Monthly Archives: December 2002

Appliance Tip of the Day: Range Clock Fault Codes

appliance tip of the day archiveAppliance manufacturers (praise be their holy names), in their infinite wisdom and mercy have determined that it is in our best interest that they carefully guard the meanings of their precious fault codes. And to make our joy complete, they even vary the codes from model to model! But, even though there are no standard fault codes, even within the same brand, Allah has revealed ALL appliance fault codes to me in a dream. Yea verily, God bless Allah!

grasshoppers receiving divine revelations from the master about the fault code on their range

Red Skelton’s Tips for a Happy Marriage

1. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, then comes good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.

2. We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in Ontario and mine is in Tucson.

3. I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.

4. I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. “Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!” she said. So I suggested the kitchen.

5. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

6. She has an electric blender, electric toaster and electric bread maker. Then she said “There are too many gadgets and no place to sit down!” So I bought her an electric chair.

7. My wife told me the car wasn’t running well because there is water in the carberater. I asked where the car was, she told me “In the Lake.”

8. She got a mudpack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.

9. She ran after the garbage truck, yelling “Am I too late for the garbage?” The driver said “No, jump in!”

10. Remember. Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.

11. Statistically, 100% of all divorces start with marriage.

12. I married Miss Right. I just didn’t know her first name was Always.

13. I haven’t spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don’t like to interrupt her.

14. The last fight was my fault. My wife asked, “What’s on the TV?” I said “Dust!

Appliance Tip of the Day: Slow Water Flow into Your Washer

appliance tip of the day archive
Slow-or-no-water-into-the-washer and flooding washer complaints just gotsta be in the top five most frequent appliance complaints I get. Thang about it is that it’s just so gawd-awful simple to fix that I’m reluctant to give away the secret to this great cash cow. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t reveal this treasured trade secret that all appliance repair techs swear an oath to defend. What? You say you want me to tell you anydamnway? Well alright then.

Most of the time, your water flow complaints will be about either the cold or the hot water being restricted to near nothing. Sometimes, both the hot and cold water flow are restricted and the water just trickles in no matter where you got the temp control set at. Either way, 90% of the time, the problem is because of sediment built up on the inlet screen of the washer inlet valve.

Typical Washer Fill ValveHere’s a typical two-solenoid inlet valve. This is the most common, although some Whirlpool’s use a three solenoid arrangement, but the diagnosis and correction are the same. Most of the time, what happens is that sediment builds up on the inlet screen of the solenoid valve and restricts the water flow into the valve.

Now, here’s where you can benefit from my lifetime experience as a certified technical guru. There’s something I call the "cute plumber’s trick" where the unsuspecting appliance owner calls in one o’ them real hairy, stinky plumbers to fix their washer. Well, Buttcrack Bubba correctly takes a look at the inlet valve and figgers he’s being reeeel cute by just removing the inlet screen altogether. Most of the time, Buttcrack Bubba does this ’cause he ain’t even got a washer valve on his truck so it’s the difference between making something off the job ’cause he "fixed" it, or making next to nothing ’cause he didn’t have the part and he’d have to come back to do the repair. Buttcrack Bubba’s in, what we in the trade call, "the horns of an enema." Yessir, so he goes ahead and removes that screen. The customer don’t know any better; heck, all he knows is that water’s flowing to his washer again. It’s a freakin’ miracle!

What happens next, though, is a sad tale to tell. Y’see, after a while, the innards of the valve get so gunked up with sediment that the valve can no longer stop the flow of water when it’s supposed to (like, when there’s no power on it). You can see here that they’s a whole buncha delicate leetle bitty parts in there, da, comrade? Little, itty-bitty pieces of dirt and pipe scale can stick that plunger guide wide-ace open. So, water just keeps on flowing into the washer. Meanwhile, you’re outside playing with the dog, or changing a poopy diaper, or…whatever. Point is, the washer floods on you and makes one helluva mess in your house. All cause o’ that "cute plumber’s trick." Now, how smart was that to call in a plumber to do an appliance tech’s job?

Other times, problems with no water can be the pressure switch or a burned-out solenoid in the water valve. If there ain’t much sediment on the inlet screen of the water valve, you gotsta measure the continuity of the solenoid coil at the terminals. If your meter says there’s no ohms in the solenoid coil, that sucker is slap-open and it’s gotta be replaced. That’s the name o’ that tune, Hoss.

If solenoid continuity is OK, then you may need to measure the voltage at solenoid coil. This is a live test, meaning the circuit will have 120v on it, so you can get your hind quarters shocked off if’n you ain’t careful, Slick. If you ain’t getting 120v to the valve during the fill portion of the cycle, then you need to check the pressure switch, or fill switch.

Well alright then.

To learn more about your washer or to order parts,
click here

grasshoppers sitting with the master enjoying clean robes freshly washed in their newly repaired washer

Appliance Tip of the Day: How to Replace Your Dryer Belt

appliance tip of the day archiveWhen your dryer drum isn’t turning anymore, it’s usually a broken belt. Tearing the dryer apart is usually straight-forward enough but stringing the new belt on the motor and idler pulley can be tricky. The Complete Encyclopedia of Dryer Belt Configurations shows the belt configurations for almost every dryer brand you can think of. Ok, go fix your dryer.

grasshoppers basking in the light of dryer belt configuration wisdom shining forth from the master

Send a Christmas Ecard

Send a Genuine Christmas e-Card Today

genuine Christmas e-cards from iconmotif.comTired of sifting through the myriad trite or sappy “Christmas” e-cards out there to send to your loved ones? Well, Grasshopper, your quest is at an end. Check out these classic, original and genuine Christmas e-cards from commemorating the exalted and mystical message of Christmas. All artwork is 100% original and it’s FREE. Send one today.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

click for larger viewThe Samurai’s reproductive units and semper fi canine unit join him and Mrs. Samurai in wishing all his faithful grasshoppers a Merry Christmas. After you’ve racked up a MasterCard bill that you’ll spend most of 2003 paying off, try to remember that, despite its pagan origins and modern materialism, Christmas is supposed to be about remembering the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of us all. (Yes, Mohammed, even in your sad delusion, He’s your Saviour, too.)

Have a merry one and may all your appliances function within design parameters.

Hillstomping Update: Mts. Welch and Dickey

Hillstomping Update: Mts. Welch and Dickey

Ouzo leads the way!  Click to see the bigger view of this picture.Been a while since I’ve done a Hillstomping Update. Been a while since I’ve done some serious hillstomping. A couple weeks ago, my semper fi canine hiking bud, Ouzo, and I had a superlative winter hillstomp up Mts. Welch and Dickey in Waterville Valley. Perfect day, clear skies, temp in the upper 20’s. You can check out all the pics from this trip here.

Reasonable Thoughts for Reasonable People

Reasonable Thoughts for Reasonable People

1. Food has replaced sex in my life, now I can’t even get into my own pants.
2. Marriage changes passion… suddenly you’re in bed with a relative.
3. I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” on it… so I said “Implants?”
4. I don’t do drugs anymore ’cause I find I get the same effect just standing up fast.
5. Sign in a Chinese pet store: “Buy one dog, get one flea…”
6. I have my own little world. But it’s OK… they know me here.

7. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

8. I got a sweater for my birthday… I really wanted a screamer or a moaner.

9. If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

10. I don’t approve of political jokes… I’ve seen too many of them get elected.

11. The most precious thing we have is life. Yet it has absolutely no trade in value.

12. There are two sides to every divorce: Yours and shithead’s.

13. If life deals you lemons, make lemonade; if it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys. But if it deals you a truckload of hand grenades… now THAT’S a message!

14. I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

15. Shopping tip: You can get shoes for 85 cents at the bowling alley.

16. I am a nobody, and nobody is perfect; therefore I am perfect.

17. I married my wife for her looks… but not the ones she’s been giving me lately!

18. Everyday I beat my own previous record for number of consecutive days I’ve stayed alive.

19. If carrots are so good for the eyes, how come I see so many dead rabbits on the highway?

20. Welcome to %$#% Creek – Sorry, We’re Out of Paddles!

21. How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?

22. Isn’t having a smoking section in a restaurant like having peeing section in a swimming pool?

23. Why is it that most nudists are people you don’t want to see naked?

24. Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.

25. Every time I walk into a singles bar I can hear Mom’s wise words: “Don’t pick that up, you don’t know where it’s been!”


1. Ratio of an igloo’s circumference to its diameter? = Eskimo Pi

2. 2000 pounds of Chinese soup? = Won ton

3. 1 millionth of a mouthwash? = 1 microscope

4. Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement? =

5. Weight an evangelist carries with God? = 1 billigram

6. Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour? = Knot furlong

7. 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone? = 1 Rod Serling

8. Half of a large intestine? = 1 semicolon

9. 1,000,000 aches? = 1 megahurtz

10. Basic unit of laryngitis? = 1 hoarsepower

11. Shortest distance between two jokes? = A straight line

12. 453.6 graham crackers? = 1 pound cake

13. 1 million-million microphones? = 1 megaphone

14. 1 million bicycles? = 2 megacycles

15. 365.25 days? = 1 unicycle

16. 2000 mockingbirds? = 2 kilomockingbirds

17. 10 cards? = 1 decacards

18. 1 kilogram of falling figs? = 1 Fig Newton

19. 1000 milliliters of wet socks? = 1 literhosen

20. 1 millionth of a fish? = 1 microfiche

21. 1 trillion pins? = 1 terrapin

22. 10 rations? = 1 decoration

23. 100 rations? = 1 C-ration

24. 2 monograms? = 1 diagram

25. 8 nickels? = 2 paradigms

26. 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital? = 1 IV League

27. 100 Senators? = Not 1 decision

The Guru’s Lair

The Guru’s Lair

the gasket-making altar--click for bigger viewSince announcing the grand opening of my new service offering fine, custom-made gaskets for the discriminating commercial kitchen, I’ve been deluged by email from devoted grasshoppers asking to see pictures of my new award-winning gasket manufacturing operation. Well, there ya go, budrow. Click the thumbnail for a bigger view.

The Samurai's Office--click for larger viewAnd in case you’re interested, here’s a shot of my office, where all the webmagic happens.

Ok, peep show’s over. Go back to what you were doing.

Web Wankin’

Web Wankin’

I run several other websites besides this one so I’ve learned a thing or two about web services and tools. You need a good domain registrar and website host so people can get to your site. And you need good site-building tools if you’re going have something for ’em to see once they get there. Here, now, the Samurai will share his hard-won web wisdom with his precious grasshoppers. Y’all grab a beer and gather ’round.

Domain Registrars

There’s a bewildering array of registrar choices out there, all with varying prices and services. What’s a grasshopper to do? Depends on how valuable your website is. Does the site make any money or pay for itself or is it just a goof site? If the website generates any revenue at all, there’s only one choice in registrars: Verisign. I know, I know, I’ve heard all the horror stories and I’ve had a few myself but they ain’t going out of bidness next week or next year. Can you be so sure about some of these other registrars like Would you trust your domain name to a web bidness that’s just hanging on by a shoestring and a prayer? On the other hand, if yours is just a goof site, and I’ve got a few of those myself, then save a few shekels and shop around for the el-cheapo registrar. My favorite of the el-cheapo’s is Avoid–too many glitches. I had some domains with them and each day I had to deal with the glitch du jour. Ok, enough about registrars.

Website Hosts

This is the next most crucial player in your website. I’ve been through a bunch of ’em, too–the good, the bad, and the ugly. I learned the hard way: when it comes to hosting, support is the numero uno criteria for selection. Price is only a secondary concern. For most of the past year, has been the web host for and they are mucho supremo grande! They have 24/7 LIVE tech support right at their website via Live Person–like what I have at my website except you ain’t gonna get me 24/7. All webhosts will occasionally have technical glitches, that just comes with the territory, lot’s of stuff to break down, dontcha know. What makes the difference is how they deal with it. I’ve talked to those guys at Bluedomino at 3 am and on a Sunday live, at their website. Problem handled, or at least I knew what was going on. In contrast, when Yahoo was my webhost, there was frequent prolonged downtime, and absolutely no technical support, certainly not live.

Website Building Tools

CoffeeCup Software, the parent company of Bluedomino, has the best overall package deal going in website building software, especially their flagship product, CoffeeCup HTML editor. You can download the software from their website and try it out before you buy it.

Last tip: if you’re just running a goof site, host it for free on one of the many free servers available. My favorite is Tripod. Then, if you think of a cool domain name, register it at where you can forward your domain URL to your Tripod site. If you already have a domain registered somewhere, you can use to forward your cool URL to your website.

Don’t Touch!

Don’t Touch!

So yesterday the toilet in the hallway stopped up…again! One of the kids likes to use most of a full roll of toilet paper after their constitutional. After they finish, toilet paper is heaping up out of the water in the toilet, still dry. I haven’t figured out who the culprit is and they’re not talking, either. Anyway, I tried to plunger the whole mess down, must have fought with it for half an hour. No go. So, I roll up my shirt sleeve and I’m just about to take the Nestea plunge when my wife screams, “STOP!” I mean, my bare hand was mere centimeters from the toxic waste in the toilet bowl when she screamed.

“What?” I yell back, “I’m just gonna scoop out some of the poopy to clear the toilet. What’s the problem?”

Biodegreat:  buy yours today!“Let’s try this stuff and see how well it works,” she says, holding up a jar of Biodegreat.

So she sprinkles in a couple teaspoons, let is sit for a few hours and, WALLA! the toilet flushes without having to get any poopy under my fingernails. In fact, it flushes better that it ever has. Apparently, it has enzymes that love to eat the nasty, slimy stuff growing in dark, wet drains.

Isn’t it worth spending a few shekels on Biodegreat to avoid sticking your arm into the toilet?