Tag Archives: heat

Another Scorcher

Another Scorcher

Today is another scorcher.  It’s one of those days when you wish you could take a walk, but one step outside and you feel like the heat is going to kill you.  The high humidity and 92 degrees outside feel more like 110.  It’s miserable.  This heatwave continues.


I received an update for some software today.  I installed the update, but the personalized data that goes along with the software was all deleted.  Talk about frustrating.

So, I figured out what’s going on, but it requires I re-download and install all of the “assets” associated with it.  This is so inconsistent with how they have done things in the past.

I opened a trouble ticket, and received a response that reads, “We do not operate as a 24 hour help center. Our hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm, Mountain Standard Time. Please note, it can take up to 1-2 business days for a response, and up to 5 business days for a resolution. There are rare cases that take longer to resolve, should we need to conduct additional testing or other departments to step in.”

They must not care that some people use their software in their business.  At AT&T I used to negotiate “service level agreements” with vendors.  Known as SLAs, depending on the product, an SLA might require anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours for a call back.  And, if it was customer impacting, resolution time was set at 1 hour!!!

So, these guys have a 48-hour call back and a 5 day resolution time.  Yikes.  If I were in the motion picture industry, I wouldn’t be buying their software.


Cold Again

Cold Again

Just when you think things are warming up for the spring it gets cold again.  Today’s bitter cold is coupled with high winds.  I feel bad for those people without an alternative source of heat to their electrical heating.  Power is still out in several areas.

I was in hopes to install new hardware on the front door.  However, the bitter cold and wind are not conditions you want to stand there working on door locks.  Most of the time you are working the door needs to be open.  It isn’t going to happen today.

Pork and Mushrooms

After working on my taxes, and getting the numbers mailed to my accountant, I decided to stop at Happiness Garden and get lunch.  As I tell people, it is the best Chinese Restaurant in all Palmyra.  In all fairness, it is good Chinese food.  It is every bit as good as what you’ll get in Chinatown.

I brought it home, retired to the bedroom, and binge-watches Watch Over Me.  (It’s a sappy sci-fi series from a decade ago about a guy who created a virus that is indestructible, then accidently got infected with it, and is desperately trying to create a cure.)

Next Project

My next project is the front door.  Comes Monday I will start.  If it is too cold, I will simply drill the 2 1/8th inch holes and plug them with the locks.  Then, when it warms up I will do the latch and mortise work.

I also want it warm so I can do some exterior painting and touch-up.

Sunny but Cold

Sunny but Cold

It was sunny but cold today.  More evaporation than melting going on today as we move closer towards spring.

I fired up the heaters in the studio because I had a client coming to the studio.  Kerosene heats quickly.  You just need to make sure things are well vented and you have the wick at the right length.  A wick that is too long will smoke and smell bad.

Two doors down they demolished the back end of the house.  I think they are saving the  front part of the house, but the back extension they have torn down.  When they knocked the old chimney over, it shook my studio.  I hope when they are done it will look nice.

As the snow melts, I see there is a lot of scraping and touch-up painting needed around here.  The studio door needs to come off the hinges and completely be repainted and some cracks filled.  The window sills need to be scraped and painted, and so does many of the clapboards around the house, garage and studio.

Temperatures are supposed to drop back in to the teens again.  I keep wondering what spring and summer are going to be like this year.  Weather all over the world is off kilter this year.  It’s a sign of the times.



Kerosene is a calorie packed fuel that is a pretty good deal right now.  At $3.99/gallon it will heat a large space for very little when compared to propane, methane or electricity.

I went and re-filled a couple of my kerosene containers.  I have one of this big round kerosene heaters that I replaced the wick.  The thing really heats up quickly.  Of course, you have to make sure you have good ventilation.  But, in  a drafty old building, that isn’t a problem.

My dad had a kerosene wall heater in his cabin that vented to the outside.  That think heated the place up quickly and kept it pretty warm.  I wish I could find one of those.  I’d install it permanently in the studio.

I was out there cleaning and sweeping, so I need some warmth.  I fired that thing up and it warmed the room up very well.

Yes, they are a little stinky, but when adjusted correctly, they give off very little smoke.  (By the way, anyone who thinks they are smoke free, they should get an air filter and see how black they get even when your kerosene heater doesn’t look like it is giving off soot.)  Once they are hot, they burn pretty clean.  It’s that first few minutes and the smoke after you shut them off.

I don’t think I would ever use one in a home or room where people are sleeping.    And, I keep a CO detector in the room where I use it.  Even though it is an out-building that I’m just heating temporarily while I work, I would NEVER put it in a bedroom and then go to sleep.  I know there are people who do, but I’ve heard too many horror stories.

One vented to the outside, and made to provide clean air indoors would be another story. That’s why I would like to find one like the one my dad had at his cabin.  I went on-line looking for one and couldn’t find one.  Perhaps they weren’t as safe as they seemed?  Who knows.

Working It

Working It

Working it is the best way to get it working again.  Everyone was warning me that physical therapy is going to be painful.  Yeah, it is, but working it is the best road to recovery they say.

I’ve been participating in an emergency preparedness forum (group) on Facebook.  I am amazed at some of the… shall I say, stupid stuff that gets posted.  While it is so easy to verify information, I guess it takes some knowledge to distinguish between valid and invalid sources.

Here is an example…

Someone posted that you should NOT use oxygen absorbing packets when storing seeds you plan to grow or sprout because they sterilize the seeds.

My chemistry background immediately tells me this is FALSE.  So, I thought I’d do some research, and worse case, I’d take some of our wheat packed with oxygen packets and see if they’d sprout.  My suspicions were correct.  Oxygen packets do NOT sterilize seeds.

Another example is someone posting you should not line the bottom of your oven with foil as the foil will melt.  Again, my chemistry background tells me an oven does not get hot enough.  Foil melts at 660 degrees Fahrenheit.  Most ovens don’t go that high.

One of my favorites is the guy who claims he heats his house with 4 tiny tea-light candles.  To do that, it would defy the laws of thermo-dynamics.  There are not enough calories in 4 tea-light candles to heat an entire house.  As Jamie and Adam would say, “BUSTED.”

The, there are the people who totally ignore nutrition, science and medicine.  Of course, we have those all over the place.  People who smoke and drink and use caffeine are in that group.  But, there are those who take it to an extreme with herbs and food avoidance.  I’m not talking about people with food allergies or enzyme deficiencies, I’m talking about people who think they can cure cancer with some herbal concoction.  When challenged, they blame the F.D.A.  Yet, if they REALLY found a cure for cancer, F.D.A. involved or not, they would be receiving a Nobel Prize.

Dinner and a Movie with Friends

I spent a good portion of the morning and afternoon working on my book.  I added some more content to clarify things, and created a table of contents as well as some note pages.  It’s getting close to being done.  I’ll be so happy when it is done.

Our friends Paul and Diane O’Donnell joined us for dinner and a movie.  We watched the move Push and had a little pot-luck meal.  They brought some soup and a squash casserole and I made some dim sum and noodles.

After dinner, Paul and I got talking about emergency preparedness.  We talked about heat, lighting and food preparation.  The later is probably the easiest as most people have cooked on camp stoves and/or charcoal or wood.  Lighting, again is pretty easy since LED lighting is so affordable and uses such little wattage.  But heat, heat is probably the hardest because of the amount of energy it takes to warm a room.

Most batteries will not provide enough amp-hours to provide an adequate amount of heat.  Battery capacity (length of time the battery will provide power) is measured in Amp-hours.  Thus, a light bulb that draws 1/2 Amp will require 1/2 Amp-hours from the batter.  So, if you have a 30 Amp-hour battery, that lamp will run for 60 hours under perfect conditions.  A heater, on the other hand, might draw 15 Amps.  Thus, best case would yield 4 hours of heat.

That said, batteries also have a consumption rate.  If you exceed that rate, the battery starts to get hot.  If you exceed it by too much, the battery can melt, catch fire, or even explode.  Thus, a 30 Amp-hour battery might be rated for a consumption rate of 2 Amps/hour.  Thus, connecting a heater that requires 15 Amps might result in a catastrophic failure – a melt-down or explosion.

Going the other way, batteries need to be charged at the proper rate.  Charge them too fast, and BOOM.  (I speak from experience.  I’m glad I wasn’t in the room when it exploded.)

So, battery power is great for lighting, electronics (radios, TVs, computers, etc.), small motors.  High amperage stuff like heaters, dryers, electric ovens, microwave ovens, etc., require a generator with enough amperage to power them.

It was a good discussion.


CiCi’s Pizza is Open

We finally got a CiCi’s Pizza in Henrietta, NY. After I shoveled the sidewalks, we headed to CiCi’s for lunch. For about $15 for two people you get all-you-can-eat salad and pizza and sodas. I had been to one in Dallas a few years ago, and we also went to one in North Carolina a while back. If they opened one in Palmyra, it would recoup it’s franchise fees the first Hill Cumorah Pageant season.

If you’ve never been to one, you can tell them what you want on a pizza, and they’ll fix it and bring it to your table. Otherwise, you can just get what they have at the pizza bar. It’s not the best pizza I’ve ever had, but it is pretty decent.

We also picked up a heater for Elizabethe’s craft room. She’s been putting up with that cold room every winter. So, I’m going to replace the gas fireplace with a gas heater. It’s a 30K BTU unit which should heat up her room fairly well.

The media is all over the “fiscal cliff” issue. The Republicans are blaming the Democrats, and the Democrats are blaming the Republicans. The executive branch is blaming Congress, and yet, they are all getting raises tomorrow. I find it repulsive that any of them are getting paid at all. My repulsion is only second to the fact that many of them were recently re-elected.

Let’s remember what happened just one year ago. At the last-minute, they voted to keep the tax cuts for 60 days instead of extending it for a year or two while the economy recovers. Then, 60 days later, they voted to extend it to the end of the year.

Why do we as voters put up with that?

Actually, I don’t put up with it. I’ve adopted a rule that if you blew it once in Congress you won’t get my vote. I’d rather vote for an obscure underdog that supports my values than a career politician who is going to squander my tax dollars. (Hey, Dan, if the shoe fits…)

I really wish we would stop blaming along party-lines. If you look at last December’s vote on the tax cuts, it wasn’t along party line. In fact, they didn’t even record the votes!!! When I called my congresswoman’s office to ask for the roll-call I was told it wasn’t recorded because everyone vote “Aye”.

You have to ask yourself, why couldn’t they all vote “Aye” on extending it 12, or even 24 months?

Too much bipartisan bickering is why.

I don’t see it getting any better. There’s too much voter fraud and corruption, and until they put a corruption-proof election system in place, it will continue.

In the meantime, they’ve all got their pay raises coming starting tomorrow. If you want to see what they are treating themselves to, you don’t need to take my word for it. Here’s the link http://www.opm.gov/oca/compmemo/2012/2013PAY_Attach.pdf


Most of the east is experiencing a heat wave.  It was about 100F when I left Rochester today.  For here, that is really hot.

I guess that was good.  I left the office having a really bad muscle spasm in my back.  The heat seemed to relax me quite a bit.

Thank goodness my studio has air conditioning.  I went straight there after dinner to work on some client files.  That was about all I had energy to do.  Oh, I did retouch a couple of personal images.  I migth as well share…

Cone Flower and Honey Bee



I was in my office and heard a loud clap of thunder.  A few minutes later, I heard the rain pouring down.   The air conditioning was on and I thought, ‘I’ll open the door to get some cool fresh air.’

Was I wrong!

I opened the door and it was about 80 and muggy outside even though the rain was pouring down.

I guess I still have some things to learn about the weather here.