Thursday, May 25, 2017

Microphone too quiet for Recording

I regularly record a Vlog ("NuachtAsMeiriceá") but found lately that my laptop had started to lower the microphone level, making it almost impossible to hear when played back.
No solution worked until I found this:
Go to Control Panel
Go to Sounds
Choose "Communication"
Choose the "Do Nothing" radio button.

My problem was gone.

Hope this helps

Monday, April 17, 2017

Intuit Turbotax - such a ripoff

Disgusted by . A slick carefully-orchestrated scam(IMO) which saves you nothing. Do your own taxes and don't be ripped off.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lecture on Ireland at Bloomfield Public Library Wed 8th March 2017

"Celtic, Gaelic, or Anglo-Irish: Which is the Real Ireland?"

Bloomfield resident Brian Ó Broin, a medieval literature professor at William Paterson University and a prizewinning Gaelic novelist, traces the history of Ireland from pre-Celtic times through the series of invasions that brought Christianity, cities, castles, Gaelic culture and English culture to this mysterious island nation of North West Europe right up to the modern day. Using slides and recordings (and maybe even a song or two!) Professor Ó Broin demonstrates the color, the uniqueness, and the resilience of this modern European country which sent so many emigrants to America, as Ireland faces the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Ireland has always been a target of invasion. the Celts invaded Ireland three hundred years before Christ, completely displacing the previous stone-age culture whose mysterious structures, like that of Newgrange, still dot the landscape. Six hundred years of Pagan Celtic culture followed the invasion, and the tribal warrior culture of that period is still visible in surviving Gaelic texts such as the Fenian stories and the Táin Bó Cuailgne. An African-tinged Christian monasticism followed conversion to Christianity, and the monastic sites of this period are still to be found throughout the country, marked by their strange cone-tipped bell towers. Vikings saw easy pickings in these monasteries, and came to raid. They stayed, however, and founded Ireland's first cities, like Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick. The French-speaking Normans followed, bringing in feudal culture from England and France. Finally, the English themselves came, in several catastrophic waves, and still remain to this day in the six counties of Northern Ireland. The other twenty-six counties, however, have been a self-governing nation since 1922, constitutionally enshrining both the Gaelic and English cultures. Ireland is a member of the United Nations, and has been in the European Union since 1973.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Fixing a Leaking GE Washing Machine

We have a pretty standard GE Washing Machine. Looks just like this one (which is just a screen grab off the Internet, and not actually our machine!):
GE Washing Machine

Our model is a WHDSR109J8WW, but honestly they're all very alike.
This washing machine had recently started leaking, and I thought it might be the end for it. But in the spirit of experimentation, I figured I'd try fixing it.
To my knowledge, these machines are well built, and unlikely to corrode. If there were to be a leak, it would likely be in the water inlets (the two hoses on the back attached to your house water supply) or in the water pump/drain system (the larger pipe at the back that attaches to your slop sink or waste-water system). Aside from the pump, these pieces are *very* repairable, and usually require parts that can be bought for several dollars at your local hardware or plumbing supply store.
If the leak is coming from the drum, there's really no point repairing the washing machine. It's just too much work, and the parts are probably quite expensive.

Moving the machine.
Plug the machine out. I'm not kidding. This thing has 240V of electricity, which is double your usual household supply. If you touch the wrong wire you will get a very unpleasant jolt.
Hopefully your machine has extendable plastic hoses, because you're going to need to pull it out from the wall and stand it somewhere where it can still run while you have access to the back of it. You'll need no more than a foot or two of extra space. Pull it out *carefully*. You might need help. Make sure it's standing upright, and use a level, if possible:
The first thing to do is remove the front panel. You'll need something like a putty knife, which you're going to *carefully* slide between the top of the washing machine and the front panel.
Be forceful, but not aggressive, and don't scratch the panel. It will (or should) pop out.
Now have a look around. See can you find the source of the leak. Don't detach anything, don't yank anything - just look around.
In my case, NOTHING SEEMED TO BE LEAKING. The pipes and hoses were clean and dry; the drum looked sound, and the pump was dry.
Inlet hoses (white); Outlet hose (black)
This was a conundrum. What was causing the leak?
In the absence of an easy solution, I turned to the internet and did several hours research.
After removing the front cover - Everything looking fine! Where's that darn leak?
In the end, one silly solution presented itself:
The washing machine detects the amount of water in the drum using a pressure gauge. You'll see a small box-like chamber attached to the drum, from which a very narrow hose runs. If you were to follow the hose, you'd find it goes up to the load-size selector switch on the control panel. This hose can fill with lint, and when this happens the pressure gauge fails. When the pressure gauge fails, the machine doesn't know when to stop filling the drum with water, and the machine overflows.
All you need to do is clean out this hose.
Remove the top panel. There are screws on the back. After you've removed these, slide the panel to one side and lift it out. You'll see the other end of the hose attached to the load-size selector on the left. The hose is easily worked off the selector and the pressure box on the drum. Remembering exactly how it ran, remove it and use whatever you have at hand to clean the lint and gunk out of it. Once you're satisfied that the hose is completely clean, run it back through the various conduits it was in and reattach it at both ends.
Pressure Gauge on Drum of GE Washing Machine. Note gunky tube.
Note: if this little hose is NOT blocked or gunked up, then the leak is probably coming from somewhere else. I can't help you if that's the case.
Now reassemble everything, plug the machine back in, and try it out. Select a rinse, being sure to select the largest load possible.
If everything works as planned, your leak will have disappeared.
Put the washing machine back into its place. You're done.

Commuter Bike Route from Bloomfield to William Paterson University

I have cycled from home (Bloomfield) to work (William Paterson University) and back several times lately and took a few pictures on the way. You'll see I've thrown in a few screen grabs too, but the pictures are mostly mine.
What surprised me most was how safe the route felt, how much there was to see, and how quick the journey was. About an hour. My average drive to WPUNJ is 25 minutes, but it can take 35 or more if there is heavy traffic. So cycling isn't a *great* deal slower. And I get a work-out!
As long as you plan your route and use common sense, you can spend over 90% of your journey in parks, empty side streets, bike lanes and bike paths.
I won't do it every day, but I'm glad to know that this very pleasant route is there!

The Route. Bloomfield - Montclair - Clifton - Paterson - Haledon - Wayne


Clark's Pond, Bloomfield

The Route. Bloomfield - Montclair - Clifton - Paterson - Haledon - Wayne
Clark's Pond, Bloomfield

Brookdale Park

Brookdale Park Meadow

Brookdale Park Archery Field

Yantacaw Brook Park

Yantacaw Brook Park

Yantacaw Brook Road at the Park

Yantacaw Brook Road - seriously, it is always this quiet

Small Bridge over Weasel Brook, Grove St, Clifton

Middle School and Public Park, Grove Street, Clifton

Pylon Route over Grove Street. Would love to see some kind of bike path along this route.

Miserable Drivers going home on Highway 3 in the usual "Stockender Verkehr."

Bad picture (cheap phone), but New York City clearly visible from Grove Street.

Yes - it's a real farm!

. . . and here's some proof!

Grove Street quiet and roomy, with excellent bike lanes!

Bike Lanes well marked in Paterson

Bilingual Paterson

Marshall Street, Paterson. Very quiet; very safe for cyclists.

Under the Interstate (I-80). Again, almost no traffic.

Bustling Paterson. Feels sort of European.

Flags flying in Little Italy, Paterson

Lou Costello Memorial, Paterson

Who's on First?

Passaic River, Paterson. You can see it was a mill town. The old red-brick factories are being restored now . . .

Paterson Museum used to be a factory.

West Side Park, Paterson (footbridge from high school to McBride Avenue in background)

The most awful name for a mattress company ever.

Nice Little Bridge on Lee Avenue, Paterson (again, a very quiet road).

Nice Pedestrian and bike Bridge over Pompton Road gets you to the bus stop on the Hamburg Turnpike and onwards to the reasonably-safe Preakness Avenue route into Paterson.

Lake with fountains at William Paterson University.