Energy Upgrade: Stats Thru Month 7

In January I wrote that home solar might be lipstick on a pig, and it makes more sense to make a home energy efficient before even considering solar. I also promised to post monthly updates on our utility bills.

A couple things about last month… first we normally go camping for at least a week during  Easter break, but this year we stayed home and hosted visiting relatives, which increased electricity use. Secondly, we received a $38 “Climate Credit” on our bill, as did every homeowner who is a Southern California Edison customer. This credit is the result of California’s “Cap and Trade” program, which allows companies to continue to pollute by purchasing ’emission credits’ in a fake market created by the State, so they can claim we are a ‘green state.’ Everyone gets the same dollar amount, irrespective how much electricity they use — theoretically encouraging homeowners to invest in energy efficient upgrades; but there is no method to track if this works or even happens. Another Government Boondoggle, as I wrote about in Green Greed.

Here is month 7:

Electricity Usage month 7 Natural Gas Usage month 7



Today is National Walking Day

nation walk day


I disdain most holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving I like. I like Independence Day too. Most other holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just made up by 5th Avenue so we spend our money on a bunch of junk. We used to celebrate George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays for the right reasons, but now we have Presidents’ Day, so government workers get a 3-day weekend while the rest of us work to pay for their paid Federal Holiday.

Now we have National Walking Day.

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Is One Million a Lot?

There was a time when reaching a net worth of $1 Million dollars was a big deal. Becoming a millionaire was the epitome of success and security. A million dollars seemed to be an infinite amount of money that could last a person forever.

Today I noticed a 1 million milestone on this blog.

View Count

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The Income Inequality Fallacy

This post has nothing to do about backpacking or camping. It is a philosophical, political, and economic discussion. If these subjects are not of interest to you, then you just might want to skip it, plus it is a long commentary.

I recently got involved in a conversation regarding “Income Inequality” in one of the forums over at  I think it is an important conversation, and as a parent I would like my children to read my thoughts on the subject.

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The Annual Search for Wildflowers


For almost as long as I can remember, every spring I am out backpacking or camping in search of wildflowers, as I documented last year. This year, we are apparently in the midst of El Nino, meaning we could have one of our best displays in 10 years or so. Time will tell. Over the past few weeks I have been wandering around our deserts looking and waiting. So last week we took off for a few days of camping and observation.

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Dispatches from the Home Front

It is said that when you retire you have to keep busy if you want to live long. Well, with all the work I’ve been doing, I’ll live to be 150 years old! We have a lot of deferred maintenance and much to remodel. Last month I wrote about our Home Energy Upgrade improvements.

Here are some of the other things we are making progress on. To be honest, the improvements are cutting into my camping and backpacking time, but since Joyce is still working, it’s okay. I need to get everything finished so she can retire too and we can finally play full time.

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What Should We Do With Our Federal Lands?

mr magoo looking at mirror

Many people want to turn over all our Federal lands to the states. These people are as shortsighted as Mr. Magoo. I wrote about this danger last year in A Call to Action, that I recommend you read since it is now being discussed by some of our Presidential candidates. No need for me to retake it here.

In this article “Ted Cruz vows to sell-off or give away the state’s national parks, national forests, national monuments, and other public lands.” The article goes on to say that of the Republican hopefuls, only Donald Trump and Jeb Bush are against transferring our Federal Lands to the states. Bush is now out of the race, so at first thought, Trump would be the only acceptable Republican candidate to the millions of Americans who support setting aside and protecting our wild lands.

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Best Backpacking Watch to Protect You From the Impending Climate Change Apocalypse

You may have read about my preference for the inexpensive Timex Expedition as my go to backpacking watch.


The Timex Expedition is the watch on the far right.

It occurred to me recently that my Timex won’t survive the impending climate change global melt-down, so a gear search was in order, because I know the Government supported climate scientists, who get more and more money proportional to how bad a picture they can paint about climate change can’t be wrong. And in the tradition of the new wave of modern technology focused backpackers, I want gear that will survive the Apocalypse, even if I will be vaporized in a mere nano second. Gear must survive, even if I don’t.

I found the watch I need! The HM6 ‘Space Pirate’ watch from MB&F. What initially drew me to this particular watch is the retractable shield that protects the watch from copious amounts of severe UV radiation.

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