liberal clerics are using the protests to mount a negative P.R. campaign against a fellow they can't beat at the ballot box. If that's the strategy, it seems to be working. Most Nicaraguans, some of my personal friends included, were quite content with Daniel, but suddenly have decided that he's a tyrant and has to go. After easily winning elections in 2006, 2011, and 2016, Ortega would likely lose a special election held right now.

My personal guess is that this is mostly the Entitlement mentality coming back to bite the hand that has fed it. If that's true, it's Ortega's own fault. Daniel has given the people most of the handouts they asked for, and a few that they didn't ask for. The loafers have come of age during Daniel's administration, and have become like baby robins chirping ever more loudly for more and more entitlements from Sugar Daddy, and, when he can't deliver, off with his head! Sound familiar?

All the above is, of course, the guesswork of a clueless foreigner. Most of my neighbors are taking the inconvenience with a shrug, and none of us appear to be in any danger. My horse in this race, if I have one, might be related to my recent 'Religious/Rant' posts and the possible role the aforementioned clerics may be playing here to try to engineer the ouster of a leader who, for all his faults, has been quite strong against the forces of same-sex 'marriage' and abortion on demand. But that's also pure guesswork on my part. If my insights turn out to be even more clueless than suspected, I may just delete this blog post and return to my more familiar ranting.

  7 comments
rev. Dec 4 2018  10:48am
Theory is when you know all and nothing works. Practice is when all works and nobody knows why. In this case we have put together theory and practice: nothing works... and nobody knows why!
- Albert Einstein

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rev. 2021.03.21