The Future of Solar Power

One of the political commercials I have been noticing lately is from Hillary Clinton telling America how she is going to create 500,000 new jobs by expanding clean energy through solar and after last evenings debates I feel compelled to add my two cents. I applaud this, but I also disagree with it at the same time. (Just to clarify this is not an endorsement for any one candidate just my thoughts on what I think should happen.)

On the point of increasing US based solar production I am behind that all the way. In order to create the infrastructure needed to switch from our current energy consumption methods to this renewable method we will need a large production base in order to build and maintain it. This should create a large chunk of the 500,000 jobs predicted and also stabilize/maintain several thousand other jobs as well.

Although Candidate Clinton doesn’t come right out and say it, I think the goal is to create several solar farms (based on the images shown) in order to harness the energy. I do agree that we do need an increase in the amount of solar farms in general so that we have more of the country switched to renewable energy sources, I don’t think that should be the end game answer.

Creating the solar farms in my mind is like setting up another commodity that could be bought and sold by corporations. I want less corporate anything getting their hands on this. I want to see solar panels on houses all across the US. Truth be told if we can leap frog our technology enough we can literally just paint photovoltaic cells onto our homes and power them that way.

Homes owners will have to choose between having a power bank in their home to store energy or if they are just going to use what is needed throughout the day and essentially sell the excess to power companies. I would do both when possible.

I believe it would also help drive job creation beyond the 500,000 mark. It would create a demand for service technicians to install the panels and help maintain the associated equipment. It would range from the small mom and pop couple of employee operations right on up to a national service provider. There would be a litany of other jobs needed in order to churn out these technicians as well. The possibilities are endless.


Been There, Done That, Got the T-Shirt

Every once in a while I utter that specific phrase and it’s mostly just to clarify or affirm that I have done or experienced what you are speaking about. Sometimes it to sympathize with a person, but a lot more often its to convey that I indeed have dealt with something enough that I have more than a beginners knowledge on the subject matter at hand. And honestly, I’m tired of people disregarding that.

I’m not just talking about my own personal experiences I’m talking about other people in all kinds of situations, big to small, critical to nonsensical.

In a lot of professional settings one of the budget saving things I notice upper management doing is making the work environment less hospitable for the experienced front line workers so they leave. I get it, your trying to save  a few bucks, but here’s the problem… you have a majority of the work force with little to no experience. No true front line leadership, but the same results are still required. Then everyone’s starts wondering why moral and performance sucks. (Insert Gene Wilder MEME here.)

One of my personal favorites is in a classroom setting where a advanced level student or even the instructor try to help the entry level student navigate through something only to be blown off or disregarded. Yes, smart move, ignore the person who has mastered what you are trying to learn or better yet the person teaching it to you. And then somewhere down the road they turn around and say no one helped me.

My message may be getting a little muddied here so let me break it down. Don’t ignore the people who have earned their strips. They got them for a reason.


Lost & Found

For the second time this week my wife had “misplaced” her phone. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but the second instance that occurred less than an hour ago made documenting both instances necessary.

So the first time the phone went MIA it was just a matter of playing detective. Narrowing down where it was wasn’t easy because I couldn’t hear it ringing. We quickly figured out it wasn’t in the house as there was no sound to be heard anywhere inside. It ended up being in my truck.

However the second time turned into a five minute fiasco. We both knew the phone was in our bedroom as we had both walked into the room with our phones in our hands. I had placed mine next to myself while she had placed hers’ on the window sill nearby. Now I had not seen her place it there and she had quickly forgot about it.

At the point my wife decided she needed her phone she quickly realizes that it’s not right next to her. I ask if she thinks she left it in the truck again, but am reminded that she was using it when she walked into the room so it must be nearby. I am also informed that it had been silenced.

I quickly muted the TV and started calling it knowing that since it is in the same room as us and the house is quiet in general I knew we stood a really good chance of hearing it vibrate, which we did. Locating easily was another thing. At first I thought it had fallen underneath the side of the bed. Then I though it had slipped into one of the pillow cases. (This had happened with my phone in the past so to me it was a rational thought.) Finally, I thought the phone had fallen behind the bed so like the shmuck I am I reach behind the bed to see if I can feel it on the floor. (Again I had done this in the past but with my own bed.)

This time however, I get stuck. Like pooh bear with his head in the honey pot stuck. (Except you know….its my arm.) With a little finagling of the mattress my lovely wife helps my release my arm. At that point I took a second to collect my thoughts and dialed her phone once more. Since I was facing the window I quickly zeroed in on the sound and then the light of the phone. Finding it right were she had placed it. It was then that we had a good laugh at each other and put the room back in order. This will be one of those moments one of us brings up over dinner 20 years from now so we can have another good laugh at our own expense.

Balancing Your Checkbook

Keeping your checkbook balanced is very important. A skill few people know how to do correctly or at all for that matter. (To be honest I couldn’t even tell you where my check register is. Just check my online account every couple of days against what I purchased to make sure everything is kosher.) However, doing so at the register is not the place to do it. Take your receipt place it in your check book and deal with it later. Do it in your vehicle if it something that will bother you that much or better yet wait until you are in the comfort of your own home and can file away receipts in a timely manner.

If you are the only person at the register I honestly don’t care, but when there is someone waiting or multiple people for that matter common courtesy dictates you get the hell out of the way. Whomever is running the register is most likely not going to ask you to move. (No one wants the negative customer service review.) It is just easier to let the person(s) behind them shame them into moving.

This all ties into a couple of things I have mentioned in the past. First, the post about keeping your head on a swivel. Using checks is a time consuming process. Wherever you are using them is most likely going to be busy so get it together and get out of other customers way and stop tying up the person running the register. They most likely have three other tasks running through their head that they know need to be completed yet have to wait for you to hammer out a check.

Secondly, I have pontificated about how checks are an archaic form of payment. There are just way to many other payment methods that exist in which your bill can be settled up with. Most of which are safer and easier.




Why Didn’t You Remind Me?

One of the things that continues to baffle me is why patients think we should remind them that they are due to get their medication(s) refilled. Does the gas station call you to tell you to refill your gas tank? Does your grocery store remind you to get more food for your refrigerator? The answer to both is no. So why some patients place the responsibility to know when to refill your medication on the pharmacy is completely beyond me.

At least once a week I have someone say to me, “I’ve been out of my medication for three days. Why didn’t you guys call me?”. Seriously, if you are relying on the pharmacy to remind you to pick up medication that is most likely life sustaining you are in for a rough ride. There are a litany of things I would love to say to the patients at that point, but since I have to answer to “the man” at the end of the day I apologize to the patient and tell them to give me a few minutes so that I can fill their medication they so dearly need now.

Several innovations have been created so as to help mitigate this problem. Automated refills. Phone call reminders both automated and personal that a medication is due to be filled and/or that it is ready and to come pick it up. E-mail reminders. There’s also an app with an alert function. If we could send carrier pigeons we would. Yet despite all that, we will still get people coming in wondering why we didn’t call them to fill their medication.