Friday, January 25, 2019

HHR Gets New Tires

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

Discount Tire, Lakeland, Fl

We put tires on our motorhome back in 2015…lucky a Michelin Tires recall paid for six out of the seven tires at Discount Tire Store near El Paso.  Since then, we have had to stop at Discount Tire a few times due to stem problems because of our Tire Sensors…I have since gone to metal stems, and although I paid for the metal stems through Napa Auto, Discount Tire put them on for free.  So with our HHR needing new tires, I sure wanted to find a Discount Tire (called America’s Tire Store out on the West Coast).  Our nearest one is in Lakeland Florida, a LONG 60-65 mile distance from where we live.  LONG because it is not all Interstate, and can take two hours to get there depending on traffic.

Map to Lakeland from Holiday

I made an appointment for 11:30, and left the condo just about 9:30.  I have gone to Lakeland taking highway 54 to I-275 south to I-4 east and over to Lakeland…but Discount Tire was on the extreme north side of Lakeland, so I opted to stay on highway 54 through to highway 98…and that was a mistake.  Once you get onto the other side of I-275, highway 54 becomes county road 54, and things slow down a bunch until you get to highway 98.  I pulled in right at 11:29…I hate to be late, and that was too close.

Tire Size for a HHR 

The Discount Tire Store website says that the HHR takes a 215/50-R17 tire, and I picked out one for about $60…which after installation and 3 year replacement, came to $400.  Once I got there, and they pulled me in as soon as I was done at the register, we found out that what I really needed was a 16” tire due to the wheel size I have on the HHR.  So the new tire size, with what they had on hand, cost about $6 more per tire…so I went with that.  I should have looked at the tires I had on it and not relying on their website...lesson learned.

HHR Tire Sensors

For the past year we have been having problems with the HHR’s internal tire sensor system.  While I was getting the tires replaced, I decided to replace all four sensors since three of the four were bad or acting up.  This problem was detected because the yellow tire deflated icon would light up every time the car is started, and the notification window would say “low tire” and/or “tire sensor”.  Well, I provided the four sensors (from Amazon), and Discount Tire put them in for free as part of the installation process.  By 12:31 I was back on the road and called Marcia to let her know I had lost a good friend.  “WHO????” she asks.  “My yellow tire sensor light…it is gone…all gone!”  It is nice being able to see what each tire is inflated to again, that's for sure!  By the way, I took I-4 to I-275 to highway 54 to get home…it only took a bit over 90 minutes including getting gas and a diet Pepsi.  I told them that I can't wait until they open a Discount Tire Store in our area.

Back in August 2015, I had to replace this little Solenoid, a 12 Volt Continuous Duty Solenoid which allows the motorhome engine to charge up the house batteries.  In real cold weather, like in the 40’s or below, it has not been working very well…so I replaced this $20 solenoid again.  Since I wrote a detail about it back in August 2015, it was easy to know what I needed to order, and how to replace it.  Click this link if you want to know more about replacing this solenoid.

Speaking of weather…the next seven days are going to have cold nights, and daytime temps under 70 each day…for Florida that is cold…to me it is WONDERFUL!  Looks like another good reason to make more soup!

NOTE:  My last post was about problems with Open Live Writer, and those problems still exist.  This post was written using the method talked about in that last post, and I have heard from a few people who used my method and it worked for them too.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Open Live Writer Error Fix

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL

This blog will be boring for most of you…but for the person who blogs using the Open Live Writer software…well, this is for you.  For the past two days (since January 16th) Open Live Writer has been impossible to blog with for those on the blogger platform unless you did not have pictures…what good is a travel/RV blog without pictures???

THIS (above) is the error that Open Writer Users are getting as they attempt to post their blog.  The problem is that photos posting through Open Writer automatically are posted onto Google Pictures in an album called “Open Live Writer”.  When that folder reaches 2000 photos, it starts a new folder.  About a year or two ago, once this folder reached 2000, it would not start a new one…we have to go in, rename the folder, and then it would automatically create a new folder named “Open Live Writer” and it allowed us to post again.  THIS problem is different.  It will not automatically load the pictures into Google Pictures…we NOW have to do this manually.  WHAT A PAIN, but “Open Live Writer” is still the best way to post blogs in my opinion.  Below is the work around for using “Open Live Writer” and posting pictures to your blog…

My pictures folders on computer

Load your pictures onto your computer, edit the photos as needed, store in a folder on your computer of your choice.  Personally, I always store my pictures by year, by month within the year, by day within the month.  Above you can see my July 2018 folder, and the daily pictures listed by the date that I put them on the computer.  For me, it makes it easier when I need to “find” a picture I had taken even years ago.  You probably have your own system, just use that system…you just need to know where your pictures are so that you load them into the next step.

Sharing folder in Google Pictures

Load the pictures you are going to use for you blog into the Open Live Writer Album folder in Google Pictures.  This is easy to do by just moving them from the folder on your computer into the browser you are viewing your Open Live Writer Album with.  Be sure that the Open Live Writer Album is shared to all.  Above shows the icon you click to share your album.  Once you click it, a new small window will appear, and in the bottom left is a link to “create link”, which will then make the folder public.

Copying from Google Pictures

When you are ready to put a picture into “Open Live Writer”, and you have followed steps one and two above for that picture, all you have to do now is to click on that picture in Google Pictures.  I use Firefox, and this trick should work for other browsers….I just right click on the picture, it opens a window and “Copy Image” is one of the choices.  Once copied, I go back to “Open Live Writer” and paste it where I want to place the picture.  There are other ways to paste it into “Open Live Writer”, but this is the simplest for me.

Complete your blog, now it is ready to post to blogger.  Personally I always post via the “Post draft to blog” method.  That allows me to bring it up in blogger, add Labels, Location and Search Description, and also do a “Preview” to see how it is going to look in a browser.

Pain in the Neck

I am hoping that this problem gets fixed like the last problem … but only time will tell.  This method will be a pain in the … this is going to be if they don’t fix it.

Also, just because I can...the weather here in Florida is wonderful.  Today it got to 71 degrees, it is 56 now (10:30), and our coldest day in the upcoming week will be Monday with a high of 59.  Marcia had her first Doctor Appointment, and all went well.  Other than high cholesterol, which does not mind and won't treat because higher cholesterol is good for people with MS because MS is a demyelinating disease, and cholesterol protects the myelin sheath.  The doctor has tried putting her on statins for three years now...this year they gave up.  Marcia despises statins, she says her first husband, his brother, a cousin and a cousin's husband and brother each took statins, and they died within a few years.  But her MS is the biggest reason she does not want to treat it.

And just a few minutes ago my youngest son Ryan sent the following picture...

This is Kaelyn, they plan to get married in the fall...and he FINALLY gave her a ring, and it does not appear to be one from a Crackerjacks Box!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

BOOM Boom boom NEW YEARS EVE boom Boom BOOM

Home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area, FL


We have been living the ‘winters’ in the condo now since May 2013, but this year was the first year we were actually ‘at the condo’ for New Year’s Eve.  What a SURPRISE we were in for.  It all started around noon…a few booms here and few booms there.  By 6 pm, the booms had increased 5 fold.  By 10 pm, they were every minute…by 11 pm they were every 15 seconds…by 11:50 it was constant.  THANK GOODNESS poor little Skruffy is loosing her hearing, they did not affect her at all.  By 1 am, it was over, other an occasional one.   And these booms and bangs were all over…close by…with a short duration of calm when the helicopter flew overhead for about 5 minutes.  Around 12:15 the fire trucks went out in force…don’t know what that was about.

Ryobi Drain Auger

Since the day after Christmas, we have been fighting with a slow draining sink.  The culprit, putting Asparagus ends in the garbage disposal Christmas Day, along with a daily fill of Coffee Grounds from out French Press.  This is the THIRD time in our six and a half years here that we have had problems with this sink drain.  The previous two times it was onion peelings…which we stopped after talking to the guy who cleared it last time (at a price of $250 B-T-W)  This stoppage was more of a slowness.  Run water for 30 seconds and it starts backing up the sink drains.  Drain cleaners helped a bit…got it a 45 second limit, but I finally broke down and bought this nifty Drain Auger (snake).  Runs on 110 volt –OR- battery pack.  Since we don’t have much need for these type of tools, no need to buy battery pack, which is separate from the $129 plus tax price tag.  It goes out 25 feet, which is 3 feet beyond the connection to the main line…so perfect for our needs. 

Sink Drain

Here is a look under our double sink.  The big Black item to the right is the garbage disposal I put in a few years ago (replacing one already there).  There is a white drain coming out the side of the disposal, and above it a grey line where the dishwasher line empties into the disposal.  To plunge the drain, I have to plug up that line to the dishwasher, turn on the disposal, then plunge the left sink…not an easy trick.  However, this did not work at all.

Sink Drain

After getting the drain auger, I took off the trap drain pipe (the smaller arrows), then the pipe line coming out of the wall (the big arrow).  This allowed the drain auger snake line to enter the system.  As it does, it immediately heads down, then to the right.  This electric auger handled these two turns very easy.  The trick is not knowing how far you are with the line.  I estimate that I went about 20’ the first time, put things together, and it did not do the trick.  Did it the second time using all the line…I now know there is a knuckle in the line near the end showing you that it is all out.  That did the trick.  Just to be sure, I will be putting a heavy-duty Drain-o down the line the next two nights.  Glad to report that I ran the water for 2 1/2 minutes this morning, and it drained just right.  Oh, the auger brought out a bit of Asparagus, and some coffee grounds.  YUCK.  At least now we are equipped to do our own drains from now on…and I hope it is not a yearly thing! 

Mr. Coffee Maker

The first thing I did yesterday was go to Walmart and get this 5 cup programmable coffee maker, $17, so we don’t have to mess with the French Press coffee grounds each day.  LOVE the French Press…makes GREAT coffee…but it is difficult to clean without getting grounds down the disposal.  Would rather drink Mr. Coffee than clean out the drain all the time.  (Google - drains coffee grounds - and you will see that coffee grounds are BAD for drain pipes…”Coffee grounds are among the biggest drain clogging offenders”…who would have known, and WHY did the guy tell us about onions and not coffee grounds?)

Tim Allen Grunt

For those fans of Home Improvement, you KNOW what I am doing … pulling a Tim Taylor Grunt.