September 3rd, 2020

#7282: Had a lot of trouble sleeping last night

Recognizing that I have GERD, I've been changing a lot of my habits surrounding bedtime and food. For one, I'm trying not to eat anything at least half an hour before bed, and also not to have any snacks in the middle of the night.

Last night my stomach was bothering me, and I didn't want to go to bed in that state. Ended up sitting at the computer playing Hexiom Connect until about 2:30, waiting for my stomach to settle down. When it did, I was finally able to go to bed. Still, woke up a couple of times.

So, very sleepy right now. And there are things I wanted to do today.

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The communist rioters do not like you, even though you are on their side. Do you know why that is? Because you're there with a camera, and cameras record things, and the last thing these people want is for there to be a reliable, impartial witness to the crimes they're committing.

These commie lunatics wore masks long before COVID-19 appeared on the scene for that very reason. They're not obeying the law, but breaking as many as possible. They're committing crimes, some of them very serious felonies. You'd have to be a moron to think they'd consider the press to be an ally.

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Another post about the commie revolutionary LARP participant. "Commander Red", the self-styled revolutionary badass who curled up in a fetal position and started crying when the cops caught him. "Somebody thought that he was all big and bad, about to burn some shit down, until the police nabbed his ass," says the article.

Oh well.

* * *

As many people as are able are leaving California, having voted the state into "third world shithole" status. And when I say "third-world shithole" I am saying so advisedly:
The fifth-largest economy in the world and home to many of the greatest technology companies on Earth can't keep the lights on. The state's three largest utilities turned off power to more than 410,000 homes and businesses on Friday, Aug. 21, then again to half as many Saturday, Aug. 22.
And then, of course, there's the wildfires, which have become a yearly phenomenon.

"Why is California always on fire?" Mrs. Fungus asked me. So I explained it: half of the state is subtropical desert, and when the Santa Ana winds start to blow, it gets hot, and everything in their path dries out. California has banned--for decades--any kind of forest management or stewardship, which leaves the land full of deadwood and leaves and so forth. You're not even allowed to make and tend firebreaks, not even around utility poles. And so, when something breaks, or when some idiot tosses a cigarette butt out his car window, or lightning strikes, or-or-or, the whole damn thing goes up like an old wood crate full of excelsior.

It's so bad that insurance companies don't want to write insurance policies for properties in the areas that are prone to wildfire--and who can blame them? By law you can't do anything to mitigate the potential hazard, the infrastructure is decades old and worn out, there's no network of watchtowers with forest rangers keeping a watchful eye for smoke, and so there are now gigantic wildfires eradicating square miles of timber every year.

Meanwhile, Illinois is doing everything it can to emulate California. They're shutting down two nuclear reactors next year because running them is "too expensive".

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This is why Donald Trump is so popular. Well, not that, specifically, but that kind of thing is. Defunding the hard-blue cities for their unwillingness to stop the riots hits them in their pocketbooks, the only sort of pressure they'll pay attention to.


* * *

Hey, Joe, yer doin' it wrong!

I mean, he actually said that Trump wants to reduce the number of poor people. That's a good thing.

* * *

It's a day, and I'm sitting here listening to Limbaugh at the computer instead of doing anything. My wife is still in bed and I'm wondering why I'm not there, too....

#7284: Repeatability

Woke up from getting slept and did a little light surfing, to find that SpaceX had Starship SN-6 do a little 150m hop like SN-5 did. At first my still-fogged brain was all, "Well, what's the point of doing that? Do something new!"

But then after a few moments it penetrated my otherwise numb skull that having had a successful hop with SN-5 (which is not going to fly again, and which instead will be have parts removed and thoroughly gone through by engineers) it's useful to see if you can do it again, or if the first one was a fluke.

Build it, fly it, break it, build another one better, fly it--keep repeating that until you have something that works every time. This pattern is why SpaceX has the Falcon 9, a reusable booster.

So the very first thing to do with SN-6 is to fly it in exactly the same test that you did with SN-5; and then after the engineers have gone through the thing and made sure it's sound, do the next test, whatever it may be. SN-7 can probably skip the 150m test hop; SN-8 certainly will.

And who knows where SN-10 ends up?

At some point they're going to send one of the things on a ballistic arc from Texas to one of their recovery barges in the Atlantic Ocean. The sky is literally the limit here.

#7285: I'll take it!

Got a late start, but I got the grass cut, then went and picked up the new dishwasher. Started to install it but I'm lacking a fitting, and the hardware stores are closed now, but I can get it in the morning. The important thing is, the old dishwasher is out of the house and at the curb for trash collection (or scrappers/garbage pickers) and I'm well shut of it.

Hopefully, within the next twelve hours or so we'll have a functioning dishwasher again. That'd be a nice change of pace.

Getting the old one removed was a pain only because of how much water was left in it, and because I had to shut off the power to the utility room to disconnect it from power. The same circuit that powers the utility room handles the dishwasher and the outlet that services our home entertainment system. And when I moved it, it dribbled perhaps a pint or so of water all over the kitchen. Oh well.

There will be some tedium when it comes to leveling the thing, but I don't think I'm looking at anything too complicated, here. It's not rocket science and I have all the tools required. The fitting I need probably costs about $3. *sigh*

After picking up the appliance, I bought aluminum flashing and flat black paint for the cupola roof. I decided not to go with copper for the simple reason of expense: when I could find copper sheeting wide enough to make the panels for the cupola roof, it was about ten times as expensive as a 10' roll of aluminum flashing of the right width--and I'd have to order it.

No joke, no exaggeration: I paid $19 for a 10' roll of 24" wide aluminum. The price I saw for copper of similar dimensions was $190.

Construction adhesive to stick it to the plywood. No problem. Then what I'll do is make corner pieces which fit across the corners, tack them down either with brads or short screws so one could remove the roof without destroying its sheathing.

Tomorrow, once I get the dishwasher installed, the next goal will be to finish assembly on the cupola roof and have it ready for installation. After that, prep work on the cupola base, scuffing off the old paint and lichen and puttying up holes etc. Og gave me the remainder of a can of wood hardener, stuff you use to fix wood that's not quite rotten but getting there, so I'll use that where warranted, and then fill gaps with putty. Sand level, paint with exterior paint (two coats I think) and then on with the roof.

That'll be nice. That cupola has been bugging me for a while.

* * *

I had intended, today, to take cans and batteries to the recycler, but didn't, because I was sleeping. I have to do that tomorrow.

* * *

So, you know how the A-10 "Warthog" was built around the GAU-8 "Avenger" cannon?

Well, it looks as if the P-47 was built around its supercharger.

Engine on the right side of the image, immense turbocharger on the left.

I read an SF story once where the main character was involved in an effort to soup up some P-47s even more, by giving the pilot the ability to run the supercharger on hydrogen peroxide. In other words, they were taking a rocket engine and dumping its exhaust into the turbine side, thus giving the piston-powered airplane a kind of afterburner. The biggest problem is that hydrogen peroxide, when used as a rocket fuel, is touchy stuff, and the slightest impurity in your fuel system will cause a big problem that will keep you from flying today. At least, not more than very briefly, nor in any sort of controllable fashion.

That was a neat story. I think they were doing it as a countermeasure against the Amerika Bomber but I don't really remember. Pity I don't recall the name of the story.

* * *

That turbo is so large, I don't think you could find an automobile engine big enough even to spin it, much less make any usable boost.

* * *

Anyway, that's all.