SSL Enabled – Well, Self-Signed

I have decided to enable SSL on my website not so much that others can access it via HTTPS but more so that when I log in remotely that I am not sending clear text username and passwords over the network. Plus, I wanted to use it as a learning experience on generating a Self-Signed Certificate. For years in the past I have dealt with CA purchased Certificates for work but not a Self-Signed one.

Unfortunately, I do not have all the spare change in the world to throw at whatever I want otherwise I would have purchased a SSL Certificate from a CA but those cost money, and cost money to continually renew them when the expire; plus, I wanted to learn a little SSL Self-Signing. So, since this is primarily for me (and anyone else that does not mind getting the ugly SSL warning) to use, I created a Self-Signed Certificate.

My site will continue to be accessible through HTTP connections so do not feel you need to start using HTTPS because HTTP is not going away.


SBW#4 – Slow Shower or Tub Drain

We have all been in this spot before and if you have not, then consider yourself lucky. So you are taking a shower and notice the water just is not going down the drain very fast and starting to pool up. How can you get clean while there is dirty water pooling around your feet right?

Well, slow draining of water in your shower or tub can be a real nuisance. There is no need to call a plumber when this is such a quick and easy fix that can be resolved in most cases under 15 minutes.

Generally, it is caused by hair built up on the drain crossbars beneath the drain stopper for those without a drain screen. This can easily be remedied by taking the drain stopper off and pulling the hair out.

I have tried those “hair puller sticks” and have not had good luck. This is why I chose to simply take the stopper off and clean it out with some needle pliers. Before forewarned though this is NOT for the faint of smelling as the smell can be pretty disturbing. Keeping in mind this is hair, body oils and bacteria that have been collecting for quiet sometime and smells pretty bad. Also because of this you should were latex or like gloves to avoid skin contact.

Take a look and watch this simple procedure and save yourself time, money and frustration over this problem.

SBW#3 – Craftsman Leaf Blower Piston Replacement

Do you have one of those 2 cycle leaf, weed trimmers or any other small 21/25cc 2 cycle engine power equipment?  If you do and you have ran into the problem I did the chances are the solution is pretty easy to fix if you are a DIY person. Otherwise, you can take it to a small engine repair place and shell out some money but is it really worth that?

After a hard fall use blowing leaves and a winter break the leaf blower failed to start in the spring. I checked all the usual suspects – gas, fuel to the cylinder, spark plug, spark, etc and everything looked fine. However, I noticed as I was pulling the starter cord that the compression seemed a little weak. In fact it was not just a little weak but barely noticeably having a compression. So I had an idea. I grabbed my cylinder compression tester and the compression was well below what the specification called for in order to fire. So much below specification that it was 50% of what it was supposed to be.

So I tore apart the unit and pulled out the piston in which the ring was completely gummed in a compressed state, unable to expand. Since I didn’t have any parts wash solvent it was going to be cheaper for me to run down to the local Sear’s Parts Center and grab a new one.

I put the new one on, oiling the piston and cylinder to reduce initial friction until the break completed to minimize damage. After reassembling the unit, it started up. Initially for a week or 2 when I went from idle to full throttle the engine would bog down like it was not getting the compression or right fuel / air mixture but after about 2 weeks I could go from idle to full throttle without any hesitation.

To this day – nearly a year later – the engine still runs great and the leaf blower still runs like a charm.

Here is the video. I apologize the fact that I did not record the tear down process but it is essentially the opposite of the assembly process.

Minecraft Water Mill

In my quest to build a large city on my Minecraft server I decided to start by building the essentials that my Medieval town needs. This of course means things that were much need during this time frame.

So, what better addition to build in my town then a Water Mill. This Water Mill is designed to process forest materials and grains.

Below is a part 1 of a 9 part video series I created to demonstrate what it took to create my Water Mill. While I try to limit the video lengths to under 20 minutes I wanted to show as much detail as possible during this build. Keeping in mind this is on a Survival server that has normal day night cycles. Find the rest of the series by click on the Next Arrow below the video or in the Minecraft tab at the top of the page.

Part 1 of 9



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