Thursday, March 31, 2016

Can't Argue With The Doctor

Today I went to a gastric surgeon for a consult for a colonoscopy.  Just routine.  That doctor's office also performed the gastric band surgery for weight loss.  While I was waiting in the lobby, I was reviewing their height and weight chart and was pleased to see that I am only "obese" which above "over-weight" but below "severely obese" and "morbidly obese."  With that on my mind, I went into the meeting with the doc.  He was great and as we were talking, I said, " Hey Doc - while you're in there, how about slipping on one of those bands?"  He told me that I didn't need one!  That coming from a doctor who sells and "installs" the bands.  Have to trust the doctor.  So I stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way home to celebrate the good news...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Come On Baby, Light My Basement

The other day I was at Costco and saw they had LED replacement lights for fluorescent fixtures.  We have one hanging over the ping pong table in the basement but it buzzes while it is on and doesn't put out a whole lot of light.  So I thought the LED replacement lights would solve both problems.  (They were about half the price of buying a whole new LED fixture and bulbs.)  So I went home and popped in the bulbs.  WOW!  Super white light but, as usual, nothing is easy.  The buzz was still there.  Did some research and found the buzzing comes from an old-style magnetic ballast in the fixture.  The newer electronic ballast alone costs a couple of dollars more than an entire new fixture with the electronic ballast installed.  Lucie said she was happy with the brighter light and could continue to live with the buzz.  Not me.  I ran to Home Depot, grabbed a replacement fixture and put it up.  Installed the LED bulbs and....  nothing.  They wouldn't light up.  I called the bulb manufacturer and they said their bulbs just weren't compatible with all fixtures.  So I took the fixture back and decided to spend a couple extra dollars, keep the old fixture, but change out the ballast.  That did not go anywhere nearly as easily as I thought and when I was done, sparks were flying.  Uninstalled the new ballast and threw out the old fixture.  Returned the ballast to Home Depot and went to Walmart for a new fixture.  Opened the box and the fixture looked like it had been dragged down the road - all dented and a big piece was not connected.  Ugh.  I tried it anyway but the new LED bulbs wouldn't work (regular fluorescent ones did though). Took that back.  Went to Lowes and got a new fixture.  This time, I got middle-of-the-road success:  two LED lights together would not work but one LED and one old-style fluorescent tube worked.  And it was silent.  So we have more light and no buzz.  I guess I will call that an improvement.

On a brighter (ha!) note, after one of my trips to Home Depot, I noticed my ATM card was missing.  They have the new style readers where you have to insert the card and I was sure I had left it in the reader at the self-checkout.  So I raced back (I hadn't left the shopping center parking lot yet) and went to the checkout lane I was last at.  Someone else was checking out - with their own card.  The attendant said she hadn't seen my card but another worker said someone just turned an ATM card in to the service desk.  (The person said they found it in the parking lot.)  So I went there and sure enough - there it was!  Whew.  God bless that soul.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I Called It

I blogged the other day about flushing the hot water heater.  This was the last sentence:  My only fear is some of the sediment might have been holding the thing together and now it will fall apart.  Time will tell I guess.

Guess what…?  Ever since I flushed the hot water heater, I heard water trickling near it but I thought it was probably always there and I just never noticed.  Yesterday I noticed that the sump pump had pumped – it RARELY does.  So I grabbed a flashlight and went down and looked over the water heater really good.  The top pressure valve is hooked to a copper pipe that runs across the top and down the back side of the heater to the French drain.  Sure enough, it was trickling right out in a pretty steady stream.  Fortunately it says online that the valve is pretty cheap and easy to replace.  It also said if it hasn’t been opened in a while (I had to open it to vent the tank to drain it), sometimes dirt or corrosion gets in there and prevents it from completely closing.  So I rapped it a few times with a hammer, opened and closed it and finally opened the bottom drain for a few seconds.  That seemed to “bleed” it – air wooshed out before the water.  I closed the bottom drain and the drip immediately stopped.  Just checked it now after the morning showers (and all night) – no drips, drain dry, and the sump pump had not pumped all nights.  Whew!