Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Take Down/Remove Hampton Bay Ceiling Fan/4-Light Unit AC 552

There are a lot of different Hampton Bay Model AC 552 units with completely different configurations. Ours is a four light unit. The unit stopped working after about 20 years of use (not bad!). So, we needed to take it down.

First: Make sure all power is off to the unit/room.

Removing the glass light fixtures was easy. Just press in two metal fingers that hold each of them in place.

Removing the light fixture was also easy with three phillips screws to be removed and the plastic electrical assembly wire unit unhooked (via a push in tab).

Then the blades were taken down by turning each blade to a cut out section of the metal plate below them (held on with a nut that cannot be easily removed and is not supposed to be removed) and taking out the two phillips screws that hold each of the five fan blades in place.

That left the main unit with no clear way to get it down. The screws at the very top were hidden. You access them by turning the unit counter-clockwise. This may be hard to do if the unit has been in place for a long time. We took a butter knife and ran it around the top of the unit between the unit and the ceiling, and that loosened it enough to turn it the inch or so to reveal the screws.

Remove the screws and lower the unit to allow taking off the plastic caps and unhooking the wires. Again: Make sure all power is off to the unit/room and even then treat the wires as though they were live by only touching the wire casing.

The only tricky part is revealing the hidden screws at the top of the unit (which is why I am posting this). My brother knew about them. We were at a standstill in removing it without his help.


Monday, August 11, 2014

26 Heroes Who Died April 15 to August 5, 2014

April 15 - Spc. Kerry M. G. Danyluk, 27, of Cuero, Texas, died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of injuries sustained April 12 when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Pul-e-Alam, Logar province, Afghanistan.

April 28 - Pfc. Christian J. Chandler, 20, of Trenton, Texas, died in Baraki Barak District, Logar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, of Accord, New York, died in Nejrab District, Kapisa province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

May 3 - Pfc. Daniela Rojas, 19, of Los Angeles, California, died in Homburg, Germany, due to a non-combat related illness.

May 11 - Chief Warrant Officer Deric M. Rasmussen, 33, of Oceanside, California, died in Mazar E Sharif, Afghanistan, as the result of a non-combat incident.

May 13 - Command Sgt. Maj. Martin R Barreras, 49, of Tucson, Arizona, died in San Antonio Military Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from wounds suffered on May 6, in Harat Province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

May 17 - Spec. Adrian M. Perkins, 19, of Pine Valley, California, died in Amman, Jordan, from a non-combat related injury.

May 28 - Pfc. Jacob H. Wykstra, 21, of Thornton, Colorado, died in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained as a result of an aircraft accident. The incident is under investigation.

June 2 - Capt. Jason B. Jones, 29, of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, died in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds received from small-arms. The incident is under investigation.

June 5 - Pfc. Matthew H. Walker, 20, of Hillsboro, Missouri, died in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by enemy fire.

June 9 - Spc. Terry J. Hurne, 34, of Merced, California, died in Logar province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident.

- They died in Gaza Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered while engaged in a combat operation. The incident is under investigation. Killed were:
Staff Sgt. Scott R. Studenmund, 24, of Pasadena, California;
Staff Sgt. Jason A. McDonald, 28, of Butler, Georgia;
Spc. Justin R. Helton, 25, of Beaver, Ohio;
Cpl. Justin R. Clouse, 22, of Sprague, Washington; and
Pvt. Aaron S. Toppen, 19, of Mokena, Illinois.
Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby:
"Five American troops were killed yesterday during a security operation in southern Afghanistan. Investigators are looking into the likelihood that friendly fire was the cause. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these fallen."

June 20 - Killed were:
Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, 34, of Stafford, Virginia, died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant, 19, of Peterborough, New Hampshire, died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. 
Lance Cpl. Adam F. Wolff, 25, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. 

June 25 - Sgt. Thomas Z. Spitzer, 23, of New Braunfels, Texas, died while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

July 24 - Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr., 20, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, died at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

- They died in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Killed were:
Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, of Hickman, Neb.; and
Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, of Visalia, Calif.

July 28 - Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco, 23, of Parma, Ohio, died as a result of a non-hostile incident June 19 aboard USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) while the ship was underway in the Red Sea.

August 3 - Staff Sgt. Girard D. Gass Jr., of Lumber Bridge, North Carolina, died in Jalalabad Air Field Hospital, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident while on patrol that occurred in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

August 5 - Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, 55, of Schenectady, N.Y., died in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire. The incident is under investigation.
"The two-star U.S. Army general who was killed in Afghanistan in an insider attack Tuesday was a native of upstate New York who held three advanced degrees from USC and whom colleagues described as a family man and a brilliant logistician with a quick sense of humor.
"Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, 55, known to friends as Harry, was believed to be the highest-ranking U.S. military official killed in action since the war began in Afghanistan in 2001. The shooter, who was wearing an Afghan army uniform, was also killed in the attack near Kabul, but not before he wounded 14 others."

Roku 3 Headphone Jack Not Working

My Roku 3 remote headphone jack suddenly stopped working between one session and another after I had unplugged the roku set. I tried unplugging and replugging the headphones. I tried another set of headphones. I tried the volume button on the side. No luck.

Searching online revealed nothing about roku headphone jack problems and neither did a search on the roku site.

So, I did the most basic thing. I removed the batteries and put them back in the remote. It worked. Somehow the remote just needed to be reset.

UPDATE: The batteries were wearing out, so I replaced them too.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

More and More Americans Have Unfavorable Opinion of Obamacare and Say They Are Directly Hurt by It

from the Kaiser Family Foundation (kff.org/polling)

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that 53% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the new healthcare law. This is the highest unfavorable response since the poll was first taken in April of 2010 just after the Affordable Care Act was passed.
After remaining steady for several months, the share of the public expressing an unfavorable view of the health care law rose to 53 percent in July, up eight percentage points since last month’s poll. This increase was offset by a decrease in the share who declined to offer an opinion on the law (11 percent, down from 16 percent in June), while the share who view the law favorably held fairly steady at 37 percent, similar to where it’s been since March.
It looks like the undecideds are breaking against the law. Also, Democrats and Independents as well as Republicans are liking the healthcare law less.

Some of the details

Among Democrats disapproval rose 6 points (from 19% in June to 25% in July).

Among Independents disapproval rose 6 points (from 53% in June to 59% in July).
Among Republicans disapproval rose 8 points (from 74% in June to 82% in July).

Among those making less than $40,000/yr disapproval rose 8 points (from 40% in June to 48% in July).

Among those making from $40,000 to $89,999 disapproval rose 12 points (from 47% in June to 59% in July).
Among those making $90,000 and up disapproval rose 6 points (from 50% in June to 56% in July).

Among Blacks disapproval rose 9 points (from 17% in June to 26% in July).

Among Hispanics disapproval rose 14 points (from 24% in June to 38% in July).
Among Whites disapproval rose 8 points (from 54% in June to 62% in July).

Among those insured under age 65 disapproval rose 6 points (from 45% in June to 51% in July).

Among those uninsured under age 65 disapproval rose 14 points (from 42% in June to 56% in July).

The rise in disapproval hinges on personal experience. Byron York gives the following snapshot:


15% directly helped (up from 14% in June)
28% directly hurt (up from 24% in June)
56% no impact (down from 60% in June)

York draws the conclusion that Obamacare is hurting more people by making them pay higher premiums than it helps by giving them better access to health care coverage. 
A majority of the people who said Obamacare has directly helped them said its prime benefit was greater access to health coverage and care. A majority of those who said Obamacare has directly hurt them said its main effect was to increase their health costs.
Overall, the numbers reflect Obamacare's design; it was intended to offer taxpayer-subsidized health coverage to a relatively small group of people (the roughly 15 percent of the population that had no health coverage) by imposing costs on the far larger group who had coverage and were satisfied with it. Given that, it's not surprising more people report a negative than positive Obamacare experience.
[emphasis added]
By contrast, Kaiser's big takeaway is that a majority still want Obamacare to be improved (60%) rather than repealed and replaced (35%). This divide has remained fairly stable despite rising disapproval of Obamacare.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sarah Palin Channel

(30 second Wall Street Journal version is here)

The Sarah Palin Channel looks intriguing.  You can watch it on your computer, tablet or smart phone. Cost is $9.95/mo or $99.95/year. (Those who sign up by August 1 get an extra two free months.)

Palin is on the cutting edge of major political figures using technology to reach the popular audience. She's not afraid to think outside the box--which is what we need in light of the crumbling credibility of all branches of the federal government and the news media.

It reminds of Ronald Reagan's over 1,000 radio addresses given between 1975 and 1979 before he became president. In these he reached out to the popular audience via the easy access technology of his day. He also honed his stand and presentation of the pressing issues facing the nation. Palin has looked at Reagan's actions as well as his political philosophy and learned from them.

H/T MaxRedline

Thursday, July 03, 2014

NY Obamacare Premiums Set for Double-Digit Rise; What about Oregon's?

From the New York Post:
Insurance firms participating in New York’s ObamaCare health exchange are seeking double-digit hikes for patient medical premiums in 2015, new figures reviewed by The Post reveal.
The average hike sought by insurers for individual plans is 12 percent—but a number of firms serving large numbers of patients want to boost individual premiums by nearly 20 percent.
What about the requests now going to the Oregon Insurance Division?

It looks like Moda (which now covers more than 40% of Oregon's individual market) is also asking for double-digit hikes: an 11-13% raise in the Portland area for the three categories listed (21 year olds; 40 year olds; and 60 year olds). Moda's small group increase proposals are in the 8-11% range. Below is the chart for individual 21 year old coverage.


As the New York Post notes:
The proposed rate increases call into question one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act — curbing runaway health-care costs.
Indeed. Weren't savings supposed to be something like $2,500 per family?

H/T Byron York

Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court: "Closely Held For-Profit" Corporation Owners Have Religious Rights

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that "closely held" corporation owners have religious rights protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
(a) RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for-profit corporations like Conestoga, Hobby Lobby, and Mardel. Pp. 16-31.
The Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) mandate requiring all for-profit employers to provide twenty free contraceptive types (including four which stop an already fertilized egg from developing) restricts the free exercise of religion. Hobby Lobby, Conestoga and Mardel were willing to pay for sixteen of the twenty which did not kill already fertilized eggs.
(b) HHS’s contraceptive mandate substantially burdens the exercise of religion. Pp. 31-38.
Even though the Court assumed the Government's argument that providing free contraceptives was of compelling state interest, the Court ruled that the Government had not used the "least restrictive means" to reach that goal.
(c) The Court assumes that the interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to the four challenged contraceptive methods is a compelling governmental interest, but the Government has failed to show that the contraceptive mandate is the least restrictive means of further that interest.  Pp. 38-49.
A significant problem for the Government was the fact that they had found a "least restrictive means" for religious and non-profit organizations. That there was a less restrictive means was shown by the Government itself in its "accommodation" for those religious and non-profit employers.
(c) (2) The Government has failed to satisfy RFRA’s least-restrictive-means standard. HHS has not shown that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion. The Government could, e.g., assume the cost of providing the four contraceptives to women unable to obtain coverage due to their employers’ religious objections. Or it could extend the accommodation that HHS has already established for religious nonprofit organizations to no-profit employers with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate. That accommodation does not impinge on the plaintiffs’ religious beliefs that providing insurance coverage for the contraceptives at issue here violates their religion and it sill serves HHS’s states interests. Pp. 40-45