dock winterization, day 2
Friday, November 18 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
Late this morning the sun came out in ernest, but there was no way to collect any of its energy because there was still inches of thawed and refrozen snow on the solar panels. Yesterday I'd tried getting it off from below, but it was stuck too tightly to the panels to dislodge. So I climbed up on the roof, nervous that I might start sliding on the snowy surface and end up falling to my death. But the crunchy snow provided good traction, and I was able to dislodge enough snow working from above the panels to generate about 300 watts of power in full sunlight. That's a little less than 10% of full capacity, but maybe this will improve as snow melting on the now-partially-exposed higher panels washes away snow from the lower ones.
At noon, I trudged down to the lake again to continue work getting the large fully-floating section of dock completely out of the water where I'd beached it (just north of the tree dock). I was still using the pry-with-an-improvised-lever-and-insert-blocks technique, hoping to lift the massive object up out of the water and onto some concrete blocks. As I was doing this, Neville suddenly appeared, which was a bit of a surprise. Normally he'd just hang out near the dock while I worked, but there was snow on the ground and no comfy snow-free place for him to lie. He was frisky initially, excited to find me. But when it was clear I wasn't going anywhere fun, he headed back to the cabin on his own. By the end of the lunch hour, I'd managed to get the dock section almost entirely out of the water. One corner of one floater was still an inch below the surface, and that wasn't good enough. But I needed to return to the remote workplace.
But it was a quiet day there, and I couldn't really make myself work. Eventually I watched a video about using OWASP ZAP to track down XSS vulnerabilities, and then I decided to drive to civilization to get more hardware to help me with the dock winterizing project. The dogs had been with me in the loft while I dicked around on my work-issued laptop, but for some reason only Ramona wanted to go for a ride in the car. I suppose Neville was still dealing with the trauma of following me to the snowy shore of the lake, and he remained snuggled cozily inot the bean bag.
My first stop was the True Value hardware store in Gloversville, since it closes at 6:00pm. I really wanted a four foot piece of galvanized steel pipe measuring an inch and half in diameter. But they didn't have any of that thickness. So I mostly just bought quick links (for connecting chains together) since I was needing a lot of those, and I didn't have any of a size that would easily work with the chain I'd bought.
Then I drove to the the Ace hardware store in Johnstown, which closes at 7:00pm. On the way, I stopped for a few provisions at the Price Chopper. These included broccoli, tofu, more sourdough bread, some sort of non-white bread that turned out to be a production of the Cheesecake Factory, and high-octane "Dragon's Milk" beer. There were no pipes of the correct length at Ace, but they had pipes of the correct diameter, so I asked if they could cut me a four foot section and make sure there were threads on both ends. It turned out they could, and the price for this custom piece was only about $50. I also bought better hardware for hanging a shower curtain, as the loose hooks holding the one in the upstairs bathroom keep spontaneously unhooking themselves.
Later this evening when I went to climb beneath the covers, I found a big two-foot-wide wet spot in the center of the bed. I smelled it, though I didn't really need to, and confirmed that it was urine. I hadn't seen the crime get committed, but it had surely been perpetrated by Neville. He must've done it this morning before getting out of bed, as there was no other time he'd been in the bed. Clearly, I had to up my game of making sure he pisses. With that in mind, I unceremoniously scooped him up from the couch, took him outside, and plunked him in the snow. Then I did my best to clean up the mess. The bed ended up with no fitted sheet and an even bigger wet spot, though the bed was big enough for me not to have to sleep in it. The dogs, strangely, had no problem sleeping in that spot, which was good because it meant their body heat would help dry it out.
The cabin in the snow.
Click to enlarge.
Icicles along the gutter over the front door.
The fallen white ash, partly cut up, near the propane tank. This was after I'd managed to extract the slightly-damaged hand truck.
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