Dec 16 2015

How to help save water in California from the East Coast

Where I Go | Category: Shopping | 0 Comments

The water in the southern 1/2 of California (not just Southern California, but Monterey, Oxnard, etc) comes hundreds of miles in amazing water projects that take water from the Sacramento River, Owens River, Mono Lake, and the Colorado River. Yet, there is a huge water plant in Ontario that bottles this water using Reverse Osmosis. It’s sold as Niagra Water and Costco Drinking Water. That’s right folks, that bottle of water has traveled 600 miles in the California Aqueduct, pumped 3,000 feet over a mountain near Bakersfield (13,000 cu/ft a second – takes two power plants to power the pumps), through 7 miles of tunnel, to Riverside and the public water systems. Niagra Water has a plant there, and bottles it using Reverse Osmosis to purify, in which about 1/2 goes to the sewer as waste, then it’s shipped 3,000 miles to us here on the east coast. Niagra says the industry uses about 1 percent of the water. If using the flow from the Los Angeles Aqueduct only (from the Owens River), that’s about 420,000 acre feet of water. An acre foot is 325,851 gallons so that’s about 136,920,000,000 gallons of water. so 1% of the LA Aqueduct alone is 1,369,200,000 gallons. Yet the LA Aqueduct supplies on 1/3 of LA’s water so triple that to 4 trillion gallons, 1/2 of which are dumped into the drain.

You can save that water the trouble of being shipped across the US and the related fuel, and California some water by doing was Niagra Water does. Put a Reverse Osmosis system in you own home.

Get one of these Reverse Osmosis water filters and stop buying water [look at the bottle, this is what they do]: Add this on for efficiency:

Mine came with a cheesy faucet. I ordered it two weeks ago. Costco changed it already and offers a kit with better faucet now that has a LED light to tell you it’s time to change the filters (‘monitored faucet’). But its chrome, and there are other faucets on the Premier website. I ordered a brushed nickle one last night. Premier is a subsidiary of Watts. They also offer a zero waste R.O. system that has a pump and pumps the waste water into your water heater. Adds complexity to the system and minerals to water heater. I choose this one and ordered the permeate pump to double efficiency. Oh, you need a spare hole in the sink for the faucet. I drilled one in my porcelain on iron sink. Not for the meek, took an hour, mostly because it was hard to drill the 1/8″ starter hole in the 1/8″ thick porcelain. An 1/8″ diamond bit would have helped. Then I made the hole larger and larger 1/32″ at a time marching up my drill set to get to the 1/4″ size of the pilot bit in the 1 1/4″ hole saw. Wouldn’t be any trouble on a stainless steel sink. But don’t do that yourself if not comfortable with destroying your sink. I watched a couple youtube videos on it.

If you can, install the Reverse Osmosis System itself in the laundry so you can easily change the filters (not under the sink, unless you like working in dark, tight places) and use longer length 1/4″ and 3/8″ poly pipe from Home Depot or Lowes to install it. Don’t use the saddle valve unless you want a leak in a couple years, add a tee to your water line and a tubing connector, drain to your laundry stand pipe. Tee the freshwater line to the icemaker and sink. No more chlorine or other foul stuff. Does waste about 1/2 the water, but it’s only drinking water. Gallon a day maybe. ANd if you are buying bottled water, that water is being wasted already. If you have a septic system, you are not wasting the water as it’s goes back into the ground water.

So Save California some water as the Niagra water (and Costco Drinking water is also Niagra) is bottled in Ontario California (in the desert East of L/A) using water from the Sacramento River.

Nov 26 2015

RV Range Oven Dimensions Maytag Magic Chef

Where I Go | Category: Recreational Vehicle Info | 0 Comments

Our Recreational Vehicle has a 22″ Magic Chef Range with oven. The oven is small and it’s nice to know all of the dimensions of this RV Oven.

The actual outside width is 21 1/4″ and height is 16.5″.

Interior oven total dimensions are Width: 16.5″, Depth: 15″ and total oven height (including burner and broiler area): 10.75″. Broiler area is 3″ high total.

Usable RV Oven space is 16″ Wide x 14.5″ deep x 4.75″ high (distance from rack to top of oven is 5″ but usable height is less since food shouldn’t touch top of oven.

I’ve read recommendations of placing a single 12″ x 12″, four 6″ x 6″ quarry tiles or a pizza stone on top of the metal plate over the burner to provide for more even heating of the oven.

Note: Full 4 Mega-pixel pictures are available by clicking on each of the small pictures below.

Ourside Width RV Oven

Exterior Width RV Magic Chef Maytag Range Oven

Exterior Dimensions Height RV Magic Chef Maytag Range Oven

Exterior Dimensions Height RV Magic Chef Maytag Range Oven

Ourside Width RV Oven

Exterior Width RV Magic Chef Maytag Range Oven

Interior Depth RV Range Oven Magic Chef by Maytag

Interior Dimensions Depth RV Magic Chef by Maytag Range Oven

Interior Height of RV Oven

Interior Dimensions Height RV Magic Chef Maytag Range Oven Broiler is 3″ high

Usable Height RV Majic Chef Oven

Interior Dimensions Depth RV Magic Chef Maytag Range Oven

Nameplate of RV Maytag Magic Chef Range

Nameplate of RV Maytag Magic Chef Range

Nov 15 2015

Operator’s Manual for John Deere 210, 212, 214, and 216 Lawn and Garden Tractors

Where I Go | Category: Owners Manuals | 0 Comments

1970’s John Deere Lawn and Garden Tractor Operator’s Manual for John Deere Models 210, 212, 214, and 216 mowers 10hp, 12hp, 14hp and 16hp Kohler side shaft engine. Includes owners manual for use and settings. Also has maintenance instructions including carburetor adjustment, trouble shooting, scheduled maintenance, and tune up. Also included is a wiring diagram for serials 70,001 to 190,000.
john-deere-operators-manual-210-212-214-216-lawn-garden-tractor (38MB)
wiring-diagram-john-deere-210-212-214-216-garden-tractor (375KB)

One more tip:
To Change Drive Belt

  1. Jack up the right side of tractor
  2. Take off the right rear tire
  3. Lift the front pully up and hold in place with a pry bar
  4. Remove pully by removing the three bolts
  5. You can now install or adjust the belt
  6. When done, replace pully and wheel
Aug 06 2015

Windows is slow – here is why – Pagefile Fragmentation

Where I Go | Category: Computers | 0 Comments

For the person with the slow computer, check if your system page file is fragmented. This sounds long but it’s only a few window dialog boxes. Start->Control Panel, then Administrative Tools, Defragment Your Hard Drive, click Analyze Then wait, and when done View Report and look for Page File Fragmentation. If fragmented, then I recommend two things.

1. Set the size of you page file to a static number (Start->Computer, Advanced Tab, Click Settings under Performance, now Advanced Tab, In the Virtual Memory Section, click Change, Uncleck Automaically Manage paging file size, Check the Custom Size, and pick a number about twice you memory size. Make sure it’s at least as large as your memory, [ note: Disk space is cheap now so ok to waste a few GB of disk in case you want to add more memory later] DO THIS ONLY FOR DRIVE C:, THE REST DO NOT MATTER. . Click OK, OK, Etc to close all of those Windows. If asked to reboot click the Later option. Now you have to Defragment the pagefile with Perfect Disk…. So get that with a license so you have to Boot Time Defragmentation option. Install it. Now reboot. Reboot again. Then set the Perfect Disk (PD is slow to start so wait) boot time option for drive C. Reboot.) Sounds like a lot of steps, but this one setting is the reason are computers running Windows slow down over time as the pagefile is the most accessed file in windows. Perfect Disk will actually prevent other files from fragmentation on the fly as they are written. Make sure it’s scheduled to run at least every few days to keep your disk Perfect.

and 2, before upgrading, might want to do two complete system backups to a slim portable hard disk with Acronis True Image… This is a full system backup and can be restored. Make sure to create the Boot CD (or DVD, or USB drive) so you can restore if need be. Like if Windows 10 doesn’t support your audio card or printer. Also handy to have if a disk drive fails. You can even tell Acronis to encypt the backup – just don’t loose the key [but don’t write it on the drive – tape it under the keyboard – you just don’t want to loose the drive and have someone else find it. If paranoid – put the key in a bank safety deposit box.]

Non-Disclaimer: I have no relationship to these two products or their manufacturers. I’m just a Computer Scientist that uses them.

May 27 2015

Tom Smeal Robot on Facebook

Where I Go | Category: Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Hate speech I collected from Tom Smeal on Facebook (names changed to protect the innocent).

Tom Smeal writes this more hate filled crap on NPR pages.

Nice one %s; the Green Energy companies FAILED because they did not follow set regulations. The shareholders of the failed GREEN companies were after profits, profits and more profits. GREEN CEOs made millions on the backs of taxpayers then went Bankrupt…………………………………………..…/as-many-as-fifty-obama-backed…/

%s can read, but look what happened. I noticed that %s has a HUGE carbon footprint but advocates for others to use expensive green energy. What an obvious, foolish hypocrite.

99.9% of Liberals enjoy their huge carbon footprints and only want others to sacrifice to ‘save the planet’.

People first….why do you hate the poor %s?

Fracking directly benefits the public good.

LOL!!!! “liberal Republican”, that’s the funniest thing I’ve seen so far this year. No such thing %s; all Liberals hate Republicans. Please show us some proof of earthquake damaga %s. Earthquakes are natural and happen every day all over the world and only occasionally cause damage. If it speaks like a Liberal then you are a Liberal.

What about charges against all those rotten people who looted their neighborhoods and tried to injure the police, even though the police were ordered by their idiot Mayor to permit the lowlife scum to destroy their neighborhoods?

You forget that the greater good supercedes local kingdoms. Why allow a few enviro whackos hurt the poor.

%s why do you hate the poor? Why do you want to reduce the standard of living of people getting handouts from Obama? For shame.

Fracking has greatly helped the poor in the buckeye state. Capitalism works.

Straw man attacks are juvenile %s. Do you believe man is causing climate change %s?

When are you going to give up automobile travel?

You voted for Obama; you got what you voted for

Finally! Obama’s spying on us is being stopped. Our right to privacy wins one finally. I wonder what the Democrats are going to do with the phone data they already have?

Son of a gun. Gray had heroine and marijuana in his blood. Figures.

Yes %s. The Mayor and Prosecutor may want to give a free pass to their law breaking constituency. The Mayor has already stopped the police force from arresting suspects and most of those thugs that were arrested were freed.

Obama doesn’t think NSA programs violated Americans’ privacy, WH says

Feb 01 2015

RaspberryPi and agocontrol configuration

Where I Go | Category: Raspberry Pi | 0 Comments

Raspberry Pi with RazBerry Zwave daughter card installed

Raspberry Pi B+ Board with RazBerry Zwave daughter card installed

Been fighting with getting agocontrol working with Rasbian Wheezy for a few days. Seeing messages like this in /var/log/messages:

Feb 1 13:00:31 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack
Feb 1 13:00:33 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack
Feb 1 13:00:34 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: WARNING: Unexpected Callback ID received
Feb 1 13:00:35 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: Dropping command, expected response not received after 3 attempt(s)
Feb 1 13:00:37 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack
Feb 1 13:00:39 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack
root@raspberrypi:/var/log# tail messages
Feb 1 13:00:35 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: Dropping command, expected response not received after 3 attempt(s)
Feb 1 13:00:37 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack
Feb 1 13:00:39 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack
Feb 1 13:00:41 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: Dropping command, expected response not received after 3 attempt(s)
Feb 1 13:00:41 raspberrypi agozwave[455]: ERROR: ZW_SEND_DATA could not be delivered to Z-Wave stack

Also in the webmin on the zwave plugin at the top see:
zwavecontroller is not responding. Unable to execute action

Several fixes here:

  1. First, make sure you have a /etc/opt/agocontrol/conf.d/zwave.conf file with this text:

  2. Next, we need to disable the serial console which is configured to /dev/ttyAMA0. This requires editing two files:
    1. /etc/inittab
    Change this line:

    T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100

    and disable the serial console with a # sign in front and save the file.

    #T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100

    2. /boot/cmdline.txt
    It should look like this:

    dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait

    Change to like so, (removing console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200) and save.

    dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait
  3. Third, run the command: dmesg | grep tty
    You’ll see something like this:

    [ 0.000000] Kernel command line: dma.dmachans=0x7f35 bcm2708_fb.fbwidth=1318 bcm2708_fb.fbheight=736 bcm2708.boardrev=0x10 bcm2708.serial=0xd2466e69 smsc95xx.macaddr=B8:27:EB:46:6E:69 bcm2708_fb.fbswap=1 bcm2708.disk_led_gpio=47 bcm2708.disk_led_active_low=0 sdhci-bcm2708.emmc_clock_freq=250000000 vc_mem.mem_base=0x1ec00000 vc_mem.mem_size=0x20000000 dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p6 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait
    [ 0.001423] console [tty1] enabled
    [ 0.706431] dev:f1: ttyAMA0 at MMIO 0x20201000 (irq = 83, base_baud = 0) is a PL011 rev3

    See the last line, thats the RazBerry. Note the revision level is 3. The folks at missed a production step (see Easy to solve. Just do in terminal of your Raspberry Pi:

    echo -ne "\x01\x04\x00\x42\x01\xB8" > /dev/ttyAMA0

    After making that change run the command below to shutdown Wheezy.

    shutdown -h now

    And then power cycle the RaspberryPi, waiting a few seconds before plugging back in.
Jan 26 2015

Manual for Stanley ST300 Garage Door Opener

Where I Go | Category: Owners Manuals | 0 Comments

Working on my garage door opener and being lazy I searched on Google for it. Folks wanted $10 to download the manual. Less lazy for $10, so found my manual, scanned it and here it is for FREE.

stanley-st300-garage-door-opener-installation-manual 24MB

Jun 08 2014

Carpenter Bee Control for Log Homes

Where I Go | Category: Pest Control | 0 Comments

Carpenter Bees are a common problem for owners of log homes. Since they don’t eat the wood and only drill into it, most pesticides applied to logs to prevent termites will have no effect on them. We’ve been log home owners for 20 years now, have found an effective method to control carpenter bees and prevent them from causing further damage.

Carpenter Bee Treatment With Tri Die

Tri Die Kills Carpenter Bees

Tri Die Kills Carpenter Bees

The product we use is called Tri-Die Pressurized Silica + Pyrethrin Dust. In 2014, it costs about $20 for an 8 oz can. Buy a couple cans of Tri-Die. While a little goes a long way, it’s best to be ready with the carpenter bees awake in the spring and not be caught without the solution. Spray this product into the holes the carpenter bees have drilled into your home. The carpenter bees will quickly exit and die. This works really well for carpenter bee infestations that you can reach easily.

Spray Close - Reach High with Spray Close

Spray Close – High Reach Spraying Tool

Reaching High Up Carpenter Bee Colonies

If you are like us, though, and your log home has high areas, then you need a little help in the form of Spray Close. It’s this great device that hooks on the end of a high reach paint stick. It holds a spray can and with the use of a string you can press down on the spray cap and inject the Tri-Die into carpenter bees nest high up. We’ve used this method to effectively wipe out all carpenter bees in our home.

The Tri-Die can is a little too small for the Spray Close tool. So you’ll need a trick. Take the cap off the can of the Tri-Die and using vinyl electrical tape, attach the cap to the bottom of the can of Tri-Die. Now place the can into the Spray Close tool. Since the Tri-Die can is slimmer then the average insecticide you’ll need to tape the can to the tool with vinyl electrical tape. Make sure to tape tight at the top without interfering with the activation lever. With a little practice, you should be able to get the straw from the Tri Die to aim into the carpenter bee nest so the insecticide reaches the target bees.

Our Setup With Spray Close and Tri Die for Killing Carpenter Bees

Take a look at our setup in the picture below and see how we did it. Now you are ready to solve your carpenter bee problem at areas as high as your long reach paint pole reaches. Ours went to 30 feet but we didn’t need that much. Note that the string pulls down along the length of the paint stick and that action pushes down on the spray dispenser. Don’t try to have someone else activate the spraying of the Tri-Die as it won’t work right. It’s the person holding the paint stick pulling toward oneself that activates the spray action. Look closely at the picture to see how the nozzle gets depressed. Click on the picture to see the full size image noting how the string operates and how we taped the can of Tri Die to the Spray Close tool. We have no carpenter bees around our home now.

Tri-Die On Spray-Close ready to exterminate Carpenter Bees

Spray Close Mounted on Paint Stick with Tri-Die Carpenter Bee Kill ready to go

The Carpenter Bee Honey Pot

The reason that the Tri-Die works so well is carpenter bees will visit other carpenter bee homes. So while you should try to get every one of the carpenter bees voids sprayed, if you miss a couple, it won’t matter. You probably should seal up the holes in your home to prevent other pests from causing trouble, but I think you need to leave a few carpenter bee holes open (The Honey Pot) to treat annually. Otherwise, a new brood will come along, drill new holes and you’ll be back to the starting place.

About the Author: We have been an owner of a Lok-N-Logs log home for 20 years. This solution works!

Apr 23 2014

USPS Rate V4 This mail service requires Ground Transportation Only.

Where I Go | Category: PHP Programming | 0 Comments

In March 2014 USPS required a set of new tags if wanting a quote for Parcel Post (now being called Standard Post).

To get rate quotes for Parcel Post, and Standard Post you need to make 3 changes.

  1. You need a tag of <Container> Within <Container> you also need a new tag of <ContentType>
  2. You need a new tag of <GroundOnly> immediately after <Container>
  3. You need a new tag of <Revision> right after the <RateV4Request> header.

A properly formatted RateV4Request for Parcel / Standard Post is below. Bold Entries are what are required as of 7 March 2014 to quote USPS Parcel Post. Note Parcel is acceptable (in place of Standard Post) until July 2014. You may also omit the Content tags if shipping LARGE packages (ones too large for Priority Mail). See the USPS Webtool API docs for the required values. I’m writing this up because I added the Content and GroundOnly tags and fought for hours until I realized the Revision tags was also required as the Error Message of:

This mail service requires Ground Transportation Only. HelpContext 1000440

was not very informative.

USPS RateV4Request for Standard Post and Parcel Post

<RateV4Request USERID="xxxxxx" PASSWORD="xxxx">
<Package ID="0">
<Service>STANDARD POST</Service>


Apr 12 2014

Raspberry Pi – Building mysql server on FreeBSD 10 Stable

Where I Go | Category: Raspberry Pi | 0 Comments

When building mysql server for FreeBSD 10 from the ports collection on the Raspberry Pi the compile fails with: error: use of undeclared identifier ‘fpsetmask’; did you mean ‘sigsetmask’?

This happens for all three versions, mysql51-server, mysql55-server and mysql56-server.

Researching this I found that <ieeefp.h> for the Raspberry Pi is missing some code notably the function prototype declarations of the builtin fp functions:
#if !defined(_IEEEFP_INLINED_)
extern fp_rnd_t fpgetround(void);
extern fp_rnd_t fpsetround(fp_rnd_t);
extern fp_except_t fpgetmask(void);
extern fp_except_t fpsetmask(fp_except_t);
extern fp_except_t fpgetsticky(void);
extern fp_except_t fpsetsticky(fp_except_t);
#endif /* !_IEEEFP_INLINED_ */

If you have encountered this problem already there are two steps to fix:

  • First, Rename your /usr/includes/ieeefp.h to ieeefp.h.orig and create a new ieeefp.h with this code (might be wise to make a copy of the new ieeefp.h file too naming it as in case you run an freebsd-update which might clobber the ieeefp.h file):

    /* $NetBSD: ieeefp.h,v 1.4 1998/01/09 08:03:43 perry Exp $ */
    /* $FreeBSD: stable/10/include/ieeefp.h 226607 2011-10-21 06:41:46Z das $ */
    * Written by J.T. Conklin, Apr 6, 1995
    * Public domain.
    #ifndef _IEEEFP_H_
    #define _IEEEFP_H_
    #include <sys/cdefs.h>
    #include <machine/ieeefp.h>
    #if !defined(_IEEEFP_INLINED_)
    extern fp_rnd_t fpgetround(void);
    extern fp_rnd_t fpsetround(fp_rnd_t);
    extern fp_except_t fpgetmask(void);
    extern fp_except_t fpsetmask(fp_except_t);
    extern fp_except_t fpgetsticky(void);
    extern fp_except_t fpsetsticky(fp_except_t);
    #endif /* !_IEEEFP_INLINED_ */
    #endif /* _IEEEFP_H_ */

  • Then find this code in the ports tree under work/mysql5x-server/sql/ (x is 1,5, or 6 depending on your version) near line 176 on mysql51-server (since I’m using 5.1, my absolute path is /usr/ports/databases/mysql51-server/work/mysql-5.1.73/sql/ — always good to make a copy before editing!:
    #ifdef HAVE_FP_EXCEPT // Fix type conflict
    typedef fp_except fp_except_t;

    And comment out the typedef (as it’s also in the include file /usr/includes/machine/ieeefp.h). Code should look like whats below.
    #ifdef HAVE_FP_EXCEPT // Fix type conflict
    /* typedef fp_except fp_except_t; */

Here is a tarball with the 3 ieeefp.* header files for your pleasure

Here is a tarball with the three header files ieeefp.h, ieeefp.h.orig and (in case your browser is having trouble rendering the code above in the HTML and hiding code): Replacement ieeefp.h files for FreeBSD Stable Raspberry Pi. Download it and extract to usr/includes as root, edit the duplicate definition of fp_except out of as described above, and restart the make of mysql server make sure to return to /usr/ports/databases/mysql5x-server before restarting make! That way you build the port with the FreeBSD modifications such as adding user mysql and setting the startup file in /usr/local/etc/rc.d so you can add mysql_enable and mysql_flags to /etc/rc.conf).

To beat the Floating Point fpsetmask() problem before it happens during the build of mysql server on FreeBSD on the Pi

  1. Install the attached ieeefp.h files from the tarball in /usr/include (or edit and paste in the code from above).
  2. Start make of mysql5x-server and once you get the message:
    ===> mysql5x-server depends on mysql5x-client
    edit the file under the ports (i.e. /usr/ports/databases/mysql51-server/work/mysql-5.1.73/sql/ note the version number is in two places in the path and it must match the version you choose) using another ssh session. You have plenty of time to do this as the Raspberry Pi will make the mysql-client first.
Raspberry Pi under FreeBSD running mysqld Server

Success! Raspberry Pi running mysqld server on FreeBSD 10

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