Summer can be learnin’ time

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It’s summer, and my teenage kids grunt and groan at every family meal. They roll their eyes. They say in morose tones: “Here we go again.” They do not do these things because my wife and I are bad cooks. No, they complain because it is summer, and they feel they don’t need a science lesson at every meal. Lucky for them I don’t agree. I see the moments we spend sitting around the dinner table as … [Read more...]

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … drone?

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  We know drones are small, unmanned aircraft that have been used primarily for military purposes but are now being studied for a variety of commercial uses. Drones are also a burgeoning hobby of aviation enthusiasts around the world. I admit I am intrigued by the idea of drones for commercial use. Can you imagine having a package delivered right to your doorstep by a drone instead of a … [Read more...]

Low-Cost, No-Cost Summer Efficiency

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As we roll into summer, many people wonder when heat waves will begin and bring the season’s first air-conditioning bill. While a newer, high-efficiency air conditioner or heat pump usually reduces cooling costs, they also require a sizable investment. So what can a homeowner do this summer to save energy without breaking the piggy bank? Read on! Windows – When it cools off at night, turn off … [Read more...]

Investment Recovery: Finding value, promoting efficiency

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We were out for supper the other night and one of our friends asked what I did for NPPD.  I said, “I’m an Investment Recovery Coordinator.”  She replied, “With stock, bonds or some kind of investments?” I said, “No, investment recovery means we sell, redeploy, scrap or get rid of surplus systems, equipment and parts to get the best return on investment that we can. In other words, after … [Read more...]

Arbor Day Celebration – The cherry on top of my ice cream sundae

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One thing I love about my job is being able to plan events. I enjoy organizing things, meeting new people and making sure everything is crossed off my “to do” list. As a special benefit, planning events allows me to travel out of town a few times each year for NPPD related activities. One such event is the Arbor Day Celebration, held annually the third week of April. Actually, it was a … [Read more...]

‘Always There’: More than words

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Just like that lone power line structure still standing following the ice storm during the winter of 2006-2007, NPPD’s surveyors are always there when you need us as well. Most of the time we might go unnoticed, though, because we often do our jobs before the action starts, or we are working in the background. But I can promise you that when surveyors are needed, we will be right there beside line … [Read more...]

Getting “Heat” out of the Kitchen

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stove hood

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But if you need to cook dinner or bake a cake, this advice is probably not practical. How about getting the heat out of the kitchen instead? In addition to creating smoke, grease and odors, cooking produces significant amounts of waste heat and water vapor. While this may not be as big of a concern in winter months, during the cooling season, … [Read more...]

A Slice of Knowledge

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Pizza and electricity. Two of this country’s favorites. While pizza originated in Italy, the U.S. is now the world’s number one consumer of those delectable pies. Americans are also huge consumers of electricity, ranking second only behind the Chinese and their nearly four times larger population. Not every pizza is the same, just like not every kilowatt-hour of energy is produced the same. The … [Read more...]

A Safety ‘A-ha!’ Moment

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Did you know that in 2014, more than one half of NPPD’s recordable injuries were strains/pulls? This means they were not the result of “accidents” such as being struck by something, walking into a stationary object, falling, or sustaining a cut or abrasion.  In more technical terms these strains and pulls were musculo-skeletal injuries, and they were very likely preventable. What can we do when … [Read more...]

Reflection Upon a Fall

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I keep my mower in a white-block detached garage. A large, zero-radius turn, riding mower with a 52-inch deck, it is a beast powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine located just behind the driver’s seat. The old, well-used lawnmower was bequeathed to me by Grandpa Larry. A genius with machines, metal and wood, he had cut away the bottom half of the front and sides of the mower’s deck. He did … [Read more...]