Sunday, November 16, 2014

The futility that is life (Drying is Hell) (Updated)

Ok. I stole that last parenthetical bit from Groening.

So, I move a washer and dryer from the old house, in the back of my Pilot. Unload them and put them in to their alcove. Laundering starts. And then (of course) the dryer fails to heat.

When I opened the top of the dryer and hit Start, I notice the heating elements aren't turning orange. Hoping it's the top thermocouple - and since it's the only one I can reach, I run a meter on it - and (also, of course) it tests normal. In order to check the other one - and to see what I might have knocked loose during the move, the dryer will have to be pulled out of the alcove.

But, there's this one problem.

The opening is off center and the wall that comes out on the dryer side is wider than the wall that comes out on the washer side. The upshot is that after all this - everything will have to be unhooked and the washer moved out of the way in order to pull they clothes dryer out far enough to open up the back.

And the faucet on the hot water side leaks. Only a little, but of course it does.

It's just a pain in the butt all the way round. And so, I thought I'd share.

Look. If you're designing spaces or furniture or cabinets or whatever - things will have to be tweaked. The backs of things will have to be accessed! Flush mounts are slick and all but eventually you'll have to check the cords in back. That's all I'm saying.

Update (sometime later)

What eventually ended up fixing it - after all that, in case you were wondering - was an electrical breaker.

The short version:

  • The thermocouples checked out. 
  • Found online that a possible cause was the timer/controller module. It was a bit twitchy anyway and I thought that it had finally gone. I pulled the part and looked up and ordered a replacement online. This was great - but it didn't make the dryer heat.
  • After more research, I found out that a dryer can run but not heat if one of the legs of the 220v outlet was bad (and the other was still good). Tested *that* and that turned out to be the underlying problem. Replaced the breaker and all is well.

The moral of the story is don't take anything for granted. I assumed that the outlet worked so I went to a lot of trouble without going through a full set of tests to assess the environment and the equipment. There was a flight mechanics (?) motto I ran across a dog's age ago: In God we trust. Everything else we check. A shame I forgot that in this instance.

More (yet later still)

In case you're wondering about the techie stuff (I'm reminded about Heinlein's ballistics chapter...), here are two videos by some people:


Electrical panel

If you want to fix anything, check YouTube first. Also - please don't electrocute yourself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Howl How long has this been on the bucket list? I don't even have a bucket list and its on mine.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I got this in my NSU email account:

Congratulations! Based on your Northeastern State University academic achievements and nomination, you have been accepted to the university member society. is the preeminent organization dedicated to recognition of student success, and to empower students to achieve through scholarship, recognition, exclusive privileges, job opportunities and more. Activate your Honor Society Membership

Featured Privileges:  
  • Exclusive scholarship listings.
  • Access to regalia, honor cords and tassels. 
  • Free access to career guide books.
  • Free access to premier job postings for college students and graduates.
  • Graduate school test prep discounts for GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT.
  • Dining discounts at 18,000 restaurants nationwide. 

Of course it's a complete scam. I haven't been posting any of my grades online, and for the school to do so is strictly verboten... so how would they know about my "academic achievements" from Adam's?


Monday, March 3, 2014

Sausage balls

So, sausage balls (sounds like an expletive, I know but, literally: sausage balls)

Another easy thing to do - as I found out last night. If you look up a recipe for this, basically what you find is mix ground sausage with Bisquick and cheese, ball, and bake. Nice, simple, and easy. Then you look up a second recipe and the ratios are different. Here's what we used:

1 pound (a tube) of breakfast sausage (minus two patty's worth that got consumed for breakfast earlier the same day)
2-1/2 cups of Bisquick
1 cup of sharp cheddar shredded
Onion powder, because it was there
Cajun blackened seasoning, because... hey, why not?

In recipe-speak, the next step is "Combine ingredients", but really that's an understatement. Mix the Bisquick, the cheese, and all in one bowl and dump the sausage in to another bowl. Add a handful of dry mix into the sausage about an handful at a time and work it into the sausage, like you were kneeding dough. I don't know if a mixer with dough hooks could be used - I don't have one - but be prepared to put some work into mixing the stuff. Use your hands.

After all is said and done, you come out with a ball of mix that kind of resembles pie crust dough both in texture and in feel - the fat in the sausage mix isn't any greasier than the shortening in pie dough - to me, anyway. Next thing is turn on the oven to 375, spray a baking sheet with Pam, and then ball the mess a chunk at a time until you have row after row of English walnut-sized balls.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

What comes out of the oven is like a hybrid between a cheese biscuit and a bite of sausage. They are unbelievably good right off of the baking sheet. Not a bit oily - which is kind of surprising, since they have so much sausage and cheese in them. I haven't tried them with any kind of sauce. The Paula Deen recipe on comes with a suggestion of mixing a cup of mayo with a tablespoon of mustard, but as I don't like mayonnaise that much, that kinda sounds gross to me. I'd just go with mustard - if I had to pick - just the same as I would use on any sausage roll that I'd get for breakfast.

I wonder what they'd taste like with syrup...