Thursday, August 20, 2009

Windmills

Yesterday I decided to explore a bit of the western portion of Texas. This took me as far as Fort Stockton - and then turned around and headed back again. Counting some missed turns on an experimental route along the way, over 700 miles of driving in 13 hours.

Fort Stockton wasn't much to write home about - or even a blog entry about. Frankly I was underwhelmed, and the only explanation I have is that maybe I wasn't in the "good part" of the city. Some wanker there in a red musclecar performed a one-man attempt to show off his wankermobile by winding up the engine and pulling past me (in the white Prius) at a traffic light. Yeah, that was impressive, man. This will be the thing that stays in my head about Fort Stockton.

I think around exit 277, or about 20 miles east of Fort Stockton was a windmill farm that I get some of my electric power from (as part of the "green power" program). The number of windmills on both sides of Interstate 10 was impressive. I did get out of the car to take these two pictures, and to my amazement, there was no discernable noise coming from them. I mean, I was close enough to one set that I would have expected the buzzing, humming, or whatever such annoyances that I have heard people complain about, but I heard almost complete silence. The roar of the vehicles down Interstate 10 was far louder than the windmills, for sure. I also didn't see the pile of dead birds that allegedly get caught in the spinning blades, either, although admittedly I maybe wasn't close enough for that. The blades spin at about 30 RPM, one full rotation every 2 seconds.

I actually saw a house on a hill near Wimberley, Texas for sale that looked like it could be interesting. I don't think it was actually what I was looking for in terms of land or low maintenance and energy efficiency, but it was cool to look at. This may need to be a return trip this weekend (Wimberley is an hour's drive away, not 350 miles!!).

Waiting at home for me was the DVD Bill Hicks Live, of which I saw about 2/3rds before falling asleep on the sofa from exhaustion. Bill Hicks is (was) an interesting stand-up comedian in the same kind of genre as George Carlin and similar.

In general, it was a good do-nothing kind of day. It was the kind of day I most sorely needed after the past few weekends and the stress at work (which continues to be stressful). However, these long drives are starting to become tiring in their own right. At one point, when I no longer have an old cat at home to take care of, I'll probably need to start making these overnight trips rather than getting home in the same day.

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