Brita Water Filter Innards

Having replaced our disintegrating Brita pitcher a few years ago, I finally got around to opening a used filter to see what’s inside. Start by cutting off the flexible rim (intended as a seal against the pitcher) to reveal the joint, then pry the lid off:

Brita pitcher filter - opening
Brita pitcher filter – opening

Stand it upright before getting the lid off, because the filter contains a zillion charcoal granules and two zillion ion-exchange resin beads:

Brita pitcher filter - granules
Brita pitcher filter – granules

The inside of the lid has mesh screens to keep the innards in place while distributing the raw water:

Brita pitcher filter - lid
Brita pitcher filter – lid

Similarly, mesh on the bottom drains let the filtered water out:

Brita pitcher filter - emptied
Brita pitcher filter – emptied

No surprises, but now we all know what’s in there.

Beckman DM73: Package Armor

For reasons not relevant here, I sent the Beckman DM73 to a good home in Europe. Having some experience with the brutality applied to innocent packages by various package-delivery organizations, I filled a Priority Mail Flat Rate Small Box with a solid block of corrugated cardboard:

DM73 - cardboard armor
DM73 – cardboard armor

One inner layer has a cutout for the manual:

DM73 - Operator Manual package
DM73 – Operator Manual package

The meter and its leads tuck into form-fitting cutouts:

Beckman DM73 - cardboard packing
Beckman DM73 – cardboard packing

I bandsawed the cutouts from a block with enough layers for some space on the top and bottom:

DM73 - bandsawing cardboard package
DM73 – bandsawing cardboard package

After mulling that layout overnight, I made a similar block with the saw cuts on diagonally opposite corners, so pressure on the center of the edges won’t collapse the unsupported sides. A slightly larger meter cutout allowed a wrap of closed-cell foam sheet that likely doesn’t make any difference at all.

With everything in place, the box had just enough space for a pair of plastic sheets to better distribute any top & bottom impacts.

I won’t know how the armor performed for a few weeks, but it’s definitely the best packaging idea I’ve had so far.

Pixel 3a Screen Protector FTW!

Despite carrying a glass-fronted gadget in my pocket for most of the past two decades, this is the first time I’ve done this:

Pixel 3a screen protector - as broken
Pixel 3a screen protector – as broken

Turns out you can’t trust a rolling seat on a slightly unlevel surface, as shifting your weight can let the thing roll out from under you with no warning. If you’re taking a picture at the same time, the phone reaches the impact point before your hand: even a nice case with bumpers all around won’t be quite enough protection.

I was tempted to leave it un-fixed as a constant reminder to not do that again, but the broken glass was rough to the touch and interfered with Android’s swipe-upward gestures.

Fortunately, the tempered-glass screen protector absorbed the energy without damage to the actual screen:

Pixel 3a screen protector - sidelit
Pixel 3a screen protector – sidelit

A thin plastic layer holds the protector’s fragments together; I hadn’t known it was a two-layer structure.

Being that type of guy, I had a spare protector in a desk drawer and managed to apply it without trapping any bubbles or fuzz underneath.

Kenmore Progressive Vacuum Cleaner vs. Dust Brush Adapters

Contemporary vacuum cleaner dust brush heads have bristles in some combination of [long | short] with [flexy | stiff]. The long + flexy combination results in the bristles jamming the inlet and the short + stiff combo seems unsuited for complex surfaces. Shaking the Amazonian dice brought a different combination:

Vacuum cleaner dust brush assortment - with adapters
Vacuum cleaner dust brush assortment – with adapters

That’s the new one on the bottom and, contrary to what you might think from the picture, it is not identical to the one just above it.

In particular, the black plastic housing came from a different mold (the seam lines are now top-and-bottom) and required a new adapter for the Kenmore Progressive vacuum cleaner’s complicated wand / hose inlet, with a 3/4 inch PVC pipe reinforcement inside.

Early reports indicate it works fine, so I’ll declare a temporary victory in the war on entropy.

I’m still using the same OpenSCAD source code with minute tweaks to suit the as-measured tapers.

Funnel Web Spiders

This critter took up residence in our kitchen window:

Funnel web spider in window
Funnel web spider in window

She’s between the outer storm window and the inner sash, having secured her funnel web to both panes across the entire width of the window. We’d opened the storm window to clear an air conditioner vent and spiders know a good location when they see it.

We know she’s female, because a (smaller) male appeared and conducted negotiations for the better part of an afternoon. After she accepted his offer of a small, somewhat battered, moth, the two hooked up for the rest of the day; we feared for his life, but he hung around until the next afternoon, then departed.

She normally stays tucked inside the channel running along the edge of the window frame, with only the tips of those two front legs visible, and retreats at the slightest vibration, so we’ll leave her in peace until we must close the storm window.

Mary’s Zucchini Bread Recipe

After grating the nutmeg, continue with this:

Mary's Zucchini Bread Recipe
Mary’s Zucchini Bread Recipe

To end up with this:

Zucchini bread - minus QC sample
Zucchini bread – minus QC sample

Mary omits the cloves.

Applesauce is completely optional. Should you prefer a softer & sweeter loaf, give it a try.

Conversely, reduce the sugar by about half if you’ve accustomed yourself to a keto-oid diet; the raisins carry enough sweetness for us. You can use brown sugar if you like.

She derived it from the Garden Way’s Zucchini Cookbook by Ralston & Jordan (© 1977):

Zucchini Bread Recipe - Garden Way Zucchini Cookbook
Zucchini Bread Recipe – Garden Way Zucchini Cookbook

Obviously, cooking is not an exact science; a recipe is just where you start …

Algorithmic pricing / money laundering is a thing:

Garden Way Zucchini Cookbook - Amazon listing
Garden Way Zucchini Cookbook – Amazon listing

Ya can’t make this stuff up …