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Showing posts from January, 2017

How to park a car

Welcome!  Hopefully you found this page because you realize that you need to improve your parking.

A city has a lot of cars and not so many parking spaces.  In fact, most cities have way more cars than parking spaces.  This article is to help you maximize parking, so that you and your neighbors have a better chance of finding a space.

Of course, every place has different parking laws, and those laws are usually designed to give residents a better chance to park.  If you get a ticket, pay up and learn your lesson.

Not all streets have marked parking spaces, so it is up to driver skill and intelligence to properly park cars.  The following tips are to help drivers park properly in such a situation.

Maximize

Always strive to park in a manner that allows room for additional cars.  Sometimes this is impossible, due to how cars have moved in and out of parking spaces.

Note: Inefficient spacing in a parking zone due to can literally be nobody's fault, so be aware of the possibilities …

The Craigslist Buyer's Guide by Lance J.

I sell a lot of things on Craigslist, and so I have gained some experience on what makes a good buyer versus a bad buyer.

I have never had a problem with Craigslist, but I am sometimes concerned that some buyers trust me too much. I am a great and honest seller, but I am unsure how some buyers know that.

So here are my tips:

The Basics
Always deal locally.  Never deal with home addresses, shipping or traveling significant distances.Never deal with shipping or the mail in any way.Never deal with anything other then US cash currency. Never deal with very high value items. Never deal with trades.  In a trade situation, you need to be able to properly validate what you're trading for.  This can be very difficult.An extremely good bargain is very likely a scam.  Don't bother.Never respond to an ad with weird phone numbers or weird email addresses.  These are only used by people that have been kicked off of Craigslist.  In short, they are scammers.Any seller (or buyer) who tells you t…

The Pack Rat's Solution: Selling Junk on eBay, etc

I hate to throw things away.  Let's say my toaster breaks and I decide it isn't worth keeping.  Hm, maybe I'll harvest its knobs.

I've been doing this for years, because hey, you never know when you need a good knob.  But it has gotten a bit out of hand, and so with encouragement from my wife, I'm now selling this stuff.

Now on the surface, it seems that it would be a challenge for me to get rid off all of my "good junk". After all, if I sell all of my knobs, then I won't have a knob when I need one!  But actually, that's not the case. 

I'm happy that the knobs are going to someone that actually NEEDS them for good.  It's better for the knobs to go to a loving home where they'll be used as knobs, instead of sitting in a box in my basement until I'm dead, or going into a landfill where they'll decay over the millennia.  If I ever need that knob back, I'll just buy one on eBay.

I make very little money selling these little th…

Dishwasher no longer cleaning well? Here's the easy fix!

I know a lot of people who have problematic dishwashers.  They no longer clean like they once did.  Happily, most dishwasher problems of this nature are very easy to fix.

Let's start with a quick review of how a dishwasher works:
Detergent and water are mixed together within the dishwasherThe dishes are blasted with this cleaning solution for roughly two hours The dirty waste water is drained out But sometimes you run the dishwasher, and it seems to do all of the above steps, but the dishes don't come out clean, with food debris and dirt still around.  Where does this process go wrong?

Here are some steps to take to address the issue:

ALWAYS Scrape your dishes before loading.

Yes, those corn kernels and other food bits aren't going to be digested by your dishwasher.  They're just going to clog up the dishwasher, preventing the water from blasting your dishes.  No blasting means no clean dishes.

Yes, it says this in the manual, but you ignored it.  Take a dirty sponge or…

WIFI Range Extenders have Limited Usefulness

A lot of friends and family have asked for me to install a WIFI range extender for them, so I decided to try one out.  I bought this TP-Link TL-WA855RE WIFI range extender for under $20.

The range extender I bought is very simple to use and does a good job at what it is designed for: You plug it in, and with a few configuration steps, you're in business extending your WIFI signal.  But range extenders do have significant limitations.

First, most range extenders have a single radio per band.  And therefore any traffic carried by them is going to be at about half speed.  Why?  Because a typical range extender is a pass-through device: every byte received by the extender needs to be immediately rebroadcast over the same radio channel.  That means a range extender needs to handle double the radio traffic of a typical router, effectively halving its useful throughput.


client ⇄ extender ⇄ primary wifi
Secondly, most range extenders are only range extenders.  They are not programmable rou…

Bad Drivers

They say that 50% of drivers are better than average, and 50% are worse than average.

This is meaningless, as 90% of drivers are lousy, dangerous drivers.

There are a lot of cars out there, and therefore you see a lot of driving nonsense.  Drivers are texting, reading, and eating cereal from a bowl.  Drivers speed into intersections and crosswalks.  They crawl at traffic lights, they quickly accelerate and decelerate due to a lack of attention.  They ignore signs and roadway markings.  They ignorant that the pavement is wet and it's 32° F outside.

In the mean time, the police really can't keep up with it.  Pulling people over for minor infractions is a pointless game, particularly because cars pulled over increase traffic and therefore increases the potential for accidents.  Furthermore, it isn't right to give someone a $100 ticket for a stupid and meaningless infraction.  Cops generally have better things to do.

But when you add it all up, our roads are a dangerous mess. …

Update on MetroPCS Service: Wifi Calling

I have another MetroPCS update, this time related to international travel.

I flew some 5000+ miles to some foreign countries with my MetroPCS-powered iPhone.

First, when I landed, I had no service: no voice, no texting, no SMS.  This wasn't a surprise, as MetroPCS is a US-only provider.

But this lack of service is actually a great thing, because it prevents a huge phone bill.  I recently traveled internationally with my AT&T-powered iPhone, and a few minutes of Internet usage (exclusively to do a flight check-in) cost me $40.  That kind of AT&T gouging won't be happening with MetroPCS.

BUT, there is something more exciting: Wifi Calling from International Locations!

Once I was hooked up to a local Wifi access point, I could make and receive phone calls and texts using my MetroPCS phone number.   So in a way, I was very connected, and had zero additional charges.