How To Make Springs

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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

Post by Kellemora »

You nailed it Yogi! I agree with everything you said.

But both the legal and medical industry is built on HIGH SALARY incomes. Doctors no longer take a couple chickens for their services, not since Insurance companies came on the scene. But even so, the two richest people in town were always the doctors and the lawyers. Albeit that has changed somewhat with the Insurance companies taking the lead, along with the Bankers as being the richest people in town.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Believe it or not there are doctors who will take two chickens for payment of their services. Those doctors live in no man's land and probably are veterinarians. They can take chickens for payment because they don't live in a penthouse of a big city high rise. They live in a small town where the gas station is the town. I'm not so naive as to think money is not the motivation for spending 12 years learning how to become a doctor. But think about what it costs to pay for 12 years of medical schooling. Those student loans take years, maybe decades, to pay off even if you are a doctor with a seven digit net worth. The doctor I see here in O'Fallon lives in a town nearby, not in a wealthy suburb of STL. He has a nice house and car, I'm sure, but he isn't what I would call wealthy. In fact most of the doctors I've seen and heard about around here are in the same situation. Those High Priced Doctors you refer to are in the minority and only get what Medicare allows them (if they take Medicare patients at all) to have regardless of where their office is located.

When I was a little kid mom would walk me over to the doctor's office which was about a mile or two away. He had no receptionist and only sometimes had a nurse. He took the payments personally and no doubt he kept the books too. Even more amazing, that doctor would come to my house when we could not make it to his office. All of that was great, but it severely limited how many patients the doctor could see. The big office fully staffed you see today is leased by several doctors who formed an LLC. What do you think? Are the expenses today's doctors must pay the same as those of the doctors of our youth? Well, not only did the business aspect increase expenses, but the treatments in terms of drugs and medical procedures went through the roof price wise. Patients simply could not keep up with the increased costs that doctors were more or less forced to pass on to their patients. It is true that insurance pays it all these days, but they are using the premiums we send them to do it. They can't pay out of pocket like we are forced to do at times. The costs of modern medicine are thus averaged out by insurance companies, and we can pay over an extended period of time via premiums. Doing it that way introduces a middle man and once again the costs of medical care escalates.

We could just do away with insurance companies and socialize medicine. At that point doctors and the hospitals would work for the government and not private enterprises. Nobody in the profession would be happy about that, but us patients would all be paying the same premiums and all of us would be entitled to the service. The government isn't known to be very efficient in such operations, but the are reliably consistent. Plus, they have the ability to generate money at will. You're going to tell me about the quality of socialized medicine being less than optimal, but I would come back to remind you that in that scenario we all get the same quality treatment -- good or bad. Rich doctors and greedy insurance companies would be history. They probably would all buy chicken farms and make a killing that way.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Our family doc, the one I was raised with, made home visits, but slowly weened himself from doing them, except in an emergency. I think the reason he came to see me at my apartment was because of long-standing family ties. He also took care of my kids as they were growing up too. The thing is, his prices were always more than fair, and although we did have insurance, it was to cover the major expenses we might incur.
Once I got older and was assigned a new doctor by my old doctor, then my insurance usually paid for everything.

I do know our insurance does pay for most of the doctors bill these days, and we just have a smaller co-pay. Especially since we were put on Medicare at 65.

We don't want socialized medicine, I know too many people who live in countries that have it. And they are always trying to get donations to have things covered that socialized medicine won't cover. They would rather someone suffer and die than get them fixed, which is doable in many cases.

I really only know that a few doctors I've known over the years, well they would only charge what they knew a client could afford, so they did not get saddled with debts they could never get out from under.
In fact, we have a clinic not far from me that operates solely on donations. But you have to be destitute to be able to use them.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

Post by yogi »

The timing of this is impeccable: I received an EOB today from my medical insurance company. This statement covers the expenses for the surgery I recently had to fix a hernia. I didn't give it a thorough look just yet, but I did check out the bottom line(s). I saw the surgeon in his office twice. I had a diagnostic MRI previous to seeing him. The surgery was done as an out patient. I was in at 9:00AM and out by 3PM, six hours total. The surgery itself was just over one hour. The only meds I got were pain pills and we paid for them on the spot to the hospital pharmacy. What would you guess that all cost?

Well the MRI was $3,200. The surgery in total was ... $21,000. I didn't look at the breakdown to see what the surgeon himself got, but I'd guess it was close to $15K. So, in total that surgery cost $25,000 for about 8 hours total treatment and office visits. Aside from the pain pills which I didn't bother to make a claim for, I paid nothing out of pocket. However, I am currently paying $550/mo for supplemental insurance. That covers the 20% which Medicare does not pay. 20% f $25,000 is $5000, which I will have paid in this year's premiums on October 1st. My last surgery was 14 years ago, and of course the premiums were not as high as they are today. But, the pool of premium money I have amassed during those 14 years has got to be close to $50,000. I admit that I have had some medical expenses each year, but nothing close to require the supplemental people to pay out that 50 grand.

The gods only know what my future holds, and heaven forbid that I would at some point need to use up that pool of premium money for $250,000 worth of medical treatments. I sit in shock and awe each time I pay those premiums because they are going up at an exponential rate. Something about my age and risk factors. I don't know if socialized medicine is the answer, but I can foresee a time when I won't be able to pay the premiums for the supplemental. It will come at the moment I will need its benefits the most. I don't know if I will at that time have the resources to pay out of pocket. And, should Medicare be cut by 30% in the next couple years, that will only be the start of the cuts. So, whatever I die from looks like it could be long and painful because I won't be able to afford the healthcare at that time.

So my reasoning for thinking universal insurance is a good idea is based on my pessimistic outlook and the realities of healthcare costs. Some poor socialized healthcare is better than dying alone in my dark basement because I can't afford being hospitalized.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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I remember the shock when I was told Ruth's medical insurance had hit its cap, and they would pay no more.
The only time I couldn't come up with the 26k right away, they shipped her downtown to Firmin-Desloge hospital, which of course we all hated because it was a state run hospital and questionable doctors.
At least now that I'm on Medicare, as far as I know Medicare does not have a Cap. But I'm sure my Supplemental Plan does.
Mine has gone up considerably also, the premium that is. And I do know they don't have to renew when I hit the 5 year contract time period ending. At least I know they can't dump before then, hi hi.
My dad had a great life insurance policy, so mom would be set fairly well after he passed away.
But rather than stay in her paid for house, and pay a lawn service company 40 bucks a month, maybe it would go up to 60 by the time she did move. But the place she moved to was 3 grand a month, and she stayed there until she died, but in the end had to have us kids help her pay those high monthly rent payments. She too had a small life insurance policy that got divided three ways, since my sister had already passed away. We each got around 9 grand which of course we had to claim as income.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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As long as Medicare can stay funded I think you are good to go with medical insurance. There is likely a cap on the supplemental, but I can't recall reading about it. There is no cap on how high they can make the premiums, however. It's a shame that we should have to worry about the ability to get decent healthcare, and it's downright criminal that we can easily be locked out of the system if we don't have enough resources. My blood boils when I read or hear about political figures saying the government should not be in the healthcare business and suggest eliminating it. That would of course force us into private insurance which would only be about ten times more costly than Medicare. That is in fact why Medicare was invented and private insurance does not apply after age 65. Only the government has enough resources to pay such ungodly bills.

I have enough life insurance to cremate me and have a big party afterwards to boot. That's not the problem. The big expenses occur before one moves on to the Great Unknown. I find it ironic that the Right To Life people feel righteous enough to imipose their views upon the general population, and these same people also support the idea of government getting out of the healthcare business, come what may to those folks who can't afford that.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Well, the wheels of government grind very slowly, so by the time they mess up Medicare, I will probably already have been incinerated, hi hi. And I have all of that paid for already, including the opening and closing of the niche in the wall.

What irks me is how much money those on welfare are getting. No wonder they can afford new cars all the time, and live high on the hog. The housing may not be great, and all those project areas are riddled with crime.
I pass Montgomery Village on the way out the Sims Road way and I look in there when I pass, and you don't see a single older car in there, some might be 5 years old, but most are not quite 3 years old yet.
Plus they buy the best foods at the grocery store too, things we couldn't afford if we wanted them.
Where is all that money coming from anyhow. Oh Yeah, OUR Taxes!
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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I'm good friends with a welfare recipient today and have had a couple other such friends in the past. We never got into a lot of details about exact dollar amounts, but none of the ones I know personally were being given enough to meet the poverty level of income. My poor friend of today was under that level - $12,880 per year -at the end of 2021. She got a raise early this year to put her a few hundred dollars over. She owns a house, a car, and a truck, but you are living the life of royalty compared to what she can afford. She's always been unable to work so that the answer to how she could buy that house (her parent's old house) and the two vehicles is a mystery to me. I know she takes out loans and eats only about 3-4 times a week. Thus her expenses aren't what yours and mine would be. But would either of us want to live like she does? I think not. I can't say anything about what you observe in your area. I don't know why those welfare recipients appear to be more than capable of living a comfortable life. I would guess if you got to talk to any of them you might find out.

It does seem as if there is an inequity if what you say about subsidized housing residents can be taken literally. Asking how they can afford all that luxury and you can't get the meds you need to stay alive is a very good question. My only comment is that it doesn't have to be that way.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Well, I can tell you about a couple I know personally. I'm excluding the one I know who also gets disability, because most of that money goes to visiting health care.
Daschell Roberts, age 42, lives in Montgomery Village (public housing), with his 19 year old son.
His housing is not completely free like many there, he has to pay 330 bucks a month.
Electric (up to a limit), water, and sewer or covered by the state.
Besides his Welfare Check, he also gets Food Stamps, and something else, I forget what it is now.
He still has like 400 bucks a month left over after they take out for his rent, and basic electric service.
Because his son lives with him, he gets an extra 300 a month, even though his son does work.
He drives a 2019 Toyota Land Cruiser, an SUV, he bought new, and plans on buying a new car this year.
He often crosses the minimum electric amount, so has to pay like 18 to 25 bucks a month for that.
Now his neighbor in a sense fairs a little better than he does, although they get a smaller check.
In their case, the rent is covered so they pay no rent, and they also get Food Stamps and Medicaid because their listed income is under the poverty level. But they actually have more disposable income than Daschell has left over.
She drives a 2021 Honda, don't know the model. And she does girls fingernails on the side, for how much she won't say.
But just those two make more than I get from SS and have a lot of things covered for them, which saves expenditures.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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I don't intend to sound snooty, but I am better off that the two welfare recipients you mention, and have more disposable income than you have talked about here in regard to your own situation. Given all that I have, I cannot afford to buy a new car, much less a new truck.

Obviously a lot is going on that we don't know about or don't recognize. For example, would you swap places with anyone in the Montgomery Village housing project? Would you do it if you could have a new car of your choice too? ... I didn't think so.

There are an infinite number of reasons why people must ask for welfare or disability or any other handout from the government. By far the majority of them are legitimate reasons, and the governments have responded to those needs. My complaint is not that some people are getting more than I think they deserve. I take issue with the fact that some people who legitimately deserve financial assistance do not qualify for it. There will always be cheaters and waste in the system, but there is no reason why every citizen of this country cannot be furnished with at least the bare minimum for their survival.

By the way, the average cost for having your nails painted in O'Fallon is $40-$60. It can get close to and over $100 depending on what all you have done.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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When I filled in driving a city bus, down in downtown St. Louis, you wouldn't believe the conversations I overheard about getting more money from the government.
I distinctly remember one lady taking to another. Yuz don't want to yuz that form honey chil, yuz dis form and you get almost a hunnert more dollers evry munt.

I'm on an acre of land with a house, a garage, with my office inside, and two storage buildings. No, I don't want to live in a tiny apartment, much less one where I have to keep ducking gunshots all day, hi hi.
But it would be nice if I had more than 89 dollars left over. Well I do now, and extra 35 bucks a month, because Debi's son, who is now the deed holder is paying the real estate taxes, which keep going up. But I'm still paying the insurance on the property. If he would take that over, I would pick up another 30 bucks a month.

You are right about a ton of people getting money they shouldn't be getting. I know a person back home who started getting disability when he was around 42 years old. He was injured at work and got a huge check from that, and managed to get on disability through his SS. You would never know he was disabled, not while you see him pulling engines from cars and rebuilding them, plus mowing his lawn with a push mower, using a tiller to get his garden ready, etc.
He rented a big box truck when he moved and moved all the furniture and boxes himself, including a big couch and other things that normally take two people to do. I did use a hand truck on one end of the couch while he lifted and pulled it up onto the truck, then hopped down and lifted the other end off the hand truck and slid it into the truck.
I suppose he is legally disabled, but I do think he found a way to work around his invisible injury.

Where Debi's niece goes to get her fingernails done, it cost her 25 bucks, plus another 10 if she want's decorative nails.
Debi gets a foot scrub, callous remover, and her nails trimmed and painted normally for 44 dollars, but the last time she went they had raised the price to 48 dollars for that full-treatment.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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The price I quote for having your nails done is from a list of statistics regarding O'Fallon. I'm sure the price varies depending on the location. $50 seems to be the mean around here, but back home it was $65. I don't know what a pedicure plus manicure would cost, but I would not expect it to be anything less than double. I have given some thought to getting a pedicure. I could use somebody's help with my feet and toes, and in fact I found a place or two that will do the job. It's just that I've not seen any males in those places and would feel uncomfortable exposing my ugly feet. LOL

One interesting point along those lines is my mom would have a podiatrist come to the house and trim her toe nails. I guess Medicare paid for such service every other month, or some such thing. The really surprising part was that the doctor made house calls one day a week just for seniors who needed the help. I don't recall what Mecicare paid, but it could not be anywhere near what that doctor could get for an office visit. No such service is available here in O'Fallon.

There are always a lot of stories going around about people on welfare. They system was fixed and laws were passed I don't know how many times in my life. There STILL are people abusing the system, and my guess is there always will be. I'm not sure you can help all the folks who need it without picking up a few who don't need it too. But, as I mentioned above, I don't mind welfare cheaters nearly as much as I dislike the fact that some people truly in need can't get any assistance at all.

Back in the Chicago area I was paying $800 a month for real estate taxes. I considered myself very fortunate when I found out my monthly tax bill here is only $310 a month (last year). $35 a month is more than reasonable, but I know you have told me how little you get for that price. I can say with certainty that I did not get three times the St Charles County services in metro Chicago. I think the school system had a lot to do with it.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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I'm sure there is a seniors center somewhere around you, where those who do toenails, etc. come in about once every other week to handle those who come on that day for that purpose.
We have one here very close to us, called the Boy's and Girl's Center at one time, but it has been taken over by seniors and mostly activities for them.
Here is what a google search turned up.
https://www.google.com/search?q=what+ho ... nt=gws-wiz

Here is a big list of them.
https://www.caring.com/senior-care/in-h ... i/o-fallon

There are many seniors of which the institutions know nothing about, so they always fall through the cracks.
When I was on the board of a church back home, you would not believe the number of single adults over 80 we found living alone with no relatives to help them, and they didn't know what to do about it either. Neighbors would call the church when we advertised for folks who know of seniors who do not appear to have any visitors or family. About two dozen were discovered nearly every time our monthly had was run. And we found free help for all of them, sometimes including free meals, daily check-ins, and sometimes they agreed to be moved to a seniors care center, some had to be also.

Ouch, that's a HUGE real estate tax!
My house in Creve Coeur started out around 600 per year and grew a little bit each year, until the year I moved it was 1,400 per year, then jumped up to 1,800 right after we sold the house.
My first two years down here, before we were annexed, our taxes were like 325, then 350. After we were annexed, it jumped to 675, and services were cut nearly in half. More than double the price for half the services.
I guess I shouldn't complain, the two houses to my left, and the three houses across from me, are all paying around 1,750 a year.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Thank you for the heads up on O'Fallon senior assistance. Home health care sounds like way more than what I'd be wanting for my toe nails. LOL Mom had it when she was in hospice care and those people do a marvelous job. In fact the hospice people are the ones who recommended the podiatrist from the same hospital her other doctors were affiliated with. If hospice didn't do it, they knew somebody who did. I'm sure I could buy any service I'm willing to pay for, and I know there are tons of volunteer organizations out there too. I kind of think I'm over qualified for most of that, but then I'm not alone and living on my own.

The Chicago metro area always was in competition with the other cities who ranked #1 for being the highest taxed areas in the country. In fact I think we took the honor for a few years. California and New York generally came in first but it all depended on the economy any given year. I will say that a lot more services were available compared to O'Fallon simply due to population density. There were more snow plows, for example, because winters in Chicago are nothing like what you see here only 300 miles to the south. So, somebody has to pay for all those plows, the gasoline, and the $26/hr the drivers make to start. We could have survived if we stayed there, but without a doubt we would be down to zero in our retirement fund in about ten years. Life in O'Fallon isn't quite that expensive even with inflation factored in.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Well, you might find a place close by who does men's nails discretely.

We don't actually have snow plows down here per se.
They have a few dump trucks they can put a blade on the front of if necessary.
Most of the dump trucks have a large tank they can set inside for the purpose of spreading calcium chloride on the streets.
I meant to say pick-up trucks, not dump trucks, hi hi.
Now we do have an earth-grading company down here with a contract to remove snow from three or four major roads with their long center bladed earth mover. As long as I've lived here, they have only been called upon twice. And both times were surprise heavy snowfalls nobody expected, so the roads were not washed down with calcium chloride first as usual.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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I have to wonder about the effectiveness of the winter calcium chloride. I saw it done a few times up in Chicago. They never had the stuff expect for the last few years I was up there. It was always some form of rock salt that they laid down in preparation for a snow storm. I think it's pretty limited in what it can do too. Anything more than a dusting of snow would overwhelm the melting effects, or so it seems. I believe the thinking is that Calcium Chloride will stop ice from forming. That might be true, and then that would be the advantage of using it.

My neighbor up north had a pickup truck. I think he had roots down south here or something because just about 50% of the O'Fallon population has a pickup. Not so around Chicago. He loved his truck and one year he acquired a blade he could attach for pushing snow around. Just for the heck of it he would clean his driveway, which was about 100 feet in length, and three of his neighbors. I was one of those neighbors. He did it just ... just because. I'd always buy him a gas card at the end of the season just to encourage him to come back the next year. He didn't do the sidewalks because the blade was to big for that. I didn't mind doing the walks because there were on level ground, unlike the driveway.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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I realize folks have used salt for years, and it does work, but for a very strange reason.
Putting down salt makes the snow or ice colder.
That's why you use salt in an ice cream making machine or manual crank jobbie.
So what makes it work then?
An interesting thing about salt is it is endothermic, meaning it lowers the temperature that water will freeze.
Without there being water, the salt would do nothing.
So technically, it is not melting the snow or ice, it is making the water require a lower temperature to freeze.
How does that help?
Well, when snow touches water, it dissolves into the water, and since the water is now saline, it can't refreeze.
Just what you always wanted to know, right, hi hi.

When my parents lived in Des Peres, due to the size of our property, dad always had a nice brand of lawn mower, usually a Simplicity brand mower, such as the Yoeman.
He had the welding shop make a plow like rake for on the front since we had a gravel driveway that always needed leveled.
But it worked well also to push snow off of the gravel and relevel the gravel at the same time.
Then when we moved out to Ballwin, he just bought a cheap riding mower that didn't hold up very long.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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No doubt the way rock salt works on snow was explained to me at some point in my life. Be that as it may, it's always good to get a memory refresh and I must thank you for doing that. You are correct in your explanation and an understanding of the chemistry/physics of snow melt only needs a little pondering. What does the word "melt" mean? It describes the act of a solid turning into a liquid. Everything in the universe will do that but at different temperatures. So, chlorinated water has a lower freezing temperature than non-chlorinated. That all makes sense until you think about what starts the process. Why does the snow melt in the first place before there is a brine solution to keep the process going? You are going to say there is moisture down at the base and the salt mixes with that to start it all off. Then I'd ponder some more and wonder if salt would melt powdered snow that is knee deep. Doesn't seem likely according to theory. However, your explanation does tell why it requires traffic on the salted road to melt the ice.
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Kellemora
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Re: How To Make Springs

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In most places, the ground is actually warm enough for the snow to melt under the layer of ice, so there is water there.
Also, if you place salt on top of a block of ice, it will melt a puddle in the top, and then as the water accumulates and becomes brine, it will melt that block of ice.
The reason it works this way is salt is also a desiccant, meaning, it attracts moisture.
So by placing salt on top of a block of ice, it will draw moisture from the ice, which in turn creates brine, and brine also attracts moisture through osmosis trying to dilute itself, but being brine that won't freeze, you can have a puddle of brine water on top of a block of ice that cannot freeze so keeps growing in size.
Lot's of crazy things about chemistry, and I wish I remembered even 10% of what I used to know.
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yogi
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Re: How To Make Springs

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Gary" wrote:Lot's of crazy things about chemistry, and I wish I remembered even 10% of what I used to know.
My understanding is that we only retain about 10% of what we learn in the beginning. So, if that's all you can retain, you are about average. :grin:

Then you tell me about desicants
Google wrote: des·ic·cant
/ˈdesəkənt/

noun: desiccant; plural noun: desiccants

a hygroscopic substance used as a drying agent.
I'd look up hygroscopic but I already know where this is going. I guess that's the reason I put salt on my sliced tomatoes and watermelon.

Speaking of water ... the official rainfall here in O'Fallon in the last 24 hours was 10.3 inches.
There were no less than five warnings issued by the US Weather Service regarding this storm. About 3:30 AM the City of O'Fallon called me on my mobile phone to tell me not to go out, and if I had to, do not drive through any puddles. Yes, they CALLED me and woke me up because I keep that phone next to my bed to use as a clock. Well, they had to leave a message because I didn't recognize the number and I wasn't going to answer a phone call at that hour of the day. Needless to say there are many roads flooded and all manner of chaos from here to St Louis and beyond.

The first year after I built my house up near Chicago we experienced a Hundred Year rain, which is a storm that only occurs 1% of the time under given conditions. There was flooding down out street and the drainage ditch in back of our house came within 6 feet of the building and there were power and utility outages all over the place. That was due to 9.25 inches of rain over night. And, by the way, we got another Hundred Year Rain about a month later. Well, here in O'Fallon the streets are damp because there is still a very light rain falling. My back yard has a puddle about the size of a kiddie swimming pool but only an inch or so deep. A few years ago that puddle stretched across my entire yard and went into the neighbors on both sides after only a 3" rainfall. So this storm was more than 10 inches of rain and no puddle of significance. (then again, we are in the middle of a drought) I don't have a need to go out today so that I won't be able to inspect the landscape personally, but I am super impressed at whatever O'Fallon and St Charles County is doing to keep the water drained quickly and efficiently. It's something I'd never expect from a small city government.

And FWIW, this storm will pass over the northern border of Tennessee. Hopefully you won't be affected by it.
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