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What works, and what doesn't

Good morning to all.  I'm still a bit off my regular schedule (did I even have a schedule?) of posting because of a lot of recent days of travel.  So allow me to share a few stray thoughts this morning.

The political landscape continues to become stranger and stranger.  Jeb Bush, the presumed Republican presidential nominee about a year ago, dropped out of the race (they all appear to use the word "suspended" in order to continue to have access to campaign funds to settle accounts) after another dismal finish in South Carolina.  Donald Trump continues to build on his lead in the delegate count as well as in the polls with his win there.  And Ted Cruz yesterday fired a top campaign aide for what was characterized as a dirty trick against Marco Rubio, but from what I read, the aide actually apologized to Rubio for an error before being fired.

I suppose that the Democratic race is less strange, only because there are only two candidates there and one is named Clinton.  Hillary Clinton held serve in Nevada over the weekend, largely by mobilizing minority votes.  Someone asked me yesterday if the caucus system worked.  Beats me, it seems more like horse trading or something like that to me!

It appears that the Cincinnati Reds are going to continue stripping down the team of more established players.  Late yesterday the rumors began circulating that they were working to trade outfielder Jay Bruce and would receive prospects in return.  This has been the norm for the last few months for the Reds.  I think there's a plan; I HOPE there's a plan.

Speaking of plans, my wife let me know about a week ago that our dryer, which we've only had for a couple of years, was showing a warning light regarding our dryer vent.  For background's sake, let me  mention that our laundry area is in a folding door space near the front of our house.  The dryer vents through a pipe that's embedded in the foundation slab and terminates in the rear of the house, roughly twenty feet away.  This has been a problem for us, but a while back we had it cleaned out and that made it largely workable again.

So when this warning light appeared, I used my wet/dry vacuum outside, near the end of that vent pipe, as well as inside, where it begins, and vacuumed what lint I could.  Knowing there was a lot of space in between, I told my wife that we would need to do something more involved to clean it.

I bought a LintEater.

This apparatus comes with a brush the diameter of the pipe, along with a set of flexible rods not unlike what are used for tent structures.  I also bought an additional set of rods.  You assemble this thing a section at a time, and attach it to a drill.  I don't know who came up with this, but I kind of wish that I had!  Anyway, after about an hour of using this thing, we got a notable amount of lint out of our vent pipe, along with a couple of chunks of drywall to which lint was clinging and causing more buildup.

The verdict?  Well worth the time investment and the money, too.  Dryer works like new, quieter, house is cooler, all good.

Nice when things work, isn't it?

The only casualty of the effort was our wet/dry vac began to make a horrible noise and it smelled as if the motor was burning up.  So that item has now gone away and awaits replacement.  We never used it much, but it is handy when needed, so I don't think there's much doubt that we will purchase another similar item.

I'm just past the two week mark as an Apple Watch owner, and I have to say that I like it very much.  It's attractive, comfortable, and pretty handy.  Yesterday, during a meeting, my phone began to vibrate with an incoming call (I know, I should set it for "do not disturb" but simply silencing it is so much faster!), so I felt it on my watch, tapped one button, and the call was dismissed.  Simple.  Battery life has been better than I expected, but I still routinely charge it every night.  Though I must admit I forgot to put it on when I went to the treadmill first thing this morning, I like the fitness tracking.  Even on days when I don't do some sort of scheduled exercise, it still captures my steps and movements and gives me a good estimate of how active I may have been in a given day.

Finally, worth mentioning that my ten-year-old granddaughter is now an active user of Instagram.  She's posted several photos there and from all reports was delighted to learn that I am one of her followers.

Of course!


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