Flip the Chair

I can do it and so can you.

Since I’m disabled, a paraplegic, and I have Multiple Sclerosis, I cannot do many DIY projects.  One that I was able to do may surprise you.

Round cushion

Our kitchen chair has a round cushion that has come loose.  All the screws holding the cushion to the chair had come out.

The screws are gone.

There were no loose screws, they were all missing screws.  I could lift up the cushion and see that there were no screws.  Frankly, the cushion is not heavy and it was easy to sit in my power wheelchair and just lift the cushion up and see that there were no screws.

In the kitchen

I am now working with my OT (Occupational Therapist) in the kitchen.  This provides a nice table and chairs to work with for the OT.  I don’t obviously sit on the kitchen chair.  I stay in the power wheelchair and reach for things that the OT puts on the table and chairs.  She put some things on the chair without screws and sure enough they fell on the floor.

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Get the screws.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any screws and I had to order them from Amazon.  I only needed three screws for the chair.  However, as is usual for Amazon, I ordered 195 wood screws.  Amazon likes to ship things in bulk.  This certainly gave me a choice of a variety of screws.  It also gave me a lifetime supply of screws, if I don’t lose them first.

It is metal.

The kitchen chair has a metal frame. It is much heavier than the cushion.  I do not recommend this unless you have good balance in your seat.  My wheelchair is a 17 inch wheelchair, which means it is small and hugs me on the sides.  I am also seated well in the back of the chair and will not fall.  Also, see my blog on the fall I took when I was not seated well.

Flip it.

Well, I lifted the chair up and flipped it over onto the bench.  The bench is in the back of the kitchen and it is built into the kitchen.  I held the chair with my left hand and screwed with my right hand.  I am right handed.

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The third one is the charm.

The first two screws went into the wood in the cushion without any real problem.  However, the third screw would not go in.  I decided to select a smaller, by that I mean a thinner screw.  This took and after a few turns was going into the wood.  Most any Philips screwdriver will work.  Even a short stubby screwdriver will work.  I finally got all the screws in place and tightened them.

Down is easier.

I was ready to take the kitchen chair off the bench.  For me, taking things down is easier than lifting things up. This is a good thing because I was starting to get tired from the lifting and tightening the screws.  At this point, I could just slide the kitchen chair off the bench, bring it down to the floor and turn it over while it was on the floor.

The OT is in shock!

At his point I positioned the chair at the table and the job was finished.  When I told my OT what I had done she was in shock!  She went to the chair and turned it over in disbelief at what I had done.  As I say, difficult things take time, the impossible takes a little longer.

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Conclusion

Fixing a chair by yourself may seem challenging but it is definitely doable and rewarding when done.  Make sure you select the correct size screws.  You don’t want any unnecessary holes in your chair.

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My Fall From Grace, and How I Got Up

This weekend I was patient lifted into my around the house power wheelchair. The sling from the patient lift remained under me. I sit on the sling.  It is like a grownup swing in a playground.

My Favorite Power Wheelchair

The power chair by Golden Technologies is my favorite power wheelchair.  It maneuvers well, it is easy to steer, and it easily makes it though all the doorway passages in my house.  It does not have a seat belt.  However, in the past, I have never fallen out of the seat until this weekend.

Eat Lunch

I finished eating lunch in the kitchen. All was well at that time or so I thought.

Front of the Cushion

After years of wear, the seat on the wheelchair lost its front cushion.  I had used the power wheelchair in this condition about ten times without incident.

Seat Me Right

Apparently, unless I am seated just right, with my back against the back of the chair, I will start to slide off the chair.  The leather like or vinyl covering on the cushion is grippy.  However the plastic underneath is smooth.  This allows for the seated person to side off the chair.  This is apparently what happened to me.

Set up the new Dustbuster

I had set up a new Dustbuster like vacuum in the kitchen and I returned to my bedroom.

Adjust Lift Chair

I adjusted my lift chair so that it was not so far forward, but I was not in the lift chair.

I Start to Slide.

I could feel myself slowly starting to slide off the power wheelchair.  I called for help as soon as I could, but it was too late.  My aid tried to patient lift me out of the chair.  As the patient lift went up, I slid further out of the sling and out of the power wheelchair.

The slow fall

It was a slow fall and I did not break any bones, however my leg hurt a lot.  I was on the floor.  People with Multiple Sclerosis sometimes suffer from extreme spasticity, and bend the knee can really hurt.  I had my aid straighten out my leg and leaving it straight on the floor relieved the pain.

Go figure?

But now I had to figure out how to get up and get into bed.  This is what I came up with.  Rather than call the police, the police in my neighborhood are really nice, I had my aide remove the patient lift to the other side of the room.  This cleared my legs.

Rock and roll on the floor

I was on the floor and the sling could be detached from the patient lift.  I turned from side to side so that the sling could be placed under me.  After the sling was properly positioned under me, I rolled myself face up.

Bring it all back

I had my aide bring back the patient lift.  The patient lift can not go to the floor, but it doesn’t have to.  It has chains and the two long chains make it to the floor.  The long chains are attached with hooks about at my knees.  I have a baclofin pump.  Baclofin is a muscle relaxer, which means I have virtually no trunk support. I am a paraplegic, but my arms still function.

Grab the chains

I grabbed the chains attached to the sling by my knees and pulled myself up to a sitting position.  Since I was in a sitting position, sitting upright, the shorter chains for the sling no longer needed to reach the floor.  The sling could be picked up off the floor, and the short chains could be attached to the sling behind my back.

Start and stop

My aide could begin to lift my up with the patient lift but then had to stop.  My legs were under the patient lift, and the patient lift had to be moved back so that my legs were clear of the patient lift.  This had to be done slowly.

Make sure my legs are clear of the patient lift.

It also had to be done a couple of times to make sure that my legs were fully clear of the patient lift. Once my legs were no longer under the patient lift, and were fully clear of the patient lift, I was lifted up with the patient lift and placed in bed.

Good things come slowly

This took some time, but it got me back into bed.  All was well.

Comments

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Emerson SmartSet Alarm Clock Radio, USB port for iPhone/iPad/iPod/Android and Tablets, CKS1708

Out with the old.

We had a Sony clock radio, but as time went on, it became increasingly finicky to set the clock.  It was also difficult to set the alarm.  It was useable, but it was a real nuisance to set, especially for Daylight Saving time.  Eventually, we were so frustrated that we decided it was time to buy a new clock radio.  We really did not want to set the time on the clock every time for daylight saving time.  If only there were an alarm clock radio that could set the time all by itself, and not cost a small fortune.

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Enter the Emerson SmartSet Clock Radio.

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The Emerson Clock Radio is smart enough to set the time for you.  Never again have to worry that your clock is 3 hours wrong.  Never again miss appointments and meetings because your clock indicated the wrong time.  The clock receives a signal telling it the right time.  Of course, if the clock is prevented from getting the signal, it does not know what time it is, but how often are you in an air raid shelter 100 feet below ground?

SmartSet technology

Under most normal circumstances, the clock has no trouble setting the time by itself.  The SmartSet technology on the first use sets the correct year, month, day, time, and date.  According to Amazon, we ordered the Emerson on March 12, 2018, and it has been working great to this day.

Month/Date display

Touch a button and the clock displays the correct month and date. The Month/Date button will give you the month and date numerically.  For example, May 20 will appear as “5.20”.

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Grab Big Blue

The clock features a large easy to read 1.4 inch time Blue LED display.  When you are old and sick like I am with Multiple Sclerosis, the big display is welcome.   Also, it is easy to grab and hold from the bed as the back is cut out and provides an easy grasp.

The everyday, weekend or weekday alarm

The alarm clock can be set to wake you everyday, Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays.

Two Alarm settings

It has two alarm settings, so you can set it to wake you one time on weekdays, and another time on weekends.

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Radio or buzzer

It can be set to wake you to FM radio or a buzzer.

What about Leap Year?

It automatically sets itself for Leap Year and Daylight Saving Time.  It keeps the correct time when the power returns in power outages.

Does it wake you with a sudden jolt?

The alarm buzzer grows in loudness so you don’t get a sudden jolt waking you up.  Of course, it has a snooze button.

What if the power goes out?

There is a button cell battery (included) which maintains the time and alarm settings, so if you do go into an air raid shelter 100 feet below the ground, it will work – it just needs to get the signal the first time it is turned on.

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Is it bright enough?

It has two brightness settings. You can easily read the large LED display from across the room.

Can it play music from my iPhone?

It has an Aux In port so you can connect a music source such as an iPhone to the clock.

But can it charge your phone?

It has a USB charging port so you can use the clock to charge your iPad/iPhone/Android and other tablets.  I don’t know about you, but at our house, we are always losing those little chargers.  We have found it much harder to lose a clock.

It has Dual Alarms.

To change the alarm modes you depress the Alarm 1 or 2 button, and the Week Button at the same time to set the alarm for everyday, weekends only or weekdays only.

How’s it sound?

The sound quality is very good for an inexpensive Clock Radio.

Recommendation

I highly recommend this Clock Radio for anyone who wants to be on time.

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Apple Macbook Pro (13 inch Retina, Touch Bar, 2.3 GHz Quad-Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD – Silver

The Apple MacBook Pro.

This is a review of my son’s newest Apple MacBook Pro.  His previous Apple Macbook A1278 got him through high school and the first semester of college.  However, the touchpad locked up, and I tried to unlock it.  I needed a t7 tool to unlock it, but even with the t7, I was not able to unlock it.  The screw was starting to strip and I gave up before it was too bad.  I had my son buy a mouse, and the Macbook worked fine with the mouse.  However, the need for a mouse made for an unsatisfactory experience.  The Apple store refused to touch the 7 year old Mac, and would not repair it.

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New Mac time

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It was time to get a new MacBook.  We looked around on the internet, but more importantly he needed it fast for school.  We needed to know what was in stock at the local Apple store.

Quad Core i5

My son went to the local Apple store and found the dual core i5.  I asked him over the phone whether the store had the quad core i5.  They did but at a higher price.  Still, a quad core (in my opinion) beats a dual core any day, so we went with the quad core.

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More software, please

Typically the Apple store tries to sell you on additional software.  If you need it, so be it,  But you can often get a better deal if you install your own software.

Retina display

This MacBook has a Retina display with True Tone technology.  This is very nice, but in our house, the Mac is often used by multiple users, making the technology more of a nuisance than an advantage.  We just don’t use the Retina technology.

Touch ID

It also has a Touch Bar with Touch ID.  This is also something that we don’t use.  It is pointless to try to use this when you have peanut butter on your finger or a bandaid on your finger.

Graphics

It has Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, which means the display is beautiful.  We are not video gamers, but I suspect most simple games will play well.  As a home theatre card, the 655 will work well.  You tube videos look great.

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SSD

It has an Ultrafast SSD.  I don’t know how fast, but it boots up in seconds not minutes like the old Mac.  Having an SSD, and only an SSD (not combined with a hard drive) makes this Mac super fast.  Instead of a standard hard drive with a motor and platers to read data off, an SSD is like a giant (it’s actually rather small) flash drive.  Just like there is no motor in a flash drive to break down, there is no motor in a SSD.  You don’t have to wait for the platter to start spinning, because there is no platter, and no motor.  This also means less noise.

Thunderbolt 3

It has 4 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.  These are super fast connections to your computer.  USB 3.1, which is very fast at 10 Gbps, is bested by Thunderbolt 3 at 40 GBPs.  That means it is four times faster than USB 3.1.

Where is the USB?

However, I was expecting Apple to include Thunderbolt 3 to USB 3.1 so that files and data could be transferred via a flash drive.  No such luck.  If you want to transfer files using a USB flash drive from your old Mac to your new Mac, you better buy adapters for it, because Apple does not include the necessary adapters.

Battery life

It has up to 10 hours of battery life.  This depends on what you are doing with your Mac, but it is enough for the typical school day.  This assumes that your typical school day is not crunching video in a video production course and not photo editing, and not writing code for advanced video games.

Wi-Fi anyone?

It has 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.  Ac is the latest greatest and fastest Wi-Fi.   However, it is not any greater in range.  Meaning you cannot go further from the Wi-Fi source.  It is 3 to 5 times faster than n, which was way faster than g.

Big touchpad

It has Force Touch Tracpad.  This means it has a larger, easier to use touchpad.  This is really convenient on a 13 inch laptop.

What operating system does it have?

It has macOS Mojave (the new Mac operating system) with Dark Mode and easier screenshots.  Mojave seems to be working fine and I am having no problems with it.

Where is the power button?

Apparently, the Touch ID button doubles as the power on/off button.

Recommendation

I strongly recommend this Mac to everyone.  The quad core Intel chip works fast, the SSD is ultrafast, and the 8 GB of RAM is enough to move this laptop from the mondane to real excitement.

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Comments

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Hurricane Tower Heater / 70 Degree Oscillating Heater w/Remote Contol Review

Cold spell.

On the east coast of the United States, we are having a cold spell, and while the season for space heaters may be drawing to a close, I decided to let you in on what has been helping to keep us warm all winter.  We have baseboard heating, but sometimes this is just not enough to keep a room toasty.  We actually own the Pelonis NT15-13C Heater, however this heater is currently unavailable on Amazon.  However, I have found a heater which looks substantially the same and appears to work the same as the Pelonis.

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It’s a Hurricane

It is the Hurricane Tower Heater.  I can not vouch for Hurricane as a manufacturer, but it is on Amazon, and is probably good, but I can vouch for how good this space heater is.  It has 1500 watts of power and fills the room with heat in the winter.  It has a low and high setting.

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Does your heater have a remote control?

One really cool feature is that it has a remote control.  This means you don’t have to get out of bed to adjust it each time. This can really help a disabled person and is a convenience for anyone.  The remote requires two AAA batteries.

A nifty stick heater with style.

The heater has a digital LED display.  It is 24 x 8 x 7.25 inches in size. It is 7.15 lbs. in weight.  It is a really cool looking stick heater.

It oscillates

In one place on Amazon it says it is a 70 degree oscillating heater and in another place it says it is a 90 degree oscillating heater.  I do not know which it is, I can tell you that it can fill an average size bedroom with heat.

Thermostat action

It has an adjustable thermostat, and the thermostat shuts off when the desired temperature is reached.

Tip over protection

It also has a safety tip over protection.  I have tried it, and the heater turns off when it tips over.  In truth, it takes about half a minute to shut off, but it does have tip over protection.  It is ETL tested and certified for safety.

Time to assemble

It does require some assembly.  I had to screw on the base.  The necessary screws and bolts came with the unit.  Since I am bedridden with Multiple Sclerosis, I actually assembled the heater in bed. While assembling it in bed requires a balancing act in bed, I can attest that it is doable.  It only takes a few minutes to assemble.

Get your room toasty

People with Multiple Sclerosis often prefer cooler temperatures as I do too.  However, there are times when a warm bedroom is preferable.

Put it in the cold bedroom

The heater is now in my son’s bedroom since his room gets colder than our bedroom in the winter.

Going strong

According to Amazon I purchased this heater on November, 19, 2017.  It is still going strong.  I highly recommend this heater.

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Comments

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