Noses (Or Beaks) to the Grindstone

By , November 11, 2019

On a recent morning, we listened to Bird Note on our local radio station. The narrator drew an analogy for how hard birds actually work to survive with the phrase “. . . putting their beaks to the grindstone . . .” prompting a look and a grimace between Aly and me. It sounded horrible, much worse, apparently, than the more common phrase, “putting one’s nose to the grindstone.” Really? I’d never thought how awful that phrase was, either.

Awful or not, it’s a phrase well ensconced in our cultural lexicon, and it fits. For better or worse, we are definitely applying our noses to the grindstone around here.

Root Cellar

The “second” root cellar (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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Taking a Whack at the Wind Generator

By , November 7, 2019

We’ve seen a dip in our solar power intake lately. I have to assume it’s because of our rapid loss of daylight here in the upper latitudes of the U.S., but it’s been so precipitous that yesterday I checked our power lines for any disconnects that might account for the decrease. I found nothing; everything seems fine, we’re just not getting as much sun as we have in the past.

Looking at previous records on this, I see that in the waxing daylight, at the other side of the winter solstice, we see a jump in solar intake, so a corresponding drop makes sense.

On an overcast day, it’s hard to gauge the depth of the cloud cover, but I assume it’s thicker recently, limiting our daylight even more. The rapidly advancing hours of dark, and the change back to “standard” time on the 4th haven’t helped (see Stop Messing Around With Time!). We’ve noticed that we need headlamps in the forest, and headlights on the road much earlier all of a sudden, which encourages us to assume that the cloud cover is that much heavier lately.

Zeiger Family Homestead Power Point

The Power Point on a cloudy, not-so-solar-active day (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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