Random Bits of Projects

August 14, 2011

Drinkwell Pet Fountain (original) Review

I have had a Drinkwell Pet Fountain for my two cats for about a year. This is one of the early models that had finally come down on price for me to try. It is not the most positive review. To be fair, the newer models may be different, I do not know. (Model number coming soon). I am just dropping a quick review in case you are thinking of getting one. I would insert a picture but the thing is in the trash and I am too irritated to drag it out.

Note: I am reviewing this based on its use for cats. Using this fountain for small dogs may be a little different as far as frequency of cleaning, etc. But it might still give you something to consider.


July 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — virtuallyamy @ 4:01 pm

Coming soon! (I hope)

  1.  Personal review of Drinkwell Pet Fountain. It is good, but……
  2. How to make your own pet fountain for less money, easier upkeep, and better hygiene.
  3.  An article dealing with cats that vomit any dry food given to them, even though they were fine with it for years. There is little out there about this but I have found I am not the only one that has had this happen. I might have fixed the problem by switching to wet (spoiler!) which is pretty much better for them anyway-but these guys hated wet.  I want to wait a little longer and see before I give details.


I am sorry I have hardly posted or updated much lately. I have also wanted to polish up some pages because I often write these in a hurry. I cringe when I go back to read some of these. Others I have needed to add tweaks to projects that I find work better or simply work on reviews where I have more info to share since the original post. I am working a few jobs and that has been taking up my blog  and hobby time. This site, though I am glad I can share some ideas free, gets bumped back in favor of earning my meager money. 😉


I hope all is well for you!


March 22, 2011

Thinking of Getting a Roomba? Personal, Ongoing Updates from a New Owner

Status as of last update April, 2012 (at the end): Batteries replaced with an affordable generic. Works great! Also generic filters work well.

Are you starting to think you might want to try a robotic vacuum cleaner despite knowing better? This post will be about my experience over time with one. Likely, it will not be the most helpful, outside of links, until I have had it for awhile. I thought I would update and share anyway as time goes. I will give my initial thoughts, the type of home it will be working in, the model, and various other input. The input on my actual experiences is a little further down if you need to skip ahead (have run it in every room as of this posting). I will make notes in the body of the post, as well, on whether what I researched actually holds up to actual use. So this site is still in the works. Updates will be added as time goes. This will be updated for at least a year, barring the unexpected.

The lead up: I always thought the idea of a little robot going around cleaning seemed like a splendid idea. Well, anything or anyone cleaning for me is a splendid idea. I will take what I can get. But when I first heard about Roomba, I was skeptical. And yes, it seemed like I should be. I had not heard much of anything good about them and the few I have seen in action, was lacking. Bad cleaning and they break easy. So I wrote it off and moved on. Years pass and then the other week I see them for sale in our local Bed Bath and Beyond. I grew curious and started to research them online. My thinking was that if they are coming out with new ones after all this time and all of the bad reviews, they might have fixed something. And I mainly started looking because I am a nerd and I was curious. Really, I cannot afford to go buy something like this and it turn out to be a gimmick. But darn it, I want something to clean for me AND a new toy!


January 16, 2011

Review of Tetra, Whisper Filter (EX 30, 45)

I was cleaning my fish tanks out today and was grumbling about a few of my filter systems like I normally do when I clean them when I realized that I have never updated any review for the things in my sad, neglected blogs.

So here goes.

I have had the Tetra, Whisper Filter systems for 2 years (already?)  now. Size EX 30 and 45. When I posted on how to convert the filters to something less expensive and customizable, a reader had asked if I noticed a difference in their performance when compared to older models. At the time, I thought I had but I had not had them long enough to be sure. Well, now I can definitely say. I do not like them. I continue to use them along with the older models since I already have them, but I would never use them alone.

I am comparing these to the use of Whisper 10-20, 30, and 40, as well as one TopFin 60 in fresh water tanks. These filter are also for the budget conscious.


November 19, 2010

Tiny Little Black Bug Infestation? (You might have weevils.)

If you are reading this, then you might have been noticing tiny black bugs all over your house. They look sort of like fleas that crawl slowly but do not jump. I think these are a type of weevil. When you get a few, like roaches, you will have a lot. How do you get rid of them? Where did they come from? This article is about how I dealt with them while at the same time not harming my pets (or children if you have them). It is not an overnight solution, but I finally got rid of them using this method, to the point that I might not have  a picture for you any time soon. This also saved me from getting the bug guy in. Always the budget. Sigh.


April 7, 2010

Photography of small items: Use glass to eliminate shadows and basic camera/light/photo editing settings

Ever need to get a picture of a small object, such as jewelry, and not have those pesky shadows under it? Or need to eliminate as much background as you can? I found a few methods that helped without having to buy expensive equipment. Its not anything that has not been discovered but I hope to help those who are in the same position I was in a few weeks ago at the time of this posting and stay on budget. I am not an expert. But I luck out here and there as you can see in this picture to the left.

Recently, I opened an online shop for my handmade jewelry and other items. Right now, at the time of this posting, there is not much listed because I have had to learn how to take decent pictures of small objects that are crisp and clear for a potential buyer to look over an item (and the time spent learning this has kept me from making any advanced jewelry-ack!). Not so easy unless you can go out and buy everything needed for the best possible set up. I have to do it on a very tight budget. So over the next few weeks I will post a series of articles on some tricks I have learned or of sites I have found useful.

In this article I would like to talk about using glass under your object.


December 12, 2009

Making a Hula Hoop and Connector

I recently came across an extremely fun way to get a full body work out (very much needed). I get bored easy with “traditional” exercising so I needed something fun to do and to learn at the same time to keep my mind busy. I also need something that does not cost me much money. Hooping! It is often referred to hoop dancing and is starting to become popular in many countries for both men and women (and it can have you doing some sexy moves regardless of your body shape). All ages can do this. There is a great video showing and adorable white-haired lady hooping at hooping.org to prove it.
This is not the hula hooping you may have done as a kid. More on this later in another post. Here, I want to show you how to make your own hoop.

You can buy some fantastic hoops online and I will share a few links  near the end of this post along with a coupon I found. But when you first start learning, you will be rough on your hoop. Building your own can be much less expensive in the long run and you can also experiment with different diameters to suite you. You may also feel less protective of this hoop, allowing you to relax and just have fun trying to learn.

There are several kinds of materials you can use (see hooping.org link below), here I used coiled PVC. It was all I could find in my area though it might be a little more difficult to use. Once you find the materials, making the hoop is easy. It is the connector that can cause some problems. It has to fit and not leave a flat spot in the hoop. Though, you can use a hoop that has a flat spot, it looks funny and may goof up a few moves.


November 24, 2009

Juggling: Wrapping the Handle when Making Green Clubs

If you enjoy juggling balls you might have had the urge to start juggling clubs but do not want to spend the money on a set until you have gotten the hang of it a bit. Or you do have a nice set but would like to have a set that can get beat up from practicing or lending out to people who wan to try it. There are inexpensive sets out there that are not comfortable on the hands but work fine. But if you have the time to construct  your own, you can get several sets for the price of even the inexpensive clubs. Also, you can customize them to look how you want. They work well and are not too terribly harsh on the hands. You can adjust the balance and how they look too.





November 23, 2009

Suction Cup Plant Hanger as a Pet Bird Perch.

A few years ago I was looking for a way to put a perch in my shower so my parrotlet could hang out when I was in there. The pet shop perches that had suction cups to stick to smooth surfaces were expensive and huge. I eventually found plant hangers with suction cups that worked perfect!

(that is black grout, not mildew in the picture-ha)


August 5, 2009

Keep your laptop computer cool! (Alternate uses for common objects)

cookie sheet

You might have noticed that a laptop computer can get very hot. It is a good idea to put it where it can get good air circulation to cool it down and extend its life. You can buy items for this purpose. Some simply elevate the laptop above the desk and others have fans built in to further circulate air underneath cooling off the laptop. With the latter you have to be careful that the computer fans connect to where the fans are located on the platform or they do not work as well. This can cause confusion for matching one to the computer and many are not cheap for what they do. The former version can likely be made from something laying around at home.


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