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Everything posted by RDM

  1. haha - yea, I hear ya. Cut my previous yard for years with a push mower and mowed yards for pocket change when I was a teenager - know what you mean. I mow 1-1/2 acres now. Mowed it with my ole 1962 Gravely walk behind for a while, but it can't compete with a diesel Kubota and 60 inch deck with a cup holder.
  2. Indeed. Just finished cutting the grass. 90/81 here. Fortunate to have a canopy on my tractor to provide some shade.
  3. Unfortunately, according to WTOP earlier this evening a 3rd of the 4 people struck in Lafeyette Park has also passed away and the 4th is in serious condition. Recall as well hearing from my dad growing up to never stand under a tree in a t-storm. Saw what happened to a small herd of cows who sought shelter under a tree on a nearby farm when I was about 6 - a lightening strike killed every one of them.
  4. 93/78 here... very soupy out there... (a highly technical term for Yuk)
  5. Well I'll be... That's interesting. The first NWS FFW post at 10:20 did not include FFCO, LOCO, PWCO, and several others. The time stamp for the FFW posting now is still 10:20, so Sterling must have gone back and edited the Watch again to add the extra counties. I'm really not imaging it... too early to drink. Or maybe I should start.
  6. Yea - that NOVA hole is odd - down to Fredericksburg. Everyone else to the N, W & E are in it...
  7. There is one now for most of the area except for FFCO, LOCO and a few other counties in NOVA.
  8. Only managed .22" last night. First line went just N of us, second line just S, then a line bloomed up just east of us and the last line went N again... Feel like Charlie Brown with the football, next time...
  9. We're getting dumped on here NW of Vienna. .46" in less than 15 mins - coming in waves.
  10. Yup Yoda - thanks for the check - my bad. I misread the forecast for tomorrow to be the observed for today. My bad. https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=38.9243&lon=-77.3551&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical My Vantage Vue registered 98 though for a few mins. The large azaleas I transplanted IVO the outdoor unit may be creating elevated highs.
  11. Looks like IAD maxed out at 98 today - was there for a couple hours with a HI of 104.
  12. 98/74 Here. Toasty outside.
  13. Experienced 100F or more a few times since moving here in 1985. IAD reached 105 on 22 July 2011. Think that was the hottest I've experienced here - live just a few miles from IAD. Lived in India for 3 years in the early 90's. That heat was brutal. Hottest we had there was 122F. Had weeks of 110-118 every year - with humidity that drove the heat index off the chart. Ambient water temperature in roof top storage takes was too hot to take a shower. Had to pump water from back-yard cistern into the roof tanks in order to lower the temp enough to not be tolerable. So ironic in a land with water shortages that we had to waste water to be able to take a shower.
  14. Rgr that on WD-40. Had a lubricant engineer explain the drawbacks of WD-40 once. In particular, WD-40 is hygroscopic - meaning it attracts and retains humidity/water. Not exactly what we want in many applications. That's why after after the petroleum part of WD-40 wears off, evaporates etc, there's often a rusty residue left over. Then we apply more WD-40 and it quickly becomes a point of diminishing returns.
  15. If you're referring to my "random sh*t", it's partially a curse from being an engineer and partially good fortune from growing up with a dad who could fix just about anything. If you were referring to someone else's sh*t regrets for the off-base assumption.
  16. Was thinking some more... (I know, that's dangerous!). One other suggestion that is often overlooked in home inspections. It's about your garage doors. Most garage doors have a long torsion spring that is wrapped around the jack-shaft. The jack-shaft is the long rod that runs across the top of the garage door with a cable on both sides. It is what actually helps lift the weight of the garage door. On a single door there is just one spring and on a double door there are two. Not all springs are the same. They are tailored to the type, size and weight of the garage door (there's several categories of springs) Torsion springs have an enormous amount of stored kinetic energy in them. Don't mess with them unless fully versed on the mechanicals and even then, be extremely careful. On occasion a torsion spring will break. When it does the release of energy is loud and dramatic - like a shotgun blast (sort of). One thing that everyone can do to extend the life of a torsion spring is to lubricate it once a year. A good spray lithium grease is a reasonable option. Garage door companies use a variety of lubricants. The goal is to use a grease that is sufficiently fluid to penetrate in between the coils of the spring, but not so fluid that it drips down on your garage door or your car when you are entering/exiting (WD-40 is not a suggested option). Getting the lubricant down inside the coils of the spring significantly reduces the friction on the surfaces of the coils, which greatly extends the service-cycle lifespan of the springs. Replacing a coil spring is not an extremely expensive endeavor. But it is best left to the pros who can replace a spring in a much shorter amount of time than any of us can. I've done one before out of necessity. But it's a tricky endeavor and one slip-up in the process can result in a trip to the ER, or worse. Hope this helps and hope things are going well getting settled into your new home.
  17. Congrats again. Sounds really cool. I love older homes. They have "character" and no 2 are exactly the same. Keep an eye on the water. It is a powerful force as we all know. Interesting there's no central AC, but you have solar panels. Hope you got some powerful window AC units to handle this heat & humidity. FWIW - my oldest brother in Ohio lives in a house built in 1860. He and his wife are the 3rd owners/occupants since 1860. Yes, only the 3rd in 162 years. Was an estate sale from 3 brothers who were born and died there. An amazing place with an enormous fireplace with wrought iron kettle arm. Did not have central air, nor central heat, nor indoor running water apart from a garden hose through the kitchen window) when my brother moved into the place about 20 years ago. The privy was a 2 hole outhouse, still "ripe" from daily use.
  18. Can relate on the running water with a well. We're on well and septic. Fortunately we have a 10kw generator, which is sufficient to power the well pump. That said, when the well pump starts, the initial surge is about 18amps at 208, so it taxes the generator a bit. Can run the well pump, one of our two HVAC zones, the refrigerators, microwave and a few lights. Have aspirations to install a whole-house auto-start generator, but they aren't cheap.
  19. Congratulations on your new purchase and welcome to bliss of home ownership... A few suggestions: Home Inspection: Was there a home inspection conducted pre-purchase? If so, read the report. A good home inspection will have a lot of useful info. It will include inspection of the roof, sump pump, HVAC unit/s, siding, exposed water line, electrical panels, appliances, check for GFIs in wet areas, etc... Paint: If the previous owner left any used paint, take a digital picture of the label and dye pigment formula. This can be used by Lowe's or Home Depot to mix an identical match for your paint. Sump Pump: Does your house have a basement? If it has a walk out basement it may or may not have a sump pump. If there is a sump pump, it's probably there for a good reason. Make sure it has a battery backup and a high-water alarm. HVAC: Check the filters in your HVAC air handler unit/s. If there was a home inspection, inspection of the filters would be SOP. If not, check the filter and replace as necessary - at least once a year. Pay attention to the arrow on the edge of the air filter that shows the direction of the air flow - this is critical. Air conditioner: (Regrets - this part is a bit complicated, but if you have some mechanical aptitude is doable for the average Harry or Harriet homeowner) Check the condensate drain in the air handler. There will be a tube or pvc pipe that runs from the side of the air handler to a drain in the floor or someplace. There may be a small pump that pumps the water outside too. This goal is to drain the condensate (water) away from the air handler (water and 208VAC don't mix!). Make sure the drain is open and clean of any debris. In some cases, you can get mold growing in the condensate tray inside the air handler, which will clog up the drain and create a mess. Look for an access panel on the side of the air handler to enable inspection of the evaporator section of the air handler and make sure the condensate tray is clean (at least relatively clean). This may be something you need to watch a technical do the first time. If the condensate drain clogs up, you can get a big mess very quickly with the overflow, especially on a humid day like today. Roof: A good roof is critical to maintaining a solid house. Even a small leak can be cataclysmic in damage. If there was a home inspection they would have performed at least a cursory inspection of the roof, possibly with binoculars from the ground. When inspecting shingles, look at the edges first. Aged shingles will start cracking and breaking off at the edge first. If you have access to a ladder and the knowhow, inspect the gutters and look for access aggregate in the gutters. This may be a sign of low spots in the gutters or excessively worn shingles, or both. Gutters and downspouts: Check the gutters to make sure they slope properly to flush out the water. Low spots may lead to the accumulation of debris and/or promote the growth of mold - not good. If your house has standard 5 inch gutters with 2"x3" downspouts, highly suggest upgrading to 6 inch gutters with 3"x4" downspouts. The larger gutter and downspouts can "flush" out much larger debris (leaves etc) and minimize clogging. The larger gutters are also MUCH easier to clean out. If you have gutter covers on your house, that may be a plus. But... even with gutter covers they are not totally maintenance free. Have had about every kind of gutter cover there is on our various houses and it is not a matter of if, but when the mold starts growing. Once the mold kicks in, it is just a matter of time until a major cleaning is needed to avoid a clog. (this part may generate some debate as there's lots of variables involved with the efficiency of gutter covers). Electrical Panel: Make sure you know where it is and how to shut everything off if you need to. Make sure you know where all the GFI's are in the house and on the outside, just in case one trips. A tripped GFI can take out a series of electrical outlets. If there was a home inspection they should have tested the GFIs for proper function. (they will do a test trip). If this was done, that should have shown you how to reset a GFI. Water and Gas Main Shutoffs: Make sure you know exactly where the main water and gas line shutoffs are at. On the waters lines, make sure you know where the interior shutoffs are for the exterior hose bibs so you can shut off and drain the hose bib for the winter. If there was a home inspection these various shutoffs should have been inspected. Chimney: If your house has a brick chimney, check the mortar holding the bricks together for wear and chipping. If there's missing bricks, hire a brick mason to clean and re-point the mortar. This should have been part of a home inspection too. They should have inspected the flue too. If a chimney flue has not been cleaned recently, that may be worthwhile if you plan to burn wood. Not necessary for a gas fireplace insert. That covers a lot of ground. Regrets for the long-winded reply. Hope it helps. Congratulations again.
  20. 92F with an 81dp on my Vantage VUE. Don't ever recall having an 80+ dp here. This is approaching the dew points in Japan during hurricane season, or Bangkok and Delhi during monsoon season. 92F/81dp equals a heat index of 113...
  21. Several rumbles to the west of us for a popup headed this way. Sterling issued a SWS (Severe Weather Stmt) for 60mph gusts IVO Warrenton.
  22. You may want to check with a local wood supply place. They may be interested in the Locust tree. Locust is one of the hardest woods we have here in the US. It's the only wood that is approved for direct burial as-is w/o any preservative. It splits great - is what they use for split rail fences and burns great too if you have a fireplace. We have a group of Locust trees in our front yard. Lost 2 about 10 years ago. Their 2 foot diameter trunks were snapped off about 10 feet above the ground during a "rotational event" that came through Oakton and Vienna. The weird thing was, I watched it happen live while standing in our front doorway about 300 feet away. It was nearly dead calm in front of our house as the wind snapped off the Locust trunks and displaced the upper part of the trees about 50 feet away. Was a surreal experience.
  23. 1.24" here NW of Vienna since midnight. Lawyers Road is likely closed in multiple locations now.
  24. Can believe it re the CRT's and can relate to their potential, through my dad and my own experiences. He used to fix TV's p/t back in the 60's and 70's for a little extra cash. Got bit a couple of times by the static charge in a tube. He built our first color TV in 68 so we could watch Apollo 11 launch in color in 69. Will never forget it. Was a Heathkit 25" color unit when 25" was as big as they came. It had a cool mechanical remote that used small tuning forks to generate a semi-audible "ping" that controlled channel, volume, on/off, and color. Was very cool at the time to have a remote control. He was so proud of that TV. Only a fraction of people in our area had a color TV in the late 60's. By the mid 70's color was the norm.
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