Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The pictures of New Orleans underwater are particularly hard for me to grasp.
Its going to be a long time before life returns to normal for every member of that city and locale- for those that survive.
Sure enough, two Marines walk up.
One of the Marines says, "WHAT DOES THAT SHIRT SAY!?!?!?!"
So the Army guy responds, "That's the first thing I hate about Marines, they can't read."
The other Marine growls, "What did you say!?!"
The Army guy responds, "That's the second thing I hate about Marines, they can't hear."
Then the first Marine demands that they take this outside.
Two minutes later the Army guy walks back into the bar unharmed. The bartender askes what happened to the two Marines.
The Army guy responds, "That's the third thing I hate about Marines, they bring knives to gunfights."
Sunday, August 28, 2005
You scored 57% Tough, 9% Roguish, 23% Friendly, and 14% Charming!
|You, my friend, are a man's man, the original true grit, one tough talking, swaggering son of a bitch. You're not a bad guy, on the contrary, you're the ultimate good guy, but you're one tough character, rough and tumble, ready for anything. You call the shots and go your own way, and if some screwy dame is willing to accept your terms, that's just fine by you. Otherwise, you'll just hit the open trail and stay true to yourself. You stand up for what you believe and can handle any situation, usually by rushing into the thick of the action. You're not polished and you're not overly warm, but you're a straight shooter and a real stand up guy. Co-stars include Lauren Bacall and Maureen O'Hara, tough broads who can take care of themselves. |
Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the Classic Dames Test.
I'll bet I would still be paying for damage repairs... And of course, begging my dad to give it back!
[Note] You folks will dial up connections may really hate this link. There's a lot of kitty pictures!
Friday, August 26, 2005
Anyway, today he has a link to a directions from Lysol on how a woman can protect her "feminine allure and daintieness". Lysol seemed to think that a women's husband will only remain interested in her if her "objectionable odor" has been expunged.
Creepy. Really creepy!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
So when Cindy Sheehan speaks, decency obliges us all to give her a respectful hearing. But though we are obliged to hear her, we are not obliged to heed her.Go read the whole thing.
Unfortunately, her wrathful voice brings no new insight. Her opinions are nothing more and nothing less than re-amplified repetitions of the hyperbolic irrationalities that have been heard from her manipulators on the extreme left since before the war in Iraq began.
I'm ok. I didn't even drop the scoot. But I was kind of shook up. The driver, a young airman in a Ranger pickup, was pulling out from a side street on the base as I was headed home after work. He failed to see me coming and so pulled out from the right, just as I was getting to the intersection. I moved left as far as I could without getting into the next lane and the driver hit the brakes just as I came into his view. I just about got clear of his bumper but he ran into me, just under my seat. I got the scoot stopped right away with no further drama and then we pulled off together to check out the circumstances.
I need a new body panel. I don't need the decal or the turn-signal lens as I have those left over from the previous incident. My muffler has some scratches on it that should buff out. The airman is going to pay for the parts and then all should be back to 100%.
Monday, August 22, 2005
On a related note- the beer at the James Taylor concert we went to Saturday night- $8.50 for a 24 ounce draft microbrew... I had Country Time lemonade instead!
But whatever, the site has my little blog listed as a Recommended Resources For Scooter Phantom R4i Vento. I'm presently listed 3rd, just below the eFundraising and SoberRecover.com. Don't ask me what either of those two sites have to do with scooters, but there you have it. If you're drunk and broke and looking for help, Wasted Electrons remains vigilent to help by offering scooter advice.
Its a good thing this internet thingie doesn't have to make sense!
But nobody mentioned it; not in the comments or through email or phone call. So I look dumb, in front of the entire internet and I had to find out from another blogger poking fun at me!
At least he said Astin was a cute baby!
Sunday, August 21, 2005
It has it all, drama, romance, birth, death, fuzzy babies and dramatic weather. No explosions though, and no car chases. Other than those things, it has it all. It really is a marvlous movie and through the ending credits you get to see how much trouble the camera men went through to get this story on film.
I was reminded of one of my favorite Bloom County cartoon strips where Opus the Penguin was trying to call his mother and was terribly distraught because no one ever answered the phone when he called. The final frame of the cartoon showed all the penguins standing around a pay phone on a post watching it ring and complaining that no one had a stool so they could reach the receiver. If I were an Emperor Penguin in Antartica, I think I would have to have a phone and a speed dial set to the Fish Gut Delivery Service so I didn't have to march back and forth so far for a meal!
Saturday night was another date night, a big one this time! We went to see James Taylor in concert at the
USANA amphitheater in West Valley City. This was a big deal for the spouse, she really wanted to see James again, since we saw him just a couple years ago at the Delta Center. Anyway, the money was in the checking account so at the last minute I bought a couple tickets, (ouch!) and off we went.
It was a really fun show. James is so full of stories and songs and joy in doing his shows that its a pleasure to go and see him in concert. The man has written SO many songs! This show was a pleasure. James does the ballads and old-time tunes simply with just his voice and acoustic guitar and you can believe all night would be fine if he did that. But then he gets the band cranked up with horns and electric guitar and does Steamroller like rock and roll is all he knows how to do! The changes are remarkable and fun all at the same time.
I've been tired all day after last night night. we went out for pie and coffee before going home and then stayed up another hour with the boy and his new gf who were watching Mythbusters. But I got my shop cleaned up and out today, all the benches have been cleared but one and I got my bike hung up out of the way and I threw out a bunch of stuff that I could no longer remember why I wanted to save it.
I did not get the inside glass of the truck cleaned, which was on my list of things to do, nor did I get to go to the shooting range. That was supposed to be a priority since my new Savage 223 rifle is now safely in the gun locker and begging to be taken out and shot. I did buy 2 brands of ammo for it this weekend and a sandbag rest and I cleaned it really well after reading the owner's manual. Nothing left to do but shoot it now!
Laundry machines are running full bore right now, meaning I've got clothes to fold if I want to be able to find them in the morning before work. The drain is still not working well even though I've been pumping lots of dangerous chemicals through it. The over flow is coming up black and smelly right now, so I know I'm making progress!
Son#2 is doing much better now and is back home where he belongs. He seems to have picked up a new gf, though she may be of the "right now" type instead of "Miss Right." Because he's been so involved with her this weekend, the Tracker is still not running. He does have the engine in place and he thought things were going just fine until he discovered 30 minutes ago that the engine will not turn over. Not even a lttle. It is locked up tight. I've looked at it- since I started this post- and the bad news is, it looks like the engine has to come out again. Something in the transmission bellhousing, flywheel is not right and is locking the engine. I don't know what it is, I wasn't here when he slung the motor and hooke the pieces together, but I'm certain there is a clearance problem of major proportion.
Neither of my school books have arrived yet. ECampus.com has really let me down this term. I ordered my books on the 10th, they weren't shipped until the 18th and won't be here until the middle of this week. Totally unsat!
Anyway, I'm tired. I guess I'll go to work in the morning to rest up!
Friday, August 19, 2005
'Course I'm shy a few 'tats and piercings to really fit in with most scooter crowd folks, and I don't have any Doc Martins or a black leather jacket. But maybe they would let me ride with them...
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Well, my friend was right. There was a Rabbit motorscooter, made by Fuji Heavy Industries after World War 2. They were imported into the US beginning in 1957, in a number of different models. And unique to Rabbit for the time, was an automatic, continuously variable transmission. Unlike today's belt drive CVTs, the Rabbit's transmission required automatic transmission fluid to operate.
I'm still certain that I've never seen one of these scooters. But now, I'm sure willing to look for one!
Monday, August 15, 2005
First, Alan from PowerSportsFactory warrantied out my HP-150 muffler that separated a few weeks back with a brand new one. That muffler's inlet pipe came completely loose from the main can of the muffler. That's the good news.
The bad news is that the same problem appeared last week on the new muffler. It was only two weeks old. Today I found a welder that has TIG welding capability and can weld on the stainless materials. He said it would be ready tomorrow. While that muffler is being repaired, I'm back to my JC Whitney home-grown muffler.
I've still been tinkering with my carburetor as reported in this post, but its all for no improvement until I get a new fuel enrichment solenoid. The one I have is broken, the housing is split and seems uninterested in any of the glue types I have around here. I ordered a new one today. I also discovered why the dang thing breaks over the weekend. Way back here I showed pictures of my new intake manifold and mentioned that making everything fit due to its increased length was a challenge. What I failed to realize was how big a challenge it would be! When the scooter is on the centerstand, there is plenty of clearance for the solenoid. But when the scooter goes back on its wheels, the angle of the offending mount moves forward and dislocates the solenoid from the carburetor!
Dang! When this thing is broke, it lets in air where it shouldn't be, making any attempt to adjust the carb an effort in futility. So, I've ordered a new part and a new motor mount. I'm going to get all ugly with the mount and cut and weld and grind until I get a mount that gives plenty of room for the carburetor and its attachments. I'm kinda tired of dinking with it and the only way I can figure to get the clearance I need is to just basically build a new one. That should be fun.
Anyway, there's 2700 miles on the scooter already and it still looks good and goes good. I did replace the fuel diaphram and that fixed my problem of running out of fuel going up long, steep hills.
My neat, mesh jacket arrived, finally, today and its too small. So I've got to send it back. Rats!
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
So, he's getting it. Seems his troubles were bigger than he had been willing to share with ol' Mom & Dad. Or his counselor or Job Corp, who was kind enough to call this morning to ask how and what was happening with him. She sounds like a lovely woman and it was obvious from her call that she thinks the world of Son #2. The boy has already called with clothing and personal gear requests and he sounded upbeat about the circumstances so far. Good.
I've loaded up his new cell phone with prepaid minutes and the essential numbers he needs until he gets back home and into school.
Now there are lots of other chores to run today before going to see him tonight!
UPDATE: Sunday, 11 Aug. The young man is doing well. He has been moved into a less restrictive unit and started on meds. More are planned for today. We visited last night nad except for the "sleepy" factor that most of those meds cause, he was in decent spirits and cooperating with the program.
I expect he will be home by the end of the week.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
The ex-GF threw him out when he appeared at her house at 3:30AM, (GOOD!) and then he failed to show up at the Toyota dealer where he just began apprenticing on Monday. This was part of his Job Corp training and was supposed to be leading to full time employment within about 6 weeks. He finally showed up at home about 3 PM Wednesday.
Now he's at home, did not go to the Toyota dealer or Job Corp this AM and saying he is not going back. Meaning he'll get dropped from the program. He doesn't think he needs to be in a Psych hospital but does think he could use a therapist. He's not speaking and he's acting as the spouse says, "like a 4 year old." And he is.
So he didn't go to Job Corp or the Toyota shop today. He did attempt some repairs on the door frame that I told him I was expecting. And he has a therapist appointment later this afternoon. Before that, his favorite instructor from JC, one that he really likes and respects, is coming over to the house to talk to him. I went and asked this favor from him this morning…
He's really put a lot of effort into this mechanics training, 18 months worth of going to school everyday and doing well all along the way. Now he's obsessing over a girlfriend that he broke up with, when he found out she quit college and kept it a secret for an entire term. He really does love her. But he broke up with her and she has moved on.
I have tried to tell him that time would heal his hurt. I've also encouraged him to leave alone everything he has no control over, like this relationship and instead to focus on those things he has control over, like his training and his career.
Right now, he is not hearing me or his mother. Perhaps his instructor or this therapist will be able to talk to him in a way that makes sense.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The hole in the ground is massive and the debris set hillside fires several hundred yards from the blast site.
Its gonna be a long commute for those folks that travel Highway 6 and have to bypass!
Son #1, his lovely wife and my grandbaby came to visit last night! They wanted to show off their newly purchased Scion XB. They only purchased it Monday night. It's a beauty in dark blue. The Malibu they have been driving is consuming coolant at a more than daily rate, in spite of a head gasket replacement just a few weeks ago. So, they took advantage of all the sales efforts going on, shopped around and decided on an XB. They liked it better and was less expensive than all the small SUVs that made the consideration list.
They came up for a very pleasant visit and we all headed out to Village Inn for dinner with Son #2 and his ex-girlfriend Lily.
Dinner was fine, Astin the grandbaby was in a playful mood and let me hold him and play with him for the entire time. He's getting quite chubby and his red hair hangs in his eyes most of the time. After dinner we headed home and Astin got the stuffed baby sea otter toy that we brought for him from Oregon.
I've got pictures but they are stuck at home in the camera. I'll post a couple this evening if I get time.
Note too the exhaust system on the scooter- its expansion pipe shaped with a turned around, stinger muffler, just like the style for every 2-stroke motored scooter! Vento obviously decided to jump on the "racing pipe" look for this 4-stroke engined scooter and to me, it looks ridiculous. I suspect its a fake with no real expansion chamber properties and probably restrictive as hell with that tiny tailpipe diameter.
Personally, I like my shiny, copper colored Phantom. I suppose the flat black look will be good for the young kids that can't keep the tires in touch with the pavement and scratch up their body panels. It will be easy to keep a can of BBQ grill paint on hand to touch up the scratches!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
The movie is a re-telling of the story of the 6th Ranger Battalion, a group of green, untested Army Rangers in the Philippines as they trek 30 miles behind Japanese enemy lines to rescue 512 American POWs held in a notorious camp.
I'm not going to spoil it by telling you more. I will advise you to go see it. It is a terrific story and very well told. That said, it is graphic. Perhaps more graphic than Saving Private Ryan, if only because the killing that is displayed is up close and personal, in courtyards and inside the POW camp instead of on the beaches of Normandy. I admit to being surprised that this movie, and the manner in which it portrays the Japanese could be made in these Politically Correct and Culturally Kind days we live in. This movie is easily the equal to Saving Private Ryan or Enemy at the Gate so if you liked those movies, you may really like The Great Raid.
I don't want to sound as if our beloved, on long-term babysitting-duty dog Sandy is weird or anything.
But this morning, when I got up at 5:10AM and went to use the toilet, she was sitting in the shower stall!
Not sleeping in the shower- sitting. And she didn't want to come out and go back to her sleeping pad. Strange dog, really strange.
BTW, there's a picture of Sandy welcoming one and all to the Tiki Hut camper from our trip to the beach here.
Monday, August 08, 2005
And since, due to the narrow confines of the motor mount and the tight fit of the hole that I already enlarged to fit the bigger manifold some months back, I was unable to fit the filter directly to the carb inlet, so I used a couple inches of the rubber tube from the original air intake. It looked like this:
Replacing the curved tube, and readjusting the air mixture got me right back to where I had been in the first place. And I tried adjusting the mixture 3 different times with test jaunts up my block, all unsuccessfully.
I'm stumped. I can not believe that bit of curved hose makes so much difference in the performance but I can't figure out which way to go with the carb and its jets and adjustments to get it running right. The hard part of course is that you can't get the poor performance when its sitting on the centerstand, the engine must be under load.
Maybe it needs a different sized pilot jet. I suppose bigger would be the way to go but that is just a guess. Any suggestions?
BTW, I did bypass the fuel shutoff with a new length of hose after replacing my curved inlet pipe and made one run up the hill successfully without the engine cutting out. I think that verifies that the valve is bad. I'll be awaiting the new one in the mail shortly. Thanks Alan!
Want to have some fun at the theater this summer? Here is the solution- go see Stealth. Take with you a cranium packed full of all the foolish movies that tried to portray the military that you can think of. Think Iron Eagle and all its terrible offspring. Then, buy a bag of popcorn, a soda, then sit back and count up all the ways you can identify this movie as completely off the mark. I mean, its obvious that NO Naval personnel were employed as advisors for this movie. The movie is not supposed to be funny, but it is. It really is.
I'm not going to give away the whole movie but I'll give you a short list of obvious faux pauxs that made me laugh. You can check out the movie and collect your own set of Hollywood goof-ups. My list:
"Implosion" bombs that can penetrate 15 floors of a building, then go off and cause the building to fall in on itself without injuring anyone outside the building
The skipper of the USS Abraham Lincoln call it a "ship." I'm pretty certain that every floating piece of naval equipment is a "boat" no matter how big it is.
The skipper was also wearing a jacket with the patch of the USS Carl Vinson!
While evading the Russian MiGs, our hero expended "chafe and flares"
The "concussion check" for our hero was pretty funny.
The visual references to Top Gun were fun and frequent.
The controlled flat spin of the unmanned fighter jet made me laugh out loud.
Finally, the crashed heroine of the movie who was NOT wearing a one-piece flight suit while sneaking out of North Korea.
Make up your own lists!
Its mesh, so it lets in the fresh air during these hot summer months and meets the requirements of long sleeves and reflective and high visibility required by the Air Force base. The wind-tight jacket I have been wearing is just really miserable on the way home when the temperature's up over the 90 degree mark.
Now I'm just waiting for a new package to arrive.
I have a 26mm carburetor, not the 30mm version that is presently being offered in the big-bore kit from PSF. That explains the difference! Alan was also insistent that if I remove the u-shaped portion of the original air filter system and installed the air filter directly on the intake end of the carb that I would feel the performance improvement immediately. I used the u-shaped portion based on a picture of the kit from PSF that showed the tube included! I suppose the configuration has changed as development continues, so I'll give it a try.
The scoot has also had a problem that Alan has promised a replacement part to correct. The scooter runs out of fuel when operated at high speeds and high loads, like when I'm trying to get up some of the steep hills around my house. The motor just "dies" for a few seconds but letting up on the throttle allows the engine to recover and then it runs just dandy at everything less than wide open throttle. The fuel shut-off valve is vacuum operated and it appears to not maintain enough vacuum to hold the diaphragm open when operating under low vacuum conditions. I figured out last night how to bypass the valve tonight to verify my theory. In the mean time, Alan is shipping me a new valve.
It also just occurred to me that I could build a small vacuum storage tank to put inline to level out the changes in the low pressure level fluctuations…
The real question is, do I spend the money for that 30mm carburetor that has an accelerator pump feature? Hmm...
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
The pharmacy even claims to have all the meds she requires on their shelves. Now we just need to get the call-back from her Doc, the Doc to write new scripts and for the Doc fax in the scripts to the pharmacy. Otherwise, I have to make a 80 mile round trip to pick up the scripts to deliver to the pharmacy counter.
With a little luck this will be resolved today and the BSU will continue to have the right amounts of meds floating through her system without me skipping a house payment.
Its still DUMBASS that the Medicare can't be declined in favor of the Tri-Care.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Friday, we got her card renewed. We also went to the local advisory office and they assured us her coverage was re-instated and everything should be fine with the meds insurer. Friday night, still no coverage. The pharmacist gave her enough of her meds to get her through the weekend while we waited for all the computers involved to get aligned and for her coverage to resume.
Last night- still no joy. Now the phone calls begin! The pharmacy insurer tells me to call the DEERS office to get her re-instated. The DEERS office tells me to call the Medicare office and the Medicare office tells me to call the Social Security office...
The BSU has now been enrolled, against our specific wishes, in Medicare because she receives a Social Security disability each month. But only Part A Medicare, which makes her ineligible for the Tri-Care military coverage. Social Security says that she can't be unenrolled from Part A and that the only way to re-establish her Tri-Care eligibility is to sign up for, and pay for Part B!
So it will now cost us $78 per month, deducted from her disability check to be able to go back to receiving medications through the free military Tri-Care system!
What a pain! The worst part is that it is apparently going to take a month or more to get her into the Medicare system and that until that is done, she can't get her meds that she needs every day- over $1000 worth! I can't afford to write them a check and these are her mental health meds, so she can't live without them for a month!
Sonofabitch! Stinkin government agencies and their contradictory rules!
I should do the same thing for my scooter stuff, but I don't get enough daily visitors to WE that I'm willing to drive away towards another blog. So you just have to keep reading the scooter links over there on the right side.
Monday, August 01, 2005
If you have any interest in the use of the English language, this can be a fun web page. Check it out.
If you need a reference point, think Sleepless in Seattle, but funnier. CNN interviews John Cusak about his role in the film here.
I really need to get a camera equipped cell phone for mornings like today! Its trying to rain this morning and there are dramatic clouds over the Great Salt Lake. But there was also a glorious rainbow peeking through that lit up for most of my morning commute. To the east, from behind the mountains, the sun was lighting the clouds with a vibrant orange wash.
Rainbows are pretty common here but almost always in the afternoons as the sun sets and the rainbows appear over the mountains. This morning's rainbow over the lake was a wonderful rarity and a pretty darn good way to start the week.