Thursday, December 4, 2014

Orion and Saturn V

So, for the second time, I visited the doctor on Monday.  She said I have Pneumonia.  She could plainly hear it in my right lung.  She gave me a new anti-biotic and an update to my blood pressure meds, which I also recently began.  So, I was pretty miserable during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Because of that and a recent surgery for my Mom's back and my sister and her family being sick, we just did not have a Thanksgiving with my family this year.  Yea sickies.

I took Wednesday off, though the doc suggested i should take two days off.  I'd already signed someone up to sub for ( a new teacher at Moxee, 3rd grade).  I wasn't feeling THAT horrible, and besides, I'd push myself if I stayed home, might as well get paid and do little.

I worked today, too.  I was science at Wapato High.  Mr. F, who was a sub back when and is now a permanent teacher and prefers me to sub for him rather than anyone else.  Makes me chipper when he sends a text in the morning and asks if I can sub, when I say, no, I'm already working for so-and-so, then i show up and see him there.  He obviously likes the way I do things...or maybe I'm just the only sub who's phone number he has...either way...I'm special, dammit.

So, I have this cough I can't seem, to get rid of.  Two or three times a day it drives me to full-blown hacking, gagging, and throwing up.  It's just so...fun.  Right up there with thrusting your hand into a bag of vipers.  Yeah, JOY!

So, I woke up at 4:30 this morning and I could feel the familiar rattle in my chest that foretells a coughing fit.  I gently got out of bed and hastened to the nearest bathroom to commence my calisthenics of heaving and gagging and coughing and getting a tenth of what the effort should get out of my lungs.  My ribs feel like I got hugged by an over-zealous grizzly that was overweight and likes to squeeze the life out of things.  They feel bruised, dammit.  My ribs feel bruised.  It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand, it hurts to sag and it hurts to stand straight.  I hurt.

So, since i awoke at such a time, I began to think perhaps I might witness the launch of the Orion Space Capsule intended for the coming Mars missions.  So, rather than retire to my bed sweating and out of breath, I went to my chair and ;looked up the NASA site.  I watched and at three minutes and five seconds the bastards said, "Hold, Hold, Hold."  And then they proceeded to try to fix a problem.  One was related to wind, and another was due to the drain valves for the fuel.  They only hand an hour and 45 minute launch window. When it got too late they finally said "Scrub!"   So they scrubbed the mission for today.  They plan on trying again tomorrow.  We will have to see if I can peel my eyelids open at the same time again.  

So, that got me thinking about rocket engines.  How to they get those liquid fueled engines to pump all that fuel through them?  I looked it up and read an entire article about the F-1 engine of the Apollo Saturn V.  I'd covered 3/4 of the article with no apparent source of energy necessary to pump 24,000 gallons per minute of liquid oxygen through the engine when I thought to ask the scholars with whom I have taught these past few years.  So, during my lunch I embarked on my mission.

The physics teacher thought it must be an electric driven motor.  Then Engineering teacher thought it must be something to do with gravity,  Having not reached a reasonable conclusion, and obviously no one else had ever had my question, I returned to said article.  A page or so down I found my answer.

A small turbine burned the fuel and oxidizer from the rocket to turn a turbine that in turn turned the pumps that, at peak force, delivered 15,000 gallons per minute of kerosene and 24,000 gallons per minute of LOX to the combustion chamber.  The exhaust gasses from this turbine were only about 1200 degrees F, and so were vented on the inside of the thrust chamber.  This created a boundary layer between the 5000 degree combustion chamber and the thrust bell housing.  To be sure i was doubtful that an electric motor could deliver such numbers, but I was happy that I figured it out myself.

All-in-all, the design was both delightfully simply and completely complex!    

Well, it is late, and I have battled thee cough demons and am ready to rest.  Tomorrow I teach math.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Long Day

We began the day with Chloe walking into the bedroom.  She wanted to talk to her mom.  "Mommy, what are we going to do today?"  you name it, she has questions.  Does not matter how early it is.  (6:00AM)  She has questions that must be answered.

Her Mom, being the fast thinker that she is, responded to yet another question, "Why don't you go see where the elf is?"  Chloe dutifully left for the front room and a few Daniel Tiger's  later I heard, "Boom, Boom, Boom!!"

I said, halfway out of bed, "I heard a boom, boom, boom,"  Cora responded with a, "Why are you still here? Our daughter is out there."  I escaped to the front room, and found the daughter standing on a step-ladder holding the bi-fold door closed.  I asked what she was doing.  I noted an empty dog dish and no water in their water dish.  "Toby was annoying me."  I said, probably because he was HUNGRY!  It's YOUR job to feed him.  I filled the water while she filled the food dish.  She got busy filling their bowl.  I decided to get up, so I made coffee.  Chloe helped.

We moved slowly and when Cora finally got up, we sat quietly.  We watched shows for Chloe and then decided to go to town.

We went to town and returned an item from her birthday, then shopped some.  We ALSO saw Santa.  He was despicable.  He was not like he was in previous years.  He was wearing a fake beard and was unresponsive to Chloe's questions.  We were less than enthused.  The photos were not good.

Cora and I had difficulty responding to Chloe's poor response to anti-biotics.  She has had the worst diarrhea since she started it.  It has been a difficult few days.  She is a very good girl.  I am so proud that she is my daughter,

We got the grout done. Next is the re-attachment of the toilet and the sink.  I cannot wait!

Friday, November 28, 2014

New Computer!

So, my computer has been dying.  Slowly.  I accidentally erased some important file that allowed new programs to load and run.  Also, there were some other minor problems.  Then recently, when the screen was not being held it just went white.  Cora and i ground our teeth.  I tried to check and recheck the wires by tearing it apart and putting it back together.  That didn't help.  We finally bit the bullet and with the Black Friday ads we bought a new one.  Now I can see the screen while I type.  What JOY!!

I began working on the bathroom the other day and toward the end of it I got a terrible sore throat.  It turns out I was sick, and went a whole five or six days before i saw a doctor last Saturday.  They gave me a Zpack and within a couple days I felt somewhat normal.  But, now I'm beginning to think I need something else.  I'm sweating like a pig and getting a long way toward miserable.  I think I may go see the doc again.

Yesterday we spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws and it was very nice.  I guess the big thing is being sick sucks.

The bad thing about me being sick, is i went and got Chloe sick, too.  I don't like seeing her miserable.

Well, my train oof thought derailed.  I'm going to have something to drink and see if I can find it again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Twenty and Fifteen.

 Cora and I went to Anacortes, Washington to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary.  We stayed two nights and took in some of the local scenery.  We did a whale watching tour, saw Deception Pass, and even drove up to Mount Erie.  We did a little antiquing, and took in some of the local society at the Rockfish Grill.  To top it all off?  The entire town greeted our arrival with a parade!  YES!!  A PARADE!!  We saw all these kids dressed in purple...turns out it was Homecoming.  We chose to believe they were welcoming us.





 The captain turned south upon receiving info of a humpback whale.









 I don't honestly know how we could have had MORE fun.  It was an awesome weekend with an awesome woman.  I am a lucky man.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Someone is now FIVE!!
















 No one I know takes life by the horns so fearlessly as my daughter.  I am lucky to share the earth with this girl!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Teaching

Some days it pays to go to work.  Today I ended up going to a local high school to sub.  I usually prefer a different one.  But, I also wanted to go to bed at a decent time last night.  So, I took this one.

I showed up and found that I had a first period plan, so I read for the first forty-five minutes.  Then the first class showed.  Lowly freshmen.  They had a quiz.  They were quiet.  The next four classes were sophomores and MAN!  They were vociferous in their dislike of their teacher.

"YEEE-ESSS!" The first one in the door said.  "WOOHOO a SUB!!" another said.  "I'm glad to see you!!" yet another said.  Another coming through the door said, "Please be our teacher!"  I said, "You don't even know me, maybe I'm a jerk."  "No.  You're already better than she is."

And so it went throughout the day.  Every class began and ended in a very similar way, jubilation and want, then disappointment and wishing.  If there were a slightly different way of doing things, I could have easily lead an armed revolt and been part of the coup that deposed the poor lady.  They might even have lifted me upon their shoulders.  That might have been cool.  I've always wanted to be lifted up on people's shoulders.

I did enjoy them.  Many of them I have not seen since they were in fifth grade.  (I don't sub at the middle school, which may change given recent changes)  a good many of them said, "I remember you!"  I always replied with, "I remember me, to!  In fact I said the same thing this morning in the mirror, 'I remember you!'"

I gave them a bad time.  I always give them a bad time, but this bunch was different, it was almost like going to a new school because I have not seen several for such a long time.  One of the girls said the teacher called her ugly.  I told her I could do that.  She said that it was different the way I do it.  I said, "OH?"  I preceded to use several tried and true insults upon her, only to bring her up grinning each time.  I finished with, "People said you are two-faced, I said, 'NO!  If she were two-faced, why would she wear that one?'"  She was giggling.  I said, surely the teacher was joking.  How did she say it.  The story was, "I had gotten home late from a game and I was tired and I had my hair in a bun and I handed in my paper that morning, and she looked up at me and raised her eye brows and said, 'someone forgot it was picture day today.'"  I attempted to defend the teacher, but the kids would have none of it.  

The misplaced adoration and suggestions that I take over were just an ego-boost I needed.  Sometimes I get a little down, and the kids almost always know how to bring me back up.  Even if they don't know they're doing it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Bit of Summer

 I was feeling some cabin fever last weekend.  I begged and whined and complained until the family agreed to get out.  Then we hemmed and hawed trying to decide what to do.  We finally decided to go find a waterfall.  We decided on Union Creek Falls, which is purported to be only 2 tenths of a mile from the road...I'm not so sure about that...it seemed, to my out of shape legs, to be two tenths of a mile in elevation.

The previously reported bridge was not in existence, but someone had fashioned a rope to support the crossing of the stream on a log.  We discovered the log bridge AFTER I got my feet wet attempting to ford the stream on rocks with a camera in hand.
Chloe had her heart set on walking in the stream after I insisted on packing an extra set of shoes with that in mind as a possibility.
The water was crystal clear, Chloe is standing in about 8 inches of water here.





The falls were nice, but the trail had obviously seen better days and there was a little bit of confusion because of the changes.  There was a path to the upper falls, but we were all tired by the time we thought to try for it.  Maybe next time.  The whole point was to get out, and we did.  It was fun.
 Still, when we pulled away from the falls, we felt we had more time on our hands, so we drove up to the summit of Chinook Pass.  If you have never been there, it is totally city kid friendly.  Flat paths and open space allows you to watch your kid on the path for a great distance.  We stopped and walked around Tipsoo Lake, which has a pretty good view of Mount Rainier several miles away.  It's a beautiful alpine lake with frogs, tadpoles, and salamanders.




Once again, Chloe managed to get her feet wet.  I swear, she isn't happy until she's walking in water.  Still, it was fun to watch her catch frogs and then release them with gusto, "You're free froggy!" 

It was a great day!  I love my family.