my sister left for los angeles this morning to go on a weekend mexican cruise with her friend dan. her dog was already at my parents' place. my job was to keep hailey company and then later in the evening attend a heat pump talk with my father at the belmont senior center. i arrived by bicycle as it was supposed to rain later today.

i thought i'd try something different: instead of photos, i shot 10 second video clips of all the flowers i could find in the backyard this time of year. there hasn't been a hard frost yet so there's a surprising amount of variety still out attracting late season pollinators.

i hung the new led grow light from the metal shelving unit to get an idea of what it'll look like when activated. ideally we'd want to get another grow light so we can compare that one with this one, to gauge just how bright they're supposed to be and if the fan is supposed to be this loud. the XECCON may in fact turn out to be a decent light in comparison, or it may be a dud, we won't know until we have something to compare it with.

my parents came home with burger king takeout. when the rainstorm arrived i went out with an umbrella to see how much of the rain barrels could be filled up. i thought they would fill to capacity but was surprised when the water level gauge stopped more than a hand's width from maximum. we got a chance to try out the led neon tube light since it came with a 12v volt attached. it's very bright and looks very much like actual neon. later we attached the 12v motion sensor switch to the light to make it motion activated.

we left for waverley square a bit before 7pm for the heat pump meeting. more than a dozen people showed up, which was a good turnout given the bad weather outside. the talk turned out not to be what we were hoping for. a doctor gave a presentation on all the negative aspects of natural gas and said that heat pumps were a healthier environmentally-friendly alternative. but heat pumps run on electricity, and that electricity could be generated from burning natural gas. the better option for a cleaner environment is to install solar panels. once you do that, you can then move onto heat pumps, using the sun's energy to power these appliances. there wasn't much detailed talk about heat pumps; we learned more from the info sheets we grabbed beforehand.

afterwards there was question and answer. it was interesting to hear about experiences of the few audience members who already had heat pumps. with heat pumps, you sort of set the temperature you want and leave it at that day and night, unlike regular heating where you turn it up when your home and turn it down at nights and when you're away. we ended up leaving early as the Q&A session devolved into one woman hijacking the discussion to talk about herself (i smell gas, i want to get solar).

the rain had stopped by the time we left. back at the house, i went out into the backyard to check on the mason jar solar lights. most of them were still on, but 3 of them had gone off. water had gotten into the jar and short-circuited the electronics inside. i brought them inside to dry. i biked back home by 9pm.

i dug through my box of small electronic parts and found a relay switch. i probably didn't know what it was before, but i watched a youtube video showing you how a relay switch can be used to turn on light strips, that's why i was looking to see if i already had one.