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Green Eyed Monster

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Everything posted by Green Eyed Monster

  1. As a general rule of thumb, at least for the more urbanized areas of the country, the mobile numbers are on different exchanges from the landlines. It's an easy lookup on a pre-prepared table for a computer as part of the validation process for the account. GEM
  2. It might seem that way but the last time most of Texas saw weather this cold was circa 1989. We are in what is called the Maunder Minimum, named for the scientist that correctly plotted the cyclical nature of the sun's output. It's a roughly 11 year cycle where the suns output goes to a normal maximum and then a normal minimum in a sinusoidal wave pattern. Right now we are near the minimum in the cycle, where sunspot activity is at its lowest and the suns surface is at its lowest temp. This is the indication on the surface of the lower energy activity inside and the lower energy output impinging on planet earth. The low sunspot activity coincides with a reduction in the magnetic flux lines breaking the surface and the lower energy output. Soon the cycle will begin to go up and we will see increased sunspot activity and magnetic flux lines, increased radio interference, and an uptick in energetic weather activities. The arctic jet stream will stay farther north and our weather patterns will be under greater influence from the warmer oceanic upwellings due to the increased solar input. And so the cycle will contine with fluctuations due to the nuclear furnace in the sky operating the way such things do, until that time when the mathematical balance goes off balance from the nuclear fuel cycle running its course and our sun turns into a red giant and finally a brown dwarf.
  3. Natural Gas lines froze because they weren't buried below the frost line. Coal and Nuke Plants were put offline because of control system components that were exposed and couldn't handle the too far below freezing temps. A lot of people doing the Monday Morning Quarterback routine and telling Texas what they "should have done", while not comprehending that this is a once in a generation storm situation. Stay warm my friends. This too will pass. GEM Addendum: Water Treatment Plants have been suffering with the same control failures as the Electrical Generating Plants. Thus the need to boil water. Which I guess highlights the need for a bottled propane source of heat for cooking when the power goes out.
  4. IMNSHO, anyone who thinks that is "beekeeperish" needs to dial back their hypersensitivity. You are referencing a public figure. The fact that that public figure may be better known in the political sphere than elsewhere should be irrelevant, as there is no political content in the reference. GEM
  5. I could make some recommendations on who/what businesses to sacrifice. But if I did you would only be able to find me in Beekeepers. GEM English translation: There is a device called a "starting capacitor" on the motors used in this kind of application. What it does is store enough electrical energy to give the motor a "kick" when it is trying to start so that the motor comes up to speed quickly and smoothly instead of straining to start rotating. The tech is right, and be thankful that it's the starting capacitor that went south, as it is one of the easiest and least expensive components to replace. GEM
  6. It's not just the construction but the lubricants and any other fluids used in the operation of machinery such as this. And yes, there are design differences in wind turbines used in different areas. For example, a design that works in the North Sea, where there are large wind turbine fields, would be unsuitable for Texas due to the differences in normal temperature gradient. The machines used in Texas need to withstand operating temperatures that can go into the low hundred degree range for weeks on end, a temperature that you will never see in an environment such as the North Sea where you have a handy heat sink in the form of a large body of water. If you try to use the same clearances in Texas you are going to experience excessive maintenance due to the clearances going below minimums, which can cause catastrophic failure that often leads to additional damage while the failure is occurring. Bearing tolerances and the clearances for moving parts need to be designed to different specs for these two different environments. Same thing for lubricants and operating fluids. The machines in Texas have had to be put into a safety mode as just the resistance caused by lubricants below their operating range could be enough to cause damage to the mechanical elements. Oils turn to heavy syrups or even congeal and greases can completely solidify at the temperatures being experienced if they are specked for the normal summertime operating environment. There's going to be a certain percentage of machines that will require extra maintenance before they can be brought safely and reliably back online once the inclement weather slackens. In a worst case scenario it will be enough to impact power deliveries enough so that some form of rationing has to be maintained for an unforeseeable period of time. It used to be that you had to change the oil in your car on a seasonal basis prior to the development of multi-weight oils. The 30 wt that was fine for warmer weather would turn into something that the starter couldn't overcome when cold so you had to drain it and put in 10wt or even 5 wt for the colder months. Try to run the engine on that in the warmest months and the bearings will quickly wear out. That's also the reason why block heaters are a necessity in really cold environments. GEM Addendum: The Art of Engineering is to use the Science to design the most economical machine to get the intended job done. Different operating environments impose different restraints on what is economical, and even what is feasible. When you are talking about a project where there are hundreds, even thousands of the same basic machine being produced small savings quickly add up into significant sums of money. If they had designed the machines used in Texas to accommodate the current weather conditions as well as the normal operating conditions the increase in costs could have been enough to scuttle the entire project.
  7. Reading the weather related plight of our Texas forumites, and those in surrounding areas, combined with what I'm seeing on varous online news sites I am prognoasticating some [unfortunately] bad news. All those wiind turbines that are off line and causing the current electricity shortage may be off line for longer than most people anticipate. These turbines are currently experiencing temperatures outside of their designed operating range, thus necessitating the shutdown, but these temperatures may cause some permanent damage to close tolerance components that will necessitate keeping some units shut down for an extended period of time, to be determined by the availabilty of replacement parts and enough technicians and service vehicles to make the repairs. If the situation becomes as bad as it could, enough units could be out of commission to cause problems through the high demand period of the summer. GEM
  8. You might want to consider this: https://laughingsquid.com/bicycle-with-circular-saw-blade-wheels-rides-on-ice/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=laughing_squid_blog_posts&utm_term=2021-02-12 GEM
  9. Note: Snow chains and 4wd may be required to access the complaint department. GEM
  10. Valentines Day successfully accomplished. Cards, flowers, gifts, candy and all topped off with a steak and baked potato dinner. Now to start working on Birthday for SWMBO, which happens in just 8 days. I think Dolly Parton is going to be a big help. She has a new coffee table sized book out, there's a magazine style book out, and SWMBO is a fan. GEM
  11. The only way to have any degree of protection against these types of transients is to have a massive surge protector , either on each device/group of devices or on the incoming line. These devices, to be effective, need to be heavy and bulky as they need to contain as a core element a big [and expensive] iron core transformer with big and bulky additional circuitry to damp out extreme transients. Most people when they find out the acquisition costs of these type of surge protectors/line conditioners choose to take their chances on the possibility of a transient spike of sufficient magnitude to damage consumer grade electronics. I personally have had to replace power supplies in computers, both at home and in commercial grade video games due to these sorts of transients. I look at the cost of replacement of a computer power supply as an expense to be borne when the power supply sacrifices itself before such a transient gets into the more expensive electronics that make up the guts of a computer. In the commercial realm, it's part of customer relations to have to lay out the expense and time for a replacement game power supply [which we bought in case lot quantities for the business] than to try to explain to shop owners that it was the borderline electrical circuitry of their cooler cases and soda machines that was slamming our equipment with high enough transients so that eventually the power supplies acted like a one shot circuit protector [basically a fuse] from the repeated electrical hammering they would receive. Fortunately for my sanity the days of managing a coin operated equipment business are long behind me. I still have to deal with the occasional problem caused by Southern California Edison's increasingly shaky and undependable residential electrical service. When we move, I will be trading one questionable power company for another. But with a plan B that includes battery backup solar panels for when the grid goes down. And a backup generator. GEM
  12. For those who may be contemplating the pot of water on the stove humidification technique I suggested yesterday, here's a little tip to spread the humidified air around. Turn on the fan [just the fan] in your HVAC system so that the air will circulate throughout the house. Of course, if your heater is running a lot that will spread the humidified air without having to tinker with your thermostat. We are currently experiencing temps in the low 60s [F] but with a considerable wind chill factor due to a windstorm currently whistling through the area. Which means low humidity [and lots of wind noise] so I'm taking my own advice. Stay safe, dry, and warm peeps. GEM
  13. Sounds like it's time to put a big pot of water on the stove, bring it to a boil, and then just let it simmer. Top up as needed. Why? So that the humidity level inside the house goes from single digits into the low double digits. This will reduce the tendency to be a human tesla coil. GEM
  14. I'm hearing the same thing. It's very pleasant to my Occidental ear. GEM
  15. The Dragon Puppets are incredible! GEM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wnHtUx10iw This is some great background music for an Oriental Setting. GEM
  16. Like @Pegazus I'm the Libra/OX. On another topic, has anybody heard from @Chaoswolf? They had a hugemongous pileup in the Fort Worth area, something like 100 vehicles, and I just am concerned about our newly transplanted wolf brother having dodged any unwanted involvement with the too cold, too wet, and too icy conditions currently affecting Texas. GEM
  17. From your description I would opine that this goes well beyond Trollery and is outright Cyber-Bullying. GEM
  18. Not to worry. It's actually February 9th, which is tomorrow. So consider this your official Heads Up. GEM Who got the preview tonight and gets more of the same tomorrow.
  19. In honor of National Pizza Day I baked a pizza for dinner. Frozen stuffed crust pie with BACON! in the crust. When I do a home baked pizza I always add extra cheese [Cheddar and Jack], and play "hide the pie" with Pepperoni. Today I added half a [large] can of sliced olives and chopped up two slices of Lebanon Bologna. The Lebanon Bologna really works well with the Pepperoni. Finish with grated Parmesan and Romano at the table. Since there are just two of us, we ate half and will have the other half tomorrow night. GEM
  20. This is all @Chaoswolfs fault. He obviously didn't check his packing job good enough and some inimical New Jersey weather pixie hitched a ride in his miniatures. It remained hidden until the Wolfster was starting to settle in in the Fort Worth area and is now doing various "weather mischief" in the Denton environs. GEM
  21. I laugh, knowing full well that we are going to be doing similar things in a month or less, and for the same reasons. GEM
  22. When I arrived in Memphis, Tenn. for Avionics Training in the Navy the first thing I noticed was the number of vehicles with body damage, mostly appearing to have occurred very recently. When the first snow hit the next fall, I found out why. Even though they get cold enough and wet enough conditions to have resistance heaters built into the structure of most of the bridges on major thoroughfares, the locals just can't remember from one year to the next how to drive in icy/snowy conditions. GEM Fort Worth would be even worse.
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