Joined on August 12, 2009
Last Post on August 19, 2013
@ August 19, 2013 11:15 AM in Need writing help?...the Help Wanted ad my then-local newspaper in Yonkers, New York ran sometime around the late 1960s. It sought a "poof reader." :-)
@ June 24, 2013 2:03 PM in Blast from the past - superheated boiler explodesIn 1962 I was nine years old and completely oblivious to things in the news like that explosion.
Years later, during the summer between junior and senior of my college electrical engineering education, I had a job with IBM doing field work. Almost a week of it was spent in the computer room of New York Telephone's 5030 Broadway facility. We reconfigured their IBM 360 mainframe + peripherals billing system. The amount of heavy cabling to and from tape drives that I dragged and repaired under raised flooring was astounding. Chain-based line printers too. There was never any mention of the 1962 explosion.
@ June 21, 2013 7:43 PM in Dumb...over my 38 (in August), I'll defer to that judgement. Nonetheless, in your position, I'd leave a copy of the April Consumer Reports issue on the coffee table. Open to the reliability records page that include Volkswagen. :-)
@ June 21, 2013 4:07 PM in Dumb...is because the brand's preponderant customer demographic seems to like that experience. We older folks who had Volkswagen products in our younger years, as well as those who read Consumer Reports reliability records, know better and don't buy them. :-)
@ June 21, 2013 12:09 PM in is this where we fall behind other countries?...but I have a few questions and a comment.
* It appears to be permanently attached to the gear. How much does it weigh and what is the impact on airborne fuel consumption of always carrying that additional weight?
* In use during taxi, it draws power from the aircraft's electrical system, i.e. APU. How much additional fuel is consumed by the APU as a result?
* Regulatory agency certification of something like this will require a long and expensive effort by the airframe manufacturers and/or carriers. Who will pay for that?
It will be interesting to see what the Air France analysis shows with respect to these factors.
@ June 12, 2013 2:41 PM in How the Europeans do it?...metallic pipe, valves and fittings made in China? Or is there a domestic German supply base still manufacturing high quality versions? :-)
@ April 13, 2013 11:22 AM in is this where we fall behind other countries?...it's been this way in the US for at least 30 years. As an avid photo hobbyist, i sent several snail-mail suggestions to Kodak in the 80s. They were returned with a release form I had to sign before anyone at the company would even read them. Unless I gave up any right to compensation should my ideas be implemented, into the trash they would go. Given the ease of sending email and even greater litigiousness today, I suspect it's easier to totally refuse inputs from outside a corporation. The formalization of "not invented here." :)
I don't think the response would have been any different if you had written about battery fires. That's a personal opinion, not one derived from my status as a Boeing retiree. ;-)
PS Expanded use of tugs for taxi is really an operational concept of potential use to the air carriers, not an airframe manufacturer. However, they're probably too busy with bankruptcy and merger lawyers to bother thinking about your idea.
@ August 23, 2012 2:17 PM in Testing...only the larger font test worked. Color test s also larger, but black.
@ August 18, 2012 12:17 PM in In case you were wondering,,,,...in New Hampshire is it? Do you know if others are considering adoption?
@ July 30, 2012 11:43 PM in The AWESOME power of Mother Nature......what's significant is the work done and conclusion reached. I regret mentioning the irony of how it was funded; this is too important for distractions.
@ July 30, 2012 10:41 PM in The AWESOME power of Mother Nature...Just published yesterday:
His work was funded by, of all entities, the Koch brothers! In an interview tonight, he made clear that the money came with no strings.
@ July 8, 2012 12:10 PM in The AWESOME power of Mother Nature...Those who refuse to accept that human activity is the major contributor to this planet's rate and direction of climate change over the last centuries are burying their heads in the sand. Unfortunately, that camp has made the policy decisions which led to and perpetuate this problem.
Reducing one's carbon footprint is all well and good, but such efforts are swamped by earth's hugely increasing human population. Worse yet, places where the number of people is growing fastest are using dirty energy sources as well as adopting western energy-intensive consumption patterns.
I consider myself fortunate to be childless. I will retire to a northern location and spend my remaining years "benefiting" from milder winters. Those of you with children and grandchildren deserve sincere condolences. It's not going to be pretty. And was avoidable.
@ April 28, 2012 12:59 PM in The Propane industryTim, that's a correct statement, but applied much too narrowly. The worst thing that ever happened to this country was deregulation in its many forms.
Regulation seeks to place citizens' interests above corporate interests. Despite the most recent in a string of absurd Supreme Court decision (Citizens United), corporations are not people. They are legal constructs granted certain advantages by a government which used to require appropriate corporate behaviors in return. Unfortunately, for the last three decades, those requirements have been incrementally dismantled.
The people most affected by deregulation, average citizens, haven't a clue that they're complicit in its progression. Seeing only the immediate, short-term benefit of apparently lower prices, they embrace a brief ability to get "more" of whatever product/service. Many flock to big box stores and purchase imported absolute garbage for pennies. They can't grasp the decimation of domestic jobs that results from this unregulated, but unfair, trade. Until it impacts them.
Extremely significant deregulation took place with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. No longer were broadcasters required to serve the public interest. No longer was licensing based on proof of doing so. No longer were there reasonable limits on number of outlets in a market. No longer did "news" actually need to be real news. Now the corporate masters completely controlled what was electromagnetic spectrum owned by all US citizens, with no compensation to the public required. For the past sixteen years, oligarchs have made good use of their propaganda system.
A Boiler File made reference to "the current administration" and its record on public land drilling. Let's be clear -- both parties have been complicit in deregulating the industries that, thanks to now nonexistant campaign financing regulations, own them, especially oil and gas industries. That Telecommunications Act was signed by Clinton. However, neither party is willing to make appropriate decisions because a public spoiled by "more for less" would turn them out of office for doing so. icesailor asked ask who will buy Mr. 1%'er's products when everyone is working for miniscule wages. Executives of entities in the government-corporate complex will happily sell to wherever on the planet a market for those products exists; they don't care if customers are in the US or elsewhere. Identity and allegiance has transitioned from country to corporation. Indeed, they "own" this country, which is now of the multinational corporations, by the multinational corporations and for the multinational corporations.
The world's population greatly exceeds its carrying capacity. Humans haven't demonstrated intelligence superior to other species, failing to recognize this fact and not limiting our reproduction rate. Therefore, the only thing that can mitigate excessive energy consumption is higher commodity prices. Gasoline at $5 per gallon should have been implemented by taxing to that level at least fifteen years ago. Government, owned by big oil, obviously wouldn't go there. Now, with all our dollars pushing demand in China, the market has finally elevated it to more than $4 per gallon. Better late than never. Prices of other energy sources, while not yet tracking directly, will climb proportionally as soon as infrastructure is put into place that enables our NG to reach China et al.
Jean-David Beyer, denial and/or depression will not help you. My approach is to ignore the mess and concentrate on other things of interest to the maximum extent possible, while still remaining sufficiently engaged to cast informed ballots. The situation will eventually rectify itself, just as it did the last time we faced similar circumstances nearly 90 years ago. Citizens United, like Plessy v. Ferguson, will eventually be overturned. But perhaps not within my lifetime. :-)
@ February 23, 2012 11:45 PM in Compressed natural gas for home heating?...I'm willing to yell "uncle." :-)
I don't think exchanging tanks is a viable approach. If cars can be made to function on CNG, your second concern seems surmountable. However, if the tanks need to be 12 times the size of comparable LNG tanks (is that volume or linear dimensions?), it's probably impractical.
@ February 23, 2012 10:53 AM in Compressed natural gas for home heating?...is a "very large tank?" There are many residential installations that bury 1 or 2 1,000-gallon LPG tanks. As long as one is digging holes anyway, if the fuel cost per BTU makes sense, it might not be out of the question to install even larger tanks for CNG. That's what I'm driving at.
@ February 22, 2012 11:47 PM in Compressed natural gas for home heating?While LNG has 2.4 times the energy density of CNG, LNG isn't practical for individual home heating applications. My question is whether there's any sign of a CNG market developing to supply individual residences. The economics might be getting to where it can compete with LPG.
@ February 22, 2012 11:42 PM in Compressed natural gas for home heating?...certainly not LNG. The extremely low temperature storage requirements of LNG make no sense for individual home heating applications.
@ February 22, 2012 12:40 PM in Compressed natural gas for home heating?Conventional wisdom seems to be that compressed natural gas (CNG) is not used as a heating fuel because it's more expensive than propane. Given the trends in crude oil and natural gas prices of late, I wonder whether that situation is changing.
What insight can you informed Wallies shed on the possibility of CNG becoming available for home heating in areas of the country where natural gas utilities don't exist? It would appear to be win-win on multiple fronts, using some of the surplus, domestically produced natural gas as well as cutting oil imports for No. 2 and propane.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
@ January 30, 2012 12:50 PM in Gypcrete, Warmboard, Quik Trak... Which should I chooseRob, how do you set up / run Warmboard R ceilings for cooling in your area? How do you avoid condensation problems during periods of high humidity, i.e. most of the time cooling is necessary in the northeast? :-)
@ January 24, 2012 1:06 PM in Gypcrete, Warmboard, Quik Trak... Which should I choose...by using Warmboard R on the ceiling, then drywalling over it. :)
@ January 4, 2012 1:00 PM in Freewatt questionsI posted this in the "Defective Generator" thread but, in case it gets lost there, decided to start a new dedicated thread so anyone with Freewatt experience will see it. The Freewatt hydronic package looks attractive. However, there are some aspects that bear further inquiry:
* What mod/con is it, which HX is used and how has overall reliability/performance been? How compatible is it with various pumping/control strategies?
* A "typical" engine run time is stated as 4,000 hours
per year. What time-between-overhaul has the single-cylinder Honda
engine been exhibiting? What's the overhaul cost when required?
* There doesn't seem to be a combustion air input pipe
for the Honda engine. That implies it runs off room air. If one must
degrade a home's thermal envelope to provide ambient air communication
with the outdoors for a basement / mechanical room, what's the point of
the sealed combustion mod/con or trying to squeeze out every bit of
efficiency using this system?
Interesting concept, but I wonder whether it's cost-effective when all
these factors are considered. Any Wallies have experience with Freewatt
and able to answer the questions? Thanks in advance.
@ January 4, 2012 12:34 PM in new residential generator - defective controlAt first glance, the Freewatt hydronic package looks attractive, but there are some aspects that bear further inquiry:
* What mod/con is it, which HX is used and how has overall reliability/performance been?
* A "typical" engine run time is stated as 4,000 hours per year. What time-between-overhaul has the single-cylinder Honda engine been experiencing? What's the overhaul cost when required?
* There doesn't seem to be a combustion air input pipe for the Honda engine. That implies it runs off room air. If one must degrade a home's thermal envelope to provide ambient air communication with the outdoors for a basement / mechanical room, what's the point of the sealed combustion mod/con or trying to squeeze out every bit of efficiency using this system?
Interesting concept, but I wonder whether it's cost-effective when all these factors are considered. Any Wallies have experience with Freewatt and able to answer the questions? Thanks in advance.