In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Monday, July 31, 2023

The Frogs Will Sing

We've been under a high pressure system for weeks. Temperatures steadily rose, and the last two days yielded highs around 105F. Humidity was low, so nights were in the mid seventies. Forecaster called for more of the same all week, but one NOAA forecaster had a little note about the possibility of a Mesoscale complex in the evening. They didn't give a high chance, but there was a chance. 

I watched the radar over the evening, and the complex formed, but was moving slowly. One forecast showed it making it close, but dying out before it reached my area. It was wrong, and although much of system lost most of the punch, we received some cooling temperatures with rain. I won't know how much until morning, but it probably won't be much, except the amount required for the frogs to sing. I'll take it, make a cup of coffee, go on the porch, and wait for the choirs to start. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Daily Mayhem

In the past, it was a rarity to read a local news report about a shooting. Lately, it's a few times a week, and too many times the victim is just a bystander. That, and the photographs of the perpetrators show tattoos that probably don't indicate membership in a church choir. Otherwise, crime (organized and otherwise) is becoming too much of an advocation. It is what it is, but being armed is now how a sane person navigates this section of society. When you add the constant tax grabbing of the community "leaders", living in those cities is really a bad idea. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

An Experiment in Warfare

In my opinion, the Ukraine war is a huge experiment in modern warfare, weapons, mind control and money. Weapons from every manufacturer is being tested for effectiveness, modifications are already being implemented, huge amounts of money are being made, politicians are enjoying large slush funds, and those being killed are collateral damage. Most of the general public is mostly apathetic, ignorant, deceived into thinking it's a worthwhile cause, or making their share of the money.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Judge Doing Their Job

 The news reports state that Hunter Biden's plea deal fell through. The main reason, from what I understand, is that accepting the plea conflicts with the fact an investigation is still ongoing. Otherwise, the plea would, more or less, insulate him from further prosecution. The judge didn't allow the plea, and Hunter plead "not guilty" to the charges. 

So, the judge was doing their job. That, of course, will infuriate the reprobates that have ignored laws for a long time. Time will tell how this turns out, but my hope is some really bad folks have their ass handed to them in a handbasket. May they suffer hours of anxiety before they finally arrive to prison.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Watching Mistakes

I've been watching a neighbor's construction projects. We're not close neighbors, so they don't seek my advice, although I would have some. 

One project is on hold, since the wind blew down the first wall. The purlins were too small for the span, the columns weren't buried deep enough, and the entire wall was only nailed to the column with dozens of nails at each connection. With no temporary bracing, the wind pulled the columns out of plumb before the nails allowed the sheeted wall to topple. Now it's laying face down, the metal sheeting screwed to the purlins. Removing the sheets requires either turning the heavy wall over, or sawing away sections of the purlins for access. Either way, a lot of work is required to repair a lot of work. 

The other project is a building over a large hoisting beam. The beam, from a distance, looks like an 8 inch wide flange, and weighs somewhere between 10 and 24 pounds a linear foot. It's sitting on top of two treated poles, and as far as I can see, there  is nothing, or very little, to fasten the beam to the columns. Lateral movement could allow it to topple, which would bring the rafters down. They're resting on top of the beam, bypass each other, and are nailed. The crucial cut to allow angle cut ends to create an A frame brace aren't there. Otherwise, if the beam moves, the entire structure moves. If the beam falls, so does the building; and it wouldn't take much movement for this to happen. 

The side purlins for the new building are 2 x 6's. That would be good, if the span wasn't around 12 feet. Without anything hanging on them, they're already sagging. With the increased weight of siding, the sag will become much worse. 

So, as it all progresses, I watch. Time will tell how it all works out, and I hope it works out well for the neighbor. I've seen much worse construction stand for years, but the force of a bypassing hurricane found the weaknesses. 

Added photos as per request. They're a little blurry, but enough can be seen.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Finally a Little Rain

The hot,  dry weather sucked the water out of the local ponds, grass was turning brown, trees were starting to show signs of stress, and the unrelenting heat was taking its toll on the effort to be polite. That changed yesterday evening. 

I watched the radar during the afternoon. The weather folks stated we had a pretty good chance of rain, but the radar wasn't showing much, until late evening. Storms brewed north of us and slowly started moving south. Before dark, the bow cloud arrived, and for a short time, it looked like the storms would pass to the east. 

After the bow cloud moved over, we didn't get the strong gust of wind that usually arrives with the change in wind direction. Behind the cloud, it looked like it was starting to clear, and I was thinking of how I needed to water in the morning. That soon changed.

From what I saw, the line of thunderstorms were developing overhead. We soon had the spattering of large drops, which was followed by heavier rain. A short deluge followed, and the lightning became intense. I retreated from the porch and went back inside. 

The storms only lasted about thirty minutes, but when they traveled farther toward the coast, they cranked up and became severe. With the storms in the distance, and the cool air pleasant, I sat on the porch and watched large nets of lightning racing through the clouds. No firework show can ever compare to the spectacle, and I consider such times a treat. 

I ended up with about 3/4 inches of rain, and the dry ground sucked it up with minutes. More rain is in the forecast for this afternoon,  but the chances aren't high. I'll take what I get. Any rain will be beneficial.

Monday, July 17, 2023

It Must Be the Money

 Charles Barkley is all in for Bud Light, and to further the decline of his advertising career, he's decided to show how big of an ass he can be. The link is in text below. If you're inclined to go read the story, you'll have to copy and paste it. It's probably a waste of your time. If I had to guess, his portfolio includes the brand formerly owned by a U.S. company. As far as I'm concerned, he can go pound sand.

Saturday, July 15, 2023


 I don't think there's any other description of current events. The following are absurdities:

- We're considered unreasonable for not accepting people wanting to change their sex as a whim. That, and the parents of children that think it's acceptable to mutilate their children for a social whim.

- An illegal drug is found in the White House. Regardless of all the security instruments, staff and protocol that prevents such things, we're supposed to believe it arrived by someone other than the closest staff of Biden or his family. According to the media, the investigation is over, yet in the time period since the discovery, there hasn't been enough time to even review all the security footage. 

- Biden, and his family, have been slushing tax dollars given to a corrupt country, it's well known they have, the authorities that investigate such things are sitting on their hands, and now we're given the same country weapons that are considered inefficient in purpose and allow what can be decades of injuries, or death, to unsuspecting citizens that survive a war the United States should never be involved with.

- The economy is in bad shape, every economic indicator shows where the problems are, the media covers the current regime's incompetence, and we're supposed to believe what we know are lies.

- It's proven the Covid fiasco was created, those most involved are not prosecuted, and people are still dying from the "vaccination" created to boost the revenue of unscrupulous drug manufacturers. 

- Huge corporations are destroying the investments of stockholders because some foolish, if not evil, executives believe using pedophilia, and cross-dressing, will not only keep good customers, but attract those that probably can only increase by revenue by less than one percent. 

- Regardless of how many times gun laws are struck down in courts, tremendous amounts of taxpayer's money is used to defend what is banned by the Constitution.

- Students that foolishly took on an unsustainable debt are falling for the same trick used to get their vote. There will be no relief from their students loans in a time short enough to prevent their bankruptcies. 

- Every religion in the United States is protected, except Christianity, that preaches no violence, love, acceptance and is no threat to anyone, except those that choose evil. 

- Regardless of opinion, most people don't think abortion is the practice of a healthy society, yet billions are wasted in tying up the courts with frivolous lawsuits, in spite of the ruling of the Supreme Court that removed the supposed right of abortion, and reinforced state rights. 

- The housing market is showing signs of cratering, since the prices have been inflated, interest rates are more than too many people can afford, and many buying a home are so far underwater in their loans, foreclosures will hurt the institutions that loaned the money. That, and government secured loans will again be thrown into the huge money pit of ridiculous policies. 

The list goes on, but anything added will be just as absurd. I have solutions, but our polite society won't consider them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A Sick Tree

 Years ago, my brother lived in a house with a beautiful ash tree in the front yard. Whether by design, or luck, it was in the perfect location to allow the canopy to not grow where it would cause roof problems, and the branches were in the perfect 33 degree separation to allow the maximum amount of growth. Usually, such efforts are in fruit orchards, or the pecan orchards we have locally. The maximum amount of yield is achieved from a tree with that shape. 

After a few years, my brother noticed the tree was losing leaves, and the usual lush canopy was becoming more bare by the day. As luck would have it, a close neighbor was having a tree trimmed by a professional, which allowed him to walk over to speak with the arborist. 

The arborist walked over to examine the tree, and told my brother what was wrong. He added if my brother knew someone familiar with concrete, he could explain what to do and save him some money. He explained the procedure, my brother called me, and I volunteered to help. 

The fork in the tree was holding water. This allowed rot, the tree was being damaged, and would eventually die. Our job was to remove the water, remove the rot, and place concrete in the void. The concrete needed to be shaped to allow drainage, and if done correctly, the tree would more than likely survive. 

The fork was about 7 feet above the ground, which required a small step ladder. Climbing up the ladder revealed the problem, and we went to work. 

First we bailed the water, then we took a wood chisel to the rot to remove the damage. We took turns and eventually had nothing but healthy wood exposed. At this point, the void in the fork was substantial, and I begin figuring how many bags of concrete we needed. I figured two to be safe, and we started the next phase of the project. 

I started mixing the concrete, while my brother sprayed all the exposed wood with pruning spray. I slowly added water to reach the perfect amount between dry-packing and flowable. I'd poured enough curbs to know the point. 

With concrete, you have a lot of options. Dry packing, which is where it can be packed into a voids, which allows repairs on walls, although you usually have to only place enough to fill most of the void and leave a shallow void for filling with a wet material, such as grout. I needed the point where the concrete was dry enough to work, but wouldn't slump when worked; just like for curbs.

I achieved what I wanted, my brother handed it up to me as I filled the void, and I eventually had the patch shaped like the contours of the branches. It was the right shape, but I didn't like the way it looked. I asked my brother to hand me the pruning spray, I sprayed it on the fresh concrete, and used a water brush to make the pattern of the trunk. The spray made the concrete a brown, which closely resembled the color of the tree. 

Over the next month, the tree started making new leaves, it eventually filled back out, and as far as I could see, it was healed. The patch could be seen, if you looked closely, but to a casual observer, it would be unnoticeable. I felt we accomplished our task, and saved the tree.

My brother eventually divorced, his wife received the house, and I didn't go back to her house until years later. The tree was gone. I don't know what happened, and I refused to ask. I didn't want to know if our effort was in vain, and even worse: I didn't want to know if it was a whim to have a yard easier to maintain.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

I Found This Interesting

 After the Titan failed, I began to wonder about the material "carbon fiber". I've used it to before in wrapping a bridge column to strengthen and prevent damage from the elements. It was a  unique application, and not for a long term solution. The bridge is now gone, since it was on a list to be replaced in five years. My work is now rubble somewhere. 

In my application, we painted the cleaned concrete with epoxy. The fiber was then wrapped from the roll around the column and we applied more epoxy. It was much like applying fiberglass, except for the materials. I don't remember how many coats we placed, but it wasn't many. Eventually we painted the completed sections with a paint designed to protect the fiber from the sun. 

I found this site about the durability of carbon fiber. It brought some thoughts to mind about how the Titan failed, the information of how it was never tested for certification, and whether the extreme conditions of the depths introduced a limitation of carbon fibers that can't be tested at the surface. Eventually, if the material is still used in this application, I doubt it will be used without engineering studies to determine if it is suitable for the environment.