Saturday, 15 February 2014

08:32 – USPS did not deliver or pick up here Thursday or Friday, the first time that’s happened in 27 years. I’ve had kits sitting in the shipping queue since yesterday morning. I hope they’re picked up today, because USPS is off on Monday for the federal holiday.

It’s not just USPS. FedEx and UPS weren’t running yesterday here, and the county officially closed its offices for the first time in 20 years or more. There’s still a lot of ice and snow on the roads. We’ve yet to see a plow in our neighborhood. Fortunately, we have no need to go out today.


09:26 – I was wrong. They actually have plowed the streets in our neighborhoods. Now that I think about it, I remember kind of waking up at 3:00 a.m. to the beeping of the plow truck. Now USPS has no excuse not to run today. Barbara is out shoveling the drive. I’m not sure why, because most of it should have melted off by Monday morning.

19 thoughts on “Saturday, 15 February 2014”

  1. How long do Border Collies take to reach full size?

    I met Mr Barkley, the six month old chocolate BC of my younger nephew and his wife today. They say he’s growing, becoming less fluffy but I thought he was kinda small. He doesn’t seem to have prick ears, at least in the 30 minutes I saw him.

  2. He’ll probably reach his full adult height or nearly so by the time he’s a year old, but he’ll continue to bulk out somewhat during the second year. At a year he’ll still look a bit spindly. As to the prick ears, if he had them they’d have shown up long ago. When we brought Colin home at 8 or 9 weeks he had floppy ears. Soon after we got him home, one of the ears stood up. Then it went back to floppy and the other one stood up. After maybe two or three weeks, they were both standing up permanently.

    Don’t judge Border Collie sizes by ours, all of whom have been giants. A typical BC male is maybe 40 to 50 pounds. Our last three have all been around 70 pounds (when they’re young and lean; more as they get old) and at least 4 inches (10 cm) taller than typical males.

  3. Latest late-night attorney commercial I saw recently…”Have you been injured using a table saw?”…that was a new one on me.

  4. I’d like to see a broad “dumbass” exemption in the product liability law. “You cut off three fingers on your tablesaw? That’s terrible! Oh, you’d been wearing the tie your wife gave you for your anniversary and didn’t want to take it off and it got caught in the blade and you grabbed onto the tie to pull it out, and that’s what happened? I’m afraid I can’t take that case. We’d have no chance of winning and I might lose my license to practice law.”

    (An oddly specific example, you say? It was odd, all right, but mostly odd in that the lawsuit wasn’t thrown out immediately. IIRC the moke also sued the hospital or ambulance service for not reacting fast enough.)

  5. Stephan Gass, the inventor behind the SawStop is first and foremost a patent lawyer. His technology does work, but at a huge cost. It would make the typical table saw’s costs go up exponentially. For instance, the Ridgid portable table saw I own cost me about $400. The equivalent SawStop would be almost $2100. That’s a huge difference for the typical DIYer. And if you trigger it, say by using green wood, it destroys the motor and sawblade.

    Let us hope this guy doesn’t get his wish, which is to make his technology mandatory, as it would kill DIY.

    I’ve been using power tools all my life, and have managed to keep all my digits intact, for the simple reason that I am powerfully aware of my surroundings, and refuse to work with any tools without taking certain precautions, such as not wearing puffy sleeves and exposing the blade like Gass is portrayed in the link Alan posted.

    You simply can’t fix stupid.

  6. Like most things it’s the stupid. I’m amazed just by the people that won’t wear safety glasses. I have a dozen pairs at least and insist they should be worn even when just hammering or using a small saw. (BTW I found some with built in 1.5x cheaters I can actually read a tape measure down to fractions).

  7. They actually have plowed the streets in our neighborhoods. Now that I think about it, I remember kind of waking up at 3:00 a.m. to the beeping of the plow truck. Now USPS has no excuse not to run today. Barbara is out shoveling the drive. I’m not sure why, because most of it should have melted off by Monday morning.

    Barbara sounds like my wife. If she sees a job that needs doing, she gets to it.

    USPS seems to be having major problems, even here on the sunny Gulf Coast. We have had several days of no mail, some two days long, then the next day or two will be overflowing.

  8. Have you been injured because you’re a moron …

    Well, as matter of fact I have. Never blamed the product or the vendor. Spinning blades, sharp things, pointed things, moving belts, hot exhausts etc. were generally respected but once in a while the stupid gene become dominant.

    I’m amazed just by the people that won’t wear safety glasses.

    I wear them anytime I am doing anything in the yard, even riding the mower. My eyes are too expensive to waste on a wayward branch. I also wear hearing protection anytime I am using a gasoline engine.

    I’ve been using power tools all my life, and have managed to keep all my digits intact

    I have too, but it has been close on several occasions while on the farm. Not that I was being stupid, well overly stupid, sometimes thing happen you did not expect. I have lots of scars on my fingers, some very long, some from some very deep wounds. I do have one scar on my leg that was administered by a chain saw that slipped leaving a particularly gnarly wound. Fortunately it was not deep, just long.

  9. Mid-30s here today and no wind, not much sun, either. We went out snowshoeing at the state park about three miles to our northwest; only humans at the park; other homo sapiens sapiens were out on the lake ice-fishing, via pickup trucks and snowmobiles. They have pretty slick equipment nowadays; guy on a snowmobile tows a sled behind him that has a folding shelter on it; he can sit out there all day in that and I saw him breaking it down; took about five seconds and he was off. Restaurant/pub around the corner has been pushing fresh perch every day for weeks now.

  10. [snip] I’m amazed just by the people that won’t wear safety glasses. [snip]

    My first day of freshman chemistry, back at the Institute of Technology. Professor Whatever, who is in charge of all labs, gives his standard safety speech: “Lots of people learn to walk on an artificial leg, some even learn to write with an artificial hand. But NOBODY can see with an artificial eye, so put your God Dammed goggles on!!!” The first time you were caught w/o goggles you got a warning; the second time you got a 0 for that particular lab, the third time you got a 0 for your overall lab grade.

    And we were without mail service here for a couple of days last month, here in Lower Alabama. All the bridges on/off the island were closed due to ice. It was a big hassle for a lot of the businesses on the beach, and many workers simply couldn’t get to work.

  11. Was 70 F here today and not a cloud in the sky. The wife made me put on my shoes and go for a two mile walk since I would not go last Tuesday due to the sleet. We are going to be 72 F tomorrow, and 76 F Monday and Tuesday. Fire up the air conditioners, they will be turning on all over. Summer is coming!

    Got the office electric bill for January last Friday. Was surprised to see that it was only $375. Our 5,300 ft2 office is total electric and we have been running the heaters like crazy. Our peak bill is usually in August, around $500.

  12. pcb wrote:

    “The first time you were caught w/o goggles you got a warning; the second time you got a 0 for that particular lab, the third time you got a 0 for your overall lab grade.”

    When I did first year chemistry in 1976 we had to wear these unfashionable looking glasses with Perspex lenses for labs. Since I wore glasses to correct for myopia I didn’t need to wear the ugly glasses. They weren’t enclosed.

    One day I saw a girl holding here eyes being escorted out of the lab by a couple of guys. I don’t know if she was badly injured, but I never heard anything more so I think she was ok.

  13. Highest recorded accumulated snowfall in Indianapolis is 51 inches during the winter of ’81-’82 (I was not here—was in Chicago by then). We are at 50.5 inches and 1 inch is predicted for the overnight. An inch would make this the most snowfall of any winter since record-keeping began.

    In Minnesota, the cold kept people in. I sometimes forget that people did everything they could, in order to be in by dark. Temps here have not been quite that bad this winter, but the wind has. Even when it was just a degree or 2 below freezing, the wind chill has often been below zero F. It is really hard to get used to the wind on this continent again. During winters in Berlin, wind was most often between 1 and 3 mph. Very unusual for wind ever to be more than about 5 to 7 mph. Normal here in Tiny Town is 7 to 10 mph, and from fall through winter, gusts up to 30 are more common than calm. Past couple days have been between 3 and 5 mph. Heavenly, given the temps of about 7 to 25 night and days. This winter is going to top my previous winter heating bills by a couple hundred.

  14. We get winds off the lake, mostly from the south and the gusts often hit 50-60 MPH, but we’re in a brick house and it’s been sitting here exposed to that for nearly 200 years. The new woodstove is working out very nicely.

    18 right now and dropping…

  15. Both sons are heavily into nature—much more so than me. We had a couple wood stoves in the ‘villa’ (that’s what they call a really big house) in Berlin. Me, I’m a turn-the-dial kind of guy, and chopping and splitting wood is something my forebears did 2 centuries ago. Old skool technology. Keeps one in shape, I know, but I’ll take the technology at the gym.

  16. Keeps one in shape, sort of, but also wears one down, eventually. I don’t mind the chopping and hauling but can only do it now in fairly short spurts, with regular rest breaks. It gets done but it just takes me longer.

    16 now and dropping again; correction to earlier post: Mrs. OFD is winging her way to TX, with gigs in Harlingen, and next week, Round Rock. Texas wanted her organization to do eleven classes in the first three months of this year; she comes back in two weeks and has two weeks off and then back to TX again, Houston, I believe, and then Richmond, Virginia, which also wants a bunch of classes.

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