Boeing Replaces Humans with Potatoes

I thought this was hilarious...

From Engadget:
Boeing has hauled in around 20,000 pounds of potatoes to use as human substitutes during its tests with airplane WiFi. The aircraft maker is checking that onboard wireless signals don't interfere with navigation and communication systems. Groaningly titled SPUDS (Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution), the tubers apparently replicate how airborne signals are bounced and absorbed by real-life passengers, but without the need for Boeing to offer complimentary snacks or tiny drinks during testing.

You may not realized it yet... but ObamaCare is a Joke

What you may not yet fully understand is that no one - and I mean no one - has any idea how we are actually going to run ObamaCare. With the entitlement package looming, 26 states have refused to participate and only 6 states have been given "conditional" approval on their design for the exchanges which will be used to offer and buy coverage.

The best part? Certain states have taken to filing freedom of information act requests in order to figure out what the fuck is going on...

From the WSJ:

For sheer political farce, not much can compete with ObamaCare's passage, which included slipping the bill through the Senate before dawn three Christmas eves ago. But the madcap dash to get ready for the entitlement's October 2013 start-up date is a pretty close second.
The size and complexity of the Affordable Care Act meant that its implementation was never going to easy. But behind the scenes, even states that support or might support the Affordable Care Act are frustrated about the Health and Human Services Department's special combination of rigidity and ineptitude.
To take one example, for the better part of a year states and groups like the bipartisan National Governors Association and the National Association of Medicaid Directors have been begging HHS merely for information about how they're required to make ObamaCare work in practice. There was radio silence from Washington, with time running out. Louisiana and other states even took to filing Freedom of Information Act requests, which are still pending.
Getty Images
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius
Now post-election, new regulations are pouring out from HHS—more than 13,000 pages so far and yet nuts-and-bolts questions are still unanswered. Most of what we know so far comes from a 17-page question-and-answer document that HHS divulged this week, though none of the answers have the force of law and HHS says they're subject to change at any moment.
HHS is generally issuing rules with only 30 days for public comment when the standard is 60 days and for complex regulations 90 days and more. But the larger problem is that HHS's Federal Register filings reveal many of the rules were approved in-house and ready to go as early as May. Why the delay?
To take another example, the feds are building a data hub to determine who is eligible for Medicaid and ObamaCare's "exchanges," the bureaucracies that will dispense insurance subsidies and police the market. Many states have cut administrative costs by combining the application process for Medicaid, food stamps, cash assistance and other antipoverty programs, but HHS's privacy rules say the hub can only be used for ObamaCare. So HHS will force states to become less efficient and flatly refuses to reconsider.
In a word, HHS is treating the states not as the partners it needs to give ObamaCare any chance of success, but as serfs.
HHS did finally if "conditionally" approve the exchange blueprints of six states this week, though it has yet to release any formal objective standards for conditional approval. Some 24 states are refusing to participate, so the agency will be running a federal fallback exchange that it won't reveal how it will operate.
A federal exchange is a vast undertaking. The clearinghouses will be open to the uninsured but also to small businesses and people who already buy plans on the individual market. On average about a quarter of a state's population are expected to at least browse the exchange options, and the share will be far higher in states with large numbers of uninsured people under 65, like New Mexico (24%), Georgia (22%) and Texas (27%).
If 20% of Americans use exchanges, that's 62 million people. At a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Thursday, ObamaCare point man Gary Cohen all but took the Fifth on how he'll deal with this and other challenges.
The exchange naysayers now notably include Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bill Haslam of Tennessee. Sure, they're Republicans, but both Governors flirted with the idea and wanted to participate if it would result in a saner and more rational marketplace. The costs and risks were too high.
HHS also declared this week that states can decide either to expand Medicaid (after the Supreme Court decision made it optional), or not. But states are not allowed to make the partial expansion that many states would have considered. This all-or-nothing political gambit is meant to put the Governors in a bad political spot at home if they don't expand, but the irony is that many of them would participate if HHS gave them more flexibility to manage their own programs and control costs.
Yet HHS has made it almost impossible to qualify for Medicaid waivers. States aren't even allowed to "go green" by using digital instead of paper applications. These "maintenance of effort" rules weren't carved in stone tablets by LBJ. HHS formalized them in a regulation this February.


In other implementation hilarity, no fewer than 18 Democratic Senators and Senators-elect came out last week against ObamaCare's $28 billion tax on medical device sales—and not just the usual penitents from Massachusetts and Minnesota. The list includes Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Patty Murray.
"With this year quickly drawing to a close, the medical device industry has receive little guidance about how to comply with the tax—causing significant uncertainty and confusion for businesses," they write about the tax most of them voted for.
The last entitlement to get off the ground was President Bush's Medicare prescription drug benefit. Those rules were tied up with a bow by January 2005, giving business and government nearly a year to prepare—and that was far simpler than re-engineering 17% of the economy. No one knows where the current magical mystery tour is headed, especially not HHS.


Apple is Killing Australians

Ok... so no one has actually died yet.. but the idiocy which is Apple Maps is *nearly* killing off a large percentage of the Australian population (there aren't that many down there to start with - most Aussies are off getting drunk in youth hostels around Europe from what I can see).

Not long after it appeared in the Apple's latest operating system, people noticed that it had a habit of showing destinations in the wrong locations, like a museum located underwater, or refusing to show locations at all, like the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon and most of a few world metropolises.

The near death experiences are coming because Apple Maps lists the town of None of that has apparently helped drivers looking for the town of Mildura, in Victoria, Australia however. Apple Maps still places the hamlet in the middle of the Murray-Sunset National Park, about 44 miles southwest of its actual location. The displaced location map issue has reportedly left six drivers lost or stranded in the national park for up to 24 hours without food or water, in temperatures that can reach up to 115 degrees in the Outback with no phone reception. Six people have had to be rescued in the past two months, and now Mildura police have issued a statement calling the situation "a life threatening issue," urging caution when using Apple Maps.

Apple - trying to kill off Australia.

Square is Back: The new Chevy Silverado Samples from the 90's

I have a '96 Chevy Tahoe. One of the things I love about my pre-millennium towing and hauling machine is that it is unapologetically a big truck. The design team drew two boxes and more or less called it a day. I love the way it looks.
Towing my briefly lived 300zx

 After a long period of making pretty rounded out trucks (especially in the early 2000s), Chevy today revealed their new Silverado/Sierra, and it looks.. a lot like mine.

Which is to say - I like the design. It's a truck - it should look like a truck. Leave the crossover looks to the crossovers. Also - I like that it doesn't have the ridiculous "look at me" front grill of the Tundra or Ram - the 3rd and 4th best selling full-size trucks in the US always look like they are compensating for something.

Toyota Tundra Ultimate Fishing Truck
Can you actually see what's in front of you? Probably not.

Unions Strike Again: Drinking on the Job Not Enough to get Fired

You might not have a job right now, but these guys do:
Chrysler workers drinking on the job

These two chuckleheads work for Chrysler - or more accurately for President Obama.

Here is the story in a nutshell: "the 13 workers who were fired in 2010 after local news cameras caught them drinking alcohol and smoking what looks to be marijuana in a park during work hours have been reinstated following arbitration."

What can Chrysler say or do at this point? Not a whole lot. The UAW is running the show:

"Chrysler Group LLC acknowledges the reinstatement of a number of employees from the Jefferson North assembly plant who were discharged from the company in September 2010 after appearing in a local TV station's story about their off-duty conduct."

While the company does not agree with the ultimate decision of the arbitrator, we respect the grievance procedure process as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement and our relationship with the UAW. Unfortunately, the company was put in a very difficult position because of the way the story was investigated and ultimately revealed to the public. These employees from Jefferson North have been off work for more than two years. The time has come to put this situation behind us and resume our focus on building quality products that will firmly establish Chrysler Group's position in the marketplace."

Yeah - so those guys are back on the job. Does Chrysler want them? No. Do they deserve to have jobs? No. The best part is theses are senior UAW workers - which means their average pay is somewhere around $65/hr. I wonder why Toyota and Honda are more efficient and more productive building cars in the US than the "big 3" are... I wonder...

If I Only Had a Gulch...

If you have not read Atlas Shrugged, go do so. Then come back here. I'll be waiting.

Don't worry - the last 1000 pages go pretty fast

a little while later...

Yes - I know the book is 500 pages too long and I know the characters are... interesting... but, getting beyond that to the point of the book: I wish I had a gulch.

Right now I am working my ass off and hiring people. And most of those people suck. People can't show up on time, constantly want to take breaks or just, in classic Atlas Shrugged fashion, want to avoid being responsible for anything.

At the same time I live in a country (the USA) where I feel like the government more and more approximates the government in the novel. Everything has to be done "for the good of society" while "profit for profit's sake" is obviously evil and a sign of anti-social behavior. Companies should think first about their employees or the environment, not about making money.

I also increasingly feel completely un-represented in any way. I am planning on moving to New Hampshire - which is at least something of a Gulch though becoming less so. Perhaps Texas will succeed, though I am not sure I fancy the heat or bible thumping.

Maybe I can start my own sealand, though that seems kind of boring.
Not a lot to do... 
Of course the reality is that I will stay where I am and work my ass off and there are many many other people who are doing the same - not just the rare few left in the world of Atlas Shrugged. However, it is galling sometimes to see so many useless, manipulative and shitty people - and to know they are the ones running the country.

Love Your Old Saab Hatchback? Get the New BMW 3-Series GT

I never understood why the hatchback sedan was not more widely adopted. I grew up in Saab 9000's and I have since owned one myself. They make so much more sense than a traditional sedan there is literally no comparison. And there is no downside - you don't have to look like you are driving around in a mom-mobile because it isn't a wagon - it's just a sedan with the hinge at the top of the rear glass.

Maybe there is some complex reason why they are more difficult to design - something about cross-member stress and the strength of the c-pillars. Meh. Saab did it for years and they were the size of a flea compared with ToMoCo and GM.

Not to rehash old ground here... but the 9000 Aero was a large hatchback sedan which was incredibly fun to drive, got 250+ hp from a turbo 4 and was very safe while getting almost 30mpg - all in the early 90's. Ahead of it's time? You bet.

More practical than your car, guaranteed

So what has BMW done? After many years of letting Audi reign with the practical crowd (RWD is fun - but north of the Mason-Dixon line not all that practical) they have decided to go after the old Saab market.

Starting in 2014 BMW will offer the 3-series as a "GT" - which means hatchback which isn't a wagon in BMWeze.

First - I am not really sure whey they went with the extend-o-butt. Yes, it probably does increase the internal storage space, but it looks pretty odd, mitigating some of the beauty of the whole hatchback-sedan design.

However, if you can get this in AWD with a manual and a good engine you are looking at one hell of a combination. My problem though? Given how ugly the back end is, you might as well get the wagon...

Anyway, a step in the right direction in my opinion - hopefully someone will pick up the torch and start building good looking sporty sedans with hatchbacks. Or I could buy and restore an old 9000 Aero... hmmm....

Voyager is at the Final Frontier

Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Voyager. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new mostly empty areas, to seek out new other empty areas, to boldly go where no one has gone before. Oh yeah, and to bring along some serious bling.

It's like a grill for space ships

So, turns out that the Voyager is on.. the final frontier. Before reaching "interstellar" space. In other words, it just crossed over into the last zone where our sun is more or less still in charge of everything. Currently the spacecraft is passing through what scientists are calling a "magnetic highway" - which was, in fact, invented by Al Gore. 

Voyager 1 reaches 'magnetic highway,' gets a taste of interstellar space
I'll give you interstellar wind, Trebek
This is really just the pre-party though. The real party comes when Voyager crosses over out of the magnetic control of our sun... which could be anywhere from a few months to a few years away. At that point, Voyager will do a little dance, make a little love, and get down with being the first man-made object to truly leave our solar system. Groovy 70's science still kicking ass: it's impressive. 

Space plane with scramjets coming? Maybe...

Skylon Spaceplane Engine Endorsed By European Space Agency -

Buick Bringing Back the GNX?!!!?!? Looks like it

Back in the day the Buick GNX was the (unlikely) diamond in the rough which dominated drag strips (12 second times) and generally had way to much performance for anything 1) built by a US car company between 1977 and 2004 or 2) called a Buick. 

It came to be known as "Darth Vader's Car"... I don't know why...
And now, with Buick one of the final 4 GM brands (thanks to China), the corporate overlords are looking to inject some life back into a brand better known for ferrying septuagenarians to and from Florida golf courses. Yes, the Regal Turbo was a good first attempt.. but it just isn't serious enough to make me stop looking at everyone else's factory tuned specials. 

Enter the GNX... 

Buick Grand National Picture
I work out
Looks like the GNX will be based on the Cadillac ATS (the new little Caddy), and will be RWD with... wait for it... around 400hp. Yeah, 400. Grandpa will be able to get to Shady Acres REALLY FAST. 

Will I want one? Remains to be seen. Yes - it will probably be cool. And yes, it will kind of be a baby CTS-V for less $$$. But will it have a stickshift? Will it have AWD as an option? (I would guess no, and with 400hp, that's too bad). Will it make me nod my head and say "damn.." when I see it? Will I need a pimp cane to fend off the hoes as I roll by? These vital questions will remain unanswered for many months, because like Peter Jackson teasing the fuck out of us with trailers for the Hobbit, it will be a year or more before we see anything even resembling the final version. 

Still though, a Buick I am looking forward to? That is saying something.

Shutting down Megaupload? Bad for box offices...

Megaupload Shutdown: Negative Effect on Box Office Revenues

Turns out that shutting down piracy is good for blockbusters but bad for small to medium sized movies. This makes sense to me, as piracy really just leads to information sharing for smaller movies, but can be a substitute for major releases. I don't know the numbers, but I think the same has more or less been true for the music industry in the last decade.

UK Man Hands Out Cociane To Kids for Halloween... Trick or Treat?

This is pretty bad...

(Reuters) - Three primary school age children in one English city reaped more than the usual harvest of sweets and chocolates on Halloween when they emptied their trick-or-treat goody bags and found several bags of cocaine.
On Monday, the man who had mistakenly handed out his cocaine stash to the children instead of candy was given a community service sentence in court, the Press Association reported.
Apprentice panel-beater Donald Junior Green fished in his pockets for a bag of chewy sweets to give to the youngsters at his door on Halloween, but instead pulled out a plastic pack containing eight bags of cocaine he had bought for 200 pounds ($320) earlier that day, Oldham Magistrates' Court heard.
He dropped the drugs into the goody bags carried by the three children, aged eight, six and five, who were out trick-or-treating escorted by their father, an off-duty policeman.
The 23-year-old defendant then closed the door, went back inside the house and put his hand in his pockets to get out his drugs - but instead pulled out the sweets.
Green immediately realized what had happened and went on foot, then by car, scouring the streets of Oldham in northern England to find the youngsters.
But the officer, Pc Simon Fowell, had taken his children home and, as they emptied their bags to share the spoils, he spotted the drugs, and made a swift call to on-duty colleagues.
Green was given a 12 month community order, ordered to do 130 hours community work and told he must pay court costs totaling 145 pounds.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison, editing by Paul Casciato)

To me - the funniest part is that because it is the UK the guy basically just got a slap on the wrist. Handing out hard drugs to minors by accident? Community service. Over here in the US you would go directly to jail, and would not even collect your $200. And you might spend the next... 10 years locked up.

I also find it interesting that we punish based on outcomes not actions. In other words - if those kids had tried the cocaine, and hurt themselves because of it, the charges would have been completely different even though the man's actions would have been exactly the same. However, you can't go around charging people with what "might have happened" so community service for cocaine it is.

Crapberry Android phone for $20??? WTF?


Break into the world of Android™-powered phones with this little beauty. Featuring a 2.8" touchscreen, QWERTY keyboard, and a 2.0MP camera & camcorder.
No joke - a decent (see my review) android phone for $20? They have to be losing money on this - but for that price you might as well pick it up as a navigation system, mp3 player, audible player, anything really. I mean - $20??? Damn.

Boston's Abysmal Driving and The Best Story Of The Year

In Boston you take your life in your hands when you are on the road. As a quick comparison - when you are in NYC, you know everyone is going to try and screw you but at least they are paying attention, it's fun in its own way. In Boston, correctly guessing what a driver will do next is pretty much like winning the lottery, and just as likely.

Today the city council is meeting to discuss ways they can improve the driving situation. Proposals include (and I am honestly not making this up) putting up signs so people know where they are going. I am not sure what paragon of innovation came up with that blue-sky idea...

Yeah. Really. The city council is THINKING about putting up road signs. You know, just in case there is someone who has not memorized the entire fucking city. Given historical precedent though, I think the likelihood of that proposal being adopted is slim to none.

But Boston driving stories get even better today.... Here it is, the best story of 2012:

Highway Safety director bumped due to bad driving record

"The state’s Highway Safety director will be “reassigned” from her $86,520 a year job after it emerged that she had a lengthy, checkered driving record, littered with moving violations — while she is still on leave from the latest of seven accidents, state officials announced today."

Sheila Burgess’ four-page driving history contains 34 incidents since 1982, including 7 car crashes and 4 speeding tickets, according to Registry of Motor Vehicle records.

Her most recent mishap was in August, when her vehicle collided with a boulder in Milton.

Sneaky fuckers, boulders
I'm sorry, but in Boston that is just hilarious. It has to be the only city where they would hire a Highway Safety director with 34 moving violations.

But it gets better and better...

The Globe reports that Ms. Burgess had no experience “in public safety, transportation, or government administration” at the time of her hiring.... yeah... and there's more:

"After The Boston Globe reported on that record, Massachusetts Public Safety Secretary Mary Elizabeth Heffernan said that Ms. Burgess could not expect the public’s trust, or Ms. Heffernan’s own, and that it was clear she should never have been hired as the public safety chief in 2007.

Mr. Patrick declared that Ms. Burgess’ 2007 appointment had been a “serious screw up,” and vowed to investigate it.

In spite of their statements Sunday, both Ms. Heffernan and Mr. Patrick said that once Mr. Burgess returns from her current medical leave, she would be reassigned to another position in the state’s Highway Safety Division."

Yes - REASSIGNED within the highway SAFETY division...

So.. how could someone such as the incompetent wreck machine Ms. Burgess manage to land a job which pays more than $87,000 annually??? It is not difficult to understand. According to reports, Ms. Burgess was formerly a consultant for U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, whose office recommended the state hire her in 2007, although not for a particular position. In addition, she was a principal of a consulting group that did work for Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray when he ran for mayor of Worcester.

Oh Boston - beacon of liberty, protector of freedoms, land of graft, kickbacks, and soviet-level corruption.


Hyundai and Kia Lied about MPGs?? Yup

Turns out that the Koreans were advertising fuel economy which was a little too good.

The sister companies of Kia and Hyundai have admitted to doctoring results for the last couple years, leading to higher then actual fuel economy numbers being posted.

The Chart is a Liar
Net result? A big black eye and a whole boatload of cash going out the door... 

The companies will spend millions of dollars compensating the owners of some 900,000 vehicles sold under the claims. All told, 35 percent of 2011-2013 models sold through October will see a reduction. Of those, 580,000 will see a drop of around 1 mpg, while 240,000 units will have their EPA figures cut by 2 mpg. The remaining 80,000 will drop by 3 to 4 mpg. Owners will be compensated based on their vehicles' odometer readings, and both automakers will contribute an additional 15 percent over the dollar value. The funds will be awarded via prepaid debit cards. For an owner who drove 15,000 miles, an adjustment of 1 mpg would result in a refund of around $88.

Unions Kill The Twinkie - Where is the bailout Obama?

Unions can think about as far into the future as a goldfish. In this case, that myopathy has lead to the demise of an iconic brand: Hostess.

This is, in fact, the president of the UAW
Yes, this means no more twinkies. How did this come about? Well, one of the Company’s largest unions, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM), initiated a nationwide strike that crippled the Company’s ability to produce and deliver products.

Net result? The company filed for bankruptcy. 

What the hell do we eat after the zombie apocalypse now???
However, this is the Obama era, so the union should not actually be worried at all. The bankruptcy should work out something like this:

1) The company goes under because the union drags them down 
2) The President of the United States agrees to bail out the company on the condition that...
3) The secured debt holders (the people who bought bonds from the company etc) give up their legal right to equity in the new-post bankruptcy company and instead get... almost nothing (think mafia shakedown - "here's what chu gonna do," - Obama is a thug and closer to Chavez than Jefferson)
4) The government (aka taxpayers) takes a stake and gives the rest of the company to... the union. Because of all their hard work and suffering. 
5) Taxpayers bear the burden of bailing out unionized $65/hr jobs while there is 10% unemployment, and get a huge negative return on their investment

Yeah - it sounds kind of funny. The sad thing is, that is exactly, and I mean exactly, what happened with GM.  

So, actually, the BCTGM is probably in good shape - who needs hard work when you can steal and threaten your way to "profits"?

As a final thought - if you have not read Atlas Shrugged, for gods sake go do so. There should be some serious shrugging going on the next few years... if only we had a gulch... 

Toyota Ad About Escaping Nanny State Tyranny Shut Down By Nanny State Tyranny

This freaking awesome commercial from Toyota (which is already ironic because Toyota is advertising a car which makes you "feel something" after years of selling beige wallpaper paste) has reached an amazing level of irony.

It has been banned from being shown in the UK, home of roughly 2 million CCTV cameras, because it "encourages reckless driving." Apparently completely failing to see the irony in this (it is a government after all), the UK regulators shut down the commercial about escaping a nanny state because 2, yes 2, people complained.


Mobile Food Truck Fail: "Meatballs & Etc."

I just found this on craigslist in boston.... fail...

Honestly - I am not sure if the best part is the "Meatballs & Etc." or the fact that the website is spelled wrong on the side of the truck.... in the listing they state "SELLERS GONE CRAZY" - interpret it how you will.

Mobile Food Truck - $51000 (Boston)

Date: 2012-11-10, 11:21AM EST[Errors when replying to ads?]

Mike 305-205-3006



Meatballs and Etc Truck

is a 18ft custom built food truck by Food Cart USA.


Inside lighting with wall switches
Air conditioning in kitchen
Stainless steel walls
Bright diamond plate floor
Water pump
3 compartment sink with 1 hand wash sink
30 gal fresh water tank
45 gal grey water tank
Dump valves for easy waste removal
External water hook up to easily fill water tank
Drainage in floor for power washing
One 9ft Hood with exhaust fan and control switch
One 27¨ True prep table
Doors/storage space under counters
Electrical package
Two 12' florescent light with cover
Fuse box„h 25 power cord
5/110 v outlet
Two 64¨ x 36¨ concession window with screens
One 36¨ x 74¨ R/V style door with screen
Two fold down shelf under selling window in and outside
One Guardian 7500 LP Generator
Two 100 lb LP tanks with stainless casing on racks
The Truck also has a full size 9 FT hood equipped with Ansul Fire system

bumper to bumper 27ft
kitcen space is 18.5 ft
width 8.5 ft which is half a feet wider than the average truck
hight is 13ft wth the hood exhaust
weight 13.750 lbs with equipment

the truck is a dually and has brand new tires on it only 10k miles.



BEST PRICE $51k SELLERS GONE CRAZY Custom Built Trucks also Available

305-205-3006 MIKE Call NOW



This Truck was Built by Food Cart USA Check them out and see why I went with them. They have built 3 Trucks for University's in Texas including 1 for Miami's very own University Of Miami UM

Please read the whole Listing before calling.

305-205-3006 MIKE

Completely customized gourmet food truck designed with no expense spared.

Payment will be handled with a Wire from one bank to another. Buyers must see the Truck in person before buying. No secrets here.
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Off The Grid Office For $1500. Or Cabin for that matter.

Do you work from home? Do you want to? Do you want to show the world that you care? That you are an architect and you traded in your Saab 900 for a Prius? You should have kept the Saab...

Anyway, I think a small off-the-grid cabin is really cool, but in this case it might make more sense as an office in your backyard.

Costco sells a perfect little shed for such an endeavor, the Aston shed. When I checked, it was on sale for $999, including shipping, which seems like a pretty great deal.'-x-7.5'--Wood-Shed.product.100003338.html


At 10x7.5 you get... carry the one... 75sq ft of space. Which is about as much as a large closet. 

But the cool thing is the design: with windows built in and the big doors, you can be pretty much working outside all summer (and you might want a screen of some kind come to think of it). 

Here is where my upgrades come in:

1) Harbor Freight 45w Solar Kit $150 (with the right coupon)

The trick here is putting the shed in the right direction. The angle of the roof is already pretty good - so you can mount the panels flat and have it look nice. You just have to make sure that the roof itself is south facing to maximize time in the sun. 

The kit comes with a couple of 12v lights and an inverter and charge controller, so pretty much all you need to add to it is...

2) Optima Yellow Top Battery $150 (depending on size)
(that's what she said)
These are not explicitly deep cycle batteries but they work really well at that function. Alternately, a regular car battery would actually work, it just wouldn't last as long (each time, and over time.)(That's what she said)

3) The other stuff
How off the grid do you want to go? How often do you use it as an office? In reality, you probably want to run a power cord out to the place, especially if you are like me and enjoy working on a fast computer with a big screen. That said, I have also done a lot of work on my Acer Netbook with a 10.1' screen, Atom 1.6ghz processor and 65w power consumption. 

And then you have the other things. If it is you backyard, just got to the bathroom inside (or outside - depends on your neighbors really). Breaking it down you have three options: office, spare bedroom, or cabin. 

Office: Optional Stuff
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