i went to bed at 3:30am last night but woke up at 5:30am to use the bathroom, whereby i couldn't fall back to sleep until almost 7am. the first thing i did when i woke up again was to check the usage/production numbers from the electricity smarthub app. the values for the day before don't get updated until the next morning.

i thought about going to haymarket again, but it'll be warmer tomorrow (50's) and it was cold enough today (30's) that the roads were still covered in random frozen patches of melted snow. i didn't have lunch until almost 2pm, ate pretty well, a fried egg with some kielbasa and leftover homemade sauerkraut, along with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and a mug of hazelnut latte.

my father asked me to look into getting a pair of smart plugs for their house. his idea is to automatically turn on the electric space heaters during the day when 1) nobody's at home, 2) we're producing a lot of solar energy, and 3) it's cold outside. that way he can activate the heaters and use up that excess electricity. i've done some personal research on smart plugs myself, they typically sell for $10 a piece. amazon seems to be more and more of a place for no-name chinese companies to dump their knockoff products under a blanket of fake reviews. etekcity is a brand i'm familiar with, they make the remote control outlet switches i have at home. they apparently now make wifi smart plugs as well under the voltson model. a pack of 4 sells for $50 ($12.50/piece). no hub required, compatible with both amazon echo and google assistant, plus each one can also monitor energy through the use of an app. it seems perfect except for one problem: they're only rated at 960 watts, and wouldn't be robust enough to support a space heater. so i needed something more powerful.

a lot of networking equipment companies have also gotten into the smart plug business. both belkin and tp-link - known for their routers - offer a home automation system. belkin has the wemo, tp-link has the kasa. both offer smart plugs in two versions: a small version that doesn't block outlets but doesn't do energy monitoring ($27 tp-link HS105 smart plug mini, $28 wemo mini), and a larger version that does offer energy monitoring ($30 tp-link HS110, wemo insight smart plug $40). compatible with amazon/google, both also can communicate with the nest thermostat (know when someone is home or away). but the most important thing is these plugs are rated for 1800W (15A), which should be enough to handle a space heater.

my sister texted me that their internet was slow again. instead of troubleshooting, her first instinct is to complain to me anytime anything happens to their wifi service. i was a little dismayed because i thought their fancy asus router was doing pretty well since the upgrade. for one thing, she was using her laptop and didn't check if her other devices were slow. i had her go to speedtest.net to check the speed. it was nearly 30Mbps! nothing was wrong with her wifi, it was her macbook that was the issue. she then blamed her speed issue on viruses. i told her to reboot, she said she would after she finished watching something streaming. i didn't hear back from her afterwards, which i take as a good sign.

i didn't know what i was expecting today in terms of solar production. i knew it was going to be cloudy. it wasn't so much patches but rather the entire sky became more opaque as the day wore on. we had good production in the morning but then it suddenly crashed to 2kW by noon, peak production time. nevertheless, we managed to make 25.8 kWh, another 25+kWh day like yesterday. still, it was 10kWh less compared to optimal condition production.

after a shower, i made an italian sub for lunch around 9pm and watched the taped broadcast of the pyeongchang winter olympics opening ceremony. later before i went to bed i got caught up watching the live practice run of the women lugers. i don't think much of the winter olympics but luge is definitely one of the coolest sports of all times. athletes dressed like superheroes hurl themselves down an ice tunnel traveling close to 100mph.