Category: home

cheap phones

A year or so ago, I was looking for a new phone. I had been using a Google Nexus 6 for two years, ever since I became a beta tester for Project Fi. I loved Project Fi (Google is eversomuch cooler than any other cellular carrier/MVNO in the US), but getting timely updates—even security updates—for the Nexus was like pulling teeth, and they dropped support for what had been their flagship phone barely a year after I bought it. Add to that the fact that there’s no effective private backup solution for Android devices, and I didn’t have any real choice. I had an old iPhone 5 that I had owned for maybe four years, and it was still running the latest version of iOS with all the security updates delivered instantly, while my three-years-newer Android was a security breach waiting to happen.

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bit holder

I’m not talking about computer memory.

I have a fair size collection of 1/4″ drive bits. Flat and phillips screwdrivers. Many sizes of Torx. Star drives, nut drives. But any way you cut it, sifting through them loose in a box was a mess.

It reached a critical point when I knocked the box off my tool chest and they scattered all over the garage floor. Colorful vocabulary and lots of searching on hands and knees ensued.

A quick FreeCAD design and some 3D printing later, and they’re all organized. Files are available on Thingiverse.

how does your garden?

The garden is in that sweet spot: everything is young and growing fast, but the tomato worms and other would-be diners haven’t discovered it.

There isn’t enough basil for pesto yet, and the tomatoes are still small, but there’s mint enough to garnish our couscous and basil enough for soup and there’s lots of promise.

 

whole house fan

Last July I ordered a whole house fan. The day it showed up, it was over 100° and I wasn’t up to crawling in the attic. Then it sat in the garage until a couple of weeks ago, when I realized that the weather was heating up.

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lid racks

I have a lid drawer. I dread having to root around in it to find lids.

I have a 3-D printer. I can design and print lid racks.

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lampshades

Years ago, I bought a novelty gooseneck lamp for Joshua’s bedroom. It had four shades in primary colors (red, green, yellow, and blue if I recall correctly). It was fun, but the shades grew brittle with age and heat exposure and eventually broke. We redecorated Joshua’s room, and prepared to send the lamp for repurposing or recycling.

But wait…

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outage

My internet went down on Saturday. The very friendly and competent folks at Consolidated Communications couldn’t get a truck out to fix it until today (Monday), so we had to spend the weekend limping by with mobile data.

It turns out an animal had chewed through a couple of cables under the house. It’s the first significant failure of my service here in 15 years, and they fixed it quickly and efficiently. Both the phone staff and the field tech were awesome.

fixing shelves

I ordered some wire mesh shelves for my kitchen, “Seville Classics 2-Tier Iron Mesh Adjustable Floating Wall Shelves, 36″ x 14″, Satin Pewter.” They looked cool.

Unfortunately, their manufacturing tolerances were way off. The shelves tilted downward into the room. A lot. The front edge of the shelf was about 2cm (almost an inch) lower than the back. Stuff on the shelves would work their way to the edge and then fall off.

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gardening

Today I planted tomatoes in my garden. They join the mint and basil already planted. The basil is struggling, though, and not helped by the broken sprinkler I found and fixed today.

California’s recent drought killed off the mint and raspberries that have been here for years. It’s good to be able to re-plant.

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