Category Archives: RANDOM

A Leaky Sink and the Economics of Fixing Things Yourself

leaky sink

Water can be seen dripping down the U-shaped pipe section

Saving Money Fixing a Leaky Sink

Yesterday I replaced a fitting that was leaking under the sink.  Including driving to the hardware store, it took about an hour, and cost around four dollars.  Add in, say, $2.00 in gas/wear on my truck, and you’ve got a total cost of $6.00.  A quick search reveals that the average cost to hire a plumber is $350, and the minimum is $100.  I definitely don’t think it was a $350 job, so let’s say it would have cost $100.  So I saved $94, and learned something.

You Save A Lot More Money than You Think

You could say that I got paid $94 per hour for this job, but this wouldn’t quite be accurate, since Read more »

$10 Smartphone Plan with Republic Wireless

Warning: Rambling, Ranting, and Affiliate Links to follow!

After having a “feature” phone for the last 6 years of so, I finally decided to take the plunge and upgrade to a smartphone with a company called Republic Wireless.  The insane thing is that the plan I got is only $10 a month with unlimited calling, texting, and data (sort of)!

This seemed too good to be true, so I was reassured by the fact that they have a 30 day money back guarantee on the phone.  It’s expensive compared to the “free” iPhone that Verizon would give me, however, considering that their plans are more like $50 bucks a line per month for data, the payback on actually buying the phone is pretty short.

My actual bill with my wife right now comes out to around $80 per month, so if we were to both buy phones for $150 each, the payback would be $300 / ($60 saved per month) =  5 months.  At this point we could go back if we wanted, be even on the charges, and own a phone that could be resold.

The way it works is that the handset acts like a VoIP receiver when in range of WiFi.  This saves a ton of money on data transmission.  It then uses Sprint’s network when out of WiFi range.  With the $10 plan, you only get data while able to hook into WiFi, but I could really care less.

This could actually be a benefit, as I’ve never wanted to be one of those people who uses their phone at all times, and it seems it would be slightly harder for corporations/government to track your exact position at all points during the day.  In some ways, I see this as an advantage.  If you really need data everywhere, there’s a $25 plan or $40 plan, but I’m not anticipating getting either of those.  You can actually change the plan twice a month anyway, so maybe if we’re on a trip or whatever it would be worth it.

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Not quite that old… Image

As for the phone, it’s a Motorola Moto G.  To me, it’s absolutely incredible, but then you have to understand where I’m coming from – a 5 year old “feature phone.”  It looks great, and it’s cool to be able to actually use aps on it.  I’ve enjoyed the Kindle app, which syncs up with our actual kindle, so you don’t have to find your place again.

The reception Read more »

More Awesome PVC Music

jackson-inverted

Jackson playing the Tubulum (effects aplied)

As described in full here, Jackson and I made a PVC instrument.  It sounded cool to begin with, but now that Jackson has had some time to practice, this instrument, sometimes called a “tubulum,” really sounds awesome.  Check out the video to be amazed.

Nice job Jackson, maybe someday we’ll be able to have a concert using this device as well as the Hank Drum and Whamola that we kludged together!

If you’re wondering how I made that photo of Jackson, I used an “edge detect” filter on the free GIMP photo editing package.