Blistering blue barnacles

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Pfhorrest
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:51 pm UTC

Some Vibrams were my first pair of expensive shoes, but they wore out just as quick as the cheap ones so I stopped after three pairs.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ranbot » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:41 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Some Vibrams were my first pair of expensive shoes, but they wore out just as quick as the cheap ones so I stopped after three pairs.

Not surprising with the thin materials... Altra might be a little better, but shoes designed for running are generally not built to last forever, and I would include those Vibrams in that category.

Ever try Vasque? They are known for hiking boots, but have other shoe types and come in wide sizes that fit my wide feet well. I have a pair of Vasque hiking boots that are over 15 years old, which I retired them from hiking years ago, but I'm still using them several times a week for slopping around my yard, walking my dogs, etc. The treads are worn almost flat, I replaced the laces once, the leather looks worn, but no holes/rips, and seams are still strong... they refuse to die. For some dumb reason I got a different hiking boot for a while... I'm back to a Vasque, still liking them, and they seem just a well built as my old ones. I don't know if their non-hiking boots are as rugged though.

https://www.vasque.com/USD/

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Sizik » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:25 pm UTC

Ranbot wrote:You also might want to check out Altra shoes too. https://www.altrarunning.com/why-altra.html

The wide toe-box is one of Altra's trademark features* across all their shoes. Altra shoe toes look more like a paddle than a point. I am a casual runner and I have a wide foot... I discovered Altra a few years ago and I love them. Their main business is running shoes, but have some casual shoes too. I haven't tried any of their casual shoes, but I would expect good things. If anyone remembers the barefoot/minimalist/natural running fad of a few years ago, Altra was sort of a reaction to that trend. They try to keep the foot completely flat and give the toes room to splay in a natural way like being barefoot, but still protect the foot with covering, padding, and tread of a shoe. Those concepts make sense to me, but more importantly the shoes are really comfortable on my wide feet.


Wow, looking at these, it suddenly seems weird that most shoes aren't actually shaped like feet.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ranbot » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:16 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:
Ranbot wrote:You also might want to check out Altra shoes too. https://www.altrarunning.com/why-altra.html

The wide toe-box is one of Altra's trademark features* across all their shoes. Altra shoe toes look more like a paddle than a point. I am a casual runner and I have a wide foot... I discovered Altra a few years ago and I love them. Their main business is running shoes, but have some casual shoes too. I haven't tried any of their casual shoes, but I would expect good things. If anyone remembers the barefoot/minimalist/natural running fad of a few years ago, Altra was sort of a reaction to that trend. They try to keep the foot completely flat and give the toes room to splay in a natural way like being barefoot, but still protect the foot with covering, padding, and tread of a shoe. Those concepts make sense to me, but more importantly the shoes are really comfortable on my wide feet.


Wow, looking at these, it suddenly seems weird that most shoes aren't actually shaped like feet.

Exactly.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby pogrmman » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:38 pm UTC

Ranbot wrote:
Sizik wrote:Wow, looking at these, it suddenly seems weird that most shoes aren't actually shaped like feet.

Exactly.

I’m gonna look into some minimalist shoes like that.

I think a big reason why I have a hard time finding shoes that fit is I’ve spent tons of time barefoot or in sandals that don’t constrict my toes. Just thinking back, between exchanging shoes for bare feet as soon as I got home from elementary school, the hours of walking around at swim meets barefoot or in sandals, my virtually exclusive use of Chacos in high school, taking off uncomfortable shoes at any reasonable time, I’ve probably spent more time standing/walking barefoot or in minimally restrictive shoes than I have in “ordinary” shoes.

What’s interesting is my mom is the same way as me but my dad and brother aren’t. Like me, she mostly wears comfortable sandals and goes barefoot around the house. My dad and brothers don’t really seem to take off their shoes much and don’t wear sandals much and they don’t have wide toes like my mom and I... I always thought foot shape might just be genetic, but it’d make sense if environmental factors like that play a role...

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby poxic » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:50 pm UTC

Feet do spread out with time and wear. Older people wear bigger shoes than they did when they were younger adults. People who always wear shoes have less spread than people who go barefoot. You can search "feet spread barefoot" and similar to find before and after pics of people who have been running barefoot for a while.

I read an article once about Papua New Guinea; one anecdote was about how hard it was to find shoes for a man who had gone barefoot his whole life. The outfitter had pretty much every size available but still couldn't get a shoe around this fellow's toes.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Angua » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:36 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:What’s interesting is my mom is the same way as me but my dad and brother aren’t. Like me, she mostly wears comfortable sandals and goes barefoot around the house. My dad and brothers don’t really seem to take off their shoes much and don’t wear sandals much and they don’t have wide toes like my mom and I... I always thought foot shape might just be genetic, but it’d make sense if environmental factors like that play a role...
Meh, my brother and I probably spent very similar amount of our childhoods out of shoes and barefoot (a lot, given where we grew up) and he has my mother's normal shaped slender feet, and I have my father's feet which are shaped like fat pyramids and impossible to buy shoes in many styles for.

I suspect if your brother wears shoes more often than you do, it's because he's more comfortable in shoes with his normal shaped feet, rather than the other way around. It is true that being barefoot often does affect your foot shape, but I suspect how comfortably your foot fits into shoes is probably more of a factor in our society for how often you wear the things.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:06 am UTC

Website UI Issues: Twitch and Youtube edition

In Twitch, the list of your subscribed channels on the sidebar shows some number of subscribed channels (12 on my set up, I dunno if it's actually tied to window or screen size though), and if you're subscribed to more, a 'show more' button at the bottom. This is basically fine. recently they added a bunch of 'featured channels' below the subscribed channels it shows, which I think has reduced the number of subscribed channels it shows initially, which is kinda annoying, but whatever. My problems are:
1. When you press 'show more' it expands the list of subscribed channels by some number of entries (on my setup 10 channels ymmv) and if you have more still, you have to keep pressing the 'show more' button until all your subscribed channels are shown. This is particularly annoying because you already have to scroll down the list after expanding it once to see all the entries, so why not just expand the whole list the first time you press 'show more'? The annoyingness of this is only exacerbated by

2. The list of subscribed channels is topped by the currently streaming channels ordered by number of people currently watching the stream. Which is basically fine, but after that, the list follows no logical order I can discern (not even by some non-obvious ordering like 'last broadcast time' or 'total number of subscribers/viewers'), so that if you want to find a channel you're subscribed to that isn't currently broadcasting (for example, if you want to watch an archived broadcast on that channel), it's frequently just faster and easier to use the search function than the list of subscribed channels. The order isn't even consistent so you can't even just remember the relative positions of channels to make it easier to find a particular subscribed channel. And considering that

3. The notification system that's supposed to let you know when a particular stream goes live is extremely unreliable and doesn't support what I would consider basic functionally like setting notifications for a specific channel streaming a specific game, or for large channels with multiple different streamers/'shows' notifying when a specific streamer or show goes live on that channel. And even if it did work and support this functionality, notifications aren't actually tied to subscriptions in any way, you don't have to be subscribed to a channel to enable notifications for that channel. So the actual functionality of subscribing to channels for users seems largely specious to me.

I dunno, maybe I'm crazy, maybe so few people even subscribe to 20+ channels that Twitch doesn't consider it worth considering when making UI/UX design choices. But it sure annoys me.


Youtube's problems are mostly related

1. The list of subscribed channels at least expands from the limited initial number to show all of your subscribed channels when you click 'show more' but the list is totally unordered as far as I can tell. Youtubes 'live streaming' functionality doesn't seem to be used much, but it doesn't really matter for this discussion because currently live channels aren't even guaranteed to show up near the top of the list of subscribed channels. And the ordering is likewise inconsistent.

2. Also, they recently changed the display so that instead of showing a number next to the channel for recently uploaded videos (which didn't seem to be related at all to say, whether those videos were uploaded since the last time I'd visited youtube, or viewed that channel specifically, so I'm not clear what use the number was supposed to be) to just showing a blue dot next to the channel if they have recently uploaded a video, though still not seemingly related to when I'd last visited youtube or any specific channel, so they managed to make the already relatively useless indicator even less useful.

3. At least Twitch's channel archives are in chronological order by default, although it's occasionally complicated by throwing 'clips' and 'highlights' in with the full streams. When yo first visit a Youtube channel's page, the default view is largely incomprehensible and may not even show the most recently uploaded vehicle, in lieu showing 'popular videos' (in other words, videos I'm likely to have already seen, being a subscriber to the channel and all) and playlists. You have to further click on 'videos' from the channel page to get a chronological list of videos, and even that sometimes seems to be missing videos for reasons I can't even begin to guess at. At least the finally made it possible to open a playlist to view the videos in that playlist without just starting the playlist playing from the first video.

4. Channels can set a video to autoplay when you visit their youtube page. And I think we can all agree that autoplaying videos are obnoxious, even on video streaming websites.

Also, since I'm already ranting about video streaming sites, I just wanted to somewhat belatedly rant about the official DnD twitch channel which used to be 'live' 24/7 'playing Dungeons & Dragons' even when they're not really streaming anything (in which case the channel would be showing a 'stream' of of a static image of their streaming schedule) or the thing they were streaming wasn't actually Dungeons and Dragons (Twitch has stream labels that are appropriate for showing chat shows, interviews, and other non-game content). They're not 'always live' even whent hey arent' really live anymore, but I think they're still only ever labeled as 'playing Dungeons and Dragons' even though a lot of their content isn't really 'playing Dungeons and Dragons'.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby solune » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:20 pm UTC

Talking about youtube's interface: recently youtube has decided to polute my search results with decidedly unrelated videos. For instance, if I'm looking for the "9th symphony", the results 9 to 12 are tagged with a tiny "related" label and are: mozart's requirem, vivaldi's four season, another mozart best-of and some modern composer.

Also poluting my search results and other screens: youtube mixes. Because the fact that I've never used that feature in ten years doesn't discourage big brother from trying to control what I'll watch next.

I guess I'll have to find a uBlock rule to throw these out of my screen-space

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Ranbot » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:18 pm UTC

solune wrote:Talking about youtube's interface: recently youtube has decided to polute my search results with decidedly unrelated videos. For instance, if I'm looking for the "9th symphony", the results 9 to 12 are tagged with a tiny "related" label and are: mozart's requirem, vivaldi's four season, another mozart best-of and some modern composer.

Also poluting my search results and other screens: youtube mixes. Because the fact that I've never used that feature in ten years doesn't discourage big brother from trying to control what I'll watch next.

I guess I'll have to find a uBlock rule to throw these out of my screen-space

I get the frustration, but Google algorithms might be showing you those other things based on how others have searched/clicked for the same or similar topics. So the fault could be the general population's actions/interests just as much as Google for tailoring search results to what the general population expects. The blind leading the blind....

It may help to put quotes around the search subject for exact matches only and here are a bunch of other tricks to refine Google searches to specific parameters: https://support.google.com/websearch/an ... 6433?hl=en
Google support page above wrote:You can use symbols or words in your search to make your search results more precise.

Google Search usually ignores punctuation that isn’t part of a search operator.
Don’t put spaces between the symbol or word and your search term. A search for site:nytimes.com will work, but site: nytimes.com won’t.
Common search techniques
Search social media
Put @ in front of a word to search social media. For example: @twitter.

Search for a price
Put $ in front of a number. For example: camera $400.

Search hashtags
Put # in front of a word. For example: #throwbackthursday

Exclude words from your search
Put - in front of a word you want to leave out. For example, jaguar speed -car

Search for an exact match
Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".

Search for wildcards or unknown words
Put a * in your word or phrase where you want to leave a placeholder. For example, "largest * in the world".

Search within a range of numbers
Put .. between two numbers. For example, camera $50..$100.

Combine searches
Put "OR" between each search query. For example, marathon OR race.

Search for a specific site
Put "site:" in front of a site or domain. For example, site:youtube.com or site:.gov.

Search for related sites
Put "related:" in front of a web address you already know. For example, related:time.com.

Get details about a site
Put "info:" in front of the site address.

See Google’s cached version of a site
Put "cache:" in front of the site address.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby somitomi » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:48 pm UTC

solune wrote:Talking about youtube's interface: recently youtube has decided to polute my search results with decidedly unrelated videos. For instance, if I'm looking for the "9th symphony", the results 9 to 12 are tagged with a tiny "related" label and are: mozart's requirem, vivaldi's four season, another mozart best-of and some modern composer.

Also poluting my search results and other screens: youtube mixes. Because the fact that I've never used that feature in ten years doesn't discourage big brother from trying to control what I'll watch next.

I guess I'll have to find a uBlock rule to throw these out of my screen-space

Talking about Youtube's interface a little more: stop translating video titles into Hungarian. I'm not even sure how presenting an English language video as if it were in Hungarian is helpful, maybe it's only doing it if there are Hungarian subtitles for it, I haven't bothered to check. But I already changed the damn interface to English and I would prefer such manually set parameters to take precedence over automated algorithms. What's the point of settings otherwise?
Next it'll give me titles in Croatian while I'm on holiday...
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Sableagle » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:46 am UTC

Oh, is that what the weird little blue dots are and numbers used to be? I was getting annoyed by the numbers trying to tell me there were new videos when I'd already watched everything and the blue dots were just blue dots to me. I guess they really are just blue dots.

Related YouTube gripe: having to click "read more" on the comments list to get the conversation back onto the screen so I can refer back to it when replying. It's not so bad when there are 11 but when there are 211 it becomes a problem.

Similar Patreon problem:
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Accidentally click someone's username that appeared in the place "show more" used to be.
Backspace.
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
Click "show more."
...
Click "show more."
...
Click "show more."
Read comments.

On shoes: we had a big campaign here to get kids into proper shoes that wouldn't warp their feet. I had the benefiot of this campaign. I grew up always having proper shoes that didn't warp my feet. Then I grew out of all the proper shoes that don't warp kids' feet, and the only shoes available for me were meant for people whose feet had been warped by improper shoes. I wear a size 11 to 14 now.
Personal recommendation: lightweight walking boots, the breathable kind with only a little ankle support. They don't provide as much protection or support as the medium-weight [hey, why's that hyphenated when 'lightweight' isn't?] ones with stiffer soles and higher ankles, and they don't take crampons, but they're comfortable and generally more spacious. They do tend to peel apart beside the big toe, allowing a bit of fine grit to get in and wear a hole through the waterproof sock inside, so they're not much good for serious hiking unless you do what one member of my most recent trekking group does: buy a new pair for each trip and give them to a local before flying home. Still, they're good casual shoes. I have a pair with duck tape insoles because my toes wore through the "real" insoles.

Now, what did I come here to say?

Oh, yeah. Photobucket.

It was bad enough when I had to open three upload tabs, try to upload everything on one, wait for it to pop up failure messages, use the second tab to re-upload the ones that failed, one by one, and close their error messages after retrying the upload ... and then use the third tab to re-upload the ones that had failed twice ... and then use the first tab to re-upload the ones that had failed four times ...

... but now it doesn't even say which images failed to upload. It just says an error occured.

Oh, yeah, and Etihad? Clean your damn windows!
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Flumble » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:03 pm UTC

Ranbot wrote:
Google support page above wrote:...
Search for an exact match
Put a word or phrase inside quotes. For example, "tallest building".
...

Hhhahaahahahahaahahha. That worked maybe as recent as 10 years ago, but google thinks too smart for that now.


somitomi wrote:But I already changed the damn interface to English and I would prefer such manually set parameters to take precedence over automated algorithms.

Are your system and browser and google account set to Hungarian too?
I get the opposite: the trending page is full of dutch nonsense (because my IP is in the Netherlands) but most titles appear in english, because my everything* is set to english and the uploader has provided multi-language descriptions/allowed the community to make them/ticked a box to generate them.

*My first assumption is it's based on the web page language preference that you set in the browser's preferences menu, but if you've set that to english already, I'm don't know what makes it hungarian.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby sardia » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:58 pm UTC

I hate that some job board websites don't even bother to link to the job posting. The worse I saw was website A pointing to sketchy website b. Then B points to the company's personal careers website. Both A and B require you to sign up for their accounts+spam before moving forward. I understand why it sometimes happens, but it's infuriating when it does.

When I try to be clever and deduce the original company, the job boards get smartass and started hiding all identifying information.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:33 pm UTC

reminds me of a time when I was job-searching back in early 2012, and some job listings don't name the company in the listing, and one of the listings I replied to wrote back to tell me that the spot at some company I'd never heard of had been filled, but they didn't reply to my email (with the job listing URL in it), they sent a new email with nothing identifying which spot for which listing was filled. When I wrote back asking politely for them to tell me which job ad this was about, as I had applied to several, I got no response. A week later i followed up with all of the listings I had written to and hadn't gotten a response from yet, including inevitably that one too because I wasn't able to identify them to cross them off my list, and got an angry response back -- sorry, an angry new email with no identifying information that I could connect to which listing it was about -- saying they had already told me the spot was filled. I replied explaining the problem again, saying that I would love to cross them off my list, if they will let me know who they are so I can do so. Got no response. A week later as I followed up with any unresolved applications again, same thing, over and over and over again, until I eventually found a job and so stopped following up with others.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:53 am UTC

jesus fucking fuck, i would post this in the mental health support thread but i feel like i'm just complaining about shit that's upsetting me and not problems internal to me at this point

most of you probably know my mom has this years-long history of constantly being kicked out of places or on the verge of homelessness and more than half of it is her constantly sabotaging her own goddamn life, to what end i don't know, so that someone will show her that they care about her and come save her like the big fucking baby she is? i did that back in 2015 and she fought me every fucking step of the way and wound up right back how she had been by the time i finally disentangled myself from that.

two months ago while living at a pretty nice place that she hated because of the other people who lived there, like everywhere she ever fucking lives, she claimed her landlord stole her rent money out of her purse while he was in her room and she wasn't. she begs me to pay her rent for her, and when is say no, one day later she "fell down some stairs" and "broke her arm" and got sent to the hospital, again. they never put her arm in a fucking cast though so i don't think it was ever actually broken at all. i think she faked falling down the stairs so she would get sent to the hospital who have to have somewhere they can discharge her to, and since she hadn't paid her rent where she was living, they couldn't discharge her there. after keeping her there for a week they sent her to a skilled nursing facility for a week where she complained constantly about how hard they were making her work in physical therapy and how well they said she was recovering, and then "suddenly" discharged her with nowhere else to send her, causing yet another goddamn fucking panic of OH NO MOM IS ABOUT TO BE HOMELESS AGAIN until at the last fucking minute they found another room and board place to send her to. i moved all her fucking shit there AGAIN and she's been there for a month, and complained constantly about how much she hates it. because of the people she lives with, in this gigantic beautiful house in a gorgeous neighborhood.

this sunday, the 3rd, my grandma tells me mom's in the hospital again after having "had a seizure", and doesn't have her phone or purse and can i please drive all the fucking way down there to a different city to bring it to her from that place. i can't, in no small part because i'm miserably sick with a cold i caught from mom two weeks ago when i went to visit her, and the next day (yesterday) it turns out mom miraculously had her phone all along and just "misplaced" it at the hospital. now tonight grandma calls to wish me well in recovering from my cold, and says mom is still at the hospital "until they find somewhere to send her" because she DIDN'T PAY HER FUCKING RENT ON THE FIRST AGAIN, AND I'M PRETTY SURE JUST CLAIMED TO HAVE HAD A SEIZURE AND CALLED THE AMBULANCE TO GET BACK TO THE HOSPITAL AND FORCE THEM TO FIND HER SOMEWHERE ELSE TO GO BECAUSE SHE HATES WHERE SHE FUCKING LIVES

SHE HATES EVERYWHERE SHE FUCKING LIVES BUT WONT DO ANY FUCKING THING TO TRY TO IMPROVE HER OWN SITUATION AND JUST WANTS SOMEONE ELSE TO SAVE HER FROM HERSELF.

i feel like there is a word for this, for this behavior of collapsing and feigning helplessness to force someone else to prove that they love you. it's sick fucking manipulative bullshit and i'm not fucking putting up with it anymore but fuck it hurts and i dont want to watch my mom fucking kill herself slowly while begging me to save her from herself. what the fucking fuck is wrong with her and why the fuck don't we have insane asylums that i can have her committed to anymore.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby addams » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:13 am UTC

I'm sorry it hurts.
I'm glad you are taking a hands off position.

She's childish.
She is an adult.

Oh, Pfhorrest;
Please don't let this pull you under.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:45 pm UTC

They have insane asylums, they just been renamed prisons, which isn't helpful to you unless you want a terrible idea. Are you alone in thinking your mom is crazy? You implied that Grandma didn't see through your mom's deception.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:14 pm UTC

If your mom is still legally competent there really isn’t much you can do at this point. Is there any way to set up automatic rent payments? Then, even if she pulls this stunt again, she will have to go back to her residence.
Otherwise, she is making this choice for her own reasons, and you can’t do more than you already have.
Perhaps she could be given a 72 hour involuntary psych hold in the hospital?
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:18 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Are you alone in thinking your mom is crazy? You implied that Grandma didn't see through your mom's deception.

Grandma is pretty much the only person who still believes anything Mom says. Her siblings and my dad have both seen her for the train wreck that she is since long before I ever did.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby poxic » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:31 pm UTC

It's possible that your mother evolved her style of emotional manipulation specifically to target her mother. There was probably a co-dependent relationship of sorts between them while she grew up.

If her behaviour becomes seriously self-harming, she can be committed to a psych ward for evaluation. There isn't a lot available after that that I know of. Sorry she's playing out her internal drama all over your life.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby somitomi » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:26 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Some pretty heavy stuff

Sorry I can't help in any meaningful way, but I feel for you.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:16 am UTC

thanks somitomi, and everyone

I looked up today that term I couldn't remember, and I think I was going for "Munchausen syndrome" (my dad has claimed she -by-proxy'd me with that when I was young, and that's where most of my childhood psychiatric diagnoses came from). apparently the current term for that is "factitious disorder". closely related are hypochondria and malingering, the difference between them being: malingering is making false claims of illness for ulterior motives, factitious disorder is knowingly self-inflicting or feigning illness so as to be cared for by others, and hypochondria is honestly but falsely believing oneself to have an illness in such a way that actually manifests psychosomatic symptoms. I could see my mom exhibiting some mix of all three of these, though the middle one is the one I was thinking of last night.

...and as I wrote this, mom called to let me know she was discharged from the hospital last night and is safely back at home now. what. i don't know if grandma miscommunicated something to me or what but apparently, once again, the entire goddamn panic desperate urgent situation about my mom was nothing I needed to be worried about, AGAIN. so fucking sick of false red-alerts about her, but it's still better that it was a false one than a self-inflicted real one.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Isaac Hill » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:47 am UTC

I'm cold.

Last night, my wireless thermostat started flashing a "No Signal" error, indicating that it could no longer communicate with my furnace. The display also kept turning on and off, like the batteries were loose. I changed the batteries and went to bed. When I woke up, still no signal, though the display seemed to be staying on. I wasn't sure if those "new" batteries were actually new, so I bought some one my way home from work. Still no improvement.

I broke out the manual, and saw how to reset the wireless connection on the furnace. However, the furnace manual did not seem to match my thermostat. I called tech support, and was on the phone with them for an hour or so. They showed me how to access the right option on my thermostat.

However, I kept getting an error message: E1 38 (on a Honeywell TH5320R 1002, if this eans anything to anyone here). The tech support kept saying, "let me look into someting else", then telling me to do the same thing that'd already failed. Now, I can't even get out of the wireless setup menu to try the factory reset option. Tech support told me I'd have to call an HVAC company and have them send someone.

I figured a new thermostat would cost less than a tech call, so I went to Home Depot to get one. None of the 3 employees I talked to knew anything about wireless thermostats, including the lady who was on call for that department. They had plenty of Honeywell thermostats, but seemingly none that use the RedLINK system my current setup has. So, I left empty handed, and was gone long enough to miss most of Samurai Jack.

I looked up the error code on-line. One suggestion was to remove the batteries from the thermostat for a couple hours to force a reset, so I'm trying that now. Then, I'll see if anything else works. If not, I get to burn a vacation day and pay emergency rates to have a tech come out, who will probably tell me the RedLINK system is obsolete and try to sell me a new thermostat AND furnace communicator.

At least this didn't happen last week, when it was 10-20 degrees colder. Now, my pipes shouldn't freeze. I've got a space heater going, but I don't know how much it's helping.

Edit: I put the batteries back in after 2 hours, but no go. The on-line help just told me to access the same menus I can access because I'm stuck in wireless setup and can't get to any other menus.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby addams » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:33 am UTC

oh, Jeeze, Isaac;
I know it sucks to be cold.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Isaac Hill » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:16 pm UTC

Thanks addams. I just called the Newport branch of my regular HVAC company. I got their answering service. I explained that I wanted to leave a message, and the answering service lady put me on hold. What good is an aswering service if they can't even take a message? I tried the Porthsmouth branch, got (presumably) the same answering service, but a different person, who did take my name and number, but couldn't say when they'd get back to me. If I don't hear by 9, I'll try someone else.

I just checked Amazon, and they have my current thermostat for $85 used (which is more than the priciest one at Home Depot) to $700 new.

It's currently 52 deg F in my house (without the space heater), and no windchill, so it's still better than being outside. For now.

edit: My regular HVAC company just called me back. They said they'd have someone out late morning/early afternoon.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby somitomi » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:51 pm UTC

Might be too late to ask this, but can't you (temporarily) shunt the furnace communicator and then "regulate" room temperature by adjusting the water temp setting on the furnace itself? My parents did that for quite a while when our (wired) thermostat stopped working properly.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Isaac Hill » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:33 pm UTC

somitomi - I don't know if my furnace has a water temp setting. The water heater is a separate unit. It's a forced air system, and the closet where the furnace is gets a lot warmer than the rest of the house when the unit's on.

It's moot now, since after 2 technicians, 90 minutes, and $300, I have heat. They tried to get my thermostat working for a while, including calling the thermostat company's tech support for technicians. That guy said to replace both the thermostate and board connected to the furnace, since they couldn't determine which was the problem.

That would take multiple days to track down parts. And, given that this unit failed after only 5 years or so, would not necessarily be a long term solution. So, they wired a new thermostat into the 2 wires my previous thermostat had.

Those 2 wires only allow heat, not AC. The whole reason I went wireless was because the two wires weren't enough for full functionality when I had central AC installed. The HVAC techs said I'd need to call an electrician to run the additional wire. The electrician may or may not be able to connect the thermostat to the furnace as well.

If not, I'll schedule the eletrician in the spring, when I don't need heat or AC, and have my HVACs due the anunual maintenance on the furnace/AC a day or two later, and finish the wiring at the same time. I don't trust anyone to keep a schedule well enough for me to have the electrician in the AM and HVAC in the PM.

I asked about just wiring the thermostat in the downstairs hallway instead of upstairs. The downstairs hallway is just on the other side of the furnace, so they just would've had to run wire through one wall. They recommended against that, saying that would cause the furnace to turn off and on too often, and not keep the rest of the house comfortable.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby mashnut » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:10 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:somitomi - I don't know if my furnace has a water temp setting. The water heater is a separate unit. It's a forced air system, and the closet where the furnace is gets a lot warmer than the rest of the house when the unit's on.

It's moot now, since after 2 technicians, 90 minutes, and $300, I have heat. They tried to get my thermostat working for a while, including calling the thermostat company's tech support for technicians. That guy said to replace both the thermostate and board connected to the furnace, since they couldn't determine which was the problem.

That would take multiple days to track down parts. And, given that this unit failed after only 5 years or so, would not necessarily be a long term solution. So, they wired a new thermostat into the 2 wires my previous thermostat had.

Those 2 wires only allow heat, not AC. The whole reason I went wireless was because the two wires weren't enough for full functionality when I had central AC installed. The HVAC techs said I'd need to call an electrician to run the additional wire. The electrician may or may not be able to connect the thermostat to the furnace as well.

If not, I'll schedule the eletrician in the spring, when I don't need heat or AC, and have my HVACs due the anunual maintenance on the furnace/AC a day or two later, and finish the wiring at the same time. I don't trust anyone to keep a schedule well enough for me to have the electrician in the AM and HVAC in the PM.

I asked about just wiring the thermostat in the downstairs hallway instead of upstairs. The downstairs hallway is just on the other side of the furnace, so they just would've had to run wire through one wall. They recommended against that, saying that would cause the furnace to turn off and on too often, and not keep the rest of the house comfortable.


Have you looked at thermostats that support external (wireless) temperature sensors? Sounds like that might be a way to do the easier wiring job downstairs and still drive the system based on the temperature upstairs. We have that kind of setup so that the house is heated/cooled based on the living space temp during the day and based on the baby's room temp at night.

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Isaac Hill » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:05 pm UTC

mashnut - That would save the wiring, but after the past couple days, I'm done with wireless. If anything, I wish I could rid of electronics entirely. The batteries died in my just-replaced thermostat while I was away for two weeks for the holidays. There's supposed to be a battery low indicator, but either I missed it, or it failed like the wireless functionality 2 months later. Either way, I came back to a colder than expected house. If it'd been a colder New Year's, my pipes could've frozen.

Before I installed central AC, the thermostat was one of those old fashioned round ones, where you turn a wheel to select temperature. It didn't need batteries and looked about as old as my house, so 40-ish years, and still worked fine. I wish I could get one of those, with a light switch installed next to it to select heating or cooling. But, when I went to Home Depot, all they had were electronic ones.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Flumble » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:31 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:Before I installed central AC, the thermostat was one of those old fashioned round ones, where you turn a wheel to select temperature. It didn't need batteries and looked about as old as my house, so 40-ish years, and still worked fine. I wish I could get one of those, with a light switch installed next to it to select heating or cooling. But, when I went to Home Depot, all they had were electronic ones.

I'm sorry, but society dictates everything has to be digital and hooked up to the internet where possible. (Personally I don't have much of a problem with that because I can and want to tinker with it.)
Perhaps amazon or aliexpress sells (working) (dependable) (normal) classic thermostats still. :)

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:35 pm UTC

Etsy will sell you a hand-crafted one, built from parts of three working ones.

It doesn't work, of course.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby poxic » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:04 pm UTC

But it will be cute.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby SuicideJunkie » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:42 pm UTC

Customers suck.

Drove my sister to the mall late to get groceries after a bit of last minute drama. Ran around grabbing stuff, and made it to the register about 5-10 minutes after the last call.
I'm not sorry for being so late as it wasn't my fault; but I totally understand and hope the manager did too (or didn't notice).

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Sableagle » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:04 pm UTC

A thermostat circuit isn't too heavy on the brain. We had designs for them memorised back when I was doing "technology" around 1990.

Spoiler:
If you can get the wires in place and know which one needs what voltage to command what (and this'll depend on your heater and AC unit, so I can't make predictions all that confidently but it should be possible with two wires to each unit or three to a combined unit and if it takes more than six WHAT THE F&&& ARE THEY DOING?!?) then you could build your own working one.

A really professional design (of the '80s) would include concentric dials for minimum (turn on the heating) and maximum (turn on the AC) temperatures, with a physical block between them somewhere so you had to have at least 3°C of acceptable temperature range, but if you're just making this for yourself it's on you to remember to do that.

Image

That one's mains-powered. This one's DC powered:

Image

The thermistor's a weird little object that gets higher resistance as it gets colder. By having positive-thermistor-control-variable-negative, you get the thermistor to reduce the voltage across control and negative when the temperature drops, which will turn off the output to the AC unit, and by having positive-variable-control-thermistor-negative, you get the thermistor to increase that voltage as the temperature drops, turning on the heater.

This is for an incubator, but a heated house is pretty similar:

Image

If your heater or AC has its own timer, like a bathroom fan, all you need to do is send it the "turn on" signal and it'll run until that signal is off and for a while after. If not, you need a timer circuit:

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:39 pm UTC

Based on the capacitor voltage vs time plot in that last diagram, it looks like it can only provide one output pulse before the capacitor detonates and needs replacement?

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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Sableagle » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:54 pm UTC

I think the idea is that the capacitor is shorted out when the output turns off.

You don't have to use the 555. You can use a transistor pair instead. You'll get very low voltage across the output and a sharp increase to "enough voltage to matter" at threshold temperature rather than a clean 0->1 switch-on, but ... well, maybe your heater won't like that.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby Isaac Hill » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:58 pm UTC

Thanks for the tips, Sableagle. I'm sure I could wire something simple together that would meet my needs. But then, if when something goes wrong, I have to debug a circuit. If I use an off-the-shelf thermostat, I just have to got to Home depot and buy a new one. If they'd had a compatible wireless thermostat this time, I'd've just bought it, installed it, and forgotten about it. Plus, I'm pretty sure having a homemade thermostat would hurt the resale value.

That concentric circle design sounds pretty sweet, though. My thermostat's located in the middle of a large, blank wall. When I first moved in, I thought about getting a print of M.C. Escher's Print Gallery, and having the round thermostat take the place of the blank circle in the center. I'm glad I didn't, as the squarish electronic thermostat wouldn't fit right.
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby somitomi » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:21 pm UTC

Things I hate: using style to differentiate between letters used to label various mathematical concepts. Go steal some letters from the Cyrillic alphabet if you used up the Greek one, just don't do nonsense like using "cursive A" for event sets and also using "A" for events. Yeah, it might work in print, but it's cumbersome in speech and good fucking luck telling "cursive A" and "A" apart in my handwriting. I already let the "symbols for number sets" thing slide,mathematics, don't push your luck.

EDIT: Oh, and would it kill you to always use parentheses instead of writing vaguely ambiguous expressions like ln a-b ?
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Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Postby New User » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:33 am UTC

This sounds like something that needs international standardization. Like what IUPAC does for chemical nomenclature.


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