July 9, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips
I like to read at night before drifting off to sleep. About three weeks ago, I finished reading The Last Call by George Wier. I was able to get a FREE copy from the Kindle store. I've grown to LOVE reading on my Kindle Fire, a magnificent device if you're thinking about a tablet reader.
Not to freak you out, but I think the tablet manufacturers know that I finished reading the book. The technology in these tablets is such that when you re-open the tablet, it *remembers* where you are in the book - the exact page.
I'm guessing the tablets have the ability to transmit a signal to Amazon's cloud computers that I made it to the last page. I could be completely wrong about this, but from a marketing perspective it's brilliant as they know when to approach you about buying another book.
A few days later an email arrived from Amazon asking me to review the book. I complied about five days later. I gave the book five stars in my short review. Here's what I had to say about the George's book:
Bill Travis - Mr. Road Trip - My Kind of Man
"I was trolling in the Kindle store for a mystery book. Up pops The Last Call. I'm a professional writer myself, but I don't do novels. So I was just a tad skeptical of the summary. In the past, I've discovered that some book summaries are more smoke and mirrors than what the book is really about.
I decided to take a chance. SURPRISE! George Wier grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. The book's got a great flow, the plot is believable, and the story momentum is maintained until the last page.
If I was a former men's clothing CEO that was recently fired, I'd say, "You're going to love the way you look reading this book. I GUARANTEE it." Seriously, it's a great read. Oh, what's my review title have to do with road trips? Wait till you read what Bill does."
Last week I wake up to an email from the author, George Wier! He wrote:
"Actually, I don't have a question. I do have a big THANK YOU for the kind words in your review of my book, "The Last Call."
You're welcome to contact me any time at this email address, or call me during the day at XXX-XXX-XXXX. I really appreciate that review. I'd like to send you a free book or two.
I was FLOORED the book author would contact me! I ended up talking with George that day about a project I'm working on. He said to absolutely move forward with my top-secret project. We had a great time on the phone.
Why am I telling you this story? First and foremost, I just wanted to let you know that you should leave honest reviews for books that you read. Second, magic can happen in certain situations. Third, your review can help other readers make a decision.
Bosch Saw Blades! You MIGHT Get One - Hurry!!!
You'll part with at least $30 if you want to get yourself a sweet 10-inch Daredevil saw blade for table or mitre saw. That's not chump change. Want one for FREE?
Fifty, yes FIVE ZERO, people are going to win a FREE Daredevil 10-inch saw blade.
This is an AsktheBuilder.com EXCLUSIVE promotion. That means your chances of winning are very high.
You get to choose exactly what blade you want. There are five blades that have either 24, 40, 60, 72, or 80 precision ground carbide teeth that provide crisp cuts in any lumber.
You'll be asked what blade you want when you fill out the entry form.
When you see the space for the PROMO CODE, just type:
The contest started on July 1st and runs until the 21st.
These are super sweet blades. If you don't need one enter anyway!!!! Why? Because it's a gift any handy person in your family will really appreciate.
Tip of the Week - When To Do What
Last week I received an email from Janet in Long Island, NY. She was about to create a basement office and wanted to know about the relative order of when things should be done.
I've written a few past columns about this, and one that does a fairly good job of describing the flow of work is one about a bathroom remodeling job.
Janet's question was about when to install the flooring. She had a unique situation where she needed to move out of a leased office space with some heavy office furniture and didn't want to move the objects twice.
She wanted to know if she could install the vinyl tile flooring in the space before any other work happened, move in the furniture because of an impending deadline to vacate the office space, and then finish remodeling her basement.
I said that's the opposite order I'd do things because there's too great a risk that someone will ruin the flooring as all the work progresses. Usually finished flooring is one of the last tasks you do in a job. You can cover the flooring with different materials to protect it, but chances are something will go wrong.
I did tell her there are any number of situations where flooring is installed a little earlier in a job, but rarely is it the first thing installed.
Yesterday, Ted emailed my saying that he used Stain Solver to clean his pavers and it did a fantastic job. Yes, you bet Stain Solver cleans pavers, patios and concrete!
He then tried some on a retaining wall and when the wall dried, there was a white deposit left on it. He thought it was Stain Solver.
I looked at his photo and quickly determined it was efflorescence. Many, many people have this problem and don't know how to solve it.
Watch this video about efflorescence, and I'll bet you discover something new! At the end of the video I tell Ted how to solve the problem with his retaining wall.
Stain Solver FLASH SALE!
Did you attend a picnic or cookout on the 4th of July? How many gallons of mustard do you think was consumed that day? How much ended up on clothes?
Mustard is a tough stain, but it's no match for Stain Solver!
Anne Marie Camden thought she had ruined one of her favorite t-shirts with mustard.
Do you have tough stains in clothes?
Are you like Jerry and want to clean coffee stains from your car's carpet?
Have cats sprayed on your furniture/carpet leaving a horrible odor?
Do you want to clean 40-year-old mold and mildew from concrete foundation walls like Tom did?
The list is ENDLESS of what Stain Solver can clean.
To get you started, today begins a FLASH SALE where you can get 10% off and FREE SHIPPING. The sale runs just until Sunday July 14, 2013 at midnight ET.
I've even discounted the price of our newest small Sample Size so you can try Stain Solver.
To get 10% off any of the sizes from 2.2 pounds up to our jumbo 50-pound size, use the promo code:
You don't need the promo code if you buy the Sample Size, as I manually dropped the price from $9.97 to $8.97. If you buy three or more of this size you can use the promo code to get an additional 10% off.
I Didn't Know That!
I've come up with a new feature in the newsletter. I'm hoping that it becomes popular and that you let me know if you discover something new as a result. Most of the time it will be home-improvement related.
This first one really doesn't have much to do with home improvement, but it's vitally important if you, a friend, or a relative likes to take photos with a smartphone or modern camera and then post them online.
Do your kids post photos of your grandkids online? If so, you better watch this video.
What you'll see in this three-year-old video will possibly chill you to the bone. After you watch the video, can you VOTE HERE?
Please vote and I'll publish the results next week.
To vote, just click ONE of the two links just below. Please do not click both as that will skew the results.
Here's the question:
Did you know that smartphone photos may contain precise GPS location data when you upload a photograph? Did you realize some cameras do this and store that GPS data in the image file?
If you and a boatload of others vote, I'll continue to do this each week. It could be very enlightening to see who knows what. Don't worry, I'm not tracking *you* as you vote! Your votes are totally anonymous.
Air in Hot Water Lines
Paul Gadjosik of Sun City, CA wrote to me:
"When I return home after being gone for a few weeks, I find that I have air in my hot water line going to my bathroom faucet. My bathroom is all the way at the other end of the house. As I use the water, in time the air will be less and less. I'm wondering if my water heater could be causing this problem, or hopefully I do not have a leak in my line. My house is built on a concrete slab, so if I have a leak, I can not look for it."
My answer to Paul was:
The air in your lines could be related to a water main break in your town's water supply system. When a main water line ruptures and they turn off the water to repair the break, lots of air enters the water system.
This air eventually finds its way into homes when the water main is repressurized with water. But I doubt this is the source of your chronic air problem.
If I was a betting man, I'd say the air is directly related to your water heater. When water is heated, it accelerates the formation of air bubbles in water. Water contains air. Fish and other aquatic animals extract this air and oxygen with their gills.
If you fill a clear glass with cold tap water and come back to look at it hours later, you frequently see tiny air bubbles on the sides of the glass. These bubbles form because the water is no longer under pressure as it was inside the pipes in your home. The pressure in the water system makes the air invisible. Release this pressure and the air can come out of solution.
Heating water makes the air form sooner. When you're gone from the house, the air can build up inside your water heater and the air is released when you finally draw hot water from your bath faucets the upon your return home.
Don't be worried about a leak. That's not your problem.
If you use your hot water each day, not enough air comes out of the water for large pockets of air to develop in the heater. That's why most people never experience air coming from their faucets.
More tips, fun and savings next week!