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WindTapper's Blog

July 2015

My Summer TV Favorites

As my taste runs toward Sci Fi and Hacker "crap", you won't be surprised to learn that I enjoy most the following programs this summer:

Defiance, Killjoys, Dark Matter -- the Sci Fi Channel (Friday evening).

Suits, Mr. Robot -- USA (Wednesday evenings).

Humans, Halt and Catch Fire -- AMC (Sunday evenings).

And last but not least, since I lost track of it until last evening, the sci fi series that you would never expect to be on ABCFam,

Stitchers -- Tuesday evening.

El Nino Year

We actually got a Derecho here a week or two ago, and I think we are getting a baby Derecho again, soon. We only get small amounts of dry weather nowadays. It has been too difficult to spray against bugs, in between flash floods, lol.

Today I finally sprayed some more poison ivy, after getting to cut trees and brush around our house. Mowing lawn has been hit or miss, too, since the water creates extra weight for our mowers to move if I were to mow while it is wet.

On the other hand, we have plenty of grapevines growing around the furnace exhaust area, which is definitely a carbon sequestration factor. However, I am going to clear all that away as soon as we have some more dry weather. Perhaps in a week or so, lol.

We had two floods over the bridge that is at a corner of our property, but the floodplain on the other side was inundated at the same time. Our sewer system levy held up very well, but I worry about standing water behind it after the flood. I need to fill in that low spot so that water runs off, in order to avoid the softening of the land next to the creek, and further erosion of the creek banks on our side.

Shower time, since it is so freaking muggy outside!

Hasta luego, amigos!

Watermelon Dreams in Song

On a side note, lol, I find that I have much richer dreams after eating watermelon with dinner.

I wonder if Richard Brautigan wrote any poems called "Watermelon Dreams"?

In Watermelon Sugar (1968) is Richard Brautigan's novel.

"Watermelon Dreams" by Guy Clark is on YouTube. This video is linked to another one that follows it automatically when you play the first. I have not yet sat down to see how many Guy Clark songs follow. You might remember how to enlarge the video window, too, before going there.

Man, that was a good performance by Guy Clark. Go forth and eat watermelon, folks!

Saturday Chores

I am rebuilding our old car to use as a backup for my older van. Actually, I hope to semi-retire the van, but the old car -- which is 12 years newer than the van -- needs a new transmission and battery. It was my husband's car, btw. It is becoming mine/ours.

We might have one day free of rain, today. So now I am trying to charge the old battery and find out how to operate the old car so that I can "own it."

It needs gasoline, too. Oh me, oh my. Getting the gas cap open is a chore that I might have figured out how to accomplish. Getting the hood open without the battery turned out to be possible this morning.

So much of the newer cars is electrified, you see. Luckily, my experience with the van told me that I must push down on the lid to get it to pop up so that the latch can be accessed. Ho Hum.

Pulling weeds is another chore, that might have to wait a few more days. The length of the weeds helps me to grab them, plus the moisture in the soil lets me yank them out. But I need to go get a new battery for the old car today because the rain is abating for this one day.

We did not really have a "Dog Days" last year. Perhaps we won't have one this year either.

BTW, I am still studying calculus. I got a book on pre-calculus, too, which I started last night. It has been at least 40 years since I took that in the 10th grade. I remember enjoying the binomial theorem much more than is possible in my new "Just In Time" review book....

Oh yes. The Internet is wonderful! I was able to look up beet cultivation from several perspectives and ran into a multi-part piece on building an above-ground garden. That could help me avoid water-logged soil, as well as poisoned (by Black Walnut trees) soil....

Drainage Ditches

Rain is coming our way -- enough to trigger flash flood warnings. The last time we had such a rain event -- a few weeks ago -- our neighbor's driveway's drainpipe clogged up with wood and the flood was a mess all over the road and their yard. Then our creek flooded from a new -- new to me -- direction.

Since we got the new bridge, now our creek floods across our other neighbors' yards. I think the bridge is slowing up the drainage from our creek. I insisted that the county engineer's department widen the creek on the other side of our lane because my neighbor had lost 3 cars and her garage always flooded due to the overgrowth across the street from her. Now, her place didn't flood in that manner. Instead, the flood came from behind her house.

She is dead and gone, btw.

So anyway, now that a new storm approaches, I've been out making sure the drainage ditch above our house is cleared up properly. It is very hot work. I am using the dirt and cinders that I'm getting out of the ditch to fill in the low spot by one corner of our house -- the corner by the whirligig. I have several hours before the rain is going to start in earnest, but it is expected to rain for days once the main front gets to us in Southeast Ohio.

This is the same system that is flooding Abilene Tx and parts of Missouri -- Roaring River State Park -- right now. I hope it doesn't start raining here until tonight...

I am taking time off to cool down right now. Heat stroke is not fun, but I'm doing OK with time to rest in between digging sessions.

Also, still working on the generator. A cotter pin is my newest revelation, for attaching a hollow metal pole to an anchor that has a swivel attached with a metal key ring to the anchor. A cotter pin gives two ends of a metal crosspiece to grab onto.

I am still working on how to create a barrier from precipitation getting onto the pole before the generator gets wet..... A barrier that is a cone presents resistance to wind, and so, would create extra wear and tear on all the connections, you see.

Positive Idea

I couldn't tell you how many hours I have spent trying to design a magnetic generator for my large whirligig that has been spinning for over a year in the same place in our yard. The problem lies between wind turbulence and the need to control the side-to-side motion of the gig.

I had already decided that a narrower gig was the way to go, but that still requires an anchor which interferes with the space in between, where I want to put the coils. I know. Having a central pole allows access on the sides if the anchor is at the bottom of the pole.

But I still have this large gig. So now I got an idea to make the large gig into a static electricity generator, with its malleable anchor as a hoop over the tall ceramic pipe.

When I dry polyester nightgowns in our electric dryer, with no dryer sheet, I get nasty static sparks upon trying to pull the nightgown apart from itself at the end of the cycle. So the electric charge holds the like sides of the material together. I had been thinking it was a positively charged fabric, but I think, actually, that polyester is negatively charged.

Oops. I was thinking that if I wrap nylon around the hoop, then place a metal screen over another piece of nylon, wrapped around the ceramic pipe, where the two pieces of fabric could rub against each other during the spinning of the gig, then I could get the discharge to flow into the screen. I was thinking of the discharge as negative. But if Polyester is involved and if it is negative, then it is held together by a positive ion.

All I know is that when that nightgown discharges into my chest, it hurts. So there must be some power there. I'll just have to try it.
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