I'm up at 0745. This is the second night lately that I have used the sleep mask and again I slept an hour less but am feeling fresh. I think it must be making a difference.
It seems we're overcast and headed into a colder trend.
Today is another day of planning and figuring. When done, I'll order the components and see how long it takes to get them here and installed.
I ran a benchmark test on the Samsung. Interesting. I may need to fiddle a bit more.
UserBenchmarks: Game 11%, Desk 36%, Work 15%
Well, maybe I do need more sleep. Today was not too productive. I did some research, did not walk, and generally accomplished little. I also had a bit of indigestion.
I did realise, though, that even if I only get the gas and venting done and the ductwork is incomplete, a furnace will work to maintain heat, so I need to get going on that an worry less about ducts.
I obsessed a bit about new laptops and came close to ordering some top-rated machines but was reluctant to order some models for fear of the Canada Post strikes and backlogs and deterred from other attractive-looking machines that come by courier by questionable reviews that made me wonder.
I was not inspired this evening, so I watched the rest of The Break. The series has a low rating -- three stars -- but I found it excellent. The plot was intriguing and the camera work was unusual and artistic in places.
It's 2130 and I am tired, but figure I'll stay up until I am really tired.
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We had snow overnight and it is overcast again today.
I let the Acer run unplugged last night on battery alone last night and it showed critical battery warning this AM. I plugged it in an d it is charging.
I don't know what to make of that. Last month, it would not run unless plugged in and would not charge. I refreshed the O/S and that did not help, but now it seemingly has healed itself? Can I trust it? It still refuses to se the second monitor.
Computer failure is traumatic when I have work to do that requires a laptop with screen area for research. Even with a backup machine at hand, the loss of one is a worry and remedial action is very time-consuming. I spent a lot of time looking at potential replacements and could not decide what I really need.
What confuses me is that this seven-year old Samsung with 4 GB RAM and an aging i5-480M 2-core processor @2.67 GHz is more than adequate now that I upgraded the hard drive to SSD. Just the same, I ordered another 4GB of DDR4 memory last night on Amazon Prime for $54. Maybe the old Hitachi drive was failing without any messages?
The three-year old Acer R3-131T_1022_1.17, with a Pentium 4-core N3700 @1.6 GHz, 4GB DDR3, and a conventional 5400 RPM drive is fast enough , too, when it is working right.
Neither is cutting edge, but both are reasonably quick ands can drive an external 21-inch monitor without breaking a sweat, too -- except the Acer now cannot seem to find its external monitor in spite of my exhaustive efforts to find a solution and that is a major issue. Apparently that is a common Windows 10 issue.
I'm learning more than I want to know about computers due to the HDMI issue on the Acer. I've been Googling and tweaking the registry for hours I came across a few useful things along the way, though. One is a the Intel Driver & Support Assistant. So far it found nothing on the Samsung, but did find 145MB of Bluetooth and Wireless improvements for the Acer that had not shown up on Windows Update.
Carolyn and I went for a walk and found there is a good six inches of light snow in the ground and drifting in spots. That complicates matters for getting in and out and for taking deliveries. I'm glad I brought the tractor inside since I'll be able to start it. Whether i can climb the grade to get out is another question since it is front heavy and the rear wheels lose traction on a hill.
I'm back at the heating project and contemplating how many BTUs I need to prevent freeze-up during the minus forty days and nights that happen periodically. The coldest months are December, January, and February. That is when the nights are longest and solar gain is least. Minus twenty-five happens at least once every year and I have to design for minus forty.
At minus forty, what indoor temperature do I want to maintain? At least plus five, I would think for the safety of the pipes and the plants, not to consider comfort. Comfort demands plus twenty, so that would mean a differential of sixty Celsius degrees, so I'll design for that and assume that we should exceed the plus five minimum, worst case.
Spending time on these pages shows that experiencing minus thirty-five for at least a day is high probable at some point every year, so to maintain 20° C indoors, we are looking at a 60° C differential.
From my records, in the past 102 output BTU/ per hour was used on average in December/January/February, but that is average -- day, night, sunny, overcast, windy, clam, extremely cold and mild spell. I'll need double that to be safe.
There are calculators online. This one thinks I need 432,000 BTU
Frost Fighter thinks I need a 210,000 heater but will only use (extrapolating) 125,000 BTUs. Really? I like than better than 432K.
This one says,
For an average insulated structure and a sixty-degree
With poor insulation and air leaks, this:
Or, just to keep the indoors at 10° C in
minus forty weather,
So, what do I really know from this? Nothing I did not think I knew already.
I think, and have for some time, I need 250,000 BTUs minimum to be safe. That is two high efficiency furnaces and I like having two for redundancy. Most days, only one needs to work.
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My first job today is to plow snow, I think. I can't do anything much until I can come and go, and the job must be done sooner or later. The forecast doesn't indicate the day will get warmer, but there may be some sun after lunch. I might as well start now.
I went to sleep after midnight again and was up at eight.
I worked intensively on the furnace plans last evening and this morning I remembered to consider return air. It seems my mind continued working as I slept.
The road grader had thrown up a swath of thick, dirty, salty snow, totally blocking my driveway, at least for today's plastic vehicles. In years past, cars or trucks could muscle through such barriers, but these day, air dams and bumpers are flimsy and fragile.
So, I cannot come or go and neither can the mail, and I have to deal with it. The tractor is one solution. The blower is another. Shoveling is out of the question except for the walk. Both the tractor and blower take about the same amount of time, more or less, and each has its pluses and minuses.
I decided to look at reassembling the snow blower first since I have been putting the job off for too long and it figured should be simple. I had almost finished putting it back together some time ago but was interrupted. Having the blower working would be helpful for getting the tractor out of the shop since the tractor is snowed in.
Replacing the wheel drive belt took me until three. Clearing the driveway took until four.
I got a lot of exercise clearing the driveway. I suppose I could have used the tractor, but this snow is light and I wanted to test the blower. Besides, the tractor started once, but then refused to go again, so my mind was made up: blow until the tractor battery charged. Once started, as is often the case with exercise, it felt so good I did not want to stop. Plus, I need the exercise and the blower does not leave swaths that drift back in the way the plow does.
Now it is after four and still daylight. I'm damp, weary, snow encrusted, and too keyed up to do much except relax. It was hot work out there in the sun and minus seven Celsius (+20F) weather with my long underwear and snowsuit and toque. Maybe I'll shower and change. Maybe I'll go to town.
The hearing centre called and my hearing aid is in. I'll go in tomorrow morning at eleven. That should be interesting.
What will I have for supper? Turkey, broccoli, cauliflower, as it turned out. next, I sat and looked around the living room and enjoyed the plants. I've been pretty driven for a while and this exertion today snapped me out of it. That, and the news that I don't have to fly out on the the 15th.
I called a few friends and was invited to supper some night and a birthday party. Bill reminded me about using a boiler and fan coils for heat rather than forced air furnaces, and old idea I had abandoned.
After all the time I spent looking at forced air furnaces, I am getting back to looking at boilers and fan coils again. They don't need duct work and are very flexible. I can place a fan coil tight in the existing furnace for that matter and use both alternately, or even at the same time. Change of direction? Again.
Hmmmm. It is 10:10 PM and I see the Acer is downloading Windows 1809. That is the notorious, troublesome Fall Update, first released in September (09) of 2018 (18). Should I prepare for more computer problems?
At 10:45 PM: Uh oh. I see that the Samsung is downloading 1809, too, now. Let's hope that M$ has worked out the bugs and that at least one of these computers works tomorrow.
I was going to wait up to see how it works out, but the Acer is still only 58% installed and it is 11:49.
Quote of the Day
Thomas A. Edison
I woke up at 0425 and realised that I am not going back to sleep, so got up, made coffee and eggs and watched the computers finish the 1809 setup. Amazingly, it worked without hitches on both machines.
I slept only about four hours, so may go back to bed in a while.
Spotify is learning my tastes. At first it was just repeating what I had been listening to, but now it is finding new material that better fit my tastes. It misses sometimes, though and I have to give a piece thumbs down and that ensures I won't hear it again -- and probably the logic proportionately down-votes anything else that other listeners who dislike that number have blackballed. I assume there is an algorithm for that. By the same token, it pays to 'like' anything I especially enjoy and would like to hear again. I can always kill it later.
I see the Acer is puffing and panting doing next to nothing except playing Spotify. System is using 99% CPU and up to 97% disk on and off. I assume Windows is sorting out the changes from the upgrade. I hope it finishes at some point. The Samsung isn't breaking a sweat at 28% CPU and 2% disk while I work. I wonder what is up with the Acer.
It's 0655 and I'm going back to bed.
I slept until 0845. I see now that The Acer finished whatever internal adjustments it was up to and is idling at low power and low usage.
At eleven, I was in Three hills, at my hearing appointment. We spent almost two hours setting up these hearing aids. They cost more than my Merc, but they are pretty good and are very programmable.
The only issue is that they do not yet stream audio with Android. Apparently they do with iPhones. That could be a deal breaker since the feature I wanted that justified the cost in my mind was to be able to listen to apps on my phone through them.
I bought groceries and a bottle of pinot grigio and drove home. I was not very motivated and played around with the hearing aids and computers and things but could not focus on work.
I lay down for a nap and dozed a bit. Then I had supper, drank the bottle of wine, made popcorn and watched the rest of The Runner, a Nicholas Cage flick I had started a long time ago, It was okay, I guess.
Then I began I Could Never Be Your Woman. I'm not sure why, but I watched over half of it before I got bored and went to bed. Must have been the wine. It was pretty bad and revolved around formulaic expectations about relationships, age, and self image that are a standard US cultural mindset promulgated by vapid 'reality' TV, 'entertainment' shows, game shows and magazines. Sad and puzzling, but full of eye candy.
Quote of the Day
but how much money you make when you're right
and how much you lose when you're wrong
I slept in until eight and got up. I'm more focused today. Yesterday I was distracted and weary.
I killed a few hours at the desk and then Carolyn and I went walking. A light snow was falling. She has cut back her medications and has more energy and walks faster, but we only did two blocks, not the three we were doing not so long ago.
I'm not getting much done today. With the pressure off, I am getting back to being myself.
I am enjoying the hearing aids, but research is also showing that these are cost twice what similar devices from Costco are priced at. Also, they do not stream to Android without a second device and I am not sure I want that. I may decide to return them.
That said, they definitely make listening to radio and music much more enjoyable. I can hear the cymbals and snare drums now, plus the higher pitched voices are clearer. Doing things around the house is interesting: I hear the floor squeak, papers rustle, keyboard clattering, and water running and pouring more clearly.
Having a fast computer with two screens is treat, too, and I am catching up.
By five, I was ready for supper. I cooked a salmon fillet, broccoli, cauliflower and sat down.
After, I was without inspiration. I am backing off. I can do anything but I don't want to. I drove to Three Hills and bought two bottles of the cheapest pinot grigo. The idea was that I would only drink one and save the second.
Quote of the Day
The greater your capacity to love,
the greater your capacity to feel the pain.
Several items from Amazon appeared in my mail this morning, including an air speed device for measuring the air flow in my ducts (or wind speed), a USB monitor driver for the Acer, and 8GB of RAM for the Samsung.
The monitor driver worked well after the drivers were installed and the machine rebooted, so now I am back to my four display setup. I find that handy for working on things like books since I can have statements open on one large monitor and the accounting program open on another at the same time. It is far easier than having to Alt + Tab back and forth. The smaller displays are harder to see, but useful for multi-tasking.
I'll install the memory shortly, but Windows wants to restart and I'll do that first.
* * * * *
Well, the new memory does not work. I don't know why. It was supposed to be the right type as far as I can tell. Both the original stick (top) and the new one (bottom) are at right.
I see the plow has been by again and the driveway has drifted in a bit, so I think I'll go out and clear that up while it is sunny It is up to minus twelve right now, so this is the time to do it.
I got out the blower and it did the job, but it took a bit of muscle and pushing to cut the drifts. Maybe the job would have been easier if I had dealt with the drifts as soon as they formed, but at any rate, they were pretty hard. The blower had to work to break up the chunks.
I brushed off the Merc and drove it to a new spot. The summer tires just spun until I placed the strips of carpet I carry for such occasions (left) behind the wheels and was able to simply drive out.
I notice that both computers are very busy since the last upgrade. 'System' is very active. The 1809 upgrade added features to Photos app and it is busy rifling through my photos and making stupid albums and things in the background. I think the indexer is also busy in idle time. I really don't much like my computers doing things I haven't asked for, but what can I do?
I set out to return the memory and the adaptor to Amazon and the job looks easy. I also ordered an external DVD/CDROM drive while I was at it. They come in handy for installing legacy software sometimes.
I have not worn the hearing aids today. As with many must-have items, the shine is wearing off., I'll have to try them when I am in a room with others , but I recall buying the Spot Messenger after wanting one for a long time and researching in intensively, using a few times and now it just sits, unloved. I bought bifocals twice and now I don't even know where they are.
I was not much inspired this evening and watched Madam Secretary until midnight. Somehow, I find myself watching series that revolve around fictional US government personnel.
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I slept until nine and woke to a bright, sunny, cold day. The house was cool and the thermometer said fifty. Checking in the bin, I saw a chunk of coal had hung up the sensor ball. That's a bit of a fluke. I had lowered the auger to use up the last bit of coal and as a result, the range of motion was shorter than usual and that one little chunk just did not fall down.
I have a load of coal coming tomorrow and will finish getting ready today. I have more snow to blow and the bin to clean off.
Flo knows everybody, so I called her for advice and she said that Maurice is in emergency with abdominal pains and she is there with him waiting for a diagnosis.
I had called for advice about gas fitter so she gave me a name and number. I called the number and the guy sounds like the kind of person I can work with. It sounds as if it will be a while, though. I made a number of other calls so we'll see what happens.
I made another vegetable soup/stew this morning then went out to finish clearing snow. The day warmed far more than predicted and the job was pleasant. I'm now ready for the load of coal. I'm a bit sorry that I'm finished the yard. Blowing snow is a workout and therefore a mood enhancer. I find lifting weights or walking a treadmill futile, but exercise with a purpose is fun.
Mom went into the continuing care home yesterday for some physiotherapy, so I found the number and called her. She is bored already and determined to get back on her feet soon.
She is still looking forward to my visit. I had assumed it was off, but I guess my peaceful stay at home is over and the pressure is back on and furnace worries.
I'm expecting Fen around five and we are off to Joe's birthday party.
Bert and Fen showed up a bit earlier than expected. I rushed out, and we drove east. We missed the turnoff, but were there by 6:30.
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I woke at 0830 and called Tracy to see when he is coming, then went back to sleep until 0953 and woke up refreshed. I still have bad gas and digestive upset, but otherwise am fine.
Tracy brought the coal. Carolyn and I went for a walk, and now I am getting ready to go to Jean's.
I drove to Red Deer and pulled into Costco to meet up with Jean. When I arrived, she had just left, but I went in and bought a pizza for supper anyhow. Then I drove to Birch Bay, arriving just after she got there.
We had supper, visited a bit and called it a day. I watched some video, before bed, but, as always, had issues with the Internet here. This area is badly served by all providers. Being a summer and weekend village, good coverage and adequate bandwidth does not seem to be a priority for any provider.
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I brought the Samsung this time. It is bigger and bit heavier than the Acer, but a better machine and is working well. I have lost faith in the Acer after its recent shenanigans.
J&C and I walked Fish (the dog) down to the beach and back. It is exactly a mile round-trip, just like walking three blocks in Swalwell.
I returned home at noon, stopping in Sylvan for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I then went to Walmart, looking for a dieffenbachia, but they had almost no house plants, so I carried on and stopped at Home Depot in Red Deer where I was similarly disappointed.
I arrived home around four, checked the furnace, then showered and fiddled around for a while. I am not ambitious at all today, or yesterday for that matter. I've had gas and intestinal upset and a general tired feeling. I wonder if it is the soup I made.
I turn the heat down to 55 when away and while warming the house, I measured the furnace duct flow with the new meter and get 50 feet/sec (or 300 ft/min).
For supper, I had frozen vegetables and a bit or two of turkey and some mixed nuts. I'm going to bed early tonight.
This visit to Jean's gave me a second chance to test the hearing aids in a hard room and with children's' voices.
The first test was at Joe's birthday party. There, I found they helped a bit, but did not diminish the noise and ambience of a room with hard walls, floor and ceiling. Men, women and a child were all talking, and the hearing aids helped a bit, but not too much.
Yesterday, at Birch Bay, I found they helped a bit, but echoes and noise were louder, too. I also noticed that I forget if I am wearing them or not, so that shows they are comfortable, but also that they don't make that big a difference.
Considering, too, that I may be going east in a few days, I won't be here for the full thirty days of the trial. So, I'm inclined to return them and wait another year until the technology is ready -- and maybe my hearing is worse. At that time, I'll also cast my net further and include Costco which is reputed to cost less than half for similar products.
Looking on Amazon, I see some interesting Chinese versions that are probably pretty good, but lack Android connections.
Quote of the Day
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