Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Father Knows Best

  I thought I would write about helpful advice that my father had given my older brother when he took over my dad's appliance repair business. There's an old adage out there Father Knows Best. That is most certainly true. My Father knew how to do things a certain way and could do it efficiently. He's been around the block a few times to know what to do and how to do it.
  Now my father used to buy and use Snap-On Tools for his business. Snap-On Tools aren't by any means necessary cheap tools. They're quite expensive. Now when my brother took over my Father's business he got most of the Snap-On Tools that my dad bought over the years. My brother probably doesn't know what a Snap-On truck is or how to exchange a broken tool or for the most part what they cost. He learned this the hard way when my dad pleaded him to park the work van inside the back yard countless times. My old house had a huge backyard with a concrete basketball court that was fenced in to a certain point. The fence never extended out to the back alleyway. There was a light on the shed back there that illuminated the basketball court. My dad said that would deter thieves if you park the van inside the basketball court. Did my brother ever listen to my Father's helpful advice? Nope. He didn't listen. One night some thieves broke into my brothers van and stole all of the Snap-On Tools that my dad bought over the years.
  Another helpful piece of advice my Father gave to my brother that could have maybe prevented this was to leave all the seating in the van. My brother was using what I believe was a 1991 Chevrolet Beauville passenger van before he bought the 1989 GMC Vandura 2500 conversion van that would eventually get broken into. Anyway my brother was going to take the Beauville to the junkyard and before he did that like a fool, he removed all of the seats from the GMC. This was a stupid mistake according to my dad. You see the GMC conversion van's back bench seat would fold down alongside the 2 captains chairs to make a bed. My dad said he could have laid down all of the seats into a bed configuration and put the toolbox and all of the parts bins under the makeshift bed. This way would be thieves wouldn't be able to see anything. Did my brother take my dad's useful advice? Nope. What my brother did do was unbolt all of the seats and threw them into the Beauville and off they went to the junkyard.
  Now when my father would go on a service call to a gated community he knew that they would watch your speed there. My father always told my brother to slow down in these types of places so you wouldn't get a nasty speeding ticket from the security guards there. I recall my dad telling me that he went to the gated community on a call with my brother and my brother got a ticket for speeding. My father would try not to laugh at my brother for getting a ticket for speeding. He eventually stopped telling him to watch your speed in those places. I think my brother got at least 2 tickets in that gated community.
  One of the most biggest pains in the ass in the appliance repair business is changing a compressor on a refrigerator. It takes hours to do and can slow your whole day up. My father had a method of changing a compressor that was very efficient and time saving. He tried to tell my brother to do it his way but my brother insisted on doing it his way that took longer. I remember when my dad and my brother would return home from work saying we had a compressor to change today. They never liked changing them. I do believe my brother eventually took my dad's advice on how to change a compressor more efficiently.
  So in the long run Father Knows Best when it comes to helpful advice.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Windows Media Player Is So Smart that it's Actually Dumb

  I have a love hate relationship with Windows Media Player. I use it primarily to digitize all of my CD's onto my computer so I can sync them to my phone. However Windows Media player maybe a godsend but it's also a major pain in the ass as well.
  As of recently I have been getting more and more fed up with Windows Media Player when it comes to ripping new CDs to the computer. The problem is I have a new release CD and when I go to rip it, Windows Media Player has no damn clue what the CD is that I am ripping. I mean a few weeks ago I bought the new Shakira album, El Dorado and went to rip it to the computer and guess what happened, Windows Media Player had no idea about the albums existence when I went to rip it. This is ludicrous that Windows Media Player doesn't recognize a Shakira album. I mean how on earth can Windows Media Player not be able to recognize a Shakira album? Shakira is one of the most popular Latin singers on the planet and one of the most recognizable here in the US. Now here's the $64,000 question, Why can't Windows Media Player recognize a brand new album that has been released?
  Now it's not that hard to compile album info and data but it can be a hassle to keep track of all of the newest releases that come out every Friday. Now I understand that some albums are very obscure and that Windows Media Player probably won't be able to recognize at all when you go to rip them to the computer. Let's compare two different independent released albums here, Jim Witter's The Piano Men and Bonnie McKee's Bombastic EP. Which independent album do you think Windows Media Player automatically recognized when I went to rip it to the computer? If your guess was Pop Singer/Songwriter Bonnie McKee, your answer was wrong. The correct answer was Jim Witters tribute album of Billy Joel and Elton John songs.
  On Saturday I went out and bought the newest Styx album, The Mission and I went to rip it to the computer. When I put it in the CD Drive, Windows Media Player didn't recognize it at all. If you go to the find album info/update album info and type in Styx The Mission, you won't find the album on there at all. I'll give Windows the Benefit of the doubt here because Styx isn't as popular as they were back in the 1970s and early 80s. Why can't Windows Media Player recognize newly released albums? Windows Media Player is so smart that it's actually dumb. I don't understand half of the crap that this software does half of the time.
  I once went to rip the iconic O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack to the computer and Windows Media Player had listed several variation of this album under the find album info. As a matter of fact there were way too many versions with alternate tracklistings which had everything mixed up to beyond my taste.
  Today I finally got around to getting to a Target to buy the Exclusive edition of Katy Perry's new album Witness which contained 2 extra tracks on it. However as usual, Windows Media Player had no idea what this album was when I went to rip it to the computer. This really pissed me off to no end. Why can't Windows Media Player recognize a Katy Perry Album? Katy Perry is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet. So surely Windows Media Player would recognize one of her damn albums. Instead of Windows Media Player recognizing it when I went to rip it, I had to enter all of the album info manually which was a pain in the ass nonetheless.
  What really pisses me off about WMP is that it fails to recognize the newest albums from today's big time artists. Why can't WMP recognize new release music. I've tried ripping newly released albums to WMP a week or so after the album is released but WMP still fails to recognize the albums and the artists. WMP won't recognize Lady Gaga but they'll recognize Gus Polinski and The Kenosha kickers. I so wish Gus Polinski and The Kenosha kickers were a real band. I'd listen to them all the time.
  I don't know who is really to blame for WMP not being able to automatically recognize newly released albums. Is it the programmers at Microsoft who fail to research new releases? Or is it the fact that so much stuff comes out at once and there's a huge amount of upkeep to keep track of all of it? I don't really have a solution but the find album info is useless.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Why a YTMND Movie Will Never Work

  I love the website YTMND. That site spawned many memes and fads that are based off hit movies, TV Shows, celebrities and video games and even an obscure sex offender just to name a few. Now how on earth would a movie based on an entire website work? It wouldn't. It can't be done at all. I'm saying this because a YTMND movie would be the ultimate form of copyright infringement.
  They can always claim it's a parody which is protected under the first amendment but lawyers from Hollywood would still be suing and the film would probably be stuck in developmental hell for all eternity.
  For instance one of the biggest fads from YTMND was an obscure Nick Jr show called LazyTown. You might have heard of LazyTown due to the highly successful meme, We Are Number One which helped raise awareness for Stefan Karl's pancreatic cancer and helped cure it. However at one time LazyTown didn't embrace the meme that spawned from YTMND. YTMND had made LazyTown look like a creepy kids show due to a 14 year old girl with pink hair and 2 adult males on the show and the rest of the characters were puppets.
  The other problem with a YTMND movie would be the whole plot of the movie. This would be a huge block when it comes to what the point of the movie would be. I would assume if a YTMND movie would ever be made it would be like the 1941 Olsen and Johnson movie Hellzapoppin'. I love Hellzapoppin' it's total insanity with tons of slapstick and running gags, just like YTMND fads have.
  If a YTMND movie was ever to come about, getting certain actors to reprise their roles from the classic movies and TV Shows that Made YTMND what it is would be a huge problem. For instance several people that YTMND fads were based on have since passed away such as Brian Peppers, Gene Wilder have in recent years.
South Park's Disclaimer
  The movie would cost a ton of money via licensing the different characters that are owned by different copyright holders. Not only this but if they would go through with a movie like this it would need to have a disclaimer like South Park and Robot Chicken has. In fact Robot Chicken's disclaimer is Any actual names or likenesses of celebrities are used in a fictitious and parodic manner.
  Now by having a sort of disclaimer like the ones that are seen on South Park and Robot Chicken is probably the safest bet to go with if they do make a YTMND movie. The Robot Chicken disclaimer best describes YTMND in a nutshell especially the parody manner.
  Although it would be cool to see a movie based on YTMND fads coming together, the chances of that happening are slim to none. If your looking for a YTMND movie you could just watch Finding Forrester which inspired YTMND from the start. Or you could just watch every movie or TV show that made YTMND what it is today.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How The Salvation Army Can Improve Family Day

  If you happen to be a big thrifter like I am, then you probably know that on Wednesday's The Salvation Army has Family Day. Now on Family Day almost everything in the store is 50% off. However there is one little teeny weenie exclusion, a certain color tag is excluded. This week that color tag was yellow.
  This is what really annoys me about family day. The color tag that is excluded in the 50% off sale. The items that you usually really want on family day are the ones with the excluded color tag. This is really insulting to the shopper. I don't want to pay full price for the item that I want there. I want it to be 50% off.
  I like to buy a lot of clothing there to test my shop scissors on to see how well it cuts through them. As for the past 3 weeks of going to the Salvation Army every Wednesday morning has been a waste of time for me. I'm trying not to spend my money at thrift stores as much anymore but The Salvation Army's color tag exclusions on Family Day really ruin it for me.
  I see something really cool and nice and it's excluded this week. What a shame. I saw a few nice items this week that were excluded and it got me thinking why do I even bother coming here anymore? Recently The Salvation Army has become a hit or miss place anymore to find anything good. I noticed that their selections of certain items have diminished significantly. One of those items is men's hats. I've found a lot of nice sometimes brand new hats there in the past for really good prices. Sometimes I found them on Family day where the hat prices were the excluded color tag. That didn't bother me at all sometimes. It's the bigger ticket items or obscure things that I see that annoy me. They haven't stocked any new hats in about a month or two.
  Other things that irk me about Family Day is that they sometimes don't include furniture. That makes sense in a way. I would never buy a couch or a chair from The Salvation Army. My uncle swears off on going in there since he once saw them one morning spraying the furniture for bed bugs. My uncle has a nickname for The Salvation Army, he calls it The Bug Store since they spray the furniture for bed bugs like the Orkin Man.
  If the Salvation Army really wants to improve Family Day they need to include ALL color tags in the 50% off sale not exclude one color. It's that one day of the week that is like their Black Friday. It really couldn't kill them to include everything at 50% off since they all got the stuff for absolutely FREE OF CHARGE. It's not like they can take a loss on anything. Rant over.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dumping Junk at USAgain Dumpsters

  We've all probably have seen those green and white colored used clothing dumpster bins around since they have become quite popular in recent years. However there is one problem with these donation dumpsters, the dumping of junk that isn't clothing or shoes. At my Walmart they have 3 of these USAgain dumpsters in the top of the parking lot and everytime I seem to go past them I notice a trend, bags of junk left there that people don't bother to put in the dumpster because they are too lazy or my personal favorite CRT Television sets.
  Now in bold lettering all over these USAgain dumpsters it clearly states USED CLOTHING AND SHOES ONLY. I don't think anyone ever takes notice to this policy. People love to dump everything in front of these used clothing bins. I think a lot of people in my opinion do this after they have a yard sale and just take the unsold junk and leave it in front of a dumpster. Heck one time I saw a person dump a huge trailer full of stuff in front of a USAgain Dumpster and didn't bother to put a single thing inside of it. It was all boxes of stuff that didn't sell at their yard sale. This is a problem with illegal dumping but it's a grey area since it's technically donations.
  As a matter of fact most thrift stores won't take old CRT TV's for donations since nobody want's them. Well maybe except for the classic gamers who have systems like an NES or Sega Genesis. Every time my area has a huge electronics recycling drive they fill up the amount of stuff they can take within an hour or two and then they can't accept items anymore, thus leading people to dump their unwanted CRT TV at the nearest USAgain dumpster.
  The fact that people disobey the clothing and shoes only rule doesn't surprise me one bit. People just don't give a damn about it. If they want to get rid of it they'll get rid of it. Just don't dump a bag full of old Baby toys and moldy clothes. It's disgusting to see what people leave in front of these dumpsters once they are exposed to the elements such as rain or snow.
  The overflow of donations that people dump in these dumpsters is what gives these donation dumpsters a bad rap. It's not just USAgain dumpsters that fall victim to this dumping and overflow, other competitors such as Planet Aid suffer from overflow. Secondly the other problem which helps feed the fire here is the fact that these dumpsters are found in just about every parking lot from here to eternity. I wonder how often Planet Aid empties their dumpsters out. I've never seen their truck around cleaning them out.
  A solution to this dumping problem with these dumpsters can be solved by cities and townships passing ordinances limiting the amount of these dumpsters that can be allocated to a parking lot or geographical area. These dumpsters need to be limited to where they can be placed and how many you can place in  a parking lot. These dumpsters are nothing but trouble and makes illegal dumping acceptable

Snap-On SGDMRC44B Soft Grip Ratcheting Screwdriver Review.

  I wanted to make a YouTube video reviewing this screwdriver but I no longer have a tripod for my digital camera. The tripod broke when I tried putting a full size Panasonic Omnimovie VHS Camcorder onto the tripod and it couldn't support the massive weight of the behemoth camcorder from 1988. You'll have to excuse me for that apology. I haven't made a new YouTube video in years. I need to get back into the reviewing various toys and other stuff that I own.
 I had acquired the Snap-On SGDMRC44B Soft Grip Ratcheting Screwdriver from my father around 2016. When my father still had his appliance repair business, he would buy Snap-On Tools. Now lets get this straight here, Snap-On Tools aren't really marketed at the appliance repairman demographic, they are more or less in the professional automobile mechanic demographic. So my dad had bought this ratcheting screwdriver from Snap-On, when he did I have no idea. 
SGDMRC44B The best damn screwdriver there is

  Let's review the screwdriver now. The Snap-On SGDMRC44B Soft Grip Ratcheting Screwdriver has got to be the best screwdriver I ever owned and used. It's very convenient and easy design to use. The Black and red soft grip handle contains a thumb dial where you can turn it to three positions, right side to turn to the right, left side to unscrew or loosen. The middle position locks the ratcheting mechanism. This thumb dial makes it easier to switch fastening positions by just flicking your thumb left or right. It can be used both left handed or right handed.  In order to use the Ratcheting mechanism of the screwdriver you need to turn the handle back and forth very gently so it drives the screws in or out very easily. This ratcheting mechanism saves your hand from getting sore from driving screws. It's very ergonomic and has a comfortable feel in your hand.  I've used this screwdriver extensively to hang up MOC Hot Wheels cars on my wall in my attic. I can drive screws into the paneling without any problem. This ratcheting mechanism can act like a manual drill so to speak.
  I've used this screwdriver to disassemble a fan. however due to the fan being metal and the magnetic hex shank this can be a tricky issue with the screwdriver. The magnetic hex shank can sometimes stick to the area you are trying to reach the screw at.
  Now here's the best kept secret about this screwdriver, you can use any magnetic bit for it. You don't need to use the Snap-On bits in it. Although the screwdriver does come with a #2 Phillips bit and a flat tip bit. While we are on the subject of bits, the handle of the screwdriver can hold up to 10 different bits. There is a little red cap on the end of the handle that comes off to store the bits inside of the handle.  
  Now the Magnetic hex shank can also magnetize screws as well in order to hold them into place. This makes it convenient in case the screw falls out or slips out, you can easily pick some screws that are magnetic back up. Not all screws will get magnetized by the hex shank. Not all screws are made out of a magnetic metal. So don't get angry if it won't hold the screw in place just because some screws aren't magnetic. Overall it holds the screws in just fine.
  The Magnetic Hex Shank will fit any magnetic screwdriver bit from any brand. There are some screwdriver bits that won't fit this hex shank such as a #4 Phillips bit which is the largest Phillips Screwdriver type that there is. Snap-On does make other Hex Bit Shanks for this screwdriver such as a 9" one and a 3-1/4" inch one as well. They even make a Speeder for this screwdriver. All of these shanks are sold separately.
  The price of this screwdriver is $77.95 which may seem a little hefty for a screwdriver. Don't let the price scare you away, it's really worth the money. If you buy it online from Snap-On you get free shipping on all orders under $500.
 https://store.snapon.com/Complete-Screwdrivers-Ratcheting-Soft-Grip-Standard-Red-Screwdriver-P643055.aspx
  Now for a $77.95 screwdriver this is the best screwdriver there is on the market. It's manufactured here in the USA which is very uncommon for tools to be made domestically nowadays. Snap-On manufacturers a majority of their tools here in the United States. As Snap-On once said as their slogan There Is A Difference. That slogan is the truth. There are two types of tools out there, OK made tools and then there's quality made tools. Snap-On is quality. You're paying the price for unmatched quality and an unbeatable lifetime warranty.
  Overall I give this ratcheting screwdriver an overall 10/10 stars. I will never go back to my old screwdriver again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Hazleton Junk Drive

On Holy Saturday this year I happened to look out my kitchen window and notice that my neighbors had a massive junk pile outside their garage. I immediately was brought back to my youth seeing the junk pile over my fence. So I decided to look a little closer at the junk pile when I had noticed what looked like a vacuum cleaner handle sticking up in the mountain of junk. I thought I could salvage the old vacuum cleaner. Luckily moments later I saw the junk haulers pull up their truck to haul away the junk. I went outside and asked the one man what kind of vacuum cleaner that was and he said it was a Hoover. Well he asked me If I wanted it and I said yes. After handing it to me I noticed that the Hoover was a vintage vacuum cleaner from the late 40s to early 50s. It was a Hoover Model 115 Junior. I groped the bag and noticed that the bag was full of dust. After about 2 hours of removing the dust from the shakeout bag with pliers and vacuuming it out with other vacuums I managed to get it cleaned up.
  The vacuum actually still worked when I plugged it in. However my mother disapproved of me bringing this antique vacuum into our home and my brother had taken it away and put it in the garbage. I guess they didn't want bugs and mites and germs. I tried to explain to them that it probably belonged to that little old lady who used to live next door to us and that the vacuum was probably bought at my grandfather's appliance store. They didn't buy my pleas to keep the machine. I hated to see it get thrown away after I spent time and aggravation to clean the thing out. I originally had plans to sell it to a vacuum collector.
  That whole ordeal has lead me to the main topic of my post today, The Hazleton Junk Drive.
  I'm going to be nostalgia tripping today to a part of my youth growing up in Hazleton, PA. Up until the year which I believe was 2002, the city held an annual junk drive once a year where you can throw literally anything away no questions asked. This was usually held in the springtime hence the term spring cleaning. However this was more like Christmas in July if you ask me.
  I still have vivid memories of seeing people walking up and down the city blocks rummaging through people's junk piles. People actually threw away some pretty good stuff from what I remember. The junk pickers would have their old beat up pickup trucks, full size station wagons with the back window smashed out of it filled with junk. I remember some of the junk pickers vividly double parking their vehicles and walking the blocks picking up people's junk. These junk pickers would give the American Pickers a run for their money since they were getting this junk for free and not lowballing hoarders for junk.
 Although as being around 12 years old when the Hazleton Junk Drive came to an end, I really never had a chance to explore people's junk piles that much. I believe the last year that Hazleton had the Junk Drive, my two nephews and I spotted an old leather salon chair a few blocks down the street from my old house and we decided to bring it home. So my 2 nephews and I walked down the street with a skateboard so we could put the chair on it and haul it home. We proceeded to put the chair on the skateboard and all three of us pushed the chair up the street so we could put it our backyard and make a robot out of the old chair.
  However just like the old Hoover Vaccum that I found in the trash, my Nephew's other grandmother came to pick them up at our old house and just so happened to be sitting on the front porch of my house talking to my mother. My nephew's grandmother had saw the 3 of us pushing this old salon chair on a skateboard and told us to put it back in a very annoyed tone. We ended up not taking the salon chair all the way back to where we got it from but to the back of my old house. Our old hose had a huge backyard which had a space in the back where the fence had ended. We kept it there for a few days and we really never got to build that robot that we had planned to make.
  However about 2 years later the City of Hazleton decided that the junk drive was unnecessary and obsolete when they made the rule that you can throw this stuff out every week for garbage not one time a year. Garbage day hasn't been the same ever since they changed the rule for allowing you to throw anything away every week. I want the junk drive back.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

High School Class Fundraisers that Student's Can't Attend.

  I've noticed a trend in some high school class fundraisers in my area, that you have to be 21 to attend them. This is completely illogical since the students benefiting from this fundraiser aren't allowed in. Your probably thinking what kind of idiocracy is this crap. Well for starters one type of fundraiser is called A Night At the Races. This type of fundraiser is where you bet on a pretaped horse race and most of the proceeds benefit the class. Now this is where the stupidity kicks in, being 21 or over to attend the event. I get it that you have to be 21 in order to gamble, but at least allow the students to help out at the benefit for their graduation class.
  A simple solution to this problem would be to NOT allow the students to gamble or allow them near the betting area. They can always work at the concession area, sell tricky tray tickets or clean up after the event. This is reminds me of a local movie theater that serves alcoholic beverages where you have
to be 21 or accompanied by an adult in order to see a G rated movie. Yes that's right you have be 21 to go see a G rated film there. Here's a solution to this problem, have the waitstaff carry those little penlights to check ID's of theater patrons.
  Although having a class fundraiser where you have to be 21 in order to attend is quite stupid. What I don't seem to get is why do they pick a fundraising event where you have to be 21 or older to attend it. The senior class that is benefiting from these class fundraisers need to help out at them. When I was in high school I don't recall having a class fundraiser where you had to be 21 in order to be there. I remember having to sell frozen pizzas that you had to carry home from school, chocolate sales and other stupid nonsensical items to peddle at everyone in your family.  Man those were a total pain in the ass when one of your family members ordered 5 frozen pizzas that weighed like 100 pounds when you had to walk with them to your dad's car that was several blocks away from the school.
 I'm glad I'm not in high school anymore so I don't have to peddle frozen pizzas that benefit stuff that I won't attend such as the prom or some class trip. I don't know why I bothered to sell these things because I never attended the prom and I still don't regret it. So the next time your high school class is holding a class fundraiser make it an event where EVERYONE can attend not just the adults

Friday, January 20, 2017

Raiders of The Lost Garage Episode 1

  I'll be periodically blogging about my cleaning up and organizing all of my Father's tools in the garage. My mom doesn't approve of me going through the garage and pillaging it. I'm just trying to consolodate all of the tools my father used to hoard.
   Many years ago when my Father had his appliance repair business he used to buy Snap-On Tools. Now you probably know that Snap-On Tools are not cheap at all. They are a quality made tool that is backed by a lifetime guarantee. However long story short when my older brother acquired the my father's business after my dad had his heart attack, my brother's work truck was broken into and the thieves stole 95% of the Snap-On tools that my dad had bought in the 80s. Snap-On doesn't replace stolen tools if you don't know so if someone steals yours you're shit out of luck there.
   My dad had a handfull of Snap-On Tools left over that somehow never went to my brother when he took over the business and now I ended up with them. It's still an ongoing process sorting out the many tool boxes in the garage to organize into the tool chest. I thought I had accumulated all what was left of them. So I thought. Today as I was consolidating some tool boxes I looked on the one shelf and I spotted what looked like a hole punch tool. I picked it up and upon closer inspection of it I noticed it said Blue-Point Kenosha Wisconson Made in USA on it. If you don't know already, Blue-Point is a brand of tool made by Snap-On that also has their lifetime warranty. I had no idea what this tool exactly was until I went on the computer and typed in the model number: CF-71 upon my search results came up that they are a Spark Plug Gapping Plier tool. now Snap-On no longer makes this type of tool and in case you are wondering what happens to your lifetime warranty, Snap-On will give you a modern equivalent no questions asked.