Categories: "Home" or "Appliances" or "Broadband" or "AT&T DSL" or "Cox HSI" or "RoadRunner" or "Furnishings" or "Healthcare" or "Outdoor" or "Safety & Security"

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  10:37:12 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1056 words  
Categories: General, Hardware, Computer, Home, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite, Storage

I nearly died 3 times this far....

First Tuesday's near death was caused by my TiVo Premiere.

I sat down to watch Combat Hospital first....on my 1st TiVo HD....but saw that the episode was split in two....a 30 minute and a 22 minute piece. Guess I'll have to find it elsewhere....checked Amazon, luck. Guess iTunes....though I turned off the Apple TV, wonder if should set it back up. I'll just push it through TiVo Desktop or something...

While waiting for it to download and convert....I switched over to my TiVo gave a strange HDMI error. Probably rebooted recently, too...the TiVo's sometimes mess up the HDMI handshake on boot up, and I have switch input away and back to fix it.

It was busy recording two shows.... I looked to see what I would watch. Noticed that I was weird on how it recorded recorded 3 of the same. Played reported that it didn't record because there was no signal, same with the next and again with the 3rd. Hmm, I checked other shows....after that point....same message, this is getting annoying.

Things had recorded fine on my TiVo HD' a problem specific to my TiVo Premiere. I was deleting the bad shows as I was going and writing down the episode number to of the ones that weren't repeating in the coming week to track down later. But, not the missed episode of Outcasts, it recorded fine on my 1st TiVo HD. I started going backwards, and finding more and more unplayable shows. Wondered if the shows currently recording were working. One seemed okay (Covert Affairs), but the other one (HawthoRNe) was black at the beginning...guess the was a station outage...but the show was coming through fine now.

I then tried to plan an old show that I hadn't finished reported that it didn't record because.... hmmm, maybe it just needs a reboot. Since both shows will repeat again later in the week. I rebooted it (took me a while to track down the restart option

And, then I died a bunch of times.

I saw that the just a few more minutes....hmmm, its a different looking screen than before, wonder when it upgraded that. But, then it rebooted again.... And, another few more minutes....and this time...blank screen.

I tried pulling the plug....a few times....checked all the connections....then I checked google, seemed to suggest perhaps an HDMI problem. So, I switched help. I wondered if my TiVo Premiere was still under warranty. Evidently, I activated it on July 12th. Just under the wire? was still showing blank screen....and I was maybe hoping that it would just be taking really long or someting. When, suddenly "TiVo Central" appeared...and the later the discovery bar slowly filled in. So, no more intro video?

I looked around a bit...and the big change I saw was the Hulu Plus item. Guess it was just another painful software update....

I then checked the shows....everything seemed fine...I restored all the shows I had deleted and they seemed ok as well, and I've watched a few since then....only Outcasts and the two shows that were recording were lost. The two shows repeated later, and I got them then...other shows will repeat and I'll get them. Since Outcasts recorded fine on my other TiVo....nothing was missed in the end.

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  05:23:09 pm, by The Dreamer   , 850 words  
Categories: Home, Appliances, Healthcare

Woot! I got a pair of Sanyo Air Washer Air Purifiers....oops?


So, on June 26th, I had blogged about my new Lasko 52" Oscillating Pedestal Fan and touched on how I was thinking of getting a few more Air Purifiers.

And, what happens? The next day, Woot has Air Purifiers on sale. And, its going for a pretty good price, about half for Amazon Prime. And, it would come by FedEx ground which is a plus....

So, I went ahead and bought a couple of them. Even though it wasn't really in the budget just right now. But, the one I was looking to get would've been much more than what I spent on two of these. And, that one is still on the list.

I put these two Air Purifiers into the low priority areas. One went into my bedroom, and the other in my computer room.

So far nothing much to report about these...though not sure about the electrolyzed water feature or gimmick? Guess we'll see how the odor feature works, which is kind of the main point...

One quirk so far, it offers a button to change the lights (bright, dark, off)....but it only affects the front lights...doesn't do anything for the top ones, guess we'll see how it works in the bedroom.... I went for off. Guess it saves on a post-it.

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  12:41:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 789 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Home, Appliances, Storage, Healthcare

Its Sunday of a 3-day/Monday long weekend, got something started at least.

Like I had said, this is the time to start replacing filters. Though I didn't necessarily mean they would happen this (long) weekend...though it was part of the plan (this year).

This morning, I slept was after 10 sometime. I noticed lights flashing, Orac seemed to have died overnight. It does get warm before it cools off, after bedtime....and its the first Sunday of the month, so it was running checkarrays. Guess that was too much for it. Booted it back up, poked some logs and then looked at smartctl a bit....fired off some short selftests, and restarted checkarrays and back to my morning.

Maybe I should try to hit the tower fan to run for a couple of hours when I go to bed....or maybe I could just leave it going all summer....and see if that helps. Or find somewhere other than the lower shelf of my old printer stand to put the disk arrays.... :hmm:

So after 11am....I start coffee and think I'll have some breakfast sausages (which means the a whole package). Had to have them sometime this weekend, after buying them yesterday. Because the Dillons store changed the display to this awful spring loaded push stuff to the front type system, which probably works fine for things that have thicker packaging... but a foam tray of sausages with thin plastic wrap...not so good. Pretty much impossible to get a package out without the plastic getting ripped. Been this way for months and months...don't know why they haven't figured it out yet. They keep running register receipt surveys...though not sure why now, before it seemed centered around whether they should upgrade/replace my Dillons. They are now working on building the new Dillons. But....

Anyways...that meant I'd have to use the range hood, and replacing the charcoal filter is one of the key filters to replace this weekend. So, I started that process, and ended up doing a wipe down/clean everything, including the inside of the microwave. Now, the inside of my microwave does reflect that I don't clean it that often...but it wasn't disgusting or anything. And, the end result isn't spotless...but at least it isn't greasy and it is cleaner. But the grill in front of the filter only gets attention when I'm replacing the filter. Oh, just realized I forgot the grease filters on the bottom. I should do those later. Wonder if I can toss those in the dishwasher?? They're supposed to be....but I suppose if I had too, I could probably track down replacements on line, eh? Evidently as P/N 4358853. Wonder when the bulbs are going to need replacing....should be a standard 40W appliance bulb in the microwave, P/N Y0053437, though its a different 25W bulb on the underside? P/N A3073101. Hmmm, wonder if they make LED replacements for these. Perhaps I'll look at replacing sooner than later....

Now while cooking my sausages....I thought I of one other thing that is on my list to replace. And, that is the UV-C bulb in my Germ Guardian 1000 in the bathroom. Yes, its more than just a night light in there.... Supposed to replace the bulb like every 6 months. Though its been 9 months since I got it. I did get a couple of spare bulbs a while back, but I first had to find them...turned out they were in the first place I looked...only I wasn't looking there for them (moved something more recently added to my cabinet to another 'better' spot....yeah, I also did some light rearranging as I was looking for them. Like I bought a new thing of toothpaste, only to find today that I already had two ... neither in the expected location....) At least I avoided another new nose hair trimmer...when I was entering the transaction in Quicken, it pre-populated using the information of my last transaction. Which showed that I had already bought the item last time, at a lower price than this time (this time's had a mail-in rebate...) Was able to cancel and replace the order. Though it probably means that the charge won't hit my Discover card until after June 30th (so no 5% cashback bonus for the purchase...).

Full story »


  08:50:03 am, by The Dreamer   , 547 words  
Categories: Travel, Home, Appliances, Healthcare

It is July 1, time to replace filters....

Though I probably won't get around to it until Sunday or Monday of the long weekend.

Plus I need to buy some of the filters, and they won't come until later this month....

But, one of the filters up for definite replacement (other than the furnace one) is the charcoal filter in my microwave/range hood unit. It has a listed part number of R0131463, and I was able to procure some online....I got 3 at the time. (seemed a reasonable number to start with, since i felt I was taking a risk ordering online and keep the total order under $ I didn't know if it would be easy or hard to do....) I wasn't sure I really needed to replace these annually like it suggested. And, I didn't replace for the first time until about 24 months. But, I figured that I should shoot for 18 months. Though my stove usage has been increasing, and will probably take off if I ever get around to replacing it (its the only remaining kitchen appliance that was old when started the lease to buy process.)

So, moved in Summer 2006, replaced first time Summer 2008 (~24), then Jan 2010 (~18), so now Jul 2011 (~18).... :cool:

I didn't really pay attention to whether I would still be able to find the part in the future, until I draw up on the last one.

But, new search wasn't going well....part kept coming up discontinued....well, the date stamp on the Microwave is September 2005. I guess they think its time I bought a new one :??: Though I did come across a few places that said to try W10190762A instead. So, I got to take a change again? It is my intent to buy a few more than last time....though not sure if few more is like to get 5 or 10. If I was more sure, I'd probably have done 10.

Anyways...I searched and find somewhere online that had a reasonable price and offered useful shipping (ie: not UPS). Wasn't the cheapest, but less than the more expensive sites (though some did offer free shipping, and at the quantity I desired, I could probably qualify either with 10 or a bit more than 10). Though flat rate FedEx ground is good/better. Another did offer USPS as a cheaper way than their normal FedEx options.

Just before I hit the order button though, I wanted a bit more reassurance that I was getting the right I looked at pictures to guess what its size was (most sites either had nothing, and some did offer a picture of filter on a grid. Google eventually turned up measurements. I then measured the one remaining unused filter and it seemed to match. More importantly, the package had W10190762 printed on it (no mention of the R0131463 p/n)....maybe if I had looked at it sooner, it wouldn't have taken this long to search for more filters :**:

So I ordered 5. As I was entering the transaction into completed the payee information on me. Heh, I'm ordering these 5 new filters from the same place that I previously ordered the 3. &#59;D

Oh well....time I got ready for work....maybe I should've taken today off as my floating holiday.... Also wish I had made more definite plans to travel this long weekend....such as attend Convergence or some other convention this long weekend.


  06:03:57 pm, by The Dreamer   , 681 words  
Categories: Home, Appliances, Healthcare

I got another Lasko 52" Oscillating Pedestal Fan


I bought the first one of these almost 2 years ago....I probably should've bought it in the first place.

A few weeks ago, there was an overnight thunderstorm and powerblip. Later I noticed my Oreck XL Air Purifier was angry, it gets that way now and then after a nasty blip...but looks like this was the last time it would take one. I had been thinking of getting some new air purifiers anyways, guess it is time. Though I wasn't really ready to get one for this location (Computer Room). Of higher consideration was one for bedroom, TARDIS corner or Kitchen Hallway (thinking something wall mount in the vicinity over where my trash can is...)....TARDIS corner was the one that needed something more, because there wasn't anything there at the moment. At least I have the old Surround Air in the kitchen or an undersized Kenmore by the bedroom.

A few days later, I discovered the tower fan in the 'Computer Room' had stopped working. Well, it was a cheap one that I had picked up from Wal-Mart when I had first moved here...almost 5 years ago. I don't think the blip got it, more like the plastic gearing in it has worn out.

I thought maybe I could knock two off with one, and get a tower air cleaner to replace what I got via Amazon Prime was the Bionaire BAP1525RCW-U PERMAtech Tower Air Purifier with Remote Control. Probably an okay air purifier, though inconsistent with what I've been getting lately...and it is rather noisy and doesn't move much air, I'm still going to want a fan.

I did consider moving it to TARDIS corner, but there was another problem with this Tower Air was shorter than my old tower fan so even if it could delivery the air volume to be a fan, it didn't have the height. OTOH, it was taller than I had room for in TARDIS corner....

Shortly after this, I received an email from Electrostatic Air Purifier was on sale for $99 'til about Father's Day. I had looked at getting one of these at one time years ago, but that need went away and I forgot all about it. But, it seems to work well tucked into TARDIS guess I got that 'priority' taken care of. Only just put it into service today, so haven't had time to experience much else with it. Though I'm thinking I'd like to get a second replace the Brookstone ESP Air Purifier that I use at work...which had become intermittent in operation some time ago. The Brookstone ESP Air Purifier was like $99 when I got that would seem right. Perhaps it'll be on sale again at a later date.

Full story »


  08:04:33 am, by The Dreamer   , 203 words  
Categories: VoIP, Cox HSI, AT&T DSL, Broadband

Saturday was a bad Cox day....

....another day that justifies also having DSL service.

Of course, on top of much more downstream and upstream, Cox also has lower latency. However, the thing that would benefit most...I have using DSL, my home telephone service...because I need the availability.

And they keep trying to sell Digital Phone....they do claim that I can keep my Broadvoice number, which would be a requirement. And, the current bundling savings me a ton of least for the promo period. Hmmm, though its only the Essential bundle of digital phone...which is less services than I get now, including services I want...and normally for much more than what I pay Broadvoice. Though with bundling, it would only only cause my current service plan to go up by a couple of dollars. And, long distance would cost me more....

Wonder when U-Verse is going to get here. Annoying that some units in some buildings can get U-Verse, other units in some buildings have U-Verse. But, it says my unit in my building doesn't exist....yet I have DSL and they send me bills for it, so I surely exist somewhere....

Not sure if I'd go Internet only, or Internet + Phone. Phone seems to be missing one feature.... simul-ring.


  04:31:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 3581 words  
Categories: General, Appliances, Healthcare

I had a Spinal Tap

...though I don't know why, but hope that I'm not in the 11.5%

This all started when I had a January 13, 2011 appointment following my PSG/MSLT of December 2&3, 2010. The finding of the MSLT was 'normal', and there was no room for discussion or questions on it with my sleep doctor. But, while I was waiting on the MSLT results, I got a letter dated December 14, 2010 from Stanford saying had the DQB1*0602 subtype.

After the appointment, I was to get a referral to somewhere like Stanford and maybe I should see a Neurologist because maybe I'm actually have seizures and not EDS + sleep attacks. When I asked what 'somewhere like Stanford' might be, the doc said Stanford is the only place he knows so that's where. So, why did he say 'somewhere like Stanford' if he doesn't know any such place.

But, the whole Stanford thing seemed to stall after I was told that I needed to call my insurance and tell them if it would be covered...and not just let me tell them there that it would be covered. Somehow leaving and then saying that I had called my insurance was better than just saying it? :??: Anyways, I called, and found out that it would they would be covered as an in-network provider (so even better than I had thought).... But, when I called back, the doc said that he had been thinking and probably wouldn't do the referral now.

The following week, I got a call from his office saying they had called the number of Stanford...and it was not in service, and wanted me to find out the correct number. I provided them with the number that was on their website, the URL being part of the letter that they had gotten the number they had called from. Though later it occurred to me, that Monday, January 17th was President's Day. Which was a University holiday for me, and likely was a University holiday for Stanford....and I found out that it was, and they were closed that day.

And, then I heard nothing..... I contacted Stanford a few times after this, and they average about 3 calls from medical professional each day but they don't recall having gotten any phone call from mime.

After a couple months, I decided to take it upon myself to do the second thing....and found a nearby neurologist that I wanted to see. I had first appointment with him, on March 28, 2011, during which he said he wanted to see the MSLT data for himself since it looked borderline and I finally got something for my RLS and he wanted to run a bunch of other tests, such as MRI and then he would see me in about a month and after he get's back from vacation.

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  02:48:37 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1358 words  
Categories: General, Home Theatre, Software, Furnishings, Storage, Healthcare, Roku XDS, Boxee

Today is supposed to be Roku day

And, it will be....but first I decided that I should get at the clutter of new stuff that I hadn't gotten around to yet.

First up was a Sans Digital MS2T+B MobileSTOR enclosure I had picked up a while back. The current array that backuppc goes to on orac is filling up. It's just a 4TB filesystem on a RAID6 array using 1.5TB drives. There's one other filesystem on this array and it could use some more room as well. I have debated whether the array needs to be RAID6 for backuppc, or whether RAID5 would be sufficient. But its the other filesystem that is driving RAID6, though I wonder if RAID 0+1 might be better for that (or just RAID1, since it is currently small enough). But, I'm using a pair of 5 bay PM enclosures....and older RAID 1 in one, and the RAID6 array in the other.

So, I've decided that I'll likely look at getting 5 2TB drives and doing RAID5 for a backuppc only array....keep the current 5 1.5TB drives in RAID6 for the other filesystem and whatever else I might want to move over to it. But, the stuff on the current 1TB RAID 1 array should just stay put. Well, there are two (of 4) regular eSATA ports on the back of orac that aren't being used yet. So, that's where the 1TB RAID 1 array will go.

It is still a ways off before I take the plunge and actually build the new array (though the backuppc filesystem has filled up twice since I thought up this scheme)... though prices are dropping and I do have a tax refund coming that many other things I want to use it on (including a travel/backup cpap setup, which is about the entire refund...oops).

But, I decided I would set it up, because I saw 2TB Hitachi drives the other day for cheap (they did recently get acquired by Western Digital, so sellers might be clearing out the Hitachi branded drives?) So, it might fall into range of what would be an acceptable single month discretionary purchase. Though technically, I've already done this month's when I bought the Nanosat speaker package that was a NewEgg shell shocker....though I used BillMeLater. I've been wanting to get this set to upgrade the odd ball collection of old speakers that is my current setup. But, the shellshocker price put it just into the range.... But, I was considering Seagate drives...which then dropped to remain cheaper than Hitachi....Hmm....

Anyways...I went to put the new enclosure into service, but I couldn't find the pair of eSATA cables I thought I had set aside for this. I did buy a pair of eSATA cables last fall from But, evidently I used them for something else. I'd guess when I moved orac, I needed the length...not sure where the old cables went to then, but the probably aren't long enough for this. So, did some quick eBay purchases...and maybe I'll get to this eventually....

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  10:07:08 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1271 words  
Categories: Computer, Home, Furnishings

I got a new chair, and a new keyboard tray.

I got Staples Mesh Manager's Chair with Headrest and Fellowes Designer Suites Desk Ready Keyboard Drawer.

The old chair that I used in front of my main computer is like 25 years old. It has been on my list for a long time to replace it, but what I really want and what I can justify shelling out at a given moment were in collision. What I've wanted is an Aeron chair, fully loaded, etc. But, that is significantly more than the 'max' of the threshold in my mind where I can get something on a given month to where it requires budgeting, planning and justification, etc.

But, recently I got the Staples Desley Mesh Task Chair, Gray...which I found to be really nice compared to my old chair. In fact, because I was spending a lot more time on my main computer than usual...migrating and configuring a new computer and later the weather had me working from home a lot. I switched the chairs. The lack of arm rests was kind of odd, but the padding being all worn out in the old was nice, it also meant that I needed to step up my plans to replace the old chair and finally get a better chair to go in front of my main computer.

Given that I often dress differently at home than I do at work, I started thinking that maybe a mesh seat isn't what I'm really needing for home use anyways. Plus the work chair seems to trap food dust in its mesh so easily and annoyingly so.... So, expanded my search to other mesh back chairs I had settled on what I thought would be the chair to get that was closer in line to what I could justify buying one month. Just had to find a month where I didn't already have plans to acquire some other similar costing item.

Meanwhile, I was continuing to check out staples for other reasons, and for the possibility of getting another Mesh Task Chair. The other computer area has a kneeling chair that isn't really something I want to spend a lot of time on, but is adequate there...but its also falling apart...and using cable ties to fix it is only going to keep it usable for so long. And, since I really liked the Mesh Task seems like the thing to get for here too.

Anyways, on one of the visits, I saw they were having a chair sale one week. They had like $100, $50 or $30 off various chairs. And, there were some possible mesh back chairs in the $100 or $50 off mark. I settled on one that was $50 off, because it was more adjustable. Though a $100 off one that I was considering actually did appear to have a mesh seat. But, then I got a preview of next week's flyer...and the chair that was $50 off would be $70 off. So I waited and ordered it then. Delivery worked out, because I ended up being at home 4 days that week (first two work was closed, second to I got to work from home). The delivery of the chair was not delayed due to weather, though I had other deliveries that were.

Now, I probably should've measured things before I went for it. Because the seat all the way down is a touch higher than my old chair, and the arm rests stick forward more. So, it bumps into my old keyboard tray....

Which brings me to....

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  04:28:58 pm, by The Dreamer   , 637 words  
Categories: Home, Healthcare

I got an Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000

which unintentionally means I have another clock in my home that I'll need to update at least twice a year.

Shortly after I blogged about replacing the batteries in my Panasonic ES7037 shaver and that my Oral-B Triumph 9400 Professional seemed to be due, it stopped working while I was brushing my teeth. Not enough charge for a single brushing. Replacing the battery wasn't an option, the instructions for opening it is a destructive process. And, didn't see a non-destructive way to open it. Plus not having read the manual recently, I found out it was a destructive process the hard way.

That left me in a panic, since the weather had turned so I was pretty much staying home now and I already way over budget for this time of year, along with a few other extras. But, I knew that I was going to buy one sooner than later. Specifically I was going to wait until the start of the new year, because January was going to be when I would next have some dollars to use.

Then I got email that if I ordered on January 1st or 2nd, I would get an additional 10% off of everything.

I was looking at either the SmartSeries 5000 or the SmartSeries 4000. The 4000 being comparable my old 9400, though not a huge difference in pricing between the two and both offering $15 mail in rebates according to

What it didn't explain was that you need details from your dentist to do the mail-in rebate. But, I don't factor in mail-in rebates when I'm buying things...because there's no guarantee that I'll get it, or in any timely manner, or that it won't be worth the hassle, etc. But, the one I got, showed up with an additional rebate on the package (the $15 one was inside the package). The rebates were mutually exclusive, because they both require the original UPC code. But, the outer one was less complicated to fill out, and its supposed to rebate me 50%. We'll see.

That first night without a powered toothbrush was hard, I didn't know what to was strange using the old powered toothbrush as a manual, plus I forget how you're supposed to brush manually. But, then I remembered that I have a battery powered one that I picked up during a trip (where I had forgotten to pack the was before I had other things that had to wait until after I woke up the day of travel to get packed.)

So I went and got that out. I had run out of regular AA alkaline batteries sometime ago.... :crazy: So, I had to use other AA Oxyride ones.

The biggest change with this new toothbrush, is seeing the red flashing light. I thought I brushed pretty lightly already, but apparently I still brush a little to hard at certain places.

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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