Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

It’s an iMac Day

Originally posted 11/8/2012

I like the look of the app that The Weather Channel offers for the iPhone, iPad, etc. It has a very rich appearance, and exudes a confidence that gives one the ability to plan with confidence. If only they could work on the data, though. I’ve noticed that the numbers have been consistently off for Quartzsite. Way off. Example: it says that right now, Quartzsite has an overcast temperature of 72 with a 10 MPH breeze and zero chance of rain. What made me wake from my beauty rest and notice was the howling of the wind through the windows, and the rocking of the trailer. And that’s with the stabilizing jacks down. I was watching through the windows how the big solar panels were reacting, since they are facing the wind on about a 45 degree angle and their behavior in high wind is completely unknown so far. They seemed to be staying put very nicely at this point. Seems more like a 25 MPH-plus wind, but the sprinkle of rainwater on the windows also got my attention. Both my indoor and outdoor temp readings are 80. High winds make the roof drum, sounding like somebody unable to hold a big metal panel tightly in place. I assume it’s really air doors in the A/C unit up there. The roof itself is one continuous piece of aluminum, so the sound can’t match the reality.

I left at about 6:20 AM this morning for Phoenix, giving myself an extra hour for the 2-1/2-hour trip. I’d like to say that this was all planned out, but it was an oopsie on my part, an oopsie that turned out to be necessary. Once realized, I refueled and then cruised for an hour and a half at 60 MPH on the way there instead of 75, for the sake of fuel mileage. I was into the giddy territory of 18.5-19, something I rarely see. But then the GPS suddenly tacked on another half hour onto my ETA, warning that up to 40 minutes of stalled traffic in Phoenix would cause me problems. Wanting nothing to get in the way of getting there on time – at worst – I cranked the truck up to 75.

The bad traffic in Phoenix was indeed bad, but kept rolling. This was not rush hour on the Kennedy. I rolled up to Mac Service Experts about 20 minutes early. They replaced my hard drive quickly, and then restored the data to the new disk, a service not technically included under warranty service. They started actually working on it by 10 and had me out by 12:30 after I had enjoyed an eggs benedict with some good coffee at Jerry’s, a decent local restaurant. Oh, the trials of life!

In all, I covered 272 miles at an average of 18.2 MPG. I was back home by 3:15, safe and sound, and lay down for 45 to recover from the early start and all the driving. That’s when the wind roar and rocking woke me up. When I was satisfied that the panels weren’t going anywhere, I fixed a package of Ramen noodle soup as a snack and started typing this fascinating post.

Looks like I’ll be using a book I scarfed, How to Clean Anything, since a pillar candle managed to bend a lip over and drip a lot of wax onto the edge of a dinette seat cushion. I think this involves paper towels and a hot iron, but can’t remember past that. I’ll have to use a pot with hot water in it, since I have neither iron nor enough AC power to run one. I’d been considering old-style irons that you heat up on the stove, but had figured I shouldn’t goof with that stuff in Year One. I can wear wrinkled shirts. Matches my face.

The overcast sky put the damper on recharging the house batteries over the day, but it still did a yeoman job. At a few minutes from sunset, it’s still actively charging in bulk mode (everything it can throw at the batteries), but their voltage reads over 13 volts, which means that the cells are basically all the way up but just not topped off. That’s not the healthiest thing for the batteries as a steady diet, but tomorrow’s partly cloudy forecast may prove better. I’m impressed though. Overcast skies make most charging systems useless, from what I read. Maybe the 18-volt panels weren’t such a big mistake after all. They can really pump electrons.

The three days of limited activity that I have ahead while waiting for the additional new controllers to drop into my hands is a good thing, as I see it. I’m still waiting to stop planning and scurrying about, same as I would do in a paying job. There’s a mental shifting of gears that needs to take place, one that will allow me to really appreciate where I am and what I’m doing. Winding down from busyness can be an uncomfortable process when that’s all that one has known. But it’s a process that I want to successfully get through. This is a very nice place and a good life, and I’d like to avoid staying so distracted by a habit of to-do lists that I miss being able to let this all soak in.

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