Wed. Sept. 30, 2020 – well, that went by fast

Cool and breezy.  I hope.

Yesterday stayed cooler all day, starting out and ending up positively chilly for this time of year.  Of course, this is Houston, so we could still get some 90F days before Fall really gets here.  In any case, September is on it’s way out the door, and we’re on the downhill slide through the Holidays and into the New Year.

I did spend yesterday running a bunch of errands.  Picked up my auction items.  Dropped off some clothes for goodwill, and some cleaner for my buddy who got water in his house during the flooding.   Best to nip any issues in the bud, before mold has a chance to get established.  Sold one of the things he listed for me— I mean ALL of the things that weren’t lost in a boating accident.

Took 166 pounds of dead lead acid batteries to the scrapyard.  With a couple of pounds of aluminum and some motors, I got $40.   Prices have not recovered from the china trade war, or covid.  Not gonna get rich scrappin’ but it gets the stuff out of here and it’s money.

Fixed an issue with the A/C blower in my Expedition.  Only took a few minutes to find that the plug on the resistor pack had come undone.  Much easier and cheaper than replacing the pack, but unfortunately, I already bought the pack.  I guess I have a spare for a common issue now.  Nice to have a choice of fan speeds again.

Gave the down coat I washed to youngest, who loves it.  Gave the down vest to my wife.  Fits great and is true outdoor gear from Eastern Mountain Sports.  I’d like to find a down coat for daughter one, then we’ll all have a couple of choices for cold weather gear.  Don’t usually need it, but my girls are southern belles.  Daughter one was wearing a coat in the house today, ‘cuz it was 74F inside and she was chilly sitting on the couch.  They’ll freeze solid if it ever gets really cold 😉

The shouting match sold as a debate did not reassure me of anything.  They got sleepy Joe to stand up for over an hour, and he only slurred and lost focus once that I saw.   Other than that he was rude, dismissive, called Trump names, and seems to think he only has one son, the dead one.  I noticed that whenever he says “my son” he means the dead one.

Trump avoided making definitive statements on the Proud Boys and AGW.  Got lots of shots in about Hunter, socialists, law and order, and ballot irregularities.  He was a bit squirrely on his taxes.

None of it showed me a likelihood of a peaceful transition.  Both vehemently denied the others’ statements calling them lies, and I’m sure the partisan supporters feel the same way.    Certainly no one’s mind was likely to have been changed about who to vote for.

Which means, you guessed it, stack it high.  Find a place to hide out for the duration, even if it’s your living room.  The streets will not be safe.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

97 thoughts on “Wed. Sept. 30, 2020 – well, that went by fast”

  1. No surprise. CNN is making the entire debate fiasco Trump’s fault. Biden did nothing wrong.

    The entire debate was a disaster from the start. Chris Wallace asked biased questions, failed to maintain control. Trump was his usual rude self. Biden failed to answer questions and would morph into a completely different subject.

    Sad state of affairs.

    1
  2. Fixed an issue with the A/C blower in my Expedition. Only took a few minutes to find that the plug on the resistor pack had come undone. Much easier and cheaper than replacing the pack, but unfortunately, I already bought the pack. I guess I have a spare for a common issue now. Nice to have a choice of fan speeds again.

    Easy resale if the pack fits an F150.


  3. None of it showed me a likelihood of a peaceful transition. … Which means, you guessed it, stack it high. Find a place to hide out for the duration, even if it’s your living room. The streets will not be safe.

    Which is what I said in an early-morning comment on yesterday’s post. Comment written after Nick’s post for today but appearing earlier, conclusively demonstrating that great minds think alike. Except that I’m a knucklehead, suggesting that Nick should be concerned.

    Daughter one was wearing a coat in the house today, ‘cuz it was 74F inside and she was chilly sitting on the couch.

    Ha. I’m standing here in shorts and t-shirt at 65F with a moist breeze coming in.


  4. Daughter one was wearing a coat in the house today, ‘cuz it was 74F inside and she was chilly sitting on the couch. They’ll freeze solid if it ever gets really cold.

    Reminds me of when we lived in Hong Kong. Most of the year the temperature and humidity were both in the high 80s, not much cooler at night. In January when we had some relief and I was comftorably wearing a long sleeve shirt, the natives were bundled in down coats and scarves. Houston is the closest thing I’ve seen in America to hong kong weather but hong kong only gets a few weeks cooler weather each year.

  5. My patio thermometer showed 102F yesterday afternoon. Probably the last gasp heat wave here. Pool is already chilly from drop early this month and days are of course shorter. Solar tiki torches around pool die out by sunrise. Mid 90s for next few days with mif 60s at night. Won’t turn cool until November. October should be nice but the air quality still sucks.

    Ray, you and I both 69 and chasing Slim. Old but good thing we’re all so damn smart.

  6. It may sound strange, but I like to look at the UK betting odds, when it comes to US elections. Just that bit removed, which ought to provide some objectivity. Plus, betting is popular in the UK, so you are getting the collective wisdom of millions. In 2016, the UK odds consistently showed a Trump lead heading into the election.

    After last night, Trump’s odds have dropped to less than 50%. There appears to have been truth in what many were saying: “If Biden survives, he wins.” Low expectations, successfully met.

  7. Reminds me of when we lived in Hong Kong. Most of the year the temperature and humidity were both in the high 80s, not much cooler at night. In January when we had some relief and I was comftorably wearing a long sleeve shirt, the natives were bundled in down coats and scarves. Houston is the closest thing I’ve seen in America to hong kong weather but hong kong only gets a few weeks cooler weather each year.

    Making the fashion statement while they could.

    Last March in Chicago it seemed like every Chinese tourist and business traveler we saw walking around had been to the Canada Goose store, even on the days when it cracked the 50s.

    Some businessmen had the knee length woman’s coat which meant it was going home as a gift for the wife … or mistress.

  8. Trump named places where balloting irregularities have already happened. Biden disagreed. FFS. Open a news site.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8785855/Some-NYC-absentee-ballots-wrong-return-address.html

    Nearly 100,000 defective mail-in voting ballots are sent out in New York City with the wrong names and addresses on them – leaving officials scrambling to issue new ones in time for the election

    Election officials in New York City sent out the faulty ballots to an unknown number of voters in Brooklyn
    It could result in ballots being voided if voters sign their own name on return envelopes bearing different names
    More than 140,000 ballots have already been sent out so far across the borough
    It was unclear how many people got the wrong envelopes
    The New York City Board of Elections blamed the problem on the vendor hired to print and mail the ballots for voters in Brooklyn and Queens

    ————————-

    We are seeing what we’d expect to see. Whenever and wherever people are together in groups, you get cases.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8786645/COVID-19-cases-rising-US-children-schools-reopen.html

    COVID-19 cases in children have soared by 14% in the last two weeks and now make up 10% of all US infections, report finds

    An American Academy of Pediatrics report published Tuesday found that children 20 and under now make up 10% of all US coronavirus cases
    In April, pediatric infections accounted for just 2% of all US cases of COVID-19
    Children’s cases have risen by 14% in the last two weeks alone as children return to school and social activities this fall

    —there is a ‘puzzling’ reluctance to put the blame on schools. Hmmm. Wonder why that would be? Funny that schools are the only compulsory activity on the list.

    ———————————–

    Surveillance state- mission creep and over reach. Plus, data never goes away.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8786823/LAPD-uses-Palantirs-tool-list-names-addresses-romances-contact-police.html

    LAPD cops use data-mining firm Palantir’s controversial law enforcement tool to ‘store personal information – including romances and jobs – of anyone who comes into contact with police’ as they try to predict criminal behavior

    More than half of all LAPD cops – around 5,000 – have accounts with Palantir
    Palantir is one of the biggest surveillance companies in the world
    LAPD and Palantir claim the law enforcement tool helps keep the public safe
    Newly released documents obtained by Buzzfeed News reveal LAPD is using the software to collect and store data on anyone they encounter
    The system then indiscriminately stores intricate details such as tattoos, scars, romances and associates on people from criminals to the innocent
    Training documents for the ‘Intermediate Course’ and ‘Advanced Course’ show how cops are taught to use the powerful law enforcement tool
    Between 2012 and 2017, the LAPD also shared data with several other institutions including California police departments, universities and school districts
    Critics warn the system reinforces racism in policing with data suggesting when used to predict criminal activity, cops over-target black and brown communities

    –on the other hand, it’s called intelligence gathering. Scars and tattoos are much less invasive than DNA testing to confirm identity. Relationships are also part of developing intelligence about targets. And “innocent people” are just criminals that haven’t been caught yet, right?

    n

  9. After last night, Trump’s odds have dropped to less than 50%. There appears to have been truth in what many were saying: “If Biden survives, he wins.” Low expectations, successfully met.

    We didn’t watch. If Biden merely stayed at “chucklehead” functionality — same old Sleepy Joe for 32+ years — he won the debate an possibly the election.

    I read Trump was really aggressive. The female swing voters in the DC and tech hub suburbs won’t like that. Beating Plugs with that crowd at this point will require the truth getting out about wealth taxes and retirement forfeitures which are coming after the Cabal gets sworn in on January 20.

  10. It got down to 65 last night, BUT we are currently expecting lows in the mid 70’s for the next seven days. The difference between the daily high and low is still between 7 and 10 degrees, F.

    I had someone tell me that Humidity never gets above 50% except for a few hours after a rain. Not tru in Florida!

  11. Chris Wallace was the worst last night. Much of the Kabuki was his fault. A Libdrool in the Conservative hen house. President tRump was right: “I guess I’m debating you, but that’s OK.” Wallace even joked along with Plugs. That was despicable and showed Wallace is voting for Plugs.

  12. It is 54F at the moment. I don’t think it ever got lower than that last night. The sun is peeking out and it looks like it will be a gorgeous Fall day.

    n

  13. “Wallace even joked along with Plugs.”

    –he also put words in Trump’s mouth when asking Joe questions. Basically leading the witness….

    All in all, “a sh!tshow.”

    n

  14. –he also put words in Trump’s mouth when asking Joe questions. Basically leading the witness….

    I saw a clip where Wallace dropped the “fine people on both sides” line referring to Charlottesville. He definitely wanted things to head in a certain direction.

    OTOH, the Trump campaign agreed to the format and moderator in advance.

    The Biden campaign got aggressive with ads on other channels’ counterprogramming during the debate time period. Here in Austin, the “mandatory national masking” spot ran a couple of times on H&I during the “Star Trek” reruns.

  15. I stayed up passed my bedtime to watch the debate. Waste of time. Calling it a debate is a joke. Two old men yelling at each other. Moderator not moderating. Bah, humbug! My political philosophy of “they’re all a bunch of bums” was just reinforced last night. Media included in that. For about 20 minutes after the end of the fracas I clicked around to different networks. Just a bunch of idiots parroting pre-planned analysis.

    There will be sore losers on election day. Election day will not be the day the election is called. I am very active right now in prepping. Get what you need now while you can. It might not be available in a month. You might not want to go out of your house too much in a month.

    Stay away from crowds (just throwing that out there).

  16. I have said this about elections for a long time: throw out the bums! Get new bums.

    Sums up my philosophy about most incumbents. I do hope Trump wins. Most incumbents do. Also hope it is a landslide. He is our republic’s last hope. Another few hundred judges plus some supremes would help a lot. Already has.

  17. The late Robert Anson Heinlein, science fiction author and naval officer, had this to say, in “Time Enough for Love”:

    If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for … but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.

    I tend to agree.

    G.


  18. Ray, you and I both 69 and chasing Slim. Old but good thing we’re all so damn smart.

    You’ll catch up to me. We are all born with the total number of birthdays being randomly distributed; however, nobody knows what that number is. Recently, I decided to not have anymore birthdays so that my age will not increment annually. Comsequently, my age will remain constant and will not hit the random limit.

    2
  19. @Slim:

    Women have tried that for years – a popular cut-off age is 40. Doesn’t appear to affect ultimate mortality, though.

    I’ve just completed 72 trips around the day star, and the quacks give me better than 95% of surviving another 3 laps, at least. Assuming nothing untoward happens.

    G.


  20. I decided to not have anymore birthdays

    You only have one birthday. You have many anniversaries of that date.

  21. I’ve just completed 72 trips around the day star

    Nuclear powered golden orb. A roughly 97 million mile journey per trip. Thus far you have traveled approximately 6.7 billion miles. Percentage wise the next 3 trips are not far at all.

  22. “Another few hundred judges plus some supremes would help a lot. Already has.”

    –trump reminded people of that, gloating over the previous administrations incompetence and laziness in NOT appointing all their judges, and his large number of appointees.

    Soros is countering by electing local DAs. It’s kinda like the vote counting thing, the judges don’t get to act if the DAs don’t bring the cases.

    n

  23. I think I’m going to set up my NVR pc as linux. these are recommended by the NVR team,

    Agent for Linux has been tested on Ubuntu 18.04, 19.10, Debian 10 and Linux Mint 19.3.

    Anyone have a preference among those? The NVR team has specific instructions for Debian, so I’d probably lean that way with no other inputs…

    I’ll be dual booting initially to see how it works.

    n

  24. @Ray:

    A roughly 97 million mile journey per trip

    Er… It’s just less than 2pi times that – 93 million miles is the Earth’s orbital radius, not the circumference.

    G.

  25. Agent for Linux has been tested on Ubuntu 18.04, 19.10, Debian 10 and Linux Mint 19.3.

    Anyone have a preference among those? The NVR team has specific instructions for Debian, so I’d probably lean that way with no other inputs…

    If they’re specifically recommending Debian 10 and provide instructions, I’d say go with that.

    Debian isn’t as easy to set up as Ubuntu or Mint. It is the upstream release from which the other two derive. The chain works like this:

    Debian -> Ubuntu -> Mint

    Mint has the best media codec support since, IIRC, the developers are based in a place (Isle of Man? Ireland?) where they are not subject to the same copyright/patent issues as the US and UK. Plus Debian tries really hard to be “free” software both as in terms of “speech” and “beer” so closed-source codecs are going to be de-emphasized.

    Ubuntu straddles the proprietary codec line in an attempt to be commercial software competing with RHEL. You can get the closed source/non-free software, but the packages aren’t installed by default.

    I run Ubuntu on my ThinkPad T470 personal Windows laptop and Mint on my road machine as a backup to the regular Fedora partition. I don’t have a lot of experience with Debian.

  26. Just turned on the nooz while breaking fast. Both sides of the “debate” are claiming victory. Riiight…

    Really wish there was a better term for these events, but I guess we will stick to the traditional term.

    The show is waiting on my DVR, but I doubt I will watch it. I sometimes record things in case there is a big surprise, but no surprise this time.


  27. Er… It’s just less than 2pi times that

    Oops, wrong numbers. The journey is actually 584 million miles. I used the distance from the sun rather than the orbit.

    Thus the journey has been about 40 billion miles.

    I feel like such a Biden.

  28. I did a Biden. I used that the other day while working in a dental office. Got a laugh. Not sure if there were any Biden supporters there.

  29. Go already and don’t let the door hit you on the ass, no one is keeping you here against your will.

    Ford and Google made big announcements in the last few days about facilities in Canada.
    That might explain some of the searching.

    Until I saw the announcements, I had no idea that the E-Mustang was Hencho en Mexico. That probably explains why we haven’t seen them rolling around yet, with Ford only promising “Late 2020”.

    Toyota is having a tough time moving Tacoma production south of the border. My wife carpools with a guy whose son is a Toyota Master Mechanic based out of the truck plant in San Antonio, and the father relays the fun/scary stories about the teaching trips to Mexico.

  30. The “undecided votes” amuse me the most. Sure, I suppose there may be a small handful of undecideds out there, but for the most part I think the overwhelming majority of them are decided and have been for quite awhile. Saying you’re independent or undecided is what people say when they don’t want to talk politics (or can’t talk politics). Most of them are full of shit. I suppose I get it. If you’re a hardcore conservative living in San Francisco it’s probably just less headache and hassle to say you’re undecided. Likewise, if a reporter shoves a camera and a mic in your face and asks you who you’re voting for it’s probably just easier to say you’re undecided.


  31. Ford and Google made big announcements in the last few days about facilities in Canada.
    That might explain some of the searching.

    Until I saw the announcements, I had no idea that the E-Mustang was Hencho en Mexico. That probably explains why we haven’t seen them rolling around yet, with Ford only promising “Late 2020”.

    Toyota is having a tough time moving Tacoma production south of the border. My wife carpools with a guy whose son is a Toyota Master Mechanic based out of the truck plant in San Antonio, and the father relays the fun/scary stories.

    Isn’t most “Made in the USA” really just “Assembled in the USA from foreign made components.”


  32. The “undecided votes” amuse me the most.

    No offense intended, but less than half of American adults vote in Presidential elections. None of the Above, de facto votes. They can’t all be felons.


  33. Isn’t most “Made in the USA” really just “Assembled in the USA from foreign made components.”

    I kid MrsAtoz that her “Murcan” Caddy Battlewagon was made in Canada by Mexican illegals.

    The first New Beetle we bought used was made in Mexico, shipped and sold to a guy in Canada, who sold it to a guy in the US, who traded it in. The Carfax report on it was kinda crazy.

  34. I made it through the Tejas Drivers License office and have my temporary license. My NV Real ID transferred over. I didn’t see and eye exam machine. They just tell you to step back and hold up a eye chart. They point to a line to read, then point at two colors to identify. Old school and I like it. Two weeks to get my DL in the mail. I hope my Voter Registration card makes it, too.

    Now I have to go to Vegas for two+ weeks to help MrsAtoz with a bunch of virtual workshops and keynotes. Biz is picking up as agencies get squared away with the virtual stuff. Of note, Apple hired us for Hispanic Heritage Month. They went through one of our Speaker’s Bureau alliances. Nice income for a virtual keynote.

    Apple must have a proprietary video conferencing package. They are actually shipping us a MacBook preloaded with the package. I’m sending it back via “Slow Boat To China” if it is not locked down.


  35. No offense intended, but less than half of American adults vote in Presidential elections. None of the Above, de facto votes. They can’t all be felons.

    There’s no shortage of extremely politically opinionated people who don’t bother voting. Perhaps it’s because they vote Democratic and live in Red State or they vote Republican and live in a Blue State and so they feel their vote is futile as their state’s Electoral Vote always goes a predictable way. Combine that with felons, cynics, people who just plain forget, the infirm, the mentally handicapped, people who can’t get to a poll, etc. and 50% doesn’t sound so crazy.

    I never cared much for the “get out the vote” initiatives. Like Mike Rowe, I don’t think everyone who can vote should vote.


  36. Likewise, if a reporter shoves a camera and a mic in your face and asks you who you’re voting for it’s probably just easier to say you’re undecided.

    I’m voting for that Sweet Meteor Of Death to arrive on Noon, January 20th, 2021 at Washington, D.C.

  37. Isn’t most “Made in the USA” really just “Assembled in the USA from foreign made components.”

    Final assembly in the USA is a different quality level than final assembly in Mexico. I would have thought Ford learned that lesson with the recent class action lawsuit over the Focus/Fiesta. That could potentially cost them up to $5 billion, and the vehicles are not nearly as complex as the E-Mustang.

  38. It’s always cheaper to cut corners, until it comes back to bite your azz.

    Like tolerating a bad cop, it’ll cost the taxpayers millions. Cut him loose and cut the losses.

    n

  39. OK, tell me why I need a Kenmore 350 water softener for my house ? The present water softener is dead and very old. I opened the salt reservoir last night and found salt, discolored water, three dead lizards, a bunch of dead bugs, etc, etc, etc. I tried valving it out last night and found out that my entire house water goes through it. There is no piping bypass that I can see. I am very concerned that we are getting contaminated water in our house. The daughter overheard me telling the wife about it and yelled “did I just shower in bug water ?”.

    The current piping has minimal freeze protection and goes up into air about three feet. I am very concerned that this will freeze when we have the expected hard winter that I see coming for us this year. So I am going to get some 90 degree elbows, some schd 40 one inch pipe, some new cement and cleaner, and I am going to cut the piping off in the ground so that nothing is showing to the elements. I have no idea how deep the piping is but I suspect it is about 3 inches deep based on the rest of the installation.

    The electrical connection is drilled through the brick wall and sheetrock into a bedroom wall socket. High professionalism there.

    There is a 3/8 inch rubber tube from the softener that goes into a hole drilled into the brick wall. I have no idea where it goes. I will disconnect it at the unit and let it hang out of the wall for now. I looked in the attic for it last night and never found it. There are several tubes hanging out of the softener and laying on the ground.

    Did I mention the mosquitoes are bad right now ?

    1
  40. “This Was Weird: It Appears Joe Biden’s Wire Slipped Out from Under His Jacket During Presidential Debate”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/09/weird-appears-joe-bidens-wire-slipped-jacket-presidential-debate/

    Folks, that dum-bro-crat was a trained monkey on the stage last night. He was a puppet in the worst sense, I thought I detected Biden spending extra time formulating his answers. Reminds me of Heinlein’s book “Double Star” and not in a good way.
    https://www.amazon.com/Double-Star-Robert-Heinlein-ebook/dp/B016TSE6OW/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Hat tip to:
    https://thelibertydaily.com/

  41. Or Neal Stephenson’s “Interface:A Novel“… written with his uncle.

    There’s no way William A. Cozzano can lose the upcoming presidential election. He’s a likable midwestern governor with one insidious advantage–an advantage provided by a shadowy group of backers. A biochip implanted in his head hardwires him to a computerized polling system. The mood of the electorate is channeled directly into his brain. Forget issues. Forget policy. Cozzano is more than the perfect candidate. He’s a special effect.

    The Cobweb is pretty good too.

    n

  42. Fixed an issue with the A/C blower in my Expedition. Only took a few minutes to find that the plug on the resistor pack had come undone. Much easier and cheaper than replacing the pack, but unfortunately, I already bought the pack. I guess I have a spare for a common issue now. Nice to have a choice of fan speeds again.

    Easy resale if the pack fits an F150.

    There are several blower resistor packs for the F-150 / F-250 / F-350 / Expedition / Econoline / Excursion / Ranger / Explorer / etc. The manual switches are four speed. The automatic systems are seven speed. Several suppliers made the parts for the 1.5 million vehicles sold each year.

  43. Chris Wallace was the worst last night. Much of the Kabuki was his fault. A Libdrool in the Conservative hen house. President tRump was right: “I guess I’m debating you, but that’s OK.” Wallace even joked along with Plugs. That was despicable and showed Wallace is voting for Plugs.

    Yes, Chris Wallace was a swamp rat last night. And he knew that Plugs was a puppet.


  44. OK, tell me why I need a Kenmore 350 water softener for my house ? The present water softener is dead and very old. I opened the salt reservoir last night and found salt, discolored water, three dead lizards, a bunch of dead bugs, etc, etc, etc. I tried valving it out last night and found out that my entire house water goes through it. There is no piping bypass that I can see.

    My dead GE softener had a bypass valve on the back of the control head. But anyway, if the machine is dead, and not recharging, it doesn’t matter what is in the brine tank beyond the “ick” factor.
    Without the bypass valve water still goes through the resin tank…. it’s just your resin tank isn’t being recharged.

    If you are going to dig down a bit, this might be a good time to install a box, like a sprinkler control box, and have a ball valve… easy way to turn off the water when needing to replace a faucet.

  45. Sweet ! I made an executive decision and rehired the lady who cleaned our old house every week. We had negative cash flow while we had two houses so let her go. She has been here two hours and the transformation is amazing. The wife has not complained at all. Yet.

  46. OK, tell me why I need a Kenmore 350 water softener for my house ? The present water softener is dead and very old. I opened the salt reservoir last night and found salt, discolored water, three dead lizards, a bunch of dead bugs, etc, etc, etc. I tried valving it out last night and found out that my entire house water goes through it. There is no piping bypass that I can see. I am very concerned that we are getting contaminated water in our house. The daughter overheard me telling the wife about it and yelled “did I just shower in bug water ?”.

    All the house lines, including the outside spigots? Do you have a pool at the new old house? Any neighbors with pools who may have helped themselves to some water while the house was on the market?

    Water flowing to the house goes through the internal tank filled with rosin beads which catch the minerals and do the actual softening of the water. The salt reservoir only comes into play during the cleaning cycle for the beads.

    Chances are your city water has more than enough chlorine to kill anything pulled from the salt reservoir into the inner tank during cleaning, but you want to have a plumber out to rehab or (more likely) replace the softener. I’ve only seen those all-in-one units last about 5-7 years before the screens rust out and rosin starts pouring out of the bathtub spigot.

    Unplug the timer and the cleaning cycle won’t happen. That will prevent “bug water”, but again, you’ll want a pro out to discuss options fairly soon.

    I’ll bet the screens are already rusted out and all the rosin is gone from the inner tank. I’d also be surprised if the timer even moves when plugged in if the unit is outside.

    I do own a softener and recommend having one out here on the edge of Hill Country. Dunno about the Houston swamps. We went a few years with a half-working unit, and the minerals in the local MUD water trashed our ice maker as well as doing bad things to the fairly new water heater that the previous owners installed shortly before putting the house on the market.

    My current softener is high end. $1800 IIRC, with separate rosin tank and salt reservoir. No brand name — assembled by the install tech from parts sourced from multiple manufacturers. No problems other than it does use a lot of salt.

    16 years. Two houses owned. Four softeners, one replacement job at each house.

  47. My dead GE softener had a bypass valve on the back of the control head. But anyway, if the machine is dead, and not recharging, it doesn’t matter what is in the brine tank beyond the “ick” factor.
    Without the bypass valve water still goes through the resin tank…. it’s just your resin tank isn’t being recharged.

    Thanks !

    That resin ? mixing ? tank must have something in it because I am getting a nasty smell out of my east side water heater. The wife is washing all the clothes in cold water now until I get it fixed. And both water heaters are only four year old Bradfords.

  48. Chances are your city water has more than enough chlorine to kill anything pulled from the salt reservoir into the inner tank during cleaning, but you want to have a plumber out to rehab or (more likely) replace the softener. I’ve only seen those all-in-one units last about 5-7 years before the screens rust out and rosin starts pouring out of the bathtub spigot.

    Unplug the timer and the cleaning cycle won’t happen. That will prevent “bug water”, but again, you’ll want a pro out to discuss options fairly soon.

    This Kenmore 350 unit is dead, dead, dead. No power usage, no display, no fuse that I can find.

    Our water comes from three wells that are about 2,000 ft deep. The three wells service the 450 homes in our 550 lot subdivision of one and two acre lots. No chlorine, the aquifer is very clean. No MUD. We all have septic tanks.

  49. @lynn

    Is the softener on the house exterior, or garage, or ??

    I’d be inclined, even though I am a sometimes cheapskate, to get a qualified/licensed plumber to do the work. Chances are there are other things that need fixing. And to ensure that the work is proper. (I can’t remember if schedule 40 PVC is strong enough for house water pressure. Or if it is allowed by your local codes.)

    Sounds like the installation was do-it-yourself – as evidenced by the electrical work (which is probably suspect). I’d look for other instances of DIY work.

    A licensed area plumber would be my preference. They could install a main shutoff valve if needed. And ensure that all parts are below the frost line.

  50. OK, tell me why I need a Kenmore 350 water softener for my house ?

    I couldn’t make that decision when we moved in and were the first owners of this house. Shortly after our move in, a door to door came by to tell us about how much we needed a water softener. My response was that my degree was B. S. Chem. Eng. Without a salutation, he turned around and left.

    53 years later, still here salt-free and symtomless.

    2
  51. This Kenmore 350 unit is dead, dead, dead. No power usage, no display, no fuse that I can find.

    If the timer doesn’t move, the cleaning cycle for the rosin doesn’t happen so it really doesn’t matter what is in the salt reservoir at this point.

    I thought a bypass valve at the back of the softener was code. Don’t tell me the lines connecting the softener to the house are plastic. The horror!

  52. That resin ? mixing ? tank must have something in it because I am getting a nasty smell out of my east side water heater. The wife is washing all the clothes in cold water now until I get it fixed. And both water heaters are only four year old Bradfords.

    Have you drained the tank in the heater recently?

    Google for directions. You may not like what you see coming out of that hose at first.

  53. I’ve always looked at the toilet tank to help determine when/if the water heater should be drained.

    If there is sediment there, then there is probably some in the water heater. If no sediment in the toilet tank, then probably the water heater doesn’t need draining. If you do drain anyhow, I suspect the tank interior is clean.

    Now, if you have sediment clogging up only the hot water screens in the washer, then that’s an indication of sediment in the water heater. Or a electric heater that has a potential to fail because the anode is failing. If sediment in all faucet screens, that’s an indicator (especially with the toilet tank sediment) that you have sediment in your water supply. And draining the water heater might be a good idea.

    The expected life of a water heater averages 8-12 years for electric, and 15 years for gas. Although they can last longer – my electric one is about 22 years old, and still works OK.

  54. Our gas water heater has been making bubbling popcorn noises for the 12 years we’ve lived here. When we have a plumber do the master bath work, I’m thinking about doing two tankless heaters, one for kitchen and laundry, one for the two baths. It’s mainly because of locations and length of runs that I’d do two. Also that lets me use smaller units, so smaller gas lines.

    n

  55. Plugging away at small jobs. Got the new switch installed on my drain machine. Works great now. Thinking about running it in the line, but can’t find my gloves. They are very specific that you must only use leather. I’ve used cloth, but they do get caught up in the snake.

    Went thru a box of gub stuff. Found some resale items in there. Mags for gubs I don’t have, holsters too. Found some bike tire stuff, road tire inner tubes, for ebay as well. Moved some stuff. Can’t find the micro-sprinkler stuff I’m pretty sure I have. One more place to look, then I’ll have to buy some.

    n

  56. That’s interesting about sediment in the toilet tanks.

    My current softener is a Fleck 5600 SXT. Shrug. “on-demand 64,000 grain”. I went large on the theory of “resin can only soften X amount, more reserve means few cycles, which means longer life”. I could be wrong.
    This is what I bought to replace the GE all-in-one:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/142684195867

    All of $639 delivered. Less than the all in one units at Lowes.

    Testing the water, ah, that’s somewhat of an art to me. The electronic TDS gizmo isn’t very useful beyond telling you the total dissolved solids. It’s not for testing softness. It does tell you the R/O system under the sink is working.

    This tests softness: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008FM7WLU?tag=ttgnet-20
    According to it, my hardness is zero from the kitchen faucet. From the faucet at the well, my hardness is 24 to 26 grain… pastel shades of pink or purple, I forget.

    But hardness changes with the seasons and rainfall. Ok, from a well. City water may differ.

    I need to re-test. I do know the Fleck unit I have alternates between displaying clock and gallons remaining until recharge. I started it with 18 hardness and the display showed 1300 gallons until recharge. After testing the water, I set the machine to 24 grain and _boom_ it went from 1300 gallons to 780. That seems like a lot.

    So, yes, it does seem to use a lot of salt. I do need to re-test. Many re-tests.

    But for all I know the old GE let me set water hardness and pretty much lied about what it did, if it ever actually worked correctly. The new softener actually works, the shower is cleaning itself. Yeah, Mr. Lazy needs to get out the vinegar.

    The water heater stopped singing and whining after two weeks. I call that a good thing. The dishwasher is almost back to “brand new shiny”.

    Greg’s price of $1800 seems reasonable when allowing for payroll, office rent, a pretty van with the company logo painted on the side, and etc.

    Ok, “using a lot of salt” may be because the softener is set too high for hardness. I’m going to tinker over here…..

    But salt is cheap….

  57. Our gas water heater has been making bubbling popcorn noises for the 12 years we’ve lived here. When we have a plumber do the master bath work, I’m thinking about doing two tankless heaters, one for kitchen and laundry, one for the two baths. It’s mainly because of locations and length of runs that I’d do two. Also that lets me use smaller units, so smaller gas lines.

    The minerals and sediment at the bottom of the water heater tank cause the popcorn noises. For lack of a better word, the mineral “chips” emit bubbles as they heat up and dissolve, and the bubbles breaking the surface of the muck at the bottom of the tank cause the popping sound.

    I call them “chips” since the effect is similar to putting a marble chip in a beaker of water in chemistry class to get the liquid to boiling faster. Or, if you prefer, salt in a pan when making spaghetti.


  58. Nick last night: You use a scanner, and I have a flatbed, but as mentioned, we are OLD. My wife routinely uses her app where she would have used a scanner. My camera app on my phone offers to scan the text in any picture I take of a page of text… it also offers to go to any links in the image, or follow any QR codes. The app de-skews, white balances, coverts to text, and saves somewhere you can then send it somewhere else.

    Wow. I can hardly get my photos to be in focus and I’m using a smart phone that is only six months old. Seven is my total app count (that I’ve installed successfully): A compass, Kindle, Colornote, excel, gas buddy, iExit and Waze. I couldn’t get Facebook, eBay, Craigslist, or any of three Pedometers and a couple of dozen other things to work. I wouldn’t consider on-line banking from my phone.

    Texting is next to impossible. I have arthritis in my hands and a repaired thumb where the bottom joint was crushed into hundreds of pieces. Typing on a keyboard is bad enough.

    I’m 75 and used an oscilloscope to work on the first computers I maintained for the Air Force. I’ve written in machine code, Fortran, Cobol, a dozen of versions of Basic, PL1, Paradox for Windows as well as for 6502 and Intel processors. I’ve supervised a major rewrite of a mainframe compiler and a half-dozen updates. I built numerous desk stop systems, installing DOS, Windows, OS/2 and Linux in various flavors. But my wife got sick and I spent several years taking care of her and too much of what I know is useless today.

    My web site – fordfe.info – is written in html. I’m slowly taking it to CSS.

  59. Dixondale sent their emailed onion newsletter today, and there is a great article about Growing Onions In Containers.

    In North Central Texas, we set out the little onion plants in January. Also: in the South, we have to plant “Short Day Onions”, because onions are one of those plants that is dependent on the number of hours of darkness to determine its growth.

  60. Greg’s price of $1800 seems reasonable when allowing for payroll, office rent, a pretty van with the company logo painted on the side, and etc.

    Ok, “using a lot of salt” may be because the softener is set too high for hardness. I’m going to tinker over here…..

    No, the company who installed the softener isn’t like that at all. One guy operating out of his house nearby, no advertising. The components are designed to be replaced without throwing away the whole system. My only gripe is that he replaced Sears’ hack install piping with PEX.

    I spent $500 on a Sears softener install in Florida which was effectively done when we moved five years later.

    The one time I thought had a leak here, the tech was out within an hour.

    We have really hard water, drawn from the lake up near Georgetown. I wanted a serious system.

  61. Dang it, I am out at the meter trying to turn the water off. I cannot find the valve before the meter. It has some sort of weird locking mechanism.

    I know why the water softener fired itself. They ran a patch cord from a non cfci plug / circuit inside a bedroom to the water softener. The patch cord got cut somehow or else caught on fire. Both positive and neutral wires were melted. There was no ground wire or shield. A fire waiting to happen. Lots of wiring inside the water softener is burnt. It is toast.

  62. My web site – fordfe.info – is written in html. I’m slowly taking it to CSS.

    My web site is mostly HTML with a little CSS. I get over a GB of traffic a day, I want it to be fast. I have written all of my database code in C++ to make it as fast as possible and some searches still take up to ten seconds. But those searches are in the background as the website is deciding if this is a good guy or a bad guy.
    https://www.winsim.com/


  63. Texting is next to impossible. I have arthritis in my hands and a repaired thumb where the bottom joint was crushed into hundreds of pieces. Typing on a keyboard is bad enough.

    Most Apple and Android smartphones have great voice recognition. Tap the mic button in the text app and say what you want. I use this all the time when driving if I need to send a text.

    “Hey, Siri, text Robert V Sprowl” “What would you like to say” This it plays back. Then just say “Send”

  64. On android, I use the voice recognition all the time to input text. I only recently figured out that I can dictate the punctuation too. 🙁 I use voice for navigation, and if I remember I ask it to read me my most recent text message…

    WAY easier than even swype.

    n

  65. Spent some time crawling around on the roof with sample shingles. We’re ready to continue with replacing our hail damaged roof now that it’s getting cooler. I was really uncomfortable with the guys working up there in the heat of summer. They charge more for it too. And they were all busy and in a hurry. I’d rather be the focus of their attention. It’s down to two choices, and we’ll have to see them in the sun tomorrow.

    n


  66. I know why the water softener fired itself. They ran a patch cord from a non cfci plug / circuit inside a bedroom to the water softener. The patch cord got cut somehow or else caught on fire. Both positive and neutral wires were melted. There was no ground wire or shield. A fire waiting to happen. Lots of wiring inside the water softener is burnt. It is toast.

    That calls for a celebration tonite. Better It be toast and not the house and the people within.

  67. Hearing Aids:
    One of the best features of the hearing aids I am trialling is the Android App and the mute button. When you activate that, all of a sudden they transform from sound enhancing thingies into quite effective ear plugs. Very handy for annoying sounds not discerned under normal conditions.

  68. @Marcello

    Very handy for annoying sounds not discerned under normal conditions.

    Wives? Kids? Dogs? Politicians?

  69. Wives? Kids? Dogs? Politicians?

    First and last mainly but I will deny ever making this statement. 🙂
    and I am fortunate to only have had one wife.
    And if you get caught you are in Big trouble mate.

  70. Haha Gov Gruesome:

    CA just became the first state in the nation to mandate the study and development of proposals for reparations.

    I imagine the grifters are lined up out the door. How many WHITEYS! will submit proposals?

  71. CA just became the first state in the nation to mandate the study and development of proposals for reparations.

    ¡Reparations, No! ¡Repatriation, Si!


  72. they transform from sound enhancing thingies into quite effective ear plugs

    My devices use open ear tips that don’t seal the ear canal so that ambient sounds are still available. Also reduces issues with pressure changes to do altitude changes.

  73. OK, tell me why I need a Kenmore 350 water softener for my house ?

    I couldn’t make that decision when we moved in and were the first owners of this house. Shortly after our move in, a door to door came by to tell us about how much we needed a water softener. My response was that my degree was B. S. Chem. Eng. Without a salutation, he turned around and left.

    53 years later, still here salt-free and symtomless.

    I now understand that water softeners are actually water polishers. I have a lot of experience with industrial water polishers for both online and makeup water systems up to 8,000 gpm. This was about as reckless and poor an install as I have ever seen. I am surprised that the house did not burn down when the softener burned up.

    I have no idea if we need a water softener. It is obvious that we have not had one since we moved in. We just need to be able to sleep without fear of getting torched some night.

    I spent an incredible amount of time trying to get the dadgum valve in front of the water meter closed. After I dug six inches of clay gumbo out of the meter box, I finally could move it. But, I finally got the valve closed and got my loop put in before the water softener now laying on its side. And, the two pipes running along the foundation to the former water softener were only one inch away from the foundation and two inches below the ground.

    Tomorrow or Saturday I will put the pipes in a valve box and back fill the hole (nice suggestion Greg !). And I will dissemble the water softener for my trash truck buddies. I wonder where I put my 20 lb sledge ?

    BTW, I obviously won’t put in a new water softener without putting in a dedicated GFCI circuit. I cannot believe that a Sears installer did this so I suspect that it was the first home owner or a independent installer.

  74. A Michael Snyder article, so grain of salt and all that, but it’s hitting mainstream consciousness.

    Global Food Shortages Are Becoming Very Real, And US Grocery Store Chains Are Preparing For Worst Case Scenarios

    Frankly, if true, it’s great that stores are getting ready. They’ve got a pretty good insight into supply chain issues and have a very forward looking business schedule. Still, I’ve got empty buckets, and I think I might have to fix that.

    n


  75. I have no idea if we need a water softener.

    Sears used to provide tests for free. You can probably get your water tested for a few dozen dollars.
    I have a Kenmore softener on my whole house that has lasted twenty years and is still going. About a dozen of those years were with three kids in the house. It failed once when an intricate gasket got mangled – maybe because of some grit in the water. It is integral to the aspiration pump that sucks the brine out of the resin tank after a recharge. I just bought a new gasket and installed it myself. I think it was about $15.00, but might have been double or triple that. I ran some cleaner through the system once a few years ago. I couldn’t tell whether it was needed or not. My softener has a bypass as part of its quick connection system. I can disconnect the softener while the bypass stays in place, keeping the house supplied with water. My hardness is about twenty grains per gallon, and I use 40 lbs of salt every couple of months or so. It was more like every month with the kids at home. I can tell when the softener has just recharged, but don’t notice that it needs to recharge. When we travel, the hard water at motels feels grippy, or the opposite of slippery. The softener gets rid of some iron, but leaves behind enough that it is a minor problem, leaving a sort of fine brown sediment on porcelain.

  76. Tomorrow or Saturday I will put the pipes in a valve box and back fill the hole (nice suggestion Greg !). And I will dissemble the water softener for my trash truck buddies. I wonder where I put my 20 lb sledge ?

    BTW, I obviously won’t put in a new water softener without putting in a dedicated GFCI circuit. I cannot believe that a Sears installer did this so I suspect that it was the first home owner or a independent installer.

    Huh? Suggestion? I always recommend qualified professionals when dealing with potential big ticket repairs.

    The previous owners of our house were sloppy about DIY. The vanity light fixture in my kids bathroom was held in place with drywall tape hidden by the base. Wedding planner and architect — everything was surface with them.

  77. A Michael Snyder article, so grain of salt and all that, but it’s hitting mainstream consciousness.

    Global Food Shortages Are Becoming Very Real, And US Grocery Store Chains Are Preparing For Worst Case Scenarios
    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/global-food-shortages-are-becoming-very-real-and-us-grocery-store-chains-are

    Frankly, if true, it’s great that stores are getting ready. They’ve got a pretty good insight into supply chain issues and have a very forward looking business schedule. Still, I’ve got empty buckets, and I think I might have to fix that.

    n

    OK, this comment is hilarious:
    “Tell me about your cat recipe, asking for a friend.”

    1
  78. Tomorrow or Saturday I will put the pipes in a valve box and back fill the hole (nice suggestion Greg !). And I will dissemble the water softener for my trash truck buddies. I wonder where I put my 20 lb sledge ?

    BTW, I obviously won’t put in a new water softener without putting in a dedicated GFCI circuit. I cannot believe that a Sears installer did this so I suspect that it was the first home owner or a independent installer.

    Huh? Suggestion? I always recommend qualified professionals when dealing with potential big ticket repairs.

    ====================================

    If you are going to dig down a bit, this might be a good time to install a box, like a sprinkler control box, and have a ball valve… easy way to turn off the water when needing to replace a faucet.

    Sorry, it was Paul who made that suggestion. Thanks Paul !

  79. Huh? Suggestion? I always recommend qualified professionals when dealing with potential big ticket repairs.

    Hey, I am a professional ! The Great State of Texas even gave me a Professional Engineers License. And sometimes I am qualified ! Of course my plumber buddy thinks that I am an idiot since I could not get the stupid water valve closed without his help via texting.

    At least I am professional enough not plug in an outside wet device into an interior house circuit without an GFCI. Although, I was not professional enough to disconnect the device when I bought the house and moved in.


  80. At least I am professional enough not plug in an outside wet device into an interior house circuit without an GFCI.

    For the neophyte, what is a GFCI? Is it a Global Financial Crisis In-house?

    1
  81. At least I am professional enough not plug in an outside wet device into an interior house circuit without an GFCI.

    For the neophyte, what is a GFCI? Is it a Global Financial Crisis In-house?

    Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. It detects an imbalance between the ingoing amps and the outgoing amps and trips the circuit. It is used for electricity in wet areas such as bathrooms, garages, or patios.
    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Residual-current_device


  82. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.

    Great. Thanks. I call it Circuit Breaker down here. The traditional circuit breakers and fuses have long been superseded here. Less chances of seeing a nail across contacts lately. 🙂

  83. The GFCI is supposed to keep you from getting electrocuted in a wet area if something goes wrong with the outlet or whatever you plugged into it. I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but it probably works to 5 nines reliability….

    n

  84. The GFCI is supposed to keep you from getting electrocuted in a wet area if something goes wrong with the outlet or whatever you plugged into it. I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but it probably works to 5 nines reliability….

    Yep. Having said that 110 is a walk in the park. I have been kicked by 220/240 several times. My old heart would probably not like it very much nowadays and anything over that I just don’t touch…
    In Oz, legally, Only certified electricians can do anything whatsoever with electricity…

  85. The GFCI is supposed to keep you from getting electrocuted in a wet area if something goes wrong with the outlet or whatever you plugged into it. I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but it probably works to 5 nines reliability….

    The only problem that I have with GFCI’s is that when they have tripped too many times, their springs get weak and they start tripping even more frequently. Then the GFCI must be replaced.

  86. The only problem that I have with GFCI’s is that when they have tripped too many times, their springs get weak and they start tripping even more frequently. Then the GFCI must be replaced

    Which trumps replacing you or the house periodically, I would have thought. I think you can call that a definite win.

  87. Yep. Having said that 110 is a walk in the park. I have been kicked by 220/240 several times. My old heart would probably not like it very much nowadays and anything over that I just don’t touch…
    In Oz, legally, Only certified electricians can do anything whatsoever with electricity…

    I was an electrician in a five unit 840 MW (1,000,000 hp) power plant for a year. I am still alive … Then I was an instrument tech for a year and a maintenance dude for a year. Then I was a roving power plant test engineer for two years across 40+ plants. I have broken more stuff over the years than I remember.

    Me and another guy (shop leadman) replaced a 120 volt distribution panel live once. The sucker was five foot tall with a 500 ? 1,000 ? amp feed. I had 120 volt going through my body for about five minutes while I was bolting on a new power distribution bar. He was continuously yelling at me to get that left hand back in my back pocket. You are ok as long as you don’t ground a hand while the other hand is live and get electricity across your heart. Not something I want to do either since having heart ablation surgery two years ago.

  88. At least I am professional enough not plug in an outside wet device into an interior house circuit without an GFCI. Although, I was not professional enough to disconnect the device when I bought the house and moved in.

    I thought that the water softener was dead when you bought the house.

    Our rental around the corner had a Sears softener well past its 5-7 year lifespan. When I spotted it in the garage and asked the landlord, he had no clue as to whether the unit still worked. Still, the softener was inside and not exposed to the elements.

  89. Hey, I am a professional ! The Great State of Texas even gave me a Professional Engineers License. And sometimes I am qualified ! Of course my plumber buddy thinks that I am an idiot since I could not get the stupid water valve closed without his help via texting.

    The only reason I have one of those water main valve ‘T’ tools is that it is necessary occasionally to fix the “dog” gears inside my washer, when removing the agitator.

  90. I have the big T tool for getting down into the box to the valve, and I just bought the little T tool for getting the box cover off.

    Normally I just use a big azz screwdriver, but the tool was in an auction… so I bought one.

    n


  91. The GFCI is supposed to keep you from getting electrocuted in a wet area if something goes wrong with the outlet or whatever you plugged into it. I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but it probably works to 5 nines reliability….

    The only problem that I have with GFCI’s is that when they have tripped too many times, their springs get weak and they start tripping even more frequently. Then the GFCI must be replaced.

    Many years ago I ran the swimming pool pump on a timer (early 1990s experiment in Toronto with different rates at different times for electricity). Only ran the pump evenings and weekends. Cheap timer on a GFCI for a (3-amp I think) pump. Had to replace the cheap timer and GFCI every year or so (especially the timer – a proper timer for that circuit was hundreds of dollars) as the load was too high. Maybe that was $50 a year. One year I got a $220 credit against my power bill (their estimated billing did not take putting a timer on the line into account). Nice surprise!!!

Comments are closed.