Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Monday, June 30, 2008
"So what is with the new cat", you ask. (Or not. Since you don't read here anymore.)Comments
The cat is me, of course. And as I am beset on all sides, pressed, harried, stressed and harangued, I let loose an angry roar of frustration.
And haven't much else to say at the moment.
Update: And lest anyone forget...
Update 2: I am a positive person. I really am. I know a small handful of you think I'm about doom and gloom. But I'm not. In the midst of what I see coming, I'm looking for a place of sunshine and peace to hide away. I am an optimist by nature. I am always looking at half-full glasses. Even half a glass of shit can be added to the compost pile and grow a nice plant next year.
So when I fall silent, it is not because I have nothing to say. It is because I have plenty going on that I normally don't care to dwell on, nor burden what few readers I have with. Particularly when moaning and complaining looks like fishing for sympathy to me. Not that I'm above that--I'll let you know if I want you to feel sorry for me. But I usually like to see resolution to certain problems before I mention what *happened*. When things drag on though, it becomes a drag on me.
So since my readership seems to have dwindled down to Google drive-by's who don't know me from Adam, maybe I'll spill some beans here--cast off the pajamas and do some underwear blogging. It's about catharsis.
In re: the rental house, we haven't closed yet. The buyers are apparently still waiting for an FHA appraisal. The final offer (glass of shit) they made included an inspection/cleaning of the furnace by a licensed professional. This was supposed to cost about $50-$80. He decided he had to change out some gas piping, which made the bill $180. Their final offer included a monetary concession from me to cover most of the cost of replacing the roof on the main house. I still don't believe it needs replacing. I would never replace it. But my agent says it is likely to keep coming up as an issue with any other buyers too, just because the past problems (well-repaired and doing just fine, thank you) are evident and it will always draw extra scrutiny at home inspection time. So I've gone from a monetary break-even (with a big loss of sweat equity) to an actual monetary loss as well as the loss of weeks of hard work on my part.
I suppose I should be grateful I am able to sell it for something remotely close to what I paid for it, in today's market. People in Phoenix have seen stark reductions in their valuations, and anyone who bought in the last few years is watching their equity spiral down the toilet into hard negative equity territory. So I should be grateful. Thanks for the reach-around and for using KY.
And we're not done yet, of course. FHA could still come back and say it's not worth the asking price.
On Friday, Daisycat observed the gas company shutting of the gas over there. A call to the gas company revealed that the former tenant had failed to notify them that she had moved out two months ago, and the gas was being shut off for non-payment. I have a "landlord agreement" with the gas company that is supposed to automatically switch the gas into my name when the tenant moves out. Fat lot of good it does if the tenant doesn't bother to call. So the gas has been off over there, and won't be turned back on until today sometime. I could not in good conscience go to closing on the sale without verifying that the gas company does not come up with any safety issues when the inspect the house as part of their standard turn-on procedure. *I* get the bill for the turn-on now, and *I* will probably get the past due bills for the last two months. Probably $100 in all.
The mobile home was delivered successfully last Monday. But there were some issues internally nonetheless. One of the big selling points of this house was that the cabinet doors and faces in the kitchen were in nice shape. Unlike most houses we had looked at, there were no tears and scuffs on the wood veneer finish. Not now. The movers had taped the cabinets shut to prevent damage from the doors slamming open and shut while traveling down the highway. When we removed the tape this last weekend, it tore the hell out of the finish. The worst thing to me, was that last Monday I took a few pieces of tape off, and it was coming off clean with no tears. I was tired and badly heat-exhausted, so I did not take it all off. But by Saturday it had adhered stronger and was taking the finish off. The movers have done this kind of work, how many times? Shouldn't they have known to remove the tape right away? They didn't, and I didn't know it would become a problem later.
Also the bathroom vanities had multiple mirrored doors on the medicine cabinets. The movers taped two of the three on each cabinet, but failed to tape the middle door on each cabinet. These popped open during the move and flailed about, cracking the mirror on both of them. This is a custom mirror, with beveled edges top and bottom and straight (rounded) edges on the sides. They won't be cheap to replace. The movers will be coming to look at these things, but as these things usually go, they will find a way to disclaim full responsibility. I certainly don't expect they are going to offer to replace all the cabinet doors that were torn up. They might replace the cracked mirrors.
Saturday evening it rained hard out on the farm. Sunday morning we noticed a big new water stain on the bedroom ceiling. I climbed up there to discover a series of large screw holes in the roof, running through the shingles and the decking. The previous owner had removed his satellite dish, which had been bolted to the roof, and failed to do anything about the holes he left behind. In addition to these holes, there were probably two-dozen screw hooks and nails penetrating the roof in the same vicinity. For *what*, I could not imagine. Perhaps some misguided holiday season zeal had prompted him to anchor a big inflatable Santa Claus on his roof or something. Screws *through* the roof?! What kind of *moron*...
Daisycat went into town to pick up a tube of roofing cement. I spent the day removing screws and patching holes in my roof instead of getting started on the utility connections as I had planned. The former owner's name is Forrest Elliot. I have taken to calling him Forrest Gump now. This is not the only such stupidity he has committed to this house, but it was one we did not know about until this weekend. He is the same man who obtained what he claims was a $1000 quote for a crane to take the house off the hill and promptly lost the contact information for this crane operator. A responsible crane operator gave us a $6000 quote, and we ended up paying another mobile home mover $3000 to take it down without the use of a crane. He also screwed all manner of crap to the outside of the house, much of it with these "torx" screws that he was so proud of using. Which only meant I had to fart around changing bits every time I came upon another one. Instead of building a decent frame to insert window air conditioners into the casement windows, he just bolted an eight-foot 2x6 across the window, stuck the AC unit on top of it, and stuck a piece of styrofoam in the space below it. Lovely. And oh so professional-looking.
In the living room, he had a big-screen TV that had CNN blaring 24/7. But to create a space for his big-screen propaganda machine, he cut out a section of a corner hutch to mount it. Yep. Just grab a saber saw and hack away at the built-in cabinetry until you can fit your monstrosity into it. We knew this when we bought it, of course. But I still shake my head...
Daisycat hit the nail on the head when she said, "the majority of people are really stupid". This is true, but it is frustrating and disappointing to be confronted with this fact nonetheless.
Speaking of Daisycat, today is the day we're supposed to go back to our counselor, where I'm supposed to overhear what an asshole I am. I don't care to repeat that experience. She says I'm a "nice husband"...this month. Thing is, I am not different from week to week or month to month. Certainly not over the last couple of months. Same amount of stress, same shit I'm dealing with. I'm pretty sure I've been just about the usual level of abrasive when under duress. What's been different this month is that she's chosen to be sweet and pleasant. She's chosen to not fabricate the Grand Tetons out of the grains of sand I produce. She's chosen not to cold-shoulder me for weeks at a time. And without all the accusations and the hurt being hurled at me, I have *seemed* nicer. The only difference is that I have not had any significant amount of pain to react to. If you don't jab me with a stick, I don't *yowp* in pain and anger. Funny how that works...
So I have no desire to go back. She can go tell him how wonderful I am this month, and how horrible I am the next. I'll just muddle along and take upon myself the label of ASSHOLE and leave it at that.
Oh, on that last part you can give me sympathy. I'll always accept sympathy here. Feel sorry for me for the cat I'm married to.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:45 PM | permalink
Sunday, June 29, 2008Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:23 PM | permalink
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Summer monsoons are starting on the early side this year. It is black as night outside right now and pouring buckets.Comments
In other news, we've accepted a compromise position on the roof replacement for the house for sale. We're paying a fixed amount through escrow ($2200), and the buyers are assuming all other liabilities. The only remaining item (that I am aware of) is the FHA appraisal. Closing is currently scheduled for tomorrow.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:59 PM | permalink
Hell-OO SCOTUS?! What was that blather about the Second Amendment only applying to non-military-specific firearms?Comments
Gateway Pundit: Mexican Army Members Raid Phoenix Home & Shoot Man Dead
We've got the Mexican Army crossing our borders in full tactical gear! You expect us to get by with *handguns*?!
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:37 PM | permalink
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
If You Want To Have A Memorable First Date -- eddiebearComments
Frias, a personal trainer from Millbrae, and Giamoni have known each other for years, but their hike up Mount Shasta on Saturday was their first major outing together. They made it up a trail close to the top, but the weather got bad, they became disoriented and headed back - taking a wrong, perilous path.
Whew! That brings it back. I've been there, done that, about 21 years ago on Mount Jackson in Glacier National Park. In my case I was alone, and would have ended up in one of the more remote corners of the park poorly equipped (I just had a daypack), had I not realized my mistake and found my way back to the peak and re-oriented myself.
The rocks were all wrong on the way back down. While the slope was a rubbly climb with smallish steps in the sedimentary rock on the way up, when I descended down the wrong ridge in the fog, the blocks of rock became huge, and at one point I had to jump down an 8' cliff to continue. That became a point of no return.
The clouds cleared enough for me to find myself looking down an entirely unfamiliar valley. A review of my map revealed to me where I was--on the wrong side of the mountain. I tried but couldn't get back up the cliff! There was a vast ice sheet below me, and presuming I somehow managed to survive traversing it, I had 20 or 30 kilometers of wilderness to get through before I got back to civilization. In a moment of panic I considered trying to glide down the glacier. But I knew that would be suicide.
I was praying like crazy, and in a moment God broke through. He showed me in a flash what was wrong--how the sedimentary rocks were tilted creating big blocks on one side and small steps on the other. He lit up a path off to my right and showed me that if I followed it around to the other side of the mountain, the rocks would change and I could get back to the peak.
I followed it, and came to a nearly vertical notch in the mountain that had the small steps. I scrambled up, never (never! never!) looking down and made it back to the top. Once there, I much more carefully picked my way back down the ridge I had originally ascended on, praying and praising God all the way.
I made it back to town in time for my shift as night watchman, and after that I left behind my old girlfriend for good and started dating Daisycat. She cared that I had been in peril. My old girlfriend was nonplussed. (Goodbye and good riddance, Kristin Noreen. I left you on that mountain.)
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:10 AM | permalink
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Hate gas prices? Blame Congress.Comments
Energy analysts testified to Congress yesterday that the price of gas could fall to about half of it's price in about 30 days if Congress could only commit itself to act now;
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:51 PM | permalink
..I didn't know about.Comments
My RSS feed is being picked up here: BlogNetNews.com -- Moronosphere.
Of course this post will appear there momentarily also, making me look like some sorry dude who calls home and says "Turn on Channel 4 Ma! I'm on Tee-Vee!!"
Doggone it. Sometimes I get a little *too* comfortable around here when the comments drop off, thinking no one is reading. Now I know better. Gotta keep the pajamas on. Underwear blogging ain't gonna cut it.
UPDATE: Hall of Mirrors/srorriM fo llaH/Hall of Mirrors/srorriM fo llaH/Hall of Mirrors/srorriM fo llaH!!
Ok, I'll quit now, before they drop me...
...waitaminnit. The Moronosphere isn't going to drop a moron for being a moron.
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:00 PM | permalink
Monday, June 23, 2008
Ok, I think I've earned my bona fides. Leftist environmentalists, you can have your recycled 85% paper products, your locally grown produce, and even your ridiculous Priuses and Volvos.
I? *I* have recycled a WHOLE HOUSE!
The house (finally!) arrived today. Click on "Read the Rest" for the whole photo sequence.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:23 PM | permalink
Saturday, June 21, 2008Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:54 PM | permalink
We tried out the pressure canner for the first time today. Daisycat bought fifteen pounds of inexpensive beef, cubed it up, and loaded it in jars. Here's the canner starting up:Comments
Now we're cookin'!
After 90 minutes cooking at 15 psi, and another hour of cooldown time, we open the lid to see what has been causing that de-LICIOUS smell! Daisycat put a bit of chopped garlic into each jar, and together with the savory meat aroma, it's irresistible.
The jars are still boiling from their own internal heat, now that they are back down at normal atmospheric pressure. From inexpensive cuts we now have precooked and very tender stew meat. I seriously need to sample one of these before we squirrel away the rest for a rainy day.
We did nine jars tonight--seven on the bottom row and two on top. This canner can process a total of fourteen quart jars at a time. Now that we know how much each jar can hold, we will get enough meat next time to process the full fourteen jars.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:26 PM | permalink
First I poured several sacks of floor leveling cement. The irregular appearance is where I went back and added more in certain areas. This is fairly amazing stuff. It mixes up soupy, and when you pour it out it flows to a level surface. Then within minutes it begins to gel and set up. It cures hard enough to walk on in two hours, and tiling can begin within four.
That was yesterday however. Today I got back to the job (after some work on Doozey in the morning) and began tiling.
Today's progress--this is where I quit.
Tomorrow I will lay more tile, and then I have to head out to the farm to await the mobile home arriving Monday morning (I took Monday off to be there to assist.)
Labels: home projects
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:13 PM | permalink
Friday, June 20, 2008
I've been doing too much of it lately. Waiting for the movers to get the mobile home off the hill. Waiting now until Monday for them to bring it out. Waiting for a buyer for the rental house. Waiting for them to finish their inspections.Comments
Now the buyers want a new roof on the house and garage.
I think not!
You keep these things coated with elastomeric and they're fine as long as the underlying roofing material is not crumbling. And on this roof it's not. There are blisters in places where the elastomeric layers have separated from the underlying material, but the inspectors even acknowledged they doesn't affect the integrity of the roof unless they break open. There's some minor patching that can stand to be done here and there, and perhaps it would be worth cutting open more of the blisters and resealing them--possibly even installing a polyester membrane over the whole roof to extend it's life.
But I dread to do that now. We're in the hottest part of the year here, and today was a doozey.
The garage roof has never been coated, and there are some nails popped. But for heaven's sake, you take a hammer to them and then coat the roof. You don't insist on a new roof!
Do these people want out? Well they're getting their out, if so. I'm not sinking another $5k into this house at the price they're getting it for.
In the meantime I've gone back to working on the guesthouse. Next task is tiling the kitchen and living room floors. I poured floor leveling cement today and will start laying tile tomorrow. Pictures should be forthcoming.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:28 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:23 PM | permalink
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I've noted this before, but I am so totally geeked by this company! Inkjet solar panel printing!Comments
They've got a video up showing the machine churning out a long film of solar collector, and individual completed cells popping out the other end.
Sadly their first focus is going to be municipal power providers, but they've got consumer products in the pipeline too, they say.
Do you know what 99 cent per watt solar panels means? Solar electricity is about to become cost-competitive!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:59 PM | permalink
As you may know Mountain House has curtailed all shipment of their freeze dried foods in cans throughout the U.S. until at least October of this year. I repeat, the supply from Mountain House has been cut and I fully believe that when their food in #10 cans is available again, it will be at much higher prices.
There was a good reason for the sense of urgency I felt over the last several months.
Here is a letter posted on Survivalblog.com illustrating how and why preparedness pays off in even minor catastrophes (click "read the rest"):
Last weekend my town was threatened by a pretty big fire. Dozens of homes burned, thousands of citizens were evacuated. My neighborhood was among those ordered to flee the advancing flames. (Drama!)
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:48 PM | permalink
Wednesday, June 18, 2008Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:53 PM | permalink
Time to pull this up from the archives, because I'm getting ready to build it--a solar powered evaporative cooler: Direct motor drive from solar panelsComments
Also turbine ventilators for exhaust assist.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:38 PM | permalink
- Morgan Stanley warns of a 'catastrophic event'. The point of maximum stress could occur in coming months if the European Central Bank (ECB) starts to raise rates and the Fed backs away from expected tightening. The rates differential "could trigger a 'catastrophic' event".
Don't believe me. Believe these people, who have every reason in the world to know what they are talking about.
Do any of you have grandparents still alive who lived through the Great Depression? Ask them about it. Then consider that it is likely this time will be much worse.
Our researchers insisted on that many times in the last two years: any comparison with the previous crises of our modern economy would be fallacious. It is neither a "remake" of the 1929 crisis nor a repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market crisis. It is truly a global systemic crisis, that is to say a crisis affecting the entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the international system upon which the world was organised in the last decades.
Survivalists: get your ducks in a row. We don't have time to do everything we hoped and prayed we would have time for. Now we need to be thinking "expediency"--what is the minimum I will need, and how can I make do with what I have accomplished so far.
Three to six months, the bankers are saying. That's not much...
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:23 PM | permalink
Just because I am a firm believer in Health Savings Accounts, I am posting this as a public service.Comments
However the chances that another NYC artist besides my dear Pretty Lady actually reads this weblog are fairly close to zero.
Nevertheless: Pretty Lady: Attention Uninsured Artists: Join Fractured Atlas NOW
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:19 PM | permalink
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:49 AM | permalink
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Gun Beats Bomb in Bank Robbery || WXYZ.com | WXYZ-TV / Detroit | Detroit News, Weather, Sports and MoreComments
An attempted bank robbery in Canton played out like a scene from a movie Monday when a man who police say claimed to have a bomb was stopped by a customer armed with a pistol."clicka
Labels: armed citizen
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:13 PM | permalink
A Time, Times, and a Half a TimeComments
As one reads the Commission’s blueprint, it is clear that they intend to "activate" an "evolutionary" process in which they will reckon with "pathologies" (individuals) whom they consider to be of a lower species (egocentric mind) and unite and transcend their more highly-evolved (universal mind) civilization. As found in history's not-too-distant past, the portrayal is of an advancement of a superhuman race. Although the blueprint's views are not isolated to any one individual commissioner, this identical theme may be found in Commissioner Barbara Marx Hubbard's writings. Hubbard's book Happy Birthday Planet Earth which is quite small yet filled with threats, provides an overview of the impending "selection process".
5The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. Rev 13:5-8
Note carefully ye who eagerly look forward to this "consciousness transformation": We will never bow down. We will never compromise, we who are the true children of the Lamb. You will round us up and murder some of us, but we will consider ourselves blessed:
13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice:
Whether by tribulation or by rapture, we will be beyond reach.
And then, dear and faithful:
11I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
His name is JESUS: King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Oh yes, he is full of Radical Compassion--his own blood he paid to redeem us. But He will return with Justice, as the One True King of Heaven. Long has this world labored under the injustice and oppression of the enemy, and this will come to a final end at His return.
Do not be deceived by the false dawn! Do not be led astray at the counterfeit "transformation", wrought by the hands of corrupt and wicked men, corrupted and twisted by the designs of the enemy. Stand firm to the end, and wait for the glory of the dawning of the Kingdom of God!
Labels: watching the skies
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:53 AM | permalink
Monday, June 16, 2008
Heidi has figured out what Obama is doing to capture the gun-totin', bible thumpin', redneck crowd:Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:13 PM | permalink
New Research--Coffee Drinkers May Live LongerComments
The researchers found that women who drank two or three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease during the follow-up (from 1980 to 2004) than non-drinkers. Women also had an 18 percent lower death risk from a cause other than cancer or heart disease compared with non-coffee drinkers.
Please don't give it up! I do want you around a few more years.
Labels: health and lifestyle
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:08 PM | permalink
Bakken Oil Reserves--Ace of Spades HQComments
Bakken could be huge. The Geological Survey's Leigh Price, a Denver geochemist who died of a heart attack in 2000, estimated that the Bakken might hold 413 billion barrels. If so, it would dwarf Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the world's biggest field, which has produced about 55 billion barrels.
This is in addition to the huge reserves in oil shale in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado, and the vast continental shelf reserves off our coasts.
But the reasons we are not tapping these reserves are strictly political. Misguided environmentalists and solar/wind/horse & buggy utopians bring political pressure to bear on Democrat and some Republican politicians against tapping our own reserves, forcing us to purchase far too much of our oil needs from overseas.
We have the solution to high energy costs within the borders of our own country. Why are we electing politicians who keep us dependent on people who wish us harm?
Republican or Democrat, vote Energy Independence! Find out who supports US energy independence, and support them. If none of your representatives believe we should exploit our own energy reserves, then it's time to write letters and lobby them until they see the light.
And we need to throw Algore off a cliff.
Update: Chuck Norris has more to say.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:32 AM | permalink
Central bank body warns of Great Depression: "The Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the organisation that fosters cooperation between central banks, has warned that the credit crisis could lead world economies into a crash on a scale not seen since the 1930s."Comments
Labels: watching the skies
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:12 AM | permalink
Friday, June 13, 2008
Man Retrofits Freezer to Make an Ultra-Efficient FridgeComments
To the tune of 0.1 kWh per day! Whee!
PDF (full article) here
UPDATE: For anyone serious about building this, HERE is a source for the requisite thermostat.
I did a quick search of the net looking for "efficient chest freezers" and came upon a number of articles passing along and/or expanding upon the above-noted article. If you do the math, you'll see it hardly pays to make such a conversion if you're buying power from the grid, not to mention the relative inconvenience of using a chest freezer as a refrigerator. However, the real payoff would come in an off-grid application. Refrigeration is a relatively large component of the power needs of an off-grid home, and doing without a refrigerator would be quite an inconvenience. Getting the energy requirement down to about 0.1 kWh from the typical 1 kWh for a standard upright fridge means a smaller upfront investment in solar panels and batteries. In fact I'm pretty certain this approach trumps my previous evaporative-chilled water-bath cooler plans. I cannot imagine the fan and circulation pump to run that contraption would require any less power, and would never keep food as cool.
If you think about it, a 100 watt solar panel charging a bank of batteries for one hour per day would take care of the energy requirements. Compare that to a regular refrigerator which would require that same solar panel to charge for *ten* hours per day (into a commensurately larger battery bank), or a 1000 watt solar panel to charge for one hour per day (into that same larger battery bank), and you can see why this is such a big deal.
If I were to approach this as a stand-alone project, I would probably replace the 110v thermostat with a low voltage thermostat and use it to switch the load (via a suitable relay) on the 12 volt side of the power inverter. The reason for this is that nearly all inverters consume a certain amount of standby power. With this setup the freezer/fridge only operates about two minutes per hour. The inverter would be consuming its standby power during the other 58 minutes per hour. This would significantly decrease the overall efficiency. By controlling the operation of the setup on the 12 volt side, no standby power is consumed, as the power inverter only operates when the refrigerator needs to run.
Oh, and in case you are wondering about whether it makes more sense to just buy a 12 volt chest refrigerator, I encourage you to google that, and check out the (**cough cough**) prices for one of those puppies.
UPDATE 2: Ok, HERE is a low voltage thermostat, and here are solid state relays to switch the load into the inverter. You would need to select the relay capacity to match your inverter's input current rating. Remember that starting a refrigerator compressor requires a surge current significantly higher than the running current. If I recall correctly it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 times the running current. Keep that in mind when sizing the inverter and relay.
Now, if I can only get that daygum house moved and set on the lot, I can get started on some of these projects!
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:34 PM | permalink
TV newsman Tim Russert dies of heart attack | Entertainment | People | ReutersComments
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tim Russert, who became a household name in American political discourse as host of NBC's 'Meet the Press' Sunday talk show, died on the job of a heart attack on Friday, the television network said. He was 58.
He will be missed.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:50 PM | permalink
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I'm willing to bet that most of you who stumble through here have no clue how close to the brink of a full-fledged depression we actually are. And few who read my "dire prognostications" on a semi-regular basis have taken the time to track down the links I've provided from time to time, or perused some of the other blogs and resources on my sidebar that also are tracking the times.Comments
Here is one such link for your perusal:
"Kobyashi Maru" by Doug Tjaden, FSU Editorial 06/10/2008
"The Forex markets are hit with the reality that the Fed cannot raise rates to defend the dollar without bringing down the stock market and the multi-trillion dollar derivatives mess, thus the dollar sold off sharply. The stock market is beginning to grasp that the Fed cannot lower rates to help the rapidly deteriorating economy without sending the dollar into the tank and causing all commodities (and precious metals) to take their long awaited trip to the moon, cementing the dreaded increased 'inflation expectations' in the public psyche. Yet doing nothing is not an option either. The inflation that is already in the pipeline will continue to increase, choking off an economy on life support. What then is the Fed to do?
And yes, it fits into my eschatology as well. Perhaps I will update later with the details.
Those of you who have done nothing to prepare are pretty much out of time, unless you have a bunch of money you can access (preferably yanked out of the flailing stock market), and can buy yourself rapidly into a more secure posture. Those of you who have ongoing preparations, now is the time to accelerate them as much as is physically and financially possible. And those of you who are Christians, in addition to the above (yes, you're going through it too), pray to God for the purification of your souls. The Bridegroom is returning for a spotless bride, and most of us have a lot of time on our knees ahead if we are to have any hope of being included in that number.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:30 PM | permalink
After offer, rejection, re-offer, counteroffer and acceptance, escrow is open and we're in the contingency period for the sale of our rental house. We were getting zero interest at our original asking price. So we dropped it $10k and interest picked up. However the program that the buyer is using requires a bunch of seller assistance, so to make an acceptable offer they bumped up the "full" purchase price to cover the items they need covered. The final dollar amount (before commissions) ends up just over $15k below our original asking price.Comments
Did you know that if you have good credit and the income necessary to support a house payment that you can buy a house with zero down? Really and truly zero down! I believe this may be limited to first-time homebuyers, and it works through FHA. If that profile fits you, ask an agent about something called the "Ameridream Program". That's what these buyers are using. You have to find a seller willing to work with you on this however, because you're essentially asking the seller to pay your down payment (plus closing costs and program fee). That's why I snorted at the original offer. But they could handle the additional payments for a higher "full" sale price, so bumped their re-offer over my asking price to cover some of these expenses. I'm pretty certain the appraisal will support the price (or better).
We're coming out ok. This offer meets the bare minimum I was willing to let the house go for. Now if there are contigencies that come up during inspection that will cost me more than a small amount of money, I might have to think hard about continuing with this deal. But so far, so good.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:51 AM | permalink
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Via Neanderpundit, here is where Tanya disappeared to:Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:11 AM | permalink
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Kansas man survives nail-in-skull accident - washingtonpost.comComments
A suburban Kansas City man accidentally fired a 2.5-inch nail into the top of his head, but says he now feels fine after a doctor used a claw hammer to remove it.
Ok, which one of us Moronbloggers is this?
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:12 PM | permalink
Why ask why?Comments
Why, oh why, dear esposita.
Here is why:
language warning, so you know, don't click on it.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:51 PM | permalink
Monday, June 09, 2008
Saw this fellow crossing the farm last weekend:Comments
In other news, it looks like we finally have someone who can take the mobile home off the hillside. It will cost three times what we were originally told, but this is still substantially cheaper than the crane quote we were given. Urgh.
Update: We just came from meeting with the guy. Melinda says, "he's a complete loon, but I think he can do the job." Which is good. If Melinda is comfortable, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
So it's Daffy Duck to the rescue.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:39 PM | permalink
Sunday, June 08, 2008
EFFORTS TO PREPARE THE MEDIA BATTLESPACE:
Well I can think of a few. But in fact I am prepared to vigorously reject any and all such spurious accusations.
In other words, don't try it with me.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, June 06, 2008Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:02 AM | permalink
Thursday, June 05, 2008
FOXNews.com - Researchers Secretly Tracked 100,000 Cell Users Outside U.S. for Six Months - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology NewsComments
Got a cellphone? (I do.) Looks like they're just as good as an ankle bracelet. Do the authorities "need" to find you? Probably as simple as obtaining a warrant, they could find you using your cellphone. And from what I understand it doesn't matter if it is turned off or not. You'd have to remove the battery to disable the tracking capability.
Don't you feel comforted by our Brave New World?
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:28 AM | permalink
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Scared 'em away, apparently.Comments
I'll be tempted to start lounging around here in my underwear pretty soon.
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:42 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:19 PM | permalink
Darn! I wish I could have attended. I received this anonymous e-mail yesterday:Comments
Dear Mr. Cat,
The things I miss out on...
swiped from TUBOB
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:41 PM | permalink
Well my dear lovely esposa met with the crane company representative last night. That $1000 cost that I was led to believe was a firm quote from this same company, turned out to be so much vapor and waving of hands by the seller of the mobile home. And since mi esposa did not call the crane company ahead of time to confirm, we were stunned with a $6500 estimate to move the home off the hill.Comments
Which is my fault now, of course.
Why? Because I did not explicitly *tell* her to call.
Needless to say, we are looking into alternatives, the first of which being getting a quote from the mobile home mover to do whatever it takes to maneuver the house off the hill without the use of a crane.
And both the seller and the mobile home sales representative (but most especially the seller) are on my deep shit list about now. I don't give a rip if we have to tear up his lot to get the house off now. If he doesn't like it, I have a few words in reserve for him regarding the difference between his material misrepresentation and our actual cost.
Update: Can you say "fraud"?
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:07 AM | permalink
Monday, June 02, 2008
I have been leaving the coordination of the mobile home mover and crane operator to Daisycat. Somehow she didn't think to confirm the crane operator's price (given to the *previous* mobile home owner, not us) and set up an agreement with him before asking the mover to coordinate with him. So now the mover is all agitated about not being able to complete the job this week like we were expecting, because when he called the crane operator he had no idea what he was talking about.Comments
*Sigh*. And people wonder why I have trouble delegating.
S'ok though, *if* she learns that calling to confirm stuff is *always* a good idea, and assuming stuff is almost always a bad idea. That and the fact that people who tend not to return phone calls promptly often will not until you make a pest of yourself.
It is all right by me to have a little extra time, but the previous owner is moaning and complaining about how long we are taking for everything, and how he was supposed to be back in Virginia over a month ago. And I have to go back there Friday to load up some deck lumber and probably listen to more of his moaning.
Jeezely crow, guy! I'm beating my slaves as hard as I can already!
(Ha ha. That is supposed to be funny. 'Cause *I'm* the slave around here...)
In other news, last weekend I removed enough of the remainder of the ramada to clear a sufficient (knock on wood) path for the mobile to come in.
At two locations I had above-ground utilities that were in the way. I dug a trench, laid the risers down sideways, and covered them with these ramps that I built to cross the utility trenches last year. This way I don't need to completely bury the risers, and the wood beams provide protection against damage.
I was going to set up a temporary nursery for salvaged cacti and then move them out of it back to various places in the landscape. But when I got started in planting these, it began to take on an attractive shape of its own. So I arranged them to look nice as a little cactus rock garden and I think I will leave them be just like this.
The thing is, I will need to water this patch from time to time, because the natural rainfall would not be enough to support this many cacti in such a small space.
If k will remind me, I also have a hedgehog cactus that needs to be boxed up to ship.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:18 PM | permalink
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