Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vacuum update

The shocking update is......... i hate going under my house. The other shocking news is..... the system is in and working very well. There is no comparing of the suction power of a regular vacuum to a central vacuum. The only trouble i had was the kit was supposed to come with wire but they did not put it in the box and I needed extra couplings plus 1 extra stick of pipe.
All in all it was amazingly easy and inexpensive. I still came in around 400.
Now, if I could just get the "roomba" to drag the new vacuum hose around!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do you hear that huge "sucking" sound?

All the parts have been puchased.......... the planning is done......... the floors are dirty........ and soon the central vacuum will be installed.
I spent about 2 weeks online (not wasting time at work) learning about the task of installing a "whole hose vacuum system". The parts were all purchased from except for the pipe. Shipping for 12 8 foot long pipes was stupid expensive. There is a place in town, "The vacuum center", that sells the stuff. It is not average PVC pipe. It is some thinwall 2" PVC made for vacuum systems and maybe irrigation. Anyway I have it all and I will start cutting holes in walls today.......I hope. So far I have about 400.00 American in it and I figure it will take another 50.00 in odd parts to finish it up.
Keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Say that in your head while thinking of the line from "The Wizard of Oz" where the Witch says "Poppies".
We adopted a new puppy last week from one of the local shelters. Her name is Maggie and she is very sweet and cute. She and Lucy (the big dog) are getting along well but driving us a little crazy with the "puppy fighting". I've checked all the sources and they all say as long as it is just play, it's OK.
I will start some sort of home training routine (she is pretty well house trained already) this weekend. Sit ....... stay........ stop....... You get the idea. I'll update with the results.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Laptop Lucky

"logging in.....logging out"........"logging in.....logging out".............."logging in.....logging out"
I knew I could fix it but on the road with no disks and no internet? Not likely.
Choice 1. Find an XP CD and try to figure out "system Restore " from recovery console.
Choice 2 Find a cheap new laptop with a trial version of Office or down load Open Office.
Full install XP CD at Wallmart, 199.99. Upgrade to Vista CD at Staples 179.00. Brand new Toshiba laptop with trial version of Office 2007 at Office Depot 449.00. SOLD!!
Later.... back at the ranch......2 minutes on the internet tells me how to recovery the computer once I am at the recovery console. ( I have the full install disk for XP right there at the "ranch") My DOS skills were a little rusty and the guy had a part where I was trying to rename a file across directories. Once I got all the files copied just right, whammo blammo! Restart and back to normal.
WARNING!!!! If you do this you might never use that XP installation again. If its already dead....what the hell. Go for it.
This link is to the post with the directions.,289483,sid68_gci1167895,00.html

Holiday or Wedding?

Well, it really wasn't both. I'd like to say that the 4th of July was a good long 4 days off to recharge the batteries. What I can say is the 4th of July was 4 days of work like conditions. I did manage to drink beer often.
Less than an hour into the trip, Susan realized her laptop would not boot. It said "logging in.......logging out" "logging in.........logging out". Even in safe mode, the desktop was unreachable. Of course the only way to system restore is from the desktop or to have an XP cd. More on this later.

All the wedding events (Susans niece Sancia{sp?}) went off with out a hitch. Only minor stretches of family related pressure. Two days of driving and viola, perfect holiday weekend.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Out Of Range

Saturday seemed like a good day to ugrade my computer to the new version of Ubuntu linux. Its been out for almost 2 months so I felt like there would be no major issues. The installation went fine. Looked good everything seemed to work. I did the updates to get it all freshened up. After reboot, nothing............ No screen, no options, nothing. Just three words to stare at. "OUT OF RANGE" I had noticed the ATI driver update and the kernel update but I felt sure they were together so one would not kill the other. Wrong.
The ATI driver issue is something that every Linux user is aware of. We have all been told about how ATI/AMD is improving things by opening the driver source. I've had it. Iwent out to go find the cheapest Nvidia card I could buy locally. I was home in less than an hour with nothing. Expensive or to new to work. I went on New Egg and have one coming on Tuesday for 30 bucks.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I installed Fedora 9. No trouble installing but after updates I had the same "OUT OF RANGE" experience. This time I looked into the problem some. I logged in to just a command line and edited the Xorg file to use the plain VESA driver. After reboot everything was perfect again. I spent some time on the Fedora forum and it looks like the Nvidia driver trouble is also bad. I will have to make a decision whether to change the video card or not.
I hope that eventually the video driver issue will be worked out. I believe in the open source idea and enjoy using Linux and gnome. It will never be possible to ask people to use a product where doing the updates leaves them with no graphical screen at all.
I may have more on this at another time. I am a little worn out with it now and I will be asking around about the changing the video card thing before I start.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DRIP.....DRIP The sequel

Back flow preventer........ This is aparently a little known alternative phrase for not going to let any water in the tubing no matter how hard you try. The kits from Harbour Freight cost about 7.99. Now, once you add the 19.50 for some parts to replace the back flow preventer, the price is actually a little higher. All in all it worked fairly well. I struggled to push the tubing on to the "tees" but the other parts worked smoothly. I would say they were good deal but not a great deal.
I'm happy
The palms are happy
The monkey grass is happy
and Susan is happy.

Your can was skinny but now its FAT again.

For those of you who don't own the "skinny" koozies, there may be a ripple in "the hard to explain" Budweiser can marketing scheme.

Two or three years ago (this is a blog not a text book) Budweiser switched to these little cans for Bud select and Michelob Ultra. They are still 12 oz but skinny and tall. It seems they were trying to copy the Red Bull can.

We picked up a 18 pack of Select at W*mart Tuesday and low and behold, Poof, big can.

Is this in reaction to Hillary being defeated?
Is this the answer to global warming?
Is this the response to unhappy beer drinkers who want to use koozies?
Time will tell.

Denial of Service

Not what you think. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if your government made rules preventing you from doing your normal every day activities? I (my wife) wanted to buy curtain rods. Seems like the kind of activity the local authorities would be pretty pleased about. Shopping local, supporting the economy by spending and not saving, paying local sales tax, driving less to save fuel and save the environment. Sounds down right American right?
Welcome to Lexington county in South Carolina. You see it was before 1:30 PM on a Sunday. Oh........ you say. Now you completely understand. The mistake was all mine and I should be more careful in the future.
This story does end with out me going to jail. The Wal*mart in Richland County is a mere 10 miles away and low and behold there is no curtain rod law on the books in Richland County.
The only down side is that it took 2 hours to get the evil contraband rods, a couple of curtains that we had not planned on, some steaks for dinner (completely legal in both counties) and a few accessories at the home center. The high temp in our area was 101 yesterday so by the time I was home guessed hot to install the drip (Dripp....Dripp) irrigation system.
As you may have already figured out, besides the temperature outside, I was already running a little hot.


Tomorrow I will try out a cheap drip irrigation system from Harbor freight tools. I'm sure everything will go perfectly and once I recover enough to use whole "happy" words again, I'll give you the rundown.

New Blog Site

I am moving the posts over from the "Blinking Blog" site to here. This site is a little easier to get to.