Sunday, March 26, 2006

Prairie "solar" Home Companion--adventures in solar marketing

Hey solarDwellers:

Happened to be listening to NPR this weekend, which I usually tune in to listen to "Car Talk" humor, not really caring about grinding or whizzing noises coming from under Peter in Pennsylvania's hood, but love the Car Talk show credits, like: "Assistant Director of Strategic Planning": Kent C. Detrees; "Audience Response Monitor": Luke Warm; "Adopted Son from Sweden" Bjorn A.Payne Diaz; "Child Development Expert": Dr. Benjamin Spark; and, finally, "Anger Management Consultant": Joanne Slowburn. Well, I missed the Car Talk brothers, and happened to tune in during the half-hour point/pause in Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, which I almost never listen to, and I don't know why because whenever I hear a few minutes, it's pretty funny also.

Well, I tell you all this because of something I heard during the "pause" when NPR mentions some sponsors. The first sponsor: Borrego Solar, a solar installation company based in San Diego and Berkeley, CA. That was kinda neat, like seeing "solar" on the front page in terms of advertising. Looks like solar is getting to that "tipping point" and becoming an energy/home solution that could be mentioned in the same breath as "double-pane windows" or "tankless water heaters."

So, after the break, Prairie Home Companion first mentions it's sponsor(not solar): The American Duct Tape Council, oh so middle America! Then, the scene is a wife asking her husband how two "energy" crystals she had given him as a gift to awaken the passion in their marriage had ended up in the trash. "Oh, those rocks must've fallen out of my pocket into the garbage can," mutters the husband sheepishly. "But those crystals are to give us "spiritual energy" and rekindle our marriage, honey! We have to have a REAL talk." "Yes???" asks the husband. "Honey, we're going to go on a marriage retreat." "Well, honey, I wouldn't like to think of our marriage in terms of "retreat", but, rather, boldly moving forward," refutes the husband. "No, honey. We're going on the NRA-sponsored marriage and counseling quail shooting retreat. We can work on conflict management skills and track and kill our prey at the same time!" continues the wife.

That's as far as I got as I was on to other things this Sunday, but, pretty funny. So, my suggestion is for Prairie Home Companion, where "the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average", to add "solar" to it's name, making their rooftops solar-powered, and quite a bit above average. Yes, the "Prairie Solar Home Companion." Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Right there in Middle America.

Coda: I just actually looked at their website, and what is the first banner ad I see? Toyota Prius. Prairie Home's going in the right direction, I guess. That ad assumes environmentalists are there listening, laughing at all those middle American-isms. Solar Home Companion wouldn't be such a stretch after all.

--your slightly above average solarDweller
P.S. The spell-checker suggested "thankless" instead of "tankless" water heater, and although we take them too much for granted, along with the natural gas or electricity it takes to heat the water, I'm sticking with, and suggest you install, the tankless version.
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