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About valis

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    Super Anarchist

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    Friday Harbor, WA

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  1. valis

    E-nav on the cheap

    "E-Nav" is the very first word in the title of this thread. If you're not interested in it, that could be a useful clue.
  2. valis

    Finished upgraded solar system

    I agree on the Victron. I don't have any, but a friend does and it looks like great stuff. I just felt like going old-school with my project, but for trend monitoring and good diagnostics (and apparently excellent MPPT performance) the new Victron seems like an excellent solution.
  3. valis

    Finished upgraded solar system

    Yep. They are also not particularly accurate. I ordered some extras for my little panel project, and ended up sorting them for best match and accuracy on the voltage display. I was seeing +/- three tenths of a Volt difference among the group. The current indications also disagreed a bit. But they were good enough for my purposes, which is to give me a rough indication of the panel performance, and any MPPT gain.
  4. valis

    Finished upgraded solar system

    OK, I couldn't tell that those were nylon washers and nuts, washers presumably larger in diameter than the lugs underneath. You've got a regular nut and washer torquing down the lug, right? If so, it sounds pretty good.
  5. valis

    Finished upgraded solar system

    Nice. Be sure to protect those exposed house battery lugs -- something shorting across the washers would be a very bad thing. I did something similar for my three 100W panels. I now have three of the Genasun MPPT controllers, and some monitoring. It's a bit of a science project, but works quite well. (It was nearing sunset when I took the picture).
  6. valis

    Hawaiian shirt season begins this weekend.

    I've got a nice collection of cheap Hawaiian shirts from our Pacific Cup races. Here's Bob Perry modeling one of the more "visible from space" ones:
  7. valis

    documentry on pbs last night

    And of course "Standing in the Shadows of Motown"
  8. valis

    The BLUES

    Some more slow eight-bar blues: A faster version of this is on their "Don't Explain" album, which has some other great tracks.
  9. valis

    The BLUES

    Really enjoyed this -- thanks! I can listen to good slow, melodic blues all night long. Here's one that was posted in another thread, but I have fallen in love with this song. The 8-bar blues arrangement is inspirational -- guitar, organ, vibes, pedal steel, bass, drums, and vocals, each playing exactly the right thing at the right time. Dire Straits -- Fade to Black:
  10. valis


    Check out the film "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" -- you can see it on line. It's a documentary about the studio musicians of Motown: the Funk Brothers. I was quite involved in the production of this film.
  11. valis

    Dodger or no?

    What do you think of Stamoid fabric? I've got it on my dodger and it seems good. Definitely waterproof.
  12. valis

    Radar Reflector

    I can't think of a good reason to have one of those tiny tubular reflectors. They certainly don't work very well. It used to be that these were the lowest-windage/weight way to comply with ocean racing equipment requirements. Now, at least some races have changed the radar reflector rules and those tubes no longer meet them.
  13. valis

    Silicon Valley Foundation Shitshow

    But if you can't deduct it, that means you get taxed on the profit you just set aside for charity. Yes, you eventually get to deduct the donations you make, but perhaps as a lower rate. In my case we put a very large amount into a donor-advised fund with the plan of making donations to various organizations, many of them who did not need a large lump-sum, but instead a more flexible annual contribution stream as their needs evolved over time. Because of the way the taxes worked, we were able to donate more this way than if we had made smaller donations spread out over many years. Once we contributed to the donor-advised fund we were never going to get that money back -- it was committed to charity. And within ten years that initial lump-sum was completely donated. Again, if you believe in the tax policy being used to encourage charitable donations, this works. Perhaps some people manage to scam the system, but in our case I promise you that we made no profit on this, we were just able to make a larger donation than we otherwise would have been able to afford. And of course an incompetent or unethical Foundation can do a lot of harm. For a while I was on the board of the Foundation we used, so I could see how it was being run.
  14. valis

    Silicon Valley Foundation Shitshow

    That's not how it works, unless there is a charitable entity that legitimately gives widgets to poor people. But the company owner would probably be better off just directly donating the widgets to the charity. Either way, it's not a money-making proposition for the donor. Sometimes computer companies donate computers to schools, etc. As long as it's honestly intended to help people in need I have no problem with that. Of course some "charitable" foundations apparently exist primarily to provide employment and fringe benefits to family and friends, sending them via private jet on "fact-finding" missions, etc. This is of course contemptible. And this has little to do with "donor directed" funds. Most people like taxes, at least the kind that other people pay.
  15. valis

    Silicon Valley Foundation Shitshow

    I have no idea if the Silicon Valley Foundation is a good organization (I haven't even read the link above), I am just responding to the donor-directed fund comment: There are good reasons for using "donor directed" of "donor advised" funds. I have one at a local nonprofit foundation. Every penny of the money, minus a quite reasonable foundation expense, eventually goes to legitimate charities. This type of fund lets someone with a windfall profit make a large charitable contribution with the anticipation of distributing the funds over the course of a few years as the opportunities arise. And yes, this large contribution to the fund is deductible as a charitable contribution. If it weren't, the donor would be less likely to donate as large an amount, since the windfall would be fully taxed. Silicon Valley often sees lump-sum windfalls (sale of company, IPO, etc). If you agree with the concept of tax-favored charitable contributions, you should like donor-directed funds.