Sterno Heater idea...

Not sure if I posted this idea or not but right now I don't have the cash spare to build the prototype.

Get one of the mini sized metal trash cans with the lid. (5 gal I think.) Place four large lag bolts into it about 2/3 of the way down. Make sure they are level. Drill several small (1/4") air holes around the bottom edge and in the lid.

Take one of these:


And place it in the can on top of the bolts.

Drill two 2" holes on opposite sides of the can as close to the top of the rim as possible. Buy two of these:


Bolt them on the _inside_ of the can at the place where you drilled the 2" holes.

Connect them with exhaust flex pipe:


Attach an inexpensive 12V muffin fan to the outside of one of the flanges and power that using a 12V battery or brick or whatever.

Now at the bottom of the can, exactly in the center, place a large can of gel alcohol fuel - aka Sterno.

Light said Sterno. Sterno heats the radiant flowerpot heater, which heats the flex pipe, which heats the air that the fan blows. The pipe prevents the forced air from possibly disturbing the alcohol flame among other things.

For extra points wire in a thermostat to the fan circuit.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/279656.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

Oh and one more thing...

...I talk on the phone ALL DAY _every_ workday.

There are times I don't want to talk on the phone.

This isn't because I'm angry at you.

This isn't because I don't want a connection with you.

This isn't because I don't want to hear what's going on in your life.

It's because I spend day after day with people with problems in my ear. I need to rest my ears.

So please don't call me more than once every week or two.

This includes friends.

This includes relatives.

This includes everybody.

Please read up on introverts.

Frankly I'm not getting any personal recharge time here and at some point I'm going to blow at you all if you don't back off.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/279056.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.
  • Current Mood
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Okay this can stop now...

Went to take Bartek to the vet and got in Dorothy. Started her up and started down the road.

Generator light.


I'm hoping it's just the battery but it also smells like there is belt wear so maybe it's something else.

I'll figure it out this weekend and hopefully be mobile again.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/279023.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

Current score...

Sam: 2
Nimitzbrood: 1

Went and patched the fuel lines with fuel injection host and it sealed but then sprung a leak further down.

Such is life. I have added steel fuel line to my E-Bay watch list. Fortunately I now have my own tubing flare kit so I can take advantage of the fact that this stuff comes in rolls and I can just either re-use the existing nuts or buy new replacement ones. That means I pretty much can now replace all the steel lines on the truck for anywhere from $50 (1 roll of 1/4 and 1 roll of 5/16) to $100 (previous rolls x2) total.

Want to get her all done before winter.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/278338.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

Busy days...

So yesterday I was a bit tired but we got groceries and other things done as well as claimed a free couch for some friends of ours that just got done with their Habitat for Humanity home. The dedication was today. We're bringing the couch over there tomorrow.

Today I had a headache for part of the day after the house dedication ceremony for the aforementioned friends. (I took the time to sneak into the basement and bless the house while no one was looking.) When we got back I took some Ibuprofen and laid down.

After a nap mostly cleared that issue up, I went down in the 'cave and completely rearranged things so that there was more central floor space as well as better organization. I set up a spare bookshelf we had and that seems to have found a good place down there. My biggest problem down there is moisture. I really need to get concrete sealer or paint and seal the walls down there. That darn stuff is about $35 a gallon though minimum so that's not happening any time soon. Best I can do is protect anything that's a wood item down there and keep good airflow going.

I need to find a spot out in the garage or shed for the window A/C units that are down there as well as the two 30 gallon plastic water containers that need to be emptied and cleaned out. (The water has long since become contaminated. I have to empty and bleach the containers if I want to use them again.) The one chair has to go unfortunately. The base is the one from the "chair of death" and is metal but needs repair so I might just discard the chair pieces but keep the base.

Not sure if my existing ugly couch is going to fit down there or not. I think it might just be a bit too long. And until the moisture issue is taken care of I'm pretty sure I don't want it down there anyways.

I think I'll probably pick up a couple of bags of kitty litter. I can easily scatter that around the base of the walls and it'll certainly keep the moisture down until I can find a permanent solution. I really need to seal, frame, and insulate the walls but that is likely not happening this year due to money and time. It looks like I will be able to at least get the second UPS unit down there soon and the final server out of the garage. That means the rack will be empty and could be dismantled enough to get down there. Time will tell on that one though.

AND I still have 230 retaining wall blocks to arrange outside. I've decided that some of them will be laid flat in the back yard on top of landscaping fabric. That will give me a place to park my boat so that it doesn't take up a space in the driveway.

The rest will likely become a small patio area just outside the back door. That will keep the grass out from under the grill and give us an actual place for our patio table and chairs.

Anything left will be used to outline the culverts in the front yard so they stop filling in with grass which means I need to trim them all the time.

These are all of course not the ideal usage for trapezoidal shaped retaining wall blocks but quite frankly they were free and I have decided to use them creatively. ;-)

All that said I've decided to stop answering my phone for a while unless it's an emergency of some type. People won't like that of course but frankly I'm getting a lot of calls from people lately and getting less done because of it. So if you really want to talk to me please leave me a message.

Don't be too put out if it takes me a day to call you back though. There's a lot going on right now. ;-)

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/278201.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

Dryer: 1 - Nimitzbrood: 0

So about a week or so ago the dryer quit running. Diagnosing the symptoms and the first potential part to replace was the thermal fuses and the thermostat. $8 on E-Bay for new parts.

BZZZT! Wrong. Still same symptoms. Light is on when the door is open, door switch is confirmed tested good, dryer doesn't even attempt to spin the motor when the timer is set and the button pushed.

Weirdly with all the diagnostics I've done it seems like the thermostat, switches, and timer switch appear to be good now but the dryer never starts. There is a second thermostat but that appears to be the cycling thermostat and not the main one. Unless we just have an odd thermostat that doesn't match what our model is supposed to have. (The one in the kit doesn't have a heating element but the cycling one does.)

There has been help offered in the form of a "buy a dryer via a relative and pay them" but I'm not quite ready to do that yet. Not unless we were going to replace both the washer and dryer.

So next candidate is the timer switch but it occurs to me that I might want to take a voltmeter to the motor with the drum out of the dryer and see if it's getting any voltage when triggered. If it is and it isn't spinning then we need to make a decision.

Regardless we look kind of weird with clothes lines inside the house. ;-)

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/277849.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

So...spent $ to support 2D animation.


It's a small steampunk film that will be produced and has met all of it's stretch goals and added more.

I love animation. All sorts. About the only thing that can ruin animation for me is really really bad voice acting.

In the animation industry 2D hand-drawn animation is seen as something of a dying art and in some ways it is. To me though it seems to have a human element that is lacking in 3D animation these days.

So I spent what I could afford to support them. It wasn't much but it will get me an advance copy of the film and perhaps buy some coffee for the animators. ;-)

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/277599.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

And so it goes...

1993 Dodge Dakota (Samantha): 1
Nimitzbrood: 0

Got the long brake line from front to back replaced but not bled.

Start Sam up to power-bleed them or at least pressurize them so I can bleed them at the master cylinder. Look under her for leaks...WTF? It's dripping in the middle. The line I used was a roll of line so no unions there...wait...smells like gas. Fuck.

So turn her off and check and discover that one or two of the three gas lines spray fuel right where they make an "S" curve above the frame. *sigh*

Well back to the drawing board. The nice thing is that Sam is from 1993 and her fuel pump is not super high pressure. That means I can replace those lines with heavy duty fuel hose which is well within tolerances. Also two of the three lines are low pressure lines anyways. So...hose it is..just not today.

Have to get cleaned up so I can go see my daughter march in the Homecoming parade with the Best Buddies group of kids who partner with special needs students.

Speaking of which I have AWESOME news! This year the one special education group has had to hand off most of their students to actual special ed classes within school districts. The teacher for my daughter did an assessment and promptly moved her up to the advanced class! This would have never happened in the other program and I'm genuinely happy about it.

On top of all of this my wife is insufferably proud of her size 12 pants. An truth be told I'm proud of her as well. She's shown that she's serious about losing weight and is sticking to it.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/277313.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.

So tired of seeing people shrouded in darkness...

I see so many people these days who feel beaten down. They feel like there's no good left in the world. Like they are alone and there's no one else who could be going through what they are going through.

The problem with all that is it's not true...but no one can see that easily.

It's like good people put out a light. It's bright when they are happy It's bright when they are true to themselves and following their own path. It's bright when they help others. The more happy people the brighter it is.

People who are not so good put out a dark fog. It shrouds everything. It isolates us so that we can't easily see the light in others let alone our own light.

When you have a group of people shining brightly it makes the rest of the fog darker until you either shine brightly as well or get closer to others that shine brightly.

There's never going to be any shortage of fog...so why not shine brightly anyways? The brighter you shine the more other bright people notice. Eventually bright shining people gather together.

Don't count out the people who produce fog either. Their light is either just dim or turned off. That can be changed. Not directly by anyone but them, but if you inspire them to turn it on...

Yes it takes effort to shine, Goddess knows I don't do it enough myself, but the results are more valuable than a great many other things in life.

Cross-posted from Dreamwidth ( http://nimitzbrood.dreamwidth.org/277132.html ) but feel free to comment here as well.