May 062018

We didn’t get the heavy rain that the weather forecast said was coming yesterday, just a few scattered showers. But it was up around 90° and humid, so I was glad we took our boat ride on Friday.

I had some projects around the house to keep me busy. Some guys would call them honey do’s, but since Miss Terry is the honey that does most of the work around here, they weren’t really that. And besides, she helped me with them.

The first order of business was to replace the ballasts and the fluorescent tubes in the two light fixtures in the kitchen ceiling. A while back we bought some Utilitech LED tubes to replace the fluorescents because they use a lot less energy and don’t get hot like old-style florescent tubes do. The new tubes (on the left) are 4 foot long, just like the old ones (on the right), but quite a bit smaller in diameter.

But last week when I installed them, they wouldn’t work. As it turns out they need a different kind of ballast. So we picked up a couple of replacement ballasts at Lowe’s and it was a relatively simple chore to swap out the old ones for the new. Snip a few wires on the old ballasts, take them out of the fixtures, mount the new ballasts, and connect the wiring. Easy peasy.

Miss Terry likes the more balanced, brighter light of the LEDs, and I do, too.

Some of you may remember that after months of having it crash repeatedly on us, I gave up on our SimpliSafe home security system a while back. I have been looking for another solution, and was strongly considering the Wyze Cams, until I learned about the Arlo security cameras.

They cost quite a bit more than the Wyze system does, but I like the fact that they are wireless and battery-powered, whereas the Wyze cameras need to be plugged in. With the free Arlo app on our phones or computers, we can see what’s happening even when we are not at home. If somebody approaches the door we can talk to them through the camera no matter where we are, and there is free cloud storage for video for 30 days.

I ordered the six camera set, which included the cameras, a base station, camera mounts, siren, batteries, and chargers. According to people I’ve talked to who have the system, they go a long time between needing battery charges.

We installed three of the cameras inside the house yesterday covering entrance points, and one in the garage. I was pleased that even at night the image is excellent.

If the weather cooperates today, we will mount the remaining two cameras outside at our doors. I say if the weather cooperates, because again, the forecast is for heavy rain. But we all know that in reality, meteorologists can’t predict the weather, they can just tell you what happened yesterday.

Before I close, yesterday I got a message from a blog reader via the blog’s contact form, but all it had was the title Visit and nothing else. And then it was gone. I’m sorry, but I don’t know who sent it and I have no way to get back to you. Please email me at if you see this.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – People who can’t distinguish between etymology and entomology bug me in ways I cannot put into words.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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