January 2007
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Day January 21, 2007

The Great Generator Project of 2007

The generator project is near its conclusion. Friday we finished up the installation and rewiring 15 circuits from the house to be protected by generator whenever main power fails. This can happen manually, or automatically whenever the transfer switch senses loss of external grid power. The system tested out quite well, and currently it’ll self-test once a week whenever I’ve got the system on automatic.

There’s a couple of followup items, however. I need to move the propane tank a bit further away to be perfectly in code; that’ll happen fairly soon after we figure out a plan for moving the thing (it’s nearly full and darned heavy). In order to do the rewiring we had to peel away drywall around the main and sub breaker panels, so I need that replaced and those walls repainted — not a big deal. I also need to re-drywall the deck room/exercise room, after this fall’s freeze and subsequent frozen plumbing removal.

The big one is that I discovered that my previous electrician ran my new office outlets (2 blocks of 4) off a circuit which already had most of the upstairs lights, and that the circuit is only 15A, not 20. This isn’t causing major issues on a regular basis (we measured the draw), but at startup for my office UPS and the laser printer (while the lights are on, etc) is enough to cause transient voltage drops (the UPS logs an event). So we left one circuit free on the generator panel, and in the next few weeks we’ll rewire my office to a new 20A circuit and leave the old 15A circuit to simply run the upstairs overhead lights, which is what it’s designed to do in the first place.

In terms of house projects, there’s always more to do, especially when you first buy a house and try to rectify things you don’t like (or weren’t done well to begin with). But I’m hoping for a respite after I get the drywall fixed and the circuits split off. The phone wiring is pretty antiquated and nasty, but it’s not a critical issue. I can’t stand the countertops in the kitchen — sort of a mottled 80’s with a hint of purple, gah! — but they can wait. So drywall, finish the electrical, put up more bookshelves and finish unpacking the books to free up the garage, and I’m taking a break. There’s work to be done at school, after all!


Recently I registered a couple of domains that I’ll use to maintain both a normal, static website, and this blog. The purpose of the split is to give me the ability to post material about my doctoral research and maintain a list and links to my publications. The blog will continue along much as it has; I’m still debating whether to mix personal and opinion (i.e., politics) posts in with entries which might be more related to my areas of research. I’d like to keep these a bit separate, but without going to the hassle of actually having more than one blog — especially if the research one sees relatively light posting at times.

What I might end up doing is presenting a filtered category view of posts off my static website, and allowing my normal blog front page mix the two together. So stay tuned. I’m not sure what domains I’ll use for everything, but I did manage to register extendedphenotype.com (and .org) to match this blog’s long-standing title. That domain, as well as the current personal domain “mmadsen.org” point at this site, so use whichever you choose — I’ll likely maintain the equivalency indefinitely but I’ll probably switch to the new one as the “primary” domain that will appear in RSS feeds, etc.

The static site for research and academic purposes isn’t up yet — I’m taking the opportunity to play with the new version of Dreamweaver to see how far these tools have come (the last static website I wrote happened in VI, I think). But I’ll round up electronic versions of publications fairly soon and will post the link here when I’ve got something ready.