Wednesday, October 6, 2010

New Job, maybe a few new posts too.

A return to work and a return to blogging

After two years of retraining in the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency program at Greenfield Community College, which I cannot recommend to highly, I've begun work as an Energy Auditor for Next Step Living Inc. I and two others will be heading up their operations in Western Massachusetts.

Next Step Living is participating in a pilot project to open up the state-wide Mass Save homeowner retrofit project to independent contractors to perform audits in addition to weatherization work.

Generally, I have had trouble keeping up this blog while I was busy, but I will try to update this with the beginning of my new job.

I'm currently finishing up training in Boston to begin Audits in Greenfield starting next week. I'll keep you dear reader posted throughout the process.

Unfortunately this new job requires a new car

That's right, Katie and I who have spent the last six years with from zero to one cars, now need a second vehicle, and the wonderful two door Honda Civic of hers that gets 40 MPG just won't cut it for carrying the tools of my trade. So we researched to find the most fuel efficient cargo carrier that we could. It became clear that rather than buying an older pickup which would mean that we would end up replacing two cars in the next few years, it made sense to find a newer and capacious hatchback.

The cute, fuel sipping Ford Fiesta, and Toyota Yaris failed for their miserly cargo room. We found that There were really three competitors for what we wanted The new Kia Rio 5, the Nissan Versa Hatchback, And the Honda Fit. We decided against the Rio 5 because we just had a Rio four-door sedan rental that failed to wow while we visited my family in Arizona and as a new model we knew that it was unlikely that we could get any real deals. We test drove both the Nissan Versa, and the Honda Fit. Both have manual transmission options that are quite peppy (the Versa automatic was sluggish) Both are fairly well appointed at around $15,000 MSRP and the Versa can be had for much lower than that. For most people, I could see both being suitable, but for me it came down to the superbly designed and engineered cargo space of the Honda Fit. This thing is a wonder to behold. The rear seats fold flat and level which makes the space much more usable. In my day to day usage, I will rarely be returning these seats to their upright and locked positions. This vehicle will act like a mini-pickup for me, that happens to have access on three sides.

Blower door and combustion safety at home

This weekend I will be testing my skills on our new home - Oh you didn't know that we had a new home? that's because I haven't posted to this blog since we began searching for a new house. It's pretty nice. I'll dish more later.

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