Calculating Slope Using Common Tools or a Slope Indicating Level

Measuring, it’s quite fun (maybe Interesting is the better word, but for me it’s fun) when one has the tools. Electrical, Total Dissolved Solids in Water, Wind Speed – Direction – Amount of Precipitation – UV Light – Overall Light, Length of things, Diameter of things, etc.

So, being that I exercise by climbing the hill that my house is located on, usually descending to a point, then walking back up and past my house, I became interested in the Grade of the hill. I have a Samsung SM-R800 Watch and FitBit One that Measures the Barometric Pressure, and equates that to Altitude, and if, while walking, up stairs or up a sufficiently steep hill, I ascend 10’, I get credit for 1 Flight of Stairs Climbed. My hill is 9.85 Degrees near my house and at least as much, or more, for much of the hill. If I walk about 30 steps on the hill, I ascend 10’ (1 Flight), 60 is 20’ (2 Flights), 90 is 30’ (3 Flights), etc.

I originally calculated it by using a Yard Stick, and a Bubble Level, and with the one end of the Yard Stick on the Ground, the Level indicating that the Yard Stick is being held Level, I measured from the bottom end of the Yard Stick to Ground. So now I know that over 1 Yard (3’ or 36”), the change in Grade was 9.85 Degrees or 17.37%.

Level Images 1

As the Images in this Blog Show, my hill rises 6.25” in 36”, so:

Level Images 3

Everything is in the Same Unit of Measure (Inches in my case). 10’ is 120”.

Solving for X, is the Ratio of the Rise in Inches over the Horizontal Distance in Inches, Compared to the Desired Rise (but converted to Inches as 10’ x 12”=120” in my example) over the Unknown Horizontal Distance. Please note that I am Walking the Rise, not the Horizontal Distance, but this works adequately for my purpose. Technically, the Drawing Below, on the Right, is the Run vs Slope Lengths. For Every 3 Feet Horizontal Run, the Slope is 3’ 17/32” or roughly ½” Longer in 3’.

Level Images 2

(36×120) / 6.5 = 664.62”. Convert Inches to Feet 664.62/12 = 55.38’ that I have to walk to climb 10’ in Elevation.

  • 10 Feet in Rise = 56 Foot Walk
  • 20 Feet in Rise = 112 Foot Walk
  • 30 Feet in Rise = 168 Foot Walk

Due to variations in the Barometer Readings from Gusts and Wind, other Atmospheric Conditions, and the 17/32 more I need to walk on the Slope per 3’, it’s better to walk more than the required number of steps.

I do 30, 60, or 90 to get the Altitude, and with overshoot by going to, 35, 65, and 100 just to make sure I get the credit for the Flights of Stairs Climbed. Why more at 90? Because I get a little mad when I walk that far and the Watch only credits me with 2 Flights, better a little more distance, and it’s healthier as well.

Don’t get caught up in my meandering writing in this case, the purpose for this Blog Entry is Measuring Slope.

Resources Used:

Elevation Grade Calculator

Bricklayer Rise in Run – Pitch Angle and Slope Calculator – Inch

Now, I figured that there must be a simpler way, and there is. A Digital Level, the:

PREXISO Digital Level, 11.5”, Angle Slope with LCD Display, 360° Electronic Bubble Inclinometer, Vertical & Horizontal Spirit Bubble for Construction Carpenter Craftsman Renovation Home Professional

With this, all I need to do is set it on the Sidewalk, look around the Side, and Read the Degrees of Grade, Percent of Grade, or Inches Per Foot of Rise. Metric Readings are available as well. It cannot be tilted over to read the Display, it must be kept relatively square to the surface and the Display Read as it sits or the Display Indicates an Error (this is in the instructions). It has a Hold Button to keep the Reading so that you can pick up the Level and Read the Display.

It confirms my Calculations for the Degrees of Grade on my Street, in terms of Calculating the Grade, but it does all the Math for you automatically. Plus, it has the Standard Bubble Levels, one used on Upright Surfaces is absolutely amazing. It uses a Mirror so that it can be seen that the Level Bubble is Centered in the Lines by looking Down on the Top of the Level rather than Looking in from the Side. The Mirrors make it appear that there are two Level Bubbles, but it’s the same Bubble as Viewed from Two Mirrors, but it makes it easy to use.

For Translation, Image Captions:

Featured Image at the Top of Page: 

Top Center Frame:

Almost the Grade of my Hill. 30 Steps the Rise is 10 Feet, 60 Steps Rise is 20 Feet, and 90 Steps Rise is 30 Feet of Vertical Climb.

9.80 Degrees Shown, Can Also Display Percentage and Inches per Foot, and Metric.

Center of Page Frame:

Ingenious Level. Has Standard Bubbles, but has a Mirrored Opening that permits the viewing of the Vertical Bubble from the Top of the Level, as seen to the Left, otherwise you’d need to look around the side.

Measures Degrees of Grade, Percent of Grade, and Inches Per Foot Rise. Metric is available, and I believe other Units are available too.

The Measurements that are Displayed require the Level to be Upright, Held Square to the Ground, not tilted over on one Edge to read.

Center Right Area:

Above: The Display Read-out and the Reverse Side of the Level Behind the Display.

Left Area Below Vertical Views of Levels:

Above: Bottom and Top View of the Level. The Bottom is Grooved, and I added the Yellow Line to Emphasize that feature.

Bottom Area with Black Background:

PREXISO Digital Level, 11.5”, Angle Slope with LCD Display

360° Electronic Bubble Inclinometer

Vertical & Horizontal Spirit Bubble

For Construction – Carpenter – Craftsman – Renovation – Home – Professional

1st  Slide:

Yard Stick or Measuring Stick #1

Place Level Here and Level the Measuring Stick #2

Measure Here #3

Sorry, my car got into the Scene.

LOL. Yeah Right!

Take a Yard Stick or Meter Stick. Use a Level on the Top, and Hold the Stick Level. Measure the Lower End of the Stick to the Ground, I used the Sidewalk, it’s usually the Same Grade as the Street and is Safer to Measure. Visit the Website Listed in the Blog, and Plug in the Measurements. Voila, this will give you the Grade in Percentage and Angle of Elevation. I had to set the Angle of Elevation Field to Degrees.

2nd  Slide:

The Left Image:

Horizontal Distance (Run)

Vertical Distance (Rise)

Angle of Elevation

Purple Line is the Actual Length of the Rise when it’s Lowered to a Horizontal Axis.

The Right Image:

Too much to provide the Captioning. This is a Screen Capture of one of the Links I provided to do the calculations, it shows, in more detail, what the Left Image does.

Polarized Plugs – Virtue in Frustration

Polarized Plugs. If you’re like me, with a Polarized Plug in hand, and not looking closely at the receptacle, even though you have a 50/50 chance of holding it correctly, you get it wrong the 1st time nearly 100% of the time, it won’t plug in until you reverse it.

A Polarized Plug in the U.S. is a Two Prong Plug where one Plug Blade is Wider than the other. This serves a purpose. The Wider Blade in the Receptacle is Connected to the Neutral, and the Narrower Blade in the Receptacle is Connected to 120V Fed by a Fuse or Breaker. Connecting a Polarized Plug puts the Neutral on the Wider Blade, and that is used in the Equipment to minimize the chance of Electrical Shock.

On older electronics, for instance, I’ve seen voltage on the T.V. Antenna Contacts that was eliminated when the Plug is Reversed, Inserting the Plug in a Specific Way avoided this, and for this, and other reasons, Polarized Plugs were adopted.

Though not a problem (that I am aware of) on newer electronic equipment, something as simple as changing the bulb in a Table Lamp may sell you on the virtue of a Polarized Plug the first time you get shocked. On a 2 Wire, Non-grounded Cord, if wired correctly, the Electrically Energized Wire (henceforth in this Blog Entry – Electrically Hot) goes to the Switch, then from the Switch to the Center Contact of a Lamp Socket, the Neutral goes directly to the Lamp Socket Threads, where the Light Bulb is threaded-in.


Ideally, you turn-off the lamp, removing the Voltage from the Socket Center Contact, Unthread the Bulb, Threading-in the replacement Bulb, and voila, turn-on the Switch and it lights. But, without a Polarized Plug, the Threaded Section of the Socket, and Threads on the Bulb being Threaded-out or Threaded-in that are still in contact with the socket, could be Electrically Hot. If you touch that, and have an Electrical Pathway to Ground, you’ll get Shocked.

There are several things that can go wrong (labeled for the Featured Image [at the top of this page] Drawing Numbers):

2. Receptacle Reverse Wired – Polarized Plug Used and Correctly Wired – Correctly Wired Lamp

3. Receptacle Correctly Wired – Polarized Plug Used and Correctly Wired – Incorrectly Wired Lamp

4. Receptacle Correctly Wired – Non-Polarized Plug Used and in Wrong – Correctly Wired Lamp

It’s important to use a Receptacle Tester (they are inexpensive) to see if your Receptacles are wired correctly, for if the Electrically Hot and Neutral Wires are reversed in the Receptacle, it means that the Polarized Plug is connected in a more dangerous way every time it’s used.

(See more on European Wiring, the additional Text and Link is below the 2nd YouTube Video nearing the Bottom of this Blog Entry: most plug types used in Europe are not polarized.)

A Blog Entry I wrote on Receptacle Testers: 

A Word About Receptacle Testers

A Word About Receptacle Testers

A Relative of mine was Electrocuted in an Industrial Accident, and his wife was nearly Electrocuted by an Appliance in the Home that he may have had some responsibility for wiring. The Offending Receptacle had an Open Ground, was Non-GFCI, and Hot and Neutral Reversed, and that caused his wife to experience a horrific shock between the Dishwasher and the Faucet. The Dishwasher was defective, but had the Ground been Wired, it would not have been able to shock her.

My Refrigerator was discovered to have a reduced Voltage on the Metal Parts, including the Outside of the Refrigerator. The cause was a Rat Chewed Power Cord (this house had Rats when we moved in, we would not have purchased it if we knew, but we had the home professionally exterminated and checked monthly for a year). The reason my Refrigerator was Electrically Hot was the Receptacle not being Grounded despite using a Receptacle that had the Grounding Pin ( i.e., it appeared to be correct, but Electrically, it was not wired correctly, ergo a Receptacle Tester would have found this issue). At the time we discovered this dangerous problem, I replaced the Power Cord and the house was already being rewired to eliminate all Knob and Tube Wiring, Bring the House to Electrical Code, Provide Proper Grounding all Receptacles, and Create Dedicated Receptacle Circuits for A/Cs on the 2nd Floor, the Microwave, and the Refrigerator.

Rats and Wires 2

Polarized Plugs serve a purpose, to serve that purpose, other things need considered, and the correct wiring of the Receptacle is vital to safety. Recent Electrical Code (always check to be sure) allowed the use of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting) Receptacles in place of Receptacles that do not have a Ground, and Require GFCI Receptacles in specific areas, such as by the Kitchen Sink, near Wash Tubs for the Washer/Drier, near the Bathroom Sink, Tub, or Shower, in the Basement in General, and Outdoors. If my relative had one for the Diswasher, his wife would not have been severely shocked (assuming the GFCI Worked, you need to Test them periodically).

Ungrounded Outlets and the GFCI Solution

European Receptacle Testing, I’m not sure how much of the above pertains to Europe. I have found a few videos, and one link, that discuss European Configurations.

Not sure what language this is, the Comments are in Greek:

HABOTEST HT106D Socket Tester With Voltage detector ground zero line plug polarity phase check

This one, below, has an Abundance of Closed Caption Options in Various Languages. Turn-on Closed Captions, Select the Settings Gear, Select Subtitles, and Select Options, then Select the Language of your choice.

SDG #112 Testing a Cheap Habotest AC Socket Wiring Tester (Use with caution…)

Continental Europe (Wiring Considerations)

A Noteworthy Paragraph from the above Link:

Practices differ mainly in the area of polarization. Typically, Europeans do not maintain consistent identification of line and neutral throughout their power system as is the practice in North America. Consistent with this practice, the Continental European plug can be rotated to either of two positions and plugged into the socket. Thus, the common electrical system in Europe is unpolarized (i.e., line and neutral are connected at random). In fact, most plug types used in Europe are not polarized.

Search Results for Receptacle Testers that may be used in U.K. or Europe (be careful if ordering that the Correct Configuration is Selected (U.K. or Europe if Europe is Applicable to your Country)

If Polarization is not an Issue, the Tester would be used for Voltage, Ground, and Ground Fault Testing (The term RCD is used instead of GFCI in U.K. and likely Europe). If life wasn’t already complicated enough, please note that, in the U.S., the Test Button built into the GFCI Receptacle Does Not Require a Ground in the Receptacle to Work Properly, but Testers Equipped with a GFCI (aka RDC) Test Button “Do Require the Receptacle to have a proper Ground Connection”.

HT106D 48V- 250V Electrical Outlet Tester With LCD Display Voltage Tester

For Translations:

Image Captions:

  1. Receptacle Correctly Wired – Polarized Plug Used and Correctly Wired – Correctly Wired Lamp
  2. Receptacle Reverse Wired – Polarized Plug Used and Correctly Wired – Correctly Wired Lamp
  3. Receptacle Correctly Wired – Polarized Plug Used and Correctly Wired – Incorrectly Wired Lamp
  4. Receptacle Correctly Wired – Non-Polarized Plug Used and in Wrong – Correctly Wired Lamp

Notations at the Bottom of the Image:

In the United States:

Wider Slot is Neutral, as seen on the Left side of this Receptacle.

Narrower Slot, as seen on the Right Side, is Connected to 120V Fed by a Breaker or Fuse.

Semi-Round Opening, on the Bottom in this View, is for Ground. By Grounding the Appliance Case, it Protects Against Shock and Electrocution if an Energized Wire in the Appliance Touches the Case, and it does so by Shorting the Wire to Ground and Tripping the Breaker or Blowing the Fuse.

Clock Repair of an Unusual (for me) Mechanism

Image Captions are Below the Article in Text for Translation Purposes.

A clock, Linden Chime, Wall Clock, Battery Operated, Timed by Pendulum, not a Quartz Movement. I found this clock, being thrown away, brought it home, cleaned it up, bought a pendulum (it was missing), and it’s worked for over a year. Recently it stopped, so I removed the movement, lubricated it with Air Rifle Lubricant I have (not for the Compression Chamber, for other Moving Parts), it’s like water, but it supposedly adheres to the metal, leaving a slick surface. It ran for a few days, then stopped.

Clock Style Front View Pendulant Compartment Open

Representative Image #1, My Clock Dimensions but not the Movement in my Clock. 

Clock Style Lifting Cover

Representative Image #2, My Clock’s Face Cover Opens like this, but my Clock is Circular and it is Longer Below the Face. 

I disassembled it further, and noticed it has a movement similar to old Automotive Clock Movements. These movements were actually mechanical, but relied on a mechanism to cock them when a pair of Electrical Contacts came together. It would then run-out the spring tension, operating the clock as if wound, and continue until the contacts closed and cocked it again, repeating this cycle.

Car Clock

Representative Image #3, An Automotive Clock Movement from Years Ago. 

My Linden has a Battery Operated Motor for the Chimes, they are physical rods struck by 2 hammers that are Battery Powered in their motion. But no motor for the movement. It seems that when the Chimes are activated, they rotate a drum associated with the clock movement, and the chimes essentially wind the clock. It’s possible that the clock spring was insufficiently wound to run the clock, so I again cleaned and oiled the movement (as best as I could) and ran it through the chime cycles repetitively. This should wind it as the Pendulum was not moving, and the repeated Cycles of Chiming Wind the Movement.

I could buy a Quartz Movement with Decorative Pendulum, but it’s not the same, and I’m a purist.

Clock Style Rear View Alternate Movement

This is a Quartz Replacement Movement, No Chimes, Requires Removing from the Wall to Set (see the little Knob), Decorative Pendulum. Still, it make an Old Clock Case Functional. I have a Mantle Clock that I replaced a Broken Mainspring Wind-Up Movement with a Quartz Movement, there was no Visible Pendulum, so that was not a consideration, but the Movement had Chimes and the Quartz Movement has Speaker Chimes that work well enough for me.

Clock Style Rear View

This is an Apparently intact Hexagonal Clock (mine is round) with the Original Movement, the Movement is Identical in Appearance to mine, but this one uses a Shorter Pendulum and by design has a Shorter Case.  One D-Cell Battery, Chime Bars mounted to the Case, Chime Hammers also seen. The Battery Powers the Chime Motor, and the Chime Motor Operates the Chime and Winds a Spring in the Clock Movement to keep it operating.

Clock Style Rear View Movement Close-Up

Close-up of Hexagonal Clock Movement that is identical in Appearance to the Movement in my Clock. Battery Compartment for One D-Cell, Pendulum Suspension, Chime Hammers and Chime Bar Mounted on Clock Case to the Right in this view. This is not a Quartz Movement, there is no Time Set Knob on the Movement, and the Pendulum is a key part to the Operation and is not Decorative.


➊ Battery Powered Wall Clock with Chimes.

➋ Not a Quartz Movement.

➌ Clock Appears to Wind the Mainspring During Chime Cycles.

➍ Pendulum is Functional (not Decorative), and is used to Set the Clock Faster (by moving Pendulum Bob Up), or Slower (by moving Pendulum Bob Down). Clock can be stopped by Stopping Pendulum. Decorative Pendulums Suspension can often be Parked and the Movement used without the Pendulum.

➎ The Time can be set by Moving the Minute Hand Forward.

Text Symbols (and More) Available at this Link: Made In Text

Image Captions for Translations: 

Featured Image Text at the Top of the Blog Page: 

“This is the Style of my Clock, Round Face, Long Case, but wait, somthing is amiss. To quote a coworker, this clock is Hung like a Hamster (a Freudian Reference to his Manhood).

This Pendulum is much shorter than mine, and there’s a reason. This Clock has a Quartz Replacement Movement with no Chimes (though the Chime Bars are still there from the original Movement), and the Pendulum is purely Decorative.

My Movement, though Battery Operated, actually relies on the Pendulum to function and the length of the Adjustment of the Pendulum Bob (circle area on the bottom of the Pendulum) will make the Movement Run Faster (Move the Pendulum Bob Up), or Slower (Move the Pendulum Bob Down). If on my Clock I need to set the the Time Back One Hour, I simply Stop the Pendulum for an Hour and then Start it again, and similarly if it’s a little fast, Stop the Pendulum, wait a few minutes, Start it again.

My Movement is Set by Moving the Minute Hand Forward, so the Clock Running a Little Slow is easily corrected by moving the Minute Hand Forward, whereas if it’s Fast, you need to Stop the Pendulum then Restart at the Appropriate Time.”

Representative Image #1 Text, My Clock Dimensions but not the Movement in my Clock. 

“The Original Pendulum was Much Longer than the one in this Image, these are the Scrape Marks from it. Scraping is not Normal, the Original Clock Movement would not Work if it was Scraping, these were probably from Handling the Clock, or from a Longer Decorative Pendulum. This is the Compartment that you Open to Stop, Start, or Adjust the Pendulum Bob (Circle Part) for the Original Movement, but with a Decorative Pendulum, other than Push Starting it after the Clock is placed on the Wall, it’s not likely that Access will be needed.”

Representative Image #2 Text, My Clock’s Face Cover Opens like this, but my Clock is Circular and it is Longer Below the Face. 

“My Clock Face looks like this, with a Glass Cover that Lifts in this way, but the Face of my Clock is Round, and the case of my Clock is Longer. My Movement is Set by Moving the Minute Hand Forward. Replacement Movements usually Require the Clock to be removed from the Wall and a Small Setting Knob Turned to Set the Time. On my Clock if I need to Set the Time Back, I stop the Pendulim for the Required Time then Restart it.”

Representative Image #3 Text, An Automotive Clock Movement from Years Ago. 

“This is a Classic In-Dash Clock as found in older U. S. Cars. I remember sitting in my father’s car and hearing a periodic click coming from the clock.

Look near the Tip of the Tool in the Top Photo, there is a set of Electrical Contacts that are closed. When the Contacts Close enough to complete the Electrical Circuit, they briefly Power a Solenoid or Magnetic Device with 12V that Pulls the Contacts Apart a Distance, and in doing so, they cock or tension a Clock Spring that slowly forces the Contacts back together, and also Powers the Clock.

In the Bottom Photo, the contacts are separated, (the clock will Run even if Manually Pushed Apart by the tool), and as the Clock Mechanism Runs, the Tips Sl Slowly come back together until the cycle repeats and some child also wonders what that periodic click is.”

Measuring TDS in Drinking Water (Total Dissolved Solids)

I purchased a TDS Meter, and subsequently purchased a Zero Water Pitcher/Filter, and it comes with a TDS Meter.

I’m not an expert on TDS Meters, I am new to this, and I am experimenting and writing about it. Here is a link worth seeing.

What Is TDS – How They Work and What They Measure

This, from the Web Page, disagrees significantly with the labeling on the back of the Meter I purchased.


Are total dissolved solids safe?

The EPA regulates TDS in municipal water supplies, but they set no upper limit, only recommendations. Levels lower than 300 mg/L are excellent and reflect the presence of beneficial minerals like potassium. Water with readings between 300 – 900 mg/L is safe but may have a bitter or metallic taste. TDS level greater than 900 mg/L signal probable contamination and should be investigated.

Tentatively, I have measured the TDS of the water in my house, and have found the readings below. I used a small Glass to measure in, to limit the volume of Water, I started with Distilled Water, and measured the TDS in the Distilled Water, and after each measurement I rinsed the Glass with Distilled Water to assure that Solids from one test did not show up in another.

Rear of TDS Meter

The 2nd set of readings below were taken on a subsequent day, not all categories have had 2 readings yet. 

Distilled Water TDS = 1 ppm / 1 ppm

Filtered Water at the Kitchen Sink = 202 ppm / 235 ppm

Unfiltered Water at the Kitchen Sink = 188 ppm / 214 ppm

Brita in the Bathroom, Filter changed a week or so before test = 154

Bathroom Sink Faucet Water = 198

Zero Water Pitcher Taken from the Unfiltered Kitchen Sink Water = 2 ppm

Why is the Filtered Water in the Kitchen so high in TDS? We use this Counter Top Filter that has a Diverter for the water from the Faucet Aerator to the Filter Housing, and there is a Water Spout Tube on the other side of the Filter Housing.

APEX RF-1050 Alkaline Filter Cartridge

  • Removes Chlorine taste and odor, Heavy Metal and controls Microorganisms in your drinking water.

  • Hydrates your body while adding minerals that our body does not produce such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium to name a few.

APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter – Alkaline

  • Advanced 5-stage alkaline drinking water purification system easily connects to any standard faucet. All hardware included.

  • Removes Chloramine, Odors & Residual Chlorine up to 95% with Granular Activated Carbon & KDF process media while adding Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium with Alkaline Beads & Calcite media.

  • Removes Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Mercury, Lead, Antimony, Selenium, Aluminum, Copper, Iron & Manganese with KDF process media.

  • Removes up to 99.9% of Escherichia coli.

  • Each filter individually wet tested and sanitized.

  • Accepts all standard 10-inch replacement filter cartridges.

  • Neutralizes acid in your bloodstream while boosting metabolism, helping your body absorb nutrients more effectively.

  • Filter cartridge life: approximately 750 Gallons.

In Brief:

It Removes: Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Mercury, Lead, Antimony, Selenium, Aluminum, Copper, Iron & Manganese to an Unspecified Level, Removes up to 99.9% of Escherichia coli, and Chloramine, Odors & Residual Chlorine up to 95% (not sure if the 95% is tied to Residual Chlorine or Chloramine, Odors & Residual Chlorine).


It Adds: Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, while helping to balance the pH of water, making it alkaline to better suit the body chemistry.

I’m not sold on removing everything to make the water more natural. I am intrigued by the ZeroWater Pitcher/Filter, but it has a 20 to 40 Gallon Life Expectancy for my area (the Counter-Top Water Filter lasts for about 750 Gallons), yet the ZeroWater in the video linked to below removed Food Coloring from the water, indeed a significant task.

One job, years ago, we had a Water Distillation Machine in the Chemistry Lab. Truthfully, I’m not sure why, maybe a vestige to older days of Wet Chemistry, maybe it was used in the modern equipment that we had for Dry Chemistry analysis. But after or in addition to being Distilled, it was De-Ionized. One of the workmen from the plant used to come into the lab and drink it, on occasion. The supervisor would watch him and remark to us how stupid it was, since it pulls valuable minerals from the person’s system. I was never sure why the supervisor just didn’t tell him to stop drinking it.

If the ZeroWater removes all of the minerals, I am not sure if it would similarly draw out minerals from the person drinking it or if it would have to be De-Ionized to do so. ZeroWater claims that with the TDS Removed, the water is more available to Animal and Plant cells in terms of absorption. Early in our evaluation of it, the ZeroWater tastes good, and will be something my wife and I will be using (already bought 5 Filters), but not exclusively, we still will use the Counter-Top Filter System that also adds Minerals to the Water (coffee, cooking additions, and I drink 50% of the Counter Top Filtered Water and 50% Zero Water).

From the article on TDS Meters, the following:

But meters are non-selective, meaning they read only total levels of dissolved solids — they don’t measure specific contaminants. They’re also not sensitive enough to detect uncharged or low-charged ions like lead, pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products and trace pharmaceuticals. If you’re worried about select toxins, it’s like knowing there are fish in your pool without knowing if you’re swimming with guppies or Great White sharks.

TDS Meter On - Front - Card

At this point, I’d say invest in a TDS Meter, Experiment with your water (do not immerse the Meter Tip too Deeply, the Meter IS NOT WATERPROOF), read and understand the article on TDS Meters (linked above), realize the Limitations on the Test Technique, realize the Benefits, and Consider a Counter-Top Filter (or Under-Counter Filter, we used to have that, the Kitchen Sink Spray Head was replaced with a Drinking Faucet), or Filtered Water Pitchers such as ZeroWater, Brita, Pur, or other suitable model. If you don’t have to drink it, i.e. Chemicals, you are better off not doing so.

TDS-EZ Water Tester | Review | Amazon Products:

Best Water Filter? Brita, ZeroWater, PUR, Berkey, Aquaphor, AquaTrue


Samsung SM-R800 Smart Watch, Much Praise, But the Flights of Stairs Counter is Intermittent

Samsung SM-R800 Watch.

On the Left is the Current Watch Face, Rings. It’s much clearer to read than shown. 4 Flights Climbed and 284 Steps 

On the Right is SvaZs one of Several Favorites. Heart Rate (last time I initiated a Measurement), Steps, Flights of Stairs, Day, Date, Week of 52 Weeks, and Battery. But it seems to be the one that is associated with the intermittent failure to count Flights of Stairs (but the Step Count is fine, so if you aren’t concerned about Flights of Stairs, don’t worry about it). 

More to the point, among many things that watch does wonderfully, it causes me strife for one thing, namely, it has a Flights of Stairs Counter. It looks at the Barometric Pressure, detects a change in pressure as you walk “up” a flight of stairs (pressure Decreases with Rise in Altitude), and if your arm is swinging, and you’re taking steps (step counter), and if your Altimeter Changes by 10 Feet, it says you climbed one flight.

If the above conditions persist, and you have a change in the Altimeter of 20 Feet, you are credited with two flights of stairs, and so on.

It worked like a charm new, I walked on the steep street in front of my house, and was credited with Flights, every 30 Steps up this hill is one flight, 60 is two, 90 and three (think of it, in 90 Steps, I climb 30 Feet), and it’s best to overshoot by several Steps, or hold your hand in the air at the top to be sure you get the full credit for the distance climbed. In my case, the hill is 9.85 Degrees or 17.36% Grade.

Then, many months later, it began to act up. I tried to clean the holes on the back of the watch, tiny little things, and I seem to have damaged the Barometer, it just started reading crazy things. I sent it off, and with a 100 Dollar Lock on my Debit card, they took a look at it. Another 70 Dollars Lock and they fixed it. All is well. 

It was working fine, up the steps, hand in Air, and it registered 1 flight. My Stairs Rise only 9 feet and a few inches, the hand in the air trick is necessary to get the 10 feet. Up the local hills, and it did fine too. Then Samsung forced an Update on it, and it was counting Flights of Literal Stairs poorly. Hmmmm (Like Curly from the 3 Stooges would say). So I figured heck with the Stairs, I’ll get my average 15 Flights of Stairs on the Street. Well, some days it doesn’t want to count those either, despite all the requirements being met and duplicated from previous attempts (yet, predictably, sometimes counts Literal Flights of Stairs inside the house), Hmmmm.

I have a FitBit One, it’s worn on the clothes, and it counts almost all flights perfectly. I think they are looking for a little less than 10 Feet of a climb, and honestly you should be able to set it (say 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 Feet) on any device.

In the Photo Below is my FitBit One and my Samsung SM-R800 Before it was repaired by Samsung. See the difference in the Flights of Stairs Counted between these devices.  


It appears that the Samsung looks for a Jack Booted Soldier Walk, Swing that Arm, Take Those Steps, Climb that Grade. The FitBit works more like we live. I took photos of Pick-up Trucks attending a funeral near me, and climbed that hill. The Samsung gave me no credit, the FitBit gave 5 Flights of Stairs climbed, despite stopping to take photos.

But beyond that, Watch Faces seem to be part of the problem, for historically, when it starts acting up, I reboot it. Try again and if it still isn’t counting, reboot again. If not working then, I change the watch face, and Shazzam, it often starts to count. Did that recently, 2 flights of stairs (rebooted after the first fail, rebooted after the 2nd fail), no credit. Climbed the Hill, no Credit, and I changed the Watch Face, and it started working. The Flights of Stairs count is often not even on the Watch Face, but a Shortcut to see the count often is. 

Limitations on these devices.

The User Manual tell the wearer to have the band fairly snug so the heart rate sensor works (mine is set to manual measure only), and then, in online support articles, they tell you not to wear the watch too snug because the openings to the Barometer and an Equalizing Opening can be covered, preventing the Barometer from working correctly, thus counting Flights of Stairs Incorrectly. 

There can be a Delay Between reaching the 10′ Needed and the Watch giving credit for a Flight of Stairs Climbed. I used to see that, a minute or so later, not so much after recent updates. 

They measure Barometric Pressure and equate that to Altitude Change. The openings to Barometric Sensors are generally on the back, and if you sweat (willing to bet you do), it goes into the Sensor Openings and inhibits proper operation. Garmin Fenix 3 and 5 have the Sensor Openings on the side of the Watch, where they should be, maybe (# See Below). The Garmin Instinct is on the rear of the watch. I have read that if the Watch is Water Proof, it can be gently rinsed including the Barometric Sensor Openings to flush away skin cells, dust, etc. Consult your manual before doing so, and allow it to thoroughly dry. DO NOT STICK STUFF INTO THE BAROMETRIC PRESSURE HOLES, DO NOT USE CANNED AIR, YOU MAY RUIN THE BAROMETRIC SENSOR OR PIERCE THE MEMBRANE AND BREACH THE WATER TIGHT NATURE OF THE WATCH. 

Wind affects the Barometer, and that affects the Altimeter, and that effects the Flights of Stairs Measured. Garmin Explains if it’s windy, it’ll effect the Flights of Stairs count, and that if it’s breezy or windy, wearing a long sleeve shirt may help if the watch is kept inside the cuff . (#) This is why a Side Sensor may not be the solution that I thought, it’s less buffered from Air Currents. 

FitBit had a page where a company spokesperson said that she wears one while gardening, and she gets credit for Flights of Stairs Climbed when there is no Flights of Stairs or Significant Change in Altitude.  She said Flights of Stairs is not counted by the Device or App towards Calories Burned because the readings can be temperamental. 

Still, it would be nice if the science on these were perfected. I got the FitBit One, and it is nearly Perfect Counting Flights of Stairs, I wear it on my Pocket. Since April 2021, I have climbed the equivalent of over 2000 Flights of Stairs 10′ in Height. Walking the hill for a shorter distance isn’t getting me a high Step Count (I average 2000/day) but the exercise is great, climbing Flights of Stairs gets the Heart Rate up moderately, and doing this repetitively is likely good for conditioning the heart. 

A few days ago, the Samsung SM-R800 Performed Nearly Flawlessly, missing just 1 Flight of Stairs at Bedtime. Yesterday, it was short by 5 from the FitBit One, and Today, the FitBit One failed to measure 2 Separate Flights of Stairs, but the early count is 9 on the Samsung and 8 on the FitBit, so the Samsung may have lost 1 Flight of Stairs too. The evening count is 18 on both, after the Samsung missed counting a Flight of Stairs, I rebooted it.

The Samsung seems to have problems in the Afternoon and Evening on the Stairs in the Home. It frequently fails to count even 1 additional Flight of Stairs at Bedtime, even when I’m neurotic enough to repeat it several times to get that 1 additional Flight (hey, it’s exercise and science). 

Lastly, Air Conditioning can be a problem for Barometric Flights of Stairs Counters (we have Whole House A/C, but use a Window A/C at night to minimize costs and wear on the Whole House Unit), since the Air Conditioning can pressurize the home more uniformly than if the Doors and Windows (with screens) are open, and if the Altimeter Does Not See the 10′ Increase in Altitude, you don’t get the credit for the Flight of Stairs. The Arm Movements and Steps Required to get credited for Flights of Stairs Climbed are to help prevent getting Credit for Riding in an Elevator, Escalator, or Driving Up a Hill. 

These Devices are fine for counting steps (walking), maybe more on that in another post. The FitBit One (no longer made, but I just ordered a New One on Ebay (I think people buy up the supplies) and the one I wear is rebuilt by an Ebay Vendor that does this on a significant scale and has more units. The Samsung Watch is considerably more expensive but is available in Rebuilt Units as well. I’m not sure I’d trust the Samsung Rebuilt (maybe Factory Rebuilt, my second watch was Rebuilt by the Seller) to reliably count Flights of Stairs over a long period of time, if you get a deal on a used unit, be sure you can return it, say over a 90 day period. My rebuilt one stopped counting Flights of Stairs within the 90 Day Window, and the Seller offered a Refund, but I’m going to have it rebuilt like I had done to my other Samsung SM-R800. 

When the Barometer that the Altimeter uses is not working correctly for the Flights of Stairs, it’s not working correctly for the Altimeter. Having the Watch professionally repaired will restore the Barometer/Altimeter Use even if the Flights of Stairs is not a concern. 

Bright Flashlights, Spotlight, Particles in Air, and Masks.

Flashlights, bright ones. I have two 3D Cell Maglites, a Ravovac Virtually Indestructible Pistol Grip Spotlight, and a Princeton Tec Diving Flashlight, all LEDs.

Battery or Cell? A, AA, AAA, AAAA, C, and D are actually cells, a 9V Battery is 6 x 1.5 Volt Cells, it is, literally, a Battery (group) of Cells. A Car Battery is 6x 2V Cells for 12V.

Flashlights produce a Spot area, of Intense Light, and the well defined, but dimmer area around the Spot is referred to as the Spill Area.

Spot and Spill

We recently bought outdoor LED, Battery Operated, Motion Activated, Solar Cell Equipped Lights, they have a Ring of LEDs that seem to combine the Spot and Spill Areas and in a Flashlight Version (if such a thing is made) would make Great Work Lights. The pictures on the following page do not do the lights justice, they are bright for the local area (several feet away) and broadly illuminated.

Bionic Spotlight 

Bell and Howell Light Compilation

My Flashlights and LED Conversion Kit for the Maglite on the Left are below, and this is the Short List of Lights. 

My Flashlights

Why 2 Maglites? One is years old, was incandescent. Bought a replacement LED Bulb, New Reflector (the old one was no longer reflective), and New Lens, old one had scratches, it was fine but not impressive. For the price of that, I could have bought a new 3D Cell LED Maglite. How much difference could there be between my old incandescent but LED updated Maglite and a new LED Maglite? Much. The new one was significantly brighter. I only discovered that when I bought the new one (which has 3 Brightness Levels). I did buy another LED Upgrade for my original Maglite, it improved the brightness, but I don’t think it properly utilizes the reflector designed for the incandescent bulb, and the newer model Maglite reflector doesn’t fit it.

The Princeton Tec Diving Flashlight uses 4 or 8 AA Cells. It needs the voltage of 4 cells to operate, presumably 6 volts, 1.5 x 4, but 4 more in parallel double the length of time the flashlight can be used. 

And the Rayovac 6 AA Virtually Indestructible Spotlite DIY6AASP-BC, this was my first one to interest me in Bright Flashlights. It has 3 Brightness Levels and a Pistol Grip. 

Is it practically indestructible? I’d say it’s fairly tough, I wouldn’t subject it to the following, but he did. I have read of some people having issues with the trigger, but I have not had any problems.  

Rayovac Sportsman INDESTRUCTIBLE Spotlight

Like a lunatic, before bed, I use one of those lights to look for escaping POWs, no, I mean to look for rodents (rats, never seen one at night, mice I do occasionally see), deer, people that don’t belong there, spider eyes reflecting light from the grass, raccoon in the tree, is my shed locked, and more.

So, when I’m through, I shine a bright light at the top of the trees (to keep from making a neighbor mad), and look at the beam of light near the Flashlight. There is a lot of particles in the air. They’re streaming by the window, incredible numbers of them, and guess what, you’re breathing this stuff. For shitz and giggles, I took a small quantity of cornstarch baby powder and blew it into the air, sneeze or cough like. If you want to lose confidence in loose fitting masks, try that out some night. The stuff goes everywhere, and despite air flow past my window, right to left, of natural particles , once air currents are disturbed, Cornstarch Particles loop around, some seems to settle, but much not. If huge 10 Micron particles don’t readily settle, will 0.125 Micron or smaller covid-19 virus particles settle? Not likely.

N95 Filters stop 0.3 Micron particles or Larger at 95%, but the Filtering Facepiece Respirator lets 10% get in. If the cornstarch powder represented viruses, clearly they’d get into a loose fitting mask and perhaps 10% or more into an N95.

Take aways:

• Having a Bright Flashlight is probably a good idea, and if you have one, experiment with the Air in your area to see if particles can be seen at night. 

• We breathe more particles than we realize, they are there, much of the time, but can only be visualized with the light at night, and if the particles are too small, you may not see them but may still be breathing them.

• Cough and Sneeze generated particles/droplets if similarly sized to Cornstarch Powder particles, likely follow similar patterns of distribution.

• Loose fitting masks may be less help than we realize, yet, though not perfect, N95s should perform better.

For this 1st Pair of Flashlight Links, 45 Lumens was the Incandescent Version, mine is converted to LED at 350 Lumens (on the 2nd conversion attempt) using the following:

2-6 Cell 350 Lumen Maglite LED Upgrade Bulb C&D

Mine is Labeled 3 to 6 Cells, and is identical to the kit in the video. It came with a New Lens that the model they’re now showing doesn’t seem to come with.

Maglite Heavy-Duty Incandescent 3-Cell D Flashlight, Black 45 Lumens Incandescent At Walmart

Maglite Heavy-Duty Incandescent 3-Cell D Flashlight, Black 45 Lumens Incandescent At Maglite

Princeton Tec Torrent LED Dive Light (500 Lumens, Neon Yellow) T500-NY At Walmart

Princeton Tec Torrent LED Dive Light (500 Lumens, Neon Yellow) T500-NY At Princeton Tec 

MAGLITE LED 625 Lumens 3-Cell D Flashlight At Walmart

MAGLITE LED 746 Lumens 3-Cell D Flashlight At Maglite

Rayovac 6 AA Virtually Indestructible Spotlite DIY6AASP-BC At Walmart

Rayovac 6 AA Virtually Indestructible Spotlite At Rayovac


Edification on Respirators/Masks

This Blog Entry is meant for the Edification of Legislators that may benefit by the understanding of Details of Wearing a Respirator. This is not meant to try and convince Legislators that Respiratory Protection is not part of controlling pathogens, such as coronaviruses, but to try and edify the Legislators that the correct form of Respiratory Protection Product needs to be used, worn correctly, and more.

I Instructed the topic of Negative Pressure Air Purifying Respirators in Heavy Industry for 7+ years, to 1200+ People per year, in Class Sizes of 30 to 35. I have no formal education for Respirators, but was Instructed by Company Safety and Industrial Hygiene Personnel at the Facility where I worked and independently researched the issue. I also wore a Respirator during my 20+ year Career in Heavy Industry, and over a period of 12 years, wore it daily, much to most of many 8 Hour Work Days. In addition, I had completed the OSHA 30 Hour (Twice), OSHA 10 and 30 Hour (Once), and as a Result of the 10 and 30 Hour Training, was able to be an OSHA Outreach Trainer myself. 

The 10 and 30 Hour Card Predates 2015, the others predate 2010. Names and Identifying Numbers have been removed for my privacy. These are my cards though, I have received the Training identified. 

Use This One

For Employees Required to wear a N95 or better, OSHA Requires:

  1. Yearly Fit Test

  2. Yearly Physical

  3. Yearly Instructions on the use, Donning, Doffing, Cleaning, and Disposal of Respiratory Protection Products.

  • The Fit Test is to make sure that a Specific Manufacturer, Model, and Size of the Respirator Fits Correctly, and remains Fitted Correctly while you talk, deep breathe, and do head movements, and limited body movements. With Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR), as well as Elastomeric Respirators, the wearer Must Use the Same Make, Model, and Size that they were Fit Tested With.

  • The Physical is required because OSHA States that even an N95 Alters the Breathing, Oxygen, and is a burden to the wearer, therefore they must be determined physically fit to wear it.

  • Annual Instruction are to make sure that current techniques are reinforced with those using these products and that they are capable of doing so.

Masks (i.e. Surgical Masks, Cloth Facial Coverings) – Have No Seal Between the Face and Facepiece (there is no Facepiece per se, subsequently no Assigned Protection Factor that N95 and Elastomeric Respirators [Half-Face and Full Face Respirators] have. Simple Masks are considered Source Control, and they do not control Aerosolized Pathogens very well.

N95 pertains to the Filtering Element. It’s 95% Efficient at removing a particle of a particular size or larger. N95 Does Not Denote a Filtering Facepiece Respirator, as N95 (and other Filter Options) can be added in specially designed holders to Chemical Cartridges, or may be combined into that arrangement by the Manufacturer (Called a Combination Cartridge or more properly a Combination Cartridge/Filter).

Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR), these are comprised of the Filtering Material Shaped into a Facepiece that Fits Over the Nose and Mouth, creating a Seal Between the Face and Facepiece, and utilizes Straps that go over and behind the head. The Filter is commonly of the N95 Rating, thus an N95 Respirator or N95 FFR would be the actual name of these items. 

Filter Designations Indicate:

N = Not Oil Resistant

R = Oil Resistant

P = Oil Proof

Refers to the contaminant, is it oil based or not?

N (Not Resistant to Oil) must not be used with a Contaminant or situation that has an Oily Component to it.

R (Resistant to Oil) Series can generally be worn for 8 hours against an Oily Contaminant and it can be used for pathogen applications (assuming Masks can) and used for longer than 8 Hours if no Oil is Present.

P (Oil Proof) are used until they need changed for several reasons.

N95 (the filter itself) removes 95% of the Contaminant 0.3 Microns and Larger. The pathogen involved here is 0.125 Microns and Smaller, more will get in, see Smaller Particle Removal Below. 

To provide a more realistic application for N95, one merely needs to look at Tuberculosis, the pathogen is 1 to 5 Microns (some say 1 to 3 Microns) and clearly will be stopped by a Mask rated for 0.3 Microns. 

Yet the Assigned Protection Factor of the N95 Respirator is 10, which means it reduces the exposure inside the Facepiece by a factor of 10, or 1/10 of the Contaminant Outside (10%) will get inside, and this applies only if Fitted and Worn Correctly, and often they are not, more than 10% of the Contaminant gets in. Historically, when establishing the Assigned Protection Factor (APF) for FFR, various organizations argued (Including Unions) that an APF of 10 was too high for an FFR, and they wanted an APF of 5 to be used instead. A Respirator with an APF of 5 would let 20% of the Contaminant into the Mask to be breathed. The organizations weren’t petitioning OSHA to set it to an APF of 5 so that members of the organizations would be exposed to more Contaminants, quite the contrary, they wanted it set to 5 to assure that for various exposures that the Employer provided a better form of Respirator to limit employee exposures. Usage Restrictions Apply in using ANY Negative Pressure Air Purifying Respirator to reduce the possible harm from Immediate or Repeated Exposures. 

Filtering -Facepiece-Respirators-and-Surgical-Mask

Notes on Filtration from Literature:

From my Research, the Filter may remove Smaller Particles than the Filter is Rated for:

  • N95 Filters are Rated for 0.3 Microns and covid-19 is 0.125 Microns or smaller, but pathogens can (and do) Cluster, enlarging their size.

  • From Slalom Effects (the air courses around the fibers in the Filters, with the air changing direction to do so, but the pathogen crashes into fibers and binds (yet they can break free later).

  • But be ware of the old Electrostatic Charge Schtick. We’re told that Electrostatic Charges bind the pathogens, but when you breathe through the Filtering Facepiece Respirator, it gets wet, and I don’t think this applies much at all. This is most applicable to Half and Full Face Respirator Filters where the Respirator uses Intake Valves and an Exhaust Valve and keeps the filter dry.

Elastomeric (Rubber or Silicone) Half Face Respirator is considered Tight Fitting, yet still only has an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) of 10, same as Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR). This is why the FFR having an APF of 10 is unrealistic, it’s not likely they fit as well as Half Face Respirators. OSHA Adopted the FFR APF of 10 because the “Manufacturers” assured them that it was appropriate. Before we were talking about Paint and Dust, now Pathogens, I think the APF needs Scientifically Reexamined in light of Applications Against Pathogens. NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) is the Government Department to do such Research, but NIOSH is controlled by the CDC, at this point, I think it unlikely they will initiate objective research into the topic.

Elastomeric Respirators 

Respirators -Image


Respirators Image Line 2

Respirator Fit Testing / Mask Fit Testing∣ Intrinsic Analytics

In the Video Above, the woman is being given a Fit Test on a Filtering Facepiece Respirator (FFR). She is not only given the Fit Test, she is given instruction on wearing it, and much more. She was instructed that her hair interferes with the seal. In other cases, Beards prevent a seal. The Stubble from a Few Days Growth of Facial Hair effects the seal. Having the Test Done wearing Dentures and not wearing them in use effects the seal. Losing or Gaining Weight effects the seal. And so on.

The Public is being compelled to Wear a Mask with no Instruction on its Donning and Doffing, Use, Disposal Frequency, Disposal Conditions, where to Dispose of the Mask, etc. We, as a Nation, are insisting that Masks help prevent the spread of the pathogen, but failing to instruct the public on anything that might substantially help, in fact, careless handling of the Mask and Careless Use will assure that the Masks are nothing but a compliance symbol that may be causing more harm than good for a variety of reasons, including encouraging people to be in circumstances they should avoid since they feel that complying with govt mandates is protecting them. 

OSHA said this in a Letter of Interpretation from 1998: 

Medical evaluation requirements under the respiratory protection standard  

Statement:  Use of the disposable paper type dust respirators does not require medical surveillance.

Response:  Non-voluntary use of a filtering facepiece (dust mask/disposable paper type dust respirator) requires that the employer establish and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures. The respiratory protection program must include the medical evaluation of employees.

And in Extension, said this: 

Respirator use of all kinds can cause alterations in breathing patterns, hypoventilation, retention of carbon dioxide, and an increase in workload on the body.

Clearly, the govt imposing the requirements to wear masks or respirators is tantamount to Non-Voluntary Use as mentioned above. I realize we are not talking employees, but Legislators need to realize that they are imposing restriction on the Breathing of Citizens without regard to sound and established principles of Respiratory Protection. 

Masks don’t require Fit Tests and Physicals, yet Dr. Fauci is advocating wearing 2 Masks, and at some point, the restrictions on Breathing is similar to that experienced by employees wearing N95 FFRs as required by their Employer. In that case, for Employees, Yearly Physicals apply, with clearance for them to wear the Respirator. The CDC, that oversees NIOSH, seems to be disregarding these important concepts. We’re talking about a community of people least likely to adequately tolerate the burden of Respiratory Protection (seniors and the chronically ill), yet the CDC, NIOSH, OSHA and Dr. Fauci with NIAID seem to be imposing Masking Requirements with reckless abandon. 

In addition, Dr. Fauci said that he originally said that the general public didn’t need to wear Masks, later claiming they did. He said that he was trying to preserve the available N95 FFRs for Frontline Healthcare Workers by saying the general public didn’t need them, but his initial claim that they weren’t needed for the general public is at the minimum Criminal Negligence, for to be an Authority Figure and to later admit that he lied, no doubt costing people their lives, is grotesquely repugnant and should easily be the basis for his removal from his position and subsequent prosecution. 

I’m not seeing any sanity in the area of Respiratory Protection, it has become edicts and enforcement minus the science. 

A suggestion might be for manufacturers to be tasked with Manufacturing an FFR that reduces the pathogens in a realistic fashion, determined to be substantially more than the No Facial Seal Masks yet permeable by a sufficient volume that Breathing Issues associated with N95 or Better Protection would be minimized. There appear to be N80 Masks and Lower in Europe, if we had functioning regulatory agencies, they would determine a better form of protection than the simple Surgical Mask yet permeable enough to be worn comfortably. 

It’ll be a miracle if anyone makes it this far, but in today’s world of brief communications, maybe brevity is part of the problem, complex problems cannot be defined or addressed in a few words in many cases. 






Blue Heron vs Eagles

See the Attached Images:

The Featured Image (top of the page) is the Russian Monocular Coupled to a Digital Camera solely by inserting the Camera Lens into the Monocular Eyepiece, they just happened to fit together (They have to be Carefully Held Together, no tension on the Eyepiece or Camera Lens to prevent damage, and if the Camera Shuts or is Turned-Off, the Camera Lens Retracts and you must be balancing both devices).

This is known as AFocal Coupling, i.e. the Eyepiece is on the Optical Device (in our case Monocular) and the Camera captures a Projected Image of what the Optical Device is Focused on. This was used to get the Images of the Eagles Below. The Russian Monocular Magnifies 10x.  

Here was my First Attempt with Afocal Coupling of Binoculars to a Cellphone:

20180804_110350 -1

Then I bought a Platform for Mounting a Cell Phone to Binoculars. 


In any case, my wife and I are not world class photographers, but we are Birders. Capturing the Images Below were done at a Distance, inside the Car, on a Rainy Day, so we feel lucky just to have the images. 

The Younger Eagle on the Right Originally had the Fish. It looks like, at this time, the older Eagle has taken possession of it. Notice the Substantial Legs on the Eagles and the little stalks of Legs on the Blue Heron. 

Heron vs Eagles 7-1

The Younger Eagle took off, the Older Bald Eagle is not landing here, he was so unnerved by the presence of the Blue Heron that he jumped straight up and landed again. 

Heron vs Eagles 8-1

A Last Attempt to Ward off the Blue Heron, the Eagle Spreads its wings, look at the incredible size of them, and the Heron does the same in response, they may be approaching the same width but not the depth of the Eagle Wings. 

Heron vs Eagles 9-1

A local Explained to me that he has witnessed a Blue Heron kill an Eagle by spearing it in the chest with its beak, purportedly very sharp. In the images above, the Eagle abandoned the fish and the Blue Heron was able to eat it. The Blue Heron stood his/her ground, and the Eagle in this case, gave in. 




Ultraviolet Light and the Things You’d Rather Not See!

OK, I bought an Ultraviolet Flashlight (U.V.). It’s nice, it gets a little hot in use, and it’s dangerous. Not that it’s dangerous because of getting hot (no more so than a Bright White Light that get hot), and of course, you wouldn’t want to shine it into your eyes (or anyone else’s, or animal eyes), but it’s dangerous because the house looks like a crime scene. It shows dirt and stains that you had no idea are there. Sheesh, when the lights are out and the only illumination is from this light, the Kitchen Stove and Wall behind it look like stars glowing on a clear night. If I can, I’ll take a series of White Light and U.V. Light Photos.

We bought this house, a fixer-upper. Boy did we fix it up. New Wiring, Insulation Blown In, Attic Insulated, Front Door and Screen Door, 2 New sets of Steps to the Deck (with Handrailing), New Handrailing to the Backyard Steps (they are cement), Handrailing installed first to second floor and first floor to basement, and more. We didn’t buy carpets, we had them cleaned, and then cleaned again. Well, they ain’t clean. This light shows the areas where spills (if only we were that lucky) stained the carpet, unless, of course, it was the former owner’s dog’s bathroom breaks, shudder.

This light shows lint all over my black pants, but in white light, nothing can be seen. It shows paint (or other) drips on the wall, and insufficient paint, some where no drips can be seen with the lights on.

It turns Photo-Gray Lenses Dark (they darken under sunlight, they do so by U.V. Light in the sunlight), and they darken with this light shining on them. Things that glow after exposure to light really glow after exposure to this. It makes white things glow, or seem bright. And no wonder, many modern “Detergents” use:


Optical brighteners (aka brightening agents, fluorescent bleaches, and optical whiteners) – these additives are chemicals designed to enhance the appearance of fabrics by giving a “whiter” and “brighter” effect. When using laundry detergents with optical brighteners clothes look less yellow as they increase the overall amount of blue light reflected. They intentionally leave residue on your clothes and can rub off on your skin causing sunburn-like reactions. When they get washed down your drain they frequently survive waste-water treatment causing mutations in bacteria and accumulating in aquatic life. Optical brighteners are not readily biodegradable and they remains in waste water for long periods of time, polluting our lakes, rivers, and streams.”

In the yard recently, looking for anything unusual under the Black Light, I found a broken tip of a plastic Christmas Decoration Icicle, it glowed brightly but did not glow when the light was removed. I found plants that had Red Leaves (Dandelion I think) under U.V. Light, but were Green under White Light. I even took a walk, to a house in the neighborhood with stones on the front hill, and tried it on those, nothing glowing was found, but I did find a thick piece of glass among the stones.


We attended the NY/NJ Mineral Show and saw this spectacular fluorescent mineral display. These minerals fluoresce under short-wave uv light. Note: this is not a black light.


Despite what the above video has states, it kind of is a Black Light, here’s more on that:

The Difference Between UV Light and Black Light

When reading about uv light, there are these two terms that seem to be confusing: UV light and black light.

In a nutshell, there isn’t quite a difference, but a misunderstanding of the terms.”

These are worthy to own for experimenting, when using just this light, few things have the color you’d expect, and not only are they not the color we see under White Light, but they are all Drab, like Flat Painted type surfaces. Truly an experience for those that like to tinker.

The Attached Images show: 

  • The Flashlight, a Rock that was shipped with it (Under U.V. Light and the Camera Flash).
  • Under The Camera Flash and U.V. Light: The leg of my Pants and Areas of the Bedroom Wall near the ceiling.



Flash Lights, when discussing their usefulness, use the term Beam and Spill. The Beam is the Center Part, bright, and the Spill is the other circle of light noted around the Beam. The Beam in this case was too bright for the camera to record details, and the Beam is small. I am relying on the Spill Areas to show the Drips on the Wall. In one of the White Light Photos, there are, indeed, visible lines of Drips that do not seem to be paint. Not really sure what they are, and despite looking wet, nothing is, and they are not changed in the slightest by rubbing them with a finger.

Taking photos under U.V. Light, and the Camera Flash, I realized it was difficult to be sure I had a photo of the same area. To facilitate that, I used a stationary LASER in the corner of 2 sets of images.

My Toaster – May It Rest In Pieces

Toaster View, of a Hamilton Beach Model : 24781  4 Slot Toaster with Self Adjusting Slots (wide to narrow bread slices). Controls for Each 2 Sections allow different Toasting Settings for different items without adjusting (by using the correct slots for that setting). 

It’s 12+ Years Old, it performed admirably, and we are replacing it with another Hamilton Beach Product. 


Why aren’t the Plastic Parts Made From Recyclable Material and Marked with Recycle Codes, if we want to Reduce Carbon Footprints and the consumption of Oil to make plastic.

The Hot Wire on the Power Cord was kept from touching the underneath of the Toaster Assembly, i.e. the Metal Inner Assembly that houses the Bread being Toasted, by Clips that Retained the Wire in the Base. But the Neutral wasn’t. Although the Neutral “should” be at Ground Potential, many homes have wiring that is not correctly connected, i.e. a Reversed Hot and Neutral, and the Toaster would still work, but if the wire insulation melted, it would make the shell of the Toaster Electrically Hot (Energized). Fortunately, if you have a working GFCI Receptacle, even with Hot and Neutral Reversed, the Receptacle will still Trip if “someone Touches it and Ground” in this Hypothetical Scenario. Be sure to Test those GFCI Receptacles Periodically, I have seen them fail.


An External GFCI Tester won’t work without the Receptacle having a Ground, but a Ground is not necessary to allow a GFCI Receptacle to work. OSHA States that when a GFCI Receptacle has a Test Button, that should be used as the Primary Test Method, and the Internal Test Button will work even if the GFCI Receptacle does not have a Ground. In Fact, in areas in American Homes where Grounded Outlets are Required, Replacing the Ungrounded Receptacle (2 Prong) with a GFCI Receptacle that has a Ground Connection (3 Prong Plugs) but isn’t connected to Ground is often the solution.

Ungrounded Outlets and the GFCI Solution

Portable Fans with Metal Frames, Portable Heaters with Metal Frames, and this Toaster, with a Metal Frame, and plenty of opportunity for a Wire or Connection to come Undone and touch the Metal Shell is a Real Possibility, I can’t figure out why 3 Prong Plugs (Hot, Neutral, and Ground) are not more commonplace. They Need a Plug Design that Defaults to a 3 Prong Style, but can be converted to 2 Prongs with little difficulty to allow it’s Default Use to be Grounded, but still converted to a 2 Prong Application if Needed.

This Toaster was stripped of all the Electronics, that we will add to a pile of Electronic Boards to be recycled. The Metal will be put out for community recycling, with the exception of the Screws and Washers, they will all be saved. The Plastic, alas, will be thrown away, except for the Knobs and Stand-offs, I save them for use on other equipment as needed.

Please Note that the Internal Metal Parts were quite sharp, they are not intended for Consumer Repair Work, and if the Manufacturer was to Repair these Units, they know about the Sharp Edges. If you Disassemble something Similar, be sure it’s Unplugged, and watch for these Sharp Edges. Recycling is fine, but if you end up in the Emergency Room, your efforts will not seem worth it. 

Above (Click on Image for Full Size View).

Left Image: Crumb Trays, Power Cord, Handles for the External Handles for the Toaster Mechanism, Bottom of the Toaster, Electrical Components, Knobs, Buttons, Trim for Knobs and Buttons, Trim for Crumb Trays, and Screws used in Toaster (4 are missing in this series of images, we put them aside by accident), Wire Ties, and Silicon Removed (used to keep the wire in Wire Guides in the Plastic Bottom) that are used to manufacture this Toaster.

Right Image: Bottom of the Toaster. 

Above, the Self Adjusting Slots for Various Size of Bread, the View that Bead Sees from inside the Toaster. Click-on the Images for the Full Size View. 

Above: Close-up of Parts, Click on Images as Desired for Full Size View.

Above: Close-up of Electrical/Electronic Parts, Click on Images as Desired for Full Size View.

Compare my Toaster with one from the 1960s, this one uses a Timer, and I forgot all about that. I thought they used a Bi-Metallic Tripping Mechanism, and it appears that at least 3 Types of Trip Mechanisms were employed. See the Link Below the video. 

1960s Nelson Toaster Restoration


What Do The Numbers On Your Toaster Mean?