Gridvine

By Published On: January 27, 2012

After several rainless months, the skies opened up across much of the state. Alas, a regulatory drought continues--at least on the “smart” meter opt-out (cold) front. A number of Dr. Snarky Sparks’ clients claim their ills are caused by “dumb” digital utility meters. The M.D. and her team are attempting to test state regulators’ vital signs in this regulatory desert. The probes reveal that the commission does not consider the high temper-atures to be terminal. Although Dr. Snarky et al.’s check-ups reveal irritation, the issue isn’t included on the California Public Utilities Commission’s “What’s Hot” list. To get things on track, the good doctor Fed-Ex’d the CPUC a box of “smart” thermometers. Insert them where you will. Is it reading green or red? After last year’s multiple meltdowns at Fukishima Daiichi, Japan, dishware was invented that lights up when all or parts of your lunch or dinner are radioactive. This glow-in-the-dark platter has LED rings embedded in it which light up at different levels, depending on the amount of radiation dolloped out, according to Geek Alerts. “The Fukishima Plate is an ordinary kitchen plate with built in radioactive meter to visualize your food’s level of contamination,” designer Nils Feber told the Daily Mail. Nearly radioactive at the end of last year was a former member of the California Energy Commission. After being powerless for several days after hurricane force winds hit Southern California, Pasadena resident Geoffrey Commons reportedly threatened to kill City of Pasadena employees for failing to get his power back on. It was a red hot alert for the city, who called law enforcement in to diffuse the situation. “I did not think I was going to get arrested,” Commons told the KTLA News. The high winds not only brought death threats but blew the life out of a number of wind turbines. The windmills automatically shut down when the velocity reached over 56 mph, according to the California Wind Energy Association. But, the loss of renewable resources did not affect the California Independent System Operator grid. The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s 120 MW Pine Tree wind farm continued to spin without losing blades. The health-o-meter of Snarky’s colleague Dr. Bill Pill was set off recently, but not by feverish temperatures. The California Air Resources Board’s involvement in issuing a request for proposals on behalf of a new private corporation being formed to handle the upcoming carbon cap-n-trade auctions had him wondering “what’s up Doc?” On its face, it appeared to be unfair to all those hopeful souls who bid on a similar set of RFPs issued by the Air Board itself for help in running the upcoming auction. But after an exam, it turned out that all is fair and there’s plenty of work for all concerned (see story page 8). Elsewhere, an agency showed worrying imbalance signs. During a recent legislative hearing, owners and managers of large buildings who invested in LEDs complained that the pricey bulbs burned out routinely after a couple of months, contrary to their claimed 20-year life. Around the same time, the Energy Commission revealed opposing phalanges of government were out of sync. The agency touted the wonders of LED street lights, stating they “translate to safety and savings for cities across California.”

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