Garage insulation followup

Finally getting into some consistently warm and more typical weather for this time of year. It’s not getting really hot  yet, but it’s hot enough to tell that the insulation I put in over the garage seems to be helping quite a bit to moderate the garage temperature.

Up in the attic space, I was measuring temperatures in the mid 30s (°C) while in the garage it was in the low 20s. Much more comfortable.

If the temperature difference stays around 10°C during the height of the summer heat, insulating the garage will have been totally worth the investment.

Garage insulation

This year I decided to insulate the attic space above the garage. During the summer, the garage stays pretty hot and muggy, and nothing saps the will to work on projects in the garage more than stepping into a 40°C workspace.

The attic gets pretty toasty in the summer, and the drywall doesn’t do much to keep the heat out of the garage. I’m hoping the insulation will keep at least some of the hot humid attic air out of the garage and help maintain the garage at a tolerable temperature.

The insulation is pretty easy to put down, but having to crawl over and around the rafters made for tiring work, so I ended up splitting up the job over two days. Unfortunately I had a bit of a brain fart when ordering the insulation from Lowe’s and got the 16″ wide batts instead of the 24″ wide batts even though I had just measured the rafter spacing. Doh. Fortunately, each bat is 48″ long, so I just had to cut each one in half before laying it down. That added a bit to the installation process, but was easy enough to do.

With 4 of the 8 packs of insulation down, all the far away parts of the garage were insulated.

At the far end of the garage, there’s not a lot of head room and lots of shingle nails poking through the roof sheathing. After laying a few pieces of insulation down, I decided my head needed some protection. I don’t have a hard hat but I do have a bike helmet, which proved to be adequate for the job.

The second day went a lot faster and I was able to get the rest of it done in about an hour. A little less crouching and crawling around because most of the hard to get areas were already done.

The opening to the attic area is the only space left uninsulated now, so I’ll have to think of something to do about  that. Maybe glue some insulation to a board that would sit on the opening and could be moved out of the way when needed.

Ended up only using about 6.5 bundles out of the 8 that I bought. Not sure what I’ll do with the leftovers. Maybe I’ll just spread them out over the attic.

A computer to ressurect

Acquired few things over the weekend that the Daughters of St Paul downtown didn’t need anymore and would otherwise have gone to recycling or trash. Among them were a couple of old IBM ThinkCentre computers over the weekend. One is missing a hard drive and the other needs RAM. I think I’ve got enough other bits lying around to make one computer out of them that might be usable for simple tasks.

IBM ThinkCentre A51
IBM ThinkCentre A51
IBM ThinkCentre A51 innards
IBM ThinkCentre A51 innards

They’re both IBM ThinkCentre A51 computers with Pentium 4 CPUs running at 2.93 GHz.

Intel P4 CPU
Intel P4 CPU

They both have 1 GB RAM (one has 4×256 MB DDR2 sticks, the other has 1x1GB DDR2 stick). I think I might have some 512 GB DDR2 sticks in the junk box, so might be able to get one of them up to 2.5 GB. That might be enough for a very lightweight Linux distro. Just need to scavenge a hard drive from somewhere.

Update: It lives!

two
two

Charleston Eats: Nimbo Pizza

A new pizza place near MUSC opened up yesterday, owned by the same people that own Halo. It adds some much needed variety to the eating scene near the hospital that’s also within a reasonable walking distance.

Just down the block from Halo is Nimbo Pizza (not much of a website yet, but they only just opened). It’s got a fun space theme going on inside the place, with framed NASA Space Tourism posters and other sci-fi movie posters hung on the walls.

Nimbo Pizza space wall
Nimbo Pizza space wall
Nimbo Pizza posters
Nimbo Pizza posters
Nimbo Pizza posters
Nimbo Pizza posters
Nimbo Pizza sticker pole
Nimbo Pizza sticker pole

There’s a pretty extensive menu of pizzas, sandwiches and salads with creative space names like the Interstellar Italian, Total Eclipse of the Parm, Meaty Meteor, Mars Margherita and the like. You can see them all on a couple of very colourful chalkboards above the ordering counter.

Nimbo Pizza menu board
Nimbo Pizza menu board
Nimbo Pizza menu board
Nimbo Pizza menu board

I went for the 10″ Meaty Meteor pizza today. Pretty good pizza. Thin, crispy crust that’s not too floppy and not too chewy.

Nimbo Pizza Meaty Meteor
Nimbo Pizza Meaty Meteor

Half of it made for a decent sized lunch portion, although I could have easily finished off the whole thing. Didn’t want to have to fight off a food coma while sitting at my desk for the rest of the afternoon though.

Good pizza and a nice short walk from work. If you’re on a tight schedule, you can call in an order so that it will be ready when  you get there. There’s also an option on the website to put in an order online too.

Will definitely be going back on those days when I don’t feel like cafeteria food.

Bone mineral densitometer beam widths

If you’ve ever wondered how wide the x-ray beam for a Hologic bone mineral density (BMD) scanner is, I can now tell you it’s not very wide. They’re considerably thinner than I expected in fact.

I placed a strip of Gafchromic XRCT film on top of the housing surrounding the x-ray tube and ran the scanner through its various scan modes, moving the strip between each scan.

BMD beam width
BMD beam width

Each of the vertical stripes represents the width of the beam at about 40 cm from the focal spot and about 10 cm below where the x-ray beam would enter the patient. From left to right are the beam widths for the fastest to the slowest scan modes. The scale on Gafchromic strip is marked off in millimeters.

The beam width for the fastest scan mode is 2 mm. The next two modes have a beam width of 1 mm, and the slowest scan mode uses a beam width that looks like about 0.2 mm. With a source to detector distance of a little over 100 cm, the beam width at the detector ranges from about 5 mm to 0.5 mm.