You come home from the movies, kick off your shoes, walk into the kitchen and “squish”, wet socks. I hate wet socks but I hate wet kitchen subfloors even more. According to Travelers insurance , water is 10 times more likely to damage our home than fire. Ten times! We all have smoke alarms but how many of us have Water alarms?
What is a water alarm?
A water alarm works in a similar fashion to a smoke alarm. When a water alarm senses water it screeches, usually in a very high pitch which can be heard throughout the house. Small rectangular boxes, twice the thickness of a deck of cards sit on the floor or under your sinks. They are equipped with two metal sensors on the bottom which close an electrical circuit when they come in contact with water. Last year ours alerted us to water in our basement before it became a major issue. We heard it two floors away, in the dead of night.
At a relatively nominal cost of $10-$15 each, putting one under each sink and a few in your basement is a small cost to be alerted before you have thousands of dollars in damage. Amazon and other online retailers have a few styles to choose from. We choose the First Alert WA100-3 Water Alarm, 3-Pack for a couple of reasons.
We needed several and this saved some money.
The sensors are detachable from the bottom of the unit so it offered more flexible placement.
First Alert is a brand name I’m familiar with.
Here is what they look like.
To see other choices for water alarms, click here.
It is much easier to buy a bottle of Windex at the local store than to look for alternatives. Easier to pop a few Tums into your mouth when you get indigestion. Here are some tips from Mind Body Green.
There is something to be said for being able to identify what it is you’re using, consuming or putting on your body.
Walmart starting selling it’s own brand of LED light bulbs just about a month ago. At that time they were $8.48 a bulb for 60 watt equivalent. So imagine my surprise, and delight when shopping for LED Christmas lights today I stumble upon the same light for $3.44!
Yes, a 60 watt LED light blub for only $3.44. This is a groundbreaking price if it’s not just a regional test price. I purchased 5 on the spot for my kitchen fixture which is currently using fluorescent bulbs.
How do they look? Fantastic! These lights have a nice white look which is not at all harsh, but not yellow like an incandescent, which I personally hate, especially in the winter. They are certainly not a yellowish 2800 kelvin as the box suggests but they are not a bright white either. More importantly there is NO hint of blue which often mares many LED lights.
How do they function? These bulbs come on instantly and dim well. They are standard Edison base bulbs that fit in regular light sockets.
All in all an incredible buy and well worth popping over to your local Walmart to see if they have them.
Audio receivers, even the simple stereo ones these days, can be difficult to use. So when Google came out with this little gem it seems like a true simple and smart idea. It is controled completely via your android device, althought it does have a very elegant volume control, and it is small and nice looking.
Who is this meant for? – This device is meant for people with Android devices (can Apple devices be far behind?) who want to stream audio and video to their main home entertainment systems and large screen TV. The real beauty is you can also run a pair of speakers off of it. With it’s elegant design, even those who hate technology might want it out in the open for guests to see.
The Design - Even Apple fanboys will be jelous of this beautiful orb. Simple clean design and love the LED center light. If it could be wireless it would be perfect but that would require powered speakers and those don’t sell well for many reasons.
Functionality - Stream two channel audio and video to your own speakers or hi-def video to your TV through HDMI. The simple function of the entire top of the sphere being the volume control is simply brilliant. Forceing users to get banana plugs to hook up speakers is also a step in the right direction. For a small extra cost you’ll get a better connection and less fustration in setup. By passing all controls to your Android deivce as well as source material you greatly simplify the setup and usability.
Power - 12.5 watts seems slim but this is not intended to power a home theater or a loud outdoor party. We’ll have to see how it sounds when it comes out.
Featrues – Just the right amount of connections though I’d lose the eithernet port.
Price – $299 (pre-order) A bit high but this is gen one. I’d bet it will be discounted by the holidays as they release newer versions.
What I want
Build this as a modest 75 watt per channel home theater setup for $399 and Google will sell a million of them in a month, maybe more. Don’t get me started on the insane complexity and uselessness of todays home theater receivers. That column is for next week.
Fall is almost here and that means that animals food sources start to get more scarce. It also means that your garbage can starts to look even more attractive to raccoons and the like. There are tons of articles on how to critter proof you garbage cans but there does not seem to be a really good solution. Really? We can land on the moon but can’t keep Rocky Raccoon out of our garbage can?
Here is a rundown of the suggestions we found online.
Keep your garbage cans in the garage.. with the door closed.
Put things like ammonia (careful with this one) or moth balls around or in the garbage
Secure the lid with bungie cords, we don’t think this works too well
Double bag the garbage so it won’t send out an oder
Build a garbage can shed, but make it almost air tight or they will get in
There is a trick we’ve used with some success.
If your garbage can lid overlaps the lip on your can and you can drill a hole that goes through BOTH. Then get a bunch of angled peg-board hangers and maneuver them through the holes on each side. They can only have ONE notch on them, not two. This seems to work but you need the patience to take them on and off as well as have them off before the garbage folks show up.
Cooking low fat, low acid meals could help keep you from having to deal with drugs to combat Acid Reflux. This video talks about a cookbook that can help you reduce Acid wtihout medication. With esophageal cancer being the fastest growing cancer in the US, this just might save your life.
It’s spring and time to dust off the old bicycle and ride safely. According to data released from NTSA National Highway Safety Administration 630 bicyclists were killed in the US in 2009. Seventy four of these were younger than 14 and over 51,000 people were injured. What simple precautions can you take to be a smarter bike rider?
Here are 5 simple tips on bicycle safely
Wear a Bicycle Helmet. It’s the law in most states that children where helmets or the parents can be fined.
Sonos is an easy to use whole house music system. It uses streaming Internet content or your iTunes library via Apple AirPlay and a really simple to set up wireless system that delivers music to any room in your home. They don’t have sales often and this is a pretty good deal. Though not cheap the simplicity of the setup and ease of use make it a smart choice. It does not need a computer to work and it even has it’s own wireless network so it won’t interfere with your PC network. It’s really cool for those of us with iPhone’s or Android devices are the free apps that easily control your system. Play the same songs or different songs in different rooms. Really Simple and really Smart! Save $99 on a 2-room Sonos kit, or $50 on a 1-room kit at Sonos.com.
Environmentally friendly leather is not new, it’s been used in furniture often. These new earth friendly iPad and Kindle covers are made from re-manufactured leather scraps. Actually 90% real leather covers that has the look, feel and smell of leather. Because they are made of recycled leather you’re not only saving the environment by using a Kindle or iPad, but with your stylish sleeve as well. They come in some very current colors and have a soft felted wool inside. Made in Italy. BTW, these pictures are not really very good. I saw the orange Kindle case today at lunch and it really looks nice. Available from BoomDealz