Sunday, 20 September 2015

09:41 – The rate of kit orders is starting to slow, as expected in late September. The last half of September and all of October is generally pretty slow, with orders starting to pick up again in mid-November and running high through about the end of January. Then things slow down again until they start picking up in June and July.

Barbara is doing her regular house cleaning, bill paying, and so on this morning. This afternoon we’ll build some more biology kits and do other science kit stuff.

Barbara’s last day at work is a week from Wednesday. She plans to take a vacation day Friday, so she has only seven work days left. She wants to jump right into working her new job, so she starts full time for our company on Thursday, October 1. She’ll have things much better organized in no time, allowing me to focus on growing the business.

We’re getting to the autumn “in-between” part of the year, when to maintain an even temperature we’d need to run the air conditioning and the heating in the same day. In hot months, we usually keep the thermostat set at 75F (24C), and in cold months at 68F (20C). That means Barbara is always too warm during cooling season, and I’m always too cold during heating season. So she wears shorts and short/no-sleeve shirts during cooling season, and I wear flannel shirts during heating season. It works out fine most of the time, but during in-between times, both of us can be both too warm and too cold all in the same day.

And then there’s humidity. A few minutes ago, I had Barbara turn down the thermostat, even though it was only 72F in here. The problem is, the relative humidity was at 64%, so even I was warm. We turned it down to 70F to at least let the AC run for a while and remove some of the humidity.

46 thoughts on “Sunday, 20 September 2015”

  1. We ain’t real sensitive to the temp changes here; it is what it is. We’ve had heating failures several times at the other house and once or twice here and the inside temp went down into the 30s. And it takes a couple of hours to get the woodstove cranking in the morning, even from the banked hot coals. Neither of us cares for “extreme” heat, which for us is anything over 85 and 65-70 is our “sweet spot.” We do have to jack it up more if Grandma or Princess are visiting, though, as they ARE sensitive to the cold. Everyone’s different; my next-younger brother down in MA has always had his domiciles as hot as steam baths. And none of them, siblings, wives, nieces and nephew, have any interest whatsoever in moving up here; “too cold,” “too snowy,” “nothing to do,” etc.

    So they’re gonna hunker down in the haht of Megalopolis I guess. With not much in the way of preps, either. If anything.

  2. His PHB is too dumb for OPSEC and like most Murkan derps, will eagerly and joyfully trade his useless $5 gold coins (no one will accept them) for a box of Krispy Kremes and a six-pack. Just as he will trade all of his liberty for a tiny bit of false security, in a hahtbeat.

  3. After a few years in San Diego, where for 9 months of the year you just keep the windows open, and the temp inside is the same as the temp outside, Houston was a shock. Cool and comfortable inside, un-F-in-believable hot outside.

    We’ve settled on 75 deg year round. I’m a little hot, she’s a little cool. The funny thing is that most of the time, we can tell if the other makes any change, even one degree. We’re not in fall yet, but we will spend about a month heating at night and cooling during the day. And yep, some days we need to run the AC just to get the humidity out.

    It’s telling that the population growth in the south didn’t take off until the adoption of central air…there are still residential areas of Houston with 3 phase power to the home because that’s what was needed for AC back in the day.


  4. I’ve been curious as to what happens in the South and Southwest if the grid goes down and there is no more A-C. In colonial times, peeps dropped like flies. Here in Nova Anglia they often lived with health and vigor well into their 80s and 90s.

  5. @OFD,

    if your home is traditionally designed for this area, you can make out fine.

    Overhangs, porches, high ceilings, large windows arranged to allow air to flow thru, shade trees, etc all mitigate the heat. VERY FEW homes are designed this way now.


  6. “VERY FEW homes are designed this way now.”

    Indeed. We’ve seen housing developments in NJ, MA and VT over the years, many acres of flat land, often built on former wetlands or close to them, with all the trees bulldozed away. No porches or overhangs and new saplings that will take decades to grow enough for shade. McMansion developments, with phony copies of garrison houses and saltboxes. PLENTY of room, though, for multi-vehicle garages (which are often bigger than the living areas) and basketball court driveways. Also far enough away from strip malls and stores to have to drive for every little thing, ditto the skools.

    Ours was built when this was still a bustling seaport, from local materials; windows are bigger than average and lots of them. Brick with a pitched roof to shed snow and ice. Once the rest of the windows are installed and new doors front and back with the back porch converted into three-season level, we’ll be cozy and warm in the winters with just the woodstove, and cool in the summers with the windows open to the breeze off the lake; while just a half-mile up the road inland it’s sweltering.

    Drawbacks? Front of the house too close to the street and lot is long but not enough growing area/sunlight for more than a few raised beds and a bunch of containers. Also only four miles from the interstate, rail lines, pipelines, etc.

  7. yep, people are not all stupid, especially in the past.

    Vernacular building styles develop for reasons. Now sometimes you can ignore them, usually with massive inputs of energy, but there is a folk wisdom that develops over time, and the buildings that last into present day, are usually successful at sheltering their inhabitants.

    We already see huge failures in the ‘super insulated’ houses of the late 70s and 80s, particularly on the east coast where they were popular. We now know that if you build a very ‘tight’ house, you have to aggressively and constantly control moisture intrusion, and you have to provide mechanical ventilation or it will fail. The experimental subjects that got “Brad Pitt” homes after katrina are discovering that ‘new’ =!= ‘better’ in every case.

    A modern tract home is not ‘sustainable’ in any definition of the word and requires massive energy inputs to be livable. That said, as long as those energy inputs are available, more people own more enclosed living space than every in history.


  8. A bit overpriced IMHO, but the money is probably for the three acres and wotta access; I’d be leery of being downhill from that hill or ridge for multiple reasons.

  9. Looks good to me. That’s 3200 ft2 with 3 bds and 2 baths? Must have some big space on the lower level.

    But half the taxes I pay on 2400 ft2.

  10. “there are still residential areas of Houston with 3 phase power to the home because that’s what was needed for AC back in the day”

    Huh? You mean, there are houses that don’t have 3-phase power? That’s just weird. Granted, I haven’t lived in the US for more than 20 years, but I never saw a house without 3-phase. Here either. Houses take more and more power over the decades; seems to me it only makes sense to distribute the load over 3 phases.

    If not the AC, what about kitchen appliances? What about the garage, where lots of people use pretty hefty power tools?

    In my workshop in the basement, I have three circuits, each 16 amps at 220 volts, each on a different phase. Which means I can run 10000 watts of machinery without worrying about it, on ordinary 10-gauge wire. 10000 watts at only 110 volts on a single phase? 90 amps? That would require 2-gauge copper (1/4 inch)?!

    – – – – –

    Re McMansions, yep, mostly really stupid designs. My last visit to the States (Texas, to be specific), my cousins were proudly showing us their homes. Geez, I wouldn’t live in most of them if they were free. The show-off entry ways and living rooms were so huge and cold that they made you feel like an insect. Discreetly knock on the structural components, and it’s all hollow facades: Half-thickness bricks that support no weight, fancy “wooden” molding that’s actually plastic. Yuck, just yuck.

    Way too many rooms. I mean, half of them were hardly used. Someone has to clean the place; once the building ages a bit, someone has got to maintain it too. What’s the point of having half-a-dozen rooms that you only use 2-3 times a year?

    Lastly, as y’all say, no utility to be seen – overhanging porches and other stuff that would make them actually livable in the Texas climate. Just built to impress, not to actually live in.

  11. I’d be leery of being downhill from that hill or ridge for multiple reasons.

    Me, too, but the big issue is that it’s wood frame construction, which won’t even slow down a bullet. Brick veneer at least stops multiple 5.56 hit reliably and at least one or two 7.62×51 hits in the same place. If we bought something wood frame, I’d have to be ready to build tall gabions around the entire building instead of just the windows and doors. I’m too old for that shit.

    We may look at one place that’s brick construction (versus brick veneer). That’s typically resistant even to .50BMG.

  12. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a house that didn’t have 3-phase either.

  13. “We may look at one place that’s brick construction (versus brick veneer). That’s typically resistant even to .50BMG.”

    Solid brick here, but, like I said, lotsa windows. We’ll replace the front and back doors with steel doors and reinforced frames. Probably mesh or film on the windows at some point.

    It’s survived 185 years of a northern New England climate on a lakeshore, and only needs minor cosmetic and other work that was neglected or blown off by previous owners. Plus the improvements we do. Inside rooms already long since repainted; cellar cleaned out and now being worked on for prep storage; attic ditto but for workshop/radio shack. Gardening is gonna be problematic but we’ll do what we can.

  14. 3 phase power is the normal distribution method between the generating facilities and down to the local 4800 or 7200 or 9600 V three phase local distribution system. (A few systems use DC for long distance transport from generating plants to distribution points and then convert to 3 phase AC at the distribution center. You see this in the Western US and some EU underwater transmission systems.)

    However, from the pole transformer to the house is three wire, one being return, and the other two being 180 degrees out of phase with each other, so that you have 120V between either hot wire and the return, or 240V between the two hot wires.

    3 phase power to a residence with 120 degrees between phases is rare these days, unless you are willing to pay a surcharge to the power company. If you have metal working machinery, such as a Bridgeport mill equipped with a three phase motor, most folks find it cheaper to make a 2 phase to 3 phase converter (either static or rotating) or a solid state variable voltage/frequency 3 phase box that also provides speed control than to purchase 3 phase feed from the power company.

  15. @Jack Smith, every residential neighborhood I have lived in, back to the 1940s, had two wire primaries, so single phase, although this was sourced from three phase upstream at the edge of the neighborhood. This was in Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Florida, and California. It was easy to see, because almost all of those areas used overhead distribution. You are correct about the pole transformers. One addition was that most of those neighborhoods connected all the transformers in parallel, running primary distribution over secondary on the poles. Reliability was excellent.

    Here in California, we are fed from three phase delta (a rarity in our community) to the edge of the neighborhood, then underground distribution, which is single phase 12 kV. The transformers are above ground, and all are independent. As the system has aged, some transformers and underground primaries have failed, so reliability has been subpar. One of our problems is that it is so dry that the annual rains cause many failures in the area at the same time, so the crews are swamped. They also don’t seem to believe much in preventive maintenance.

    About twenty years ago, I helped two friends set up three phase machines. The first had three phase overhead less than 100′ from his home, as he lived near a minor distribution line. The power company wanted tens of thousands to install a pole pig (transformer) and connect him. They reasoned that about half of the expense was to be reserved to remove it when he moved out. He put in an electronic converter, which was troublesome but adequate. Another friend spent more on a rotary converter, and never had any problems.

  16. “@Jack Smith, every residential neighborhood I have lived in, back to the 1940s, had two wire primaries, so single phase, although this was sourced from three phase upstream at the edge of the neighborhood.”

    Yes, This.

    Almost no residential property in the US has 3 phase to the home. If you think you have 3 phase, you are probably wrong unless you live in a converted loft or industrial building.

    The community distro is 3 phase, yes, but it is on the edges of the neighborhood and rarely penetrates into it.

    Residential service is described as single phase with one conductor feeding a (usually) pole mounted transformer, which then has 3 wires coming to your entry point. Between either hot conductor and ground or neutral there is about 120volts potential, and between the 2 hots there is about 240v.

    All residential appliances are designed to use 120/240 v single phase service in the US.

    There are other schemes, but they are typical of office or commercial and industrial property.

    It is very unusual to have 3 phase to the home, which is why I mentioned it. Old neighborhoods in Houston, like Meyerland, were some of the first in the country to be set up from the beginning to run central AC in every home. That was a lot of strain on the power grid at the time and 3 phase made sense to more efficiently run motors.

    If you spend any time on machinery hobbyist forums you’ll hear alot about how hard or expensive it is to get 3 phase to a residence, any where in the US.

    Even my commercial space doesn’t have 3 phase available in the units.


  17. @brad, Our house has 120-0-120 volt single phase, 200 amp service, common here for decades. Its underground feed from the transformer is two 4/0 aluminum conductors with a 2/0 neutral. From the meter panel to the basement distribution panel there are two 2/0 copper conductors and one #1 neutral, in conduit.

    I have a 25 kW nominal electric resistance forced air furnace, used mostly for backup heat when the sun doesn’t shine. It is wired with two #6 NM feeds, which each are rated for 50 amps at 240 V. The reason for this is that our code allows this on nonmetallic cable, no conduit, the same as for an electric stove. There is another #10 NM 30 amp circuit to power the blower.

    All my stationary power tools can run from either 20 amp or 30 amp 240 V outlets, except a 50 amp outlet for a welder.

    I have seen European wiring, and some of it is well thought out. Our problem is backward compatibility, which will likely never go away. I also don’t like the idea of 240 V on outlets that will never power more than a few watts, especially with modern low power lights and electronics, but I could get used to it. 480 V would be nice, but would require a little more caution for electricians working on it.

    I could argue that the copper saved with 240 V circuits might be offset by the additional cost of circuitry to power LED lights and other things, but I would probably be wrong.

  18. @nick, a friend has a new metal cutting bandsaw that has a three phase motor and integrated variable frequency drive that runs from 240 V single phase. It is really slick, and develops lots of cutting ability at low blade speeds. I want one!

  19. My home is connected to a 20kv three phase distribution line with a 120v / 240v single phase drop from the transformer.

    My office is connected to a 20kv three phase with TWO 120v / 240v drops each on a single phase. 200 amps on each line for a total of 800 amps since I have two 60 amp electric heaters.

  20. My home is connected to a 20kv three phase distribution line with a 120v / 240v single phase drop from the transformer.

    The vast majority of homes are wired in this method. Three phase on the pole to a transformer that is typically only connected to one of the phases. The output to the house is single phase consisting of three wires, a neutral and two 120V lines that are 180 degrees out of phase. Thus to get 120V you only connect one hot to ground. To get 220V you connect one hot to the other hot.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a house that didn’t have 3-phase either.

    Almost no homes have 3 phase power. It is expensive and requires a special panel. You need four wires, one for each phase and one for neutral. Each hot line is typically 240V or higher. To get 120V you still need a single phase line off another transformer or a tap on the transformer and a separate panel.

    The maximum size motor you can run on single phase power, 240V, is 7.5 HP. To get larger HP you need three phase and higher voltage. We had the power company run three phase power to our water pump on the ranch. Only way to get enough power for 40 HP.

  21. I have a static phase converter to run my 3 phase lathe on single phase 240v. It’s basically some capacitors and a switch in a box. Works great. If I had the money, I’d get a VFD. I have several big ones (from salvage) but I’m told that I really need one for each machine, rather than doing a big one as 3 phase service for the shop. So I’ll use the static for a while. On a mill or metal lathe the VFD is awesome for converting to 3 phase, ’cause you get the additional speed control ‘for free.’ It can cause overheating in motors that are not rated for VFDs, like my old Oliver lathe, or my Nichols horizontal mill. Especially on the Nichols, where the motor is worth more to rebuilders than the whole mill, I want to be careful. The mill already has speed control with pulleys so it’s not worth risking the motor in this case.

    200Amp Single phase 240/125v service is standard for houses in the US. Many were built in the past with less, but almost always will need upgrading if you do any work at all. If you have a big house, lots of electric appliances, electric heat, or a spa, or more than one AC unit, you might get a bigger service.

    It’s funny how in europe and the ME, they are completely blase’ about 240v for a lamp next to the couch but absolutely freaked by the idea of gas in the house. I’ve seen people who were supposed to be electricians do some shocking things on jobsites. Pun intended. One in particular, I thought “oh how uncharacteristically progressive to supply the local electricians with fully insulated tools.” Then I watched him jam it into a socket. Not progressive at all, just smart. Later I figured out that he was in the ground using it to bypass the safety interlock so he could use an ungrounded plug.


  22. a VFD

    Was that a typo, or perhaps a speech impediment? I’m assuming you meant BFD, Big Fucking Something-or-other. Discharge? DC? Dynamo?

  23. Regarding the house, funny that it is actually listed as “survivalist retreat.” Must be a big enough market to make it worth listing that way.

    It does look like it “needs work.” And I don’t see 3200 sqft in the pix they showed so the rest must be even rougher.

    Looks like nice property in the middle of a national forest though.


    Also the listing has it below market.

    added, on second look, it could be ~32×100 which would scale on the photo, in which case all those rooms might be open the full width of the house, and we have seen it all.

  24. @SteveF,

    Nope, in this case VFD is variable frequency drive. It takes whatever ac voltage you put in, rectifies it (turns to DC) then by switching bigass transistors real fast and in a pattern, spits out AC on 3 phases. It can be used (and mostly is) as a speed control for AC motors by varying the frequency. Slower than 60hz, motor runs slower than nameplate; faster than 60hz, motor runs faster. It’s more complex than that, but that’s the basic idea. An alternate but very popular use it to turn single phase AC into 3 phase AC power to run surplus commercial tools in a residential or home shop.

    Surplus machine tools are cheaper with 3 phase motors because the market is smaller. Using a VFD or static phase converter, or even rotary phase converter saves you changing out the motor, and its controls with single phase versions too.


  25. I’ll add that modern motors are available rated for VFD use. Think about what’s happening and you’ll see why using a VFD can overheat a motor that is not designed for it. The VFD is pulsing the voltage to the motor, which is basically a big coil of wire, which generates a magnetic field. The VFD sends a bunch more pulses than normal electrical service, causing a lot more fields to charge up then collapse each second, which turns into heat. If the motor isn’t built for the higher temps it will fail early. Thus there is some risk using it on an older motor like the pre-war motor on my horizontal mill.


  26. Nick, if you were explaining for the benefit of others who might not know what a VFD is, that’s fine. If you were explaining for my benefit, you needn’t have bothered. I have a piece of paper saying I’m an electrical engineer, which I may not have mentioned when you were reading, and I’m routinely full of crap and joke about everything, which you certainly should have noticed. Hmm. Unless you’re one of those humorless old guys I’ve heard tell about, in which case you probably never noticed that I’m full of crap and always joking and just thought that I’m a retard. Hmm. I’m not sure which of us is insulted more in mentioning that scenario.

  27. I have a piece of paper around here somewhere that says I’m a bachelor of arts in English literature and I dint have a clue as to what “VFD” meant. I was also, briefly, an apprentice electrician, but otherwise I’m a retard on that subject.

    “… Unless you’re one of those humorless old guys I’ve heard tell about…”

    I call foul. Most of the old farts I know and have known have a sense of hew-muh. But I see more and more young derps that don’t, esp. among the Other Sex (Yes, Virginia, there really ARE only TWO sexes…).

    You don’t get old in this world, and this country, without having developed a sense of humor, I would think. Esp. lately. Things are so wack as to beggar ordinary belief. Mirror World. Bizarro World. Topsy-Turvy.

  28. @SteveF.

    Well, the ‘speech impediment’ option gave a clue, but I realized after posting the original comment that I didn’t explain what a VFD was, so you just gave me an opening….

    Post SHTF, the easiest power to produce is 3 phase.

    added: Really DC from solar or thermal, but if we’re talking about needing AC, then spin a 3phase motor and you get more electricity produced than single phase. Maybe a little more complex to use it though.

    If you (anyone) is thinking about rebuilding society, learning about power generation is a Good Thing (TM).

    I was at the annual Festival of Steam in upper NY a few years ago, and they have a great old steam fired power plant on site. That old electrical equipment is so cool to look at, but terrifying to think of working with it daily.


  29. I bookmarked that link, Mr. nick, thanks. Kinda discouraging, esp. with what we have on hand now and what we may be able to get over the next few months or a year, and what we are limited to trying to grow here.

    If Mrs. OFD and I can get going hard on the PT and get in shape, maybe we’d better off doing the small-unit tactical training stuff, get our load-bearing vests and plates on, and start robbing and pillaging all over the region when TSHTF. At least I have some experience in that regard, albeit forty years old and in a much warmer climate. Still, some things ya never forget…

    “…they have a great old steam fired power plant on site.”

    My late dad knew all that stuff; he worked around steam-powered boilers and turbines and other machinery most of his “career” until he ended up behind a desk as a senior supervising mechanical engineer, having never graduated high skool, and supervising guys with graduate degrees in it. Maybe I shoulda worked harder at my math and science courses and read all his damn manuals back in the day….

  30. Both of my houses in Houston have 3 phase. One was built in the 20s, and there were the remains of tube and post wiring in the attic. The current one is in Meyerland and was built in the mid-50s. I guess I’m blessed?

  31. Both of my houses in Houston have 3 phase

    I would think getting 240V would be a problem. With three phase each phase the peak of each sine wave is only 120 degrees out of phase with any other leg. That will never get you 240V potential difference between any leg as is done for single phase power. To have three phase power would require four lines running to the house, one for each phase and a neutral. You can get 120V as each phase could be 120V. You would also need a special breaker panel to accommodate all three phases (3 buss bars). Unless you only use two of the phases and a standard 2 bar buss panel. But you would still have the issue of 240V.

    So how do you get 240V for major appliances? Is there some sort of converter involved?

  32. @ech,

    you’re blessed if you want to run a home/hobby machine shop or wood shop and use surplus tools! If you don’t, it probably doesn’t matter to you. Certainly most of your neighbors wouldn’t care….

    I can’t even get 3 phase at my shop, so I have to adapt all my old 3 phase tools. Even with the added expense of converters they are still way cheaper than new, and better built too.


  33. @Ray,

    in practice almost anything that will run on 240 v will run on 208 v.

    Also, it’s possible to have 240v/120v 3 phase service, they connect it differently. See the diagram for 3 phase 4 wire delta on this page.

    Or they could just use a small boost transformer or there may even be one with all the different voltages broken out, never lived in one of those houses so I never learned the details of how it was done.


  34. in practice almost anything that will run on 240 v will run on 208 v

    @Nick, Thanks for the info. I know static loads such as heating elements will not suffer from reduced voltages. What happens to motors that are expecting 240V? Will a drop of 14% in voltage cause overheating in the motor as the motor draws more current? I am specifically thinking of A/C compressors and pool pumps, probably the only consumer motors in a house that requires 240V. Would a boost transformer work in that situation?

  35. @ray, check the nameplate on the motor. It will have the required info. Most modern stuff has an input voltage range specified instead of a fixed requirement.

    In reality it’s all pretty flexible. Remember when we called household electrical service 110v? or 22ov? Stuff that worked on that still works on 120v (actually specified nowadays as 125v) and same for 220v ->240v.

    A very common example is “long life” incandescent light bulbs. If you look at the packaging, they are often 130v rated bulbs, that “last longer” in the US because they are run at 120v. With light bulbs the mechanism of wear is pretty clear, heat the filament, and it gradually burns away. Eventually it fails. Heat it less and it lasts longer. Of course, if you are in an urban area with 124v actual at the outlet service, that bulb won’t last quite as long.

    Motors and non-resistive loads are more complicated. Just stay within the ratings on the nameplate, and you should get all the rated design life out of the product.


  36. @nick, thanks for the link. It is one of the most concise lists I have seen, and I also like the comments on popularity. While reading there, I found this link
    which looks fascinating. Will read it carefully later.

    I graduated from the University of Detroit, which had an electrical engineering and power systems program. Even though I studied electronics, all of us had to learn about power systems. The lab was fascinating, and today might be reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, but without the scary stuff… unless you consider medium voltages and 300 hp motors scary. Still remember the glow of the Thyratron tubes!

    I got to apply some of this when I was in industry and designed solid state power switching circuits. The ones I worked on were only a few tens of amps, definitely small stuff even then. We have come a long way, especially in the devices.

    And, +1 on the incandescent light bulb life!

  37. @JimB,

    Nothing like unshielded knife switches over a foot long to make a person pay attention to stray elbows!

    I have been fortunate to visit a number of old theaters with some really interesting old power disto.

    In New Orleans, the building service came in on wrist thick cables insulated with genuine gutta percha, and each had a paper tag tied to it, hand written in india ink where it was coming from. Same building had a panel board, black laquered, with big knife switches and a spinning brass and gold device under a glass globe, protected by a chunk of new chain link fencing. They had to add the fence because the panelboard was in a hallway! The same theater had a dynamo spinning an 8 ft cast iron pulley, driving 1 ft wide leather belts to turn fans as part of the HVAC system. It had that great, heavy, half melted look of motors from the turn of the century.

    There was one place in a service area at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, where you could see parts of the original distro system, overseen by Edison himself (supposedly).

    In another theater, I missed seeing the original salt water dimmers by only a few weeks. They still had the black lacquer panelboard, with meters, switches, buttons and indicator lamps, but it was no longer connected. I wish I’d gotten some pictures.

    The stuff had the feel of the switchgear at this link, but prettier.


    BTW, if you like that sort of think, follow the links back to Jake Von Slatt’s web stuff. He’s done one of the coolest bus conversions, and has a great eye for steampunk.

  38. but otherwise I’m a retard on that subject.

    Macro-aggression Sir OFD. 6 months Cankles bra adjuster.

  39. “Nothing like unshielded knife switches over a foot long to make a person pay attention to stray elbows!”

    I STILL work around electrical stuff with one hand in a pocket! It scared me silly when I saw young-uns working on circuitry touching everywhere and with both hands, until I remembered that the highest voltage they usually encounter is 12 volts. Usually.

    Thanks for the links. The pictures of the steam plant are gorgeous. I looked briefly at Jake Von Slatt’s stuff, and he seems an interesting guy worth reading. Never liked Steampunk stuff because it is mostly just appearances and fake. I like the real thing.

    I am the volunteer lighting director for our local concert association, which now puts shows on in the high school auditorium. (You can always tell it is a small town when someone says THE high school!) Before that, we used the theater on the base nearby. That place had a circa 1930 lighting board with “modern” autotransformer dimmers, but my mentor had worked at places that still had salt water dimmers. That mentorship and era came to a close a few years ago when he went to that great lighting board in the sky. It was great while it lasted. Now, everything is solid state (oh, are knife switches solid state?) and computer controlled. It is also operated by the HS drama students, who are learning a different facet of putting on a show with usually no rehearsals. Keeps ’em on their toes!

    I just came in from my morning chores. Even though it is almost Fall, we are still expecting a high of about 100F, so I do the outside stuff as early as I can. We are about ten degrees above normal. Just hope El Nino doesn’t bring too much local rain, as I have a construction project during Winter.

  40. Hey, you invoking capitalist feudal imagery, insulting the Czarina, and implying that her undergarments need any kind of “adjustment” are all micro-aggressions. Shame on you again!

    90 days setting up new Hispanic and Syrian immigrants to Lost Wages with their new houses, cars and businesses.

  41. Heh. We decided to expand our relocation search into counties that abut Ashe County. Here’s a listing that I won’t even bother showing to Barbara. She’d freak out.

    Looks fine to me. Is it an old double wide that was dragged into place? I’ll bet that section over the valley creaks when you walk in there. Interesting color choices. I like the propane tank under the overhang (not!). Or is that a rain cistern? I do not like floor elevation changes with bifocals.

  42. We’re getting to the autumn “in-between” part of the year, when to maintain an even temperature we’d need to run the air conditioning and the heating in the same day. In hot months, we usually keep the thermostat set at 75F (24C), and in cold months at 68F (20C).

    We will do this all winter long here in the Land of Sugar. For at least 2 or 3 weeks.

    Our old house Trane thermostat had a fan mode called “circulate” where it would randomly run the fan for 20 minutes out of each hour. When that thermostat fried itself last July, I had to get a Honeywell thermostat from Lowes that did not have that mode. But I am thinking about ordering the fancier thermostat just to get that circulate mode for those not hot and not cold days.

  43. “Macro-aggression Sir OFD. 6 months Cankles bra adjuster.”

    Don’t tempt him… 🙂

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