Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Gads, it is good that no one bid on this. Unbelievable…
eBay: Wi-Fi Speed Spray DramaticalIy Increase Data Throughput

This seller has sold a sidekick and a bunch of Motorola Q phones (perhaps before they're generally available) so other than this, appears to be an ok eBayer, strange indeed, to try to “pull” something over on unsuspecting wifi users...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The weekend

The weekend was spent in MN, on my way to a set of business meetings in Philadelphia.

Family is all doing well, niece was surprised at her “surprise” house warming. (Real Estate tip: buy houses in Eagle Lake, MN a small town about 2 miles from Mankato.)

Saw this quote on the wall at my sister’s:
Always behave like a duck, keep calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddle like the devil underneath.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Here, here... get your drives backed up. NYTimes.c...

Here, here... get your drives backed up. NYTimes.com: Circuits Newsletter    

In garage matters, I have more drywall up (only about 3 sheets left) and the remaining lights. Things are really shaping up in there now… (of course, the taping and painting is a big project, too, but let’s not get into that right now)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

More Drywall

Two more rows (sets) of drywall are in. I continue to find little “plumb” problems in the room…

Just in case you need to know: the adjective of plumb I’m talking about is “at right angles to the plane of the horizon or a base line”. Something the carpenter’s that built our house should have paid attention to, evidently.

I hope to finish dry-walling the west wall, get 4 more feet of joists in, get the last lights installed up in those joists –  by the end of this week. This should mean that we can rearrange the former occupants of this room, such as refrigerator and freezer movement, throwing out more stuff, keeping what we want to keep, and not having to worry about rain, animals, or the yard people. Taping/plastering, painting, carpeting may take the next couple of months, time permitting, and we’ve decided to do the sliding glass door in the spring…

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cabinet's are in! I had salvaged these cabinets from Matt's bedroom years ago, and they've been in the garage for as long. Yesterday and today I used my car jack, numerous levers and the lower cabinets as a support base to "hoist" the cabinets into position and mount them on the back wall (the new wall) in the garage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

San Fran Joins Wi-Fi Craze (someone needs to tell this guy that it's San Francisco, not San Fran, it's also not Frisco!)
Wireless Week newsat2direct 08/17/05 Table of Contents page 2

Monday, August 15, 2005

Drywall news! The 1st sheets on the ceiling are in! And I didn't pay $32/day to rent drywall hangers and I didn't pay $76/each for t-jak's -- I just used the 2x4's I had to make my own! Amazing, but true!

A bit more progress on the tackroom project - I have most of the siding installed on the outside wall. I've been working inside as well, with the insulation of the walls finished and then a few sheets of drywall up and installed.

I found out that the room is not square, oh surprise, surprise. I think the height of the west wall is about 3 inches shorter than the east wall... Oh, well, it was just a garage, right?

I have 2 of the recessed ceiling light fixtures installed and wired, I'll probably apply power to this circuit in the next day or so, which will improve lighting as I continue to work :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

All you need is an Industrial cryogenic cooling device and you too can make your computer go 10x faster!How to overclock to 7GHz - Engadget - www.engadget.com

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Electricity... hmm.. Yes, I want to write some about that today... I did nail in three more rows of outside boards are on the wall now. The big news of the day, however, is The electrical is now all complete. I finished wiring in the last box and tested each, and magic, I have 110 volts in each wall socket. BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE!

This made me think about that old WAV formula, and I'm not talking about sound files. In case you forget that standard old formula from high school physics, here it is:

Watts = Amps x Volts or WAV W=AxV

Watts are the basic unit of power, and other than being equal to the product of volts and amps, is defined as equal to one joule per second. If you want to convert Watts to Horsepower, multiply by 1.341E-03.

so remember that Watts is a unit of power having the dimension of time (energy per unit of time) Your power bill has a number of KWH or kilo-watt-hours or thousands of watt-hours. Volts are the unit of force, kind of like the force of pressure in a water hose (but let's not mix water and electricity, please!)... The thing is .. if your consumption of electricity increases rapidly, the power company compensates but "pushing" more electricity down to the substations and to the power transformers on the poles and eventually into your house! That's their job...

so W = A x V + A x V (of newly turned on appliance) + and so on

W = A x 110 + A2 x 110 + A3 x 110 + etc.

or, simplified

W/110 = A + A2 + A3 + etc.

the more things you turn on, the more watts (or thousands of watts = kilowatt) you turn on because each appliance is contributing it's own amperage "component" to the circuits in your house. When we say a circuit is rated for 20 amps, what we are saying is that the fuse in the fuse panel is going to blow or melt or trip or whatever at 20 amps of current flowing through that circuit. This is good, because if too much current flows because of this and that appliance being turned on, then the wires heat up to much and at the extreme, could cause a fire. (think of this like the water hose, but with the idea of more pressure being pushed down the hose as the appliances are turned on-- eventually, the hose would burst).

My power supply for my own laptop computer is rated or listed as 100-240V 1.5Amps, 50-60hz with the 50-60hz being the frequency at which the alternating current cycles back and forth. When I plug this into a 110 volt outlet, the W=110x1.5 = 165watts. It also lists that power it supplies to the laptop is 19.5volts, 4.62amps, 90watts and voila 19.5x4.62=90.09! So, where are the missing watts going! Feel the power supply, it's warm and indeed some of the power does get wasted in the transformation of power from one voltage level to another, thus the heat as the wires in the transformer get warm.

BTW, who is the Watt named after? What country was he/she from?

Hope you enjoyed the electricity lesson :-)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Julia did not get into the finals, but she shaved 3 seconds off her breaststroke time to 31.66. So best times in freestyle and breaststroke, but she didn't too so well in butterfly. She had a great time at the pool, it was very hot, but still she had fun with her friends. Her teacher from 2nd grade was there, watching her daughter on another team, so plenty of socializing.

We had a 3 hour power outage here today, started about 4pm, right when it was it's hottest (~102F). We got out of the house (there was an awards event for the swimmers, anyway). When we got back, it seemed to take forever to get the house cooled down. And this is what we pay the electric company 15-20 cents per kwh. Highest rates in the country and no sign of letting up. The paper said that they were asking for another rate increase and that they wanted to close all of their customer service offices. Nowhere else can you declare bankruptcy and come out with the customers footing the bill... :-(

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Julia won her heat in freestyle this morning, but didn't get into the finals, she did her 25 yard freestyle in 24.06 seconds, her best time by another 4 seconds. Her 24.06 put her in 24th place for all the heats, the leader was at 20.something, so these heats are all very tight. She's a little bummed by all of this, still young to understand it all. Of course, there were other bigger kids on our team who weren't making the times they wanted to either, and there were some real tears being shed some of the time.

She must of messed up her stroke in butterfly (she's usually pretty good at this stroke) because she was DQ'd. And that's how our day at the pool ended on Saturday!

I have 2 rows of outside boards now nailed in on the new wall in the tackroom. It's been staying hot outside until about 700 or 730pm, so I can't expect to get much else done.

Friday, August 05, 2005

It continues to be hot leading up to this weekend, I did get some insulation done on the west wall (pretty much complete with mostly 24" stud spaces. I also did one roll of 16" wide insulation in the new north wall... THEN I went out to find the outside planks for the new wall. They don't make the redwood v-grove stuff anymore, I guess it's too expensive, with redwood and all, I did find some "shiplap" that is pre-primed and in the right width. It's pine, but jeez, it's almost $18 for an 8 foot length, so my new wall requires about $370 worth of this stuff!

Julia is swimming in the city meet this weekend, so we'll be at the Concord pool early, no construction in the morning hours :-) Oh well.

Shihan John Choi is having training in the park on Sunday. I have to time at the swim meet after that. It's going to be in the 100's by the time I have to do that...
I saw a dead bird yesterday, just in case you don't know, you're supposed to call "vector control" in some areas, like ours, so that they can test the bird for the virus. It's part of the transmission chain. Spraying for mosquitoes is one way to keep that population down and then spread of virus is limited. Otherwise, use a good repellent. I see that MN is also on the watched state list, so be careful out there!

CDC West Nile Virus Homepage

Looks like MN is on the map with 4 deaths, 1 in Lyon county, just to the west of Redwood county.

Do you guys hear much about this issue in MN?

We have problems in Solono and Sacramento counties, which are to the north and east of us, primarily along the Sacramento delta area, I think

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well, I got the final studs in place in the wall and the window installed. Hammered in some electrical boxes and ran romex to all of them. I still need about 6' of roamex to complete the "circuit" so to speak.

I have to find the redwood sideboard for the outside of the wall, then insulate, and I should be ready for inside drywall.

Oh, the joys of intermittent construction...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Well, the stud wall is up, I have to find the window that's going into the opening. I have to get some regular work done, was up too early today, even so, we were late to school. So much to do...

Eunice's birthday today. Send her your best wishes!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Well, I overslept today, so didn't get anything done on my project. After Julia to school, then I was fully engaged in the "work" thing...

Morning (say about 6-8am) is about the only time to get anything done outside here, because of the heat later in the day.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Well, the concrete footing is now poured and is hardening for the wall to come. Check out the pictures, which are side by side exposures:

Here is the perfunctory handprint from my toolgirl, Miss Julia!

More later!