Water Miracles

So I’m sitting in the library…

My son had some homework to do. It required putting together a PowerPoint presentation and we do not have PowerPoint. The computers at the library were the obvious choice right after I decided that it wasn’t worth the download for a one time use. At least I hope this is a one time issue. We all know how that goes.

So after the trials and tribulations of getting to the library, it was a trip laced with difficulties that were unforeseeable. My son had lost his library card. We needed a dollar for a replacement card. I hardly ever have cash in my pocket anymore due to the reliance on debit cards. Tried to buy something cheap at the Dollar Store and get some cash back, could not read my debit card. Tried with a credit card, could not get cash back on it! Finally went to a damn ATM and pulled 20 bucks out so I could pay for a one dollar library card! Are we having fun yet??! Nothing in my life, even the acquisition of one stinking dollar, is never as easy as it should be.

Anyway by now you must be wondering how this all ties in to the title of the post. We finally got the library card squared away, my son was able to use the library computer and I had some time to kill. Being in a library, I wisely sought something to read to occupy my time. I found some Popular Science magazines that piqued my interest and started with my page turning enjoyment.

I got to the end of an issue and there was a 2 page advertisement for some device that will deplete the deuterium from your water! And it has all kinds of health benefits! I found this quackery in a Popular Science mag? I guess they will take any old crackpots money!

Here is a link I found that has much of the same wording as the advertisement I came across. It is good for a laugh, there is even some reference about this miracle device fulfilling biblical prophecy, which makes it much more believable (I know…right?) They also go on about the angle of the hydrogen bond in the treated water and how it can save a foot in need of amputation, supposedly grow hair on a bald scalp, and apparently kills Ebola! And much much more! :


I thought about debunking this crap but then found a page that had already done the legwork. The guy at this link goes to great lengths debunking all kinds of new age nonsense and there is a lot of it unfortunately. Some people do have such open minds that their brains fall out and their wallets are magically lightened.  :)


Amazing how much fun you can have at the library, well with your clothes still on!  :)

Clean Coal My A**

I watched the horrid debate last night, if I wasn’t already disgusted with Trump his performance would have pushed me in that direction. But that’s another story for another day. I want to discuss something I keep hearing from Trump. Trump and the R’s in general keep buzzwording “Clean Coal” and how the emission restrictions enacted by the Obama administration are hurting jobs and the economy. Every time I hear this schtick the words that pop into my head are “what about the environment jackass!?” Sometimes I think it so loudly people sitting in the room can hear me🙂

Clean coal, (There are several processes of supposedly cleaning coal. The one I am describing is cited as the most hopeful in my limited research) is a process where they scrub CO2 from the coal smoke, run it into a solvent that absorbs the CO2, then gasify the solvent at high heat, thereby releasing the CO2, then pressurizing it and disposing of it through deep well injection into sandstone or depleted oceanic oil deposits. Sounds simple enough, right?

Well not so fast. Even with this very expensive technology, and its very high operating demand, (as much as 25-30% of a coal plants output) with the current tech and actual (now no longer operating) operating facilities, they were only capturing a few hundred tons of CO2 per day. This when an average coal plant emits 5000 tons of CO2 per day!

American Electric Power, a large power company I believe based in Ohio, built their test facility at their Mountaineer plant in W. Virginia. They did a proof of concept run (between Oct 2009 and May 2011), that shows they can make coal cleaner, but the cost and the inneffeciency has proven in the long run that clean coal is a myth. Such a low carbon capture rate compounded by extreme costs, and extreme power consumption, led to them shelving the notion of large scale expansion. (they blamed uncertain regulations and the economy, if you are interested see the second link at the bottom of this post.) Also the long term storage of any sequestered CO2 is questionable at best. Who can gurantee this stored CO2 will stay where it is put? Who wants to take the heat when something goes wrong 20 years down the road?

No one is making clean coal today and damn well likely not tomorrow either.

The notion of clean coal is an oxymoron. They can make coal cleaner than it is, but not by a large enough percentage to make a noticeable dent in our CO2 footprint. Clean coal is nothing more than buzz word pandering to voters in coal states, and a political fantasy. At least with todays technology.

Until someone comes up with an economic coal cleaning plan that reduces carbon emissions by at least 50% I think they are chasing their tails. Chasing tails while amusing, in this case adds up to many millions if not billions of wasted dollars. See here:

That link is about a new clean coal plant in Mississippi. It was supposed to be the latest greatest cleanest coal plant ever. However at this time it has become mired in cost overruns and piss poor management. Thanks to a whistle blower much of the problems came to light. Now if and when they can get this plant operational and show their actual numbers I’ll be glad to reconsider my notion of the high improbability of anything resembling clean coal at this time in our history.





Trump Would Get My Vote…

If he was running for sewage inspector.

I just heard on my local news that Trump is carrying my home state of Tennessee in the polls. Another of many good reasons to move the hell out of here and leave these crosseyed jeebus loving rednecks to their own devices, and their sisters.

In all of my years, and there have been a few, I can’t remember a presidential election that was this terrible. I mean yes, it’s almost always a choice between a douche bag and a shit sandwich (South Park reference) but this year it isn’t just that. It is a choice between a fricking reality TV character who is rich beyond our wildest dreams, a bigot, a racist, a misogynist, a liar, a fraud, a tax adjuster, a con man, a bully, a compulsive nitwit, the list just gets longer every day. And, a career politician who just happens to be female, wife of a former president, a democrat, and for many reasons I don’t even understand given these circumstances, not all that popular with the general public.

I really feel of the choices, and I agree they are both not that great… One of these people is worse than the other for our country, for our people, and the world at large, by an order of many magnitudes. I’m not going to say who, I think most of us can figure that out.

But the thing is I am left wondering, who in the hell in their right mind, thinks Trump is going to do anything to better our country? Given his character I can tell you the only thing he would accomplish is to further divide the gap between the wealthy and the not so wealthy. He would stack the deck so that he and other rich cronies like himself will be laughing all they way to the bank for the next millenia. That is if he doesn’t go whacko and make the U.S. the new Nazi state (“papers please”) or decide on a tweet that it’s a great idea to nuke everybody.

Are my wife and I, and a few of my blogging pals the only people who can see this? Where are the rest of us? Why in the hell is Trump carrying any state in the polls? How the fuck can this even be happening in a sane and rational world? Am I going to wake up in the morning and be told it was all just a new episode of the Twilight Zone? Please, please, please, let that be the case. I don’t think there is enough alcohol in the state of Tennessee to console myself and the wife if Trump wins this. I don’t think it will really happen, but this is so bizarre I am having trouble ciphering between reality and some dark bizzaro world fantasy.

Help Me! Send booze! Send money! I may need to move to Canada with Nan!


Alabama Asshat Loses His Hat

His judge hat. The hat he is wearing now is “Officially Retired”  (I’m using hat in this instance as an indicator of ones job, and because I can tie that in with asshat)

The great Chief Justice Roy Moore, an overt x-ian, you know the kind no one likes, the kind that feels compelled to defy law in favor of their personal beliefs, was suspended (without pay, yay!) for the rest of his term for being an asshat.

Seven months after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, Mr. Asshat mandated that Alabama judges continue to enforce Alabama’s ban on gay marriage. Thus defying federal law in favor of his religious views. I suppose to some that makes him an excellent x-ian (oxymoron alert) to many it makes him, well…an asshat.

This is the same judge you may remember from back in 2003, who defied the order to remove a 10 commandments monument from a public courthouse. He got into hot water for that as well, he was suspended then too, but the slimy bastard was reelected (how?) back to his job in an election back in 2012. Do only RWCRFM’s (Right Wing Conservative Republican Fundamentalist Morons) only vote in elections? If that is the case we are in trouble come November! Hopefully they will be too senile to find the voting locations…




Yes, I’m A Gamer

Of sorts. When I was a young-un all the cool kids had these things called Atari’s. We never had one because we didn’t have money for such things. I was lucky to have a bicycle, a few board games, and a baseball and glove. I made do. Most of us did. Every once in a while I’d get a cap gun and I’d blam blam a few unfortunate imaginary foes until I ran out of caps or the cheap gun broke. By the time I was 10 or so I did finally get a single pump BB gun which was awesome (no I didn’t shoot my eye out), till that time if wanted a gun I’d have to substitute a stick from the yard. Ahh the good old days.

I did later get a dirt bike to ride (which I was paying for with my paper route) but I never really got into the gamer thing until I was married to my first wife, with kids and had a mortgage. I had picked up a computer a 386 SX and it came equipped with 2 entire gigs of Ram. It had even been upgraded with 1 extra gig! (Anyone remember Win3 and DOS 6.0?) Well at the time Kings Quest games were the thing and we had one of them, then I bought another for the kids. Well it came with a freebie trial for a new online MMORPG (Massive Multi Player Role Playing Game) called simply The Realm. It was by the same company that did Kings Quest, Sierra. Well I did the free trial thing and I was hooked. I have played that game on and off for several years. In the beginning it had a lot of people and was a very fun game to play. I have quit and gone back a few times, as of right now I don’t mess with it much. It has run its course I think.

Well with little desire to get into the pay to win games that have flooded the world today, and bored with my old game of choice, I thought I’d look for some sort of brain food. I like things that challenge my poor dilapidated noggin and when I’m not too busy mechanic-ing, or dealing with the everyday neccessities, I like to do SOMETHING with my brain. Mahjong which came on my computer did the job for a good while, I still play it, but was looking for something…new.

I learned how to play Cribbage a long time ago from my great uncle Leo. Leo had been captured in WW2 early on in the war. He was in the battle at Faid Pass. The Germans advanced, engaged in battle, then did a tactical retreat. The Allies thinking they had them on the run gave chase. It was a trick. They advanced into a trap and were blown to hell. Uncle Leo survived, was captured, and spent a lot of time in a concentration camp. Many of his companions were Brits. Brits love Cribbage. Leo learned from the Brits. I learned from Leo. So long story short I like a good game of Cribbage. So I set upon a course to find a free to play Cribbage game. (Yahoo used to have a really good one but they nerfed it) I found a decent one here:


I played that game for a while, until I realized the game cheats. It always plays the game so that the opponents hand hits the upcard. Way too much to be a coincidence. I can still beat it, but don’t care for being disadvantaged. So, I decided to snoop around on the site and have found quite a few interesting, free, did I say free? Yep free games to play. No you won’t find the latest greatest anything at that site, but there is a lot to look over and try out. And it’s FREE! Yes there are a few ads(Which I just resize my window so I don’t have the distraction, don’t tell anyone) And some of the games are limited play before they want you to buy it. But you can still play the game without chucking any cash at them so what the hell.

Right now I’m really liking the game Alpha Assault, it is under the word/trivia category (All the categories can be seen at the link). It’s basically Scrabble with a twist. You have to make words to eliminate tiles threatening your position. It’s quite a bit of fun, somewhat addicting, and satifies my desire for brain food. And that is what matters I think🙂

There are a few poker games I have tried. Governor of Poker was fun, and still is, but it moves a little slow and I pushed it to the point where they urged me to buy the game. Which I don’t want to do. There are a couple more good poker games there as well, and a host of games I have yet to try. But I’ll get there.

So, why am I posting this at all? Just in case there is another pour soul out there that needs a brain food fix. Someone up for a challenge. Someone as cheap as I am. If that is you then check that link out. You may or may not like the site but you sure won’t complain about the price!


Bicycles, Boats, And Go Carts

That’s what Ive been up to. My youngest son decided to take MY bicycle for a ride, and proceeded to smack the derailleur (the thingy that moves the chain on the rear gears) right against a table leg, destroying the derailleur. I just happen to have an old carcass of a bike out back and the derailleur was still functional, so I have been in the process of switching them out.

No easy feat. There are no master links on multi speed bike chains so you have to bust a link to remove the chain + derailleur. No problem. I can do that. But I don’t have a master link to put the chain back together. Amazon to the rescue! I got the new master link a couple days ago. But…in the process of fixing this bike I noticed some busted spokes on the rear wheel. Every one of them is on the gear cluster (or cassette if you prefer) side, which means you have to pull the gear cluster to replace the spokes. Which as it turns out means you need special tools to do. Welcome to my life. No act large or small ever goes smoothly, there is always trips to town, internet searches, Amazon purchases, cuts and bruises, sweat and blood. Nothing is ever easy. The tools are on their way.

Then, as I was pulling the axle on the rear wheel, I notice the damn axle is bent. So I have to fix that too. Jeese Louise.

While I was ordering a master link for the bicycle I remembered the old go cart out in the shop. The go cart just needed a master link to make it go, so while I was ordering master links I got one for the go cart chain. But again nothing is ever easy. I put the link in the chain and soon realized I was out of room for adjusting the chain. It was too loose. So I took the chain off and busted a link out of it and tried again, too damn tight! So now I’m scratching my noggin trying to figure out where to go from here and I realized I could shim the motor so it sits higher on the frame, thus tightening the chain. Well I have a lot of 1/8 inch steel around here just because you never know when you might need some steel, and have to start up the welder to make something you need. But I figured 1/8 ” thickness would mean I’d need to make 2-3 plates and weld them together, which I could do, but didn’t want to, so I called my neighbor. I knew there was a chance he would have heavier stock and he did! We found some 3/8″ thick  x 5″ wide flat steel in his scrap pile that was perfect. He used his band saw to cut me a piece 7″ long. I took that piece home, after thanking my friend and neighbor, and used an old (like new though) 5 hp Honda engine I have lying around, as a template for drilling the holes in my new shim. The shim worked perfectly! But remember nothing is ever easy🙂 The bolts were now too short to bolt the engine back on! Okay they are 5/16 bolts, and I have a drawer full of bolts, washers, wire, doo dads, brackets, and whatnot, I got lucky and found 4 bolts of the right size, but they are too long. No biggie I measured how long I’d need em and cut them to length I needed. Whew! It all bolted up.

Now it’s time to crank this old piece of shit. This go cart has a 5hp Briggs and Stratton engine, I HATE Briggs and Stratton engines. They are literally the definition of “nothing is ever easy” This motor has sat for a few years and I knew it would be a bitch to crank. I looked in the gas tank first, a little old gas in there, being the kind of guy I am I just rolled the cart over on its side and let the nasty gas drain out. Then I put some fresh gas in. I pulled the plug, grounded it on the engine, and had my son pull the start rope to verify spark, spark verified. Then I took off the air filter and dumped a small amount of gas in the intake. Then began the pulling. I must have yanked that starter rope 50 times, all the while proclaiming “I hate Briggs engines!” or “I’m gonna put the Honda on it!” Finally after an eternity of swearing, sweating, and a lot of catching my breath, the engine hit for a second. Then it cranked and died. Then it cranked up! I took the cart for a quick spin to verify everything was working, then parked it and took a break. The ride of the cart was rougher than I remembered, quite a jolting ride, so today while I was in town I found a nice dense foam seat cover to put in the drivers seat. I got that done and added some foam pipe insulation to the roll bars. I had the pipe insulation left over from where I had to redo our well about a year ago… Anyway it was all worth it, as I watched my son having a great time tooling around on the cart as I was cutting grass. Seeing his hair askew and a smile on his face gave me a great sense of satisfaction. Some things are worth the trouble.

Boats, yep I still have a boat in the shop. I’m still compounding (using a dual action sander, with a foam pad, and a compounding solution which is like a thick soup of grit) when I get the time and/or it isn’t 105 degrees in the shade. We have had cooler weather in spurts, like a couple days here and there, then it gets back to humid and 90 degrees+. So I get out there when I can and get a little done here and there. This is a job of 10,000 things to do. I’ll do them one at a time until I get her ready to go.

In the meantime I will continue to visit my blog friends when I can, and I’ll drop in and post at least once in a while. I’m busy, but I still think about y’all.  :)



What? No Jumper Cables?

Scientists at UCLA have developed and used an ultrasound technology to stimulate the brain of a man in a coma. The results were astounding. Within 3 days after the treatment the man had improved dramatically, I’ll quote: “Before the procedure began, the man showed only minimal signs of being conscious and of understanding speech for example, he could perform small limited movements when asked. By the day after the treatment, his responses had improved measurably. Three days later, the patient had regained full consciousness and full language comprehension, and he could reliably communicate by nodding his head “yes” or shaking his head “no.” He even made a fist-bump gesture to say goodbye to one of his doctors.”

Now granted this guy already had very limited cognitive ability to start with, but I’d say the immediate improvement is quite noteworthy. They did however take a cautious approach with this statement: “It is possible that we were just very lucky and happened to have stimulated the patient just as he was spontaneously recovering.”

This looks to be promising tech with a bright future, or it could have been a fluke, but definately worth watching how this plays out. If this proves to be as good as it seems this would be a breakthrough technology. Being the kind of guy I am I hope it works on a regular basis.  :)