Monday, December 31, 2012

Why Florida citrus fruit tastes so bad, and why I'm so slow

The elder daughter says it's because (the citrus I mean, not me) oranges and the like ripen in the cold. This also explains why oranges are never going to be a cash crop in Hawaii.

On the second subject, which reminds me of a meeting at work which I missed, I just realized that 1 John 1:8-10 explains verses 6 and 7. Here's what I mean:

6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
1 John 1:6-10
Verses 6-7 talk about walking in the light, and although I've been reading this chapter many times over the past 30 years (I memorized 1 John 1:9 in 1978) it didn't hit me that the phrase "walk in the light" is explained by verses 9-10. They're parallel passages.
  • If we walk in the darkness, we lie(6) ↔ If we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves(8)
  • If we walk in the light, we're purified from sin(7) ↔ If we confess our sins, he will purify us(9)
Obvious, right? How did I miss it all these years? Or am I just having a middle-aged moment (or millennium) and had I simply forgotten it?

Either way, I'm glad to know (and I'll probably remember it for the rest of the week at least) that 1 John 1:6-7 is explained immediately by the following verses.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Posting a Keep Out! sign in the attic

The photo at left was taken from my attic. That's the inside of a 9"-diameter vent; I can't tell what sort of wasp or hornet or bee that slightly-used house belongs to.

Here's another picture (click for larger image); it's not very well focused but you can see a little more. I don't know much about wasps or hornets or other flying things with stings, but I do know this: I don't want them in my attic. I especially don't want them colonizing other nice spots in the attic.

In that second photo you can see that the opening in the top of the vent is rather large. I'll say it's big enough for a small rat to climb through. Now the inside surface of the vent is rather slippery, and I wouldn't fancy trying to climb it myself, if I were a rat's size. But that wouldn't stop a mouse or rat from falling in and looking around. And finding some other places to build a nest.

I had some ½" wire mesh—that would keep mice and rats out. I also had some fine plastic screen; that would keep the insects out. I tracked those supplies down, and also some tin-snips for the wire mesh, an X-acto™ knife for the plastic screen, and a staple gun (with enough ½" staples).

Back in the attic, I held the wire mesh up to the hole to determine the shape and size to cut. The tin-snips worked reasonably well. Then, because I have lots and lots of plastic screen, I folded it over the wire mesh and cut it to size with the knife.

Now I had an assembly of two thicknesses of fine plastic screen around one of ½" wire mesh; it was also less hazardous to carry the assembly, because the sharp ends of the wire were covered. Fortunately there was enough room to squeeze into the spot below the vent. Then I started stapling.

You can see the result at right. If you look carefully you may notice that the hornet's nest is gone. When I drove the first staple in, the nest dropped down onto the screens.

I waited. No buzzing sounds. Or wings. Or stingers.

I reached around an unattached edge and gingerly picked up the abandoned (I hoped) nest. What to do with it? I fed it through one of the gaps in the vent. It fell through the opening and dropped onto the roof.

With that disposed of, I applied a half-dozen more staples.

Posted: Keep out! No trespassing!

Things not to do when installing a water heater: a list

  1. Buy a water heater installation kit, you know, the package with two water hoses (one cold, one hot) and a gas supply hose, and pipe-thread tape (which I heard is not actually “Teflon® tape”)
    • The gas supply hose might have the wrong gender(s).
    • The water hoses might be too short or too long.
    But it's OK to buy the kit if you have determined that all will fit.
  2. Waste “teflon tape” on threads that don't need it
    • the water hoses don't need it because the connection is secured by pressure, not by the threads.
    • most of the gas hoses don't need it either
  3. Put white “teflon tape” on gas-pipe threads that do need it
    • You can find dire warnings on the ’net about doing this. Use pipe dope instead.
  4. Use a drain pan that isn't big enough to catch any possible dripping when your new water heater starts leaking someday.
    • Because it will.
How do I know not to do these things? Three guesses…