Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Me? Easy weekend, how about you?

Good grief! Its Tuesday already! Which means of course that the weekend has gotten past me and school has restarted.

Where to begin? What should I mutter about? The weekend I suppose, though mine are never quite as exciting as Terry's since I'm not required to juggle children as he does and my laundry pile is smaller. My goal was to get a bunch of chores done around the house that had not been accomplished earlier in the week due to repeated trips to the vet.

One of the chores was to be to replace the kitchen sink faucet which as taken to dripping uncontrollably, even though I just replaced the cartridge just a year ago. This was going to turn into an expensive proposition because not only was I going to purchase another faucet for $100, I was also going to have to buy shut off valves for both water supplies since those were left out of the previous owner's modernization budget. In just one stroke of luck though, by futzing about with the faucet and rassling with the cartridge, (which I did NOT get out), I stopped the dripping! I don't know what I did but the dripping has stopped. So, no spending money on faucets this weekend!

I wasn't done in the kitchen though, that would have been too easy. Seems the dishwasher had decided to stop spewing the water out at the correct rate during the drain cycle and was leaving water in the bottom of the machine. Hmm, let's see here, I'll bet I can find parts breakdowns online… Sure enough at, I found what I was looking for and a part number for an impellor kit. I'll write down that number and go visit the Sears appliance repair store. Right after I go get the truck inspected so that I can buy a new license plate sticker to be legal for another year.

Now I got lucky again with the truck because it turns out that this year it requires no inspections, neither the safety or the emissions test, which means I've now saved another 50 bucks! And the repair kit for the dishwasher is only $14! This is looking like a pretty good day!

But everything was not roses just yet… The dishwasher wanted to play hardball with me. Under the first cover below the spray arm is the bolt that holds the two impellors secure to the motor shaft. This bolt has threadlock built in from new, I can tell this because there's a new one in my bag of parts. And the bolt is TIGHT! The two impellors are locked together by built-in flats and the top one has a 1" hex to grip while unscrewing the bolt from the center. So I'm trying to use a large socket to hold the impellor with a smaller socket, extension and a ratchet through the center to unscrew the bolt. Seems like a good plan, right? Not so fast… I was able to apply so much torque that the locked-together portions were turning, one inside the other…Crap! I left it for a while and went to see what other trouble I could cause.

Son Noah is in the driveway putting the Tracker back together. Its been off the road all week after we replaced the timing belt last weekend and had to wait for a new cover to arrive to replace the ratty, bent one. Mostly I let the boy do this work including resetting the timing and adjusting the valves. I went out to the shop and went to work on putting the scooter back together. Everything went back together pretty smoothly except for the exhaust and the problem turned out to be the exhaust flange studs on the new cylinder head being bigger that the previous studs and so the exhaust pipe won't rotate just enough for the muffler to clear the shock absorber and spring.

Didn't I see some two-sized studs at the NAPA store one day? Finding out would have to wait until Sunday because it was "quality time with the BSU" time and I needed cleaned up and off we went to the movies! If you haven't seen Million Dollar Baby already, my recommendation is to go see it. It is a very good movie and it earned those Oscars this year. Sure, its about boxing but its about much more than that and it is a fine drama. So then, with a movie and pie date successfully enjoyed by the two of us, it was finally time to drop for the night.

Sunday proved that the Tracker's valves weren't adjusted quite as accurately as the boy wished and that I was right about the two-sized studs at the NAPA store. He went back to adjusting after I showed him how to ensure the tolerances were set the way he wanted them and I finshed up installing the exhaust on the scooter. And the studs that I bought allowed just enough room to let everything fit together as intended. I did ditch the kickstarter mechanism from the drive belt case as I found one tiny broken pin that was holding things up, so until I get a replacement, I just ditched the entire mechanism.

And then I got to go for a ride! I've already mentioned that but it works! The new big-bore kit works. I made one neighborhood trip as a shakedown, came back and removed the riveted tag on the muffler that was rattling and the shiny muffler tip that had broken free of its welds. Then it was off on a bigger trip to make certain everything was in order. And except for the oil blowing out past the rocker cover o-ring, everything else worked dandy.

There was more time spent tinkering with the Tracker with the boy and somewhere during this lengthy chain of events I got my recently-brought-home Model 19 cleaned thoroughly. I even stopped Friday evening and bought 3 different boxes of ammo to fit this thing with every intention of using some of it up during the weekend. Sadly, I didn't get that accomplished.

I did talk to my dad on the phone and visit with a buddy from work that came by on his bicycle and get some of the reading done for my two classes that started yesterday; Microeconomics and Principles of Management. The economics class is online, the management class is 2 nights per week, 7:30 to 10:00! Arrgh!

And the dishwasher is still not fixed… More tools will be purchased!

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