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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12/12/10

  12:05:41 pm, by The Dreamer   , 259 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Home, Appliances, Furnishings

Soleus Air HR1-08R-21 Oscillating Reflective Heater, Silver, Black

Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AHBVJ6/ref=oss_product

So, lately in the mornings it has been kind of nippy in front of my main computer out in the living room. Probably because of 3 exterior walls, and the computer against the wall with no heat registers. And, the thermostat is in the warmest spot in my home...under the cold air return.

I had been bumping the thermostat in the morning when I go by it, but that's not what I really want to do long term. I had looked at getting a low wattage radiant (people) heater to use by the computer in the mornings. Needs to be low wattage, because the living room only has one circuit...and well, there's lots and lots of stuff on it.

Last Monday I had reached my limit....burr. |-| I already had an order with Amazon.com pending that I had placed over the weekend. So, using Amazon Prime and one-day option, I could have another box to arrive the same day as the rest....

I had originally identified some possible choices in heaters last winter, they were of the radiant heat, orange glow kind...either single low wattage or dual setting where the low was under 500W. Lower the better.... I checked my wishlist, and found that one of the choices was still available under Amazon Prime and could be one-day shipped to arrive the same time as my other stuff.

But, I checked other similar heaters to see what else is there. Partly because I wasn't totally sure that the model that remained was the one that I wanted. Though it was cheap (<$20) and 300W. But, it was a table top unit, and I didn't have a table top to put it on.

So, I settled on the Soleus Air HR1-08R-21...because it had a bit of stand to it and a remote control. It had two settings, 400W and 800W. I think I used to have a quartz heater that was like this at my old apartment...seemed to go away after that, probably one of the many things that didn't survive the move. Though it had two elements, and 400W was to only use one of them...to it was kind of weird to never use the other element. IIRC, only the one that I used got broke in the move too... Anyways, it was a consideration this time around, that if I got a radiant heater with multiple settings, that it didn't do it by having less uniform output.

I also decided that I would give the new option of using my American Express Membership Reward points to purchase something from Amazon.com.

Full story »

12/10/10

  07:18:13 am, by The Dreamer   , 222 words  
Categories: Appliances

They don't make them like they used to.... Mr. Coffee MRX35 #fail

So this was their 35th anniversary edition coffee maker...I guess it isn't there 35th anniversary anymore. Because, this morning I woke up to no coffee. Pot empty...grounds dry...water still in reservoir. Oh its cold, guess the heater died.

The coffee maker was almost 15 months old. I guess I throwing out my old Black & Decker coffee maker this summer was a mistake...from 1990, it still worked...the rubber seals weren't quite as good as they used to be, but at least I would still have good coffee this morning.

Have to settle for instant for a while I guess.... &#58;&#42;&#42;&#58;

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12/03/10

  10:09:05 pm, by The Dreamer   , 783 words  
Categories: Healthcare

I survived a PSG/MSLT

On December 2nd, 2010, I went in for a PSG/MSLT. 2 years ago, on December 1st, 2008, I had gotten my first PSG.

Originally, I was scheduled for 9pm, but they moved the time up to 7:30pm...which was the same time as first PSG, though it was a much bigger inconvenience this time around. Partly because I was going to be bring more stuff with me, though it turned out that I only needed my cpap mask and not all the other stuff. But, this time I brought my own pillow...specially, I brought my Regenesis buckwheat pillow. But, the other hassle is that I don't move as quickly as I normally do, due to a broken toe.

But, I made in in time. Though I was getting pretty angry/frustrated by all the things that had to go wrong as I was scurrying around trying to get out in enough time to hobble over to the sleep lab.

The night before when they called to confirm my appointment, I finally asked if there was internet access there. There isn't, but being that I'm with K-State...I should be able to pick up the network and use that. So, I brought my laptop.

Getting wired up wasn't a huge deal, wasn't as bad as I remembered the first time being. But, I heard my watch chime 8pm while I was still getting wired up....so I guess I was going to be a little late to the Narcolepsy and Hypersomnia chat on TalkAboutSleep.com, but I made it in and hung out there until it was over. And, then it was time to get to the PSG part of my stay.

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Tags: mslt, psg

11/30/10

  07:55:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 579 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Travel, TV, Healthcare, Scanner

Back from #chicagotardis 2010

So, I have put my Epson Perfection V30 scanner away for another year. That's the scanner I bought in a CyberMonday sale immediately upon my return from Chicago TARDIS 2009. So, I guess that means only one thing....I've just come back from Chicago TARDIS 2010, and finished going through all my digital photographs and posted some to my online album and scanned the professional photographs and autographed material.

This time around, I found Chicago TARDIS to be much more enjoyable....despite the hobbling around with the broken toe, and the wooden shoe being kind of slippery on the tile flooring. I only almost slipped twice....once in the lobby and another time in Holy Mackerel.

Full story »

11/07/10

  02:57:24 pm, by The Dreamer   , 229 words  
Categories: Samsung HLN4365W1, Home, Safety & Security, Amateur Radio

End of DST 2010

So, Daylight Saving Time has come to an end this year. And, seems that there are still fewer clocks that I'm updating. Partly, because my new watch is atomic and does DST automatically now...and decided that clocks I don't use, don't need to be updated.

VX-7r clock continues to be a challenge every time I need to update it, but this time I figured it out without having to go online and track down its manual.

Tradition is to check the lamp timer on my HLN4365W1, and I had been in the service menu earlier this week...the image had inverted while I was switching between TiVos...not sure how that happened, but had to do a user reset to get the TV working again. Didn't look to closely at the upside down readout of the lamp timer. A quick peek now...its at 3701 hours.

So, I've added another 1337 hours since last end of DST. So, I probably have 1.5 to 2 years left. I had been thinking of replacing the TV ... though with other things that need replacing first, etc... I might plan on getting another bulb at some point. And, stop putting off the blu-ray player plans linked to getting a new display of 1080p...though a new display would have more HDMI inputs than my current display, which is kind of an issue.

Time to go take care of my smoke detectors....

10/24/10

  10:45:03 pm, by The Dreamer   , 99 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Healthcare

Eyeglass Prescription Oct 14, 2010

Link: http://lawrencechen.net/2009/08/05/interesting-progression-in-eyeglass-pres

On October 14, 2010, I had my latest eye exam...

Updating the progression of prescriptions:

2003: OD -5.00 -1.00 075       OS -8.00
2005: OD -4.25 -1.00 080       OS -7.00 -0.75 045
2006: OD -4.50 -1.00 055       OS -6.50 -1.00 035
2008: OD -5.25 -1.00 060       OS -7.25 -1.00 025
2009: OD -5.00 -0.50 050       OS -7.00 -1.25 030
2010: OD -5.50 -0.75 050 +1.25 OS -7.00 -1.00 040 +1.25

Full story »

10/22/10

  10:33:18 am, by The Dreamer   , 339 words  
Categories: Software, Healthcare

Sleep Diary Spreadsheet

With an impending PSG/MSLT (December 2nd, 2010), and a particularly disrupted night's sleep recently...I got to thinking that I would start my sleep diary now. Rather than wait until the requested 2 weeks before the PSG/MSLT.

Of course, the sleep lab provided a sleep diary on a printed sheet to fill out. Which means either I fill it from memory now and then, or carry it wherever I go. If only there were some way to, say, use a computer.... &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

I did a quick google search, and all I could find were PDF files. Surely somebody else has thought of this? &#58;&#63;&#58;

So, looking at the provided sleep diary sheet from the sleep lab, I sat down and created a sleep diary spreadsheet using OpenOffice....using my laptop (Ubuntu 10.04LTS) [which when at home is on futon in front of TV, but I'll be at Chicago TARDIS the weekend before the PSG/MSLT]

&#58;&#33;&#58; SleepDiary.ods &#58;&#33;&#58; BlankSleepDiary.ods &#58;&#33;&#58;

I opted to leave it in the default format, so that I won't have to deal with OpenOffice asking if I'm sure that I want to not use OpenDocument format.

I then saved the file into my Dropbox folder and created a link from my desktop to it. I can now update my sleep diary wherever I might be.

Such as living room computer (Windows XP Professional - OpenOffice), or computer next to bedroom (Ubuntu 10.04LTS 64-bit Server), or computer at work (Windows 7 Professional - LibreOffice).

Liking the result so much, I've decided that I should share it. &#59;&#68;

Full story »

09/14/10

  11:51:46 am, by The Dreamer   , 687 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone, Travel, VoIP, Networking, AT&T DSL

My Broadvoice Outage

Yesterday, I was at home....staycation....when I heard my cellphone ring, and while it was ringing I heard a text message come in. But my home phone, which I was sitting next to, remained quiet.

I have my Broadvoice VoIP service set to simulring my cellphone, so that I'll have the option of answering calls to my home number when I'm not at home. But, name display doesn't carry to the cellphone, so I also have call notification send an SMS with that information. Actually, its more interesting in that I have the SMS go to my iPhone, and the simulring is of my regular cell phone (during a work day, the iPhone is usually dead around 5pm...but I need to be available 24x7). The future of having a smartphone is up in the air, but I'm considering an IPX7 phone to replace my current regular cellphone....

Anyways....I didn't recognize the number (and there was no name for it), so I ignored the call...and it didn't leave me a voicemail. I then picked up my home phone...and got fast busy. Hmmm, wonder when it stopped working?

I tried the usual troubleshooting, reboot ATA, reboot router, modem, disconnect/reconnect, switch from using DSL to Cox, etc. No dice. Checked my account portal, no service outages reported. Tried emailing support to make sure. But, got no response (until after I had resolved the issue on my own).

I'm using BYOD service....when I had originally signed up, I had a D-Link DPH-540...but it wouldn't switch between work wireless and home wireless...at all. No WiFi between home and work, so no expectation of that kind of roaming. But, it didn't just work when I went between the two networks. And, there were other issues.

Since I neglected to get either of the ATAs from my previous VoIP providers unlocked (ATA-186 from Vonage and something else from Lingo.) I went looking for an unlocked ATA on eBay. I originally got a Linksys PAP2, but what I really wanted was the Sipura SPA-3000.... Anyways, I initially set up the Broadvoice service on the Linksys PAP2 and all was good then.

Later I scored a Sipura SPA-3000, and switched to that. The Sipura SPA-3000 has the capability of using a landline either via dial code, as a gateway to VoIP or as backup. The latter two reasons were why I got it. In the event of an Internet outage (or power outage), I wanted to still have phone service...and I was paying an arm and a leg for landline service, but not using it for any other reason...except that naked DSL wasn't available when I moved here. And, I wanted DSL.

I had toyed with the gateway option....being able to call from work, and then relay out to VoIP, in case the urge to call my parents or something when I'm working late ever strikes. It never did, though I've played around with options over the years. I had tried Skype, Fring, Packet8 services....but never actually made the real call.

Anyways..the Sipura SPA-3000 worked well the few times that having it fall back to landline was needed....

Though later, I did switch to naked DSL. So, no more fallback. But, I left the SPA-3000 in place, unchanged...because it was working....

Well, this morning I got up....and I still have no phone service. So, I decided that it might be time to dig out the 'old' Linksys PAP2 and see if that would work.

I did. Didn't even have to remember how to get to the admin interface...forgot that it has a user and an admin, and that default URL is for the user interface. So trying to login as admin wouldn't work. I knew what admin password I had set on it, but I couldn't remember what the user password was (once I realized that was what it was prompting for). Anyways...plugged it in, and it just started working immediately.

Later I verified that all the settings were still right.

Now I'll be able to make (and receive?) phonecalls from my home phone... &#58;&#99;&#111;&#111;&#108;&#58;

Wonder if I need to shop around for another backup ATA. &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

09/09/10

  11:30:11 am, by The Dreamer   , 294 words  
Categories: Healthcare

I have seasonal allergies

I've known that ever since I moved to the US/midwest. Though I don't know if I would see myself moving back to Canada/southern Alberta in the near future....

But, I have always been curious as to just what I'm allergic to. Though I've never had an allergy test, the doc just prescribed some stuff...Zyrtec and Rhinocort. And, that made things tolerable.

Though Rhinocort was expensive, tier 3...high copay. So, I wasn't refilling it as often as I should. And, I was getting my Zyrtec from Canada....since it was available OTC & generic (Cetirizine) long before it was the case in the US.

Healthcare costs might be a compelling reason to move back some day. &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

Then I was out of work, and then new job has different insurance (and co-insurance instead of co-pay)....plus allergies seemed different here than there. But, I stayed with Zyrtec...but hadn't pursued getting a new prescription. Plus Zyrtec is now available OTC and generic...and isn't covered by insurance anymore. Insurance won't pay for other allergy choices either....consider it a lifestyle medication.

I did Flonase for a while here there...and the newer brand version from the same company (forget the name, just recall that it was tier 3...so high co-insurance)...though more because of my breathing/OSA issues.

Anyways....now I'm seeing a specialist for sleep stuff....and he had me do an allergy test. Was surprised that it was just a blood test.

Later I got a phone call, saying yes I'm allergic to a bunch of seasonal things....take Zyrtec and Singulair.

Though I didn't get a summary letter, since I was curious as just what exactly.... So, toady I asked for a copy of the results.

For "Allergens, Zone 11": I'm allergic to Kentucky Bluegrass, Johnson Grass, Alternaria tenuis, White Oak, and Wormwood/Sagebrush.

Yay? &#124;&#45;&#124;

09/05/10

  12:06:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 493 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Networking, Cox HSI, AT&T DSL, Broadband

doing the transparent proxy thing

In the morning, I will open like 50 tabs in firefox...for the sites I check out every morning. And, going through my caching proxy helps. But, there are things that I can't get to using the proxy, so I will toggle off the use of proxy in firefox.

But, then I don't remember to switch it back on later....

Additionally, there are devices on my home network that I think could benefit from going through squid, but they don't offer easy ways to make that go.

So, the answer was to investigate transparent proxy. Which I finally got around to doing this weekend.

I added two new ports to my squid.conf

http_port coxtport transparent
http_port dsltport transparent

went with new ports for transparent separate from the existing ones, and two so that one squid cache handling either gateway....

I did a lot of googling around to figure out the iptables to add to my Sveasoft Alchemy running WRT54GS routers.

This is what I've settled on (for cox gateway):

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i br0 -s ! box.lhaven.homeip.net -p tcp --dport 80 -j DNAT \
     --to box.lhaven.homeip.net:coxtport
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o br0 -s lhaven.homeip.net/24 -d box.lhaven.homeip.net -j SNAT \
     --to coxgateway
iptables -A FORWARD -s lhaven.homeip.net/24 -d box.lhaven.homeip.net -i br0 -o br0 -m state \
     --state NEW,ESTABLISHED,RELATED -p tcp --dport coxtport -j ACCEPT
iptables -A FORWARD -d lhaven.homeip.net/24 -s box.lhaven.homeip.net -i br0 -o br0 -m state \
     --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -p tcp --sport coxtport -j ACCEPT

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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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