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18 August 2011 @ 04:59 pm
doing well in spite of uncertainty  
As I mentioned I would, I did go to the urologist last Friday (August 12th). I should talk about this because it is important, even though this is a journal, not a medical report. Basically, my prostate is enlarged but not that much. And, the blood in urine and intermittent pain in the area of the bladder indicate something else is wrong. So on August 31st I will go back, this time for a fiber optic inspection of the inside of the bladder.

Besides this, this continues to be a nice summer. I went to the Enright Eco Jam in Cincinnati on the last day of July and have been walking across the bridge frequently for music shows here in downtown Dayton. Then I went to Columbus again this past weekend. Finally, the day before yesterday, I went on a picnic with some friends at Rocky Fork Lake just beyond Hillsboro.

This would have been the time I harvested apples from some of the trees I discovered two years ago near the bike trails. But this year there are no apples on the trees, and I think this is true all over the state.

I continue to tinker with ways to do things like use the internet with very light equipment and very little energy. The week before last I found what I believe is the tiniest standard 12-volt battery, designed to power emergency exit signs in buildings. It is $20 at Batteries Plus, and weighs just 22 ounces but holds 1.3 amp-hours (about 16 watt-hours):



I can charge it directly with just my 5-watt unregulated solar panel:



I carry the battery, a standard car lighter cord, and the little 12-volt to 5-volt USB adapter in a small camera bag with the USB-compatible devices I want to take with me when I hike or bike (cell phone, wireless headset, wi-fi hot spot, and internet tablet). All of these have their own little batteries inside, but the 22-ounce 12-volt battery gives me about four times as much operating time: