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Everything posted by jb4647

  1. I haven't recieved any word but would be interesting in participating. Like you, I find the information useful and interesting but would like to have the ability to track it in real time. Right now I use a programable thermestat. I have it set to come on at 5p each day which is nice for when I got home between 5:30-6. But on days when I either work late or go out for a happy hour or something I'd like to be able to long on to it on my smartphone and shut it off rather than wasting engergy and $$.
  2. When "speak out" about every little thing and blow them all out of proportion then yes you do come across as an "extremist." Charging a measely $3.24/mo is not tyranny or socialism. Its not the end of Democracy as we know it. Like I said, using these new tools have saved me on average $30.00/mo. Less the $3.24 I'm still ahead by $26.76. So thus, it seems to me that the loser here is the electric companies because now we will be able to better manage how much electricity we use and save money. Like I said, its a matter of "proportion." Complaining and questioning every little thing and you wind up sounding like this fellow: http://www.storyarts.org/library/aesops/stories/boy.html
  3. Dude, these are what comes with living part of community and a society. If you don't like that then again, here are a couple of options: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unabomber-cabin.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Carmel_Center It's not some big "conspiracy", its an upgrade to the grid and there is a cost associated with that. I for one have used this easier to use data to lower my average bill year over year by $30/month. So even with the "fee" I'm still coming out ahead. And Reliant isn't the "guvment" its a private company. Electric deregulation occured last decade. Of course, Ted Kaczynski raised alot your similar points in his writings: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Industrial_Society_and_Its_Future
  4. What is obvious to one may not be obvious to another. Different people need to see info in different ways. Some folks are visual, others want to see the raw data. Making it easier to spot trends allows more people to act on those trends. As a PM I deal with behaverial change management issues all the time and its very hard to get folks to do whats in their best interest (i.e using less energy and saving $$) unless they see a "direct connection" between behavior/result and the path to change is the path of least resistence. Yes, this info has always been available but making it easier to access and digest will reap greater rewards. Many people do things against their own self interest if they've got to take extra steps. Its one of the reasons why mail-in rebates are so popular with retail stores. They know that a large % of the population is going neglect to jump through all the hoops of mailing all that crap to them.
  5. Some of us don't have easy access to our meters. My own is down in our condo garage, in the dark, with cars parked in front of it. I'm not going down there several times a month and try to do the convaluted "calculations" along little microscopic clocks. Also, to continue the practice of having a meter reader go from house to house with a clipboard in 2011 is insanity. Time marches on and don't hear anyone bemoning the fact that we don't have milkmen or ice delverymen anymore.
  6. Yup, there is always one idiot that has to turn EVERYTHING political rather see the value in technological progress. Save your political comments for Sarah Palin's Facebook page will you. These new smart meters and digital tools put current information in my hands that I can easier use to take charge of my energy usage and thus LOWER MY BILLS. It doesn’t make sense to put EVERYTHING up for a vote. Systems like this only work if the whole grid moves to digital. Having every numbnut decide whether they want one are not doesn’t make any sense and is inefficient. For those that don't want to continue on with Societies' progress, may I suggest a couple of options: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Unabomber-cabin.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Carmel_Center
  7. Just noticed one of the major benefits to the new smartmeters is that now I can get a better view my usage and have the ablity to project what my bill will be each month on reliant.com Pretty sweet. Now the only thing that is missing is having a device that I can use to track "real time" usage.
  8. I signed up for the weekly email option and it it great. I get a nice grahical comparison of last week vs this week as well as an estimate of what my end of the month bill will be! That helps me to budget better than before. I can't wait until we have access to those home energy monitors that report live up-to-the minute electricty usage. I've read quite a few news reports about them being used to locate the power "hogs" in your home.
  9. http://www.photographybay.com/2010/07/02/photographers-banned-for-life-for-taking-photos-in-public-parking-lot/
  10. I need to remember to print those rules out. We need to educate law enforcement.
  11. Here's how to read your smart meter: http://www.centerpointenergy.com/staticfiles/CNP/Common/SiteAssets/doc/How%20to%20Read%20Your%20Smart%20Meter%20020410.pdf Time marches on. Analog is for the past. Digital is the future. I loved my typewriter in back in the day but now I use a computer.
  12. I'm not much of a tripod user anyway. If I shoot any pictures of folks at the Waterwall I'm doing it with my hands. Lately I've moved on to Discovery Green....lots of green vistas.
  13. I have my AC flip on about half an hour before I get up and then turn off shortly after I leave for work. I like to have a cool house when I'm showering/getting ready for work.
  14. I certainly have. I've used it to monitor my peak usage and change my habits acordinly. Having access to to what my upcoming bill is going to be allows me to plan my budget better and cut back on my usage if I'm close to going over. I see this as akin to being able to check how many cell mins I've used. I've attached one of the recent emails from Reliant.
  15. This is what I'd like to know. Of course I do like the weekly summary email they send me. Their estimate for my montly bill has been quite acurate.
  16. I think the city rule about needing a permit to use a tripod has been meantioned here before but I'm curious as to if anyone can point or link to the specific City Of Houston statute that states this? Do we need a permit to use a tripod? Where is the proof? This is what I like to carry with me in my photog bag: http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm
  17. Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Was going to do the Sabine st bridge but it was closed Sat/Sun.....shot a ton of photos at Discovery Green Instead. Will finishing up on Wed at Sabine.... For the record, the Hummer is one of those smaller ones.
  18. I'll check out those locations! Didn't think driving a hummer would get such a poor response here in H-town. Boston maybe but Houston? Regarding the Sabine St. bridge, is there space to park on it and shoot photos without disrupting traffic? How easy is it to access St. Joe's Parking Garage? Any other suggestions are welcome!
  19. I'm going to take some photos Sat of someone who would like to have their hummer in the photo with the downtown skyline in the background. The only place that I could think of so far is Elanor Tinsely Park on Allen Parkway. Do you have any other suggestions? On a related note, when the hell did they cover up the pedestrian bridges with chickenwire? I seem to recall being getting some really good photos back in the day from them.
  20. Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I'm just not the handyman kind. After I got the equipment in Dec I jury-rigged a 3.1 set-up using some cheap speaker stands for the right and left. Not a pretty site. So the option of doing it myself is out (got dizzy reading the links you posted). So I'm looking about about $900 or less to have these things installed? I'll look into the Sinature Home Theater on Shepard place. Just around the corner from me there is a place called All Star Audio Video. Anyone heard good/bad about them?
  21. They installed them today in our bldgings off of Weslayan & Drake in 77005. Here's a pic:
  22. Does JP Morgan Chase Tower still allow people to take pictures from their observation deck? Back in 2003 I was told that I couldn't take pictures because of 9/11. WTF? I used to go up there all the time back in the late 80's and take pictures. I recently visited Williams Tower and was told their deck on the 51st floor closed after 9/11. That is sad. Any other blds have decks?
  23. I've lived in Houston my whole life (37 years). Has anyone else noticed that local TV coverage of live events always sucks? It had been a while since I've watched local live event but I did take the time to DVR the Parker inaguration via KPRC. Apparently Channel 13 handled the pool coverage but the picture and sound was awlful as it always has been! Looks like some local high school TV production shot it. What'd they have only two cameras? Hell, the cameras that they did have were so far away that the zoom made everything wobbly. C'mon people, this is 2010, not 1983. Sorry for the rant....just always has bugged me about Houston. We're the fourth largest city for crisake!
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