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Blog Archives for January 2009

Gearing Up

Sunday, January 25th, 2009 - Comments (7) in House, Life, Rants

We had some garage door opening problems recently. It started with Rachelle's door going up too far. There is a stop bolt to prevent the door shuttle from actually colliding with the opener and it had jammed right up against the bolt. I have no idea what caused it, but I had to loosen the chain and play with the up-travel adjustment to get it moving again. After tinkering a little it started working fine. 

Then a week or so later it started acting funny again. It went up fine (to the proper level), but it would only come down a couple of feet and then the door would go back up. This opener is new enough to have one of those laser safety sight things that prevent the door from closing on something in the way, like a car or a small child. It was acting like something was in the way when there wasn't. The lasers have little lights on them that are lit up when they're aimed right and they were both lit. However they were aligned just enough to light up, but when the door actually started moving it jostled the track enough to break the beam. I guess I hit one of the laser things with the snow blower or something and knocked it just a little out of alignment.

Then a couple weeks later it completely stops functioning. When you hit the button the motor ran but the door didn't even try to move. I checked the usual suspects like for broken springs or if the door was frozen to the ground, but even with the door disconnected the chain didn't even budge. It was way too cold outside to screw around with it so I called a local company to fix it.

The opener ended up needing a new gear kit. Apparently it's fairly common for our model opener to grind some gears, especially when it's really cold outside. As you can see from the pictures below, the gear is plastic (genius!) and got ground down to dust. There is a plastic worm gear on the motor that interfaces with this plastic gear and for some reason the gear on the motor never seems to break, it's only this gear. At least that is according to the nice repair guy that fixed it for me.  

raynor garage door opener gear kit

raynor garage door opener gear kit

Inaugural Bandwidth

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 - Comments (0) in Computers, Life, Nerd Stuff, Work

The presidential inauguration was this week. At work I was asked to setup two projection systems to show live TV to big audiences. Since the actual swearing-in happened at lunch-time, all the kids at school (and everyone else) were able to congregate in one of these areas and witness history. Since everyone had a chance to watch it on TV, I expected some but not too much extra internet traffic from people streaming from or another site.

This is what a normal day of internet traffic through our Road Runner connection looks like:

Normal internet bandwidth

This is what it looked like the day of the inauguration:

inauguration bandwidth

It was completely maxed the whole day. I expected this for the hour around lunch time, but not the whole day.

Christmas Break

Friday, January 16th, 2009 - Comments (0) in Holidays, Life, Vacation

This was the first Christmas break in quite a few years that Rachelle and I have had the same full two weeks off. Because we were both off we decided to visit both sets of parents while still having some time to vege at home. We were in NJ with my parents for Thanksgiving since I had my reunion that weekend, so we spent Christmas Eve and day in Buffalo and then drove to NJ the day after.

Christmas was pretty laid back in Buffalo. I was informed that we had a choice of what time to go to church. Apparently just having it on the TV in the background doesn't count. The choice was Christmas morning at the crack of dawn (no way), midnight mass on the 24th (way past my bedtime and I hear sleeping would be frowned upon) or 4:30 on the 24th. We and apparently the rest of the world went to the 4:30 mass. We got there like 25-30 minutes early and there was only standing room! So not only did I have to go to church, I had to stand there for an hour and a half. The next day we went to Rachelle's aunt's house for food and gift cards (and great company). They do a gift card exchange that usually ends in some sort of argument since the rules change every year. I got away with a Bestbuy card because I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut when people asked what we had when it was their turn to pick one or steal.

The next day we drove to NJ. The trip was pretty uneventful with the exception of a slight fender bender. Lets just say we got a faceful of a Jeep Liberty's ass; just some cosmetic damage. I brought a bunch of TV shows I had recorded and my mom and sister watched the entire first season of True Blood in like 3 days. I can do some marathon TV watching, but that was a little much. We didn't do much in NJ, just hung out. Rachelle got a couple of her rings dipped in Rhodium. My mom knew somone who was able to do it while we waited, rather than leaving her rings with somone for a few days. I got to see Sulai, a good friend I haven't seen for many years while we were there. We all went out to lunch and talked a bunch of shit. Then we went back to my friend Steve's house and watched Dead Alive in high-def. There's nothing quite like seeing a house full of zombies chopped up into a pile of goo by a guy holding a push mower, especially in 720p. The weather was great while we were in NJ, it was in the 40s and 50s the whole time. By the time we got back to Rochester all the snow that was on the ground when we left was gone, it was so nice.

The morning after we arrived back in Rochester I woke up to about 10 inches of snow! It was terrible. Other than clearing snow we didn't do much for the rest of the break besides watching TV and a few movies.