Sunday, June 27, 2010

Industry Runs On Electricity

My big dream as a kid was to live in an all-electric home. We toured one over on the east side of town, and of course we loved the whole idea that it was all-electric.

That's been over 40 years ago, and you know what? I'll bet it's still there. I don't go up that road very often. Plus, there's been a lot of other houses built in that area over the decades, so I don't know if I'd recognize the all-electric model home now. But if I go out there and there's one that's dark during storms, that might be it.

What exactly they meant by saying "all-electric," I really don't know or remember. Most of the stuff in newer homes from then till now depends on electricity. I guess it means when you get down to the heating system, or where the washer and dryer are, that's electric too. Maybe the garage door opener.

Our own place was made before there was widespread electricity. Then they had to retrofit it to put in outlets. But they weren't dreaming very far ahead, because, like other old houses I've seen, they put in maybe one (or two at the most) outlets in a room.

Today I'm thinking of the industries I want to build on our place. And that reminds me, we're going to need a lot more outlets. I can't be running an endless accumulation of extension cords down to the house. Because I've already got more things plugged in to the wall than I can identify or safely use. And I'm spending 50 bucks a year as it is just painting over the brown spot that keeps coming from who knows where!

Industry runs on electricity. I say that like I know, but really I'm guessing. Does industry run on electricity? It probably does. I know they have some water pumping stations and a few solar panels. But getting down to it, right at the heart of the thing, somebody's plugging something in. And since industry is huge, they're probably using three pronged cords. So I'll need a few of those too.

One of my industries that -- actually a utility, which I learned from playing Monopoly -- is going to be an electrical generating unit. I just need to think of some good way to generate it, and learn how to do it. It could be something as basic as rubbing two cheese graters together. The way I understand it, any old thing, rubbing it together, keeping up a lot of repetitive movements, if you have the right cord and the right mixture of water and battery acid, you can make electricity.

The key thing, of course, is not to sit there rubbing it together, but to find some natural means of letting it rub itself. Like streaming water passing over and moving the mechanism back and forth. You attach some electrodes to the underside of it, then bring the wires up over the fan belt and plug them all in in a very particular way and you're well on your way to making electricity. If you add hops you get beer. It multitasks.

I have some reading up to do to figure out how to generate electricity, I admit it. But I'm mentally fortified for this reason: People were making electricity years ago. I've seen old books, like from the 1800s, on electricity, magnets, etc. And since we've made a lot of progress, and man has so much more intelligence now than he had then, it ought to come naturally to me. If I can just somehow patch into my native intelligence, garnered through our collective progress since the 1800s, this ought to be a piece of cake.

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