July 10th, 2011

#2798: The rest of Saturday

Posting this from Seiren (the laptop) because I'm doing yet another virus scan on the desktop. More and more it's looking like I need to do an overlay on that system--that or just dump everything and start over--because things just ain't working right.

Anyway, after my last post I painted the helmet; I put two coats of black on it and it looks pretty good. I had a gander at it just now and discovered that I didn't hit the bottom edge in back very well, so I'll have to wait two days and apply another coat or two.

I'm thinking about wet-sanding it and then applying a few coats of clear; the primer went on with a kind of eggshell texture I'm not very happy with. (It wouldn't have mattered if I'd bought the stone-like paint. Oh well.) But if I do that I--again--will have to wait two days between coats. You either do it within an hour, or you wait two days for the stuff to cure. Otherwise you risk wrinkles.

That'll be fine, though if I was going to be that freakin' worried about how it looks I should have dome more work on filling the chips. *sigh*

Anyway, it's not-bad as is, and it'll look fine once I get the final coats on and reapply the molding around the rim. Certainly it'll look better than it did before I painted it.

I am getting pictures as I go; there'll be a post with them soon, once I get it done.

* * *

Turns out I can sit up in bed with my back against the pillows and the laptop in my lap (the exact posture I've seen my niece use) and type very comfortably on this thing. You've got to love that--actually using a laptop as a laptop, who could have imagined that?--but for me it's kind of a platonic love.

* * *

I have no idea what that meant.

* * *

It's muggy outside, and it's going to be hot today, and I'm once again blessing Mr. Carrier for inventing modern air conditioning.

I didn't cut the grass on Saturday; I ended up falling asleep and didn't get a dang thing accomplished other than getting the dishes into the dishwasher and pressing the "go" button on that.

* * *

Besides the spray paint, when I went to Ace I made sure to pick up some RJ-45 cable ends. Now if Og ever re-lends me that crimper, I can run the ethernet cable through the attic rather than stringing it down the hallway.

I almost bought the first box of ends I picked up; but then I noticed that there were supposed to be 10 ends in the box, and there were only 8. I grabbed the next box on the peg and it, too, had only 8 ends and was supposed to have 10. The last one on the peg did have 10 ends in it; and just as I was trying to decide what to do about my discovery the "helpful hardware man" came along and asked me if I was finding everything I needed.

"Yes," I said, "but I just found that these boxes are short," and explained what I meant.

"It's weird," he said, examining them, "they don't look like they've been opened or anything."

"I know," I said. "Maybe they weren't filled right at the factory."

...anyway I didn't get shortchanged, and I was able to keep anyone else from getting shorchanged, and that makes me a little happier about all that.

* * *

Once I start eating those Salsa Verde Doritos it becomes very, very difficult to stop. They're so damn tasty.

As I was munching away I recalled the Doritos commericials from the late 1970s (or early 1980s) where that one guy with the big black afro and the handlebar mustache would bite a chip and cause an earthquake or something. It was meant to demonstrate how much crunchier Doritos were than potato chips.

Yeah, I remember the stupidest things.

* * *

I bet with a little searching I could find one of those stupid commercials on YouTube, if I really cared to WASTE MY FREAKIN' TIME....

* * *

The Pepsi MAX I bought last week just evaporated, and so I bought two 6-packs this week. Apparently I like it enough that I can drink it instead of the regular stuff (though I still prefer the regular kind) and not notice that I'm drinking it exclusively.

The only problem with it is that I have to have that stuff cold. When it's at room temperature, it's too obvious that it's diet. Replacing the aspartame with the appropriate amount of sucralose would fix that problem.

Oh well.

* * *

I'm starting to get a serious hankering to watch anime. I haven't watched much since June 11th (just an ep of Yawara! and one of Hen Zemi) so I'm starting to wonder when the withdrawal symptoms will hit.

* * *

Well, there's a lot to do this week, but as long as I make some progress it doesn't matter how quickly it happens. I'm hoping to cut the grass today (Sunday) but we'll see how I do. Right now I've got to go to bed, because it's 4:40 as I type this.

Yeah, bed sounds good.

#2799: I bet the EPA will no-knock arrest you for doing this.

Getting auto refrigerant from computer dusters. Turns out that some brands of "canned air" are in fact R134a, the "ozone-friendly" refrigerant used in automobile air conditioners.

And if you can get a can tap that'll fit the cans, you can take the totally oil-free refrigerant from those cans and put it into your car's AC system, and add only the specified amount of oil (which is usually about two ounces) rather than use the "recharge" cans that have a lot of oil in them.

...and the computer dusters are slightly cheaper.

For his "off-label" use of this stuff, the guy is probably breaking about a thousand federal laws that no one but the EPA knows about.

Even though:

1) It turns out that hydrofluorocarbons like R134a are just as "bad" for the ozone as chlorofluorocarbons are--according to the greenies, anyway--and

2) This way the HFC ends up contained in an air conditioner rather than dumped into the atmosphere where it can doom us all to a future dystopia of skin cancer.

Of course, all of this is total horseshit anyway.

...what I should do is make a post about the ozone hole and just link to it whenever I get onto the topic, because it really does get tedious for me to type out the whole thing every time. Maybe if I moved the Fungus to a proper blog forum, I could even have links in the sidebar and just say, "Ozone hole: look in the sidebar!" and not waste everyone's time.

But the ban on CFCs really was a solution in search of a problem, and the biggest beneficiary of the ban turns out to be DuPont, which owned the patent on CFCs which was expiring about the time the ozone hole was suddenly discovered by the econuts, and which also had brand new patents on HFCs which it couldn't make any money on so long as CFCs were still available. This is why DuPont gave a lot of money to groups agitating for a CFC ban.

I wonder if those greenies ever figured out that they were duped?

* * *

Anyway, it's fortunate that there are a lot of chemicals with the right properties for use as refrigerants. You can use anything which is approximately liquid at room temperature but which has a fairly low transition temperature, and it's better if it has to be under some pressure to remain a liquid over, say, 40° or so.

Almost all of the energy consumed by an air conditioner is used compressing the working fluid. You compress it and then run it through a radiator to cool it (this radiator is called the "condenser" for that reason) and then you let it bleed out through an orofice into another radiator called the "evaporator". Semi-adiabatic cooling, blah blah blah--look up the gas law and do the math--the lower the boiling point at ambient pressure, the better your air conditioner works. You can use propane (R290) if you like--it works very well as a refrigerant!--but if you get a leak there can be a fire or explosion. Ammonia (R717) works, but a leak can kill you.

Something highly inert and stable like a chlorofluorocarbon is perfect. Freon was used as a propellant in aerosols because it's highly nonreactive; you could mix it with all kinds of common chemicals and it wouldn't react at all.

It boils at -21.6°F, it's got a nice high specific heat capacity, and it was cheap to manufacture, too.

Look at all these refrigerants!

* * *

In an hour or so I really do have to go outside and cut the grass. *sigh*