Saturday, February 16, 2019

put that cow on a boat to india

Today was supposed to have been the day of The Big Announcement.

The day I signed up as a card-carrying member of the new green deal -- which, if I understand it correctly means shipping all North American cows to India in a gesture of diversification while simultaneously crippling India's emerging economy. A green twofer.

But there will be no announcement today. You probably figured that out already with my inclusion of the present perfect "supposed to have been."

I have stepped into the deep end of the solar pool. I had previously told you I was considering catching up with the millennials by converting to solar power here in the house with no name (water heater, i am getting you a baby brother).

Well, I have. Rather, I signed a contract to have a system installed.

I decided to hire Solarbay, a company out of Manzanillo, that is represented in this area by my pal Rick Noble. After consulting with the engineer, we concluded a 14-panel system would provide sufficient power for my current peak usage. The full kit with installation is just under $120,000 (Mx) or about $6,300 (US). That includes the 16% VAT that accompanies almost all financial transactions here in Mexico.

So , on Monday, Noé and Carlos showed up with Rick and a truckload of tools and aluminum strips to start the job. They were introduced as "Noah" and "Charlie."

I have become accustomed to Mexicans using English-sounding nicknames as if they worked in a call center in Dhaka. English-speakers appear to feel more comfortable when calling people by familiar names, just as they did when England rule The Raj.

I called them Noé and Carlos.

The original completion date was scheduled for Friday. And it appeared that Noé and Carlos would easily meet the target date. They showed up around 10:30 each morning and worked until 5 in our rather-relentless tropical weather.

I fleetingly thought of writing an essay each day to keep you informed of the project's progress. But I decided "they cut aluminum strips today" and "the second frame is complete" essays would be a bit too puttery, as my friend Colette says.

On Thursday, Noé and Carlos encountered an electrical problem. They caught up to schedule on Friday only to discover the "just in time" delivery of the solar panels were not just in time. Perhaps, the supplier is practicing for a no-deal hard Brexit.

If all goes well, the panels will be installed on Monday, and my system will await the inevitable bureaucratic queuing to switch my house from a consumer of CFE (the national power company) electricity to a provider of electricity to CFE (and, through it, to my neighbors).

I knew I would eventually be a powerhouse. I just had to discover the correct amount of money to buy the title.

When the full array is up, I will let you know. I may even show you a wallet-full of baby pictures.

And I will let you know of the joys and travails of trying to slip away from the nationalized clutches of CFE. I am still a little unclear about what will be happening. We will find out together.

As for those cows headed to India, I wish them well. Had they only eaten more Tums, things might not have taken such a dark turn.

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