Monday, January 14, 2019

Squeaky Bed – How to Stop a Box Spring From Squeaking

My bed is about 10 years old and while it is still in good condition, I noticed it had begun to make a squeaking noise when getting in and out or even when just shifting positions. Squeaky noises tend to bother me so I decided to see what could be done to fix the problem.

At first I thought it was the metal frame on the bottom so I took everything off including the mattress and box spring. I took some oil and applied it to all the moving parts like the hinges and the wheels. Then I put it all back together. Unfortunately it was still squeaking even after oiling the frame.

I decided to try to narrow down where the squeak was coming from. I noticed the mattress was not making any noise but the box spring did make some squeaking noise when I was moving it around and putting pressure on it. There are a lot of metal pieces inside the box spring so I figured this is probably where the noise is coming from.

The problem with the box spring though, at least for mine, was that it was sealed on all sides. The bottom has a material over it that is stapled on. I figured it was still worth trying to fix so I ended up pulling the material away from the staples to open it up so the inside could be reached. Note: be careful when working around the staples because they can be sharp.

Once open, I noticed some of the wood planks were not connected together as well as they should have been. Staples were used to connect the wood and some of them were coming out. So I took a hammer and hammered them back into place so they were secure.

Then I took the oil and went around applying it to any place where the metal would be rubbing against other metal. There were quite a few places like this so it took a little while to get all of it. Once everything had been oiled, I put the fabric back in place. I tried re-stapling it, but the staples would not go in very well so I ended up just taping it back in place.

Next I put everything back in place and tested it out. Thankfully the squeaking noise was gone! There was still a little noise that could be heard from the inner workings of the box spring, but overall it was much better and no longer had the annoying squeaking.

If you have been experiencing a similar issue with your bed, I recommend trying the same solution by oiling the frame and box spring. It takes a little work but it is a lot cheaper than buying a whole new bed!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Websites Publishing People's Personal Information – Lack of Privacy with Modern Technology

If you have Googled yourself recently, you my have been surprised how much of your personal information is online without your consent. While we have control over what we put on the internet such as pictures, videos, and our personal opinions, we do not have control over everything that is out there including public records.

There are many websites these days that specialize in gathering all your public information and publishing it online. This included things such as your current address, previous address, family members, age, phone number, email address, car you drive, and more. Even if you are careful about not putting your personal information out there, it can still be found and published on these sites.

If you find your information on one of these sites and you don't want it on there, sometimes they have an option to opt-out or submit a request to have it removed. However, this is usually not very easy and requires some effort to find. Often the websites will tease an option to have it removed and then bring you to a payment page where they say you have to pay them to have your information removed from their website. This tactic seems like blackmail, trying to get money from people who never wanted their privacy compromised in the first place.

These website say they get their information from public records that are available to everyone. This may be the case, but these website are digging up people's personal information and making it even more easily available online for their own profit. I believe there needs to be more regulations put in place to protect people against this sort of thing.

It can be a matter of personal safety. For example if someone knows your name and they have a general idea of where you are from, it is pretty easy for them to do a quick search and find exactly where you live. They can find out more of your personal information such as who is related to you and where they live.

As of now there does not seem to be much attention being given to this subject of privacy. In the age we are living in now with technology, there are certainly a lot of benefits, but we are also sacrificing our privacy as a result. The simple act of owning a smart phone means giving up a lot of privacy. By carrying around a phone pretty much everything is documented from where you are, to who you contact, to what you look up.

Some say in these times, we can no longer expect privacy and we just have to embrace it and put ourselves out there. Personally I still think privacy is important and we have to make sure it does not get compromised.

I recommend doing a search on yourself by name and location to see which websites are publishing your personal information. If you care about privacy, you may want to contact some of the websites that pop up and request that your personal information be removed.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

iPhone Battery Replacement Experience - Is it worth replacing a battery on an old iPhone?

I have an iPhone 6 that is about 4 years old and while it is still in good condition, the battery just does not hold a charge like it used to. For example if I would charge it to 100% before bed, in the morning, it would be down to about 75% without using it. I checked the battery health and it was down to about 78% capacity.

I noticed Apple was running a promotion on battery replacements for $29 down from the regular price of $79, good though the end of 2018, so I decided it would be a good time to get it replaced. I still like the phone and have no reason to upgrade any time soon so I figured it would be a good idea to get the new battery to help extend the life of the device.

I set up an appointment to bring it in to an Apple store. The soonest available was the following Saturday which was further away than I was expecting, but I decided to set the appointment anyway. At the appointment, I checked in and was helped within minutes.

They ran a diagnostic test and confirmed that it could definitely use a new battery. I was hoping they would be able to do it right away while I waited, but they said it would be about a 3 hour wait, so I dropped it off and said I would come back to pick it up when it was ready.

To do the replacement they will ask you to enter your password to turn off the Find My iPhone feature. Also they will ask you if it is backed up just in case anything happens. I made sure to back it up on iCloud and also get an extra back up of the contacts. They gave me a receipt and said it would be ready in a few hours.

After a few hours I came back and checked in and was helped again within minutes. The phone was all set and ready for pickup. I just had to show ID and pay for it and it was ready to go. The phone was in good condition and all the apps and data were the same as before so I didn't have to worry about reloading backups or anything like that. The battery was charged to 100% and the battery health was at 100%.

The evening I got it home I could already tell the battery was much better. Usually it would drain quickly even without using it much, but I was using it and the battery barely drained at all. I tested it overnight to see how much it had improved. Usually it would drain about 25%, but this time it only drained about 3%.

Overall I am pleased with the experience. If you have an older iPhone or one that is not holding a charge very well and you plan on keeping it for a while, I recommend getting the battery replaced. It is a good deal at the promotional rate and even at the regular rate it is still worth it if you are having trouble with the battery and you don't want to buy a new phone.

Friday, December 21, 2018

How to get food out from between teeth when floss does not work?

Have you ever been eating something crunchy and you feel a little piece of food get wedged in between your teeth? If so, you know how annoying it can be. If you are lucky, you may have some floss nearby that can get it out quickly but sometimes it is wedged in there so much that the floss does not even work. You try to floss it out and the floss will not even get in between the teeth because the food is stuck.

So what do you do in this case? One method I have found that works pretty much every time is to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth vigorously for about 10 seconds. Try to focus on the area where it is stuck. For example if the food is stuck between a couple of teeth far back on one side, try to swish the water back and forth through that area of teeth.

Once you have thoroughly rinsed with the water, try the floss again. In most cases the water will have broken it down or dislodged it enough so that you can get the floss in between the teeth to help clear it completely.

If the food is still there and the floss still does not go through, try the water again and swish it for a little bit longer. Then again try with the floss. Usually after another rinse or two, the floss will be able to get through to clean out whatever was stuck in between the teeth. Hope this helps!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Can You Cook Hash Brown Patties In The Microwave?

Quick answer: Yes!

Recently I picked up some frozen hash brown patties at the store and when I went to cook them, I noticed the only cooking method given was in the oven or toaster oven. This method required preheating the oven, cooking the patty for about 7 minutes on one side, flipping it, and then cooking for another 8 minutes on the other side. I don't mind a little cooking but I'm not going to wait for the oven to preheat and then spend another 15 minutes cooking for1 hash brown.

So first I decided to try cooking it in a frying pan. I figured it would be a little more efficient and maybe a bit faster. The frying pan method worked ok but the patty was sticking to the pan and started to fall apart when trying to move it or flip it. I added a little oil which helped a bit but the hash brown already has oil so it didn't seem to make much sense to add even more oil. Overall the result was messy and still took a long time to make.

Finally I decided to see if there were any instructions online for microwaving frozen hash browns. Surprisingly it was difficult to find instructions or recommendations for this. So I decided to just try it out to see what would happen.

I started with 1 patty on a regular plate and put it in the microwave. I wasn't sure how it would react so I started with time increments of 20 seconds.

First 20, so far so good. Not much change. Another 20 seconds, starting to warm up. Another 20 seconds, getting hotter and starting to sizzle a bit. The instructions on the box say it should be heated to at least 165 degrees so I put it in for another 20 seconds just to be safe which came to about 1:20 total.

So what was the result? Pretty good! The hash brown did not stick to the plate thankfully. It also did not splatter or make a mess in the microwave. It heated up just fine in a short amount of time. It was not exactly crispy like it would be if you cooked it in an oven, but it still had some crunch and tasted just fine with the microwave cooking method.

So can you cook hash brown patties in the microwave? The answer is yes! Microwave cooking times can vary so you may have to test out a few different times to get it to how you want it. Just make sure it is hot enough all the way through.

After seeing how easy this method was, I will be cooking them in the microwave from now on. Waiting a little over a minute is a lot better than waiting for an oven to preheat and then cooking for 15 minutes!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Best Youtube Channels for 2018

2018 was a decent year for Youtube with a lot of new channels popping up as well as continued contributions from some of our favorites. This year's list has a mix of funny, informative, and entertaining channels. Here are Connected Isolation's picks for the best Youtube channels in 2018:

1. Steven Schapiro (funny / hidden camera)
Steven Schapiro is a charismatic guy who makes hidden camera style videos where he interacts with people in unconventional ways to see how they react. He has a likable personality and his channel following has grown remarkably quick this year. If you like his videos, check out The Daily Dropout which is another channel he works with that has similar videos.

2. Vlog Creations (funny / vlog)
Ross from Vlog Creations has really done well in 2018 by consistently releasing new videos each week. His videos are vlog style and usually have pranks and goofiness throughout. He and his friends are always entertaining with the shenanigans they get themselves into each week. 

3. Kyde and Eric (travel)
Kyde and Eric are a couple who make long form travel videos often visiting lesser known cities and regions. Unlike other channels that are loaded with fancy editing and music, Kyde and Eric take a more realistic approach showing what the places are really like from the food to the accommodations, to the attractions. Their down to earth personalities shine through as they take us along on their adventures around the worlds.

4. Bad Lip Reading (funny / music)
While this channel does not post as often as some of the others, when they do post a video, it is always a hit. Bad Lip Reading takes video footage of things like news, sports, or tv and replaces the words with different words and voices that are funny. The videos are very well done and even include original songs from time to time.

5. Redline Reviews (car reviews)
If you have been looking up reviews for cars recently, chances are you may have found the Redline Reviews channel. Sofyan the host of this channel does a great job of thoroughly covering new and used cars going over everything from the features to the driving experience. He keeps and unbiased viewpoint which is great when you are looking for a trustworthy review.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Best Shows of 2018

The way we watch TV continues to change as streaming options become more widespread and popular. For the best shows list this year there are some shows from traditional broadcast channels but also some from Netflix, Youtube, and Freeform. Here are Connected Isolation's picks for the best tv shows of 2018:

1. Castaways

Castaways is a new reality style show that debuted on ABC this year. It took 12 strangers and scattered them out on some deserted islands with few resources available. Their main objective being to survive until a rescue is sent to pick them up. Their experience is documented as they work together to survive. The show was well made and did a good job covering their experience and comparing it to the castaway's real lives at home.

2. Cobra Kai
This Karate Kid spin-off was one of the first big shows to debut on the Youtube platform. I was a fan of the Karate Kid movies so I had to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised with the result. It features some of the main characters from original cast and we get to see what they are up to at this stage in their lives. There is a good amount of nostalgia, drama, action, and even some humor. Fans of the movies as well as the younger generation can both enjoy this series.

3. Alone Together
Alone Together is a new comedy on Freeform featuring 2 friends, Esther and Benji who are trying to make it in a world where they can't seem to catch a break. They don't really like each other but something just keeps them together. The show is funny and stands out in the busy category of ½ hour comedies. Seasons 1 and 2 are available now on Freeform and Hulu.

4. American Ninja Warrior
This is a returning show that continues to be on the list of favorite shows of the year. They made a few changes to the show this year, but overall it is pretty similar to what it has been in previous years. There were a lot of returning veteran ninjas as well as some new faces that did very well. The courses continue to become more difficult as they take out even some of the best ninjas. Overall it is an inspiring show with a lot of positivity behind it.

5. Fastest Car
This was a new show that debut on Netflix this year. It is a documentary style show that features people who build and race “sleeper” cars which are cars that look like ordinary or unimpressive cars, but they go really fast! In this show, they race other sleeper cars and even go up against factory super cars to see how they match up. It's interesting to learn about the background of each of the builders and see what motivates them to do what they do. At the end, they have a final race of the fastest cars!

6. What Would You Do
This is a show that has been on for many seasons and one that I continue to watch each year. It is a hidden camera style show that creates controversial situations to see how everyday people will react. Often they create a situation where someone is doing something wrong and they see if anyone will step in and do something about it. It's great to see people speak up when they see something that is not right. It sets a good example for everyone to follow to helps make the world a better place!

What were some of your favorite shows of 2018? Feel free to comment below.

Also check out the Best Shows of 2017