Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Trip to Portland

Around this time last year, I went on a trip to Portland.  It was about time, I was finally able to see the city everybody's been telling me I should move to.  While the city's motto is "Keep Portland Weird", I was surprised to find that this was easily the most normal city I'd ever been to.  I arrived with the expectation of a city full of hippies, with farmers' markets on every street all day and lots of guys obsessed with craft beer, handlebar mustaches and riding fixies... For better or for worse, my expectations fell far short.  I cannot stress how much of a regular city this is.
satellite view of portland downtown

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vineyard Relocated and Wine Progress | Year 3

I was able to get my vineyard relocated to my new place. Thankfully, since I harvested a few weeks ago, I didn't have to worry about grapes falling off. Nearly all the vines had rooted from their container into the soil. No wonder they were always doing so well.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Taking Apart a Refrigerator Compressor

One day I was watching a Huell Howser episode on refrigerator recycling.  I was curious about the compressor part for two reasons; 1. I was considering building another bicycle powered compressor for a full fledged bicycle foundry vegetable oil burner, and 2. I'd read during a research project that they use permanent magnet brushless motors in applications like this and wanted to build a generator with them (also bicycle powered of course). 
Immediately after watching the episode, I went for a walk and conveniently, found a refrigerator next to the dumpster.  I jumped at this amazingly obvious scrap alchemy opportunity.  I noticed somebody else had already cut the copper pipes that would contain the freon, so I was already exempt from having to deal with that issue.  I went out with some tools and within a matter of 10 minutes had taken off the compressor and also the cooling fan.
Let's take it apart!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 Estate Blend | Year 3

For those who didn't know, within the past month, I've had to move out of my old residence due to unforeseen circumstances. Luckily the timing of the move was right as the grapes were ripe enough. So I was able to harvest grapes from my portable vineyard for this year's estate blend.