Kicking up the coffee grinding

Kicked up my coffee bean grinding yet another notch with my drill press.

Drill press
Drill press

Set the drill press to its slowest speed

Drill press at its lowest speed setting (motor spindle on the right)
Drill press at its lowest speed setting (motor spindle on the right)
Nut driver attached to the drill press
Nut driver attached

You can probably see where this is going.

Ready to grind the coffee beans
Ready to grind

Takes about 40 seconds to grind the entire hopper full of beans.  Tried to get some video, but for some reason my phone only recorded the audio.

Quite effective. The metal spindle and ceramic grinder parts gets pretty hot after grinding though and takes a few minutes to cool down enough to handle.

Generator transfer switch installed

Got a transfer switch for the generator installed last week.  One of our neighbours’ son is a licensed electrician and was willing to install one for us.  He came by with a 10 circuit switch and a few hours later it was installed next to the main breaker panel.

Thirty feet of 10 gauge 220V cable is just long enough to run from the transfer switch to the front porch where the generator will end up sitting if it needs to be deployed.

The switch is arranged in two banks each with three 15A and two 20A circuits.  A watt meter shows the load on each bank.  The instructions for the switch say to keep the load on each bank within 1 kW of each other.

Ran a quick test of the switch over the weekend and it works great.  We’re all ready for the next long power outage now.

Galaxy S7 X-ray

Radiograph of my Galaxy S7.  80 kVp, 2.8 mAs, Canon Aero DR detector.

Galaxy S7 x-ray
Galaxy S7 x-ray

The large rectangular gray block is the battery.  Superimposed on the battery, the NFC and wireless charging coils are easily seen.  Volume buttons are on the upper left side, and the power button is on the right side. The rear camera is the square object in the upper middle.  The selfie camera is the white donut shaped object just above and to the right of the rear camera.  There’s the micro-USB port at the bottom middle, and the headphone jack to the left of the USB port.

PhD take 2?

After having to end my attempt at a PhD with the MUSC/Clemson Bioengineering program five years ago, my Clemson supervisor asked me if I’d be interested in going back to finish it.  It was unexpected and took me a bit by surprise.

Going into the third year of the program, work demands had reached the point where I could either continue to get all the testing done in a timely fashion and let the research drag along, or continue with the research and end up getting behind on the equipment testing and all the other work.  Getting behind on the testing would get me and the hospital in trouble with state regulators, so I decided I needed to shelve my PhD ambitions for the time being.

With all of the required course work behind me (I think), my former supervisor seems to think that with a good project I could get the research  and thesis finished in about a year and a half.  I still have to get past the qualifier, though.

So far everybody seems to think it’s a good idea and that I should do it.

As I found out last time, this is a big undertaking that I’m not sure I can find the time for.  Work demands have only gone up over the past five years, and with three new MUSC centers opening up next year they’re going to go up even more.

I probably wouldn’t even be considering the possibility of going back to the PhD if it wasn’t for Connie throwing her support behind me.  Taking on a PhD is basically the same as another full time job (at least), and without her being willing to pick up the things I won’t be able to do once I’m started, restarting the PhD would definitely be a no.

It’s a big decision to make, and there is a lot to think about.

After Florence

After making landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC, Friday morning, the storm spent Friday and Saturday moving slower than most people walk across the southern part of NC and eastern part of SC.  Florence is a tropical depression now, and two days later is only 35 km SW of Columbia, SC and still moving slowly.

Florence’s path took it north of us, so we ended up on the dry side and just got a couple days of breeze and light steady rain..  Most of NC is still getting rain from Florence and probably will for at least the rest of today.  I think we’re done with Florence now, at least until all the rain it dumped makes its way downstream.

We started preparation early for Florence.  Irma taught us a few things about getting prepared last year, and there were a few more things we were reminded of this year with Florence.

  • Check your battery operated things.  I forgot about the Maglight flashlights we have, and didn’t have enough D size batteries to replace all the batteries that were already in them.  The battery stock at Lowe’s and Publix were pretty much wiped out (plenty of AA and AAA batteries left though).  I could have tried a few other places, but we have enough other flashlights around that I wasn’t too concerned.  Will definitely make sure we have enough D cells on hand for next time though.
  • Decided that having 7 gallons of gas on hand for the generator wasn’t quite enough, so two more 5 gallon containers were added to the collection.
  • Arrange the refrigerator and freezer plugs so that they’re more accessible from the side, rather than having to move them away from the wall to reach them in case they need to be plugged into the generator.

I think we were pretty well prepared for Florence.  Even though the storm didn’t bring us any severe conditions, it made for good practice for next time.