West Fork Fire from Molas Pass Colorado

June 2013 Molas Pass Sunset West Fork Fire

June 2013 Molas Pass Sunset West Fork Fire
Got a shot of the smoke could from the West Fork Fire. The shot was taken from Molas Pass which is about 5 miles south of Silverton Colorado. The West Fork Fire is east about 100 miles and is over 20,000 acres in southern Colorado.
There is a smaller fire called the Papoose which is closer.

Arizona Forest

Kate and I went to the Mogollon Rim near Payson for Memorial Day this year. I took some photos of the forest near our camp and figured I would share them here.

Vegan Pot Luck Dinner

Kate and I hosted a Vegan Pot Luck dinner at our home last night and had an absolute blast. When the final headcount came in we had 14 people including ourselves and that was a pretty good number.


Everyone brought an amazing dish and no one went home hungry. Recipes and tips were shared and drinks were drunk. Next time I need to be more deligent about getting shots of each dish before we eat them…

We will be posting up our recipes shortly for the McChickpea Nuggets, Kale Slaw, and Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.

Buying Solar Panels for Home: How much should I pay?

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Hey people: Kate and I are considering having solar photovotalic panels added to the roof of our home in Phoenix Arizona. Not only is there a more than ample supply here it will make us that much better than everyone else by yet another level… =)

So far we have talked with Solar City which is a very professional organization but after reviewing things it does not seem that the Lease option is the best match for what we want. Besides the hassle of transferring the lease when we sell the house it is actually a much better deal to purchase and get the rebates and sell power back to APS at $0.10/watt.

Solar City is saying that based on our roof design they can only get 11 panels up there for about 2500 Watt of power. Based on that estimate we will definitely save on our already low electric bill.
The problem now is finding a contractor in Phoenix who has designed and installed Solar Panels for less than Solar City. From doing a quick survey of Home Depot’s website I see a 3kWatt system for just over $7k. After rebates that comes down significantly. So how much should I expect to pay someone to install some panels and then hook up the wiring?

Resources:
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
Should I buy or lease solar?
Opinionated page on Solar Leasing
Homeowner in PA who is making money on his system

Ride a bike in Phoenix? Get a ULock

I love riding my bike. This is no secret. I really love riding my bike in Phoenix instead of driving. Sure it’s hotter than siracha sauce but I deal with that.
What I urge anyone who wants to ride a bike in Phoenix to do is buy a ULock. This is because anything less is like dental floss to a determined bike thief. While a ULock is not unbreakable it is more difficult requiring more time and effort on the thiefs part.

Past getting a ULock I also recommend riding a bike that does not have quick release wheels or seat. These are just more low hanging fruit for a bike thief.

Regret is best if its over something you have done

One of my friends Jeff posted on Facebook talking about regrets today and it made me think of the excellent song by Orbital called Satan where this quote starts things off:

Son: Daddy?
Dad: Yes son?
Son: What does regret mean?
Dad: Well son the funny thing about regret is that its better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven’t done, and by the way if you see your mom this weekend be sure and tell her…SATAN! SATAN! SATAN!

This got me digging about where that sample came from and after a little looking around the Google I found that Orbital pulled it from the Butthole Surfers song Sweat Loaf:

Here is the Orbital song as a live version which I have always preferred:

The Sun is my Hero

Very cool timelapse video of the Sun shooting crazy amounts of plasma(just say it a lot) out into space a distance equal to multiple diameters of the Earth and then falling back like fiery rain over the course of 22 hours. Words cannot express this event which is why there is a video below. Enjoy.