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WindTapper's Blog

March 2013

Minimal Progress Report

On two fronts we have minimal progress.
1. Shower rebuild:
I filled in spaces among boards with polyurethane foam, washed the old subfloor boards with a solution of water plus some 10+ year old Futura acrylic floor wax. The wax was needed to help at least partially seal the wood so I will be able to get a sheet of clear plastic to stick to the surface in order to stop moisture from being sapped away from the fresh cement when I finally start laying that on top of the wood.
I still need to add 2 X 4's to where the new cement board will meet the old wall, for support of the new wall, although now that I think on it, why would not the old walls edges also need support?
I cannot add the 2 X 4's on the walls lit by this picture, first because of the pipes, and secondly, the hole at the right is a doorway.
At least now I have a seal between the first floor and the crawlspace. That's progress.
2. The vats of pelletized lime are in three different stages, depending on how much water is involved.
Most water picture: the water arrives and only evaporates.
Here, water arrives as in the first pic, from precipitation. In this case, however, the water drains from the center of the bottom of the container. Also, this container is black while the first container was white.
The last container is clear plastic with no drain at its bottom, but it is usually covered so that no precipitation arrives. Some moisture comes from the exhaust of the furnace but only some individual pellets darken on their surfaces, a little bit.
Conclusion: I will need to try this experiment using only pure white lime to see if any blackness results from its exposure to the furnace gas. I suspect none will occur, but what the hay? Why not try it anyway?
These vats will need to be all emptied of their water when mosquito season arrives, I assume, anyway. Oh yes. The moss laden vats are getting green again. They were clear during the coldest weather, but not the moss is green again, even though it still freezes at night. Moss likes the flu gas.

Jorge Luis Borges

I have been reading the 2007 collection of Borges entitled Labyrinths lately, after rereading Harrison's Light which is also a physics labyrinth of the universe. Time and space relativity are treated in both books, as are psychological universes. I think I ended up reading them together because I ran out of money and these were left on my shelf as difficult books to understand, after having sold or donated many books that I had collected over my lifetime.
Borges's Labyrinths I read piecemeal, choosing pieces at random, although I shied away from the essays -- of which I still have a few to slog through. In at least one of his essays he seems to be "a parody of himself," which makes sense when you see him as a satarist. His dense cross referencing, finally, makes sense as a parody of himself when you find out from Wiki that he was a librarian later in life. He is making fun of scholars, frequently. In this he is a cultural critic, as well as in most of his works, possibly.
I tend to read collections of essays backwards, so I just recently read the first two pieces of the book. They make more sense now that I have read his later works because his themes recur throughout the collection. The Wiki article on Borges is quite succinct and I recommend it.
"The Immortals" left me a bit bereft because it never got around to Buddhism, but the Buddha was a man. Still, Borges goes on an on about how time is an invalid concept regarding the smell of a rose or the sight of a rosy sky, as well as the individual life being more than finite, so why not think of the Buddha as immortal?
And so, we have in Borges a writer who is more than "merely" a writer, because he was also the consummate critic. And are not theatrical productions also critiques of society? "Everybody's a critic" comes to mind....

With A Little Help

Last weekend I got help with the shower rebuild project from my husband, but also I consulted a fellow with a table saw who ripped me a board and gave me some advice. I apparently have to learn everything from scratch. Neither my husband nor I had handy fathers. Now, my mother build a doghouse once for our pet dog, but my dad had no skills along those lines. Some people simply don't. Some people only think in words rather than pictures, I've heard....
Anyway, I was trying to figure out how to cement the shower floor without a small cement mixer because the only cement I have ever used is QuickCrete. It sets so fast that I could not imagine mixing it in a wheelbarrow, then spreading it.
The fellow with the advice and the table saw said that if you mix concrete from scratch, not putting the hardener in it as QuickCrete has, it takes two or three days to set.
Oh. Duh. OK. Now I can see how to do it.

Two Thumbs Up

Admission had so many good actors that I don't know how the awards organizations will be able to sort them all out. Of course it's a "chick flick" but even the closing music rang true. Lilly Tomlin's light showed through, too, btw, even with her relatively small set of scenes.
Olympus Has Fallen is a training exercise for the joint forces represented by Secret Service, Marines, Joint Chiefs, and overall security coordination. Like War Games the movie runs through security risks we could face if we "take our eyes off the ball."
I have not gone to any kids' movies lately, sorry, moms. I tend toward art films besides the action and chick flicks. I don't know why I haven't been much interested in viewing films lately....
I finally finished M. John Harrison's Light again, and perhaps this time I understood it. Definitely syfy. Then, I am rereading the 2007 edition of Borges' Labyrinths. Some of these stories are as dark as Cthulhu. Even one that reminded me of "Minever Cheevee" turned twistedly dark at its end. Sometimes I wonder why people enjoy Borges. I think they must have dark views of life, which isn't surprising when you realize that I am basically a Pollyanna at heart. I like to be realistic, but optimism and self confidence make my world go 'round.

Just a Note or Two

Finally, we made progress on the shower rebuild project when my husband was able to provide backup while I went into the crawlspace to sweat the copper drain and set  more
wooden braces for the shower floor onto the mudsill. Most of the floor bracing was already installed by a professional carpenter and his helper, but that was before I removed the cement shower floor and had a clear view from above the subfloor of all the water damage to the entire shower floor.
Surprise! The drain connects through the custom hole in the floor that I refashioned a while back! I still need to tack a couple parts of the floorboards down to the bracing to keep them from rocking as the new cement will be drying.
The other, long term project is an experiment with our furnace exhaust to see what happens to pelletized lime in tubs that either collect or let water drain from them. A lot of black surface area -- which appears even thicker now -- covers the pelletized limevats, even as the total amount of lime decreases due to the drains. Pictures at six. That's a joke. Pictures will come when the weather gets sunnier. We are having heavy wet snow right now, which is not the right environment for trapsing around in the yard with a Nikon digital camera.
I am also still working in my mind on insulating electric fence aluminum wire, reliably and economically for making generators coils for the wind powered electric generators I am still designing. Sorry it is taking so long but I have a limited budget and life happens!
Keep the faith, dudettes and dudes!

Dear Diary

Watching Robot Combat League on Syfy with George Lucas and his daughter. This just came on our TV as I sat down to make this entry.
Readers of this blog will have to pay attention to the links at the left of the page for earlier info and journal entries, besides the "Older" link at the end of each page of this blog/journal.
I just started Spring Cleaning officially today, even though I still work on ideas for engineering both the manufacturing processes for wind powered electricity generators -- as described earlier -- plus my other big project which is rebuilding one of our showers that sprang serious leaks more than a year ago. I did not know the shower was leaking because we have a clay floor on the crawl space under it. Clay absorbs lots of water, especially with the heating ducts running through the crawlspace, drying it out.
So anyway, I have been too busy to post many entries lately, what with trying to find a job on top of regular housework and cooking.
I took a little time off to read Michael Crickton's Airframe yesterday and enjoyed it. I also rather enjoyed Dead Man Down at the movies although both works of art revealed some rather disturbing truths about our society. Airframe turned out to have much info about airplanes as well as TV news productions, while Dead Man Down shows how some gangs can take over whole buildings, as well as making a case for vigilantiism. As few people were in the theater when I went to that movie I wonder if this will be another dark horse that people eventually discover.
I got seeds for lemon balm mint plants plus a bag of soil to start them in. I am going to try another experiment, this time in organic gardening. I will try to repel spider mites by planting lemon balm around the bases of most of our fruit trees. The Bartlett Pear doesn't seem to need any help, btw.
On the generator fabrication front I keep going back to trying to figure out how to coat aluminum wire with insulation while winding a coil. I am working on a design for a machine that will do this, but it would have to stop after each layer of windings to let the coating dry.
Sorry I am so busy, but for newcomers, there are approximately 50 pages worth of material to read or view for their pictures, at least, so happy viewing while I try get caught up with all my necessary maintenance projects.

Pelletized Lime Carbon Sequester Experiment

In the Fall I put several containers of pelletized lime around the extended exhaust pipe from our home's furnace, hoping the lime could contribute to the sequester of carbon. So far I have found what looks like carbon has collected along what I might guess is an evaporation line on the pelletized lime.
I believe -- but do not know for sure -- that pelletized lime has carbon added to it to get it to not fly off as a powder, so the carbon evaporation line is actually leaching carbon from the pelletized lime, rather than from the exhaust of our furnace.
"One Step At A Time" is my motto for now -- in my Pollyanna state -- for this experiment. Someday I hope to learn more in these regards. Perhaps I will try to burn the dark stuff, plus search for other methods of positively identifying carbon chemically.
Here's the pix, y'all:
Precipitation gets into my little vats of pelletized lime, then evaporates. The lime is beige as you can see in the center of the dark circle where it is still dry. at the bottom is ice and the lime is a lighter shade han what is on top in the dry area.
This batch got more water in it, but it also has weep holes on its bottom for the water to leach away underneath.
I have been waiting what seems like a week for the sun to shine for taking pictures. This one illustrates better the contrast among wetted, evaporated, and original pellets' colors, as also does the following picture.
This vat also has holes at its bottom center to let water drain away. I guess because the upper corner is shielded from precipitation is why it is still dry and probably somehow explains why the evaporation line is located up there instead of at its center as shown on earlier pix of vats of pelletized lime.
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