Thursday, November 30, 2023


Monday - I rode into town this afternoon to pick up some stuff at Tractor Supply including the Ortho Home Defense stuff I had used on the spider. I also picked up some small hooks to hang Christmas lights on the casita/shed. 

I picked up this TP-Link “smart” outlet strip from Amazon and used the Kasa-Home integration to connect to HomeAssistant, the home automation software I’m running on a Raspberry Pi. Before the evening was done, I had the Christmas lights plugged in and running on a schedule. Turn on at ten minutes before local sunset and off at 9:15pm. The ability to use sunset as a time is kind of cool as the software could use location information from the phone. The “off” automation was tested and we’ll see if they turn on tomorrow. I had a different brand outlet strip with more USB charging ports but it died in under a year. 

Tuesday - Even though it didn't rain (yet), it never really warmed up with a high in the low 60s (°F). We made a quick trip to Tractor Supply to pick up a few more items for our outdoor Christmas decorations and Walmart for a few "critical" grocery items. Critical items such as half-and-half for my coffee!

I joined the afternoon test session as there were three candidates. And I joined the VARG session at 7:00pm as there were five candidates signed up.

Wednesday - BTW, the automation running the TP-Link outlet strip works as it's supposed to. There really isn't a good site for identifying what works with HomeAssistant so there is some trial and error. I do have several WiFi-enabled relays that could be used either with 110VAC or 12VDC. So I'm thinking of installing a couple of them in the casita/shed. 

I mistakenly used up a good chunk of my iPhone and hotspot data plans as I had left auto-download updates enabled on my Mac. The last update was 14.4GB. Plus the Microsoft Office suite updated. Auto-update is now disabled.

Thursday - Another wet morning though the temperature is about the same as yesterday's high. I'm outside waiting for the morning test session to start after running (actually drove) into Hondo to get some groceries. I was planning to make pineapple fried rice yesterday but discovered that we didn't have any cashews. It just isn't the same without them. So we went to Cowboy's, a small restaurant in D'Hanis which is only about two miles away. The chicken fried steak was decent though not outstanding. I'd go there again. The park is actually located within D'Hanis though the post office is too small to handle the mail hence the Hondo mailing address.

This morning, I configured the TP-Link outlet strip to also work with Alexa. "Hey Alexa, turn on the Christmas lights" It seems to work…

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