Showing posts from August 7, 2011

Energy efficient? It's just about printing dollar bills!

Holy shitballs batman! We had a new air conditioning condenser unit installed about 7 weeks ago. I wanted something a bit newer because the old one sounded like a diesel train. The newer ones are supposedly more energy efficient. Well they're not bloody kidding. Since 2005, our electricity bill for July into August has been anything from $95 at the low end to $150 at the high end. It's never been below $90 since we bought the house 9 years ago. We have a fairly consistent usage too - TV and console gaming in the evening, several loads of washing a week, AC during the day and so on - we're creatures of habit. Today I received our bill for the same time period this year: $85. So I checked the kWh usage to make sure there wasn't something dodgy going on with the pricing. Turns out, as you'd expect the price of electricity has only gone up, so it has to be the actual usage that caused the drop in price. I'll say: This year, 818kwH, average daytime tem

The SiriusXM problem

Here in America we have satellite radio - it's a great idea - commercial-free radio, anywhere in the country without needing to re-tune. The chink in the armour is that it's not commercial-free. You pay for it, then they still put commercials on the air. That might not be so bad if the programming was top-notch but it isn't. There's dozens of Nascar, country & westersn, and R&B channels, then there's Howard Stern who nobody cares about any more, and that's it. Except it isn't. Or wasn't. The saviour of SiriusXM was that they streamed a time-shifted version of BBC Radio 1 from the UK. Time-shifted, as in you get the morning show in the morning, delayed by 5 hours from when it aired in the UK. This was the only reason we subscribed to SiriusXM, and it turns out that was the case for a lot of other people too. Three days ago, the agreement with the BBC ran out and SiriusXM pulled BBC Radio 1 off their stream and replaced it with an advert telling u