Archive for: September, 2010

Birthday Number Three

Sep 19 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

It is that time again. It’s our birthday! And the Blog has a new look in celebration of our third year of posting.  This last year we changed hosting sites also. So there has been a lot of change for US.

As far a Thoughts Cubed the next year should be full of surprises.  In the next couple of months several ALL electric cars will be hitting the roadways.  An not wait until the hup-la to calms down and you can get a electrical car for a reasonable price.  I really dislike it when dealers thinks they are doing you a favor by selling you a car.

And as a personal note we are installing a 7kwh photovoltaic panels system at our home. Very exciting for us. We are going to a negative electrical bill in preparation of an all electrical vehicle. We have been wanting to do this for the past five years. And it is finally happening.  watch here for a full photo easy of the install.

There will also be changes on the political front with mid term elections and the continuing slowing of the economy. So hang on for a fun filled 12 month ahead.

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Dumping Cable TV

Sep 03 2010 Published by under American Consumer, Changing scene, Geek stuff

We have dumped the Cable TV feed. Just got tired of all the games the cable provider was playing and the cost. We still get internet through cable but no Cable TV.

At first it was a tough. You know Cable TV withdraws.  Not being able to watch all the shows you get hooked on. Plus with the Tivo you were always able to keep a nice stock of shows to watch at your convenience.

Well after some digging on the internet and services like Netflix Watch Now we were able to make it through the first few months. Watching the LOST series filled up a lot of TV viewing time.  The six seasons of  LOST added up to  over 100 episodes.  Most of LOST was streamed over the Netflix service.

We are stilll streaming a lot of content form Netflix. There a lot of great show to watch Like Dr Who,  MI-5,  Dexter and more. We have also been exploring several of the cable networks wed sites , like USA network, SyFy and History. These networks release full episodes any where form 1 to 7 days after it airs on Cable. The problem here is they only keep the 4 most recent episodes and you can not easily record then for time shift viewing.

Another great web site for content is Hulu. There is a lot of content, some of it old, mostly episodes of previosu seasons or just the most recent 4  episodes.  But if you look around you will find some gems. Just the other night I found a DIY sires called Cool Tools. There are not an current episodes but there are three full seasons of shows.

Hulu is also starting up a paid service for $9.99 per month called Hulu Plus. I would be happy to pay the money if they gave me better access to current cable shows. After looking through the info on the Plus service it did not seem to offer much for the money. But is it early and the service is not in full release yet.

So we have survived the first 90 days of NO Cable TV.  Give it a try it is easer then you thing, plus you save a boat load of CASH.

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We are doing SOLAR

Sep 02 2010 Published by under Geek stuff, Sloar, Taxes

After all the research:

And waiting for years we are finally making the plunge to installer solar.  We kept waiting for the economy to get better but it seems that could take for ever. The monthly cash flow will not change that much. Instead of making a monthly payment to Southern California Edison, for electricity, we will be paying off the photovoltaic solar panel system. And we will be getting FREE electrical power in 7 years.  Plus the state and federal rebates almost cut the price in half.

We have done all the research, reading on the internet, subscribing to magazines like Home Power, home showes, and even going to Solar seminars. We have talked to several contractors, gotten all the bids.

All the contractors licenses were checked  on the California Contractor State License Board website at: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/.  We checked to see what kind of  license that had, whether they had just a C10 (electrical) or a C46 (solar electric),  how long there were in business,  and was their bond and insurance current. We also checked some Solar directories, on the internet, were customers can comment on the contractors work.

After selecting a local Solar contractor, which was important to us. We started checking the job references. We talked to to several home owners and visited several installs to check the quality of the products and workmanship.  we asked wach referance the same four questions;

1.   Would recommend this  solar company to a friend or family member?

2.  Did this Solar company perform the work in a  timely manner?

3.   Did this company perform the work in a professional  Manner?

4.  Would you use this Solar company again?

All the reference came back extremal positive, all the site visits were installed in a professionally, timely manner! So we singed a contract are are ready to start installing are 7kw system. Check back as I will be posting updates of the install. The entire install will take only four days. It will take me several weeks just to post the progress of the project.

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