not many female voices
Friday, May 13 2022
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY
I awoke at the usual super-early time in the greenhouse, this time (for the first time in several days) not drenched in my own sweat. My sore throat was finally gone, though I still found myself hacking up loogies (aka "covid placenta") every now and then.
Today in the remote workplace, I found myself spending all of my time writing documentation for my AppStream login system and its associated administrative tools. I don't much like writing documentation, though I feel like I'm pretty good at it. I like the process of grabbing screen captures to illustrate a Confluence document, but detailing seemingly-obvious interface interactions is so tedious that I'm forced to take numerous breaks.
One of the big breaks I took today was to go to the basement and continue where I'd left off with the electrical problems in the technologically-primitive stratum of the solar hot water collection circuitry. Before I replaced the transformer I'd blown yesterday, I wanted to provide its replacement with fused outputs so I wouldn't immediately blow it as well. This caused me to salvage a standard 20 mm fuse holder from an old power supply. I cut the part of the PC board around this holder out and then mounted it to the transformer via one of the transformer's two output screws. After I installed this all down in the basement (without a fuse), I could tell there was something still seriously wrong with the circuit it normally supplied 24 VAC to, because whenever I put a screwdriver where the fuse would go, the transformer made a loud buzzy sound suggesting it was near the point of blowing. Further investigation eventually revealed that the hot water tank's thermostat had an alligator clip shorting to ground. This wasn't a full short, but it was enough to cause all the problems the system had been exhibiting, including those that had foolishly cause me to replace a perfectly good relay yesterday. I eventually opened up the old transformer, the one that had blown (and actually even thrown a circuit breaker in so doing). Everything on the 120 volt side was blackened and burned, though the 24 volt side looked to be unaffected.
At about 5:00pm, Gretchen and I loaded up the dogs and drove the Bolt to the cabin in the Adirondacks, our first such visit in three weeks (I would've gone last weekend by myself had I not been suffering from covid). Other than stopping at the Pattersonville Rest Area so the dogs could piss, our drive was very direct. As we drove, we were listening to WEXT, the alternative "Roots & Rock" Albany (or is it Amsterdam?) station. We like the station, but Gretchen soon noticed that we'd been listening for several songs and there had yet to be a woman's voice. This reminded her something she'd recently read about Country Music radio stations and their seeming aversion to women's voices. According to the the article, there used to be more women played on Country stations. But after the Dixie Chicks were "cancelled," there ended up being a backlash to female Country performers generally, with radios shifting to a "Bro-Country" format. Like everything else in this country, Country Music has been further polarized and has pursued a decidedly reactionary approach. Meanwhile, WEXT continued playing exclusively male voices, including "Bad Love" by Eric Clapton. Eventually this caused Gretchen to send them not one but two emails.
We found Spring to be considerably further behind up at the cabin, with the leaves on the trees mostly just tiny wads of green. The recent pattern on arriving at the cabin is for there to be some crisis happening there, but luckily this time that wasn't the case. Little John the Stoner Plumber still hasn't fixed our hot water (and now it's in a state of disassembly), but all the other systems seemed functional. And it's been so warm of late that temperatures in the cabin were up to 74 degrees. Unfortunately, it's now midge season, and it was impossible to just relax outside despite the balmy weather. As darkness fell, though, the midges went away and Gretchen could have an hour or so of reading out on the unscreened deck in peace.
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