Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"But, What If Tomorrow Never Comes? It Didn't Today!"

Whoa, sure glad we're not doing any traveling during the holidays this year.  Winter storm Boreas looks like it will be dumping 12-18 inches.  I am thankful that I am on vacation until Monday!

As you can see, we started with a good base already...  Also, it's our one year anniversary of owning our house.

Since she's from Kentucky, she doesn't really care for this cold weather.

So much misery.  And, the end of Scout's weather report

Don't know where Scout is?  First place to look is at all the heating registers.  

Second place to look is under all the blankets.

The dog is wearing pajamas and a line has been crossed.  Next thing you know we'll be saving up so you can go to college.  What an embarrassment...

The deer having been around much lately.  Here's one that was wondering across our yard.

Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.  As I said earlier, I'm off until Monday and will be just bumming around the house and doing chores with the dog.  Eat some food and watch some football.  A much needed break!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Slide Down the Bannister

EPIC RAIL SLIDE!  Watch the top left corner of the screen.  If you're going to get banned-for-life from a stadium, this is a monumental way to do it.

It's not even 5:30pm and this is what it looks like already?  Gonna be a loooooong winter...

Scout spent a whole morning chasing leaves while I raked them.  

SURPRISE VISITOR!  Gertie gets to spend the night at our house tonight.  It's amazing how still they are when a treat is visible.

Get well soon, Marianne!

That's all there is to report this week.  But, after the rail slide video, everything else seems lame...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Imagine How Many People Would Read Your Blog If You Wrote Something Interesting..."

Scout's level of misery captured in this photo says what we are all thinking about the first snowfall of the season.  

 So much for raking the leaves...


Deer scavenging for food in my backyard. 

Hmmm...  Maybe I'll have to rake with a shovel. 

This fella found a good spot under a pine tree in the backyard.   

Really?  REALLY...

 One sad puppy after getting spayed.  Lots of whimpers and snoring.

There were a couple times I had to check if she was still breathing or needed an Exorcist... 

Passed out at the bar 

 Nothing like having to hold your dog like a baby.

She was like this for the next few days. 

"What the hell did they give me?"  Scout meets Josephine the rabbit.  Oddly, they seem to really like each other. 

This is how we roll 

 The Demon Dog is back and took out Dave.  He's lucky that he still has a face after this.

So, there's your snow report from a dog.  

Happy Birthday to my sister Lisa and my Grandma Marlyn (and get well soon).  Saw Warhorse at the Auditorium (Thanks Dick and Marianne), which was a great production with amazing puppetry.  That is all...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How To Fix Your Broken Lid Switch On Your Wash Machine

ARG!  It wasn't that long ago when I had a landlord that took care of all the junk that broke down.  Homeownership...  Anyway, our Kenmore 80 Series wash machine stopped working the other day.  Well, not completely.  It would run until it reached the "spin cycle" and stop, leaving the clothes sitting in dirty water.  Checked the hose in back and it was clear.  Looked at the lid switch, which tells the machine that the door is closed, and saw loose plastic.  I could pay $200 for a repair man to come out or fix it myself for $11.  As a new homeowner, I thought this might help others in the same position.

First, unplug the washer so you don't electrocute yourself (the doctor bill would be larger than your repair man bill defeating the purpose of this exercise).  Then pop the plastic covers on the edge of the control panel.

Unscrew the control panel located at the bottom corners.  The cheap screws they used here were all corroded and stripped when I went to remove them.  So, you may have to sweet talk them out.

Gently lift the control panel.  See, this looks manageable.  It's 1908 technology and way less complicated than your cell phone.

Unhook the wire connection by lifting the hook in front and then pull upwards.

On both sides of the control panal, pop the latches using a screwdriver.  On the second one, make sure you hold the back of the machine and rest it against the wall.  You say, "Mike, that's an allen wrench, not a screwdriver."  You are correct, but the only screwdrivers I own all have fat handles for some reason.  I'm sure Crocodile Dundee would have used his knife.  Be creative.

Now, put on a pair of gloves as there are sharp edges.  Lift the cover and place it on carpet/towels/or something soft.  Be careful as it can be heavy and cumbersome.  If you have a dog, this part will startle them the most.

Inside the washer cover near the lid is a grounding wire.  Disconnect it.

This is a closeup of the busted lid switch.  You would think a machine that is full of water and people stick in their damp basements would be designed using non corrosive parts and have higher quality plastic.  But, knowing some engineers, it was probably well designed before the accountants got to it and then had it manufactured by slave labor in some poor developing nation.  But, I digress...

See those two screws on top of the cover?  Remove them.

Back inside the cover, pull out all the wiring.  There are a couple of wire harnesses that will require a screwdriver for removal (or an allen wrench if you feel adventurous).

Use a wrench to squeeze the wire connection on top of the cover and push it through.  This is the final step for removing the old lid switch.

New lid switch.  Sears sold this part for $33 + shipping.  Supply Edge on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aag/main?ie=UTF8&asin=&isAmazonFulfilled=1&isCBA=&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&orderID=&seller=A3D6BWDT3Y49Q4) sold the same part for $7 + shipping.  It ended up being about $11.  For this machine, the lid switch was part #3949238.

Now, we do it all over again, just in reverse.  Take the wire connector from your new lid switch and push it through the bottom of the wash machine cover. 

Fish the wires through the harnesses.  Pull the wires nice and tight.

Line up and screw the lid switch back into place.  See what I mean about fat handled screwdrivers?

Reconnect the ground wire.

Carefully place the cover back on the machine.  Again, be careful as it can be heavy and cumbersome.  First, slide the front under the base using your foot to hold it in place.  Slowly lower it on the base on the sides.  Gently pull the control panel on the back toward you.  Now, you'll probably notice that things don't quite seem right.  On the base of the sides are tabs.  You have to place the tabs through the holes on the bottom of the cover.  It's not difficult, but it can be a little infuriating. 

Place the clasps back into place on the base of the control panel using a screwdriver (allen wrench).  Once this is in, the wash machine should feel as solid as it was before you decided it was a good idea for you to do repair this yourself.

Reconnect the wire connection of the lid switch with the rest of the control panel.

Gently lower the control panel into its original position.  

Screw the control panel back into place.  If your machine is like mine, the screws were all corroded and easily stripped despite never being opened before.  I didn't tighten them all the way so I can remove them again if necessary.  I'll replace them with higher quality screws the next time I'm at the hardware store.    

Put the plastic caps back on.  Pretty nice hand modeling, eh?

If your wash machine is full of stinky water, this is the most beautiful sight.  The spin cycle works again and the water is leaving the drum.  

So, in a half hour, you just saved yourself $190 (About $600 if you were so frustrated and were just going to buy a new one).  You should treat yourself to a nice microbrew tonight.

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