Monday, January 26, 2009
Happy Chinese New Year -- Year of the Ox
Good gay men that we are, I realized that we have a couple pieces of erotic pottery ourselves:
On both Saturday and Sunday our photovoltaic array produced record amounts of electricity. On Saturday they put out 9.85 KW, .25 better than the previous best in October. With Sunday’s forecast for a totally cloudless day we had hopes of similar or better.
By two forty-five Sunday afternoon we were already in the 9.6s and the sun was heading for the big white pine that begins to shade the array as of mid-afternoon. But the cells were cranking it out and were in the 9.8s by the time they began to be shaded. Once past the pine there were only bare birches and hickories in the sun’s path and the meter cranked slowly into the 9.9s.
As we had afternoon tea, we kept slipping into the mechanical room to check as the hundredths and tenths slowly added up. With the meter crawling, we flipped over to 9.99. The barest trickle was coming down from the array with us cheering it on to do just one extra hundredth. But the output window suddenly dropped to 0 and our daily total stopped heartbreakingly close to 10 KW.
Every day the sun is just a little higher in the sky, the day a couple of minutes longer. We didn’t get above 9.64 today but we should see and maybe beat the elusive 10.0 before too much longer.
In a related development, a professor and class from Laconia Technical College are going to do an in-depth project studying and monitoring this house (along with two others in the area) for the next five years. They’ll begin this Thursday with four hours in the house, including doing a negative pressure test by pumping out a great deal of air and checking the tightness of all the openings for windows and doors. The economics of heating the house will also be tracked. Since the deal to have the local schools fell through because of staff cuts and budget reductions that killed off-campus projects, we were very pleased to become part of LTC’s study.
Since we cut our Christmas tree fresh and rushed it into a water-filled tree stand, it came down two weeks later remarkably fresh. When I carried it outside, I set it up in the deep show bank outside the great room windows and we’re still enjoying it just four feet away from where it was inside.
My tattoo backpiece contains Leonardo da Vinci’s perfectly proportioned man (combined with the “What a piece of work is a man” passage from Shakespeare’s Hamlet). One of our friends sent me this, which he said his boyfriend had found and thought I would enjoy seeing:
Further signs of the economic collapse: I got an email from Brandeis University (my MFA) regretfully announcing that to get them through the current endowment and fund raising decline, they're closing the Rose Art Museum later this semester and selling off the collection through an auction house this summer. The Rose's collection specialized in modern and contemporary art and its loss is going to mean a big hole in the life of the campus. But in the face of any number or thoroughly unattractive options, and in the interest of protecting the central educational mission of the school, the art will be sold and the building will become teaching space.
The Leonardo is meant to be the perfect man and the Shakespeare passage from Hamlet is: What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.
Combining that image with those words was the strongest statement I could think of at the time.
And Mega hairy muscle hugs of thanks for commenting about my blog post on Father Tony's blog site. I really appreciate that, stud.
The museum closing is sad - a college here in Virginia had to sell its art collection for financial reasons. That was really a shame as well.
And I really like the cup on the right in your first photo! ;-)