Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tax the skinny to feed the fat

Well its happened, San Francisco California has banned non-diet soda from vending machines!  Its enough that they tax the poor to feed the rich, now the efforts to tax the skinny to feed the fat have taken another step forward.

Think about this stupidity, who drinks non-diet soda?  Skinny people.  Who drinks diet soda and who eats diet food?  Fat people do.  So they want to eliminate non-diet food and drinks.  Basically you will HAVE to eat diet food and drink diet drinks!  These 'foods' are full of toxins and chemicals designed to make you fat!

When will these politicians wake up and get a sense of reality?  Do they exist only in a dream world that is totally controlled by chemical companies?  First they remove natural drugs and replace them with toxic chemicals and now they are doing the same thing to our foods, all in the name of more money for big drug companies!

Here is a link:

Some claim that the rich pay all of the taxes, if that is so then lets drop ALL taxes on people who are making less than $50,000 since 'they do not pay any taxes'.  The notion promoted by the IRS and others that 95% of the taxes are from the top 5% income bracket is full of BULL.  Here is clear proof taken from the same IRS web site.  Note that about 1/3 of taxes are from Social Security.  How much SS taxes do the top 5% pay?  OOPS! 

Just in case you missed that, the cap on the Social Security tax was about $100,000 the last time I checked.  That means that income over that amount is NOT TAXED!  So then we can conclude that 1/3 of the taxes are paid by people who are making less than $100,000!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Allegany State Park Storms

This weekend we were at Allegany State Park during the storms.  I stopped at the south side of the lake and took pictures of the storm to the North.  That storm included a tornado that hit Randolph NY.

When we tried to leave the road to the Main Building was closed with trees across it as well as the road to the North to Salamanca.  We stopped and talked to a policeman who was using an Axe to try to clear one of the roads.

Here is a link to the news article on the storms.

Note the swirling pattern in one of the clouds.

Whats this with the blue roof on the main building?  It looked a lot better when it was brown.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tesla Coil Gossary

Tesla Coil Glossary by Bob Davis

Tesla Coil – A collection of coils and wire designed to make great big sparks
• Spark Gap Tesla Coil – a Tesla coil that uses a spark gap to switch the power just like Tesla did.
• VTTC – Vacuum tube Tesla Coil – One that uses vacuum tube(s) as the switching device.
• SSTC – Solid State Tesla Coil – An oxymoron as these things were never designed to do that.
• IGBT – Another type of SSTC but usually a little more successful at working without self destruction.

Transformer - device used to convert the main power source to something that will produce big sparks.
• NST - Neon Sign Transformer - Normally used to light the beer signs in bar windows but also used to make big sparks.
• OBIT - Oil Burner Ignition Transformer - Normally used to start a fire in an oil fed furnace but can also produce big sparks.
• MOT - Microwave Oven Transformer - Normally used to cook your food but it can also cook you.
These normally do not produce long enough of a spark but they can be wired in series or used with a voltage doubler.

Capacitor – Device used to store a charge then release it to produce bigger sparks.
• Paper capacitor – Aluminum foil and paper arranged to make a capacitor.
• Door Knob Capacitor – Big capacitor that is shaped like a door knob, usually these can take a lot of volts.
• Home made capacitor – Old beer bottles or whatever used to make a home made capacitor.
• MMC – Many, Many Capacitors - arranged in series or series/parallel to make one big capacitor.

Spark gap – Favorite part – makes sparks what else? Sometimes self-destructs.
• Fixed Spark Gap – Two things that sparks fly in between – sometimes intentionally.
• Multiple Spark Gap – Several spark gaps arranged in series, usually air cooled too.
• RSG - Rotary Spark Gap – Motor driven rotating spark gap, runs cooler as power is only on for a ‘short’ time.

Coil – Sometimes just a pile of wire but it should be neatly wound in circles to look good.
• Primary coil – Flat or angled coil of large wire that creates the primary magnetic field.
• Secondary coil – Long coil of fine wire used to pick up the magnetic field from the primary, many, many turns but it looks neat of wound properly.
• Choke – A type of coil usually wound around a ferrite core and it is used to stop RF noise.

Top Load – Anything from an aluminum plate to a large torroid used to store the high voltage until it arcs over and makes big sparks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My big Tesla Coil revisited

Recently I dug out my big Tesla Coil and decided to update it and make it better.  Some changes I hope to try are a bigger top load, try two capacitors in parallel and make an angled primary coil.

First of all here is the current schematic.  I realized that I had never made a schematic for it.

Here are some pictures of the guts. First we have the Neon Sign Transformer or NST.  It delivers 12KV at 30 ma.
Next we have the spark gap.  It consists of 5 pieces of 1/2 inch copper pipes spaced about 1/8 inch apart inside of a 4 inch PVC pipe with a fan blowing air down them to cool them and to quench the sparks.

Then we have a front view of all of the guts.  The safety gap is the closest item, the transformer connects across it.  Then on the right and left are the choke coils.  Between them is the .06 uF 30KV capacitor and in the back is the spark gap assembly.  Above that you see the primary coil made from #10 electrical wire.
Now for a picture of everything at once.  The secondary coil is wound on a piece of 4 inch PVC about 28 inches long.  The top load is some flexible 3 inch drier vent pipe glued to an aluminum pie plate.
The video is uploaded to YouTube.  The sparks are about 15 inches long.  It used to do nearly 2 foot sparks.  I am not sure why the sparks are smaller.

WordPress Super Cache or Really Static?

We have been trying to get our Word Press pages to load as fast as you would expect them to.  We eventually went to 'Really Static' to cache our web pages.  It knocked the socks off of every other WP cache program!  Then we upgraded to WP 3.0 and our site speed dropped back to what it was before we used a caching program. 

In the picture above the short lived dip below 1.5 seconds was when we used 'Really Static'.  Then the jump back up to 4 seconds per page was when we upgraded to WP 3.0.  Now here is a really interesting question, is this chart relevant?  For one thing WP Super Cache does not return cached pages to 'bots' and 'spiders'.  That 'feature' can be turned off by deleting all the entries under 'Rejected User Agents'.  According to one web site that change may double your performance while reducing server load.

Another feature to change in WP Super Cache from the default settings is to enable 'preload cache mode' and set the time to 1440 minutes.  That is to only load the cache every 24 hours.  That is fine for us because we do not allow comments, you would have to make an exception for comments if you allow comments. 

All together though it appears like WP 3.0 is REALLY SLOW!  We are trying to find a solution, but let me know if you know of one!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Turn your Scars into Stars'

'Turn your Scars into Stars'. That is what a counselor named Gale taught me to say a few years ago. Well that is what happened to me earlier this year.

A few years ago I visited a chiropractor where I discovered that my left leg was 3/4 of an inch shorter than my right leg. This caused a arch in my lower back and constant back pain. The cure was to wear a shim in my left shoe to try to correct the difference in length.

Last year I was in West Africa with my brother and two others. While there we were walking down a dimly lit road and out of nowhere something resembling a head and shoulders headed right for me. It was a shadow figure being lit up from behind so we could see it. I stepped to the side to avoid a collision and fell into a nearby storm drain. My foot failed to find something in the drain to stand on in order to stop my fall, so I went all the way down scraping my arms up on the pavement as I fell. My foot was a mess, but we bandaged it up and kept on going. It could not hold my weight and turned black an blue.

Early this year I was in a church service where the guest speaker spoke of back pain being healed. I realized that my back was not hurting and then put my feet out in front of me to discover that my legs were now the same length! Somehow having my left foot mangled made my left leg longer?

Then in April of this year I was dragging a small shed that I was removing from my property out to the curb for the garbage collector. For some stupid reason instead of pulling it straight I was twisting my back to pull it sideways. Needless to say I hurt my back. After a couple of days of really bad pain I went to a new chiropractor. He checked my legs and there was a tiny difference so he adjusted my hips and back. I told him that my left leg had been 3/4 of an inch shorter and he told me that was impossible! I told him that Dr Redding in Lima has the X-rays to prove it. he simply did not believe me!

The accident in Africa that was meant to disable me has actually enabled me. I no longer need a shim in my left shoe. My legs are within 1/4 of an inch of being the same length. What was meant for bad actually helped me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Salamanca NY Fire

There was a big fire in Salamanca NY a couple of months ago.  The fire was on a Friday and we saw it on Sunday, there was still some rising and firetrucks on the scene.  I forgot my camera but someone was going to email me some pictures.  Anyway we were back there a few weeks ago and I took a number of pictures.
This is a composite of four picture to try to show the area of devastation.  The building was 4 stories tall and about 1/2 a block in length.  It went from the silo on the left all the way to the last pile of bricks on the right.  There was one wall left of the building on the left after the fire but they likely knocked it down for safety reasons. 

If you click on the picture you can then see it full size.  You may have to enlarge your browser window too.

Here is the news link with a video of the fire:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bathroom Light Fixtures on EBay

There are cheap three light Bathroom Light Fixtures on EBay.  You get four of them for only about $22 including shipping!  They are missing the globes but I have some extra globes laying around.  I needed 2 of them for my bathrooms but used a third for the kitchen.  I took that one apart and removed the arms so the fixtures fastened onto the back plate.

Above is the old fixture and below is a picture of one of the new fixtures.  I was short a few light bulbs at the time that I took the photographs.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another virus?

This computer developed a problem where it could not send or receive email via MS outlook.  I ran every anti-virus program I could find: MS MRT, BitDefender, MalWare Bytes, and SpyBot just to name a few of them.  I un-installed and reinstalled MS Office.  I nuked the PST file and created a new one.  All of this to no avail.  After two days of working on the computer I discovered an obscure setting in MS Outlook that was blocking all email.  It is found under Options, advanced options, add-in manager.  Something called 'Redemption Center Outlook Extension' was installed.  How reinstalling Office could not fix this I do not know.  That's the problem with reinstalling MS Software, it leaves a lot of junk behind that reappears when you reinstall it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale

Well I went home to my moms in Northeastern Pennsylvania for the weekend and discovered two things.  First the 91 year old lady with two dead bodies in her house that has been in the news lately happens to live at the house that my grandma and grandpa Butts lived in.

Secondly, across the road from my moms is a new gas well that is being drilled.  They are working 24 hours a day 7 days a week drilling away.  There are also several gas drilling related companies that are springing up in the area.  This is what a typical well being drilled looks like.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to get rich on the Internet

For years I have said that the fastest way to get rich on the Internet is to sell get rich quick schemes.  Here is how it works, first you sell a few things and make some money but then you put together a plan on how to sell tings and make money.  Then you sell the PLAN and in this down economy everybody is looking to find out how to make money on the Internet.  So that drives a lot of people to your site and that in turn helps sell your get rich quick plan and on and on the cycles continues.  Before long you are a millionaire.  It was not by selling tangible goods but by just selling a PLAN so your costs are almost nothing but your profit is close to 100%!  What a deal! 

By posting this to my blog it will cause thousands of people to find my blog and I will be rich, RICH, R-I-C-H!  Don't count on it.......

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

using Wireshark to monitor network traffic

I wish that I could say that I have used WireShark to find a virus infected computer, but so far I have not been able to find anything with it.  However I did discover this neat Network IO monitor.  It is under statistics, IO Graphs.  Whenever the network acts up I can see that the network traffic has peaked out.

One thing that might hold you back from using WireShark is the need to tap into the network.  The tap is really a lot easier than it sounds.  You just need an old network cable and a couple of network jacks.  Pull the orange and green pairs out of the network cable and connect them to the green pairs on the network jacks as in the picture below.  This cable then goes from your router to your main switch.  Or in a home network from your modem to your router.  That way you can monitor all  of the traffic from your computers going to the Internet.
Then start WireShark and select your network card.  You can then selectively monitor the incoming or the outgoing network traffic by what network jack you plug the network cable from the monitoring computer into.  If you leave the program running for more than a few hours the computer may crash as it tends to run out of memory.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Fourth Ultra-Light flight

Over the Fourth of July I got to go on a flight on an ultralight aircraft over Arcade NY and some surrounding towns.  The aircraft fits nicely on a Ski-Do trailer with a few modifications.
We took off in Chaffee NY and then flew south to Arcade.  The biggest landmark from the air is the Wast Management dump, we flew directly over it on the way back to the airport.
I hope to upload a video to YouTube later to show some of the flight.  It was a blast, I really enjoyed it!
Here is a link to the video on YouTube:

Here is a picture captured from the video.  It shows Arcade valley Estates on the left and the high school on the right.  The red box at the far right is the new football field.