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Monday, 25 January 2021 Dereel Images for 25 January 2021
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PV maximum charge
Topic: Stones Road house, general, opinion Link here

Our photovoltaic panels are rated at at total of 10.8 kW. But that's a simplistic way of looking at things: when the sun shines directly on them, they should manage that much. Two arrays (7.2 kW) face 11°, and the other array (3.6 kW) faces 281°. And then there's the issue of elevation, for which I need to know the inclination of the roof.

I've been watching the PV statistics for a couple of months ago. The documentation I had received suggested an equivalent of 3.5 hours of “sunshine” output per day, in other words 37.8 kWh. During the winter we got nothing like that, but what about in the summer? So far the maximum we have had per day is round 51 kWh.

Should that have been at the solstice? Not necessarily. On 21 December the elevation at azimuth 11° was 75°, far higher than the normal of the panels. Today, over a month after the solstice, I noted a power of 7.07 kW coming from the panels.

What's the maximum I have had? Why have I been sniffing the inverter information for the past nearly 2 years? A bit of querying showed that I've had up to a peak of 11.122 kW, on 3 December 2019 at 13:32:58 And I've had over 10 kW from early October to early March. I suppose that at least means that the panels are working correctly: the maximum was close to apparent solar noon, so the western panels contributed almost nothing.


Spare ribs sous vide
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

I'm gradually getting through the meat we bought on Thursday. Still 2.4 kg of pork ribs, something that I'm already regretting. That's 3 double portions. Freeze two, prepare the third for cooking sous vide.

Why sous vide? There's lots of gristle and cartilage in the things, and I want to break them down. Two years ago I tried a recipe in an “air fryer”, and the results (like almost everything in an “air fryer”, I fear) were less than spectacular, in particular neither juicy nor falling off the bone.

What recipe? Started far too late and had to hurry. Decided on this recipe for “Sous-Vide Char Siu-Style Chinese Baby Back Ribs”, which still looks very US American to me, down to these stupid volumetric measurements which elicited considerable grumbling while preparing the marinade. Finally I had this recipe, which will grow:


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Next, how long and how hot should I cook them? Various recipes ranged from 61° to 79°. My guess would have been round 70°, but the recipe I chose recommended me to set my ”Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 167ºF (75ºC)“. OK, I can forgive them for this advertising, since it's the Anova site, but then I read:

You’ve probably seen plenty of sous vide rib recipes that call for cooking them 12 hours, even 24 hours. But – let’s face it, we’re all pressed for time. If you’re under deadlines at work, have a dog to walk and yourself to take care of (imagine that!) – you likely don’t have an entire day to spend making finger-licking good ribs. .... And all it takes is about 4 hours.

In other words, they cheat. This isn't sous-vide at all. And if you don't have time to make them properly, there's a simple answer: don't make them at all. It's also hard to understand the rationale: once the ribs are in the cooker, it doesn't make any difference whether you cook them for 4 or 24 hours: they're just there. And even if you cook them for only 4 hours, that means starting at least 5 hours in advance. If you have a normal daytime job, it wouldn't work; but 24 hours would.

So I set the non-precision ALDI sous-vide cooker to 70°, put the bag in and went to bed.


Tuesday, 26 January 2021 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 26 January 2021
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Tortillas again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Huevos rancheros for breakfast this morning, as usual on a Tuesday. And an opportunity to try the new masa from Casa Iberica.

Oh. It's exactly the same as the masa I've been using since October, at least the yellow version. Here last October and now:


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Somehow I had had the impression that I was still using Masa lista, but that's a long way in the past.

So: it's still a problem. Last time I found that the quantities were all wrong, to the point that I had to add more masa to get the consistency right, but for some reason I didn't note it in this diary. This time I decided tried with less water: 1:1.5 instead of 1:1.8. Still too moist, though I was able to form one tortilla like that. Took the rest, added 2.2 g, and all seemed OK: a ratio of 1.38:1, the least I have ever seen.

And the tortillas look funny. They have dark spots in them, and I'm left with the feeling that they haven't been milled properly:


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And I have 5 packets (4.8 kg) of it! Somehow we really haven't been very lucky with our shopping in Melbourne last week. About the only thing that seems to have been both good and necessary was the Appenzeller cheese.


Leonid's biopsy results
Topic: health, animals Link here

The results of the biopsy that we had done on Leonid two weeks ago should have been back this time last week. But it wasn't until today that we finally got them. Diagnosis: fibrosarcoma, as we had thought. To quote Pene:

Locally very invasive and difficult to remove (regrowth very likely), but rarely metastasize elsewhere in body.

So we'll keep him alive as long as he's comfortable. It's quite possible that he'll live to the “average” 9 years, 2 months.


New glasses
Topic: health, general, opinion Link here

Call during breakfast this morning: the glasses that were scheduled to arrive next week are ready for pickup today—despite it being Australia Day. Into town in the afternoon, as arranged. They were shut! So why did they tell me I could pick them up then?


Somebody your own size
Topic: animals, opinion Link here

Seen walking the dogs today:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210126/big/Leonid-and-miniature-horse-2-detail.jpeg
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Life yet in the Corymbia
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

After walking the dogs today, discovered this:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20210126/big/Corymbia-ficifolia.jpeg
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That's the Corymbia ficifolia that has been looking so unhappy. Now it has suddenly developed new growth. Why? Paul Gallagher was here yesterday and did some trimming, including the weeds round the base of this tree. But surely that can't have been the cause; even if it was root competition, the reaction would have been far too fast. In any case, it's good to see, and hopefully it will continue.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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