Wed. July 10, 2019 – tired.

79F and 96%RH this morning. It got hot yesterday but not as hot as some recent days. Wore my cool vest and set up my portable air conditioner and got some work done for a couple of hours.

As a result, I’ve got another pickup load for the auction, and more coming.

I’ve got the beginning of an idea rolling around in my empty gourd of a head. Not sure if it is going to lead anywhere, but it ties together “smart” thermostats, Boeings Max disaster, high efficiency clothes washers, and a couple of other things. What they all have in common is trying to use software and cleverness to solve a problem better addressed with the application of ‘stuff’.

With thermostats, you are better off spending a couple hundred bucks on air sealing and insulation to increase the performance of your home than getting clever with your HVAC. With the Max, it looks like Boeing tried to solve a physical issue (instability in flight) with cleverness, and with HE clothes washing, we all know you get a better result with old style washers that simply used more water, more agitation, more soap, etc. Once again, trying to replace stuff with cleverness.

Even in cars you find the same thing, only applied to the stuff instead of just a direct software approach (although the direct approach is present too). The steel has been made stronger, rather than using more. More strength comes from SHAPE than material, which is cleverness embodied physically.

None of it is necessarily bad in and of itself, but it adds cost, complexity, and most unforgivably, trades TIME for stuff. And as living creatures with a finite amount of time on the planet, stealing TIME while conserving stuff seems a pretty bad bargain to me.

Anyway, as I said, the ideas aren’t fully formed, but that’s where my head is at this morning.

nick

62 thoughts on “Wed. July 10, 2019 – tired.”

  1. With thermostats, you are better off spending a couple hundred bucks on air sealing and insulation to increase the performance of your home than getting clever with your HVAC.

    A 5-2 day programmable thermostat will save energy/money. Adding WiFi and the ability to monitor the device from outside the home is where the thinking goes off the rails. Your thermostat does not need to run Ruby — no one wants to bother with real embedded programming anymore, and the hipster languages for adding web functionality are unproven long term security risks.

  2. /Dad rant on/
    Well yesterday’s Firefox update, 68.0, has broken many websites. It is the clash of the ad blockers and trackers, sites that are doing their best to defeat them, and the browsers that say they are on the user’s side but really aren’t.

    I am getting tired of having to tweak browser configurations, options, and add-ons almost daily as sites make their ads and tracking more and more obtrusive. The sites don’t care because they get paid by the advertisers for every page view, in most cases. The advertisers are just plain stupid. I am almost to the point of not having any products to buy as I stop patronizing companies that think their ads are more important than the page content.

    I have more rants (regarding the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and our water rights), but I’ll spare y’all. You can thank me later.
    /Dad rant off/

  3. Even in cars you find the same thing, only applied to the stuff instead of just a direct software approach (although the direct approach is present too). The steel has been made stronger, rather than using more

    They’re actually using a *lot* more metal in cars which is part of the problem.

    A Sentra should not have a curb weight exceeding 2800 lbs.

    The *mandatory* backup camera is the attempt to be clever and use tech and software to work around a physical problem (reduced visibility) in turn created by adding metal to meet a mandate for increased “crash worthiness”.

  4. “A 5-2 day programmable thermostat will save energy/money. ”

    –got any research to back that up? Will it save more over the life of the system than weather sealing openings? Caulk is cheap and low tech, as is foam and will last for years or decades if the right product and application are used. There are a lot of studies of the benefits of simple air sealing.

    I’m home all day. A programmable t stat does nothing for me. Nor for most elderly or retired who are home. Better windows pay back every day. (although windows don’t actually pay back for decades because energy is relatively cheap)

    An undersized (or “right sized”) hvac system runs awfully hard to get all that heat out of your house that accumulated during the day vs maintaining reasonable temps. Insulating and airsealing keeps the heat from accumulating in the first place….

    And my bigger point is that energy is relatively cheap in most places in the US, will be produced (and not stored) anyway, and may not be worth all the clever games to save minuscule amounts while sacrificing simplicity and robustness.

    n

  5. When the wife and I were working, it saved significant amounts when we properly set up the thermostat for when we were out of the house. The biggest savings came when we had a new roof put on and had a ridge vent put in and thermal barrier decking under the roof.

    As for HE dishwashers and clothes washers, they actually seem to do a better job. The big change in clothes washing came when phosphates were banned from detergents. Also, cheap detergent isn’t worth a damn. We use Tide because it just works better.

  6. “During the past 30 to 35 years, the use of steel in automobiles
    has decreased in terms of (1) the average amount by weight used
    per vehicle and (2) steel’s percentage of the average vehicle curb
    weight (table 1). In model year 1970, steel made up about 87.3
    percent of the average automobile’s CW. This percentage dropped
    to about 78.4 percent by model year 1985, to about 68.4 percent by
    2000, and to about 66.4 percent in 2004. ”

    “In 1980, the average steel content per automobile in use
    was about 2,950 pounds. By 1990, the average steel content per
    automobile had decreased to 2,410 pounds.”

    ” The
    increased use of light-weight metals and materials such as aluminum, magnesium, and plastics in automobiles is expected to
    continue; with substitution of these materials where possible, the
    amount of steel used per vehicle may continue to decline.”

    pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3144/fs2005_3144.pdf

    The decrease in weight (for size of vehicles held constant) means shifting the cost and pollution associated with those lighter materials to the manufacturing segment, instead of showing up in transportation as higher fuel use.

    n

  7. I have my 2005 Expedition in the Rosenberg Ford shop for check engine light on. Everytime I floor it, it goes into the final limp home mode. They are not surE what the problem is so I said change the plugs since they have 60k miles on them. The truck has 209k miles on it. They had to order the plugs which is a little worrisome.

    It has several limp homes. The final one is the worst, running very roughly and will not accelerate. It happened to me last week going up the freeway entrance ramp at 45 mph. I had a bmw behind me. The moron was aboUT two ft behind me, honking his horn. It was actually kind of funny and sad.

  8. “As for HE dishwashers and clothes washers, they actually seem to do a better job”

    IF they do, they do so at the expense of TIME, and I’ll argue that for most real soils they don’t do a better job. I never have problems with oil spots now that I’ve gone back to a big tub o water machine, with the option of having HOT water, and lots of it. My total wash cycle now takes about 20 minutes, including presoak and extra rinse, vs almost 2 hours for the same options on my old HE washer. My current washer is electromechanical and easily serviced with discrete components. The steel used is also thicker. Both ease of repair, and stronger construction should increase overall life of the unit vs HE too, which probably saves more energy in the long run than using the HE features.

    n

  9. I’m home all day. A programmable t stat does nothing for me. Nor for most elderly or retired who are home. Better windows pay back every day. (although windows don’t actually pay back for decades because energy is relatively cheap)

    A programmable thermostat works for us since we aren’t home, and I’m careful about scheduling temperature changes to not slam between extremes. I sliced about 5% off of our energy consumption/bill putting the upstairs unit on a schedule similar to the one downstairs, and that was on top of the ~ 10% decrease replacing the downstairs unit and scheduling its cycles.

    Something I’ve learned in the last year is that a lot of window companies are scams selling an overpriced product enabled by government largess and utility company rebates. I’ll eventually get to windows, but separating the loser companies from the decent vendors is work.

    I had one window company follow up yesterday who wanted to sell to us using a “break the husband’s balls in front of the wife approach”. Six months ago, I told them to buzz off because I didn’t want the emasculation session, and the salesman didn’t even for a second deny that’s what would happen when he insisted on meeting both of us together for the sales pitch.

    I repeated my line from six months ago yesterday, and, again, they didn’t deny the tactic. “Ok. Thank you. Goodbye.”

    Energy One

  10. Our Fort Bend County sheriff has just arrested a gang of six Hondurans for robbing over 100 homes, mostly apartments. The leader has been deported at least three times.

    These are the MZBs (mutant zombie bikers) who will go around raping, pillaging, and burning if an event happens. And we cannot keep them out of our country without extreme measures.

  11. @Nick et. al.

    Good reading on energy matters,

    Musings of an Energy Nerd

    The recent articles are paywall’d so start at the beginning and read what interests you. In particular, note the “Energy Efficiency Pyramid” articles.

    .mg

  12. These are the MZBs (mutant zombie bikers) who will go around raping, pillaging, and burning if an event happens. And we cannot keep them out of our country without extreme measures.

    You forgot the cannibalism.

    This weekend, I saw that someone was working on toll lanes down I-10, extending the sprawl out of Houston at least a dozen miles further west from Katy.

  13. Thanks Mike G….

    Like backfeeding from a generator, clearly attic fans are one of the things that brings out the internet ire machine…. (from just the first article I read at the link) What is funny to me is that the article keeps talking about attic ventilation using more energy than it saves, AND SO WHAT?? if it makes the house more comfortable for $100 then it’s a win.

    It goes back to my earlier (as yet not fully formed ideas) that we are letting cleverness get in the way of the real goal. So you “save energy” with an HE washer, but it doesn’t adequately clean your clothes in the time you have, how is that a benefit? Or saving a couple of bux with a programmable tstat, but your house is always too hot when you get home from work? Want to save money on AC? SHUT IT OFF. You’ll save ALL the money you spend on AC…. but that’s not the point. Having a comfortable house is the point.

    n

  14. ” extending the sprawl out of Houston at least a dozen miles further west from Katy.”

    –people we’ve talked to moved to Katy to get away from the problems associated with living near a big city. Now they are moving back, because the problems followed them out there, and the commute is killing them. It’s one thing to tolerate an hour commute so your kids can attend public schools free of discipline problems and gang violence, another if you get the problems anyway.

    n

  15. With my programmable thermostat I can inform the thermostat when I am about 50 miles from home to go back to normal mode. Thus the house is comfortable by the time I get home. I also have the thermostat lower the cooler temperature at night so I can sleep better. Same with the heat. The thermostat anticipates how long it will it take the temperature to the set level and thus will start early to reach that point. I also have lots of information about the activity of the system and the five remote sensors.

    For my needs I will never go back to a standard thermostat. I like having the intelligence. The EcoBee is no more difficult to use than any regular thermostat once it is set up.

    One additional advantage is I can lock the thermostat. Thus when I travel I can keep the house sitter from changing the settings. We took one trip, in July, and had a person house setting. We got back a day early and they had set the thermostat to 69 degrees in the middle of July. My electric bill was 1.5 times normal for that month. With a smart thermostat that can no longer happen.

  16. Like backfeeding from a generator, clearly attic fans are one of the things that brings out the internet ire machine

    Growing up with a pre-Boomer/War Baby or early-Boomer mother in a hot climate, listening to the non-stop summer yak yak about installing a whole house fan “like we had on my grandmother’s farm” depite the idea being nixed repeatedly by all licensed HVAC professionals brought in to discuss the project, leaves mental scars. I speak from experience.

    Imagine the mother from “I, Tonya” with an attic fan obsession living in a hot climate.

    It should be illegal for Yankee magazine to send subscriptions to The South.

    As for attic ventilation, that has to be done very carefully in a hurricane zone. A gable roof with ends big enough for a fan is already asking for trouble, and then a fan opens a big hole for the wind to enter, lifting the roof like a wing on an airplane during a storm. With regard for the other common solution, IIRC, the “mushroom” fans have been against code in Florida since Andrew in 1992.

  17. This morning New Orleans suffered a surprise “rain event” in which some parts of the city received up to 8″ of rain. Fortunately, June and July have been really dry, so the ground absorbed a lot of the liquid. Still, streets are flooded and the drainage pumps are struggling to keep up.

    In the suburbs to the west of the city where I live we had “only” ~4″ of rain. My street filled up from curb to curb, but the water has since receded.

    We have been told that the “event” is only indirectly related to the potential tropical storm/hurricane bearing down on us from the east.

    Methinks we have an interesting few days ahead of us.

  18. Methinks we have an interesting few days ahead of us.

    The water was really warm in the north Gulf the last time I checked the maps earlier this week.

    Clear Channel (or whatever they call themselves these days) is probably already assembling the next “gas shortage” reporting package for Central Texas for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

  19. FEMA thinks so too:

    Tropical Outlook – Atlantic
    (Invest 92L) (as of 8:00 a.m. EDT)
    • Located over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico
    • Tropical depression likely to form today or Thursday
    Very heavy rainfall possible from the upper Texas
    coast to the Florida Panhandle during the next
    several days

    • Formation chance through 48 hours: High (90%)
    • Formation chance through 5 days: High (90%)

    The precip map has you in the orange to red zone…

    n

  20. There has also been some speculation that the TS/hurricane may push water into the mouth of the Mississippi river, causing the river level to rise to 20′ (the levees top out at 20′.)

    Fun, fun, fun.

    The cherry on top is that my new refrigerator was supposed to be delivered this Friday; I’ve rescheduled it for the 19th.

    I’m beginning to take all this a little personally … 😉

  21. MrsAtoz switched on the TeeVee and I got a full entitled LBGT qwerty Lesbo soccer captain”you’re the motherfcukin’ best New York.” Also, “Fcuk tRump!” Plus a lot of hot air qwerty, love, tolerance, etc., except if you don’t walk lockstep with what I say.

    A role model for your chillin’.

  22. The *mandatory* backup camera is the attempt to be clever and use tech and software to work around a physical problem (reduced visibility) in turn created by adding metal to meet a mandate for increased “crash worthiness”.

    I like backup cameras. My neck does not turn to the side like it used to. Either side. Yes, lack of flexibility and too much weight lifting when I was younger.

  23. I like backup cameras. I don’t like that they’re mandatory. I also don’t like the apparent fact that people have come to rely on them instead of looking around. Wife has one in Dora, and it’s pretty cool. But I use the mirrors to back up. Truck needs one more and doesn’t have one, and I have no trouble backing it up using just the side mirrors.

    RE: the soccer captain – I’m glad she won. USA! USA! USA! But I wish she’d shut her pie-hole. Sports stars have no more place in politics than movie stars. Don’t turn off half your fans by being an ass.


  24. I like backup cameras.

    As do I. It makes hooking a trailer much easier, it makes backing into a parking space easier, it is really one of those things that once you have it you wonder why you waited so long.

  25. I like backup cameras. I don’t like that they’re mandatory.

    If the backup cameras were not mandatory then you would not find a single one in a vehicle from the manufacturer. Accountants run all of the car companies and a backup camera is cost.

  26. If the backup cameras were not mandatory then you would not find a single one in a vehicle from the manufacturer. Accountants run all of the car companies and a backup camera is cost.

    The car companies used to be run by accountants but are now run by/for the benefit of the bureaucracy of the State of California. Backup cameras have lots of related patents held by companies with Los Altos and Los Gatos mailing addresses.

  27. If the backup cameras were not mandatory then you would not find a single one in a vehicle from the manufacturer. Accountants run all of the car companies and a backup camera is cost.

    Well they wouldn’t be in cheap cars. Higher end as an expensive option sure. I had one in a GMC Terrain I rented back in 2010.
    I liked the camera, the suv was soso.

  28. I disagree. Dora was made before they were mandatory. They were a part of the package. Wish it had been an option on my truck.

  29. As a former professional thermodynamicist, I agree with Ray WRT to programmable controllers. OTOH, this does not mean that insulation has no benefit.

  30. This morning New Orleans suffered a surprise “rain event” in which some parts of the city received up to 8″ of rain. Fortunately, June and July have been really dry, so the ground absorbed a lot of the liquid. Still, streets are flooded and the drainage pumps are struggling to keep up.

    In the suburbs to the west of the city where I live we had “only” ~4″ of rain. My street filled up from curb to curb, but the water has since receded.

    We have been told that the “event” is only indirectly related to the potential tropical storm/hurricane bearing down on us from the east.

    Methinks we have an interesting few days ahead of us.

    I would take some vacation days and bug out. The Mississippi River is already high and this is going to dump rain water in it north of New Orleans ?

    Come Friday, a lot of people might be bugging out.

  31. (although windows don’t actually pay back for decades because energy is relatively cheap)

    That’s what the “experts” say. I don’t care what they say. What made them an expert?

    We dropped $3800 delivered for new windows. I think the only option left was mini-blinds between the glass. Plus Hardi 1×4 for trim plus a couple of hundred or so for stuff like a 3 or 4 inch blade circular saw to cut the siding and the wide self-stick seal tape. I forget what installation cost, he was between jobs and worked below his usual rate. Round it all and say it was $5000 total. The a/c bill dropped $50/month. Same for heating. My math says payback is a bit over eight years. Exclude the few months we don’t use a/c or heat, call it ten years to break even. 2024 is that far off…..

    The house isn’t drafty! Big win.

    The original windows were single pane. Cheap. The problem was the gaskets shrunk. And with no way that I could see to replace. Plus several had broken springs… open carefully or the movable part falls out. Caulking to seal was an option but if there’s a fire? Yeah….

  32. The Robo/Spam calls are out of hand. CAS Heating and Air called three times yesterday. The problem could be that I can receive calls from up to 5 numbers on my cell phone which is where most come in. I can’t tell easily which line they are actually calling. I usually either hangup or just set the phone down and let them drone on with their spiel until they figure out no one is there. Yesterday on the 3rd one I yelled this is the third fcuking time today. He start to say something about not being rude and got 3 fu’s (that’s the magic incantation). Just called today and then called back twice. Last one I hit ‘screen call’. Isn’t this harassment?

  33. We took one trip, in July, and had a person house setting. We got back a day early and they had set the thermostat to 69 degrees in the middle of July.

    Last time they got the job, eh?

    My t-stat lets me set limits for heat and cool. Via the “secret menu”. Pretty useful when Mom was here… she would crank the heat to 85. In January. Would.. then all she could do was 73. Yeah, she complained. But she didn’t offer to pay on the electric bill.

  34. I would take some vacation days and bug out.

    If I weren’t retired and could drive, I would! Fortunately, I am on good terms with neighbors who do drive, if push comes to shove.

    The Mississippi River is already high and this is going to dump rain water in it north of New Orleans ?

    The thinking now is that the storm surge will block the outflow of the river, causing it to back up and the level to rise.

    Added: In my area the sun is shining and things have dried out. Conditions in the city proper have also greatly improved.


  35. Last time they got the job, eh?

    Indeed it was.

    There was trash everywhere in the house, dozens of pizza boxes. They would have picked it up before we would have gotten home on the original schedule. Only one person was supposed to be there but I think his entire family moved in for the three weeks. Water bill was double so they obviously enjoyed some long showers, did their laundry, washed their cars, and generally lived high on my dime.

    This was not his first time staying so I did not expect issues. No problems in the past so something changed.

    So a locked thermostat solves one problem. Security cameras that I can access remotely solves other problems.

  36. Dude, MOVE OUT.

    I lived in Cali from 90 to 2003, in LA, in Redondo Beach, and in San Diego both near the beach and near the bay and downtown. I get it, there are many good things about Cali. They are all being ruined by the people in charge. I can’t even imagine what the beach in Mission Bay is like now, with the rest of SD having to bleach the streets to control disease from the homeless. The taxes are out of control, the fees for everything are too high and there are too many foreigners. Regulation is out of hand.

    n

  37. The biggest savings came when we had a new roof put on and had a ridge vent put in and thermal barrier decking under the roof.

    Agree. We replaced the roof because a little tornado or something came by and so I actually called the insurance company. Lots of trees down including one that crushed the pump house. Bonus: “Oh, you have hail damage to your roof, too.”

    They gave a check for $3000 or so as a starting fund and said send the receipts when all the work is done to get the rest. And they paid every cent claimed, not a problem.

    We splurged a bit. The new roof is 1x4s screwed to the existing non leaking roof with one inch thick R-8 (I forget) foil clad foam board and then a sand colored metal roof. I’m pretty well set for a roof for the next 100 years. Minimum.

    It’s now 100 outside and 96 in the attic. Yeah, I had a Radio Shack thermometer sitting around and ran the outside probe into the attic. Why not? I do know that at this time of year if you had to do anything in the attic, you were finished by 10AM. Noon, max, on a cloudy day. And that’s with your shins sweating…. which feels weird.

    So…. the electric bill for last month arrived yesterday. $77.54. My attic fan never turns on. I remember electric bills pushing over $200.

    I guess changing to LED bulbs made a bit of difference. And a 55″ flat screen sucking maybe 140 watts compared to the old Sony 32″ sucking almost 300 watts. Getting rid of DirecTv and their DVR, you’re going to say I’m crazy, saved $5 on the electric bill.

    Anyway.

    Next project is to lay pre cut batts over the air ducts in the attic. Pre cut because I’m not 40 anymore. Don’t know if it will matter, but if you don’t do it, how do you know?

    And a timer on the water heater.

    The point I took from the Market Ticket article was “open the width” that the t-stat controls. With the system set at 78, it was always 78. Seven minutes on, ten minutes off. Now? It gets to 80, turns on, drops to the top edge of 77 and turns off. Runs for about 16 minutes. Off about 22 minutes. Not sitting here with a stopwatch. But is feels like having an old time Honeywell t-stat full of mercury. So I think I’ll save electricity just for the start-up surge.

  38. Dude, MOVE OUT.

    you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave” …

    68 years and most of my family is here. Ain’t gonna happen.

  39. 68 years and most of my family is here. Ain’t gonna happen.

    Makes sense to me.

  40. ““The only thing we found that actually helps a little bit is putting these fences up in front of our buildings,” said Daniel Tennenblatt, who owns a textile manufacturing plant in the area. “And that’s so when someone lights a fire, it burns on the sidewalk and doesn’t burn the building down.””

    File this under collapse….

    n


  41. My math says payback is a bit over eight years.

    More like 10-12 if you add a discount rate.

  42. MrsAtoz switched on the TeeVee and I got a full entitled LBGT qwerty Lesbo soccer captain”you’re the motherfcukin’ best New York.” Also, “Fcuk tRump!” Plus a lot of hot air qwerty, love, tolerance, etc., except if you don’t walk lockstep with what I say.

    Rapinoe is only 34 YO. There’s still time for her to mature and regret her youthful stupidities.

    A-HAHAHAHa!

    Sometimes I crack myself up.

  43. ““The only thing we found that actually helps a little bit is putting these fences up in front of our buildings,” said Daniel Tennenblatt, who owns a textile manufacturing plant in the area. “And that’s so when someone lights a fire, it burns on the sidewalk and doesn’t burn the building down.””

    They need to put Trifoliate Orange in the planters. Those are about the right size. The plant is the root stock for sour orange trees and is a really nasty bush/tree to deal with in general due to thorns and the thickness of the growth.

  44. From yesterday:

    I am assuming “Circulate” means simply turning the blower on continuously.

    Not quite. It means that the blower runs a minimum amount of time each hour. In my case it was 20 minutes each hour. If the system ran (heat or cool) that was counted towards the 20 minutes. Even on days when there is no demand I still get the fan for 20 minutes each hour thus moving the air around and filtering.

    I have this in my two 15 year old Honeywell commercial thermostats at the office building. Plus a fresh air setting that opens an outside damper. All analog. I think that Circ means 20 minutes on mine too. BTW, the Circ is a fan setting: Auto, On, or Circ.

  45. Whoo boy…

    “Gulf Coast residents brace for 2 FEET of rainfall and floods in New Orleans as Tropical Storm Barry forms offshore and could strengthen into a hurricane and make landfall by the weekend

    Disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to form into Tropical Storm Barry
    The storm is expected to bring up to two feet of rainfall in the Gulf states
    Weather officials said storm may even develop into a hurricane by end of week
    Residents have been warned to brace for damaging storm surge and flooding
    New Orleans was already flooding Wednesday, prompting flash flood warnings
    Officials also said a tornado touched down near the University of New Orleans
    By the afternoon Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards declared state of emergency”

    And out comes the old standby “three days of emergency supplies”….

    n


  46. All analog.

    If the thermostat does not have a bimetallic strip then it is digital. Generally to do 20 minutes each hour requires some sort of digital logic.

  47. And out comes the old standby “three days of emergency supplies”….

    Racist.

  48. All analog.

    If the thermostat does not have a bimetallic strip then it is digital. Generally to do 20 minutes each hour requires some sort of digital logic.

    I have this unit:
    https://customer.honeywell.com/en-US/Pages/Product.aspx?cat=HonECC+Catalog&pid=pc8900a1007/U#

    I thought that these are analog. Here is the notes about the CIRC feature
    “AUTO means the fan only runs when heating or cooling is running. ON means the fan runs during this entire period. CIRC means the fan runs at least 30 percent of the time during this period, including when the heating or cooling system is running.”

  49. @Nick — TxDOT turned 183 near the Surplus Store into a mess this morning by opening the new bridge across the river. The mess will continue for about a year. Consider yourself warned.


  50. I thought that these are analog

    We had those at my last job. All digital. That is required to do the display and provide the option for running the fan 30% of the time. Some timer is involved that counts the fan on-time. There is no bi-metal strip, just a temperature sensor that is read by the system.

    Analog thermostats went away a long time ago. No mercury switches, no bi-metal strips, just a small circuit board. Even for the cheapest thermostats.

  51. Heh. New Coke sucked.

    New Coke was deliberate, a way for Coca Cola to shift to corn syrup from sugar and have the public *beg* for the production of Coke Classic. And beg they did.

    The Varsity. They’re the largest single seller of Coke product in the world … or claim to be. The taste test mentioned in the article was hardly impartial — The Varsity is just down the block from Coke HQ in Atlanta. I’ve been quite a few times … and BJ Klinton famously stopped there.

    My father had a Coke syrup distributorship in Tampa in the 70s. When New Coke hit, he told me exactly, down to the week, that Coke Classic would be announced. Apparently, the corn syrup shift was a problem the execs in Atlanta had pondered and planned for years.

    New Coke had the Diet Coke taste but with corn syrup, a lousy combination deliberately chosen to make people forget that Coke Classic did indeed taste different. The scheme wasn’t exactly a secret.

    No, my father didn’t keep the distributorship. By the mid 70s, he felt Tampa was tapped out in terms of growth and went into custom cars before returning to Ford … shortly before Tampa exploded.

    “Stranger Things” practices a little revisionist history occasionally.

  52. I can hear some distant thunder. Not a good sign. The wundermap shows a tstorm brewing up, and just sitting there, northwest of me.

    @greg, thanks for the heads up. Every time I go thru there there is a change. I’ve been trusting the google to get me thru it. I don’t think I’ll be there in the next couple of weeks based on current auctions though.

    n

  53. In the late 80s I did a short stint as a contractor placing Pepsi machines in and around Tempe AZ. It was a solid coke market, with the ASU campus exclusively coke products. I figured people like me who grew up with Pepsi would like an alternative. We had some luck placing machines, but the guy I was working for was a scammer.

    Anyway, talking with our Pepsico manager about the famous Pepsi vs Coke blind taste test, he said it was absolutely honest and they had no fear at all going into it. In his words, people like sweet and Pepsi was MUCH sweeter than Coke.

    Those were the days of classic marketing campaigns- the Budwiser Artisians, budbowl, bud light, and many more….

    n

  54. Those were the days of classic marketing campaigns- the Budwiser Artisians, budbowl, bud light, and many more….

    Spuds McKenzie!

  55. @greg, thanks for the heads up. Every time I go thru there there is a change. I’ve been trusting the google to get me thru it. I don’t think I’ll be there in the next couple of weeks based on current auctions though.

    US 183 is getting toll lanes from the airport north to where 183A starts in Cedar Park. Eventually, toll lanes will run to Burnet to accomodate the sprawl.

    At least the newest member of the team doesn’t have to travel far to work on his project. We’re just around the corner in the Met Center.

    Austin-Bergstrom will be a perpetual construction project.

Comments are closed.