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Old 03-24-2020, 08:28 PM   #481
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Not much today. I took my wheelbarrow over to the big field nearby that used to be woods. They're going to be building new condos, so they leveled it and drove a big chipper through it. I picked up a bunch of wood chunks and brought them home, then cut them up to a good size to use in our chimanea.

Tried to work on the irrigation, but the fittings I bought don't fit, so rather than go out again I ordered replacements by mail. So I will have to wait a few days before I can finish. Pretty annoying that Lowes sells 1/2" irrigation fittings that don't fit the 1/2" tubing they sell.
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Old 03-25-2020, 05:18 PM   #482
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We did a lot of housecleaning/organizing today. This is a sure sign of boredom from being self-isolating. Also "attended" via video conference a birthday party for a 6-year-old grandnephew with people in six different locations. The video conference was a first for us. It was broken up and had a lot of dropouts which I attribute to us being on DSL, but still, stuff like that was pure science fiction when I was that age so that made it kind of cool anyway.

Amazon notified me that an order was being returned as "undeliverable" although this is the same address we've been using for the last 17 years. I'll just chalk it up to somebody being overworked and reorder the items, no biggie.
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Old 03-25-2020, 06:26 PM   #483
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I got away from the computer long enough to do a wiring run from the solar power shed to the pool pump.

What happened was that with spring already here, the day was getting longer and the sun angle was getting noticeably higher each day. Yet, it is the nice time of the year where no AC cooling nor heating is needed. My lithium bank of 22 kWh gets full before noon. The water heater used as a load dump gets up to its temperature setting, and turns off. The charge controllers go to sleep. All that solar power that can be harvested is wasted. I do not use enough power at night to drain off the battery, and it starts the next day already near full. Rinse and repeat.

Hence, the decision to run the pool pump with solar power, as I have plenty of it. In 2 months, when the ACs start cranking, I will not have enough but as of now, I am awash in solar power. Well, not quite because there has been more rain this year than normal, and there were days where solar production was very puny.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:06 PM   #484
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Rented a slit seeder and put down 80 lbs of grass seed in my front yard. Seems like I walked about 2 miles never leaving my yard. Criss crossing back and forth, then 90 degrees back and forth. Two large areas around 1/8 acre each that have been pretty barren. Hopefully the new seed fills in nicely.
Then transplanted 8 Russian sage plants that DW wanted to move. Since the dirt around here is so bad clay the holes are oversize and backfill with good topsoil. So more practice with the shovel.
Couple well earned IPAs tonight.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:16 PM   #485
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The UPS guy left a package at a neighbor's because he said a road leading to my place was too narrow for his truck. So today I moved ice and snow as best I could. It was a mixture of snow, hard ice, and mud. I broke the plow in the process. Got as much of the slop moved as I could with the tractor. I then took the truck over and left it with the welder for repairs. Later the UPS guy showed up at my place so there was some success in my efforts.
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:25 PM   #486
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I made a wonderful lunch out of 100 grams of premium uni, seaweed and rice.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:00 AM   #487
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Went to Lowes with DW,to get a staple gun and staples. I had a light weight one that just wasn't doing the job. We --meaning DW-- decided that our dining room chairs had lost their padding,so we had bought 2inch foam and material last week. We got one bottom off,repadded,recovered,and complete. We have the stuff to finish the others but I told her last night- never again will I do any upholstery jobs. She said it looked a lot easier on the video.My hands are sore from stretching and from shooting the staples. Man that spring loaded handle is strong. I'll help her finish all the chairs but next time its off to the shop for them,or buy new.
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Old 03-26-2020, 05:47 PM   #488
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... never again will I do any upholstery jobs. She said it looked a lot easier on the video.My hands are sore from stretching and from shooting the staples. Man that spring loaded handle is strong. I'll help her finish all the chairs but next time its off to the shop for them,or buy new.
Here ya go: https://www.lowes.com/search?searchT...ic+staple+guns

I have an old Sears Craftsman one that actually does work well and is a LOT easier than pulling that spring!

Back here, I did some more grinding on the front porch and according to my "expert eyeball", a level, and a straightedge, I'm done with that project. We'll know for sure tomorrow when it rains.
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Old 03-26-2020, 06:26 PM   #489
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I got away from the computer long enough to do a wiring run from the solar power shed to the pool pump.

What happened was that with spring already here, the day was getting longer and the sun angle was getting noticeably higher each day. Yet, it is the nice time of the year where no AC cooling nor heating is needed. My lithium bank of 22 kWh gets full before noon. The water heater used as a load dump gets up to its temperature setting, and turns off. The charge controllers go to sleep. All that solar power that can be harvested is wasted. I do not use enough power at night to drain off the battery, and it starts the next day already near full. Rinse and repeat.

Hence, the decision to run the pool pump with solar power, as I have plenty of it. In 2 months, when the ACs start cranking, I will not have enough but as of now, I am awash in solar power. Well, not quite because there has been more rain this year than normal, and there were days where solar production was very puny.
The pool pump turned itself on this morning and ran its daily program. That should help drain the battery some, so that it could accept some more solar power.

I went out to the solar shed to check in the afternoon, and the battery got full at 2:30 PM, and the charge controllers still went to sleep. Darn, it is harder to harvest and store maximum solar power than you would think. Well, it's still better than using grid power to run the pump, while the solar power has no place to go. The charge controllers ran a few hours more past noon, rather than quit before noon as they did the day before.

I turned the pump on manually for it to run for another hour, and watched the solar charge controllers wake up, and make up for the drained power.

I need to think what other circuits I can move from grid power to solar power. Maybe the auxiliary fridge in the utility room, but the washing machine is also powered by the same circuit. It may be too much for the inverter, if everything is turned on at the same time. And then, how often do I have a surplus of power as the last few days?
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:38 PM   #490
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Cooked a delicious fried rice for lunch. Also made a hearty bowl of lentil soup for breakfast. Enjoyed a sunny day in the backyard with my dog.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:50 PM   #491
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Cleared space for stepdaughter to study and work from home due to no school at UCLA.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:09 PM   #492
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DW did a teaching session with her two grandnephews via Facetime and loved it.

I just tried to stay quiet and out of the way by sanding the paint around some scratches made last fall by the installers of the replacement sliding glass doors on the screened-in back porch. They apologized profusely and offered to have a painter fix it but since we already had the matching paint and its a 30-minute job all told I declined. I waited until now because the paint needs temperatures over 50F to cure and I wanted that plus a little to make sure. Those doors are heavy, I don't see how anyone could install one there without making some marks on the paint. The paint is now dry and I can't be sure exactly where the touch-ups are.

Flushed the water heater by simply attaching a 3/4" garden hose to the drain fitting on the bottom and running it into the utility sink. Even though the heater is only six months old I was a bit surprised by the amount of minerals (mostly calcium I think, they were white) swirling around in a vortex in the sink. It looked like about a quarter of a cup or so. Next time I'll put a bucket in the sink, run the hose into the bucket, and hopefully capture all the granules when they sink to the bottom to get a better idea of how much there is. That $1,200 bill for a new water heater six months ago got my attention so I'm staying on top of the maintenance this time.

BTW, I did not turn off the cold water supply and drain the whole tank as so many youtube videos suggest. That doesn't make any sense and several videos by plumbers say it accomplishes nothing more than simply opening the drain valve for five minutes or so and then shutting it. According to them the incoming cold water being under pressure helps stir the bottom of the tank and get the condensed minerals out. And besides, this way the whole job took about ten minutes including rolling up the garden hose.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:32 PM   #493
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I was working in the front yard putting together some temporary shelves to stack our hoarded goodies on. Plus putzing around in the garden. I came back inside and saw in my email a notice that some items I had ordered from Lowes had been delivered. Puzzling, since I was outside the whole time and hadn't even seen a FedEx truck, much less had one stop. I checked, but there was nothing there. I checked in front of both neighbor's houses. Nothing. So I tried to submit a missing package report, but the system says it's not their fault since it didn't require a signature. I was given a number to call, so I did. Sat on hold for 47 minutes, listening to a repeating loop of 15 seconds of music, followed by the "Your call is important to us" message. Got a fair amount of work done on the computer while I waited. Eventually the message switched over to a ringing phone, which usually means a representative will answer. This time it just rang 38 times, then the call dropped.

It was so ridiculous all I could do was laugh.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:39 PM   #494
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Donated a bunch of N95 face masks to the local hospitals today. Back when the SARS thing was going on I was part of the county's emergency preparedness force as an amateur radio communications volunteer. There were a lot of training exercises, and they strongly recommended that we get those masks in case we were called to a real situation. So I picked up a few boxes of them and they've been gathering dust ever since.

Kept a few for our own use and gave the rest of them today to folks who will definitely have need of them.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:00 PM   #495
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Took the dog for a neighborhood walk (now that beaches/boardwalks are closed.) Then did an hour of weeding. Did my hot spot sanitizing routine (every doornob, drawer pull, phones, remotes, and light switches.)

DH did an outing outside the house- target (which has a grocery store so is allowed to stay open), home depot, and an asian market for produce and ramen. (Our teenagers will choose ramen over almost any other food.)

While he was out I ran turbo tax for older son. He hadn't filed taxes because he was under the income limit. Since nothing owed/no refund we couldn't efile - but he signed it and walked it up to the mailbox. We'll see if he qualifies for a stimulus check. It was worth the <1hr to fill out the 1040.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:03 PM   #496
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Cleaned and put water sealer on the back deck. Put down the weed/grass killer. It was a productive day and perfect weather (80s) for it.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:36 PM   #497
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Went to the grocery. Put down some landscaping fabric on the pathways in our herb garden. It will be covered with mulch soon. We and the neighbors are going in on a truck load together. Then sat on my front porch with the young wife and read the Grant biography between greeting each of the people walking by. Finally, dealt with the furnace repair guy who came out to fix our furnace. The young wife is getting dinner together right now.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:21 PM   #498
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Quote:
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.............
Flushed the water heater by simply attaching a 3/4" garden hose to the drain fitting on the bottom and running it into the utility sink. ..........
Thanks for the reminder. I drained mine today, too. I used a bucket as you suggested and was surprised at how little junk was in there.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #499
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DH and I went for a nice long walk in the hood.

Put the quarantined stuff from Monday's and Tuesday's grocery/drug store/Costco runs away.

Am waiting for our steak and fresh baked bread to cool. Nice day overall.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #500
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Worked on a trash pump I bought last fall to get ready for watering some new trees I will be planting at the ranch. I mounted trash pump on an old lawn mower deck so I can push it around to where I need the pump.
In afternoon I went hiking in the back country.
I haven't had contact with one person in about 3 weeks now except for by phone or text. I can go months with out any contact with another person if I want too living in a rural area which I do. I do see my wife and talk to her but other then her I don't have to see anyone if I don't want too.
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