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Posts by z_darius  

Joined: 18 Oct 2007 / Male ♂
Last Post: 6 Jul 2011
Threads: Total: 14 / Live: 3 / Archived: 11
Posts: Total: 3,968 / Live: 1,617 / Archived: 2,351
From: Niagara, Ontario
Speaks Polish?: Somewhat

Displayed posts: 1620 / page 1 of 54
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6 Jul 2011
Language / Difference between "cię" and "się" [10]

się is used for reflexive verbs as in yourself
There isn't a full semantic overlap of those between Polish and English. For instance English he is bathing is not reflexive, in Polish it is, hence it will be kąpie się, literally "he is bathing himself".

- The above is the so called "properly reflexive verb" and they are usually transitive.
- Reciprocal reflexive example is całują sie i.e they are kissing (each other)
- Autoaccusative reflexive, used for mostl for animate objects obraził się i.e. he (feels/is) offended, but word by word translation would be he offended himself.

- Anticausative, usualy refers to inanimate objects, when it's unclear what/who is the cause of action, for instance zepsuło sie i.e. it got broken/it broke.

- Intransitive/Personal reflexive - spało sie dobrze, i.e. the sleep/sleeping was good/comfortable.
- Inherent - swiat sie smieje or the world is laughing

I can think of no easy way to provide you with a jig, if there is one. I think you'll just have t learn each word individually and check its forms and whether it is reflexive or not. Some reflexive verbs have also non-reflexive forms. The meaning is changed, in simplest terms, by who, other than the speaker, the action was performed upon.

Cię is a personal pronoun used in Genitive and Accusative.

Don't feel bad if this boggles your mind. When they say Polish is not easy, it is a euphemism.
6 Jul 2011
Real Estate / WOODEN HUNTERS TOWERS ON MY LAND in it legal....? [59]

are you a vegetarian?
if not this smacks of double standards
you are happy to eat meat as long as someone has done your dirty work for you

You asked a question.
You assumed what the answer would be and then you gave him shhit for your own answer to your own question. How many of you live in your brain?

Even if he is not a vegetarian, he clearly stated he would not shoot anywild animal. Your attitude is like stating that someone who is not into blond women is double faced when he screws a brunette.
6 Jul 2011
Real Estate / WOODEN HUNTERS TOWERS ON MY LAND in it legal....? [59]

Ha...i already thought of that one....

but just saw through one leg , and leave the sawn piece in place with a long wire to my Jeep....

Illegal as specified by Prawo Lowieckie.

However, the same Prawo Lowieckie (Hunting Laws) states the following:

Art. 12. Dzierżawcy i zarządcy obwodów łowieckich mogą, po uzyskaniu zgody właściciela, posiadacza lub zarządcy gruntu, wyznaczać i oznakowywać zakazem wstępu obszary stanowiące ostoje zwierzyny oraz wznosić urządzenia związane z prowadzeniem gospodarki łowieckiej.

Art. 12. Lessee and administrators of hunting areas may, having obtain permission from the owner or from the administrator of the grounds, define and mark as inaccessible the areas inhabited by game, and to erect structures associated with with hunting (industry/activity)

Now, I'm not a lawyer so there may be a catch.

But... I am sure that, as and owner of the ground you can travel fairly close to those towers. I also hope you still have your Harley. Use low gear, rev it up as soon as you notice some action on the ambona. One of those 5 million candle spot lights (inexpensive) will make it easier for you to see from afar at night. Who knows, you might even spot a deer or a boar running away from the bright light.

If for now other reason, I would do just that to make sure I am safe with someone at the edge of the forest. Heck, I'd even care about the fellow human being up there on he ambona. Drive up a few times and offer beer. At 1.30 am. Sing a drinking song, Polish or English.

If you want to be a little less noticeable get the cheapest pay-as-you-go cell phone. Ideally two. Place them around the edge of the forest. One around the edge of the forest, the other about 30 to 50 meters deeper. Make sure the ambona and the cells form a somewhat straight line. Call one when the hunters show up. Then call the other phone. Just two signals. Perhaps even just one. On an off. Then pause. Observe if the hunter is looking for the source. If so, stay low. Give him 30-60 minutes, let him get his confidence back. If he's climbing the ambona for whatever reason give him a ring too. He won't be able to located the direction with his back to the source of the sound.

You can experiment with the location of the phones. Who knows, perhaps the triangle arrangement would be better. Perhaps placing one on the ground and the other up on a tree would create an even more confusing effect.

Oh, make sure the phones are light-tight as to not be seen at night should they emit light when ringing, and that the ringer is set to high. Heck, you could even use one of the custom custom rings. Only your imagination is the limit, but in the spirit of age long Polish tradition I'd suggest speech sounds such as "Spierdalaj", or "Ty chuju". Use native speakers, of course.

Have fun.
5 Jul 2011
Life / Building: treatment methods of and understanding timber in Poland [16]

OK, I misunderstood what you needed.

The term you're searching for is biscuit and the tool needed for those is biscuit joiner. I am not a big fan, mainly because it is the weakest of available glue joints. It also has a bad feature of swelling when glue (or moisture) is added. That would certainly be a problem outdoors. Also, even if you saturate the joint with epoxy thee is still a real chance moisture would not only swell the biscuits to the point that their imprints might show on the outside of the joint. Biscuit would also create stopping points redirecting the flow of water from downwards to, possibly, the other side of the joint and only then again downwards. That would be contrary to a requirement to minimize the amount of water that gets between the facade and the stucco wall. This may not seem very probable, but I have seen how droplets of human sweat under a shingle cause a flooding of a basement.

In short - nah.

Now, the 45 degree thing is called a miter joint. Alone, they are very weak if applied to end grain. Extremely strong when applied to long grain i.e. two boards glued together in parallel. For long grain you don't need any additional tricks as the gluing area is very large. Still, considering the outdoor character of the project you might indeed consider some other methods.

Below I attached pictures illustrating the two sensible approaches. Only one of them makes sense for long grain (vertical) joinery and that is the spline. The picture shows it a little extruded for clarity only. The spline would be made of exactly the same lumber so there would be no problem with varying degrees of dimensional stability of the connected members and of the connector (the spline).

The spline would run along the entire length of the joint. This helps align the corners and it also provides a mechanical barrier from water, which with this join will always flow down without interruptions. Spline can be cut on the table saw (ts) and so can grooves that would accept the spline. Naturally, the grooves wold be cut after chamfering (cutting at 45 deg) of the long edges.

Spline will also work for end grain miters (horizontal corner). In fact tis is the scenario where is is mainly used as in cabinetry it makes no sense for the long grain joints.

Another method useful for the horizontal corner is the keyed miter. It is easier to make and it offers no less gluing area i.e. strength. I use it especially for picture frames and small, thin waled boxes where spline is out of the question. Keyed miter is useless for the long gain joint (our vertical corner) since after cutting the slots for the keys we would be gluing long grain (the keys) to end grain (upper and lower surface of the slots). That simply won't hold with PVA glues, but it would with epoxy. There is also a question of style and such. Again, these are shown extruded but the extrusions would be normally chiseled and/or sanded off.

With keyed miter the thickness of the key is irrelevant. Al that counts is the glue area, i.e. how deep into the corner it goes. Hence, the openings for the keys can be made as thin as the blade of a hand of mechanical saw and that makes it possible to do them onsite and in place. In fact the horizontal corner set would be hard to carry from the shop to the outside of the house if the boards are long.

The situation is different with splined miters. Due to a fair degree of precision reqired, the glue-up should be done in the shop where you can use clamps a little easier and have better control over the precision. An assembled set we call the vertical corner would become... well... a corner "stone" from which the remaining boards would be installed.

I'm attaching two other joinery methods, but those would be definitely an overkill and a lot of work, especially for the vertical corner. I use those mainly for drawers if I want to show off. And then there are a few more and their variations and styles.

Oh, I am also trying to bend a quarter of a circle, to round off the fence in to the garage.

I'll take it simply as bending wood.
First of all, it depends on two main factors - thickness of your lumber (I know, it's 22 mm) and the radius of the bend. 22 mm is not trivial and I have only a vague idea about the bending properties of larch. One of the methods you are already aware of - laminating a bunch of thinner pieces together and gluing them against jig layer by layer. You won't know until you try.

However, if wood was kiln dried it is much harder to bend. Than air dried, or better yet, only partially air dried are better choices. All is not lost tough as moisture, lots of it, can be injected back into the wood. You need a pipe/tube the diameter of the lumber's width and as long as the piece you want to bend, a kettle, a hose. The board goes inside the pipe/tube and is capped on one end. The cap has a receptacle for the hose. This is the receiving end to which you connect a hose whose other end is connected to the kettle's spout. The other end of the tube is open. The water boils, goes though the pipe on the other end while heating up the board and saturating it with water. About an hour per inch of thickness. I'd go for two, just in case. Keep an eye on the kettle so it doesn't run out of water. Have a another pot going in case you need to refill the main kettle. That way you don't give the wood spikes of steam/no steam.

Have the pattern, clamps (lots of them) and thermal gloves ready ahead of time. My wife still can't find her kitchen mitts :). Depending on the radius of the bend you may need to clamp every for inches or less. You need to work somewhat fast.

You could (doubtfully) get away with one solid piece (22 mm), but I'd go for at least two. You can steam them all at the same time, or do them one layer at a time. This would take about a day per layer as you want to make sure the wood is dry before you take the clamps off. Make sure the layers are absolutely snug against one another along the entire gluing surface. Otherwise water will get a solid foot in the door and, together with the Sun, it will start working on undoing your work.

After a piece is done and dry i will bounce back a little, but nothing to worry about.

Another method, less stressful I think, involves a router and/or bandsaw or jig saw. Draw the desired shape on a cardboard. Using a bunch of sort pieces, glue them together they follow that pattern but with a margin going beyond its border. You'll end up withe a clumsy glue-up, very roughly following he desired bend, but wider than needed. Use a router or a bandsaw to follow the cardboard pattern. If the arch is wide then you may need to create first one that follows the pattern's shape but is not as deep/wide as you need (I imagine 4 to 6 inches). To achieve the required depth make 4 to 6 of those arches, stack them together on top of one another for gluing. Before gluing them together though, you might want to make one of them exactly as required, sanded and all. You woud then use that piece as a guide (router+pattern bit) to make identical copies out of the other pieces. Don't try to chew to much in one swoop with the router. Cut the other pieces (bandsaw/jig saw) with about 1/16" to 1/8" margin compared to the first, nicely sanded piece. After that the routing will be a piece of cake. Wear goggles.

That's all for now and I ain't checking for typos.

This would be a very stable and lasting arch, as most laminated pieces are.

4 Jul 2011
History / Why is the Battle of Grunwald celebrated more than the Battle of Lubiszewo? [29]

So, when Gdansk fought against Poland it was a German city, otherwise it was Polish? LOL! :D

It was also a free city, neither Polish nor German. Depends what dates you're looking at. While the first stronghold was established by Poles, the city was bounced back and forth over the last 1000 years. Most of the time it enjoyed a degree of independence.
4 Jul 2011
Language / Meaning of git majonez [7]

Indeed, that is the original source of the word.
Git meant a prisoner, especially one who was capable of using prison slang (grypsowanie) and was tough and smart, a member of the prisoners' elite. The word entered the mainstream slang sometime around early 70's and it has had a benign tone pretty much ever since.
4 Jul 2011
Life / Building: treatment methods of and understanding timber in Poland [16]

For MC, the rules may vary from region to region and depending on the application. I looked at the suggested link and I gotta say that 18% MC for indoor applications is a little too high. Come Winter, the heating season and those boards go crazy. A dining table, 44 inches wide, I made last Summer shrunk 3/8". The lumber was 11% MC when I started working with it. I did consider the shrinkage in the design so the table is still here, but I saw an utter disaster where a table top literally exploded upwards along the fiber lines, and with a bang bang at that. Dinner was lost, the ceiling had to be repainted.

Side note, in case you were unaware, wood does not expand lengthwise, only in width. Well, not to any measurable extent.

Here, for indoors 15% is considered dry. I use wood when it's 10 to 11%, although when I take it out of the kiln it is usually around 7 to 8%, then it reabsorbs some. Hence, never work with wood directly out of the kiln. Too dry is dangerous. Wait a couple weeks so it has a chance to stabilize to the environment.

For the outside MC is not as important but should not be above 20%. I opt for 15% simply because it machines better than 20% and the future fluctuations are not as critical. Exterior joinery doesn't need to be as tight so wood movement is less of a problem. Also, if the wood has direct Sun exposure the MC will go down drastically. I checked some of my outdoor wood structure to be at 5% MC on some hot days!

One exception for your application is the timber that will hold the facade. I'd go for max 15% MC since the environment behind the facade will be relatively stable. It will accept ambient moisture but no direct water from rain. Also, if the stucco (tynk) is not covered with plastic sheets, then it will compete with wood for moisture. I hope there is some vapor barrier between the foundation and the walls.

If you don't want to spend money on yet another toy (they are not cheap) then you can use a manual method described here:

Pretty involved so I decided to spend $300 instead :)
4 Jul 2011
Life / Building: treatment methods of and understanding timber in Poland [16]

It seems like you actually know what you are doing :)
Stop me when I'm saying things that are obvious to you.

I am using a mix, two coats ofTeak coloured oil based teflon for water proofing and then (as was recommended) a insect repellent with a darker stain.
So I should be able to get away with dry epoxy or woodfiller, I hope.

pre-drill holes in wood with a drill bit dia. the same as, or a hair larger than, the screws/bolts. If you use washers under the screw/bolt heads that would can split all it wants; it's not going anywhere. You may have to countersink for washers with a Forstner bit, not with the typical countersink one. If the framing timber is more than 4" I'd look into two anchors per width to restrict cupping from uneven moisture conditions on either side of the timber.

Doh!, I was hoping to get away with once on the inside and twice on the outside...

I am using a mix, two coats ofTeak coloured oil based teflon for water proofing and then (as was recommended) a insect repellent with a darker stain.
So I should be able to get away with dry epoxy or woodfiller, I hope.

Wood fillers are often advertised as "stainable". I have yet to see one that really is.

Since I have no idea about that teflon thing and how it would affect the knot esthetics I would revise the epoxy technique. Have some very fine ash ready. Ash as in burnt wood or paper, not wood species. By fine I mean flour fine. Salt grains would be much too thick. Use a coffee grinder to make 1/2 cup or so.

I usually work with two part epoxy and when I make a mixture I add even parts (by volume) of resin, hardener and ash. I mix that well (stirring for at least a minute) and the substance, when hardened, makes knot gaps turn into some handsome and natural looking dark lines. The oil part of your teflon finish will stick to it well. If you stain it the adhesion is irrelevant sincethe filler will be darker anyway.

When filling the knots don't try to make a perfectly smooth patch over the surface of the knot. Instead, pour little blobs of epoxy along the lines to be filled and push the excess toward the centers of gaps. It will go down, settle around the knot and keep it nice and snug. You will likely have to repeat the process to fill the small ridges resulting from the epoxy flowing downwards. Again, remember about the tape on the other side. Otherwise you will epoxy your material to the work surface, or you will end up with a big blob of epoxy on the floor. Keep the material flat until epoxy dries.

Back to teflon - this is something where I have to back off. I never worked with teflon and for what I do I never would. I want to make sure you take this as what I would or wouldn't do for me, not as a suggestion to abandon the idea for your project. Although the idea seems fishy to me as few things seems to stick to teflon. Will the stain? I really have no answer because I am unfamiliar with this technique and the likes of teflon or silicone have no place in a woodworking shop.

It sounds great for external finishes though. Only make sure you there is material compatibility between different finishes (teflon, stain, the bug repellent). Call the manufacturers to confirm local wisdom. Also make sure about the sequence of application. If teflon is so good for water proofing that means it is an anti-penetrating agent. If so, then what exactly is the role of the bug repellent (hope it's not arsenic based) if it won't penetrate wood and thus will be washed out after a rainy day or two. Same for stain.

Or I might have it altogether wrong due to my ignorance about the product.

At any rate, my suggestion about the same number of coats on both sides is critical when it comes to film finishes (poly/varnish/acrylic). Penetrating finishes (stains) do not create nearly as much surface tension so one good application on the inside of the wood should do it. If that teflon is penetrating then I wouldn't loose sleep over applying just one generous coat on the inside surface.

Just to make sure I have a clear picture. By "ends" you mean... well ends, not edges. The ends point downwards and someone suggests wrapping those ends with some type of J-channel.

I would just 45 them and make them absorb as much of that teflon stuff you got there as possible. Wood "drinks" water through its ends but capping them can cause more trouble since now water, which WILL get in there, may never get out of there and this will cause rot. Things will look good for a few years and then rot will start showing up. I saw enough of those corner J-channels that ended up falling off because after a few years there was no wood to hold them anymore. Most water damage occurs behind those protective aluminum elements around roofs. To put it simply, those channels do not prevent damage, with some exceptions due to the nature of water flow. They hide it for as long as the damage does not extend beyond the area they cover.

I just went out for a smoke and I looked at my garden tools shed. Corners, overlapped and solely decorative elements, are made of cheap pine strapping, 5/8"x4". I built that shed 5 years ago and I only used one coat of penetrating stain. No checking at all. The same goes for my backyard gates. Cheap pressure treated material, 20 years old. It's got a lot of beating over the years. Not a trace of checking.

I am planning to replace them with white oak over steel frame. White oak is great for the outdoors, but not as resistant to rot as the larch you are working with. Larch resists rot even in contact with the earth (!!!). That is rare and a huge benefit. Make sure you do more research on larch itself. Perhaps you can skip some of the chemicals without paying one bit of a penalty in quality and durability. Maybe you could tint the teflon thing and skip the staining step? Call the manufacturer, or see if they have a website with advice.

If you want "toys" then I would definitely go for #2. I would present this solution to wifey as the only feasible one, even if down the road it wouldn't prove to be such a good idea. The "toys" would stay with you though ;-)

The best timing for that is in the middle of the project:

"Honey, I'm stuck. I need {insert the name of the tool you want}".

Always works for me. Usually, before I even get to the store she calls on the cell and makes sure I don;t get some cheap tool. "Get quality".

One general piece of advice I was given years ago, and I use it sometimes, is not to try to hide potentially troubled areas. Make them a part of the design instead. All those little groves, recesses, moldings etc you see often play two roles - add to the character of the design and hide crappy glue lines and inconsistencies in the grain patterns. Look at your design and try to visualize it. Or better yet, draw it in 3d with google Sketchup. Highly recommended.

In the long run it saves a lot of time and material as you can actually see what you need and how things will look in 3d. It helps you create bill of materials (automatically with the pro version ($500), or manually with the free version. Learning curve is not very steep. 15 to 30 minutes and you're in business. Plenty of video tutorials on youtube. I'm attaching a sample overview of the bottom part of a board. That one is simple, about 2 minutes to draw, but sketchup can be used for much more complex designs such as your entire property with the house and all rooms in it. Filled with furniture too.

Something I find unusual about Poland is when I wanted to buy the wood, for an example, they give all prices in M3 and then you have to work out how much you need by working it out.

I buy by board feet here.
1 bf = 144 cubic inches (1"by12"by12") so the measure is cubic too. I find bf easier though as I can ballpark what I get by envisioning actual boards which are usually sold in widths of 8 to 12 inches and lengths of 8 to 12 feet.

3 Jul 2011
History / What was it like in 1989+ in Poland when the Soviet house of cards fell? [237]

On my occasional travels to Warsaw I was mostly interested in visiting two bookstores.

That's where I bought a huge, 4 volume Russian/Chinese dictionary. It wasn't awfully cheap but something of that caliber in the West would have cost a few hundred dollars at the time. In hard currency the 4 volumes cost me about $1.50 in 1986.

Never before or after did I see a language dictionary so richly edited and so well graphically designed.
3 Jul 2011
Law / Those of us in Sterling GBP are having our backsides kicked [35]

well then, labor movement is also a political movement, and politics, among others, deals with labor laws. The right to strike, negotiate etc is one of those. Hence I reject criticism that labor movement should stay away from politics.

If politician want labor to stay away from politics then politicians should lead the way and stay away from labor.
Neither is doable.
3 Jul 2011
News / Insulting Catholics in Poland can get you 2 years in jail? [67]

No I haver never heard of this.

OK, I my memory was faded. The law has to do with pre-schoolers. There was a case based on that law in regards to a 10 (or 11 year old) which Iread in print. MacLean's Magaine of 2010 I believe. I may still have a copy somewhere, will scan and post if I find it.
3 Jul 2011
Law / Those of us in Sterling GBP are having our backsides kicked [35]

The problem is that actually, Solidarity from the beginning were dreadfully socialist.

Spare yourself catch phrases. "Socialist" a scare crow that few even understand. Is equal opportunity socialism? Is earning decent wages socialism? If so then we need to get rid of a few of the top socialists. we could start with the Rotchilds.

Utter nonsense, don't you think? And that's in a State owned company!

That is a common technique used in business. Don't let rue democracy in. If it is in then do everything to prove it isn't working, under-fund what is working well and offer a solution. The solution is ALWAYS privatization and a big kick in the workers' colective rear end.

No, greed is when the workers demand payrises in a company which is losing money. The risk should be shared, no? Greed is also deliberately obstructing reform in order to protect your own position -

Strangely, the owners of those companies don't seem to be switching from their BMWs to Fiats 500s. And if the company is loosing money what is exactly its purpose? Shouldn't it be closed? Something is missing here.

Shouldn't trade unions be apolitical, fighting for the best possible deal for their members irrespective of political inclinations?


Employment, wages, workers' rights is all politics. Any detachment of labor laws (which is definitely a part of politics) from the political is just an artificial construct. If a country has, for instance, minimum wage laws, then labor is a part of politics. If the workers are allowed to or prevented from strikes then it's also politics.

You can't separate the two. The same took place in UK under Thatcher. A political leader who meddled with labor movement. What gives!? Shouldn't she have stayed away from labor and concentrate on politics?
3 Jul 2011
Law / Those of us in Sterling GBP are having our backsides kicked [35]

You make the mistake of assuming that the Solidarność of 1980-1989 has anything to do with the trade union of today.

Not really You made a mistake of throwing all of Solidarity's track record in one bag.

Solidarity have actually blocked many attempts at reform in many industries

The "reform of many industries", as you cal it, consisted (in most cases) of former commie oligarchy to become capitalist oligarchy. I full understand the grievance. The people have been robbed and in may cases, the proceeds of the robbery were sold to foreign interests.

The problem is that many labour movements fall into the trap of not working with the businesses for the sake of greed.

That's a gem. A worker making 3000 pln would like to make 5000 pln and that's greed. A business owner person making 1,000,000 pln wants o make 2,000,000pln and that's not greed :)

Incidentally, if you spent much time reading the Polish press - you'd soon see that Solidarity are hugely politically motivated right now.

Wow. It took you only what, 20 years to realize that? Of course Solidarnisc is politically motivated. It has been from day one and it needs to remain such. Politics that is bad for the working class is surely the first thing any trade union needs to fight first.
3 Jul 2011
News / Insulting Catholics in Poland can get you 2 years in jail? [67]

Thats rubbish. Complete twaddle,but hey ho................

Never heard about the 10 year old (or somewhere around that age) who said "yuck" at the site of her mate's lunch. The mate as an immigrant from somewhere in ME and vicinity. The girls' comment prompted serious investigation of her and her family in regards to the proper upbringing at home.

It's just one example. The UK is anything but a free country. As one keen observer pints out, it has become a nation of politically correct snitches.
3 Jul 2011
Life / Building: treatment methods of and understanding timber in Poland [16]


the picture is a bit clearer now although not completely yet.

Larch is an awesome choice for outside application. It is a conifer hence a softwood, but the "soft" part of the word is just a part of classification. All conifers are softwoods but some are much harder than some hardwoods. I know, sounds silly.

Here's a few more tips, sorry if you're already aware of some of them.

The thing with larch is that it does need seasoning, even after kiln drying. The sap will ooze for some time. Based on the application I gather you have a few square meters of outside storage available to you. That's where it's best to store the wood for it to season properly. If you prefer to store it inside you need to make sure thee is enough air movement and ventilation for two reasons; if the wood is still relatively fresh it can stink up the house before it is fully cured. I tried that on my own house. Never ever store not fully cured lumber in the house, not even in the basement.

The time it takes to cure lumber will depend on the species and climate. 3 months may be enough if the wood is stored outside in warm weather and with nice air movement. The rule thumb is always test the finish you plan to apply to see if the sap is still a problem. With larch it often is for longer than with other lumber. It's kinda hard to hasten nature and sometimes if we do we pay the price.

To store wood you need to stack it properly. A plastic sheet on the ground to minimize, pinned down with a few bricks/cinder blocks. The plastic prevents moisture from the ground to enter the fibers, the blocks keep the wood above ground to allow air circulation. The lumber should not be in direct contact with the blocks even if there is plastic under them. Water from rain will be inevitably absorbed by the blocks and transferred into wood (capillaries).

Each layer of wood needs to be stickered i.e. separated from the other layers by small blocks of wood running perpendicular to the lumber. 12 to 18 inches is the recommended spacing, and about 1 inch (2.54mm) to 1.5 inches is the recommended height of the stickers. Even if you have only, say 5 boards, stack them on top of one another, don't lay them down next to one another. Once the lumber is stacked it needs to be covered with some cover to shield it from direct sun and rain action. The cover then needs to be weighed down with somewhat heavy material (bricks/blocs) to keep the cover from flying away and to minimize the warping of top layers of the lumber.

Sometime before you stack the lumber, if you do decide to do it, you need to inspect the boards' ends for checking. Checking is cracking of wood from it's end(s) towards the center. If there is any already in progress the boards need to be shortened to the point where there is no checking. Sounds like a little bit of a loss of material but if not done, checking may (MAY) go much further into the wood and ruin more of it. Once there is no checking at boards' ends those ends need to be painted over with some non-water based substance. Wax works very well, oil paint is great too. Use lots of it, as the end grain is very thirsty. It will penetrate about 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the fibers and it will keep the boards from checking. Use as much as needed. Too much is great.

Now back to the knots. These may cause long term problems other than oozing sap. Because their density and moisture content (MC) is often different than the surrounding area they dry at different rate and their movement may cause them to become loose and fall out. In order to stabilize them, transparent epoxy is used. If the knot goes through the thickness of the board then adhesive tape is placed on one side of the board and properly mixed epoxy is then gently poured into the spaces around the knot. The tape prevents the epoxy to sip through to the other side. Once dry (anywhere from a few minutes to a day) the epoxy will hold the knot in place. Because it is transparent it won't yield an ugly opaque look like typical wood filers do. Instead the knot's depth of color and figure will be preserved. In fact a like knots a lot and now, after I made a little step stool out of what I classified as scrap after I finished another project, wifey wants the knotty woods. They add charm and character. Of course it needs to go with style. Kinda hard t imagine a knotty Art Deco, or Queen Anne. An excess of epoxy needs to be scraped of with a sharp chisel of scraper. Sanding it away will cause gumming. At any rate, knots have to by dry, no sap. Otherwise epoxy will take forever to cure.

If the lumber is rough ten now is the time to push it through a planer (British English: planer-thickneser or over-and-under). Epoxy planes well (if dry).

Now the lumber is ready for finish.

For that, it is important to apply equal number of finish to both sides of the board before it is installed somewhere where only one side will be directly exposed to elements, for instance on a wall. Otherwise boards may cup, loosen the fasteners and further deteriorate from there. This has little to do with preserving the wood, especially larch, but skipping that may create uneven surface tension caused by finish to be only on one side. This leads to cupping.

Not sure what kind of finish you are looking into, transparent of opaque. If opaque then I'd still use epoxy to stabilize the knots but I would not fuss about the quality of scraping, but I'd finish the knot filing with half decent quality of wood filler, apply shelac and a coupe layers of topcoat.

If the finish is to be clear then it is a god idea to precondition wood with some kind of penetrating stain. The stain can be clear. For external applications these are usually semi translucent though. It all depends on the character you want to achieve. Don't use indoor grade stains as they offer little in terms of UV stabilization and will fade away fast. For external applications I'd settle for outoor penetrating stains since they stains can be reapplied every few (3 to 5) years. If you apply a film type topcoat then refinishing is peanuts but preparing for it is hell.

One very serious word of caution if you decide to stain (not paint with opaque paint). Larch, as most conifers, is prone to blotching. This looks bad and definitely like a paint job gone very wrong. There are some remedies tough. One is sanding the boards with a fine grit sandpaper, 220 or above. They have to be really evenly sanded. This sorta evens out the porosity of the surface and blotching is not as severe but it may be an overkill for external applications. Another technique is using sanding sealers. Don't use shellac for that. Won't last. Instead, use external grade varnish of low viscosity. Low viscosity can be achieved simply by thinning the varnish with the appropriate solvent. I'd use 6 parts of solvent to 4 parts of varnish. Almost watery and very penetrating. This evens out the absorption rates of the boards surface. Varnish must be fully cured before it can accept stain. Also, the grain will likely raise a little. Sand it down with whatever grit you're shooting for. If this is what you decide to consider make sure the stain can be put on top of previously finished surface. The instructions on the can will state that. They will also suggest if the stain can or should be topcoated.

Whatever you do, avoid polyurethane (inside or outside). First, it is mechanically bonded to prior layers, hence requires sanding between layer, unless previous layer is no more than 12 to 24 hours old. The thing won't even stick to itself. Second, poly is hard but it's not tough, i.e. it doesn't expand and shrink a the wood does. This causes blistering and flaking. Use spar varnishes instead. Morever, poly has nothing in terms of UV stabilization so it will basically look crappy after a season or two. If something is marked a marine grade (spar varnish) it is the best. Again, it's not about wood preservation from rot but about stabilizing.

I better finish now before this turns into a book.
3 Jul 2011
Law / Those of us in Sterling GBP are having our backsides kicked [35]

But of course Solidarity are whining - they've got a nice track record of whining and protesting against every Government that doesn't give in to their ridiculous demands.

First of all, Solidarity's track record is such that you are now able to live in Poland without a few SB agents following you. It's track record is such that it had an overwhelming support of practically every single Western country and of dozens of other countries around the world. I'm not sure if you're to young to remember, or too stupid to realize that.

And now let's look at those demands:

We are not expecting the authorities to manually steer the economy. However, we demand, within the framework of social dialogue, that the economic policies should serve all, regardless of their financial status, position and views or affiliation with specific interest groups. Our strength should be wise law, pro-development and anti-bureaucratic, investment in people and preservation of jobs - not cheap labor force!

Which part of the above is so ridiculous to you?

It seems fashionable these days to criticize any labor movement. This is a big mistake. The top of the top is making increasingly more money. The vast majority of all those below the top are making less and less. What we're seeing is a reversal of rights that a few of the previous generations fought for. That reversal is easy. All it takes for its proponents is to throw in a few catch phrases - commies, socialist etc and crowds of fools start cheering.
3 Jul 2011
News / Insulting Catholics in Poland can get you 2 years in jail? [67]

Insulting Catholics in Poland can get you 2 years in jail?

Not sure about the penalties, but insulting any religious group is illegal in other countries too, such as France or Germany.
In UK practically nothing is legal, as free speech in that country is just an abstract concept and you can get in trouble even for expressing negative view on kinds of foods others eat, let alone their religious views.

Therein lies the rub: one man's critique is another man's insult

I think there are ways to tell the difference.

If I say Catholics killed millions of people then it is not an insult but a fact.
If I say Catholics are "a murderous cult" then we have a situation stemming from the following doubts:

- is Catholicism a cult or a religion?
- do the Catholics murder people as a group and as a matter of habit/policy/credo? (notice present tense)

Since neither is true I'd say we might be dealing with an insult.
3 Jul 2011
Life / Building: treatment methods of and understanding timber in Poland [16]

I didn't use anything special on the knots for my terrace and it's south facing but even with the sun beating on it, the sap hasn't come out much, a little here and there. If you know, is this because the wood was probably dried properly?

Kinda late again with the answer, but here it is.

It looks like the wood has not been fully dried indeed. This is rather typical of construction grade lumber as drying it is time consuming/costly, also with solar kilns, even though I built one for myself to save money (green lumber is much cheaper than dried). Drying time depends on lumber type. Air dried takes about a year per 1" of thickness. In my climate (roughly similar to that in Poland) the process is shortened to about 2 months in Summer. Speeding it up is not a good idea as too fast drying rate will cause cupping, cracking, bowing and checking. This will depend on the wood species. Some are easy to dry (oak) some are notoriously difficult (hickory).

I imagine you used some kind of pine for the deck. The Sun is now trying to push out of sap so it sips through.This can be remedied with turpentine. It's natural and it dissolves sap. Use a rough plastic sponge pad to work the turpentine into the affected area and scrape away the old sap resin. Sandpaper will work to but it will gum up quickly.

Some people suggest Goo-Gone (sold in Poland under the same name) but it has (to my nose) a pretty stubborn and unnatural scent. I'm also not sure how it affects adhesion of various top coats.
27 Jun 2011
UK, Ireland / Polish and East European prostitutes in the UK [240]

Unless forced to prostitution, how else will you explain what they do? I can't imagine any self respecting female sleeping with random guys just for money without having some fun too. Maybe not always but at least often enough to pursue this profession.

So you agree that "not always". Hence, not every prostitute is a slut.

Of course I'm not an expert, to me it's just a common sense, that's it. The way you responded, you sound like someone who's well informed when it comes to prostitution. I'll be happy to hear from you how it works.

I see no common sense in what you wrote before. If common sense were to sufficient then we could easily extrapolate and say that not every person who planned, attempted or committed a homicide is a soldier, but every soldier in Iraq attempted, planned or committed homicide.

The definition given by the OP clearly does not apply to all prostitutes. As for my experience with prostitution, yes, I used to watch TV a lot and you just couldn't escape hearing about some Washington, DC politicians being clients of some high profile prostitutes. Some clearly not sluts. Just businesswomen working for VERY FEW select customers.
27 Jun 2011
UK, Ireland / Polish and East European prostitutes in the UK [240]

I'm not sure why people talk about prostitutes in a thread about sluts.
Urban dictionaries or not, the distinction is simple:

slut is a state of mind
prostitute is a profession
25 Jun 2011
Language / Your perception of the Polish accent [145]


Audacity is a great piece of software but its application in learning a language is as useful as picking on one's nose.

I did some experiments years ago with spectrograms of various sounds. A short study marring linguistics and computer science. I managed to find plenty of sounds made by inanimate objects with spectrograms nearly identical to some words pronounced by a person. I had persons speak the same words a number of times. There were always differences in the resulting spectrograms. I also asked the persons to imitate themselves in an attempt to create similar spectrograms by the same speakers. No dice. This technology is a waste of time when it comes to learning a language.

This (screen shot #1) is a quick sample of the numerals 1 to 4 spoken by the same person in 3 tests (two tracks per test). None is identical than any other within the sample.

The second screen shot shows two more tests. The first is human speech (letters A,B,C,D). The second is knocking of the knuckles on a table top. Who wudda thunk, huh?

17 Jun 2011
Life / Homosexuality in Polish Culture [231]

a different psychological mechanism is involved - some women really like to be hassled/bothered/treated rough by men

Some women? What about those women who like neither the rough nor the homosexual.
What psychological mechanisms are in action there?
Is the propaganda you try to dress up in science a result of your own research, or did you get it from an LGTB website?
17 Jun 2011
Life / Homosexuality in Polish Culture [231]

it wasn't a criminal thing in Poland as soon as 1919

Unlike in some of the most progressive legislatures, Poland NEVER criminalized homosexuality.

negative attitudes against homosexuals are actually a manifestation of deeply rooted insecurity of Polish males

So many Polish women are against homosexuality because of Polish men's insecurity?

strong anti-homosexual feelings are only there for some 20 years

So where were you 20+ years ago?
16 Jun 2011
News / For all Americans worried about Schengen in Poland, dont worry about it. [142]

$9.1B would be the traceable amount, I guess.

That figure is according to World Bank data, so yes, I imagine in reality it's much more. Those "fistfuls of dollars" a lot of Polonia visiting Poland hand into the hands of their siblings, nephews etc are definitely not accounted for. Neither are the material goods or the funds they spend on every day activities such as travel, food and so on. This is all pur profit for Poland, not just internal shuffling of money from one pocket to another in the same pair of pants.

In the US and Canada, parcel services to Poland are still a good business.
16 Jun 2011
News / For all Americans worried about Schengen in Poland, dont worry about it. [142]

And it is not fair to Poland. If you are not there contributing to Poland, why should Poland educate you just to see you come back to the USA to make a better wage?

Polish emigrants send money to Poland. For 2010 it was $9.1B. Not a trivial amount.
Poland's entire expenditures on education in 2009 were 35.6B PLN, or $12.46. I think Poland is getting a good bang for the buck on their people it educates and who later return the favor with a significant tip.

On the other side, SOME Poles living in Poland use Polish taxpayer's money to spend it in the US. An example is Polish Ministry of Health that finances various gigs in the US to cover their de facto shopping trips.
16 Jun 2011
History / Symbols & Signs in Polish History, Culture & Life [89]

- spilled salt - quarrel will ensue
- spilled sugar - accord is certain
- fork falls on the floor - someone will visit.
- soap falls on the floor - expect the unexpected
- shattered mirror - 7 years of misery
- itchy nose - someone is gossiping about you or there will be some serious drinking
- bridegroom must not see the wedding dress before the wedding ceremony
on a wedding day in church, all candles have to be of equal length, otherwise the marriage won't be a happy one
- don't lend (or vie as a present) sharp objects, such as knives, needles etc, otherwise there will be quarrel
- bread must always be with the flat side down, or quarrel will ensue
- one does not give away recipes unless they are subsequently passed on to yet another person, otherwise the recipes stop working for those who gave them away

- black cat crossing your path brings bad luck, which can be remedied by spitting over the left shoulder
16 Jun 2011
History / So called "inconvenient parts" of Polish history - what do you think? [156]

So your view is that none of the 100,000+ Poles who were captured by the western allies while fighting for Poland were SS?

I've just provided you with a photograph of a Polish SS volunteer

so where are the remaining 100,000+ minus one photographs of Polish SS voluntieers?