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This tag is associated with 18 posts

LAZINESS

Borepatch recently posted regarding his dearth of posts.

Hardly.  I told him I wait for friends and quality!

I, too, have been remiss in my blogging duties.  Either in performing more than the minimum, or in leaving comments for my blogging brethren and sistren.

Turns out, there are reasons.

First, both my roomie and I have had recent health ‘issues’ and concerns.  She, a number of surgeries; me, a rash-of-indeterminate origin, a bad fall and a blood clot scare.

Second, my focus has been on trying to help keep us afloat while she misses work (and income).

Third, the ongoing household chores and maintenance – they never stop!  Dogs and cats to tend, trash to be taken out, groceries…

Two days ago, a leak from the upstairs shower became apparent, as water began coming through the ceiling!!  Do we have homeowner’s insurance?  Of course.  Can we afford the deductible?  NO.

And we have neither diagnostic nor physical plumbing ability…

The good news, is J. was released from her restrictive sling yesterday (following rotator cuff surgery).  Only eleven more weeks of physical therapy for her to follow!  And four more doctor’s appointments later this month.

My rash is largely gone (although I still itch, somewhat) and my bloated calf seems to be getting smaller.  I return Thursday for another follow-up with my doc.

So, Life keeps us busy.  And my focus has been less-than-perfect on the blog.

But, we will continue and prevail.

Peace.  Out.

 

Time Bomb Computer (A First-World Problem Story)

I own an HP Pavilion Touchscreen, with an AMD Athlon™ II X2 235e Processor 2.70 GHz 400 GB of RAM (3.75 GB usable) 64 bit operating system, x-64 based processor.  She has a 20″ flat, touch screen, with a cordless keyboard and mouse.

I purchased her on-line, refurbished (2011?)  And she has served me very well.

Last week, I received a message one of the software protection programs I purchased after-the-fact was in need of annual renewal.

And, frankly, with all that’s going on here (roomie surgery, less income, etc.), I don’t have the funds.  (This is NOT a bleg.)

The next day my computer gave me an error message:  HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT!  PLEASE BACKUP YOUR FILES (yadda, yadda, yadda).  I went back to using the computer, as I do not regularly back it up, and have no discs with which to back it up, anyway.

Besides, what if it was just some malware file from the software company, or elsewhere?

The computer has continued to function, as usual.

Yesterday, there was a blip in my Wi-Fi service (Cox, who knew?).  I reset the router (which is inconveniently downstairs).  Upon my return, there was the same message I had received a week ago.

I again accessed my computer, and downloaded a free hard drive analysis program.

The program confirmed my hard drive’s demise was imminent indeed!

Now what?

I have no funds or credit, so buying a new (or well-used) computer is out of the question.  Of course, getting it repaired also falls under these criteria.

I CAN check my email and blog from my smartphone or my cheap, Chinese tablet, with some difficulty.

Obviously, not my first choices.

What to do, what to do?

I will continue to blog, daily, changing the quote, cartoon, beauty and YouTube posting as I can.  Who knows – maybe she won’t fail until I somehow find a way to get another PC?  🙂

(I know, I’m an optimist!)

(FTC – HP, Athlon, and Cox have given me nothing, save years of good service (Cox, less so.).  I paid for the computer, and pay for Wi-Fi.)

The Mouse On The Drain

(not to be confused with The Mouse On The Moon, or other Duchy of Grand Fenwick tales!)

“Welcome to the drain, gentlemen!”  😛

My roommate and I share both household upkeep and maintenance.  To the best of our abilities.  Between disabilities, health conditions, arthritis, age, pain and shared whining, sometimes things are not as pristine as either of us would like.

(The fact we both have an over-sufficient amount of ‘stuff’ doesn’t help, either!)

Of course, this had little to do with today’s story…

Being the male in the house, many (not all) of the yuckier tasks fall to me.  And sometimes, it’s just the “luck of the draw”.

Today was one of those days.

The past couple of days while visiting the shower, I noticed what we always called when I was married (back in the 80’s) the mouse on the drain.  That is, a disc of hair jetsam on top of the drain grate, starting to inhibit shower drainage.

Back in the 80’s, it was roughly the size of a half dollar, and easily disposed of.

And, of course, not wearing my corrective lenses in the shower, it could have been something else – as in this case it was, a small round grey plastic comb.  (My roomie and I share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.)

And she does many hair-related things in there, with a multitude of chemicals and preparations.  I have shampoo and conditioner.

Fast forward to this morning.  Having picked up the plastic comb, I thought I’d be free of the ‘mouse on the drain’.

Not so fast, there, bucko!

The real mouse on the drain – or, in this case the rat or nutria(!), had wrapped itself into the workings of the grate, and was hanging (yuch!) down into the drain proper!!  And the shower floor was beginning to fill with water!

Fortunately, my hair is in need of cutting and is maybe a third of an inch long.  So, I’m thinking I’m not the main culprit. (ignoring body hair additions here for discretion).

I was able to complete my shower and listened to the slow-but-inevitable noisy drainage, fortunately before it crested into the bathroom proper.  Then, I picked up a proper tool to remove the drain cover (a long hemostat that is left in the bath for this very purpose – what earlier functions it may have had I can only imagine!  🙂  )

And took it upon myself to remove the long, tangled, fist-sized wet hair clumps from the grate and dispose of them.

After having done that, I policed the opening of the drain pipe for any additional hair/soap remnant escapees.

And replaced the grate.

I washed my hands and exited the bath.

I’m hoping next time I will notice the impending crest a day or so sooner.  And be able leave the mouse on the drain for someone else…

😛

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming! 

We’re told Life is a series of events. Which we are told to frame as ‘challenges’.

And sometimes I frame these events negatively.  Because I’m neurotic.

About six weeks ago, our laundry dryer went tango uniform. And we have been air drying, and to get our laundry dried.  Difficult in a 1200 sq. ft. townhouse full of stuff and animals!  Alternately going to a fluff-and-fold place.   When we could afford it.

Frankly, it’s been a P. I. T. A.!   And, as most of you know, we live ‘paycheck to paycheck’.

And don’t have funds for replacement or even repair. So we have to live with what we get.

And sometimes, that sucks! (NO, this is NOT a bleg!)

But, sometimes fate, and friends, intervene.

I was sharing our predicament with a dear friend, and she suddenly remembered they had an ‘extra’ dryer on their back patio! And asked me if I wanted theirs.

We were (of course) floored and extremely grateful.

Saturday, Kevin (my friend’s husband who happens to be an engineer) not only delivered but installed the dryer!

And it didn’t work.  😦

Fortunately, being an engineer, he diagnosed the problem (the door switch failed), ran to the appliance parts store, obtained the replacement, installed it, and got the dryer running!

I am humbled and thankful to believe I have such wonderful people as Tomi and Kevin in my life.

And now our clothes are not crunchy when dried!   🙂

Kenmore!

Many Thanks, Tomi and Kevin!

WD-40

I’m not a big scent kind of guy.  Clean, not to chemically-obvious, works for me.  (I’ve written about women’s perfumery before!)

With regard to things chemical, I DO like Hoppe’s #9 Powder Solvent.  If women used THAT instead of a 55 gallon drum of Froo-Froo#9, I know I’d like them better!  I’m certain long exposure to the fumes is not healthy, though.  😦

Long exposure to women is still under discussion…

Another firearms-related chemical scent I like is that of WD-40.  I’m certain that’s because it sparks memories of my early gun days, and trying to loosen and clean stuff.  And lubricate and coat…

Fun fact – it’s made from fish oil!

Of course, experience has taught me it doesn’t last on bearing surfaces, like slide to frame.  And it’s death to live primers.  I changed to lithium grease long ago.

Still…

scents

wd39

 

No More CLP?

(From The Firearms Blog)

clp

The US Army’s Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has developed an integral surface treatment for infantry small arms that could augment or supplant the existing applicated Cleaning, Lubricating, Preserving (CLP) lubricant on small arms components. The new lubricant is applied during the manufacturing of small arms and promises a permanent solution for weapons lubrication and environmental resistance. From Army.mil:
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Although weapon maintenance may seem tedious to the unencumbered civilian, Picatinny Arsenal engineers know a clean weapon could save the warfighter’s life.
That’s why they are developing an advanced surface treatment for armament components that not only mitigates weapon maintenance but also provides increased reliability and durability.
Currently, when cleaning a weapon, warfighters use a conventional wet lubricant known as CLP (cleaner, lubricant, and preservative) that is continuously reapplied.

As early as 2003, the Army was experiencing problems with weapon stoppages in sand and dust environments if proper lubrication procedures and cleaning methods were not followed.
Army engineers recognized the importance of weapon maintenance in these extreme environments.
Thus, they set out to identify a materiel solution, which resulted in a Durable Solid Lubricant.
“The new technology eliminates CLP and uses a dry surface treatment known as durable solid lubricant, or DSL, that is applied during armament component manufacturing,” said Adam Foltz, an experimental engineer at the U.S. Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC.
“So far the DSL has been applied to small and medium caliber weapons, such as rifles, like the M4A1 Carbine, and machine guns like the M240 to demonstrate the technology capability,” Foltz continued.
As a result of using the durable solid lubricant, weapons function properly, require less maintenance, and the war-fighter has more peace of mind regarding possible weapon malfunctions.

The DSL solution achieves three ideal outputs: a lower friction coefficient, better wear resistance, and improved corrosion protection. “Friction coefficient” describes how a weapon slides; a low coefficient means the weapon slides easily, a high coefficient suggests sliding resistance.
“With typical wet lubricants, Soldiers need to reapply in order for the weapon system to function properly. Soldiers also have to regularly clean off carbon residue that builds up from firing and it can be tough to clean,” explained Foltz.
“Our DSL has a high wear resistance and a low friction coefficient, so it’s easy to clean off anything that builds up. You can use a steel brush to knock off any residue, and you don’t even have to worry about reapplying anything.”
Additionally, the current industry standards for preventing corrosion on armament components involves treating steel parts with phosphate and oil while aluminum parts are anodized (coated with an oxide layer.)
DSL uses a benign material that eliminates the need for a phosphate/oil coating process, making it an environmentally friendly solution.

In the ambient environment, the project team shot 15,000 rounds per weapon. The baseline weapons with the CLP showed wear and complete loss of the phosphate on approximately 75 percent of the bolt carrier sliding surfaces and 90 percent of the bolt.
Meanwhile, the DSL material showed less than 5 percent wear on both the bolt carrier and bolt.
In every instance, the DSL material showed either an improved or an equivalent performance to the CLP baseline. Results demonstrated increased wear resistance, increased reliability, and improved maintainability.
While a lubricating surface treatment would be a major advance for small arms technology, cutting down on time-consuming routine maintenance, history shows that a cautious approach is best. DSL, if it proves successful, should be applied to firearms that then still receive routine CLP applications, further improving a rifle’s functionality and ensuring no reduction in function. During Vietnam, the new M16 rifle with its aluminum receiver and direct impingement gas system was advertised as “self-cleaning by Colt, and the US Army failed to issue the weapons with requisite cleaning kits. As a result, the weapons – to a degree “self-cleaning”, but by no means impervious to the humidity of Southeast Asia – failed in combat, which resulted in the deaths of many riflemen. Colt’s claims about the M16 were not false, but the treatment of the M16’s advancements in corrosion resistance and environmental resilience were taken as a panacea to all maintenance worries, with fatal results.
With that warning out of the way, DSL appears to be a very promising innovation that could not only save time, but lives… But I wouldn’t sound the deathknell of CLP just yet.

Yet ANOTHER concoction in the ubiquitous battle of the lubes!

Any takers?  Believers?  Users?

As for me, I no longer own any rifles.  😦  When I did, I was a loyal CLP user.

But you know I tend to be old-school!

High Power Field Strip

from The Firearm Blog

 

I loved my Browning!  Sadly, she was lost in the vault theft some years back.  😦

Some folks acquire firearms without knowledge of their specific manual of arms, or even how to strip them down for basic maintenance or cleaning.

This showed up in my email from TFB, so, I thought I’d pass it along.

(Yes – it’s ‘older’ technology, but JMB was a genius!  Folks like Gaston Glock stand on his shoulders!)

Cat-A**-Trophy

20150618_154144

Belle, after a hard day of messing up my life

I generally do not allow the livestock into my room.  Because of mild allergies and annoyances – as it is my ‘sanctuary’.

HOWEVER, the ‘kitten’ Belle (who is now over one year; officially a cat) does sometimes get in.  She is generally friendly and loving (except the whole trying-to-trip-me-on-the-stairs thing).  And there is something soothing about petting a cat and hearing her purr.

BUT, she does like to explore, and find mischief.  Like going to my desk and retrieving wrapped sugar-free cough drops as toys.  Which she then drops to the floor, making them dog fodder – should they get in.  And for me to step on, later.

The biggest annoyance, though, is as my computer is open on my desk – she walks on and sometimes lays on the keyboard!  When this happens, two things occur:

  1. Somehow, she connects to illegal government security and/or porn sites  (SERIOUSLY, how does she DO that?)
  2. She presses combinations of keys making my use of the computer impossible!

The other morning, I began my usual rituals ending with sitting at my desk and starting to do my blog.  Suddenly, it became VERY clear that anything I typed (No, TRIED to type) wasn’t working!  It was as if the keyboard were haunted!  Periods became <, even when the caps lock was off!  Highlighting text (to cut and paste into my blog software) became very finicky and non-responsive.  I actually began thinking I would not be able to use my PC to blog on and would have to resort to my tablet, which would be much more difficult.

Much cursing, whining and praying ensued.

After roughly 45 minutes, some combination of keyboard tweaks I tried actually WORKED!  I was able to do the blog as I usually do, complete with correct punctuation!  HUZZAH!  Of course, I’ve no idea how I fixed things, exactly…

The plan, now, is to remove the wireless keyboard to an undisclosed location, if I am not using it, lest the kitten invade again.

And to figure out how she’s getting to those websites.

NO, not those ones!

I Drive A GM Car

Not by choice.

My beloved ’89 Isuzu Trooper (Molly’s Trolley) gave up the ghost in 2002.  I traded in her carcass for the only ‘decent’ car I could then qualify for.  A 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Which I still own and sometimes drive.  In 2015.

Because my being on disability means I just squeak by, and cannot afford car payments.  My last significant repair cost over $700, which I borrowed from my roommate and paid back @ $100/month.  Plus my rent.  Ouch.

I’ve oft had fantasies of getting some extra funds.  Paying off long-overdue bills and maybe getting a slightly newer car.

And, considering the questionably available maintenance and longevity of the Olds, she still runs.  Sometimes.

So, why not a GM car?

Here’s why (from Say Uncle):

First, I (and you) foot the bill for their mismanagement and union kowtowing. Now, this:

Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

Good thing Dave-the-genius-mechanic is moving out-of-state!  Wouldn’t want him to get in trouble for tinkering with my car.  After all, he just repairs Airbus A320s for U.S. Air American Airlines!

Guess I will now always need a G(overnment) Motors –  approved shop!

And the sad part (aside from Dave leaving the State!:-( ) is of all the beater cars I’ve owned, THIS is the one who lasted the longest!

Love Potion (Hoppe’s) #9

hoppesI don’t have much occasion to clean firearms, anymore.

Why?  I don’t get to shoot very much.

I noticed after my last outing that I was low completely out of my mainstay solvent, Hoppe’s #9!

I went to a nearby firearms emporium to get some.  They not only didn’t have any, they said they didn’t even stock it!

So I had to settle for some Remington-branded ‘green’ gun cleaner.

It seemed to work okay, but it didn’t have the olfactory thrill (toxicity) of the Hoppes.

Scientists tell us that the sense-of-smell is deeply ingrained in our psyche.  Food tastes better, uh personal interactions are better, when the nose is working properly.  Memories are triggered.

I’d drive to a farther gun shop, but my car is failing…

I really miss the smell of Hoppe’s!  It can be ordered on line, but the interstate chemical transport fees are huge!  So much for THAT idea!

Of course, there was that waitress who smelled of Ivory Soap….

(Sorry, another memory triggered!)

FTC – Hoppe’s and Remington gave me nothing!  Go clean your own guns and find your own waitresses!

 

h/t New Jovian Thunderbolt

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…