(Close Window)
Topic: New information from the Cups and Balls museum
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 19, 2008 12:47PM)
I haven't posted any new items to the museum site in over a month. I have actually acquired several new sets, about a dozen or so, which will be going on line within the next couple of days. We have had a series of disasters over here, which put a lot of the museum work on hold.

We went to Europe at the beginning of May, visiting Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Upon our return, we were greeted by a large piece of sheetrock, ca 1 meter x 2 meters, which had crashed through our living room ceiling and had landed across our coffee table. There waa approximately 3 gallons of water on the floor, along with assorted chunks of gypsum fragments from the sheetrock.

The airconditioner condenser tray had overflowed because the cutoff switch malfunctioned. The drainage pipe was clogged, and the water soaked the ceiling. The good thing about it was that the overflow had occurred about 40 hours earlier, so there was no mold or mildew to contend with.

Fortunately, the museum is in a different part of the house, so the cups were not affected. However, we had to move furniture out of the living room, which put a big kink in my photographic activities.

It took two weeks for the A/C people, the sheetrockers, the painters and the carpet cleaners to get the mess cleaned up. We were covered by insurance, so we came out just fine. But it was a big hassle, and it was extremely stressful.

To add to this, I had just completed the construction of a new light table to use for photographing certain cups that were difficult to light. I'm still learning how to use this, so I will be requiring a bit of practice to get things the way I want them.

In any case, there will be new photos on the site by Saturday evening. There will also be an announcement of very great importance.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 19, 2008 12:54PM)
I know how you feel. I had a tree crash thru my ceiling during a major rain storm in N. Calif., then next week a flood in Linda's house where a backyard drain clogged and the living room had a foot of water on the floor... followed a year later with a burst pipe and 5 feet of water in our basement...

NO FUN AT ALL... I pray for the folks from the Katarina mess and now the Mississippi river flooding.

Don't know what is worse... fire or water damage?
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jun 19, 2008 12:58PM)
Sorry to hear of your ordeal Bill! Glad things worked out and I hope nothing was damaged beyond repair! Looking forward to the new adds although I can still wander around the museum and see things I swear weren't there on my previous tour!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 19, 2008 01:59PM)
Sorry to hear about your troubles, Bill, but glad that everything is on the mend.

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: phillipsje (Jun 19, 2008 02:06PM)
Sorry to hear it Bill. I'm glad you're getting it all worked out and I look forward to the new pictures.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 19, 2008 02:44PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-19 13:54, Pete Biro wrote:
I know how you feel. I had a tree crash thru my ceiling during a major rain storm in N. Calif., then next week a flood in Linda's house where a backyard drain clogged and the living room had a foot of water on the floor... followed a year later with a burst pipe and 5 feet of water in our basement...
[/quote]

I remember that you mentioned that in one (or more) of our messages.

[quote]
NO FUN AT ALL... I pray for the folks from the Katarina mess and now the Mississippi river flooding.

Don't know what is worse... fire or water damage?
[/quote]

I knew a lot of people in both of these things. The damage from Katrina went very deep. Some people were so depressed by it that they are still feeling the pain from it. One of them who was really affected was Ralph Fountain, a magician from New Orleans, who had a huge kid show business at one time. He was Pete Fountain's cousin. Ralph was completely wiped out by Katrina. He went to live in Florida. Passed away last month.

It's hard to say which is worse, fire or water. I guess it depends on how bad a fire or a flood they are. Some folks down the block lost their attic to bad wiring a few years ago. Their son was asleep in his upstairs room, but he got out just fine. They felt that they were blessed because they didn't lose much. Their house was fixed about six months later.

Floods are hugely insidious. The damage is very, very difficult to deal with sometimes. Here we have what I would call "low level" floods, where water might get into your house and soak the floors and the walls for a few inches. There are parts of the Greater Houston area that have been condemned because of the way they lie in the new flood plain maps.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Jun 19, 2008 03:51PM)
I'm glad to hear that the flood damage is quite minor Bill, it's great to hear that you're getting back to normality.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 19, 2008 07:10PM)
Sorry to hear of your big hassle, I use to install A/C equipment in L.A. for 5 years, I belive you did not have a proper installation, besides the normal hookup
to the drain sistem we use to install a custom made sheet metal drain pan bigger than the fan and coil unit, this pan is not hookup to the drain sistem, it just go all the way the through the attic and through the wall and just an elbow down to the out side of your house where you can see it, it shoud always be dry, if you ever see a single drop of water coming out of it is time to call the service man.
I think this extra drain pan works better than a float switch that can alert you to a possible overflow.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jun 19, 2008 07:36PM)
Sorry to hear of your AC disaster Bill, but know that there are a lot of folks who consider the Cups and Balls Museum one of THE resources in magic, and appreciate EVERYTHING you do to keep it online.

I'm not primarily a cups and balls worker, but the addition of the Shell Game sets to the museum has me visiting a few times a week.

There are a LOT of folks who truly appreciate what you did and continue to do in pursuit of creating and maintaining the museum.

Thanks Bill.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 19, 2008 07:55PM)
Thanks very much for your kind words.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Jun 20, 2008 01:16AM)
The important thing is nobody, (or cups) were hurt.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 20, 2008 01:33AM)
Walid:

I wish the installation would permit that. However, the location of the A/C unit would make that very difficult. They did move the unit a few inches, though.

An A/C tech can make as much money as a brain surgeon here!
Message: Posted by: Magikrn (Jun 20, 2008 12:46PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-20 02:33, Bill Palmer wrote:
Walid:

I wish the installation would permit that. However, the location of the A/C unit would make that very difficult. They did move the unit a few inches, though.

An A/C tech can make as much money as a brain surgeon here!
[/quote]

In Las Vegas, they can make more.
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Jun 20, 2008 01:31PM)
Glad you got everything sorted Bill, I love browsing the museum :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 20, 2008 04:13PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-20 13:46, Magikrn wrote:
[quote]
On 2008-06-20 02:33, Bill Palmer wrote:
Walid:

I wish the installation would permit that. However, the location of the A/C unit would make that very difficult. They did move the unit a few inches, though.

An A/C tech can make as much money as a brain surgeon here!
[/quote]

In Las Vegas, they can make more.
[/quote]

I seriously doubt that. Even though there are boucoups casinos, hotels and motels, we have about 1,000,000 private residences and apartments -- each one is airconditioned. The guys who service the casinos are pretty much in-house maintenance people.

The guy who really makes the money is the jobber.
Message: Posted by: Magikrn (Jun 20, 2008 06:18PM)
I was referring to the crooks who go to individuals houses. They take advantage of people, I knew a guy who used to work as an A/C tech in Vegas and he knew some real crooks.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 20, 2008 06:47PM)
Crooks? I am not familiar with this word, does it mean thief?
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jun 20, 2008 07:16PM)
Crooks is very general word for a criminal. It can include many types of criminals, including thieves and cheaters.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 20, 2008 07:35PM)
Then an A/C tech and an crooks are VERY diferent kind of people.
I don't get Magikrn's point.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 20, 2008 07:53PM)
I don't know what he means. I'm a magician and a mentalist, not a mindreader. ;)
Message: Posted by: Magikrn (Jun 20, 2008 09:17PM)
OK so before we get too off topic about A/C work, I will explain.

When I say crooks, I am referring to the A/C techs in Vegas. They will get called to someones house with a concern that the A/C isn't working properly. They will investigate and quickly find that it is an easy fix, but will sell a job that doesn't need to be done just so they can make a quick buck, or a few quick bucks. There was a news story about this a while back where A/C techs would get a call from a house that has been setup with nothing wrong with it. The Tech would obviously see that the A/C is working but he would sell a job anyway thinking the residents wouldn't know any better. It was a huge scandal a few years ago or so.

Hope that clarified things a bit.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 20, 2008 10:42PM)
There's nothing hew about that. They do that everywhere there is A/C. They also do it everywhere there are automobile mechanics, plumbers, or any other kind of home repair people.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 21, 2008 11:00PM)
The new cups (all but the last four sets I have received) are now in the database, so you can search for them.

I'll be adding them to the main pages later tonight.

I photograph all the cups first, before I add them to the database. I had to dismantle tha photo setup because we have guests this weekend.
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jun 22, 2008 06:14AM)
I'm very sorry to hear about your misfortune Bill.
Sounds like a nightmare when going returning from a vacation.
I hope all is sorted out for you quickly.
All the best,
Jeff
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 22, 2008 12:40PM)
It's fairly well sorted now. I think I'm going to have to convince the guy who installed it to do some re-thinking about that collection pan, though.

Anyway, I'll be photographing again tomorrow.

All the new cups are on the web site and in the search engine now, except for the last four sets.

Jake caught a mis-listed set last night, so that's taken care of, as well.
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jun 24, 2008 12:07PM)
The anticipation is killing me Bill....
What's the announcement of very great importance?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 24, 2008 12:48PM)
As soon as everything is in place, I will announce it.
Message: Posted by: M for Magic (Jun 24, 2008 04:36PM)
Okey-Dokey.
Must be big!
How are things with the AC and your home repairs?
Hope all is smoothing out well for you.
Take care,
Jeff
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 24, 2008 05:01PM)
Everything is going fine with those.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Jun 25, 2008 04:39PM)
Bill, if I lived over there I would be more than happy to have fixed your AC (As it seems I am one of those crooks... Of course it is completely unacceptable that we expect to be paid. It's irrelevant that we need to be skilled in plumbing/electrical/construction/sheet metal fabrication/local and state codes/Refrigetated/welding.... There's more.) However Walid is correct, and it is code in most areas; Any system installed in an attic should have an overflow pan, for those "Oh ****" moments. It's too bad you don't have the room for it in your situation.

I would suggest that anyone with a central air system to have a "Crook" clean out the drain along with their general maintenance at least every couple of years. We do it with our cars.

Sorry that happened to you Bill.
Message: Posted by: sier5 (Jun 25, 2008 04:54PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-20 02:16, pepka wrote:
The important thing is nobody, (or cups) were hurt.
[/quote]

So true
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 25, 2008 05:21PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-25 17:39, Josh Riel wrote:
Bill, if I lived over there I would be more than happy to have fixed your AC (As it seems I am one of those crooks... Of course it is completely unacceptable that we expect to be paid. It's irrelevant that we need to be skilled in plumbing/electrical/construction/sheet metal fabrication/local and state codes/Refrigetated/welding.... There's more.) However Walid is correct, and it is code in most areas; Any system installed in an attic should have an overflow pan, for those "Oh ****" moments. It's too bad you don't have the room for it in your situation.

I would suggest that anyone with a central air system to have a "Crook" clean out the drain along with their general maintenance at least every couple of years. We do it with our cars.

Sorry that happened to you Bill.
[/quote]

Josh:

I certainly wouldn't put you in that category. As a matter of fact, the fellow who installed the A/C unit three years ago failed to install an overflow switch. The first time it ran over, he installed the overflow switch (this was less than a year after the initial installation, so there wasn't a matter of non-maintenance.) This switch failed within a year, and that's when the third overflow occurred. The fourth (and hopefully final!) overflow occurred within 7 months of the installation of the second overflow switch. (I have an overflow pan, but if the drain gets clogged, the switch is supposed to shut the unit off.)

This time, I requested that the owner of the company come out and look at the installation, because, to my way of thinking, there were some competency problems involved. He admitted that they should have installed the unit six inches higher than they originally had, in order to get the proper drainage.

The unit has been cleaned properly and regulary, at least as far as it was possible. The unit itself is a Trane. And it should not have done this in the first place.

I used this particular company, because a friend of mine, who is the largest jobber of A/C parts and equipment in Houston is also connected to this company and he recommended them highly.

A lot of the problems with this stem from the fact that there not enough people to go around in this company, so (I feel) that sometimes small details get overlooked. Some of these can be devastating.

I don't feel that a large percentage of A/C techs are dishonest or careless. Far from it. But if a consumer is not wary, he is very likely to fall prey to some of the hustlers that come around during the initial hot spell every Summer and prey on the unsuspecting.

BTW, I don't expect to get anyone to work on an airconditioner without being paid for it. I just expect the work to be done correctly.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Jun 25, 2008 10:37PM)
Bill, I was taking a jab at another post, not you. I know for a fact that you are more than fair about valuing another's work.

Unfortunately with HVAC, there is typically no standard licence. In Washington you have to have 5 years apprenticeship in both electrical and Plumbing. There was nothing for HVAC until the recent small addition of a low voltage electrical licence.

Poor installation will ruin the best of units (While I don't sell Trane, I agree they are a good unit). Small missed details can lead to very poor installations.... as you have been unlucky enough to experience.

If the company was negligent, and that caused the problem, I would be asking them to pay for the ceiling and everything. While I doubt anyone would have drained it incorrectly out of malice, the company did cause the problem and aught to offer some remuneration.

My posts in this topic could not [i]possibly[/i] be more off topic...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 26, 2008 12:24AM)
Sure they could. You're not even trying hard enough! ;)

BTW, so far they haven't charged me anything for the repairs, including the sheetrocking and the painting.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 26, 2008 10:59AM)
We should move to the secret sessions, we are giving away too many A/C tricks without getting paid.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 26, 2008 12:32PM)
I want to know how you guys work in attics without getting soaking wet!
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 26, 2008 02:11PM)
We DO get wet.

(no wonder they use to call me wet-back)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 26, 2008 02:31PM)
OOOOOOHHHH!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 26, 2008 06:25PM)
Work in the winter.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 26, 2008 06:45PM)
Customers keep calling us in the summer
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 27, 2008 11:32AM)
If you want to get a bargain on an A/C installation, do it during the winter or spring. Also, it's a good idea to have a maintenance call done then.

The ball is under the center cup. (for relevancy purposes)
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Jun 27, 2008 12:12PM)
[quote]
On 2008-06-27 12:32, Bill Palmer wrote:
The ball is under the center cup. (for relevancy purposes)
[/quote]

LOL... good one there. :D
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 10:44PM)
I don't know if I ever posted the outcome of this whole mess.

The fellows fixed the sheetrock and the A/C, painted the walls and ceiing and didn't charge me anything!

They raised the indoor part of the A/C unit six inches to give it plenty of runoff, and they put in a much better cutoff switch.

I put some tablets in the water to prevent algae.

BTW, there are some new cups on the museum site, as well as an important announcement.