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George BM

March Banter 2021

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Sending off meteorological winter with what's probably the final pot of "traditional" chili for the season. Household tastes switch over to white chicken chili and other "lighter" soups as we head into spring. Also (and sadly, for some of you), there are indeed a couple dashes of Old Bay and many dashes of Frank's Red Hot in thar...

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Nebraska did the Terps a solid last night by beating Rutgers. If MD can win out this weekend, they’d be in the top half of the Big Ten standings going into the conference tourney. Dreaming even more, Wisconsin has two tough games left this week and MD could even leapfrog them.

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1 hour ago, vastateofmind said:

Sending off meteorological winter with what's probably the final pot of "traditional" chili for the season. Household tastes switch over to white chicken chili and other "lighter" soups as we head into spring. Also (and sadly, for some of you), there are indeed a couple dashes of Old Bay and many dashes of Frank's Red Hot in thar...

PXL_20210302_204928055.NIGHTa.jpg.5da1d827bbf68681c43e4337e1b2dab0.jpg

YUMMM!

I just put in a Shepard's Pie with ground Lamb to send winter packing. But the English do not use Old Bay so wanting to be traditional left it out. :D

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40 minutes ago, nw baltimore wx said:

That chili looks like it would pair well with one of @CAPE’s stouts.

Drinking a TripleBerry Hazelnut stout as I scrolled down and saw that pot of chili. I could defo go for a bowl right now lol.

 

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1 hour ago, CAPE said:

Drinking a TripleBerry Hazelnut stout as I scrolled down and saw that pot of chili. I could defo go for a bowl right now lol.

Wish I had a way to share it here, brother -- I typically have to make a pot this size due to the amount of ingredients, but it takes my wife and I over a week to eat leftovers (even with freezing it sometimes).

11 minutes ago, Mrs.J said:

Shepard’s pie with lamb and gluten free flour. 

Not surprisingly, that looks absolutely AMAZING, @Mrs.J!! One of my all-time favorite dishes.  :) 

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my weathermodels subscription is up in a few days, should i renew it or subscribe to another? 

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45 minutes ago, mappy said:

my weathermodels subscription is up in a few days, should i renew it or subscribe to another? 

We get free maps from others here.  i say let it go.  Pivotal for free as well

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57 minutes ago, mappy said:

my weathermodels subscription is up in a few days, should i renew it or subscribe to another? 

Winter is ovah!  Cancel that ish and spend the money on booze.  :sizzle:

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1 hour ago, Stormfly said:

Our 15kW system averages 21 MWh annually.

This year has been the worst due to snow/ice covered panels.  If we just had fluffy snow for once it could be raked. 

If a system is properly planned, installed, and maintained the ROI is indeed favorable.  Not all installations meet that criteria.  And if a poor contractor is hired and the install causes problems things can get bad in a hurry.

Bringing over from obs thread. I've seen what looks like older solar systems on several roofs in the neighborhood over the years, but know nothing about them (nor whether those neighbors have been happy/unhappy with them). Legit question though -- realizing that installs vary based on the size of the roof/home, do solar panels add a lot of extra weight to your roof? Or have manufacturers slimmed them down a lot over the years?

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44 minutes ago, vastateofmind said:

Bringing over from obs thread. I've seen what looks like older solar systems on several roofs in the neighborhood over the years, but know nothing about them (nor whether those neighbors have been happy/unhappy with them). Legit question though -- realizing that installs vary based on the size of the roof/home, do solar panels add a lot of extra weight to your roof? Or have manufacturers slimmed them down a lot over the years?

@vastateofmindWe went solar back in 2013. And I agree this winter has been the worst. But overall we have saved a ton having them. Also we contract SREC's to Potomac Edison so what we don't use goes into the grid. Get a check every year. But the reason we went solar was more of a conscious decision for the environment. We own our system, there is a company that you can lease from but you do not get the tax benefit at install. And your rates are just discounted. But if you cannot put out the up front costs it is a good option. We were told that our system would pay for itself after 6 years. And it has. Also as the roof is covered it extends the life of the roof material. And if the roof needs to be replaced the company we went with will come out take everything down, and reinstall after the roof is finished. We went with American made panels as they are black. Korean panels were cheaper but have a green tint to them and with the lame HOA excuses of looking "bad" the black panels look more like a roof. 

You need to get a reputable company to come in and they will design a system that fits your roofs specs. We have 27 panels on the front of our house as that faces South the most. Had a fight with the HOA about that one but won in the end as there is a law in MD that local power companies with lines in the state need to every year have a certain percentage of renewable and they count our house as commercial so that counts.  I will snap some shots of my system on my app that monitors it daily and put it up for today. 

We have an East West facing Townhome and it is loaded with windows on both facades. Chose it for that very purpose as the main level has a bank of 5 windows across the front. So it allows me to not have lights on till much later in the day during the spring, summer and fall. Summer I hardly have any lights on at all till well after 6pm. Our friends got a battery back up and we have thought about that also. As because we are still part of the grid when power goes out even though we have panels our power is out. This protects the linemen working on the line issue as if our panels were live that would not be good. 

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@nw baltimore wx see @Mrs.Js comment about roof life. Tesla (at least) guarantees any damage the panels cause, but the panels actually extend the life of the shingles underneath them. I know many people with panels and none of had any issues with leaks, etc. 

If I had lots of $$, I would totally do a Tesla solar roof. But I don’t...

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6 minutes ago, Mrs.J said:

We went solar back in 2013. And I agree this winter has been the worst. But overall we have saved a ton having them. Also we contract SREC's to Potomac Edison so what we don't use goes into the grid. Get a check every year. But the reason we went solar was more of a conscious decision for the environment. We own our system, there is a company that you can lease from but you do not get the tax benefit at install. And your rates are just discounted. But if you cannot put out the up front costs it is a good option. We were told that our system would pay for itself after 6 years. And it has. Also as the roof is covered it extends the life of the roof material. And if the roof needs to be replaced the company we went with will come out take everything down, and reinstall after the roof is finished. 

You need to get a reputable company to come in and they will design a system that fits your roofs specs. We have 27 panels on the front of our house as that faces South the most. Had a fight with the HOA about that one but won in the end as there is a law in MD that local power companies with lines in the state need to every year have a certain percentage of renewable and they count our house as commercial so that counts.  I will snap some shots of my system on my app that monitors it daily and put it up for today. 

This is some great advice. If the break even isn't less than 10 years these days, your roof might not be ideal for solar. Or your power consumption might be higher than normal and the money would be better spent on house sealing/energy improvements. I wouldn't worry much about roof replacement either since most companies these days are familiar with the process of removal/reinstall. Obviously if you are 25 years in on a 30 year roof, you might want to look at getting a new roof prior to solar install..

I helped my mom through the process and we ended up with Tesla due to the powerwall battery storage and integration with the Tesla app. She also had to have it approved by HOA but they didn't raise a fuss. The new style panels and skirting really make it look like part of the roof line. She will go most of the summer (4-5 months) without using a watt from BGE due to the battery storage. Then 3-4 months she will be net positive (put more back into the grid than used), and the remaining couple months she uses the credits built up during the summer. At the end of the year she gets a check from BGE for the excess sent back into the grid. Her primary driver was also environmental but the savings will add up over the life of the panels (30 years).

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-9-48-10-pm.png

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1 minute ago, mdhokie said:

This is some great advice. If the break even isn't less than 10 years these days, your roof might not be ideal for solar. Or your power consumption might be higher than normal and the money would be better spent on house sealing/energy improvements. I wouldn't worry much about roof replacement either since most companies these days are familiar with the process of removal/reinstall. Obviously if you are 25 years in on a 30 year roof, you might want to look at getting a new roof prior to solar install..

I helped my mom through the process and we ended up with Tesla due to the powerwall battery storage and integration with the Tesla app. She also had to have it approved by HOA but they didn't raise a fuss. The new style panels and skirting really make it look like part of the roof line. She will go most of the summer (4-5 months) without using a watt from BGE due to the battery storage. Then 3-4 months she will be net positive (put more back into the grid than used), and the remaining couple months she uses the credits built up during the summer. At the end of the year she gets a check from BGE for the excess sent back into the grid. Her primary driver was also environmental but the savings will add up over the life of the panels (30 years).

 

screen-shot-2017-04-08-at-9-48-10-pm.png

Those new panels look great! Yea my friend has the Tesla battery as they live in rural VA and a BOLT so they can charge it overnight of the battery. It is something we seriously are considering to add to our system. And awesome for your mom going solar!

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1 hour ago, nj2va said:

Winter is ovah!  Cancel that ish and spend the money on booze.  :sizzle:

i mean its not like its a lot of money to spend every year, plus i do look at them for hurricanes and such. id like to keep some subscription, just need recommendations on any other ones besides weathermodels

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14 minutes ago, mdhokie said:

She also had to have it approved by HOA but they didn't raise a fuss.

I don't think that any HOA in Maryland is allowed to deny any solar panel request.  I'm on the HOA for my neighborhood and that was my understanding, so we rubber stamp the requests if the homeowners do submit a form.  

 

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10 minutes ago, toolsheds said:

I don't think that any HOA in Maryland is allowed to deny any solar panel request.  I'm on the HOA for my neighborhood and that was my understanding, so we rubber stamp the requests if the homeowners do submit a form.  

 

No they are not. We unfortunately at the time were still dealing the the builder as the neighborhood was not yet built out enough to turn it over to the community. So my neighbor and ourselves defied the rejection and with the State Law on our side went ahead and put up our systems. The builders reasoning was that it detracted from the aesthetics of the community. AKA they did not want anything going up that would what they think stop people from buying in my neighborhood, which is just plain crap! Had the guy in charge of our neighborhood actually send an email where he stated that it was ugly for potential buyers to see. We informed him that because of the state law, that aesthetics were not a reason to not allow us to put them on the front of our home. 

Another neighbor went ahead and took them to court and won. And because of him winning my neighbor and I got our approval after the fact. So for about a year we were in non compliance. Now there are at least 8 other systems up on houses on our side of the neighborhood. 

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Thanks, all, for the helpful details on solar systems....especially for the app screenshots, @Mrs.J. Very interesting to see how you can even get a panel-by-panel report on efficiency. It's an option that's always intrigued me in our current home as it faces due south...so we obviously get full/blasting sun on the front/top of the house all year long (when it's shining). Due to wind damage, we just had our entire roof replaced last summer....plus we're probably going to move in the next 1-2 years....otherwise, I'd look into this a bit more seriously for our current house.

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1 hour ago, Kmlwx said:

Yeah 37 and rain sounds miserable. Well so does 33 and rain ;) - if we can somehow luck our way into a few inches before we sprint into spring, I'm all for it. Didn't mean to come across as argumentative before (if I did). I'm mostly on the same train as you - but I just love pushing back any sustained heat as long as we can. Summer is long enough here! 

All good!  You weren't argumentative at all.  Just a healthy discussion of the weather we want this month - as if that can control it.  :P

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13 minutes ago, vastateofmind said:

Thanks, all, for the helpful details on solar systems....especially for the app screenshots, @Mrs.J. Very interesting to see how you can even get a panel-by-panel report on efficiency. It's an option that's always intrigued me in our current home as it faces due south...so we obviously get full/blasting sun on the front/top of the house all year long (when it's shining). Due to wind damage, we just had our entire roof replaced last summer....plus we're probably going to move in the next 1-2 years....otherwise, I'd look into this a bit more seriously for our current house.

Defiantly keep it in mind. A full facing south is the best but if the percentages work out with cost vs. benefit than other orientations can work also. We have even considered putting more on the back side, west facing because new data has come out saying that a percentage of west facing in the evening you can benefit from. Also if still available there is the Fed tax credit of 30% of system purchase price. We also got a grant from MD for $1000, not sure if they are still doing that. And at the time there was a push to get solar into counties in MD that did not have a good showing of solar. So we applied for and got a $500 grant from Frederick Co. 

One thing that is cool about watching our grid during the day is the panels on the top that have less production early on around noon have full production. Our house gets 80% of our energy from our panels. It is not 100% because of our orientation but anything over 50% and they will put it up. And the panel by panel report is because each individual panel has its own Microinverter. Some systems only have one for the entire system. We have had a couple Microinvertors go bad over the years. The company we got installation from monitors the systems also and they know when there is an issue. They let you know they will be out, you do not have to be home, and will replace the microinverter as it is under warranty. We worked with Astrum Solar BTW. A local MD company down in Annapolis. 

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1 hour ago, mdhokie said:

This is some great advice. If the break even isn't less than 10 years these days, your roof might not be ideal for solar. Or your power consumption might be higher than normal and the money would be better spent on house sealing/energy improvements. I wouldn't worry much about roof replacement either since most companies these days are familiar with the process of removal/reinstall. Obviously if you are 25 years in on a 30 year roof, you might want to look at getting a new roof prior to solar install..

I helped my mom through the process and we ended up with Tesla due to the powerwall battery storage and integration with the Tesla app. She also had to have it approved by HOA but they didn't raise a fuss. The new style panels and skirting really make it look like part of the roof line. She will go most of the summer (4-5 months) without using a watt from BGE due to the battery storage. Then 3-4 months she will be net positive (put more back into the grid than used), and the remaining couple months she uses the credits built up during the summer. At the end of the year she gets a check from BGE for the excess sent back into the grid. Her primary driver was also environmental but the savings will add up over the life of the panels (30 years).

This is helpful, thanks.  We’re considering the Tesla panels + powerwall for our new house we’re buying this month.  How was the process working with Tesla on the design/install/etc?  I do like the look of those in the picture you shared.  

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Okay then

Washington Football Team replaces cheerleaders with coed dance squad

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30996155/washington-football-team-replaces-cheerleaders-dance-squad

ASHBURN, Va., -- The Washington Football Team has discontinued its cheerleader program after more than 50 years, replacing it with a coed dance squad as part of its rebranding effort.

The team had announced last month that the cheerleader program was paused while it decided what direction the rebranding would take. Petra Pope, hired by the team as a senior adviser focused on creating gameday entertainment, said the goal is to create a "more modern franchise."

"With that comes inclusivity, diversity and in my mind, as an entertainer, athleticism," Pope told ESPN by phone. "My desire is to create a team that is all of that -- inclusive, diverse, coed, athletic -- to set the gold standard in the NFL. We're looking for that super athlete that can dance, perform tricks and stunts and manipulate whatever props that will create a really great show."

The former cheerleaders are eligible to try out for the dance squad. Pope said they'll likely hire 36 dancers or more.

"Change can be extremely difficult," Pope said. "I appreciate the passion that the ladies have and can relate to that passion because I've been a mentor for thousands of dancers over my career. As we progress to a reimagined era, the choreography will be much more athletic. We welcome the dancers of the past to audition, and if they have that skill set, they're welcome to join us."

In a statement, team president Jason Wright said the team wanted to create halftime programs similar to those in the NBA. Pope spent 33 years in the NBA, starting with the Los Angeles Lakers as the manager of the Laker Girls. She also started the Knicks City Dancers. She has also worked for the New Jersey Nets and has served as a consultant since 2016.

"As we set out to modernize the Washington Football gameday, it's important that we develop a top-notch entertainment program that keeps our fanbase excited and connected to the game and the team," Wright said.

Washington started using cheerleaders in 1962 and they eventually became known as the First Ladies of Football. They represented the franchise at events locally and around the world, especially military bases. Pope said she's not yet sure whether the dance squad would travel.

With the team going through the process of changing its name -- it will be known as the Washington Football Team through the 2021 season -- it paused the program, as well as the marching band. The band had been around since the organization moved to Washington in 1937.

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2 hours ago, nj2va said:

This is helpful, thanks.  We’re considering the Tesla panels + powerwall for our new house we’re buying this month.  How was the process working with Tesla on the design/install/etc?  I do like the look of those in the picture you shared.  

We worked with Tesla two years ago when they were ditching the solarcity name. At the time they scheduled a zoom meeting with an advisor who went over all of the equipment and layout on the roof, with detailed engineering diagrams. They submitted all plans, pulled permits, and sent a list of all the credits/rebates we would be eligible for. Once my mom paid the deposit, they submitted for permits and gave an estimated install date. The date slipped a couple weeks because of BGE. It wasn't the easiest process for my mom since everything was remote but for people used to doing everything online it seemed ok. Price was competitive. 

Install crew was professional and did a good job. At first they wanted to run a conduit on the outside of the house and we didn't think that would look good. Asked them to run it inside through a utility chase. They agreed but said they wouldn't fix the drywall holes needed (2x 12"x12" access holes to drill through top and bottom plates of a wall, and install metal conduit). I was fine with that since drywall is no biggie. They had all the panels up first day, second day they finished the wiring and subpanels/disconnect. Electrical was done well and kept all the conduit and boxes out of the way in the garage. It took BGE 6 weeks after the final paperwork was submitted to come out and swap the meter with a bi-directional one. 

Enphase also makes a good all-in-one system with panels and batteries. At the time the Tesla package was cheaper. I see @Mrs.J has the microinverter system! I think it would be easy to add on batteries in the future.

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