Monthly Archives: September 2015

Solar power update

So far, our solar power system has provided a little over 65% of our electrical needs. I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of the daily electric meter readings (delivered, which is what we got from the electric company; received, which is what we shoved back to the electric company; and net, the difference, which what we’re paying for). Add on the power produced by the solar panels, and I can calculate what our consumption was and how much of that was covered by the sun.

We had a string of cooler and sunny days, and without the AC running, we were able to push that electric meter backwards a good bit. I calculate that we had about 11 days of “free” (in quotes, because the system still hasn’t paid for itself yet) electricity, with our surplus offsetting some days when we had a deficit.

As winter comes, the days will get shorter and that will eat into our production, but then again we won’t be running the AC, so we should come out ahead.

The rock, the hard place

I usually don’t wade into these sorts of topics, but there is a point that I don’t recall seeing in what media I consume. Granted, I’m no news junkie, but anyway…

There are two recent cases of police shootings that, to me, highlight a basic problem. I know I’m oversimplifying here, but bear with me. In both cases, police saw someone brandishing a weapon. In both cases, police officers took instinctively-quick action to neutralize that threat. In one case, the weapon-wielder was an extremist bent on killing as many people as he could at a convention, and the quick police action saved many lives. In the other case, the threat was a young boy carrying a toy gun.

My point, and only point, is that police are between a rock and a hard place with these situations. On the one hand, we expect police to protect us, whether that’s stopping someone from stealing our stuff, taking that drunk driver off the road, or, heaven forbid, taking out someone who wants to shoot us. On the other hand, we expect them to correctly and accurately assess those situations, perhaps in an instant, and make the correct decision every time to use or not use lethal force.

I’m glad I’m not a police officer, and for my part, I do not consider it any inconvenience to keep my hands in view when approached by law enforcement.

We now return to our regular programming.