Mon. July 13, 2020 – more work, little play

Hot and humid.  Of course.  Unless it’s raining.

Yesterday got hotter and hotter until it was 109F in the sun in my driveway.  It was over 100F in the garage.  I was moving, but sometimes a bit slower.  I tried to switch tasks, moving from the house to the garage to the sunny driveway to the shady yard, and back.   I drank 2 liters of lemonade, and some iced tea and some water.

I mostly was trying to clear out the four corners of the garage.  One corner blocks entry for the freezer.  One corner is where I want to put it.  The other corner is my main water and food storage area, now being re-purposed as my hobby area and storage for some bulk buckets, and non-perishables, as well as my fire rated file cabinet and a work area.  If I get to cutting the hole in the wall, that’s where the A/C unit will go too.  The last corner is the other side of the roll up door and completes a big U of clear space around the center of the garage, which is mostly full of stuff.

In any case, I made some slow progress.  Never got to my secondary location as I was on  a roll and didn’t want to stop.

Wife painted the new back door, and ordered dinner delivered from one of the local chinese food places.  It was pretty good, and I sure didn’t feel like cooking after being out in the heat all day.  It’s not the end of the world after all.  Except maybe for Florida, Arizona, and Texas.

I guess we’ll see, but the trends are worrying.  Our neighbor to the south seems to have completely lost control of the wuflu situation.  Their curve doesn’t look like it will flatten for some time.  The rest of latin america, africa, and india aren’t looking so good either.  Funny how little news we’re hearing from them.

I’m keeping on keeping on.  That’s the plan anyway.  One of the boxes I found in the garage cleanup was a bunch of wound care supplies from my mom.  Dad doesn’t need them anymore, so I’ll stack them and hope I never need them either.  Running into reminders like that is bittersweet.

But hey, while I was cleaning and organizing, I sold some speakers on ebay.  Turned around and spent the money on parts to fix the bandsaw in the garage.  If it’s gonna sit there, it should work.  One little casting broke, and the machine is NFG.  The casting was way under-engineered (or OVER engineered, and under-spec’d) and is an obvious weak point.  One of the medium term goals for the garage is to have a mini version of my bigger workshop close to hand.  Getting the little 9″ bandsaw running is a step in that direction.

Also found some airsoft and a CO2 powered bb pistol.  So I set up some cans in the yard and put a couple dozen rounds through them.  That was fun!  It was also a nice break from the heat to shoot in the 95F shade.   I’ve never shot a CO2 airgun before and I like it.   It’s way more like semi-auto and better ‘substitute’ practice as you don’t have to re-cock the spring, or pump up the air.  The pistol doesn’t jump around as much, the trigger is wobbly, and it’s a full sized handgun, but it’s still good practice for acquiring the target, getting sight alignment, etc.   I’ve even got retention holsters for them if I wanted to practice drawing and firing.  I’m not getting to the range any time soon, and ammo is expensive and hard to replace, so airgun practice it will be.  It does make a distinctive sound that carries quite well in the unusually quite suburbs…

So, even if you can’t do what you’d normally like to do, keep working on skills, and keep stacking.

 

nick

 

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

75 thoughts on “Mon. July 13, 2020 – more work, little play”

  1. Taking the day off in Orlando after visiting WDW yesterday. Disney is doing a great job dealing with all the issues of reopening and mitigating covid-19 exposure. Its not the same experience as last year of course but the kid and wife enjoyed. Here at the Wilderness Lodge we had a couple of issues with the desk staff not having correct information. When we arrived at the airport at 3pm I verified several times with the Disney Magic Express people that they would collect our yellow tagged bags and deliver them to our room. So when 9pm rolls around and no bags I called guest services. They told me that because of covid-19 Magic Express no longer collected and delivered luggage and my bags were locked up in the airlines locker. If I wanted them I would have to give up my day at the park and go get them. To say I was steaming would be mild. I was about to march over to the lobby to have a face-to-face with the manager when a bell boy delivered our bags with apologies for being late. Yesterday, after a late supper I asked the desk what time the pools closed. They assured me the kid friendly pool closed at 10 so we changed into our suits and headed down for an hour of fun, only to find on arrival the lifeguards locking the gates. Seems that pool now closes at 9. We did spend a nice hour in the adult pool, one of the few places you can be without a mask.
    As we have a suite with kitchen and the restaurant that provided room service is closed, I am trying my first experience with instacart grocery delivery. I’m not an App person having spent years in IT security I know that smart phones are insecure by nature so I usually have my data stream turned off. But Disney has gone App Happy and you can’t do anything without one. Just to look at the menu in most Disney restaurants requires a QR code reader. So I have temporarily upgraded my plan to include data and installed the required apps . I find squinting at my phone in the bright Florida sunshine to simply order an ice cream from the vendor standing right in front of me difficult and frustrating. But it’s the new data-driven world. Disney will have a wealth of data to mine.

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  2. Taking the day off in Orlando after visiting WDW yesterday.

    Find the Beefy King … if they are open.

    That’s old school Florida. Most of those places have been wiped off the map in the last 10-20 years, but the Beefy King survives because the family made the commitment to keep it going after the parents retired and passed on.

    Florida used to be fun.


  3. Disney will have a wealth of data to mine.

    And a nice surprise charge on the credit card. When I went to WDW several years ago I stayed at the Wilderness Lodge. Got the wrist bands in the mail several days before, room number texted to me, wrist bands opened the door, all went really well.

    But used the bands in the parks to buy some snacks and meals. I had the meal plan but apparently I did not read the fine print. What I had purchased was not part of the meal plan. When I checked out there was a surprise charge to my credit card associated with the account. A couple hundred dollars I had not planned on spending.

    Disney makes it seamless, easy, for a reason. It is difficult to know you are spending money if you don’t realize you are spending. Unlike the coupon books of the past at Disneyland, the A,B,C,D and the coveted E tickets, which you knew you were spending money.

    My grandfather worked on Disneyworld grading a lot of the property with his grader. Several months worth of work in the early ’50s. Disney never offered him, or any of the workers free tickets or even discounts. The place was surrounded by orange groves. Now the area is jammed with tiny, cheaply built and expensive houses.


  4. Disney makes it seamless, easy, for a reason. It is difficult to know you are spending money if you don’t realize you are spending.

    In the magic band era, I have never tied a credit card to any of our bands for this reason.

  5. I read the Washington Redskins have folded to the SJW crowd. I nominate “Doosh Buckets” as their new name.

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  6. “Disney makes it seamless, easy, for a reason. It is difficult to know you are spending money if you don’t realize you are spending.”

    In the magic band era, I have never tied a credit card to any of our bands for this reason.

    Magic Bands have never worked right.

    One of the key project managers of the Magic Band program was part of our “low hanging fruit” personnel program to deal with layoffs at GTE in the late 90s. He left us and got lucky with a job at a Tampa dot Com for a few months before they got bought out, made a six figure dollar amount from options, and has been riding that cred for 20 years.

    When you read about the constant toll road billing problems in Florida, keep in mind that the same individual was a manager on that fiasco somewhere between our shop, the dot Com, and Disney. I don’t remember the timeline, but figure about 15 years ago.

    Friendly guy. [Decent CS school] diploma. Dumb as a box of rocks.

    I’ve never used a Magic Band for good reason.

  7. I read the Washington Redskins have folded to the SJW crowd. I nominate “Doosh Buckets” as their new name.

    I was always impressed with their ability over the decades to typically ride this stuff out and stick with their name. They finally succumbed.

    Meanwhile, soon to be “old school” Redskins merchandise is probably selling out everywhere now.

  8. We’ve never had any issues with magic bands, other than getting new ones each time. They are supposed to be reusable. They work great for FastPass, and as door keys. We put some small limit purchase authority on the kids’ so they could get snacks if they wanted to.

    The park admission part might have had issues, especially linked to the biometric hand readers they’ve been using for over a decade, but there are cast members with tablets or readers standing there to fix it as it happens.

    Dinner reservations, park admissions, and hotel reservations are always a huge furball, especially when trying to link the schedules of several groups. Has nothing to do with the bands though. What’s amazing is that it works at all considering how many times those combinations iterate just in our group. Each time there are ripple effects for everyone else at the parks.

    We did Magic Express from the airport once, maybe twice. I stopped because it takes too long for bags, and they xray your baggage. I must “maintain control of my bag at all times” when I’m traveling with a declared item. That’s not possible with MEx and more intrusion than I want. It was easy and seamless the first time.

    My biggest issue with them is also their biggest strength- things are constantly changing and being tweaked. That means I can never get a good understanding of the best way to utilize/take advantage of their systems, but it also means others can’t exploit them for long either.

    n

  9. We’ve never had any issues with magic bands, other than getting new ones each time. They are supposed to be reusable. They work great for FastPass, and as door keys. We put some small limit purchase authority on the kids’ so they could get snacks if they wanted to.

    The hardware and band reading is probably fine. Integration is the problem, just like the FL toll system.

    Magic Bands had an onsite debugging lab in the Studios for a decade before the last remodel to build the Star Wars attractions.

    As for the band wearing out, it depends on where The Mouse sourced the passive RF components. I’m not surprised there, especially if you took the bands on an airplane ride.

    Once people started carrying smart phones with real third party app development APIs in 2008/09, Magic Bands were pointless.

    (*Real* APIs, not garbage like Crackberry or Symbian.)


  10. CowboySlim, have you been in Austin, in the Chili Parlor Bar, drinking Mad Dog margaritas?

    Nope, through Amarillo a few times on US66 decades ago and switching planes in DFW on a business trip once, but that was it.

  11. @Lynn
    repeat as a mantra, good enough, good enough, your migration is worth the value? How many years arre you planning to maintain your software? You always cries about non legit copies of your software, and, if you doesnt move to some kind of SAAS, it is gonna to be worst, but, it is your business… I remember the same discussion with a frien d who has an ERP, 5 fivers after I said him move to SAAS, he moved, and later he said me, it is a cab!!! yes it is, no w he wants to move from Delphi, why? to modernize bla bla, it is broken? dont fix it! he has an 20% ebidta now

    but YMMV

    I plan to maintain our software until we sell the business or I die. From here to eternity !

    I’ve been working on it for 45 years now. I am old !

  12. “‘She was a beautiful light’: Stars pay tribute to John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston, 57, following her death from breast cancer and say they are ‘heartbroken for her family who have already known such grief'”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8516855/Stars-pay-tribute-John-Travoltas-wife-Kelly-Preston.html

    Wow. You have to be aggressive with Breast Cancer. My wife was aggressive by getting a mastectomy and then chemo and she is now a 15 year survivor.

  13. “‘She was a beautiful light’: Stars pay tribute to John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston, 57, following her death from breast cancer and say they are ‘heartbroken for her family who have already known such grief’”

    She was great with Kurt Russell in “Sky High”.

    Big shock. Travolta may make poor career choices as of late, but his private life stays private.

    I listened to a podcast interview with Fran Drescher at some point in the last year, and when the host asked her about raucous Travolta stories from “Saturday Night Fever”, Drescher said that there weren’t any because any time he wasn’t on set, Travolta was with Diana Hyland who was dying from breast cancer at the time.

    (The podcast host wasn’t prepared for that bomb, but Drescher was a pro and helped him dig out of the hole with her usual shrewd self effacement.)

    Word got around FL a few years ago that various Travolta planes were for sale, including his 707, but I figured he was downsizing like everyone else pushing retirement.

  14. The recurring rumors around Travolta over the last several years is that he’s a closeted bisexual. Not that where he likes to put his penis makes much of a difference to me or has much of an effect on his acting ability, but the recurring allegations and denials become their own sideshow after awhile. You can dismiss one or two oddball claims as just someone trying to get their 15 minutes of fame or trying to extort Travolta, but if you do some googling it’s a lot more than just one or two.


  15. It was over 100F in the garage…If I get to cutting the hole in the wall, that’s where the A/C unit will go too.

    Ummm, maybe move cutting that hole higher up on the to-do list?

  16. @alan, yeah, it needs to be done, and I’ve got backup window units to do it with. And really, I can half @ss it with a saw in half an hour. It’s just that cutting a hole is a bit irrevocable, and I tend to shy away from irrevocable.

    n


  17. I tend to shy away from irrevocable.

    -sigh- If only I’d thought that way before getting married. -sigh-

    (Joking. Mostly.)

    If you pop the siding strips off (assuming the garage has siding) don’t cut through the studs, and make sure not to cut any electrical lines, cutting a hole in the garage wall shouldn’t be irrevocable-irrevocable. True, it’s more work to take the siding off first but it’s worth it for the ability to recover from mistakes or changes of mind.

    (But note that I’m not the one who’d be doing the extra work when it’s 100F out.)

  18. @Lynn: I can only second the SaaS recommendation. There’s obviously a learning curve, and a need for a front-end, but the advantages are huge.

    First, and important for you: you only have to support a single compute platform. Get your core code running on your cloud platform, and give your existing customers an easy upgrade path. In a couple of years, you can stop supporting non-SAAS customers.

    The second advantage is security. No more cat-and-mouse nonsense. As long as your front-end is secure (and this is not difficult, given competent developers), the only danger are customers sharing their passwords. There are various ways to deal with that, but it’s likely a smaller problem than what you have now.

  19. Also found some airsoft and a CO2 powered bb pistol. So I set up some cans in the yard and put a couple dozen rounds through them. That was fun! It was also a nice break from the heat to shoot in the 95F shade. I’ve never shot a CO2 airgun before and I like it. It’s way more like semi-auto and better ‘substitute’ practice as you don’t have to re-cock the spring, or pump up the air. The pistol doesn’t jump around as much, the trigger is wobbly, and it’s a full sized handgun, but it’s still good practice for acquiring the target, getting sight alignment, etc. I’ve even got retention holsters for them if I wanted to practice drawing and firing. I’m not getting to the range any time soon, and ammo is expensive and hard to replace, so airgun practice it will be. It does make a distinctive sound that carries quite well in the unusually quite suburbs…

    I came home from college one weekend and my brothers had set up a pellet gun target in the upstairs hallway with a pumpup pellet pistol. It made a very loud thwak hitting the metal target and falling into the collection box. My mother was not happy and had the entire stairwell, walls and all, carpeted with a very thick carpet for sound absorption.

    Nobody ever tried a 22 on it though. And they had to be careful walking out of their bedrooms when somebody was on firing line.

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  20. Last week I brought up me trying to get a “friend” evicted from my extra bedroom. I just had a consultation with a lawyer. I had sent him a detailed email previous to the call so he could check into the relevant laws. Well, I’m screwed.

    I can’t evict the person until the COVID emergency is over, and then I have to give 90 days notice, and the person has appeals which can last up to 3 or 4 additional months. (Note: current COVID emergency expires on Aug 18, but there is a bill with strong support in the legislature to extend for 1 year. )

    I can’t unilaterally start charging rent. It would be a material change during a period of emergency. Can’t enforce non-payment during the COVID emergency, anyway.

    I can’t change the house rules such that it is uncomfortable for her to stay. That would be considered harassment to deviate from what has been “usual and customary” since she has been living here.

    Other possibilities like claiming trespassing or saying I fear for my safety would not really stand up in court and could generate a retaliatory lawsuit.

    I’m left with “cash for keys”. Pay her to walk out the door with all her stuff. I’ll start with a low offer and start negotiating. My well being has value.

    Don’t ever be nice. Never help anyone. Get everything in writing.

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  21. You can probably still give her the boot. Slum lords do it all the time. Take her door off the hinges, shred her mail as soon as it arrives, turn off the circuit breaker to her room, etc. Make it miserable to be there. She may threaten legal action but 99% of people who do that are full of shit. They either can’t or won’t afford an attorney and the non-profits tend to devote most of their resources to minorities or homes with small children, so they won’t make helping her any sort of priority (other than maybe sending some canned letter). We rented our home out for several years. One of our tenants whose deposit we were keeping said they were going to get a lawyer. We said okay and had our lawyer send them a letter. That called their bluff pretty quickly.

  22. Sympathies, JLP.

    I don’t suppose there’s a long flight of stairs and a handful of marbles which could facilitate a fall down those stairs? A rabid raccoon which could find its way in through a loosened window screen? An axe murderer who owns an extension ladder?

    EDIT: or your could follow Chad’s advice, but that’s booooring.

  23. She has used the courts in the past against others when she felt wronged, not a bluff. I could lose a lot more than a few grand in “exit cash”. The only way out of this with my sanity intact will a onetime pay off. Goodness, I do hate the thought of that.


  24. The only way out of this with my sanity intact will a onetime pay off.

    I suggest that payoff to Guido and his minons.

  25. A window unit for your bedroom and kill the central air.

    Plenty of ways to to that but pulling the breaker to the compressor and disconnecting the wires would be past most people’s skills. “I dunno, it’s old, it just died!”

  26. A window unit for your bedroom and kill the central air.

    Plenty of ways to to that but pulling the breaker to the compressor and disconnecting the wires would be past most people’s skills. “I dunno, it’s old, it just died!”

    Wouldn’t fly under Florida law. The court would order the homeowner to pay for an AC repair call, and there is precedence for the lawyers to argue.

  27. it needs to be done, and I’ve got backup window units to do it with. And really, I can half @ss it with a saw in half an hour. It’s just that cutting a hole is a bit irrevocable, and I tend to shy away from irrevocable.

    Jeepers, set up an evaporative cooler on a 2×4 box in there at about your own eye level! No holes in the garage, no hot exhaust, no increase in the electric bills. Just nice cool air at your beck and call!


  28. Jeepers, set up an evaporative cooler

    In Houston? The only two places I can think of that are more humid is New Orleans and Mobile.

  29. Let me re-phrase…. kill the central air /first/ and then get a window unit. Maybe one for “her room” too but the rest of the house will be miserable.

    Little 5000 BTU a/c units for about $120.

    Cancel the cable TV.

    edit: I’ve had a couple of a-hole roommates and it was never /me/ moving out.

  30. Grr.
    I ordered a set of filters for the under-sink r/o unit. Great, sent via FedEx Smartpost and suppose to be here today. But the FedEx site shows it delivered to the Burnet PO at 5:38PM today….. six hours ago. It was 9:30AM by my clock. What?

    I ordered a 10 pack of filters for the whole house filter that feeds the water softener. Not because I’ve ever had grit coming out of faucets, it’s there to protect the softener. Yeah, a 10 pack. I change the filter about every 15 months or so “just because”. So, I’m set for almost 20 years. How’s that for prepping?
    Anyway. Delivery is via Amazon. No telling when it will be delivered, they are not reliable.

  31. I ordered a set of filters for the under-sink r/o unit. Great, sent via FedEx Smartpost and suppose to be here today. But the FedEx site shows it delivered to the Burnet PO at 5:38PM today….. six hours ago. It was 9:30AM by my clock. What?

    Smartpost. God only knows. They ship on whatever truck has available space, and 5:38 PM was probably the deadline for arrival of the original truck.

    I had an item get stuck at a Fedex depot in … Missouri (?) in March. Two months later, it showed as still being there so I requested a refund from the vendor and let them deal with it. I wonder if the package is still at the depot.

  32. Evap coolers don’t work very well here. I used one in Phoenix for years…

    I have the Portacool in the driveway, but it is mostly just a fan when the RH is so high. Today is actually kinda dry, 115F in the driveway sun, with 37%RH.

    Headed to UPS and onward to get rid of some stuff at my secondary.

    n

  33. “Jeepers, set up an evaporative cooler”

    In Houston? The only two places I can think of that are more humid is New Orleans and Mobile.

    Amateurs. Try anyplace on the FL peninsula from March through mid-November.

  34. Evap coolers don’t work very well here. I used one in Phoenix for years…

    My aunts and uncles in the Wharton, TX area used evaporative coolers in the 1960s. They all installed central air in the 1970s and 1980s. I firmly remember getting told to stop blocking the air from the evaporative cooler. The air was cooler, but was not cool so you had to fan out in front of it until an adult got up to back up their threats.

  35. Sigh. The Texas Rangers must change their name:

    WaPo hot take exposes another pro sports team name that ‘must go’

    They are too violent or ‘sumpin.

    You know, if you go down that road then the Dallas Cowboys are on the first stop. They will need to be the Dallas Bovine Persons.

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  36. @Lynn: I can only second the SaaS recommendation. There’s obviously a learning curve, and a need for a front-end, but the advantages are huge.

    First, and important for you: you only have to support a single compute platform. Get your core code running on your cloud platform, and give your existing customers an easy upgrade path. In a couple of years, you can stop supporting non-SAAS customers.

    The second advantage is security. No more cat-and-mouse nonsense. As long as your front-end is secure (and this is not difficult, given competent developers), the only danger are customers sharing their passwords. There are various ways to deal with that, but it’s likely a smaller problem than what you have now.

    We have 150+ dialogs in our Windows C++ User Interface. I figure five software engineers working five years to replace all that in javascript. Not gonna happen.
    https://www.winsim.com/screenshots.html

  37. I have the Portacool in the driveway, but it is mostly just a fan when the RH is so high. Today is actually kinda dry, 115F in the driveway sun, with 37%RH.

    Plugging those numbers into a psychrometric calculator yields 89F output air if your Portacool fully saturates the air, which is doubtful, since ISTR it has a rigid media thickness of just 4″. In your high humidity, it might come close. I have no experience running a cooler in such humid conditions, but as you say, it will help some.

    For comparison, I just measured the conditions here: 105F, 7%RH, with a measured 72F output from my evaporative cooler with 12″ rigid media. That is actually subpar performance, because it is only producing air with 65% RH, the lowest I have recorded. It should be around 80-90%RH. The media is 14 years old, and I should have replaced it a couple of years ago. But, it is fairly comfortable in the house: 74F and 73%RH. It actually feels a little more humid than usual. As long as it doesn’t rain or get up to about 15%RH, we can be comfortable. When it rains, it feels miserable. Those conditions are about ten days in a typical year. Good time to take a trip. I am working on designing a refrigeration-heat pump system for installation in a couple of years. It is primarily for lower cost heating, but will also get us better cooling for those ten days.

    Just for grins, I have seen some claims that the EC (evaporative cooler) was invented in either Little Rock, Arkansas, or somewhere in Alabama. They are supposedly used extensively in steel mills, and other high heat areas where fans were once used. They are also used a lot in agriculture; we have a couple of green houses here that need cooling in the summer. I also read that animals such as cattle don’t sweat much, and don’t feel humidity as much as high temperature, so EC is good for them. I am not a farmer, but do respect all folks who grow anything, including animals. Hard life.

    When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 70s, there was a popular kit that sprayed tap water on the condenser of a home AC unit. It probably only increased performance by a few percent. I think it could shorten the life of the unit due to corrosion or deposits, but some neighbors had them. Not me.

  38. We have 150+ dialogs in our Windows C++ User Interface. I figure five software engineers working five years to replace all that in javascript. Not gonna happen.

    The web was never designed for that kind of interactivity.

    The debt collection software I installed for CGI had a very sophisticated GUI but required Windows 7, Internet Explorer and the Java plugin. Interaction with the back end happened with … gasp! … SOAP. That was just two years ago, and I doubt things have changed any since I left.

    I can’t name the customer, but you would recognize the name in a heartbeat. We had a who’s who of banks and insurance companies using the system.

  39. When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 70s, there was a popular kit that sprayed tap water on the condenser of a home AC unit.

    I remember seeing the kits somewhere. Did not seems like a good idea just because of lime in the water. But I do remember strategically placing a sprinkler and the central air was /much/ cooler.

    Seems like, if it was a great idea, it would be more common.

    edit…. with coated fins and somehow re-using the water. The last few window units I have bought have a drain port (they never drip) but they also somehow hold the condensate and blow it onto the coils.

  40. “Linux team approves new terminology, bans terms like ‘blacklist’ and ‘slave’”

    Portland has been getting to Linus for about a decade. He has a huge house in one of the city’s most exclusive neighborhoods, which he rarely leaves, but the environment is saturated with Prog thinking.

    I knew about a week into our sentence -er- tenure that we weren’t going to stay. The urban legend about Willie Taggert is that he never took the Florida tags off of his car while coaching in Eugene.

  41. “When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 70s, there was a popular kit that sprayed tap water on the condenser of a home AC unit.”

    I remember seeing the kits somewhere. Did not seems like a good idea just because of lime in the water. But I do remember strategically placing a sprinkler and the central air was /much/ cooler.

    The chemicals in tap water will corrode the coils. The problem was most likely worse with whatever they used to treat the swamp water in Fort Lauderdale.

    When my wife lived in Hollywood, FL, the tap water was a pale yellow. I tried not to think about that organic matter.

    In Tampa in the 70s, every housewife my mother’s age was obsessed about having a whole-house attic exhaust fan “just like on grandmother’s farm” to solve the summer cooling problem. Of course, no reputable contractor or HVAC guy would install one in a house with central AC at the risk of his license, but that didn’t stop the endless yak-yak about the concept.

    I imagine my mother still wants that fan. My parents never understood central AC. My father used to pop a window open every night for ventilation, putting an amount of humidity into the house that the system would spend all day struggling to remove so the temps never really got below 77 in our house.

  42. I have a whole house attic fan. We don’t use it much. Just a few days in the Spring and in the Fall.

    The dogs hate it…. something is coming to get them. It is noisy.

    Until a couple of weeks ago I would crack a bedroom window so I could hear the night critters. Cicadas, owls, whip-o-wills, singing coons and coyotes. Not much, maybe half an inch. Double pane windows block a lot of sound. Yeah, wasting a/c but overall, but cracking one window a bit is still a lot less air leakage than the old windows.

  43. I have a whole house attic fan. We don’t use it much. Just a few days in the Spring and in the Fall.

    The dogs hate it…. something is coming to get them. It is noisy.

    In high humidity environments, the attic fan and central AC combination quickly create an mold problem in the attic as the cool air gets drawn up through the porous ceiling into the hot environment whenever the fan gets turned on. I think the combination is against code in Florida now. I know the “mushroom” passive fans are, but that is more of a structural integrity issue in a storm.

  44. …with coated fins and somehow re-using the water.

    That is probably the condensate from the evaporator (cold) coil. When I was a kid, we had a window unit that did that. Used a “slinger”: a piece of aluminum riveted to the tips of the condenser fan. It dipped into the sump where condensate collected and sprayed it on the coil. Excess condensate drained out via a drain above the desired water level. Actually, a good idea. The condensate is pretty clean water, and doesn’t contain much to foul the condenser. Still, I remember my dad thoroughly spraying the entire condenser area with soapy water and hosing it off at the end of the season. All that came out was some dirty water, probably dust.

    I worried that using tap water in FL, even if fairly low mineral content, would foul the fins with hard deposits. Also, there is potential galvanic corrosion, because some condensers are copper tubing expanded into aluminum fins. I might worry too much.

    Here, where it is dry, there was a condensing unit that used an integral evaporative cooler. It was on the market for a few years, but was the product of an inventor who went broke. I have a friend who had one, and it worked well. The condenser was a copper coil in the sump. A good design such as this can lower energy consumption by about 25% using R22; no idea about newer refrigerants. Unfortunately, it took maintenance, and owners didn’t understand. They neglected them, and units failed. Many novel designs fail because they are novel, and not understood by owners.

  45. My parents never understood central AC.

    Yeah, I have relatives like that. I have learned to respect my elders, which are growing fewer all the time. I turned 75 yesterday… three quartere of a century! Still a-learnin’.

    Anyhow, you wouldn’t believe the misunderstanding here in the desert, especially about evaporative cooling vs refrigeration. Both have their places, but nothing is perfect. I had a mentor who was great. He started with a picture of the Pacific ocean, which is colder than the Atlantic and the Gulf. He described it as a large natural air conditioner, just like the Gulf is the world’s biggest hot tub (see, Lynn, I do read this site.) 🙂 He did a class, and I had the good fortune to take it, which started a friendship. He started by defining comfort, then how to make that under various conditions. All about psychrometrics (really just a special case of steam tables,) air flow, and radiation. Only then did we turn to registers, ducts, fans, and finally the unit that makes the heat or cold. He said most AC contractors do a design backwards, and in those days before energy calculation software, it was true. Still is today, because the software doesn’t cover everything, such as air noise. A system should be nearly silent.

    Anyway, I learned from the best, and also learned how to compromise. Nothing is perfect here on this earth.

  46. RGB(0,0,0) visual legumes.

    Ha! Ray wins the Innernet today. I wonder how many outside this site would get it?

  47. We have 150+ dialogs in our Windows C++ User Interface. I figure five software engineers working five years to replace all that in javascript. Not gonna happen.

    The web was never designed for that kind of interactivity.

    The debt collection software I installed for CGI had a very sophisticated GUI but required Windows 7, Internet Explorer and the Java plugin. Interaction with the back end happened with … gasp! … SOAP. That was just two years ago, and I doubt things have changed any since I left.

    I can’t name the customer, but you would recognize the name in a heartbeat. We had a who’s who of banks and insurance companies using the system.

    Yup, I understand that the 10 million instruction limit for javascript has been removed for all of the web browsers now. We would exceed that just starting up.

    We cheated a lot building all of those dialogs. We used templates for the dialogs in resource files instead of laying out the dialogs at run time. Now on these newfangled 200 dpi and 300 dpi monitors, our dialogs are impossibly small so we tell the users to crank up their text resolution.

  48. He said most AC contractors do a design backwards, and in those days before energy calculation software, it was true. Still is today, because the software doesn’t cover everything, such as air noise. A system should be nearly silent.

    I like the noise of our 4 ton a/c in our bedroom. It drowns out the continuous drone of the blower fan into the septic tank that is outside our bedroom wall. Someday me and a 20 lb sledgehammer will have a date.

  49. Anyhow, you wouldn’t believe the misunderstanding here in the desert, especially about evaporative cooling vs refrigeration.

    Even though she lives in Orlando, my mother-in-law swears by the swamp cooler she bought when they lived in Palm Springs 40 years ago.

  50. When I lived in Phoenix, most of the hot part of the year the swamp cooler worked well. It was a bit damp in the trailer, but it was cool. At about 3 or 4 am it got downright cold and I usually shut it off.

    During the monsoon season, when temps are in the 100-teens during the day, over 100 at night, and the humidity jumps from 3% to 30%, the swamp cooler didn’t work so well. After the second year, I got a window AC unit to cool the trailer during that 2 month period.

    Here in Houston, it’s so friggin’ humid you can’t even sweat enough. The portacool helps, but mainly just the air moving over my cool vest or soaked shirt helps with my built in evap cooler. I generally know I need to drink fluid when the sweat stops running off my nose. I drink until it starts again.

    Made my run to storage for the speakers I sold. Then home to pack them, then back to the UPS store, then over to my secondary location to unload 10 buckets of bulk food. I’ve got two more to do tomorrow when I take the bins to the auction. I’ll be halfway there anyway.

    Checked on the battery charger running on my forklift. Battery is dead. NO volts. The automatic charger (old school) was still buzzing away at 2 amps on the meter, but nothing in the tank… I brought one of my old ham radio batteries which is a yellow top optima. It still had 12v showing on it, so I put it on my high tech charger. I’ll try swapping the batteries and cranking my forklift over tomorrow if everything goes well. Between the heat and the drain, the “newish” walmart battery did not survive. I hope the optima has enough ommph to get the lift going when I need it.

    So much to do. I’m busier than I was and getting less done.

    n


  51. RGB(0,0,0) visual legumes.

    OR

    CMYK(75,68,67,90)

    OR

    HSB(0,100,0)

    OR

    lab(0,0,0)

  52. When I lived in Phoenix, most of the hot part of the year the swamp cooler worked well. It was a bit damp in the trailer, but it was cool. At about 3 or 4 am it got downright cold and I usually shut it off.

    The swamp cooler flat-out doesn’t work in Orlando, but the Chinese oldster relations like to sit around and play one-upsmanship games about how cheaply they can get along in high cost of living areas. My mother-in-law brags about her $30 electric bill in Central Florida, not running AC or the water heater.

    It is all a game of “Let’s pretend”. My mother-in-law showers at 24 Hour Fitness, paid for by her Disney retirement healthcare plan, and spends really hot days at my sister-in-law’s house.

  53. Lynn

    well I am going to say an idiot thing, but since I work with remote users since 300 bd modems, I am entitled to do it

    Terminal Services
    Citrix

    Yes , yes, but I worked such kind of idiotic things a lot of times…….

  54. I like the noise of our 4 ton a/c in our bedroom. It drowns out the continuous drone of the blower fan into the septic tank that is outside our bedroom wall. Someday me and a 20 lb sledgehammer will have a date.

    I don’t remember my parent’s septic tank in FL having a blower, but the “soil” is sand below about a foot or so down, and the county put in sewer within a few years of us moving into the house.

    Sewer was planned so far out that our house was built with a connection in the front yard.

    Of course, the house was built in the 70s, and the ground was so toxic from the termite treatment that unaerated septic runoff probably wasn’t a big concern.

  55. We hit 104 F out here in Rosenberg today. Probably 112 F when you factor in the humidity (heat index). Freakin’ hot !

    I am glad that I am in my 75 F office.

  56. Lynn

    well I am going to say an idiot thing, but since I work with remote users since 300 bd modems, I am entitled to do it

    Terminal Services
    Citrix

    Yes , yes, but I worked such kind of idiotic things a lot of times…….

    I have thought about using Frame
    https://fra.me/
    or AWS (Amazon Web Services).
    https://aws.amazon.com/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Like everything else, takes effort to get setup properly. Users would need accounts and walled gardens. We ran our own time sharing service back in the 1970s and 1980s on a Prime 750 then an 1150 (IIRC). I don’t ever want to do that again. 24x7x365 support required.

    Ah, the bad memories ! Walking by a modem rack with 16 modems on it, seeing them all lit up and knowing that they were all frozen, cycling the power switch for the rack. Nope, don’t miss those days at all.

    No wonder I am so tired of screwing with hardware. I’ve configured and rebuilt minis, unix workstations, vax workstations, vax minis, hundreds of PCs, etc, etc, etc in my lifetime. All junk !

    Now I want to take a 20 lb sledge to my gimpy file server.

  57. It is all a game of “Let’s pretend”. My mother-in-law showers at 24 Hour Fitness, paid for by her Disney retirement healthcare plan, and spends really hot days at my sister-in-law’s house.

    I guess that she is going without showers now as 24 Hour Fitness has closed most of their gyms and filed bankruptcy.


  58. When we lived in Ft. Lauderdale in the early 70s, there was a popular kit that sprayed tap water on the condenser of a home AC unit. It probably only increased performance by a few percent. I think it could shorten the life of the unit due to corrosion or deposits, but some neighbors had them. Not me.

    The electric fan on the outdoor unit of our central A/C went out. Condenser/compressor still worked fine. It was going to be a day or two till the repairman came (happened on a weekend, of course). So, I stuck the garden hose in there so the water would run over the condenser. A/C worked just fine that way. Yard got pretty swampy though.

  59. Re: The nice folks at the Reedy Creek Improvement District. How does one deal with Disney if one is a luddite w/o a “smart” phone?

  60. The electric fan on the outdoor unit of our central A/C went out. Condenser/compressor still worked fine. It was going to be a day or two till the repairman came (happened on a weekend, of course). So, I stuck the garden hose in there so the water would run over the condenser. A/C worked just fine that way. Yard got pretty swampy though.

    Liquid water is a thousand times better at heat removal than air vapor. You could probably cut the water flow way back to a trickle and use a piece of drilled pvc as a liquid distributor to get the water over all the condenser.

  61. AC in the garage is a life changing event (at least in the south.) I will never have another garage without it.


  62. You could probably cut the water flow way back to a trickle and use a piece of drilled pvc as a liquid distributor to get the water over all the condenser

    Or get a patio mister from a Home Depot.

    My circulation fan went out on a Friday afternoon. Did not notice until late at night. Called on Saturday and they came and fixed. Bad capacitor. Came back 5 days later to replace condenser fan which had sticking bearings. Total cost $320.00. Motor, two capacitors, and labor. No up charge for Saturday. Advantage of a small town.

    The electric fan on the outdoor unit of our central A/C went out.

    I would suspect a capacitor has failed. Fairly common problem.

  63. Now I want to take a 20 lb sledge to my gimpy file server.

    The intern didn’t set up a Linux box with Samba to trial as a server?

    I run the latest Fedora as a file and print server. I’m slightly concerned about IBM screwing it up long term as they did with Rational Purify, but Fedora is the community release from which RHEL branches periodically. I’ll stay on Fedora until I have a reason to move. I’m not a big Ubuntu fan.

  64. Now I want to take a 20 lb sledge to my gimpy file server.

    The intern didn’t set up a Linux box with Samba to trial as a server?

    We still use CVSNT for source code management system on the gimpy file server. Runs as a service on Windows x86 or x64. Does not run on Linux. We’ve been using it since 2005 ? 2000 ? 1995 ? Cannot remember anymore. Used CVS on RS/6000 Unix boxen before that. We’ve got 20 GB of source code and benchmark files in it. Maybe 40,000 files.

  65. AC in the garage is a life changing event (at least in the south.) I will never have another garage without it.

    Oh, yes! I am technically in southern CA, near Death Valley but higher elevation (almost everywhere is higher than DV!) We have always had evaporative cooling in our garage. The new garage shop is well insulated, and is about a degree cooler than the house. Today, that was about 73F. The system only uses about 300 watts. Heaven, but not perfect. Good enough.

  66. I can get about 20-22F out of my evaporative cooler, on a day with humidity in the teens. Perhaps I should try one of the newer models, with rigid media.

    I’ve also a largish newer window unit, 14,000 BTU that can cool about half the house on a very hot or hot & humid day.

    These are now designed to use a slinger to throw water condensed out of the air onto the hot fins and coils.

    The problem is that there isn’t much moisture in the high desert to condense out on very hot days. Running a trickle from the hose helps – about a 5 degree cooling effect I estimate, but I wouldn’t want to do it often, I’m sure the coils would get a layer of minerals after a bit.

  67. well, I know all the silly stuff and modernities Lynn, no, I was saying plain old standard TS, 1000 users? ok, the only issue si industrial secrecy for customers.
    I have been there

    but, as you may know, I had time ago a discussion with my (in this time) technical 2nd (i was the boss), I was telling him , virtualize, he said, why? one box, one task, you broke the box, you loose one task only (Jerry Pournelle said something similar time ago, I remembered it, I said Ok, and we went to the karma of IT
    No matter how much money, your goal is going to bed and sleep well, anything on IT is to sleep well and nobody calls

    well I made my quota of stupid comments

    best regards

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