Thursday, January 17, 2013

Solterra Systems of Seattle did a great job for us!

See  our terracotta roof in the middle
with a 2x5 array of solar panels?
SHORT VERSION: we are completely pleased with the results we got from Solterra Systems of Seattle; they were on-time and under budget.

In the spring of 2012, we were ready to address some long-term issues with our house.
 1. We anticipate energy costs will continue to rise and needed to address this long-term;
2. Our roof needed reshingling;
3. We were concerned about financing any project; we have some savings but prefer to retain them for emergencies.

I put in some time researching roofs and solar contracters; a couple of roofers gave bids that were pretty similar and would take a big chunk out of our savings: necessary but unpleasant.
At some point, I heard "Solar World" solar cells advertised on the Thom Hartmann show and, in checking them out, discovered they had a distributor in Seattle that also did roofs. This seemed like a logical combination.
1. Solterra did an analysis based on actually climbing around our roof, photographing the sky from several points, and generating an analysis based on actual shade from on-site trees. It costed out to payback in about 14 years and would be pure profit to us from then on, which is a very nice way to address rising energy costs.
2. Solterra's staff has a strong background in roofing; we made the entire project a roof-and-solar job, which cut overall costs and hassle. It also gave us confidence that the two systems (roof and solar) would not conflict (e.g. holes in roof).
3. Solterra helped us find a credit union willing to finance the whole project, at a better rate than our mortgage. This additional step made it a financial no-brainer.
 The entire project was done on-time and for a little bit less than projected. We could not be more pleased, and recommend that any homeowner check them out at

Sunday, January 13, 2013

4freeCLE: The Free CLE Newsletter! January 13, 2013

4freeCLE: The Free CLE Newsletter!
January 13, 2013
In This Issue
Webcast CLE
On-Demand CLE
In California
In Florida
In Illinois
In Massachusetts
In Minnesota
In New York
In Ohio
In Pennsylvania
In Tennessee
In Wisconsin
Past Issues

Webcast CLE
Jimmy Wales
Why Travel When You Can Webcast?
Webcast CLE is a nice new normal, making quality education as convenient as a phone call.
Find more webcasts at 4freeCLE's Web-Based CLE.

On-Demand CLE 
Try and See If Your Smartphone Plays On-Demand Free CLE! 
Many on-demand recordings can be played on your cellphone, letting you earn CLE credit or get a refresher course with maximum convenience.
Find more on-demand programs at 4freeCLE's List of On-Demand CLE. If you're looking for help with a particular state, contact the publisher - we can help!

Live Programs Await You!
In-Person CLEs State-by-State

These in-person programs are eligible for credit in the states in which they are held, but often they satisfy credit requirements in other states.
The sooner you learn skills and information at a live seminar, the sooner you can start putting them to use!

New York
About 4freeCLE
4freeCLE is delivered weekly and will always be free!Please forward to your fellow professionals so they may benefit; if this was forwarded to you, get your own subscription for free by signing up now! 
If you are interested in providing free CLE, contact the editor and I'll be happy to help with publicity. I may also have a few ideas for making your program available more widely, based on what I've learned from reviewing more than 1000 (one thousand) free CLE offerings..

Mark The Edge Of Your Punch Card: Tiny Life Tip

See my card? It's in the W's and has the edge marked
with a dot-dash-dot pattern in blue ink
Like many other people, I have a little card at some of my favorite coffee shops that get a punch whenever I buy something. When the card fills up, I get something free. The problem with this system is fishing through the card container to find my card can take a while; even though the basket of cards is divided by the first letter of the last name, there's quite a few people whose last name starts with "W" so it worked take a minute to go through them one-by-one, which isn't way too much time but seems inefficient. In the photo, all the cards between the letter "X" and the next blue divider card down are W's.
To help me pick out my card swiftly, I marked the edge of the card with an uncommon pattern. I used DOT-DASH-DOT, which is Morse Code for "R", the first letter in my first name. Now picking my card out of the stack takes almost to time at all; in fact, you can probably spot in the this photo.
OK, I'll admit that this is not a world-shattering discovery, but if you use this system it may save you a bit of time. But please, if your last name begins with W, don't use Morse Code for R - save that for me!