darkoshi: (Default)
Struggled with washing machine. Finally got clothes successfully rinsed and spun dry around 2:15am. Hung them up to dry. Decided I need to buy a new washing machine. Went to bed at 2:30am. Had a hard time falling asleep, even though I had been very tired around midnight.

I set my alarm for 9am, but woke up before 8 and couldn't fall back asleep. Got up, washed, dressed.
Dialed in to 2 Skype meetings for work, then drove to work. Uneventful day at the office.
Around 4:30pm, Qiao called to say the dogs had both gotten out of the yard, and he was walking around looking, but couldn't find them. That was unusual, because all the other times they've gotten out, we've found them right away.
So I left work early to help him look. As I was driving up his driveway, Zorro came ambling out of the bushes from the neighbor's yard. Shortly thereafter, Serena was found a few houses away - a kind neighbor had found them both sitting in the street, but had only managed to coax Serena into her yard, for safety.

Then I found the spot were Serena had dug out under the fence, and reinforced it. (Even though there are still many other spots that need reinforcing, which will require at least a couple more boxes of 12" metal stakes (and hopefully not more fine-mesh fencing too)).

Then I found out that Zorro had gotten herself all muddy. So we drove them to my house so I could give them both a "bath" (with hose and bucket of soapy water) quickly before it got dark.

Now it's 8pm, and I shall do 2 more hours of work from home, to make up for leaving work early.

things found

Monday, April 3rd, 2017 09:45 am
darkoshi: (Default)
In Facebook, if you send a message to someone who isn't connected to you (not even indirectly), is it possible they won't even be shown the message, depending on their settings? Or in the latter case, would you not even be given the option to send them a message?

Yesterday while picking up trash by the side of the street, I found a purse with a drivers license and other cards still in it. Based on the name and photo on the DL, I found their FB page and sent them a message, but haven't gotten a reply yet, so was wondering.

There was another time I found a DL by the street. That one was without a purse, just lying on the ground, and was bent/damaged looking, so I wasn't sure if it had been thrown away on purpose. I mailed it to the address listed on it anyway, just in case.

Yesterday, there was also a pair of purple shorts in the road (the other road, not near the purse). They looked clean, so I just moved them out of the roadway in case someone comes back for them. There was also a clean white sock, which I figured no one would come for, so I trashed it. Later I realized maybe they were from the same source... maybe someone was returning from a laundromat and dropped a few things. Who knows.

week in review

Sunday, March 26th, 2017 11:38 pm
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Driving into the parking lot at work on Monday, I noticed the low tire pressure warning light on. There was a nail in my tire. I got the hole plugged at the service station nearby, but they recommended getting the tire replaced as the hole was close to the edge. So I the next day, I got the tire replaced at the Toyota dealership. The price seemed reasonable; I was surprised by that. The "advisor" who handled my case was cool... very gender variant looking. At first she struck me as a butch lesbian. Then I wondered, why did I assume that? Maybe he was FTM. Or maybe they were non-binary like me. His/her/their business card was stapled to my receipt. They have a gender neutral name! Later I wondered if they staple their card to everyone's receipt, and if they were as tickled by my gender variance as I was by theirs. And I wondered if something they had jokingly said early on could be considered flirting.

The waiting room at the dealership had many noises. Two TV's on, tuned to different channels. Kids shrieking and crying. Music playing. Vending machines humming. I had brought my work laptop to do some work while waiting, which I did, but the noise was distracting and stressful. Next time, it would be good to bring my noise-cancelling headphones.

The little fig tree didn't react well to the snow we got a couple weeks ago. The leaves withered and dried up. The pink magnolia reacted similarly. I hope they recover.

On the way to work, another company has a row of trees by the street. I saw them pruning some of the larger trees one day. It was after the trees had already sprouted leaves. (They surely didn't expect to trees to sprout so early this year.) Now when I drive by, the ones that were pruned are all bare, while the other ones still have their pretty green leaves. I hope the pruned ones recover too.

Yesterday I washed the dogs.
While I had the hose unfurled, I also washed the green algae and dirt off of one side of the garage.

I went to Best Buy to see if they have any quiet/silent wired mice, as the scrollwheel on my mouse at work is messing up, even after me taking it apart and cleaning out the dust. I didn't see any particularly good ones at Best Buy, so I ordered 2 from Amazon that were specifically advertised as being quiet. Two, because the one looks good and practical, but the other one looks awesome and lights up. And maybe the way the scrollwheel is on the latter, I can turn it further in a single swipe. I'm sure I'll need another mouse anyway, sooner or later.

I replaced the clear glass lampshades on the ceiling fan light fixture in Qiao's den with some translucent/milky alabaster glass ones, to reduce the glare. I also bought 2 colored LED light-bulbs (green and pink - Qiao chose the colors) to put in the 2 sockets which face us when watching TV, to further reduce the glare, as even 40W bulb equivalents up there seem pretty bright. The colored bulbs, even though they are only 3W each!, are still brighter than I expected them to be.

I raked some of the yard. I washed clothes. I vacuumed, and washed dishes and dog collars. I cleaned the tub using 4 different cleaners, and it's still not as clean as I'd like (I wish I had written down how I got it so clean last time). The "tub grip" (gah, they've increased the price by 50%!) that I applied to the floor of the tub to keep it from being slippery is very good in that regards, but it traps more dirt than a smooth surface would. Ecover used to make a tub/tile cleaner that worked very good, but it's not sold here any more. I'm not sure if a similar one I found on Amazon has the same ingredients or not, but I may get it anyway to try. Because I want my darn tub to be spotless! Then again, I read something about using dish washing liquid mixed with vinegar, which I may try first.

cleaning toilets

Saturday, January 7th, 2017 08:36 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
To get the water out of the bowl, don't bother turning off the water and flushing. Even when the tank has emptied, the level of standing water in the bowl won't go down. Instead, you can use a toilet brush to "push" the water down the drain. This will lower the level a good bit.

To clean a brownish stain which has accumulated around the water level, if scrubbing with a toilet brush doesn't work: don't bother trying baking soda - even scrubbing the soda in with a scubber sponge doesn't help much. But scrubbing the stain with a pumice stone does work well, and supposedly doesn't damage the ceramic.

I found these tips here: Cleaning Toilet Bowl Stains, and tried them out - they really do work.
darkoshi: (Default)
Note to self:
Spray vinegar along the refrigerator seal/gasket every month or 2. Maybe that will prevent mold from growing, so that I won't have to go through so much trouble to clean the mold off later on.

To clean small spots of mold/mildew off of bathtub caulk, spray on a small bit of bleach solution, so that a drop of the solution covers the spot. Repeat a few times if necessary until the mold is no longer visible. If the liquid runs down and won't form a bead in the right spot, then place a sheet of toilet tissue over the spot, and spray the tissue. The wet tissue will stick to the surface, giving the bleach time to work.


Sunday, November 8th, 2015 02:18 am
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This morning, I again went to bed too late and woke up too early. While lying in bed, I decided to clean the refrigerator gasket and refrigerator coils today.

After getting up, I washed and dried 5 loads - including the new towels and all the dog blankets. On the 5th load, the spin cycle stopped working. After 3 or 4 tries I got it working again. Maybe the trick is that the door needs to be closed while holding the power button in to reset it.

I washed out the recycling bin with the hose, as some of the cardboard I had in it had left a funky smell. While doing that, I accidentally stepped into some dog doo. I decided to throw the shoes away. They were an old worn out pair that I only wear around the house, with a hole in the rubber sole. The doo got up into the hole, and would have been hard to clean out.

I disposed of stinky radish.
I used the weed whacker, being careful to look where I stepped.
I cleaned the flap on the dog house, and the gunk on the storm door.
I vacuumed.
I cleaned the toilet.
I washed dishes.
I made a chocolate cake from a mix (the "Neat-Egg" worked fine, but may have been too thick. The package says 2 Tbsp water per "egg", but 3 Tbsp would be better.)
I made next week's lunch sandwiches (so that I won't have to do it tomorrow; lately I've been forgetting about it until after midnight on Sunday).
I did various other minor tasks.

I did not clean the refrigerator gasket nor the coils. Maybe tomorrow.

the weekend work

Monday, October 26th, 2015 12:20 am
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Yesterday I washed a section of the garage wall that had gotten moldy, with bleach. Boxes had been pushed up right against the wall, not allowing enough ventilation. This is the 2nd round of bleach on it, as after the first round a week or so ago, it still smelled musty from somewhere. I hope there isn't mold on the inside of the wall. It's plain unpainted plyboard.

Then, as I was doing bleach anyway, I mopped down (up) the sun-room ceiling too, as it had accumulated a bunch of mildew spots from the frequent moisture in there.

I looked up info on adjustable beds, as Qiao is planning to get one. Currently he switches back and forth between the bed and the recliner at night, trying to get comfortable. His foot hasn't been hurting him much the last few days though (hallelujah!).

Today I washed the dogs. They really needed it.

Then I tried to figure out why the kitchen sink drain was suddenly (since yesterday) making glug-glug-glug noises, even though the water was draining fine. Suspecting a blockage in the drain vent, I got out the ladder and went up on the roof to check the vent. There wasn't anything blocking it up on that end, and water I poured into the vent seemed to be draining fine / not backing up.

While up there, I cleaned out the sun-room gutters. Zorro chose to stand directly in the path of the falling dirt and debris. It occurred to me that I had just gotten her all nice and clean... Yelling at her didn't help any, but I finally managed to sweet-talk her into moving away.

I debated whether to go to the hardware store to buy a drain auger. I had tried pushing some cable wire down the vent, but it wouldn't go further than the bend at the bottom of the vent. But I didn't really want to go to the store.

I left the kitchen faucet running and checked the drain pipes in the basement. They were vibrating from the glug-glug-glugging. After a while, there was a change in sound - a larger rushing of water as if someone had dumped out some water into the sink. Whatever had been clogging it must have unclogged itself, as the glugging noise was gone.

While in the basement, I saw that water had leaked in during the flood-storm. It was absorbed into the dirt and didn't look too bad, but I carried a fan down there to help dry it out.

After the fact, it occurred to me that I could have simply tried using the sink plunger instead of going up to the roof and down to the basement.

I took advantage of the remaining daylight to cut down a branch that had cracked in the storm and which was leaning down on the shed. I had to use the extendable pole saw, with it extended to the maximum height.

And I washed 2 loads of clothes/towels, and made brownies. Finally.

Next, sleep-sleep-tired-tired.

Hurricane Joaquin

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 03:53 am
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Dear dog, if you're going to insist on eating small animals, please don't come inside to throw them up.

That was a bloody mess. The hairy part looked suspiciously rat-like. At least I was planning to clean that rug anyway.

Now we are having some very heavy rain. Qiao found water leaking in through the top of the bathroom window frame. I checked the attic, and found 2 large sections where the sheathing is all wet and dripping. Put up plastic bins to catch the water in the one section which is accessible to me, but it is dripping so fast that I hope the bins don't overflow while I'm asleep.

Then I checked the garage. A bunch of water had gotten in under the garage door seal again. I brushed as much as I could out even though I know more will come in. In between me going to the garage and coming back, the walkway by the side door had formed a deep puddle.

Down the street, where water tends to flood during heavy rains, it looks quite flooded. But it is dark, so I can't tell how bad it is. I had been wanting to call the county about that; they probably just need to clear out some growth in order for the water to be able to drain.

Dang, it must be really bad on the coast if it is this bad in the middle of the state.
darkoshi: (Default)
Got home, washed specks off my windshield, washed algae off the vinyl siding on one side of the garage, washed dishes. Ate. Vacuumed dog hair off the carpets.

It felt comparably cool this evening when I left work and got home, though it was still 89 degrees outside. That is why I decided to take advantage of the relative coolness to do the windshield and siding washing.

I've had a small watering can sitting around the house for a while. It's the kind for potted plants with a long narrow spout. It hasn't gotten much use, as I usually use a tall plastic cup to water the plants. But I used it today, along with a sponge, for washing the windshield and siding. Much easier than dragging out the big hose. Much cleaner than having water in a bucket and rinsing the sponge in the bucket and getting the remaining water all dirty. Yep, the watering can has finally found its calling.

My passport will expire soon, and who knows when I might want or need to go on a trip. So I need to fill out a renewal form. Monday I went and got photos taken for it. But now I'm procrastinating filling out the form. It is just a form, but for some reason it seems like a difficult task.
darkoshi: (Default)
Me, watching an online movie or DVD:
- watch 10 minutes
- put it on pause and go get a snack. Watch 5 more minutes
- put it on pause and go get some other snack and a drink. Watch 10 more minutes.
- put it on pause to take the clothes out of the washer and hang them up.
- check email or LJ/DW
- watch some more of the movie. ::sniff:: what's that smell? ::sniff, sniff::
- determine that the smell is coming from the sofa. It must really be time to wash this futon cover.
- put movie on pause. Remove futon cover and put it in the washer. Vacuum dust off the futon mattress (how the heck did dust get in there?). Vacuum the rest of the room while I'm at it, and the kitchen too. Spray some odor remover on the worst smelling part of the mattress.
- watch some more movie while sitting on the floor.
- get up and do some exercise while watching movie.
- put movie on pause. go off and do something else. Research printer problem. Fix printer problem.
- for the 10th time, hope that modern LED TVs don't have a problem with image burn-in, as this one paused image has been displaying for the last 2 hours.
- post something to LJ/DW
- possibly return to watching the rest of the movie.

picker upper fixer

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 08:11 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Hah. I fixed my picker-upper tool again. The one I use for picking up trash along the road by my house.

The first time it broke, it was my fault. Something had irritated me... probably the difficulty of maneuvering an item I had picked up into my garbage bag, along with general annoyance at having to pick up other people's trash*. I tossed the picker-upper away from me in annoyance, and when it hit the ground, it broke apart at the middle joint.

I tried gluing it back together, but even with crazy glue, it never held. Finally I used wood popsicle sticks and chopsticks as splints, along with wire holding them in place. The joint was no longer able to fold for storage, but at least the tool was useable again.

Lately, one of the grabby end pieces kept coming loose and falling off. A few times I was able to find the fallen off piece and reattach it. Yesterday I couldn't find it, and thought that the tool was done for this time.

But this morning I realized all that was needed to replace the missing part was a small rubber suction cup along with a screw and washer to hold it in place. Conveniently, I found just the right size suction cup amongst my stuff; the color nearly matches the original one too. I love it when that happens - when something I've kept in case it might be useful some day, ends up being exactly what I need later on. So I made a hole in the middle of the suction cup, screwed it on, and voila! A working picker-upper tool again.

I'll still buy a new one the next time I see one, for backup. I'm not sure how much longer that joint will hold, especially when picking up heavy things like big glass bottles.

*Yet, picking up trash like that is almost as gratifying as vacuum cleaning, in how easy it is to do, with immediately visible results.


Sunday, December 28th, 2014 05:09 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Here's a riddle for you.

A few days ago in my house, I was crouched down on the carpet, sniffing it in various places.
Today, I was again crouched down on the same carpet, but this time I had my ear angled towards it, listening carefully.

What was I listening to?

The answer can be found here. )
darkoshi: (Default)
On a related note, here's info on getting rid of unpleasant mildewy odor coming from a sink's overflow vent.

My bathroom sink was having this problem for quite a while, and I tried several things over several months to get rid of the odor:

- Run hot water for a while. Then dump 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of vinegar.

- Same as above, but spoon as much baking soda into the overflow vent as possible, followed by vinegar

- Applied an enzyme drain cleaner

- Poured bleach down the overflow vent

- Applied foaming drain cleaner (contains bleach) down the overflow vent

- Pushed a small snake with a brush attachment down the overflow vent to clean it out

None of the above attempts got rid of the smell for long. Often it came back after only a few days. I started taping the overflow vent shut as nothing else worked. After a while, I could smell the bad odor even with the vent taped shut.

I also tried these methods in vain:

- Boil water, carefully carry the pot of hot water to the bathroom, and use a small measuring cup to scoop up and pour the very hot water down the overflow vent.

- Hang a balloon down in the drain, partially inflate it, and tie it off. Then apply drain cleaner down the overflow vent. The balloon blocks the bottom end of the vent, so that the drain cleaner doesn't drain out as fast.

The odor problem started in February. None of the above fixed the problem. I started considering getting a whole new sink.

Finally in October, I used the snake again. But I also used some small wire-centered bottle brushes to clean out the bottom of the overflow vents, from the drain holes in the pipe where it connects to the bottom of the sink. (The sink stopper must be removed in order to do this.) The brushes weren't very flexible, and I couldn't push them far into those bottom holes. But I cleaned out the holes as best I could. And this did the trick, even though I didn't see much gunk come out. It's now 2 months later, and since that day, the bad smell has been gone.

oil stains

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 09:19 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Tip for cleaning oil stains in clothing.

Attach some safety pins to the fabric, about 2 inches to the left or right of the stain(s), or on both sides. That way you'll know which spot to scrub soap in, even after the fabric is wet and you can no longer see the stain due to the wetness.
darkoshi: (Default)
I discovered an easier way to clean my plastic/peva shower curtain.

If only the bottom of the curtain needs to be cleaned, you can scrub the curtain with a brush against the bottom side of the tub, without having to remove it from the rod or anything.

But cleaning it higher up is difficult. In the past, I removed it from the rings, partially folded it, and laid it in the tub in order to scrub it with a brush, while using the shower head to rinse it off. Then I unfolded another area of the curtain and repeated, until the whole thing was clean. This is difficult due to only being able to clean a small part of the curtain at a time, as the curtain is much larger than the bottom of the tub. Taking the curtain off the rings, and putting it back on again is also tedious.

New method:
(requires there to be a wall around 3 sides of the tub;
requires the curtain rod to be a tension rod, not screwed into the wall)

Leave the curtain and rings on the rod.
Loosen rod from wall.
Flip the rod around, depending on which side of the curtain you want to clean.
Position rod close to the inner wall of the tub (still up high so that the curtain hangs down like normal).
Then scrub the curtain with a brush; the back wall provides a solid surface against which to brush.
Rinse curtain with shower head, then return curtain rod to regular position.
darkoshi: (Default)
I've always had trouble using this vacuum cleaner on certain rugs. It gets so much suction on those rugs, that it sticks to them and makes it hard to push or pull the vacuum. But lately, I've had trouble vacuuming the other rugs too. Sometimes, it looked like the brush-roll wasn't turning.

So I replaced the wide belt (the vacuum has 2 belts - one wide and one narrow), and that seems to have fixed the problem. On the normal rugs, at least. The difficult rugs are still difficult, but not as bad as before changing the belt.

The old belt still looked to be in fine condition - no cracks and it didn't seem loose. But when comparing it to the new one, it was somewhat bigger / more stretched out.

This is a good video showing how to replace the belts. However, the guy in that video makes putting the new belt on look so simple, though actually it can be quite difficult to stretch the belt over the wheel.

I finally managed it as follows.
I wore gloves to protect the skin on my fingers.
First, slide the belt over the back metal pin.
Then pull the belt over the top part of the wheel as much as possible.
Then while holding the belt in place on the top of the wheel, turn the wheel slightly clockwise while pushing the belt over the bottom of the wheel.

For a while I was using a hex driver to try to push the belt down towards the bottom of the wheel, as my fingers didn't fit down there easily. I don't remember if I was still using the hex driver, or just my fingers, when I finally succeeded.

Once the belt is on the wheel, push at it until it is centered on the wheel.
Make sure the belt is still positioned correctly on the back metal pin too.
darkoshi: (Default)
If the washer starts acting weird, such as:
- the status light staying on one of the cycles and not properly progressing to "Done"
- the status light flashing
- making a continuous chugging sound (as if it's trying to drain water but not succeeding)
- the status light indicating "Done", but the clothes on top feeling totally dry as if they hadn't been washed, and/or the clothes on the bottom feeling wet as if not properly drained.

Then, you may need to clean out the lint filter. There could be a clump of lint preventing the water from properly draining out. The filter is on the front bottom right corner of the washer. Some water will come out with the filter when it is removed - position a shallow pan under the area to capture this water.

When re-inserting the filter, do not first tighten the head of the filter. It needs to be loose. When the head is tightened, this compresses the rubber section, making the rubber stick out more (to create a better seal). If the rubber is compressed like that before inserting the filter, the filter will not fit in.
darkoshi: (Default)
The "View - Reload" menu item has been removed from version 25 of Firefox. Apparently for quite a while already, "Reload" was only available when pressing "Alt+V" to view the menu. But now it's no longer there at all. I wonder why the Firefox designers feel the need to remove functionality from the menus, when the menus aren't even visible by default anymore.

Why do little changes like this bother me so much? Because it's like coming home to find that all your door handles have been removed and replaced by knobs, and furthermore, the knobs are on the top of the doors rather than in their hitherto-normal positions. Then you find out that for the last 10 years, 98% of other people have been using wireless mobilephone apps to remotely open all their doors, rather than using the door handles.

Now I have to remember to use either F5 or Ctrl+R to refresh the page when I don't have my hand on the mouse. I feel like I'm too old to learn new mnemonics. I can never even remember that Ctrl+Tab is for switching between tabs, even though I constantly use Alt+Tab for switching between windows. (I also can never remember the hotkeys for indenting or outdenting a block of text, in my email program at work).

Hmm. To press either F5 or a Control key combination, I have to look at the keyboard. Maybe that's why I find the menu mnemonics using the Alt keys easier to learn/remember. If I need to copy/paste something while typing, I still tend to use the Alt-Edit-Copy and Alt-Edit-Paste keys. My fingers however, know that Ctrl+Ins, Shift+Ins,and Ctrl-C can also be used.... but I don't use Ctrl-V much because how am I supposed to remember that V is for Paste?

Hmm. When editing text (as opposed to typing), my left hand is in the normal position, but my right hand is centered on the arrow keys. That lets me scroll through the text with my right hand, and also lets me do copy/paste/delete operations using the keys on that side.


I've found that it is much easier to iron clothes while they are still damp from the washer. No need to first let them dry. No need to put water into the iron, nor to drain it out afterwards. Ironing damp clothes makes them dry faster too.

This makes me more likely to iron clothes right after I've washed them, avoiding an ever-increasing accumulation of wrinkled clothes waiting to be ironed. If I know that I won't have time to iron right after washing, I may not even put those particular items into the wash.


I've been noticing a recent tendency to bite my lower lip while washing dishes, especially if I'm in a hurry. It's an odd subconscious thing; as if biting my lip will somehow make me get done faster. I have to consciously put effort into not doing it, as it's not a habit I want to have.
darkoshi: (Default)
I'm quite pleased tonight to find out that Mr. Clean Nyplex gloves are finally being sold again, just under a different name - Bliss gloves.

I've had to patch tiny holes in my old pair of Nyplex gloves with silicon glue, in order to keep using them for washing dishes. They are 3 years old now. The material has stiffened to the point where they are no longer comfortable, and cracks/holes are becoming more frequent. As it will soon be winter, ie. chapped hands season, I'll be in need of a good pair again.

None of the other brands I've tried were as good as these Nyplex ones were.

Ever since getting to know someone who is very allergic to latex, and reading that latex allergies may be induced by frequent exposure to it, I've tried to avoid it where possible.

As for why I've never even tried using the dish-washing machine that is in this house, well. The seal looks bad; I'm afraid it would leak water. I'm not sure the machine would do a good job. Maybe it would waste more water than when I wash the dishes by hand. Maybe it would make annoying noise. I seem to have a hang-up about it, and I'm not sure why.

(no subject)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 11:27 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I bought a toilet brush today. The price on the shelf said $6, which seemed quite expensive to me. But hey, the handle on my old one had broken, so I needed a new one. Whatcha gonna do? Later, when checking my receipt, I found that I had actually been charged $10 for that brush!

For that price, I expect the brush to take care of cleaning the toilet all on its own-some from now on.


Last week I came down with a stomach bug. I was so sick the first day, that I didn't even turn on my computer. I didn't even brush my teeth! I felt better after a couple of days, but I've had headaches every day since then. Not sure if it is still due to the virus, or to allergies. I tried Tylenol one day, and Naproxen the next, and neither helped.

So today, I also bought a bottle of Ibuprofen, and Excedrin-type tablets, to see how well they work.


Wonderful spring weather this week, with blossoms and yellow pollen.