Upgrading to a Programmable Thermostat

Today we are going to learn how to change your very boring, non programmable & probably ancient, thermostat to one that is programmable (always fun) and is going to help save electricity.

In case you are wondering why we are doing this.
My boyfriend and I recently moved from a small closet filled with dust bunnies (no matter how many times a day you cleaned) <—really not part of why we are changing the thermostat, just information regarding our last residence.  It was pretty bad…towards the end I looked around one day and realized that I think I lived in an apartment very similar, when I lived in New York City…The point being you only live in places like that when you live in New York City, or somewhere nearly as awesome.
Ok, so anyway, we have upgraded to a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 story apartment!! Smile
It is fabulous to have so much room and there are ceilings….somewhere, I can’t see that high.
I think you know where this is going…if not…you never pay electric bills.
Yes, so AWESOME, LOVE the new place but immediately am thinking “hmmm….electric bills are going to be ginormous….hmmm….thermostat is not even programmable- NO GOOD….hmmm”

I have never changed a thermostat out, but it can’t be that hard I figure.  It can’t be as hard as changing out a light switch to a programmable one.  I was surprised how difficult that project was.  Electric wires do NOT bend easily, and if you are doing projects involving shutting off the breaker to your light source and you are working alone with a flashlight….it basically is just a matter of how determined you are.

Ok, so we are to the part where we are changing the thermostat.  Not that difficult, at all.
Here are some pics of the old one
old-ac-cover 

old-ac-1Now let’s get inside….I was in such a hurry I almost forgot to take pictures, which is pretty much Rule #1
Probably important to make note which wires go where.

The instructions came with little labels for these wires, but I didn’t see that until I took them apart

 

old-ac-wire-spot

 

There was a horseshoe shaped majig I felt might be especially important to note

 

 

 

 

 

new ac wire spotOk….so after I removed all of this I followed the instructions that came with the new thermostat.  Those instructions came with little stickers advising you to label the wires as you take them apart.
Luckily I had pictures

GOOD IDEA!

 

 

There was some slight consideration of proper placement…even with the labels, because the new thermostat had it’s own horseshoe majig and there was no way it was going to connect ‘B’ and ‘RC’.
I don’t know where the instructions are, off hand, but it explained something that seemed to apply to this situation and make it ok.
Also…you may have noticed that the new thermostat does not have an ‘RH’ spot! Hmmmm…
Don’t worry, that too was explained and apparently ‘R’ can also be ‘RH’
Usually it is a good idea to glance thru the instructions prior to following page to page.  I forgot to do that, but it worked out.

Also…I didn’t mention, but hopefully you already know you should shut off the breaker to the A/C.
Don’t forget to do that. 
If you are in a hurry, like I was…you might not think to also shut off the breaker to the ‘furnace’ or ‘heater’.
Don’t forget to do that either, luckily I thought about it before any electrocuting happened.

Ok….so TA DA!!
You now have a functioning and awesome programmable thermostat!!
NEW thermostat

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Kitchen Organization Obstacles & Compromise

I used to enjoy cooking…I think.  I still do….I think. 
Those questions came to mind when I recently noticed I was cooking a lot less, opting for ready meals more…and frozen pizza.

I blame our kitchen.  I just don’t feel I can connect with something so poorly designed.
I will list just a few of the issues:

  1. The pale lime green painting mostly repels the idea of enticing ones’ appetite.
  2. This kitchen is not where everyone wants to be…it is more like an Isolation Room in a mental institute.  I’m only guessing…I don’t know if it actually does resemble an isolation room in a mental institute.
    All the mental institutions I have seen, in movies, have lime green walls.

    Anyway…

  3. The wretched Ikea pull out pantry system that is attached to a door discourages the desire to investigate what sort of ingredients might even be available for meal creation.

    Those reasons are enough, but…
    when I decided to improve those more obvious trouble areas, I found..

  4. The cabinets (that are situated above arms length) do have room…but you have to plan ahead if you think you might favor one appliance, over another…or if you would like preferential access to certain plates, or food storage containers.
    The cabinets are maybe 3ft deep…so basically all you are doing is stacking everything in front of other items which means you will have to take all those items out if you decide you want to use one of the items that didn’t make the preferential access row.

    Unfortunately we rent our condo (or fortunately) so drastic upgrades are not really an option.
    Less than ideal conditions are a part of life and learning to be resourceful is a good way to turn such conditions into a ‘Well it’s Better Than It Was’ condition.
    I have managed to improve the improvable areas but towards the end of the improving the pots & pans found themselves residing on the already limited counter space.
    Of course I was ‘working on it’ and of course they have to be put away, but I just really could not put them back in the cabinet…I just had a mental block that would not allow it.
    I drew the line there when it came to Kitchen compromise.

Pots and pans and the banging of pots and pans is not a friendly sound…and I can not believe we have all mostly settled with the situation.  I can not believe that shelving pots and pans in such a manner is ‘the best we can do’.
I started thinking and of course realized that there is a better way; it is to have the pots, pans, and corresponding lids hang (within arms reach).
I know this is not a new idea, but I knew that we could not install one of those fancy majigs and I also knew my available & creative resources were limited to items we already owned.
So…I decided to use robe hooks and just hang them up on the wall.  I thought I was being so clever and innovative, but It was way more exciting when I actually did this, and before I just Googled seeking the real name of those ‘fancy majigs’ for stowing pots and pans (which is simply Ceiling Mount Pot Rack ).
Anyway….here is what that system looks like in our home
Pots-Pans-3-copyPots-Pans-5-copy

It’s not Martha Stewart, but it is still really awesome to me!

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Project Blog

You may be wondering where I have been & I bet you have also been a bit concerned, since I haven’t posted a blog since April. 
Well..I have been working on multiple projects..I am not sure if they have been/ are productive projects, but for the most part they are fun.  For the most part they have been productive, too..in their own way.

For some reason I decided to turn my Blog into a project….not by actually writing a post, but learning about The Blog…hosting, domain, IP addresses, FTP users, PHP something…
I have a habit of not leaving things alone which is kind of how my blog started.
My wayward projects are an assortment of curiosities, OCD, determination & whatever else I put in the ‘About’ Section.

So anyway, while I have been away I have actually been working on this blog…I worked very hard to mess up the domain I own, the DNS servers and pretty much everything else one could more than screw up, including the IP address.  Yes, I even managed to direct the IP address to a completely different web page…it wasn’t as difficult as you may be thinking. 
I don’t really know why I decided to mess with everything, but it was kind of fun, and ultimately I did sort it all out (I think)…I might have improved some aspects, not sure.
Also, I am not completely finished messing with it, so if I disappear again don’t worry I’ll be back.
As with all of my projects I learned a great deal, I have many “Don’t Do” items to add.  If you find yourself curious about Dos and Don’ts of screwing with websites & domains…… you can e-mail me, or whatever.  I don’t know how many helpful answers I have, but I probably have more than I think.

K…well I will be back with a real & more interesting post ASAP.
It was going to be this post but I decided to fill you in on where I have been first.

Ok…I couldn’t even post this without making things more difficult and now my boyfriend wants to choke me…but I didn’t like the font that way and I don’t like spaces between lines….and I DID have to download the changes we made to the Editor for Live Writer to post the proper format to the actual site!!
I am just going to post this before I screw more stuff up

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The Scientific Bubbles of Hydrogen Peroxide

Why does hydrogen peroxide foam when you put it on a cut?

Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is used for washing cuts and scrapes, but what causes it to foam on those cuts and scrapes?
"Why does hydrogen peroxide foam when you put it on a cut?" – How Stuff Works

The reason it foams is because blood and cells contain an enzyme called catalase.
Catalase is a protective enzyme present in nearly all animal cells.
Since a cut or scrape contains both blood and damaged cells, there is lots of catalase floating around.

When the catalase comes in contact with hydrogen peroxide, it turns the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
into water (H2O)
and oxygen gas (O2)

The bubbles you see in the foam are pure oxygen bubbles being created by the catalase.
Hydrogen peroxide does not foam in the bottle or on your skin because there is no catalase to help the reaction to occur.
A benefit of the foaming action is that hydrogen peroxide acts as a cleaning agent, bringing any embedded dirt up to the surface.


If you want a more detailed/complicated answer, continue reading

The reaction of catalase occurs in two steps
http://www.worthington-biochem.com/ctl/default.html

  1. A molecule of hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the heme[1] to an oxyferryl[2] species.
    A porphyrin[3] cation[4] radical is generated when one oxidation equivalent is removed from iron and one from the poryphyrin ring.
  2. A second hydrogen peroxide molecule acts as a reducing agent to regenerate the resting state enzyme, producing a molecule of oxygen and water.

1Heme:
The pigment in red blood cells; heme is a cofactor of the protein hemoglobin.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyrin

Hemoglobin, in the blood, carries oxygen from the respiratory organs to the rest of the body (i.e. the tissues) where it releases the oxygen to burn nutrients to provide energy to power the functions of the organism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemoglobin

2Oxoferryl:
High-valent iron commonly denotes compounds and intermediates in which iron is found in a formal oxidation state
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-valent_iron

3Porphyrins:
A group of organic compounds, many naturally occurring. One of the best-known porphyrins is heme [1]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyrin

4Cation
An ion or group of ions having a positive charge and characteristically moving toward the negative electrode in electrolysis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemoglobin

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Managing Luggage Repair Issues

If you travel often you have probably experienced a ‘luggage break down’ at a most inconvenient time; I mean when is it ever convenient, actually?
I doubt I would ever say “Oh my luggage handle just broke off, that feels very convenient.” 
It is almost as troubling as your car breaking down…a seasoned traveler will maintain a ‘back up suitcase’ for those times that your default luggage is in the shop.
I have no patience for this process…I don’t want to have to unpack my suitcase, take it to the repair shop, wait days/weeks for its return, and use the over used and shabby back up luggage in the meantime.
Also, to be quite honest…repairing your suitcase does not require much skill; pretty sure merely applying yourself would work.

The handle to my suitcase broke at the beginning of my last trip <— Not a convenient time.
I managed to make do thru the trip, but it was annoying.  I could have chosen to continue the hardship blaming time and/or money/ lack of back up luggage as an excuse, but that doesn’t really solve the problem.
Instead I decided to actually repair the issue myself, which was quite simple really.

  1. Unzip the lining
    Inner-Zipper
  2. If you look at the part that attaches to the handle you will find 3 screws
    *picture is a little fuzzy, sorry*
    Inner-Screws
  3. Those 3 screws attach to the handle as the arrows, in the picture, display
    handle-attatchmentAttatch-Here
  4. All you have to do is align the handle to where the screws are and refasten!  
    *you do that by using a screwdriver in case you are not sure*
    Yay-Handle-is-All-Better

YAY!! Luggage is ready for a new adventure!!
Bon Voyage!!

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Paper: 1,000,000– Downloads & Kindle: Still ZERO

I am definitely still NOT on board with Kindles, or any other device, replacing an actual book or replacing doing puzzles on the actual paper.

I recycle, so don’t go there, and besides people still need jobs!! I am not going to go off on a tangent about how everyone is so excited to find new ways to replace themselves and then … yeah, ok…stopping…

Anyway, I have tried downloading apps in place of an actual paper for crosswords, and other puzzles; but it just really didn’t feel the same.  People keep telling me that will change, but I feel fairly certain it won’t. 
I like to find the puzzles, fold the paper just right and actually write on the paper, and definitely with my favorite pen.
So what if I screw up once in awhile and some of the puzzle squares turn into extremely bold letters upon letters, only I can make out.  It’s part of the puzzle.
In case I even remotely doubted how much more awesome the actual paper is, my USA Today carrier has completely elevated the meaning of a subscription to the real paper.
When I arrived home last night, after being out of town, I had 2 papers awaiting my return and both had personal notes inside:
USA-Today-Note2

<—— Pretty freaking awesome!!  I love what’s his name that delivers my papers!! 

Plus, and again, I am helping the economy…I am keeping a few printing jobs alive for actual humans, I hope? Maybe only management humans, but anyway.

Also, I am keeping newspaper carrier jobs alive 🙂
We need people throwing positive things at our front door @ 5am, well I do! 🙂

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Don’t Forget Your Hotel Room Key: Part 2

So….I am still not sure if my fabulous plan of taping my Hotel Room Key, to the door, will be a long term success.

Even when I came up with the plan I figured I would run into the ‘Return’ obstacle and NOT taping Hotel Room Key back to the door.
Yes, the sign might still be there, but God only knows where my key might be…in the hotel room- Yes…in a logical place…maybe? Maybe not….

This has led to:
Hotel-Key-Reminder

 

I have decided to put a note on the immediate wall I see when re entering my hotel room….
pretty sure this will help

FYI…I’m not old, or senile…not that that helps

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Don’t Forget Your Hotel Room Key

At home I have a fairly decent system for keeping up with my keys, and most of the time I remember to take them with me.

In my 15 years of traveling on a regular basis I had never implemented, or even thought of, a system for– ‘Don’t Forget Your Hotel Room Key’
About 99% of the time I forget my hotel room key and it’s pretty annoying.

Today was no different and as soon as the hotel room door closed behind me I realized I had forgotten my key.
It was not a big deal; the lobby was on my way to breakfast, but I am really just over the situation altogether.

When I arrived back in my room I decided to start taping it to my door.  I also decided that taping it to a large piece of paper that stands out would probably be even more helpful.
It’s not pretty, but hopefully it will work.
I happen to be staying in this hotel room until Friday so I will report back on how successful this idea was.
Key-Reminder

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Squeaky, Yes…..Clean, Maybe

Does your dishwasher squeak when you open and close it; making it virtually impossible to keep your Dishwashing a secret from others?
I know…super annoying…

I finally decided to try and fix ours…with a marginal element of caution. I did learn from Learning The Inner Workings of Your Washing Machine and Why You Shouldn’t to think real hard before you take the whole appliance apart.
Plus, I wasn’t at all in the mood to end up with a broken dishwasher, instead of just a squeaky one.

Any who…I already figured a spring was the issue, but still…I have no professional training with dishwashers, their parts, and what else could cause ‘squeakiness’.

First I separated the Inner and the Outer Door Panel of the Dishwasher
inner-and-outer-door-panel

I investigated both sides of the dishwasher hinges – they looked pretty rusty and probably needed tending to, even if they were not the source of squeaking.

 

 

 

Left-side-of-dishwasher

Yes, I did kind of just figure out how to make arrows, in Photoshop
Although the household agreed we did have WD40, no WD40 was actually found, and I didn’t feel like going to the store.
I used Brake Cleaner instead, they look as though they would achieve mostly the same results.
*I am not promoting that using Brake Cleaner instead of WD40 is ok*
I am only saying that it kind of helped, and nothing has fallen a part as a result…yet.

I figured now would be a good time to check in with what Google has to say.

dishwasher-idiotI can’t find the sites I found earlier, but I just found this while I was looking
for something helpful.

I found it amusing…

In other news- I also found the following-
Thank You E-How…a fabulous resource, as always.
How to Fix a Squeaky Door on a Dishwasher

I skipped turning off the circuit breaker, because it would have disrupted the entertainment source to the apartment.  Far more entertaining would have been rushing me to the ER after being nearly shocked to death.
*Probably don’t do that*

SpringOk….so once the bottom panel of the dishwasher is removed you can probably see the springs on each side.
By this time we managed to find WD40, which was/is more useful at stopping things from squeaking.

Mostly the squeak is gone, I didn’t replace the spring, but opening and closing the dishwasher is much more pleasant than before.

 

Finsihing-RinseAlso, in the process of all this, I found where the ‘finishing rinse’ is stored. 
Maybe it is just me, but I have always been kind of curious about the Mysteries of Dishwashing Finishing Rinse.

I won’t bore you with my random curiosities regarding Dishwashing Finishing Rinse, but if you are curious; this is where it is stored.

Oh, this is on the bottom part of the Inner Door Panel, by the way.

 

 

 

 

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