Friday, May 29, 2020

The Fat Lady Returns

The table slab is out of clamps and looks good, nice and flat with a clean joint. One of the base units is ready for finish, the other needs a little work. I may get this sucker finished.

Slab out of clamps:
 

We had our first Monsoon type rain of the season this afternoon. It wasn't really part of the Monsoon, the temps have not been high enough for long enough to bring enough moisture up from the Gulfs. Our RH has remained under 10%. For Monsoon we need to get the RH over 25% for a few days. But it was non frontal monsoon type rain. Because the RH is so low most the rain was Virga with little reaching the ground.

BTW, even though our days are hot, today's high 110F, the evenings, nights, and mornings are delightful. Many nights need a blanket or you will be cold. Once Monsoon and the high RH's arrive all that changes and the evenings stay hot. Several years ago I had a 0400 takeoff out of Scottsdale where I had to restrict fuel because it was still 103F at takeoff time.

View to the North with easy to see Virga:


The Sonoran desert may be the most beautiful desert in the world. Unlike many deserts there is abundant vegetation and life. Most of it either sticks, stings, or bites but whatever, there is plenty of it.

View to the West:






The Saguaro have almost finished producing beautiful white flowers, next is setting fruit which when ripe will split open revealing a red pulpy flesh. The birds love it and for weeks everything is covered with red bird poop.

BTW, I was asked if I would consider returning to work in a couple of weeks. Sorry Charley it ain't going to happen till it is safe.

Take care, wear your masks, protect yourself and others.

ken

12 comments:

  1. I had to look up what virga means. I have seen similar in the Keys and Bahama areas.

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    1. Ralph,

      Virga is common here in the desert. With RH below 10% rain will often evaporate before reaching the ground. That's the bad news, the good is it does cools things off.

      ken

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  2. Steve D8:28 AM

    I was going to be a smartass and ask if it's a dry rain.

    So much for that...

    What kind of dew points do you have in the humid season? 25% sounds nice but that is only the RH. At 110 degrees the air can hold a whole lot of water.

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  3. Steve,

    25% to 40% or so. Sounds kinda wimpy but remember most of the time the RH's banded around by Houston folks and other swamp dwellers is an early morning RH when the air is cool and will not hold that much water. Even where folks complain about 90% RH most of the time, unless it is raining, the mid day RH averages around 40% to 50%. If you sit down and figure out the wet bulb temp with a 50% RH you only get a couple or three degrees of cooling.

    They have reason to grump (brag) but whatever it is damn uncomfortable once the temps go over 95F and the RH is above 40%. Mostly because at that point (to be exact ambient temp above 93F) heat moves into your body instead of out of your body. While I love to see young women running around in almost no cloths during the summer if they really wanted to stay cool they would wear a burka.

    ken

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  4. Ken, there is a cactus garden on the Stanford campus not far from here and when the cacti are blooming, it is really a sight to behold. Good progress on the table top - hope the fat lady does her final number soon.

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    1. Matt,

      The desert can have its moments of beauty, After a wet Winter or wet Spring it can be spectacular.

      The table is all coming together, I just finished cleaning up the slab and it is ready to fit to the base and for finish. There is still a little work to be done on the base, again mostly clean up and finish. The biggest hindrance is Summer is here and by noon or earlier it is too hot to work in the shop with any kind of joy.

      There are advantages to being retired, it makes no never mind when I finish or when I work on the project. That said, I expect the table will be finished before the new week is over.

      ken

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  5. I LOVE the pictures of your back yard in the Sonoran desert. It is a brutal and beautiful ecosystem and to have that to wake up to in the morning must be a breathtaking sight. the light and colors in the morning and at sunset!

    Looking forward to how your table comes out. so far so good. with the RH right now compared to what happens later in the spring/summer, do you have any tricks on how to keep the table top from warping/cupping while it is being made?

    looking forward to your progress!

    adam of oakland, ca, usa

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Adam,

      Our morning ritual is coffee and tea in the back garden. The birds are there every morning but also often Deer, Coyote, and even an occasional Bobcat. We are only about 5 miles from downtown Tucson but being in the Tucson foothills, most of the time unless wind is out of the East, perfect quite. It is a special place. Now that I've retired we have talked about moving back to Texas or Oregon but we would never be able to duplicate this place.

      Sometimes I don't, like this table top made a big "U" when I cut it to final length. I had to split it into three parts, re-joint and re-glue to get it flat.

      Most of the time my wood has been in the shop for awhile and my woodstore is also in the desert. I also cut to near length and let it set for a day or two before prepping. Sometimes the magic works sometimes it doesn't.

      I'm still looking forward to making a few spoons once the big projects are finished. I may add them to my morning ritual :-). Being retired changes the way you approach things.

      ken

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  6. For dew point, RH, water content, wet bulb temperature, dry bulb temperature, etc,
    google psychrometric chart.
    Are those cactus fruits toxic for humans?
    Or are they edible like "Opuntia ficus-indica"?
    Sylvain

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    Replies
    1. Sylvain,

      The Tohono O’odham still use Saguaro for both food and religious ceremony. In June they make Saguaro wine and believe drinking the wine brings the Monsoon rains. Many cactus have eatable fruit and flesh. The common Prickly Pear (Opuntia ficus-indicis) is one of the most used where both the fruit and pads are eaten. In fact just the other day I had some Prickly Pear sorbet and you can buy the pads in many grocery stores here in Tucson.

      ken

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  7. for those reading French, a very interesting link:
    https://energieplus-lesite.be/theories/confort11/le-confort-thermique-d1/#humidite+c2913

    Sylvain

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