Samsung dryer doesn’t spin

My dryer just quit working tonight. Its drum doesn’t spin. So, off to YouTube I went for repair advice. I immediately found a couple of helpful videos.

Huh, look at that: the idler pulley is missing! Oh there it is, hiding in the dust bunny in the lower right.

After another online search, I ordered the replacement part. It should arrive in a couple of days. With a little luck I’ll be able to do the repair without having to move the dryer any farther.

In the meantime, I’m going to round up some dust bunnies.

Fun with a Onewheel

My neighbor got a Onewheel Pint for Christmas.1Looks like I’m no longer the “cool parent of the neighborhood” with just downhill longboarding… What a *great* Christmas present! :-) I’ve been looking at Onewheels for years, wishing I could try one out. Yesterday was my lucky day.

She’d set up some orange cones to create a practice slalom course. Back and forth I went, alternating between heel-side and toe-side U-turns at the ends. I zoomed down to the end of the street a couple of times to see what it felt like.

With a little experimentation, I found the tricks that work for longboarding also work for the Onewheel:

  • Keep the board moving to maintain balance; a stationary board wants to squirt out from under you.
  • Relax your entire body to “flow,” filtering out the high-frequency movements that make the board feel twitchy and tire the ankles.2Music would have helped with this.
  • Have fun!

What a blast!

I remember learning to longboard, not that long ago. Before I started, I wondered what provided fore-aft stability, as there’s little resistance in that axis. Keeping your center of gravity positioned between the front and rear axles is the secret as you can shift your weight between your feet.3This makes longboards more stable Also important is moving your arms for dynamic balance and to counter the effect of the weight transfer and rotational inertia from the leg that’s pushing.

With the Onewheel, fore-aft balance4Balance in general, for that matter. is a more interesting question: shifting your weight changes both your speed and direction, but the footpads don’t provide an independent, static opposing force.5Putting more weight on one footpad will drive that footpad to the ground unless the forces (ok, *moments*) are equalized

A Onewheel is “stable” only in motion. Pushing a footpad down tells the Onewheel to accelerate in that direction. Rolling the Onewheel left or right causes it turn in that direction.6I have no idea why. Somehow, the brain is able to intuitively balance, that is, keep the Onewheel “under” the rider’s body, through unconscious changes in weight distribution and ankle movements.7“Under” is within quotes, as accelerations acting only on the Onewheel require the rider’s body to be off-center. As a Onewheel is powered, changes in both speed and direction require positioning the body *not* directly over the Onewheel so the body, when “falling” can accelerate along with the Onewheel as it accelerates back under the body. A downhill longboard, being “powered” by gravity (which also accelerates the rider by the same amount), doesn’t require the rider to get ahead of the longboard for changes in speed, only to one side or the other for changes in direction.

My favorite photos of 2020

Every year, I choose my favorite photos from the year and combine them into a single post. This is my 2020 edition. Like last year, I didn’t post enough pictures on Instagram to have a top nine.

My criterion is pretty simple: is this something I’d print and enjoy on my wall? Which begs the question: why don’t I print any of my pictures?

I understand that not everyone gets my photos. What’s with all those poles? And lichen? But, just maybe, something here resonates with you.

The pictures are from the following posts:

Underlying conditions

She had underlying conditions.

Thus concludes a recent coronavirus update.

As if it explains her death. As if it’s pertinent.

But it doesn’t and it isn’t.

Instead, it minimizes her death and her life, the loss to her and those who knew and loved her, who planned on spending more time with her. It peddles a story so tragic that, without minimization, could be too much to bear.

Why not one of the following?

  • Although physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other hospital employees risked their lives to provide her care, she didn’t receive the same life-saving treatments the president and his attorney received.
  • She wrote birthday cards to her friends and family without fail.
  • She had planned to visit New Zealand with her husband this past summer but had to cancel the trip due to the global pandemic.
  • She is survived by her husband of 47 years, 3 children, and 8 grandchildren, all of who loved her and are devastated by her premature death.
  • She would still be alive today except for COVID-19.

Context is everything.

Christmas Tree, 2020 edition

As is our tradition, we headed off into the hills to cut down our Christmas tree. The farm we’ve gone to the last few years is closed to U-cut this year, so we tried a different farm. After tramping through acres of too-short trees, we took a look at the trees they’d already cut. So that’s where all the good trees ended up!

We picked one out, had them bale it for us, loaded it up and took it home. A baled tree is so much easier to get on the car and into the house. Wow!

Later in the day, we put on the lights, ribbons, and ornaments. The angel needs a little work. Right now, it’s just a ring of lights around the top sprig.

Suzi put out all the stockings. When we put one up for the kids and dogs1Sorry cats — you don’t seem to make the cut. we have more than will fit on the mantle.


Being an even-numbered year, this Thanksgiving weekend was supposed to be a Logan family reunion, when we gather together and play games, make puzzles, and go on hikes. We share delicious food and our lives. We talk about what’s happened over the past two years and make predictions for the next couple.

This year, we didn’t meet. And none of us had 2020 in our predictions.

Instead, we stayed with our individual families, still thankful for those in our lives and the good that has happened.

  • My family. You’re the best!
  • My friends. As one said this morning, “You kept me sane this year.” Likewise.
  • Health. It’s been “interesting” but as brother Bob says, “Every day above ground is a good day.” My condolences to those who have lost someone dear.
  • Modern medicine. Had we lived at any time much earlier than now… ’nuff said. And that goes for more than just this year.
  • Pets. Ours are amateur therapy animals. I love a dog or cat flopped hard against me. And the grins that come from both ends of the leash make it easy to ignore the weather.
  • Social media. I’ve enjoyed looking at what my friends and family have posted today. It’s not the same as being there, or even being on the phone/Zoom, but it’s nice.
  • The internet and music. Without these, I don’t think surviving 2020 would have been possible.
  • Voters. I’m thankful for all 154,000,000 or so that participated in our great experiment. I’m hopeful for the coming years. Let’s work together.

This is just a partial list, both in (1) who and what is included and (2) why.

Have you considered why you could be thankful?

Walking at the Jackson Bottoms Wetlands Preserve

Another day, another walk, this time at the Jackson Bottoms Wetlands Preserve. We were able to visit the preserve today as we were all dogless.

It was a beautiful hike with a lot of wildlife: chickadees, Canada geese, egrets, great blue herons, and even a few bald eagles. We also saw deer tracks, though no deer.

The pipe structure had “abandoned” signs on the valve handles and a “sewer” notation on a nearby cover, but no indication what it is.

That blows!

Doing some work on our furnace, I had the opportunity to take a picture of the blower.1Yeah, I know–it’s dirty. That’s why I removed it. And, thanks to this work, I now have a much better understanding of the sensors, switches, blowers, and valves, and how they all interact. So cool!

I’m looking forward to spring when I get to do the same sort of maintenance on the air conditioner.

United States Flag SVG Image

Feeling patriotic during the election count, I decided to handcraft an SVG of the United States flag. How hard could it be? Red background, white stripes, blue canton, and white stars. Wikipedia lists the specifications.

Creating the stars was a challenge, but I used a spreadsheet to calculate the vertices’ coordinates, which I then cut and pasted into an SVG path. From there, it was creating the backgrounds and placing the stars. Easy peasy.

Here’s the image and its brute force code:

US Flag
<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 190 100">
  <symbol id="star" width="6.477" height="6.477" viewBox="-3.2385 -3.2385 6.477 6.477">
    <path fill="#fff" stroke-width="0" d="M0.000 -3.080, 0.691 -0.952, 2.929 -0.952, 1.119 0.364, 1.810 2.492, 0.000 1.176, -1.810 2.492, -1.119 0.364, -2.929 -0.952, -0.691 -0.952, 0.000 -3.080" />

  <rect width="190" height="100" fill="#C1133D" />

  <rect y="7.69" width="190" height="7.69" fill="#fff" />
  <rect y="23.07" width="190" height="7.69" fill="#fff" />
  <rect y="38.45" width="190" height="7.69" fill="#fff" />
  <rect y="53.83" width="190" height="7.69" fill="#fff" />
  <rect y="69.21" width="190" height="7.69" fill="#fff" />
  <rect y="84.59" width="190" height="7.69" fill="#fff" />

  <rect width="76" height="53.85" fill="#002663" />

  <use href="#star" x="3.0915" y="2.1415" />
  <use href="#star" x="15.7515" y="2.1415" />
  <use href="#star" x="28.4115" y="2.1415" />
  <use href="#star" x="41.0715" y="2.1415" />
  <use href="#star" x="53.7315" y="2.1415" />
  <use href="#star" x="66.3915" y="2.1415" />

  <use href="#star" x="9.4215" y="7.5215" />
  <use href="#star" x="22.0815" y="7.5215" />
  <use href="#star" x="34.7415" y="7.5215" />
  <use href="#star" x="47.4015" y="7.5215" />
  <use href="#star" x="60.0615" y="7.5215" />

  <use href="#star" x="3.0915" y="12.9015" />
  <use href="#star" x="15.7515" y="12.9015" />
  <use href="#star" x="28.4115" y="12.9015" />
  <use href="#star" x="41.0715" y="12.9015" />
  <use href="#star" x="53.7315" y="12.9015" />
  <use href="#star" x="66.3915" y="12.9015" />

  <use href="#star" x="9.4215" y="18.2815" />
  <use href="#star" x="22.0815" y="18.2815" />
  <use href="#star" x="34.7415" y="18.2815" />
  <use href="#star" x="47.4015" y="18.2815" />
  <use href="#star" x="60.0615" y="18.2815" />

  <use href="#star" x="3.0915" y="23.6615" />
  <use href="#star" x="15.7515" y="23.6615" />
  <use href="#star" x="28.4115" y="23.6615" />
  <use href="#star" x="41.0715" y="23.6615" />
  <use href="#star" x="53.7315" y="23.6615" />
  <use href="#star" x="66.3915" y="23.6615" />

  <use href="#star" x="9.4215" y="29.0415" />
  <use href="#star" x="22.0815" y="29.0415" />
  <use href="#star" x="34.7415" y="29.0415" />
  <use href="#star" x="47.4015" y="29.0415" />
  <use href="#star" x="60.0615" y="29.0415" />

  <use href="#star" x="3.0915" y="34.4215" />
  <use href="#star" x="15.7515" y="34.4215" />
  <use href="#star" x="28.4115" y="34.4215" />
  <use href="#star" x="41.0715" y="34.4215" />
  <use href="#star" x="53.7315" y="34.4215" />
  <use href="#star" x="66.3915" y="34.4215" />

  <use href="#star" x="9.4215" y="39.8015" />
  <use href="#star" x="22.0815" y="39.8015" />
  <use href="#star" x="34.7415" y="39.8015" />
  <use href="#star" x="47.4015" y="39.8015" />
  <use href="#star" x="60.0615" y="39.8015" />

  <use href="#star" x="3.0915" y="45.1815" />
  <use href="#star" x="15.7515" y="45.1815" />
  <use href="#star" x="28.4115" y="45.1815" />
  <use href="#star" x="41.0715" y="45.1815" />
  <use href="#star" x="53.7315" y="45.1815" />
  <use href="#star" x="66.3915" y="45.1815" />

Then it was time to optimize.

  • Correct the size of the stars
  • Better, more realistic, colors
  • Use of g and use to decrease file size

Here’s the resulting image and its code:

<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 190 100">
  <symbol id="star" width="6.477" height="6.477">
    <path fill="#e3ded4" d="M3.2385 0.1585, 3.9300 2.2867, 6.1678 2.2867, 4.3574 3.6020, 5.0489 5.7303, 3.2385 4.4150, 1.4281 5.7303, 2.1196 3.6020, 0.3092 2.2867, 2.5470 2.2867" />

  <rect width="190" height="100" fill="#9b1c2c" />

  <g id="two_white_stripes">
    <rect id="white_stripe" y="7.6923" width="190" height="7.6923" fill="#e3ded4" />
    <use href="#white_stripe" y="15.3846" />
  <use href="#two_white_stripes" y="30.7692" />
  <use href="#two_white_stripes" y="61.5384" />

  <rect width="76" height="53.8461" fill="#33335f" />

  <g id="four_rows">
    <g id="two_rows">
      <g id="long_row">
        <g id="five_stars">
          <g id="two_stars">
            <use id="first_row_star" href="#star" x="3.0915" y="2.1415" />
            <use href="#first_row_star" x="12.66" />
          <use href="#two_stars" x="25.32" />
          <use href="#first_row_star" x="50.64" />
        <use href="#first_row_star" x="63.3" />
      <use href="#five_stars" x="6.33" y="5.38" />
    <use href="#two_rows" y="10.76" />
  <use href="#four_rows" y="21.52" />
  <use href="#long_row" y="43.04" />

Finally, judicious use of SVGOMG to:

  • Eliminate whitespace
  • Convert shapes to paths
  • Decrease unnecessary precision
  • Shorten ID names
  • A bunch of other stuff

Seriously, if you’re into optimizing SVGs and you’re not using something like SVGOMG, you’re working too hard.

<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 190 100"><symbol id="c" width="6.48" height="6.48"><path fill="#e3ded4" d="M3.24.16l.69 2.13h2.24L4.36 3.6l.69 2.13-1.81-1.32-1.81 1.32.69-2.13L.31 2.3h2.24"/></symbol><path fill="#9b1c2c" d="M0 0h190v100H0z"/><g id="b"><path id="a" fill="#e3ded4" d="M0 7.69h190v7.69H0z"/><use href="#a" y="15.38"/></g><use href="#b" y="30.77"/><use href="#b" y="61.54"/><path fill="#33335f" d="M0 0h76v53.84H0z"/><g id="h"><g id="g"><g id="i"><g id="f"><g id="e"><use id="d" href="#c" x="3.09" y="2.14"/><use href="#d" x="12.66"/></g><use href="#e" x="25.32"/><use href="#d" x="50.64"/></g><use href="#d" x="63.3"/></g><use href="#f" x="6.33" y="5.38"/></g><use href="#g" y="10.76"/></g><use href="#h" y="21.52"/><use href="#i" y="43.04"/></svg>

Only 783 bytes! Not bad, considering my first version is 3.08k.

Feel free to download and use without limitations.

Update. Code is never done, and this is no exception. Looking at another flag’s SVG code, I realized that I could eliminate the decimal point with appropriate scaling.

<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 19000 10000">
  <symbol id="star" width="648" height="648">
    <path fill="#e3ded4" d="M324 16, 393 229, 617 229, 436 360, 505 573, 324 442, 143 573, 212 360, 31 229, 255 229" />
  <rect width="19000" height="10000" fill="#9b1c2c" />
  <g id="two_white_stripes">
    <rect id="white_stripe" y="769" width="19000" height="769" fill="#e3ded4" />
    <use href="#white_stripe" y="1538" />
  <use href="#two_white_stripes" y="3077" />
  <use href="#two_white_stripes" y="6154" />
  <rect width="7600" height="5384" fill="#33335f" />
  <g id="four_rows">
    <g id="two_rows">
      <g id="long_row">
        <g id="five_stars">
          <g id="two_stars">
            <use id="first_row_star" href="#star" x="309" y="214" />
            <use href="#first_row_star" x="1266" />
          <use href="#two_stars" x="2532" />
          <use href="#first_row_star" x="5064" />
        <use href="#first_row_star" x="6330" />
      <use href="#five_stars" x="633" y="538" />
    <use href="#two_rows" y="1076" />
  <use href="#four_rows" y="2152" />
  <use href="#long_row" y="4304" />

The resulting SVGOMG-optimized code is 738 bytes small!

<svg xmlns="" viewBox="0 0 19000 10000"><symbol id="c"><path fill="#e3ded4" d="M324 16l69 213h224L436 360l69 213-181-131-181 131 69-213L31 229h224"/></symbol><path fill="#9b1c2c" d="M0 0h19000v10000H0z"/><g id="b"><path id="a" fill="#e3ded4" d="M0 769h19000v769H0z"/><use href="#a" y="1538"/></g><use href="#b" y="3077"/><use href="#b" y="6154"/><path fill="#33335f" d="M0 0h7600v5384H0z"/><g id="h"><g id="g"><g id="i"><g id="f"><g id="e"><use id="d" href="#c" x="309" y="214"/><use href="#d" x="1266"/></g><use href="#e" x="2532"/><use href="#d" x="5064"/></g><use href="#d" x="6330"/></g><use href="#f" x="633" y="538"/></g><use href="#g" y="1076"/></g><use href="#h" y="2152"/><use href="#i" y="4304"/></svg>