Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The last few days I've been putting in long hours in the desert, building large structures out of steel. In the evening, I bring a truckload of stuff that needs to be fixed back to the duplex. The last few weeks I've been frustrated with my Makita drill/driver. I bought this thing back in the 90's and it's the best all around tool I've ever owned. It's got an expensive habit of going through NiCad batteries (around $35 each) and lately I had problems with the charger. Again. Last time I found a used one that I bought.
This time I decided I'd fix it or replace the guts with a 9v charger that I had laying around. So I took it apart and found a little circuit board inside that everything was wired to. I remembered that someone once told me that most service techs fix circuit boards like this: if there's corrosion they clean it off and then test the unit. If it works, they button it up, charge you $25 and go out to dinner on your dime.
If the cleaning doesn't work, they heat up a small soldering iron and lightly touch it to each connector on the board, reflowing the solder. They test it, and if it works, they put it together and charge you $35 and go out to dinner.
If that doesn't fix it, then it gets into deep dark secrets of leaking or clogged electrons, of which I know next to nothing, so I won't go there...
But I've learned that I can do the first 2 things. And you know what? I fixed the first one with the soldering iron ($5.95 at Radio Shack 10 years ago-came complete with solder). The second one I will do tomorrow.
Don't have to be genius, but a good memory goes a long way.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Today I was unbolting chainplates from the boat and I dropped one on my foot. When I drop things on my foot, though, the only thing between the thing I drop and my foot is, well, nothing. A chainplate is 3/8 inch stainless steel 8 inches by about 20 inches long. Maybe 20 or 25 pounds. If you drop one of these on your toe, you'll probably break the toe.
That's where the sandals come in... just tuck an ice cube between the toe and the sandal and keep on working. No sweat.
Put some iodine on it when you get home and don't drop anything else on it for a couple of months. 'Cause that would really hurt.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I found the hot glue gun and embedded the bare wires in a little capsule of hot glue to protect it from all the nasty stuff in the bilge (you can see lots of nasty stuff in the pictures) and to give the connections some strength. I'll probably buy a new Superswitch to replace this one and put this switch in storage for the spare. The regular switches aren't worth the money, and frankly, neither are the Superswitches. Maybe I'll just make one of my own and start selling them…
Saturday, October 17, 2009
We just got back tonight from Tucson, where we bought sandbags (among other things). If this thing dumps more water on San Carlos, we'll be a little better prepared. But there's still plenty of roads and bridges that are still out, and still plenty that could go wrong. Pray and prepare.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Arlene's track in 1963
I was on a 200 ft flat-bottomed troop transport ship in 50 ft seas. Of the 100 people on board, only 8 of us didn't get seasick (maybe I should have joined the Navy instead of the Marines). We were in that storm for 3 days and nights.
Wikipedia: A cloud mass in the central Atlantic became a tropical depression on July 31. It headed to the west, becoming a tropical storm on August 2. Arlene rapidly intensified that day to become a 100 mph Category 2 hurricane, but lack of outflow weakened Arlene to a tropical depression on the 4th. For the next three days, a disturbed area of low pressure that may have had a circulation moved to the northwest. On the 8th, while turning northeastward, conditions favored development again, and Arlene rapidly intensified to a hurricane that night. Arlene passed over Bermuda on the 9th, and, after reaching its peak of 100 mph again that night, steadily weakened until it became extratropical on the 11th. Arlene caused $300,000 in property damage in Bermuda, but no lives were lost.
Flora struck the southwest peninsula of Haiti on October 4 as a 140 mph hurricane, causing heavy rains. Flora then hit southeast Cuba near Guantanamo Bay on the same day, but a high pressure system to its north and west caused it to drift over Cuba and nearby waters. During this time, intense driving rains caused catastrophic flooding, resulting in thousands of deaths and millions in crop damage. A shortwave trough finally pulled Flora to the northeast, bringing the hurricane into the Atlantic Ocean on the 8th. Flora strengthened over the open Atlantic, but posed a threat only to shipping, and became extratropical on the 12th.Hurricane Flora originated from a tropical depression which formed on September 26 in the Central Atlantic. The depression moved rapidly west-northwestward, and on the 29th it reached tropical storm status. It then rapidly intensified into a 120 mph Category 3 hurricane by the 30th. Flora moved through the Leeward Islands, first striking the island of Tobago, and passing near Grenada shortly afterwards. Flora then crossed the Caribbean Sea and strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane, peaking at 140 mph winds.
Hurricane Flora was the 5th or 6th deadliest Atlantic hurricane of all time, causing over 7,000 deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, mostly due to flooding from intense rains as it stalled over Cuba and the surrounding areas. Damage estimates (mostly crop losses) reached over $500 million.
Friday, August 28, 2009
|2 cups||(dried; not reconstituted) TVP*|
|6||Dried Anchos or New Mexico chile or some combination of the two|
|2||Dried Chipotles; optional, if you want smokey flavor|
|½ teaspoon||Coriander seeds|
|¼ teaspoon||Cumin seeds|
|1 small||Piece cinnamon; about 1/3" x 3/4"|
|8||Cloves garlic; peeled and crushed|
|½ cup||Red wine|
|¾ cup||Water or stock|
|¼ cup||Oil or more|
This recipe is really a lot harder than it needs to be, in my lazy opinion. All the spices here I have already ground up... And two days in the fridge?? I could die of starvation.