stupid stuff

1st Asian Tiger Mosquito

by on Jul.16, 2007, under Life, stupid stuff

Its been so dry this summer that I saw my 1st Asian Tiger Mosquito last night. Last year I suspect they were out by May. These things are much faster than normal mosquitoes and they are sneaky too. They seem to intentionally stay out of your line of sight.

The Maryland page about these mosquitoes does not mention Montgomery County but I have seen them for at least 2 years now.

http://www.mda.state.md.us/plants-pests/mosquito_control/_asian_tiger_mosquito_md.php

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Sunrocket disaster

by on Jul.16, 2007, under Life, stupid stuff, tech

I’ve been a happy Sunrocket customer for over 2 years. So when I started seeing blog posts that said they were going under I didn’t worry too much. I figured the worst case would be a skeleton crew and poor support while they tried to sell us to Vonage or another provider. Acquiring new customers is expensive so other providers would be crazy not to jump in and do a deal.

We’ll I’m not sure who was doing the dealing but instead of selling us they just shut the service off tonight. Can you imagine? 200,000 VOIP customers cut off. Calling (um surfing) around for new service.

I’m sure Vonage and ViaTalk have their phones ringing off the hook. I’m sorry I didn’t find a new service last week when all the rumors were flying.

Now. I’m stuck with no phone for at least another 24 hours and I may never get my phone number back (which I have had for 9 years now).

On the bright side I still have the Sunrocket gizmo that I plan on using with my new service.

I am just blown away by how poorly managed this bankruptcy was. I can’t think of a worse outcome for the employees, customers and the venture capitalist. They threw away millions by not selling the customers to a competitor.

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Ceiling Fans in the summer

by on Jun.25, 2007, under Life, stupid stuff, tech

I’m under the impression that ceiling fans in an air conditioned house in the summer will actually raise your cooling bill.

In all cases your taking hot air off the ceiling and mixing it with the cooler air below. Now instead of having 90 degree heat next to your 120 degree attic you are putting cooler air up there. This higher differential means that more heat is going to move from the attic to your living space.

So skip the fan and keep the heat on the ceiling where it belongs.

Also. I find that people obsess over the direction of their fan rotation but it makes almost no difference. “I’m pulling the cold air off the floor” they’ll say. Yeah right. Your circulating the air in the room resulting in a fairly even temperature. Direction doesn’t change the end result much. The only difference is if you want to feel the breeze.

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Popular Baby Names

by on May.02, 2007, under stupid stuff

Don’t you think Zinc makes a great name for a boy or a girl?

Forget Seven, Apple or Tuesday.. Name your next kid Zinc. ;-)

My name is Zinc Oxide.

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Stealing Used Coffee Grounds

by on Apr.17, 2007, under stupid stuff, tech

With Earth Day approaching I figured I would share something I have been doing recently. A few times a day I goto all the coffee machines near my work cube and steal the used coffee grounds. I’m not really stealing them since they are heading for the trash. I’m rescuing them! They make good fertilizer and compost. I take about 1 lb of grounds home each day for composting and fertilizing. I use the Tupperware I brought my lunch to work in. You don’t want to put them in anything that may spill in your car.

Recently we all received some Goody cans at work with various stuff in them. I think people have been throwing them out. :-( I’ve been snagging unwanted cans, filling them with coffee grounds and planting stuff in them. Every little bit helps. I need to take a picture of one of my creations and put it here. :-)

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Unlock that Equity!!!

by on Oct.28, 2006, under stupid stuff

When people take out loans they get the Federal Truth in Lending paperwork..  do they read it or understand it?  I think people need a dose of truth before they step foot into the bank.   I understand that banks need to make money but I think some of the current advertising slogans have gotten out of hand.

My favorite is “unlock the equity in your home”.  Oh no.  My money is in jail.  I gotta bail it out and… spend it.    After all it is my money!

This isn’t really your money..  You borrowed it to buy your home.  So a better way to describe these loans is..

  • “The Postpone your retirement loan”
  • “The Pillage your nest egg loan”
  • “The give the house back loan.  Renter for life!”

Yeah.  I don’t think the banks like those loans names.  People really like to look at equity as their money.   Mine mine mine!..  This is how the government is going to kill social security.  Eventually a large enough portion of the population will be dumb enough to say.  Don’t put “MY” money in to social security.. I want it back, I can manage it myself and get better returns.

Some people can but the majority of the people will just spend it.   So much for retirement.  ;-)

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wind chill

by on May.18, 2006, under stupid stuff

While I have cold weather on my mind lets talk about wind chill.

Question:  if the wind chill is 25 degrees Fahrenheit will water freeze?
Answer: There isn’t enough information to decide.

At 35 degrees with 15 MPH winds the wind chill is 25 degrees.  Water isn’t going to freeze.

If there is no wind it is 25 degrees and water will freeze.

Wind Chill is about how cold it feels.  Not how cold it is. ;-)

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Hot water freezes faster than cold water

by on May.18, 2006, under stupid stuff

Debunking stupid stuff. entry 1.

Hot water freezes faster than cold water. yeah whatever. I have heard this from many people over the years. I think they confused cooling speed with time to actually freeze.

Put 1 gallon of 90 degree water outside when it is 20 degrees out and 1 gallon of water that is at 60 degrees.

The 90 degree bucket is going to drop 10 degrees much faster than the 60 degree bucket but the fact of the matter is that the 60 degree bucket has a 30 degree head start and when the 90 degree bucket is at 60 it will have slowed down to the same speed that the 60 degree bucket was at at the start of the race. But its well below 60 now.
Maybe someone will google this and be enlightened. ;-)

Of course there is the Mpemba effect but that is a special case and it probably not going to occur when you put hot tap water into your ice cube trays. :-)

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