Articles - September, 2006

October 7, 2006: National Tour of Solar Homes Day

Asestourlogo119 To kick off the Natural Energy Awareness Month of October, the American Solar Energy Society (www.ases.org) will be sponsoring the National Tour of Solar Homes on October 7, 2006.  A solar home tour will happen in most states on or near this date.  Depending on the state, the tour may (or may not) have modern homes, but this will be an excellent opportunity to get first-hand information on solar energy:  information relevant to the particularities of the state YOU live in. 

Del_junco_solar_residence To find a list of links relevant to the state you live in, click here.  The tour in Texas will be in Houston and costs a nominal $10.  This looks to be an awesome tour, and as of today, there will be 8 homes with various green features.  Here’s a link to the list of homes with pictures and a description of each sustainable home. 

This is an awesome opportunity for anyone thinking about retrofitting their house or building a new sustainable house.  Why not learn from the experiences of others that have already taken the green plunge?  They will be able to talk about solar power, solar heating, cooling, passive cooling, wind power, day lighting, and other various green building technologies.  The Texas tour includes access to all 8 homes, a guide book, and a free energy efficient light bulb.  I’m thinking of taking the 5-hour drive (from Dallas to Houston) just to see some of these places and learn about the tax incentives specific to my state. 

For my Colorado readers (and there’s a lot of you), my friend in the blogosphere, Tom Konrad, Ph.d., has some good info on what’s going on in that state.  Just an FYI…

2006 National Solar Tour Sponsor Links:
U.S. Department of Energy EE/RE
Sunplan.com
Solar Today Magazine
Find Solar
Renewable Energy Access
Fronius

Blog Tagged by the Eco-Entrepreneur

The Fountainhead Well…I’ve been blog tagged by the eco-entrepreneur, Shea.  Here it goes…

A Book that Changed My Life:
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  Honestly, I don’t agree with the concept that one can find true greatness sans religion (or one’s personal, internal inspiration), but otherwise, this book is an amazing articulation of the greatness humans can acheive, intertwined with modern architecture commentary. Other notables:  Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, Dune by Frank Herbert, Zen in the Art of Writing/The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, Autobiography of Ben Franklin, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A Book I’ve Read More than Once:
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.  Had to do it for class, but I really like the themes expressed in this book. 

A Book I’d take with me if I Were Stuck on a Desert Island:
The Bible.  Honestly, it’s one of the biggest books I can think of and the authors pass the batton every now and then.  It offers a modicum of variety. 

A Book that Made Me Laugh:
Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen.  His stuff is non-stop, hilarious.  Some parts are more scandilious than I prefer, but otherwise, his stuff is absolutely ridiculous. 

A Book that Made Me Cry:
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  This book really pulls at the heart strings.  Gotta read it, however. 

A Book that I Wish Had Been Written:
A personal diary of Genghis Khan.  He’s an interesting character in the spectrum of dominant world leaders, so I’d be interested to know what was going through his mind, that is, other than fleeting thoughts of goat’s milk and riding horses. 

A Book that I Wish Had Never Been Written:
I don’t know, everyone has the right to put it down on paper, so I can’t really think of anything, but I thought the recent book called "Jarhead," by Anthony Swofford, was utterly crass.  I tossed it 25% through the book. 

A Book I’ve Been Meaning to Read:
Still River by Harry Hunsicker (a mystery situationalized in Dallas real estate). 

Books I’m Currently Reading:
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Lone Star by T.R. Fehrenbach. 

Okay, so now…I blog tag:
Tom Konrad (EE/RE Investing), Karen (Emerald Market), and Michael Davis (Dallas Progress). 

miniHome: Modern + Green Urban RV

Minihome

Introducing the miniHome.  Technically, it’s an RV, but it’s also designed for year-round living in extreme climates.  Ask the company, and they’ll tell you it’s perfect as a ski chalet, vacation retreat, cottage, guest cabin, or simple + luxurious home-away-from-home.  The base price is about $107,000 USD (max price $167,000), and if you’re thinking of hauling it around, you’ll need a vehicle that can handle a 14,000 pound haul.

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