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Thursday, January 12, 2012


Woke to sound of the pouring rain, and was thankful that the temperatures are still moderate on Long Island, sparing us any snowfall.  An inch of rain could have easily been a foot of snow.  I am not prepared for snow.  Last winter I noticed my snow blower not doing such a great job, and upon inspection noticed that the rubber on the auger was worn down and I was now scraping metal against asphalt.  Got thru the rest of the winter and swore up and down that I would replace that auger.

Well, the auger was ordered and received, and after a couple of hours of downloading repair diagrams, and attempting to get the damn auger off the flywheel, I gave up.  I attempted to free up the metal against metal again at the beginning of the winter after applying plenty of WD40, letting it sit, but still no luck.  The forums said to use a large pry bar or 2x4 to get more leverage.  Well, you know the story, an exercise in futility as the shaft of the auger is steel (rust) and the flywheel aluminum (no rust).  Some advice provided by mechanics, and others who are pretty handy was to get a torch and see if heating the bonded metals night free it up.  With no torch and $140 already invested in an auger, I decided to see how much service would cost.

Sears advertised on their website, snow blower repair or tune up service to be a flat rate of $79 for my size snow blower.   After several more weeks, or months of procrastination, I bring the snow blower, and auger into my local Sears, and they say they will send it to the service center.   Ten days later I receive a call from Sears, and excitedly answer the phone because the snow blower has to be ready for pickup.  Wrong.  They say it need a new bearing, ignition, flywheel, and some other crap I never heard of, at a cost of $279.  I think this snow blower, now about 5 years old was about $400 new.  So who in their right mind would fix an old one for the same cost as a new one.  I asked them to consider only replacing what I asked them to and at the rate they advertised.  Today the call came again….$200.  The answer was NO, and they are going to send it back to my local store.  Who has a torch I can borrow or use ?

This day in history “Pyramid mystery unearthed”  On this day, an international panel overseeing the restoration of the Great Pyramids in Egypt overcomes years of frustration when it abandons modern construction techniques in favor of the method employed by the ancient Egyptians.
Located at Giza outside Cairo, some of the oldest manmade structures on earth were showing severe signs of decay by the early 1980s. Successful repair work began on the 4,600-year-old Sphinx in 1981, but restoration of the pyramids proved destructive when water in modern cement caused adjacent limestone stones to split. On January 12, 1984, restorers stopped using mortar and adopted the system of interlocking blocks practiced by the original pyramid builders. From thereon, the project proceeded smoothly.
The Great Pyramid is composed primarily of yellowish limestone blocks and was originally covered in an outer casing of smooth light-colored limestone. This finer limestone eroded and was carried away in later centuries, but the material can still be found in the inner passages. The interior burial chamber was built of huge blocks of granite. It is believed that construction of the pyramid took 20 years and involved over 20,000 workers, bakers, carpenters, and water carriers. The exact method in which this architectural masterpiece was built is not definitively known, but the leading theory is that the Egyptians employed an encircling embankment of sand, brick, and earth that was increased in height as the pyramid rose.

Ok, so not too exciting of a Pyramid mystery unearthed if you ask me.  Now, exciting would be that there is no other man made monument that has withstood the test of time and this could not have possibly been designed or built by mortal man.  Come on, even 20,000 workers, or slaves over 20 years could not have built the great pyramid at Giza.  Let’s precisely cut and place a stone that weighs 2.5 – 15 tons into place every couple of minutes.  How about orientation, the compass was not invented yet, so how hell did it get its North / South Pole alignment. ?

FACT - On the Giza Plateau, Khufu's builders oriented his pyramid almost perfectly north. The largest pyramid ever built, it incorporates about 2.3 million stone blocks, weighing an average of 2.5 to 15 tons each. It is estimated that the workers would have had to set a block every two and a half minutes.

Ancient Aliens, Duh !

The pyramid is lined up exactly with the magnetic North Pole, a difference of only 16 minutes, or some absurdly small number like that (there are 60 minutes in one degree).  A couple of thousand years later we discovered the compass.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, and its neighbor, as seen from the Sphinx, on the evening of the summer solstice, the sun is setting in the exact center of the two pyramids.   Those meddling aliens, in all of their infinite wisdom, saw the earth upon entering the solar system, and by calculating the size of its revolutions around the sun, the velocity it was at which it traveled and the angle of its axis of rotation, they were able to easily calculate the longest day of the year or the length of the year.

If you take the perimeter of the pyramid and divide it by two times the height, you get a number that is exactly equivalent to the number pi (3.14159...) up to the fifteenth digit. The chances of this phenomenon happening by sheer chance is remarkably small. Did the ancient Egyptians know what the number pi was? Not likely, seeing as it was a number not calculated accurately to the fourth digit until the 6th century, and the pyramids calculate it to the fifteenth.

What about the fact that even though the sides of the base of the pyramid are some 757 feet long, it still forms an almost perfect square? Every angle in the base is exactly 90 degrees. In fact, the sides have a difference in length of something like two centimeters, which is an incredibly small amount.

What about the fact that although the Egyptians kept very careful records about everything they ever did; every king they had, every war they fought, and every structure they built, there were no records of them ever having built the pyramids?

Enough of that, it’s time to make spaghetti and meat squares.  Anyone can build a pyramid if they put their mind to it.  

Photos of the day “Pyramids”

Try building a pyramid with round meat balls.  The improved version, Bruce's Square Balls is much better.  Advantages, won't roll off plate, browns evenly on all sides, can be packaged more compactly, and they are fun to make !!

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