Archive for September 17, 2011

Blogger Ball #7

Welcome to my blog!

I haven’t quite figured out how to do a day-of-the-week link for past posts, but my current schedule is:

Sunday: Six Sentence Sunday, so far with snippets of scenes from my 2nd book, Tourist Trap. I will probably go to a WIP next week, as the scene I’ve been doing is almost finished.

Monday: Meteorological Monday, with posts about current weather in Alaska

Tuesday: Review (very broadly interpreted — I’ve reviewed an amazing variety of things.)

Wednesday: Contexts for the quotes I’ve tweeted in the preceding week. Mostly from science fiction and fantasy, but I’ve also done mystery, Jane Austin, Shakespeare … Follow at @sueannbowling if you want to try to identify them yourself. I follow writers back.

Thursday: Anything that comes to mind. I’ve posted poems, essays. postcard stories, gripes … I’ve also done series on Christmas Carols, horse color genetics, and planet building, among others.

Friday: Bits of the background of the sf universe in which my books are set. Right now that’s a fictional Journal of an alien stranded on Earth 125,000 years ago.

Saturday: Science (my career was as a university scientist) and health (personal experience with diabetes, breast cancer, and stroke)

I do have a page (right sidebar or listed at the top of this page) of SheWrites blogs, culled from “What Did You Blog About Today?), “WordPress Bloggers” and “Blooming Late.” If you want to be on this rather haphazard list and you’re not, leave a comment.

Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!(Click on the books to get back.

I have a new thermometer.

Now there is nothing new about having a thermometer. As an atmospheric scientist, I have several. The big one out in the old dog pen seems fine in the winter, though it is useless when the summer sun is shining on its back. (I know it doesn’t get to 120° F up here, even in summer!) The one next to the front door reads suspiciously high in the winter, and I suspect it is influenced by heat leakage from the house wall.

I had an indoor outdoor pair, with one outdoor sensor, well located on an outside corner on the north side of the house, and two indoor stations, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom, but the two receivers did not agree on temperature. (I don’t mean a degree or two; I mean they could be off by 20°, reading the temperature from the same sensor.) They needed replacing, I thought. What’s more, the outdoor sensor was battery-operated, and batteries don’t work very well at sub-zero temperatures. Even when they worked, the indoor stations quit even trying to show outdoor temperature at -20°F, which could mean for weeks at a time.

Then about a week ago I was idly checking the thermometers at Fred Meyers. They’re generally good for a laugh — who in their right mind would buy an outdoor thermometer that only reads to 40 below (let alone to only 20 below) in Fairbanks? They had the battery-operated indoor-outdoor sets as well, and for the first time I noticed that while they had an alleged range from -40°F to 158°F, the alkaline batteries I’d been using were only good to -4F. Lithiums were supposedly good to -40°F. (There’s a lot of difference between -20°F and -40°F, or for that matter between -40°F and -60°F, but below -40°F I just stay indoors.)

Old and new outdoor temperature sensors. Outside NE corner, N side, under roof overhang.

The sets, indoor display unit and outdoor sensor, were on sale for under $10, and I decided to get two — at that price, I could just keep one sensor in reserve. Of course to use them, I had to get them out of their plastic bubble packaging.

When possible, I try to recycle. It’s not easy up here, and until recently about the only things you could recycle were aluminum cans, but it is now possible to recycle #1 and #2 plastics (soft drink bottles and milk bottles.)

Not the stuff they use to package electronics. At least it does not have a recycle symbol – I looked. After I had just about cut my fingers off trying to open the blasted thing. Why is it that you have to carry the equivalent of a box cutter and pliers to get anything open nowadays? Even airline snacks (if you can find an airline that still has them.) And then you have all that plastic cluttering up the landfill.

Well, I did finally get the new stations and sensor out of their hermetically sealed plastic coffins and talking to each other. I used lithium batteries in the sensor, and let the sensor and both stations sit side by side overnight, verifying that all four of the temperatures displayed were within a couple of degrees of each other. Then I hung the new sensor (which had a hanging loop) from the old sensor with a piece of string. Now I have base stations in the kitchen and bedroom again, and – surprise, the old stations are showing outdoor temperatures within a degree of the new ones. Guess they just needed the competition.

And lithium batteries come in AAA size, which is what the old sensor needs.  I could have base stations all over the house!