this morning i won an auction for another CMG-2420 solar controller, from the same vendor as before, who seems to have a continuous auction for these controllers. i got it this time for $5.50 (not including taxes), a bit cheaper than last time, although i would've gladly paid up to $8 for it. not sure how fast it'll arrive, it's coming from city of industry out in california. it's not urgent, we already have a spare controller. this one will simply replace the blue generic controller in the basement.
felt inspired this morning, made a slightly more elaborate lunch of scrambled eggs with parmesan cheese, korean kielbasa, homemade aged sauerkraut, a mixed fruit smoothie, and a nectarine. i never tried the korean kielbasa before, it didn't taste that good, had an unfamiliar sweet flavor, kind of reminds me of imitation market basket chinese sausage (which my father really likes, but i prefer the real stuff from chinatown).
my sister got me some soft pretzels, i told her to leave them at the cafe as i was going to belmont to check out the new iplantop led grow lights that arrived yesterday and could pick it up along the way. i took the bicycle - both for the exercise and i didn't want to uncover my motorcycle because i got a good parking spot and it was going to rain heavily later tonight. i stopped by the cafe briefly before heading out to my parents' place.
i did a garden survey first before i headed to the basement. it'd rained enough yesterday to fill all the rain barrels. the grass patches were still wet that i didn't need to water them. the day was overcast so the blue morning glory flowers were still opened. while walking around the backyard i flushed out a rabbit who hopped to the southeastern corner of the yard. i grabbed a long bamboo stick and chased after it. ever since we put in buried fencing to keep the woodchuck out, it had also had an unintended benefit of keeping out the rabbits as well, so it's been a while since i saw a rabbit in the backyard. i didn't see it but the jostling of logs told me it hopped through a known gap in the fence area. when we have time we'll find a better way to patch up that hole instead of just piling up a bunch of logs.
the third lotus aerial leaf had started to unfurl. i'm trying to enjoy the lotuses as much as possible since their days are numbered. later this week the night time temperature is supposed to drop into the 40's, who knows if the lotuses can after survive after that. a lot of the smaller floating leaves have already yellowed, only the lotus with the aerial leaves seem to be strong enough to withstand the dropping temperature and stay green. whenever i can, i search for potential containers to house the lotuses for next season.
the solar battery in the sun room continues to decrease in charge (now at 11.9V), the 1.5V solar panel unable to keep up, especially when we don't get enough sunlight. we're still waiting on our 50V solar panel that we ordered back on september 25th, the latest update shows it finally shipped, hopefully it'll arrive soon. the larger marine battery in the basement has a charge of 12.89V.
finally i saw the new iplantop led grow light. turning it on i noticed 2 things: it was definitely more quiet than the xeccon grow light (despite having 2 fans) and it was much brighter. the color is a little different, more blurple, which is more straining on the eyes, when compared to the xeccon, which is more magenta-white. the iplantop has two settings, vegetative and bloom. vegetative is a combination of blue-red-white, while bloom is a solid red. while i was there i noticed some black caterpillar droppings on the thai basil; i found an inchworm which i released outside. before i left i hung the iplantop above one of the shelves and turned off the xeccon.
i returned to cambridge by 3pm. i was ready to reward myself with a soft pretzel, but discovered my mustard was about to run out. so i took a quick trip to star market to get more mustard. for some reason they didn't have any heinz yellow mustard, so i went with french's brand. when i came home and tried it, the french's mustard tasted weird. it was just different, and after a few more bits, i decided i like the french's yellow mustard a lot. heinz yellow mustard just tastes like mustard. but french's mustard is spicier (paprika) and has more of a gourmet flavor, if such a thing can be said about yellow mustard. i'm a convert now, french's yellow mustard is my future mustard of choice.
we made so little solar production these past 3 days of october that added together they still wouldn't excede a single good solar production day. tomorrow's (friday's) forecast calls for partly and mostly cloudy skies once more. we're probably not going to get a good day of sunshine until saturday. the long range forecast for next week looks very cloudy and rainy as well. at least it's good for the lawn, means i don't have to run to belmont to water the newly patched spots.
i used up the rest of my white potatoes, turned them into baked potato wedges. it became my dinner, since it was filling enough i didn't want to eat anything more afterwards. white potatoes is simply not good for fries/wedges, because the potatoes are waxy and don't lose their shape, so they don't have that nice fluffy interior.