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The past few days were spent in Oklahoma visiting the family. I left Austin at 3 AM on Thursday morning and made it up in record time. Very little traffic, and that was the point.

Despite repeated pleas to “eat more” by my grandma, I managed to put on four pounds between all the turkey and drinking of tea to stay awake.

Friday night I ventured up to Tulsa to visit friends, but it turned out to be a complete waste of time as I couldn’t sync up with anybody. I did wind up doing a good amount of driving around to see what had changed. Many of the businesses and restaurants I used to frequent were gone. Fortunately First Watch and Full Moon were still there.

The city has apparently put a considerable amount of effort into fixing up downtown. All new city feature signs, not to mention the new hugeass BOK Center. Last time I was up, that hadn’t even been started. I saw several bike paths had been placed, new bike/pedestrian bridges in place. Half of Riverside park was torn up, looks like they’re putting in dual bike and pedestrian paths. I guess bike traffic has really picked up, or they’re at least planning on it.

Nevertheless t’s still dead on the weekends, not a lot happening. I don’t think they’ll ever come up with a unified entertainment district that gains critical mass. There’s the whole warehouse district, Cherry Street, 2nd street, and some stuff elsewhere. I just don’t see it as a place people will want to spend a lot of time at yet.

Seeing the old office building at 8th and Cincinnati really kicked me in the gut though. So many good, bad, and stressful memories of winding down the old company. It was really a culmination of memories of living there and all the good friends I lost contact with as we all grew up, moved off, and went our seperate ways.

I discovered the “small wind” industry tonight. One piece of this is the Air Breeze Land wind turbine. For $600 I think it’s worth playing with at Burning Man. Southwest Windpower makes a pretty neat telescoping pole mount which has a base that’s designed to be parked on by a RV or vehicle to hold it stationary. It’s a neat idea, but I’d like to see how practical it is in the field. Then I saw the price, $799, which is more than the turbine itself. This is what leads me to think “I could build this thing myself.”

Southwest Windpower also produces the Skystream 3.7, a much larger unit. I question its advertisement showing the rancher+hippy promoting the 3.7 for “grid-connected homes”. It claims “Skystream can … reduce your dependence on foreign oil.” Last time I checked, we don’t use oil for electricity generation in the US. We certainly use a lot of natural gas, and the vast majority of that is domestic. The only way I can see this holding true is if you were using a gasoline or diesel powered generator, or using your new found source to power an electric car. I digress, this sort of thing is what causes people to accuse me of being too literal.

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