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Saturday, January 20, 2018

City Water Meter Shut Off Tool Choices

For an item costing only $10 or so, I have spent a lot of time researching my best solution for two or three locations (homes I own).  And will probably buy both of these (links below, neither seems to be in Lowes, HD or WalMart) , since both have good features I will try both and decide on the best one to make primary. 

The yellow one would be good for lifting the heavy cover on the meter, using the slot – as opposed to the screwdriver I now use.  And both will cut off gas lines in emergency, and I have nothing to do that at my home that has a gas line so I need to learn, and possibly this tool could make the job easer and safer? 

The second one is in two pieces, so it would hide away nicely near the meter (in one property) and isn’t obvious as to what it is.  he yellow one would be outstandingly easy to find in an emergency, and could even hang on the garage and storage room wall, it is not unsightly. 

Reviewers like both, both are under $10

Friday, November 24, 2017

Getting a Human on the Phone

So many companies we all use today are difficult to reach by phone (cable plans, telecoms, cell phones and so forth)  This website might help us get to a "human" faster.

To get a human on the phone, you put in the name of the company you are trying to reach. And it suggests phone numbers supplied by either the company employees or other users like yourself.

Get Human website seems to offer some of these

1.     the average wait time for a human in customer service for the company you want to reach
2.     the time “right now” to get a human, often less than average, but sometimes more than average… how do they know this exact time?  I don’t know.
3.     sometimes they tell you the buttons to push on your phone to avoid the screening stuff of the automated answering systems.  Sometimes it tells you to push 1, then 5, then 5 again, then some other combination of numbers.  That yields you a quicker place in the que for a human.

I found this website looking for something else.  I was looking at Straight Talk mobile service, offered by Wal Mart,  it is currently one of the cheapest unlimited 4-G data plus unlimited voice and text ($45 a month) … no contract required.  You use their SIM card, and pre-pay or something.  They sell high end phones cheap too, they were advertising an iPhone 6 for $129 on Black Friday, quite a low price.  That would put you in the iPhone and cell phone business very cheaply.  The Straight Talk folks say they have 99.5 % coverage in the USA they lease time on other networks, I think. Customer service, via telephone, is slow, but maybe better than some companies.

I believe Straight Talk has gone unlimited since this review was written but 5 GB of data a
month is generous.  They claim “most” video you watch on your phone would be HD.   

Monday, September 18, 2017

CCleaner For Cleaning Up PC Computers

I have used this for years, and have confidence in this as a good system for removing junk stuff from a PC to make it run better, and possibly eliminate some spying stuff (certain cookies).  After years of enjoyment of this free software, they had a hack of some of their older versions.  So, if you are running one of the versions below, please upgrade to 5.34.. it is free, I just did it for all my computers this morning.

The affected versions of the software are CCleaner 5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud 1.07.3191.

The company is urging users to upgrade to version 5.34 or higher (which it says is available for download here).

NOTE --- I also use MalwareBytes software for cleaning my computers of virus or potential useless, or harmful stuff. I have used this software for 8 years or more, and have confidence in it. One version of it is free.

They have had 2 billion downloads, it is a serious computer accessory. 
How to install and run.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

AC Drain Line Cleaners Discussion

One of my age-old problems with various properties (rental and vacation) over many years has been gravity drains for the condensation that develops in the air-handlers of AC units.  I have had apartments get major water damage, and other damage and wet carpet in other locations. One time it collected in the ceiling and drained into some kitchen cabinets.

1.     AC condensation in summer is considerable, and gravity alone may not be enough to move it out of a residential air handler.
2.     AC air handling units have some dust and microbes in the air and these combine to clog up lazy gravity drains -- so some action has to be taken by the home owner or service man, several times a year to prevent clogging
3.     Many AC drain systems now have small electric pumps with float valves to pump the condensation out with force.  But there is still the need to get the collected water in the drain pan to move the water into the pump system.

This brings me to my present research ---  I have a stopped-up pan-to-pump line right now, and water is overflowing into my one of my storage rooms.  So, I looked into solutions, here is what I found.

1.     chlorine bleach works, but can damage glue joints in PVC pipe and smells bad, so is not advisable.
2.     White vinegar works, but has the smell problem.
3.     some websites suggested peroxide might work
4.     finally, there are some commercial products that help and have no odor or bad other problems,  Here they are:

DrainBo   non toxic for all stopped up drains  $6.15 at Home Depot
Pan Tablets  (drop one in the drain pan regularly)  Home Depot  $3,48
NU Calgon Condensate Tables  (similar to Pan Tablets I think)
AC Line  RPS Products, SCLWHCL8   $17 delivered or in big boxes 
NuLine  $32 at some sources

I believe Pan Tablets, used regularly might be the long-term answer, but for initial re-establishment of water flow, I think "AC Line RPS Products" might be the better choice.  Of course removing water and stoppages with shop-vac type machines might be necessary initially.  I will try some or all of these and post my results later.  Would love to hear your own results and products you have tried.   

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Honda CRV vehicle

I have never mentioned a vehicle on my Blog --- but, well, here goes. 

One Million youTube views !! 

I composed the thoughts below for a friend who has mentioned an interest in buying a CRV for a sort of "in town" vehicle.  I take several automotive magazines and read them cover to cover.  Overall, for resale value and real satisfaction in the compact SUV category, I think this vehicle has shown continuous improvement more than others.  Like the Volkswagen did in the 1950’s and 60’s – I think with this vehicle Honda is making improvements, not “changes” the mantra. That’s my kind of car company.

The CRV holds its value best of all such SUV’s, so it is almost a no brainer for an investment, you could always sell it if you didn’t like it.  It also now leads all competitors in gas mileage – close to 40 mpg on the road, and the all wheel drive only drops mileage a small amount.

I have ridden in an older CRV  (basic model) on long trips, it gets the job done nicely, this one should do much better still.  Is it a good value to buy a new one?  I don't know.

this is a long, but good review of the 2017 Honda CRV … but , for some reason I had search for the 2018 but this one came up instead.

I really like it… the EX model has massive storage inside, fold flat seats, foot activated power tail lift, apple car play and much more.  It is much lighter and stiffer than prior models, and with the larger motor, is probably a great drive with great resale value.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Forecasting Weather Much More Accurately

Down to the street, or ballpark.  ClimaCell uses new technology – the first since radar, many years ago.

This company is based in Israel I think, I saw it in Forbes Magazine today.  Could help construction sites better predict weather, and much more.  Airlines love it, and drone companies, and logistics companies and pro sports teams need it.

It can even tell the difference in expected precipitation amount from one street to the next.. that accurate !!  Pinpoint detail.  First new way to observe weather in 50 years.

Endoscope For Easy Everyday Use

Endoscope for viewing hard to find places. At the bottom of an acquarium, or perhaps to find a lost ring in a P-Trap under a sink, or to read that hard-to-ge- to name place on some installed mechanical device.  Or for home inspectors to see into closed up spaces where leaks might be occurring?  Or many other applications. Only $19.  It seems to work, based on early responses, and feedback on the Amazon website.  I don’t have a current application for it personally, but it shows how technology is advancing and falling in price. I think this item would have been much physically larger, and 10 X this price a few years ago.

Once  I have to find something in a sealed up wall cavity -- like a leak, or missing electrical or music wire, it might be very useful.