Mon. Feb. 17, 2020 – Presidents Day, I guess

Cool and a bit drier. [got that wrong, 63F and saturated, with haze and low fog]

Yesterday stayed damp and overcast. It was ok for work in the yard and driveway though.

I did make some small progress on stuff in the driveway and on general clean up. Some yard (pond fountain) stuff too.

I’m digging out some powered respirators I bought after Ebola 1, but never sold or got running. Big pile o stuff. That’s me. Smaug. Without the temper, and stuff- not gold. So I guess not really at all…

I’ve been busy in the comments over at Aesop’s for the last couple of days. Same stuff as here, mostly. But then we got us a troll. Actually the troll showed up previously but wasn’t so obvious. Man, what a difference this place is. And what a treasure. One troll p!ssing all over everything just has an outsized impact on use and enjoyment. Any time I think about “driving more traffic” here, I think about guys like that troll and stop that nonsense.

Oh, one other thing I did today was pull a piece of test gear out of my “shack” and install the two other pieces of gear that have been sitting on the floor in my office. The piece I pulled is 60 pounds if it’s an ounce. I’m hoping to sell it at next month’s Hamfest, and with the decent weather, it made sense. I have to pull it through my window, from outside to get it out. And to power everything up, I have to stand out there and reach in through the windows… My test gear is all stacked on a sort of bumped out window thing, like a bay window, with my desk in front of it. No way I could clear the desk enough to move 60 pounds into the room. So out the window it went. Tomorrow, if it’s still dry, I’ll be doing something similar through the other window, putting an AV receiver behind my monitor and setting up some decent speakers. It will get it off my floor, which is a plus, and I’m listening to more music lately at higher volumes when no one is home.

All that will take place in between working in the garage on food and medical storage, in the driveway, and working on ebay stuff–all while watching the kinder. Because they’ll be home from school all day, but my wife will be working.

Maybe I’ll get the grapevines trimmed somewhere in there too.

And try to keep tabs on the KungFlu.

Keep stacking.

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

47 thoughts on “Mon. Feb. 17, 2020 – Presidents Day, I guess”

  1. Good morning!

    Well, not for these folks….

    An additional 99 people have tested positive for coronavirus on a cruise ship off the Japan coast, Japanese media said on Monday, citing new figures from the health ministry. The Diamond Princess vessel moored in Yokohama near Tokyo has become the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside the epicentre in China with 454 cases confirmed.”

    Or for these….

    “14 Americans among the more than 300 US citizen passengers being evacuated from the cruise ship ‘Diamond Princess’ after nearly two weeks of quarantine have tested positive for the virus.”

    n

  2. @Lynn

    Synchronicity abounds. Yesterday, by chance, I struck up a conversation with a guy who turned out to be an ophthalmologist. I told him about the floaters and semi-jokingly asked why they couldn’t just aim and shoot them with a laser. It turns out they can! The big ones, at least. Trouble is determining the depth or focal length, which they can get on the big ones but not the little. So if that big one still bothers you, ask around.

  3. I took my Camry in for the second round of rodent damage repair. This time, I used Geico’s preferred shop since Toyota and the dealer wouldn’t give a better price than the $500 deductible.

    Waiting for my wife to arrive at the shop for the ride home, a guy pulled up in the parking lot of the shop with a Bernie sticker on his bumper. It looked like his car got keyed/vandalized.

    Nanny Bloomberg supporter?

  4. That may be the first time I’ve heard of (suspected) vandalism of a car with left-leaning bumper stickers. Usually it’s lefty crybabies trashing cars with Trump or pro-life stickers.


  5. It looked like his car got keyed/vandalized.

    None of my cars has anything showing, not even a “free” license plate frame. I started doing that way back when I commuted to school in Detroit. There is always someone who hates whatever sign or bumper sticker might be on a car.

    Also, the police can be influenced by the exterior appearance of a vehicle during a traffic stop. The only symbol I might consider is one of the traditional fireman’s “Leatherhead” helmet decals, preferably with a local company logo. I had a relative who was a police officer, and he had many friends in the fire department. All of them had that decal on their cars. I never thought to ask for one back then. Bet I could just go to one of the local firehouses and get one, although I don’t see the decals around here. It is also possible someone hates firemen. I never know in these times.

  6. That may be the first time I’ve heard of (suspected) vandalism of a car with left-leaning bumper stickers. Usually it’s lefty crybabies trashing cars with Trump or pro-life stickers.

    Williamson County, where the hipsters move when they have kids and realize Travis/Austin isn’t a place to raise a family.

    I saw a lot of Robert Francis bumper stickers/yard signs in 2018, but that was the limit. Even “Doors” (MJ Hegar) signs/stickers I saw were limited, and she lives not far from my house.

    Also, it is possible that the mainstream Dems are tired of Bernie, know he can’t possibly win, and decided to express some frustration.

  7. A bunch of people from the Japanese cruise ship were flown into San Antonio last night via Kelly Field. The news says Lackland, but Lackland doesn’t have a runway.

  8. A bunch of people from the Japanese cruise ship were flown into San Antonio last night via Kelly Field. The news says Lackland, but Lackland doesn’t have a runway.

    The two facilities are right next door to each other. Lackland is a basic training facility and, IIRC, has some specialized rapid deployment medical commands.

    I’m not so much concerned that the cruise ship passengers were flown to Texas, but, despite the base not being part of incorporated San Antonio (yet), the city and Lackland have a really cozy relationship which makes me wonder if someone with the right connections could break quarantine.

  9. I did make some small progress on stuff in the driveway and on general clean up. Some yard (pond fountain) stuff too.

    I treated fire ant beds. 1.2 acres is a LOT of fire ant beds.

    And I moved another load of crap XXXX precious stuff from the old house garage to the new used house. A lot of the crap went to the curb also. Almost done with the garage. The new pickup is coming in very handy and is being used like a … pickup. This ain’t no cowboy cadilac, it is a working vehicle, it already has the scars to prove it.

    And the painter is painting the interior of the old house. He is spraying the wood trim now so I guess that he will paint the walls and ceilings next. We used this house very much, everything has to be painted.

  10. BTW, the wife made us a white cake with chocolate cream cheese icing for Valentine’s day. I went wild on it all weekend as it was to die for. I had lost eight lbs recently, she may be concerned that I was fading away. *Snort*

  11. The Zon came through. Ordered the capacitor for the heating system fan yesterday ($10). Arrived this morning.

    Replaced it, breakers back on, and the heating system works again. Spousal unit gave me a “Huzzah!” and “You da man!”.

    I’ll take it.

    Having a local HVAC company come on Friday to estimate a new system (their main brand is Trane). Will also get the Lennox guys via Costco to come to provide another estimate.

  12. Followup on the japanese guy with wuflu in hawaii–

    “The couple was in Hawaii January 28 to February 7. They first visited the island of Maui, where neither person showed symptoms, Anderson said, but the man developed symptoms while on Oahu, the state’s most populated island, between February 3 and 7.

    He developed more serious symptoms when he returned to Japan, where he was tested and found to be positive for the illness, Anderson. He did not seek medical care in Hawaii, Anderson said.

    Because of when his symptoms began, officials believe he became infected in Japan or while in transit to Hawaii, said state epidemiologist Dr Sarah Park.”

    n

  13. Replaced it, breakers back on, and the heating system works again. Spousal unit gave me a “Huzzah!” and “You da man!”.

    I’ll take it.

    Having a local HVAC company come on Friday to estimate a new system (their main brand is Trane). Will also get the Lennox guys via Costco to come to provide another estimate.

    Praise from the spouse is awesome !

    I also have good experience with Ruud units. I own three Trane units, two Ruud units, and two Carrier units at the moment. All work well. None are heat pumps, all are air conditioners and electric or natural gas furnaces.

  14. So the live wuflu map isn’t being updated as regularly as before.

    The info for TX should include the 14 (or some portion thereof) evac’d from Japan, and DailyMail is showing a graphic that has the Beaumont case as “Confirmed”. That would be news to me.

    Also, NO additional deaths in china seems unlikely.

    n

  15. Well, spoke too soon. Fan worked with the new capacitor for about an hour, then apparently failed again – buzzing sound when system reset. There were no apparent failures with the fan – no noises or evidence of the fan seizing up.

    Having the HVAC guys come by tonight. I suppose the capacitor could have failed, but no apparent leakage or bulging on the capacitor.

  16. Oh man, I am so tired of hearing Michael Doomberg XXXXXXXX Bloomberg advertising on my radio stations. He even advertised during the Rush Limbaugh show. Now on my 107.5 1960s and 1970s rock stations. Supposedly the idiot is spending two billion dollars on advertising before Super Tuesday, March 3.
    https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-02-17/bloomberg-presidential-campaign-super-tuesday-colorado

    Doomberg is a gun grabber, that is all you need to know. And running as a dumbocrat.

  17. As you said, the cap could have been an infant mortality. Too bad you don’t have a box of close ones to try. I have never had to do this, but have saved a cap or two from old, failed motors.

    It is possible you have a shorted turn or few in the motor. This can be diagnosed only by overheating, or by measuring current draw. If you can see the windings with a good light, sometimes a discolored portion is a giveaway. Often it is buried.

    Replacement motors that will fit without modification can be hard to find. I agree with Nick that the pros can help. They face this every day, and the good ones have developed alternate sources that can get you going and save you money.

  18. Tulsi Gabbard has gun grabbing in common with Doomberg, but this is never mentioned on Fox Nooz. Why??

  19. I am TIRED of having to approve cookies on almost every new website I visit. Is there any utility or plugin that can just automatically say Yes? I hate these nanny “warnings.”

  20. At least two of my three Rokus are locking up daily. These are the Roku Ultra units that we have hooked up via ethernet over power lines that I bought before Christmas. All three of us in the house watch different shows on Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Is anybody else seeing this type of behavior ?
    https://www.amazon.com/Roku-Streaming-Player-Premium-Headphones/dp/B07WVF9SL5/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Occasionally I can get the power and volume buttons on the Roku remote to work on our various TVs by pairing them again (little button in the battery compartment) but it stops working after the next hard reboot. I am wondering if having three Rokus in such a close area to the others is messing them up.

  21. Tulsi Gabbard has gun grabbing in common with Doomberg, but this is never mentioned on Fox Nooz. Why??

    I gave up on Fox Nooz also. Too boring without Bill O’Reilly.

  22. Bloomburger even bought ads on the show my kids watch on youtube, troom troom. Coal and oil are making flooding worse, but bloomie is going to save us with solar….

    the radio is full of his “self made man” story. Not the extortionate monopolist story….

    n

  23. Bloomburger even bought ads on the show my kids watch on youtube, troom troom. Coal and oil are making flooding worse, but bloomie is going to save us with solar….

    Don’t forget all the batteries that Tesla is going to sell to us in Powerwalls ! Solar don’t work after 5pm.

    BTW, I replaced the two batteries my Cyberpower 1500AVR yesterday. Works for $31 with free shipping ! They were shipped 98% charged, a little unnerving.
    https://www.amazon.com/CP1500AVRLCD-UPS-Replacement-Batteries-Set/dp/B00CHJE3SC/?tag=ttgnet-20

  24. the radio is full of his “self made man” story. Not the extortionate monopolist story….

    Half of the Doomberg ads have Obola (or is that O’BlowHard) giving a speech saying how wonderful Doomberg is.


  25. Doomberg is a gun grabber, that is all you need to know.

    I’m not a single-issue voter, but that right there is a deal breaker. Doomturd has plenty of other reasons I wouldn’t vote for him, of course.


  26. Fan worked with the new capacitor for about an hour

    My guess would be the starting centrifugal switch is staying closed. Overheating and damaging the capacitor by keeping the circuit engage. Only solution is to replace the motor or have it rebuilt. Rebuilding may not be possible but is an option if a replacement cannot be found. Fan motors are fairly common and a replacement could be found. For an old unit generally not worth the cost.

  27. “Tulsi Gabbard has gun grabbing in common with Doomberg, but this is never mentioned on Fox Nooz. Why??”

    I gave up on Fox Nooz also. Too boring without Bill O’Reilly.

    Ted O’Baxter has a daily podcast if you’re really missing the “No Spin Zone”.

    As for Tulsi Gabbard, her liberalism flying under the radar is biology at work once again, but Gabbard has more brain cells than Shot Girl.

    Gabbard is definitely in the calculus for the VP slot. My wife has heard patients at the VA talk about voting for her without knowing any of her positions on the issues.


  28. …Gabbard has more brain cells than Shot Girl.

    Verry low bar. Jus’ sayin’.

    My wife has heard patients at the VA talk about voting for her without knowing any of her positions on the issues.

    Single issue voters?

    I was never a single issue voter. I’m a two issue voter. Oh, just kidding; I try to learn as much as I can about a possible candidate or proposition, until it hurts. The trouble is, I often find myself trying to find the least weevil. I hate to not vote, so I sometimes vote for a candidate that will prevent the one I don’t like from winning. But, like most of us here, my vote doesn’t really count. Never prevents me from voting. I can’t remember the last time I missed voting. But, do they listen? Sometimes I wonder. Other times I am sure. :~


  29. I am TIRED of having to approve cookies on almost every new website I visit.

    “I don’t care about cookies” for Firefox works for me.

  30. At least two of my three Rokus are locking up daily.

    I really don’t know. My Roku “whatever”, Premiere ? has been just fine. It has puked a couple of times saying my HDMI cable isn’t kosher for what ever channel someone is trying to watch, FS1 I think.
    Pull the power and all is well. (No way are you going to convince me a cable pukes overnight.)

    Occasionally I can get the power and volume buttons on the Roku remote to work on our various TVs

    What magic is this you speak of? My Roku does nothing to my TV.

  31. Single issue voters?

    Single issue? Sure — Biology. They want to have sex with her, especially the Vietnam-era vets who like the mixed race thing she has going. The Congresswoman being Gen-Y helps too.

    Trump interviewed Gabbard during his transition period for NSC, and she would be an adult about Russia and shutting down the “wars” in the Middle East. However, no one should make the mistake that she wouldn’t sign a Medicaid For All, big tax increases, or serious gun control.

  32. Occasionally I can get the power and volume buttons on the Roku remote to work on our various TVs

    What magic is this you speak of? My Roku does nothing to my TV.

    Remove the battery compartment cover from the back of the Roku remote. There should be a small button there. If you press the button for five seconds, the Roku remote will be paired to your Roku and your TV. My Roku remote has both a TV power button at the top and a side volume control for the TV.
    https://blog.roku.com/no-more-juggling-remotes-control-your-tv-power-and-volume-with-our-new-remote
    and
    https://support.roku.com/article/115013019828

  33. Thanks, Paul. I should have mentioned that I rarely use Firefox any more. Have been using Chrome/Chromium for some years. Last time I used FF was about a year ago, when an account refused to work with Chromium, but of course gave me a misleading error message. Chrome on Android worked fine, so I called the account’s web tech support. As soon as I said “Chromium” the smart woman said something like, “We are aware of that, and have a fix promised in a couple of days.” And, they did. One of the shortest and briefest calls with a tech I have ever had. Just great, seriously.

    I now use Brave on Android, and it is the best browser I have ever used, and that’s saying something. I can’t get it on my Linux box, because I am using a 32 bit version, and Brave only supports 64 bit. Moving operations to Win soon… (Yeah, been saying that a lot, but really will. Nick knows what busy means.)


  34. If you press the button for five seconds, the Roku remote will be paired to your Roku and your TV.

    Wow. That sure sounds easier than on DirecTV. Setting up some of their remote controls over the years has sometimes been painful. Most frequent complaint, select a TV and get up to five choices. ONE of them works, but finding out which takes some time.

  35. DirecTV, continued… At least I like their remote controls. We visit my aunt, who is in failing health, often, and sometimes for long periods. She has Cox, or whatever it is now called; Spectrum? Absolute worst remote control layout I have ever used. Buttons all over the place, arranged using a random generator. Cursors are illogical. Menus obscure most of the picture, and so on. And, of course, nothing to watch.

    Hurry up, Elon. Looks like his Starlink will be my only (possibly) viable way to get broadband. I don’t much like him, either, but have to admit he seems to deliver. That vertical landing booster is something that should have been done decades ago. OK, needs added fuel, but otherwise good.

  36. HVAC guy came – figured out that the blower fan is drawing too much current, causing the thermal breaker to trip. The fix is to replace the fan unit – which is about $800-1000 all told.

    The unit is 21 years old. The heat pump has a very slow leak. Replacing the fan would give me one or two seasons, but that’s optimistic if the heat pump fails sooner.

    So, replacing the whole system is the wise thing to do. Estimator comes tomorrow. I figure the cost to be about $10-12K. Will get a much more efficient system – probably around twice as efficient as the current old system. There will be some rebates from the local utility, and maybe a few tax credits to help offset some of the cost. Plus the Trane company has 0% interest for 6 years to help spread out the cost.

    In the meantime, a space heater or two is keeping us warm enough. The den (with the TV) is the size of a small bedroom (about 12′ x 18′) and has a door to keep in the heat. So warm enough in here, and we move the heater into the bedroom at night. So not freezing here.

    An expense that I could do without, but I figured that it would be required soon due to the age of the system. Water heater will probably be the next big expense.

  37. Well that’s sort of a goodnews/badnews situation.

    I’m not looking forward to the same.

    n


  38. I figure the cost to be about $10-12K

    It may not be that costly. I am guessing about the $7K range if they just replace the exterior unit. No duct work or fabrication. I had my pack unit (everything in a unit outside, cooling, heating and air handling) for $4K 10 years ago. Carrier unit.

    If the interior system needs to be replaced then your estimate is probably close. So here’s hoping it is just the outside condenser/evaporator (heat pump) needs replacing. Perhaps not even the coils inside.

    At this point it is a wise decision (in my opinion) to replace the system as needed. Too many things will start failing beyond just the fan motor. Tossing good money into a pit is not wise. You will get a unit with a warranty and better efficiency. A lot has been learned about making systems efficient over the last years. Better working fluids since the demise of R-22. Puron of some such nomenclature like carrier uses. My compressor is also a scroll compressor which is supposed to be efficient and seals well over time.

  39. An expense that I could do without, but I figured that it would be required soon due to the age of the system. Water heater will probably be the next big expense.

    You don’t have gas appliances in that part of WA State?

    IIRC, we sliced ~ 20% our typical electricity consumption with a new downstairs unit replacing a 23 year-old system, but the AC bill is more of an issue here than it was in Portland/Vancouver.

    Portland does see a week of 100s, typically around the 4th, but we always made a point of being out of town that week.

  40. RickH, FWIW, this link from yesterday:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl9QINETX4I
    named Killer HVAC, mentions that Trane has some sort of partnership with Mitsubishi for variable flow refrigerant systems. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but VRF systems are supposed to be very high performance. OTOH, very high performance might not have a short enough payback period. Choose wisely, taking into consideration how long you intend to stay in that home.

    And, changing to a refrigerant that pleases the greenies will almost certainly require a new indoor coil because the oil is likely different. The contractor will insist, and is probably correct. I have no experience in this for stationary systems, but changing from R12 to R134a in auto AC systems can be tricky, and some techs replace evaporators and condensers on the theory that flushing the old oil costs more. In a commercial setting, with necessary regulation compliance and recovery machines, that is probably correct.

    Since you are entering a time of low demand, it might pay to take a while longer and get proposals from at least two contractors.

  41. Mark W, I enjoyed Master and Commander when it was first run in theaters, but don’t remember that scene. What I had in mind was a different quote, but not sure what it was. It was Southern. Or, maybe it was from a Red Skelton sketch.

  42. … Trane has some sort of partnership with Mitsubishi for variable flow refrigerant systems. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but VRF systems are supposed to be very high performance.

    Yes, 20 SEER in the XV, but one of the downsides of the highest efficiency Trane systems is the dependence on ComfortLink II and Nexia thermostats.

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