Archive for February, 2017

25 Feb 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Mr. FixIt

Handyman Corner

There has been lot’s of fixin’ going on around here this month – some of it fairly routine and some not so much. On the long weekend, I helped my brother Scott replace headlight bulbs on his Mazda 6. Now, you might think that a simple bulb swap hardly makes for a good story – even on this blog. But no, to replace a burnt out headlight on a Mazda 6 requires complete removal of the front bumper, the grill and the headlight assembly. It takes about and hour or so, plus time to run to the parts store after figuring out what bulbs are needed. Scott & I had to do this about 2½ years ago (after he got a $200 quote from a mechanic…) so at least we were familiar with the process. With the cold weather though, we got my other brother, Brian, to organize access to the warehouse where he works so we could work in a heated space. While Scott and I took the bumper off, Brian tested and then replaced the battery – since his work is selling car batteries that went quite well. The cost for the whole thing (6 bulbs, car battery and Frosty’s from Wendy’s) was a lot less than the mechanic wanted.

A couple of weeks earlier we were up to Rocky Mountain House for a visit with Barry and Breana and we took the Behemoth (GMC 2500 HD) and once again the heater blower wasn’t working on all 5 speeds. This was a pretty familiar problem from about 4 years ago. This time though, I figured that I should get right after the problem before the wiring harness started to burn up (again). So while we were in Rocky, I picked up a new resistor – unfortunately there are two styles of mounting. It wasn’t clear if I needed the 2-hole or 4-hole mounting style and, of course, I guessed wrong. So when Barry and I went to swap the parts the mounting holes didn’t line up. At least the resistor fit and there was room to run a couple of drywall screws right into the blower box. If the truck lasts as long as this resistor, maybe I’ll get it right next time…

So, those were the routine fixes. The one that was more challenging started when Brenda flicked the lights on over the kitchen island one evening last week and there was sparking and sputtering and a little cascade of molten metal from one of the light fixtures. Oops. Not exactly something that you can leave for another day to figure out. So, while Brenda started in on dinner prep in the gloom. I stood on the counter and took the light fixture down and then apart. The wires had somehow been damaged/pinched just above the lamp-holder socket (probably a manufacturing issue) and had eventually shorted – the arcing melted the wiring and the threaded rod coupling the lamp-holder to the shade. I had to go buy a new lamp-holder but was able to raid my parts bucket for a new bit of threaded rod. I cut out about 10 inches of scorched wire and then rebuilt the whole socket structure and re-installed the fixture. No sparks, no excitement. Nobody wants light fixtures to be exciting if that means spewing lava into the sink…

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13 Feb 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Shaw, You Cheeky Devils

I try not to comment on politics too much on this blog, because the capacity for our elected leaders to be a disappointment is just too discouraging. After all, who would have ever predicted that the Mexican president would wind up being the most capable and respectable of the three North American leaders? And that Trudeau(!) would be the runner-up?

Anyway, that was perilously close to editorial opinion. Best let Shaw Cable Systems do the dirty work.

Yes, the video and the audio was just fine; the picture wasn’t frozen or pixellated, the sound was clear. But, just as Shaw warned, there was no content…

After CNN moved on to other topics, the warning went away. Hmmm

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