Two weeks from the solstice, and bigger is better.

It’s been pretty much a tradition since moving into the Lair in November 2011: Watching when and at what angle the sun arrives over the ridge…

…because with the Lair’s free sample of a battery bank, the early evenings and late mornings really made a difference in what voltage got recorded first thing.

But last February I more than doubled the bank’s size, and now there’s a lot more wiggle room.

In summer it really doesn’t matter, but it’s a comfort during the dark months.

Add that to the more winter-friendly angle of the second solar panel rack that went up in October ’16, and the Lair’s electrical supply is less precarious and sensitive to weather changes than it used to be.

Between all that and the rather, er, normal-looking addition, I may need to start dressing more carefully and getting regular haircuts. Night-time temps are down in the teens and promise to remain so at least through the weekend and I don’t even care: I woke to a bedroom in the mid-fifties this morning and took my sweet time firing up the woodstove and brewing the first cup, not having to rush around shivering in my heaviest coat because propane heat! Swear my little corner of the gulch is getting more suburban by the month.

Feels kind of sinful, almost.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Two weeks from the solstice, and bigger is better.

  1. Claire says:

    Very glad to hear it, Joel. All of it.

    And very glad the light will begin returning soon — for all our northern-hemispheric sakes.

    Any verdict yet on how successfully you’re going to be able to use that blessed heater in the long run? Or is it too soon to grok propane consumption now that you’ve found an optimal heat setting?

  2. Joel says:

    I want to score another propane bottle or two because that heater does suck down the propane. But I do believe we’ll be okay to use it to keep the bedroom comfortable in the morning. The current thermostat is not very dependable: A setting that works fine one morning fails to light the heater at all the next. But $30 spent locally will score a better one.

    I’ve got to tell you, it’s so nice not to be shivering first thing in the morning that I won’t mind hauling a little more propane – when I can afford to buy it.

  3. ZtZ says:

    You are getting to be a fair imitation of Suburban Man. But so far – no wife in an apron in the kitchen…tsk…or is there something you haven’t told us??? FOMCL and ROTF

  4. Joel says:


    I do have an apron, and a kitchen. But I’m getting along quite happily without a wife.

  5. czechsix says:

    Good on ya, Joel.

    So when’s the HOA meeting?

  6. believe me, that bit of extra heat will make all the difference as you age.

To the stake with the heretic!