Coping: The “Glass Solvent” Dream

UHD 4K monitors for the Home Office and Cold Weather Gunnery in a second, but first the odd dream about disruptive technology.

Terribly interesting dream awoke me this morning a little after 3:30 AM.

I was not me – rather someone else, a woman I think – and the dream took place in another time zone.

The subject was a conference and the topic was the quest for a Universal Solvent, although the conference attendees hadn’t generalized the idea this far.

I assume you remember from your fine-focused study of words that you understand the difference between a solvent and a glue?

Mainly, a solvent is an approach that allows the blending of the molecules of whatever the material substrate is. Solvents include “airplane glue” – toluene – that provides for the blending of the polystyrene material, for example. Glues, on the other hand, fill in the surface spaces and voids and provide what might be seen as an “interfacing” material.

So far, there have been two predominate processes used for solvents and gluing. One is HEAT and an example of a solvent joint might be a nice welding bead.

The other is chemical, and that’s why PVC pipe is so cool: The hot-set-mix (which you should keep handy and fresh each fall for those winter plastic pipe breaks) is a solvent similar to airplane glue.

This solvent and glue issue works at a course and fine level, as well: It’s why you can’t just “paint” a surface like Formica. It needs to be “roughed up” or there’s poor adhesion…but I digress.

So back at this conference (which seems to focus on recycling, which I thought was odd…would have expected adhesives to be the headline concept) the topic was glass and how the Universal Solvent for Glass was coming into view.

This was turning out to be a “hot concept” at the conference. Reason? Like the reduction of crude oil into “cracked” distillates, the recycling of Glass is fraught with the same high energy-input requirements to work. Sure, sure: Glass recycling is neat and all, but what’s the melting temperature of glass again?

Try 1,600°C which is about 2,912°F…although we can skip the kilo-calories per mole to move from 60°F storage to meltdown for another time.

So what happened in this conference was that a new “solvent” for glass was revealed that operated at a far lower temperature.

The solvent had to be applied in a “containment vessel” because it was dangerous, but when applied it seemed to vaporize glass which could then be scraped off the containment vessel walls.

As you can see, it was more a work of art in terms of demonstrating the solvent worked. In the dream the vapors of glass were either that dark brown or medium green – resolution in the dream-state is not perfect.

But there you have it: Every time I get into the “extensible thinking mode” we were talking about the other morning in the Millennials Missing Manual book, my brain simply takes an assortment of “day residue” and reinterprets it forward.

Still, it got me to thinking about how a Universal Solvent would work, not to mention reading up on the 2016 report on the Global Solvent Industry.

More recently there was an article on how “Scientists develop solvent-, catalyst-free way to produce alkali metal hydrides.” And solvents are a huge deal at EPA with “MEDEP Proposes to Adopt EPA’s Solvent Wipes Rule” typical of results.

Still smoldering from the dream, I went looking for a professional-level conference in another time zone.

The 2017 Resource Recycling Conference isn’t until August in Minneapolis. The Adhesive and Solvent Council meeting it a month and a half into the future, and since most of my dreams with prescient contend tend to be on the order of 2-hours to 7-days, I scrubbed that.

Still, if over the next month or two we hear about a breakthrough/disruptive technology that will fuse glass (or melt it) with a radical new solvent, remember where you read it first.

Super Workspaces: The UHD Box

Like so many SOHO types (which is a generic way of describing UrbanSurvival and our other websites (like Peoplenomics)) I have always had my antennae up looking for the “ultimate workspace” for my digital efforts.

To date, I’ve been happy with a pair of dual monitor GTX-260 dual video cards (in SLA) with four HDMI monitors.

But last week, I decided to give another shot since they have had killer prices on UHD televisions which, around here, turn into 40-55” computer monitors.

So I ordered an Avera TV 49” UHD/4k for my desk which is presently littered with three 28” monitors and a 32” overhead. Looks like this:


My thinking was that it would be way-cool to convert all that unused wall-space visible into more workspace and the price on the TV was right: $267.50 including the shipping.

Can’t beat that with a stick…

So the unit arrives, I herk it into the office after rearranging the desk to fit (I’d been planning to keep one of the 28’s on the side, but drop one side and the 32” overhead.

PROBLEM: My GTX-260’s only support a maximum resolution of 2660X1600 which doesn’t fly with a 3860X2160 display.

Solution: I had already ordered an updated card for the media server in the living room that drives the 55/UHD there.

I found the $68 EVGA GeForce GT 730 2GB GDDR5 64bit DVI/HDMI/VGA Low Profile Graphics Card 02G-P3-3733-KR worked out just fine there. So if this television/super monitor does become my new workstation display of choice, I’ll have to look at it as the cost of the 40”UHD with HDMI ($270) along with the cost of two cards ($136) for a total conversion cost of $406. Still cheaper than the three monitor approach and lots more real estate, but this is not a curved screen and as you can see, the three-monitor solution does wrap better.

The upside of (spending more money)_ is that I’d be able to add the dual tuner satellite card for watching Pentagon news conferences live and such. But do I really need that or is it a distraction?

I checked out the curved UHDs and they are about worthless for the desk. The focal point of the curve is about 10-15 feet back seems like, so until someone figures out there’s a HUGE market for a 50” UHD monitor curved around a focal point at 24” we are stuck where we are and the new TV made end up in a different application.

One of these days some marketing jock will figure out to put a “focal distance of curve” spec on these new TVs… I mean that’s the kind of xhit that’s obvious as hell, yet where’s the spec? I sure didn’t see it in the “curved TV hype.


Nothing can be simple, can it?

Cold Weather Gunnery

Son G2 has been asked to write an article on cold weather solo camping in the wilderness. One of his friends said the other day “Gee, those photos are great…can I come along?”

No, no way.  What part of solitary did he miss?

Solitary deep woods adventure in 5 to 10-feet of powder is not a starting point for the adventurer…it’s a culmination.

As G2 explained “I make it look easy on Facebook but what you don’t see is as many hours of prep as there are hours going into the trip itself.

Every ounce in the 45-50 pound pack (not counting comms gear on the body, clothing, and snowshoes, and five pairs of gloves, is accounted for. The trail is preplanned, the outside contact and response if needed is preplanned. Oh, yeah, and being an EMT with specific wilderness EMT training doesn’t hurt, either.

George’s friend said the helmet he wears back country looked stupid.  G2 had an 8-inch icicle bounce off it away from his body last week, so stupid looking or not, G2 has learned the “numbers” from dad.  Its also a GoPro mount.

Out of all the conversation though, here’s one thing that stuck with me:

Dad, my friends who are some serious people tell me none of them would go out with an American-made pistol. They only go with German guns.”

Huh?  Bells went off in my head…

Only two weeks ago, I had been out working on the property and had my little .22 Taurus boot gun with me and popped off a few rounds. Hunters were in the area…It jammed 3 out of 3.

“Tell me more, son…why is that?”

Well the Germans and the Russians have done a lot of cold-weather warfare and their guns have all been designed to work at extremes of cold weather. But if you get a gun manufactured somewhere like Brazil, they have no idea about pistol performance when it’s cold. Same thing with most American pistols. Ruger is OK as American guns go, but the guys I skydive with? They won’t go back-country without a German pistol.”

A few skydivers are ex-Langley or spec ops types and they go with Sig-Sauer, Glock, and other German pistols.  And there’s a strong cold-weather case for the revolvers, but I don’t like hammers catching on clothing and such.

Still, it was one of those I’ll be damned “recipes” I hadn’t thought through.

Sure explains why my Taurus (Brazilian-made) was misfiring every time and that’s why the Glock 19 never hesitates.  Only takes a second to clear a misfire, but longer if you’re not expecting it.

Never thought about it before, but it all comes back to the long discussion Thursday about “Recipes.”  The hidden ones kick Ure ass.

Brazilians (and fair weather gunsmiths) don’t know jack about cold weather gunnery. So if you have some really cold weather come through where you live and you can get to a range or legal property to shoot on, it’s definitely something to test. Freezer at the range would work, too…but again, how many gun ranges have freezers for testing cold weather pistol performance? And how many freezers will hold an M4?

Knowing this won’t make you a cold-weather warrior.  But if you have a German gun and it’s cold, no problem.  My Taurus is sweet when it’s 65+ out.

Consider yourself edjumacated.

With that, off to look at the jobs report due out shortly.

Have a great weekend and ya’ll come back Monday, y’hear?

Write when you get rich,

14 thoughts on “Coping: The “Glass Solvent” Dream”

  1. Regarding Glass recycling. I work in this field and not only is it cheap and simple now, it’s required to make new glass. Like steel, a better product is produced using crushed glass as a major component. Just crush it. Simple, cheap and effective. If it needs to be finer, use a roller mill. The downside may be adjuncts are required to remove iron in certain instances. A ‘molecular structure disentangler’ may be useful as in disintegrator type substance but I can’t really understand what purpose it would serve on glass that a rock would not. The problem with glass is it needs to be broken out of a stasis of cubic form to amorphous and then cooled before returning to cubic from amorphous. Energy reduction up front can be achieved via microwave heating and additives can change viscosity. 3D printing and sintering is the most promising to reduce energy.

  2. I’ve put thousands of rounds through my Glock 23 .40 at various ranges without it ever jamming once.

  3. re: cold weather guns. Where were you keeping your Taurus? Waistband holster? Pocket?

    My thought here is whether the firearm is being stored & operated at the environment temperature or stored on/next to the body (~98) and “deployed” for use. I can understand the design thinking as related to temperature but also would consider the reality of say, IWB carry, and then a draw for use. The ‘tropical’ gun may work just fine in that scenario.

    Fine time of year to experiment on this subject.

    JD/ North Alabama

  4. I’m a retired LEO and my former off duty weapon is my back country companion in all weather. It has never failed me or jammed regardless of sub zero conditions. H&K all the way!

  5. I live in Minnesota and it was about 10 below zero last night. Glad I went with a Sig Sauer P220 some years back.

  6. “… breakthrough/disruptive technology that will fuse glass (or melt it) with a radical new solvent…”

    A hydrogen bomb will do the trick ;-) unfortunately, there are still too many around in the world, and no one talks about that fact.

  7. George,Wash all the lubricant out of your Taurus and re-lubricate with a good dry lube such as Molycote, makes all the difference best Willy J

  8. Great info on cold weather gun performance. I’d definitely start with proper lube, but you’re probably right to be skeptical of any autoloader until proven otherwise.

    Regarding revolvers, I can imagine a retractable hammer guard for anything DA.

    Thanks for sharing your monitor setup. I’ll be adding monitors with my new system(someday) and yours is a good pattern to emulate.

  9. Hello, George,
    Cold weather carry REQUIRES a firearm which is designed for such. Personally, I would go with Russian, as they were designed for MUCH colder temperatures than German (Siege of Stalingrad/Volgograd, q.v.). Tokarevs have the m.v. & force one needs, and they are very flat shooters. as well as being semiauto. Personally, I’ve got a couple of Nagant (7.62x38mmR) revolvers loaded with mil-grade ammo (1200+ fps, 86gr bimetal/steel jacketed RN bullet, conical – NOT PPU or Fiocchi style case crimp), and a Mosin M91/30 (7.62x54mmR) w/Brass Stacker picatinny rail & a LER ‘scout’ scope. Both cartridges have the taper which allows for easier extraction in adverse conditions, and both rifle and revolvers are designed with enough ‘looseness’ to need little or no lubrication. Those who complain of ‘sticky bolt’ on a Mosin are just too lazy to look up how to cleanse the chamber of ‘cosmoline’ (purportedly a 1:1:1 mix of beeswax, axle grease, and diesel fuel, used as a preservative). Oh, and for those who STILL believe that the Nagant revolver doesn’t have a hammer block, I would refer them to part number 23 in the exploded diagrams available online. BTW, calibers stated thus so that people can copy & paste to search engines & Wikipedia and actually FIND them.


    • Thanks for such high quality info! As good as my MD who ‘smiths’
      Now if Cosmoline didn’t smell like bear xhit

      • Thanks. Just a product of my experiences and a lot of research. Speaking of ‘smithing’, bad crowns can be ‘removed’ using a large Lee case trimmer (yes, they are THAT sharp, ruined a case length gauge finding out) and an appropriately sized ‘pin’, a steady hand, and a LOT of patience. The barrel is about 1/4″ shorter (27.75 muzzle to bolt face, but now the barrel has a good crown. Here’s a tip: Got a pistol that won’t group no matter what? try a glass marble and some JB Bore Brite on the muzzle/crown, being careful to remove any excess. A little smoothing can go a long way toward accuracy. BTW, agree on the cosmoline ‘smell’. Given the ingredients tho, NOT surprised. Yeeeeccccchhh!


  10. Cold weather specialist-Browning Hi-Power 13x9mm luger in handle, made in Belgium/Winterpeg Manitoba. First arm G.I. to opposing forces WW11.

  11. Christopher Bird wrote, with help of another, a couple of books about the secrets of plants and soil. In one or the other of them, he told about his research coming across the story about the conquering Spaniards traipsing through the jungle on mission, only to discover the silver on their spur type gear was dissolving away. Turns out there is a plant down there somewhere that birds pluck bits of twigs or branches off of, and fly to a nearby likely rock and set about rubbing the plant across the rock top to worry/rub/dissolve out a nest hole.

    Most rock, being kin to quartz, makes me think that that plant’s compounds could ‘melt’ glass. Just sayin’

    P.S. Thanks for the heads up about armaments and cold weather issues.

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