Rez Zircon

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since May 02, 2015
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Recent posts by Rez Zircon

r ranson wrote:I could change the sensitivity so it doesn't happen, but I kind of like it because it shows me that this gadget is doing a lot more work than I expected.  

Yeah, if it's doing that much work to level out line voltage -- your electronics definitely needed the protection!
3 months ago
When I saw (haha) this thread my brain immediately invented a device that's basically a bicycle-cranked chainsaw. Seems to me this could be made starting with the working end of a regular chainsaw and, yes, an old bicycle's pedal-guts for something that could be run by hand, no power or fuel required. Would be slower than the real thing but maybe it would work pretty well?
3 months ago

r ranson wrote:It looks like this is about as small a unit as I can get.  I put a price watch on camelcamelcamel and I can see that right now it's about as expensive as it gets.  

Ouch. I pay about $100 at Costco for a 1200VA CyberPower unit. I have three in service at the moment. (Supporting a total of 8 desktop PCs, 3 monitors, 5 sets of speakers, one modem, 2 network switches, 2 KVMs, 3 USB hubs, two external HDs, a phone, and the occasional laptop. About half of this stuff runs all the time.)

I've had APC (in fact I was an APC rep in days of yore), Tripp-Lite, and CyberPower. Have not observed any great difference between 'em.
4 months ago
A UPS in the 1000 VA range will more than suffice. (I don't like the smaller ones because they're not as well made, but they are a lot cheaper. None of them last more than about two years anymore, because they overcharge the battery.)

Most of the time even a loaded tower PC doesn't draw anywhere near that much; 700W is startup draw only, not continuous draw (Actually, it's probably the max capacity of the power supply, but the PC is not using more than a fraction of it.). I have 2 to 5 PCs attached to each of mine, and the only thing is -- don't turn them on all at the same time, and don't run 'em full bore all at the same time either (I could, but I don't).

Just checked my UPS with the two highest-draw systems on it, and they are using a combined 162W, and it has 27 minutes of charge if both are running. (One is a midrange i7 with 64GB RAM and five hard drives.)

The main reason for more capacity is more time to do a graceful shutdown, or to get past small outages if you have a lot of short ones. They're also useful for night lights and keeping stuff like the router/modem from getting whacked by power jumps.

Yeah, you can build your own from a wheelchair battery (my first UPS ran on one of those) but by the time you have all the needful power protection you've spent quite a lot more than a prefab even with today's short battery lifespans (the batteries are replaceable, but you don't save much).

The biggest benefit is that your PC's electronics don't get stressed near as much by power fluctuations, and will last a lot longer. I would never plug a PC into the bare wall if I could avoid it.

Note: the surge protection part works even if the battery is dead.

Note 2: NEVER EVER NOT EVER plug a surge protector into a UPS, unless you WANT to start a fire. (Surge gets bounced back and forth between 'em until it melts the cord....)

Note 3: Don't run a laser printer off a UPS; the startup draw for the fuser is too high.

4 months ago
Muddy water has flavor, doncha know...

Dog got water bucket full of gross. So I dump and replace it with fresh water, and was given this horrified look: "What did you do that for? I'd just got it to where it tastes good!" Dog then proceeded to very deliberately flop feet in water until it was gross again, then drank from it.

Chickens are probably wired to seek sources of dissolved minerals (eggshells needing that) and naturally muddy water has a lot more dissolved goodies than does clean water.
4 months ago

Brody Ekberg wrote:
Good to know! She does get along well with my sisters female herding dog but thats the only dog she has much play experience with

Occasional play is not the same as living in the same space. Dogs that play together now and then might fight to the death if they have to share space full time. And most socially-adult dogs don't actually like other adult dogs much and wish they'd just stay out of their face. (Dog parks only "work" because nearly all were juvenile neuters, therefore are still socially puppies with the puppy desire to suck up to adults.)

Also, it depends on the dominance dynamic. A female that fights with other females is a beta, and while betas will get along with an alpha female (because the alpha is inherently the boss, and therefore never fights, tho may rarely exert discipline on a miscreant), betas will attack lower-ranked betas or "nobodies" just for breathing. This social rank is born, not made; you can't "fix" it, and it can't be reliably predicted in puppies. And if it comes to a fight, the higher-ranked dog always wins.

All normal [intact] males are inherently alpha over all normal females, so even an aggressive female normally will not fight with a male.

So... from what you've said here, you don't want another female dog in your household, but a male should be fine.

4 months ago

Brody Ekberg wrote:Our current dog is friendly for the most part but shes a female and more emotional than I ever knew an animal could be. Shes like a 14 year old human girl and sometimes doesn’t play nice with other females.

[professional dog trainer here]

In that case, a second dog should be an intact male (neutered males are socially female, especially when cut as juveniles), or at least intact long enough to be a confirmed leg-lifter (and socially an adult male). Females very often do not get along with other females (and unlike males, females fight to kill), but will nearly always behave when a male is added to the mix.

4 months ago
One other thing about cats and kittens -- most of them don't come knowing how to hunt. They have instincts, but they don't have methods or targets. Mama teaches them what to hunt. So seems to me you could teach targets with a hungry kitten and freshly-dead mice, to show 'em what's tasty. When they're hungry they go nuts for the smell of mice.

And cats can learn targets. I had a young feral (the size of a pony, he couldn't get through the cat door into their warm space) that had surprised a gopher -- I heard this horrible shrieking and went out to look, and here's the cat tentatively poking a paw at a gopher that's sitting up screaming bloody murder at the cat. So I got a stick, smacked the gopher on the head, and threw it up on the barn roof for the crows to eat.

Bit later heard the same racket again. Got a stick and headed out to bean a gopher, and there's the cat trying to get brave enough to overcome the horrible noisemaker. Cat saw me coming with the stick, decided he wasn't being robbed again, grabbed the gopher and ran away with it.

And after that he did nothing but hunt gophers ALL DAY LONG, and completely exterminated them (and we'd had a lot!) everywhere within a half-mile radius of my house.

4 months ago

Brody Ekberg wrote:Im not even sure what you’re talking about. Are those the things that make extremely high pitched noises when they sense movement nearby? I can’t stand those things. Makes my head feel like its going to pop.

The gopher stakes we used in the desert don't make any noise. They're about 18 inches long and you drive them most of the way into the ground (up to the battery compartment... maybe they come in solar now). They have a mechanical thumper that goes off at irregular intervals to simulate predator footsteps. We were rather surprised that they worked, since the footsteps of two people and multiple dogs had no effect. But apparently it's different when the impact happens below ground, because pretty quick we didn't have any gophers.
5 months ago

Julie Granzin wrote:Have you tried those sonic repellant stakes? I'm like you, I don't want a cat. Yeah they cute and all that but I'm good🤣 The gophers were pulling plants down into their holes right in front of me! We got a 8 pack off Amazon and no more problems! We were already flooding their new holes in an attempt to keep them away also.

We used the battery-powered thumpers in the SoCal desert (not sonic -- these made a big thump at random intervals). They did repel gophers pretty well. Am rather surprised they didn't attract sandworms.

However, didn't do a durn thing against mice. How many mice did we have? bucket of water on the porch (not even set up special for mice to climb into) caught 280 mice in 10 days, and didn't make a dent.

I can hear the sonic repellers, like high pressure in my ears. Figure that can't be good...
5 months ago