Fri
23
Mar
2018

Great moments in Electrical Engineering

Right after the new year, the St. Isidore sound system wouldn’t power on. I was able to run an extension cord from the sacristy and replug the power strips inside the equipment cabinet so that we could turn it on and off by plugging or unplugging the extension cord. I suspected this impulse relay that allowed the 3 push buttons around the church to control the system. It had been flaky the last two summers when it was very humid. So I spent the last few months trying to track down a replacement; with no luck. I contacted a parishioner who works with sound systems and the sound person over at St. Elizabeth’s to see if they knew anyone who could fix the system or get a replacement part; no luck. About 2 weeks ago I started measuring voltage at the first power strip (which was hardwired into what I thought was the power wire coming into the box.
stis-soundsystem2
I was getting strange readings. So I decided to replace the power strips. Got some new ones, cut the wire on one, wired it into the power feed and initially it seemed to work but then it just faded out. Tried a number of other things until I finally moved the boxes with the Christmas trees that the Art & Environment team had stored under the equipment box, and this is basically what I saw:
stis-soundsystem
In my defense, I really saw the plug half hanging out so one prong was in the plug, which explains why I was getting any power at all. So mustering all the knowledge and skill I acquired earning my MSEE from Columbia Engineering, I pushed the plug all the way in. Voila! Everything works perfectly.

Mon
27
Nov
2017

Sr. Doretta receives the 2017 Partnership for Global Justice Award

Helen receiving the PGJ Peace and Justice awaredAt the luncheon, Sr. Susan McCarthy, RDC, introduced the 2017 PGJ Peace and Justice Award winner, Sr. M. Doretta Cornell, RDC, after which President of the Board Sr. Kathy Nolan, CSJ, presented the Award. After the luncheon, Sr. Doretta presented an overview of the work done by the Sis-ters of the Divine Compassion to make their properties environmentally more responsible, and various ways she advocates and works for justice and peace, particularly in regard to the environment.

See article in October PGJ newsletter here :http:/Helen/PGJ Newsletter October 2017.pdf

Tue
4
Jul
2017

Camp Cornell – June 2017 Solar Production

2017JuneSolar

Sun
12
May
2013

Mailbox vs Snowplows

Well the old mail box post had the mailbox mounted on a platform that was hinged so that if the snow plows pushed snow on it, the platform would just flip and let the snow flow around it. That works for, probably 10-15 years. The last snow this year was just so wet and heavy it snapped the post itself.
So after considering a number of options, I built one that rotates so it is parallel to the road during snow storms. It has a steel rod holding the top and bottom pieces together that rotates on a bearing.

So here it is in normal position.

And here it is ready for the snow.

Tue
16
Apr
2013

Tossback Tuesday – Wedding stuff

I ran across our wedding invitations and the mass booklet.


Mon
24
Sep
2012

Sometimes reality is more impressive

The tongue in cheek fantasy:

Job done - what's next honey?

The reality: a 60 ton crane and a chain saw.

The arborvitae trimmed


Sun
2
Sep
2012

Breaking the mold

A couple of weeks ago, after a few days of rain, I went out the spa room door to try to entice the cat to venture out. It was like stepping on black ice. The days of rain on the mold on the steps had turned it into a slime with a negative coefficient of friction. I managed to fall in a way that I didn’t hit any sharp edges. So I made up my mind that had to be addressed. I spent yesterday and today with bleach, a stiff brush, and some MOLDEX and some GOOP grit spray. What a difference. The first day I did not do the corner so you can see the difference clearly.

Mon
13
Aug
2012

Pomp and Circumstance at Job Corps

Kait had her official graduation ceremony at Job Corps last Friday.

link to photos

Fri
13
Jul
2012

Camp Cornell in full swing

Mon
9
Jul
2012

Mr. & Mrs. Stone – 7/6/12

And for those who weren’t sure, that was me doing the harmony with John Denver on the 2nd verse, and both melody and harmony on the last verse of the Father Daughter dance. And the DJ totally talked right over the end, which was probably a good thing 🙂
Listen to it here

Dexter dancing with the bride.