the death of the furnace/boiler

This past weekend the boiler at the house of rock died. It met its watery doom late friday night, and today the sales guy came to try and sell us a new one.

New furnaces/boilers cost between 4 and 5 thousand dollars.

So, that puts a good dent in the piggy bank. Thankfully, we think that the new heating system will improve the value of the house by at least that amount.

Today, as one of the inspector guys was leaving, he noticed that our front screen door doesn’t have one of those slow down cylinders to prevent the door from whipping out in a violent spastic manner.

“you know you can get one of those at a hardware store.”
“yeah, we’ve just been busy with other stuff. It’s not high on our list”
“it would probably take 45 seconds to put on..”
“it’d cost you, like, three bucks.”
“It’s certainly better than breaking your door.”

he’s right. but really, I tend not to worry so much about dampening the swing of the front screen door when the boiler is busy flooding the basement with furious angry water.

New culture

We have some visitors from China this week, and today I got the pleasure of trying some of their local foods. Specifically “yak beef”. I would give “yak beef” 2 stars. It’s was salty, and a bit overpowering.

I think if I had it more often, I would grow to like it. for now, I’ll chase the beef with a fresh pear.


Jesse and I went rock climbing last night, and I’m proud to say that I completed a 5.10 d on my first attempt. As I look back on the past year of climbing, I can see huge improvements in strength and technique for both myself and Jesse. I remember when I was asking for help on 5.7’s and now I can fire through 5.10’s without a problem. Jesse’s lost a ton of weight and gone from a comfortable 5.6 to a comfortable 5.9 and 5.10. Two weeks from Friday, the Gym manager is taking us out for a day of climbing. It’ll be exciting to try and use the skills we learned from the gym on real rock. They say that when you switch from plastic to real rock that you typically drop about 2 to 3 points in difficulty. We shall see!

In other news… Check this out.

the weekend

my parents came to CT this past weekend. They both tried rock climbing, and I’m proud to say that they did quite well. Both my mother and father seemed to feel comfortable on the walls and completed a few exciting climbs.

Talk about cool parents.

There were some other people at the gym who couldn’t help but comment on how they wish that their parents would come climbing with them. So, once again, my parents have proved their coolness. 4 stars mom and dad! 4 stars!

Nerds 4ever!

Firstly, the comments on that last post were priceless. thanks to everyone.

Alicia’s calculations were good, but they don’t take into consideration the distance he falls. Aaron is right, it has a lot to do with Kinetic energy. and until he started talking carbonated beverages, he was right on. Let’s take the climbers mass as 91 kg (200.2 lbs). we will use the height of 7 meters (21 feet). And Alicia’s calculation of velocity at impact of 11.7 m/s.

at impact: K.E. = 1/2 m v^2 = about 6230 Joules

But force of impact is also dependent on stopping power. The whole advantage of my stopping Joel is that I’d have about about 1.5 meters (5 feet) of slow down time. If Joel hit the floor, he would be stopped almost immediately and would suffer a lot more.

A Joule is defined as the amount of work done when an applied force of 1 newton moves through a distance of 1 meter. So, since I would be providing 1.5 meters of slow down, I can divide our 6230 by 1.5 to get the amount of force (in Newtons) needed to stop Joel.

6230/1.5 = 4153 N

Converting Newtons to Pound Force
4153/4.448 = 933.67 lb

So, I would feel about 933 pounds slamming down on me…. But this is only from 7 meters. The wall is 13 meters high. From 13 meters, I would get hit with about 7700 N, or 1731 lbs. For the average person, that would definitely result in serious injury. Thankfully, I’m a muscle monster and could certainly catch even the heaviest climber without a problem. 1731 pounds? walk in the park.

The bond of roommates

Jesse and I were discussing what would happen if somehow, mid-rock climb, the rope snapped. While this would never happen to a mindful rock climber (because wear on rope is very obvious), we were trying to figure out how quickly the belayer would be able to react and whether or not they could catch or slow the descent of the falling climber.

I commented on how I thought there would certainly be a chance of death for the person trying to save his falling comrade.

mike d: “Especially if I tried to save someone like Joel. I think if he landed on top of me, his weight could easily crush my chest.”
jesse: “I don’t know, I think the chance of survival for the climber would drop significantly, with very little chance of the belayer dying.”
mike d: “it would be easy enough to figure out.”
jesse: “true. we know the mass, the acceleration, and the height… though I don’t know the strength of bone.”
mike d: “well, if it came out to be some ridiculous amount of force…”

mike d: “like 12,000 pounds of force.” Jesse: “like 6 tons of force.”

6 TONS = 12,000 Lbs

Weird that we would both choose the same arbitrary “ridiculous amount of force.”
I’ve come up with two possible explanations.

1. Jesse and I have a strange roommate bond that results in us thinking alike… though in different units.
2. a ridiculous amount of force is just about equal to 6 tons.