February 7, 2016

Shop Safety... A Broken Power Saw Tooth

Hi,

I'm going to make this post very short, and hopefully very memorable..

Ahh yes... Here we have a nice new table saw blade, complete with its protective split-rubber-tube tooth encasement...

420 whole blade shot IMG_0312.JPG

Too bad I dropped the blade on a concrete floor from about 30 inches... Here's what the tooth looks like under a microscope...

420 broken tooth Image108.jpg

Now... Imagine mounting that blade and powering up the saw... Can you say, "Hello emergency room!"?

Lesson: Treat blades very carefully...

Over by the feeders with both eyes intact...

CapeCodAlan


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January 28, 2016

Smart Crows, Stupid Seagulls?

crow with graduation morterboard 400_DSC_0099.JPG

400 dunce the beak resized IMG_2372.JPG

Ok... So I stink as an artist, but you probably already knew that. What is supposed to be depicted above is a crow wearing a graduation mortarboard, and below him, a seagull wearing a dunce cap.

What in the name of Sam Hill am I doing? Well, let me tell you Skippy! I'm going to run a little experiment to test the comparative intelligence between crows and seagulls. Tomorrow, when the crows (and the gulls) show up, I'll feed them their hot dogs chunks as usual, except that I'll make sure that all are watching and then lightly bury the 'dogs in snow. In doing so, I'll perform what is known as a "Conservation Experiment" -- a little game to see if a child (or in this case, birds) can grasp the fact that an entity doesn't change just because its appearance does. (I earned my first degree in Child Psych... I'm not about to waste all that effort...) Also, I want to learn just how quickly crows can learn from non-crows... Likewise for gulls...

If what I've read and experienced are true (see my post: "Crow Brains"), the crows should remember where I buried the hot dogs and retrieve them without undue trauma. I'm not so sure what the seagulls are going to do. If this works, I can extend the experiment further... But let's not get ahead of ourselves...

I'll keep you posted concerning the results...

"Gittin' wicked smart by the feeders..."

CapeCodAlan


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January 27, 2016

Accessing the Feeders and what Gear Worked and what Didn't...‏

Hi,

As promised I'll follow up the Nor'easter Jonas blog series with a summary... But before I do, here's a shot the pathway I dug to access the feeders... (Black and white effect by Pencil Sketch...)

420 path in snow from 2016 nor_easter.jpg

I can't stress this enough - especially in times of cold, harsh weather -- it is critical that birds have access to unfettered clean water and quality food. Say no more...

Now, about what equipment worked and what didn't... For the most part, all the in-house stuff (heat, lights, water, etc.) worked just fine, and thankfully, we didn't need the emergency stock... As for the clothing, check out the photo of moi decked out for the outdoors....

420 IMG_0247.JPG

Now here's a list of my wardrobe success and failures...

  • Didn't work: An old LL Bean 3 Season jacket... With an underlayment, it was the right weight, but the wrong design - the snow kept going down the back of my neck, and it got wet far too easily...
  • Didn't work: My goggles steamed up, which was a surprise - they didn't do that last year. (Now that I think about it, I might have used spit to defog them last year, but not this... Oops!)
  • Didn't work: My old gloves failed spectacularly - they were soaked in no time... (See below...)
  • Worked: Ski bibs... Buy a decent pair - you won't be sorry...
  • Worked: Sweatshirt(s)... Buy cheap and just be sure that they have deep pockets, and zippers...
  • Worked: Socks... They never got wet... (See below...)
  • Worked: Snowmobile boots... Dry! Love 'em!
  • Worked: Silk face mask... Very nice...
  • Worked: "Mad Bomber" fur hat - a must have...
  • Worked: Quality snow shovel with strong plastic blade... It's good to have a backup... And don't forget the wax!!!!!!!!!
  • Worked: New ski gauntlets. Yee haw! How did I ever live without these?

Looking back, I think I'll opt for a more modern winter coat with a hood, or at least use the hood from my sweatshirt...

Wiser by the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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January 24, 2016

Nor' Easter Sixth and Last Entry... Sun, 1_24_2016...

Hi,

Well, it's about 2:15 AM, Sunday, and the storm has lost much of its punch... Here are some pics and observations from yesterday presented in chronological order:

  • 11:15 AM: Saw first snowflake...
  • 12:30 PM: Storm really starts to come to life...
  • 12:40: Things are getting serious...
  • 12:44: Start of storm pic... Little wind...

    420_IMG_0241.JPG


  • 1:07: Uh oh... Wind...

    420 IMG_0242.JPG


  • 1:10: Waxing shovel and looking for ceramic heater...
  • 3:00: Wind seems to come in bands...
  • 4:20:

    420 IMG_0243.JPG


  • 5:00: Blizzard with about 6" of snow...

    420 IMG_0244.JPG

    420 IMG_0245.JPG


  • 5:05: Deck with about 6" of snow... (At times, the snow is horizontal...)

    420 IMG_0246.JPG


  • Apx. 7: Me getting ready for the arctic...

    420 IMG_0247.JPG


  • 9:30: Dug out...

    420 IMG_0250.JPG


  • 19:00: Back deck with at least a foot of snow......

    420 IMG_0251.JPG

And that's the storm from Tues. last when the forecasters started to get serious about the nor'easter through to the end... Summary to come...

Still alive by the feeders,

CapeCodAlan


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January 23, 2016

Nor' Easter Fifth Entry... Sat, 1_23_2016...

Hi all,

Well... On with the show...

It's tough to grasp the fact that by tomorrow at this time (apx. 6 AM), the upcoming storm probably will have killed some people... The experts are predicting 80+ million people will face the nor'easter, and up to 30 million will face a genuine blizzard... Here's what we're probably looking at in Harwich, MA...

Modified 400 NOR EASTER COMING AS OF 1_23_16.JPG

Here's what the above is suggesting:

  • Start of the storm: around 5 AM (Nothing here at 5:30 AM, Sat, 1/23/16)
  • We can expect the lowest pressure ~ 29.48, at 1AM, Sun, 1/24/16
  • The entire storm will probably run from: 5 AM Sat through 6AM Sun
  • We're looking at around 12" of the white stuff (Some places may get two or ecven three times that...)
  • Top winds will hold at around 30mph and last from noon sat to 7AM Sun
  • Temps will around 33 degrees throughout
Not much left to say... I can't dance and it's definitely too windy to stack BBs...

Let's be careful by those feeders!

CapeCodAlan,


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January 22, 2016

Nor' Easter Forth Entry... Fri, 1_22_2016...

The weather pic below is beginning to look all too familiar...

400 Nor Easter coming as of 1_22_16.jpg

Basically, the graph says...

  • Low pressure: 29.62 in.
  • 31 mph with gusts to???
  • 77% chance of precip/snow
  • 5"-8" in. snow

Waiting by the feeders with my snow shovel and Aleve,

CapeCodAlan


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January 20, 2016

Nor' Easter Third Entry... Thur, 1_21_2016...

Hi,

Well... The beat goes on...

400 Nor Easter coming as of 1_21_16.jpg

Sorry about the small size, but basically, the graph is suggesting a lesser storm for us... The barometer probably will bottom out around 29.67 in., max winds will be in the 30 mph range, roughly 4" of snow, and we'll probably hold with a temp of around 35 degrees. (35 is not a good number! That means I'll be shoveling slop over the weekend.)

There isn't too much to say now... I'm winding down on the prep work, so it's pretty much back to the doldrums and hope for the best... Other stuff...

  • Here's a good reference page for an emergency supply list...
  • And all drivers should have these sorts of things...
  • I wonder how many babies will be born 9 months from now and named Jonas?
Prepped by the feeders,

CapeCodAlan


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