Month: May 2017

How Barbaric is Saudi Arabia

Just happened upon a video where a woman was beheaded without due process of law.

It’s terrorism, barbaric and we support Saudi Arabia? What the bloody hell. Now I know it cannot be that everyone in Saudi Arabia supports this abhorrent behavior. I say to them get out of Saudi Arabia now. And then we turn Saudi Arabia into a big glass bowl.

A little ingenuity goes a long way

Yesterday we were in the living room and the power just died. Now in a normal house built after 1940 or so the wiring would pretty much be 14 or 16 three conductor.

But no, this place was built in 1900. So at 117 years old it still has some reliquary electrical things. One of those is post and tube wiring. See, back in the day the separated the conductors out but inches not tightly bundled like today.

Well one of the tubes got a little wet. Long story. I went downstairs and powered the circuit back up and could see, hear and smell the arcing going on between the wire and the water pipe that ran directly beneath it. Yup – the water pipe is grounded and so the current was arcing into that and it tripped the breaker again.

So I cut the power to the entire house. We went out and about, did out weekly grocery shopping and then when I came back I pulled the wire down slightly and put in a vinyl glove to act as insulator.

Problem solved, it stopped the arcing and you could hear the wire sizzling. I’ll explain why that is. It had to drive the water out but that one circuit it runs everything in the living room and dining room. I suppose that shortly after 1900 they added power to the house post and tube was state of the art. Not so anymore.

And some genius ran a cold water pipe directly over the wire – and being cloth wrapped wire it didn’t help that water got in and that’s what caused the whole issue.

So now that it’s all set we’re good for the foreseeable future. That’s one thing about me, I know how to work with electricity. I always cut the power to the whole house. A bit safer that way when you’re mucking with wiring that’s near 100 years old. Just made a space between the wire and pipe and snuck the glove in there. Perfect.

Currently Reading: The Wire by Paul Caranci

So I just actually finished reading Paul F. Caranci’s “The Wire: A Shocking True Story of Political Corruption and an FBI Informant who risked Everything to Expose It”

It’s a VERY interesting book to me. I lived in North Providence for a little under a decade and so am familiar with many of the players. Plus as I commented on Paul’s facebook page, there are former colleagues and lovers in that book too. They were the good guys.

And I know Paul – we worked together at the RI Secretary of State’s Office.

The other book I’m reading is a bit different.

It’s titled “Inviting Disaster” by James R. Chiles. It analyzes some absolutely horrible engineering failures Only a few pages into that one right now.

What the hell is Keolis and MBTA Commuter Rail’s Problem?

Ok – all this week the Boston to Wickford Junction or Providence train has been either a) late getting to South Station or b) and consistently late getting into Providence no matter what train I board at what time.

For example, I’ve taken the 2:30, 3:20, and 4:30 trains and all of them have been close to a half hour late.

Today for example, the train took 1.5 hours for a normal 1 hour and 10 minute trip. So 20 extra minutes because it parked at the Route 128 Station for about 10 or so of those minutes. And then making the extra stop at Canton Junction was special – they’ve done that a few times this week.

This is unacceptable. I’m strongly considering plunking the $400+ down per month and getting an Amtrak pass to be honest. The Acela and Acela Regional both do the trip in 40 minutes. That’s much better. Because Keolis and the MBTA are REALLY starting to piss me off.

New Music: St. Paul and the Broken Bones

So I’ve downloaded a couple of their tracks – but I really like the whole neo-soul vibe. So I bough their album Half the City on Amazon. Listening to it and loving it right now.

It has that old school sound but knowing it’s of recent vintage makes it truly interesting to me. Sort of like funk, I enjoy good soul music. It’s part of my eclectic mix of music I like. For instance, in addition there’s the above listed, but I love R&B, Jazz, Pop, classic rock, progressive rock and fusions of all the above, also love more specific jazz like Brazilian, Modern and Fusion where it crosses into R&B and Pop.

But then there’s Gorillaz – I just bought their Humanz set. Very good too. And they’re hard to classify, but element of all the above referenced are present.

On Sour Pickles

Ok, so since I was a child I’ve loved sour pickles. The vinegar just gives it that flavor I can’t describe. I can recall a little neighborhood store Cussano’s that had a big jar of sour pickles priced at 5 cents per pickle. My cousin and I would get them and then go watch the Creature Double Feature on Channel 56 with sour pusses on.

So recently we were in BJ’s Club and spotted these pickles that said clearly SOUR PICKLES. Me thinking hey, those are the vinegar cured ones and no dice. Oh they were good but it was dill and garlic. I make those on my own but it sent me in search of real sour pickles. So to Amazon! Found a gallon jar of them for pretty short money. And that jar of sour pickles came in today. And it looks suspiciously like what I remember as a kid. So I popped the lid and tried one – yup just like I remembered. Someone tried one and was a bit taken aback by the sour part. It is an acquired taste and he’ll get used to it. Got a whole gallon of pickles to go through.

Here in Rhode Island we are known to love our vinegar. We even put it on french fries. And who doesn’t love salt and vinegar potato chips?