Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Month: March 2006

Solar Project Update #2

After much consideration and a meeting with our contractor I’ve decided to change the location and configuration of our solar array. I posted previously about our solar project and mentioned I had concerns about how the panel array looked.

We are going to change from the eight 4 x 6.5 foot panels that we have now to five 4 x 8 foot panels instead. The panels will be relocated to the front roof of the house, to the left of the skylights when facing the front of the house. We’ll be dropping our panel footage from 208 to 160 square feet in the process, but will still get a lot of heat collection.

The new location will make the panels only visible from the front of the house, and will not disturb the outline of the house as they will be completely on the roof face.

This will result in a 4 week delay to the project to get the new panels, but considering this is something that will be in place for years I want it to be right.

Noise Canceling Headphones First Impression

I got to try out my new Sony noise canceling headphones on my recent trip to New York. My impression is mixed, but overall I’m pleased with them. I haven’t tried other companies so I can’t comment on how they differ. Here are my key comments:

  • Reviews will say that all noise cancelling headphones create a sense of “pressure” when activated. This is certainly true, and was more pronounced than I expected. On a plane your head is already all messed up from the cabin pressure so it isn’t as noticeable, but in other situations it is very noticeable.
  • The noise canceling works best when the noise generation is perpendicular to you. I got some odd results when my head was rotated 45 degrees making the sound hit them at an angle. Interestingly, after a couple of seconds it goes away so I would guess it is just the noise cancelling process catching up to a slightly different pattern.
  • The NC circuitry does impact the sound. If you are a purist, you need to trade off a lower noise floor with some impact to the music.
  • I found them comfortable to wear for a couple of hours. My ears didn’t get overly hot.

Mazie at 9 Months

It seems amazing that in only 3 more months Mazie will turn 1! She is doing great. She has recovered from her 2nd real cold with lots of coughing and sneezing, and most notably plenty of running nose. An almost never-ending amount actually. She’s decided she likes baby food and we think she has her 2nd set of teeth coming in since she’s been eating her hand pretty much constantly lately.

She’s turning into such a little kid now. She likes to babble at you for a while and will share some stories with you. They are pretty short still, but it’s just amazing to hear her voice and particularly to hear her giggle.

We had a trip to Ikea this weekend and Mazie and I had a great time while Tammy shopped with our friends Lisa and Eric who were in town for the weekend. All sorts of fun to be had at Ikea.

Mazie has chosen to stay fairly immobile thus far. She’s not crawling, and from the looks of things she is likely to just skip that whole process. She doesn’t like being on her belly at all. She does love it though if you hold her hands and let her walk around the house or around stores. She finds that to be a great old time. She can scoot around pretty well and can make it all over her play area.

I’m itching for spring to come and for us to be able to spend more time outside. We ordered a bike carrier/jogging stroller (Chariot Cougar 2 if you are interested, I’ll post impressions of it after we get it).

I put up a whole bunch of pictures from January and February. Don’t miss the pictures of her in the bowl.

Deer at Bird Feeder

If you like to feed birds you are completely aware of the ever-lasting battle with squirrels. They will go through amazing gymnastics to get at the wonderful food in your bird feeder. However, the other morning this scene caught me off guard!

Slightly larger than a squirrel, and I don’t think there is anything I can do about this one. :-)

Noise Canceling Headphones

I stepped off of my last flight, from Dallas to Minneapolis, and wanted to immediately go and get a pair of noise canceling headphones. I made a rookie mistake. Hoping for an empty middle seat back in coach I had moved from a row in the middle of the plane to the last row in the plane. I lost my bet when they shoved one last person onto the plane to sit in between me and the other guy in our row.

Add to the misery of losing the “empty middle seat bet” the fact that the plane is narrower at the back (less room) and the engines were about 6 feet from my head (ridiculously loud). It was a miserable 2 hours and 28 minutes.

This weekend I picked up the Sony MDR-NC50 headphones. Best Buy had a really good deal on them with a coupon I had. I fly on Tuesday and Wednesday so I’ll get a chance to give them a workout.

Solar Project Update

I’ve referenced our solar project on this site a couple of times, and this last week marked the most visible part of the project. The collectors were put up on the roof on Thursday.

The collectors are mounted on the north side of the roof, but peeking over so they have a full southern exposure. There is still a lot of work to be done inside the house. The integration with the hot water and heating system are coming up next.

I’ve got some mixed feelings on how the collectors turned out and am going to discuss some alternatives with the contractor. It’s not exactly how I had expected it to look. Hard to imagine without seeing it. Not positive anything will change but am going to explore it. I’m not terribly pleased with the view from the deck.

See all the pictures of the collectors.

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