Saturday, February 14, 2009

On Long Island

Visiting our newest nephew this weekend. Two big events so far: We brought the dog, this is her first road trip. We finally made a count of the number of overpasses on the Merritt Parkway, 40.

Looking forward to a nice jog on Sunday--it is very scenic here in Locust Valley.

On the way and right after crossing the Throg's Neck Bridge, Surenna kept asking why they call it Long Island, when it is a penninsula. She wasn't happy with the response, "They call it Long Island because it is an island".

Friday, February 13, 2009


I just want to get out-front with this before someone else claims credit.

Remember back in the Clinton years, when there was one scandal after another? There were a couple of narratives to explain this:

--Clinton had serious ethical and self-control issues.


--Vast right-wing conspiracy

Anything that works once will be tried again. So, I (and fellow conspirators, to be named later) hereby take credit for every gaff, scandal and travesty to come with the Obama presidency. We will start by planting falsehoods that are so believable that they overwhelm reality and replace it and hence make it true. Just like we did with Clinton.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Accidental Science Fair Project

Our Roomba is having a battery problem: It runs for about 5 minutes and then is out of juice. When it was new it would go for a long time--like you would get bored with rescuing it from carpet tassels and shoelaces before it ran out of power.

I figured that the best course would be to do a deep discharge on the power pack and then recharge it to see if it works better.

I was at a loss at first about how to discharge it: The machine will not run at all when the power is low, and I didn't want to just short out the leads...What I finally did was connect jumpers from the battery to probes in a glass of salt water. I could tell it was working because I was seeing bubbles forming around the electrodes under water.

This got me thinking. What if one were to do this in a closed environment, so that pressure could build-up? At some point, I would expect the pressure to cause the electrolysis to stop. This would be easy to measure with a pressure gauge. What would be (if any) the relationship between voltage and pressure?

Safety: Yes, I realize that a high pressure mixture of oxygen and hydrogen with electricity in the mix, could be an explosive combination. This would suggest that the total size of the apparatus be kept small. An added benefit would be that equilibrium would be reached sooner as well.

Seems almost like yesterday

Back when I was dating my (now) wife, my sister came to visit us with her (then) husband and newborn baby. Two days ago this nephew, now at a university, "friended" me on Facebook.

Seems like the blink of an eye. Not the parts where I waited in line at the DMV, but lots of the other stuff really flew-by.

My youngest new nephew is about the same age as the one in college was when I first met him.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fuel test...

I should be able to go for a month or more on one tank of gas, but I am not sure if I ever have because I never kept track. Till now.

I usually only drive into the office three times per week and it is 10 miles each way. This is 60 miles. My car gets just under 30 miles per gallon and holds about 13 gallons. I should therefore be able to go 5 weeks if my only driving is for my work commute.

I filled up the car on the 9th of February and will update this post next time I fill-up. Update: Here it is, March 10th and I still have around 1/4 tank left.

Sunday Marathon Training--Late edition...

I did my usual 19 miler on Sunday. It was crazy warm, in the 40's, so I really had to take advantage of it. I improved the pathetic time of last week by 7 minutes, but I would still like to take another 13 minutes off before April.

Not Spiced Pork And Ham


Since Sunday, Blogger had tagged my blog and made it unavailable till now. Now that it is back I suddenly have nothing (other than this) to post about.