Sat. Mar. 31, 2018 – stayed up late, slept in

By on March 31st, 2018 in Random Stuff

Woke to the sound of the lawn guys….

60F with 99%RH but not raining. Either my weather station is wrong, or it is cool and damp like crazy out there….

Started reading Lynn’s recommendation of Locker 9. So far so good. The writing style is a bit direct and relentless, but competent. The ‘gear whore’ prepper manual stuff is less obvious than some PA novels.

I’m liking it so far. The villain is certainly believable.

n

added- weather station was right. Dew on everything. Air is saturated. RH is dropping as the day warms…..

27 Comments and discussion on "Sat. Mar. 31, 2018 – stayed up late, slept in"

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Did you ever get the laptop stable?

    What size hard drive did you install? I may have a small (~225 GB) SSD become available in the near future. Moving over from a smaller drive to the SSD would be easy.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    My project for tomorrow is to get the eye tracker installed and windows registered. It’s a big drive, like 1TB iirc.

    House and family and holiday stuff ate my free time this week.

    n

  3. Rick Hellewell says:

    In a fit of tweaking, I changed the new buttons toolbar to have no background color/image.

    Howzzat?

  4. DadCooks says:

    @Rick, the backgroundless toolbar looks better to me. +1 +1

    Any plans to add any more buttons, like strikeout?

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    looks better!

  6. Jenny says:

    @Lynn, @Nick
    I liked Locker 9. It was a fast fun read and a better story than many in that genre. Non-prepper would find it appealing as an adventure story.

  7. CowboySlim says:

    From lynn, yesterday:

    Did you use THERM, PEPSE, or roll your own ?
    http://famos.scientech.us/PEPSE.html

    We had an in-house developed, Fortran program that would predict functional transient performance of environmental and thermal control systems of manned spacecraft. Sometime in the ’70s we purchased a Fortran program from, IIRC, Southwest Research Institute that was an automated steam tables calculator. Inputting any two of pressure, temperature, density, enthalpy or entropy would yield values of the other three. I converted its main program into a subroutine and merged it into our existing program. With that incorporation, the steam cycle of flowing through pumps, solar heaters, orifices, turbines and pumps could be simulated. From some government agency, I think, we got mag tapes of solar insolation as a function of time of day, day of year and latitude. We did that under a gov’t contract…..we appreciated your contributions to the IRS.

    Never even heard of Algore back then.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    My project for tomorrow is to get the eye tracker installed and windows registered. It’s a big drive, like 1TB iirc.

    Ok. Stick with that drive. I’ve found that NTFS is kinda touchy about shrinking and moving via Gparted.

    The Windows 7 Pro license number for that particular laptop should still be on the back of the machine. Windows 10 pulls the CPU’s serial number and automagically registers as genuine.

    I have one texture sticker for the mousepad left. I’ll stick it in an envelope and mail it at some point in the near future.

  9. lynn says:

    I got the 2017 federal income taxes finished this morning at 2 am. Only 30 pages for this year (I love depreciation, don’t you ?). I just got all of the information input for efiling and performed same. This year, you have to input the state driver’s license numbers of the individuals involved along with the ending dates and starting dates. I am getting back about 6% of the taxes that the wife and I paid in. My goal is to give them enough that I do not have to give them another penny on April 15.

    The commercial real estate that I own is now almost 20% of our net income. It is 1/3rd on a gross income basis. I have three tenants currently and am negotiating with a prospect who wants me to build him a graveled and 8 ft tall metal fenced compound of 2,500 ft2. I will have an upfront cost of $14K with $42K in rent over five years. I am still thinking about it. He also only carries $300K of liability insurance and I want him to raise that to $500K. Man, this stuff is complicated !

  10. lynn says:

    Started reading Lynn’s recommendation of Locker 9. So far so good. The writing style is a bit direct and relentless, but competent. The ‘gear whore’ prepper manual stuff is less obvious than some PA novels.

    RBT recommended Franklin Horton’s Borrowed World series without reservation. So I bought them and so do I. “Locker Nine” is a sub of the main series. I have read all eight ??? books that Horton has written. Recommended.
    https://www.amazon.com/Borrowed-World-Novel-Post-Apocalyptic-Collapse/dp/1511974419/

  11. lynn says:

    Hey, that was quick. TurboTax just notified me that our federal tax return was accepted after 30 minutes.

    Now to work on our state tax return. Wait, this is Texas ! No state income tax, sweet !

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, got the tile floor out of the rent house bathroom… and the subfloor isn’t rotten. That is really good news and means that my work is significantly easier. Dodged a bullet there. Met the new neighbor there too, and he said he’d keep an eye on the house. Meatspace!

    Ham tonight, lamb tomorrow.

    Peace and the joy of the season to all….

    n

  13. lynn says:

    The Brazos River has just about peaked from the rainfall here and upstream this week. We’ve gone from 10 ft on the Richmond gauge to 36 ft on the gauge since Wednesday. The original prediction was 40.5 ft on the gauge.
    https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=HGX&gage=RMOT2

    36 ft on the Richmond gauge is no big deal. The Brazos River does not leave its primary banks until it reaches 45 ft. The Brazos River leaves its secondary banks at 50 ft. Then we start having serious flooding in Fort Bend County. The Brazos River reached 55 ft on the Harvey flooding. My concern comes if the Brazos rises to the 1913 flood at 61 ft. That is about level with our levee around our subdivision here, maybe higher.

    Another concern is that our 12 ft tall levee may not even be able to stand 8 or 9 ft of water on the levee as our levee width to height is 3:1. Harvey put six ft of water on our levee. That means that the levee is 36 ft wide at the bottom. There are now some people who are thinking that the levee may fall over if we get 9 to 10 ft of water on it. I would like to see the actual calculations on the strength of the levee as we did have a partial collapse of the levee during Harvey. One hopes that the engineers did calculate the river running at 8 mph in addition to the load of 6 to 12 ft of water.

  14. lynn says:

    Ham tonight, lamb tomorrow.

    http://www.gocomics.com/arloandjanis/2018/03/30

  15. paul says:

    I fixed my blower motor problem on the TRUCK. The shop manual, while I’d rather have the book instead of a 162 MB / 1956 page pdf, said to unplug the blower and operate the system. Yep, I can hear the various air doors (flaps) moving. I’m going to guess that sometimes the doors jam and that can make noise.

    Ok, pull the blower. Three T-25 screws. Easy. A shorter screwdriver for the back screw would be nice. I think it’s the original blower. Other than being filthy with black soot, perhaps from the brushes, it was clean other than a 2 inch by 1 inch dried live oak tree leaf. How that got in there is a mystery. My intake screens look good. Maybe when I had the heater core replaced last month? I pulled the fan off and soaked it in a sink of warm water. I didn’t see an easy way to remove the motor from the housing… I’ll have to break one for that.

    The motor looks standard other than not having bolts holding it together. Threadless rods with push on lock washers instead of nuts. Mounted in a rubber sleeve that appears to click into the housing. Not meant to be repaired.

    I soaked the top bearing with 3in1 oil while I washed the fan blade. WD-40 is not the right stuff for this. 🙂

    Put the fan back on the motor, and turned it on. Smooth as silk. Re-installed the assembly and everything “just works”. Interestingly, on high blower, I now hear a whistle at the top of the driver’s door. I’m not complaining.

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    I have found a lot of fans that just need lubing. I have several of the “tornado” fans. All of them seized within a year. That was 10 years ago. I just take them apart and relube the bearings every year when I want to use them. I use wd40 to break them loose, then lube with 3 in 1 as a lasting lube. Hard to get to the rear one, so I usually drill a hole to make access easier. 10 to 15 minutes or less, and save $25.

    I even bought a lightweight white grease and I’ll relube muffin fans….

    n

  17. paul says:

    The battery in the van died about a month and a half ago. It was fine one day and the next day it had shorted. Two cells dead. Eight volts is just not enough.

    The battery came from O’Reilly’s. $160 with tax. I can’t find the receipt… but Mom’s been the nursing home two years this coming May and the battery was bought the Summer before. New math! The battery will be three years old in July.

    O’Reilly’s say they can pull up your purchase history. Ah, maybe, maybe not. She “looked” and saw no battery purchases going all the way back to 2010. Which is sketchy… the Jeep, the red truck, the white truck, one for the riding lawnmower, and one for the van.

    To add to the insult, she’s gonna have to charge the battery for a couple of hours before she can test it. I see her next career as a sleazy used car salesman.

    So much for the six year warranty.

    Why are batteries so expensive now? From $160 to $195 in three years? Even a Group 24 size is $120 and dang, the last one I bought for the tractor was $50.

    I took my battery back and went to NAPA. Same thing out the door was $136 total. That’s with tax and all the BS fees.

    I had a smaller battery in the truck for my core. Hey, the recycle place pays by weight… keep the heavy battery…. 🙂 The guy at NAPA didn’t care.

    And the funny thing…. they said I was the 4th person this week with a bad O’Reilly’s and no sign in their computer of a battery being bought.

    This is a small town. Folks talk.

  18. paul says:

    Yeah… fans.

    My neighbor gave me a desktop fan. I took it apart and oiled it. It worked great as a bathroom fan. For almost thirty years. Just needed a cleaning every couple of years and a bit of oil. Then, when we had the master bath remodeled a couple of years ago, some idiot tossed my fan onto a pile of stuff in the bedroom. Shattered the blades. Wtf?

    Rear bearings aren’t a problem. Just take the motor apart.

  19. Rick Hellewell says:

    WRT batteries: I found less expensive batteries at WalMart. Plus free installation (which I could do, but why not let them do it?). Saved about $45 over the price of one at Autozone or OReilly.

    WRT to strikethrough buttons: I’ll need to do a bit more work to enable that one. I need to write my own version of the plugin I used (geekery: see WordPress QuickTags API) to add additional buttons to the comment editor.

    (WP Geekery: a plugin is easier; don’t want to muck with the theme’s functions file – any changes I make could be broken on a theme update. I’d have to create a child theme, then put my functions in that child theme. A plugin is easier to make and install – overall.)

    In the meantime, those of you that have to have strikethrough use the ‘del’ and ‘/del’ tags around the text you want to strikethrough.

  20. lynn says:

    Why are batteries so expensive now? From $160 to $195 in three years? Even a Group 24 size is $120 and dang, the last one I bought for the tractor was $50.

    The last battery recovery plant was closed in Texas in Collin County a couple of years ago. It had been in service for a 100 years or so and polluted the area. The owners closed the lead plant when the EPA mandated that they clean the air ? ground ? in the County. Horrendous amounts of money.
    https://www.dallasnews.com/news/frisco/2017/06/29/frisco-raises-concerns-lead-tainted-battery-chips-found-defunct-exide-plant

    All batteries in Texas are now shipped to Wisconsin or somewhere like that for recycling. Not cheap.

  21. JimB says:

    Battery prices: ISTR the last lead smelter shut down some years ago, and that’s when prices more than doubled.

    Have had good luck with Walmart batteries, in recent years made by Johnson Controls. Rcently bought an “Interstate,” now also made by Johnson, from Costco for $70. WM price was $110, so I thought I would take a chance. Too soon to tell, but the battery sure doesn’t look like the ones formerly made by Interstate. Not impressed.

    I got 17 years from an Optima purchased in 1993, so bought another in 2010. It lasted 5 years. Bought an Odyssey in 2015, and it is already weak. All three are AGM batteries. Now back to flooded. (I have several vehicles, so these numbers and dates don’t add up.) I take good care of batteries, but we live in a hot climate that is challenging. AGM batteries don’t take heat well.

    I am tempted to experiment with supercapacitors, but they have some limitations as well.

  22. Ray Thompson says:

    One time I had a battery fail suddenly. It was about 10 degrees out, truck (1993 F-100) started fine with no issues. I drove about 1/4 mile to a place I needed to drop something off. Shut off the engine. Came back out and had no power at all. Battery was completely dead with an open connection. Stranded so had wife come with other vehicle and off I went for a new battery.

    I have two batteries in my boat. Marine starting batteries which have more plate support than regular batteries. Those batteries get replaced every 5 years regardless of condition. Little more expensive than auto batteries.

    Had another battery incident with the Highlander. Drove to school, about 1.5 miles. Came out to start, nothing. Even jumping the battery was not possible. Needed to get the vehicle towed to the dealer as something was seriously wrong. But you cannot open the rear hatch without power. I needed to get in there to get the tow hook for the tow truck. The tow hook screws into a place under a small cover in the front bumper. This allows the vehicle to be pulled onto the tow truck without having to attach cables underneath the vehicle. Avoids damage.

    Turns out the alternator had shorted taking out the battery. $750 later the vehicle is fixed. Took a couple of days as the alternator had to be ordered from Toyota. Then there was the cost of the new battery. Fortunately no cables were damaged from the current draw. The wiring in the alternator probably limited the current draw.

    Batteries can be fickle. Fine one minute, toast the next. I have never had a weak battery, just complete failures. But I get them replaced as soon as the warranty has expired. $180 amortized over six years is $2.50 a month or $0.08 a day. Cheap hedge against failure that will leave you stranded.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    To add to the insult, she’s gonna have to charge the battery for a couple of hours before she can test it. I see her next career as a sleazy used car salesman.

    So much for the six year warranty.

    Give the O’Reilly folks a break. Three years is typical for a battery in my experience, especially in an extreme (hot or cold) climate, and the charge/test routine might be required by law in your state before the store takes the battery for recycling.

    I doubt that the salespeople are spiffed on batteries. That would be way too tempting for the unscrupulous, and the auto parts chains are in the same kind of trouble as the rest of retail.

    Lately, our batteries come from the AutoZone near our house. I can walk the batteries up there (using my kids’ wagon) if necessary, and I order the batteries online.

  24. Greg Norton says:

    The last battery recovery plant was closed in Texas in Collin County a couple of years ago. It had been in service for a 100 years or so and polluted the area. The owners closed the lead plant when the EPA mandated that they clean the air ? ground ? in the County. Horrendous amounts of money.

    In Collin County, the land probably became too valuable to keep using as a battery factory. The contamination must have been too serious for the developer to simply sweep under the rug.

    The Chinese drywall scandals in Florida were the direct result of cities closing local gypsum board facilities in urban cores. I remember the plant in Tampa being closed after neighbors in the gentrifying area deemed it “unsightly”. The same thing happened to the Wonder Bread bakery nearby, and the ConAgra flour mill at Port Tampa is next on the Pinchface agenda.

  25. DadCooks says:

    In the meantime, those of you that have to have strikethrough use the ‘del’ and ‘/del’ tags around the text you want to strikethrough.

    I use s and /s for strike through. It goes with KISS, and less is more.

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    and I use a b and slash b for bold instead of strong…

    is there an alternate set of markup words?

    n

  27. SteveF says:

    b and /b (for “bold”) are supported in all browsers and most commenting systems.
    strong and /strong (for, you guessed it, “strong”) are also supported and are preferred.

    The reasoning is that “bold” is over-specifying what you want the browser to do — you’re telling it how to change the rendered text rather than what effect you’re trying to accomplish. “strong” is a more “conceptual” change, telling the browser you want the text to grab more attention and letting the browser or stylesheet decide how to do it. The same goes for i (“italic”) vs em (“emphasized”).

    For text in the Roman/Western fonts, bold and strong are usually the same thing. This isn’t the case with all writing systems, though I couldn’t tell you exactly how they’re different.

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