KitchenAid Dishwasher Leak (inlet hose)

Black inlet tube damageKathy spotted a leak under the dishwasher. (KitchenAid KUDL02FRSS0.)  I shut off the fuse, disconnected the power (because the electrical cable is too short to pull the washer all the way out) and removed the white sound blanket. There was water under the washer, but I could not see the source. There was a silver metal jacket inlet hose from the sink and a yellowish plastic drain hose, but neither were wet. The tub itself did not seem to have any leaks. It was a mystery.

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Four Holes Filled

Over the years, several holes started forming in the back woods. The shape and depth suggested they all came from rotting stumps. They got deep enough that you could step all the way up to your knee. A little kid might go all the way to his waist!

Over a series of a few weekends, I’ve filled them all up. Took 27 40lb bags of top soil at $1.27 each. I bought 9 bags at a time, which filled up my trunk.

Four Holes Filled

The hole that I thought was smallest (#3) ended up being the largest. As I used my tamper to pack in the first couple of bags of dirt the “floor” fell through to reveal a much larger hole. Clyde could have easily climbed in and and hidden in it. That one hole took 9 bags all by itself.

Last weekend, kid 3 was helping me rake leaves and haul a tarp full to the back woods when she fell into hole #4 (the newest hole to form.) “What the heck!” she exclaimed, her leg disappearing into the stump hole. That was not what Alice said when she fell down the rabbit hole.

Post Thumbnail Editor – WordPress Plugin

WordPress has a good built in image editor as well as gallery manager for posting multiple images in a post.

However, sometimes the thumbnails it builds by default are not optimal, especially if the focus of a photograph or image is off center. And while WordPress supports cropping and applying to the thumbnail only, it is not obvious (at least to me) and creates mixed results.

One way I have addressed this was to create a second cropped version of an image for the purpose of using in thumbnail or feature displays, uploading it, and then selecting this second image as the feature for a post. That works, but it creates some overhead and sometimes even this leads to unexpected results, especially depending on how your theme manages thumbnails.

I found a great plugin for managing thumbnails in these situations – Post Thumbnail Editor by sewpafly. In the example below, the leading lady in the pineapple parade was getting cropped. Using Post Thumbnail Editor, I am choosing to update just two of the thumbnails: the 50 x 50 and the 200 x 200, because of their square shape, with the crop you see on the left. The only thing that was not intuitive to me is that I simply drag my pointer to create the crop. I’m used to choosing a cropping tool first in most software, but even Word Press’s own thumbnail editor works this way.

Click to zoom:

WP Post Thumbnail Editor Plugin

Replacing two bad crops on right with new crop on left.

You access Post Thumbnail Editor in one of two ways:

1. The Media Library summary view has a new float-menu choice, “Thumbnails.”

WP Post Thumbnail Editor - menu choice

2. Or when editing the details of an image, there is a new choice in the Thumbnail Settings interface:

Radio Fence Repair: Backside

We haven’t had much rain in the second half of the summer, but after two downpours, the radio fence transmitter started chirping, indicating a break. It stopped chirping after the first rain before I could check for the break. It didn’t stop the second time, so I went digging, so to speak.

Wet ground has usually meant one of the previous mends is getting wet or corroded and losing contact, so it is a challenge to figure out which mend is having the problem. Using some extra wire, I was able to isolate the break to the back corner where Fort Charlie is, but testing past mends found them all in good shape.

I decided the wire must have broken underground in a place that gets a lot of water and dirt gets pushed around, so I replaced half of the back line. I also replaced three mends with two in the process, using wire caps, contact cement, and electrical tape. The photos will give clues the next time I have to worry about this.

Having a straight line helps when locating the wire. I tied a rope between a sweetgum tree and the base of a privet bush to provide a guide. The yellow line indicates where the wire runs between the sweetgum, privet, and then up to the corner of the property, turning along the neighbors fence. The shovel in the photo shows the wire runs under the handle just at where the metal shovel begins. The green line shows the wire being one shovel length from the dwarf magnolia. The two small orange lines indicate the location of the two new mends with orange wire caps. I left plenty of spare wire in these locations to allow for future testing and re-mending.

See also: Radio Fence Repair 2009-11

Chrome Font Test

Testing font problem in Chrome. The following DIV is styled:

font-family: ‘Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

This text should be legible, but in Chrome, I am finding it is not.


End of test.

Deck Stain


This gallery contains 12 photos.

Kathy, Kelly, and I pressure washed, soap washed, and stained the deck. Nice weather for it. It ended up taking 3 gallons to get all up-facing surfaces, rails and posts stained. We’ll get another gallon and paint some of the … Continue reading

Testing Random

Testing the radom.php code that picks a photo from all photos contained in the same directory.

Nicki was wondering what would happen if you had it displays three times. The random generator uses the current time, so you get the same random choice all three times.

Random 1

Random 2

Random 3

So no go.

Facebook Called Me Today. I Think They Are In Trouble.

Jane called me from Facebook today at work. [I’m changing her name, and you’ll see why. Her real name is also common and also has only four letters.] I assumed it was a cold call. She wanted to talk to me about advertising on Facebook and asked me if I had time to talk. Remember that.

It so happens I have a project that may involve Facebook advertising. I told her I wanted to talk, but I needed to schedule a time. She said she was west coast, so we agreed to talk 4pm eastern, my time. She said she would call me then. I scheduled: “Jane Facebook 4pm.”

Now I didn’t really think she was with Facebook. I get a lot of cold calls. I figured she was a contract sales person or with a company that does lead qualification. Our company actually sells such a service. I’m sympathetic to cold calls. Still, I wanted to talk to her about advertising on Facebook. I’ve done some work with Google sales, made some small purchases, and it is all fascinating.

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First Household LED Bulb

Update 6/4/2012: Don’t buy this product. See comments.


I bought my first household LED bulb today. I have tried a series of bulbs for the back basement patio light which I leave on 24 hours because days can go by without us going into the basement. I want to keep mischief makers away from our basement.

I’ve had 25 watt and 15 watt incandescents that will last 6 months or so. I most recently tried a 5 watt (25 watt equivalent) micro-spiral made by Sylvania (picture to right.) This is the smallest compact fluorescent (CFL) I’ve ever bought. Really small. It should have lasted a year, but it only lasted 3 months. Short lived. I think it was not happy being ballast-side up inside an outdoor glass globe.

At Wal-Mart I found a small LED frosted bulb that is a 2W / 25W equivalent generating 150 lumens made by FEIT Electric. It was $6.97 and promised to last 18 years with 3 hours per day use. I’m not sure we’ll be in the house more than two years. But, since I leave the bulb on 24 x 7, I did the math and translated the 20,000 hours into 2.2 years.The LED bulb says it is soft white at 3000 Kelvin, but it is a bit whiter than the incandescents and the micro compact fluorescent (2700 Kelvin) but not harsh white. The prices of LEDs are coming down and the color and brightness are getting better.

Thus the LED experiment begins. I may move this one up to the back screen porch, which gets turned off by day. There is a same size / price model that is 1W / 13W equivalent for 75 lumens, so half the brightness and power that I could put in the lower back patio. Hope to not have to comment for 2.2 years…

Note: We all need to become accustom to talking lumens because the 5 watt / 25 watt equivalent will make less and less sense over time.