Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ceilings, Floors, and Counters.

I've had my ceilings done for a little while now, just finally got around to putting some pictures up. I do still have the bathroom to do. Can't get it all done at once you know. Anyway, I have two coats of varathane on them. I just left natural, no stain. I like it.
I wasn't too sure what I was going to do on the last piece, but I ended up simply overlapping it, instead of cutting it to fit. It actually looks pretty good and if I didn't say anything, no one would have even known.

I layed my laminate flooring on the main floor. I like it too. I think I will continue down the steps to the basement with this same stuff.
I found a whole kitchen on Kijiji for sale (or I guess I should say my sister did). It was a 5 year old 18 cubic foot fridge, a stove, and all kinds of counters and cupboards etc. I didn't need the fridge or stove so I left it right on the pickup and put it right back on kijij and sold it withing a few days. Just so happend someones fridge blew up one morning and they urgently wanted mine, and the stove. She negotiated me down a bit over the phone and I delivered very quickly before any minds got changed. I was thinking about trying the fridge out in the house, but I am quite happy with the system I have going on here with the deep freeze and cooler. Totally works for me. So the counters and all that eneded up costing me $100.00 in the end. I'm pretty sure I will make it all work. I'm not real good at color coordinating things like a houses interior, but anything is going to be better than it was a while ago.
The ole creek has been running pretty good lately. Still a fair bit of snow kicking around though. Soon it will be canoe season again, and I am totally looking forward to that, however, I may need some canoeing partners. It seems all the people I know are more into power sports and all that. Allergic to some good wholesome exercise. I have even been getting an urge for possibly some kayaking. Never done it, but I sure have been researching it lately.  Both these I could do all by my self, but it would be a lot more fun and safer to do it with other people. If anyone out there would be interested in doing a trip or something let me know, maybe we can work something out sometime. My schedule is actually quite flexible at times. I am quite happy touring lakes, or rivers as long as it ain't too wild(I'm more interested in the peaceful scenic part rather than wild white water crazy stuff). I have been searching online and do have a potential partner lined up for a 5 day river trip in the near future. It might happen, and it might not. If it does I will be sure to put some pictures up.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Energy Data

     In my previous post on ceilings I mentioned I would put on some information about my power usage, and consumption etc. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get this info up here. What I have isn't a whole lot but it may help. I do have written info about generator usage and hours etc, but it is getting to be  a lot of work getting stuff from paper to blog. The following info I did have down on a spreadsheet and even that was educational to get it on here. This is what I will use to get an idea of GENERATOR USAGE. It is not a perfect system, but it should help give some perspective. I kept track of how much fuel I used and calculated it all at $1.40 per liter, which is a bit of an over calculation so actual costs will be a bit less. Also, I didn't keep track of every time I started the generator but instead every time I emptied a gas jug into it.
 INCOMING KILOWATT HRS from the PANELS.  (1 KWH=1000 Watt/hrs).
The following chart is the daily readings off my Out Back solar charge controller. This would then be the incoming Kilowatt Hours from my 6 Sharp 240 watt solar panels.  From Jan 1 2012 to Oct 14 2012 there was No Data, because I didn't
have my solar panels in operation yet. Any other No Data areas was
from neglect of keeping track. My Outback charge controller keeps a
record for 128 days then it erases it as new data is being recorded. The
following is my daily incoming Kilowatt Hours From Jan 1 2012 to
April 5 2014.  It was tricky trying to get this on here from the Excel spreadsheet also, but it was a good learning experience. This last winter we had a lot of snow, and not once did I get up on the roof and clean it off. The previous winter we had a lot of snow also, but I did clean it off quite often when it quit snowing and the sun came out. February 14-28 2014 I was away, so once things charged up it seemed to just hold at .70 area each day as the batteries were full. Just thought I would point that one out. There was snow on the panels when I left, but I can see from the incoming wattage that it melted off shortly after. I turned the deep freeze off for this holiday.

    I do have a record of my State of charge every morning for quite some time, but then I kind of got lazy in the later days. It's all in books. I didn't get that info on here yet. Maybe some day I will get a little more organized and find a simple way to push a button and have it all here, but just to give some perspective on the situation, I will say that usually in the winter time with the deep freeze running and in the house(which is going to change next winter), my SOC is usually in about the 90% area. Sometimes 92% and sometimes 87%. So it drops usually around 10% from the previous days full charge. My honda 2000 runs about 3.5 hours each day to charge it back up again. Sometimes I'll go a couple days before charging, but not very often. Very seldom do I let my battery bank drop below 80% SOC. My forced air furnace usually comes on in the mornings but does not run much during the day in the colder weather. I'm usually burning wood when it is colder than -10 celcius outside. The previous winter(2012-2013) I can remember waking up in the mornings to find the SOC at about 95%. I used to go 2 or 3 days before starting the generator then. That was before the deep freeze.

        In other news, I did finally get my ceilings all up except the bathroom and one coat of varnish so far. I'll update on that with pictures soon.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ceilings and USA journey.

     I know it's been a very long time since my last post and I do apologize if by any little chance someone has been waiting. I guess one could say I took a break. I can actually remember a fellow blogging friend, John (The Analog Man), requested a certain post about solar power usage and  statistics etc. I hav'nt forgotten about you John, I will get something together sometime soon. I got kind of lazy in the building department there for awhile, but now, I am starting to get a little tired of looking at all the same ceiling joists in the kitchen and insulation up in the loft where I sleep at night. I think I need a change. I started the loft more than a month or two ago.
The above picture is what is done in the loft so far. It is the largest area of ceiling in the house. The total area of loft to do is 504 sq feet. I have 156 sq ft done and that leaves 348 to go. I'm just about 1/3 done the loft. lol. This stuff is pretty slow putting up, especially when doing it by yourself. The store ran out of this stuff after I started and I could'nt seem to find the same stuff in town anywhere. However I did finally find pretty close to the same in a different store now. Totally different packaging and brand etc, but it sure does look like the same product. I bought enough to do the main floor ceiling and I compared the loft with that. I think it will work. I'll have to go buy that store out too I guess.
Above pic shows the kitchen ceiling I just got done today. That is about 100 sq ft. And that leaves the living room (another 100 sq ft), and the bathroom (roughly 36 sq ft), and the rest is open to the loft.

In other news, I went on a little road trip recently from Feb 14-Feb 28.
 The map above shows all the places we stayed over night. We were in Las Vegas for 3 nights and the rest were one nighters. The furthest north dot is Grande Prairie, Alberta, the starting point. Then we rolled clockwise until we got back to Grande Prairie again. I really liked that trip, and about the only thing that was wrong with it is that I'm not still down there. We've been in 8 US states and 2 Canadian provinces.
This is JoAnn my travelling partner and her car. The gas on this trip costed a little over $600, which I thought was pretty decent. Rooms were not too bad either, as we were splitting the costs. We would usually book rooms one day in advance finding some good deals on or

 I'm looking at the Pacific ocean in the above pic. It is far away view from here, but it was my first look at any ocean and it was a pretty special moment for me. lol. We eventually did get closer looks and even walked  some beaches. Watched some elephant seals, and even saw signs of whales. Anyway, I went from temps of 22c-28c.   (71-86 F) here in the states.
To this again at home. The morning after I got home, it was -38c (-37f). What a difference. I am planning on spending some more winter time in the south in the future. Not sure if it will be next winter for sure or not, but sometime. 
Before I left on our little journey I had to do some preparations as my house was going to be left all alone for 2 weeks in very cold and snowy weather. The first thing was to empty out the deep freeze that is in the house. And then simply shut the power off. Just a push of a button. The bar-b-que became the freezer for a day or two until I put them into moms deep freeze before we left. Never know if a chinook is going to blow in or not. When I got back from the vacation, I used the bar-b-que to keep my frozen goods frozen again as there was really no point in running the deep freeze until the weather got warmer, and it eventually did. I haven't started the generator since February 12 2014. That's over a month now. I'm pretty much on the free power plan now until about November again, except for maybe the odd bad weather spell.