Testing new equipment, shopping, plants and the kitchen sink…. clog

I tested the new solar panel charging up my Kindle fire.  Note to self, don’t leave the kindle in the sun while charging as it heats up fast and you will get a temperature warning in the shape of an “angry” looking red thermometer on the screen. I know you lose a little bit of charge using a longer cord but keeping your electronic gadget in the shade is probably a good trade off.  The test I ran was simple, just lay out the solar panel and plug in the kindle. I did not try to set the panel at an angle to get the most sunlight and in about 30-60 minutes the kindle charged from 65% up to 77%.  This weekend I’ll do more comprehensive tests charging different electronic devices.

The Arctic Cove/Ryobi 18 volt lithium battery will hold a charge two days. Friday I will do better tests and see how well it works on the first triple digit day of the summer. I wish I could afford a second battery for this fan but that purchase will have to wait until later. So far it looks like the battery of the fan mister setup will last about 2 hours using the water pump/bucket method. I have not tested how the Arctic cove works hooked up to a garden hose. By Monday I hope to get all the tests done and a good write up of what you could expect.

I got a few good buys at Fred Meyer’s and Albertsons this week. I got 4 cans of the Fred Meyer’s French Roast and Mom got 2 cans of the breakfast roast coffee for $5.99 per can.  Getting the french roast coffee on sale was a big score for me as it seldom goes on sale.  Coffee is one of the items that is not grown commercially in the lower 48 states so if the economy collapses coffee will be one of the first items pulled from grocery shelves.  Ground coffee has a short shelf life of 12-24 months if you use about a can per month like I do storing and rotating cans should not be a big deal. If you are storing is 6- 12 months of food basics coffee’s shelf life does not matter if you rotate your goods.

I’d like you to think about what you store for Armageddon, TEOWAWKI, SHTF or whatever. How long do you think Armageddon will last? Three weeks, Three months, a year. Several smart scientist say 90 % of the population would die if the electric grid goes down.  I think that is a bit over the top as people do adapt.  I  think having a 6-12 month supply of short term  goods like coffee is a good thing. I doubt many people think of storing 7 years of basics. Some folks store bulk food in 5 gallon buckets, I store food basics in 55 gallon barrels.

Back to shopping I got two family packs of petit sirloin steaks for under $4.00 per pound. Albertsons has  a 10% off sale on frozen foods and Mom and stocked up on some quick and easy meals of frozen burrito’s and pizza. We also added the sirloins and I splurge and got 2 lobster tails for $3.88 each. You don’t have to gruel or like Dave Ramsey’s  says about rice and beans and beans and rice. You do have to be a smart shopper and know how to cook.

The new plants are in the ground. I added the two purple kale plants to the front bed, the leaks went in one of the backyard raised beds, the viola/pansy went into a terracotta pot on the front steps and the moss rose ground cover has three plants sort of close to the sunchokes and one plant went into the wood mulch bed. Neither Mom or I know much about growing moss rose as a ground cover but I want a drought resistant low growing plant that can spread and start choking out the goatheads/puncture vine and “cheat” grass in the alley.  I don’t like morning glory as a ground cover because it climbs and tries to choke out the plants I like such as my roses.

Plumbing issues again, AAAAUUUGGGHHH! Kitchen sink backup and nothing works. Not drano, boiling water, not vinegar and baking soda and the Drain king did a great job sending water up the Stack pipe but not clearing the clog.  I did a good job on the replacing the toilets and I think I’m okay on basic plumbing jobs but now it is time to call in a pro and get all the pipes fixed correctly.  I have all the parts on fixing the bathroom sink, the washer drain pipe. All I need is a bid on installation.  I have to tell you I’m really tired of playing the game of fixing stuff screwed up by a DIY’er that did stuff without a clue!


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