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Bullfrog Spa

Bullfrog Spa

Our Bullfrog model A7 Spa was delivered this past Thursday. We had ordered it back in June and initial delivery date was October but due to Covid it was delayed until now.

With 5 custom removal JetPacks and 8 total seats, the party house is now complete!

New favorite way to watch sports!
First big challenge

The guys from Southern Leisure Spas got the job done. Watch THIS 45 second video of how they handled this special installation.

Modes of operation:

Away – NO USAGE – Temperature drops 20 degrees from set point at all times. Use when on vacation or plan not to use for at more than 2 weeks

Standard – Beginner – ALWAYS USED – Set temperature maintained at all times (Can use only for on-demand use during the day. Never leave this way)

Energy Saver – EVENINGS, WEEKENDS – Temperature drops 20 degree during the day. Set point maintained evenings and weekends

Super Energy Saver – EVENINGS – Temperature drops 20 degrees during the day. Set point maintained evenings only, every day.

Weekender – WEEKENDS – Temperature drops 20 degrees weekdays. Set point maintained all day on weekend.

Manual

Specs
A7 capacity: 434gal
Dry weight: 661lbs
Filled weight: 5316lbs
Jetpaks: 5
Pumps: 2
Cost: $12 month ($.10/kw/h at 60f ambient, 102 water temp)

Adjustments
Alkalinity (80-120):
Add 4tbsp Increaser per 25ppm
To Lower Alkalinity, the two most popular chemicals available to help you lower the Total Alkalinity in your hot tub are muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate (also known as dry acid). After you’ve added muriatic acid, dry acid or another alkalinity decreaser product, be sure to check the pH level in the hot tub, as the pH level may have dropped as well.
PH decreaser will also decrease alkalinity. About three quarters of a cap to 1 capful will bring it up or down by a color block when using the pH increase or decrease. That depends on the size of your hot tub as well but typically that’s a roundabout measurement.
PH (7.2-7.8)
< 7.2 -> 6 tbsp of Increaser
7.2 -> 4 tbsp of Increaser
7.3 -> 2 tbsp of Increaser
7.6-7.8 -> 2 tbsp of Decreaser
7.8-8.0 -> 4 tbsp of Decreaser
8.0-8.4 -> 7.5 tbsp of Decreaser
Calcium Hardness (150-250)
If > 250 drain 6 inches, refill with low-calcium water
If <150 add Calcium Increaser

Shock Oxider – add 3 tbs (capful) weekly, for heavy use apply twice weekly

Dealing with Foam in the Spa

What causes foamy Hot Tub Water:

  1. Things such as drinks, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, makeup, cosmetics, hair products, body lotions or oils, shampoo and conditioners can cause foamy hot tub water.
  2. Bathing suits fresh out of the washing machine and dryer will be loaded with laundry detergents in the material. The best thing to do is just rinse your hot tub bathing suits with fresh water and then let dry. If your brave enough and have your own private backyard oasis, no swimsuit is always an option!
Impossible Creatures 2020

Impossible Creatures 2020

It’s December so time to fire up Impossible Creatures.

This year, I installed the game on my Macbook Pro running VirtualBox.

VirtualBox is free, you can find a WindowsXP .ISO file online, you can probably find IC ISOs of CDs too or if you own the game, on Mac, you can use Disk Utility to create ISOs from them to conveniently use to install IC in the VM created.

Here are the steps:

Install VirtualBox 5.2. This post explains why you should use this version: “To have 3D acceleration in XP you must run 6.0.x or earlier, using the VboxVGA card (note no S). And run the same version of Guest Additions for maximum 3D compatibility. (You might have to go back to 5.2.x)”

You will need to run the installer twice, the first will trigger you to give it permission to install:

-Run VirtualBox
-Select New
-Name the VM WindowsXP
-Select Version Windows XP (32-Bit)
-Select Memory Size of 512
-Create a virtual hard disk (VDI) of 10gig, Dynamically Allocated
-In a terminal window run: vboxmanage modifyvm WindowsXP — vram 256 (2 dashes)
-In VirtualBox, select the WindowsXP VM and select Settings…Display confirming that video memory is 256. Select Enable 3D Acceleration
-Install WindowsXP (link to WindowsXP ISO file found in this help video). Start Windows XP VM, when prompted, click on the folder icon to navigate to the Windows XP ISO file. Select the iso file and hit start to install Windows XP. You will need to hit F8 to accept EUL so you’ll have to go to Mac System Preferences…Keyboard and make sure the FN key will display Numbered Function keys. When prompted to format the virtual hard disk select NTFS file system (Quick). Be sure to select Central Time for time zone. Select No, not on a network, and enter Kleymeyer for WorkGroup. Go ahead and select automatic updates even though there won’t be any coming. Select Yes, computer will connect through local area network or home network. No to registering with Microsoft
-Once WindowsXP is installed, run msconfig from Start…Run…BOOT.INI tab…select /SAFEBOOT MINIMAL and restart Windows.
– After reboot, select VirtualBox menu Devices…Insert Guest Additions CD image…Check Direct3D Support and Install..select Continue Anyway when prompted..select I want to manually reboot later and run msconfig again and turn off SAFEBOOT and back on General Tab select Normal Startup…now reboot
-Select VirtualBox menu Devices…Optical Drives…Choose Disk Image..select ICDisk1.dmg…when prompted for Disk 2, select Devices…Optical Drives…Choose fDisk Image and select IC_Disk2.img and continue IC install. If install seems to hang (Creating icons…) drag install dialog to side and look for ICConfig warning message about DirectX…dismiss this if found and continue install
-Select View…Scale Factor…175%
-Select Virtual Screen1 800×600

Internet in our new 3 story home

Internet in our new 3 story home

Decided to cut the chord a few weeks ago and go with YouTube TV. Have been pretty happy with the result. Monthly Spectrum Internet (200mb) is about $75 with taxes and fees. No discount with no other bundled service.

Our new home in Dripping Springs is 3 stories. Ground floor, upstairs and built-out basement. I was worried about Internet in the basement where I’ll be a 100% remote worker starting in April.

Decided to buy the Google Nest Wifi Mesh Router and 2 Add-On Points for $349. It may be the best decision I’ve made. Comes with speaker and Google Assistant in each node.

I’ve been seeing some of the fastest WiFi Connection speeds I’ve ever experienced. Here is a download/upload test from my basement. Upper 180 is common (speedtest.net):

Using Wifi Analyzer on my phone, this is the signal strength I am seeing:

To put the -40 value into perspective, this post explains signal strengths this way:

Wireless signal strength is measured in dBm (decibel milliwatts) and is, somewhat confusingly, expressed only as negative values.

So what should we consider a good, acceptable, or poor Wi-Fi signal strength?

Signal StrengthExpected QualityRequired For
-30 dBmMaximum signal strength, you are probably standing right next to the access point.
-50 dBmAnything down to this level can be considered excellent signal strength.
-60 dBmGood, reliable signal strength.
-67 dBmReliable signal strength.The minimum for any service depending on a reliable connection and signal strength, such as voice over Wi-Fi and non-HD video streaming.
-70 dBmNot a strong signal.Light browsing and email.
-80 dBmUnreliable signal strength, will not suffice for most services.Connecting to the network.
-90 dBmThe chances of even connecting are very low at this level.

Needless to day, my Internet service is rocking!

How NOT to have a conversation

How NOT to have a conversation

Conversations involve TWO parties. Ideally they should contribute equally. Unfortunately, that’s not how many go and most people probably won’t recognize themselves in this post.

Nicholas Cole describes it best in his Medium article Relationships Fail Because Most People Have Conversations Like This (PDF)

In Summary:

It’s so simple. When you’re with someone, ask them questions and actually listen

America Is Living James Madison’s Nightmare

America Is Living James Madison’s Nightmare

The Founders designed a government that would resist mob rule. They didn’t anticipate how strong the mob could become.

…To prevent factions from distorting public policy and threatening liberty, Madison resolved to exclude the people from a direct role in government. “A pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction,” Madison wrote in “Federalist ?10.” The Framers designed the American constitutional system not as a direct democracy but as a representative republic, where enlightened delegates of the people would serve the public good. They also built into the Constitution a series of cooling mechanisms intended to inhibit the formulation of passionate factions, to ensure that reasonable majorities would prevail.

…The people would directly elect the members of the House of Representatives, but the popular passions of the House would cool in the “Senatorial saucer,” as George Washington purportedly called it: The Senate would comprise natural aristocrats chosen by state legislators rather than elected by the people. And rather than directly electing the chief executive, the people would vote for wise electors — that is, propertied white men — who would ultimately choose a president of the highest character and most discerning judgment. The separation of powers, meanwhile, would prevent any one branch of government from acquiring too much authority. The further division of power between the federal and state governments would ensure that none of the three branches of government could claim that it alone represented the people.

…Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms have accelerated public discourse to warp speed, creating virtual versions of the mob. Inflammatory posts based on passion travel farther and faster than arguments based on reason. Rather than encouraging deliberation, mass media undermine it by creating bubbles and echo chambers in which citizens see only those opinions they already embrace.

…More recently, geographical and political self-sorting has produced voters and representatives who are willing to support the party line at all costs. After the Republicans took both chambers of Congress in 1994, the House of Representatives, under Speaker Newt Gingrich, adjusted its rules to enforce party discipline, taking power away from committee chairs and making it easier for leadership to push bills into law with little debate or support from across the aisle. The defining congressional achievements of Barack Obama’s presidency and, thus far, Donald Trump’s presidency — the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, respectively — were passed with no votes from members of the minority party.

…Madison feared that Congress would be the most dangerous branch of the federal government, sucking power into its “impetuous vortex.” But today he would shudder at the power of the executive branch. The rise of what the presidential historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. called the “imperial presidency” has unbalanced the equilibrium among the three branches. Modern presidents rule by executive order rather than consulting with Congress. They direct a massive administrative state, with jurisdiction over everything from environmental policy to the regulation of the airwaves. Trump’s populist promise — “I alone can fix it” — is only the most dramatic in a long history of hyperbolic promises, made by presidents from Wilson to Obama, in order to mobilize their most ideologically extreme voters.

…During the 20th century, the Supreme Court also became both more powerful and more divided. The Court struck down federal laws two times in the first 70 years of American history, just over 50 times in the next 75 years, and more than 125 times since 1934. Beginning with the appointment of Anthony Kennedy, in 1987, the Court became increasingly polarized between justices appointed by Republican presidents and justices appointed by Democratic presidents. Kennedy’s retirement raises the likelihood of more constitutional rulings split between five Republican appointees and four Democratic ones.

For the full article go HERE (PDF)

Trying to Reboot Baseball

Trying to Reboot Baseball

Kristen Pitching 12u

Devin Gordon posted an article on Medium titled The Off-the-Radar Baseball League That’s Trying to Reboot the Game. It describes how too many home runs and strikeouts (“true outcomes,” in baseball vernacular) is taking the fun out of the game. Major League Baseball, is in a three-year partnership with the independent Atlantic League to test out numerous experimental rules designed to enliven the game.

Baseball was my primary sport growing up, and of course I enjoyed immensely coaching David and Kristen in youth baseball. When it comes to watching, however, it’s one of my least favorite sports to watch for all the reasons stated in the article.

Here is my radicle idea: Any ball hit over the fence is an out. It’s not original. I played in a coed softball team that had that rule in place.

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