12.23 Studios

Lab Notes

(09/10/21)

The Grid Theory segment took a first look at the Level 5-6 blackout in the New Orleans region in the wake of Hurricane Ida and the need for distributed power in a place that gets hit with Category 2 and 3 storms seemingly every other year.

Meanwhile in the lab, I went to get wood at the Lowe big box, where customer service is as bad at the old Radio Shack stores...


The strap anchors for the stone. Actually bigger than expected..


What was advertized as a solid looking hardwood board was actually an edge glued shelf panel...


I'm only slightly less pissed that this is the standard instead of a solid board more than 8 inches wide...


Zinc-plated steel flat braces or mending plates like these could reinforce the middle shelf...


Half & Half Pre-Thinned Tung Oil, the apparent best choice to waterproof the pine shelves for outdoor use...


The middle shelf marked up for the stone storage space and the strap anchors...


Marked out the hose clamp anchor points also on the middle shelf...


The support rod holes marked up. That's it until I get the third shelf...


The bottom shelf placed on the trailer to mark the shallow cutouts. Centered 3 inches from the front...


...And 2 inches from the back...


A rough idea of the shallow cutouts...


A standard bastard file should do the trick...


3/4 inch wood screws for the strap anchors...


The local home improvement store just happened to have these 18 inch long strap tie flat braces. 3 more would be satisfactory...

(09/25/21)

I was going to do an update on how much power had been restored in New Orleans, but the only infomation source is the company Entergy, which claims 95% of the city is restored, even though that big east side Avondale tower hasn't been replaced and many areas south and east are still dark and sweltering. The utility itself is coming under increasing fire from years of aggressive resistance to improving maintenence and upkeep of the infrastructure (just like PG&E here), as well as trying to kneecap solar microgrid programs. Anyway, instead I'm taking an outside the box lateral view of the biggest problem with New Orleans in general that restored power won't fix - its geography sucks...


The New Orleans coastal area in the before time...


The contemporary New Orleans coastal area with climate chaos added...

In a swampy nutshell, 65% of the city is at or below sea level; over the past century, Louisiana's coastline has lost 2000 sq. mi. of land; and the sea is currently reclaiming land at the rate of a football field every hour. Add in the certainty that a hurricane will roll through almost every 2-3 years to damage a portion of whatever power infrastructure is built or repaired, and the city that once served a major role as a trade and transportation hub/chokepoint is now a battered bullseye that still hasn't fully recovered from Katrina. So here's a radical idea - relocate the city west to where the Mississippi River has naturally wanted to go if the levees weren't there...


91 miles W. sits the Atchafalaya River, where a significant portion of the municipal, business and residential sections of New Orleans could be shifted without even changing the flow by removing a hundred years worth of existing levees. It would take a few decades, but you know, move everything except the original settlement, the French Quarter that's above sea level and would remain a major tourist location.

Easier said than done, with a ton of logistic issues, but it is possible, and would save billions of dollars in future repairs. Just a thought...

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Meanwhile in the bike lab, while waiting for the first of the month, I took another look at the state beach hike & bike campsites page to catch previously missing maps or hadn't been post-fire updated, and I caught a few nearby and downstate...


Downstate: Pfeiffer Big Sur, Hearst San Simeon, and El Capitán near Santa Barbara. Nearby: China Camp and Samuel P Taylor...


The cargo frame bottom shelf after using the bastard file. The fitting was too tight, so the divots weren't deep enough...


I used the dremel with a netal bit to deepen the divots, making more elbow room and a more comfortable fit...

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