December 5, 2012 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
Last night, I was with about 35 members of my ham radio club as we toured the 911 center that's just a few miles from my house in Laconia, NH. We only have two 911 call centers for the entire state of New Hampshire. The primary call center is in the capitol in Concord.
While there, one of the cool and collected operators was talking a person through how to do CPR. There was so much anxiety in the room, you could hear a flea burp. The professional operator's sitting in the cubicle in the center of the photo.
I can't tell you if the person that had the heart attack survived, but I can tell you that I'm glad I took the CERT training that includes CPR as one of the class segments. I'm also grateful we have such talented employees here at our call centers. The director of the center told us that two of his employees received national awards in the past two years for their skills and magic. Wow!
Do you know how to administer CPR? When was your last refresher course? The methodology has changed. Make it a New Years resolution to take a CPR course or, better yet, the entire CERT series. You'll *never* regret investing the time.
IMPORTANT PRODUCT RECALLS
There are two recall alerts.
The first is about a Jotul Gas Fireplace Insert that can cause electrical shocks and burn hazards.
The second is a Home Depot bucket mug that can catch on fire. Seriously.
iPhone 3G or 3GS
I'm still in need of a used iPhone 3G or 3GS if you have one for sale. Please respond to me with iPhone as the Subject Line.
UPDATE ON STRAIGHT TALK
I've had my HTC Nexus One phone working for the past week on Straight Talk and everything is working just great. I'm in a rural area and have a crystal-clear signal. The texting is perfect, and the Internet browsing experience is as fast as my Samsung Galaxy phone.
My HTC phone shows on the screen that I'm getting a 3G signal, so I'm tickled pink with that! I'll continue to give you reports about this experience. Suffice it to say that I'm now saving $75 a month on my cell phone bill.
TIP OF THE WEEK - ENERGY RETROFITS - RETURN ON INVESTMENT MYTH
The most recent issue of Remodeling magazine's cover story was about retrofitting houses with energy improvements.
One part of the story listed the 10 Reasons to Retrofit. It said, and I quote, "Some people invest in energy retrofits because they want to help achieve energy independence or reduce greenhouse gases or reverse climate change. For everyone else here are 10 more tangible reasons."
The first reason listed was:
It then said, "Savings on energy bills vary but are immediate and will likely grow over time as prices increase."
WRONG! Stop the train! That's a very misleading statement, and I see many publications say it all the time. I hear home improvement TV hosts say it. I hear it on home improvement radio shows. It's a half truth. It's bunk.
Here is what I've said for years about saving money on energy improvements:
You do NOT save money on energy improvements or retrofits UNTIL SUCH TIME as you pay yourself back all the money, PLUS interest, you spent to do the improvement or retrofit. You pay yourself back with the lower utility bills. After you have paid yourself back the money you spent, THEN you finally start to save money.
Does that make sense?
One of the retrofits they used as an example was a tankless water heater. Do you think you'll save money with one of those bad boys? Well, go read my past column about tankless water heaters - and read the comments at the bottom of the column!!!
DRIVER TOOL - EXCELLENT CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA
I'm taping a video later today about the very handy Worx SD Driver tool. You're going to LOVE this parody video. No more clues. I'll send you a special alert about this video in a few days.
If you want to try to guess what I'm going to do in the video, go check out this ingenious handy cordless driver tool.
Please keep in mind that you can help me grow AsktheBuilder.com if you do all your shopping at Amazon.com AFTER you click one of my Amazon affiliate links. Thank you so much for doing that!
SHED VIDEOS - AND MORE VIDEOS
I'm spending time telling you about the shed videos because they're a harbinger of what's to come. In 2013, you're going to see me produce many more instructional videos.
Why? I'm getting hundreds of positive comments about the teaching style I display in the DIY Shed videos. Perhaps I missed my calling!
Those folks that purchased the DIY Shed video series months ago have been having a field day over the past few days. Last week I promised you that videos would be uploaded and made accessible. I delivered - finally!
There's a link just below where you can watch three really cool videos. But read this first.
Over the weekend, I received a series of emails I knew I was going to get. Two that stood out were the ones from Henry Wollman who lives in Rocky, Oklahoma and Russell Morris who hales from Queensland, Australia.
Henry had a bunch of follow up questions. There were things he wanted to know more about in the videos. What's interesting is that I could have added about three questions to each of the questions he asked.
Going into the project I knew that would happen. My answer to Henry was pretty simple. Imagine trying to package forty years of hands-on building experience into a series of videos. Imagine how many thousands of little steps there are in building a simple shed.
It's impossible to fit all of that information into a video series taking the time to explain each and every tip. It would take thousands of hours of video to answer a majority of questions.
Russell's email was more succinct. He pretty much hit the nail on the head capturing my vision of the DIY shed video series back in May when I launched the project.
"I just want to tell you that you have made a fantastic video series. Very well put together, and in a very good logical sequence. There are very few lingering questions about any details. Just about anyone could follow this and with almost no experience and build a pretty respectable shed. I know I will be referring to this many times in the future. Great Job!"
Russell Morris, Robina, Queensland Australia
Russell's pretty much right on target. Just like a book might leave you with questions, the goal is to impart plenty of information to get you on your way. I know my shed videos do that.
Here are three FREE videos from the series that I want you to watch. The one video will blow you away if you've ever had trouble measuring something accurately. You'll possibly discover the problem was with the tape measure!
Are you sitting down? If you remember way back when I launched the project, I said there would be 100 videos in the entire series.
I just checked. I've edited and uploaded 85 videos. I believe in video #86 I show you the first two roof rafters in place. There are MANY MORE videos yet to edit and upload, so you can see how enormous the video series is! At this point, I believe it could easily go over 200 videos, but I'm not sure. I'll know more by this weekend.
Remember how I said the videos would be sold a la carte? You don't have to buy the entire series if you just need to know how to do one aspect of the shed construction.
Well, we're starting to load the different categories onto the shopping cart. For example, the Wall Framing category videos, all 13 of them, can be purchased for just $19.99.
There are going to be nearly 25 different categories when I'm finished! It will cost you lots of money if you purchase the shed videos one category at a time. Even more if you buy them one video at a time.
But you can purchase the entire set of DIY Shed videos, right now, for just $97.
That price is going to go up. I've said that for months now, and every month the price goes up as I find out how many videos there really are.
I'm only going to sell 100 sets at this $97 price, then the price will jump to $147.00. Even at that price, it will be a huge bargain as the videos will cost less than $1 each at the higher price. Remember, I think there will be about 200 videos in the complete series.
Here's the kicker. I have a few of the official DIY Shed hats left. There are only fifteen hats left. The first fifteen people that order the entire shed series at $97 get a free hat. These are deluxe hats, not some POC hat you see for $5 in a catalog.
Check out the handsome hat in the photo below. You can see the completed shed in the background.
If you're one of the first 15 people to buy the series of videos, you'll get an email from Roger letting you know you made the cut and get the nice hat. If you do NOT get the email, then you got to the cart too late. Sorry about that!
Go watch the three FREE videos.