Sunday, 29 June 2014

10:24 – We’re doing the usual Sunday stuff.

Yesterday I moved the canned dry goods we purchased from the LDS store off the steel shelving unit and onto a pallet I built along one wall from 2×2 spacers and 1×6 boards. Keeping that stuff on the steel shelving unit was a waste of heavy-duty shelving that we can use for canned soups, vegetables, fruits, etc. The LDS store stuff is in cases of six #10 cans each, and the cases stack just fine without shelves to separate them. A space 8 feet (2.5 meters) wide by 40″ (1 meter) high by 13″ (33 cm) deep is sufficient to stack 25 cases 5×5. Depending on contents, the cases range in weight from about 13 to 37 pounds (6 to 17 kilos), so stacking them five high isn’t a problem.

I’ve also claimed some unused space in our full-size vertical freezer, which I’ll use to store small, high-value items, particularly those with shorter shelf lives. The rule of thumb in chemistry is that each change of 10 degrees Celsius doubles/halves the rate of a reaction. In a freezer at -20C versus room temperature of 20C, that 40C difference is four doublings, or a factor of 16X. In other words, an item that has a one-year shelf life at +20C can be expected to have a sixteen-year shelf life at -20C. And there’s no drawback to keeping that unused space filled. The converse, in fact. If we have a power failure, the more mass that’s in that freezer at -20C, the longer the contents will stay cold.

11:21 – I hate it when updates break stuff. Barbara has a Sansa Fuze MP3 player. For years, every two or three months I’ve refilled it with music simply by connecting it to a USB port and having it recognized as a USB mass storage device. This morning, I plugged it in and got an error. Ubuntu 14.04 said it was “unable to open MTP device”. A quick search turned up the solution. I had to go into settings on the Fuze and change the USB settings from Autodetect to MSC. I wish that Linux developers would adopt as their Prime Directive “DO NOT BREAK SOMETHING THAT ALREADY WORKS”.