ERR 100

100 things I’d rather do than clean out closets… okay, only 27…

I had a “life’s bleach-able moment” that resulted in DAYS of disinfecting everything, including myself, after the peeps on the next floor up clogged their toilet. I don’t know how many times they tried to flush whatever wouldn’t go down, but OMGosh… they flooded their bathroom. Then their sewer water leaked through the floor, traveled the concrete joint seam, and rained into my closet. The water must have hit wires along the way, as it shorted out my electric. I got dripped on while placing catch bins and pulling stuff out of that closet.

YUCK! And double triple YUCK!

Of course, THEY got their mess cleaned up a lot faster than I could get mine… by the time my power was back on, they were cranking tunes and throwing a party. At least that is what it sounded like… ERR!

It is NOT the first time they flooded their bathroom. Last time, they were drawing a bath and forgot to turn off the faucets. One time is a fluke… twice tells me to be prepared. They will do it again. Since I have absolutely no control over other people, the only thing I can do is turn that closet into bin central… only store items sealed inside plastic tubs in there so it will be easier on me when I have to disinfect AGAIN.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing… cleaning like crazy, throwing stuff out, and flipping closets. Which means cleaning out ALL closets, which I really did not want to do… but, may as well get it done.

So, where’s my list of 100 27 things I’d rather be doing?

Writing the list is ON the list… so right now, it is in my head as loose ideas just floating around. Can you deal with that? Yeah, just roll with it baby.

I’m laughing… writing this blog post has given me a much needed break. It will be alright.

Thanks for reading!



I had a dental emergency. Yes, nothing like a little toothache to bring your entire world to a screeching halt. They yanked the offender out, not an easy task with hooked roots, but “Dr. Dremel” took a saw to my jaw bone and I have been recovering ever since.  A couple more visits and my teeth will be good as new, or at least good enough to chew again.

I’m not sure where teeth land on Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation, but I’d lay odds that it is on the lowest tier of that pyramid. The dental work cleared my head. Suddenly, I am more focused and things on my “to do” list of unfinished projects are getting done.

So far, I have re-done my living room (sewed new curtains and re-covered the cushions on my metal frame couch and chair set), knitted two hats, and cleaned out two closets.

I made biz decisions… that shrink suggested eliminating websites, that it is a waste of time to list things where they don’t sell, like on Webstore, and list things where they do sell, like on Etsy and eBay. Instead of blowing off Webstore, I decided to only list buttons there because they are made to order… not like tying up inventory that could be sold elsewhere. Besides, it is free to list there, there are no fees (they make their money from ads and donations) and once listed, easy to relist. Same goes with my SQ shop. As for CafePress, I have fun with that… and once a design is posted, my work is done. CafePress handles all orders, everything from printing to shipping. I did revive my old Etsy shop for art, handmade things, and DeStash. There’s not much there yet. What the shrink does not realize is, this is my “work” even if it seems like nothing more than a hobby biz by other people’s standards. What am I supposed to do? Sit around all day watching pretend people live pretend lives on television?

I did take a hard look at “what I want to do” verses “what I am able to do” as I do tend to forget that they are not the same thing. It’s like I want to book into local craft shows and festivals to sell my art, buttons, and handmade things in person… but I really need a helper to be able to do that (at least someone to give me a potty break) and I cannot accurately predict mobility any more than I can predict the weather when booking into things weeks in advance. If I’m not walking well enough, or if it is pouring rain, I’m out the setup fees. What I really want someday is my own little store, four walls and a door, even if it is connected to my residence which is a total impossibility now as I currently live in a high rise apartment building designated for elderly and disabled persons.

Which brings me round robin back to clarity…

After they yanked that tooth and my head cleared, the most important conclusion that I came to was that I need to downsize again. My apartment is in a building scheduled for renovations.  They plan to flip these units without relocating tenants – brand new kitchens, new bathrooms, new windows, new flooring, the whole 9 yards – starting in the Spring of 2016. The only tenants who will have to vacate their apartments are the few who live in handicap accessible units, or rather the units that will be designated as accessible units on their plans, which they say are yet to be determined, as those units will require much more work.

There is a very good possibility that my apartment will be on vacate list, if they include units so designated as accessible now, but it will be much easier with less stuff even if I can stay in my unit.

A friend suggested taking a vacation while they flip my unit. That sounds like a good idea, no breathing in construction dust or anything, just leave and come back when it is all done.

If I want to come back. What if I don’t?

I won’t know that until I go… so, I came up with a plan. Downsize to the point where ALL my stuff will fit into ONE storage U-Box from U-Haul. That will be a challenge, but renovations and/or relocations are easier with less stuff.

Thanks for reading! Here is a blue star for not bailing out on me… it’s free clip art with a translucent background, looks better on black, that I drew with Inkscape and applied filters to get the cool wax effect.  Click to view full size, then right click to save. Don’t worry about copyrights. I give you permission to use it.



Push to Exit

I am done trying to explain to these people how the sensor located about the double doors in the lobby of the International Towers apartment building in downtown Youngstown controls WHEN the push bar handle is allowed to open the door to exit during the hours the door is locked, that they need to install a manual unlocking device to bring the door up to code.

We have been going round and round about it ever since I discovered the problem on January 4th, when the sensor failed to “see” me as I tried to exit the building when the door was locked.  The next day, I talked to the building manager and she said that she would have maintenance look at it.

After days passed and a test of the doors proved that the problem was not resolved, I wrote a letter about it and hand delivered it to the office.  She argued with me, insisted the sensor does NOT control egress (exit) and claimed that the push bar handle IS the manual unlocking device, it must be a handle problem, so she would have maintenance look at it.

I feel like they think I’m stupid. No one else has complained… it’s just me… I’m the only one with a problem… she has never noticed anyone waving at the sensor on the security cameras, it does not work that way, et cetera. When she told me the sensor cannot be controlling the door handle because the sensor cannot “see” people in wheelchairs because they are lower to the ground, it was all I could do to keep from slapping myself in the forehead with a “DUH!”

I can imagine Webster’s reaction to such logic… he taught “Sensors R Us” (not the official course name) at the Salem campus of KSU years ago. So what if I am the only tenant who knows that having an access-controlled egress door without a manual unlocking device is a serious safety violation. That does not mean the problem doesn’t exist… it just means that I may be the only tenant here whose background includes a tech degree in electrical/electronic engineering. The sensor has failed to “see” other tenants at night when the door is locked, even the security guard knows the sensor controls when people are allowed to exit this building. To them, it is just a little glitch, so move around until the light turns green and try again.

Maintenance did take a look at the door. They found ice somewhere on the door frame and concluded that the door must have “stuck” on me due to ice, that the door had froze shut.


Why am I smacking myself in the forehead? I should smack theirs like a TV evangelist and declare them healed from techie ignorance, but the only thing that would accomplish is to get myself evicted and arrested for simple assault.

So, okay… they fixed the problem by removing ice and argue down anything I say so, fine…  told the staff member that I will wait until night when the doors are locked and test the doors again.

TEST #2:

On January 20, 2015 just before 10:30pm, with three witnesses:

  • I was able to approach the doors without triggering the sensor.
  • While the sensor light was RED, I pushed on the door handle to exit. It would NOT open.
  • Then I waved my hand at the sensor (instead of just moving my body) until it “saw” me.
  • While the sensor light was GREEN, I pushed on the door handle to exit. It easily opened.
  • To conclude the test, I waved at the security camera.


  • The door was locked, not stuck by ice or anything.
  • The door handle push bar does manually open the door.
  • The sensor controls WHEN the handle is ALLOWED to open the door.
  • The door IS an access-controlled egress.
  • There is NO manual way to open the door to exit when it is locked at night.
  • The problem is NOT resolved.
  • A manual unlocking device needs to be installed per Ohio code.

Is code compliance is too much to ask?

All I want is a gadget… a manual unlocking device as specified in Ohio code 1008.1.4.4 (c) which states “the doors shall be arranged to unlock from a manual unlocking device located 40 inches to 48 inches vertically above the floor and within 5 feet of the secured doors. Ready access shall be provided to the manual unlocking device and the device shall be clearly identified by a sign that reads “PUSH TO EXIT.” When operated, the manual unlocking device shall result in a direct interruption of power to the lock – independent of the access control system electronics – and the door shall remain unlocked for a minimum of 30 seconds.”

The problem is, they think that the push bar handle IS the manual unlocking device.  They refuse to acknowledge that their sensor system does not work the way they think it does.

I raised the issue as a question when Youngstown’s Chief Fire Inspector Marcia Harris was here for our fire safety meeting and an IT staff member quickly shot me down with the ice story and the fact that I am the only one who complains, going on about the need to control who comes into the building at night, which is not the issue at all. After the meeting, the inspector was flanked by IT staff in the hallway and there was too many people trying to exit the room, so I did not get a chance to talk to her. I was hoping to ask her if she could explain to these people that you cannot have a sensor control when a “manual unlocking device” is allowed to work.

Should I write Ms. Harris a letter?

I’m done trying to explain it… they must think I’m stupid, just another dumb disabled person so fine… I will pack my own “manual unlocking device” in my evacuation bag so I can use it if the sensor fails to unlock the door in the event of an emergency, although odds are that another tenant will beat me to it with a chair or cane or anything else they can get their hands on.

Manual Unlocking Device

Manual Unlocking Device

After all, the doors are glass. Thanks for reading!

UPDATE 3/3/2015: Door was brought up to code. You can read about that here.