Welcome to mugwo.com...

Dana and Gray Sawyer's Web Page

Mary's teaching pages
Nora's Blogs
Where have we been?
Letters from the past
2002 Prius
Resources Links

Pictures of us
picture of Dana
picture of Gray
picture of Mary
picture of Nora

Our other sites

Home pipe organ blog
Schober Recital organ restoration
E.M. Skinner Opus 368

Wooden house attracts trees?

Two large trees fell and struck our house within less than a year, though without serious damage.  Do wooden houses attract trees?

Here's more about the trees that fell in May 2005 and January 2006.

Eastern Connecticut 'Potamological Field Research Station

ECPFRS photographThe Eastern Connecticut 'Potamological Field Research Station (ECPFRS) has recently moved to new quarters in prime 'potamoi habitat.  Now that this improved facility is fully equipped and operational, it should provide an unparalleled opportunity for our field 'potamologists to observe 'potamoi in their natural lacustrine and woodland habitats.

For those unfamiliar with 'potamological research, noted hippopotamophantasmobiologist Mary Sawyer, assisted by Dana Sawyer, introduces us to the strange and delightful world of 'potamoi on our 'potamoi page, where you will also find the latest results from ECPFRS.

Mary's teaching pages

Mary has less time for phantasmobiology now that she is teaching, but in her portfolio she demonstrates how she applies to education the same skills of keen observation and inventiveness which make her an outstanding 'potamologist.

Nora's Blogs

Somehow Nora finds time in her busy life to write thoughtful reflections on Dante and other topics.  Links to her blogs are listed below.

Where have we been?

Some links to history and information about places from Dana's childhood, including Denton, Texas, Texas State College for Women (now TWU), and Park Forest, Illinois.

Letters from the Past

A collection of letters from the Chase and Clark families, on loan from Jeff Sawyer.  More letters will be added as they are scanned and transcribed.

Twelve years and about 150,000 miles later

After twelve years of driving our 2002 Toyota Prius hybrid car, we can still report that driving the Prius is very much like driving any other car except better.  It's smooth, quiet, and economical.   In warm weather, it's possible to exceed 50 mpg in highway or local driving; mileage falls off somewhat in the winter.  Both in our own experience and that of Consumer Reports the early models still perform nearly as well today as they did when new, but more recent Prius models get even better mileage.

Toyota Prius dash with mileage computer
2002 Toyota Prius dash and shift lever
Toyota Prius mileage computer
2002 Toyota Prius mileage computer

We have found that mileage is much better once the engine is warmed up, and the warmup is much faster when temperatures are higher.  In the pictures above, we had just completed a trip of about 35 minutes duration in 55 degree weather (clicking on either picture will display a larger version).  The mileage steadily improved during highway driving to more than 50 mpg.  The final 10 minutes show very high efficiency in low-speed driving, when the Prius can shut off its gasoline engine much of the time and operate silently in electric mode using stored energy from the battery.

Warmup is faster, and overall mileage better, when the outside temperature is above 60 Fahrenheit.  Our overall mileage according to the computer has averaged a bit above 50 in warm weather, but in the mid 30s during some of the very cold weather (down to 0 Fahrenheit) of our New England winter.  We haven't systematically compared the computer readout of mileage with a calculation from the actual quantity of fuel added, but it seems to be within a few percent.  

As with any car, tire pressure has a large effect on mileage.  Many Prius owners set tire pressure a few pounds higher than the factory numbers.  I suggest carrying a tire gauge in the "ashtray" unless your Prius has built-in tire pressure monitoring.  Check the tires at least once a month and any time they have been serviced.  Tire pressure can decrease markedly during very cold weather, so check the pressure any time the weather suddenly becomes colder.

The defroster on the 2003 and earlier Prius affects economy as well, since it forces the engine to run; in the 2004 and later models that should be less of a problem.  Once the car has warmed up, you can usually switch to the second defrost position, which does not keep the engine running.  In heavy rain, it may be necessary to use the full defrost from time to time or even continually.

See How Stuff Works for an explanation of hybrid cars in general and this model in particular.  For more technical details, see IEEE Spectrum Magazine, November 1998.  See also discussion groups at http://www.priusonline.com and http://www.corolland.com/prius.html.

Graham Davies has put together some detailed information about the Prius; it's well worth a visit, especially if you are thinking about buying a Prius or already own one, but also if you want to know in great detail how it works.

More sites from mugwo.com

See what's involved in restoring a pipe organ at chn.mugwo.com.

For the progress of Dana's home pipe organ project, see pipes.mugwo.com.

If you ever wondered how to restore a Schober electronic organ, or why anybody would want to, please visit recital.mugwo.com.


Climate/Energy Conservation/Sustainability
See discussion and annotated list

Free and Open-source Software
See annotated list

External Links

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

play FreeRice and help a hungry person

Religious Organizations
Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church, East Haddam, Connecticut
Church of the Holy Name, Swampscott, Massachusetts
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Pipe Organs
The Organ Historical Society
Spencer Organ Company

Sheet Music
Dale Music Company

Heart Pioneers

History of Science and Technology
Images from John Logie Baird's mechanical television system
Alan Turing
Tycho Brahe
Electronic History of Astronomy Phase I

Klein Bottles
Acme Klein Bottles

Mary's Teaching Page

The Lucius Beebe Memorial Library

Sushi Island
Samovar Tea Lounge

Nora's Blogs
Bathtub Adventurer

Art, Photography, Graphic Design, and Web Design
Sawyer Design Associates
Brian Andrews
Victor Gonzalez

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Last updated July 25, 2013

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