Whether you are self isolating or sheltering in place or just home for awhile, Will and I have things you can do while stuck at home. Listen here:
15 things you could do while stuck at home
- 1. Test your smoke detectors and CO detectors
2. Get a couple gallons of paint and a couple brushes and paint a room in the house
3. Take down your Christmas lights and clean out your gutters
4. Defrost your fridge/freezer
5. Organize your pantry and toss out old spices and seasonings
6. Clean out your garage or basement and find things to donate
7. Calk your shower
8. Start Seeds!
9. Vacuum the bugs out of your lights, change your furnace filter, and clean the compressor on your fridge?
10. Better yourself. There are 1000s of online companies that are now offering their classes online at a reduced rate.
11. Run a half pot of white vinegar through your drip coffee maker
12. Drain you water heater
13. Change your furnace or air exchange filter
14. Clean out the lint trap in your dryer
15. Watch GardenFork videos!
Can I Send You My Cool Stuff Every Week?
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Eric: Hey, how are you doing? Thanks for downloading GardenFork radio. Welcome. This is me, Eric. I am your host. I have a YouTube channel also called GardenFork. This is eclectic, haphazard, whatever comes out of Eric’s brain and today Will Wallus his brain from The Weekend Homestead are here. Welcome sir.
Will: How are you doing buddy?
Eric: I have no complaints. Awesome. We wanted to talk today about what you can do while you’re stuck at home and will typed up this gigantor list. So I once again, I don’t have to do any work. I can just comment on whatever Will’s going to say. So we hope you guys are doing all right. I am getting a little twitchy being at home and this is actually kind of very inspiring for me. The list that you just sent me. So should we just, Oh, I wanted to thank I have, we have three new patrons of GardenFork. They will be getting the bonus after show and we just actually the pre show and the after show. Now I’m putting on our Patreon feed, which you can add into your podcast player. I want to thank Greg G, John D and Tom, so thank you very much there.
Will: That’s super neat. It’s, it’s so cool to see the community grow and just see people interacting with this stuff. I’m, I’m guessing the pre show after show thing that you’ve been posting, how has that been taken by the patrons? Are they liking it?
Eric: I haven’t gotten any hate mail, so
Will: Perfect. That’s, that’s a good thing. That’s a win in my book.
Eric: Well, like see, like I, I get a million emails a day and I’m looking at my inbox right now and there’s one and says Greg and special thanks. And I have the email inbox set up not to show a truncated sentences or anything and that could be spam. I get a lot of very compelling spam and they want me to click on something. So I’m like, is that a thank you from a viewer or is that spam? So
Will: I think we should just, we, I think we should just have everybody email email@example.com and say Hey to Eric, you know, then we can fill his inbox with that kind of [inaudible]
Eric: Not spam. I’m going to change the list preview and see what it does here.
Will: I will tell you, this is the part that amazes me is I don’t get a, Oh, it is, do you want to read it or do you want to proofread it first?
Eric: No, I’m going to read it right here. Oh. And it’s from one of my patrons. Just wanted to say a quick thanks for sharing what you and your friends do. I’ve been listening for years and really love listening to the trials and tribulations that you go through because I can really relate loving the podcasts you do while walking. Oh, I do that for the patrons. It’s, I call it the either the city walk or woods walk. I just talk into my phone. For some reason the free flowing thoughts are very refreshing. Yikes. That’s my comment. Maybe it’s the fresh air. Keep up the good work that’s from Greg, one of our patrons.
Will: Well thank you Greg. That’s awesome.
Eric: Yeah. So we have 15 things you could do while stuck at home. And I actually am stuck at home today and I, I kinda sorta did a couple of these. So why don’t you start off sir.
Will: Well, you know, one of those items is, that’s on the top of the list, which no one will be surprised with because every year I harp on it, especially on the podcast or on my, on my own blog is testing your smoke detectors and your CEO detector. It’s actually a really good time, especially if you’re opening up your house to vacuum them out and clean them out and do those types of things. And it’s, it’s something you should do regularly because to be honest with you, smoke detectors, save lives. I mean, it’s the fire department in me that brings that up, but it’s one of those things, it’s probably one of the easiest things to do. Get some nine volt batteries and just change them out.
Eric: Yeah. And the other thing is, we’ll talk about this on a future episode, but we’ve been saving our pennies for years and we finally could afford air conditioning in our apartment and they had to drill through brick walls. This was way above my pay grade, so we had to hire people to do it and the dust was so that brick dust is so fine. It got everywhere. It got into our smoke detectors and set them off. Wow. So what I did was I took them outside and they’re those 10 year ones where you, you can’t just disconnect the battery. You can hit the off, you can hit the suspend button, I think it’s called, but I blew them out. I have what’s called a pancake air compressor. It’s for a Brad nailer. And I just, I looked it up and it said right at the instructions for the smoke alarms, just blow it out with some, with some canned air, compressed air. And I blew him out and I put him back on their mounting plate and it automatically turns it back on again. And they worked fine. So vacuuming them while they’re in position would not be a bad idea.
Will: Yeah. And if you don’t have a pancake compressor, I mean for a couple of dollars, I think even at like some of the dollar stores, they sell a little cans of compressed air. You don’t need very much to do it. I mean just a couple of shots in there and it it will make the difference. And where you’ll thank yourself more than anything is you won’t be sleeping in bed at three o’clock in the morning and all of your smoke detectors go off and then in your house and you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. It’s a lot easier to do it in the middle of the afternoon when it’s nice and you know, you can get on a ladder and take care of it the right way.
Eric: My friend has the Google nest smoke alarms and when one goes off, they all go off and it’s a little heart stopping.
Will: Does it send an email? Also, I’ve heard that those new ones send emails and text messages and everything. So it’s not just your smoke detectors going off. Your phone is beeping and your laptop is chirping and everything else too.
Eric: Wow. I don’t know. He is, he’s a, has a wired and I purposely have an unwired home, so I will say we’re talking about the dollar store. The dollar store near me has incredibly good dark chocolate for, it’s really good. It’s only a dollar
Will: That is a very odd to come up with, but I could see it.
Eric: So what’s, what’s the next one, sir?
Will: Let’s, let’s move down the list. Actually, this one goes right up the alley of what Eric does, which is maybe get a couple of gallons of painting and brushes and paint a room in your house. You know, there’s, everybody’s always got that one room that they haven’t gotten to or whatever. Maybe it’s a good time to, you know, give that a try. Nice thing is, is with the weather getting nice, you can open your windows to air out the house so you don’t get that smell. And it’s a good project to do to think about stuff or listen to music or maybe a podcast or something like that and you know, do some painting and you can really freshen up your house with a coat of paint. It’s not that expensive and almost anybody can do it.
Eric: Exactly. I have a couple of tips here. If your walls, if it’s, if it’s the kitchen or near the kitchen, you should wash the walls or have somebody who’s a smoker is in that room or in your house or you haven’t painted it in like 10 or 15 years. I would wash the walls and I would use it’s called TSP dash free. It’s a trisodium phosphate alternative. It’s a TSP trisodium. Phosphate is a great cleaner, but the TSP free is a safer one on your skin. So when you literally, you sponge the walls down and then do a clean sponge with just some water, don’t, it’s not dripping wet. And the better adhesion you have from the old paint to the new paint, the longer it’s gonna last and the better it’s going to look perfect. And if it’s a color change, a dramatic color change, I would prime it and I would tint the primer with the new top coat color. So if it’s an orange and you’re going to an off white, I would use what’s called a blocking primer and a, well it’s already white. So yeah, but think about that cause colors can bleed like reds and blues and oranges can bleed through just a generic primer and you get what you pay for with paint. So think about that.
Will: Let me ask you the one question about painting that I had, which was do all those new fancy tapes that they have in the market really work? Or do you just buy the cheapest stuff? What do you mask things off with?
Eric: Oh, you get what you pay for with painting tape. Yeah. The, the knockoff, the blue tape I think is by three M and if you buy the, I’ve bought the knockoff paint and some mom and pop Brooklyn hardware stores and it is junk. It tears it won’t it, you know when you’re unrolling blue tape or masking tape. But it’s sometimes tears weird and you can’t get the roll started again. And I mean it’s $9 a roll, but it’ll save you in time and you know, what’s your time worth, you know exactly. Number three
Will: On the list, take down your Christmas lights and maybe clean out your gutters while you’re up there. I know a lot of people wait until July or June to take down the Christmas lights, but you know, with the weather being seasonably warmer, you know, it could be a good time to do that. And then the other thing is, before the rainy seasons really start having your gutters cleaned out can definitely save you on having any issues in your basement or any of that type of stuff with water.
Eric: Yeah, I don’t understand the Christmas light thing. Especially the ones that are supposed to look like icicles because during the day it just looks like white wire with little clear bulbs on them and they’re hanging from your gut or whatever and they, they look horrible. So
Will: It’s a radio ad, GardenFork.tv for the complaints on that one.
Eric: And I’m cleaning out your gutters. We actually got new gutters on our house a while ago and I opted for the leaf guards on them and I went with a local guy who does, he has his own gutter company with the it’s a one piece gutter. It comes out of the trailer. He’s got a trailer, a little machine in it and it, it basically forms the gutter right there out of a roll of metal. So there’s no, there’s no seams. It’s seamless gutters. That’s what that’s called. And before he brought his gear over, he said, I’m going to stop by your house and see what kind of trees are in your yard and what kind of material is in your gutters now. So I’ll bring the right gutter. Guardmen I got a guard I think is a trade name. But that’s what kind of screening he was going to bring in and it’s worked great. So
Will: I will say too on the gutter guard thing, if you ever wanted to consider doing that, we went to one of the home improvement stores and they have these you know, they’re either 36 or 48 inch plastic snap on gutter guards and I was really concerned that they wouldn’t work very well. So we had a, a property where we needed to put those, put something on there to kind of protect it. And I thought, well let’s just try this for a temporary till we can get around to actually replacing the gutters. Surprisingly enough, four years later, those gutter guards are still up there. It was very simple. They snapped onto the gutters and slid underneath the the drip edge shingle area and a couple zip ties. And we had it done really quickly and I think all said and done, we spent maybe $60. So if you think about how much time and energy you spend on going on the ladder, cleaning off your gutters and all that kind of stuff, if there’s small areas where you need it, that is something to consider. And the best part about it is with a straight edge razor, you can cut it so you can make it any shape or size that you need. So you don’t have to have any fancy equipment to do it either.
Eric: Neat. One caveat. Most zip ties are not UV stable. And so being out in the elements they might deteriorate. And then your gutter guards might become disconnected. Good point. Yeah. Maybe some stainless steel wire that works. You know what, just popped into my head. We were talking about the GardenFork patrons Scott, who’s also a agronomist has been wanting to be on the show and I am horrible at emailing people back as well knows. So Scott, I owe you an email in my defense. Scott went on vacation for a week and I tried to email him and he wasn’t there. How dare I called him? I called him by my other friend’s name by accident.
Will: Yikes. Let’s move on to number four. It’s an easy one. How about clean out your refrigerator and defrost your freezer?
Eric: I just did that today.
Will: You know, one of the things you can do, and I have this later in the list and we can just throw it in there, is you know, vacuum out the compressor on your refrigerator too. Cause there’s a lot of dust and dirt that builds up in there and it hampers the ability for your refrigerator freezer to operate. And you know, if you have the canned air out already do your smoke detectors, you can just use it back there with your vacuum and it does make a difference on your freezer and refrigerator.
Eric: Yes. And there is a coil either on the back of the fridge or in the bottom of the fridge, part of the condenser. And if that’s full of dust, it doesn’t run nearly as well on your electric bill goes higher. Exactly. They make a, you can, if you can’t get your vacuum in there, you can get a Swiffer like a Swiffer or a feather duster in there and knock the dust off and then try and cram a vacuum with one of the dust nozzles in there as well. I actually cleaned out the refrigerator because we I went to the grocery store and they had food today, which was unusual. So I bought a lot of it. And then I was like, what is all this stuff that’s in the refrigerator? And it’s, it’s like half a half open, half empty jars of some are arcane condiment that someone brought for a dinner four years ago and you’re like, Oh. So a lot of things went into compost. I take all the food, I put it in the compost and I wash out all the jars and I put them in the recycle. It’s very important actually to wash your plastic and glass in that before you put it in your recycle. Cause if it’s dirty, they won’t take it.
Will: Well even further than that is if you have glass or recyclables that you don’t wash out. A lot of recycling facilities do hand sorts and then all of those individuals have to deal with whatever is left over in those containers as they go down the conveyor belt for the sort. So some areas of the country have these sort mechanisms where people actually physically sort this stuff. And if it’s not clean, you end up in a situation where all of that is getting all mixed together and then someone else has to deal with doing it and, and, and messing around with it. Take two minutes to rinse it out and then recycle it. Makes all the difference for somebody else down the road.
Eric: Right. It doesn’t contaminate the other clean plastic that is on that conveyor belt thing. Yup. Yeah, I feel much better. I found some stuff at the bottom of the, that it took a long time with soaking and Windex to get off the plastic and I’m like, what is that? The bottom of the fridge? Well,
Will: Going along the same lines, the fifth item on the list is clean out your pantry and maybe toss out some old spices and seasonings you have. You know, I’ve had many of recipes where I’ve made something and you had to buy one specific thing for it. We ended up not making it again. And I actually found some things that I’ve had for five or six years in the back of my pantry that I didn’t even realize was still in there. So, you know, that’s something that you can also go through and clean up.
Eric: Yeah. I I think spices last six months at most, and I’m big on, I go to the local like Indian, Bangladeshi, Pancha, Pakistani, a spice store, and then I put them in a little zipper lock sandwich bags and I think they last much longer that way.
Will: We’ve actually purchased some of the bigger containers of spices, and then we have a vacuum sealer and put the spices or whatever it is inside of there, like in their jar inside of that container, and then vacuum seal it and then throw it in a box. And we’ve actually seen some really good shelf life off of some of the items that we’ve done that way.
Eric: Oh yeah. I also think you should simplify your spices. I mean, I have cumin, coriander, garam masala a nice Curry powder that I like. Some red pepper flakes. Chili powder and that’s about it. I mean, I, I, I lean more toward curries and, Oh, I have some oregano, like an Italian seasoning mix, but I don’t think you got to make it all complicated. I think kind of a base set is a more economical, but that’s just my world. So,
Will: Well the neat thing too is if you do have spices in your cabinet, one thing we’ve kind of done recently is you type it into Google and all of a sudden some recipes pop up using that and then instead of throwing it out, you just use it up.
Eric: Yeah. And if you don’t use it put it in your compost.
Will: Absolutely. We talked about this next one on a previous show, but I thought I’d put it back in there, which is, you know, go through your house and clean out your basement in your garage and find things to donate to people.
Eric: Yes. That’s on T that’s tomorrow for me. I might see your video about it.
Will: Are you going to donate that rolling tool cart you made?
Eric: No, that’s great. That’s one of my biggest viewers lately. Biggest viewers that that has gotten a lot of interest and the followup one as well. So it’s kind of heartening because people have posted even more ideas. So I might have to make a third tool cart video.
Will: It’s amazing to see if you type in tool cart hacks or if you even just follow any of those groups on Facebook or anything like that. Then the idea is that people come up with these things to make, you know, a lot of these folks are doing it for their jobs and things like that. So if they work in a shop, all the little corners that they kind of put together different ways that they store spray paint cans or Mount different things to the outside of it to make their job easier to do can also be easily done at your house to make the things you do around your house a lot easier.
Eric: Yeah. One, one gentleman in the comments works at an aircraft factory and he has a tool cart that has to roll around a very large warehouse. So I was like, I want a picture of that one.
Will: They, they actually have, there’s a group online that’s like, show me your tool cart or show me your tools and you get to see all the different tools that people have that they use, you know, not screwdrivers and hammers and that kind of stuff, but like the very specific tools that they use for like engine repair on an airplane or something along those lines where you would never see this outside of that. But it’s kinda cool to learn how people use tools and what is made to, you know, solve problems when you’re trying to fix things.
Eric: Yeah. Mine my rolling tool card had two chainsaws on it this morning cause there I was cutting trees that fell on the trail and they both bogged down in the high end. Like when they warm up, when you know, you start a chainsaw, you let it warm up for a bit and then when you’re starting to cut like five minutes in my steel, my big saw on the high end that just dies. And then if I let it cool off a little bit and start it up again, it’ll run. But then when it gets running again nicely a dies. So I’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with that.
Will: Moving onto the next one, cock your shower, you have a shower in your house that either is leaking a little around the door or has kind of that moldy look it to get a razor blade and a scraper to scrape that out of there and then put a nice new beat, a cock and they’re really freshens up a bathroom and it’s something that almost anybody could do. It’s fairly straightforward and simple.
Eric: The key there is to get as much of the old cock off as possible and they have new brands of cock out that have a anti mold properties built into them cause your, your cock looks as those little black specks on it. That’s it’s mold from being in a bathtub or shower. Yup. My thought was which went straight out of my head, Oh don’t cheap out and buy cheap bathtub cock buy the high quality stuff that has the mold inhibitor in it. It’ll, it’ll save you from having to pull that stuff out in a couple of years.
Will: Well, the other thing too is the difference between the cheap stuff and the expensive stuff is not really that much different. It’s not like, Hey, this is $3 and this is $30 it’s like, Hey, this is $3 or this is $8 so I mean looking at the projects and things like that, it’s one of those things where if you cut the corner on that one, one you could have water leaking in your shower and then all of a sudden now you’re fixing tile or floor or something along those lines versus you know, spending a little extra on the clock and spending a little more time on it. It’ll last you longer and it could save you from having other problems.
Eric: The other thought I have is to buy splurge on a really nice caulk gun. It is. It is a world of difference from the dollar store caulk gun.
Will: I will say this, that that’s one of my weaknesses is I like if we have to do it on a window or something like that, I can do it there, but somewhere where it’s really visible. I usually have Todd or Matt work on those types of things because I just don’t have the patience for it and it just turns out bad. I get it everywhere. I’ll put my hand in it, then I’ll put my hand on the wall or on the shower door and now I’m tracking it all over the house and I have a half hour of cleanup afterwards, so
Eric: The, the higher end cock guns when you let off on the trigger, the the rod that’s pushing the cock out of the tube backs off just a little bit and so the cock stops flowing out the tip.
Will: That right there was worth the price of admission folks. There you go. I didn’t even know they had that.
Eric: I let you behind the door here. Yeah, let you behind the curtain.
Eric: Hey, would you like more of GardenFork or more of Eric? Would you like to get it in your email inbox? I send out just about every week I send out a little email about Eric’s world and new stuff I posted. I even talk about podcasts I’ve listened to or just interesting stuff and usually almost always at least one picture of the Labradors and Regan Charlie, you can get that by signing up for Eric’s GardenFork email newsletter thing. There should be a link in the notes to the show. Just scroll down to the description of the podcast in your app and I’m hope it’s a clickable link. It should be or go to GardenFork.tv and on almost every page at the top of the page, so would be a sign up. If you’re on a mobile device, you might have to tap on the little, there’s a little menu bar and then hopefully there will be a signup or scroll the bottom of post and you can sign up. There should be a link in the app here, more of Eric. It would be fun to have you along for the ride. It’s kind of more brain dump Eric.
Will: All right, let’s go onto the next one. This one I know that you have a bajillion videos on that people can go and look at. But if you’re at home with your kids or you’re at home by yourself, start seeds, you know, do some seed starting, have some plants going. That kind of thing is a good weekend or afternoon project. If you’re around the house and you have time.
Eric: Also Erin from the weekend homestead has some excellent videos on seeds and she just posted one where she, it’s kind of an overview but she’s down in her basement and she’s kind of making fun of how it looks like a house of horrors. And I don’t think it does. I think it looks like a, a place where she’s growing stuff. But couple of key things. Don’t over-water your seeds. I think that’s the biggest cause of failure and they need more than you think. Putting them in a window, you’re just going to make them what are called leggy cause they’re going to keep trying to grow to the window. I have some videos about making some inexpensive grow lights and if you go to the Costco sells and led shop light, it’s usually on sale for $19 a and just put that smack on top of your seedling tray. That’ll help a lot.
Will: One correction, it’s Aaron from the inpatient Gardner. I’m will from the weekend homestead.
Eric: See, well this explains from my patron Scott is why I messed up his name in the last email, which is,
Will: Hi Aaron. Hope everything’s good.
Eric: She actually, we just heard from her, she’s going to be on the show, but she is slammed much like a lot of people are. The camera operator worked remotely about 14 hours yesterday, so it was pretty crazy.
Will: It has, I mean we’ve tried to set this up and it’s been, just trying to get everything lined up is, is always tricky, but you know, we made it work.
Eric: Yeah. All right. What’s next?
Will: All right. How about this one? Vacuum out the bugs out of your lights. Change your furnace filter and clean up your, basically around your utility area, like around your water heater and around your furnace. You know, that type of area?
Eric: Oh, totally. Yeah. If you can clean that out, everything, the furnace runs much more efficiently
Will: Then an in for a lot of folks in the United States, this is kind of that season when your furnace isn’t running very often, you know, in the middle of summer, the air conditioning is running, so your furnace is running. In the middle of winter, your heat is running, but in the summer and the fall, you usually, or the spring in the fall, you usually have a couple of days where it doesn’t run at all. So it’s a good time to go through and change those filters and make sure everything’s there. Because if you don’t change your furnace filter, which I think I’ve told this story many of times, where at the resort the furnace wasn’t running very well and there was a furnace filter in there. So I pulled it out and then I looked inside and there was another furnace filter on top of that. Once I pulled that one out and then I looked inside and there was another one, so somebody didn’t realize the furnace filters were falling down and they had three of ’em on top of each other, and I don’t want to say they are the same color as a black sweatshirt from the GardenFork website, but it was pretty close.
Will: So it makes your furnace work really hard. We changed that out and it’s amazing how much more efficient the equipment is over at the resort.
Eric: You’re like, Oh yeah,
Will: Well I couldn’t figure out why it was running all the time and we didn’t have that. And so we started kind of working through the troubleshooting on it and I was like, Oh, there’s no furnace filter in here. So I was going to put one in until I kind of got in there with a flashlight and that’s when I realized I saw one. I’m like, Oh, there’s only one in here. And then I started pulling them out and there’s actually three of them, so
Will: At that point in time, it kind of made itself a HEPA filter if you’re ever seen. Those really thick ones.
Eric: Oh yes. Also if you have four stair air conditioning, there is a coil in the furnace somewhere and you can clean that as well. That sometimes takes a professional, you could at least hit the top of it in the bottom of it with a shop vac. Just to get the dust off of there would be very helpful.
Will: One important thing about your furnace, especially if you’re working on it or cleaning anything out, there’s usually a light switch on a box. It’s attached to the side of your furnace. Or you can go over to your breaker and your furnace is normally on its own circuit in your breaker. Make sure that that’s turned off before you start reaching your hands inside there. There should be safety mechanisms to make it so the furnace doesn’t run while it’s open, but as an extra precaution, other flip that switch or hit your breaker to make sure that nothing happens while you’re working on it to keep yourself safe.
Eric: Yeah. Is it unplugged?
Will: It’s a big deal.
Eric: Oh yeah. Okay. Next one, sir.
Will: This one is better yourself. There’s today, there’s thousands of online courses and companies that are offering their classes at reduced rates or even free. So whether you need to find educational stuff for the kids or you want to do something to better yourself there, besides the mountain of stuff online and on YouTube and in podcasts, there’s a lot of companies that have professional educational stuff that’s now at exceptionally reduced discounts.
Eric: So my local library closed and they sent out an email and one of the things they mentioned was that they have a, a subscription to the great courses library of online classes and the great courses I’ve, I’ve heard them advertise on podcasts. I’ve seen them advertised in the New York times, and these are like Harvard ranking professors and experts teaching, I think they’re like college level classes or, and I’m like, Oh my God, I gotta go, I gotta go find out about that. So through your library, you may have access to really cool stuff. The other thing I have access to through the library is using an app called Flipster. I couldn’t read a ton of print magazines on my iPad. There’s a food and wine. There’s Bon Appetit, there’s time magazine, there’s some people magazine. I had to read the people magazine and see what was going on with the monarchy.
Eric: You know, the one, the one kid’s moving to Canada, you know, and they write very compelling headlines. So, but yeah, you could, you can take an online class and, and for free. So go to your library’s website and see what online media they offer. Also, my library offers two different kind of artists in a F, you know, kind of art film. They’re like, they’re not like Netflix, but they have art artists movies. And that might, you are documentaries and you might find that as well. But go to your library’s website and see what they offer. It’s kind of amazing
Will: Actually to kind of go to the other side of it. If you have kids in the house, I know that I’ve preached for many years, let’s get the kids off the devices and get them outside. But one of the things that you can do is, you know, if you have to spend time with the kids inside for whatever reason, you can’t go out. I think it’s like Scholastica and some of the other scholar
Will: Companies that make the documents and things like that, that are used in schools these days are now offering their complete libraries for free online. So we actually downloaded a whole bunch of stuff about mathematics and things like that. And there’s worksheets and fun things you can do at home to kind of go through with your kids and keep them busy when you’re stuck at home with them. Also.
Eric: How cool is that? Huh? Fun stuff. I mean the internet sometimes scares me, but then the internet is, is just blows me away. So
Will: The part that it was actually kind of neat that I saw was not to talk about YouTube for a second, but the number one trending video is, there’s a band called, I think it’s called the Dropkick Murphys, I think is the name of it. Yeah. Their main concert got canceled for some reason. So they ended up doing their show, they set up some cameras and they recorded it and streamed it live for anybody to go see for free. So on st Patrick’s day, here they are instead of playing to an arena in the city they were in instead, they just did a concert for free for everybody. And it sounds like there’s more and more artists that are going to be trying to do that over the next couple of weeks and months, which is kind of a neat thing.
Eric: That is great. I love that. I watch a Stephen called bearer of the late night, Stephen called bear. And he they closed down the show. I mean they didn’t have an audience. They just had some of the people that work on the show in the audience. And it was like, it was such a different experience cause you’re just used to the, I mean, at least when I do my standup comedy, I like to work with the audience. Right. So when does that start? Yeah. And then the next one he did, he did from his house because everyone’s supposed to stay home. And so he did it in the bathtub. He was wearing a suit in the bathtub with a bunch of bubble bubble bath. Is that what that’s called? Bubble bath? Sure. It was a different experience. He, he pulled it off. But man and audience really helps. I’ve, I’ve done some public speaking and I become a different person when I’m in front of an audience. So it’s interesting. Very cool. Oh, there’s some awkward silence there.
Will: No, I was sorry I was looking at something that’s my fault again. I get distracted again. I was looking at the next one and thinking like, okay, should we, what should we talk about here? The next one is one that I know nothing about because I’m not allowed to drink coffee in our house, which is, Oh geez. Yeah, I know. By the way, I have committed, and I’ll say this on the air to all of the GardenFork folks and hopefully my wife is not listening, but I am committing to try to break my soda habit over the next 30 days.
Eric: Oh, that would be good for you.
Will: Yes. But number 11 is run a half a pot of vinegar through your drip coffee maker for some reason. I don’t know why you need to do that. It doesn’t make it taste any better, but sorry.
Eric: Well, there are minerals that build up in the reservoir and the little tubing of your hot water. It’s a hot water maker. Basically it’s what a coffee maker is and that can build up and then clog up the plumbing basically. And I don’t know if it really sterilizes it, but why white vinegar is a very effective cleaner for some things and it just feels like you’re doing something right. You know?
Will: Let me ask you this. So those Keurig coffee makers are very, very popular these days. Are you supposed to run the vinegar through those also?
Eric: I think so. I think those Kerrick things are ecologically not great. I’ll just say I don’t have one so I don’t know. But they are again, just a hot water maker. After you run that vinegar through, you should run several, fill up the whole thing with water and run clear water through cause you want to get that vinegar taste out of there before you make coffee for your significant other.
Will: Good to know. I’ll make sure I do that before hand so my missus doesn’t come up to me and be like, what’s wrong with the coffee maker?
Eric: Huh? Huh?
Will: How about this one? This one’s an easy one. Drain your water heater. So a lot of times water heaters will have sludge buildup, especially the ones that the tanks, if you have a tankless water heater, you don’t have to do this. But if you have an older water heater in your house turning off the system flipping the levers on the top that turn off the water to feed it and then drain the water out of it gets a lot of the stuff that kind of builds up on the bottom of your water heater, which impedes the ability for the heater to actually heat the water in there. And all you have to do is take a garden hose and either pointed towards a drainer out a door or something like that, or even into a bucket if you needed to and then turn that knob on the bottom of your water heater warning. The water will be very hot. So you know, you might want to protect yourself a little bit, but ultimately getting that gunk out of the bottom of your water heater will make your water here lasts a lot longer and a lot of people don’t really think of it. They just think of that machine that sits downstairs and makes hot water but never really do any maintenance to it.
Eric: Yes, you’re a domestic water, I call it a hot water heater. And I get yelled at on YouTube for that, but it’s basically a giant pasta pot with a burner on the bottom of it and there is a water can cause the interior lining of your water heater to degrade even though there’s this rod called an anode rod rod in there, which you can replace also. But that Russ, that material that falls off the sides of the tank starts to build up at the bottom like sediment at the bottom of a pool, a pool or something and that inhibits the heating of the water and it degrades the tank even more so at the boy bottom of the tank is a valve that you can drain, which you have to be of. If it’s a plastic vow, you have a less expensive water heater and it can be tricky to reclose that valve if there’s a bunch of sediment that has gotten stuck in the valve. But what you can do is you can just unscrew that valve and screw in a brass one and you’re good to go.
Will: Those brass ones are pretty inexpensive too. I mean it’s not a 50 or $40 fix. It’s probably less than $10, depending on which one you get.
Eric: Let’s say nine bucks,
Will: $9. Next one on the list. Pretty simple. If you have a house that has an attic, maybe put a ladder up, go up through the scuttle hole and just run a flashlight around and see if any new critters or anything is living in your attic. You know, sometimes you can look and see that, you know, a squirrel’s got in there, bees or any of those types of things and you want to double check to see if there’s anything there or any issues or drips or things like that. Cause even just looking up there, I’m not suggesting crawling around your attic, but just poking your head up there and taking a look around. You can definitely see if there’s things happening, especially if you live in an area where they might have ice dams or those types of things that could damage your roof.
Eric: Yeah. And you can see that if you’re, if you just have installation laid into the bays you know, between the roof. Joyce, basically, if that is not like a nice pink or yellow color, if it’s black or gray if it’s blown in cellulose, it might be great by its manufacturer cause it’s paper. But pay attention to changes in color cause that can suggest a moisture or like a animal has been soiling there and you have a bigger problem. You could also have bats. So look up at the roof sheathing as well and see if there’s any little friendly animals wedged up in there.
Will: That’s always a fun one, but it’s an important one to do because you just want to make sure that that part of your house is also, you know, taken care of.
Eric: If you have bats you need to call I a licensed animal. I can’t remember the word is, but basically someone who knows what they’re doing. I mean, bats are very important in our ecosystem, so don’t just do something uncool with them. All right, so, Hmm.
Will: Last two here. A simple one, a lint trap on your dryer. Clean it out and maybe clean out the port on the outside of your house. I know you’ve got some videos about taking care of your dryer and stuff, which are very helpful for folks.
Eric: I am stunned. I’ll go to someone’s house and they’re like, you know the dryer, it just doesn’t drive very well and all I do is pull out the regular lint thing that’s on the top of the dryer and it’s, I can barely get it out of the slot. It’s just so full of stuff.
Will: Did I ever tell you, and I may have not said this one on the air, on the radio short may have been an after show beforehand, but when at the resort there’s a big commercial dryer and you know we’re running and get halfway through the season. I’m just like, this thing just is not drying. People were complaining, Hey, I put my dollar in there and I take my stuff out and I still wet and I opened up the underneath and then there’s this door that you have to open to get the trap out. And I unscrewed the screws and it was so heavy. It fell, landed on the ground and this thing that looked like a pillow, like literally probably four inches thick by maybe 24 inches by 15 inches in size, slid on the ground and slid out from underneath there. It literally was four inches of lint that had built up in that thing over the last probably 10 years.
Will: I change it out and amazingly enough, it instantly worked better.
Eric: Also the lint in the tube that goes from your dryer to the outside, if that builds up, it can be a fire hazard in addition to your dry or just not running very efficiently. So [inaudible]
Will: An easy one on that one too is on the outside of your house, there’s, if you have, let’s say vinyl siding, there’s usually a little box with a flap that kind of opens and closes. You can just go outside, open up that flap, and a lot of times you can even reach in there and get all this stuff. As it gets closer to the end of the run, the temperature starts to drop and then it can build up material at the end of the run as it’s coming out of your house. And that’s actually where most of the buildup happens either in turns in the run, which most people don’t have too many turns in it. Or at the very end of the run is where it actually starts building up the most.
Eric: Yeah. And you can buy essentially it’s a flexible rod or it looks like a couple pieces of metal cabling that have been twisted together. So it’s like a springy, flexible thing with a this is so technical with a, with a flexible brush on the end and a hand on the other and you can buy wrenching this thing around, you can get through almost the whole thing. You might have to take it apart. And one of my videos, I actually take the piping, the dryer vent exhaust pipe apart because it went up through these Joyce. But it makes such a huge difference.
Will: Do you want to hear the easy life hack for this one? If you wanted to go cut the corner on the price, a toilet brush actually works really well. You take the cover off of the outside, put the toilet brush in your hand and reaching as far as you can and just kind of run it back and forth and pull everything out. Then run your shop back in there and vacuum it out. And you can usually get a lot of the material out if it’s a shorter run.
Eric: Oh, that’s excellent. That’s excellent.
Will: Raise out the toilet brush after you’re done. By the way, we’re inside out because people get angry in your house. If you do that and you put it back and it’s not clean. I’m just saying, not saying from experience, but maybe that did happen.
Eric: I will link to my dryer vent video, which was actually all shot on an iPhone. So those of you thinking you need big equipment to make YouTube videos. It was a spontaneous video and we shot the whole thing with an iPhone. So
Will: Actually that ties right into the number 15, which is spend some time watching GardenFork and you can learn a whole bunch more about stuff you can do to your home.
Eric: Exactly. That’s it. Just watch GardenFork, don’t do anything. That should be number one. It is surprising to watch what trends when and it’s it right now it’s like crockpot videos.
Will: I, the Instapot videos that I’ve seen online, there’s a lot of people who are like, Hey, I’ve had this thing for a while and I’m going to start using it at my home since I’m going to be cooking at home a lot more. And the number of people who are looking at that kind of stuff is definitely spiked. Also,
Eric: You can make a no knead bread with a slow cooker and an instant pot is a slow cooker. So yeah,
Will: Some, somebody told me that the new Instapot so I’m a Sufi kinda guy. I post a lot of stuff online about stuff that we’re serving. And someone told me that the newer InstaPot’s within the last year have a setting for doing Suvi. So you might not even know you have a Suvi device in your house. It might be just sitting on your counter and you might just not know what that button does.
Eric: I actually bought the new instant pot because it had the [inaudible] setting.
Will: How does it work? Does it work? Pretty good.
Eric: I haven’t used it yet. I want to make a video, but a, I have a friend who thrives on not buy anything new. They only want to buy things from a yard sale that are used. And they were like, I w I so badly wanted an instant pot but I haven’t found one at a garage sale. And I’m like, I’ll sell you my old one. And so I sold them the old one for I think a third of the purchase price, but I was like, okay, now I get to buy the new one.
Will: And, and I told you that the new one, there’s an adapter too. You can turn it into an air fryer also if you wanted to do that.
Eric: Right. I am. I am not enamored of the AirFryer thing, but
Will: It’s really just a convection oven. I mean, most ovens do the exact same thing as an air fryers, just air fryer because it’s moving the air around the item and cooking at a high temperature. It just does it faster.
Will: As I just wrecked that entire industry in one shot. Sorry about that
Eric: Already. One, if you have some ways to stuff to do while you’re stuck at home, let us know. It’s a radio at GardenFork. Dot TV or we’re going to do another show next week. Same kind of theme. Just taking advantage of this time at home and getting stuff done. I, I was kind of feeling kind of bummed out the first couple of days that we had to do this. And then I went out in the woods and cut the, I cleaned up the trail with my chainsaw and my quad and I’m like, Oh, Oh, I could do this. So sometimes you just gotta get yourself out the door and once you start going you fight that inertia and you’re actually creating some momentum. So when I say go out and do cool stuff, that’s really what I’m talking about.
Will: It’s kinda neat too because once you get a couple of things done, I don’t want to say it charges you up to do the next thing, but you know, even if you looked at this list and wrote a couple of the things down and you did them, and then at the end of the day you kind of looked at what you did around you. That sense of accomplishment really is a good thing. People, you know, just for their self being and everything else. I mean, I’m not here to be all woo hoo, you know stuff about that. But I would say that, I mean, if you have a list of five things and you get them done and you sit down to dinner and you think to yourself, look at all these things I accomplish today, even if they’re small things, there’s something beneficial about running that pencil through that item on that list and saying, yep, I got that one done. And checking things off of the list as you do. It, it makes you feel better. I honestly enjoy working at the resort, looking at the things that we do and the list helps you have direction and then when you accomplish them, it feels really good to cross things off.
Eric: I ordered a new brake shoes for my tractor so that’s going to be a video and something I can do while this time where we have to stay at home.
Will: Yeah. It’s, you know, one of those times where if you have extra time on your hands, I know we all have busy lives and things going on and sometimes putting a moment of pause in and going out and you know, doing things that might take a little bit extra time, there’s, there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes along with it and I can’t recommend it enough.
Eric: I feel much better having cleaned out the fridge cause I can actually, I actually found some things that I’m going to cook tonight. I’m like, Oh look at these potatoes and I forgot about them.
Will: That’s what we’re doing with the spices right now. Kind of like, Hey, what could we do with this? Oh I never knew these. We went together and then all of a sudden now we have, I don’t want to say new things that we have in the, in the mix, but you know, you kind of get into a rhythm of you kind cooked the same things over and over again cause you’re kind of comfortable with cooking them and when you try new things, all of a sudden you’re like, Hey, that really tasted good.
Eric: Yay. All right, so let us know your thoughts. It is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find we’ll at the weekend homestead, which is on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. And will and I are going to hang out a little bit more. We’re going to have a little bit of an after after show for the GardenFork patrons. But thanks. Thanks so much for listening. And I got a couple of really nice emails lately, which I will read it. But I’ll see if, I dunno if they, people want them to be read. But it was very heartening to get those, those emails. I just want to say thank you very much for that. So go out and do cool stuff. You got the time now ready? Let’s go.
Photo by Warren Lemay, public domain https://flic.kr/p/23pL8K6