Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Busy Day

Today I spent the my at my friends farm. I assembled my solar hot water heater. I am very happy. I also built a separate box that houses the solar panel and a motorcycle battery. This will power the tiny pump that circulates the water. The pump circulates 2 gallons per hour... Perfect to make hot water.












Originally I had intended to recirculate the coolant from the engine to heat the water in the hot water tank. Then at some point I decided that it would be WAY EASIER to just circulate the actual water in the tank. I will tap the cold side and the hot side and the water will slowly heat. This way I don't have to worry about expansion or the water getting too hot... Those safety features are already in place...

The last project today was the new screen door. When we test fit it last week, with two sheets of stainless, it was too thick. Instead of grinding both sides, I decided to just remove the inside piece of stainless... It is just as secure, looks awesome, and now fits... Whoo-hooo....






A great day!


FYI, I have now made a shorter You Tube video that is about 4 minutes and it describes just the Right to Write Ministry :



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Friday, February 21, 2014

We Have Had Enough of Winter!!!!!

We arrived home from our little holiday to discover this:


What a pain... Fortunately most of the stuff that we normally store in there we have either in the basement or on the boat. We also gave our son our snowblower so the damage is pretty much limited to the shed itself.

On a happier note, we saved all the wire that we replaced when we re-did the electrical on the boat. We ended up with 2 big plastic bins full of wire and one bin full of plumbing bits.









We purchased an bench top wire stripper for about $40 and yesterday I spent about 4 hours and got one of the two bins stripped. We ended up with about $40 worth of scrap copper so far. We hope the see about $120 when we are finished, then I will sell the stripper on Kijiji and all should be good.

My last project today was to build yet another camera grip.  this one should be good for indoor shots with the light and the shotgun microphone...  After this shot was taken, I painted it black...



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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You Know It Is Cold When.....

This week we made our way down to New York State for a 2 day getaway..  The first reason was to see Alton Brown (our favorite Food Network cooking guy) on stage in Syracuse NY.  what a smart entertaining guy!  We ended up 3 rows from the stage and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves....


On the way home we stopped and checked on Blowin' Bubbles.... It took some time to get near her and when we did we discovered that there was so much snow and it was so cold, the solar panels were covered and no longer charging the batteries....  Now for the bad news... 2 of the 4 6 volt Trojan House batteries had frozen solid and had split wide open....  They are now under the boat waiting to be disposed of in the spring...  Fortunately the other two were dead but ok.  I scrapped off the solar panels and replaced the main fuse for the staring bank (I guess it blew when the house system went for a poop...).  When we left the combiner was working and hopefully all will be well enough for us to get home.  We had planned to replace the 4 house batteries with a new bank of 6 this spring anyway....





We also picked up paper charts for the Western Caribbean and the South Pacific. Not cheap but we still think that our electronic charts need to be supported with paper... at least for now....   We ended up really enjoying a few wonderful days together...

We also picked up a bunch of bits and pieces to help me build the solar hot water heater, including a 2 gallon expansion tank and all the valves and fittings I might need to build the prototype...  Hopefully this week I will have time while I am on a short vacation. We also picked up our solar oven, it looks really NEAT!

When we got home I build a "steady cam" bracket for our Nikon/GoPro cameras...  we think it look pretty cool...

Anyway, with a little more patience we will make it the 130 days we have left before we start our great adventure....


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Too Much SNOW!

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This morning we awoke to yet another foot of snow... I am wondering if this is God just reminding us of what we will miss next year...


 When we got to the place where we couldn't reach the top of the pile anymore, we called a great friend with a Bobcat who came over and cleared away a pile of the snow from our median...


With 145 days to go before we leave I hope we make it through the most brutal winter that we can remember....  Global warming is a bunch of .... HOOOOEY!!!

On a much happier note, we have begun the process of gathering all the things that we want to take on the boat with us in the spring...  The pile may look high, but much of the stuff in it was on the boat last year and we took it off for the winter...  We are trying to keep our stuff to less than 8,000 lbs...  Wish us luck!



Lastly, It was a great Superbowl on Sunday even if I wanted Denver to win...  Thanks to T.J. & Donna for putting in such a great party...  Next year we plan to Skype our way to the party...


Cheers,
Kyle

Sunday, February 2, 2014

HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!!!

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Groundhog Day: predictions mixed for early spring

Shubenacadie Sam and Fred la Marmotte deliver good news for the winter-weary, but not Wiarton Willie

It's Groundhog Day, and the long-range forecast is in from Canada's woodchuck "weathermen."
Groundhog Day
Punxsutawney Phil is held by Ron Ploucha after emerging from his burrow on Sunday. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)
Ontario's Wiarton Willie emerged from his cozy den this morning and immediately spotted his shadow, which according to groundhog folklore means Canadians can expect six more weeks of what has already been a long, cold, snowy winter.
  • A little earlier Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam waddled out into the morning light, but unlike Willie, he did not see his shadow — indicating warmer days are just ahead.
Fred la Marmotte in Val d'Espoir, a town in Quebec Gasp├ęsie region, wasn't deterred by falling snow. He rendered his early-spring verdict around 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.
As for America's rodent royalty, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil — the most famous groundhog of them all — he did see his shadow this morning, heralding another month and a half of Old Man winter.
However, regardless of what the groundhogs may be trying to tell us, Environment Canada is predicting the frigid temperatures that have gripped much of the country for the past two months will likely persist right through February.
2014 groundhog predictions
I am just not too sure how much more winter I can take! This is what our house looks like from the end of our driveway this morning: 

In a few weeks we will be heading to our mailbox to pick up a bunch of parts to finish up the last few winter projects.  When I get home I will be building a Steady Cam bracket for our Nikon and GoPro camera, A solar water heater and a few other odds and ends...

As soon as spring arrives we will be heading to Rochester to pick up the boat.  Our hope is the Yacht Club in Hamilton will find some space for us for the few weeks we will need to get ready to leave...

More later...
Cheers,
Kyle