While looking for something else, Mary came across a walker in the attic and mentioned that, if she ever had to use it, the shortest position of the adjustable legs would put the hand grips too high for comfort. Maybe they
Well, I can fix that:
The holes are an inch apart, so I clamped the V blocks parallel to the X axis on the drill press, zeroed the X axis knob, slid the leg to get the drill bit into the last hole, clamp in place, crank the table an inch, then use a step drill to start the hole:
The holes are just slightly larger than the 1/4 inch step on the drill, so the twist drill cuts them to size.
A tubing cutter sliced an inch off all four legs and all four frame tubes:
The white plastic fitting in the frame tube prevents the legs from rattling, but I had to drill another hole to move the latch button, too.
Those antibodies will gradually disappear during the next few months and, unfortunately, a past Lyme infection does not prevent future infections.
The tick also injected Babesia parasites which do not respond to antibiotic treatment:
The “titer” refers to the dilution required to produce a negative test result, with the 1:64 reference titer representing six successive 50% dilutions. My blood required ten 50% dilutions to produce a negative result for the IgG antibodies and (presumably) six 50% dilutions from a 20% base for the IgM antibodies.
As I understand the situation, IgM antibodies appear promptly upon infection and IgG antibodies follow along later, so my reaction to the Babesia infestation was ramping up after two weeks.
In the Bad Old Days™, quinine was the go-to treatment for parasitic infections, but it has a host of horrific side effects at the dosage required for traction against actual diseases; tonic water ain’t gonna get you where you need to go.
The new hotness is atovaquone, arriving as 100 ml of a yellow liquid with the consistency of latex paint, (allegedly) the taste of “tutti fruitti“, and a price (modulo your drug plan) making inkjet printer ink look downright affordable. You might expect to get a 5 ml measuring spoon along the the bottle, but suffice it to say it’s an exceedingly good thing I’m well stocked for printer cartridge refilling.
All of the diseases and drugs list “fatigue” / “drowsiness” / “malaise” as symptoms / side effects and I’m here to tell you knocking off a couple of hours in the recliner during the day does nothing at all to disturb another nine hours in the sack overnight.
A few weeks of low productivity in the Basement Shop™ will definitely count as a successful outcome.
Although compact fluorescent lamps have fallen out of favor, I’m burning through a box of the things donated by a friend who upgraded to LEDs and figured I could put them to good use. In general, complex electronic doodads (like CFL or even LED lamps) used in hostile situations (like an ordinary downlight fixture) seem to fail too quickly to justify the power savings; searching for “cfl fail” will produce some evidence from around here.
One of the downlights in the Basement Office just killed this specimen:
Much to my surprise, however, it survived for more than five years:
The previous CFL bulb in that fixture lasted only two years, so their average lifetime is entirely too short.
A taller bulb does a better job of lighting up that corner, although it started with enough power-on hours to suggest it won’t survive for another five years:
The ghostly humps above the overexposed glare are the long CFL tubes reflected inside the Pixel’s camera optics.
I didn’t see much point in nailing a ceiling to too-low floor joists.
The Greatest Shopvac emitted an intense smell of electrical death while inhaling fuzzballs from the Basement Shop stairs, prompting me to tear it down. For the record, it’s a Genuine Shop·Vac QSP 10 (Quiet Super Power):
Removing the handle and upper plate reveals a slab of (presumably) sound-deadening foam over the motor cooling fan. As far as I can tell, the last job this vacuum had before the previous owner discarded it was inhaling drywall dust without a filter:
Flipping the motor assembly over and removing the bottom plate revealed a pair of equally solidified foam slabs baffling the main exhaust path:
They eventually became Clean Enough™ after protracted rinsing, so maybe the thing now runs as quietly as the name would lead you to believe, if you believed in names.
Disconnecting and extracting the motor revealed the razor-sharp impeller disk. A shop rag prevents lacerations while torquing off the nut holding it to the shaft:
Rust on the washer below the impeller, along with the layer of caked white cement, suggested water accompanied the drywall dust:
Gentle suasion from the Designated Prydriver eventually eased the washer off the shaft and freed the motor:
The rotor turned … reluctantly with the brushes in place and spun freely without them, suggesting the horrible smell of electrical death came from arcing across the gunk accumulated on the commutator:
Many iterations of diligent scrubbing with denatured alcohol on cotton swabs and old t-shirt snippets got rid of the crud, although that commutator will never look all shiny-clean again:
At least the brushes aren’t glued to it!
Reassembly is in reverse order, although I took the liberty of splicing a few inches of wire into the switch leads, because I’m not working under factory conditions with all the proper assembly fixtures:
The motor passed the smoke test and no longer smells like death, so it’s at least as good as it ever was.
It may run quieter with clean foam baffles, but I still turn off my power ears or don hearing protection when I fire up any shop vacuum.
One of the streaming media players behaved funny, which always results in a numeric keypad battery replacement. This AmazonBasics AAA alkaline was down to about 0.5 V and long past its best-used-by date:
Suggestions that Amazon monitors their Marketplace sellers to figure out what’s profitable, then promote a Good Enough house brand product to kill off the competition, seem to describe the situation just about perfectly.
I grooved the metal pin running through the handle:
A brass tube from the Little Tray o’ Cutoffs and some epoxy should hold things together forevermore:
The rainbow colors come from an instantly aborted attempt to silver-solder the parts together. The fact that I even tried a stunt like that shows I’m definitely not the brightest bulb in the chandelier these days.