Power washed the house, put down fertilizer, planted flowers in the front beds, and this afternoon I’m installing a solar powered attic fan to try to lower the temps in my attic to under 140* F. Yesterday I had an energy audit done and a new smart thermostat installed for free by the power company. It talks to the meter via encrypted wireless connection, and reports to a webpage tied to my account. I also need to replace the gaskets on our doors. Tomorrow, the boy and I are starting on gaskets on the V-6 engine on his 1999 Pontiac Grand Am. Fun.
What do you all have going on today?
Here is the solar vent fan I’m installing
Do you have your own power washer or did you rent one? I was looking into buying one once but the reviews on pretty much all of the models I could find indicated that they were underpowered for the job.
I’d been hoping to get some yard stuff done-I’m putting in a small brick seating area under our shade tree, surrounded by my herb garden. But it is going to hit 108 or so today, so am working indoors, trying to organize some of the massive amounts of crap I have stored, hoping to ebay some of it for some cash. You know it is too f*cking hot outside when you have to put the cacti into the shade because they are dying from the heat.
My spouse had a tooth extraction & bone graft yesterday & is kind of impossible to live with; he took his pain meds & hopefully will stay asleep for a while (please FSM).
Your thermostat made me think of one of our “outrages” here; the power company here installed smart meters throughout the Vegas valley & the tinfoil hat brigade response has been hilarious. They are convinced that the power company will be able to monitor what everyone watches on TV, internet sites, etc. Also, because it puts out “rays”, or power surges, it will give you cancer (even tho it is outside your house, attached to the garage wall.)
Science, how does it work?
@FlipYrWhig: I borrowed my dad’s one. It’s a crappy 1500 PSI unit from Wal Mart, but for what I paid for it…
Unless you’re cleaning your house more often than once or twice a year, it’s probably cheaper to rent.
I’m thinking of getting one like this but unless we start washing our cars with it as well as everything else, it probably wouldn’t be worth the money. Gas powered ones are not good for the environment, and even in OK, we have environmental regulations that require car washes to recapture and clean their used water, so it may not be a wise choice even then. Of course, with my sister’s family near by and my dad also near, one unit between the three of us is probably more cost effective.
@cckids: One of my coworkers, who is a card-carrying member of the TFHB, just about blew a gasket when we were talking about it. He was like “Now they can change your thermostat settings without your permission! They can see what you’ve got the thermostat set at!”
And I’m like “they can guess that pretty accurately now without too much difficulty–size of the house, size of the AC unit, amount of power used, and so on.”
And then he’s like “but they could raise your temperature level in the house while you’re gone and cut your AC off in order to prevent a black out!” and I replied “well, they could always cut off my power completely either because of a blackout or to prevent one, so if I don’t have to go around resetting all the damn clocks in the house, bonus!”
You cannot have rational discussions with a man who thinks that
A) The US Military is too big and we spend too much on it
B) We should invade various countries every few years just to ensure that our military is battle hardened all the time.
I was just in the hospital for a couple of days, got home to find my propane hot water heater was not working. It’s the electronic control thing, the part can’t even be ordered until Monday, and then I will have to pay to have it over-nighted the tech says. That in addition to paying for a weekend call-out, even though he couldn’t fix it.
I was happy with my old propane HW heater, I had hot water even when the power was out, but the energy efficiency people I had out insisted that this one was *so* much better, and I switched last year. I have not really noticed much difference in the quantity of propane used, and now this. Oh, modernity, how I hate you.
The doctor wanted me to stay another day in the hospital, but I really wanted to come home. The longest I have been separated from my puppy previous to this was 7 hours. Now I wish I had stayed at least to get a shower! I will have to heat water on the stove to wash the hospital stench and all the sticky spots from the telemetry off me. Or I could stand out in the pouring rain.
At least I can sleep without having to be aware of the i.v. all the time, and all the whirring and beeping from the machines. Still can’t move about much in the bed though, because the animals are all freaked out that I wasn’t home and now are glued to me. Well, except when they found a mouse nest this morning and maimed a bunch of babies, to which I then had to deliver the coup de grace.
I hope everyone else is having a better time than I am, my whining and moaning is turned up to 11.
My, my – fried pie!
At work now, and since I live in an apartment, I don’thave a yard to speak of. Still, I renewed my lease for the next 14 months and I’ve decided to completely redo my furnishings.
Anyone know of any good “room planner” apps for IPad. I know there are some for the PC, but I wanna take anything I make with me so I can window shop and the IPad is the best way to do that.
Well I rinsed out my coffee cup from yesterday and made a cup of coffee. I’m looking at the nice day outside knowing that I’m not budging from my comfy chair, I don’t care how hard you overachievers try to intimidate me. Ha!
Amanda in the South Bay
Ah, reminds me of the people who are Ron Paul supporters and who work in the military industrial complex. You wanna support limited government? GTFO the defense industry.
@Soonergrunt: Yes, logic is foreign to them. I just love the fear about the TV station monitoring; why in the world would the power company give a shit?
In yesterday’s evening thread, I posted a link to an article about Obama’s trip to Minnesota yesterday and the absence excuse note he wrote for some lil boy in the rope line.
Now here’s video of the kid talking about it.
Too late to post this in the Bob Dylan thread, but my favorite example of parochialism in newspaper headlines is from the New York World after the Bolshevik revolution broke out in Russia. The headline in the World read “Bronx Man Leads Russian Revolution” (Leon Trotsky lived on Vyse Avenue for a few months in early 1917).
The vibrations started this morning around 7:45 and I’m still feeling them. I was hoping this weekend would be like last weekend when during daylight hours they had subsided. I’m still waiting for the acoustics report. The property manager wanted to come over yesterday but I wasn’t feeling the vibrations during the day. My anxiety level is rising. I guess I’ll go to a movie and out for dinner once my typing client comes by to pick-up some work. I’m going crazy. See you folks later.
ETA: Does anyone out there in the BJ community know anything about ventilation motors and systems?
I had a nasty case of heartburn last night and didn’t get to bed until 3 am. I’m too old for this shit.
Need to hop on the bike and go down to the bank for quarters so I can do laundry. Ah, apartment living.
We do get to do something really cool tomorrow — it’s an employee sneak preview of this place. Hopefully it won’t be too hot. The Giant Evil Corporation doesn’t pay very well, salary-wise, but the perks and benefits are pretty darn good.
If your goal is to lower temps in the attic, you might look into installing radiant heat barrier. It can easily lower attic temps by 30 degrees or more, it’s fairly easy to install (just staple to bottom of rafters) and it’s cheap – last time I checked, less than $.10 per sf.
@muddy: I hope you are feeling better soon. Hospitals are miserable, noisy, uncomfortable places to be – even without a shower, you will feel better sooner at home.
And I speak from years of experience in & out of hospitals, plus 10 days ago I came home from a 4 day camping trip to a malfunctioning hot water heater. That was fun. And smelly. We were without one for 4 days. Kept our stockpot at least warming on the stove, plus our huge crockpot simmering upstairs for quick warmish water.
Ugh. I had something similar happen to me before — they were excavating to build a new building next to my office and the vibrations were in just the right range to give me a panic attack while I was at work. I only had to deal with it for a couple of days, so I can’t even imagine how bad it is to have it happen night after night.
needs Peace Frog s
I have been told that an attic fan makes a big difference in lowering the heat inside of a house in the summer.
Solar powered is neat, too.
J. Michael Neal
I’m banging my head against my writing. I’ve hit a wall on three different threads of the story I was working on. I seem to have already written all the easy parts.
@Jennifer: I’ll look into that. Thanks!
Ugh, Sympathy! Here in north NJ, we had that freak blizzard on Halloween Eve that knocked out our power for 5 days! Thank goodness I had a gas stove. (It’s funny how fast the house gets cold and damp. We had beautiful weather after the storm, but it was freezing inside!)
After our juice finally came back on, I took a 30 minute hot-hot shower. Later, I was dismayed when a neighbor pointed out my hot water heater’s pilot would have stayed on throughout the black-out.
Amanda in the South Bay
Here’s a question for the BJ crowd.
I recently had an unsuccessful job interview. Its not so much that I’m upset I didn’t get the job, but I thought the actual physical interview process was conducted pretty unprofessionally. This is a major Silicon Valley company, and I’m unsure about how to go about complaining to the company (not sure if I should even do that in the first place). Any suggestions?
My areas of concern were:
1. Starting the morning off with arriving at the site and being misgendered by an HR person. No apologies or anything when I told her my name (she called me an obviously male name that is not my legal name or on any documents).
2. This was for an internship for veterans, and I had three employees who are veterans/current reserve members who acted like unprofessional douches. Lots of snide (right wing, of course, those unfortunate conservative martyrs who live in Silicon Valley) political remarks that made me feel uncomfortable.
@Linda Featheringill: The attic fan can come in handy for quickly expelling hot air from the attic…but of course, if it’s in the 90s or 100s outside, you’d really rather have the house closed up and the a/c on. But for a couple of months in the spring and fall, it’s great for cooling. I usually don’t turn the air on unless it gets up over 78 in the house – and around this time of year, usually I can keep the temp inside under that until at least 1 pm, just by shutting windows at the right time. Then the a/c runs for the next 6 hours or so, and when it cools down outside again, I open the windows again and turn on the attic fan. I had the fan installed back in 2003 and have guesstimated that it’s saved me probably $200 – $300 per year since then. I know I’m usually the last of my neighbors to turn on the a/c anyway, so it does help.
Putting a coat of primer on the walls in my son’s room and my daughter’s room. We’re getting the house ready for an appraisal. I want to refinance and get some of that 4% action.
@Amanda in the South Bay: You could check if this company has a diversity office and discuss what happened with them. If they don’t have one, ask to meet with the head of their HR department and relay your concerns. If they refuse to talk to you, go public. Write a notice to a local paper and see if they pick up on it. I do appreciate you asserting yourself here though.
@Soonergrunt: Cool, thanks for the advice.
@Amanda in the South Bay: How did you find out about the position and apply for it? If you went through a third party (a friend or an agency) you could tell them about the experience and express your shock and surprise at how unprofessional the interviewers were. Other than that, I not what you could do or who you could talk to about it.
Our flat screen Samsung TV started this funky clicking yesterday morning when we cut it on; got progessively worse each time it was turned off & then turned back on. Googled ‘Samsung flat screen’ and it auto-completed to ‘clicking won’t turn on’, which had me muttering ‘uh-oh’. Turns out it’s a known issue with a capacitor that regulates the power. CNet forums indicate Samsung has done free repairs if it turns out to be the capacitor issue. When hubby gets up from his nap, I’m going to get him to read off the model #* to me so I can call their customer service line about it.
*Because it’s in tiny print on the back of the tv and I can’t get enough light back there to read it with my 50 year-old eyes shut up that’s why.
@PurpleGirl: Was the job targeted towards veterans? I’d call your local veteran’s affairs office if that’s the case.
ETA: Oops, meant that for Amanda in the Bay Area. 50 yr-old eyes, lather rinse repeat.
It’s June in South Florida, which means you work up a sweat walking out to the front yard. It’s not the heat — never gets over 98 here — it’s the humidity. My house — a rental — survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but they replaced the white tile roof with black shingles so the A/C pretty much runs all the time and barely keeps up with it. Thank dog I have a programmable thermostat.
I’ve been thinking about having the landlord install ceiling fans in the bedroom and living room. I’ve had them in previous homes here and they are great for keeping the air moving, which means I could probably raise the thermostat on the A/C a couple of degrees and still be cool. So, anyone have suggestions on reasonable ceiling fans, and would the cost benefit actually work out?
I highly recommend the radiant barrier in the attic. Had it done before moving into the house. Prior to the radiant barrier being installed, spent a very miserable July morning up in the attic removing all the crap the previous owners had left up there, so I knew exactly how hot it was without the radiant barrier. The difference in temp with it is astounding. Just did the spray, which works less well than the stuff you staple up (assuming you do it right) and even so the difference is amazing.
The solar fan is also really great. It’s on the list, but will probably be done when the roof has to be replaced so everything is done together.
@cckids: Thanks for the sympathy. I am heating water now like a Victorian maid, 4 of my largest pots to dump in the tub. I will need extra because my hair is long. Just now it occurs to me that the doctor would be pissed at me humping pots of water about the house. Still it seems easier than having to drive to someone else’s house.
As to the thing about tv stations, the offerings were bizarre in the hospital. It was Dish network, but there were about 11 stations. Not the basic stations, just sort of a random selection. History channel, animal planet, nat’l geo, local NBC, local ABC, Fox “news”. No local CBS, which here in Vermont is traditionally the official local station above the other 2.
I complained, and they said everyone complained, and that just seemed to be that. I’m going to write a letter. No point in giving me all that treatment if I am just going to have a stroke from seeing Fox “news”. I did try to watch it for a few minutes, thinking it would be good for a laugh at least, but I was completely enraged in about 3 minutes and set one of the alarms off. Maybe I should wave my lawyer at them about that. I presume whoever does the contract for the hospital tv is a wingnut. Probably a g-d flatlander too, if he didn’t get channel 3. Jeezum.
Went to the beach this morning. It was gloriously deserted and the water is getting warm – about 65 degrees today. Frisbee with the dogs. My daughter said “coooooooooool” every time a retreating wave would move the sand under her feet. Good times.
Now I’m obligated to go to the outlet mall and wrangle kids, hold bags, etc.
I meant to go to a Tammy Duckworth meet and greet at a local restaurant this afternoon, but when I got there I found out it was yesterday. I’m still kinda new at this.
@Phylllis: I had a similar problem with capacitors in my Viewsonic monitor. It was out of warranty, but still a cheap fix I could do.
I emptied the dishwasher. Time to call it a day…
i see the fan is rated 1000cfm. how does that compare to your attic volume? are you looking for complete turnover every x minutes? is there a generally agreed upon number? where are your other vents; gable end? soffit? seeing ‘sooner’, are you still in ok? much winter snow? the fan can help prevent ice dams also.
@Amanda in the South Bay:
I’d let someone know. The suggestions upthread about a third party, if that’s how you heard about it, are a good start. I can’t really speak to the whole wrong name/misgendered thing, but the politics during the interview thing is highly unprofessional. No matter who the person is being interviewed, the interviewers should keep politics out of it.
If the military or a veterans association is referring people to this company, they probably would want to know. Ditto the company’s HR department might be interested in how their employees conduct their interviews.
As with any interaction with HR, remember that HR is ONLY there as a CYA for the company. They DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU OR ANY EMPLOYEE. Whatever is going to be best for the company, least expensive, least hassle, avoid lawsuits, etc. is what they will do. I always hate to see people think HR is on the employee’s side. They are not. They are on the EMPLOYER’s side.
My husband and I had to wait for a half hour for our friend who was getting a colonoscopy and they told us would be done by then but wasn’t. I had stuff to read, but they had Fox News on in the waiting room. After about 30 seconds I said either we had to go out and drive around until it was time to get the patient, or I was going to start screaming at the top of my voice. My poor husband.
ETA: Health-care facilities seem to be particularly bad at having Fox on all the time now. And the employees always claim there’s nothing they can do about it. The people who do my muffler will always gladly change the channel to something “neutral” (i.e. just the normally right-wing stuff like CNN).
@Amanda in the South Bay:
Discriminating against someone on the basis of gender identity is actually illegal in California now thanks to Governor Brown.
If you were referred to the job by someone else (an agency, a recruiter, job listing by the DoD, etc.), I would start with them because they need to know if one of the places they’re recommending is acting illegally (or just, y’know, like a-holes).
If you found it yourself through something like Monster.com, you could file a complaint with California’s EEOC office. It won’t get you the job (obviously) but if there’s a pattern of behavior like this at the company, your complaint could help someone else get the state to investigate.
Stuck in the Funhouse
The forest fire smoke is so thick today, visibility can’t be more than a hundred yards, if that, along with 90 plus temps. I got my sorry ass sealed in best as can, and am contemplating a dust mask, though I hate wearing those things. The biggest fire in NM history is still pretty far north of here, but the wind is coming from that direction today. Worst I’ve seen it here.
I was shopping at Kroger a couple of years back and they were playing Fox radio over their store speaker system, instead of the the usual muzak. I made a stop at the manager’s office on the way out and told her that I only shop with businesses that don’t propagandize me while I’m in their store spending MY money.
Next time I went back a week later, the muzak was back. It’s kind of a liberal enclave in this part of the city, so I’d be very surprised if my complaint was the only one.
My doctor gets a lot of entertainment industry patients because her office is close to two movie studios, so she always has cartoons on in her waiting room.
Watching Elmer chase Bugs is much more relaxing than watching the animatronic robots on Fox.
@gogol’s wife: Good move , a half hour of that would have dropped your IQ by 30 points.
I wish I was home doing errands. Traveling again, getting very tired of it.
Gearing up to bid on a new house after looking at over 40 of them. Hope this works !
@gogol’s wife: Funny story. When I was working the front desk in the ER of a military hospital, I was asked to turn on FOX news. I told them no. When i was asked why, I told them that the way FOX News employees speaks about the POTUS is disrespectful and it is inappropriate to allow that kind of talk in a military facility. The look was priceless.
Tonight is a sleepover. 11 year olds. Girls.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
Forest fire in NM:
According to the internets, you have quite a fire there. Do take care of yourself. That smoke [and the particulates] can get you.
Not around me.
@Stuck in the Funhouse:
Hope you stay safe. That fire looks just awful.
Good for you!
I only see Fox in the form of carefully selected clips on Jon Stewart or Colbert, usually from “Fox & Friends.” What’s really depressing is when you hear their “straight news” operation, in which every single story, no matter on what topic, is spun within an inch of its life to fit the Obama-bashing, tea-party line.
Does it really work?
Stuck in the Funhouse
@Linda Featheringill: @Violet:
Thanks, I’ll be okay, just can’t spend much time outdoors. I took Charlie outside for his scheduled pee break, and when we hit the smoke he stopped and gave me a WTF? look, did his bizz and we both hurried back inside.
@PeakVT: It’s apparently a somewhat major issue; just got off the phone with Samsung customer service and they’ll be sending a technician out the first of the week to fix it.
@Cassidy: That was just a tremendous statement about the POTUS. I love that!
As for 11 yr old girls at a slumber party, having been to many decades ago, the main thing I remember is the shrieking and squealing. And the group phone calls to hapless boys. Accompanied by shrieking and squealing and shhhh!
I was the one changing the channels, and there just wasn’t anything else in the system! If they had only had broadcast channels then I would understand it. I always wondered why Fox was so keen to go broadcast when cable was in full force when they first started up. Now I can see it was their long-range plan for delivering propaganda.
Thank the gods there was no one sharing the room, imagine if it was some old person watching Fox at top volume as they didn’t want to waste their hearing aid batteries while in the hospital. In that case I might resort to screaming until they sedated me.
@Soonergrunt: Goddam, don’t buy one of those unless they’ve changed their warranty regs.
Mine died with less than 10 hrs. on it. Under warranty, I brought it back to the store. “Well, your warranty is with the mfr. You’ll hafta send it to them for repair.” “OK, where’s the repair shop?” “In Ireland.” “IN IRELAND???!!!” “Yep.” I finally bought a BlacknDecker gas operated 1300 psi. Much more than that’ll blow the paint off the house. Better: Don’t buy, Borrow. Free is better than cheap.
@gogol’s wife: Yup. Just runs through a few hundred remote control codes to turn off the TV. The most common tend to get sent first.
Went to the office for a few hours. Enjoying an iced coffee and listening to the new Turing Machine record (which is the shit FYI). Mrs. Legalize has issued a direct order that I scrub my bathroom from floor to ceiling, because evidently it has degraded into a hazardous waste zone. So that’s what I’ll be doing with the rest of the afternoon. Folks are coming over for booze and tacos later.
# 53, Then the screaming is followed by dead silence. That silence is scary to an adult.
God it’s good to longer be owned a house and a yard. You make my divorce sound better every day. Thanks, jc.
Insulation, not ventilation, is what our energy auditor said to do. And we did it and it actually works like a charm. We used a spray foam, like this one.
Also, caulked our ductwork and around plumbing, etc. And put covers over our electrical sockets. We’ve cut our energy consumption by about 30%.
I just hosed off the front of the house myself. I have a simple pointed nozzle with a small ball valve to control the flow. The outside water pressure is pretty high (120 PSI), and so far the nozzle on the hose works OK for a quick clean. Several years ago I rented a power sprayer from Home Depot, and although it was a pain in the ass, it really kicked ass. I am not sure I would want to own one though, given that it would be used once a year or so.
I also have a similar solar powered attic fan. That, plus the new vents the roofers put on really helps out with the high temperatures in the summer.
@Maude: Yes the silence is rarely a good sign. The part I like best is that whether you hear either a loud noise or silence, the response to “What are you doing?” is always, “Nothing!”
Today I’m playing truck mechanic for my host, alternator quit on his maintenance truck yesterday stranding his crew. So let’s see the list of jobs that I have done in my life, not necessarily in order. Mold maker, gas station mechanic, bicycle mechanic, machinist, electronic technician, equipment mgr for multimillion $ co, customer relations for same, custodial engineer, stevedore, public speaker, barista(OK I made coffee for the shop), bartender, carpenter(finish and rough), ditch digger, motorcycle mechanic, welder, bookkeeper. I’m getting tired just making the list and it’s not complete.
Started this post about 3 hrs ago, so that’s how my day is going.
1000cfm is rated for a 1300sf house/attic space. My house is 1680sf, so I’m going to leave the passive roof vent on the west roofline in place, and I replaced the passive vent on the south roofline with the solar unit. It should change 10 volumes an hour for a 1300sf attic, so obviously less for my roof. I’ve already noticed a difference though in the hour and a half it’s been running. I may go ahead and put another, smaller unit in later. The house is only six years old, and there is quite a lot of insulation in the attic, so we haven’t had any problems with ice dams to date. We have extensive soffit venting, as well as a vent in the east gable over the garage, which is uninsulated. I need to insulate over the garage, and I think that I’ll go ahead and install the reflective stuff that Jennifer was talking about.
@Ronzoni Rigatoni: I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks!
@Southern Beale: The fan is easier to do, and it’s resource neutral. I’ll do barrier work later on, most likely. Honestly, that never occurred to me. I had seen the solar fan a few weeks ago and I just HAD to have it, cause I’m such a geek.
Watching over LittleMan for the weekend, and building a new internal domain from a few retired servers. One of the new boxen will be a MS DPM server so I can get up to speed on it before we boot Symantec (ptui!) Backup Exec to the curb.
@Yutsano: Glad to hear you’re on the mend. I’m going to need an MRI, but my doc put me on Nucynta for the sciatica (Percosets may as well have been m&ms). I’m pretty much pain-free while taking them, no drowsiness so I can work/drive, etc. Still, I’ll be glad to get to the bottom of this.
(Dup post deleted; FYWP, etc.)
@Ben Cisco: Wishing you luck Emissary, and may the Prophets continue to guide you. I think I got lucky in that the problem was rather clear-cut and that I had a really good surgeon who has a lot of experience with this kind of back issue. Sciatica can be a tough nut to crack. And I may check into Nucynta (I’d never heard of it before) if I need a boost in pain control.