I had a busy day planned for today. I started with a visit to WalMart's to get tea. Their house tea is very good and very cheap. Very good means it's a top notch regular tea according to this fussy tea drinker. Very cheap means $1.86 per 100, about 1/3 the cost of the best, Redrose tea. I picked up a few other sundry items while there.
Next stop, breakfast at the Honk Kong bakery in Mountain View. Not your normal breakfast but excellent for a change.
Then on to Santa Clara Convention Center for the real reason for todays expedition, the Northern California Facilities Expo. Its a trade show for facilities maintenance types. I haven't been to one of these for a while and wanted to see what's happening. I also really wanted to see what was happenng with Maintenance Management Software (MMS). I'm working on an update to my software and wanted to see what was happening. Nothing. No MMS vendors there. Still lots to see. The primary new thing was about eight solar power vendors in attendance. I guess more businesses are taking advantage of the rebates and energy use offsets that are available? What was really interesting though was a lithium energy storage device. They're about 1/4 the size of equivalent AGM batteries but have an estimated 10 year life or about 1500 cycles instead of 300 cycles. They also reportedly can be fully discharged without damage so capacity is great! They are fully sealed devices, each with their own internal control electronics so there is no balancing problem as with other batteries. it will be interesting to see how these things develop. Will they meet their promises and will the cost go down with increased use? it looks like the time to go solar at home may still be a couple of years out when solar costs go down due to increased refined silicon production and then when these new batteries become cheaper. It's all looking good.
One interesting thing was that everyone there kept smiling and pointing as I passed. Some of the vendors even went out of their way to give me trinkets. I finally caught on to the reason. My badge had small print for my name and my company name was in large print, "R e t i r e d". I guess some people don't admit retirement. I don't mind. Envy?
Lou called and asked that I stop at Clay Planet to get some supplies for her doll making efforts. It was then time for lunch at the House Of Egg Rolls in Santa Clara.
Next stop was the Micro Center in Santa Clara. I hadn't visited there for a while. I picked up an external DVD RW drive. The drive in my laptop is intermittent at best recently and the computer is now out of warranty (one of the last things replaced was the DVD drive last year. That didn't last, if they actually replaced it. The new drive does more, like double layers etc so at least it is an upgrade. I hope the laptop continues to work well. It's getting a bit old now.
Next stop Lowe's to get some estimates on window and garage door replacements. Now it may seem a little odd, but the final stop was Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH). I needed to pick up another load of concrete. OSH loads it for you and I'm lazy. The car carries 10-12 bags without much complaint. I've been collecting a bunch for another fence replacement at home and some more sidewalk. I might as well get it all done before I give out or the mixer does.
A busy day. Now I relax.
Today was Dawn's first day at her internship at the Green Library at Stanford. She found it very interesting. She's reviewing and cataloging a collection of papers from an old mathematician. There was a worry about getting an internship, now she has two. She wil be doing one with the City of San Jose as well. When it rains....
Lou worked on her dolls.
Everyone's having fun, in their own way!