Added a Craftsman 1/2 hp Liftmaster Garage Door Opener for the 3’rd Bay

This past weekend I installed a Craftsman Liftmaster 1/2 hp garage door opener (Sears item number 00953915000), in my third bay, to compliment the 3/4 HP unit that has served me so well for the past ten years in the main bay. I bought it so the remotes could open either door, because the current opener has been virtually maintenance free (lubing of the track every three years), it is a belt drive (about $15 more than the chain model), and thus a bit quieter, and because aesthetically it looks similar to my pre-existing model.

I’m thinking the technology changed, over the past decade, because my older, visually identical units will not operate the new opener. This doesn’t bother me much, but it is mildly annoying. No one other than me needs to open that door anyway, and the interior and exterior wall-mounted openers will allow them to do that just fine. I’m not home right now or I’d dig up the manual or model number, of the older unit, and see if there is anything I can do. I haven’t tried to use the new openers, with the old opener, but if that works, I’ll swap out my and my wife’s openers and let our kids use the older opener only, only opening the main door. None of this is of any interest to you, my random reader, but you were forced to read it by virtue of your odd stumbling upon this blog.

Installation was more than simple, albeit time-consuming, as these things tend to be for me, what with triple-reading the instructions, reading ahead, reading upside down, reading with coffee, reading with Diet Dew, etc. It’s a process.

All the parts were included as well as a few spares for those pieces one is likely to damage the first go ’round of trying to piece them together. The instructions were great. There was just one section where it would have been helpful to know that a connection had to be oriented a certain way, and of course, I installed it the other way. That was a 90 second mistake to correct, so no big.

2014-06-22 12.06.19

I completed the operation myself, without aid. I mounted the one end to the garage wall, propping the motor on a step stool (shown below)…

2014-06-22 14.51.01


… after which I swung the other end up and propped it atop my ladder (shown below).

2014-06-22 15.00.35 2014-06-22 15.00.53


From there it was quick work to attach the struts and attach them to the ceiling…almost. I needed to nail a 2×4, in between the ceiling joists, else make a run to the hardware store for strut extensions. Total add to the project: 15 mins.

2014-06-22 16.22.12

Running the interior wall-mount opener and optical-sensor wires was fun. I accidentally tacked in one of the [included] metal tacks too tightly, which penetrated the wire and caused a short, causing the door control not to function. This was easily trouble-shot using the legend for “what does the blinking light mean”, in the trouble-shooting guide. I clipped out the offending length of wire, patched in six inches of new wire (left-over from the installation), and all was well. I already own an electrician grade wire cutting tool, so stripping the ends was painless.

I recommend this model to anyone needing to open a single-wide door. For the double-wide doors I recommend the 3/4 horse model.


Why did I switch from RoboForm to LastPass?

Some of you asked me why I switched from RoboForm to LastPass, over a year ago. It is due to its (LastPass’) support of duel authentication via Google Authenticator. In English, this means I use the Google Authenticator app, on my phone, to generate a key that I have to enter, along with my password, to access my secure online password vault. This means that my account cannot be hacked unless someone knows or can hack my password AND they have access to my phone, all simultaneously.
It was simple to switch from RoboForm, as I was able to export my existing passwords and safe notes. They have import options for several other password vaults too.

For more information on Google Authenticator app, see . It also supports Google logins (of course) as well as Dropbox logins.

Update 2017-01-28
More friends have asked me for details over the years, so here goes:

Authentication Objects can be shared across aaccounts

One can share any login object with any other LastPass user. In a work context, one could allow one’s staff log into a domain account but not allow them to see the password. Then, when the employee quits/gets terminated, one could revoke the shared object, and they would be locked out.

Password Generation
I generate ALL passwords for sites, via LastPass, setting the generation attributes (number of characters, which characters/symbols can be used, whether it should be pronounceable, whether to avoid ambiguous characters, etc.). It is sometimes necessary to change these attributes based on a given site’s rules. For example, I might need to dumb down the generated password from 16 characters, to 12, if the site only supports 12. Other sites do not support special characters ($, or ^, etc.), so I have to turn them off for such sites. For the most part I just leave everything dialed up, to the most complex, because I do not know, or care to know, passwords for my sites. I just need to know my LastPass password, and my PC (or domain, if at work) password, and I’m good. Hell, I don’t even know my Google password. No need.

“Not A Problem” is Sometimes an Uppity Response

The “Thank You” Scenario

I have noticed the tendency the past few years, for someone to respond “Not a problem” instead of “You’re welcome”, when someone says “Thank you” or “I appreciate the help” to them.
Being sympathetic to the thanker in the conversation, I look at the “Not a problem” response as if the person is telling me, “Our interaction was not all that horrible. You didn’t bother me as much as one would think. You annoyed me only a little bit.”
I wonder why folks don’t just say “You’re welcome. It was my pleasure,” instead. I would think “Not a problem” would be appropriate if a person first said, “I am sorry to have bothered you,” or “I apologize for causing you more work.”
Do with it what you will.
The “Giving Direction” Scenario

More tolerable is saying “No problem” or “Not a problem” after receiving direction, but it still annoys me.  Example:

Boss: “I need you to have your re-writes done by Tuesday.”

Employee: “Not a problem.”

While the employee might be accurate, that performing their job duty is not an undue stress on them, the boss typically has that consideration low on her list.  She simply wants her document completed and turned in so she can move it forward.  The employee is not doing the boss a favor.  He is doing his job.

In both scenarios above, I am seeing a tendency to be less respectful to others, less thankful, less responsible for one’s actions, in favor of using diffusing language.  Perhaps it is an attempt to remove oneself from the moment, or perhaps it is just dynamic dialect in action.

[Author’s note: This posting was originally posted back in the summer of 2007, but I edited it, in 2013, to separate the two sections for readability.]

Google Talk, Google Voice, Google Chat – Differences and Uses Explained

Google Talk and Google Chat –

These two services have effectively merged over the years, and even Google’s documents intermingle the documentation of the two.

Google Chat:
 This specifically refers to the Jabber protocol compatible text chat portion of the service, as near as I can tell.  Thus, one can use Spark, PSI, Trillian, to use the service, or simply use the chat feature from within Gmail itself (which is what most people will do).

Google Talk: This adds the audio and video components.
Install it as either a browser plug-in or desktop software.

Plug-in – – PC & Mac – Offers video/audio chat within Gmail, iGoogle, and orkut

Desktop Software – – PC Only – Text and voice chatting, free multiple-user audio conferencing, file transfers, free PC-to-PC calls

Google Voice –

Google Voice provides one phone number for all your phones, should you wish to have one.  Two example scenarios of the utility of this feature are below.

[Note that phone number porting, of your cell phone or land line number, is available for a fee.  I do not recommend this though, since you will then have to get a new phone number, for your cell phone, from your provider, to retain that device with a phone service.  It is a useful feature for those of you who do not want to inform your contacts of your new or additional phone number. Personally, I just told people to use my Google Voice number instead of my cell number, and all was well.  If they failed to do so, and continue to use my real, service provider given number, my cell phone still rings; the calls are simply not forwarded also to my other Google Voice devices. – d.r.]

Scenario #1: Having the Google Voice Phone Number Ring on Multiple Devices

  1. Obtain a Google Voice phone number.
  2. Via the Google Voice interface, add your existing phones’ numbers to be associated with your Google Voice account.  E.g, add your cell phone, home phone, and work phone.
  3. Click the check-box, in Google Voice, for any phone you wish to RING when your Google Voice number is called.
  4. Give the Google Voice phone number to your contacts.

When the Google Voice number is called, all of the devices that you define will ring.  Whichever phone you pick up will be the phone you use for the call.

Thus, you will not need to manually forward phones from anywhere to anywhere else.

In my testing, I got the following results:

Answering the call on the PC:

  • I called my Google Voice phone number.  All my devices (PC’s logged into gmail plus my cell phone) rang as expected.
  • I answered the call on my PC, talked, then pressed * , causing my cell phone to ring.  I answered the call, on the cell phone, and the cell was then conferenced in, via a three-way call.  I hung up, on the PC, and the two phones were then left successfully in the call.

Answering the call on the phone:

  • I called my Google Voice phone number.  All my devices (PC’s logged into gmail plus my cell phone) rang as expected.
  • I answered the call on my phone, talked, then pressed *, and nothing happened on my PC.  I was not able to take over the call, on my PC.  Perhaps this was a problem with my phone, since I heard no * tone, or perhaps it is only designed to go one way. The Google help page at does not address the issue of failures transferring from phone to PC.  I submitted a “Rate this article” review as follows:

This does not address failure situations. I can transfer easily from PC to phone, via *, but pressing *, on the phone, will not transfer calls back to the PC. Nothing happens on the PC, and I’m using Chrome. Thus, the KB item does not specifically state what to do in such situations, although it does state calls could be picked up “from your desk”, implying the feature is possible.

You can make outbound calls, from your Google Voice number, only from devices that have been enabled.  Thus, you can use the PC, via Google Talk, easily.  You could only use your cell phones or house phones, with that number, if you port your Google Voice number to those devices.  If you do not port the number, your outbound calls from those devices will simply function as usual, originating from their usual phone numbers.  See below Scenario #2.

Scenario #2 – Use your Google Voice number only from your PC

If you do not wish to add cell phones and/or land lines to the mix, you can simply use your Google Voice number as an originating number when calling from your PC via Google Talk.

You can also use its voicemail feature, on your cell phone, and keep the “forward calls to…” turned off, for the cell phone.  In this fashion you will easily be able to use Google Voice voicemail, and all its online features — also available on your phone — without having to give out your Google Voice phone number. See the below ‘Voicemail’ section for more details.

Google Voice Mail

You can simply dial your Google Voice number — from any phone — press *, enter your PIN when the greeting starts playing, and access your messages.  If you have a smart phone, you can download the Voice application, and even more easily access your messages.

You can have individualized voicemail greetings based on the caller’s ID.

See for voicemail configuration information.

Additional Information

See for information on how to choose your Google Voice phone number.

How Google Voice works: 

Google Voice is not a phone service but is compatible with phone services.  For example, you can utilize it through a VoIP service (such as Google Talk), a cell phone, a land line, your work phone, etc.  There is no software to install; the set up is all done via the Google Voice site.

Its voicemail is likely superior to your current voicemail. 

You can define which devices ring based on who is calling.

My Scenario

I utilize these services as follows:

  • I have a Google Voice phone number.  The system let me choose an available number that met my criteria.  Thus, the number is almost identical to one of my other device’s phone number, with the XXX-YYY-XXX x’s being the same.  Only the YYY value is new, and thus the number was easy for me to memorize.

  • When I am in my basement office I make all outbound calls via my PC headset, because my cell reception down there is weak.  If I want to continue the call I am on, I press the * button, and my cell phone rings.  Note that my current call is NOT interrupted.  When I answer the call, on my cell, the call is seamlessly conferenced, to my phone, and I can then hang up, on my PC, and leave the basement and take the call with me. The person with whom I am talking receives no beeps or interruptions, and they do not even know I have transferred devices unless I choose to share that with them.

#Unfit2BTied – The Vasectomy Live-Tweets

From December, 2011:
It being my first vasectomy, I didn’t know what to expect…aside from wanting to tweet the event, of course.
To read this properly, begin at the bottom and work your way up through the document.
I did not think to capture these until a while afterward, and I think I may have missed a few, but whatteva.
My twitter: they might still be available on Twitter via the #Unfit2BTied. <- Click me to check it out on Twitter.

The Tweets:
ebsewi ebsewi 
@vlmedina To be clear, the ‘blows out the gunk’ comment was with regard to positive #writing effects & not the #Unfit2BTied thread.
ebsewi ebsewi 
Too soon for the standing desk apparently. A day of pillows commences. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
To those of you who Facebook-poked me today, know that I am not allowed to poke you back for several days, per doc’s orders. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
And before I take a tweet break, my final #Unfit2BTied (or is it?): Go forth and DIVIDE BY ZERO ERROR
ebsewi ebsewi 
For some reason I’m feeling less of an affinity with bunnies.#Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
A friend advised an underwear-based supporter from the hockey store. Was going to buy it but it didn’t come with a goalie mask. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
When I retire I’m thinking a return to the work force as a surrogate is now off the table. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
Whoever started “No White After Labor Day” was a frickin’ prophet. #Unfit2BTied.
ebsewi ebsewi 
1 more for the playlist-end: ‘Swing low, Sweet Chariot’/’Lay Down Sally’ mash-up. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
Those worms from Dune were awesome. I wonder if they minded those hooks. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
That couple with 19 kids can afford to expect less, proportionately, from each kid. #LoweredExpectations #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
“So, what attracted you to this line of work, Doc? Moments like this, or the money?” #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
I wonder why no one offers me giblets at Thanksgiving. Always dug ’em as a kid. #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
Should have worn a big red nose & brought a buzzer. #Unfit2BTied #Operation
ebsewi ebsewi 
“Expect a brief prick.” Sounds like my mother-in-law’s advice to my wife. #Honeymoon #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
Humming “It’s Cold Outside” & thinking I should have made a playlist. #Unfit2BTied #Pandora
ebsewi ebsewi 
Should have worn shades. Feeling naughty when I make eye contact #Unfit2BTied #CatholicUpbringing
ebsewi ebsewi 
Is it inappropriate to ask my doctor what scent he is wearing? #Unfit2BTied
ebsewi ebsewi 
Entering the building. I had expected thunder & lightning. Seems too cheery. #Unfit2BTied
Live-Tweeting, during the procedure, begins above this line.
ebsewi ebsewi 
Off to bed, People. Look for #Unfit2BTied around 10:30AM CT/ 4:30PM Greenwich time 2011-12-23 for my live reporting from my vasectomy.
ebsewi ebsewi 
#Unfit2BTied will be thoughts that occur to me during my vasectomy but they may not be directly related. 2011-12-23 apx 10:45 AM CT forward

"Portal", "Portal 2", and Steam

Below is information I sent to a friend of mine recently.  I've had a few messages from people asking me “What's this Portal game you've been going on about?”, and “What's this Steam thingie?”  

Some background for you before diving in the links:


“Portal” and “Portal 2” are multi-platform games capable of being run on PC, PS3, Linux (I think), Xbox, and Mac.  Players on any platform can play the multi-player portion of “Portal 2” with each other.

The game is non-violent, unless you count the various AI entities trying to kill you.

“Portal” and “Portal 2” are often available on Steam for crazy low prices.  One can even buy multi-packs so as to gift copies to friends.  As I type this, “Portal” is $9.99 and “Portal 2” is $19.99, but I bought both of them, as a package, for under $10 over the holidays.  All you need to do is add them to your wishlist, on Steam, and then you'll get an email when they go on sale.

“Portal” has no multi-player, but “Portal 2” has one that is great fun.  Voice works across platforms, by the way.


I play the game via the Steam gaming network ( ) .  Steam happens to be owned by Valve, which also created “Portal”, but this is a coincidence.  That is, I play other games that are simply downloaded and played, via Steam, that were not created by Valve.  Steam is a free online service via which you can buy and download games and connect up with your friends, within Steam, for playing the games.

A Steam account is FREE.  Several games, such as “PlanetSide 2” (hilarious review at are amazing…and again, FREE.  To get the hang of Steam, I suggest creating an account, installing their client software, and downloading a free game.  

Note that the client software has a low overhead.  I set mine not to launch at Windows boot and only launch manually, but it can of course be there all the time if you want it to be.

Steam often has enormous specials where games are .99 or a couple of bucks.



Portal 2:

Official Site at Valve:

Sign up for a Steam account:

To My Wife, on her birthday, a love letter

Happy Birthday, Kristie
——– ———– ———

To she who has been my companion throughout the years,
I love you.

Others say “To my dearest ____, you are the most wonderful wife/husband/mate/F-buddy in the whole wide world!”, but they are wrong.

Their mates are whores, a-holes, douche bags, pricks, meanies, compared to you.  On Facebook, they profess thanks, to God, for having the presence of their loved one, bestowed upon them, when in actuality, God had been busy elsewhere, when the couple hooked up, and like in Bryan Singer’s ‘Superman Returns’ movie, when Superman had been off on a mission to [the blown up?] Krypton, and returns to Earth, to find some very boring, nondescript, vanilla dude had been bangin’ his old lady, proclaims “WTF?!”.

They think they’ve got it great, but they don’t.

Compared to being with you, they might as well be living in a Pearl Jam song.

They’ve settled. “This person is so great,” they think, yet everyone – especially their parents and college friends – knows better, wondering how they could have chosen such a tool.

So, thank you for, via your very existence in the universe, and my life, for making it easy for me to see how everyone else’s relationships really suck. I don’t cry for them, because I really don’t care, having no horse in their race, but I do enjoy my life all the more, knowing mine is so much better than theirs (even if they are ignorant of that), because of you.

Others close their eyes and think of Ryan Gosling, or Scarlett Johansson, or that guy from Mad Men, or a cheerleader, but I don’t have to do that, cuz I’ve got you, not being saddled with someone I met in a bar, back in the day, to whom I got hitched because I had nothing better to do, and I was getting old, and what the heck.

Love Always,

– me

2012-10-04 Obama vs Romney_Debate 01

As posted to my sister’s page in response to a thread there, I place this item here, in my notes, so I can refer to it as needed.
– d.r.

I am judging the performance, in my posting, not the content. I thought both candidates were great debaters. Romney avoided directly answering several of the questions, and he did it deftly. Jim Lehrer, whom I’ve watched since the ’70’s, immediately lost control of the proceedings. I shed another tear for the loss of Tim Russert, who would have eaten both of those guys for breakfast, lunch, dinner, shat them out, and eaten them again.

I did not see Romney as either maniacal or psychotic, but as cool and professional. He operated extremely well within the confines of the rules*. That is, he got away with what he was allowed to do.

Obama performed well, but he looked tired. His words were well chosen, but his professorial approach hurt him here.

Make no mistake, Obama is my guy, but performance wise, Romney was the cooler cucumber.

That said, Obama was much FUNNIER. For that reason alone I’d vote for him, because comedy is my number one election issue.

As for content, it will take me days to read all the fact-checking stuff. For me, that’s like pawing through the stats after a great game, and I love the task. I feel like Asimov sitting on the floor of his apartment and indexing his books manually, for fun.

*This sentence was written due to the assertion that “Romney looked maniacal and nearly psychotic”, with which I disagree.

Webkey (ROOT REQUIRED) Remote Control Android App – Mini-Review

    I had been looking for an app to “take control” of my Android phone’s SCREEN, and not just its functions.  Prior to trying ‘Webkey’ I had been using ‘AirDroid’, the latter of which, although great, did not give me a true screen control.  Webkey does just that.

    Currently (2012-10-02), however, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus’ on-screen keyboard is disabled after running the app, requiring a restart of the phone prior to regaining on-screen keyboard functionality.

    My Google play review:

Information for Creating a Google+ Account

    To participate in a Google+ Hangout one needs a Google+ account, freely obtainable by Google.

  1. If you already have a Gmail account…
  2. Click the pull-down menu, on the upper-right portion of your Gmail screen, then select ‘Join Google+’, as shown in the screen shot below.

If you do not already have a Gmail account…

  1. Navigate to
  2. Choose the “SIGN UP” button in the upper-right corner, as shown below.