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Messages - bluefoxicy

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All Things Food / Re: Pitcher recipes - Non-alc
« on: November 30, 2012, 01:22:14 PM »
Squeeze some lemons, add a bit of sugar and mix. Top off with carbonated water. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Ooh, carbonated water... or tonic water, which is lemony and somewhat bitter?

How about something for the winter.  Like a quarter pound of cinnamon sticks infused (i.e. hot water steep), a few whole cloves, a couple chunks of Dragonfruit, Dragonfruit juice, and sliced ginger root?

No hot, heady, spiced drinks here?

All Things Food / Re: Pitcher recipes - Non-alc
« on: November 29, 2012, 10:07:06 PM »
one 6 ounce frozen thingy of limeaid. 
fill that thing up with 6 ounces of rum
one can of beer. 

Shouldn't you put the beer in before the liquor?

All Things Food / Pitcher recipes - Non-alc
« on: November 29, 2012, 09:55:12 PM »

So two questions.

  • What kind of loose tea should I use for this?  Wegman's and Twinnings both have a wide selection.  Something black suitable for throwing in round slices of lemon, and maybe Earl Gray with rounds of blood orange?
  • What else can I make in this pitcher besides Sangria?  Red stuff with sugar and chunks of fruit?  Something based on lime that's not as acidic as lemonade?

I wanted a pitcher for iced tea. I also possess mate.

The Pub / Re: Air filters and mold spores
« on: November 27, 2012, 05:35:24 PM »
If you break out in a rash and require showering and anti-histamines every time you enter the basement, that's a pretty severe problem.

Last year when this started--in the apartment I've been living in until last week--I started breaking out in a rash one day so bad I couldn't sleep.  It itched and I had bumps and inflammation and redness EVERYWHERE (like 95% of my skin surface), I thought it was fleas or chiggers or hoards of invisible mosquitoes or something.  The problem has declined sharply since I moved out.  I may have suddenly developed a sensitivity after living in that apartment for several years.

If you're simply planning to vacuum dry mold spores, you'll probably make the problem worse as you will be getting them airborne.

Valid point.  Vacuuming the dust and cobwebs out of the joists is probably a good idea in any case, though scattering dust into the air isn't a great prospect.  Mold or not, dust contains things like dust mite bodies/feces, insect feces, human feces, human skin, dandruff, mold spores--even if your house doesn't have visible mold--and God knows what else.

The point of a filtered vacuum cleaner is a "Sealed HEPA" is "sealed" because 100% of the air necessarily passes through the filter, rather than bypassing a loosely fitted filter.  Still has to be MERV 7 or higher (MERV 5 passes mold fragments and spores) and even then, it's like 50%-70% filtration per pass--half that crap goes into the air.

On the other hand, I could just vent all that crap to the outside, and by now I think you can agree that's a good idea (and under a $1000 add-on).

Is this one of the "bargain" properties you've been looking at recently?

Yeah it's a lower cost property, it's in pretty good shape--the construction and remodeling jobs are surprisingly well-done.  Very basic--painted firewall (cement walls on 2 sides), carpet, laminate tile--but the floors and roof are constructed properly (subfloor is even plywood) and there are no structural issues.

Anything with visible mold (dry wall, etc) needs to be torn out.  I imagine that the basement would be emptied, sealed, power-washed with bleach or something and then dried.

The only live mold present (found via inspection I paid $350 for) is on a small stretch of concrete wall right at the foundation, due to water inlet in that immediate area.  Anything else present is spore.  Nothing is growing on wood or in drywall.  Hence the dehumidification of the basement and the need for a MERV 13  filter in the furnace ASAP--to prevent mold growth and to contain the mold spores.

Correcting the downspout outside eliminates 90% of the problem; correcting the grade by itself eliminates around 75% of the problem (most water would run away); sealing the foundation (paint with sealer) corrects much of the problem, but the sealer will fail if the other measures aren't taken.  With the problem corrected, I still need to remove the mold and spore.

None of the subfloor (visible from the basement) or joists show growing mold.  The drywall is all new, carpet is new, the entire upstairs is safe and clean and mold-free.  I'll be taking up the floor, building up the subfloor, and laying tile and hardwood flooring, so I'll get a pretty good look at that and have easy opportunity to replace anything there.  Taking up the carpet in the upstairs and doing the same, with the front room being the most fun--it's half above the porch, so the joists slope down by design; I'll sister new joists so I have a fully level floor, add insulation above the porch (there's NEVER insulation in the floor), then lay brand new subfloor in that entire room, then unfinished hardwood, then polyurethane finish.  Yes I planned this.

(That power unit is WAY oversized for the house--they all are--but that's the smallest I'll get because I can't get a smaller true cyclonic unit.  Bagged units QUICKLY lose power because particulate lines the inside of the bag and clogs the pores, impeding vacuum flow.  This is true of all vacuum cleaners--HEPA filters clog, bagged canister vacs clog, a cyclonic system keeps its power even when full.  Bagged units also occasionally experience bags bursting and, without a dedicated bypass design, this will immediately destroy the unit; most decent units have a dedicated bypass, some cheap ones cool the motor with filtered vacuum air and thus when a bag  bursts they're permanently destroyed.)

The Pub / Re: A changed euge (sorta)
« on: November 27, 2012, 02:56:56 PM »
Two part-time jobs is a good start.  Will keep you afloat while you restructure your life and pursue convergence to stability.

As for the other stuff... when people die, they just immediately lose relevance to me.  I have at best blunted human emotion; in the major operation I am a cold, calculating machine and most of my emotion is emulated on top of a logical decision tree that attempts to decide what is appropriate and how much to allow, and what it means.  I still don't understand what 'jealousy' actually is, it seems like nothing more than a huge failing in logic (assigning priority such that irrelevant matters take precedence over highly important matters, leading to the worst outcomes) and so I can't even fake it, much less experience it.

Perhaps you can stop to appreciate being human somewhere in this mess.  The bad comes with the good.

The Pub / Air filters and mold spores
« on: November 27, 2012, 02:49:42 PM »
I'm thinking there's mold spores--the mold, I killed, and is constricted to the basement (which I dehumidified to 45%).  In the apartment, I know there's mold; a year ago I started itching like hell, and later found out that mold was leaving my apartment and entering the one below.  The new house has a problem where water pools at the rear foundation, and some mold started to grow; I killed it with Moldex and dehumidified and am working on fixing the grade of the rear yard and the downspout, but obviously mold spores when it dries.

Anyway, after I enter the basement, I start to itch.  Rashes appear all over my body.  A good shower and fresh clothes allieviates 90% of the reaction; a single small anti-histamine dose blocks 100% of the reaction for 4-6 days.

So I read this EPA report and have a few thoughts:

Electrostatic purifiers seem interesting, but in practice no good ones exist and even middle-quality ones are expensive.  The basement is 680 square feet and so I'd need a very high end HEPA filter or electrostatic purifier to clear it out.  I'm probably better off buying a higher-end canister vacuum cleaner with a sealed HEPA and vacuuming out all the joists.  I actually have a lower end one.

I'm going to put a filter in my furnace (haven't figured out the correct size yet, only been in the house a week).  The EPA says MERV 7-13 is roughly equivalent to HEPA in residential use, so I'll aim for MERV 10-13.  MERV 12-13 is readily available for a wide range of filter sizes.

This thing looks interesting, dunno if I want/need it though.  Ironically, it's cheaper to buy a $30 filter for this every 10-12 months than to replace a $20 filter in the furnace every 60 days, but that's about a 4-5 year ROI, aside from the dedicated unit purportedly being much more effective.  The EPA reports that the MERV 13 filters I want to use are top-tier for my use case because there's simply no nuclear material micro-particulate or silicon dust to filter, which is what HEPA filters are for, so really the "upgrade" may be excessive.

How in the heck do I get rid of this crap?  All these filters and fancy doogadgets can't possibly help.  The primary issue, I think, is going to be getting the water away from the foundation of my house.

The Pub / Re: Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: November 02, 2012, 06:36:52 PM »

Popcorn gets salt under my fingernails and burns like the fires of Hell.  :(

The Pub / Re: Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: November 02, 2012, 04:10:17 PM »
I'm not sure what exactly fried your breakers, but just changing them isn't a solution, it's a bandaid.

Take your money and go unless you are prepared to repair everything 100% which would mean after closing getting an electrician to check out the entire house and being prepared to fix what needs to be fixed.

Have you ever run electrical?  It works pretty much like this:

You have a mains connection in your house.  Power goes to the meter, into the electrical panel to a mains breaker.  What you need to do is have the utility remove the gold ring, remove the meter, and then you can mess with the main power breaker (replace, rewire, add stuff before the box).  For the breakers themselves, you shut the main breaker off and you're good (as long as you have the sense to work with electricity--remember there's still a HOT wire).

The mains line is aluminum.  The secondary circuits are all supposed to be copper.  Copper runs through your house to your sockets.  Hot, neutral, ground.  Has to be wired CORRECTLY to the sockets.

Breaker panel check:  open the panel, look.  Are the breakers wired properly?  Leads wound clockwise?  etc.

Socket test:  there's a plug-in device that not only tells you if it's right or not, but tells you if it's wired incorrectly and how.  Bad ground, neutral/hot swap, ground/neutral swap, and so on.

The wiring's pretty much checked by looking at the panel or at the socket (you'd have to go out of your way to do something wrong here and it would not be to code).  Basically is it the right gauge wire?

What do you think killed the breakers?  I'm going to go with "current overload," because it'll do that.  The typical way to fix this is "replace the breakers," that's the correct solution.  Breakers have failure modes and this is one of them.

Source:  Experience.  Father is an electrical engineer and has electrician experience.  Cousin works for the local electrical utility and has electrician experience ranging from home electrical wiring and inspection to opening and repairing transformers that are still hanging up on telephone poles (the big white buckets).  We've been through this before and I ask too many questions--hell I spent 20 minutes while putting in a floor asking what the difference is between a dead blow and a rubber hammer and why one would be superior to the other (we had to use a rubber hammer, it was tangentially interesting).  First time I saw an electrical panel open I wanted to know everything about how electricity works--did you know there's a sharp difference between braided and unbraided wire?  Braided wire has multiple contact points, and electricity travels more "within" instead of just "on the outside" and causes impedance (if you're passing AC).  This is important.


Okay, there's probably a real reason that panel's dead.  The power line is above ground, on poles, run through trees.  It's highly likely to take direct lightning strike--the trees don't have the same protection the poles do (you think they just jack them in there and hope they never get hit?).  So yeah, lightning, but it's highly likely to get hit by lightning.  The house is a Zeus magnet.

The Pub / Re: Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: October 31, 2012, 07:27:11 PM »
I wouldn't just tighten the bolts on that toilet if I were you. Do it the right way: drain it, pull it off, put a new wax ring in, and lower the toilet directly into place. (In my experience, having a person or two helping you is good, since you can't see to line everything up while holding the toilet.)  Buy an extra ring just in case you screw up, because you can't reposition the toilet if you messed it up.  The last thing you want is a toilet that's got a poor seal and is leaking sewage at the base.

Ahh.  I thought a bad seal would cause leakage, not simply looseness.

Brand new wax ring is probably good.  Hell I could put in a brand new Toto toilet.

The Pub / Re: Zombie apoclypse survival....
« on: October 31, 2012, 05:17:08 PM »
when it comes to zombies i think destruction and not merely subduing(is that a word) is in order.

What about the people who are looking for food and fresh water, and coming for your stores?

Remove the zombies and you still have a problem...

The Pub / Re: Zombie apoclypse survival....
« on: October 31, 2012, 04:18:46 PM »
A $200 sword ain't gonna last too long...

10 folds (1024 layers)

Honestly above $1000 and below $4000 the construction all looks the same.  Good steel, folded, clay quenched (proper--this is how you make the sword curve, the clay's thinner at the blade edge so it gets tempered harder due to greater exposure to heat) in water.

High carbon steel rusts.  These swords are traditionally stored in 99% mineral oil with 1% clove oil.  The clove oil is for aroma.  Weapons like this demand discipline, or they rust.  I tend to prefer my fists, which suffer the same problem:  without practice, my body becomes weak and my coordination and sense of self are lost, and I fight less effectively.  The symptoms are actually two-fold:  I might be a weaker fighter, but also more dangerous--a powerful fighter can subdue an opponent more easily; without that, you may be forced to inflict greater injury or death.  He who cannot protect himself must instead destroy his enemy.

The Pub / Re: Zombie apoclypse survival....
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:09:30 PM »

The Pub / Re: Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: October 31, 2012, 01:28:11 PM »
Dude you need to look at the signs. You've got a reprieve from that POS dwelling you want to buy. Again I would run away as fast as I could from it.

Oh pff it took roof damage and the electrical panel got hit by lightning.  It probably had flying debris and high winds impact the roof, though I'm not going to throw out the (significant) possibility that the roof was done by a discount contractor who saved half the labor costs by simply putting in half as many roofing nails.  I don't know much about roofs but I know enough about roof work--I know carpenters who build roofs, I've seen roofs done right and I've seen them done wrong, a poorly built roof might last 2-3 years but a well-built roof will last decades.

The property's significantly better than my apartment--which by the way has leaked EVERYWHERE in the main hallway.  Everywhere.  The entire ceiling is wet, the walls are wet in a dozen or so places.  There's a lot of poorly done plumbing and patch work in that building--the house I'm trying to buy has the exact opposite problem, literally everything is done right except a loose toilet (tighten the bolts), drywall screws holding the bathroom switch cover plate on, and ... a roof leak (the EXTERIOR WALL leaks in the apartment, into the attic; roof is fine). The plumbing, wiring, supports, floors, insulation, walls, HVAC, the works are all good in that building.  The service panel WAS good but it was not Zeus Ready.

The Pub / Re: Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: October 30, 2012, 09:27:51 PM »
At least, presumably, the seller has insurance on the house. You obviously do not, since you aren't the owner.  So the seller probably isn't going to suffer a huge hit on this either, unless they already were playing with fire by not having coverage.

Wonder if you'll have to move back the closing date?

Already had to move the closing date back.  The gas was off and the water heater was non-functional, the bank found this on an inspection and was not willing to give a loan.

It would be good if the seller had insurance, since mine has a 3% deductible which translates to $5220 which is more than enough to cover this, so it's out-of-pocket.  My genius plan is, of course, to save up over $5000 after closing and keep it in the bank, for the purpose of fixing crap that breaks or covering the deductible.

The Pub / Re: Hurricane broke the house I"m buying D:
« on: October 30, 2012, 08:10:09 PM »

The kA rating is the surge current the breaker can withstand in kilo-amps. A normal breaker will see several thousand amps in a short condition. The breaker must be able to withstand and break that current safely. 

This is correct.  Look at your 15A, 20A, 30A breaker, and on the OFF side you'll probably see etched in there "10kA" or some such.  The breaker will take 10,000A of power, guaranteed.  It might take 12,000 or 15,000, but it will definitely take 10,000.  Anything above its throw value it will throw and cut off the current flow--to protect from fire, not to prevent damage to appliances or injury or death.  GFCI is for fast-throw (because neutral/hot are passing current 20mA or so out of sync, so the current is going somewhere it shouldn't be).  Panel surge suppressors direct excessive surge (40,000A or so) directly away from the panel and to ground.

the 10kA value basically says that anything above those 10,000A they're not guaranteeing is going to work out for you.  The breaker might throw and the current arcs across the poles anyway.  Maybe it doesn't even throw, it just welds in place.  Or maybe it throws, and cuts current, and then you replace the breaker because it doesn't work anymore.

Panel probably got hit by lightning.  I can't comment on how much power flowed through--about 12 breakers blew out, but they're all in parallel.  Extremely high voltage found 16 paths to ground, and sent more through things that would fail faster (easier to arc, so lower resistance), and then ran out of juice.  The more paths to ground, the faster current flows and the faster the surge is over.  So at some point, that panel may have passed 120,000 amps; I doubt it.  Maybe the first few breakers blew, arced, then became high resistance.  Around 30,000 amps passing, mainly going to 2 breakers, blows them out and cascades to the next 2, while the rest bleed 9000 amps all together.  Boom boom boom, and there goes your electric panel.

The worst failure mode is when the spark jumps the gap and you get 10kA flowing through a fused breaker into your appliances and your house catches fire everywhere because the wires melt and ignite the frame.  Rare.  Very rare.  The surge should be over too fast to create fires, not fast enough to save your appliances.

That's what the whole house surge protector is for:  under high current conditions, it provides a clear path directly to your grounding rod.  Most of that current flows straight out of your panel; the rest should throw breakers.  If the surge is high enough voltage to actually increase current flow--even without throwing a breaker--it means you're burning stuff out.  Think your 110V wall socket becomes 220V and you plug your TV in?  That's what happens, and your TV draws 1/2 amp and the breaker will throw at 15 amp and so now you have 1 amp and the breaker ... does not care, happily lets your TV fry.  So, $2000 refrigerator?  Water heater?  Sump pump?  You add a surge suppressor at the socket as well to feed back to ground.

Stay the hell away from electricity.

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