Day by Day cartoon

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cindy Sheehan- Straw Buyer and Texan?

If you don't already think that Cindy Sheehan is the most misguided and confused leftie peacenik wearing pink, this quotation shows just how little she understands our president:
"I thought President Bush would have resigned by now. But I am happy about a permanent home in Crawford."
Seems she bought some property for her looser friends to hang out in down there in Crawford Texas, without the intestinal fortitude to purchase it herself. She used a straw buyer to make the purchase!

I can't help but wonder how long Cindy will keep her little bit of Texas after President Bush steps down in 2008. What a looser!

School's Out!

Yippee! Last night was the last of the summer term. Marketing and my final Logistics class, Quality Control are finished. Full possible points earned in both classes, I think that's a first for me. Now I have 3 weeks off before starting Biology and Public Speaking in the first fall term. My final class should be in the second fall term, if I can get approval for the Individual Instruction for Cost Accounting. The course isn't on the schedule to be taught until August next year and it will be my last requirement, so I should be able to get the Individual Instruction approved.

Its about time I start shopping those Masters degree programs...

About that camper slider rail repair I mentioned-

Its my fault, really, that the rails got bent. Seems that when we arrived last Thursday afternoon and set up our tent camper, I neglected to ensure the braces for the rear bed extension were put into place. I was getting a little help from the brothers-in-law and I simply failed to follow my own checklist for assembling the camper. Then my sister-in-law, J moved in and that bunk became her bunk for the weekend.

Now, of all the BSU's sisters, J is probably the least svelte of the bunch. And she went to bed Thursday night on a bunk that was only supported by the slider rails... I happened to get up in the early AM to go over to the bathrooms and when I came back to the camper I noticed that her end had a distinct droop that was not part of the original configuration! Yikes! It took only a minute to figure out what the problem was.

Fortunately, morning came shortly and sis-in-law was up and out of bed before the bunk suffered any catastrophic damage. I got the 4 braces installed first thing fter I got up so that no further damage would occur. The slider rails are bent and were binding when it was time to put the camper back into travel configuration on Sunday. I managed to lift on the rails enough to get them to close up, but they aren't right.

This weekend I'll have to open up that end and pull the rails off the camper to see if I can straighten them. If not I'll just have to buy some replacements I suppose. And I'll have to update my mental checklists to add a WARNING box at the point where the braces are installed.

Things to do-

Well, I've got three weeks off from school so I suppose I need a list of things to do before returning to my next-to-last term... What to do, what to do?

1. Reassemble scooter engine so I can get back to riding.
2. Order horn & headlight relay kits for scooter from
3. Straighten or replace the bed slider rails on the camper. (details to follow)
4. Get truck into shop for front end repairs. Update- it goes in Aug 7th.
5. Find new rifle scope for the Savage, buy, install, and sight-in.
6. Take trip to desert and expend vast quantities of gunpowder.
7. Take spouse on weekend camping trip.
8. Sit
9. Read
10. Relax

That's enough of a list for now. I'll adjust to this as the days pass along.

UPDATE: I need to arrange some dulcimer practice time and a visit or two with my grandbaby!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Weirdness in my referrals

Over the past couple weeks, there has been a significant increase to the daily traffic to my humble blog. I finally noticed that much of the traffic was from mostly overseas visitors seeking out a picture of a Dodge Magnum SRT 8. Now, I blogged about renting a Magnum back in June 2005 when I took a trip to Ohio and I even linked to a picture of the SRT version in the original post. And all the linkages I was seeing in my referrals went back to that archive page, which was odd, because there's no picture of an SRT 8 Magnum on that page.

But look what I found when I dug into this a little bit this morning. Here's the Google Images page. Now click the first picture in the top left corner and see what happens. You get sent to this link to my archive!

And by clicking the link at the top of that page, it sends you here, where the photo actually resides on the old internet! Somehow, the owner of that photo, or Google has incorporated my archive address into the URL that is the link under that first photograph. I really don't understand how that connection occurred at all.

But I'm not complaining because it is bringing me 12-15 visitors per day!

This is an ugly mess!

Officials Evacuate Area Near Chemical Spill
Earlier tonight, high winds toppled a huge tank of hydrochloric acid. Teams contained it, but now it's eating away at a nearby tank that contains 10,000 gallons of sulfuric acid.

Assistant fire Chief Dennis McCone says it's not if but when that second tank will go.
That was a 13,000 gallon tank that toppled over due to the high winds of a storm that blew through last evening. Fortunatly, the evacuation area doesn't affect my family down there in SLC.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

1667 miles round trip- home safe

We did arrive home safely last night. The camper was parked, the coolers cleaned out and the laundry piled into hampers for washing by about 8:30. The cats were both well but lonely and Uintah had (another) scratch across his nose, which is pretty typical for him.

Noah and the Tracker returned home with us and he had a date picking him up less than one hour after hitting the door. His plans remain pretty vague but he wants to do some work on the car and his bank account before heading out again. He has some pretty unusual ideas about what our roles as parents should be that we all will have to discuss at length in the coming days. I'm pretty certain he's going to be disappointed if he sticks to his current thoughts about our level of support...

But this is finals week and I have two tests to prepare for and two papers to complete and a briefing to get ready before Thursday night. I certainly did not get enough studying accomplished during the trip! Blogging might be light until the end of the week.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Blogging from John Day Oregon

What a wonderful drive it is from Corvalis, through Sisters and across Oregon on Highway 26 and into John Day. Its beautiful. Rain forests to begin with and high desert vistas as the trip gets towards eastern Oregon. There are some remarkable canyons we passed through tonight on the way towards the John Day Best Western motel.

I might say its a disappointment, but I'm just tired from a day of travel. There's wireless internet, which is good, but the pool and hot tub closed 10 minues before we arrived- not so good. Parking for the truck & trailer wasn't so good but at least we aren't in the street.

And an update from this morning- processed pork products were on today's breakfast menu, (of course), 8 pounds worth of pre-cooked sausage patties went onto the griddles for this morning's repast.

Now this is camping!

The wi-fi is working in the campground finally and now I can blog from the picnic table! Its the last day of our camp and everyone is moving pretty slowly. THe BSU has the last fire going and she's sitting enjoying it while the other sisters are cranking up the coffee pots and opening coolers, extracting juices and breakfast foods.

No pancakes today though, since its closing day. Sister Mary's famous pancakes and many pounds of processed pork products have figured into our morning feasts the past two mornings. Today there is bagels and jams, juices, coffee and fruit. I won't be surprised if more pork products are sacrificed this morning in keeping with the spirit of these familial breakfasts. Spouse's nephew, Anthony suggests we really need a camp pig, a piglet to help cleanup the first year, and breakfast meats the next year!

But after breakfast it will be time to fold up our tents and awnings, tuck away the plethora of folding camp chairs, have a good camp cleanup and head east for Utah. I've gotten rather fond of the 70 degree highs we've had here at the coast, heading back into the triple digits will make this trip feel too short!

Home then on Monday with son Noah in tow. He's still not sure what he wants to do but he wants to operate from our house for a while as he considers his options.

I gotta run! There's a raven poking holes in a trash bag and making a mess at the next camp over. I better go dup the trash for the brother-in-law.

Friday, July 21, 2006

850 miles!

From driveway to camping spot! We arrived late afternoon yesterday, safely and to the comfort of 60 degree temps here at the beach. Noah arrived safely as well but only after battering the right side of the Tracker while sand dune runnig earlier in the day.

Family is all here and well. There's supposed to be wi-fi in the park and I paid my $7.99 to no avail. I'm in the Scanners internet cafe in Newport just now.

And there's food warming and ice melting in the truck, so I can't stay! Gotta go!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blogging from Baker City, Oregon!

What a pleasant and frindly little town. It is in western Oregon and just about the half way point of our trip. Yesterday's travel was a perfect as one could ask for and today's travel will be prettier as we head down the Columbia River Gorge. But Baker City, this has been a really nice stop. We stayed in The Oregon Trail Motel, an old and independently operated roadside motel. Get this, $42 for the night, including $5 extra for the dog and including $2 discount at the adjoining restaurant diner and free wireless internet connectivity!

The diner and dinner wer terrific, the wi-fi connection not so much. I was actually receiving a much better signal from the motel across the street but theirs is a password-protected network. And with one friendly phone call, the kind folks at Bridge Street Inn shared their network key and let me in. I'm using their connection right now from the table outside the pool.

But there's no power plugs out here and this laptop's battery is not the best, so I can't stay long. I did successsfully replace my CD drive the night before we left and everything fit and nothing was left over when I finished! That's successful, right?

Anyway, its on to the coast and the family camping weekend in just a little while. I sure hope Noah shows up as he promised!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What's important according to Law Dog

Law Dog takes the US press and population to task regarding the President's conversations over the weekend-
I can't believe that the same people who made Deadwood a runaway hit series are honestly going to get their Hanes into a half-hitch because one frustrated man, during what he thought was a private conversation, said, "s***."

Pull on your cowgirl panties and deal with it.

I loved this story

Home Invasion Thwarted by Baseball Bat
A Sunset man's attempt at breaking into a home ended after the home owner beat the intruder on the head with a baseball bat as he climbed through a window.

The home owner used a Louisville Slugger, with the words "are you feeling lucky," written on it, said Assistant Clearfield Police Chief Greg Krusi.
The comments are pretty clear about the concept of self-protection and defending one's castle here in Utah.

I especially like the fact that the story played out in the proper order, the bad guy threat was neutralized and then the city administriviators and clean-up crew police were called.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Palestinian caught with bomb in Jeruselem

A suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem was thwarted Monday, after a 25-year-old Palestinian was caught carrying a bomb in a bag on a main city thoroughfare, police said.

...It was not immediately clear if the suspect was affiliated with any major Palestinian terror organization or if he acted on his own.
Here's my question- can you just buy a bomb belt from the corner kiosk in the West Bank? If the guy isn't connected to one or more of the Bombastian factions, how does a person get an explosive belt?

This day in history, who said-

"Only a nation that can protect its freedom deserves it"? He also said his country would,
"continue to fight with full force to stop terror"
I think he gets it. I'm on his side.

A clean bill of health

That's what I got from my Doc today after successfully passing a treadmill stress test. He had to crank the machine up over 18% incline and 4 something mph to get my heart rate over 145. So he says there's really nothing he can find wrong with me that causes me to black out except that vagal response to my coughing. If I get the cough under control, I should be fine.

The Doc wasn't moving too quickly today though. Seems he got himself stranded while hiking and required a rescue by the Sheriffs Department. Maybe I can find a link later.

This was really interesting to me-

From KSL's news the other night, a story that kept me thinking about it hours after I heard it. UPS Drivers Discouraged from Making Left Turns
A couple of years ago, United Parcel Service spent 30-million dollars to make its tracking and delivery system more efficient from coast to coast. And yes, left turns are now discouraged.

Steve Goodrich, UPS Community Relations Mgr.: "One, they waste time. Two, it wastes fuel as we idle, waiting for those left turns to happen. And three, left turns are not as safe to make as right turns."

UPS can't eliminate left turns entirely, but the idea is to reduce the number as much as possible.
UPS claims to have reduced their miles traveled by 2 million miles per month using this technology. That's really impressive. But think of the thought process and the application of their computer technology for such a practical use. I just think that is very cool.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Well, the boy's doing fine.

We just got off the phone with out world traveling son, Noah. He's in Pacifica, California after a trip south to San Diego with a side trip into Tijuana. He's hanging out with new friends and job shopping on for day labor. He's thinking he is pretty flush because he made 100 bucks for an afternoon's work rearranging some folks garage and attic.

He had an adventure during his short time south of the border when he had a little run in with the local policia. He had stopped to let the Tracker cool down and was ogling some little Chevy that is apparently only available in Mexico. But the car's owner took offense, thought maybe he was trying to steal it and called in the constabulary. He tried to explain but that wasn't working so he got a ride in the back of a pickup, in handcuffs, wwith the lights and sirens blaring. At the police station, the cops shook him down, took his last (visible) 12 bucks, his tent and probably some of his tools. Eventually the cops figured they had collected enough graft from the boy and turned him loose so he could get back into America and face further questioning from our Border Patrol folks.

He seems to be having exactly the time he wanted to have and went looking for, so he sounds happy. He's going to meet us in Oregon on Thursday so I suppose I'll be re-supplying the boy with a new tent so he's not completely homeless later on.

I knew that price was too high!

I mentioned in the previous post that CompUSA, who I've been very pleased with, up to now, had charged me over $200 for a new CD drive for my laptop. The drive is still working fine, it just won't latch. So Gunner left me a comment about searching for the part online.

That was some good advice! I found through a minimum of Google searching, ZipZoomFly and they had my replacement CD/DVD drive. Its less than 70 bucks counting the overnight delivery!

I should have it by Tuesday in time to install before my trip. Or I'll install it at the picnic table one day. Either way, it will be a $180 savings in my pocket.

So, no thanks to CompUSA for this one and a big thanks to Gunner for the excellent advice.

Friday, July 14, 2006

OK, I've seen the Doc today

I've had an EKG, a chest X-ray and I'm scheduled for a stress test on Monday. I have an antibiotic to take for 5 days and some prescription cough syrup that will surely interfere with my vacation drinking plans if I take much of it.

The Doc couldn't really find anything wrong with me. He thinks I may have a problem with a Vagal Response related to my cough. I do have a lower heart rate than many folks and this might all be related.

So no diagnosis as of now. I napped for a bit this afternoon and skipped going to the ball game for an evening of rest.

I also had to buy, and order a new CD/DVD drive for my laptop. No possibility of getting it warranteed apparently, so it cost me $250 for the part and the labor to install it when it arrives. Yikes!

Thankfully, nobody was injured-

That's the good news, there were no injuries last night. The bad news is I passed out at the wheel from a coughing fit and ran into a parked car. I just about had this lousy cough kicked and it wasn't a factor in my health until yesterday afternoon when it flared up again and this time with ugly results.

I had been in class until 6, then met 3 more classmates at 6:30 at Starbucks to go over some work and at 7:30 I went home to get the BSU and take her to supper. As we turned the corner from Harrison Avenue onto 12th Street, I started coughing and the last thing I really remember was telling her that my cough had returned. And it really did return! I blacked out and the truck drifted right, into the parking lane before Spouse realized something was wrong and started hollering. She shouted stop, repeatedly and I had just enough function to stand on the brake pedal. I may have been standing on the throttle pedal too, I'm not certain. Anyway, before getting stopped, a 1996 Dodge Stratus volunteered itself as a chock and the truck came to rest about 1 foot into the Stratus' trunk.

It was about then that I realized something was wrong...

So, one of the residents of the house we stopped in front of called his roomate, and he informed his girlfriend of the damage to her car. They had to leave a Raptors game to come to the accident scene. Then I got to meet the girl's dad because the car really belonged to him. Then we all got to meet to of Ogden's finest traffic officers and forms were filled out and exchanged and signed.

I got a ticket for an improper lane change.

The truck's bumper is caved in pretty good and the grill is busted up. I already had the bumper removed because the corner was rubbing against my new tire when it was turned. The front fender has a small dent from the bumper moving into it. Everything else looks ok. The poor little Stratus didn't make out so well... Its trunk lid was folded in half, the tailights were scattered in the street and the rear portion of the body structure, inside the bumper was moved forward a foot or more. The rear bumper and cover were obviously ruined as well.

Hoover Dam!

On top of everything else, my laptop's DVD/CD drive tray went Tango Uniform on me last night after we finally got home. The door won't stay closed! I suppose that means another trip to CompUSA this afternoon, after I see the Doc at noon about some treatment for this cough!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My comments are missing tonight.

I wonder where they ran off to!

I found the Phantom's problem...

Well after that rant from earlier this afternoon, I made it home safely, if still frustrated and cranky about my scooter's misbehavior. And I found the problem. The main jet in the carburetor had worked loose in the base! That's right, it was running rich, really rich, from fuel being sucked in arounf the jet, instead of through the jet!

Good grief!

So I've down sized the jets back to where I was a few weeks ago and I leaned a little harder on the screwdriver this time.

I also decided to correct the too-small flange connection between my intake manifold and the cylinder head. On one half of the cylinder head flange, the width of the flange is only about 1/8". I'm going to take it to the machine shop and have some welding and machine work done done to make the flange wider. So, I've got the head off and going to the shop tomorrow.

I'm glad I found the (maybe, a) source of the failure to operate this evening. I'm still cranky about the regularity and the number of times dumb failures like this occur. I"m to blame for this one, since I did have the jets in and out but that doesn't really fix my crankiness.

I'm just glad I'll have the scoot back together in a day or two.

The Phantom's busted again!

All right, now I'm just getting to the end of my patience! I'm cranky and complaining with this post, so if you don't care to hear me grousing, just go away now. [NOTE: this sounds an awful lot like a Possumblog Moron Project tale...] Anyway, after tinkering with the carburetor jetting on the Phantom 2 weekends ago, the scoot's been just fine for almost a week and a half. Yes, it was over-jetted somewhat but it was rideable and it idled properly and the power seemed ok, if a little "fat" due to the over-jetting.

And yesterday, it all started falling apart. Today, its really unacceptable. Its starting a little hard, dieing at every stop sign and traffic light and the power seems to be way down when I was climbing a hill today on my way to lunch. Its taken to backfiring on overrun a little bit and I also noticed some stumbling during just steady-state running on my way back from lunch a little bit ago.

I was blaming the problems on my carburetor and intake manifold and probably a vacuum leak, just like it has failed in the past. I even called the machine shop to inquire about getting the cylinder head flange area welded up and machined to fit the size of the intake manifold flange to increase the actual flange mating area. They were certain they could do the work but wouldn't commit to it until I carried it in for them to inspect. I hate to spend money on this head when I was just beginning to consider buying a new head, either with 2 bigger valves or one of PSF's trick 4 valve heads. Either way, I would probably end up paying to get the flange area welded up and matched like I'm considering on the stock head.

But now, I'm not so sure. I think it might be a coil or CDI failure that is killing my spark and causing the problems. I've never had any backfiring problems with previous carburetor or vacuum leak problems but I have them now. Poor or failing spark might certainly be a factor in the stalling at idle and I'll bet when (if) I get it home, I'll find a fouled plug.

But I'm pretty pissed! The scoot has just 4450 miles on it total and 93 hours on the hourmeter. As much as I would like a bigger bike, I really like my scooter for my daily commute. It looks stylish and manages the urban commute perfectly, but only if its running properly. But too often, something's phucked, leaving me scratching my head, cursing and taking things apart in my shop. I'm busy dammit! I need to be doing school work and yard work and preparing for next week's travel and vacation. I don't have time to be tinkering on my daily commuter.

Maybe I'll get the dang thing torn down tonight and trouble shot to a fault that I can identify and fix. Probably, I'll be able to figure out what's wrong and get whatever parts I need ordered up for installation after I get back from vacation. [This is sounding like a Moron Project!]

If I had time for a project scooter, I'd probably already have that damaged 650 Suzuki Burgman that I know about in my shop being repaired... I'm also supposed to go see a guy about a $600 Gold Wing this afternoon too!

Nation's Capital Declares Crime Emergency

Its summertime in our nation's capitol- Two groups of tourists were robbed at gunpoint on the National Mall. This is particularly interesting-
Robberies are up 14 percent, and armed assaults have jumped 18 percent in the past 30 days.
Don't I remember that firearms are banned in Washington DC?

How's that working for you down there?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Some folks really know how to write a sentence-

I'm obviously not one of them. Here are the two the best sentences I've read this week. First, from Lileks, writing about plans for the next Indiana Jones movie:
I loved the first movie, but left the second with a headache and the feeling I’d spent the last hour trapped in the fat-folds of a Sumo wrestler with spasmodic bowels.
And from Baboon Pirate, writing about his chances of getting a significant pay raise this year:
Not gonna make it out to Jawja this year, unless The Man doubles my salary between now and September. I'll be installing a control tower on my taint to direct the squadrons of flying monkeys departing from my bunghole before that feat of financial wizardry ever comes to pass.
That's writing!

Monday, July 10, 2006

My CARS toy collection is complete!

Today, my buddy Loc brought me the final addition to my CARS toy collection from McDonalds. It's the green version of Ramone the Chevy low-rider character in the movie. McDonald's had 3 versions of this car produced because Ramone did repaint himself during the movie, purple, yellow and green. I missed finding the 3rd car before the Golden Arches switched their Happy Meal toy for the movie of the week- Pirates of the Caribbean. I asked 2 places and all the CARS toys had been used up or turned in.

But Loc saved the day! He has a friend who is a McDee's manager and his little boy was playing with the green car while Loc was visiting. And since the youngster had more than one of the toys, Loc was able to beg one for me. What a bud! Stealing toys from a kid so that my collection could be complete, that's a friend!

I don't know what I'm going to do with all these toys but my story is they are for Grandson Astin, when he's old enough. Until then, they are on display in my family room.

I got the correct wiring diagram for my horn!

Yesterday I spent a couple hours building and testing the wiring diagrams for two different electrical relays, trying to figure out how to wire my Wolo Big Boy air horn. I was able to make the horn work on the bench but only using a switch with three terminals instead of the two terminals I have available. I just about gave up on the entire scheme and decided to just leave the horn powered through the switch like the stock setup.

I did find a "tech advice" email address on the instructions that came with my horn, so I decided, without much expectation, to give that a try. I sent off an email detailing my efforts and asked for advice or direction. To my extreme surprise, I received a response last night- it was Sunday, remember, and the email came in about 9PM. The person, Chris that responded directed me to their website and to the PDF instructions for a different model of horn. Those instructions have an entirely different method of connecting the multiple wires and I think they might just work!

I don't understand why there is such a disparity between the 2 diagrams but the second diagram says it is specifically for motorcycles so I am optimistic that I might get the horn wired up in a way that doesn't dim the headlights when I push the switch.

And that PSI carburetor I mentioned earlier that looked so interesting? It retails for $595! I don't think I will be springing for that upgrade on my little scooter anytime soon.

[UPDATE] No joy on the new wire diagram! Hoover Damm! I tried it tonight and have just about decided that the Wolo provided relay is Tango Uniform. I've requested a new one from the company. I did have success using one of the other relays I purchased, while working on the bench. So, I wrote down the connection numbers and proceeded to transfer the relay into the scooter. It doesn't work on the scooter! I'm busy on a schol paper so I really couldn't spend any more time and I put the scooter back together for another try another day.

Carnival of Cordite #64

Chris over at Spank That Donkey has posted a full-up, fun-filled Carnival of Cordite for your reading pleasure over the weekend. He promises to fill up an hour of your time reading all the worthy posts. There's nothing in there from me this week but there's lots of gun related interesting posts from more worthy gun bloggers. Check it out if you like. There are some t-shirts to be won if you can identify the song.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Check out this carburetor-

I discovered PSI Power this weekend and I'm going back to see the boss this week. Look at this very cool ATV carburetor they produce. I think I might have to see about getting one fitted to the Phantom! One of the carbs is 16mm at the bottom of the slide and 26mm at the top, the same size as my scooter's constant velocity carb.

All the adjustments are on the outside of the carb and there's no need to remove the carb to change jets! This is a very cool design and if I can afford one, I might just get the scooter fixed up. My carb has been the single biggest maintenance problem so I'm ready for something different and better.

Waterpark fun on a Friday night

That's what the BSU and I did last Friday night, we went to the waterpark, Laguna Beach at Lagoon. It was a pretty dandy Friday night date, if a bit more expensive than it really should be. We've been to Lagoon twice now, over the 4th weekend and then Friday. Lagoon does a "Bounceback" deal where the 2nd day's entry into the park is only $7 instead of the $27.95 we paid the first day. But the times to use the coupon are limited and Friday night was the last chance for us. So we went.

A word now, about the costs involved. They are outrageous, really. Normal park price is $34.95. We got the reduced price already mentioned for a military discount. There's another 7 bucks required to park and if you visit the waterpark as we did, there's another $5 per float tube required plus 5 more bucks for a locker. We did get some of that back at the end of the night as deposit returns but I was unhappy with all the demands for more cash after I paid to get in the gate.

I do love waterslides but they aren't as much fun now that I'm back to wearing glasses instead of contact lenses. I have to wear them just to see my way up the stairs and to ogle visit with the other nearby customers but they can't be worn while on the slides. That meant that I had to ride the slides blind and holding my glasses! So we gave the slides just a couple trys and then we moved into something more relaxing- the lazy river.

The river was plenty of nice fun. Margaritas would have made it perfect, but this is Utah and alcohol just isn't allowed to mix with water. We made enough laps to drive down the price of those float tubes and later we rode the rapids slide that requires the float tubes which turned outto be the best fun of all that we did. I think we splashed down that slide 4 times before they closed it for the night.

Afterwards we went back down the midway for more fun on the park rides. I missed the traditional late evening ride on the ferris wheel the first time we went to the park because it closes early- what's up with that anyway? So we rode it this time and its not the romantic opportunity you might guess. The seats are actually "in the round", designed to seat 8 people and the entire car can be twisted to rotate. But the molded plastic seats and steel tubes above them are not comfortable to sit in! They are like torture devices and I needed a chiropractor's table just to get straighten out again!

So, we had a really good time, stayed out late and had breakfast on the way home before going to bed. I'm pretty certain I've seen all of Lagoon I'm going to see this year. And now its late, again, and I have work in the morning!

Movie review- Nacho Libre

Well. like nearly everyone else in America, we tried to go out to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. For the very first time every, the line waiting for the show reached outside the door of the Point Theater, the local theater we usually attend. Saturday evening's shows were sold out as well as 3 of the 4 showings on Tuesday & Wednesday evening. So, no Pirates for us last night.

As a second choice, we chose Nacho Libre. Here's my recommendation- skip it! It wasn't funny or smart or even worth spending the time, though we did spend the time. I really hoped that this might have been a Jack Black movie that I could laugh at. It wasn't. It was just dumb and lame and really had no "good" parts.

Definitely a "two thumbs down" movie.

$821? Ouch!

That's right, yesterday was the day to put some new rubber on my truck. I bought the Open Country AT tire from Les Schwab. Those are the top of the line tire for trucks there at LS and they seemed to be at least as good as all the other choices in town. I did get over 50,000 miles out of the BFG tires that came off yesterday but they sure were worn out. The new tires are quieter and smoother on the highway than the old ones, so I'm pretty certain I got my money's worth from the old set. I'm just glad that replacement requirement only comes around every 3 years or so!

We are leaving in just a week and a half for our annual sojurn to the Oregon coast with the spouse's familial unit and that was one reason to spend big bucks at the tire store yesterday. The old ones might have traveled there and back without fault, but I didn't want to chance having a tire related failure and delay. And, it just wouldn't do to show up around my brother-in-laws with worn treads on my truck now, would it?

What else? I bought an iPod, a used one, on Friday. My buddy Loc found it for me on KSL's classifieds but that link is gone already. It has a 30 gig hard drive and huge photo storage capability, but not the latest video playing capability. So far, I love the iPod but can't dig up any love for the software, iTunes. First, it disabled my CD/DVD drive, that required a trip to CompUSA where the dang machine worked perfectly... I did download the latest version and install it and it seems to be working properly. I just don't love it. For all the hype Apple spends on their easy to use interfaces, I for one, don't find the operation all that intuitive.

And, somehow, I screwed it up and lost access to the 2500 songs that the previous owner had installed, all most al of which would have been deleted anyway. There was some songs that I would have kept though. Strangest thing is, in Windows File Explorer, the songs still seem to be in the Ipod. I just can't see them when searching the iPod! Any expert users out there than can assist me?

The iPod is really going to be a truck accessory for the most part because I really don't like fussing with CDs in the truck. They take up valuable space and getting them in and out of the console and their cases or sleeves is just a distraction while driving. So I'll get an FM transmitter adapter and get my songs loaded up for our upcoming road trip.

That's enough for now. I want to get out to my shop and see if I can't get a relay working, then I've got to do some writing for my marketing class today. There are still movie reviews and a water park trip to report, maybe later this evening.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Scooter update- the second time around

I had a really nice post all written at the end of the day at work but I decided to send it home so I could work on it tonight before posting it. And somehow, it got lost, somewhere out there in the internet someplace. Rats!

First of all, thanks to Power Sports Factory for getting my parts to me in a timely way so that I could get it put back together over the weekend. I don't remember if I wrote about this already but I had the 2nd mirror mount bracket fall off and I didn't feel like fabricatiing a new one myself. So I bought a new set of handlebars instead. Those arrived Friday along with a new air intake tube.

So I got the handlebars installed with no drama and I moved onto my new horn installation. Last week on The Scooter Scoop there was an article about the Wolo Bad Boy horn. I wasn't really looking for a new horn, exactly, but later the same day, I was in Harbor Freight and guess what I found, the same horn! Interestingly enough, the price I paid was 10 dollars less than the Harbor Freight webpage, making it 15 bucks less than the the price on the Wolo webpage!

I had to build a bracket from a piece of angle iron and another piece of strap that fastens underneath the front fork, above the fender. Everything went together beautifully except that I couldn't make the relay work with a direct wire from the battery. I ended up just using the original wires from the stock horn and upping the fuse amperage to keep from blowing the fuse when blowing the horn. I actually had 2 relays that I couldn't actuate no matter how I applied power to them.

There's a dandy loud horn under my scoot now that hopefully will be effective at keeping the cell phone chatting, mascara applying, Tahoe drivers out of my lane during my daily commutes.

Once I had all the wires put back together, I went to work on my continuing carburetor problems. I've had a repeated problem with the inlet manifold not sealing causing vacuum leaks and those cause the engine to die whenever its sitting still. As you might guess, this makes daily commuting a real pain! I also wanted to try to remove the air intake tube and get the air filter installed directly on the carb mouth, a typical hot-rodding technique.

Its not so easy! I tried 4 different jetting combinations, going bigger in both the pilot jet and the main jet in a couple different steps, all to no avail. Removing that 12 inches of air tube creates a horrible bogging condition whenever the carb gets up to the main jet. The bogging is so bad that the scoot is unrideable. So I used the new air tube that Power Sports had provided with my air cleaner in its usual spot above the engine, left in some of the bigger jets and now my scooter runs just fine with even more power on the top end than I had before this tinkering effort.

So I'm back to commuting on the scooter again and everything seems good. I have to admit that I am shopping for a real motorcycle to replace the Phantom. I missed this good looking BMW R65 just today because the seller didn't call me back first! When I did speak to him he said that he could have sold several of them from the response he got from his ad. So, I'll keep looking. Sweetie says I can't have the Yamaha Morpheus Morphous that I've been ogling, at least for this summer...

So if there are any experts out there, I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong with my carb jetting efforts. And I'd really like to get some relays working under my scotter's nose cone so I'll take expert advice on those too!


VW has killed the GX3 concept 3-wheeler. Its not going to go into production as previously suggested.

Hey, VW- sell me the development mule?

Want to try a real delicious taste of summer?

Go to your grocery store and get a carton of Good Humor Soft & Creamy Orange Cream ice cream. We got our carton at Wal-Mart. This just tastes like summer with every spoonful. Its wonderful. Go try it and see what memories it conjures up for you!

Headline I wish the NYT could print-

Secret US Technology Destroys Korean Ballistic Missile Seconds After Launch
Wouldn't that be grand?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Its the 4th of July,

Happy Independance Day America!

So what am I doing today? Mucking about with my computer, that's what. At least so far. SOmehow this morning my router lost its mind and I had to go remind it of its function, which is to provide me a wireless internet connection. It has taken a little while but I finally got all the electrons flowing in the right directions and have things back on track. I even was able to finally figure out the security feature so that my wireless connection isn't available to anybody passing by.

On Sunday I had a wonderful, mini blog-meet with my new friend Carol from Mrs. Flyboy. We met for coffee and some time off from her kids at Hastings and had a very pleasant hour or more. The BSU came along because I promised her breakfast and then she didn't even want any part of my yummy cinammon roll. Carol's really sweet, smart and moving mighty fast with all the daily tasks she has to manage by herself since her hubby's away doing his part to support the killing of bad guys in Iraq. [Note: he doesn't get to do any of the killing hisownself, but every person over there is supporting those that do.]

I've also decided that Carol's blog is mis-named, because its really more about her and she certainly is more than just the Mrs to her hubby. I'll have to talk to her about that... Anyway, it was great fun and I hope we'll get to do it again whenever she needs the break from the 3 youngsters.

Carol's also been helping me get Day by Day re-established at the top of my blog. If she keeps it up, I might just have to give her admin rights and let her play with it directly. Who knows might show up if I did that!

The spouse and I did go to Lagoon on Sunday for a afternoon and evening of amusement park rides and food. We might evenhead back there today for the water park and a ferris wheel ride, since they closed that down early and we missed it. We have cheap, return tickets that have to be used up before Friday night and there's fireworks to see tonight, so maybe we'll go in a little while.

I cannot recommend the Bat ride for anyone wearing glasses. This was the park's big new attraction last year and I really hated it, just because it beat my glasses right off my head! Like every new ride there is a padded "horse collar" that comes down over your chest and surounds your head. But the damm thing is so close to your head that you only get a blinder effect view, straight ahead and it bangs on your head right in the temples ans you go through the ride. I actually had to remove my glasses, mid-ride, and hold on to them until we were back in the loading bay. No sir, I didn't like it!

I've been to a Raptor's game on Friday night with the spouse and we actually left after 11 innings, before the game ended. It was a sell out crowd and a terrific night, especially since our seats were up high, under the roof, which was really handy when a 10 minute downpour forces a delay of game.

We have also been to the movies, The Devil Wears Prada on Saturday night and Superman Returns last night. Skip the first one, if you can unless you are enthralled with the New York fashion business and aleady believe that it is the source of all that's good in the world. The movie is preachy about the value of a few person's opinions driving the entire world's clothing choices and after that its just a morality tale of one girl's efforts to find herself amongst all the glitter. There are a few lines and a couple scenes that made me laugh but my advice, wait for the DVD if you can. Its a chick flick with little redeeming value except for a date night favor.

Superman Returns, on the other hand is a blockbuster! It has absolutely stunning special effects and the intro might just be the best part of the entire movie. Its a great comic book story and I loved it. Kevin Spacey is a great Lex Luther. In spite of knowing I would receive the Spousal Evil Eye of Disapproval, when the character of Perry White was tasking the Daily Planet's staff to find out everything about Superman's return, when he asks does Superman still stand for "Truth, Justice and all that stuff," I piped up quite loudly, adding "The American Way" over the intentionally mangled slogan.

No apologies for that public noise in the theater, either. I hope you'll do the same thing when you go see it.

Its time for me to get outside! More posting later as the day develops.