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About dennis

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  • Birthday 03/30/1971
  1. dennis

    Time for a Wood Stove

    Some more info. When I replaced our furnace I mentioned I wanted zones so I could get heat over to the two end bedrooms since they are freezing cold. The gentleman at Holland Heating and Cooling recommended a variable speed furnace (Tran XV95) this would be less expensive and how it works is the blower motor works on 220 and blows at full speed when the demand needs it (like furnace kicks on to blow heat or A/C) but when the thermostat registers you have reached the desired set temp then the blower motor goes to an idle mode where it is still circulating air but uses the low draw of a 12v system. Of course this hasn’t been working and I stopped by today to get more air filters the gentleman said the thermostat can’t be set to auto but instead needs to be set to on. I took a picture of the thermostat before I left the house and it was set to auto. So now the fan is set to on and we’ll see if it works as advertised. the reason this is important is when I get the wood stove installed on the 23rd I need the air to circulate from downstairs to all the house in the winter.
  2. dennis

    Time for a Wood Stove

    My wife and I are freezing our asses off in our own home unless I crank the furnace up to 68 degrees which is crazy to think. I remember as a kid we were never cold in the house but we always had a wood burner in the home (most of the homes it was in the basement). It would get some warm in the house that windows had to be opened in the home in the middle of winter to let out some of the hot and let in some of the cool weather. So now I'm a grown up and freezing my ass off in this home that was built in the 60's I thought of applying the same thought process that worked when I was a kid. Get a wood burner in the basement. I originally wanted to replace the wood stove upstairs that came with the home since it doesn't put out a lot (or really any) heat. Especially since we spend most of our time in the living room upstairs but when they came out to look at what we have they pointed out that we should stop using it Immediately. Apparently whoever put the wood insert in trimmed the outside of it with wood trim which is charred on the back from burning from the heat of the wood stove. So in short, its about to start on fire like charcoal. To correct the hearth that is too short, all the wood trim, wood mantle, etc I'm looking close to $10,000 so probably not going to happen. My thought was to pull it out and put a gas stove/insert in its place so I don't have to do as much work. The company I talked to said they could pull the stove out for $400 but some serious cost to fix everything. That will have to be maybe next year. Since upstairs is a bust, concentrating on the downstairs which uses the same chimney so its directly below the living room. My thought is it would at least warm the wood floors in the winter and give the impression its warmer. And we do know that warm air rises so there is a good chance it could heat most of the 1800 sq ft 1960 home on half basement and half crawl (the crawl space is below all the bedrooms) I was bouncing back and forth between a Lopi and a Blaze King for manufacturers of wood stove. My parents has a Lopi wood stove and it was there favorite of all the brands they had but that was a long time ago before they started getting strict with emissions. Researching burn times and warranty information the Blaze King on paper is the clear winner so I chose a Blaze King Princess Insert which will get installed on the 23rd of January 2018 (brochure is attached along with manual) OM-PI1010A-E.pdf BlazeKingInserts_Broch.pdf
  3. dennis


    This is also worth watching to show the possibility of robots
  4. dennis


    Check out the top 5 Robots that you can own in your own today
  5. dennis


    Check this out. Shows you how to get groceries using robots
  6. dennis

    Dad Hospital Visit

    Yesterday I'm chugging along, keyboard pounding at my job and I get a call from my sister that she was notified by dispatch that our dad is being transported to the hospital via an ambulance. Now my dad isn't a young man and he's considered overweight. The information she has is that his nose is pouring blood and he can't get it to stop, dizziness, shortness of breath so he calls for an ambulance to get him to the hospital. What a scary feeling. Of course my primary mode of transportation (2013 Dodge Ram 3500) is in the shop again but this time to service DEF fluid. It has been negative temps here in Michigan but if the truck requires DEF fluid you have to know people in the south aren't the only one's buying the truck. Of course when Service Engine light is on, remote start doesn't work in effort to protect the truck. So not sure if I should wait for my sister to let me know or find a way to get down to the hospital which is an hour away in the best case scenario only and hour. I'm not able to concentrate on work at all so I go out to the garage and start checking fluids on my 91 K5 Blazer. I didn't' want to drive it on the salty roads because I know it will rust quickly but it would be pretty stupid to worry about a replaceable truck when you may loose your one and only dad. The truck has no working heat but I bundle up I added trans fluid and oil and headed out onto the salty roads. I need gas so I fill up and it asks do you want the touchless car wash and I'm like, heck ya and in fact give me the fancy $9 wash and I'll get the truck washed on my way home. When you are done pumping gas it spits a receipt out with the Wash Code, yea my mind was elsewhere so someone else got that wash since the second my truck was filled up and jumped in and started driving to the hospital. It took roughly an hour and I pull into St.Joseph Mercy Hospital and park in Visitors parking and find my way through the maze of hallways to a receptionist and have to patiently wait for them to get off the phone with there boyfriend/girlfriend to find out what room he's in. She replies that he's in ER and to just go down this hallway and once you see so many lefts make the next one then a right then another right then a left then spin in a circle and hop on one foot and you should arrive at the Emergency Room where you can ask what POD your dad is in. Thankfully several people along the way noticed my "lost look" and kept pointing me in the direction. Arrive at the emergency room and met with mrs. attitude which had no clue what she was doing but the guy next to her jumped in and told me what POD he was in and gave the best directions he could. Every room (or POD) was full so they had people in hallways. It was insane on how busy the ER was and how full it was. I needed additional help from people in ER to find my dads room. Once I arrived I found he was there with my sister and two of his close friends. The doctors did several tests and found his medication wasn't correct. In short, CVS messed up again and sent back a medication his doctor sent in for him. So his blood pressure was really high which is the cause for the symptoms he was experiencing (except the shortness of breath). He's home now and doing better. My coworkers were amazing and jumped in to help cover me so I could go check on my dad. It was very touching to see how many people care.
  7. dennis


    A must stop if you have a square body looking for offroad parts. They are very helpful and willing to answer questions on how they can help you achieve your goals. If you look around the internet at builds, they are usually getting many parts for there square body truck from DIY4x
  8. So if you are working with Legs (Drums) then you should give this a shot. Too dang cold in the middle of winter to cook them on the BGE so I'm forced to use the oven Place the chicken parts with the skin on in a plastic bag and pour the buttermilk in to coat. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Massage the chicken and buttermilk with your hands to coat evenly and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes minimum up to several hours. Preheat your oven to 425°F. In a medium sized bowl using a whisk, mix together the flour, Panko, baking powder and 11 herbs and spices. Set aside. Place a 13x9” baking dish in the oven to get hot for at least 15 minutes (See Note 2). While pan is heating up remove the chicken from the buttermilk, shaking off excess, and dredge in the seasoned flour mixture (See Note 3), coating on all sides with one hand. Add the melted butter to the heated baking dish and arrange the chicken pieces on top with plenty of room on each side so they “fry” not "steam". Bake for 12 minutes, uncovered. Turn the chicken pieces over and bake another 12 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165°F. Remove from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes and then serve. Recipe Notes I use all parts of a chicken fryer (breasts, wings, thighs and legs). The photos show chicken drumsticks only. Avoid glass bakeware as oven temperature and adding of liquid (melted butter) is not something advised per most manufacturers instruction on care. When dredging I keep one hand for the wet part and the other for the dry part. This avoids getting clumpy fingers on both hands.
  9. Wow, Kert at DIY4x responds pretty quick to online questions. Seriously like less than 5minutes he also suggested moving the axle forward. But how? A. Drilling the Spring Perches B. Easy Inch Kit Pretty sure if I could move it just one inch forward I would be good but whats the best route? for my lack of confidence I lean towards the easy inch kit which is a plate under your springs that will offset your axle forward roughly an Inch
  10. dennis

    Chevy Colorado Review

    Occasionally I have to rent a vehicle and when you go to the Kansas City Airport and rent from National you get a pretty nice selection. This week I chose a new 2017 Chevy Colorado. My sister has one and she likes it. Video Coming Soon
  11. dennis

    What a POS

    So for a year or two I have been looking for a Point of Sale system that accomodates all my needs which isn't alot but most POS's are focused on the restaurant business or retail and thats pretty much it. We end up having to try and make one or the other work for events. I'll start off with the requirements then work give a review of each POS I've tried so far. Requirements Let's first start with my least liked POS but it didn't start that way... Mobi POS At the beginning this was a great little POS with some custom options but its really focused around a restaurant which I'm not but made it work. A few years back they introduced the cloud version which I loved the idea of.. build everything in the cloud and push your changes down to your Terminals. MOBI is not good at this at all. Originally (and they still have) a peer network where you have one iPad acting as the server and another iPad can be a terminal but that extra terminal is very limited on what it can do. Pricing was okay but still pricey for what you get. I found for the same price you can get into a nicer POS but MOBI was very easy to get up and going quickly if you have on one register. They do offer a 14 day risk free trial at the time of this writing so give them a look, maybe they'll work for what you need. Unfortunately MOBI isn't strong enough with features to do what we need a POS to do so they are now no longer a part of our infrastructure. AirPOS This POS felt like a step up from MOBI but more so in the cloud aspect. Getting multiple terminals up is easy as well as configuring your products but it felt still like the feature set was lacking. For example there is no discount or coupon area to add pre-populated information or an ability to run reports on discounts. When you log in via an assigned PIN there was a huge lag between each press of the number to where you would continue to enter the wrong number because the lag is so bad. Pricing I never got into but they are currently very generous with there trial period of 30days which I was blown away with. Thank You! Support wasn't horrible but needs improvement but that could be because airpos is headquartered in Northern Ireland. I'm sure the time difference has something to do with it. Again, like MOBI if you have a simple setup then airpos may be fine for your needs but when you run into complicated environments like ours then it just won't do. talech My next attempt was talech which was found off a google search for a Point of Sale system that would work on an iPad. I have much frustration with talech for mainly they have promise but I should of known I was in trouble right from the start. Salesman did a nice demo of the system and showed what I could do. My staff and I brought up questions to the salesman which was answered no problem, talech can do that. SOLD! Paid for the product but it took a days to get the login information and to process the purchase. Once I received the information I learned that you don't get all the features as demonstrated without purchasing the upgraded premium package. Also an odd thing but you cant apply discount coupon to one item. It says you can but if you have 5 of the same product and you only want to discount 2 of them you can't, the system applies the discount to all 5 of the same item. Weird. Also trying to edit items on the backend in the browser the system would just spin. Also I can not run the reports on discount/coupons used. It took awhile but I learned that talech, yet more feature reach than the other two, wasn't going to be our Point of Sale system. iConnect With the 7 day free trial of iConnect POS I thought I may of found a winner. It is very feature rich and pretty easy to use. In fact it had the most features of any POS I tested. Also impressed with the support for iOS, Android and Web based. So it sounds great right? Nope, just a dress on a pig. You will get different features based on what operating system you use so since you have three possible ways to connect to iConnect you also get three different environments. For example the Android and Web interface supports drop down discounts but the iPad does not. The iPad will support USB Printer where the Android Tablets do not... just to name a few differences. Something I definitely did not like is if you apply a discount to an item it spreads the discount all over every items (like a percentage off). It looks ugly and not sure who would want that. Finally a feature that I feel is a serious bug. If you process a refund on a sale it doesn't mark it in the system that you refunded an item off that ticket so that customer can go back as many times as they want and get a refund on the same ticket. That was the final straw that broke the iConnect POS back. I can easily see this happening in our environment. I did love the ability to place an order on HOLD and pull it back up. I could see the ladies in the office doing sales during the week enter all these sales in a HOLD pattern and finalize it on the weekend when they customer comes to the gate. ShopKeep Thank goodness for shopkeep. I have tried all these and lost alot of money in the process. The staff is very friendly and helpful. After introduction from Nick which handed me off to a specialist named Tim which showed me what I needed to see. I was up and running in less than an hour. Now no one is perfect and I didn't see the ability to get a free trial of the system to play around. I had to pay $138 for two terminals/month which is the most expensive of all that I tried but it works. iConnect does have more features than shopkeep but Shopkeep just does what I need it to do. Sometimes more isn't always better. Unlike Revel we can shut down the terminals when not in use and I don't get billed the $69 for each terminal a month but if you want access to your reports still and keep all your products entered then you may a small price of $10/month. When your season starts back up you pay the $69/terminal and it downloads what you need. For me its a no brainer and I'm still on my first day with the product but what I learned from using all the other POS systems, this product is really great.
  12. I'm just like most people and want to find ways to save money. For our family we don't watch that much TV and television now adays seem to be mostly commercials. Got introduced to Netflix many years ago and still have a running membership today. Now that Netflix has there own shows and movies with no commercials is pretty awesome. They also have last season shows all included with no commercials so if you can wait a year, its great watching a show with no commercials. I find commercials distract me from the show enough that when it comes back it refreshes my memory on what I was even watching. There is more than Netflix such as Hulu which I didn't like at all. There is Amazon, which we have access to since we are Amazon Prime Members.It's not very much per year and as much as we order from Amazon that free shipping is nice as well as all the other goodies that come with it. Unfortunately Prime isn't nearly as strong on TV Shows and Movies as Netflix but its still an option. We also use an Apple TV since our house is mostly Apple products. When you have a house full of Apple, the Apple TV is a great addon to your home since Apple works very very well with Apple. If you don't have Apple I have and also like the Amazon Fire Stick. Main reason is it supports an application I like to use called Kodi which Roku doesn't support neither does Apple TV. Alright so summary... Streaming Apps that I use Netflix Kodi DirectTV Now ($35/month) - gives a few channels, not sure its worth it. Hardware I suggest Amazon Firestick Now what you loose mainly is your local channels. I didn't think this would be a big deal since we really don't watch much TV but when you want to watch local news, weather, etc. then it would come in handy. Obviously getting hooked back up with a dish or cable provider just for local channels is silly to me so I found another solution. It's a one time cost of $350 but its a strong antenna that connects outside your home which pulls in around 30-40 local channels. It's the same thing the cable company does. Outside of a cable facility you will see a very large antenna outside to pull in those local channels and then they send to all of you via the coax connected to your home. So once you pay the $350 to have someone install a strong Winnegard HD TV Antenna on your home they connect to your existing Coax and hopefully your TV is new enough to be able to Tune HD TV. I'm now a happy cord cutter with the solution I need. I kept our local cable provider for internet only service. They have only one speed so the lowest cost for internet was fine.($50/month) I purchased an Amazon Firestick for every TV in our home ($35/each one time cost) I pay monthly for Netflix ($10/month) I purchased Winnegard HD TV antenna and had it installed on my home ($350 one time cost)
  13. So I'll preface that I'm primarily a Mac user but that doesn't mean I am automatically onboard with putting all my documents on iCloud Drive. I have used Dropbox first, then Google Drive and iCloud Drive. I have no interest in using Microsoft OneDrive solution since Microsoft has a hard enough time keeping there Azure network up, there Live and Hotmail accounts not hacked, they have just proven time and time again how unreliable Microsoft has been in the cloud environment so far. My documents are important to me so we are going to automatically say no (for now) to OneDrive. Dropbox I liked dropbox and don't really have a whole lot of negative besides its blocked by just about any Enterprise. The plus is its not favored with Apple which has iCloud and not favored with Google Chromebooks which has Google Drive and not favored by Microsoft which has OneDrive. So Dropbox is the universal drive that works on everything and is available on just about any app that has saving to a cloud drive. Google Drive So the negative is it favors using its own Google Docs format. I learned recently that the excel spreadsheet I uploaded got converted when I used a Google Editor on my iPad. I didn't realize it was Google Editing my document that was stored on Google Drive since it didn't display anything. But as you edit your excel document it now becomes a google doc. When I tried to launch that saved file back on my mac using Excel it didn't recognize it since it was now a Google Doc. So I had to go into Google Doc and export as Excel and I had access to it again but now some of my formulas were all jacked. The positive is if you use Gmail (like I do) for your primary email client it obviously integrates with Google Drive very well. So instead of sending the entire large attachment via email (especially since email attachments are limited to size) you can instead choose a link to the file on your google drive and give permissions. It's pretty cool and very helpful but if you don't use Gmail, then probably not a big deal. Another pro is if you utilize Google Photos, Gmail, Google Drive, etc.. it all shares the same storage bucket and its not very pricey for all the data you can get from Google. iCloud Drive Obviously if you have Apple products (or an Apple ID) you automatically get 5GB of iCloud Drive for simple things like store your music, photos, Documents, Desktop, Safari Bookmarks, Saved Passwords, etc.. Which makes it nice when you log into any of your Apple devices with your Apple ID you now have access to those items. So the negative is not everyone supports iCloud Drive as a saved destination like Dropbox, then Google Drive. Also no ability to share files with anyone. The website icloud.com is slow. If you wanted to create or edit files on the website you need to your documents to be in Apple Docs format (pages, keynote, numbers, etc). Conclusion I use both iCloud Drive for syncing all my day to day stuff with all my Apple products. Its great when you get a new phone or laptop because either it got damaged, stolen or lost and you get all your important stuff back like it was never missing. I have Google Drive for big files and anything I want to share with someone else. No one else seems to do that better and integrate so well with your mail.
  14. dennis

    New Macbook Pro

    I ran into some fan issues on my 2012 Macbook Pro and I'm sure its because its been in some pretty dirty places. Had the fan replaced at Apple for $100 but thought it may be time to upgrade. Also it allowed me to give my wife a very nice laptop that is still working in great order. She loves working with photos and thought she would enjoy using a laptop that doesn't limp along. So this very second my new Macbook Pro (2017) just arrived via UPS so I'm going to save and close this entry so I can open it up and get going.
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