Wednesday, December 29, 2010
He's not ostentatious about it. His car is what he describes as "suede-top" '93 Thunderbird, resolutely parked where it can rust in peace, while he walks all over town; fourteen miles to buy a pencil is nothing to him. The walking habit began when he quit smoking. He left a single pack on the microwave and walked away from it until it felt safe to turn around, at which point he might be twelve miles away. His embrace of modern technology is minimal and his needs and wants modest. No, what he really enjoys doing, as our planet bakes and gags and prepares to grease our exit, is to stand in front of an open refrigerator door, after first turning on all the lights in the house. He stands, he basks, he looks around, and he drums incessantly on the open door, the habit of percussion having long since replaced the tobacco. He will stand there until he finds the pepperoncinis or finishes the drum solo to "Sing, Sing, Sing," whichever takes longest. To add to his pleasure, we have two refrigerators. And to further add to his pleasure, this routine drives me batcrap crazy. If I seem to be engrossed in something and paying insufficient attention to him, he will drum his way into the kitchen, snap on the overhead lights, open the big fridge, leave it open and go to the small fridge and open that, drum for a while, fan himself with the door, then leave the room and flick lights on all the way up to the second floor, where he hopes to locate the mustard in the underwear drawer. (Sadly, as time goes on, this has become increasingly likely.)
I resolve not to give him the reward of jumping up and screaming, but in a minute, after having visualized a herd of salmon leaping out of the refrigerators and flopping on the floor, X's over their eyes, he gets his reward. The energy waste is a small price to have to pay, unless you're a salmon, for that giddy feeling he gets when I go batcrap crazy.
The crew that installed them showed up in matching green shirts and crotch-defining safety harnesses, and I started feeling warmer right away. The panels aren't very noticeable except from up the street, so we've left the "Solar City Home" sign up, at least for a while. Oooh! You have solar panels! Do you love them? Oh, those? Yes, we're very pleased. Here is a beatific smile for you, and thank you, little people. We are very, very cool.
We should have no trouble jacking up our electrical usage to make up for the 17%. Dave has moved his chair in front of the open fridge door. And I'm working on a novel. I plan to drain the reservoir.