Saturday, April 25, 2015

In which Bill Whittle goes off on idiots

The best 14 minutes you'll spend today.

(Sorry, you first few visitors. It seem Blogger ate the original embedded video. Sometimes free isn't worth what you pay for it.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Welcome to the party, Food and Drug Administration!

(Via the Drudge Report)

Serious preppers have long understood that the "Use By" and "Good Until" dates on most packaged foods are actually more suggestions than anything else.  Discussion boards across the Intertubz have thread after thread of asking "How long is x really good?" and "I just opened a pail of my Y2K storage food and it's still good!"  While some items, such as brown rice, don't store so well, items like pasta, sugar, salt and many others can be stored pretty much for years with only minimal extra preparations.

Now comes the FDA, who has determined that the reason a lot of food is wasted in this country is because people are taking those dates a little too seriously.

Queue the conspiracy theories in 3, 2, 1....

Monday, April 20, 2015

In search of the elusive Zing Ear ZE-268S5

Feel free to Google, but I'll save you the effort--it's a switch for a ceiling fan.  I broke it about a week ago.  Just pulled on it as usual, and pulled the bead chain right out of the switch.  At 11:30.  At night.  At least the fan was off, not on full speed on, which in our bed room is about a Force 7 near gale.

So I got a standard 4 wire fan switch and was delayed until tonight to put it on.  Take things apart and I'm confronted with a switch that has 5 wires going into it.

Well damn.  What has the effing Hunter Ceiling Fan Co. come up with now?

Well, it seems they have come up with something that I can't buy on Amazon for one thing, and something they won't sell me for another.  Nanny forbid that I actually do something as dangerous as put a switch in a ceiling fan.  As if climbing up a ladder to swap out an entire assembly is going to be that much safer.  Since I'm also genetically averse to paying $40 (or whatever) to fix a $6.95 part, this is not going to happen.

I suspect that the Intertubz being the Intertubz, and the actual manufacturer and part number being known, I can make short work of finding a Zing Ear ZE-268S5 somewhere or other, even if it's not a place I normally deal with.  I suspected incorrectly.  30 minutes later, and the best I could do was a link that tells me how to swap a 4 wire switch in it's place.  Just in case something happens to that page, let's copy the pertinent data here as well.

How to use the 3-speed ZE-268S-A09 to replace a 4-speed switch
old ZE-208S5-1T or ZE-268S5

for ZE-268S6-A09 use
L  =  Black

L = Black

1 = Gray

1 = Gray

2 = Brown

(Don't use Brown)
3 = Purple

2 = Purple

4 = Green

3 = Green

old ZE-208S5-1T or ZE-268S5

For ZE-268S6-A09 use
L = Black

L = Black

1 = Gray

1 = Gray

2 = Green

(don't use Green)
3 = Brown

2 = Brown

4 = Purple

3 = Purple

So I use that information and my 4 wire switch, and ta-da, we have a working ceiling fan.  However, it's missing something--the next to highest speed, which is about Force 4, and the one we use a lot.  Looking at the L, 1, 2, 3, 4 business, I conclude that L must be the lowest speed, which would make the highest number the highest speed.  Hey, it could happen.

So I had the following information:

  • The original wiring of my ZE-268S5 (Black, Gray, Green, Brown, Purple) as recorded by my cell phone camera (What did we do before cell phones?)
  • The observation that with the new scheme on a 4 wire, 3 position switch that I had speeds 1, 2, and 4
I decided to swap the currently unused Green for Purple and see what happens.  I figured I'd get the old Speed 3, or Force 4.

Damned if it didn't work.  By golly, Jim, I'm beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!