I received an early birthday present from my family Saturday. They bought me a new Shwinn hybrid 21-speed bicycle as pictured here. I cannot remember how old I was when I got my last bike. I was no more than 9, and I bought it used from some kid in Lowry City. It has functioned for many years, roads and trails. I am very excited about this bike. It is the same model my father has, so I know I will enjoy it.
Unfortunately, I have yet to take the new bike for a spin. Jill will tell you that is because it is not my birthday yet. However, the real reason is that it is to stinkin' cold. We have had snow, ice and sleet this week. Thankfully Sac Osage Electric Cooperative had already had all the trees in our territory torn down, so we did not suffer any outages. I understand that this is just how winter is supposed to be in Missouri, but I do not like it. Bring on the heat and the humidity.
I have seen the statistics that tell of the earths surface temperature warming. As a marketing representative of a power utility that gets its power mostly from burning coal, I also see a lot of evidence that points away from man-made global warming. (By the way if global warming is caused by CO^2 released into the atmosphere, it just makes me want to leave my engine running longer; bring on the burn.) Next week I get to attend an event that I am really looking forward to, a renewable energy conference. I will not go into all the details, but one thing really excites me. Supposedly the event is going to have three bicycles hooked to generators to power the conference center. Volunteers are going to ride in shifts during the entire conference. The conference center holds 600-700 people. It is being held in the middle of February in Missouri so I can only think that the heating has to be natural gas or something else you burn on-site. But even if they they think they are going to provide light and sound for the event, I think they are out of their minds. We do an energy demonstration for kids where we let them ride a bicycle to power different appliances. A high school student powering a 100 watt motorized airplane (it's a cool demonstration) only lasts about 5 minutes, and you have to insult their manhood to get that out of them. The announcement said that the bicycle generator will be hooked to the grid so anytime they are providing more power than the conference needs, it will go to Springfield's general power supply. I hope these people are there. This is going to be fun.