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November 22, 2020 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Welcome! Are you a new subscriber? I thought so. This is an interesting issue in my opinion. Strap yourself in.

But you, yes, you! You might have been here since day one, way back in 1995 or so. That’s quite a few harvest moons ago. But now, I want you to focus on Christmas.

It’s that time of year when you drag out the extension cords. How do you SIZE one so you don’t burn down your home? CLICK or TAP HERE for the simple secrets. Size does matter!

Christmas Shopping Reminder

Do you shop for lots of Christmas stuff at Amazon? If so, you've got a fantastic opportunity to reciprocate for some of the tips I've shared with you all year.

Anything you buy at Amazon using my AsktheBuilder.com affiliate link helps keep the lights on and the server running here. It doesn't cost you any more and Amazon protects your privacy.

CLICK or TAP HERE to help keep AsktheBuilder.com running!


What’s it Take?

Today, we celebrate the fifty-seventh anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

John F Kennedy
I was in the 5th grade and remember being herded down to the basement of my school to watch live TV coverage. We only had one TV in the school and it was up on a big rolling stand.

I knew something serious was happening, but I had no concept of just how important it was because I didn’t yet possess enough life experience. You need, in my opinion, bushels of life experience to accurately judge historic moments in time.

Think about it. What does it take to get so angry at a leader that you want to kill her/him - and then actually pull it off? Assassinations of world leaders litter history books. Heck, here in the USA we average a Presidential assassination once every sixty-one years.

While our ancestors weren’t shooting at King George, they sure as heck took potshots at his proxies on April 19, 1775, standing their ground on Lexington Green. I’ve stood on that hallowed ground and wondered in silence what I might have done.

This is why being President of the United States of America is the most dangerous job in the world. There’s a reason the cars our Presidents travel in are fancy polished armored tanks.

I doubt President Kennedy wrote his inauguration speech, but boy, oh boy, did he nail that one sentence:

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

President Kennedy was talking about what we owe our country but he might also have been foreshadowing the massive DIY movement that would erupt just a decade later. It was already simmering in the decade after the Great WW II as many returning GIs got busy with their hands.

There’s nothing quite like self-reliance.

You might do well in these trying times to make yourself even more self-reliant than you are now. I’m serious. It's getting harder to find great people to do jobs around and in your home.

Imagine if you possessed the sweet skills to fashion toilet paper from branches. Your neighbors would be beating your door down throwing their money at you.

LED Lights Flickering

Earlier this week, I installed six new smart LED recessed light bulbs.

Peace LED recessed bulbs

I can control the color temperature (soft and warm or cool and bright), make each one light up any color of the rainbow, put them on timers or turn them on and off from 900 miles away. I can do all this and more using an app on my phone. CLICK or TAP HERE to see them.

After installing them, I turned them off and left the room for hours. Later that day at dark, I turned them on. They immediately started to randomly flicker - all at the same time.

There are two 3-way switches that control these six bulbs. I quickly diagnosed the issue. One switch had a sliding dimmer feature. The dimmer switch was cool and the circuitry in the switch that controls the dimming was interrupting the flow of electricity to the LEDs.

LEDs respond instantly to the flow of electricity. Standard incandescent bulb filaments are glowing hot and have to cool down to stop producing light. If a traditional incandescent bulb is turned off for 100th of a second and then turned back on, you probably would never notice a change because the filament is still glowing white hot.

Once the dimmer switch heated up from the flow of electricity, the flickering stopped. File that inside your tiny gray cells for future use.

The Holy Grail of Razor Knives

I thought I had found the Holy Grail of razor knives a year or two ago. I was wrong. I have no trouble admitting when I’m wrong.

One wonders if Harrison Ford was right and the Holy Grail is really a simple cup a carpenter might have used. Here’s a picture of what the Holy Grail might have looked like.

Holy Grail
You’re about to see a razor knife that will absolutely put your head on a swivel. CLICK or TAP HERE and behold!

This stunning multi-blade razor knife makes the PERFECT stocking stuffer. I’m going to order TWO MORE so I have one for my truck, my car, etc. Heck, I may get FIVE of them! You will too once you see it.

Louis and Mike

Last Sunday I shared with you my favorite books of all time. CLICK or TAP HERE if you forgot to look at them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I added a few NEW BOOKS to the list since last Sunday.

mike mulligan and his steam shovel book

Louis was fortunate as a child to have a wonderful mother who had the smarts to purchase the love story you see above.

Here’s what he wrote to me, and it brought the biggest grin to my face because I had the same experience growing up:


My Mother, Ada, died last Saturday at the age of 93. One of my earliest memories, when Eisenhower served as President, was her reading Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel to me as I fell asleep.

Thank you."


You’d do well to purchase this book - CLICK OR TAP HERE to add it to your library - and start reading it to yourself or your grands.

Heating Water With Electricity

Tony reached out to me too after last Sunday’s issue. Read his interesting short story:

“Good Morning Tim,

I changed my hot water system to a heat-pump hot-water system in October 2019. At the same time, I disconnected my basement dehumidifier system. Total cost for the system was $945, after a $750 rebate offer by Environmental Maine. This system has three settings: Heat Pump Only, Electric Only and Demand Electric Assistance. We have only used Heat Pump Only. Recovery has been quick enough for the two of us. Maybe a family with three children might need to have some electric usage, but not too much I think. My electric bill has been reduced each month by roughly $50 and my basement has never been less humid. Maybe you could do an investigation about this? I know my wife and I are quite pleased with this change.”


Downeast ME

Well, well, well … It turns out I was one, maybe two, steps ahead of Tony. I DID DO an investigation months ago and I thought I had shared it here.

I want you to CLICK or TAP HERE and listen to a fascinating short podcast I had with a top engineer from Rheem about how to save money when you heat water using electricity.

That’s plenty for the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I have lots to be grateful for including subscribers like you.

I’ll be celebrating with my immediate family. It’s my favorite meal of the year.

I’ve gathered all my fellow NH wizards and asked them to cast a protective spell on me. They’ve promised the spell will allow me to eat copious amounts of all the food and large pieces of pumpkin and pecan pie without suffering any indigestion. They've assured me the spell will ensure I'll not increase my weight measured in stones.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of your family and friends gathered around a large festive table loaded with mounds of tasty food.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com
Red Wine Spill Cleaner - www.StainSolver.com
Telegraph Operator - www.W3ATB.com

Do It Right, Not Over!

P.S. Did you brush aside my advice on the best razor knife of all time? Silly you!!! For the love of God, CLICK or TAP HERE now to look at this marvelous thing you MUST HAVE!


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