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Altra Lone Peak 4.0

This is not a Lone Peak 4.0 review, the shoes have just arrived from Running Warehouse and it came easily two sizes up from my current Lone Peak 3.5. To begin with the 3.5 in size 12 US isn’t all that spacious, so I was under the impression (from several reviews) that the LP 4.0 would run small so naturally getting one size up would be quite safe. Little did I realize that the 4.0 actually runs bigger so now I have them in what appears to be two sizes up — to say the toe box has a lot of wriggle room would be quite the understatement. The immediate thing I liked about the 4.0 is how soft and comfortable the front is, also very wide like how I remember the Superior 2.0 is — and the narrower midfoot and heel that keeps the foot in place.

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Power Outage and Resume Notifier

If you’ve ever had to be away from home for an extended period of time with no one else staying there, the greatest fear besides having the house broken into is a power outage that can potentially ruin everything that’s inside your refrigerator. A temporary power failure that doesn’t trip the main circuit breaker is not too bad since when the power resumes, power to the fridge is restored automatically.

My home recently suffered one such unfortunate incident. It was during my son’s mid semester break from uni and he left a reasonably stocked fridge to stay with us. I have two IP cams at the house that I check every now and then, both working until the day we visited to spend a long weekend holiday there. There was no power and the circuit breaker had tripped leaving the whole house without power — the fridge had been left without power long enough that when we got there the freezer was warm and an overpowering stench (from thawed meat and other food items) quickly permeated the kitchen and living room.

Two days on my wife and I, after doing everything we could to deodorize every nook and cranny of the fridge, were still looking for a way to prevent a re-occurrence. At first this looked pretty convincing (we were also desperate):

It didn’t take long to figure out that the long term costs involved don’t quite make sense. Later that week, I started looking for alternatives and came across two promising Android apps and settled on Power Failure Monitor. I installed the app on a retired Samsung Galaxy S3 and connected to the home Wi-Fi (without a SIM card). Read how I got everything setup and working beautifully — without needlessly spending a lot of money on this.

Without a SIM card the phone is unable to directly send SMS alerts. To address that, I use a Chrome Extension Gmail SMS Alerts to automatically (service is free) recognize the emails sent by Power Failure Monitor app and convert that to an SMS text message.

Drop me a line if you have found this solution useful.

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Balancing Wobbly Ceiling Fans Using Magnets

Google is great for many things including ideas to fix problems you hadn’t thought of before. The challenge is usually looking for suggested parts required for the fix which often means (when you know your local hardware stores do not have them) looking online and patiently waiting for them to arrive. I was bothered by the constantly swaying and needed to do something — then I remembered I bought some strong magnets from Daiso and as it turned out, these magnets made the job so much easier. Although the magnets were intended to be a temporary fix, I think they are staying on much longer, and I’m lucky I have fans with metal blades.

Caution: Make sure you use strong magnets or risk injury or damage if one dislodges when fan is running at higher speed. Typically for me, I run mine at speed setting no. 2 which is more than enough cooling.