Posts made in July, 2010

“O” is for Open Sesame

Posted By on Jul 8, 2010

We just purchased a new 15-lite Exterior door, so I planned to write this blog about lock sets.  Why not choose a topic that will help me in my personal life?  Five minutes into my research, I stumbled across a blog about lock bumping.  Ever heard of that?  Me neither.  Fifteen minutes later, I know more than I want to, and I’m more than a little concerned!  Let’s just say, I will be choosing my new lockset with a bit more care.

Lock Bumping is a technique used to unlock locks with the use of a Bump Key.  Bump Keys can be used to unlock all brand names of lock sets and deadbolts.  Bump key kits/sets can be ordered thru various website that are easily accessible.  Along with the marketing of the tools, you can YouTube videos to learn the technique!

Here are a couple links that explain how lock bumping works and how to prevent it:

Lock Bumping – How to Protect Yourself.  By: LiveSafely

Lock Bumping | What is it & How to Prevent it.  By: Security World News

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Think there is no good news in today’s economy?  Yes, times are tough.  Yes, the unemployment rate in Maine is 8.4%… but that means the employment rate is 91.6%.  Here are a few other positive notes about the market:

  • 30 yr fixed mortgage rates continue to drop.
  • Residential construction spending increased by 4.5% in April of 2010, bring it to the highest level in 15 months.
  • The Northeast region saw a 66% increase in residential construction starts in April of 2010 compared to April of 2009.
  • Maine’s Unemployment Rate in May (8%) is lower than the national rate (9.7%).  Maine has gained jobs 4 of the first 5 months of 2010.
  • Compared Nationally, Maine has relatively low foreclosure rate.
  • Oxford County, ME and Coos County, NH are in the middle 20% for Median Income Nationally.
  • Cumberland, & York Counties, ME and Carroll County, NH are in the second highest 20% of Median Income Nationally.

Information found on these sites:

Reed Construction Data


Google and Yahoo! News

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As I loaded my washing machine last weekend, a quick glance at the wallpaper border in the room got me thinking.  Many homes now have a “vintage washboard” as a decoration, but when did this tool go from being a tool to decoration?  This question started my research for this blog.  When did modern conveniences become the norm?

I will start with electricity as our conveniences require this utility.  When did electricity become a norm in American homes?  Ben Franklin may have been experimenting with electricity in the 1750’s, but it wasn’t until the mid 1930’s that electricity was a widespread utility.  President Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration in 1935.  Even with the backing of FDR, many rural farming communities didn’t have electricity until the 1950’s!

The refrigerator is touted as the “most used modern convenience.”  Until the invention of the electric refrigerator in 1913, food storage was anything but convenient.  Many homes had small ice boxes that needed daily re-packing of ice to keep items cool.  Between 1915 and 1925, the refrigerator was sold as an add-on for homeowner’s current ice boxes.  In 1925 the complete unit became available for consumers.  It took 15 years for the fridge to become commonplace.

Back to my initial pondering, while the first electric washing machine was patented in 1908, less than 70% of homes had them until 1975.  Hard to believe that same year the microwave became a necessity in many kitchens, and had exceeded sales of gas stoves.  This accidental invention could be found in 60% of American homes in 1976.

Aren’t you glad you didn’t live in your grandmother’s era?

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