Sep 28, 2007

New Tank Record

I drive a hybrid - a Toyota Prius. For the last year or so, I've had a bike rack attached to the (custom installed) trailer hitch which I didn't bother to remove when driving around. I finally got around to removing it during my last tank of gas. I went and made sure my tires were inflated, removed unneeded heavy crap from my car, and didn't use much A/C (the weather has been good). Today the experiment ended as I had to fill up again.

My goal: maximize my MPG for this tank.

Result: 475 miles even on one tank of 8.814 gallons = 53.9 MPG

I was hoping to get to 500 miles on the tank. I probably could have, I think the tank is 10 or 11 gallons, but the gauge was showing me the blinky bar wednesday (2 days ago) which means that the Prius won't tell you how much you have left any more. Interestingly, I didn't have the rack off for the entire tank, maybe about half of it, so I'm interested in seeing how well I can do on my next tank.

Sep 25, 2007

Google Traffic

I sometimes find it surprising which google queries this blog ranks well for. I'm #3 for [metric vs. imperial] which is quite a fun one since I argue that neither is ideal and we should all switch to a base 12 system. I do fine for my own full name [greg grothaus] of course, and I get a bit of traffic for [garmin nuvi geocaching], [nuvi 350 geocaching], and [nuvi geocaching]. My largest traffic comes from the query [mygoogle] because I used to run a google api site called "my google search" which was a cool little experiment. That site ( now redirects to my blog.

Sep 7, 2007

Gregable - The Domain and MyGoogleSearch

You may have noticed, I just moved over from to I'm all about reducing global warming, so I figured if the domain was shorter you could type it faster and hence turn off your computers sooner. Yeah right. For the moment, isn't working, so leave off the www.

Sep 1, 2007

California Power Conservation Graphs

I recently signed up to get "Flex Alert" emails from PG&E which tells me about when power in my area in california is dangerously low and asks me to conserve extra on that day. You may have seen "Flex your Power" advertising around the bay area - this is what it's about.

It turns out that last week, there were 2 such Flex Alert days. Thursday was the worst. There was actually a Stage 1 Emergency which meant that power usage was within 7% of available reserves. Flex Alert folks responded and actually shaved over a gigawatt off of the demand during peak time (note the difference between the grey and red lines around the peak). This gigawatt was enough to prevent the state from escalating the power emergency to Stage 2.

Interestingly, you can actually see a real-time graph of california's power usage plotted against reserves. The graph on the left is a small version of thursday's data. Check it out at the California Power System Status page and consider signing up for Flex Alerts.