TiSA could be a trade deal that wrecks local economies

governments may not be able to regulate staff to patient ratios in hospitals, or ban fracking, or tighten safety ntrols on airlines, or refuse accreditation to schools and universities. Foreign corporations must receive the same “national treatment” as domestic ones, and could argue that such regulations violate their ability to provide the service.

Here is the article on New Republic.

Adding a bicycle bell

The bike bell I had was way to narrow for the pipe on my bike. So luckily I had a small scrap of pipe that I sanded down and pressed into hole of the larger pipe.





This was my Hack Your World moment.  I drilled a hole in the handle of the furniture clamp and tightened it with a screw driver as a cheater bar.



Rain Barrels

Some notes on making rain barrels. First: I decided that the most likely way for a self-installed bib to fail would be to drill and install it myself. The barrels I got lacked lids, so I couldn’t reach into them to hold a backing nut in place. Bellingham doesn’t have a place that stocks bung caps, so I ordered them on line. I got the brass fittings at hardware sales. I decided to go with a ball valve. Simple, quick to get maximum flow.

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So the top of the barrels are now the rounded bottoms. I drilled a four-inch hole in there, pretty close to the middle. This is because the elbows on the downspout go out to about six-inches.

The overflows are a pair of 1.5″ holes with 1.5in-1.25in threaded iron transitions. I used a linoleum knife to carve the holes wider. Do not use a spade bit, use a 1″ hole saw.

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The barrels are white now because I primed them. I’ll paint them soon. I wanted to put some screen into the inlet to try and keep leaf and moss garbage out of it. I’m also going to screen off the overflows, but I suspect that normal window screen is not going to keep mosquitoes out.

There is not a good way to put screen inside the four inch downspout transition, so I decided to cut the bottom out of some small deli tubs which happened to be about 4 inches wide. there is a pretty tight fit between the transition and these ad hoc screen brackets. The trick to getting the screen to fit in is to cut triangular gaps out of the sides of the screen squares.

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Pedal cleats


These cleats have been with me for over a year. They got worn smooth from walking on them. The previous pair I left in for two years and I had to drill one of them out. Advice for cleats: use some white lith grease on the bolts when you apply them. Use a long handled hex wrench or ratchet to tighten them. When removing them, drip on some light oil like TriFlow to work into the seams. Wait at least ten minutes for the oil to work in. Take something g sharp like  n awl or a pocket knife or the tip of a new drywall screw to dig out all the crap in the bolt head. Even after that prep, you might not be able to fit your hex bit in. Next try a Torx bit of the same size. The wear on the bolt head might have screwed up the insides of the bolt head, but if you can mallet a torx bit in there, it should grip long enough to use a ratchet to back it out. Otherwise you will want to go to the screw-reverser bit in your drill.

Lesson: use that white lith grease first when applying new bolts!

Future of Hydrogen Economy is Ammonia?

Hydrogen economy? Ammonia.

Anyway, I ran across a story. I just wanted to put it on people’s radar. I created a bit.ly link for the article. And I don’t know why I made it upper and lowercase. I shouldn’t have. But so it’s a bit.ly, bit.ly/NH3-Cracking. So cracking. NH3 is the chemical formula for ammonia. And this is an article which was just published that says: “A hydrogen breakthrough could be a game changer for the future of car fuels.”

Heard on Security Now ep 462. Quote from transcript.