Starting a Composting Earthworm bin

Composting thru earthworms or Vermi composting is a fun activity especially if there are kids involved . You also get the best compost for your plants  It is a great way to dispose off ur organic waste and reduce ur garbage,

Most Fresh kitchen waste or manure needs to decompose or age a bit before the worms will touch it. Heat from a compost pile can boil an egg, it will kill worms and fresh food scraps + composting bacteria = heat 

You are better off starting with  regular composting then feeding the half done  50 to 75 % done compost to your worms so as not to kill them or have a two or 3 bin approach to ensure that u dont kill worms and keep rotating,

Regular composting  (Stage 1):  Prefer to use earthen pots with small holes to let air in.Plastic mesh baskets are good composters too

Wet kitchen waste (Nitrogen) 1 part to be layered with a composting culture + 3 parts dry items  like shredded paper / cardboard / dry leaves / cocopeat.

 Composting Culture : U can take a litre of warm water + a bit of yeast + 1 tea spoon molassis + Sour curd and / or Vermiwash / Cow / horse manure/  aged cow dung slurry . mix it well and add a bit to each layer to speed up composting (Readymade ones are also available.

Compost bed is ideally max 1.5 to 2 feet in height and 3 ft width

. In 20 days this compost changes color to dark brown and cools down significantly. Worms can be introduced to it with sufficient bedding . Depending upon quantity of worms u should have vermicompost in another 20 days appx … Thus a 2 or 3 bin method i think is best way of composting.

Worms generally love dark and damp beds , aged cow , goat or horse manure, semi done compost or half done compost , which wont heat up They need grit or egg shell powder or sand to digest .

Earthenware khambas,  pots , old large wooden drawers , glass fish tank with hole at the bottom , non rust metal crates and fine mesh bag are great home composters . plastic tubs with ventilation holes will also do the job.

Depending upon where u live you can choose the worms so u have a happy bin. Composting worms are different from regular earthworms as they live in the soil surface rather than deep underground.

Worms most suitable in tropical or hot and humid or sea side areas and grow well at a temperature of 24-30 °C (75-86 °F) and can survive 36°C

Eg Tropical  places with temperature of 12 – 38 °C  Most of Asian coastline , Indian coastline , Mumbai etc South east Asia = Phillipines, Indonesia, Malaysia etc South Americas Brazil etc

1. African Nightcrawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae

2. Indian or Malaysian Blueworms (Perionyx excavatus) may be used in the tropics and are available easily during the monsoon

Great worms for cooler places with temperature of 15 – 30 °C

1. Red wiggler or tiger worm (Eisenia fetida or Eisenia andrei)  are most used hardy worms that are favourite of most composters .

2.  European nightcrawlers (Eisenia hortensis)

The nightcrawlers which are also used as fish bait and the blueworms are more active and mobile and love to travel while red tigers are lazier. I dont reco using alabama jumpers and other invasive species

Earthworms are hermaphrodites, it has both male and female reproductive organs. Two worms join clitella, the large lighter-colored bands which contain the worms’ reproductive organs, and which are only prominent during the reproduction process. The two worms exchange sperm. Both worms may secrete cocoons size the of mustard seeds which contain an egg each. These cocoons are lemon-shaped and are pale yellow at first, becoming more brownish as the worms inside become mature. These cocoons are clearly visible to the naked eye.

Worm poop or Vermicast (also called worm castings, worm humus, worm manure, or worm feces) and worm tea or compost tea is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by earthworms.

great videos on composting


Fridge Testing Fault finding and Basic Repairs

Tired of inexperienced repairmen , i did some investigating , here is what i can share:-

When you switch the fridge off always give it at least 15 minutes rest before you turn it on again.

Problem : U left the door open for a while: Now it is not cooling properly.

Humidity has turned to ice and has blocked the cooling system.

Solution Let ur fridge thaw …ie switch it Off and keep the doors open for a day or two and then switch it On again . Be prepared to remove excess water from the back of the fridge ie in the tray above or besides the compressor or the black oval thinge.

Check out

Problem : Freezer Frozen Solid , Noisy obstructed fan, Frost free fridge not defrosting

1. Fan : Check if it is working or not. If  blocked check 2 and 3.

2. Bimetallic Thermostat: Good if continuity is YES when cold and NO when room temperature  : Bad otherwise or  if puffy or if not good

3. Heating Coil or heater : Bad if Continuity is broken or if MM reads 1
: Good if Continuity is ok or if MultiMeter reads 0.

Generally a bad  thermal fuse with no Continuity could be a sign of bad heating coil, or bad circuit or defrost timer.

If both are ok Problem is more serious and could be the Circuit, Timer or Temperature sensors.

Disconnect 2 and 3 from circuit for 6 to 8 hrs and chk out cooling and frost buildup to isolate whether problem is in 4 or 5.

4. Temperature sensor / Thermistor: 

Generally there are thermistors in both sections freezer and fridge.

  • Fridge /Freezer section too warm or too cold
  • Refrigerator runs too long or short.

Faultfinding : Resistance in a thermistor  increases as temp drops and vice versa. At room temperature 68°F.,the sensor should read approximately 6.1K Ohms. With the thermistor submerged is a glass full of ice water, the sensor should be very close to 32°F which should read approximately 16.3K Ohms

5. Circuit or Mechanical Defrost timer

The circuit board is damaged or the mechanical timer is  stuck .

For mech defrost timers  watch :-

How the Fridge cooling System works 

Liquid refrigerant (Freon/ R134a) entering the evaporator begins to boil into a gas because of the sudden drop in pressure created by the compressor. This change of state absorbs heat. The temperature inside the evaporator coil may be -20 degrees F. This will condense and freeze moisture in the air in contact with the coil (which is why we have to defrost). If there is freon boiling inside the evaporator this frosting will occur within minutes. So if we run the unit with the cover off the evaporator and no frost forms we can know that there really is no freon or the the system is clogged. If the unit runs for several minutes with the door closed and the freon charge is correct, the frosting should form all along the length of the evaporator.

If the cooling system is good in a top freezer fridge , when the compressor has run for some time and is still running :-

  1. The compressor and the  line connecting to it should be very hot.
  2. Touch the radiation coil,  should be cooler on one side and hotter on the other or hotter at the top getting cooler as it goes down.
  3. You can feel the filter dryer and the thin capillary tube connected to it  and you will feel liquid is passing through it …
  4. The fridge should sound like a blizzard if you put your ear to it.
  5. Switch it off and you should get gurgling sound as the fridge balances itself out.

Major Problem : Fridge doesn’t cool properly

1. Could be a choke or a leak  in the cooling system,

2. Could be a  clogged filter dryer or  capillary tube, or worse in the radiator or co

3. Could be a gas leak  or low on gas because of age or leakage ..

The fridge has to be regfilled with R134a

Major Problem : Fridge does not start !

Check the relay

Check  the  compressor

Check the Cooling system, for problem with the defrost Circuit board or mechanical defrost timer.

Service and parts guy in Mumbai,

Lamington Road

Devi Sales at Dadar  in Mumbai keep parts and service all fridges and A/Cs.

Supra Service Helpline No: 9821516165, 9167761722, 28670125

Check out

If ur a techie try reading The Fridgeman Blog .

Printer Inkjet Cartridge Cleaning, Refilling and Maintainance.

I tried my hand at refilling my old Canon PIXMA iP1800 a part of the 1600/1700 /  printer series .HP inkjet cleaning ain’t too different.


Ink Level Monitoring

Disable the ink level monitors after re-filling the cartridges. Go to properties, maintenance, view printer status, option and uncheck enable status monitor.

Fault Finding and Service

Printer Service required : Printer Properties /Maintenance

1. Printer head Alignment : for Misaligned prints.

2. Roller Cleaning : If there are vertical lines on the paper it is the rollers that are the problem. If rollers make a creaking sound oil the roller ends.

3. Smudges : Bottom plate cleaning

Cartridge problems

1. Cartridge not detected /doesn’t recognize the Ink Cartridge : Ink  has dried up completely on the rectangular head.

2. If prints are bad, or if  there are horizontal white lines in place of ink on the paper the Ink Cartridge nozzles partially blocked.

Cartridge Cleaning using Software

Using Cleaning option in Maintainance can rid you of minor clogs in the cartridge.

Deep cleaning is a sheer waste of ink, and is best avoided.

Manual Cleaning involves using IPA or warm to boiling hot water to unclogg and loosen up dried ink from the head of the cartridge nozzles. A clean head leaves a neat ink train on a soft tissue. Cleaning involves :-

1. Using a clean soft tissue dabbed in  Iso Propyl Alcohol , to wipe the head.

2. Using a clean soft tissue dabbed in warm water, to wipe the head.

3. Soaking the ink cartridge head in warm water for 2 to 5 minutes.

4. Soaking a clogged ink cartridge head in hot water for 2 to 5 minutes.

4. Soaking a undetectable ink cartridge head in boiling hot water for 3 minutes or using steam to clean them up .

6. Opening a dead cartridge and cleaning it up with hot water and then resealing it.

You can spray the clogged head with hot water too and wipe with cotton or a soft dry paper tissue.

Chk out :

How to Manually Clean an HP Ink-Jet Cartridge

Removing Air Bubbles From Ink Cartridge Print Head

Refilling Cartridges

Dont let the empty cartridge run dry, keep empty cartridge airtight by putting a tape over the head or cling wrapping them, emulate how new cartridges have orange tape.

Refill from a good/reputed re-filler or he will damage the cartridge. Else buy a kit with ink specific to your printer, 5 /10 cc syringes and needles and a universal suction adapter to remove air bubbles.

DIY refilling is messy business. Black is easy, Color cartridges are more difficult to refill. Clean the cartridge head before a refill.

Instructions on how to clean Hp cartridges (Mute volume)

HP Cartridge Refill video

Canon Cartridge Refill video (Mute volume)

Counter Reset tips for Canon Pixma  1600/1700/1800  printer series series:

1. Switch on the printer and press Resume button and hold for 1 – 2 minutes

2. Open the cover remove the cartridge and then put them in.

3. Close The Cover, turn off the printer,  turn it on again.

Or you can use IPTool software to reset the page counter when you use refilled cartridges. Download IPTool

*Images are not mine .

Sewing with a Sewing machine

I have this fashion stitch sewing machine that my sister insisted on buying, but it turns out that she never intended to stitch but to use me as her unofficial alterer or tailor.

Even after a couple of yrs, i didnt quite know how to properly use it and the only thing i did was to use the straight and zigzag stitch. So thanks to you tube i finally figured out how to stitch on a sewing machine.  Now i got to figure out how to teach her to stitch, and maybe this post will.

Which?: How to use a sewing machine

Singer Basic Stitches Tutorial–MIr_iOVElA&index=18&feature=plcp

Singer 8280 demo

CraftyGemini tutorials

Expert village tutorials

How To Make a T-Shirt Grocery Bag

Sewing Basics #1: How to finish up raw edges

Sewing Basics #2: 7 Ways to Attach/Use Elastic

Sewing An Elastic Waist Band

Faultfinding my Whirlpool 350 L FF Elite Refrigerator

I have been taken for a ride by the Whirlpool Service guys n number of times as most likely than not you have too. If you figure out the system u could diy repair or make sure that the service man is qualified or some anadi sent by the service co. In India the multi-meter is an alien object to the repair guy. No wonder we face shoddy service.

The 7 year contract of my Whirlpool FF 350 L Elite model , imported from brazil,  REFRIGERATOR BRASTEMP BRM35A 350 FROST FREE  just ran out, and the way the service standards of whirlpool are, continuity tester in hand  i bravely decided on doing the faultfinding myself. Actually most FF fridges are similar and the same rules apply to most fridges..

Chk out my Detailed Faultfinding Post Here



Indian Congress party ( INC ) is more opportunistic than Secular.

Homosexual intercourse was a criminal offence until 2009 under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 … A british legacy.

Sec 377 was a great source of underhand revenue for some crooked cops, and naturally a major tool for intimidation and harassment of the rainbow community.

This law was struck down by the 2009 Delhi High Court decision Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, which found Section 377 and other legal prohibitions against same-sex conduct to be in direct violation of fundamental rights provided by the Indian Constitution.

Many educated Indians have moved on and dont find it a big deal.  Movies like Onir’s My brother Nikhil had mainstreem actors and was accepted in bollywood , it didnt face shutdowns or protests.

We even laugh at

No one except the deobandis, the church, the BJP and some devout followers that considered gay sex as a disease made some noise.

The health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was one of the loudest

LGBT s come out all guns blazing in the media against his outrageous statement and Congress calculates the quantum of loss / error of judgement and makes him explain his statement.

Come 2012 election time:  16 February 2012, the Supreme Court, during a hearing of a bunch of appeals filed against decriminalization of gay sex, observed that homosexuality should be seen in the context of changing society as many things which were earlier unacceptable have become acceptable with passage of time.

The Sonia congress upa stand?

Centre tells Supreme Court gay sex immoral, calls for new ban

ASG Malhotra has already argued the case for more than three hours, while the home ministry , ASG Jain flip flops

This is during the UP elections when its senior politicians have made a mockery of the law and of the Election Commission to draw in the Muslim vote in UP.Muslims are a huge vote bank … a Majority block of votes that can make or break a party’s fortunes.

Come the last day of UP Elections, the Sonia congress does a royal about turn in the Courts, to which the court reacted

“Don’t make (a) mockery of the system. ASG Malhotra has already argued the case for more than three hours. Don’t waste the court’s time,” the bench said.
“You do not have to argue fresh … You are appearing for health ministry. Tomorrow someone may say that Jain was not authorised to argue the case. We do not want to embarrass you,” the bench said.

Looks like Sonia Congress UPA is Duplicitous , and no less communal. It is worried about the backlash of its Muslim vote bank when it comes to elections.

If BJP has their VHP then Congress has their Deobandis.. no wonder its stand changes in sync with the election calander..

Ghazal Maestro Jagjit Singh 1941-2011

The man who did everything straight from his heart, be it singing or talking politics.. Jagjit Singh will always be remembered not only for his gazals but also as an incredible human being.

Badi nazuk hai yeh manzil

Baat Niklegi To Phir Live

Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi – Mirza Ghalib

Tumko Dekha To Ye Khayal Aaya –  Saath Saath

Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho – Arth

Tera Chehra – Live

Hoshwalon Ko Khabar kya