• Category Archives Life in the USA
  • Built a gate

    The old one was about had it. I guess it was not too bad for 20ish years old…. it sagged and was a pain to open since it was dragging on the ground so much.
    Not only, but also, it opened into the yard. This made it hard to get the rubbish (trash) bins (cans) in and out since it opened into them.

    As you can see, even with the braces someone had put on there, it was not enough to pull the gate off the ground.
    Also whats with the non-level top? Who thought that was a good idea?

    This is what the three of us built in a few hours.
    Freddy has painted the other side so it keeps the HOA “happy” (You can never keep them happy, so we just do our best and hope).
    Anyway, swung it on the house side so it folds back on the house, giving much more room to get the wheely bins in and out.
    Leveled the top for no reason other than it looks oh so much better.
    Notice the top rail. The HOA demands that all fences and gates have a top rail. Why? Because HOA.

  • Shipping oil.

    So. Who knew? Not me…… But then I live under a rock. (And love it).

    “The ‘biggest change in oil market history’ is less than six months away.”
    Screamed the headline. I just had to read it right… I mean, wot? Bigger than electric cars? Bigger than peak oil? Bigger than ethanol in gasoline?
    Yeah. Seems so.

    Tens of thousands of ships sailing the world’s oceans burn more than 3 million barrels of sludge-like high-sulfur fuel every single day. But, starting next year, the shipping industry will have to comply with rules that should dramatically reduce sulfur emissions.

    “It is the biggest change in oil market history,” Steve Sawyer, senior analyst at energy consultant Facts Global Energy, told CNBC.

    “It is going to affect crude oil producers, traders, ship owners, refiners, equity investors, insurance companies, logistical businesses, banks… Who’s left? I’m struggling to think of anyone it might not affect. That’s why it is a huge transition,” Sawyer said.

    I recommend that you read the rest of the article.

    “It is an enormous switch. If you considered shipping alongside all of the oil consuming nations, it would be number four or five on the list — so it is an enormous amount of consumption,” Anthony Gurnee, CEO of Ardmore Shipping, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” last week.

    So. I am taken back a bit, this snuck up on me a touch. Ok, a lot. I am all for clean fuel, but wow, this really could turn things upside-down a bit. The sort of volumes they are talking about can not be downplayed. Somewhere, many many automation engineers are heading for some sleepless nights…. Along with a few bean counters.

  • Electric mower batteries

    The first set of batteries we had in the mower (from new) lasted around 9 years.
    When they no longer had the power reserves to mow both the front and back lawn, we replaced them.
    (So in other words, they died slowly).
    The replacements lasted 18 months and died ‘overnight’.

    I have just ordered another set.
    A different brand, but frankly, I don’t hold out much hope.
    Dad and I have been talking batteries via email for a few weeks now so the timing of the mower batteries dieing was pretty crazy.
    He has been having similar problems with electric scooter batteries…. Very similar load to mowing I suspect…. they (the new batteries) are just not lasting.
    Its like they are printing any old amp hour rating on the battery.

    80 bucks buys a lot of petrol, but both Freddy and I love the quiet power and easy start of the electric.
    Neither of us want to go to a cord electric, so other than pony up and spend the money, I am not sure what to do.

  • Earthquake data

    Here is the trace from the main day.

    There is so much going on in the way of aftershocks that it is kinda hard to read.

    For me, the interesting thing is the the trace from 2 days before the big one….

    We just don’t normally see that much activity on any given day…. so to see all this before the big one… Yikes.