If you've been following me on Plurk you may have noticed that every few weeks, I pack the wife and kids into the car and head off to my parent's house in CT. The kids love spending time with Grandma and Grandpa and I enjoy checking out my father's wacky projects. My father has become a mad scientist since he's retired and is always working on something that seems way too hard for a retiree to get done by himself.
But he does get them done. For example there was the 20'x40' post and beam style barn (two stories) that he built last summer and the 250 grape vines and trellis that he planted/built also come to mind. And be sure to check out his Dandelion Wine recipe that I posted a while back. But I think that his latest project, the 40 Foot Tall 2 Kilowatt Wind Turbine will look the most impressive on his mad scientist resume.
This project was a long one though. Getting all the permits, pouring the 4 foot deep concrete slabs for the turbine and the 4 guy wires (and a few months to cure) digging the trenches and running the power line to the house, getting all the inspections and getting the 40 foot tall pole in place have taken about a full year.
Most of the time was spent waiting for a missing inverter or something that was being shipped from China. I'm guessing the people shipping his missing wind turbine piece must have been busy preparing for the Olympics. Probably one of those people running around the stadium on wires actually worked at China's version of UPS.
All that's left now is to connect the blades and tail piece, do some final electrician work (and get it inspected) then hoist it up. He could be spinning his electric meter backwards within a few weeks.
Besides the obvious green reasons for doing this, he's also going to be saving lots of money by reducing his energy bills. And I'm sure that money will be better spent on projects that he can add to his mad scientist credentials. Hey if this is what retirement is all about, then sign me up. Go Dad go!
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