A new visitor to the garden [news]
We have a new Cooper's hawk visiting our garden.
This one is a juvenile, maybe an offspring of the one who we used to see. Anyway he is still learning. A few weeks ago he caught a small bird. Probably not big enough to have justified the energy of catching it, but good practice. Yesterday he got a pigeon. The poor bird is still alive in these pictures. It was trying to move, but just resulted in the pair shuffeling along the grass.
Finally a vacation again [news]
We have not taken a real vacation for a while because of my medical issues over the past five years. I've been healthy, so we took a vacation to Utah and the Zion and Bryce canyons.
We stayed in Springdale, near the entrance of Zion. We took a couple of jeep tours around Zion and spent a day in the park. At Bryce we rode horseback down the canyon. A great way to see the park, but these old bones did have some troubles from the ride. We flew into Las Vegas and drove to Zion. (...)
It is all wrapped up. [news]
We did get our interconnect permission from Southern California Edison back in November. Fortunately it was retroactive to the end of September, so we have been getting credit for our contributions to the Net for a few months.
Then with the December bill came a notice from SCE of a rate change proposal. Basically what it said was the people not using very much electricity needed to pay more and those using lots of electricity needed to pay less. (Sort of like the California Gas tax. (...)
Don't ever discount the power of jinxes. I had been joking recently that I had gone almost a year without surgery. Bad choice!
October 2 after golf I got sick at my stomach. I could not keep anything down. That continued through the evening, but by morning things were back to normal. Then a week later, also after golf same thing happened. Maybe something I ate at the club both days. (That did not make sense since all I had was iced tea and popcorn.)
The next day things had (...)
Final Inspection complete [news]
Today the building department came out for the final inspection. We passed (didn't really expect otherwise.) You can view the project photo album by clicking on the meter below.
Yesterday the hole around the new service box got stucco. Today paint.
Now it is just a matter of time before all the details are in place and Southern Callifornia Edison starts crediting me for the excess power I generate. (Right now they are getting it for free.) Even without the credit (so that I have to pay for power used in the evening rather than drawing down on the credits) it looks like my August power bill will be $100 less than before solar.
One step closer [news]
The new electrical service is installed and the solar panels hooked up. The meter now “runs backward"!
We got a couple of good breaks (pun intended?) with the new breaker box. First, remember the power outage that took out the wine refrigerator? Well Edison was not done. They scheduled another outage for some finish up work on the transformer. Good news is that we were able to get the new service upgrade done on the same day. So we had only one day of no power, not two.
The second good news came when Edison came to approve the breaker box (...)
O.C. Fair 2013 [news]
This year was (for me) just a short visit to the Orange County Fair. I took advantage of a volunteer stint Susan did for her local Machine Knitting supplier. She spent the afternoon manning the booth and I joined her in the evening.
Susan was demonstrating machine knitting to all who were interested. And from what I saw the few minutes I watched, there was a lot of interest from people of all ages.
A few weeks ago we had a scheduled power outage so that Southern California Edison could replace a damaged feeder wire to the neighborhood transformer. Unfortunately our wine keeper did not survive the power re-start. When I pulled it out to see if it could be reset I noticed that sometime in the past it had leaked.
The wood floor underneath was delaminated. It needed to be repaired. We had a couple of the boards left from the installation 25 years ago. Unfortunately they were not enough. So the floors in the living room and dining room had (...)
We join the solar initiative [news]
The timing seemed right. We had some extra cash and roof top solar seems to have come of age. There is still a rebate for Southern California Edison customers who generate their own power and the Federal tax credit will be in place a few more years.
We selected Nexgen Construction Services to do the project. They started last Thursday and today we have panels on the roof. There is still some work to go—we are (...)