Beginning a Heat Wave

…well, at least for this area of the Olympic Peninsula. My little weather station reported an outside temp of 79.5F just before 10am, then dropping down to low-to-mid 70’s for the rest of the day. (See temp graph below: red line is temp, green line is dew point. Click to embiggen.) Around here, anything above 75F is hot weather.

ScreenShot451That resulted in a sudden display of bony and arthritic legs around here (this is a retirement area, after all), blindingly white at times. I was not in that group, though, choosing to stay with the full-length jeans for today.

Went to a house in the area that had some free cardboard moving boxes. A young single-mother family in the ward is moving soon, and could use the boxes for their move. Flattened about 30 just-used-once moving boxes into the back of the SUV, and 6 bags of packing paper.

While doing that,  I saw a submarine go by on the Puget Sound (their house had a nice view), with its escorts of two supply vessels on either side guiding it, along with a couple-three US Coast Guard boats. The fleet headed down into the Hood Canal area, through the Hood Canal Bridge (a floating concrete bridge with a section that opens up for boat traffic). During a submarine transit, the Washington State Patrol roadblocks the bridge back to the banks (the bridge is about 0.9 miles long) to keep things safe. Always fun to watch the submarines go by, even though running on the surface, it’s hidden a bit by the supply boats on either side.

Took another walk around the neighborhood today. It’s a 0.85 mile trip, with a bit of elevation change. I figure one walk is better than none.

And it turns out that the wife’s laptop is feeling a bit poorly. It’s not as old as mine, only 3 years, and gets used for many hours each day. So we ordered a new one for her. Another HP Envy 17t: 17″ touch screen, 12GB RAM, 2TB hard disk (she stores a lot of pictures), Windows 10. Should be here by the end of the month, so I’ll get to set up that one too.



Plugging Along

Nice day today. Sunny (mostly), blue sky, blue Puget Sound, lots of green trees. Temps are getting warm (for here) – approaching upper 60’s.

Took two walks around the neighborhood after church today. Have gotten out of the habit of doing that the past few months. Leg muscles a bit stiff from that. Perhaps if I keep going on the walks, the weight will drop a bit; it has wandered up slightly over the last couple of months.

Have just about got the new laptop set up the way I want it. Used the Laplink program to move all of the programs from the old one to the new one; that worked out fairly well. Some tweaks on the programs, but much less effort than reinstalling everything. Took about 24 hours to move the programs across on the local wifi network. Could have done it faster with a direct connect via a crossover cable, but didn’t want to dig around and find one.

Copied all of the data files to the new computer; another 9 hours for that. I had previously backed them up to the desktop system, where they are backed up to the ‘cloud’ automatically. So a copy from the desktop to the new laptop was easy enough to start, just took quite a bit of time.

Some ribeye steaks for dinner tonight, with a salad for me. A good day.

Power to the People

Trip to ‘town’ for the usual food supplies today, plus medicine refills.

This weeks’ prep work: replaced the keyswitch on the almost new 7K/9K generator (got it barely used for $400, but the key didn’t work). New switch and keys only cost $9. Started right up (after I remembered to turn on the fuel valve and choke it). Not too noisy, about the same as my 4-stroke lawnmower.

Next on the list: install a manual transfer switch to some of the house circuits. In the meantime, got lots of heavy-duty power cords. Only need to power the fridge and freezer, plus the DirecTV/TV room (gotta keep myself entertained). Power outages here happen about 2-3 times a year, usually due to windstorms (lots of trees next to power lines here in the OlyPen).

Food/water supplies are OK for short term. And, of course, I have lots of FLASHLIGHTS (and batteries, along with two LED lanterns).

Weather today: a bit foggy in the morning, but cleared this afternoon to an almost-cloudless sky. Temps in mid-40F, above freezing overnight.

Notes and Roasts

I spent almost 2 hours practicing a song on the piano – I get to accompany a group of teenage girls in their Church presentation next Sunday. One song is sort of easy, the other is harder. Need to practice some more tomorrow to see if I can get these old fingers to bang on the correct keys.

Also helped the Financial Clerk with some beginning-of-year stuff while I was at the Church building.

Yesterday, I got some plastic shelve units from the orange-box store. Put one of the smaller ones up in the corner where there were some leftover paint cans. All were from the previous/original owner of the house, and they are mostly dried up. So I gathered up the ‘dead’ paint cans and drove over to the county waste place, where they told me they don’t take old paint unless it is ‘solid’.

That’s different from CA, which has a hazardous waste collection area at their waste place. So I put the cans back in the trunk, and stopped by the grocery store for a small bag of cat litter (their recommendation). That’s a project for later this week; I’ll solidify the old paint with the cat litter, then stick the cans in the regular garbage.

Some minor web site stuff done. And there is a roast beef in the oven; this time we seasoned it overnight with the steak seasoning (like we do for tri-tip roasts), so that is cooking slowly at 225F for a couple of hours. Will be interesting to see how that turns out.

Tonight’s activity: favorite TV shows – new episodes of NCIS and Limitless. Along with some more binge-watching of old NCIS episodes.

Not As Cold

The weather has changed from clear and cold to cloudy and not-as-cold with a bit of dampness. The folks in Seattle area got a bit of snow (under 2 inches) but that got everyone excited, so schools and offices closed down, and the commute was a bit dicey for some.

My commute was OK. Bedroom to living room (with a side trip to the kitchen for breakfast) had no obstacles or traffic.

On the list today: trip to “town” for groceries, and lunch. And some computer stuff, of course.

Cold and Un-Clear

Back from Utah last week; great visit with all the kids and grandkids. It was cold there; it had snowed just before we got there, so a couple inches on the ground. Then the skies cleared, so temps ranged from 10-30F. Brisk.

Trip home was between big storms. We made it to La Grande OR just after they closed I-84 over the Blue Mountains (summit is about 4100 feet). Icy roads and stupid drivers caused some crashes, so the road was closed just before we got there in the afternoon. Weather models looked snowy, and I really didn’t want to put chains on the car (I had them, though). The Highlander is 4WD, but I’d been driving for about 8 hours by the, so wasn’t really looking forward to a 2 hour trip to Pendleton (slower because of the weather) then 6 more hours home (with some snow forecast).

So Pam used her phone to find a nice hotel in La Grande, and we relaxed there. By the next morning, the weather was better, the road was open (with some minor packed snow and ice) across the Blue Mountains into Pendleton. Right outside (east) of Pendleton is a steep 6%/6 mile twisty downgrade, and that section had some really heavy fog (low clouds), so that was slow going. After that, the roads were damp, with some falling snow that didn’t stick in the Columbia Gorge (The Dalles to outside Portland), so minor slowdown. Damp roads the rest of the way home, so about an 8 hour drive. But we were glad to be home.

Since returning home, clear skies and cold weather; temps in 20-30’s. Heavy frost in the shady areas around the house; that melted if the sun hit it, but our shady front lawn area is still frosty. Today (Sunday) was Church day, with my first meeting at 7am, so liberal use of de-icer while the car warmed up. I hadn’t driven the car for a while, so there was a bit of frost on the inside of the car. And it is parked in a shady spot, so the water bottles left inside were mostly frozen. But the heater works good, so safe travels.

Today looks like a minor storm in the area; but doesn’t look like much rain at the house. Cold enough that there could be a few snowflakes, but the weather radar doesn’t show any moisture headed our direction.

Tired because of getting up early today; I think I’ll head to the den with a blanket and continue binge-watching NCIS. If I can stay awake.

Power Protection

There are the occasionally high wind events here in the Olympic Penninsula. And those can cause short-term power outages. Has happened twice this storm season, with each outage under 12 hours.

A friend is selling their very slightly used generator at a great price, so that is our next self-reliance purchase. Initially I will use it for wind-caused power outages, with heavy-duty extension cords for the fridge, freezer, and my CPAP (I don’t sleep well without the CPAP).

Ultimately, the generator will be connected to several house circuits via an manual transfer switch. I got a circuit tracer from Harbor Frieght (here for $19.00) to identify the circuits at the main panel. I’ll then instaall a 30 amp manual transfer switch and wire several circuits through the transfer switch (I’m thinking fridge, freezer, and the DirectTV/TV, plus bedroom).

With that in place, I’ll be able to fire up the generator, connect to the transfer switch, flip the transfer switch to isolate the main (so I don’t feed back into the power grid), and I’ll be OK for the next power outage. I can watch DirecTV during the outage, and keep cell phones charged.

With a couple of battery-powered LED camp lights, plus other FLASHLIGHTS , and the propane fireplace (which may also get connected to the transfer switch to power the fan for better heat), I figure we’ll be in good shape for a power outage. Around here, they last under 12 hours (the last two were about 8 hours), so a couple of five-gallon cans of gas will keep things working until the power is restored.

In the meantime, work continues on the WordPress plugins, with some final fine-tuning of the code and operation.