Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Party

Tonight was the annual holiday party in Athens which promised delicious food and welcome fellowship with old friends.

As always, Santa showed up to shower the children with toys.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Opening presents and taking pictures

For Xmas Craig bought me a new camera and knowing that I have great difficulty delaying gratification he gave me my present early so I could document our trip north.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Xmas in Ohio

There's snow in Athens County so Craig borrowed an extension cord from my father and plugged in the block heater to keep the engine relatively warm. Lisa decided to help with the project.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Before choosing a grease mobile I was searching for cars that obtained 40 mpg or better but was stymied by the limited choices available. One of the frequent comments voiced by skeptics of our system is that some day we'll be charged for WVO or the demand will become greater than the supply. My hope is that in 5-10 years when our car has finally bitten the dust there will be plenty of options for environmentally friendly transportation. Part of the reason for my hope is reading about the following two cars.

The VentureOne is a cross between a motorcycle and a car with 3 wheels. Possessing a hybrid powertrain with an electric motor it boasts a top speed of approximately 100 MPH. The range for all-electric motoring is 20-40 miles while the addition of a 5 gallon gasoline tank extends the vehicles range to 250-300 miles. As a bonus, it also is equiped with automatic balancing technology enabling it to tilt up to 45 degrees while turning.

Aptera, which means wingless, is an electric vehicle which travels 120 miles between charges. The company plans on offering an all electric version as well as a plug in hybrid. For $500 you can reserve a model today.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Show & Tell

I finally arranged my schedule so I could show my car to an environmentally aware fifth grader at one of my schools. Originally my plan was to obtain pure cooking oil from the school's cafeteria, but I soon learned that food isn't actually "cooked" at the school and the so called "kitchen" is lacking any items you might assume would be present. After a quick detour to Krogers where I purchased a small bottle of canola, I took the student outside for a tour of the grease mobile. Before I let her pour oil into the tank, I made sure she understood the difference between a greasecar and other common, gasoline powered vehicles. It would be very bad news if she went home and poured canola into her parents' cars.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Craig removed the old filter today by creating a new tool which combined a wrench with the rubber grippy thing used to open jars. What a genius!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Heading for Home

We're leaving for home. It probably would have been wise to store our excess oil in the MacInnes garage but that didn't happen. Turns out that the mexican oil, which is fairly clear, was too sluggish to pour into the WVO tank. On the other hand the dark Chinese oil was still mostly liquid.

As we drove down I69 the oil filter became somewhat clogged causing us to loose power. We pulled off at an exit in northern Indiana to shop the local auto parts store. Although the Autozone didn't have our filter in stock they directed us to a local NAPA Auto Parts where it was available. After purchasing the filter, Craig tried to switch out the old for the new but was unsuccessful even after much effort, skinned knuckles and the purchase of a new wrench. The highlight of this whole odyssey was seeing another converted Jetta. On the back of the car, where the TDI decal is located the owners added

Since the old - somewhat clogged - filter remained in the engine the drive home consisted of much toggling between WVO and diesel. Although we burned more diesel than I would prefer, it's nice to know our backup system is fairly reliable.