Get to know your furnace

Flame Sensor - Arnold Service

Flame Sensor - Arnold Service

Okay, if you're like me, you hate spending money on pesky things like furnace service calls. I'd rather save that money to buy cool toys! Well, if you get to know your furnace, you can perform some basic fixes yourself and save a lot of money. Now - be warned - if you have no mechanical ability, call a pro, this is a simple fix that saved my $180!

When my oldest son was still an infant, our furnace went out. Right in the midst of a brutal cold snap, in the middle of the night. Well, me being the geek that I am, I thought - "Oh, the thermostat is bad, it must keep sending a 'shut-off' signal"

So after a 3am trip to Walmart and $50 later, I had a new thermostat installed. And, well, that wasn't the problem. Crap!

When the sun came up, I called the service number on the furnance and a few hours later the furnace guy came out, removed a little piece that looks like an allen wrench and he cleaned it off with some steel wool.

That cost me $198!!!

He didn't replace it, he cleaned it. He was in the house for 20 minutes. Right then I decided to learn a little bit about furnaces.

What I found out was, that little allen wrench thingy was the flame sensor. They get dirty and fail to register that they are being bathed in glorious, gas powered flame. So after doing some research (i.e. googling stuff) I found Arnold Service - the web page is dated, but the information is fantastic. Plus he'll sell you the parts. The new flame sensor cost me around $12 plus shipping. I think I paid less than $20 total.

Do yourself a favor and learn a little about your furnace. It could save you a lot of money; money that you can spend buying some of the cool stuff here!

Kindle Fire – Christmas Sleeper Hit?

Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire

I made a pitstop today at Sam's Club and they had a Kindle Fire on display, so I took a few minutes and played around with the demos. I was actually impressed with the speed, the size and the response of the Fire and really for under $200, I think it's a nice alternative to an iPad for people that really don't need all the things an iPad can do.

The Kindle Fire can browse the web and since its content is on the cloud as opposed to the device, it doesn't need a lot of memory.

I think if I were to be looking for a tablet as a gift from my parents, who are both in their 60s, I think the Fire would be the one I would go with. The Fire may be the surprise sleeper hit of Christmas 2011

Have the Doctor over for lunch

What junior geek, on their way back to school, wouldn't love to have this lunch box. If only the tardis were fully functioning. I can't remember how many times I wish I could have teleported myself out of the lunch room. Heck, there are times I wish I could do it now.

Star Wars Talk to Your Kids PSA

Every Geek father (or mother) needs to talk to their child about Star Wars. It's important that our children are properly exposed to awesomeness that is the original trilogy. And we need to prepare and protect them from Jar Jar Binks. Enough said.