Sunday, January 31, 2016

Yes, it is the little things...

Not much happens around here on a rainy day, especially a rainy Sunday. But we don't care...

Muffins on the toaster

Modern electric heat

Gas still provides the best light


Life is good on a rainy day!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Power to the People

Well, some power... to some of the people...

So I says to myself I says, "GDubs, you have this power center thing sitting around and all these big batteries sitting around, all waiting on solar panels and not really doing anything else besides taking up space, so why not put them to work?"

I hoisted the big heavy thing up onto the shop wall (that was a little scary), and hooked the batteries back up to it, and then got some wire and outlets and hooked them up to the output side.

Now I have an actual light, with wall switch, and four outlets that provide electricity even when the generator is not running.  I'll be able to "work" in the shop after dark!

Also, the trailer is plugged into one of the outlets with a long extension cord, so now I have round-the-clock power here in Kini.  I have the little electric heater going right now.  What luxury!  I don't have to wait for the contractors to arrive and crank up the generator to get a little heat. Also, the laptop won't be nagging me to plug it in when I spend too much time on it.

Every two or three days, I'll fire up the generator to recharge the batteries, or they'll get charged when the contractors are using the generator.

I'll never take one of these for granted again.

Let there be light!

Thursday, January 28, 2016


My good buddy in England commented that he enjoys seeing the views of the land around the house.  Since it's the prettiest time of the year, when the grass is green after the rains but not yet knee-high and weedy or dried out and brown, I took some shots of my views.

I think I've mentioned that I have only one neighbor, and his house is barely visible from mine.

And I like it that way!

First we'll look out the windows on all four sides of the house, then we'll walk Molly down to the road and look at the ranch across the way, then back up to the north end, past the trailer and into the little creek bed that only runs when it's pouring rain.

West out of the dining room.  What I will look at over coffee

South out of the kitchen.  The generator and woodpile won't always be there.

East on the front porch. That's the "upside down sunset" hill.

North out of the guest bedroom.

"The Meadow" looking away from the house

"The Corn Field" on the other side of the drive, looking toward the house

The fence line.  My only neighbor

The ranch across the road.  That's my mailbox.

Looking back up "The Meadow" toward the house

The driveway, the entrance to Sábado

The creek bed

Home Sweet Home (for a while longer)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Blinding Flash Test

The solar batteries will be my lifeblood when the sun goes down, and they've been sitting around for a couple of months now, so it was getting important to get them a little drink of juice before they became damaged by neglect.

I rigged up the power center/charger on the workbench, wired up the batteries, and plugged it in to the generator.

About to perform the "Blinding Flash Test"

After a phone call to my solar tech, who told me to... um... flip the O-N / O-F-F switch to the O-N position.... it fired right up and started giving the batteries their long-awaited charge.

This should keep them happy until the solar panels are installed and the system is up and running for reals.

We have a roof!

January 25, 2016 - The roof is on. Tim the roofer camped here for three days and roofed both buildings by himself. He was a funny old cuss, who drank a lot of beer and swore like a sailor, but he did a good job, and promised to come back to help install the solar panels.

While he was putting the shingles on, he installed the mounting blocks for the solar.

You can't really see them in this picture, but there are 20 solar mounting blocks on this (South) side of the roof.

The roofer was the first visitor to use my guest RV spot.

Also built the box for my solar batteries this week.  It's made out of Hardie Panel - a fire resistant material.

Next up, the electrician.  He's promised to get out here this week, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20, 2016

Couple of finallys:

Finally finished the shop doors

Finally got the roofer out here to put the roofing paper on, and he's gonna put the shingles on this weekend!
Also, the painter came to paint the fascia boards, since that would be harder to do once the shingles on.

Finally unpacked the solar power center and my 16 big ol' batteries.

Alex the contractor also got all the studs installed through the roof for the solar panel brackets.

More pix next week when the roof is on. And hopefully soon, the solar panels!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rainy Day Road Trip

Apparently El Nino is here, and trying to wash us all away.  Since it rained all week and not much was getting done on the house, I took off to LA to see the Petersen Automobile museum, and also stopped in at an old stomping ground...

The museum is covered in a wacky metal sculpture
(Internet photo)

Here are a few of the amazing automobiles I saw

The Round Door Rolls

The Bugatti Veyron - fastest production car ever built.
1500 horsepower, 250 MPH

A wedding present from France to the Shah of Iran

500 horsepower V-10

I also paid a visit to the church of which my dad was Business Manager back in the 70s, where I used to run around as a kid.  Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Looked pretty good, considering it was built in 1929.

In the late 70s, after I returned from the service and college, I did a few woodworking projects for the church, including this box.  One of two or three of my projects that are still there.

They did make a little progress while I was gone: they finished the back porch roof and got the nailing inspection, which should mean we can start getting the roofing on next week.