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It is all wrapped up. [news]

January 23, 2014 14:14 | Categories:

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. (...)


Shoulders, who needs shoulders [news]

October 20, 2013 17:52 | Categories:

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]

August 16, 2013 16:27 | Categories:

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.

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It is all done but the waiting. [news]

August 14, 2013 14:04 | Categories:

Yesterday the hole around the new service box got stucco. Today paint.

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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]

August 10, 2013 12:56 | Categories:

The new electrical service is installed and the solar panels hooked up. The meter now “runs backward"!

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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]

August 01, 2013 00:00

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.

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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 new floor for the living room/dining room [news]

July 31, 2013 00:00

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.

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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]

July 29, 2013 13:48 | Categories:

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.

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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 (...)


We visit Topeka [news]

May 05, 2013 00:00

Ancestral Home

The Billard family homesteaded Kansas before it became a state. They settled in what is now Topeka and became prominent community members. Great Grandfather J.B. was Mayor and even ran for Governor. He had three sons: Reamer, my Grandfather, who moved to Texas, Robert, who lived in the family home, and Louis Philip, who was an early aviator and died in a plane crash in France during World War I.


When my Grandfather and his Brother Robert had died, some family history items were loaned to Topeka for display. As part of Dad’s estate settlement Andi and I (...)


Dad has passed away [news]

January 11, 2013 15:51

My father, Jules, 97, a former Senior Editor and Chief of the Book Service at the National Geographic, died December 31, 2012 in his apartment in Frederick Maryland. We have prepared a memorial picture show. Click on the image below.

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Dad was a Renaissance man. He was a journalist, photographer, round dance instructor, author, wood worker, needlepoint designer, thespian, stained glass designer, gardener, and stone mason. Amazon still lists 23 of his books and several even appear in foreign translations.

He (...)