Sunday, April 14, 2013

Copper Mountain seemed unprepared for the closing day crowd

In case you had any doubts, we clearly saw today that good snow brings out the skiers. Today was Copper Mountain's last public skiing day of the season. We arrived at Copper Mountain to find that the Alpine lot was full and Copper was parking arriving cars in the Far East lot.  Unfortunately, they apparently had not planned on needing it today as it was totally unplowed.  Thank goodness I chose to drive the Tahoe today and not the Prius.  Several folks discovered that their cars were too close to the ground to cope with 13 inches of fresh!  I also noticed that the restroom at the Timberline lift was out of toilet paper, water, and hand sanitizer.  Oh well, the snow was good skiing and made a good contribution to the snowpack!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Is healthcare a basic human right?

Is healthcare a basic human right?  That’s a question that was posed to an ethics class that my wife’s cousin is taking.  I rather think that’s the wrong question for most of us to be considering.  It’s a question designed to create division.  If you have any opinion on healthcare or any other subject that’s currently a hot political topic a question in a form like this going to get a rise out of you.  That’s probably the reason it was picked for a topic for debate.  For those of us not in that ethics class, I think we should be considering this topic from a slightly different angle.

Let’s consider this.  Where does healthcare fit into Maslow's hierarchy of needs?  Just to refresh your memory, the needs are, starting from the most basic, Physiological, Safety, Love/belonging, Esteem, Self-actualization.  These are usually presented as a triangle with Physiological needs at the base and Self-actualization at the apex.  Physiological needs include things like breathing, food, water, sex, and sleep.  Safety needs include things like employment, resources, morality, the family, health, and so forth.  See the Wikipedia article for more details on the additional levels above the two base levels. The theory is that until you have satisfied the base needs, you can’t move on to satisfy the needs more toward the apex.

Health is part of the 2nd most basic level -- safety.  If we are to accept the oft-referenced Maslow, we see that if you don’t have your health, you can’t make it up to working on the higher needs of the hierarchy.  I’m not so sure it’s that black and white in practice, but it seems likely that the more of your lower needs that remain unmet, the less attention you’re going to pay to the higher needs.

How far back does healthcare go?  Certainly through all through history we find references to various kinds of healthcare providers from medicine men/women to surgeons to physicians.  In some early small towns, the barber did the surgeries.  I suspect there are much earlier references that I could dig up with a bit of searching (see the Wikipedia article on Medicine, history section).  Might it not be that it is really healthcare that is the oldest occupation instead of the usual one so suggested?  Surely such a consistent pattern of the existence of some sort of health practitioners reveals the magnitude of the need that we have for healthcare.

Regardless of if we call this a “basic need”, it is certainly an “important need.”  Should we not as moral individuals be concerned as to the important needs of our fellows?  Should we not be doing what we can to see that all have their important needs met.  Shouldn’t everyone have clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and healthy food to eat?  Shouldn’t everyone have a safe place to sleep?  We can probably agree on most of these, can we not?  I propose to you that healthcare is right in there with the rest of these and maybe also having meaningful employment (but that’s another blog post).  I propose that the moral thing to do is to put healthcare on our list of things that we want for everyone and do what we can to make sure everybody gets some.

So what then is the question?  It’s not if.  It’s not when. It’s what and how.  What level of health care can we guarantee to everyone and how can we provide it efficiently?  This is what our current struggle is about and what we should rationally and deliberately be discussing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Replacing the belt on a Whirlpool Model LE6100XS Electric Dryer

One day my wife told me that the dryer drum wasn't turning, but the inside light still came on when the door was opened and it still made noise when it was turned on. I looked at it and the drum turned very easily in either direction. This would seem to indicate a broken belt. I started searching the web for instructions and illustrations.

The best set of instructions I found were not fully applicable, but they were enough to get me started. I'll go over the differences, but here's the link to them:

Here are the changes I would make to these:

Opening Up The Dryer:
  • It tells you to pull out the lint screen (which is on the top of the dryer near the back right) and then remove the two screws that are under the cover. Don't remove the lint screen. If you remove the lint screen you open up a hole where the screws can fall into and then you will have to take off the back of the dryer and disassemble part of the air path to retrieve them. I see no reason at all to remove the lint screen as on our dryer it was not blocking access to the screws. I removed the screws, left the lint screen in place and things went fine.
  • These instructions say "To unlatch the dryer top, insert a thin-blade putty knife between the top and front panel ... Push in on the knife to release the locking clip ...". Well, that didn't work. Possibly our dryer had a different clip. Anyway, a standard sized screwdriver was the tool that worked best for me. The clips on our model were sort of plastic pyramids with a small place in the center of the pyramid about the width of a screwdriver blade where you could push to help them release. I put some tension up on the lid, pressed in on the release with the screwdriver and when I felt it move a bit I moved the screwdriver to a place beside the clip with the blade positioned between the dryer top cover and the dryer front cover and applied some leverage to lift the top off of the clip (repeat for other side). If you look at the first diagram in the dryer parts list referenced below, you'll see a drawing of the clip as item 50.
  • The instructions say "Next, move to the lower toe panel." Our dryer didn't have a lower toe panel -- the front cover was all one piece. What I did instead was the following: Note there is a wire bundle going from the right side panel to a connector block on the front panel. make a drawing of this so that you can replace the wires correctly and then remove the wire bundle connectors from the connector block (this didn't seem to be shown on the parts list). While carefully maintaining pressure on the front of the dryer front cover to prevent drum from getting loose, remove the two screws near the top of the inside of the front (number 6 on the first parts drawing) and set them aside. Have an assistant support the drum while you lean the front panel out and lift upward to remove the entire front panel (set it aside). Place a support (I used a 1/2 gallon milk carton) under the front of the dryer drum.
Installing the Belt:
  • Remove the old belt and per the instructions with the grooved side of the belt facing the drum, get the new belt into position around the drum.
  • The instructions say to push the front panel back into position. Don't do this yet. Skip to the section beginning "Now, move to the motor area ...". Since my dryer had a one piece front panel, it was necessary to finish routing the belt before replacing the top and front panels. Make sure you remove the old belt if it has dropped into the lower area.
  • Once the belt is properly seated on the drum and routed through the idler pulley and the motor pulley, have an assistant support the drum and remove whatever you placed under it to support it. Then carefully lift the door and guide it down on the little hangers at the bottom of the side panels that you lifted it off of earlier. At this point, the front panel should still be inclined outward. Work with your assistant to ensure that the drum is seated properly in the seals on the front and back as you move the front panel back into it's vertical position. Replace the two screws holding the front panel to the side panels. Replace the wires from the side panel back to the connections on the front panel using your diagram to get them in the right place (mine had 3 connectors). Now carefully lower the top panel, align it with the clips, and press down to engage the clips.
Finishing up:
  • No major problems with this section other than that the lint screen should already be in place because it was not removed.
Whirlpool Manuals, etc. for this model may be found at:
where you just plug in your model number and tell it to search. Here is a link to the results for the LE6100XS Whirlpool Electric Dryer (it may not last as they change their site):

The search resulted in an owner's manual, an installation guide, and a parts manual. We already had copies of the first two (came with the dryer). The parts guide was very useful. Here's a link to it (again, it may change with time):