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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-28-2015 07:55 PM
Well. We have a Friday announcement.

DK's been having a vibe that it wuz a-comin'. She's been lookin' thru the slimy glass, tryin' to a-getter confirmation.

Today... confirmation.

(At least) One of her Mermaid abductees... is in the family way. It feels like she has colonized the moon, today. What was for a couple years an empty tank is now on the precipice of population... growth.

BTW, there are a buncha them post-party girls in the first Mermaid tank, right now. And new babies on the glass, too. - pic of one of these 4 mm bah-beez below.

Stay tuned...
08-27-2015 05:21 PM
And now, back to our regularly scheduled program...

Originally Posted by pKaz View Post
Hi DK, I agree with you about the UD Creamery, good stuff! I have only sampled from their mobile creamery, yes they have an ice cream truck. I have yet to visit the actual creamery, even though I went to school there, since the creamery was built a few years after I graduated.

When I was reading the post about your stairway dilemma, I was thinking about those concrete pads for AC compressors as a solution, and then, bam next post DK has the same idea.
Hm. Maybe DK could get the mobile creamery to park in her driveway...


Wow. What are the chances of someone thinking of cement condenser pads? I'd think pretty slim.

Here's the end result. Now, it ain't Houzz material, but it's also not seen by anyone on the "outside" world, ever, as we have an ultra-private back yard. DK also laughs her head off at the Houzz style SNOBS who have 29.5 years of mortgage payments yet to go. It is easily reversible (minutes) and the parts are re-useable for other useful things if we ever dismantle it. Imagine the edges cleaned up and planted. Right now it's still rather bald and gravely from the excavation and moving around of the stone.

DK got to USE one of her hoarded pieces of junk (she's a hoarder): a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting pulled last summer from her mud room re-do. She used the rug, upside down, over her handy dandy piano ramps to slide the heavy steps up onto the platform. Rock Star Jr. helped her, but between us we were able to do it. They must be a couple hundred pounds - that's 4 feet length of concrete.

HUGE difference to the dogs. Huge. The extra wide first step really helps them get going upward, too. It's like a mini landing.

It's very freaky to step down them barefoot and feel that last step as concrete, and yet it flexes. It's kinda coo-el, actually.

08-27-2015 01:41 AM
pKaz Hi DK, I agree with you about the UD Creamery, good stuff! I have only sampled from their mobile creamery, yes they have an ice cream truck. I have yet to visit the actual creamery, even though I went to school there, since the creamery was built a few years after I graduated.

When I was reading the post about your stairway dilemma, I was thinking about those concrete pads for AC compressors as a solution, and then, bam next post DK has the same idea.
08-23-2015 09:36 PM
We interrupt our series to speak briefly of politics, as in...

Joe Biden.

He's from Delaware.

OK, enough on politics. We had research, to conduct.

Speaking of Delaware, today DK was in said state, visiting upon the University of Delaware campus. This university has its roots in agriculture, although it has grown vastly beyond that.

However, the roots remain, as do university agricultural programs and facilities.

One such facility on campus, believe it or not, on the Ag section of campus, is a dairy farm.


Live dairy cows, with huge full udders of creamy milk.

And about 200 yards from said barn, there is a little ice cream joint where they take the cream from said cows, and make a daily smorgasbord of flavors of ultra-premium ice cream, and offer it up to the likes of DK and other "public" for consumption.

Now, look at the picture, and notice how the sign has UD in it, for Univeristy of Delaware, and the U makes a Dairy cow face.

Today, DK had her maiden consumption of the goods. (All in the name of research, remember.) She forgot to take pictures until -- well -- you see the picture. Post-spoon-excavation-view.

She had (she forgot the flavor names, but they both had "night" in them) two scoops inna waffle cone.

One scoop was espresso ice cream with cookie dough chunks, chunks of oreo, ribbons of fudgy stuff.

The second scoop was chocolate ice cream with blackberry ribbons and chunks of cheesecake.

Not for the faint of heart.

It held up well against the gold standard of Maplehofe Dairy. Just about the same, but with more complicated flavors.

DK thinks she does better with fewer flavor streams, probably because she has a busy mind.

It was really good, though, and DK is having trouble typing this up as she's sleepy from the now-blood-fat-load.

Just thought all y'all aughta know. Yes, she did go on to eat the waffle cone. She's a pig.

Y'know. Keep current, in the research world.

If'n you are a Shrimptern, DK will show YOU how to do such research.

08-21-2015 01:05 PM
Enter our HVAC solution on the cheap

DK discovered these "condenser mounting pads" in the world of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning). They are made to hold really heavy, vibrating things for decades, out in the elements.

Someone she knows just had their home system re-done and their new condenser sits upon a very nice plastic pad.

But DK didn't really like the plastic look, and searched on to discover these very nifty fiber cement pads.

They come in a lot of sizes and DK was able to score one just the right size at 4 feet by 3 feet. It showed up two days later, totally nekkid except for a shipping sticker, but was undamaged.

You gotta love the engineered characteristics (other than cheap price for the amount of function you get) built into these pads. From the diversitech website on this product: (geek alert, coming up...)
  1. UltraLiteŽ pads are durable, fiber reinforced cement pads that flex instead of cracking or breaking and are unaffected by environmental conditions.
  2. $64, delivered, to DK's door (albeit nekkid)
  3. Since UltraLiteŽ is a lightweight product, it is easy for handling tasks on site. (fer, example, ninny weakling DK to be able to handle) It is one of the lightest equipment mounting products available today.
  4. DK's size pad rolls in at just under 40 lbs. with a 125 lb per square inch load capability and a total load capability of 2023 lbs.
  5. Water vapor evaporates through the UltraLiteŽ, preventing the expansion of cracks.
  6. Textured surface prevents equipment sliding (and, more importantly, German paws)
  7. The UltraliteŽ pad performs extraordinarily well under strict testing criteria. It does not craze, soften, or delaminate. UltraliteŽ has a proven resistance against R22 and R134a, compressor oil, salt solution, and synthetic canine urine. (gotta love the synthetic canine urine bit)
  8. The UltraLite is resistant to heating caused by the compressor. (or, hey, the beating down sun)
  9. Additionally, the surface is resistant to heat from incidental torch flame during site installation. (DK has no plans to have a torch near this pad, but hey, nice to know she could.)
  10. The UltraliteŽ lightweight concrete pad is specifically engineered to have long-term exterior weather resistance.

Yep. That'll do, donkey.

08-18-2015 01:04 PM
DK has been lurking in the background, but not silently or quiescently

As a matter of fact, she's been downright chatty. She's been talkin' and hangin' with the likes of industrial sandblasters, basement waterproofers, general contractors, masons, handymen, and HVAC folks.

It was the latter that has inspired her latest not-for-the-intended-purpose project, which she has not YET connected to the goings-on within the shrimporium, but nevertheless posts here to quell the crickets and dripping, as interesting filler/fodder.

She has two aging Germans. One has seizure disorder, the other is 11 + years old. Both are having significant hip issues. (She expected this of her rescue, American-lines German, but did not from her German lines one, alas, and in 25 years of Germans, these are the first she's had with hip issues.)

She wants to continue using the back door for - ahem - trips to the backyard, especially in winter, because other points of egress in the domicile have issues with that function.

The back door empties onto the back porch, which has steps that have never been "finalized." Um. Yeah. Sometimes she throws together a solution and if it's cheap enough and works pretty well, it never floats to the top of the priority list again for "finalization" for a long time.

But the Germans are having problems using her present un-finalized steps off the back porch, because there are two steps when there should be three, leaving two levels of oversize height for them to climb.

So she talked to a couple folks, got some numbers. One mason wanted $700 to pour a pad, due to the small nature of the project and cost to hire a concrete truck, the price-per-unit of product was way high.

So, being cheap, DK deferred, and stewed.

Has to be a better solution, and cheaper.

Now, nothing is EVER simple in DK's world.

The wall against which these steps rest is going to need some remedial work, sometime down the road.

So DK especially didn't want to soak $700 into a poured pad, only to have to pay MORE in a few years to jackhammer it out of the way to fix the wall, and then pay AGAIN to have it poured.

But she needs a solution to the steps, before this winter.

SO, what she needs is the functional equivalent of a third step that is stable but TEMPORARY. And cheap. And hopefully not too - ahem - temporary looking.

Now, by now all y'all should know that DK's mind is basically in overdrive whenever she's conscious. So in talking to all these handy, skilled, useful folks, getting ideas and numbers and such, she a-gotter to thinkin'...


She needs the equivalent of a 7 inch step with the added constraints that is has to also act as a pad to hold the 2 step unit, which is hollow underneath and behind. So she needs the EQUIVALENT of a 7 inch thick poured pad.

That's temporary.

And cheap.

Time for some lateral thinking. What would do that JOB, be that SIZE, and be handle-able by a ninny weakling DK. And be cheap. Did she say that? 'Cause she has to save denaros for the OTHER projects for which she's a-talkin' to all these folks.

It has to withstand on-grade conditions, not be toxic (as in treated wood), be UV proof, weatherproof, heave proof.

Yeah, yeah, she could build a pavestone pad under there. But she has this THING about shifting bits and pieces, joints, and failure rates. She has the same issue with tiled showers. Not gonna happen at DK's house, as she's categorically into low maintenance. She wants a one piece platform onto which she can set her (ever so classy) 2 step precast stairs. And she doesn't want a sharp front "step" edge, which is also a problem with the pavestone platform.



Originally Posted by Maechael View Post
DK, back again. The red text pic looks like short grown cladophora algae.
Blue text looks like green spot, over a very solid biofilm layer.

Last 2 the green fluffy stuff looks like a moss that has been light starved and is trying to recover now.

Let me know how close I am.
Also as for the goop from previous comment the upper respiratory issue from way back when.
The only one of those she thinks she's gotta handle on is the second - pretty sure that is green spot. The other is NOT apparently cladophora as it's not wiry in texture, and the fluffy stuff is definitely not moss but some sort of smaller cellular colony, not an organized cell plant structure. I guess she should pull some and look at it under a microscope, one of these days.

08-14-2015 01:31 PM
Maechael DK, back again. The red text pic looks like short grown cladophora algae.
Blue text looks like green spot, over a very solid biofilm layer.

Last 2 the green fluffy stuff looks like a moss that has been light starved and is trying to recover now.

Let me know how close I am.
Also as for the goop from previous comment the upper respiratory issue from way back when.
08-03-2015 07:31 PM
Our recruit has settled in, now...

Holding steady, at 80 PSI, which enables Wet Wedding to produce sub-10 TDS RO water.



DK may be scarce, coming up. She's behind the scenes working on a few much, much, much bigger projects. Like, arguing with contractors and structural engineers, and masons. That sort of thing. She has very definite ideas conceptually about how she wants to accomplish something...

She's applying her standard Shrimporium algorithm to the projects. It's an adventure in lateral thinking:
  1. What are the goals of the project?
  2. What are the TYPICAL methods used to achieve those goals?
  3. Where does DK differ from the TYPICAL methods, in what she wants?
  4. What are the parts and pieces used to achieve the results?
  5. What UNRELATED parts and pieces are capable of performing those same functions?
  6. What is the most cost effective method to use those parts and pieces to achieve her stable of goals?

07-30-2015 11:44 AM
Small things, made big.

The outside world wouldn't notice. They wouldn't care. (What they care about is if they missed any free snacks in the break room, and whether the coffee machine is loaded and if they can get into the fridge... without flesh, in the way of the door swing.)

But, to our recruit, today is a triumph.


He's made it past his first Wednesday, "hump day," alive. To the other side. He's made it, to the other side of hump day.

His jelly legs and turbo gut have begun to settle. The spinning has slowed. His double vision is clearing, into single, and the focus is sharpening.
"Let's start out on the right path," Ms. Pressure Switch had said, in a smooth, saccharine tone laced with covert malice, lips pulled back showing her teeth, eyes glinting, "When I say, you work. When I say, you stop work. Your job is that simple. Disregard what anyone else on the team is doing - you are ONLY to listen to me. Sometimes you will feel as though your load is very tough, and at others you will work and feel as though there is no load. Doesn't matter. Here, you do not think. You work. When I say. And stop. When I say. Are we clear?"
Eons of evolution kick in, filtered down through countless generations of his DNA. All of a sudden, the survival instinct is front and center, vaporizing decades of coddling and self-esteem building.

Our recruit has a moment of clarity: survival is the only thing.

He is hemmed in from every side. But even so, our recruit has some wiles. He looks about, starts a strategy of laying low, for now.

Yes. Lay low. Stay quiet, and invisible, work so that nobody takes notice, as you learn this jungle.

He takes his first quiet steps toward survival.

Insulation. Perched on substantial rubber bumper mountings, he is now nearly silent of noise and vibration.

Good. Very good.

He takes his second quiet step. He has noticed his predecessor has left some abrasion on a nearby team member - much more of this and the team would be compromised.
Off stuck to a kitchen tile, where she had removed this useful bit from her fridge when she re-did the bottom grill, a piece of heavy-duty "pressure sensitive" velcro fuzz lay dormant, waiting for the opportunity to be re-used. It wasn't stuck to the tile more than a few days, before our recruit quietly whispered to DK that he could use that, if she could spare it.

In a moment of generosity, and also because she's enjoying his narrative, she relented, and gave it up.
For those of you whose caffeine jolt has not hit, yet, this is where DK has tidily related her fridge project into the Shrimporium thread. So you can rest your OCD controlling voices that have been complaining about her "unrelated posts, in a shrimp forum."
Clever boy. He took the sticky velcro fuzz and created a layer of insulation over his mounting screws, to keep from abrading the red tube team member any more.

Now, he lurks and works. He's hunkered down, insulated, quiet, and looking around.

He's learning the ropes.


07-29-2015 11:18 AM
Coming from an era when everybody...

...played balloon and parachute games in "teams" as toddlers, junior league soccer as grade-schoolers, league sports thereafter --where the conclusion of each session was that EVERYBODY got a ribbon or certificate or plaque or trophy or special recognition (and a free pizza party), whether one WON or not, or whether one displayed any ACTUAL exemplary skill or character, or not, he THINKS he understands teamwork.

But he's about to switch eras, to a couple decades prior.

He's about to be initiated into...


"Our corporate mission is to provide a 360 degree interaction for each team member," his guide said. "While you will receive input from a directly responsible team member on a regular basis, we also utilize what we think is an innovative corporate strategy of 360 degree feedback."

What our recruit doesn't realize is that "teamwork" in corporate speak is another thing, altogether. The Corporation will plug you into your "team," essentially welding you into your space in the BORG matrix. You can check in, but you never check out (OK, so DK's mixed metaphor jumps again a few years even earlier. She can do what she wants. It's HER thread.). From there, the Corporate tentacles take hold and grow in every direction, invasive, parasitic, paralyzing. Like Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga.

What he doesn't know is that this initial melding into the Corporate Machine isn't a dawn in "career mobility." It's the ultimate freeze out, the beginning of systematic paralysis. The Corporation will immobilize the parts of you it doesn't want functioning, and suck you dry from the rest, as you toil, ensnared in the matrix. If you try to innovate, or escape, you are surrounded by 360 degrees of of betrayal nets, in the form of all that "feedback" from others who do not want you to make them look less than you.

The BORG matrix wants you on call 24/7/365 on cheap salary with no overtime, and it takes control.

"You are a direct report to Ms. Pressure Switch," the guide informed, "However, Ms. Pressure Switch receives input based on every team member's role and the team's process of production, or completing production, so she in a sense reports to the whole team. See how our 360 degree teamwork is so efficient?" she had concluded.

Our recruit thought he'd been honored with the job offer because he had shown something special. That he was platformed to become something notable, move vast strides of progress, bring novel ideas and create great things.

Turns out, they hired him because he was the first guy who fit the specs and took their paltry offer.

He wasn't any better, or different, than the last schmuck. Just fresher, and a whole lot more naive.

He fit the stool in the 18 inch niche, without overflowing into their fridge zone. They hate it when they have to move around flesh, to get their fridge door open.

07-28-2015 11:53 AM
Wobbling and throbbing, our recruit shows up for day 2...

He's in too much pain to think straight. Instead, his mind is spinning on some of the stuff the tour guide "shared" with him, yesterday.

"We're a very dynamic organization," she said, "Our employees are integrated team members with high-level adaptability skills."

(Not today, but later, he realizes this is code-speak for, "We do re-orgs nearly every Friday, and if you don't passively lay your head on the chopping block, you WILL develop tension headaches from trying to raise your head up off the block to see what's coming. May as well relax, and if the blade comes, it comes. Oh, by the way, you're number one on the list, as you are the newest meat.")

After the procedure, yesterday, in the back room, he was taken to the break room, a filthy little hovel showered in stale processed food crumbs with a few sticky chairs surrounding a wobbly break table. On the way there, he saw the "bullpen" where his cohorts work.

"We're doing some space management in the employee zone and are managing our space more effectively, so at this moment we are in flux and cannot place you longterm while the space management is happening. I'm going to put you in an alternate, nearby space, for now."

(Codespeak for, "The corporate goals are to shrink effective employee space by a square foot per month on average. We do this by shrinking cubes and using previously 'sub-optimal' office real estate that has evolved into 'standard' office real estate for our low-levels.")

Over on the back wall of the break "room" there is a tiny bar table and rickety stool, used to post crap snacks until they disintegrate into a pile of crumbs after the herd has grazed upon them. The bar table is crammed between a humming water cooler next to the photocopier, and the employee refrigerator with its grimy handle zone.

The guide goes on, "You can use this space until something opens up on the floor. I'll call IT for you and see if they can goose Facilities to see about getting you some sort of power."

(Codespeak: "SUCKER!! - first we see if you even last long enough to get assigned bull pen space!)

Our recruit stands and stares at his rickety stool, nestled in the 18 inch niche.

07-27-2015 11:14 AM
Our recruit shows up first thing Monday morning...

...the product of helicopter parents, he's used to the silver platter. He's expecting the same experience at the "new place" as he's had in the past.

The difference, this time, is that, in the past, his parents were PAYING FOR THE EXPERIENCE. This time, he is getting paid.

In the past, orientations consisted of a warm welcome by a hand-picked staff member with a smiley face and just the right handshake. There would be a shiny glass conference room with a conference table spiffed out with libations and breakfast foods. The staff would fall over the recruits, tending to their every breath. They WANTED you.

This morning, reality hits. Life OUT THERE, IN THE REAL WORLD OF WORK.

Our recruit, still naive, has expectations. He expects this same warm welcome into a modern, clean space. A nice hour of orientation, followed by a Starbuck's quality brew in hand as he's toured around to meet his new peers. Finally, he expects to be introduced to his admin, where he can offload his carry bag and jacket, and be ushered into his windowed office and taught the phone system and intercom system. How the window blinds work. That sort of thing. Then left alone as the tour guide asks if he'd like his door pulled shut as she leaves.

Instead, we hate to tell you this.

Our recruit is taken to the back room, and neutered. Chop, chop, we remove your parts, because we can use you better, without them.

He's in shock.


07-26-2015 12:07 PM
Simple lessons the Shrimporium has taught DK

So, while DK is scrambling in the background to attempt some other major projects, and the shrimp are getting the shaft behind their murky glass walls, DK will dance a smoke and mirrors show using pictures from her recent pump replacement, to divert all y'all.

She's pretty excited, because later in this series she harvests a part off her REFRIGERATOR to use to solve an issue here. See, she has now related the fridge project to the Shrimporium. Ahem.

The pump replacement process illustrates a lot of lessons DK has learned (the hard way, I might add), during her tenure at the Shrimporium.
Let's look at a few of those lessons:
  1. Design things MODULAR, so parts can be switched in and out easily.
  2. NEVER, and ah-main NEVER take apart something without first owning a digital camera, learning how to use the macro function, having CHARGED batteries, and shooting pics from several angles of whacha aboot to take apart.
  3. If'n sumpin's notable, BEFORE you take it apart, note it, mark it, draw a map, or sumpin'. So's you can put it back together the SAME WAY. Bad things can happen when ya don't. Especially at 80 PSI and with a water system.
Citing the above scripture, DK notes that she cleverly designed Wet Wedding with a MASTER GFCI, which, when tripped, de-powers anything in the whole Wet Wedding system. She pops the GFCI button, making further steps less fun but a whole lot safer.

So, DK's Wet Wedding pressure booster pump 1.0 is retiring. He's just tired of the daily backstabbing and BS at the office, ready to take his red stapler and sip margaritas in stemware while in a lounge chair down south at a tropical beach. (Who can chime in here and tell the audience where that comes from... ennyone??)

The cocky, fresh, young replacement, just newly hatched with a degree, has arrived, naive smile on his overly-groomed face, first day on the job. (In the future, the scent of aftershave will fade first, followed by the smooth, shiny skin, followed by the emergence of the grizzled look, and then BO.)

DK surveys the landscape. Most importantly, with her camera.

She notes the points of attachment of outgoing pump. ALL OF THEM. Mechanical. Electrical. Plumbing. Obstructing other objects.

But first, pump is in-line with all sorts of water from both sides. So, DK turns off the water, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. She doesn't want spewing water as she tries to un-wire a pump from the orgy-glob. She then removes the in-going and out-going plumbing connections.

The pump is powered by two wires emerging from the bottom of the pump. DK, being the Nerd that she is, notes that one of the wires has writing, whilst the other does not. She notes this and photographs this. But equally importantly, she notes that the two wires that those wires connect to BOTH have writing.

Hm. How to distinguish them.

DK grabs a permanent marker and, like Banksy, leaves her mark.

She NOW undoes the wires, so when she removes the mounting, she's not left with a heavy pump in one hand, the tools across the room, and the dang thing still attached at the wires. Now, when she removes the mounting, the pump will be free. Free to wander off with the red stapler.

Stay tuned for more raucous and thrilling adventure, up next.

07-26-2015 05:30 AM
wicca27 ha ha ha that is what my house looks like in a week if i dont sweep or vacuum every day lol. them GSD are hairy huh lol
07-24-2015 08:13 PM
Schmuck says,

"I'm still hairy. Just not AS hairy." (after a comb-out session today)



Sometimes, we learn things only by time and experience, and track record.

This week, DK learned the lifespan of her pressure boosting pump on Wet Wedding. She's pretty sure it's a-aging out, 'cause it's makin' some awful noises. She's ordered and received a replacement, before the original has a chance to implode while working.

She considers it a fair lifespan - the thing boosts system pressure to 80 PSI against significant load, and works 5 hours a day 24/7/365. The original was installed 3/2013, so that's, um , 2.33 years at 365 days per year and 5 hours a day... 4252 hours of operational time. Replacement cost $90 so that's 2.1 cents an hour equipment cost, not including the power to run it.

She's been so bizzy working on some other important projects that the shreemps have been tossed some food now and then and left alone to populate back up from last summer's Shrimpmageddon. You can see the yellows, through their dirty glass, are coming along.

Oh, and. She abducted 5 more Mermaids into the second tank.

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