Monday, April 27, 2015

The Animal Farm of Things

(This article originally appeared in the Smart Grid Library blog on March 27, 2015)
 
I'm prone to literary and cinematic allusions, sometimes those allusions are obscure, or at odd angles to the main topic, so for those of you who are confused already, bear with me.

I have been immersed increasingly in the Internet of Things discussion, and trying to understand how it relates to Smart Grid and specifically Demand Response. Since Demand Response requires information connectivity, it appears, on the surface at least, as though there is a natural convergence there. Appearances can be deceiving.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

ZigBee or Not to Be, or, Why Fi?

One of the interesting things to come out of a number of my conversations at conferences is the single-minded focus on a given company's chosen approach to implementing Demand Response.  The most often mentioned approaches were either ZigBee or WiFi.

Each has it's advantages, and disadvantages.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A diversion from work...

...in which we take a break from technology, Smart Grid, and doses of irony to talk about some charitable efforts I'm undertaking this summer.  When I say "efforts" I mean just over 1,000 miles on a bicycle in charity events (and another 3,000 miles or so in training).

Depending on what you care about, I hope you'll pick one of these events, and make a donation to sponsor me (or us, since my Beloved Bride of a shockingly high number of years is joining me on at least one of them).

This list is in rough chronological order, but grouped by the charity that the ride supports (and from whom you will get your tax deductions).


Tour de H2O - 5/30/2015  100km / 62 miles

This is a Columbus, Ohio event that supports the work of Global Partners for Development to provide clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in Kenya and Uganda.  Imagine having to hike 4 miles or more to get clean water, if it is even available at all.  That is the situation many in rural Kenya and Uganda face.

Lack of clean water in a community has far reaching implications. Limited access to water influences the sustainability of other critical needs, including education, economic development, nutrition, environmental health and gender equality.  Sick adults are in a poor position to take care of their families. Sick children are unable to go to school or they have to drop out of school because there is not enough time for them to complete their daily chores, which includes spending substantial time getting water. Women also spend hours gathering water, which is time that could be diverted to income-generating activities that could enhance the standard of living for their families. According to the World Health Organization, "improved water and sanitation also contribute to gender equality and empower women, being linked to school enrollment and attendance, especially of girls."  A steady supply of water is also important for irrigation and livestock to keep crops and animals strong and healthy. In total, a reliable source of clean water can go a long way in helping a community break the cycle of poverty. 

Marcy and I are riding this together, and you can sponsor us here:
http://www.tourdeh2o.org/pages/kotting.aspx

 Tour de Cure - June 6, 2015 160km / 100 miles

I have two friends who have Type 1 Diabetes (the kind that isn't a result of bad choices, just bad luck).  In Type 1 Diabetes, your pancreas is pretty much under attack all the time, and can't make insulin the way it's supposed to. 
I do this ride for Julia and Nina, two amazing young ladies whom I have come to admire for their ability to hang in there, and face the world, and their disease.  

This one kicked my behind last year...4,800' of climbing hurt.

https://donations.diabetes.org/site/Donation2?df_id=15871&PROXY_ID=9267156&PROXY_TYPE=20&FR_ID=10141


Bike MS Events

I do a lot of these.  They're great events, well supported and interesting and challenging routes, but I mostly do them because I have family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers who are affected by MS.

MS is currently understood to be an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the meyelin sheath surrounding the nerves.  Imagine a short circuit inside a computer.  Now imagine that the computer is your brain, the thing that controls all pain sensation and muscle movement, all perception and speech.  

It is a challenging disease to deal with, because the nerves are constantly in a state of damage and repair, so the symptoms are inconsistent, and sometimes devastating.  It usually affects people in the prime of life, and affects women disproportionately.

Bike to the Bay - June 20 - 21, 2015 320km / 200 miles

This is the first of the three MS Bike rides I'm doing this year.  It's the one that Marcy and I did together last year, but she can't ride in this year because of a schedule conflict.

Sponsor me here:
http://bikeoha.nationalmssociety.org/goto/ckottingB2B15

Central Ohio Challenge - July 11th, 2015 160km / 100 miles

This is the toughest MS Tour that the Buckeye Chapter puts on.  It's a pretty similar course to the Diabetes Association Tour de Cure, and the climbs will put a hurt on the unprepared.  I take this one on because I have so many friends who can't.

Sponsor me here:
http://bikeoha.nationalmssociety.org/goto/ckottingCOC15

Buckeye Breakaway - August 1-2, 2015 282 km / 175 miles

This used to be the Pedal to the Point, the tour that got me back on a bike back in 2004.  New route this year, new turnaround point, better facilities.  The real point here is that a few thousand people get together to challenge themselves, and do something to stop a terrible debilitating disease.

Sponsor me here:
http://bikeoha.nationalmssociety.org/goto/ckottingBB15

And finally, the big ride of the year:


South Dakota for Sun Dial - August 23rd-28, 2015
705 km / 435 miles (estimated)

This is being put together by a friend, to support a retirement/assisted living facility in his home town.  More details as the plans come together.

I'm a little shocked by the mileage I've committed to this year, a total of 1,072 miles.  

If you want to help me make good on those commitments (or just want to see me suffer all summer) pick an event and sponsor me!