Archive for the ‘General’ Category.

Smokey in Northern California

Welp, it’s wildfire season in Northern California. I just got finished sealing up the intake of our heating system. The smoke outside is pretty bad. The air filter does a lot to help.

It’s an overcast day but not foggy, that’s smoke in the street

Furnace Filters are Good for Smoke

If the smoke in the bay area has your throat feeling down, get a good furnace filter and clean your indoor air. It works wonders.
We swapped out our regular MERV 8 for a MERV 13 and the house feels so much more like home! If your fan switch on your furnace doesn’t work, you can probably temporarily rewire it at the furnace so “heat” turns on the fan.

Here’s how we rewired a friend’s house that only had 2 wires. I used this guide to show what wires go where.

After putting the filter on, I still smelled smoke through the vents. Air was leaking into the system under the house! I went under the house and used aluminum duct sealing tape to seal up the joins in the air intake system. I sealed the join between the intake register and the intake plenum, and between the intake plenum and the furnace itself. It involved a lot of crawling around in right spaces but was worth it! To check the system, I lit a match and blew it out: I could see where the smoke was being pulled in to the system and my family could smell the smoke in the house. When I was done, the smoke was not being pulled in and my family could only barely smell the smoke inside the house. I also used my daughter’s walkie talkies to ask how the smell was upstairs. Hurray!

Triple Threat

What is spinning around my head in a bad way this morning? Nearby forest fire smoke in our house, a heat wave, distance learning, the pandemic, and our fascist narcissist idiot president and those suckered in by him.

Which Mesh Router Should I Get?

9-1-20 Update: I got an eero mesh router with 3 nodes for the house and it’s great :-)

My single-router hopes are dashed: I got a pretty good one (TP-Link Archer A7) but the kitchen appliances block the far side of the house no matter what I do. I thought about rewiring stuff in the crawlspace to relocate the router but I’d rather just pay money to fix the problem.

I’ve got a 2-day old powerline wifi adapter sitting on my desk. the trouble is, none of my computing devices are nailed down. Mannually switching networks every time I go into or out of my music room is a terrible option!

In the living room, I have a great signal on my laptop on my router. When I bring my laptop into the music room, I’ve got a crappy signal to the router and a great signal on the wifi extender. But my computer doesn’t switch over to the extender, it suffers it’s way through my refrigerator.

On Having a Little Free Library

We are thinking about getting a Little Free Library. I wrote to a neighbor with one about their experience and got a really great response. If you’re thinking of getting one, read on:

I wrote, “Hi, we saw that you have a Little Free Library. We live just down the road and were wondering how it has worked out for you. Any tips? We’re thinking of getting one for our front yard. :-)”

Their response:

Hi Lee and Megan-
4 households in a row put up the LFL. I am the steward of it. Surprisingly, it has been slow during COVID. We keep it filled though. And I wipe it down with disinfectant every day. I see people looking at it regularly and people donate as well. People leave boxes of books on my front porch. I cull from my own collection. What we are low in are children’s picture books.

During precovid we had BART commuters checking it out so that was good.
Our library has been swept a couple of times (that’s when someone comes and takes all of them). Nothing we can really do about that. But if they were going for a group in need that would be ok. But these sweepers I think take them and try to sell them.

Joining the group on Facebook or getting the LFL email gives some good info.

The object to me is get people reading.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Hope you do it!
L S / Junction LFL

Locally Produced Home Gyms, Power Racks

Do you want a power rack or other home gym equipment? (and COVID making it both nessesary and hard to get?) A good friend and professional fabricator will be building and selling a set of about 10 power racks and other equipment in the Bay Area. He’s aiming for it to be competitively priced and (of course) local pickup/delivery.

Message me if interested!

How to Download Most Online Videos

If you need to download a video on Youtube or Vimeo or wherever, this process will often do it for you, fer free and without downloading some likely-spammy-scammy software.

The key is: most video online is HTML5. VLC can play any HTML5 video… and get you the link to download it. (via)

Ensoniq KT-88 Manual (KT-76 too)

The KT-88 is an electronic keyboard made by Ensoniq. I found the manual graciously left on Hurray!

Good COVID Reading

Here is This is a very good article about how not to get the ‘rona, The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them. He talks about many actual cases as examples. All of the posts by Erin Bromage are good Covid reading.

Some Bread

Bread baking friends, celebrate with me the videos made by the Proof Bread company in Phoenix! I’m linking to the video that got me hooked but the whole channel is a wonderment.

I took some hints from the videos and came up with this:

Cuts on the top were supposed to look like wheat, but they were pretty nonetheless.

I put a cookie sheet on the shelf under the pan to shield the bottom from heat. It worked well, making the bottom only a tiny bit crisper than the top instead of burnt.

1 1/2 cups of white flour, 1/8 cup whole wheat, 475 for 30 minutes covered, 12 minutes uncovered. Made a nice sandwich bread with a crackling crust :-)