Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014

 Cora caught the flu on Christmas Eve and we spent  miserable next 6 to 7 days recovering.  Both Cora and i had Tamiful, which we now both sware by.

 We managed to visit Grabdma L, before the onset of the Flu.  She gave Chloe a Barbie, something Chloe has "wanted all her life."  It was quite cute.
What now?  2014 leaves us and 2015 begins.  Just a few minutes is all.  I had a pretty good year, but then November came and I got sick.  I never stopped being sick.  I continue to have some sort of cough, but I amd certain 2015 will be much better!  Happy New Year, from my family to yours!!!

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  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.