Thursday, June 27, 2019

Door closer

My dog Fuji likes to spend the day on the balcony where he can keep watch on everything. After letting him outside, I would close the door until it just touched the frame so he could push it open and come inside at any time. The problem with this was that, after he pushed it open or the wind blew it open, it stayed open. So, I made a simple counterweight system to keep the door closed and to close it when he came inside. The solution is cheap, easy to install, does no damage to the building, isn't noticeable to other residents, and it doesn't interfere with using the door or the balcony.

  • Some string.
  • Some plastic cable ties.
  • A nail.
  • A pully. I used a clothesline pulley from Home Depot.
  • Some way to attach the pully to the building, such as a nail, screw, or a screw eyelet. I attached my pully to an already mounted hanging plant bracket.
  • A counterweight.

Construction details:
  • Drive a small nail into the top of the door near the latch edge of the door.
  • Tie the end of a long piece of string to the nail. 
  • Experiment running the string to various spots on the balcony to find the best location to mount a pulley. Things to consider when finding a place to mount the pulley: keep the string high enough that you can walk under it, ensure the pulley and counterweight are not visually or physically obtrusive, and ensure the counterweight can move freely.
  • Attach the pulley so it can move freely. I used two cable ties, one forming a loop connected to the mount and another one forming a loop that connected the pulley to the first loop. This allowed the pulley to twist and turn in any direction. You can also add a swivel connector to allow more movement.
  • Run the end of the string around the pulley and attach it to the counterweight. I used a plastic bottle so I could add and remove water from it until it was the correct weight to allow the door to close and stay closed while still allowing Fuji to push it open. In the winter, just add some alcohol to the water to prevent freezing.
  • Adjust everything until it all operates smoothly.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


Since moving to Salemtowne, I seem to be wearing out my clothing from the inside from having to change clothes so many times a day. There are so many different things to do here that I find myself changing clothes at least 12 times a day.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Serving line

The Dorcas serving line is open for 30 minutes prior to scheduled meal times. It's primaily for people to order takeout but it is also for people who will be eating in the dining room. For these poeople, it allows them to get their food quicker and it allows them  to see in person what is available and whether it appeals to them.

Community table

CCRC dining rooms are like dining rooms in any other establishment. When you look around, you see people seated at the tables. You see people seated as singles, couples, and groups of friends. At Salemtowne, there is another type of seating. In front of the fireplace in the center of the dining room are a few tables grouped together in what is collectively known as the community table, also known as the rowdy table.

The community table is for people who:
  • Don't want to sit alone, don't know many people in the room, and don't want to intrude on others.
  • Are new and want to get to know others without intruding.
  • Don't mind laughing so much that their faces hurt, they choke on food, they drop and spill food, and sometimes shed tears.
  • Don't have anywhere else to be since meals will take much longer than planned.
To join the community table, there is no need to ask; just take a seat and contribute to the fun.

Dryer filter cleaning

I've found that an old tooth brush works great for cleaning a dryer filter.


Dogs are welcome at Salemtowne; you will see them daily being walked on the campus grounds and in communal areas of campus buildings. Most Staff and residents love dogs and enjoy greeting them and giving them treats. Many of residents are no longer able to have dogs of their own so they particularly enjoy greeting dogs. 

Keep your dog on a tight leash when greeting residents, even when the residents are enthusiastic about greeting the dogs. Many residents have balance problems and even a slight push from a small dog can cause them to lose balance or even fall. Also, be sure to pick up after the dogs and try to keep them from urinating on flowers or near entrances.

Takeout dining

When taking out food from the Dorcas serving line, you can request takeout containers, or you can simply take the food out in the dining plates and bowls. Just wash them after use and return them in a timely manner.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Salemtowne is getting a technology upgrade

Spectrum has installed a highspeed fiber optics cable into Salemtowne and is in the process of installing a managed wireless network to make Salemtowne a Spectrum Community. What this means to Salemtowne residents is that, as a part of our amenities included in the monthly fee, we will receive campus-wide Wi-Fi, highspeed internet, and more TV channels. Some highlights of the new services include:
  • Highspeed internet. Internet download speed will be a guaranteed 300 MBPS. Standard Spectrum internet speed is only 100 MBPS maximum with no guarantee since speed can vary depending on the number of users in your area that are online at the same time. The campus will be blanketed with interconnected commercial routers that will guarantee a continuous, highspeed Wi-Fi connection in all cottages, villas, and apartments and in all Salemtowne buildings and faculties.
  • Campus-wide Wi-fi. All that residents need to do, once they received their own personal login information, is to connect their devices to the Wi-Fi network. An unlimited number of devices can be connected, and they can be used simultaneously with no loss of speed. In addition, there will be a wired internet connection in each housing unit.
  • More TV channels. Around 200 TV channels will be available with the option to add more at your own expense. Also, more channel may be added in the future. A Spectrum DVR may be added at your own expense or you can purchase one of your own.
  • Telephone. Spectrum telephone service may be added at your own expense or you can use another internet telephone service, such as Ooma.
  • Security. Most Wi-Fi networks, including home routers, only offer a single layer of security. Spectrum Wi-Fi has four layers of security. All data is encrypted, credentials are protected, connections are private, and guests can’t access the private-resident network without your permission. Devices on your private resident network will be able to communicate with each other, but no other resident user will be able to “see” your devices.
  • Easy access. An auto access feature allows you to instantly stream shows and movies on the Spectrum TV App and without needing a Spectrum login. However, only the Salemtowne channel lineup can be accessed automatically. But, if you sign in manually, you can access you upgraded channels, and use the parental controls, and save favorites and preferences across multiple devices. In addition, you can then browse guide listings, set up DVR recordings, and much more.