Three questions to ask when hiring supervisory positions

I was recently asked by a friend for advice regarding three questions to ask when interviewing a prospective candidate for a supervisory or managerial role. These are the three I suggested for her scenario, however, I think these are fairly good questions to ask in general for any mid-level management interview.

  1. What techniques do you use to motivate your employees/team while avoiding the increase of conflict or negative impacts on morale?

    Ensuring employees are motivated to be productive in the performance of their tasks is the sacred blood flow of a company. Unless your industry can magically print money, you need productive workers. Unmotivated employees lead to poor productivity levels, inefficiency, and a loss of corporate competitiveness. This is the lifeblood of any company. If circulation slows and stops, the company will fail.  So what ensures your employees are motivated and productive?

    It’s been said, employees do not leave companies, they leave managers. While not wholly accurate, it conveys a very strong point. An employee that has a great manager, will usually continue working productively, even if they are employed at a lousy company.  Where as, even an employee of a top company, will leave, if they have a horrible manager. 

    Being a supervisor or manager brings a certain amount of authority. However, the rod can only motivate to a degree, abuse of authority is a common cause for employee churn. Leadership, accomplishes the same goal, with far better outcomes of increased productivity and reduced employee churn.   With this question, we want to access the candidate’s leadership abilities.

  2. How do you facilitate bi-directional knowledge sharing, including the encouragement of idea sharing from those you lead? How do you go about evaluating, implementing, and determining the profitable feasibility of said ideas and innovations?

    Here we want to ensure the candidate is inclined to share knowledge and processes with those under their direction, rather than holding knowledge for themselves and becoming a single point of failure.  We do not want a supervisor to be a “locked gateway”.  Nor do we want a culture in which ideas and innovations are suppressed. In this day and age, innovative ideas differentiate Amazon and Sears, Tesla and Chrysler. That said, not every idea is good. A manager needs to foster an environment that encourages innovation while simultaneously implementing a framework that evaluates both the immediate impact and the effect over time to ensure that any new process enacted, affects the organization positively.

    We want to ensure the candidate is a facilitator who enables their team to be productive and fosters their growth. Does the candidate micro manage, is their way the only way, or are open to change and accepting of suggestions and input from underlings?

  3. How do you handle conflict and failure? Both in regards to those under your supervision and more importantly, your own? When in-over-your-head or too heavily invested, what actions do you take to ensure the situation does not reach a level that puts the well being of the greater whole in jeopardy or at risk? (project, team, business, well being of personnel) What external resources beyond yourself and your team, do you utilize or reach out to in order to ensure that you, your team, and the venture as a whole continue to be successful?

    What are we looking for here? Primarily, an ability to look outside one’s self and to ensure stakeholders are notified in an appropriate timeframe when issues arise.  Simple answers can include: “I google the problem.” “Seek input from a peer/colleague.” “Reach out to stakeholders.” 

    We want to ensure that the candidate is not going to attempt to put out a fire alone, without activating alarms to notify the appropriate response teams. That their ego will not prevent them from reaching out for assistance when the situation warrants doing so.  As a stakeholder, we do not want to discover one of our business’ buildings
    burned down because we were never alerted to the fire.

How are those three? Yes, they are a bit long. But really they cover the primary issues I see in supervisory/team dynamics.

I. Motivation of the team.
II. Empowering the team.
III. Mitigating risks – particularly those with the potential to negatively impact the smooth operation of the project.

If able, be sure to ask follow-up questions. If not, then I suggest prefacing your three questions with the following statement. “For each question, please elaborate and provide an example from two of your listed past employments. Express how each required and necessitated different approaches.”

Thoughts? What are some questions you’ve found useful in weeding out good leaders and supervisors from bad ones?



Ten Strategies to Help YOU thru Depression

For those of us who struggle with periodic bouts of depression. Be they caused by chemical imbalances or is a justifiable reaction to difficult life circumstances.

  1. Okay, so what’s got you down? Usually there is a trigger. It can be very small, but it is the event or thought that tipped the scale.
  2. Realize these things come in waves. It’s part of the brain’s processing. I find it takes a day and a half to three days for the brain to process.
  3. Get sleep, I’ve found I’ll have a really stressful series of dreams. But these dreams are my brain processing the issues of life and essentially “de-fragging” my soul.
  4. Nutrients. Powerload. Hydrate. Vitamins (B6) are good. Get some animal protein and fat in you along with fresh produce. BLT’s are great for this. Fresh oranges also are help. Fresh lime in water too, and helps hydrate.
  5. Pick 1-3 friends to verbally release.
  6. Masturbate – awkward as it sounds, it can help. But usually only if you’ve done the above. A climax is essentially a physical reset.
  7. Bath with Epsom salt. Gets the magnesium our body has trouble absorbing thru digestion.
  8. Pray. Talk to the divine, to the universe, question, cuss him/her out.
  9. Sleep the night thru with the lights on. Can help reset circadian rhythm.
  10. Know you have friends, family, kids, that love you, admire you, enjoy you.

I’m calling it… Tesla “CYBERTRUCK” is a “dumptruck”

Many are scouring the two released images, particularly the one for the 11/21 Unveiling invite, for clues on Tesla’s soon to be unveiled CYBERTRUCK.First release, presumed back of CYBERTRUCK

And second image in the invitation to the unveiling.

I have seen many argue whether the second image depicts the front or the back of the vehicle, with most concluding it is the front.Recently, someone took the odd fonts Tesla used to spell CYBERTRUCK and fit them together thusly…

and others took it further, based on the second released image depicting a very sharp nose to create the following…


Now, I am not saying they are wrong in concept. But I am dubious the design would be so rigid. And while tinkering around with the two released images, I reached a different conclusion. I believe the first image is the back of the truck bed with a cover on it, as do most who have viewed it.

But I believe the second image also depicts the back of the CYBERTRUCK. And what people are presuming is a sharply downward angled windshield, is in fact, the bed of the CYBERTRUCK. And that we are seeing a very nicely lifted tailend, and the downward slope arises from the truck bed being angled and raised to facilitate the dumping of material.

That’s right. I believe at least one option tier for Tesla’s entry into the workhorse market entails a “dumptruck” feature incorporating an electrically powered hydraulic lift.

Below you will see my edits tinkering with the two released images. My highlighting of the bed in raised position. And an overlay of released image #1 atop of released image #2.

Elon, am I right?


A Dream and a Story

[Author’s Note: Experienced a number of weird dreams last night. This particular one being the most noteworthy. Both stressful and fascinatingly weird.]


A friend Kylee asked me to help her search for a mutual friend Brenna who had gone missing a few weeks earlier at a beach.

While news reports touted foul play, kidnapping, and numerous other theories. Kylee suspected Brenna had fallen prey to something else. Kylee asked me to join her as she investigated something she and Brenna noticed on an earlier visit – and not wanting to go alone. My having a background in marine biology couldn’t hurt.

Up along some cliffs she points to these strange long kelp like vines, explaining that these were not here when she head visited a as a cold or even a few years back. They were new.

I thought to take a cutting to look at under my microscope. Cause they obviously grew pretty quick for them to climb up the cliffs as they had. Most touted the grown as just another sign of Global Warming. But I still thought it puzzling.

We cut a sample, and it was both slippery and sticky. And it almost seemed like the piece we cut off moved a little. I expressed that maybe it’s not really a plant. Something more along the lines of a symbiotic species like an anemone.

We started to head back, when I heard Kylee”s voice from behind me say my name in a panicked and shocked tone. I’m

I turned around to see the kelp vines briefly pull back away from her. Than a moment later they all launched back wrapping around her ankles, yanking her to the ground as they began to pull her toward the cliffs edge. I launched forward to help pull her free only to fall to the sand myself. But I had the knife with me. And quickly began to hack away at the vine wrapped around my ankle and stab a couple others that crept approachingly forward. Finally cutting myself free, only to turn and watch Kylee nearly encompassed by the kelp vines to be pulled over the cliff’s edge followed moments later by a splash.

I ran, and ran until I reached the parking lot. I could see large tentacles of kelp vines reaching afterward. I could see a group huddled in the center of the parking lot. Some locked into their vehicles, vines around the tires and doors. And s bunch crammed on a couple pick up truck beds. A hundred and fifty yards away was a cinderblock structure, the showers and restrooms, with vines stretching out. Likely there cause of the water source.

Crossing quietly I made it to my car and got a container with oil and doused myself with it. And some windshield wiper fluid.

I grabbed a flashlight and with knife in the other hand. Quietly approached the infested structure.

A few tentacles came toward me, but as hoped, they were repelled by the onslaught of chemicals. A couple made contact, but quickly withdrew before I could being my knife to bear. And then writhed in the sand seemingly attempting to clean off the oil that now coated them from contacting me.

I thought I heard something. “Ick. Ick approaches.” It was weird. Because I couldn’t quite tell if it was a whisper. My own thought. Or the rustle of the withdrawing kelp tentacles.

Whatever they were. They were not merely plants. Perhaps if giant kelp merged with sea anemonies. And at one point, I swear I saw a bulbous mass with a pair of eyes that reflected the light of my flashlight in a milky glow.


I heard it…it was clearer that time.

“There is more Ick to come if I am attacked.” I shouted for whatever good it would do.

“Don’t touch. We won’t touch.”

This was in my head. I had to be imagining. There were those milky eyes again. And a second pair on another bulb. Then gone….

Perhaps more like kelp + anemone + octopus. Definitely more alive and animal like.

I entered the vine encrusted structure. The air inside smelled dank, of piss, lowtide, and oil.

“What does the Ick want?”

That could not be my thought. This time I thought back … “my friend….Kylee”.

Then I heard all around me a rustling echo of the sound “Ick demands the Ky-leee”.

“Will go..if has Kylee? Ick go?”

I thought affirmingly “Yes”

“Which is the Ky-leee”

I thought about Kylee, her deep laugh, her smile. She knew something wasn’t right here. She suspected something. I came….but I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m sorry Kylee. I wasn’t prepared.”

“A master approaches”…

Suddenly, all the vines seemed to withdraw then reformed on the floor as a tight woven mat. And a bulbous creature held about 10 inches aloft on kelp tentacles approached.

“Is late…too late.” This time it was different. It was audible.

“Why too late?” I retorted.

“Three. We could do. Ten maybe. Thirty we cannot. Drowned already. Ingesting. Absorbing. Already.”

I didn’t cry. Too much adrenaline. Body maxed with fight or flight chemicals.

“Please. No. Ick.”

(Two more of the bulbous heads appeared. Somewhere smaller.)

“Sorry said. We understood not. We preserve the Ky-leee. Bring. Not Ky-leee. Preserve Ky-leee. Sorry said. Sorry said. Preserve the Ky-leee help. Preserve the Brenna help. Please no Ick”

Then one of the smaller bulbous shapes came closer. In a deep but softer tone I heard “Touch. No hurt. Trust. The Jason Trust.”

It was confusing as all hell. Was it asking me to trust it. Or stating they could trust me. And how did it know my name? Duh, obviously these creatures had some telepathic mental communicative ability. But there was a familiarity that was inexplicable.

A lone small tentacle approached and touched the right temple of my head. I was awashed with imagery. I was seeing myself, the tentacles creeping up behind me just before they wrapped around my ankle. Then all I saw was sand and rocks. Pain and panic. Then the cold of ocean water. The burning of lungs. And darkness. Then little bits of glitter…then being spread apart and fading and slowing of thought. Then a voice “The Ky-leee”. A reawakening. The shimmer of particles coalescing. Moving. Being collected. Slowness of thought regained. Strangeness. Awareness. Sadness. Fullness. Familiarity. A glimpse of another coalescening formation of sparkles. “Send The Kylee. Send Too send, The Br-enna.”

“The Jason Trust. The Ky-leee said, The Jason Trust. Is The Ky-leee. Is not The Ky-leee. Sorry for the Jason that The Ky-leee not his The Kylee. The Ky-leee said The Jason not the fault. Forgive us.”

In a daze I collapsed down wrapping my arms around my knees shivering. Overwhelmed. The right or flight adrenaline wearing off. The sobs and convulsions begun. A second tentacle approached from the small bulbous creature that was not Kylee but somehow was Kylee, and gently wiped the tears. Leaving a scent reminiscent of kelp and clams.

I glanced down “Kylee?” I said, then looking to the second small bulbous creature “Brenna?”. The first touched my cheek and chest with a tentacle each, and blinked. The second, seemed to arrange a number of tentacles into wing like structures and I saw the sparkle of glitter.

The third larger bulbous creature spoke up again. “Not all of your Kylee, your Brenna. Essence. The essence, The Kylee. The essence, The Brenna. Absorb. Grow. Learn. How communicate.”

“So you ate and absorbed them?” I inquired accusingly, “Is that what you do? Is that what you plan to do? Devour and absorb all of us?”

It appeared to deflate. Then spoke again….

“Darkness. Deep. We feed. Kelp I s yummy. All we know. We feed. Kelp is yummy. Others yummy. Others not yummy. We eat creature. Yummy. Ouchy. Both. We eat more Yummy. Ouchy.”

The small bulbous creature that corresponded to the beautiful woman in once new as Kylee chimed in “Glaucus Atlanticus”.

I look to her, to it…I don’t even know anymore. “What do I call you? Do I call you Kylee or the monster that ate Kylee?”

“The Jason. The sad. I am not Kylee. I am the essence of what made your Kylee. Portion of your friend, her core. The Ky-leee. Same. Not same. Have memories. Have thoughts. Like dreams. But The Ky-leee remembers The Jason fondly.”

Tears streamed down may face. More than a thousand tentacles could wipe. I tried to muster a disarming smile. “Okay, I am goin to call you The Ky-leee. I’m not sure I can think of you completely as the same. Cause you’re not. But like some ghost in the machine, you are still sort of her.”

“The Ky-leee thank The Jason” the bulbous creature seemed understanding.

“One more thing” I blurted.

“Yes?” The bulbous creature replied in it’s deep soft tone.

The Jason blushed as he spoke his next words “You’re still intriguing to converse with. But I’m not sure I still consider you one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever been privileged to know.”

There was a sudden amount of rustling of kelp tentacles and various sounds similar to a whoopy-cushion from all about the structure. Apparently, the bizarre kelp like creatures had developed, or more likely, absorbed the elements of humor.

“Absorbed is perhaps most accurate. Yes, we had consumed several Glaucus Atlanticus. A creature famed for being able to eat the poisonous man-of-war jellyfish and then absorb and utilize their sting. But in so doing. We also absorbed the Glaucus Atlanticus. And when we later felt ourselves being consumed by a multi-tentacled creature, it was the absorbed cells of the Glaucus Atlanticus and small tentacles we grew from it that struck the devourer dead, and stopped it from eating us. So we slowly devoured and ingested it. Something was different. We knew the devourer. We could feel the devourer. We could see like the devourer. Somehow, in consuming the Glaucus Atlanticus we had been compatible enough on a cellular level that it’s ability to absorb established a symbiosis. When we ate the cephalopod. We did not simply ingest it for nutrients we absorbed it in symbiosis. We were now made of us, Glaucus Atlanticus, a cephalopod. Now we grew, now just vines to feed on kelp. We grew tentacles. That which sought to eat or harm us, we now devoured. We sought more octopus. For with absorbing of the cephalopod, we grew…not simply in size. But in understanding. How to be. How to be something else. How to wait patiently. For hiding. For hunting. We ate. We grew. Other creatures we encountered. We consumed. Absorbed. Some. Not all. Some offer growth. Some offer nothing.

The We, become aware. We know We are The We. Not all. Some of We still dumb, not The We. But dumb We still attached to and listen to The We.

Dumb We consume The Bre-nna and The Ky-leee. The We, when see essence, extract from Dumb We portions. Birth The Ky-leee and The Bre-nna. Few others too, before. The Me, before… Not no The Me The Who. Not understand The Human thought. Not absorb yet.

Then we encounter Ick. Ick not like Yummy. Ouchy Glaucus Atlanticus. Ick not like anything The We consume. The We that consumes the Ick, that We die. The We choose, all The We, not eat Ick. Ignore Ick. The We encounter large Ick. Ignore. All The We touched by Ick die. The We not ignore Ick. The We stop Ick.

Humans = Ick. We defend. We devour. We stop Ick. We think. We did not understand. We knew Ick bad. We knew human and Ick. We knew human bad. We thought. We wrong thought. We consume The Me, others, than The Bre-nna. The Bre-nna not seem bad. Study essense. Human bad. The Bre-nna human. The Bre-nna bad. The Bre-nna not seem bad. The Ky-leee consume. Human = bad. The Ky-leee = human. The Ky-leee != Bad. The We confused. Study.

The Jason come. The Jason bring Ick. The Jason = Human = Ick = Very Bad. We destroy. But Ick. Avoid Ick. The Jason come. The Ky-leee being studied. The We inquire The Ky-leee essence, how stop The Bad The Jason. The Ky-leee essence, replied confused The Jason Good. The We say, no The Bad The Jason. The Ky-leee say The Jason The Good. The Ky-leee trust The Jason. The We confused. Coalesce The Ky-leee, birth The Ky-leee essence into cephapolyp. The Ky-leee suggest The Bre-nna too.

The Me, The Ky-leee, The Bre-nna meet The Ick Jason, which threatens more Ick. The We scared. Trust The Ky-leee to trust The Jason.

My brain is finally begining to encompass some sort of understsnding in the midst of the simultaneous lost. The We as they call themselves, still unsure if that is as a species or one continuous interconnected symbiotic mass, is killed thru contact with oil and gasoline and likely other toxins.

And now humanity has encountered another sentient species. One that has already encountered the harm of humanity’s own failures and the damage of our pollution. One that is strangely both frightening in its appearance and potential malignancy – to devour is bad enough but the fear of one that can devour and absorb your essence. That can be utterly frightening. And yet, how many would choose a burial for a loved one. Or choose their own burial if such could both be greener than how we presently bury our loved ones. And also preserve their essence in a way that can allow loved ones to still have some connection.

I speak, but very somberly … “There are ways. It will be hard. Some will be scared. Some will be fascinated. Some will respect. And some will want to destroy or study without respect. Do you understand. Can you comprehend what I am saying? The Ky-lee you need to help them understand the good and the bad. Humans are not able to have peace amongst themselves.

I need you to understand. I need you to convey. Lest you just all humans. I have ideas to help. Can you see them? I need you to see them?

All three of the bulbous creatures touch a tentacle to my forehead. As I visualize. I picture the outcomes in my head from various actions. And an idea for a plan to establish peace for the two species.

They observe the scenario. I show a world where they fight humanity. And are eradicated by chemicals just as humans use them on crops. And the oceans of the world harmed even further by the way between The We and Humanity. Then I depict the rebuttal to the question to arise next – what if The We win? I show them a world in which they absorb and gain more knowledge and overcome humanity. And when The We feel they have overcome the evil producers of Ick. The world is immersed in bright flames that scorch the entire world and poison the sea. Thousands of nuclear detonations turns the entire earth uninhabitable. The Humans will not lose alone. This imagery caused writhings and contentions throughout The We and I could feel the any I caused.

“Wait!” I pleaded…there is more…there is hope…I envisioned a work in which The We were slowly revealed. First to a select few scientists and persons of note, then to see individuals of political prominence. Meanwhile, I visualized how the We could garner favor. Monitoring beaches for predators and ensuring they were safe. Especially observing small children. Rescuing them from drowning. How every life saved work result in a tale of s mysteriously rescue by a head with two milky white eyes. How they could make themselves even more appealing. The Bre-nna could show them how to look like fairies. How small children record from drowning would react better to pink and blue and rainbows. And how each tale would create favor toward them. Each rescue.

But that I admitted that some would always be fearful, hate, and be cruel. That when those of humanity act. The hardest part would be to not retaliate despite every instinct to. Not to drink a ship full of Innocents. Showing that would lead to war.

Rather, lean to the good will of the others. Lay your beloved dead in the beaches. Arranged in signs, help in a hundred languages. Plead to the children. Leaving a memory in each one you’ve rescued. That if such continues, The We won’t be there to keep the beaches safe and rescue other children. When the media investigates the date, written on the beach of the first rescue. And discovers not a single child has drowned at a beach since that date. Understanding will sink in to many.

Meanwhile, humanity has lost some of our greatest visionaries and inventors. Noblest minds. The We can provide the option to continue as part of something larger. But it must be by choice. And if the individual chooses to one day go, The We just promise to disperse their essence. So they can choose to move onto the next life or adventure, be it a heavenly one, a rebirth, or nothingness. We must respect their choice. Eventually, loved ones may choose for their essence to be joined to The We as an alternative form of burial. The We will need to sift, for the essence of some humans is evil and wicked. Such essence should be filled where able, permitting only the good portions to be coalesced and dispersing the worst of mankind’s tendencies. And this part is key, for over time, The We will contain many essences of loved ones, that it can not be harmed without hurting the ones we love. And war between Humanity and The We will become infeasible. Yet, sadly, war between Humanity and itself remains. And that will be something The We will one day need to face as well, the challenge of not warring amongst one another. But perhaps living together, both species can move beyond such.

It won’t be easy to achieve. It will take time, care, and a willingness to be hurt and forgive. If that can be done, than I envision a world in which we can live in peace and in which together, we can mend the oceans of the world. And many ways, Humanity and The We would become one on symbiosis. But it must be fine freely. Never by force.

“The Ky-lee correct was. The Jason is indeed, creative very. Thank you. We see. We understand.

Question Others ask. What to do if The We finds an already drowned human? Too late for us to save for the surface? Shall we absorbed or disperse its essence?”

I paused for a moment, and responded “Best the essence be neither dispersed nor coalesced, absorbed and held until we can find the humans kin or until the had passed. Perhaps a year, a decade, or a century. Then coalesced enough to inquire how their essence would choose. But hold the essence for a century. By that time, most loved loves will have passed. And if they have chosen to be dispersed, few will if any will remain to be sneered by their loss.”

“The Jason is exhausted.” spoke the small bulbous creature now known as The Ky-leee.”

I looked down at the strange creature picking it up in my hands, tears began to start down my cheeks. I’m sorry I wasn’t more prepared. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.” And brought the feature up to my face and kissed it’s strange slimy bulbous form. Wondered how I would convey this news to her family and friends. Then proceeded to sob all more.

Suddenly, I felt tentacles wrap around me. And that deep soft tender voice whisper “Jason, had this not happened to me, to your Kylee, than we would not have had a bridge to allow both species to cross.”

The larger bulbous creature exclaimed The Ky-leee. The Jason. Both. Saved Both. The We. The Humanity.

The smaller held my cheeks between two tentacles. “The Ky-leee. Forgive. The Jason.” And then spoke again saying “The Jason. Forgive Need. The Jason.” as a third smaller tentacle lightly touched upon my lips.

“The We. Go. Now. Return. The Ky-lee on Moon. Full. Communicate. Update. With The Jason.”


How ADD and Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy made my home safer…

This year I moved into a new house. In the process of making it a home, we have been doing many upgrades and renovations. Which means I’m often doing things for the first time, and learning as I go. That said, not every idea, recommendation, or how-to is a good one.

Recently, on the advice of a chimney sweep, I extended the furnace pipe into the chimney. (It was just resting against the hole which could allow fumes to escape into the house.) I extended the furnace flu into the chimney, vacuumed out a half century and approx. 25 gallons of soot. I wager many homes have not had their chimneys cleaned in decades. [Everyone with an old furnace hooked into a chimney should check theirs as build up can lead to the release of carbon monoxide into a home.]

Now to the point. I thought I was doing right, in making sure to use the fire block version of Great Stuff expanding foam. Then Friday I saw an article on the proposed SLS rocket’s estimated $2 billion people launch. And thought that we’re doing this wrong – we should be assembling deep space launch vehicles in orbit. My ADD kicked in, and next thing I know I’m scouring Google and Wikipedia to find out what the Falcon Heavy’s LEO and trans-Mars Injection (is that TMI) capabilities are. Googling weights for kerosene and liquid Oxygen. There weight of Space X “Merlin” engines. [Hey Elon, when is Space X releasing the larger second generation “Gandalf” engines to get us to Ganymede?]

All to determine that the Falcon Heavy could in a handful of fights and less than half the cost to launch the SLS, bring components needed to assemble a solar system launch vehicle. Allowing deep space launches to be done from orbit, bypassing the heaviest of Earth’s atmosphere and gravity, potentially leading to even faster delivery than the SLS for less expenditure. But how to assemble those units into a singular unit that can withstand the structural stresses of acceleration? Cables can real the units into position. Struts can link. But to how to keep the weight down. “expanding insulation foam”.

So next my ADD had me googling the temperature of space walks (+/-250 degrees). And noting that the fire block foam was rated to only 240 degrees. Confident with some expenditure we could make a similar compound that could meet the needs of use in space. But while doing so, I learned that fire block foam should not be used in contact with sources that can potentially reach those temperatures. While the flu pipe really doesn’t tend to reach those temperatures it’s still advised not to use it for safety and does not meet code. Just last week we had a mechanical failure that resulted in the furnace not turning off at the proper temperature. This resulted in the water becoming super heated, massive pressure release of steam, and melting a few sections of foam insulation right off the radiator pipes. I realized this incident could of resulted in excessive heating of the flu pipe, potentially exceeding the 240 degree rating of the foam. This could lead to the foam combusting and potentially spreading flames to the wood structure above. While that didn’t happen, I’d rather be safe than sorry. So today I ripped the foam out. And acquired the materials to do it right – fire rated gasket, fire rated caulk (appropriate mortar can be utilized as well). I also removed the foamed in sheet metal at the flu clean out and installed a much more robust cover sans any foam. ALL because of the adventure of my mind’s ADD in this previous post below.

Thank you Elon. Thank you ADD.

Deep Space Launches….great stuff

How we should be doing space exploration…IMHO

The proposed NASA Space Launch System (SLS) is estimated to cost close to $2 billion per launch. (If it ever is completed.) It is expected to have approx. twice the payload of SpaceX’s “Falcon Heavy” – 150 vs 70 tons to low-Earth orbit (LEO) and 32 vs 16 tons to trans-Mars injection (TMI). Compare that to the $90 million for a Falcon Heavy launch. For $50 million, the “Falcon 9” can deliver a 25-ton payload to LEO.

The next derivation of Falcon rockets should focus on trans-Solar System orbital launches. Doing so by extending re-usability beyond returning rockets to Earth, and focusing on assembly and re-utilization of rockets in space.

Launch four Falcon Heavies, each containing a payload of fuel containers and Merlin engines. A fifth Falcon Heavy would launch an assembly control unit, while a sixth would deliver a payload module and guidance control system. The latter not being launched until the assembly control unit had essentially docked with and attached to each of the prior launch payloads. Essentially, assembling in orbit a unit akin to a tertiary stage. In fact, these could be pre-assembled in orbit and await pending payloads.

Having already transited out of the heaviest of Earth’s atmosphere results in a reduction of force needed to propel the rocket. Structural integrity is still a concern; however, the intense friction and pressures of a terrestrial-based launch are not. How do we ensure a necessary level of structure integrity is achieved in order to handle the forces and torque applied during acceleration?


Here is where I have an idea. This is some “Great Stuff”…hear me out. “Great Stuff”, ever use it? You can buy a can at Home Depot. It is an expanding polyurethane foam. It is used to insulate, fill in cracks during construction, pack objects in form fitted storage, and much more. In fact, contractors have learned that the expanding foam can even be used to lift heavy structures. Drill a whole, insert tube, and the expanding foam can exert enough pressure to lift a load.

Now, I am dubious in regards to the effectiveness of polyurethane foam expansion in space. However, I have to think that a compound with similar properties that would be viable in the vacuum of space could be found. A vacuum would entail even greater expansion. Temperature would seem to be the largest concern. Both in regards to survivability and in regards to the foaming function. My understanding is that an astronaut on a spacewalk can experience a temperature range of between a scorching 250°F to a frigid -250°F. So perhaps a more significant factor would be the timing of the release. Great Stuff’s off-the-shelf fire block foam has a thermal resistance up to 240°F. Not quite enough for our space needs, but I have to imagine with some chemical engineering we could derive a similar compound which could endure a bit more thermal intensity. Such foam could be released to expand around the assembled units, significantly increasing the structural integrity once it had expanded and hardened.

We would now have a delivery platform to launch toward the outer planets, likely far faster than even the SLS propel them, and at about a 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost.

IDEAS: Android Daily Ad Panel

Ugh…just cause I <insert> “justification”, does not mean I want or consented to daily emails and notifications!

Just cause I…

  • Bought something at your brick and mortar, and chose “email receipt”.
  • Bought something from your online store.
  • Installed your application.

That said, I also understand you are a business and want to reach me marketing wise.

So why not a compromise…

New Android feature…

Daily marketing panel. So no more marketing notifications displayed by each app. (And a push to direct such emails more into SPAM.)

Instead, all such notifications of sales discounts, specials, marketing appear in a single popup. That can be displayed by a) alpha sorted name, b) company logos c) deal types (coupon, sales, etc).

This way important notifications are not lost in a flood of sales notices. Honestly, most od which we swipe away or delete. And we get so much in the habit of doing so, that we find ourselves often swiping away before even looking at the deal.

But dang, its tiring hitting unsubscribe and companies we’re increasingly ignoring emails and notifications. This would make them more meaningful, and less invasive. Enough so that we can glance and see if there is anything of interest today in the plethora of notifications.

February 2020
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