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I have had my MTD Yardman snowblower (snowthrower) for a few years now. I grew up in the Seattle area, and generally we didn’t get enough snow to merit a snow shovel, much less a snow blower. When I moved back to Rochester, NY, I had heard of snowblowers, but I didn’t know what one looked like. I thought maybe it was like a leaf blower, except maybe stronger. I couldn’t figure out how it would work. And even when we moved to Rochester, we lived in an appartment, and never needed to clear snow.
But then 5 years ago we bought our house. We have a circular drive probably close to 100 feet long total. The first year, the snow was light. I got out there and shovelled. I remember thinking, this is great exercise. We didn’t need a snowblower! Just get out there for about an hour, and get the driveway cleared, no problem. My wife would help a little, but she we end up complaining about being sore. Me, I am in good shape. I am tough! I was having fun!
The next year, we got our first good snow. We were out there for over an hour, and only got enough of the driveway cleared to get our cars out. My back was aching! At this point, shovelling snow wasn’t fun anymore.
I started watching store ads, classifieds, and eBay for snowblowers. Our driveway is on a hill, so it had to be self propelled. The I finally got a great deal on a used MTD Yardman Snowblower off of eBay. It only cost me $315. The guy said it had only been used about 8 times. When I saw it, it didn’t look like it had been used at all. Apparently the guy had back problems, and got a plow for his truck or something like that. So I got a practically new snowblower for $315. A friend of mine with a truck and trailer, helped me get it home. It’s self-propelled, two-stage, and is 22 inches wide. It has a 5hp Tecumseh engine.
My Yardman snowblower always stars on the first pull. I just move the lever to the top, crank the choke all the way clockwise, pump the primer bulb 3 quick times, and pull the cord. It starts immediately. Then I turn the choke two clicks counter-clockwise, and start throwing snow.
I love this thing. It really chews through the snow! I can usually clear the whole driveway in 15 minutes or less. Maybe 20 minutes if the snow is pretty heavy. I consider the purchase of my MTD Yardman snowblower to have been a very good one, and I am thankful everytime I am out using it!

About a week ago, our refrigerator started leaking water on to the floor. It was a slow leak. We would clean up the water before going to bed. And in the morning there would be a little pool of water on the floor in front of the fridge. I pulled off the grill on the front of the bottom of the fridge, and vacuumed under there. I couldn’t see where the water was coming from. I thought it might be coming from the freezer defrosting, but the little pan under there for water to go into was empty.
We emptied stuff out of the refridgerator, and stored the more sensitive stuff in a cooler. We cleaned out the inside of the refrigerator but saw no sign of where the water might be coming from. So we pulled the fridge out from the wall, and I quickly saw where the water was leaking from. It was leaking from where the water goes in for the ice maker and water dispenser. It fact, what had probably had been a slow drip, had turned into a stream as the action of moving the refrigerator made the leak worse. There was a copper tube that led to a small saddle valve attached to a copper pipe. I turned the little valve. But by messing the messing with the saddle valve, it too started to leak. I quickly ran downstairs and shut off the water to the house and the main shut off valve.
At this point I am starting to panic a little thinking I might need to call a plumber on a Saturday. I manage to get a hold of myself. I disconnect the copper pipe from the back of the fridge. It was small diameter copper pipe going to a large fitting that attached the the fridge. The fitting was like what you would find for a garden hose. I found the gasket was rotted out. Ok, easy fix there. I removed the small tap valve, and found the rubber gasket there was also rotted out.
I headed to the Home Depot. The copper tubing was also kinked a little, and was concerned it might break, or spring a leak. The guys there helped me. They seemed to think the garden hose type fitting on the back of the fridge was unusual. They were going to set me up witha kith that had poly tubing (plastic), but it didn’t have the garden hose type fitting. It looked for a second like I would have to go with copper tubing. But then we figured out I could buy the kit, and a separate fitting. The Home Depot guy insisted on attaching the hose fitting. I told him I could do it, but he insisted. I bought the stuff and took it home.
I first attached the saddle valve. There was already a hole in the pipe wghere the old one was, so I just fit the new valve int he same place, and tightened it down. I connected the poly tubing, and attached the hose fitting at the other end. I connected that line to the fridge. I turned on the water, and came upstairs. Water was spraying, so I ran back down and shut it off again. The poly line had shot off the saddle valve connection. I removed it, and reattached it. A nice tight fitting this time. I turned of the water, and it was leaking from the home fitting. I only needed to shut off the saddle valve this time. I removed the hose fitting, and found this little piece inside had been damaged. The Home Depot guy apparently screwed it up. I looked through the extra parts from the kit, and managed to use one of those parts. I reconnected it, turned on the saddle valve, and it was not leaking! Great! We pushing in the fridge. We tested the water dispenser…no water. Crap! We pulled out the fridge again, and turned up the water. I ended up needed to open the saddle valve all the way to get good water flow for the dispenser. We pushed the refrigerator back in, making sure not to crimp the new water line. We still had water. Cool. So we refilled the fridge, and haven’t had a problem since!

We have owned our Roomba for over a year now. We love it. It is still working great. But occasionally it needs to be cleaned. We have a dog, and my wife has long hair. That and the usual stuff the Roomba picks up get wrapped around the brush bar and beater bar. When this happens, the Roomba just doesn’t work as well. But this can be fixed.
Place the Roomba onto it’s back. There are two little yellow latches. Pull the yellow latches, and the wire cage will swing open.
Lift the brush bar out. It may be wrapped with hair, thread, and who knows what else. With a sharp knife, CAREFULLY, with the sharp edge facing out, slice along the bar, between the rows of brushes. You may need to do this on a few different sides. You should now be able to remove a lot of the hair and stuff clogging the brushes. You may also take a wire brush, and brush the brushes to remove even more debris.
You may also find hair wrapped around the ends of the bar. With the tip of the knife, CAREFULLY cut through the fibers and remove them.
There is a little yellow cap on one end of the brush bar. It loosely locks on place. Just turn it, and lift it out. There may be hair or fibers wrapped around the little metal post. With the tip of the knife, just lift them out. Then replace the little yellow cap.
Replace the brush bar back into the Roomba. The side without the yellow cap is positioned first, then set the yellow cap end into place. Make sure the yellow cap end is seated properly.
Now lift out the beater bar. It may be wrapped with hair and junk too. The stuff will most likely be wrapped around the little notches. Using your sharp knife, CAREFULLY, with the sharp edge facing out, slice along the bar, between the ridges. You should now be able to remove a lot of the hair and stuff.
You may also find hair wrapped around the ends of the bar. With the tip of the knife, CAREFULLY cut through the fibers and remove them.
There is a little yellow cap on one end of the beater bar. It loosely locks on place. Just turn it, and lift it out. There may be hair or fibers wrapped around the little metal post. With the tip of the knife, just lift them out. Then replace the little yellow cap.
Replace the beater bar back into the Roomba. The side without the yellow cap is positioned first, then set the yellow cap end into place. Make sure the yellow cap end is seated properly.
Now replace the wire cage by first latching the back edge of the cage into the little hooks on the bottom of the Roomba. Close the wire cage, until the little yellow latches lock closed.
Discard the removed hair and other junk. Turn the Roomba over.

I bought my Kingcraft generator over a year ago for $199 on sale at Aldi’s. It’s not a huge one. It’s like 2200 watts or something. But for $199 I couldn’t pass it up. Living in Rochester, NY, we have had more than a couple power outages lasting up to a few days long. The last one lasted 3 days during an ice storm. The house was freezing, and we had no power. We used electric camping lanterns, and we he stuff outside with a propane stove. We have since put in a wood stove, so now we will have heat in the house. But part of the problem with no power was trying to keep our fish tanks up to temperature. We used hot water from water tank to do water changes. That lasted about a day. Then we were heating water on the propane stove. That sucked! So we can use the generator to keep the fishtanks going, run a few lights, and maybe even the TV and watch cable if it still works, or a DVD player.
Anyway, I bought the Kingcraft generator in case of another power outage. And in cloce to a year and a half, we have not had a power outage. So no need to use the generator. But with the generator sitting for a year, I pulled it out, started it up, and let it run for about five minutes to allow it to distribute oil, and keep everything loosened up. It would suck to pull it out when we actually needed it, only to find the engine frozen witht he pistons seized or something.
I am glad we have not needed it. But better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

I installed a new mailbox when we first moved into our house 5 years ago. The old one was a green plastic thing, and was broken. I built a post and arm thing using pressure treated 4x4s, and sunk it into the ground and surrounded the post with concrete. Then I mounted a brand new T2 size mailbox.
My mife told me the other day that there was snow inside the mailbox. I thought maybe the door had fallen open, and a plow had shot some snow into there. But she said there was a hole rusted into it. Huh? I thought maybe there was a small rust hole. I went and checked, and found a big gaping hole rusted through the side. Ouch! I covered it some with duct tape. Then I ordered a brand new T3 size mailbox.
The mailbox came, and I had to attach all the plastic parts such as the flag, and the door latches. But then I realized that the little plastic pin that holds the flag on was missing. I contacted the company via a feedback form on their website, and got an email replay back saying they would send me a replacement. Cool! I went ahead and labelled the mailbox with our home address using reflective numbers.
I decided to use a screw to hold the flag on till we got the plastic pin. I pulled off the old rusted mailbox. I also removed the board it sat on. Since my new T3 mailbox is much larger than the T2 mailbox, I had to cut a new piece of wood for it to sit on. That didn’t take long. I drilled some holes in it for where the screws would mount it the 4×4 post arm.
I noticed the old mailbox was similar in design to the new one, just smaller. I removed the plastic push pin that held on the flag, and found it looked like what the missing pin looked like. I found that this old pin would work on my new mailbox. So I removed the screw, and used the plastic push pin. Way cool!
I took the board out, and screwed it to the post arm using drywall screws, and my cordless drill. I love drywall screws! They are great for a lot of stuff!
I set the mailbox on to the board, and screwed it to the board. Since these screws will be exposed to the weather, I used outdoor screws like you would use on a deck.




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