Analog Electronics Economics Politics Renewable Energy

Barack Obama Further Lays Out Renewable Energy Plan

I take a personal interest in Barack Obama‘s new plan to increase investment in renewable energy technologies, as I think and hope my long-term plan of working on renewable energies will come to fruition.

Skip to 9:38 to hear about his plans for renewable energy

I don’t seek to point out any political messages other than to focus on his determination to make renewables a viable part of the American economy, much like Thomas Friedman points out in Hot, Flat & Crowded. A green revolution or economy will help to return America as an arbiter of international issues by once again showing our leadership and innovation abilities (not to mention our economic strength). While I will point out that John McCain has also shown some initiatives for renewable energy (not to mention he does not believe that drilling for oil is the only solution), I feel that his focus on nuclear as the only true long term solution in his administration would not put enough money into the hands of people that will drive the “green revolution”. Given the possibility of recession in this country (or is it already here?), I believe that direct government investment in renewables will help to jump start the economy by driving job growth. And it won’t just come from the presidential administration either; people in the house and senate all need to push these new green energy agendas to really allow for new legislation. Great examples of this are Alice Kryzan, running for the 26th congressional district in New York and Dan Maffei who is running for theĀ  25th district, also in New York.

Probably the point that I would like to point out most in this video is his call upon the American people to reduce their consumption AND take personal responsibility in their lives (i.e. childhood education). Sure, we could use our innovative techniques to create energy at the cost of the environment ad nauseum. But why not instead work on power saving techniques? Why not inflate your car tires to increase gas mileage, instead of pushing for faster ramp ups of offshore drilling? Why not tell people to turn off their lights, recycle their garbage, stop watering their lawns and driving gas-guzzling cars? Because it’s tough telling people that stuff. It’s not going to work at first, but it will over time, and that’s why I thought this was a good video.

I always welcome comments on renewable energy, but given the touchiness of politics, please be extra gentle when commenting. What do you think of the renewable energy plan? Is it a pipe dream? Do you think there are pieces that both candidates are missing?

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Why start a namesake site?

Tonight, I’m using every bit of my being not to post something political (watching the VP debate). The tension in this country is so thick you can cut it up and serve it. Anyway, instead I will post a question (to myself).

Why did I start

I’ve written before about why I started a blog, but never why I decided to make it a namesake site (using my real name, all over the place). The main reason is branding. Pure, simple and maybe a little bit selfish. It’s actually a lot of work to get people to know your name. It’d be much easier to start a blog titled “” or something like that. That would be great for the average Analog Electrical Engineer, but not so much for Chris Gammell. In that case, I would have to work extra hard to let people know who I am and what I do. So why else? I like trying to be an individual (even if it complete individuality may not be possible). I love the idea that people are reading my ideas. I like the attention, sure, but moreso, I like contributing to society, even a little bit. Perhaps it’s a characteristic of Generation Y, but I enjoy it and I’ll spend some late nights to help out if I can. Yet another reason is that I enjoy challenging myself to learn knew things. True, I feel a little guilty blogging about things I’m not a master of, but if I spend some time researching, I can usually point readers in the right direction, even if I’m not completely sure. The best point is where I define a problem for myself online and then figure it out and get to post it later.

It’s a risk, for sure. First off, if I publish some bogus articles, people will know it. Moderators, readers, editors, professionals, everyone is really a critic on the internet. But I’m ok with that because when someone corrects me (hopefully in a civil manner) it’s an opportunity to learn. Plus my ego isn’t so big that I think I know everything (or anything). Beyond the simple idea of being wrong, I’m also giving direct access to a lot of information about myself and my life, even if it is my professional life. I justify the lack of anonymity by thinking about having people coming back and reading my ideas because they recognize my name. If I can inspire some confidence in my ideas, then I’m doing alright. Finally, I take great care to not reflect badly upon those that know me, nor those that are associated with me. In my thus-far short career as an analog engineer, I’ve found that referring other people is a power that should be respected. Not only should you be careful who you refer to others but also how you interact with others so they will someday refer you.

Short and simple, I started a namesake site because of my ego. I keep it going because I love the direction it’s taken me in. I love that blogging is helping me define myself outside of my job, even if it is similar to my job (which I also love).

Why do you blog (or not blog)? Respond in the comments, please!


I had a dream (about Obama)

So I had a dream last night about Barack Obama.

No, not that kind of dream sicko.

The dream was that there was a debate between Obama, Clinton and some new lady who entered the race. During the debate Obama gave some rousing speech and then actually began to cry at the end of his speech. My first thought was “Oh crap, now we people will make fun of him for that”, but that really wasn’t the focus of the dream. Then at the end of the debate, the third candidate lady decided to withdraw from the race, at which point Obama immediately announced that he would have her as his running mate. And I remember thinking “wow, that’s a killer team”. But this STILL wasn’t the focus of the dream. Next, I was in a different part of town and I spilled some of my drink on my shirt. So then I went down to my basement and started scrubbing my shirt trying to get the drink off of it. I woke up still scrubbing when my dog started pacing around my room, wanting to be let out to go to the bathroom.

The point of the dream and this post: I had a dream about politics/politicians/something that wasn’t me scrubbing a shirt for 3 hours straight (although that did happen)

Why would I have a dream about politics? Why would I write a blog post about it? Why would I involve myself with something I have been trying so hard to ignore since it started (much much too early)? Why are you now here reading this?

Because I now care. That’s all there is to it. Check out my other blog posts, you’ll see. I hardly ever post to my blog. I definitely don’t post anything having to do with anything other than myself. So maybe this is me turning a corner or maybe it’s just not wanting to deal with thinking about this stuff anymore, I dunno. Maybe I just no longer just want Hillary or McCain to be in the white house (although I’ve never really wanted McCain in there). I think what I really want is to be able to listen to NPR in the morning on my way to work and not be like “Goddamn it, Bush” or “What the hell are you thinking, you stupid #$@#%#$@! politician?!”. Prime example: This morning I was listening to a story on NPR about Bush trying to move a deadly cattle disease (foot and mouth) research center from its secluded island location to right next to a bunch of cattle on the mainland in NY. All I could think about as I heard this report was “Oh, who is he helping out now? Which of the good ol’ boys needs a building contract or a military contract or a favor or wants to kill his neighbors cattle?” WHEN THE HELL DID THIS BECOME ALRIGHT? OK, calming back down now. Ooooohhhhooommm (Zen chant).

So that’s what I want. I want to turn on the radio in the morning and not be disappointed with what I hear. I want some other country to talk positively about the US. I want the good ol’ boys and girls of the country to stop getting handouts from the government. I’d like those same people to pay some goddamn taxes.

And sure, in the process I’d love to have better education, health care, foreign policy, equality, social programs, accountability for politicians, environmental conscientiousness, a thriving economy and so on and so forth. But really, I’d settle for a decent story on the radio in the mornings (the reporting is good, they just have to give crappy news). And to go along with the Obama campaign message, I HOPE this can happen if Obama gets elected.

So I did something I’ve never done before and from what I’ve read more people are doing than ever before. I gave money to a political campaign. It wasn’t much but I plan on giving again for the general election. I also plan to do something I haven’t done in the 7 years I’ve been able to do so. I will vote. If that isn’t a measure of how this election season has gotten my apathetic butt motivated, I don’t know what is.

Well, maybe this blog post.