Miklb's Mindless Ramblings

chronicling life in a digital world

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How to Really Install a New Thermostat

Going through my RSS reader this morning, I came across this article at the Art of Manliness, How to Install a New Thermostat. I couldn’t disagree more with 80% of what that article instructs.

First, while they are on the right track on turning off power, but mentioning “flipping power switch off” is inaccurate. Also, it is obvious that this was written by someone from the north in only referencing “furnace”. Generally speaking, the breaker panel will have both an “AC” and either “heat” or “air handler” when it is not a furnace. These need to be off, as the 24 volt current is constant and if the heat/air handler isn’t off, then you can at the minimum blow a fuse, the worst, fry a transformer. By code, both items should have a disconnect for service, and pulling that is equally effective in making sure the power is off.

Second, while they mention taking a photo of the wiring on your thermostat, they ignore it and simply (and wrongly) state the colors on the new thermostat match the wire color. WRONG. The terminals relate to specific functionality, and I’ve seen every color under the sun wired to a terminal. Blue to the Y terminal isn’t uncommon. The O and B terminal? Those are used in heat pumps for the reversing valve and depending on the manufacturer, either one can be used. The B can be brown, or the orange wire can be used for either one. See where this is going? Also note that the C terminal is for common, and most new “smart” thermostats require this, so make sure you have a C wire before even making the purchase. And even if there is a wire (often blue if yellow is used for the Y terminal) that doesn’t mean that it is wired to the furnace/air handler. So while it’s not beyond DIY, there’s a lot more to it than just “matching colors”. And don’t get me started about what color wires may be wired into the furnace/air handler from the outdoor condensing unit. I haven’t touched on what happens if you have a two stage compressor or heat pump with backup emergency heat.

Bottom line, if you are going to spend hundreds of dollars for a smart thermostat, spend the extra money to hire a professional or at the minimum, do your homework regarding your specific unit and be damned sure that it will handle that $250 investment before attempting a DIY

Apple Pay, CurrentC and Profits

Earlier today over on [Pencil Note](last post on Apple Pay) there was a post about Apple Pay and the author spoke to their opinion on how the CurrentC plan from retailers like CVS and Walmart would actually benefit consumers. Upon reading the post in my RSS reader, I quickly tweeted a question asking if he really though the retailers would pass the savings onto customers. Their response was

Yes. Less credit cards means lower prices.

—- Pencil Note

And then, in an old fashioned blogging style, they posted a more-than-140-character reply - Why fewer credit cards mean lower prices. While my formal education on economics is limited to 101 level micro & macro economics courses, I’ve been an informed consumer for long enough to follow the train of thought in that post. While it makes sense that the retailers are fueled by growth, and there is already a race to the bottom for pricing, the end result is still more profit for the owners/shareholders. If the price drops a few cents here or there, it is my opinion that is purely a by-product of profit growth and not the intention.

Why You Frontin'?

Brooklyn Brewery to David Chang: You’re the Snob

“Why you frontin’? You spent your first three paragraphs insulting people just like you…is the cash, fame and luxury not working out?”

Hipsters gonna hipst.

Classic American Chefs Honored on US Postage Stamps

Celebrity Chef Stamp

Stumbling around the web this evening, came across this limited edition set of 5 American chefs celebrated on US Postage stamps. The one chef that stood out to me was Edna Lewis. I suppose there isn’t another American who personified Southern, low-country cooking more than Ms Lewis, but was still surprised to see her along side Julia Child, James Beard and others. Not surprised as though she doesn’t belong, just that she’s not as much a household name.

When I first started cooking, I stumbled onto her book, In Pursuit of Flavor(note, it doesn’t appear to be still in print, but a Kindle version is available). Its less a book of recipes—though they are in the book—rather more a look into how she cooked. It would be an understatement to say her words in that book shaped the way I approach food even to this day.

I think the names Childs and Beard speak for themselves. I’m not familiar with Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, and am only slightly familiar with Joyce Chen, but if they were deemed to be contemporaries of of Lewis and Child for their cuisines, I will look to learn about their contributions to the American plate.

Tunesday (THIS is my Jam): Jason Molina

I used to do these posts, and well, I got lost in social media and life…this evening though listening to music on my back porch (Airplay is awesome!) I went down a rabbit hole of my music library and found myself listening to Jason Molina.

I’m not sure when/how I discovered him; might have been after seeing My Morning Jacket at the New World Brewery in Tampa and finding his band Songs: Ohio did a split EP with MMJ. However it went, I was a fan. Pretty sure I saw him with Songs: Ohio, but I know I saw him solo. At least twice.

I was sad to read that he lost a battle. Think I read there’s a tribute album out there, but too lazy to link to it. Suffice to say, if you didn’t experience him when he walked this Earth, you might want to put him in your queue.

I have no idea if this was a “sanctioned” video or not, but it’s quite well done. I almost want to make my own with the epic Florida summer storm clouds I see daily while driving in west central Florida.