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I turned the house into a giant jiffy-pop. (movie reference alert: Real Genius)

Spreading industrial grade perforated aluminum over the top of the blown-in-insulation has been on my radar for a few years. It is primarily an upgrade for blocking summer heat radiating through the roof: mitigating about 97% of the radiant attic heat. In warmer climates the foil is attached to the rafters, and has little pinholes to allow convection to move the hot air up to the roof peak. The foil I used is made to be laid flat in hot/cold climates; it has larger punched perforations allowing moisture/condensation to pass through. Laying it atop the lofted insulation stops the cold air from pressing down and sinking through. Cold always drives downward, and the house heat meets the down-driving cold and creates a fast convection circuit that rips heat out of the house. With the diving force of the cold air blocked, the house should be cozier. Mostly though, it is for our triple-digit summers.

I pre-cut sections of foil out on the deck, then used a 10 foot run of pvc with a nail taped to an end to pierce the foil and push it into place. Before pushing it I added upright tabs of aluminum heat-tape, and after pushing it into place, used another pvc run with a T ending to press the tape down onto the adjoining section of foil cover. It went pretty well, but standing on a little board by the hole for the ladder in a slippery tyvec suit and finding physical leverage to make things go where they needed was a bit like doing yoga-for four hours.

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The giant exhaust fan (Whole-House cooling for summer) was mostly snugged with foil. I figured that I couldn’t fenagle a 3×3 foot foil section to cover the spot behind the vertical board, or I may have just been tired out and given up…

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I could just reach the far corner if I linked two 10 foot sections of pipe. The pipe then becomes drunken and floppy way out at the end, and the foil slides off the pushing nail and won’t allow the nail to re-pierce and gets belligerent about moving at all.

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Years ago I built this foam air-lock to cap the attic ladder. I added it after I had hired an outfit to blow insulation to an R-whatever on top of the here-and-there sections of fiberglass batting already in place from the previous home-owner. (bcs I just can’t stop tinkering)

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View of the ranch coming in the high route, still passable with little snow.

Elizabeth and I took the pets (Nora, and her cat brothers) for a Xmas closer to Santa, up at the Montana ranch.

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Nora insists walkies be taken up on top.

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Snow is sparkling out of thin air.

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Cold air from the plains meets the warmer air over the mountains with cloudy drama.

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Snow-virga drops toward the pyramid shaped Iron Mountain.

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Some xmas loot under the little ranch tree. E e-bayed ranch themed ornaments.

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A leather saddle, fur covered chaps with matching boots,  cowboy with lasso, a Rudolf tree topper, and many more!

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Egg ornament with tiny stage coach.

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Nora shares her bed with Xander, awaiting Santa.

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The constant wind directly evaporates the blowing snow, lees and gullies collect what they can.

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The ladies.

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A patch of sun down on the Highwoods illuminates the mountainside near my cousin’s ranch. We went over for a visit, and looked out their picture window framing the other side of the peak.

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This black-faced wasp nest was sited to eat the caterpillars infesting the willows last summer. Friendly wasps, as long as everyone respected a bit of personal space.

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One of two contraptions made in SLC for a specific ranch issue: any guesses?

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Unit one in position.

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Unit two in position.  guesses?

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This is a view of mystery wiring in the root cellar that should never have worked, but did until it didn’t. The white unit at the bottom is a ceramic light fixture with an electrical plug. The electrical plug connected an extension cord into the kitchen, via a hole drilled in the floor, to power the refrigerator. The metal box holds the incoming electrical line, where it splits to go upstairs and to power the old defunct central heating system. The hot wires are the black wires bundled together with electrical tape, the neutral wires are the yellow and white. Note that the power to the light bulb and the fridge’s plug-in have no hot wire to power them. The ceramic fixture acts as the conduit for the neutral wires, and this somehow powered the fixture. Yikes.

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I connect the wires without the fixture to make a correct circuit, then use the wiring to the old heater to run through the floor to the fridge.

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I wire in this shiny new floor plug, and below it can be seen 4 of 21 holes to the basement I patched years back. At top is the extension cord we had run from a wall plug to power the fridge.

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With the fridge working, I add a pig of wiring to the light fixture and tie it in to the corrected wiring- and it works. I remember an upstairs light switch that has the switch removed and wires bound together with athletic tape, and find the hot and neutral wires wound together under the tape (rather than bound separately  and taped together). I end them correctly and many other upstairs lights that have never worked, work. And the fridge runs better, and the ceiling lights are all brighter. Since we’re looking at the water heater, it doesn’t work again as the elements were all burned out by a mistaken breaker throw on Rodney’s hunting trip in the fall. I couldn’t find my pull-tool for the elements, so this will be a summer fix.

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Our first two nights we heard a whomp on the roof as this packrat jumped from a big pine tree onto the roof. I found his interior access to the rooms and blocked it, and he headed through the walls and into the basement. Where I had baited the trap. E heard his squeal as the trap hit him at midnight, then he dragged the bucket around for hours keeping her awake. I slept through it all, then gave him a quick end in the morning with the axe. Usually if you think there is one in the house, well, a few summers back we trapped/killed 13.

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Packrats are poorly named, as they are more like a bunny-squirrel. I buried him in the corral, using the pickaxe to break the frozen ground.

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We decided to come home three days early, as a massive arctic front was moving in. We drove back ahead of the arctic air mass with hard effect for 400 miles (of 560 miles) of pre-storm storm: hitting us with 80mph winds that closed roads to semi traffic, past plows that had slid off the road, through long sections of unplowed mountain roads with road edges defined by locals missing the edge and somehow making it back on track, in Idaho we hit freezing drizzle shifting to black ice on the highway and glazed the windshield, and a final 100 mile run of headwind that dropped the truck to 10mpg. Still, better than driving back in or after the actual storm.

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-15 up north on our route is +15 here, 30 degrees warmer is still plenty freezy. The Utah yard pond waterfall emerges from under an icebrella.

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Overnight drops to 7 degrees F and waterfall is nearly ice-encapsulated by morning.

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Another single digit night and waterfall encapsulation is complete. Inversion is at a dangerous 159ppm, bright yellow air is hazy across the back yard and the surrounding mountains are smeared out.

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Utah cold sometimes requires a jacket. (Mystery Fix Answer: nesting deterrent for Robins and Wrens at power lines to the house and tool shed.)

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Epiphany of the West  (27″ x 31″) Collage. 

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hanging against a white wall, for irregular edge definition

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the best overall light balance- photographing is challenged by the glossy reflective images

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The book sale at the downtown SLC library is what sparked this. Two identical Remington books with oversize fold-out prints and dust jackets of “A Dash for the Timber”, plus a 1960’s era book on Remington with a small bland print of the same, and a fat coffee-table book of Impressionism.

Romanticism was the European stylistic period of painting prior to and somewhat contemporary to Impressionism; the middle east and India were often the theme of mythic manifest destiny of proto-industrialization serving the same appetite as the American West across the pond. Nature as sublime and overwhelmingly destructive, ruined civilizations, inescapable human cataclysms (war, slavery, revolution), immersions in lust, and inescapable death were also thematic of Romanticism.

The modern Anthopocene, or Pryocene; an era of collapse and consequences e.g. the Sixth Mass Extinction due to direct human pressure on local ecosystems coupled with a world wide collapse of the environment via human forced global warming. Portraying the inevitable future of now via Remington’s fantasy images of a West that never was, running roughshod over a landcsape created from images that titillated European culture with a proto-industrial remembrance; this is what sparked at the library sale: an Epiphany for an image of Epiphany (sacred manifestation) to Epiphanize a complex of art historical memes and ‘isms that grappled with industrialism v nature, culture v the individual, the individual v death, the present v inevitable. Shifting this perspective from the sentimental view of a past era, to a contemporary future of collapse already written that cannot be undone is the aesthetic driver for the recontextual use the of art of Romanticism, coupled with the gentle and genteel escapism of Impressionism from the reality of 19th Century industrialization, married with the jingoistic American West of Remington.

 

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The patient presented with kidneys this damaged after only 400 miles since the latest (in-line fuel filter) kidney transplant. This is the patient’s 4th kidney since 2009. The kidney original to the car was a tiny mesh that was the size of the inside diameter of the tubes at each end of the filter, and was problematic probably for the life of the car. It caused me all kinds of grief when I didn’t know it existed while driving it my senior year of high school in 1986. My dad retrieved the car and cleared the mesh, without showing me, then took me out for a spin to show me how much I didn’t deserve the car.

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32 years from that drive with my dad, and the patient needed a new gas tank. Ghost dad has been discouraging this tinker, but I’m going to do it anyway. The old tank came out easily enough. Things were pretty clean. No real issues with rust. Just cleaned out and replaced the old rubberized stripping. The patient is lucky, as the original stripping hadn’t been laid all the way around and tended to roll up onto the tank rather then seat under it.

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Old and new gas tanks. The old has a sludge mix of rusted grit that continually grows from the rusted inner walls. The drain plug was fused in place from the inside. More than a year ago I siphoned the tank, but that didn’t really effect the heavy silt- it sounds like a gallon of wet sand and pebbles when tipped back and forth.  The fuel sender had quit working long before she came into my care, so the gas gauge didn’t operate. The connective rubber section of gas line to the engine was rotten out as well.

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I laid strips of rubberized caulk under the tank to seat it firmly, put in new screws, reconnected the goose neck to the gas cap with new rubber hose & clamps & gasket, and put in a new section of gas line down below.  And a new fuel filter up front in the engine bay.

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Tomorrow I’ll head over to the local garage that carries non-ethanol gas and fill up my cans, treating the gas with Archoil to stabilize it. If there are no leaks, and the fuel gauge works again; then she will stretch her legs. Getting rid of the silty tank should cure her of many of her performance issues e.g. low fuel pressure at speed making choking rpms, and choking on whatever bad bits were sliding past the filter (nothing too bad as the jets are still clear).

update: The new gas tank and connections were all fine, so I took her up Emmigration Canyon on Halloween for speed trials on the back bit of “flat” road off the summit and she ran like a whole different car- quieter, no hesitation, no bogging down when pushed; just a clean and smooth response all the way through her full range in each gear, and falloff was just as clean.

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Ascension of the Furies.

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I cast these in aluminum as an aspect of my MFA thesis. They were The Furies then, but now they can go by Handmaids if they like. With the tree falling in the yard, I finally had a reason to break them out of deep storage.

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The remnants of hurricane Rosa will arrive this afternoon, but the morning was perfect for fitting the tree top into the footing, then mounting the figures.

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This is about 10 feet tall.

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Anywhere and everywhere in the West: Fires. 5 minutes out from Salt Lake City. Try not to breathe. No rain since May, with 9 inches so far this year out of an average of 16.

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Meanwhile, in Ohio: days of rain with more than 5 inches fallen and it is unremarkable. This is a potted hibiscus on Joanie’s front steps, with hard southern exposure. It is nice to see something that can’t exist where you come from.

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