Saturday, August 13, 2011

Lectures for Adult Children

I still have more lectures in me, the children are just not around to hear them.  Now we have brief conversations.  They tell me what they think, and I'm there saying "You're kidding, right?"  There is no discussion or exchange of ideas, they just leave the house.  Hey, kids, I still have more to say!!!!

Some lectures are ageless.  Take for example, "Nothing good happens after midnight."  But other lectures are for older children and understanding.  When you were 14, you didn't need to know about the complexities of renewable energy and government subsidies - now you do.

Lecture One: 
Do the Math in Your Head.  Do it While They're Talking to You.

The media is your source of information, but that information needs to be filtered by you against the truth you know.  And for heaven's sake, learn to do the math in your head and not just believe them.
Case in point.  Child:  I think any new government building built going forward must have solar power. 

Back on December 9, 2010, Las Vegas city officials gathered with the news media to tour the new solar parking structure built by the City of Las Vegas.  These were the facts given on the news account:
  • The solar structure was built with a block grant from HUD for $1.2 million
  • NV Energy was giving the City of Las Vegas a rebate check for $400,000
  • These sites are projected to give an energy savings of $26,000 per year.
Good News!!!! Isn't this great!!!


Net cost to City (actually fed govt cause it's a grant from HUD):  $800,000 divided by 26,000/yr = 30.76 years to RECOOP cost of installation.  This is recoop your installation cost.  It is not until year 31 that you start realizing a profit of "free energy."

Just because City officials gather and news reporters spit back a press release at you, does not make this a wise use of money resources.  Learn to do the math in your head as they're talking to you.
Why would we want to build all govt buildings going forward with renewable energy only?  It is not cost feasible yet.

Second Case in Point:  Hybrid Vehicles

I was thinking a hybrid Tahoe would be the best of both worlds.  I could get the Tahoe size that I would prefer, and a hybrid.  I could save money on gas!  It would be more affordable. Score! 

Let's do the math.

MSRP on a Tahoe:  $37,445
MSRP on a hybrid: $48,974
difference in cost just to buy a hybrid:  $11,529

MPG Tahoe:  15 city/21 hwy
MPG hybrid:  20 city/23 hwy
5 mpg savings.
30 gal tank.  For simple math assume gas is $3/gal.  One tank would be $90 in either vehicle. How many miles do I have to drive to earn back my $11,529 so that I can really start taking advantage of the hybrid extra miles per gallon?

Miles traveled in Tahoe (15x30) 450 miles per tank
Miles traveled in hybird (20x30) 600 miles per tank
150 miles per tank difference.  which in the hybrid makes for 7.5 gallons saved.  7.5 times our assumed $3/gal is $22.50 saved with each tank full.

I paid an extra $11,529 to save $22.50 per tank full = 512 tankfulls of gas.  If I fill up 52 times a year, thats 9.8 years.  I will have to own and drive this car for 10 years to just recoop the extra cost of buying a hybrid.  At 600 miles per tankfull, in ten years I would have driven 307,200 miles.

I usually do not keep a vehicle for 10 years or 307,200 miles; therefore, buying a hybrid will not save me money.

So my lecture to you would be:  Just because the media, your friends, your president, etc., are telling you you could save so much money with renewable energy, that's not necessarily true.  Do the math for yourself.  Or, in older lecture language:  You have a head on your shoulders, use it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Brad's Birthday Dinner

Carson (16 mos.) A game with a ball?  I'm in.
Happy Birthday Brad
Scott & Matt sync their apps
Parker (16 mos.) has decided to explore the world on two legs now.
How our group looks now -1 (+1 with ashley's sister Callie)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Out Back
The garden started like this in April. 

My gnome was keeping watch over the new squash plants.

In May the ladybugs showed up.

Things really started growing.

We moved the 7 week old chicks out into their new fancy coop.

By the time June came, we were in business.

 He was doing his job well.

 Chicks were growing.
Started getting a harvest.  I loved loved loved the spinach.  It will now be a constant in my garden.  For the first time I have been successful with eggplant.

 Too much dirt.  It was really windy this year.  And all this dirt was everywhere - in my face, the house, the car.  It was no bueno.
 Ron spread manure and planted grass seed.  Added a few shade and fruit trees. Rearranged trailers.

August.  The garden is now an overgrown jungle!  But it's still producing just fine.  The corn did amazingly well this year.  I've canned whole tomatoes and salsa.  I've blanched and frozen summer squash.

Last night's pickins. 
The grass has been fabulous!  The little toddler grandsons can play on it, the older ones run around.  It's cooler.  Kruger likes laying on grass instead of dirt, and it keeps him cleaner.  I love grass in the back.
Where all the cool chicks hang out.

The girls are getting big.  They're 5 1/2 months old now.

This is the inside part of the coop.  They spend their morning hours in here away from sun.

Half of them sleep on this top roost at night, the other half are on one on the outside.  A couple still like to sleep on the ground.

This week I've received my first two eggs!!!  These smaller half-sized eggs are called pullet eggs. (a pullet is a chick under 1 years old, after 1 year they're called hens.)  One was green with brown speckels the other was a perfect shade of tiffany blue.  I was really surprised that the Americanas started laying first, I was expecting one of the other two breeds I have to be first with their brown eggs.  I expect in the next few weeks they'll all be laying consistantly.

That's the update.  The grass backyard has been wonderful.  I still have my same to-do list I had in March - painting the back brick wall, painting the garden fencing.  Now I'm going to add some terraced rock levels in the back of the garden too.  When it cools off it'll get done.