There are a couple of good sites for information about do-it-yourself washing machine repair. Ours had a leak, which I think I traced to a tiny hole in the low-pressure drain hose that was fixable with a pipe tape that the good folks at Stadium Hardware helped me find. Let's hope the repair holds!
I used the Family Handyman's How To Repair a Leaking Washing Machine as my guide. The pinhole sized leak was in the middle of the low-pressure drain hose, where a rusty piece of bracket had wedged itself against the hose and slowly caused it to get a pinhole sized hole. The repair was made with Duck Brand Wrap-Fix Tape, a self-fusing silicone tape that says it's good to 100 PSI. And Stadium Hardware (Arborwiki link) is a marvelous store, with helpful folks and a seemingly infinite supply of parts for every hardware need.
Now let's just hope the repair holds! The next step, if it doesn't, is to replace that hose entirely. Repair Clinic has about 70 different GE washing machine hose parts available; I haven't yet identified the exact part.
Please note that the repair for the high-pressure supply hose would be very different, as noted in the comment below. The Family Handyman guide referenced above suggests getting a metallic no-burst supply hose similar to this one from Fluidmaster to replace any worn, corroded, or leaky supply hoses. Supply lines run at much higher pressure than drain lines.
Once upon a time this blog featured (?) a daily link dump from delicious. It was completely automated, so that once a day something got dumped in. I don't know if anyone read it except search engines, but it was a handy way to replicate some content.
There must be a way to do this from pinboard, which is what I am using now, but I don't see a one-click from the pinboard FAQ.
The Checklist Manifesto; review in the New York Times.
Excerpt from Freakonomics review
Even more interesting are the stories about Walmart’s response to Hurricane Katrina, and the real reason why David Lee Roth used to demand that there be a bowl of M&M’s with all the brown ones removed in his dressing room backstage.
Times Online review
The surgeon-author was on the track of what might be described as a classic magic bullet — a low-tech way in a high-tech, expensive world in which lives might be saved and costs reduced. Gawande, using his own word, was searching for “eptitude” — the business of making sure that those with knowledge applied it effectively.
First chapter is free; and it includes the word "eptitude".
The following checklist is designed to aid the checklist creation process and ensure that your checklist helps instead of hurts. It was created by Dr. Atul Gawande, the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Surgery and Public Health Dissemination Team, and Dan Boorman of Boeing."
The nicest wiki implementation of checklists I've seen is at Sunshine Review, using the MediaWiki dpl extension.
Every so often the inbox is full and the blog is empty; this is an attempt to remedy that.
How to do an introduction online. X, meet Y; Y, meet X. X is notable for a1, a2, a3; Y is notable for b1, b2, b3. You have a mutual interest in c1, c2, c3; you should connect. There are several of those pending.
How to make the best of not responding to mail promptly. Answer long, hoping that your thoughtfulness makes up for your tardiness. Follow up with a new question, assuming that anything that went more than some period of time - two weeks, a month, or more - was overtaken by events and you want to be seen as having good follow up skills.
How much inbox is too much inbox. Inbox zero, for sure, in someone's dreams. I'm generally happier when the bottomless queue reaches 100 or less, since it seems more likely that each one might represent a chance to connect with someone in particular. There's also a time duration beyond which it makes more sense to start afresh than it does to reply.
Herein a recipe for producing what looks like some kind of careful long term reasonable insight into a question, but what is really a coping strategy for the complete inability to be attentive to anything for very long.
Be distracted away from the thing you are supposed to be doing; that part is pretty easy. Wander off randomly into the wilderness of recent changes to the Internet or a random page in your personal knowledge management heap or some long-dusty book in Google Books. Note some small fragment of something that isn't at all relevant to what everyone else seems to be looking at right now but that somehow temporarily holds your interest long enough to compose a few paragraphs with a few links. Write about it here; try with desperation to find a category it should already belong to so that it has some illusion of continuity with what you have been doing all along. Hit "save", hit "publish", and return to the task at hand.
Scatter your attention all over the Internet to a range of places where recent changes seem to be more predominant. Post to Twitter, or Facebook, or your favorite online newspaper's best reader comments section, or to some seasonally or topically appropriate blog where you know that the author welcomes your readership. Be outwardly visible and pay attention to someone else, something else, some place other than yourself. Make the rounds of the usual places and hit a few new ones. Stop before everyone is asleep.
Gather up things you have written on a topic, things captured during previous distractions or scattered to the four winds. If there is a search engine, search for your own long-forgotten commentary on something, and collect it back to somewhere central. If all you have is paper, leaf through it steadily and methodically until inevitably that journal yields a relevant fragment. Pile up the fragments, enumerate them, list them out carefully as though they were bits of papyrus needing careful reassembly. See what you might have known in the past and re-know it, relearn it.
Then, when all of the distract-scatter-gather process has all been put into motion, can you focus on that one thing you have been getting ready to do all this time. Come back to what you have gathered up and re-assess the work as a whole. Allow yourself to work methodically through the work you have gathered together, to pull it apart, to see what the whole set looks like and not just little bits of it. Pull through everything that is relevant and stitch it all together into something new, something that lasts longer than a simple short distraction but that hold and sustain a concentrated narrative with examples and ideas and themes and notions pulled out from a long time.
The whole process should run on some cycle appropriate for the task or the season. As I write, I think about the quarterly holiday of Discardia, where you celebrate letting go, and of all of the distracted and scattered thinking I have about that event that culminates in an every three months deliberate effort to tidy things up. The collected effort of pulling things together means not only that you have everything in mind but also that you can free yourself of the distractions that eventually got you here - and that you get, periodically, a chance to edit out some randomness and make it look like you are more organized and orderly than your easily-distracted nature would allow.
This season's Discardia holiday is coming up on June 20-22, 2009.
Wash, drain, then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze until solid and then use a spatula to carefully scrape them (whole) into freezer bags or tubs.
Label, carefully. "Beans, do not open until February". So that when it's February, you'll have something to look forward to, and so that the fridge monsters don't eat them before then.
But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know. As everyone always advises, cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
Photocopy your wallet - yes? (Consumerist)
We've all been there, that sickening feeling as you reach for your back pocket, only to find your wallet gone. A frantic search turns up nothing. You feel sad. But you wouldn't feel that sad if you had photocopied the contents of your wallet. Then you would have a legal copy of your license to use until it got replaced, and all your account numbers and the phone numbers you need to call for replacements. So take a second this weekend to pop your wallet into the photocopy or scanner and keep the paper in a safe place. You might be very glad some day that you did.
Photocopy your wallet - no? (Ellen Craw, Ilium Software)
I really hate it when people suggest photocopying your wallet contents for extra safety. Call me crazy (many people do) and paranoid (there’s some truth to that as well), but a photocopier is nothing but a scanner plus a printer. There’s no guarantee that your info is cleared out as soon as the pages are printed. If it’s your own copier in your own home office, fine, but if you take your wallet to Kinkos or CopyMax or any commercial place, keep in mind that what you’re doing is using their scanner to scan all the numbers you’re carefully protecting other places.
Scan your wallet, and upload it to the interwebs? ("Random Walks in the Lowlands")
1) Make a backup. Years ago, someone suggested that I put a scan of my critical documents up on the Internet where I could always access them from anywhere. So I scanned my passport, driver's license, and birth certificate in a password-protected file that I mailed to a supplemental Yahoo account. It was easy to just download and print it to have all of the information and documentation that the embassy required.
This is the family latke recipe, perfected over time. Ten pounds of potatoes serves one neighborhood.
Warning: the following recipe may be bad for your health and completely
destructive of your kitchen!
From a newspaper clipping in my recipe book, much amended by me over the
Time: 20 minutes (More like two hours, unless you have multiple griddles)
2 large eggs
3 cups grated drained, all-purpose potatoes (see below)
1/4 cup grated onion (see below)
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste (less)
2 to 4 tablespoons matzo meal, or as needed (I used whole wheat flour;
you could also use breadcrumbs)
Canola oil, for frying
Applesauce and sour cream for serving, optional (mandatory!)
0. Peel the potatoes. If you are peeling a lot of potatoes, put the peeled ones in a bowl of water before you process them so that they don't get brown while you're waiting for step 1.
1. Put the potatoes through the food processor, using the shredding blade. Take them out, change to the regular grinding blade, and put them through again, adding the onion in big chunks (no need to grate!), eggs, salt and flour. Adjust the flour to make a thick, wet batter that is neither
watery nor dry.
2. Place a large skillet (we have better luck using an ancient, well-seasoned griddle) over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil (more!). When oil is hot drop in heaping 1/8 cups (more!) of batter, flattening them gently to make thick pancakes. When bottoms have browned, after 2 or 3 minutes (more!), flip and brown on other side. Add oil as needed. Drain on paper towels. If necessary (!), work in batches, keeping cooked pancakes warm. Servef hot with applesauce and sour cream.
Yield: 4 servings
Quarter and core many apples; do not peel. Cover bottom of pot with water, put in the apples, half (or a whole) orange (pref. organic, with seeds removed), one (or two) cinnamon sticks. Cook over gentle heat for at least 20 minutes, up to several hours, until apples break down. Cool. Remove cinnamon stick, scrape flesh from orange and return to pot; discard peel. Put apple mixture through food processor; grind well, so that no large pieces of peel remain.
Twitter needs tags.
Twitter doesn't have tags right now.
It does have names, and if you precede a name by an @, you can follow that name.
Sometimes you want to share a conversation but not create an ID.
For instance, when San Diego was on fire, the tag #sandiegofire was used in Twitters.
That's a hashtag.
No software uses hashtags right now.
But if you are regular about using it in your posts and people catch on, maybe someone will write code.
The use of #hashtags to encode names of channels is shared by IRC.
For instance, Joi Ito is founder and op at #joiito on IRC, according to his LinkedIn.
Channel names live in the same world as hashtags and tags.
If you were to build software to use hashtags, what might it do?
Wiki + hashtags = autolink to a wiki where the name space was tags.
IRC + hashtags = autoconnect to the channel.
Google Search + hashtags = search for the tag.
Google Adwords + hashtags = display relevant ads for that tag.
Flickr + hashtags = display a page with that Flickr tag
LinkedIn + hashtags = search for someone with that tag in their profile.
Facebook + hashtags = search for someone with that tag in their profile.
So, essentially, a hashtag is a search key into a tag space, marked with a #.
Indeed, you can use any search engine that searches Twitter to search for them.
Or, at least, any search engine that doesn't ignore the punctuation.
For more about hash tags, read Chris Messina (factoryjoe).
His Twitter hashtags for emergency coordination and disaster relief describes #sandiegofire.
Chris didn't think much of #arbcamp, but we'll forgive him for that just this once.
And I don't think much of the name hashtag.
I'm going to call them octothorpetags.