Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Test your geography skills.

I only got 64% on this little test. How well do you know your European country locations?

Thursday Three time again!

And I'll steal a few minutes to answer Terry's, (and Jim's) questions today. What are today's questions? I'm glad you asked.
1. What does your name mean—any connection to what you do or who you are?

2. Any problems with your name? Do you wish it (either your surname or given name) was changed ?

3. Were you named for someone? If so, whom?

AND, in order to satisfy Jim’s insatiable need to supply MORE than three questions--

4. Do you go by your first name, middle name, shortened form--(ex. Jim for James)--or by some made-up nickname?
1. Some of you know that my given name is actually Nathaniel. I've been told it means "gift from God." I don't know if that's turned out to be true for those that named me but I've tried to do my part.

#2. Any problems with my name? Nobody calls me Nathaniel, though one of my grade school teachers insisted upon it. She also expected me to be able to write that big thing instead of just Nate when we were learning cursive writing! Other than that, its pretty pain free.

#3. I was named for someone, as a matter of fact. A missionary and pilot, Nate Saint was killed in Ecuador just days before I was born. As I remember, the church my parents attended in Minnesota was a supporter of the the missionary effort Nate Saint belonged to. My folks might have even had the opportunity to meet Nate Saint, I don't remember. I do remember that my father was studying to be a missionary pilot when he went to college and met my mother, so there was an emotional connection when Nate Saint died. Somewhere, I even have a copy of the book that was written about his death stashed away someplace.

#4. This question's supposed to extra credit and I've already covered it.

How's that?

UPDATE: Another interesting page about the life and ministry of Nate Saint.

This post is just for Pammy

Who, with her beloved Ziggy is vacationing on the beach in the Keys in Florida this week.

A t-shirt, seen on a guy at work today. On the back it says simply, "Wake the Neighbors."

On the front-


I don't reckon I'd wear that t-shirt!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What kind of a Jackass-

Picks his nose while sitting on the toilet in the last stall in this building's mens room- and flicks his boogers on the stall wall? Damm! The holder with the paper is closer than the wall, he has to reach past the paper to do his flicking!

This same dumbass used to stand at the urinal and do the same thing!

Does it get any grosser? What do you suppose he does at home?

My new computer, pop-ups and

They don't like each other! That is, my new computer, on which I have installed the freebie Popup Blocker that I like, does not like the comment boxes on any of the Munavian blogs. Its got no problem with Haloscan comments boxes but it shuts down those Munavian ones. Which I don't understand because I'm using the same popup blocker just fine on my work computer.
Not that I ever visit Munavian blog comments from work of course...
Otherwise, the new 'puter's great. I still don't have all the old data moved over but because of settings difficulties I'm waiting on a new cable from the software company. Once all that's done, everything should be great. Its really nice to be able to plug in my memory stick without having to reboot. I've also switched my cable modem connection over to a LAN cable instead of the USB and it seems to be loading web pages much faster than before.

And its quieter. Much quieter. The old machine had a pwer supply fan that almost always ran unbalanced and made noises like it was coming out through the box. The new computer makes a few seconds of noise upon starting up, then just shuts up and is silent. The difference is obvious when they are both powered up at the same time. So that's a good thing.

The Phantom gets a new accessory!

That's right, the Kass Winns cup holder arrived and I've got it installed. Its mighty cool because its not only adjustable for depth but removable too for when I don't need it. Here is one picture and here's a picture of just the mount. Its pretty tidy overall.

I've also been trimming some of the engine support crossmember to make more room for that hot rod intake manifold and carburetor. Its taken a couple of hours on a couple different days and some paint drying time so I can't yet report on the performance changes. I have made significant improvements in the clearance for the carb and the filter so that later tinkering won't require quite so much squirming and cussing.

And its my last week of class this term and Noah turns 21 tomorrow so there are celebratory plans, finals studying and a presentation all standing in my way of getting this thing all wrapped up. And Brett called from PowerSportsFactory yesterday to say my repair parts are enroute...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I bought myself a T-shirt last night

I just neglected to mention it due to the late hour and the glad news of Brother Mark's selection as pastor. Anyway, Kim duToit has created a T-shirt and I decided I had to have one for myself to show my support for the Nation of Riflemen.

Go get yourself one too!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Brother Mark is now, no kidding, Pastor Mark

That's right, my little brother Mark has accepted the pastoral reins of a church in Wooster Ohio. I don't know the church's name- sorry 'bout that. Anyway, he has been filling in over there since December and this week the church asked him to become their pastor and he accepted.

This is very cool and I'm very proud of my little brother. Incidently, he will continue to drive truck as he has done for years, making him the 3rd preacher I have known personally who received their calling to the ministry while earning the rent by driving truck. One of them married me the first time. And they were all from Ohio.

Anyway, the family homestead in Alliance will have to go up for sale. That will be odd because its been in the family since my parents bought in in 1973. Mark bought it from Mom and he's put tons of time and energy into keeping it fixed up. So if you need to buy a house in Alliance, Ohio, leave a contact in the comments or email me.

Good on ya, Pastor Mark!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Technology Lives!

I'm posting this using my brand new computer! Hurrah! Its a middle of the road E-Machine, model T3882 from Circuit City. I didn't buy the DVD burner because CD burning for storage seems to work just fine for me. I did buy and extra 512K of RAM that was on sale bring the total up to 768 mb for lots less than buying the machine that had just 512mb of ram and the DVD burner.

Remarkably, I dug out a network cable from my box of leftovers, plugged it into my cable modem, plugged the other end into the new machine, and I had connectivity! Ain't that cool?

I've been clearing old junk off the old machine all morning and I'm just about to run a piece of software, PC Relocator, that promises to transfer my old data to the new machine stress free. I gues I'll see shortly.

And Dad, if it works, I'll mail it down to you.

UPDATE: All's not perfect so far. The new 'puter does not seem to have the correct method of switching for the parallel port to make the transfer possible. I've emailed off for some help. In the mean time, I'm still working from two machines. If I can't use that transfer software, I have no idea how to move my MS Outlook Express emails off the old machine to the new one.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Grandbaby Pictures!

As long as I've got my PhotoBucket opened up tonight, I might as well share some of the lastest pictures of my grandbaby Astin. He turned 4 months old this week.

And one of the entire happy family.

Ain't he a cutey?

Scooter Parts!

Shiny, hot rod, hop-up parts arrived in the mail yesterday! Its the new intake manifold from PowerSportsFactory that Alan promised me last week.

It is a very neat looking piece. Much bigger than the stock intake manifold. I'll take some comparison pictures this weekend when I get a couple hours to tinker with the Vento. I'm also going to scratch together a better arrangement to secure my air filter and intake tube than the plastic zip ties I'm currently using.

The repair parts to fix the damage from last week's boat attack are supposed to be shipping to me today so they won't arrive in time to be installed this weekend, giving me some work to look forward to next weekend. And in another week or two, the new exhaust pipe should be arriving. But I still can't tell you about that...

UPDATE: Gunner wanted pictures- so here's one of the my new part, next to the stock part.

Here's another:

I have to mention that I was stuck tonight trying to install the shiny new part. Its so much longer than the stock one that I couldn't fit it and the carburetor between the intake port and a part of the chassis. After I put it back together stock I think I figured out the solution. I've got to remove the manifold studs and get matching bolts! Then I can put the two parts together, fit them into the frame and then align the holes and put the bolts in. Its an old hot rodder trick that slipped my mind until it was dinner time.

So now I have to buy some bolts!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Regarding my recent absences...

Microeconomics sucks! This online course is really one I should have taken in a classroom with an instructor that I could corner and pin down until I understood the material!

It is kicking my butt. Really. After several hours of study, multi-media review, making my own spreadsheets to figure all the requirements, I still only got 50% on an open book, online quiz.

I hate it. Luckily there are just 3 weeks remaining. Hopefully those 3 weeks will be a little easier than the past 2.

Noah and I went to the gun range and expended our pent up rage (ok, just mine) with several hundred rounds sent down range. The plastic superhero toys took a beating yesterday afternoon. It was great fun.

I love my Smith & Wesson Model 19.

More Phantom Stuff- Good News This Time

You folks that come around here for non-scooter related stuff must hate my continued focus on my scooter and the Vento Phantom phenomenon in particular, and to both of you, apologies.

But if you care, I'm expecting more cool parts for my scooter to arrive. I talked on the phone to Alan, from PowerSportsFactory when I was ordering my damaged parts from the boat attack last week. We got to talking about some of my maximum speed questions and Alan asked if I had received their new intake manifold with my big-bore kit. And the answer was no, I didn't get it but was running the bigger carburetor on the original manifold. Alan said that new manifold is 30mm in internal diameter versus the stock 24mm! He also said I needed that new manifold and so he is sending me one as well as a couple new main jets sizes to experiment with.

He also said something about my exhaust pipe saga that I'm still not at liberty to divulge. But its good news.

So, there are body panels on order and a new tailight to make the damage from last week's wind go away and there are more performance parts in the mail. I've even found a different, much better coffee cup holder from KassWinns that I've ordered for my caffeine conveyance convenience.

Now if the weather would just improve so I could ride my scoot every day...

Vento now telling buyers they received "knock offs"!

Vento is now telling 2004 buyers their scooters are "knock offs".
That's right, according to another Phantom owner in New York, he has
been told by Vento that if his scooter is only 125cc that its not a
real Vento! I've been corresponding with this fellow who found me due
to my now nearly historic about Vento's sleight of hand regarding the engine size.

Anyway, today I received an email from him and according to him, Vento claims he didn't get a "real" Vento. Be warned, if you go to Vento with complaints about the mis-represented engine size, you may get the same answer!
My advise to him is reproduced here in full:

Did you purchase it from a local dealer? Does the dealer where it came from appear on Vento's list of dealers?

There is an EPA certification sticker under the seat, what information linking the
certification to Vento is on that sticker? (I have to check that out myself when I get home.)

One more avenue to pursue- let your state Division of Consumer Protection research it. I've not completed my form for the Utah's agency and submitted it but I was waiting until I had those same pictures I sent to you. Utah's form is a easy one-pager that's downloadable from their website. No doubt your state has a similar
form and complaint process.

Finally, I suspect that if your title to your scooter has the Vento name and model and serial number on it, that the DMV should be able to verify the serial number as being an authentic Vento number and provide certification to that effect. Titles are legal documents and I think it would fall on Vento's shoulders to prove that some
other "knock-off" vendor was misappropriating their name and serial number list.

Anyway, I think that's an interesting angle for the company to take, deny responsibilty by blaming it on an illegal knock off. There are knock offs out there for sale, though most of them have either been caught by the importation regulation folks and shipped off shore- or they have much better warranties than Vento! And cost less too.

Sooner or later- this is going to end up in a court someplace!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

When fishing boats attack!

Yesterday it was windy in Utah. A blustery day if you are a Winnie the Pooh fan but just damm windy for everybody else. But it was warm and so I had ridden the scooter to work and after work I stopped by a boat store because I wanted a swiveling cupholder for the scooter.

I parked the scooter in a full sized parking spot just outside the front door, and just a little bit downhill from a jon boat and trailer on display just one more parking space over. While I was in the store, the wind got hold of that boat, spun it 90 degrees and pointed it down the hill! The boat clipped my scooter, knocked it over and came to rest T-boned into a Ford F250 pickup's rear door!

The shop guy was just picking my scooter up when I got outside. Damages include the tailight, the left body panel, handlebar grip and mirror. The handlebars might be bent too. The shop owner has graciously agreed to pay for the repairs and it looks like about $120 for everything. I'll be ordering the parts today sometime.

And I got my cupholder!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Catching up-

So, I guess the FLDS guys got it wrong, because it seems we are still here on the planet. I can't speak for them but it seems the local sheriff is satisfied that nothing untoward is going on- at least right now.

If you want to know a little more about the FLDS- the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, go here, to the Eldorado Success weekly paper's website and listen to the audio recordings of Warren Jeffs, the FLDS prophet and leader.
In one of the clips Jeffs says, "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth or rude and filthy, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind."
Its creepy stuff so be warned.

My dad asked about my cell phone circumstances and it seems that I finally am the owner of a fully functioning Tracfone prepaid phone and service. I applied to get my old cell phone number ported over to the new phone and that was successful, though I was unaware that the phone was deactivated while waiting for the transfer to be accomplished. But yesterday it did get accomplished and everything seems pretty dandy so far. And if you knew my cell phone number a week or a month ago- you still do.

School continues to absorb much of my time. The good news is I am exactly at the half way point of being finished! I am even this week at the half way point of this 8 week term and this is the middle term for the classes I need to be finished. Six terms left after this one, two classes per term. Or perhaps seven terms if I decide to only take one class through the next, summer term. I haven't decided yet.

Now, I must attend to the paying gig for much of the day.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Its the End of the World Today!

Maybe, if you're FLDS and you believe Warren Jeffs the leader and prophet. For the unitiatiated, FLDS is Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints and they are the group that live in the neighboriing towns of Hilldale Utah and Colorado City Arizona. It is the largest polygamist religios group in the country and they are in our local news regularly.

Now they are making the mainstream media with reports that first, they have built a replica of the first LDS temple on the property down in Eldorado Texas, on land that they first claimed was going to be hunting property. And since today, 6 April is the 175th anniversary of the founding of the LDS belief, it might just be something special for the true believers.

Or it might not.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Terry's moved!

That's right, PossumDad Terry from Possumblog has packed up and moved out of his old Blogger digs and apparently been adopted by some foreigners of some kind called Munavians. His new digs are here. Go over and say hey. And take your your own glass for the sweet tea and I understand the cookies are all gone.

Terry, I wish I'd not been so busy with school work and paying work to help out with the heavy lifting. But next time- I'm there for you buddy!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Update on the cell phone shopping

I bought a Motorola from Tracfone. So far, I am NOT happy with my choice! It seems to call out just fine but I can't call my cell phone from my home phone.

I've called Tracfone's customer service repeatedly and each time the person on the other end has been helpful, courteous and English speaking. They have walked me through a re-programming sequence and they can even call my phone from their end. I just can't call it from my home phone.

One more day I'm going to fiddle with this and if I can't resolve it, its going back!

UPDATE: One more call this morning and I discovered that the phone number that the system assigned to my phone and that shows up as my phone number in the phone's memory is really notmy phone number... And according to the almost English speaking woman at the other end of the phone, there is no way to correct the difference. So the billing department has me down for one phone number but to actually talk to me, there's a different number.

That will work but its really unsatisfactory.