I chase unicorns, which are symbols for unique ideas and experiences, and sometimes I post about them. Heck, I'm retired, so what else is there to do? I also write books, which can be read or downloaded for free, on my blog site.
🍀Hi! We’re Jack & Jenny Ass, the masscots of this pathetic blog. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are three bad jokes we stole from some Irish jackasses. Your challenge is to read them without cracking a smile. Otherwise, you’ll get a kick out of us.
Two Irishmen are walking down a street when they see a sign on a lumberyard window that reads, “Tree fellers wanted.” One says to the other, “Aye, ‘tis a pity dere’s only da two of us.”
A young Irish boy is crying and whines to a stranger, “Me Ma is dead!” The stranger says, “Oh bejaysus, shall I call Father O’Reilly for ya?” The boy says, “No tanks, mister, sex is da last ting on me mind at da moment.”
An Irishman is pulled from a burning bar, covered in soot. When asked how the fire started, he replies, “Damned if I know, the place was in blazes when I got here.”
This is Part 8 of a multi-part series about my attempt to install solar panels on my house. For the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. For the next installation (when available), CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. Thanks for reading!
A Cruel Snow Job
I put a thousand dollars down on a solar array back in early December. This was on the promise that the company I signed the contract with, would do its best to install our panels before NEM 3.0 kicked in. California’s NEM 3.0 (Net Energy Metering 3.0) policy, which begins in mid-April, will drastically reduce the amount solar owners are compensated for electricity they backfeed onto the grid.
I kept my fingers crossed, hoping beyond hope we’d beat the deadline and qualify for the very generous NEM 2.0 policy, that compensates at nearly the full retail rate. I marked off each passing day with a hashmark on the electric meter. I bitterly swore, each time I had to pay our astronomical monthly electric bill of $200 to $300. And I researched the internet, looking to buy a very large hamster that could power our house with a hamster wheel.
In early-January our solar company sent me an email stating that our building permit had been approved, and we’d be hearing from them again soon. But as I measured my fingernails, with nothing better to do in our dark house, nearly two millimeters had grown before I received my next email from the company.
They wanted $15,000, so they could order the panels, inverter, and other equipment necessary for installation. Hands atremble, I immediately wrote the check, then quickly drove the envelope to the post office, killing three pedestrians and five stray dogs, so I could mail it in person. I took no chances on it being stolen from our mailbox, or lost by our letter carrier.
And I waited and waited and waited. Three weeks elapsed, with no word from the solar company. Finally my wife knocked me over the head with a candlestick holder. She was tired of reading by candlelight, and ordered me to call them.
So I hopped on our stationary bicycle, which we use for powering the phone, and rang them up. I was fully, mentally hyped for a confrontation. But there was no argument. Apparently, they’d been waiting for my call, so that they could schedule an installation date.
We scheduled the installation for 10 days later, on Saturday, February 25th. Then my wife and I waited with eager anticipation, while wringing our hands at a weather forecast that looked more and more ominous with each passing day.
The storm invaded our desert on Wednesday, February 22nd, with gale force winds that rattled our house and hounded our hopes. By the next morning, two inches of snow covered our roof. It all melted by the end of the day, but the forecast looked dismal for Saturday. We held our breath and hoped for a break in the weather.
That break came on Friday. No rain or snow fell, and we saw some blue skies between the clouds. But then on Saturday, Zeus went to war with Helios and threw all He had at Him. A miserable, freezing rain began drenching our roof during the early morning hours. By late-morning it transmogrified into a blizzard. And the solar installation crew had not arrived as promised. What was keeping them? I wondered
The phone rang. It was the solar company. Apparently, they don’t install solar panels during blizzards. What?! You lazy mutherfuckers! I impatiently seethed inwardly as I politely spoke through gritted teeth to the kind man. He rescheduled the installation for Monday.
On Sunday, Helios finally recovered from Zeus’s onslaught, and broke out in all His splendor. An inch-and-a-half of snow lounged in the Sun, upon our roof. But this is Southern California, so it was gone by that evening. Helios, who is a native Southern Californian, made sure of that.
Helios rolled up over the horizon on Monday morning. It was 8:00 am. The skies were blue, the wind was relatively calm, and the temperature was pushing toward 40 degrees when the solar company parked their trucks in our driveway. A crew of eight shivering hombres in hoodies, who spoke a lot of Spanish, labored for the next eight hours, hoisting solar panels upon our roof and bolting them into place. It seemed eight was our lucky number, that day. Ocho, that is.
They completed the job by 4:00 pm. The next afternoon, February 28th, the building inspector came by and approved the solar installation. And to my surprise, that was all that was needed to activate the array and start generating electricity from the Sun.
This is because we used a licensed contractor. Had we self-installed the panels, we would have had to wait several weeks to activate the solar array, for approval from our electric company. And speaking of the electric company, we won’t receive final approval from them until they review all the paperwork our solar company submitted for the Interconnection Agreement. Hopefully by late-March we’ll have that approval, qualifying us just in time for NEM 2.0.
After the array was activated, my wife and I became fascinated with the smartmeter that our electric company installed on our house about five years ago. It’s so smart, it can track not only the amount of electricity we’re using, but also the amount we’re backfeeding to the grid. And on the very first day of activation, we were delighted to discover we were backfeeding for the first time! Take that, you bastards at the electric company!
March 1st would be our first full day of activated panels, and we were very curious and anxious to find out just how much our solar array would backfeed. But wouldn’t you know it? Another goddamned storm rolled in and dumped freezing rain and snow most of the day, upon our brand new solar panels.
Want to know how much electricity solar panels produce when covered with snow? Zero, like a snowball, that’s how much.
The next morning we woke up to a beautiful, clear day, with an inch of snow blanketing our solar panels. It took until 10:00 AM for this niveous solution to melt off. Until then, every time we examined our smartmeter, we turned away feeling disappointed and depressed. It seemed we’d been victims of a cruel snow job.
But after Helios vanquished the snow, our panels burst forth into the glory of their purpose. The smartmeter showed kilowatt after kilowatt backfeeding onto the grid. It was supplying our neighbors at 30-cents per kWh, most of which will go toward offsetting our future electric bills. Bwahahaha!
That is, as long as we get approved by our electric company for NEM 2.0, by April 14th. That’s what we’re waiting for. And so that’s what my next update will be about. I’ll let you know whether or not we get the Solar Burn, or are able to beat the clock and burn our high electric bills.
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