Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Getting Comfortable


My maternal grandmother had overlapping toes.  I remember seeing some white canvas shoes with holes cut into the top so there was room for her toes to do what they did.  It was kinda cool to remember that, and realize we didn't even notice it was strange, unusual or different.  That was just the way it was.  I don't think she ever wore them in public, but they worked just fine with the custom modifications around the house. 

Exactly like this but with holes on top

I was thinking about that today, as I move things around getting the place to more suit to my needs.  Kinda of my own cutting holes in the shoes.  Do people do that anymore?  Do they make adjustments to things so they are more comfortable or do they go to the professionals for a consult?  Then order a custom fit from the professional maker of the whozit.  Self reliance is something I grew up with, and didn't even realize.  It's pretty cool to see that now.  And realize that I am almost perfectly capable of making what I need.

It's not about people anymore


When the repair guy ordered the part for the fridge, it showed arrival on 28 September.  Fully a month away.  What the actual heck is that?  So, I decided that feeding ice to the icebox wasn't gonna work long term.  So I picked up a 7 cubic foot chest freezer and one of these:  
Set the on temp at 35, and off at 30.  It cycles the freezer perfectly. Makes a dandy fridge that doesn't dump all the cold air out when I open it.  And it's small, doesn't take up the whole room like a full size fridge would.  ( I have fevered dreams gutting the freezer and using the cooling system in that beautiful old icebox....)

Found out the lightning took out my natural gas alarm, too.  So I ordered 2 to replace the one.  And I did that because this freezer uses ISOBUTANE for refrigerant?!?!?!?!?!??!  R600a.  Here's some comforting information:  
"As a refrigerant, isobutane poses a fire and explosion risk in addition to the hazards associated with non-flammable CFC refrigerants."   Oh thank you Uncle Sugar.  You so sweet!
So, in order to protect mother Gaia, the druids that infect our regulatory agencies decided an explosive would be more earth friendly.  Since natural gas rises when it leaks, and the heavier gasses like propane and butane sink, I got one for the old ceiling location and one for the floor, under the durn BS I just bought.  Remember Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd??  Yeah that exact B--- S-------!!!!!  I'll pass, too.

Move along "citizen"

I remember the last days of DDT.  Read stories of how innocuous it was to humans.  Just killed insects.  I think you could eat it without any problem.  Pour it under the house, mix it with paint, blow it into cracks for DECADES of deterrence.  Back in WW2, they blew that stuff all over folks to delouse them.  You can see old films of concentration camp inmates being dusted with it.  Some dingbat shows up with bad science and slick packaging... pffft! it's gone.  Replaced with things that are much more dangerous to humans.  And have a shorter lifespan than the insects they are supposed to control.  Oh, and sorry about all those dead malaria victims in Africa and Asia.  I guess those people don't matter to the druids.

Back when I was much younger and just starting out, we lived in a duplex.  They would spray for bugs on our side, wait a few weeks and spray the other side.  Waves of bugs every couple months came to visit.  I took a replacement ballast for a sodium vapor street light back to the house from work.  Boss said it was useless, sure take it.  I wired it up like an electric fence.  Ran a ground around the bottom and a low hot wire.    So I figure this hot wire is gonna help a few million bugs go to bug heaven.  Baited it, went to bed....  Lightning erupts in the kitchen, a healthy bzzzzaaaaap! and then....
BZZZZZZ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... zap!  
Then the smell of high voltage fried bug guts wafts through the air....  I hoofed it in there, unplugged it and threw it out the front door.  Good grief that was poorly thought out.  Great lesson on how smoke can provide an ionized path for arcs to follow.  That's about the only reason I don't assemble tiny laser turrets to encircle the house and go after those big palmetto bugs...  I figure I'd catch one on fire and it would run into the grass an burn the neighborhood down.  
DDT didn't do that.  R22 didn't do that.  But ISOBUTANE??  Really???  
Thanks Uncle Sugar.  You numbah ten.


  1. Back in the late thirties, my father helped his father work on the refrigeration systems of that time. Ammonia was the refrigerant of choice, and leaks were found with a lit sulfur stick. Between that, and years of soldering electrical components, there's no telling what he was exposed to.

    1. That is neat information. Mom told me about how the ice plant in Mangum smelled of ammonia. And how wonderful the ice delivery man was. He'd chop slivers off for the kids.

      In reading about the refrigerant, I found out that ammonia is very efficient for large scale refrigeration. Ice plant, meat locker, etc. Warehouse sized cooling... I think they use it in hockey rinks up in Canada. I don't know about here.

    2. And thanks for the visit! Come by anytime.

  2. I wonder STxAR.

    PCB’s were commonly used everywhere, and asbestos. Everyone smoked. My grandad smoked like a stack for 82 years and died when he was 86. Nowadays you can kill a class full of kids if one of ‘em has a peanut butter sammich. We mask up and shut down the economy for the bloody flu.

    I love that lathe build too. Stay busy!

    1. Glen, I think there are a few things at play in your observations. The first is the Teeth to Tattoo ratio. The closer that ratio is to 1:1 the harder they are to kill. A deacon driving 2mph that has a fender bender is DRT (dead right there). The same age hippy guy (I know this guy personally) hopped a train, fell under the car and got rolled up like a rag doll. Broke a majority of his bones.. And he walked out of the hospital and was cutting trees in six months. Second time he'd fallen under a train and was crunched up!! Some are just tough hombres.

      Nowadays, kids don't even see the sun. Bones are thin and brittle, no muscle development, and unable to socialize with anyone. Weak plants that haven't left the hot house. First good wind blows them down and they wallow around in the mud. Allergies are lessened by lots of outdoor dirt eating when they are feral. I'm really only allergic to work. Heh.

      I read a study that said asbestos only affected smokers. The little cilia in the lungs moved a steady stream of snot locker juice up and out and the fibers stuck to that, as designed. Smokers lungs don't have cilia movement like that, cilia are anesthetized. Snot locker fills up and they have to lung it out by coughing. Try and find that on the web now. I can't.

      But I remember dad's early morning ode to Marlboro. That's what kept me from ever smoking.... Well, unless I'm on fire....

      I'm getting geared up to move the parts into the shop on onto the Logan.... wohoooo!!!!

      And that flu? For the vast majority it isn't a problem. But is sure was a handy crisis (right Mr. Rahm Emanuel?)

  3. Back around 1987 I worked at a place on the north side of San Antonio that built industrial freezing equipment for the food industry. We are not talking about walk in freezers as you see at most big grocery stores. But big freezers that are like up to 40 foot wide by 40 foot tall by 100 feet or so in length. Most were much smaller but you get the idea. Most of these freezers had coolers that operated at -10-30 degree F below freezing. Most of the refrigerant systems ran on Ammonio, which could cool down to -30-40 degree F. They also built systems that could cool down to -60 degrees F using CO2 gas. That's cold!!!! At that time, there were six places in S.A. that had freezers built by them. Just about every chicken plant around had one of their freezing units for "Quick Freezing" of chicken parts before packaging and shipping to stores. Boy! I could tell you some stories of the chicken processing plants back then!!!!

    1. Gads man! That's almost as cold as Glen's basement! I may pass on the chicken plant stories. I've been in that one in Nixon, or was it Yoakum? I had to have a coat on as it was ice cold in the whole part I was in. The office was at the same temp as the rest of the warehouse. Hitting the 100/100 outside after that was tough.

      I knew a kid that got a welding job at a chicken plant in Eldorado, Arkansas. He said the splatter falling in all the blood around his feet was some kind of a smell. His first night after work, he walked in the door, his mom was frying chicken, and he threw up on the carpet. Turned him off fried chicken for quite a while.

      But -10 to -30, man, that is a quick freeze. I bet your nose would fall off in a minute.

  4. STxAR, I would do whatever makes you comfortable. Life is too darn short to have shoes and clothes that make one uncomfortable.

    It is odd how dependent our civilization has become on freezing and frozen things. It is across so much of our food and pharmaceutical industries now. A catastrophic failure would create a true nightmare scenario.