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It snowed in the last week of October. The weather folks called it an event that happens every 30 or 40 years. So, we should be good for a while.
Our friends of the Northern California band Poor Man's Whiskey made the play list of a Pink Floyd cover radio station with their CD "Dark Side of the Moonshine". Congratulations guys, and we are pleased to say that we tipped off the station operator and he really liked "Dark Side of the Moonshine".
The three day run of the solar thermal installation was so impressive that we left the boiler off. Four weeks and about 250 kwh later, the weather finally nudged us to turn the furnace back on. The system now uses combined fossil fuel and solar.
We just saw that the Neverwashaul has its very own website and invite you to check it out. Especially, if the concept of a multi-story traveling Victorian house has not been on your mind recently.
Hot water from solar for three days without additional fuel. As soon as the installers finished hooking up the solar thermal system, we turned off the boiler to see how long the standard size system could deliver hot water without firing up the fossils. Day 1 was a sunny day, and the solar system kept the hot water really hot (it produced 8 kwh of energy). Day 2 was overcast and more of a fall day than a summer day, and the system squeezed another 3 kwh out of the sun's rays). Day 3 was rainy, cloudy and not nice. Towards the evening, the water turned lukewarm.
Day 4 is starting with quite a bit of sun, so the decision is to wait until the early afternoon before boosting the hot water.
To put this yield in perspective, remember, our geographic latitude is equal to "just north of Vancouver, Canada". We are doing our best to extract heat from the sun by using a vacuum tube collector at a 45 degree tilt with an almost perfect southerly exposure of the collector.
August 2012: Petrophaga Lorioti, aka. the Common Stone Louse, and the Berlin Wall
German ZEIT ONLINE, the web site of a major German weekly, has a tribute to Petrophaga Lorioti. The critter was discovered by German comedian Loriot and has been documented in the single most important German reference handbook for medical profressionals, the Willibald Pschyrembel Clinical Dictionary. Unfounded rumor has it that this animal with its ferocious appetite for over 50 pounds of stone and concrete a day brought down the Berlin Wall. To be sure, it does have an effect on humans, causing repeated contraction of facial muscles and, in more severe cases, temporary contraction of the diaphram, Never photographed, we only have seketchy sketches and equally sketchy eyewitnesses. Comedian Loriot passed away one year ago would be pleased to know that Petrophaga Lorioti was recently joined by a real life spider discovered in Laos and named Otacilia loriot.
The roof is up! Torn down by guys in white overalls and wearing masks, then rebuilt and looking great. Lots of old stuff, like magazines from 1960s Germany, some World War II paraphernalia left behind by the GIs who occupied this previously Prussian State Police station for a while, all gone now.
We are now adding a long overdue link to the Etsy shop Katwise, Her sweaters made from recycled clothes have become a hit, and there are a couple of "copyKats" out there these days. But credit to whom credit is due, Kat kicked off a cool fashion trend.
Have you heard of "Medieval Heavy Metal"? Check out the old Kraut rockers at Furunkulus. Their "Medieval Heavy Metal" rendition of Iko Iko is rollicking, and they also know how to do slightly softer ballads inspired by Irish or Breton songs.