Do It Yourself Disaster

In a previous post I wrote about building a house within a house. So far that project is going well, but is on hold for a couple of reasons: 1. I ran out of materials, 2. while waiting for material delivery I began another project. The second project seemed to be a shoo-in. I believed I could do it with my eyes closed and both hands tied behind my back. I have some experience laying tile both wall and floor, and this project is similar. Only the material is different. The generic name for it is laminate flooring. The actual material manufacturer shall remain nameless but it begins with a P and ends with an O.

I prepped myself by watching a youtube video done by a man who has been installing this type of flooring for fifteen years. It was kind of like learning how to talk from a Phd. I was without any knowledge and he was immensely over qualified. I should have sought out an amateur who made a video of his very first floor installation. No matter, I jumped into the job with relish. On the very first day, I began with the boards laying north to south. The literature in the package mentioned the ease with which the boards with a patented tongue and groove locking mechanism snap together and lock to keep from separating. I must mention that the room has an angled entry way, a door into a bathroom, and a closet also on an angle. All three on the very same wall. (entry door at 45 deg, a door into the bath, followed by a door into a closet at 45 deg). Leave it to me with my vast years of experience to approach the job as a total novice and take on the most complex situation as my starting point. I worked for seven hours before I finally gave up for the day. I had laid four lines of board. Each time I added a new board in line-four, the boards in line-two jumped out of engagement. No matter what I did the separation of boards continued.

The next day, I started again, but decided to change the direction of the boards from N-S to East-West. This would give the first line of boards more stability, and prevent the random separation. Wrong! The lines kept moving out of position. To solve the problem I nailed one end of each line down to prevent movement. This worked for a couple of lines and I felt confident that I was on my way to finishing the job. I was somewhere on line nine when I looked over my shoulder to the left and saw that line three had jumped out of engagement. WTF! Calm down, I said to myself. Take it all apart and reset everything. I did, but the problem only seemed to get worse. By this time my frustration level has peaked and it was time for some wine.

Before beginning again I discussed the problem with a friend who has installed many of these floors. He gave me several pointers about why the boards are separating. The next day I began by disassembling the entire job into neat piles of boards in the line they were in so I could reassemble them in the same order. That is when I noticed a spot in the sub-floor that was uneven, and it was in the spot where all the separation was happening. In good conscience I could not overlook this dip in the floor. A visit to Home Depot cured the dipping problem with the purchase of something called quick-set. Spreading this very pliable mortar on the floor and troweling it smooth filled the dip, but it took several hours to cure. It was the week end so I took a rest.

On Sunday I had to change the five gallon water bottle on our dispenser. I have done this many times, but this time I did something a teensy bit different, and felt an instantaneous ice pick enter my back. That sharp pain is the end of my story. It has been thirty hours since my back pain began and it will take a week or more to nurse it back to a point where I can move without fear of inducing a new shot of pain. In the meantime my new floor sits in piles awaiting my amateur methodology to return.

While all this amateurism was happening, Lovely has been goading me to let an expert do the job. I tried doing that today with an online search of services. The program stopped working at the end when it is supposed to give an answer.

This DIY project reminds me of a time fifty years ago when I got the idea to refinish our kitchen cabinets with a new color. To do the job right I removed the doors and took them to my shop. There they stayed being worked on and off for three years while I struggled with varnish remover to strip a factory applied finish. All that time, my poor wife Barb lived with her kitchen cabinets exposed to the world. In the meantime, I experimented with removers and various chemicals to find bare wood, I don’t remember what the combination was but I finally struck gold and stained the doors. I could write a book about that project.

My Kind of Teacher

Lessons of life often come easily, and at other times they come hard. This story about a teacher giving her students a lesson is extremely interesting, and probably very effective. If for nothing else her students will not forget it easily.

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Teacher Removes all Desks and Chairs From Classroom

NOW SHE IS A TEACHER!

In September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a history teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks

‘Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?’

She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.’

They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.’ ‘No,’ she said.

‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’ She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior.’

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.  Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the desk-less classroom.  Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom.  Now I am going to tell you.’

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.  Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk.  The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.  By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you.  They placed the desks here for you.  They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them.  It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens.  They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education.  Don’t ever forget it.’ 

By the way, this is a true story.  And this teacher was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas in 2006.  She is the daughter of a WWII POW.

Do you think this email is worth passing along so others won’t forget either, that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by our US. Veterans?  I did.

Let us always remember the men and women of our military and the rights that they have won for us.

Finally, Someone with Common Sense

Today, my buddy Jim sent me an eloquently written scientific piece about the stupidity of electric cars. A while back I wrote a piece on what I thought about electric cars, and it is in total agreement with this more science oriented piece written by engineers. Great minds think alike.

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THE ELECTRIC CAR ISSUES ARE GROWING IN CONTRAVERSY. HERE IS AN ANALYSIS WHICH MIGHT GIVE YOU A BIT MORE EDUCATED VIEW OF THIS TREND AND THE FUTUTE. 
 

The utility companies have thus far had little to say about the alarming cost projections to operate electric vvehicles (EVs) or the increased rates that they will be required to charge their customers. It is not just the total amount of electricity required, but the transmission lines and fast charging capacity that must be built at existing filling stations. Neither wind nor solar can support any of it. Electric vehicles will never become the mainstream of transportation!


In part 1 of our exposé on the problems with electric vehicles (EVs), we showed that they were too expensive, too unreliable, rely on materials mined in China and other unfriendly countries, and require more electricity than the nation can afford.  In this second part, we address other factors that will make any sensible reader avoid EVs like the plague.


EV Charging Insanity


In order to match the 2,000 cars that a typical filling station can service in a busy 12 hours, an EV charging station would require 600, 50-watt chargers at an estimated cost of $24 million and a supply of 30 megawatts of power from the grid. That is enough to power 20,000 homes. No one likely thinks about the fact that it can take 30 minutes to 8 hours to recharge a vehicle between empty or just topping off. What are the drivers doing during that time?


ICSC-Canada board member New Zealand-based consulting engineer Bryan Leyland describes why installing electric car charging stations in a city is impractical:


“If you’ve got cars coming into a petrol station, they would stay for an average of five minutes. If you’ve got cars coming into an electric charging station, they would be at least 30 minutes, possibly an hour, but let’s say its 30 minutes. So that’s six times the surface area to park the cars while they’re being charged. So, multiply every petrol station in a city by six. Where are you going to find the place to put them?”


The government of the United Kingdom is already starting to plan for power shortages caused by the charging of thousands of EVs. Starting in June 2022, the government will restrict the time of day you can charge your EV battery. To do this, they will employ smart meters that are programmed to automatically switch off EV charging in peak times to avoid potential blackouts.


In particular, the latest UK chargers will be pre-set to not function during 9-hours of peak loads, from 8 am to 11 am (3-hours), and 4 pm to 10 pm (6-hours). Unbelievably, the UK technology decides when and if an EV can be charged, and even allows EV batteries to be drained into the UK grid if required. Imagine charging your car all night only to discover in the morning that your battery is flat since the state took the power back. Better keep your gas-powered car as a reliable and immediately available backup! While EV charging will be an attractive source of revenue generation for the government, American citizens will be up in arms.


Used Car Market


The average used EV will need a new battery before an owner can sell it, pricing them well above used internal combustion cars. The average age of an American car on the road is 12 years.  A 12-year-old EV will be on its third battery. A Tesla battery typically costs $10,000 so there will not be many 12-year-old EVs on the road. Good luck trying to sell your used green fairy tale electric car! 


Tuomas Katainen, an enterprising Finish Tesla owner, had an imaginative solution to the battery replacement problem—he blew up his car! New York City-based Insider magazine reported (December 27, 2021):


“The shop told him the faulty battery needed to be replaced, at a cost of about $22,000.  In addition to the hefty fee, the work would need to be authorized by Tesla…Rather than shell out half the cost of a new Tesla to fix an old one, Katainen decided to do something different… The demolition experts from the YouTube channel Pommijätkät (Bomb Dudes) strapped 66 pounds of high explosives to the car and surrounded the area with slow-motion cameras…the 14 hotdog-shaped charges erupt into a blinding ball of fire, sending a massive shockwave rippling out from the car…The videos of the explosion have a combined 5 million views.”


We understand that the standard Tesla warranty does not cover “damage resulting from intentional actions,” like blowing the car up for a YouTube video. 


EVs Per Block In Your Neighborhood


A home charging system for a Tesla requires a 75-amp service. The average house is equipped with 100-amp service. On most suburban streets the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses with a single Tesla. For half the homes on your block to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly overloaded.


Batteries


Although the modern lithium-ion battery is four times better than the old lead-acid battery, gasoline holds 80 times the energy density. The great lithium battery in your cell phone weighs less than an ounce while the Tesla battery weighs 1,000 pounds. And what do we get for this huge cost and weight? We get a car that is far less convenient and less useful than cars powered by internal combustion engines. Bryan Leyland explained why:


“When the Model T came out, it was a dramatic improvement on the horse and cart. The electric car is a step backward into the equivalence of an ordinary car with a tiny petrol tank that takes half an hour to fill. It offers nothing in the way of convenience or extra facilities.”


Our Conclusion

The electric automobile will always be around in a niche market likely never exceeding 10% of the cars on the road. All automobile manufacturers are investing in their output and all will be disappointed in their sales. Perhaps they know this and will manufacture just what they know they can sell. This is certainly not what President Biden or California Governor Newsom are planning for. However, for as long as the present government is in power,
they will be pushing the electric car as another means to run our lives. We have a chance to tell them exactly what we think of their expensive and dangerous plans when we go to the polls in November of 2022. 


 
 Drs. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

 
 Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with  a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.


 Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years of experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

Testing My Conscience

February is Black History month in America, and a good occasion to learn more about the plight of slavery in our past. I have not undertaken a study of black history because I have a burning desire to do so, but because when I went to the library to find reading material, black history was featured rather heavily on the shelves. Usually, I pick up four books at a time, but this time I opted to take three. Two of them are definitely black history, the third is about the coming new civil war in America.

The first title I read was “The Next Civil War,” which I rated three stars. The author, Stephen Marche did a skillful job of detaining the difficulty we would have conducting a shooting war with our neighbors. The difficulty comes from all the laws that are of the books to give the government power to put down any future insurrection. Marche spends the entire first chapter on a civil war. His next chapter deals with assassinating the president and how the many attempts too do so have been thwarted by the Secret Service. The last third of the book deals with the evils of global warming.

In the second book, “To Rescue the Republic” * * * * * by Bret Baier he tells the story of President Ulysses S. Grant and his two terms trying to unify the country which was split by secession of southern states from the Union, and insuring the six million newly freed slaves the lawful rights provided by the constitution. He called this program “Reconstruction.” To that end Grant placed Federal troops in the Southern States to enforce those rights. He was not very successful at either of his goals. Immediately after Grant left office the new President Hayes removed the troops from the south, and let the States cope with the problems themselves. Hayes believed the Constitution gives the States the right and the responsibility to govern their citizens without interference from the Federal government.

What impressed me was the similarity between the election of Hayes and our own election in 2020 when Trump and Biden went after each other and claiming a stolen election. There was a slew of accusations by both parties of gerrymandering, and vote count fraud in 1876-77 election. What I learned was that the South did not treat the freed people any better than they treated them as slaves.

The third book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” by Isabel Wilkerson is a real eye opener for me. Ms WIlkerson does a skillful job of narrating “The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration.” It seems that after many years of freedom, the former slaves decided that their treatment was so unbearable that they fled from the South to the North. The conditions they endured on jobs at plantations was the same or even worse than is was as a slave.

So many times while traveling from one end of this country to the next, I have passed through towns in the remotest, most obscure places, and found sizable black populations living there. My question was always, “how in the heck did they get here, and why.” This story chronicles the living conditions former slaves were being forced to live under. I also hear the term “Jim Crow” bandied about during political debate between blacks and whites. The black debater will always accuse the white of using Jim Crow tactics. The story told is that Jim Crow was most likely a fictitious character used when referring to laws and treatment invented by lawmakers to deny blacks their rights while appearing to fulfill the Constitutional obligations.

Even though I have only read a hundred pages of Wilkerson’s book I have learned a lot about the plight of blacks in their fight for equality. What baffles me is why blacks insist on demanding reparations to correct these past sins. I agree they were not treated very well during the period 1865 – 1970, but that is the past, and now we have a new era of laws, and fifty-two years of education and indoctrination to overcome past grievances. I agree that whites mis-treated blacks horribly back then, but compare the treatment they get today to what is was and realize that treatment is exponentially better than is was back in the good old days.

The bottom line is that I am happy that I opened my mind and chose to read some Black History.

Are There More Stars Or Viruses?

For Every Star in the Universe There Are 100 million Viruses

This morning I had scheduled myself to attend a pancake breakfast with the Bradley Lions Club. The money generated was to support the families of two Bradley police officers who were shot in the line of duty, one died the other in serious condition. I did not attend. Why? I will try to explain my paranoyia as I go on.

Two days ago my wife’s 28 year old single grandson called to tell his grandma that he has COVID. Grandma nearly fainted and went into hysterics. He is her only family in this country, and she relies on him for way too much. He is more than happy to help her because she also is his only family here in America. She lost her only child, a son, last march in an accident that snuffed him out within an instant. The shock was overwhelming and she is still not over it.

My wife and her grandson being from Europe and living poor believe in practicing naturally healthy lives. Eat right, eat only chemically free food, drink only pure water, and breathe lots of clean fresh air, preferably forest generated. No one in her family believes in polluting the body with nasty things like vaccines. So when she heard her only grandson had COVID she was picturing him in a grave. From what I have heard about Omicron, the COVID variant, it is only a matter of time before everyone in the world has it, even double vaccinated me. One of my greatest fears is that I will bring it home to her and our moderately happy marriage will end. That is why I decided to skip the pancake breakfast this morning.

I shoveled the drive and walkways this afternoon, fed the birds and came in to rest. While resting I felt driven to post something, but what? For reasons unknown I decided to check the responses I get, and one of them was not checked off. I always address responses within a day at the latest. I searched for the response and couldn’t find it after perusing seven pages of posts. Then the brain finally kicked in and told me to work smarter. I looked at my dashboard and found a comment was in moderation. Why, That is another story, but I also learned how to search for the responses. While looking for it I came across the one I am posting to share with you. It is a very intelligently written and thoughtful piece that makes a lot of sense the writer obviously has a gift we call common sense

Her response showed me that I have fallen prey to the hysteria being touted over the airwaves. I have forgotten my own common sense attitude for avoiding COVID. When the thing first began to kill, I chose not to hunker down, but to rather lead a life which would avoid opportunities to catch the thing without becoming an inbound, stagnant-air breathing recluse. So far it is working, knock on wood, but I also believe in vaccinations as part of the protection scheme. Then I reread the comment from dolphin write of the understandingbloghome.wordpress.com, and it all makes sense again.

Remember, there are 340,000,000 million people in the USA, to this point there have been 66,317,293 cases of COVID. That means there are 273, 683,000. people who do not have COVID. True 66 million is a lot of sick people, but 273 million is a four times as many healthy people walking around.

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The following essay is a reply I received to my own Blog-piece titled

A Nation of Too Many Laws

response attributed to:
dolphinwrite
Nov 18, 2020·understandingbloghome.wordpress.com

Controlled by what we can’t see:
When will people get it? A virus is a very tiny organism, in the trillions all around. There are billions of different virus. This one is one amid trillions of germs, bugs, viruses, and like many, is airborne.
If you wear one of those face shields (those clear plastic face guards), airborne viruses are entering you’re lungs as if you didn’t have one. If you’re wearing a face mask, right through the fabric, and certainly any side openings. Pull the mask from your face for a few seconds, no or very little help. And when you go to stores or anywhere else, touch anything, even just by being there, you’re covered with viruses and germs. Wear gloves and touch things, whatever you touched is on the gloves and whatever the gloves then touch transfers (i.e. door knobs, the steering wheel, your face, your shirt, your wallet, your shoe laces, and everything else). The only way to be “safer” is staying indoors, never going out, and using a ventilator. Okay, there might be some reduction, but we heard, from a doctor, they get more sick people coming in who wear masks and stay indoors than by those who don’t worry. Something like 65% with masks versus 35% without.
Why? We have immune systems. Even if a virus is knew, our body fights them. That’s how immune systems work. But we suppose the very real reason most of the people wearing masks and staying home are most of the sick patients is because they don’t go out, exercise, breathe the fresh air, and socialize. They’re often sick with worry. So, by worrying all the time about germs, wearing masks and gloves, washing everything, spraying everything, and stressing out, their immune systems are further compromised. Stress does that. Depression does that. Fear does that.
Which is why I shared a time when a friend and I worked at a zoo, clearing up after the animals, cleaning their cages, raking and shoveling the droppings, washing some animals, caring for sick animals, feeding them, bringing in supplies, chasing rats (or catching) away, cleaning the shops and storage rooms, butchering road kills for the big cats, cleaning up after those big cats ate, and so much more. And never getting sick. We really believe, being around all that strengthened our immune systems. Never, during those years, did we ever take any “sick” pills. Just being outdoors, breathing the fresh air, moving around working, and life was good. It is good. We are not designed to live in fear and worry.
And now we see “they” are going to close up everything. We wonder if it’s even constitutional or legal. More and more people will have to stay home, not socialize, and live in worry and fear, unable to go out and relax. That, in and of itself will lead to more stress and worry, causing increased sickness, and we believe more mob mentality, people frustrated and acting out. Just wait and see if all this continues. It happened before and is still happening.
Everybody, should the elections go one way, will find out what losing all your freedoms is about. When people choose for others to do what they can do on their own, where businesses makes decisions that best fit their company, but instead, rely on government for all their protections, we get socialism leading to communism. Unfortunately, people may need to find out the hard way. But making that decision for outer control and “good feelings” means anarchy then dictatorship right here, but also terrible consequences across the globe. In such a future, millions will die: people in democratic countries, innocent people, and the unborn who we wish have all the opportunities for life we have. But if we allow ourselves to be blinded by rhetoric, propaganda, and cutesy language, then we get what we get. I hope people never have to find out the hard way.

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