Thursday, April 15, 2010

More advice I'm not going to take

I love my dad, I really do. He's been there for me and I respect his opinion. That being said, there's some things he just doesn't get.

He keeps suggesting that I get a nice new little gas powered car with decent gas mileage. Not bad advice for most people. There's a couple of problems with that for me. I've been running vehicles on Waste Vegetable Oil for over 8 years now and don't want to start buying fuel again. Haven't had a car payment in years and don't want to start now.

Dad means well. He sees that it takes some effort to keep old diesels running. There is a fair amount of lifting heavy things involved with WVO. No doubt he wants me to have life a bit easier. However, using my limited funds to make car payments and buy fuel isn't an easier life. I'd rather carry jugs of veggie and tinker with diesel engines. Beats having to get a part time job that I'd hate.

Also mentioned that we are getting ready to pull the plug on the grid. He expressed concern. "Are you sure you want to do that?"

Yes, it's time. For him, having grid electricity is a great thing. You need power, just flip the switch. There's no planning around a limited power supply. He doesn't have to worry about waiting to do laundry on a sunny day when there' s abundant solar electricity.

Those are the sort of things I'll have to work around. Good thing my wife is on board with this project. While the solar will be backed up with a generator, its use will be kept to a bare minimum. We can't live with the grid much longer. The power company sends a bill even if you don't use a single watt of electricity. There are fees just to be connected to the system. That's one bill I'll be very happy to do without -even if it means a bit of inconvenience.

One of the inspirations for putting in solar electric 20 years ago was to reduce our dependence on the power company. For years people protested about their nuke plant. We didn't protest. Instead, we reduced out usage by putting in solar for about 80% of our needs. Part of NH's electric power comes from coal. I don't want to be part of that system either. Between the environmental damage caused by dirty coal and the recent death of coal miners, I'm getting rid of the other 20%.

Dad's in his 70's. He's seen the technological advances. He appreciates things like air conditioning and electric heat. He loves his microwave. Dad says he can't understand why I work so hard to live the way his grandfather did.

It's because the way most people in the United States are living has no future. Dad doesn't want to know that and I don't really want to tell him.

He's been good to me. Why make him unhappy for nothing?


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