It’s a start

My Kindle Scout campaign has drawn 1,000 + Amazon visits and 5,938 Facebook likes. You can help Quantum Soul be selected as an Amazon title – A click on the artwork will take you to the Scout website, where you can read a sample and nominate my book.

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My audience is where?

My Facebook promotion (About the Quantum Soul Kindle campaign) wasn’t delivering results. So, I changed the focus this morning from North America to Worldwide.

Whoa! Post engagement is at 406 so far today … a big jump.

I’m getting post likes, page likes and click-through …

The largest volumes are from Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, India, Morocco, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Mozambique, Senegal …

Only 14 reactions in North America out of 406 … What?

Thank you, international readers. I’m paying attention now.

And then there was light …

I always liked the cornering light feature on my previous two cars, particularly when negotiating the steep drop at the end of our driveway after dark.

It’s not a Mustang option, but my 2014 V6 Pony Edition has (had) amber corner markers in the right place on the bumper.

So, I started shopping for clear aftermarket lenses, and found lots of them for my model. So many, in fact, that I was amazed to learn that nobody was touting their utility as cornering lights.

What, they don’t know what cornering lights are for? Or maybe these things just look cool and don’t shed enough lumens to be useful. I had to find out.

I bought the fixtures on eBay.  Also from eBay, a pair of five-element LED lamps to replace the stock 194 size bulbs. Total cost, less than $22.

There are two ways that I know of to get into the space behind the bumper where the lampholders lurk. Look on YouTube for tutorials, but I can tell you that ingress through the wheel-well liner requires removal of 5 screws, not 3, the job took me 1 hour 20 minutes, not 45 minutes, and I scraped my arms bloody doing it.

After all that, I would have been disappointed if it didn’t work, but it did – kind of.

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Yes, the mod lights up the pavement in the right spot, but a road test revealed that the LED bulbs I bought aren’t bright enough to make a difference.

I may experiment with another bulb, maybe these, although they could be too long. Plus, I’m not looking forward to taking the wheel well liner loose and sticking my arms in there again.

Finally, I have to wonder if a brighter bulb might be too hot for the lampholder. OEM cornering lamps only come on when the turn signals are operating, allowing use of a very bright bulb. These are on all the time.

Yeah, yeah … I could wire a latching relay into the turn signal circuit, put in a load resistor for the steady state feed, yada yada yada. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Here’s an idea – I did my part – somebody try this setup with a hot bulb and let me know how it works out.

Did you try something cool recently? Tell us about it in the comments.

Waffled

My Waring WMK200 Belgian Waffle Maker quit. No lights, no heat … nothing.

It cost me $50 and it’s just out of warranty. Not cool, Waring. Wait … it IS cool, which is uncool.

Fortunately, I have experience with this issue.

It’s the thermal fuse. Cheap, easy to replace. The same thing happened on my VillaWare waffle iron. I replaced it, and it’s been working for years.

In this case, the fuse is an SEFUSE type SF240E. I bought five on eBay, just now, for $1.01 with free shipping.

You have to take the top half of the appliance apart to get the bottom half apart. The fuse is inside a woven heat jacket, under a clip, on the red wire. Here’s what it looks like.

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It’s a half-hour job. That’s $100 an hour. I can live with that.

Did you fix something today? Tell me about it in the comments!

Pedal to the metal

The pedal on our 17-year-old trash compactor came loose yesterday, a consequence of a shoulder screw having worn through sheet metal at the bottom of the drawer.

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Only one side had broken out, but both needed reinforcing. I found steel washers in my parts bin, ground the plating off, drilled them out to spec and applied an abrasive disk to the sheet metal.

Since the drawer is galvanized, I worked outside. I also drank a glass of milk before starting, a traditional welder’s precaution against zinc poisoning. I have no idea if it works, but welder’s manuals still advise the practice.

Here’s the repair after dressing with a grinder. I used a DHC 2000 gas torch, oxy-acetylene, a #0 tip and a stick of clothes hanger wire for filler rod.

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Mind you, I undertook this project knowing the outcome was uncertain. Unknown alloys, dirty metal, a little too windy outside to be gas welding … blah blah.

But, a lifetime of skills development and the willingness to fix things instead of replacing them has paid off. Even if this project had gone south, I’m still ahead.

You can do this, and things like this. All you have to do is try.

 Are you inspired? Do you have a similar story to tell?

Put it in the comments!

Valerian’s Thousand Planet Dressing

I went to see ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets‘ last night.

Short review – It wasn’t awful. In fact, I was entertained.

Your mileage may vary, but I was not unhappy for having spent $10, despite the negative press about the movie.

Even Rotten Tomatoes, who I consider even-handed in its criticisms, treaded farther afield than I would.

What I was given to expect – Epic production values, miscast lead actors and a trite storyline.

What I saw – Industry standard production values, lead actors working with what they had, and a trite storyline.

Eh. It was better than any of the Transformers movies I’ve seen. Not especially visionary, but not terrible. Here’s a metric for you – I liked District Nine and Cloud Atlas, a lot.

I think the movie deserves to succeed, if for no other reason than to reward the people who sweated blood to make it.

On my milk carton today …

So, I ran a contest on 99Designs, and three months later I decide I might be able to use one of the runner-up entries.

Oops! His or her account is closed.

99Designs says ‘Sorry, we can’t help you’.

The artist went by the handle Megatronblack.

Google doesn’t know who that is.

Here’s the submission. Megatronblack – Call me!

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