Friday, October 3, 2008

"The Dumbing of America"

This week I got a real first hand look at what has happened, now that the effects of the 'Dumbing of America' has occurred. The city of Mesa is preparing for the days of $10 a gallon gas. They are building, along with Valley Metro the bus service, a rapid bus system. This system will bring folks from east Mesa to the new light rail head. Started working on the bid for 20 bus stops with computerized signage on each bus stop. If the price is low enough, their will be an additional 6 stops. this being brand new and the first bus stop of this design. They have all lights bells and whistles of modern "Times". Antenna on the roof, solar cells, message board in both Spanish and English. This new design gives the rider complete information about where their connecting bus or train is. With an antenna system the message board can be constantly up dated. We use the same systems on freeway islands, to control irrigation to landscape. New bus stops had all LED lighting, because it is the future for all lighting. (no heat, low voltage, low energy) LED lights even in the concrete floor, cool. Now the fun part. looking to see how many mistakes I'll find in the engineered drawings, always do.

The engineering firm chosen, is by low bid. You simply submit your price to the local control of public money, construction. Soon I began to find mistakes in the drawing. Mislabeled items, how the solar system works in this configuration, being the main problem. Called the engineering firm that Valley Metro had chosen with low bid. I ask the receptionist if I could talk to the person who did the drawings? She transferred me and Gabriel answered in broken English, how may I help you. Right off the bat, I was having trouble understanding his English over the phone. It was like, when you call tech support and a voice from India or some other country answers, again in broken English. Instead of having some well educated white boy, wanting $60,000 a year for his services. You now have some kid, just in from Mexico, with hardly any education, making $25,000 a year. (NWO) First thing I asked Gabriel was, did any body else notice these mistakes? (a good trick to see who you are bidding against and how sharp they are) Gabriel took my questions and said he would get back to me, with some firm answers. Called Gabriel back next day to get my answers, learned to never wait for them to call me back years ago. (you can't make a mistake, if you give no answers syndrome) Gabriel told me to e-mail all my questions to Valley Metro's own engineer. Thinking to my self, damn I've arrive up town. Sent an e-mail to the head engineer, saying the the solar system he had designed wouldn't work. First of all, their was no real or safe way to secure the solars cells on the roof. Second, instead of using the solar cells to help power the signage and lights, he wanted to sell energy back to the serving utility.

Figured I'd get an e-mail, telling how this design would work and their was some new technology I hadn't seen. At every power location for the bus stops, their would be an alliterative bid, using the solar cells to back feed into the serving utility. It was already going to cost $175,000 to feed the first meter. Next morning phone rings, it's the head engineer from Valley Metro on the phone. From his voice alone, I could tell he wasn't calling to say happy birth day. You know the type, know fucking everything, because he has been brain washed to think he does. Smell the dumbing coming in? In a high voice he says to me, what do you mean my system won't work? Your people had designed two meters in one power pedestal, I replied. Called my suppliers and they started laughing when I brought up the question of two meters, one pedestal. They said they had never heard of such a thing. Said they don't even know how you would send power back through their panels, to the utility company. Engineer replied, look here now, if I put this solar cell on a building out back and ran the power from my solar cell back to that meter. Wouldn't that meter start running backwards? I reply, where is that meter getting it's power from? Now he's pissed off at me even more, he has no answer. Tried to explain to him it was all ready coting $175,000 just to get the incoming power their. Now you want to, with this tiny solar system, send energy back on the grid? He goes, do you have a computer, replied yes. Look up a certain soar store out of Tucson, I did. We go to another page on the site to show me a cartoon showing how your new solar cell could be sending power back to the utility. He goes look their, I say tell me how that works? He can't and says, what are you going to do on bid day. Told him I was going to call in a no bid on alternate #4 and his solar cell idea. Told him I wasn't going to get goated into saying, I can provide something I can't. He says, it's your call isn't it, and hung up. You would think this would be the end of this, but a few hours later I get an e-mail from him. That said he found the little electrical firm in California that made dual meter pedestals. Got on the phone and called them to see if I had made an ass of my self. Got to their engineer and asked if you could back feed into the serving utility from their equipment, again laughter. Now I got to explain to this guy this wasn't my idea. He said, I should send the engineer a little drawing, with arrows pointing back to the utility on his drawings. It's only going to get worse. bye

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