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23 December 2006 @ 08:12 pm
winter solstice 2006  
Tomorrow morning I'll go to Columbus for Christmas.

I am happy at this winter solstice because today I already started using a complete solar electricity system.

It happened so fast once again because of the amazing Harbor Freight store where I've been buying things lately. I went in again this week to buy another of the batteries mentioned in a recent post because I am so satisfied with the first one. Then, I saw this item in stock on an upper shelf:



It is a complete 45-watt solar electric kit for only $200.
It includes good instructions, a nice controller, two 5-watt 12V compact flourescents, and other useful items.
If I were to buy the three 15-watt panels and all of the other items separately elsewhere, I would spend about $450 dollars!

Today, I set up two of the three panels and everything else, and generated enough power even on this gloomy day to power the computer and Blackberry-as-modem I am typing this on via the charged 12V battery. I may even be able to keep the third panel wrapped up as a spare, because 30 watts might prove to be all I ever need, especially since I also have the 5-watt and 1.5-watt panels I bought earlier in December.

James my cat also had a good day, because she got a present from Dan and Mary and she unwrapped it today:



Here is the link to the pictures her enjoying her gift:

http://pics.livejournal.com/mikemonett/gallery/0000d5qw

In spite of such a sad year, I am glad now because just like exactly ten years ago, I have taken a scary leap of faith to move my life to a new level.

In December of 1996, at age 42, I changed my life from a fairly introverted one to one of advocacy for land use change in my region, in Ohio, and in America.

The majority and politicians have moved in the opposite direction, and that's why I became disillusioned and gave up the effort by 2002.

But by then I was already interested in a new goal -increasing self-sufficiency.
Today was a milestone toward that, because I moved to a new level where I am actually DOING alternative energy completely and seriously. Before this month, for almost 35 years, I was interested in it but only now am I actually doing it.