Monday, March 30, 2009

He Coulda Won a Grammy ...

On Friday March 13th, we went to Dallas to see King Tut. Well, his treasures anyway.

I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the artifacts, but Floyd's Ancient Wonders Blog was evidently able to sneak a camera in.

The piece above was on the head of Tutankhamun when they found him.

Tutankhamun's name in heiroglyphics.

There's a cool story about the scarab in the above picture. It was carved from obsidian glass which may have been formed by a meteorite. (Watch out for the auto-start music!)

The tour ended with a sign that said this exhibit had hopefully honored Tutankhamun's memory and given him the eternal life which he had so eagerly sought.

Not 50 feet away from the aforementioned sign, the gift shop had this tacky Tut tissue box for sale. What kind of afterlife is this?
But then these stuffed camels were kinda cute.

We met up with our great niece and her fiance, both of whom blog also. It was good to see them again.

The next day, we went to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science to see dinosaur bones found in the Big Bend area of Texas.

Robert digging for plaster casts of dinosaur bones.

We almost visited Rick Atchley's church on Sunday, but my tired family was ready to come home, so that's what we did.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Notrees Wind Farm Nears Completion

(Notrees is a tiny, almost-ghost town 21 miles east of Kermit, and it does have trees. It also boasts a big honkin' wind farm. This article is used without permission from The Odessa American. The photo, also without permission, comes from The Winkler Post.)


Drivers on Kermit Highway near Notrees might need to concentrate on keeping their eyes on the road.

Duke Energy now has 95 wind turbines up and nearly ready to enter commercial operation.

"All the turbines have been erected at this point. There's still some substation work that remains and site restoration, but we're expecting completion of all the onsite work in June 2009," Duke Energy spokesman Greg Efthimiou said.

Phase 1A of the Notrees wind power project went online in February during a test phase. The 55 1.65-megawatt Vestas wind turbines in Winkler County began spinning and pushing electrons on the state's power grid. A commercial operation date will be declared later this month, Efthimiou said. Construction of phase 1A began in June 2008.

Phase 1B, which began in October 2008 and has 11 of its 40 1.5-megawatt GE turbines in Ector County, has a commercial operation date scheduled for April.

The farms have a peak capacity of 150 megawatts. One megawatt provides enough power for about 800 to 1,000 homes.

Efthimiou said the turbines will provide up to 15 percent of the power needs of all Wal-mart and Sam's Club locations in Texas as well as their respective warehouses.

The project has provided an economic boost to the area, said Gary Vest, economic development director for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. Each tower required between 100 and 150 workers to build.

"Sometimes they work around the clock," Vest said.

The base of each tower requires 400 cubic yards of concrete as well as lots of electrical work. Vest said local contractors such as Sun Electric, Dixie Electric and Saulsbury Industries helped to build the towers.

"That has a tremendous impact to our local economy when that's going on," Vest said. "It's hard to put an exact number on it."

Texas leads the country in wind power production, and companies like Duke are helping keep it that way.

"We've got a pretty large wind power presence in Texas for obvious reasons, it's a free and abundant resource," Efthimiou said.

(OTHER VOICES: Here's another blogger's view of the Notrees wind turbines.)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yet Another Kermit

This one is behind the metal shop at Kermit High School. I didn't know of its existence until Liz asked me why I hadn't blogged it.
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