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Power washers- the Karcher is dead, long live the Sun Joe

I have owned several electric power washers over my life, all of which were more or less suitable to my limited needs.  I use them to clean my deck, wash my car, and wash my motorcycle: nothing heavy.  And every single power washer I’ve owned has failed me in some way or another.  This post is an overview of my power washer history and an introduction to my latest ‘pending failure’: the Sun Joe SPX3001

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Continue reading Power washers- the Karcher is dead, long live the Sun Joe

Moving some of my posting activity from Facebook back to blog

I am going to start posting more on my blog, and a little less on Facebook: or at least that’s my intent.  Why?  Because Facebook owns a bit too much of my time, and I want to revitalize my blog a bit.  Also, Facebook is not really good for ‘long form’ posts… and the never-ending-scroll of the newsfeed seems designed to make everything “Yesterday’s news”.    And I find that I ‘stretch’ myself a bit more on my blog: in terms of what I post, and in terms of the effort it takes to make my blog run.

Use the ‘subscribe to blog via email’ link in the upper right side of any post on kgadams.net if you are interested in what I post on my blog.  You’ll start receiving an email notification when I add a new post.   The subscription is managed via WordPress.com, so you can even set it up to only notify you once a week or what have you.

I’m not ‘leaving’ Facebook: I’ll still be checking my news feed, probably more often than I should.  But I’ll be turning down the tap a bit, hopefully successfully.

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Space… its big- there’s lots of space out there, right?

I’m a strong advocate for the exploration of space.  I also firmly believe that we need humans out there.  Yes, use robotics to validate assumptions, but please let’s get humans on the surface of the Moon and Mars before I die of old age.  

But I also think Donald Trump is one of the most comically inept and arguably outright ignorant human beings to walk the Earth.  The man quite seriously disgusts me, and strains my ability to show respect for the office of President of the United States, or for the citizens of that country that elected this dumpster fire on legs.  So when Donald Trump signs one of his famous Executive Orders in support of space exploration with Buzz Aldrin, an honest to goodness hero, standing beside him, I’m really, really torn.

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Continue reading Space… its big- there’s lots of space out there, right?

Disruptions in our furry family

My wife and I love our critters, in particular our feline family. It has been the norm during our 27 years together for us to have something like six or seven cats sharing our household. This isn’t ‘by design’, but it seems to work out that way.

For the first time in a while, however, we are down to five cats in our house. And it is a hard change to accept.

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Improving the performance of WordPress: my experiences

I recently upgraded my web server hardware and so, in that spirit, it seemed like a good time to refresh the configuration of my blog software.  I had previously made several attempts to ‘make it fast’, but with only limited improvement.  This time, however, I seem to have made some good progress… read below the fold for some details of my effort.

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Upgrading the ‘kgadams.net’ web server

You will have undoubtedly noticed that my blog here has been down over the past several days if you’ve been trying to visit. Have no fear!

I completed a hardware upgrade of the server behind kgadams.net. While I was at it, I upgraded the OS (Fedora) to the latest version, and did some initial ‘tweaking’ to improve WordPress performance. Details follow below if you are interested….

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Pokemon Go- not totally stupid

I’m not a Pokemon person. My computer / console gaming history started in the late ’70’s and early ’80’s, and completely missed Nintendo. And to be honest, none of the Nintendo games really appeal to me- they are just a bit too ‘twee

Continue reading Pokemon Go- not totally stupid

Griddle for the grill- The Little Griddle

I am not a cook. But on the rare occasions when I do make food, the barbecue is one of my primary implements. I suspect it appeals to something primal in me that a stove in the house does not: either that, or it is just easier to clean up.

I decided I wanted to get a griddle when we replaced our 20 year old barbecue this year. In my imagination I was cooking bacon, pancakes, sausage, and eggs on that griddle- my imaginary cooking is pretty awesome. So I wanted an awesome griddle, and seem to have found one: the Little Griddle stainless steel ‘professional’ series griddle.

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Virtual Reality- still not fully baked

Apparently this is the year of VR or virtual reality. The Oculus Rift can now actually be purchased by normal (non-developer) user. The Valve/HTC Vive is available as well, and Sony’s ‘Morpheus’ PlayStation VR product is supposedly coming very soon.

 

This isn’t a review of any of these products, but rather my opinion regarding the current state and potential of VR…

Continue reading Virtual Reality- still not fully baked

Replacing the shift key on a Macbook 2015

Apple has done some amazing work in recent years refining the definition of ‘small’ and ‘thin’ computers. The Macbook 2015, which I previously reviewed/compared to my Macbook Pro , is definitely the poster child for minimalist full-capability computing.

Unfortunately, I broke one of the keys on my Macbook when I accidentally dropped the laptop on our hardwood floor. My attempt to repair this demonstrated the dark side of all that miniaturization- the Macbook 2015 is very hard to fix.

The first recommendation I found was to replace the entire top of the Macbook: keyboard, touchpad, and case assembly. In addition to this being rather costly (several hundred dollars), it just didn’t seem right. The other keys were fine, and as far as I could tell the electronic ‘bubble’ key mechanism was still working. Just the hinge and the key were broken.

In the end, I was proven right- it is possible to fix a single key without replacing the entire keyboard. Here is my experience of that process.

Continue reading Replacing the shift key on a Macbook 2015