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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Music Video Wednesday - 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

Fifty years ago today Doctor Martin Luther King gave his famous "I have a dream" speech in Washington D.C.  His oratory gifts were clearly on display that day as he appealed to the nation and announced to the world the need for America to live up to its ideals as expressed in The Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The 1950's era was clearly over and the 60's was here.  This would be a turbulent decade which a few months later saw another warrior for peace, John F. Kennedy assassinated.  Followed five years later with the murders of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. (I often wonder how different things would have been if any of those three men or all of them had lived)
 America is a great country and we are at our best when we aspire to live up to the great ideals mapped out by our founding fathers with a nod towards remembering the lessons of history.
For my musical selection today I am offering a two-fer, Bob Dylan with one of his famous songs from the early 60's - The Times They Are a Changin' and  U2's - Pride (In the name of Love).  The first as Dylan was a herald to the change that was about to take hold over the nation.  U2 because this was their tribute to Dr. King as well as a powerful song.
Let Freedom Ring.


Monday, August 12, 2013

D I Y Repair by Google

There really is no question about the influence of the internet upon most facets of our daily lives.  I remember living in Arizona around 1993 and a a roommate introduced me to Prodigy, an early use of the internet with games and news provided thru a  dial up service.

Fast forward to today with the proliferation of mobile devices and an infinity staggering number web based apps and pages.  Industries, trades and services have been impacted, some in positive ways with increased revenue and another tool to reach customers and others in negative ways.  My post relates to an industry which has probably seen a negative impact due to the web: the appliance repair business.

About two years ago, the area I live in was going to experience a severe storm.  In the run up to the storm, my wife washed a significant amount of laundry.  While drying the clothing, the dryer just stopped working.  As a result of the storm, we lost power for a few days but when  it returned we needed to decide what to do about the dryer.  I wasn't prepared to purchase a new one since it was working well up until that point.  However, this was an appliance we had here when we moved into the home and I wasn't sure how old it was.  I also was not in a hurry to bring someone in to repair it and spend money on something until I was certain I knew what was wrong with it.

I ran a Google search and came across a website run by a guy called British James.  He had a series of videos on YouTube which diagnosed and fixed just about any problem with a dryer that was similar to my own.  This was great,  I had an opportunity to take apart my machine, clean it and work through what was wrong with it.  I pinpointed it to one of two electrical issues.  I purchased the replacement parts online and once I received them, I completed the job and the Dryer has been fine ever since. 

Last week, my wife was again doing the laundry and the washing machine was making a lot of noise and shaking.  Once again, I Googled the symptoms and found an amazing amount of information about washing machines.  Once again, I was directed to British James' website and in his video series on washing machines, I was able to determine that I had an issue with the agitator.  Specifically, the upper agitator was not working as it should.  This explained how my clothes, trousers and jeans, have worn and been damaged from using the machine. 

I watched the videos several times and ordered online the agit dogs that kept the upper agitator moving in the correct direction.  The replacements came to my home in 4 days and cost $3.95 with no cost for shipping.

 (I got the top and side off, plastic ring clean and drying off, very dirty)

 (the ugly view from upper agitator)

 (Worn out agit dog next to new ones)

It was an easy repair and after I finished I did a load of laundry.  I knew it worked when I saw no clothes tangled around the lower agitator. 

My hats off to British James and his helpful website.

He even promotes the repair and sale of reconditioned machines as way for those unemployed to earn some income.  Well done, Sir.

I came away happy with my DIY skills and also an appreciation with the depth and breadth of relevant information out there on the World Wide Web. Why have someone else do these things when you can do it yourself.