Category Archives: holiday

Further grand motherly adventures

I am slowly cleaning out my grand mother’s attic and outbuildings. One of these outbuildings has always been storage for old things, and the other was supposed to store a riding lawn mower, but never did. Found this (Columbus day) time:

  • The wooden shell of an old television console that had belonged to her… niece? Anyway, it was full of old irons and was otherwise crapped up.
  • Three bags of completely set up concrete.
  • One unopened bag of rock salt for ice melting.
  • Two old 1 room school house desks.
  • A hole in the roof.
  • Ten t0ns of stink bugs.
  • Suprizingly few wasps and bees.
  • Miscellaneous wood scraps of no value.
  • Empty boxes and old styrophoam packaging inserts.

I am sure I’ve forgotten some things, but a good deal of trash was taken out and discarded. One of the outbuildings can now be walked into maybe 3 meters. The one with the hole in the roof still has to be torn down, as there is a large tree taking the roof off.

As an aside, one of the buildings is wired for electricity, and back in 2008 when a new roof was installed, the contractor unknowingly nailgunned through the Greenfield cable that ran the lights. This resulted in endless blown fuses until I was able to figure it out during a visit there. You can still see the writing on the cieling where I warn future users to not reconnect the wire. I should take that out someday.

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Return

I had been on vacation, a-visiting my parents and helping them with some project(s) they needed help on.

After driving the half-day needed to get back here, I feel barely able to blog about it, but I did unload a t0n of books on the library as donaties. Also, the cycens left a HUGE T0N of cycen crap on the droppings board, which I have cleaned up now and ventolized the coop out of the ammoniacal smell. You can tell I’m tired I’m misspelling things and don’t care really.

I’m off to take a shower and sleep.

Your author.

Idea for chemistry laboratory commissioning

Everyone who has ever taken a high school or college course in chemistry, biology or kindred sciences unquestionably remembers the, sometimes lurid, always present  warnings against doing things, normally, well, normal, but dangerous in a laboratory.1

Wear your safety glasses/googles.

No horsing around.

Label your experiments.

Clean up after yourself.

No food or drink.

This last one gave me an idea:

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Time to wait

According to my interviewers, I should be hearing something about my application status next week (March 21 – March 26).

Similarly, the canvassing period for another couple of positions ends March 18, so I might get contacted for an interview the week after, March 21 – 26.

That leaves me with a week (7 days) of waiting for news. As if to make it even harder1, the weather service says it will rain all week.

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A new use for net lights

I have found out that, properly obtained and displayed, those “net lights” (Example) that you can buy (in the United States atleast) to drape over shrubs and small trees in December for decoration are highly useful as room lights.

I have a 8 by 5 net hanging in the room behind my PC monitor and they provide a very pleasing diffuse illumination for my work, with a regular floor lamp in the room also. You can even get them in cool white (LED) or warm white (old style/incandescent). I prefer the warm white for where I am.

I advise getting the ones that plug in to a normal NEMA/Type A outlet for easiest use and best light output. Either way they have the advantage of only slowly burning out, instead of a normal light going all at once. I had a cheap one (from Walmart) last about a year of normal use.

A Visit to Satan

Every Christmas season (in the United States at least), two notoriously bad seasonal films are aired “for the lulz”. They are “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (wiki, IA) (you can’t beat a title like that) and “Santa Claus” (wiki, IA) of K. Gordon Murray. Both of these are hilariously bad in ways their creators probably didn’t intend. However, they are feature films, which can make watching them hard.

For a shorter, lighter dose of Christmas nonsense, I present the little known, but just as bad, “A Visit to Santa” by Clem Williams. A short little flick (less than 15 minutes) containing Santa and some children wandering around a 1960s shopping mall in (according to reviewers) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pay particular attention to the Tom Swift-like obsession with transportation technology: Santa has a rocket (!) and magic helicopter (!!).

Even if you don’t, or can’t, watch the film itself, I highly recommend reading the reviews, which are a hoot.