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Kenmore Refrigerator Handle Broke Off

This is a general complaint. The refrigerator is branded Kenmore, but I think it is made by LG or Whirlpool, and it works well, except the handle is attached with a bit of plastic, That plastic bit eventually breaks.

The “fix” is to buy a new handle, usually on Ebay or a parts store, and screw it on.

So I did that, but it took a while.

In the meantime, I found that super glue works really well. I used super glue on the mating surfaces, and epoxy over the seam, and the repair lasted over two years. Eventually, it broke, and I replaced the handle. It took all of five minutes and required only an allen wrench for the set screw, and a phillips head screwdriver.

If they just made it thicker, or made it from steel, this wouldn’t be happening. It’s absurd to put a 5 year handle on a fridge that’s going to last 20+ years. (If you haven’t guessed the next hack – it’s to epoxy in a metal strap, or carbon fiber material to reinforce the handle after it’s broken.)

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Super Tech Fix a Flat Walmart

This is the Walmart store brand fix a flat.

The stuff works, but also sucks. The can broke on me, and started leaking when I was using it, and lost pressure partway through. I had a second can, and used that, but it also broke. I had to finish inflating the tire by hand.

The product worked, but overall, not effective.

The more popular brand “Fix a Flat” works a lot better. I used it before, and the can inflated the tire completely.

Now I have this flat fixer stuff. Not sure what to do with it. I might cut open the cans and unload the fluid into some bicycle tires, and see what happens.

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Ridiculously Good Book Deals

I’m selling some books cheap, at $2 each, and with combined shipping, plus a buy-2-get-1-free deal.

Check the store!

For AAPI Heritage Month, check out the new Asian and Asian American category.

There are some specifically weird, good deals, detailed below.

The Enchanted Land, selling for a lot less than on Amazon and Alibris. I guess this is a relative rare book.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre, at market, but with the deal, it’s a bit cheaper.

A 3 book lot about Tai Chi.

A 3 book lot about Plato.

A 3 book lot of The Good Cook. This is a great set of cookbooks. The Good Cook was an unusually good set that explained a lot of French technique.

A Robert Doisneau photo book.

The Book of Hygge. Price dropped to $2. I have a bunch of $2 books for sale. If you get three, and add in shipping, it’s around $8 total for three books.

The Sunset Western Garden Book.

A 2 book lot about mixing drinks.

A 3 book lot about social media and storytelling.

A Semiotexte book, Animal Shelter.

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Al Martinez, Ashes in the Rain

I scout books all over Los Angeles, so I find books about Los Angeles all the time. I stumbled on Ashes in the Rain in Glendale, and it immediately took me back over 30 years, to college, in Berkeley, reading the newspaper at the student co-op.

Though we were in the SF Bay Area, the house subscribed to the Los Angeles Times. The best columnist at the Times was a Bay Area native, Al Martinez.

For an hour or so, I’d read the Times, and remember Los Angeles, my home city.

On different days, the paper featured writers a bit older than I, some who were there a while, and others who were going to be lifers: Patt Morrison, Bob Bracamontes, and Robin Abcarian, and Al Martinez. This is no knock on the hard hitting writers – I just liked the ones with the soft edges, though I didn’t dare admit it at the time.

I asked ChatGPT to write a paragraph about Martinez in the style of Al Martinez. The result:

Al Martinez was an American journalist and columnist known for his humorous and poignant writing style. In his columns, he often shared personal stories and observations, and his writing was characterized by its warmth and humanity.

I remember the day I met Al Martinez like it was yesterday. He was sitting at a bar in downtown Los Angeles, sipping a martini and scribbling notes on a napkin. I introduced myself, and before I knew it, we were deep in conversation about life, love, and everything in between. Al had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the world, and his stories had a way of capturing the essence of the human experience. Whether he was writing about the trials and tribulations of being a parent or the joys of falling in love, Al’s writing was always heartfelt and honest. He had a gift for finding the beauty in the everyday, and his words had the power to move people in ways they never expected. Al may be gone, but his legacy lives on in the countless lives he touched with his writing.

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Can Media Mail be used to send catalogs?


Media Mail is for books and media that don’t contain advertising.

There is an exception for ads in books where the ads are for other books sold by the publisher. This is because, in the past, several pages at the back of the book were ads… for other books. (The publishing business must have lobbied for this loophole.)

Catalogs are all ads, and don’t quality for Media Mail.

Personally, I don’t consider programs for art openings to be catalogs, even though they are ads. I generally don’t send them by Media Mail, however, because they’re expensive, and the recipient doesn’t want them arriving damaged.

However, I do consider catalogs for art auctions to be ads.

I’ve had packages opened by the inspector, so, it sometimes happens.

It’s important to pack the book using something sturdy, because you don’t want it to tear open. One time, I sent a book in a manila envelope – I’d been doing this a lot – and the envelope tore, and the book never got there. So I had to refund the entire cost to the customer (a big loss to me).

To see a complete list of what can be sent, see the USPS list.

Ways to Send Catalogs

First Class (Under 3 oz)

If it’s 3 oz or less, put it into a manila envelope, and put stamps on there. It’s regular first class mail, called “flats”.

First Class Package

If you need tracking, you can shove a piece of cardboard into the envelope, to stiffen it, and purchase a First Class Package label. The problem is, the cardboard will probably add an ounce. Fortunately, you can send packages up to one pound. Unfortunately, some catalogs are printed with heavy paper and ink, and weigh over a pound.

Priority Mail Flat Rate

An envelope is just under $10, and you can send a catalog that way.

Though that’s expensive, if you have multiple catalogs to send, you can pack a few into one envelope.

If you have even more to send, you can use Priority Mail Regional Rate A or B, or a “shirt box” Priority Mail Flat Rate Medium box. This is around $15, but you can pack it with a lot of product. You can order these at USPS.

Marketing Mail

If you send out a lot of the same catalog, for a business, you can use a special bulk mail rate called Marketing Mail. I’m sure the direct marketing lobby demanded this rate.

Basically, if you’re sending hundreds of catalogs, and use all the bulk mail technology to create the labels, sort the mail, and all that, as well as have an account with USPS, you can send catalogs at a very low price.

I’m also pretty sure you don’t quality to use Marketing Mail. This is just here for educational purposes.

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Home Depot Husky Hex Socket Wrench 6 Points under $5

I couldn’t find a good 14mm in my tools. This is the size for my oil pan plug, and I just lose them over time.

I tried to use a light-duty cheapie one, but the metal got damaged.

The replacement was kind of expensive, but worth it!

The shape of the corners is weird. There’s a bit of metal cut out of it, so it won’t touch the corner of the bolt head.

This was a patented feature on Snap On tools. The patent has expired.

What’s good about this feature, is that it avoids putting force on the corner of the bolthead. Instead, it puts force on the flat surface, which is stronger.

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The Crypto Crash

Y’all missed out on the “learning opportunity” of the crypto crash. When the market for crypto crashes, you can still go into Coinbase and study up about some of the failed products, and get free money.

Then, you can hold onto the money until it increases in value, then turn around and spend some of that money here.