Thursday, September 23, 2010

Solar "Stuff"

If you, like me, are into Solar Stuff, such as Solar Hot water, Solar electric, Hybrid cars or even Windmills, you may want to act on your impulses now rather than waiting until later.
We purchased a Hybrid car, a Toyota Prius, and are enjoying 52 mpg, cutting our gas bill in half, not to mention reducing our carbon footprint and helping to clean up the air.
We also installed a Solar Hot water system on our roof and once again, (we had such a unit on the roof of our Dock Road home for more than 25 years) are enjoying almost free hot water. And in the process reducing our use of electricity and therefore oil.
Solar electric is also in our plans and with the incentives available now we expect to recover almost 50% of its installation cost. (For the solar Hot Water and Solar Hot Air systems that we installed at Dock Road in the 80's we received incentives in the form of Federal and State income tax and County property tax that covered about 80% of the cost!)
However, if you are considering any of these Earth friendly, clean air, money saving moves you need to do it NOW because it would appear that the Republicans are about to take back control. And the Republicans are committed to rescinding the Solar Credits. They will bring back big oil, subsidize big cars, kill the Clean Air Act (Oops, Bush already did that) That is the Republican Agenda, screw anything to do with a clean environment, anything that is not favorable to Big Business is out, and that means solar incentives that could cut into oil profits. So if you are planning on doing it at all it's now or never!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hurricane Julia

Well Hurricane Julia never came to anything did it? Unlike Hurricane David in 1979 - only the second Hurricane with a male name, and a REAL Hurricane, a category 5 that did major damage, killing I believe several thousand people. My Julia was crossing the Atlantic with our daughter Sarah on the Queen Elizabeth 11 at the time. This proved Julia's iron constitution, she was among the very few who continued to eat, Sarah was not among the unaffected. Even the crew and especially the wait staff were laid low by the rough seas. There were too few waiters even to serve the hardy few that made it to table.
Julia has some remarkable characteristics - apart from her beauty, even temperament and ability to cope with life's inequalities - she does not suffer from seasickness, she does not get bitten by mosquitoes or fleas, actually this last is not 100% true -but on the rare occasion that she does get bitten not only does she not feel it but no welt or swelling of any kind appears! And now a new peculiarity has appeared, she does suffer from skin lesions, something that is a result of spending hours laying in the sun during much of her life, (she also doesn't burn in the sun.) Because of these lesions she has to visit the dermatologist to have them removed from time to time. She usually goes twice a year and has one or two pieces cut off during each visit either for a biopsy or removal. But the weird thing is they also use liquid nitrogen to freeze off a dozen or two 'precancerous' growths during her visit - and she does not blister! In fact apart from a slight itch you would not know they have done anything.
Contrast this to me. If I go outside, word immediately spreads like wildfire among the bug community, and I am at once inundated with every mosquito, flea, tick, no-see-um, and whatever other nasty that Pandora let out, from several square blocks around. If I even see the sea I start to feel queasy, get close and I feel worse, if I actually get onto the surface of the water in a boat, well all I can say is stand back because you could need a major clean up. I too spent too much time in the sun during my youth and need to go for what I call my annual diet - one where they reduce my weight by the simple expediency of cutting bits off of me. Last year they took a piece of meat off of my back that I estimated at around a half pound. In fact it was so big that when if finally came free he couldn't hold it and it fell on the floor with a nasty plop! This year they used the dreaded liquid nitrogen on about 20 or 30 'precancerous' things and unlike Julia every one of them has blistered to the point that I have to keep myself well covered up or I am afraid that if anyone sees me they will haul me off to a leper colony where I will live my life as an outcast. At least until I heal, which so far the blisters show no sign of doing.
Hey, bummer of a Blog so far, is there something more positive to relate? Well of course there is The Lake. Grandson Bradley came last weekend and we took a couple of turns in the kayaks exploring The Lake's many wonders. The wildlife, mostly in the form of birds continues to fascinate. Even now Harry The Heron stands on the end of our pier and two ducks are standing on the crab trap next to him. Yesterday we watched an Osprey pursuing his apparent assignment of clearing every last fish from The Lake. The sight of The Great Blue Heron flying across The Lake is bewitching to say the least. I never tire of seeing them flying so low, and I can't help but think that if they were a foot or two lower they would be a fish flying through the water. What else? Of course there is the sun, whether it is rising or setting I hate to miss it. I usually get up early so as not to miss the unearthly beauties that it uncovers as it bathes the water, the sky and the surrounding trees in it's light. And of course the sunsets here are to die for.
Well gotta go, another cup of coffee calls. Bye. David.