Tuesday, January 25, 2011

eLocal’s Inaugural Blog-Off!

We're down to the last week before we migrate south for a month in Bucerias Mexico, so we have a lot to get accomplished before we leave. We should have reliable Internet access where we are staying, but we're not sure how often we will be able to post new articles and update the blog, but we'll do our best while gone. I'm hoping to post another article on the subject of what I called: "Mex-electrical", a popular post a while back, featuring some of the most interesting electrical installations I encounter while travelling in Mexico.

Here is a picture I took of an electrical installation to a lighted sign. Can you guess where this is?

Is it,

a) Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

b) Bucerias, Mexico

c) Calgary Alberta, Canada

Post your answer as a comment on this post and next blog entry I'll tell you the answer.

We took my parents to the airport on Wednesday for their return flight home to Alberta. We had a great time with them, and luckily the cold snap there broke just in time.
In my last post here I posted a video of my Mom shooting hoops in the pool. Later I convinced her to come for a ride on my motorcycle, and she loved it! I'll see if I can get Dad to buy a Harley when he comes to visit next fall?

As I mentioned in my last post, I was invited to be a part of a panel of experts in eLocal's Blog-Off series.
To quote eLocal,
"eLocal is thrilled to announce a new blog-off series that will bring bloggers and professionals together to discuss hot topics and exciting trends in home improvement.
No more searching the web for the answers to your most pressing home improvement questions. This series gives homeowners information directly from the experts, while also creating a new forum for industry leaders to network and exchange ideas".

The first question was out last week, and for this first Blog-Off article, they asked the experts when in the design process homeowners should make plumbing and electrical decisions.

You can read the compiled results of the responses by following this link. Please check it out and you can also get involved by posting a comment if you feel compelled to do so.

Hasta Luego!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Challenge for a New Year!

Today I received the first question for the "Blog Off" series that I was asked to participate in. This is sponsored by e-local, and as soon as the answers are compiled I will post a link here, as well as on our website. A series of relevant questions will be posed to the panel of selected "experts" and each will post a response to open up debate. It should be fun, and I'm looking forward to it. The first question was related to planning for a bathroom renovation, and what should be the most important consideration, artistic vision, or the location of the plumbing and electrical components of the project.

As I mentioned in my last post, my parents are here visiting with us until January 19th. My Dad is 84, and my Mom is 82, and are both in good health. They used to come down here to Arizona and stay in their R.V. for some of the winter months in the past, but the challenges of driving a big rig this far became an issue, so they stopped doing that a few years back. Now that we have a place down here they can come stay with us to help escape at least some of the long winter back home in Alberta Canada. The timing has been good as the last several days back home have seen temperatures in the -20's and -30's. and lots of new snow and blowing snow. It is supposed to warm up to seasonal temperatures by the time they return later this week.

We have been spending time visiting, playing cards, watching movies, and had a great game of golf here yesterday. Here's a video of my Mom shooting some hoops in the pool, something that is in stark contrast to what she would be doing back in the frozen north.

I had a question regarding the installation of a motion sensing switch in a room with a 3-way switch network in place now. The person wanted to know if this is possible, and the answer is yes! With the wiring in place now to enable a 3-way switch network, the installation of the motion sensing switch is possible at either switch location (pick the one with the best 'view' of the room), and the proper splices will need to be made at both switch locations to make this new arrangement work. The switch that gets abandoned will have to be covered with a blank cover plate after the splices are made. I would have to know the details of the existing wiring to be able to advise on the correct splices to make.

The tip of the week involves the maintaining your existing tool collection so you don't have to replace them for years to come. Clean and dry your tools after each use, and lubricate when necessary. I could learn from my own advice here as you will see when I take you on a video tour of my own personal tool bag, coming soon.

Take care, and work safe!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Another Christmas Season Past.

Well 2010 is in the books, and I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! We are looking forward to great year ahead!

Our Christmas was quiet, but very nice. My son Lyle was here and we enjoyed some nice weather, hanging out by the pool,

watching some movies using my new outdoor projector and the new inflatable projector screen (an early 'Merry Christmas to me' present),
and took a motorcycle ride in to the hills towards Globe.

We also golfed,
and took in a Phoenix Suns vs. Miami Heat basketball game (pretty much an NBA all-star game).
Being of Scandinavian heritage, our family celebrates on Christmas Eve, so we opened up a Skype video chat with the rest of the family back home, they had a traditional turkey dinner, while we feasted on Alaskan King Crab (not a traditional Christmas dinner)!
Lyle left on Christmas Day, and Sandy and I went for a twilight round of golf to complete our Christmas.

We were able to squeeze in another round of golf last week between working on the website, and spent New Years Eve with our good friends Rob, Judy, and Sharone over at the Turner residence. The final highlight of the season is Sandy's birthday (January 2), and as per her request, we spent the day hiking in the area on Superstition Mountain.

The route we took was the Hieroglyphic Canyon Trail, and the hike takes you up to the Hieroglyphic Spring, and on the rock walls around the spring you can see many petroglyphs carved in to the rocks by the ancient Hohokam Indians.

The Christmas season always seems to get me thinking about the really important things in life, like family and friends. We've been blessed with such good families on both sides, and our siblings fit in to both groups, family and friends. I'm lucky to have both of my parents (Dad Lyle, 84 and Mom Agnes, 82), and they are coming for a 2 week visit here on January 5th, so we're looking forward to spending some quality time with them.

There's a lot of new content on the website so check that out. Sandy has been putting together clips that we have from my appearances on a nationally broadcast television show a few years ago, and I have put together several new posts as well. The easiest way is to check the recent articles section on the homepage.

I had a question from a website client that needs some immediate attention.


What causes an outlet to get hot, melting the varnish on the wall, and the white wires are burnt at the ends where they connect to the receptacle?


This is a very dangerous situation caused by a high resistance connection at the receptacle on the neutral side as a result of a loose terminal, or more likely that they used the push-in terminals at the back of the receptacle. This needs immediate attention as it poses a fire risk. This is something that the homeowner can repair if the proper safety precautions are observed (shut off the circuit), and a proper repair is done. If not, refer this to a qualified electrician. The device needs to be replaced, and the heated sections of the wires need to be cut back, and a new device installed.

Keep the questions coming! I will attempt to answer the quick ones here on the blog, and if the question warrants a detailed response, I'll post it as an article on the website.

Again, Happy New Year, and all the best to you and yours in 2011.