Category Archives: volunteerism

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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Sun day in the Park with Gibbs; or, I have no life and it’s all CarnotCycle’s fault

There are many data tables out there, that are unfortunately not transcribed into usable form, but are stuck as images that cannot be searched. A thermodynamical blog, CarnotCycle, has provided some of these here.

Having no entertainments of any lasting value, I’ve decided to transcribe that one into a common format, Microsoft Excel (2007+ file format). They are here: CarnotCycle-Thermodata.

Although he claims they are in SI, they aren’t. SI does not use the calorie as a unit of energy, instead using the joule. Similarly with degree centigrade and kelvin. I have added a tab to convert the semi-SI to full SI. Digit significance has been maintained while doing this.

I do not know what book he got them out of, so I have to request you cite them as coming from his blog, for now. If you want to credit me with the transcription, that is fine. Use your preferred/recommended/required citation style to do this.

Some notes:

  • Some values were given in parenthesis. In Excel, parentheses are used to indicate a negative number in accounting. I changed this format to gray background with center-aligned numbers.
  • One value was given with a question mark. This is marked with a red background.
  • One value is suspiciously positive, I have marked this with a yellow background.
  • Where needed, scientific notation is use to maintain the correct number of significant digits.

Back to donating

No, I’m not referring to the notorious practice of running ads requesting donations of mony before the end of the year on various sites (WikipediA comes to mind).

For years I used to donate blood products at a Red Cross place. Now, however I live in a place that is not served by the Red Cross but some independent blood bank. I’ve been avoiding them for a while now, for no real reason, but have no decided I’ll give them a try, even though the nearest one is about an hour away. I’ll try and let you know my result later on today when I get back.

Library gossip desires

I have a problem.

As I have mentioned in previous posts (like this one), I volunteer at a library.

In general this entails just filing books on the shelves and also pulling ones that are requested by other libraries in the system. However, there is some patron interaction and also some unavoidable patron overhearing.

Like any institution open to the public, there are regular users of it and these get to be known for their attitudes and preferences.

Now, I would dearly love to talk about some of these characters to the library staff and also anonymized here, but I feel strongly that that is illegitimate. People who come on a public resource for use should feel that they are not required to exchange their dignity for the use of the place. Just the same, the desire is there. I don’t see a way out.

Aggravations @mylibrary

I’ve been doing volunteer library work lately and have run across an annoying… no, not a patron! To my surprize and delight, all of the patrons I’ve had to deal with personally have been polite and appropriate. I’ve tried to be the same in return.

To my annoyance, one of the trustees of the library has decided to take an animus to us checking patrons out and materials in and otherwise helping out at the circulation desk. By “us” I mean every volunteer who isn’t old enough to collect retirement.

This is seriously wearing on my mind, since I don’t like conflict like this, but I know I shouldn’t let her steamroll me and the rest of us. Nothing usual is distracting me, and even more so, the librarian herself is worried about this.

Apologies to whoever invented the “@yourlibrary” tagline.