I have been seriously interested in the value of Infrared photography ever since I had my home inspection almost ten years ago and the inspector went around taking pictures with his ten-thousand dollar thermal camera. A DIY'er can know the value of insulating and caulking like a pro but to actually visually quantify and identify issues in your own home is amazing. So why didn't I just run out and buy an infrared camera ten years ago? Expense. Ten years ago infrared cameras were so price prohibitive that a home owner would never see the return on investment from energy savings.
The fear of summer electric bills is upon me and I am dead set to do anything I can to minimize them. In my quest for lower utility bills I found the easiest and cheapest green home upgrade....in a power strip? Yep.
I've had some success in my quest to eliminate cable TV from my life. With my DVR needs fulfilled with an over-the-air solution that has network access to it's content it's time to get that content on my TV. Let's give Roku a whirl.
Still at it. The TV overlords have raised my rates to nosebleed heights and I am bound and determined to find alternatives to the price gouging ridiculousness of cable TV. One of the biggest things I would miss from the land of cable? A DVR. A time-shifting, show-recording, never miss an episode DVR. Once you've had a DVR its hard to live life without one. At times while in the car, I miss something that was said on the radio and find myself looking for a rewind button that doesn't exist. Yep, a DVR is a must. The trick; DVR without cable.
Let's face it, cable sucks! At least the price does. I have (had) something over 400 channels available to me through my cable provider, of which I maybe watched ten to fifteen of them on any regular basis. The option to watch so many different things isn't bad, except when you have to pay for all of them when you watch only a few. Doubling up on this conundrum the few channels I watch are only included in the higher packages, forcing me to pay full toll. I tolerated this until last December when my "offers" expired and my bill sky-rocketed from $115 to $172, a gain of 49%!!! When I was told new offers would not be available until the first part of the year I cut my services down to the basics with DVR and cough up something like $85 a month for local channels, or actually less than half my local channels since cable doesn't include the extended HD channels available in my area, just major networks. The first part of the year is here and the offers are lousy. Why pay so much for so little??? The fix for my dilemma, I hope, is to cut cable all together.
The good old Solar Powered Auto Fan sold by the people of "As Seen on TV". I've eye-balled these for years and the stiffling sun and humidity this year finally pushed hard enough to get one. As describided on Amazon "Solar powered ventilation system Auto fan blows hot air out of parked car Maintains comfortable temperature level for your return Fresh air is drawn in as hot, stale air vents out Auto Cool even helps to eliminate pet and tobacco odors Solar powered, no need battery Fits any car window".
Labels: Product Reviews
Every good workshop needs a good air compressor, mine suddenly upped and died after years of abuse and no matter my efforts it refused to work. Drain valve stuck open, replaced it, power switch stopped working, fixed it, coupler jammed, cleaned it, engine seal blew and leaked oil everywhere....I'm so tired.....time to trash it. I won't bad mouth the old soldier, it was long in the tooth, mistreated, over-used, ridden hard and put up wet. I got my money's worth out of the old compressor but it was dead beyond my willingness to invest time, money and effort to keep it alive. Time to replace it with what will hopefully be as good of a workhorse if not better. After shopping features and cross indexing prices, I came up with the Central Pneumatic.
It's that time of year again, the time when electricity costs are higher than the mortgage. It's hot outside and the air conditioner is running a good chunk of the day. You can't very well turn off the air conditioner, but it's not your only item using electricity. You can go around the house and turn off everything when not in use, put power switches on ~everything~ and...well...wear yourself plum out. Some things are worth turning off, some not as much, some not at all, but how can you tell? Enter Kill-A-Watt.
I was curious when I saw this product on a web advertisement and when asked, the nice people at Philatron were kind enough to send me a sample. A springy "slinky" extension cord that coils up nice and neat when not in use....gimmicky? Let's check it out and see.
After some truly back breaking work demolishing a sidewalk, lowering the ground level and adding a few concrete replacements (small set of stairs, retaining wall, etc) I found that mixing concrete the traditional way, with a hoe and trough, to be a good way to finance my chiropractor's new pool. After designing a set of stairs that would be necessary to enter the side door of my house and calculating the 2000 lbs of concrete it would take to make them, I decided it would be best to eliminate/automate as much of the work as possible. Solution: cement mixer.