Ring Doorbell Windows 10 Volume Problem Solved!

Whenever I ran the Ring Doorbell Windows app, it would always lower the volume on any other application (music, video, etc.) that was running. As soon as I closed the Live View, the volume on the other apps would return to normal. I contacted their support and was told that it could be a driver issue. Obviously, they didn’t really know why it was happening.

Well, I did some more digging and discovered that in the Sounds dialog, there is a Communications tab. By default, the “When Windows detects communications activity” option was set to “Reduce the volume of other sounds by 80%”. That sure sounded like what was happening, so I changed it to “Do nothing”. BINGO! That fixed it!

I never even knew that setting existed. To get to the Sounds dialog, click the Windows icon on your desktop to bring up the menu. Type Sound and it will appear. It will say Control Panel underneath.

I’m not sure if other versions of Windows do the same thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Good luck!

The human brain is in trouble and technology is a cause…

A thought-provoking article on how technology has negatively impacted humanity in a profound manner. I have often surmised that the effect is much worse on children raised on technology as their minds physically grow and mature with such harmful artificial stimuli.

“…our constant engagement with technology interferes with the pursuit of other behaviors critical for maintaining a healthy mind, such as nature exposure, physical movement, face-to-face contact, and restorative sleep. Its negative influence on empathy, compassion, cooperation, and social bonding are just beginning to be understood.”

EU is wondering if daylight savings time is really necessary…me too

I for one am excited that this topic is at least on someone’s radar. It’s been one of my pet peeves for a long time. Perhaps if the EU does away with daylight savings time, the US will follow suit or at least discuss. BTW I sent a tweet to the President on this, but he has yet to respond. I guess he’s busy…

European Commission polls citizens on need for daylight saving time

The EU is asking its citizens if it should continue to enforce its daylight saving time (DST) rules, which require people to adjust their clocks twice a year. The public consultation on the biannual changes — which see the clocks go back an hour on the last Sunday in March and forward on the last Sunday in October — is available as an online questionnaire until August 16.

New Sod Lawn Care in Colorado

I just moved to Colorado Springs and have a brand-new sodded lawn. Obviously, I wanted to make sure I cared for it properly. My research found that the basic steps are: you water the heck out of it the first two weeks; dry it out and mow; cut back the watering the third week; and cut back again during the forth week. Of course, there’s a lot more to the process, so I put together a detailed document based on information I found. I thought others may benefit from it, so I’m posting it here. Lawn Care in Colorado

Yellow Garden Orb-Weaver spider

A friend of Kimberly’s had one of these babys on their home and I had to take a couple photos. It’s a yellow garden orb-weaver. Supposedly not poisonous, but the sheer size is enough to frighten you to death! The whole thing was probably 3+ inches big.

A must-read post on life lessons

A link to a very thoughtful post on life lessons and a must-read for everyone, particularly my older friends.

As I get closer to retirement, I see myself beginning to truly learn these very lessons and the post has moved the needle a little more. I suppose it’s confirmation of some sort. Now, while I agree that we learn these things too late in life, I feel that learning them is a slow and long process that can’t be truly sped up.

This quote included in the post really spoke to me:

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

–Lao Tzu


YETI Rambler Lowball cup is perfect match for Keurig K15 Compact Coffee Maker!

I found it odd that in the disposable K-cup world of Keurig, there isn’t a disposable cup (with lid) that works well. Most are too tall and the few that fit just don’t hold much coffee. My issue with using ceramic mugs is that my coffee gets cold too fast.

The other day I brought home my YETI Rambler Lowball 10 oz Stainless Steel Cup from work and it occurred to me that this just might fit in my Keurig K15 Compact coffee maker. Well, let’s just say that it’s a match made in heaven.

At first, I was disappointed that it didn’t fit with the lid on as I thought that would be a good way to store it. After further thought, however, I realized that if it did, there was a high probability that I would run the Keurig with the lid on the cup which would have ended in a mess. It’s a good thing it didn’t fit or I would have had to learn the hard way.

After a week of daily use, I’m extremely happy with this new discovery. I can now sip my morning coffee slowly and not worry about it getting cold!

Water Softener: Fix a flooded brine (salt) tank that doesn’t drain

I have literally spent weeks trying to fix a flooded brine tank in my Kenmore water softener. It took me a while to understand how the darn thing worked, but once I figured it out, my problem and, more importantly, the fix seemed obvious. NOTE: I’m pretty sure that most water softeners work very similarly, so even if you don’t have a Kenmore, the information here should be helpful. Read more

The epitome of Texas Freeway insanity: a 26 lane wide monster

If you’ve never been to Texas, let me give you a brief overview of the freeway traffic system. Instead of freeways just being large roads without signals, Texas builds (usually) one-way “access roads” along each side which can themselves be several lanes wide. They also allow development along the shoulder of these access roads which means there are shopping centers, gas stations, restaurants, homes, driveways and other things all along them. Also, actual speeds on the access roads are often not much less than freeway speeds. Read more