Shark Bite: Plumbing Made Easy – No More Soldering!

Today I worked on rerouting some copper pipes in my bathroom so they wouldn’t be exposed. I wanted to install a local shut-off valve so I wouldn’t have to turn off the main water supply outside just to work on the pipes in the bathroom. I bought a 1/4 turn ball valve which needed to be soldered onto the copper pipe. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to heat up the connection, both copper pipe and valve,  in order to get the silver solder to melt and leave a tight seal. Some of the reasons include

  • a bit water dripping in the pipe which prevents the connection from heating up to a high enough temperature to melt the silver
  • the valve was made of an alloy which doesn’t conduct heat as easily and as quickly as copper

After getting fed up with soldering and wasting tons of time, I discovered an amazing, but expensive, product by Shark Bite. They make push-in removable pipe fittings and installing them takes literally 5 seconds. Just push the fittings into the pipes and you’re done. See pics below of some of their fittings.

Believe it or not, these fittings ACTUALLY work! Continue reading Shark Bite: Plumbing Made Easy – No More Soldering!

Hayward, California: Bulk Disposal of Garbage, Dirt, Hazardous / Toxic Waste, Metal

In case you didn’t know this, if you need to dispose of large amounts of stuff in or near Hayward, California, you can do so at the following places:

Household Items (Furniture, etc)

Customers of Waste Management (WM) get 2 free bulk curbside pickups a year. Contact WM to schedule a pickup.

Dirt, Gravel, Bricks, Rocks

Landfill Management
4001 W. Winton Ave.
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 784-0825

Continue reading Hayward, California: Bulk Disposal of Garbage, Dirt, Hazardous / Toxic Waste, Metal

Hair Care Tips

For at least the last 10 years, I’ve been doing what probably most guys do when it comes to hair care – the bare minimum. We use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner to save time, quickly towel dry our hair, comb it and we’re done. And we do that every day. While that may seem like an innocent process, it turns out it can easily damage your hair resulting in dry, tangled, and/or frizzy hair at best. Personally, I noticed that my hair became very dry and frizzy. It also felt rough and tangled when I’d run a comb or my fingers through it. And for some reason, the front section was in worse condition than the rest. So, I decided to figure out WTF was going on and try to repair my hair since, apparently, I was unknowingly damaging it. Below are some tips that have made a big difference for me. The products below are used in the order listed.

1. Silk Pillowcase

i used to use a regular cotton pillowcase but now I use a silk one. When you sleep, your hair is constantly in contact with your pillow so having a pillow made of a super soft and silky fabric will help lessen any roughness done to your hair as you lay your head and turn around while you sleep. Plus, silk feels very good on your skin and especially your face. The pillowcase I bought is Spasilk 100% Pure Silk Facial Beauty Pillowcase which costs $20. With a 4 star rating from 764 customer reviews, apparently many other people like it as well.

Continue reading Hair Care Tips

Reverse-Merging / Rolling Back a Revision in Cornerstone

To roll back (undo) a specific revision in Cornerstone, select the Advanced Merge tab and compare the revision you want to roll back against the revision you want to roll back – 1. For example, if you want to roll back revision 22570, compare it against revision 22569 as shown in the screenshot below.

cornerstone-reverse-merge

Continue reading Reverse-Merging / Rolling Back a Revision in Cornerstone

Create SSL Certificate with SANs (Subject Alternative Names)

When you’re developing websites at work, while you can set up a self-signed certificate to test pages over SSL, it’s better to use a trusted certificate which you can do for free if your employer has set up a CA certificate which you can sign against. Also, since certificates are only valid for one level of a domain, e.g. abdullahyahya.com is different from foo.abdullahyahya.com which is different from foo.bar.abdullahyahya.com, you can add Subject Alternative names to your certificate and wildcards like *.abdullahyahya.com, *.foo.abdullahyahya.com and *.foo.bar.abdullahyahya.com to use the same certificate over many domains.

Following are steps to set up a certificate with SANs on a Mac with Apache.

1. Install OpenSSL

$ brew install openssl

Continue reading Create SSL Certificate with SANs (Subject Alternative Names)

Clean Glass, Mirrors, Plastic, Faucets and Many Other Surfaces with Vinegar

Recently I needed to clean my glass coffee table so, as most people would do, I sprayed on some glass cleaner solution and used a paper towel and began wiping the table. For some reason, I noticed a LOT of streaks on the glass and there was some kind of white rough residue all over the table. I thought it was because I used a cheap glass cleaner solution but wasn’t sure. After doing a bit of research, I was surprised to find that simple vinegar and water does a better job at cleaning glass. There’s a little more to it though so here are instructions:

Continue reading Clean Glass, Mirrors, Plastic, Faucets and Many Other Surfaces with Vinegar

Chrome Inspector: Editing and Debugging Javascript

Debugging Javascript can be tricky. But, thanks to Google Chrome’s Inspector, it’s not so bad. You can edit your Javascript files directly in Chrome’s Inspector and run the code to quickly test and fix problems. Here’s how to do it.

1. Open a page that has Javascript included in a separate file. This example uses the website http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/javascript/basicjavascript.html.

js-debug-1

Continue reading Chrome Inspector: Editing and Debugging Javascript

Optimize a PDF for Smaller File Size

The file size of PDFs can get large when you start adding a bunch of images and have lots of pages. To optimize and reduce the file size as much as possible, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro, click Save As, and choose “Adobe PDf Files, Optimized (*.pdf)”. This reduced one test PDF from 7.18 MB to 4.22 MB.

pdf-optimized

Edit, Sign, & Remove Restrictions of Any PDF Document

If you want to edit or sign a PDF file but can’t due to restrictions placed on it, you can unrestrict the PDF by first uploading the PDF to Google Drive, and then opening the Google Drive PDF in DocHub.

pdf-tax-return
Cannot edit PDF (see red box)

google-drive-upload
Upload restricted PDF to Google Drive

open-dochub
Open in DocHub

dochub-sign
You can sign and do many edits in DocHub such as apply whiteout, redact text, etc.

save-pdf
Save as “unrestricted” PDF from DocHub