My wife is not washing the dishes. How can I approach her with this issue? Do I need to be confrontational?

Maybe the dishes are not the issue but something else.
Many couples have trouble communicating. I am a divorced guy; this is something I have personally experienced. If nothing else appears to be going on, she may be tired of doing the dishes, but if there is a deeper issue, you both need to rediscover the reasons that you are together (hopefully you love each other) and get back on track, even if you both decide on paper plates for a while, as long as taking out the trash doesn’t become your next question!
Here’s to hoping that dirty dishes are the worst of your troubles!
And you never find a note like this:
Dirty dishes warning sign
Good luck!

Is electrical tape waterproof?

Electrical tape is not waterproof.

It is very elastic, and can stretch tightly around hoses and seems to seal tightly, but it can’t hold any pressure (it will stretch and the water will get past the seal).


Electrical contractors have a large assortment of watertight boxes, conduit, and protocols for wet environments.  Some are required for code compliance and safety.  Plumbers use watertight fittings everywhere, and have flexible options and sealants that are readily available at supply houses.   If you are concerned, get an opinion from a tradesman or counterman before you make any repairs.  If all you have is electrical tape, only use it in a non-pressurized environment – and only as a temporary last resort!
Depending on what you are using it for, there are tapes that have great water-resisting properties.
Since I have worked on boats in the past, I used a lot of heat shrink tape that could seal electrical cables, etc. most common is 3M Scotchrap All-Weather Corrosion Protection Tape, 2-Inch by 100-Foot, available from Amazon and most marine stores.
Most popular in the “infomercial” circuit is “Flex Seal”.
It comes in Black and white, and has an adhesive backing that can really resist water – even seal a hole in a bucket underwater! You can get it at Home Depot, Lowes, most big hardware chains, and Amazon.
You can also get Liquid electrical tape, which brushes on and seals electrical cables and connections. I used to use it under shrink wrap tape to make a very water resistant seal on spliced cables.
You also should consider Crimping, not soldering wires that are in a wet environment, as the flux may accelerate corrosion. Flux is an acidic cleaner that breaks down dirt on connections so the solder will adhere.  I use crimps extensively when fixing wires on boats – makes a metal to metal connection. This is a good crimping kit from Amazon, all the big hardware stores carry them.  Watertight connections are also important on cars, especially headlights, trailer connections,  and wiring that can be exposed to rain and road contaminants.
To recap, use waterproof and not water-resistant tapes; seal out all air and moisture; crimp, twist, or solder joints; cover with liquid electrical tapeor heat-shrink tubing, and enjoy a water-tight connection!

Good luck and power on!


Is the expert’s strategy of playing slot machines at max bet and playing the highest denominations possible 100% wrong?

The expert’s strategy is not 100% wrong, because it does not take into account actual pay-tables on individual slot machines.

1947 Mills "Golden Nugget" slot machine
1947 Mills “Golden Nugget” slot machine

Slot machines all publish their pay-tables, and some DO NOT PAY certain jackpots UNLESS you play maximum bet. For those machines, maximum return can only be achieved by betting the maximum. betting the minimum can actually cause you to lose a significant jackpot because of the posted pay-table.

Typical Pay table for coin operated slot machines
Typical Pay table for coin operated slot machines (from Authors collection)

Many gamblers bet less than the maximum to extend play and actually enjoy the game; while winning is the goal, having fun and enjoying the spinning reels or dropping diamonds can be exciting.  If you are one of these gamblers, then you most likely do believe playing max bet is 100% wrong!
Here are some commentaries from the web:
Max Bet Myth Busted – Casino City Times
Smart Slot Strategies: A mathematical approach to winning slot machine strategies
Smart Slot Strategies: A mathematical approach to winning slot machine strategies
Beating the House: Reducing the Casino’s Odds


It’s not right or wrong, it’s what works for you.  Slot machines today take bills,  and max bet is sometimes $6 or more per “pull”.  When you calculate your “dollars bet per hour” bet, keep an eye on how much you can lose.  Think about becoming a Session Gambler.  And remember to have fun in the casinos!

Should I buy a cheap home with mold as an investment?

Mold is not an easy fix, and you have to be willing to gut the structure (partially or completely) for complete remediation of the mold problem.
Since this “Cheap” house is an investment, be prepared to carry the house for 3–6 months for the mold remediation, sheet-rocking, painting, and more (duct cleaning, additional venting, replacing paneling/cabinets/doors to eliminate mold, etc. Look hard at the numbers, get estimates before jumping in, and be prepared to accommodate the “worst-case scenario”, if the mold is more extensive and takes more time and money to remedy.
Mold Money: How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Mold Redmediation and Make Sure the Mold Is Gone
Mold Money: How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Mold Redmediation and Make Sure the Mold Is Gone
Have a certified mold inspector check the health of the house after repairs, and carry insurance for any liability – mold makes people sick; you don’t want to be sued over it if you did a quick or sloppy job clearing it up.


Best of luck!

The straight talk on Soap dispensers – what kind do you need?

There are all kinds of soap dispensers, from the stylized ones on Etsy to the massive assortment on Amazon. we all know the “pump” dispensers that happily live on our sinktops, but there are other kinds:
Better Living Products 76354 Euro Series TRIO 3-Chamber Soap and Dispenser
This is a three section dispenser, good for your shower. typically it holds liquid body soap, shampoo, and conditioner. easy to reach and wall mounted! -available fromAmazon, bed bath & beyond, and special order from the big box stores. (Amazon link provided, the rest can be googled or visited).
counter mounted soap dispenser
counter mounted soap dispenser
This is a soap dispenser that fits in a hole in your counter top, next to the sink (you may have to make the hole yourself). Amazon has a selection, and most hardware stores and plumbing supply stores carry them in stock.
Some of the newer ones are automatic, and deliver soap when you wave your hand under them; see the selection on Amazon, automatic soap dispenser: Home & Kitchen – and most hardware stores and plumbing supply stores carry them in stock.
My answer is based on with what kind of soap dispenser do you need? Then go online and find the best one to buy.
How to Choose A Soap Dispenser? – automatic soap dispenser
I hope this gives you the direction you need, and when you are ready, we will talk about SOAP!
Employees Must Wash Hands Sign, Before Returning to Work, 4 Mil Sleek Vinyl Decal Stickers
Employees Must Wash Hands Sign, Before Returning to Work, 4 Mil Sleek Vinyl Decal Stickers
In these tough times with covid and flu season we need to be vigilant about keeping clean, especially hand washing!


If a person with no family dies, what happens to his house, mortgage, bank balances, car, jewelry etc.?

In the US and other countries the state provides a public administrator or magistrate to determine how to find potential heirs, and review claims against the estate by people or entities claiming the assets. If a will is created, the deceased can pre-determine who gets the assets, like a charity, the church, a close friend, etc.

If you don’t want to engage an attorney, there are “do it yourself will kits” available on-line. Make sure they are valid in your location.

Having a will is a good idea, unless you have very little or just don’t care. Between the Mortgage bank, creditors, and people who make claims against your assets, your worldly possessions may not go where you want. In the US, the courts usually assign a lawyer to manage the assets (in “surrogate” court) and determine where they should go. In many cases the state takes what is left into their general fund – if there are no heirs or claims against the estate.



This post authored by Alan Chenkin, President of the “First Bank of Dad”

What would be a good choice for a first guitar if I’ve never played before, classical or acoustic?

By Alan Chenkin, Still has guitars and plays when it suits him.
A first guitar, like a first car, does not have to be new. Most first guitars were “beaters” that got a lot of use and had many hands on them. You may do things to your first guitar that put a lot of stress on it, and you may not want to do that to an expensive Axe.
My first place to look would be Craigslist, to find a nice axe between $100 – $500. preferably with a case and a stand, if it has one. Look for a name brand, and bring a friend who knows guitars with you, to check it out. Consider getting a Jumbo acoustic (it’s bigger) or an acoustic – electric. Name brands are not always best, and brand-new guitars that are very cheap may not be good starters. Also get to a music store, or Amazon, and get a guitar tuner. It will save you hours of tuning attempts and broken strings.


If you have a solid-body electric guitar, this tuner would be best: Korg GA1 Guitar and Bass Tuner
This is a good beginner package:
The Seagull carries a higher price tag, but is considered a good starter guitar:
Note these are both acoustic electric guitars, and can be played with or without an amp.
My first guitar was a Fender Stratocaster knock-off, nicknamed the “Joe Baatz” guitar, after it’s first owner.
It looked something like this:
It had a hard case and mirror finish, except where it was worn off from playing. Eric Clapton has a Black Fender Stratocaster named “Blackie”.  Bruce Springsteen has a Fender Esquire/Telecaster (modified) guitar that he still performs with.  Actor Jeff Bridges has a collection of 50 + guitars.  BB King, the late Blues Legend, had a Gibson ES335 named “Lucille”.  When you play, your guitar is your musical partner and takes on an almost mystical persona.
Practice every day, jam when you can, and keep 10 -30 songs (sheet music or tabs, including Happy birthday and some Christmas songs) with you, to play popular recognizable music for your friends.

If you are unsure about learning to play the guitar in a short period of time, please read my Quora answer on the topic: “What is an effective way to learn guitar quickly?”

Break a leg, and carry a spare set of strings!
Thanks for reading my blog – feel free to share!
Edited from my answer in Quora.


Should Tesla build a Supercar?

OK, we need to lighten the load on Elon Musk; the Tesla is already (In my humble opinion) a Supercar. Before he got into the business, most electric cars were based on Golf Carts. Does he need to build a car in permanent insanity/super-ludicrous mode?
I, for one, would love to see it – BUT – It would be even more exciting if some sharp race car drivers (see Why Bill Nye thinks NASCAR should go electric) start putting really hot Tesla-based supercars on the track.
Just in case you are not sure the Tesla is in supercar territory, read 10 Supercars the Tesla P100D Could Embarrass at the Track from Cheatsheet.
Even a few well funded car enthusiasts could start taking a basic Tesla frame and start pumping out high-performance cars with features, software, and more that can give the Maybachs and their ilk a serious electric competitor. Or maybe one of the supercar companies can put their ego’s on pause and use a Tesla as their chassis. Now that would be hot, and Tesla would most likely embrace a partner making the foray into really high end cars.
Here is an article from Business Insider: Why Tesla’s newest release isn’t really a hypercar – and they call out Tesla to build a “Proper” supercar.
Let me call it what it is – These talking heads and critics are armchair wimps that don’t have the proper vision to build the supercar they are asking for. They want Elon Musk and the Tesla team to do all the heavy lifting, so they can compare it to Bugattis and Maseratis.
So there is my opinion – If I had some serious petty cash laying around, I would be funding the Tesla/Chenkin supercar , and laugh all the way to the bank as the competitors and talking heads rant about how it can’t be done, watching my tail-lights fade as I calmly leave them in the dust.

[1] If NASCAR embraced electric cars it could change the world – Bill Nye | Aeon Ideas

Disclosure:  I own some Tesla Stock.
Originally published on Quora:

Update:  Tesla is no building a world class “Supercar” – the Tesla Roadster!

Here is the version I can comfortably afford:

Hot Wheels HW Space / Tesla Roadster with Starman
Hot Wheels HW Space / Tesla Roadster with Starman, available from Amazon Toys!

(Note: SpaceX blasted a roadster into outer space on one the maiden voyage of the Falcon Heavy Rocket.  STARMAN <not a real human being> is the pilot).  For the current celestial location of STARMAN, click on

Where is Starman? Track Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster in Space!

A word on Disc Brakes

About a year ago I had some issues with my front brakes.  They were not doing an adequate job stopping my car, causing me to compensate by leaving a longer  following distance – and driving very defensively.  After an inspection by my mechanic, he determined that a brake job might be a good idea, even though it seemed the brakes were not that worn.  (For my mechanic friends, the calipers were not “frozen” or sticking).

After some research on the internet, I realized that the factory brakes were the lowest acceptable stopping power for my vehicle, and that I had alternatives instead of just putting new Original Equipment Manufaturers (OEM) brakes in the car.

Auto Mechanic - Brake Systems (Mechanics and Hydraulics)

Auto Mechanic – Brake Systems (Mechanics and Hydraulics) – Amazon

Racing technology has given us Drilled and slotted rotors, and ceramic brake pads.  This is superior stopping power!  Ceramic pads don’t give off black dust and last longer than regular brake pads.  Drilled and slotted rotors dissipate heat faster than inexpensive steel rotors, so there is no “fade” or reduction in stopping power.

If you carry precious cargo, like children and pets, consider High Performance Braking sets of ceramic disks and rotors for your car.  I used Power Stop: High performance Brakes.  Make sure you get the right set for your make and model vehicle!

Even if you just want better stopping, and your rotors are still in good shape, consider Performance Ceramic Brake pads.

Drive Safe and Make sure you can stop on a dime!

Update:  Now with 95,000 miles, I just installed a Powerstop disc brake and rotor set for all 4 wheels on my minivan.  Stops on a dime!

The Authors 2004 Nissan Quest, With Powerstop brakes.
Thanks for Reading my Blog on brakes.  May all your stops be straight and powerful! Disclaimer – I am a big fan of Powerstop brakes, and stopping (in general)!

Days are getting shorter – Keep the darkness at bay!

Now that we are losing about a minute of daylight every day (until December 21st, the shortest day of the year), it is important to check our flashlights and stock up on spare batteries!  Think of where you keep a flashlight – In the car (heat kills batteries), in a drawer in the kitchen, and in a hall closet.  
Take a moment to check the light – Does it have a strong, bright beam?  Check the batteries for leakage, and make sure you have spares handy.
Now if you don’t have a flashlight, it is time to consider buying one (or several).  Here is a list of basic lights on Amazon:
My preference are the rechargeable ones, so fewer dead batteries end up in landfills:  Rechargable LED Flashlights 
My favorite Light is the MAGLITE Flashlight, kind of heavy and “old school”, but usually reliable, bright, and sturdy enough to club somebody if you needed to defend yourself. 
If you buy a Maglite, consider NOT using standard D cell batteries; They can leak and jam in the flashlight, making an expensive light very useless and difficult to fix.  Consider using Rechargable Batteries , or  Lithium Batteries. Lithium batteries are lighter and longer lasting than the standard alkaline batteries, and they do not expand or leak – so your batteries will never make your flashlight unusable!
If you need a flashlight for work, I like the Tactical Ballistic Flashlights:
These are lightweight, powerful, and come in many different configurations and styles.  Flashlights make great gifts for the holidays (hint) and will brighten the day of anyone who gets a new light as a gift!
Hoping you see the light,
                    Spare Batteries