Talk about a nice walk down to the express bus but as often happens on a nice day like today, the driver gave me a ride part of the way down to the Park and Ride. 66 degrees now on our way up to maybe as warm as 84 degrees. That will break the 2011 record of 82 degrees if it happens. Watch out for afternoon thunderstorms and downpours as is to be expected when it gets this warm out. Otherwise quite nice, with some more clouds later.
The sun will set at 7:33 pm with dusk around 8:02 pm, which is one minute and 9 seconds later than yesterday. Today will have 13 hours and 15 minutes of daytime, an increase of 2 minutes and 49 seconds over yesterday.
Definitely nice getting out of work at five pm. I like my job as it pays well and I can afford the nice toys and save for retirement, but those long days during budget season were such a drag this year. I’m glad things returned back to normal even tho I’ve been much busier now then before.
The park was great yesterday. I brought my laptop down there but I wish I had gotten a book from the library to read. I enjoy reading and the adventures it takes you on. I kind of don’t like how they have really fast WiFi at the park because it means the laptop is a distraction from reading. I still like spending time down at the park.
With the threat of thunderstorms, I am leaning against going to the park after work today, plus the burgers take a while to cook so I won’t be able to race out from dinner to the park. Still mid April so it gets dark relatively early. Maybe the library later. Or maybe just hang out back.
Tonight will have scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 7pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 58 degrees at 5am. 22 degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 54 at 8pm. West wind 3 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. In 2016, it got down to 36 degrees with periods of rain. The record low of 13 occurred back in 1874.
It was definitely was a nice evening sitting out back, drinking beer and after I got done with a podcast, watching the PBS Newshour on my laptop on the tailgate of my pickup. While I used to listen to NPR a lot more in the evening, the PBS Newshour has become a favorite because I like the visual picture. I tape record the Newshour every night and tape watch it either on my laptop or my HDTV box at home. The moon was really pretty last night. Kind of sad to hear about the end of the Ringling Brothers Circus. I wish I had gone a few years back when I was in Albany because I’ll never have a chance to see that amazing performance with the animals. As somebody who is interested in agriculture, seeing people working the wild animals is fascinating.
Retired to bed around ten, but I look forward to long summer nights. I enjoyed the fresh air and having the windows open all night. Going to cool down for the second half of the week but so be it.
I’m continuing to think about permanently mounting the solar panel to the truck cap but I’m still hesitant to drill holes through the fiberglass but I’m sure I could mount it just like the racks. I’m going to keep the truck until I can’t use it anymore and may move the cap to another truck when the time comes. The value loss to the cap at that point is de minis. The truck is meant to be used, after all. The permanently mounted panel would be infinitely more useful especially during hunting season when the leaves are off the trees or when I’m parked out in a sunlit parking lot. Rather than idling my truck, I would park it in the sun and everything would be charged.
The wiring is simple now that I know how to get the power to the solar controller. Really is just a matter of deciding whether or not to drill the holes in the truck cap. Obviously I would first put the panel up top, positioning it with the help of measuring tape, mark the location with permanent marker. I could maybe get additional shoes and use it with Yakima rack but that would be more expensive and less secure compared to directly mounting the panel mounts to the fiberglass. Probably would use washers to spread out the load against the fiberglass. The panel is relatively light but it has a lot of area for wind to apply forces to. Once concern I have is the truck cap is slightly sloped so I may need to use some kind of spacer against the mounts like maybe rubber from a bicycle tire.
It’s important it is super secure both on rough as all shit dirt roads at Moose River Plains and 75 mph on a Pennsylvania or New York interstates. I don’t normally drive those speeds but sometimes I definitely don’t want the glass solar panel to go flying off the truck. Even super sticky tape is not safe enough.
One other concern about the solar panel being flat on the roof is the sun angle will rarely be perfect except at solar noon. The kayak and the roof racks will cast shadows as will overhead trees. So I’ll rarely get anywhere near 100 watt output but that’s fine. Solar is very funky even about the smallest amount of shade or poor sun angle. The alternator will continue to be the prime source of charge and the panel provide a solid trickle charge while parked, keeping the battery as close to full as possible. I’m okay with the panel only getting 20% output a good portion of the time as my storage battery is limited and I don’t plan on using that much power during the daytime without driving or turning on the truck. Even 20% output will mean a full charge especially when I’m parked for a long period of time. Having only a single battery means my total charge is fairly limited to boot.
The next step is to get a ladder, panel and backets then measure to ensure centering of the panel then mark the drill holes with a permanent marker. I want to make sure that the panel is straight and the holes are super accurate for obvious reasons. I will drill the holes with a small drill to carefully cut the fiberglass then do holes as close to the size of the bolts or slightly smaller. Then carefully put the bolts and washers in, bolt down carefully then use ample silicone.
Thursday is my dentist appointment. I don’t think my teeth are that bad but it’s been 15 years since I was last at the dentist. I should have gone for regular cleanings as soon as I got dental insurance but I never liked going to the dentist. Then time went by quickly. I’ve noticed I’ve had more issues with bad breath and increased plague on my teeth and some signs of cavities. Hopefully though I will get a good cleaning and things will get fixed before it’s too expensive or permanently damaged. Having grown up in areas of Rural America who lack good dental insurance, I’ve seen what a lack of regular maintenance can do. I do drink like two gallons of milk a week, regularly brush and recently made flossing a priority and rarely have sweets at home. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
As previously noted, next Tuesday is Tax Day when the sun will be setting at 7:41 pm with dusk at 8:11 pm. On that day in 2016, we had partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 78 and 40 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 60 degrees. We hit a record high of 90 back in 1976.