What, hey?

Holy wow - you're still here? I feel like Matthew Broderick at the end of Ferris all of a sudden.

Someone liked an entry I had here, that is 10 years old. And I had TOTALLY forgotten about this little corner of the websphere. Totally.

Can't promise I'll stick around. Facebook has sucked me in. I do a Twitter account for work, sort of.. when I remember. But I mainly find myself writing for my LinkedIn page for work reasons, as well.

But really.. SO weird. I can't fathom having as many entries here that my account says I have. I must reflect!

The car died..

But that was a few weeks ago, just past 185,000. Apparently, it was just the timing belt bearings. Although my mechanic couldn't figure it out at first. So I had to go and buy a new car. I got the Subaru Outback, because I've always wanted one and felt somewhat like a poser for the past 10 years driving my Subaru Legacy Wagon. Which wasn't an Outback, but pretended to be one. I did love that car, though.

But in even stranger tides, my sister (who can't have children), just found out she and her husband have won the lottery - they were accepted to adopt. 4 kids. A family. 2 girls, 2 boys, ages 2, 4, 6, and 8. Like going to Costco. "Family? Sure, buy 3 get one free!"

What Would you Say?

So, the car is almost at 179,000 miles. It's interesting. Now my biggest worry is that I'll kill the car before I have the chance to sell it to my son when he's old enough to drive in a few years.

Speaking of the car, I was driving home the other day and saw something that would have induced me to write something poetically beautiful on my old website (which, is still sort of alive, but in database hell, and would require a complete rewrite by myself, which I'm sort of lazy about wanting to do).

On the New Jersey Turnpike, in 6:30 pm rush-hour traffic, before exit 15W, going South, a car slowed up in front of me. Significantly, in the left hand fast lane.

As I slowed down, I spied the car swerve around a Canadian goose. That was waddling off to the center median. Nonchalantly.

A second car buzzed by him (or her) and moved to avoid. But there were feathers flying about.

On the dotted white line separating the left from the middle lane, lay another goose. I've seen injured geese before, and it obviously was injured. Serenely sitting, head up, bill pointed slightly down, as its mate paced back and forth on the 3 foot wide median, watching car after car zip by. The injured on found the perfect spot.. unless a car was changing lanes or just carelessly out of its lane, it wouldn't get hit (again).

I contemplated stopping, of course. Like when my dad stopped in the middle of the highway and went out, stopping traffic, and picked up the goose and we brought it home. It died soon afterwards, anyway. And it was a far less busy highway than the turnpike at 6:30 pm mid-week.

Me, the hero on helicopter camera, causing a 3 mile backup to save a Canadian goose, that no one really likes around their homes, soccer fields and parks to begin with - but that act, people would have swooned.. because of our human capacity that feels it must save the injured at any cost.

And then, I thought, might it not have been more humane to just kick out and hit the injured thing, put it out of its misery? - it surely wouldn't survive anyway, and if it stayed alive for much longer, it would once again coax its mate out into the road to share its fate.

As it was, I kept driving, avoided hitting either, and slowed down a bit more than I needed to to slow down the folks behind me. And then immediately thought.. "I need to write about that.."

(no subject)


So I could opine on the dozens of topics spreading through the world, from Sudan to Lake Urmina going the way of the Aral Sea.

But right now, the big things in life are the results of travel soccer tryouts for the boys, paying off the credit cards, and if my car will keep going after 174,000 miles or not.

From the ether

So does anyone read this anymore?

Life is just so.. busy .. I mean, work, kids, travel soccer, soccer soccer, trying to find time to surf, fixing up the house, taking care of the better half, boy scouts, cub scouts..

I recently refound Metafilter. And have been playing over there again. I'm like the crotchity old man, though.

So, maybe I'll update, maybe I won't. My website is broken, because I need to figure out how to change asp to php. But all this technology.. I mean, it's crazy.

And then I go and find posts and comments I made like this and say.. man, things change fast. And ask - am I still that forward thinking and insightful? Heh - a PDA that does music, calendar, games and a phone. Who'd have though of that?

Hey, look who it is...

And of course, just posting because I have a problem...

We got a new dog this past weekend from a rescue. She's dominant with other dogs (though doesn't show it much) and ended up biting my other, fairly submissive, dog (he's doing fine). They played great together for 3 days before the incident, and she's been fine with him since, but… My wife doesn't trust her now, so..

She needs a new home.. She needs a home with a larger (70lbs) dominant dog or a home without a dog. She's a layabout, but gets frisky, loves water, listens off leash to even my kids and is the sweetest thing. Chocolate lab mix.. possibly with some rottie or terrier, but dunno.

Need a home by this weekend or she'll need to go to a shelter until we find somewhere perm for her.

Family moved to Hawaii and couldn't take her because of import laws. They had a baby and the dog was fine. Also was raised with other dogs (they got her as a puppy), so the bite was just a dominance thing. I trust her with my kids (sleeps in the bed with my 8 year old) but just not with my 55lb lab mix that is too submissive and small for her.

Let me know if you know anyone who can help out. Email me and I'll send you some pictures, too.

The Solar

So, people requested more info on the solar and whatnot, so pictures under the cut.

The process took a bit over a year, from researching to filing to install to 'on.'

So, I did a lot of research and contact a couple of solar companies in the area. The most helpful ones at the time I went with. Basically, the system was looking to be about 80k for a 10kilowatt system. The State rebate was to cover about 45% of that up-front.

The solar company helps file the original paperwork with the state to get the up-front rebate and approval for any additional programs. The approval process took about 6 months or so. I got a letter in March saying I was approved and had to have the system installed by end of February 2010, and State-inspected, to get the rebate.

By about June, I had gotten some competing quotes and found one of the largest installers in the state to be the cheapest, and willing to give me some extra discounts bringing the cost to $70k, or $35k after the state rebate.

I had to take some trees down, which I wanted to do anyway because they were sweetgums that littered my yard with these damn things:

more under the cut...

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Off the grid

I have gone off the grid.

"But, Rich, you've been off the grid for months.. we never see you anymore."

No, no, no.. I mean OFF. THE. GRID.

Well, at least during the day. My solar panels are installed, and churning. Just went outside as the sun crested over the horizon and the meter went from flying forward to slowing, slowing, stopping, then spinning back the other way.

I'm producing, people! And with 2 refridgerators, 4 computers, a Wii, two fishtanks, 2 ponds, electric water heater, TV's and TiVos on standby sucking up juice anyway and a dozen other things on...

I can't wait to get my next electric bill.