Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Toilet Seats

A few years ago I remember seeing these slow closing toilet seats which I thought were awesome. I didn't think about getting them at the time because I thought it would be a difficult project.
These last few weeks I started thinking about them again because I wanted to replace our toilet seats. They were old and I wanted to enjoy the slow close feature. After some research, I picked out Bemis 9170CHSL because I wanted high density molded wood and of course it has the slow close feature. Unfortunately only one retailer carried it: Chicago Faucet Shoppe and shipping would start at more than 25% of the price of the seats. Ouch.
I went back to research but just couldn't find another model until I visited Home Depot Pro and saw this: Bemis 553CHSL. This model was very competitive with 9170CHSL that I originally wanted. Including the exterior looks, there were only two differences:

553CHSL uses regular molded wood vs high-density molded wood for 9170CHSL
9170CHSL allows the entire seat and cover to be taken off via easy hinges on the top, 553CHSL does not have this

I looked through Bemis's website but just couldn't find any information about 553CHSL.
After looking at the product again and seeing what else I can get, I went with 553CHSL.

The installation is another story. Let's just say I should have followed the instructions. Nothing broke though, I just made it harder for myself while I was screwing things in.

The seats are nice. I like the Whisper Close feature and it works on both the seat and the cover. I did notice the cover isn't flush with the seat. It's offset a bit to the right. I have a suspicion it's the manufacturing. At any rate, it's not too bad. The hinges are very big compared to the old seats' hinges which were much smaller so I notice this a lot more than the offset problem.

One thing I have to complain about Home Depot is they don't do a good job of advertising the features on the product page. If I didn't visit the Pro store, I would have given it a miss if I saw it online. No where in the product page does it mention the Whisper Close feature. In the text it however does say: "... prevent slamming..." but that's not enough. I'm also wondering if it's Bemis's fault for not providing an accurate description.

It's been about a week and so far these are great seats.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


10 PRINT "Hello World!"       20 GOTO 10

I remember learning BASIC on my cousin's Atari. I forgot the model number now; I think it was the 3 or 4 series, the one after the touch type keyboard. I had such a Wow! feeling when I tried my first BASIC program. After that point I knew I wanted to try larger programs. Some years later in middle school I learned BASIC's graphics coordinate system in a computer programming class. I was thinking this is so cool, what can I draw? At the time I really enjoyed playing Super Mario Bros. so I mapped out almost a pixel by pixel blown up picture of Mario on paper, figured out the coordinates and began programming it in.

A few weeks ago I learned about Paul Allen's memoir "Idea Man". I managed to catch some of his TV interviews on Charlie Rose and some other show on CBS/ABC or NBC(Sorry I forgot which one.). I had heard of Paul Allen before as the co-founder of Microsoft but didn't really know much about him. I only knew that he was the older co-founder, invested in Metricom, and the owner of the Portland Trailblazers and the Seattle Seahawks. I felt sympathetic for him when the interviewers kept pressing him about his, to put it mildly, a challenging relationship with Bill Gates. My thinking was I'm sure the book has lots of other stories besides just Bill Gates, why the third degree? At any rate I decided I wanted to read his memoir.

The book was finally available at my local library this weekend and I picked it up Saturday afternoon. I finished it today before dinner.

I realized that the BASIC programming I did was in a way made possible through Paul Allen's and Microsoft's efforts in getting BASIC out to as many computers as possible. I was quite amazed at his stories of working weird hours getting things to work. He goes over it like a badge of honor and as someone who has done it before I'm again quite amazed.

ah, getting late... more some other time...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Origami: Menger Sponge using Penultimate modules

I saw this and wanted to build my own.
The site didn't have instructions but it had some pointers:

1) The structure is called Menger Sponge.
I like this and initially wanted to build a level 2 or 3 version.

2) The modules are called penultimate module done by Robert Neale.
This site has a very good intro. This page, within that same site, has very good info about how to build the square version of the penultimate module which when assembled together makes a cube.
When I started building this module, I felt that it was too much trouble to start with a 4:3 ratio rectangular sized paper because all the origami paper I had were squares, 150x150mm to be exact. I also didn't like that I had to cut the ends so I left it. As I put the modules together my changes didn't affect the cube at all so I went with my changes.

After a few cubes, I finally decided to build the sponge based on that one picture I saw. :)

Starting out...

This reminds me of the Death Star from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi but I call it the Death Cube. :)

Almost done...


Another angle:

I had a good time building this and enjoyed figuring it out. My wife also helped me a lot folding the modules as I assembled it.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Making Takoyaki

My wife and I made takoyaki for dinner tonight. It was very "Oishiiii!!!".
We've been talking about buying a takoyaki plate for the longest so we finally got one today. It started with seeing takoyaki being made in Japanese TV drama: "At Home Dad" starring Abe Hiroshi. We wanted so bad to experience it but had a difficult time finding a place to buy a takoyaki plate. Initially I wanted to get an electric one just like in the TV show. Later on I decided with the plate because I realized we already have a portable burner and operating an electric one probably costs more.

Another item I bought from watching a Japanese TV
drama is a Zojirushi tumbler. This time the show was "CHANGE" starring Kimura Takuya. In one of the episodes, he pours tea from a tumbler. When I saw that, I told my wife I wanted that tumbler. She thought I was nuts because we already have quite a lot of tumblers. I wanted the tumbler not because of Kimura Takuya but because I was very tickled that the tumbler's snout is opened from a button press. My wife says that in addition to Kimura Takuya pulling in all the big advertising bucks for the TV shows, he's also holding up the Zojirushi tumbler.

I just reviewed the CHANGE episode with the tumbler. Actually it's the last episode. The tumbler has a black top and the cup (which is actually the tumbler's cover) does not have a plastic ring on the bottom (or the top when it's put on top of the tumbler). I was right about the red button to open pouring. But it has a red tab versus the white tab to push in to close pouring. hehe

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Having Fun With DealExtreme.com

My wife told me about this site a few days ago and I've been having loads of fun checking out the site daily. I'm just addicted to see what else the site has, the user reviews and items other users have bought. The site is like a super combined store of all those small utility shops I've seen through the years. After just a few moments of surfing the site, I asked my wife why she didn't tell me sooner. She says she did, I just didn't pay attention. haha
I have already spent about 40 bucks of stuff there and I'm still looking for other stuff to buy. haha

One of the first items that brought me there was the Wii component cable.


The latest item I bought is a lighter that looks like a match.


My family saw this at a restaurant sometime ago and we were just mesmerized by it. I've been trying to find it at the small utility shops but haven't had any luck until now.

Now I have to get used to waiting for about 2 weeks I guess for DealExtreme to ship the stuff...

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