Save your Sewer and Drain Lines – and prevent costly pipe clogs and cleaning charges!

Sewer lines are not visible and something we don’t worry about, until there is a major Sewer backup, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to clear.

If you are lucky, it’s only trash in the pipe trap, that can be snaked or cleaned easily.  But lurking below your Sinks, bathroom fixtures, and drains is a 4″ pipe that can readily clog if the wrong items get sucked down the drain!

Sewer lines will clog over time.  Oil and grease from cooking form a buildup that can form a gelatinous mass; Hair, Wipes, Tissues (0r any paper thicker than Toilet tissue) can drop out of suspension when the waste water slows for any reason, and start a clog building.  If your Sewer lines are old, and subject to clogs, the most practical approach is to only allow Toilet Paper and human waste down the drain.  Anything else will, over time, start to clog your pipes.

Please do not Flush Sign-Available on Amazon

This sign lets everyone know that you are concerned about what goes down the pipes, as a polite reminder to guests and visitors.

A More Direct sign, also available on Amazon

The next step is to put strainers on all your fixtures (where possible)

Typical Sink strainers for Kitchen sinks, available on Amazon
Bathroom vanity sink Strainers/hair catchers

As a contractor and homeowner, I strongly recommend you start using these ASAP!  Stop anything that is not human waste and TP from clogging your pipes!  Even consider a Bidet, which can be fitted to your existing commode and will gently wash your bottom with water – eliminating the need for any TP.

You can find a big selection of Bathroom Bidet “Add-Ons” on Amazon (link will open in new window)

If that is not an option, consider a waste receptacle for used TP, that you can line with a bag and keep closed so it won’t smell up your bathroom.  Don’t forget plastic bags to seal in the odor when you throw them out.  Of course, Amazon has them for sale!

Another item to consider is very thin biodegradable toilet tissue.  Designed for septic systems, boats, and RV’s, it’s lighter than regular TP and breaks down faster.


Environmentally safe Toilet Tissue

Be kind to your drain lines, put oil and cooking grease in a jar and dispose of it in the trash, don’t put food scraps in your disposal, and put in screens to keep foreign objects out of the drains!  It may seem extreme, considering our callous disregard by putting “anything that could fit” down the drain.  Don’t be “that” person and keep the drains clear for a long, long, time!

The Last Word:


Funny Bathroom signs, Available from Amazon 

I finally bought an Ebike! Here is what I learned

Ebike featured image

I have been jonesing for an Ebike (electric bicycle) for quite some time.  As an avid biker, with an inexpensive mountain bike with full suspension, I felt it was time to upgrade.

Here was what I was looking for:

      • 20″ fat tire Ebike with fenders  (fat tire has a smoother ride)
      • Front and rear suspension (as I age, this is becoming important)
      • Folding, for transport and easy storage
      • 48 volt, larger battery, LCD Display, disc brakes, front and rear racks
      • 7 speed manual shifter for pedaling without power
      • Lots of positive reviews and YouTube video reviews

As a notorious shopper, I scoured the internet looking at some mediocre to expensive Ebikes.  RadPower, Ecotric, BFI Sport, and others all came under my scrutiny.

Some are extremely expensive – That was a show stopper for me, as I A) am frugal, and B) want as much value as I could for my hard-earned recreation dollar.

First I looked at the 20″ basic models, with 350 watt motors, like the Ecotric step through 20″ folding Electric Bicycle:



ECOTRIC Step-Through-2 20" Folding Electric Bicycle Powerful 350W Motor 36V/12.5AH Removable Lithium Battery City Bike Alloy Frame Ebike LED Display - 90% Pre-Assembled
ECOTRIC Step-Through-2 20″ Folding Electric Bicycle Powerful 350W Motor 36V/12.5AH Removable Lithium Battery City Bike Alloy Frame Ebike LED Display – 90% Pre-Assembled, available on Amazon

I really liked the bicycle look, the folding “step through” frame, and the light weight (under 55 lbs.).  It was adequately powered, with 350 watt hub motor and a 36v battery, considering that I am a casual rider, and did not need long range to commute to work.

The Ecotric has no front or rear suspension, like a conventional bike.  It has good springing on the seat, and if you don’t have rough roads it would be fine on pavement.  While it could work for me (and is very affordable) I decided that I should buy more bike.

Next up, 500 watts:

Jasion EB7 2.0 Electric Bike for Adults, 500W Motor 20MPH Max Speed, 48V 10AH Removable Battery, 20" Fat Tire Foldable Electric Bike with Dual Shock Absorber, and Shimano 7-Speed Electric Bicycles
Jasion EB7 2.0 Electric Bike for Adults, 500W Motor 20MPH Max Speed, 48V 10AH Removable Battery, 20″ Fat Tire Foldable Electric Bike with Dual Shock Absorber, and Shimano 7-Speed Electric Bicycles, available on Amazon

This bike hit more of my desired features; Full suspension, 500 watt power, fenders, folding, LCD display, disc brakes, and Shimano gearing.  I really liked the rear rack, and the front and rear lights.

The tires were only 3″ (I was looking at 4″), and it weighed in at about 60 lbs.,  and I was thinking that more power at that weight (due to heavier battery) might suit me better.

So I started looking at 750 watts, and:

ENGWE Upgraded 750W Folding Electric Bike for Adults 20"×4.0" All Terrain Fat Tires Mountain Beach Snow Electric Bicycles 7 Speed Gear E-Bike
ENGWE Upgraded 750W Folding Electric Bike for Adults 20″×4.0″ All Terrain Fat Tires Mountain Beach Snow Electric Bicycles 7 Speed Gear E-Bike with Removable Lithium Battery 48V 13AH Up to 28MPH; Available on Amazon

This bike Has a lot going for it; 4″ fat tires, LCD screen, disc brakes, fenders, lights front and rear, 7 speed shifter, 750 watt 48 volt battery.  All aluminum construction, rear cargo rack and comfy looking seat.  I especially liked the one piece wheels.

While this is a great deal, there is no rear suspension,  The handlebars seemed quite high (they have to fold when folding the bike), and the battery capacity was a respectable 750 watts, but – you know me – I wanted More Power!

So I settled on this beauty:

Ridstar Electric Bike for Adults, 20" Electric Mountain Bike 1000W Ebike, 28MPH Adult Electric Bicycle with 48V Removable Battery, Shimano 7 Speed
Ridstar Electric Bike for Adults, 20″ Electric Mountain Bike 1000W Ebike, 28MPH Adult Electric Bicycle with 48V Removable Battery, Shimano 7 Speed available from Amazon

This Ebike hit all my buttons; 1000 watt hub motor, 48 volt 14AH battery, 4″ fat Tires with fenders, full suspension (front and rear), 7 speed Shimano gearing, LCD display, Lights, Horn, cell phone mount (with charger),  rear cargo rack, external charger with 5 hours from dead to full charge, comfortable seat, and 66 pounds!

It was delivered in seven days, and the assembly was not difficult, although the instructions were not the best, I was able to get through it with no issues.  It involved careful unboxing, assembling the handlebars the the stem, putting on the front wheel and fender, the pedals,  and attaching the LCD screen and the front light.

Ridstar included an assembly toolkit consisting of a folding wrench set with Allen keys and screwdriver blades.  Similar to this one on Amazon.

Things I did not know (relates to almost all Ebikes)

  • Ebikes come 85% assembled, and you need a handy friend or bike shop to assemble them.
  • Charge the battery first – you want it fully charged before you start.  Despite the 7 speed gearing, these bikes are heavy and will be harder to pedal on foot power alone.
  • Take your time setting up the handlebars and the seat.  Positioning is important for comfort and safety.
  • Ebikes need to be “started”.  With the Ridstar, the battery needs to be turned on, and then the handlebar ignition switch needs to be turned to the on position.  Then you push a button, the LCD lights up, and the bike is ready to go.
  • I used my Pedal Assist at level 1 and 2. It goes up to 5. The motor was responsive and impressively powerful.  When you stop pedaling, the bike slowed down quickly.  The gears allow you to match your pedaling to the power assist speed.  It took some getting used to.
  • Ebikes can go FAST.  Speed increases the potential for serious injury or death.  Even though they are “Pedal-assisted”, try not to speed or test the limits of the Ebike.  I consciously limited my speed.  Ebikes flatten hills, make longer commutes possible, and have more comfort features than most conventional bikes.  Don’t get to comfortable with going fast, Ebikes are not motorcycles.  Larger batteries are for longer runtimes, climbing hills and grades, not just speed.  
  • Get a good helmet, and I recommend gloves like these to cushion your hands.  on my first ride I had to get used to the heavier handling and the gloves really helped.
  • My Ebike has 2 keys; I recommend a split keyring to separate them easily, and a really good safety lock, and maybe an alarm..

My conclusion

I knew when I started looking what features I was looking for, and found the best value Ebike that gave me all the features and more.   I am pleased with the Ridstar and will enjoy riding it.

While I got a great buy, I could have gotten a different  model like the Jasion or the Ecotric because I really don’t need the power or extended range of the Ridstar.  The advantage would be a lighter bike since I don’t go off-road or on unpaved trails.  When you are evaluating bikes, consider the trade-off between the larger more powerful bikes and how you will be using it.

Here’s hoping my experience will help you make a better decision!






My Letter to the New Starbucks CEO

Dear Mr. Narasimhan:

As a shareholder, I am appalled at the 1930’s union busting tactics of Starbucks. (note article link)

I am absolutely dumbfounded as to why a company dedicated to the Fair trade coffee growing practices in developing countries cares so little about it’s employees rights.

This could have been completely prevented by TREATING YOUR EMPLOYEES MUCH BETTER. Note that companies like Costco (a discount warehouse) has high employee retention, low employee theft, and actually walks the walk (not just talk) on valuing their employees.

You can fix this, because, as my grandmother said, “This fish stinks from the head”. This is a polite way of saying you have a management failure at the top.

Unionization is not the enemy, bad management practices in dealing with unionization are. I have more examples of this, but i hope you are smart enough to “get the picture”. Better management decisions on wages and benefits will quell union organizing (Happy employees don’t unionize), keep stores open, and get you better press.  It would also keep the Federal Government from launching expensive investigations into your possible illegal behavior.  It would also be nice if you stopped the “big brother” surveillance on employees – customers don’t like that either. (are we next)?

Starbucks is not “to big to fail”. And I do want a hefty dividend and return on my investment in Starbucks as an investor.

Hoping you are smart enough to make the right kind of changes,

Alan Chenkin, MPA
Investor, customer, Management Professional

5 reasons to walk away from a slot machine

There are several times when you should seriously walk away.

    1. When it is no longer fun.
    2. when you have spent too much of your gambling money
    3. If you realize you are suffering slot hypnosis, Dazed and waiting for the machine to “hit”,  Because it must give me a jackpot after all the losing spins, the next one is bound to be a winner! (sign of gambling addiction)
    4. When it’s 3 am and you are incapable of making any decision, good or bad
    5. After you get a nice (or any) win – take the money and celebrate with a break – shopping or Starbucks or a celebratory dinner


    1. When you can’t walk away, this is a good book to read!

This little lockbox can help you go home with more cash – something you definitely want to try (it is enforced discipline).  Also makes a good gift for the Slot Maven in your life!

Gamble Box Metal Gambling Casino Cash Bank Box Stops Addictive Urges Best Gambling Tricks Tips Bring Home More Cash Leave Keys Home Fold Slip Some Cash Bills in Leave Casino’s With Locked Up Cash

Gambling at Casinos is fun but losing money is not – don’t bet more than you plan to lose, and try to enjoy the game! Jackpots are not common, so adjust your mindset for enjoyment – not a big (and elusive) payday! Anytime you leave the casino with money is a win! (Even if you lost a few bucks in the process). Best of Luck!

If you want to know who wins at slot machines, read: Slot machines are like an ATM for the Casinos.

Does the Casino have slot machine secrets they don’t want you to know?

The casinos don’t advertise the amount they make on slots. Slot machines are like an “ATM” for the casinos. When they advertise average payouts of 92%, for example, the reverse is also true – They are keeping, on average, 8% of every dollar spent on that machine.   In addition, this is all approved and audited by the gaming commission, meaning the information is readily available to the public.  It also means the casino’s percentages are guaranteed!

The ultimate teaser sign at the casino entrance!

Most casinos have THOUSANDS of slot machines, from mechanical to progressives. The sheer number of machines should be an indicator of how good these machines are at making money – for the casino.

It’s not that Casinos don’t want you to know, since that information is readily available; it’s that clever marketing, enticing games, slot tournaments, and the promise of whopping big prizes compel us average humans into the excitement of the casino floor.

Most people lose money gambling. I play for fun and the occasional, er, rare win. my secret is that I don’t get so caught up in it that I “bet the farm”! (or my house, bank account, etc. – I think you get it).

Funny slot machine T-Shirts, available on Amazon

I don’t advocate cheating the casino, or seeking out some hidden mechanism to consistently win (to my knowledge there isn’t any – unless you own a casino).

If you enjoy gambling on slot machines but want to spend less money at the casino, I recommend you become a “session gambler”, bringing a limited or very specific bankroll to the casino and wisely investing it in machines you like.  Session gambling is not cheating, it is a discipline that will structure your playing based on the amount of money you are willing to lose.  Even if you are a session gambler, you can still take a chunk of a “big win” and recklessly invest it in a slot machine – you just make that is a unique session as opposed to putting your whole bankroll at risk playing Max Bet until you jackpot or lose it all.

I explain about session gambling in this Blog on gaming. 

Having discipline and maintaining some rules for your gaming habits can extend your play, keep you away from the casino ATM (High fees; AVOID!) and allow you to feel better about having fun at the casino vs. gambling in a desperate attempt to win a jackpot.   These are usually random and happen to someone else.  If you are hoping to win a jackpot, there are some key tips to follow, to increase your chances, but nothing is guaranteed – except that the “house always wins”

  1.     Know the paytables.   Understand if the machine only  pays a jackpot on maximum bet (like a progressive machine), or pays out miserly on sub par bets.  The Paytable is available on every electronic machine, and it will make you much more aware of which machines to play and which to avoid.
  2.      Maintain financial discipline.  If you are going to have 5 sessions at different slots playing $50 per session, take a break in between sessions.   Go to the gift shop.  Take a walk.  People watch as you enjoy your favorite beverage.  Look at the events calendar, stop for live music and anything fun – don’t miss out.
  3.      Learn the ropes.   Many casinos have free gaming lessons, usually in the mornings, when the casino is less crowded.  Never forsake anything free  from the Casino!  It’s a risk-free way to learn a new game without risking your gaming/session bankroll.
  4.      Stop and reflect.   Is this fun?  Is this machine my friend or a bandit?  Slot machines have no emotions, so they don’t earn your loyalty.  Having a cold streak?  Give that machine a break.
  5.      Join the slot club.  Ask the slot attendants if there are any new games or a “hot sheet”.  Look around – what games are always available, which ones are always taken?  That clue may lead you to the more popular games.
  6.     Remember to have fun.  Bring a friend.  Make a friend.  enjoy the noise and excitement of the casino.  Trust me, I do!

So stop searching for the Casino’s secrets, and start enjoying your time at the casinos!  I hope to see you there soon!

super slot secrets book by John Douglas, Available on Amazon


Is there a way to make money easily on the internet?

All of us are seeking a magic way to obtain a passive income on-line, and I too am a seeker of the magic fountain of income! (Big grin).

I blog, I do affiliate marketing, and I spend as little as possible on marketing (buying eyeballs) and advertising. my choice was to grow any income organically, through blogging, twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms where I can provide useful information and grow organically. Note – unless you go “viral”, like a TikTok superstar, that means growth is slow. I would rather be a 5 year overnight success than go broke advertising mediocre content. I still don’t make more than $40 USD most months, But it has been growing, and I don’t spend all day posting. I know if I did this for 2–3 hours every day, I would easily quadruple that income or more, as I became more proficient.

Recently I found a way to add to my income and get into Crypto currency, which is becoming more and more mainstream. Most of the Bitcoin faucets are scams, and should be avoided at all costs. I also urge you not to invest in any faucet until it has proved worthy. This means it has been a live site for several years, has almost no negative or scam reviews (do check it out, even if I say it’s good, reputations can change), and does not monopolize a lot of your time.

The most recent site I found was Rollercoin. With Rollercoin you can play games to win Bitcoin, Doge, Ethereum, Tether, and Rollertoken (Their own coin). This site is unique because you can use the earnings from playing on-line games to buy miners that generate coins. While the payouts are small initially, They also have a referral program (yes my link is a referral link) which allows you to benefit when you promote the site.

You also can withdraw your coins to your personal wallet, and take them off of the site if you wish.

I was impressed that there are several videos and reviews on-line with tips on how to use the site, which can be found with a basic google search.

While I know this is not for everyone, I want you to give Rollercoin a spin, and see if you can earn some crypto for fun – I am playing around with it and I am not a big gamer. hopefully you will enjoy it and even profit.

Thank you for reading this, and -To the Moon!

You can sign up for Rollercoin by clicking the underlined link.

Rollercoin sign up

There must be Consequences to the assault on the Capitol

Inciting a mob to attack and ransack the halls of congress is an affront to American democracy.

This is an abuse of power on American soil that cannot go unchecked or excused.  Confederate Flags and Trump banners point clearly to the president and his followers who are fanning the flames of sedition.

My grandmother told me that “a fish stinks from the head”.  Seven Republican senators and their counterparts in the house are Complicit and forever tainted for endorsing this insurrection.  This is not enough.  There is blood on their hands and a broken oath to protect the constitution.

The president and these conspirators should not be given another “Pass” on this – They should be pressured to resign, or be recalled by their states.  The President (who said he could shoot someone in Times square and get away with it) should be pressured to resign in shame or be removed immediately for the safety and protection of the country.  The members of the angry mob that stormed the capitol building must also face consequences, for the action s they took and the damage they have done.

The tainted representatives and the president are FUNDRAISING to propagate the UNPROVEN election fraud.  Refusing to believe over 50 lost lawsuits and the Supreme court has allowed them to raise millions for their illegitimate cause.  The profits from this should be ferreted out and seized, and donated to a fund to rebuild the capitol.  There should be no profiteering from lying to the American people.

The time for action is upon us – a lot can happen in the days before President Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris are inaugurated.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American Icon

The Passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a moment to reflect on a life well lived, dedicated to public service,  equality, and the promise of America as a beacon of freedom and justice.  Justice Ginsberg, despite a small stature, (5’1″), she stood tall among the Justices as the second woman to serve on the supreme court (SCOTUS).

Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Jane Sherron De Hart, available on Amazon

Born in Depression era Brooklyn, New York, She was at the top of her class in Law school, and became a centerpiece of the women’s liberation movement.  She was an advocate for affirmative action, the woman’s right to choose, and became a symbol of freedom and was embraced by people around the world as a champion of human rights and fairness.  She was even nicknamed “the Notorious R.B.G”, which is a play on the deceased rapper “Notorious B.I.G“.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg books, Titles available on Amazon

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an American Cultural Icon.  Not only as a Supreme Court Justice, but someone everyone can identify with and be recognized as a fan of her ideals and work for equality and justice.


RBG Shirts show the world you care. Available on Amazon

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer for equal rights and a role model for women and children.  There are even children’s books featuring her prominently.  She was a grandmother and caring parent.

RBG Children’s books by best selling author Debbie Levy, “I Dissent“, and “Becoming RBG” links to Amazon Books.

It’s no surprise that Ruth Bader Ginsburg  Gifts and swag are testimony to RBG’s impact on society and our desire to identify with a person known for integrity and human decency.

Popular items on Amazon – Bobble head, Keychain, T-shirt, Pin, Tea, and stickers!

There is even a Ruth Bader Ginsburg Workout book and wall Calendar!

The world has seen a great light extinguished in the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  With condolences to her loved ones, I look forward to strong women (and men) carrying her torch and ideals to continue her fight for equal rights, racial equality, justice, and a better world!

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wall Art Prints: Unique Room Decor – Set of Three (8×10) Unframed Pictures

American Ingenuity while Social Distancing and Staying at home!

As Americans shutter themselves inside and only venture out for fresh air and supplies, It is necessary to prepare for the renaissance that will lead us back into prosperity.

Modern Auto plants only require about 300 people, mostly maintenance and robot repairmen.  A hundred years ago Ford had 52,000 assembly line workers.  Coal demand is down, and many mines are closed.  The expectation of having a “job at the plant” these days is more of a fantasy then a reality, unless you are a robot repairman.  Logging is done by heavy machinery, and many mills are automated as well.  What are humans to do?  All of the “well Paying” menial jobs are being replaced by machines.  Since we can’t (and most likely should not) wish these horrible jobs back, I have other ideas.

America is the thought, fashion, and future projection to the world.  Other countries look to us as a role model and mass produce our architecture, art, manufacturing designs, and technological innovation.


Once we get past this pandemic, and we will, we can have a “dark ages” or a “renaissance”.  I vote for the renaissance.  

In between binge watching TV and working, we need to get cracking on art; engineering; education; and retooling for the next decade and beyond.

After Katrina, artists in New Orleans took old slate roof tiles and used them as the canvas for their artwork.  (eBay link opens in new window). The French Quarter is buttoned up tight right now, but you can bet there will be a resurgence in disaster inspired artwork coming!

You can make paper mache’ art with old newspapers, and sell it on Amazon, eBay, or your own website.  There are kits and instruction manuals on Amazon  and you can get inspired.    

I don’t care if you are making sculpture from toilet paper rolls, or finally getting an easel and making wondrous paintings from the pain of this pandemic; All I am saying is that we, as a people, need to lead the world (not in virus statistics) but in inspiration and creativity.

Learn how to paint.   Paint what is around you.  Get a sketchbook. 

Start a Blog.  Photograph and video what you are doing.  It may seem mundane to you, but exciting to someone else – that is your audience!

Learn to play the piano, or guitar.  Get an Action Camera and record what you do.  Take an acting class. Make a “How-to-Do-It” DIY guide.

Put all your work on Instagram, Facebook, imgur, and other social media sites.  Ask for suggestions, and feedback.

But what if you are “stuck”, and can’t get started? Read this:

How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity
How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity – available from Amazon Books.

IT starts now.

You have the power to change the world.  Get started.  Create, influence, Blog, educate.  You can do it. Even I can do it – Thanks for reading my blog!

How to Start a Blog Today: A Free Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Create a Blog in 20 minutes
How to Start a Blog Today: A Free Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to Create a Blog in 20 minutes – available from Amazon Books.


What is a good slot machine strategy with $100 to bet, minimum or max bet till it’s a win or total loss?

It really is about what you want to do – extend your play or just lose the $100  quickly on a high-limit slot machine and go home.

Personally, I would suggest finding a machine that has a relatively low max bet, or a .50 to $1.50 bet (with good low wager returns), and get more pulls for your money plus any winnings (which give you more pulls if you don’t cash out).

mikes guide to better slot play Amazon
Mikes Guide to Better Slot Play, available from Amazon

If you make a decent win, like several hundred dollars, pull some out and continue the strategy, so you can play longer at the machine – and increase the odds of winning by having more spins.  And you would be playing with the money you won, not your original $100 bankroll.  Remember, anytime you walk out of the casino with money – you are a winner.  And if you have fun, even better!

This article talks about it in some detail:

Using Probability When Hitting the Slot Machines – dummies

Remember, machines with “guaranteed” 90% payouts mean guaranteed 10% Losses on average over time. Unless you have luck with you and make a big win, it is unlikely that you will win the big progressive (unless you are playing Max Bet, and very lucky). So Play for fun and extend your play on machines you ENJOY playing!

winning at slots
Winning at Casino Slots For the Gaming Challenged: More Bang for Your Casino Buck , Available from Amazon

And, if you want to make max bet on progressive machines, Look at the paytables to see what smaller wins you can get. Pay tables tell you a lot, and give you an idea how the machine will reward winning combinations. and the amount of the Max bet will tell you how many spins to expect for your $100 gaming investment.

You can also divide your $100 into 5 twenty-dollar “sessions” at different slot machines.  This is a tactic known as “session gambling”.  If you make a win (doubling or tripling your $20 or more), you can cash out and start another session.  This gives you a better handle of how your gaming is progressing, and will break up your time at the casino with different machines.  You can also end a session early if the machine is “cold”, before it gobbles up your entire twenty!