A few months ago I listened to a How I Built This episode about the Dripsie, a meticulously and carefully designed sink strainer. I have a garbage disposal in the bottom of our single bowl kitchen sink and thus have no need for a Dripsie. I bought a two-pack anyway and took them up to our ski lodge to try them out.

They work much better than the old stainless strainers full of little holes. Even when they’re full up with food scraps, they continue to drain very well. Tonight Alicia asked me where I got them. At first I couldn’t remember and googled a few terms related to sink strainers with no luck at all. Then I finally remembered the name Dripsie and voila.

Finance books worth reading

Here are a few books on finance and investing that I’ve read and recommend.

  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  • The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein
  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein
  • Financial Statement Analysis by Martin Fridson
  • One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
  • Asset Allocation by Roger Gibson
  • The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing by Jason Kelly

Humor: COVID 19

  1. What types of jokes are allowed during quarantine? Inside jokes!
  2. I’ll tell you a coronavirus joke now, but you’ll have to wait two weeks to see if you got it.
  3. Why do they call it the novel coronavirus? It’s a long story….
  4. Why don’t chefs find coronavirus jokes funny? They’re in bad taste.
  5. What do you tell yourself when you wake up late for work and realize you have a fever? Self, I so late.
  6. Let me get this straight, there’s no cure for a virus that can be killed by sanitizer and hand soap?
  7. Why didn’t the sick guy get the joke? It flu over his head.
  8. When this virus thing is over with, I still want some of you to stay away from me.
  9. If these last months have taught us anything, it’s that stupidity travels faster than any virus on the planet, particularly among politicians.
  10. Wait – you’re telling me that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?
  11. People are scared of getting fined or arrested for congregating in crowds, as if catching a deadly disease and dying a horrible death wasn’t enough of a deterrent.
  12. If you believe all this will end and we will get back to normal just because we reopen everything, raise your hand. Now slap yourself with it.
  13. So many coronavirus jokes out there, it’s a pundemic.
  14. Whoever decided a liquor store is more essential than a hair salon is obviously a bald-headed alcoholic.
  15. Remember when you were little and all your underwear had the days of the week on them. That would be helpful right now.
  16. The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors: 1. How dense the population is and 2. How dense the population is.
  17. Remember those times when you wished the weekend would last forever? Wish granted. Happy now?
  18. It may take a village to raise a child, but it’s going to take a vineyard to home school one.
  19. Did a big load of pajamas so I would have enough clean work clothes for this week.

(some jokes without links blatantly stolen from Dean Forbes post on NextDoor)

Goat Packing

My family and some others were left for the weekend,
All of our backpacks contained quite a blend.
We started off to camp with several goats,
An’ the next morning, we would eat boiled oats. (oatmeal…)
So we hiked several miles and fell into some piles.
Then we sorted out our tents and made a nice fire,
With a wide river beside us all the while.
We ate a couple bars and filtered some water,
Little did we know that that river would be broader.
Then we all retired to our tents and fell asleep,
Listening to the waters, ev’r so deep.

FSHHHHHWSHHHHHWSHHHHHWSHHHHH! (it was very loud, a little bit repetitive)
My dad woke up early the next morn,
Started a fire, and made it really burn
Once we were filled and hydrated,
We all knew at the end that our feet were ill-fated.
The goats were loaded up and then we grabbed some snacks,
The parents nearly left us behind- we had to follow their tracks.
We hiked so far just to see a waterfall and some rocks,
But halfway through some of us went back to dry their socks.
When we all came back and were laid out with aching bones,
Along came a thunderstorm and amid general groans,
We had to quickly rig up a tarp to keep dry.
The river it was roaring, soon we said goodbye
For we radioed out and they said a likely flash flood!
If we never left, we would have been fish food!

(<could/could not be hyperbole, we will never know)

* real story, this happened a bit ago. A couple other families and my family went goat-packing, and we hiked all through Saturday only to find that it rained so hard we had to evacuate in danger from a flash flood. We were situated in a canyon next to a river, a perfect spot to get flooded! We hiked out and got to the parking lot at 11:20, then had to drive home.

Why the long face?

Superchargers Visited

Superchargers Visited is a silly and fun Tesla owners game I’m playing. I have a Tableau page showing the Superchargers I have, and have not (default view) visited.

The game might be one of the reasons I drove to Tampa for a meeting instead of flying. Fun facts: about 8k miles driven, 146 Superchargers visited, 11 days, and $409.23 in electricity.

Note to my future self: with two drivers tag team driving, keeping the wheels in motion when not refueling, expect to cover about 1,000 miles per day in fair weather.


I recently obtained this lovely new yard ornament named Yak.

Yak is 1/3 of our snowmobile fleet at Meany Lodge. Our main winter transport for the 3 miles from Crystal Springs Sno-Park to the Lodge is Tomcat which can haul 35 people + gear. We use the snowmobiles for the many smaller transport tasks such as hauling large sleds full of groceries and gear to and from the car park.

This machine suffered a mechanical failure and the cost of repair exceeds the machines value. Instead of disposing of Yak, I intend to strip the 4-cycle ICE powertrain and replace it with an electric motor and a DIY Li-Ion battery pack. The project is just getting started as I’ve purchased a box of battery cells to experiment with and started searching for the lightest and most efficient 100HP motor I can find.

When it is complete and we have demonstrated a minimum viable product (the ability to drive to and from the Sno-Park with sufficient reserve capacity), I hereby promise to impersonate the canonical “It’s Alive” scene.

First time driving experiences

On this summer’s road trip, a few things happened that I’ve never experienced.

  • At an Ontario supercharger, a Tesla Mobile Range walked up, introduced himself, asked about my trip, and if there was anything on my Tesla he could help with. Besides helping me pick up my jaw, I couldn’t think of anything.
  • At another Supercharger station, that also happened to be a Tesla Service Center on the East coast, another Tesla employee introduced himself and asked if there was anything he could help with.
  • My passenger brake light stopped working in California. I opened the Tesla app and scheduled a service appointment. Soon after arriving home, a Tesla Mobile Ranger showed up to replace the brake lamp assembly.
  • I had my tire tread measured. After 15,000 miles, it seemed likely they were [over]due a rotation. All four tires had exactly the same measurements in the center and edges. Rotation is unnecessary due to the even power application of power across all four tires.

Circumnavigating the USA in an EV

Starting on Sunday June 23rd 2019, my two children, one of their friends Sebastion, and I piled into my Tesla Model 3 and headed East on our first leg towards Michigan. Over the next 7 weeks, we covered 13,000 miles, visited 176 unique Superchargers, and spent $610 on electricity.

EV FAQ: how long does it take to charge?

One of the most common questions people ask about our Electric Vehicles is how long it takes to charge them. I’ve answered this in a variety of ways but I’m not sure I’ve ever fully answered the question. Part of the reason people are concerned with charge time is because one of the primary inconveniences of driving a car has been gassing it up. You must drive to a station, wait for a pump, insert a payment card, wait for authorization, select a fuel type/grade, start the pump, and then stand outside in the weather to monitor it. With a BEV, the vast majority of charging happens in your garage or driveway. Thus my answers tended to highlight this difference in “filling up” paradigms.

  • “About 30 seconds. I plug it in when I get home and unplug when I leave.”
  • “It depends on what I’m plugged into.”
  • “It doesn’t matter, because it charges while I’m sleeping.”

Those answers are valid, but they don’t tell the whole story. That’s because the story is complex. Let’s start with the simplified version.

  • Level 1 adds 5 Miles of range Per Hour of Charging
  • Level 2 adds 20 MPHC
  • DC fast charging adds over 100 MPHC.

EV Charging Levels

J1772 connector

Levels 1 and 2 use standard household (AC) current. The vehicle has an onboard charger that converts household AC current to the DC current which is stored in the battery pack. To charge at levels 1 and 2, a special adapter called an Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) is used. Every EV comes with an EVSE and they all share the common J1772 connector.

Then there is DC fast charging. Since the car doesn’t need to convert the DC current, it can charge the battery as fast the battery can store it. In fact, the car tells the DC charger what rate it can accept and then the charging station delivers as much as it can, without exceeding the cars limit. There are several DC fast charging standards including CHAdeMO (Nissan), Supercharger (Tesla), GB/T (China), and SAE Combo/CCS (everyone else).

Charge Times

Level 1, also known as trickle charging, is the slowest charge rate and uses standard 120V wall outlets that you can find nearly everywhere. On a typical 12-hour overnight charge, a BEV will gain about 60 miles of range. Considering that most people travel under 40 miles per day, L1 is often good enough. Older BEVs like our leased ’13 and ’16 Leafs included an EVSE that supported only Level 1 charging. We found it sufficient in all but the coldest week or two of the year.

Level 2 adds 20 MPHC. Level 2 is the most common and the EVSEs are rated by the maximum power they can deliver. The most common EVSE uses the 50A NEMA 14-50 plug, draws 32 amps continuous, and adds about 240 miles of range overnight. The NEMA 14-50 is the same outlet commonly used for electric ranges, ovens, generators, and RVs. You can often find the 14-50 plug in kitchens, garages, and campgrounds across America. The EVSE included with our ’19 Leaf and ’19 Tesla Model 3 both sport a NEMA 14-50 plug. If your garage doesn’t have one, getting a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed is a good bet. Be advised though, ask your electrician for an “oven outlet,” as many electricians have charged hundreds of dollars more for an EV outlet than the identical oven outlet.

If you already have a 240V outlet of any sort in your garage, there are 3rd party EVSEs with plugs matched to nearly any standard 240V outlet. A dryer, welder, air conditioner, or generator outlet in your garage is sufficient. Lower rated (~3.3kW) EVSEs can be found for $200-$300 whereas a reputable (ChargePoint, Clipper Creek, JuiceBox) 8kW EVSE will run about $500. If you have a Tesla, you can buy $35 adapters for the included EVSE for all the common 240V plug types.

DC Fast Chargers require more electricity than a house and are industrial machines. They are typically found at commercial buildings (like Nissan dealers) and along major highways. Whereas L1 and L2 stations are typically used at home, DCFCs are typically used on longer trips. Here’s a few examples of DC fast charging rates:

  • Our Tesla Model 3 Long Range can add 125 miles in 15 minutes, or 267 MPHC
  • The Chevy Bolt & Nissan Leaf can add 30 miles per 10 minutes, and 120 MPHC.

Careful readers may have noticed that the peak charge rate is substantially higher than the MPHC. That’s because Li-Ion batteries (just like in your phone/tablet/laptop) must be charged slower as they approach full. The tapering is much more pronounced with DCFC and it’s done to protect the battery. In fact, it is the car that tells the charger the rate at which it can accept power. Most EVs charge at their full rate up to about 80% and then taper. Because of tapering, long road trips in a BEV mean your trip will take less time if you charge to 80% and then leave for the next charging station. Tesla actually does this for you–it will charge enough to get to the next Supercharger (plus some margin) and then suggest hitting the road.

224035-8020-503.3 – 15
DC – CHAdeMO500125up to 140usually 50, up to 62.5
DC – CCS200-1000< 500dependsup to 350
DC – Tesla SuperCharger480300267140