a freedom very few people will ever experience
Monday, April 11 2022
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY
We've had the boiler off for about a week (since Erik the Painter accidentally turn off the red switch in the basement hallway, a switch that hadn't been thrown in at least 20 years and which immediately broke in the off position). So we've been dependent on solar energy and a just-in-time electrical heater to heat our water since then. But the just-in-time system is flaky and it often refuses to heat water that definitely needs heating, and that resulted in an unpleasant shower for Gretchen yesterday. So today when the sun came out, I made sure that the solar hydronics were operational. Typically after a winter, the hydronic fluid is depleted (though often concentrated) from various boil-over events, particularly power outages on sunny days. (If the fluid doesn't circulate, it heats up past boiling and escapes the system as a gas.) So today climbed up on the solar deck and added more fluid through special custom funnel made for just this one job. The funnel had been on there all winter and first needed to be completely cleaned out of all the leaves, pollen, and pine needles. I usually add antifreeze, but today I just added water, thinking the fluid in the system is now concentrated enough that water, once thoroughly mixed, wouldn't increase the risk of ice damage.
This evening at 5:00pm, after a somewhat satisfying day of work on the Fargate login system for AppStream, I took my first solar-heated bath of the year.
When Gretchen came home, she whipped up a quick Asian noodle dish that, aside from the water chestnuts, didn't contain anything I didn't like.
In other news, I made good progress adding features to my multi-site ESP8266 weather monitoring system. Today I added features allowing the logged data to be viewed at three different timescales, a feature I'd really wanted with the MySpool temperature probe that this system is replacing. It's a huge advantage to be able to completely customize a piece of gear, a freedom very few people will ever experience. If I had it my way, I'd have customized firmwares on all my devices, including the microwave oven and refrigerator. But there are only so many hours in a day.
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