Day by Day cartoon

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I promised another scooter post-

Or it was a threat, depending on your interest, I suppose. Anyway, this one is good news. You might remember I ordered some new brake pads 2 weeks ago. I also ordered some lighter weight variator roller weights at the same time.

All these Chinese scooters have an automatic, belt-driven transmission controlled by variable width v-belt pulleys. The front set of pulley halves is driven by 6 roller weights that move out under centrifugul force and force the halves closer together, raising the gearing ratio. These roller weights are available in different weights and the transmission's activity is dependent upon having the right weight rollers installed.

Well, all summer, I've had 13 gram weights installed that came with the variator I purchased in the spring. It was the only set of rollers that I had, so I just used them. Those 13 gram rollers really caused the transmission to shift into higher ratios earlier than than than it should. My acceleration from a stop had a flat spot at about 5700 rpm that limited my speed.

So, last weekend, I put in some 10 gram rollers that came from PowerSportsFactory. My scooter is a rocketship now! Before, it would rev up to about 5700 rpm, then flatten out without any more rpm. Now, the engine revs to about 7700 rpm and the transmission's shifting is imperceptable. From 0 to 40, it must be 4-5 seconds faster and my speed on two big hills I climb every day has improved from a maximum of 45 mph to 50 mph.

The scooter is a bunch more fun to ride right now. I haven't fussed or worried about the too-heavy weights all summer, but I sure am glad I finally got it working better. Than 2500 rpm that I haven't used all summer are really appreciated now.

It has been beautiful scooter riding weather, if a little chilly in the morning as I mentioned previously. There's only a few more weeks left before the rains start, then it will be time to put it away for the winter.

Almost relaxed today-

I passed another goalpost this morning by briefing one of my programs and getting approval to get a new contract with Lockheed-Martin for the work I need done. The building where I work is in a easy-going mood today since there is a going away lunch for two guys that are retiring and another leaving for a different division. (That would be my government handler/boss.) There's a punch and cookie reception later for the two retirees and a bunch of visitors coming around to say good bye to these two. One of them, Lynn, is 83 and has been in government service since he was a radio operator on B-29 aircraft, bombing Germany on missions out of England. He's a neat guy and I'll miss working with him every day.

I passed my Biology quiz yesterday with 13 points out of 16. I'm just barely keeping an A in that class! Hoover Dam! My speech on restrictive gun ban laws and their effectivity really deserves its own post.

Its terrific scooter riding weather right now, with the exception of the 50 something degree temperatures on the way into work. There's good scooter news to report separately too.

Now it is time for me to head off to class.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Apparently Blogger is tanked-

You get what you pay for, I guess.


A man was being tailgated by a woman on Foothill Boulevard in Salt Lake City. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman slammed on the brakes and leaned on the horn. She opened her window, stuck her hand out and made a gesture, all the while screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection with him. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'Choose The Right' license plate holder, the 'Families are Forever' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Angel Moroni emblem on the trunk.

Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It should be getting easier but it wasn't this weekend

Preparing speeches for my Public Speaking class, that's what I'm talking about. My next speech is tomorrow night and this time its got to be a persuasive speech. I started last weekend on a speech but I just couldn't get enthusiastic about the subject matter- seatbelt useage. I even worked on that subject about half of Saturday before deciding I just couldn't get an angle on the subject that I wanted. So, I ditched it and I've spent the rest of this weekend working on a speech about gun control...

Good grief I have struggled to limit this subject to just 5 to 7 minutes! There's a lot of information to research and then distill down into a cohesive and short speech but I think I've got something usable. I still need to create some charts but I'll try to manage that on company time tomorrow.

Now, I'm tired!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My IPod's not broken after all!

That makes me happy! The darned thing seemed dead as a stump a couple days ago when I took it out of my book bag. I guessed maybe the battery had gone dead but charging it didn't improve the situation. Last night, while trying to find out how to send it off for repairs, I found an Apple tech page that described how to "reset" the music player when the the symptoms acted like my player.

So I tried the steps to reset it, and it worked! My IPod is healthy again! I am so pleased that I was able to find the info and fix my machine without sending it off, (and spending money) to get it fixed.

Thanks Apple!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Its a small world!

Ok, the back story here is that this morning I found a post on the Scoot Dawg forums and I alerted on this post from another scooter enthusiast who plays and builds dulcimers and lives in my old home town. So on a lark, I wrote him the following email. Keep in mind that I left Ft. Wayne Indiana in 1968 or 1969...
Dennis, I just dug through some of the ScootDawg forum and the "what do we all do" post. It turns out we have several things in common, not the least being scooters and dulcimers. I learned to love mountain dulcimer music when I lived in Louisiana some years ago and vacationed in Arkansas. I finally received a very inexpensive one as a gift about a year ago and struggled through learning a couple tunes. I've not had it out in several months now but when I finish 4 years of after-work college education in a couple months, one of my priorities is to find some real instruction and partners to play with.

I've also been a scooter guy for a while, having 2 years and 5000 miles on my 04 Phantom. But most interestingly, I grew up in Ft Wayne until my Jr High school years and I still have a very soft spot in my heart for that town. We lived out near Shoaff Park, (spelling?) and attended that baptist church there.

Anyway, I'm sending home to myself your dulcimer website so I can look at it in leisure this weekend. Regards, Nate McCord, aka Nate from Ogden.
Imagine my complete surprise when I got back after lunch to see the following response to my email.
Yup, you've got to be one of, I think it was Roger, right?....
McCord's boys. I believe you lived just off Rothman Rd somewhere, and we lived in Brookside Estates a bit closer to the church. I was married in Shoaff Park Baptist Church in a small private wedding. We attended there from the time I was in Jr Hi. until a year after I graduated in 1966... married in 67. I remember going over to your house one Sunday afternoon (I think) and getting stuffed on popcorn, listening to old Spike Jones records (I think), and watching movies.. I t seemed like it was sort of a ritual with your family.

Glad to hear from you!
Its been a few years since anybody referred to me as "one of Roger's boys!" But this guy, Dennis knows our family because getting stuffed with popcorn and listening to Spike Jones records was a bit of tradition at our house!

Isn't this internet thingie just really cool?

Monday, September 18, 2006

37 degrees outside today

52 degrees inside the office... Brr!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Grandbaby pictures!

Well we got to meet Marinda tonight! She is such a cutie and she didn't even cry when I got to hold her for a little bit. She really is a cutie! Mom is doing fine and she seems to be managing pretty well with her mom's live-in help.


Big brother Astin was in pretty good spirits, especially after his daddy showed up for a little bit. They both played together in the Mc'Dees climb-in toy and Astin really seemed to love the slide.

We very nearly wrangled a promise to get to see both the grandbabies on a more regular basis, so that is really good news too! What fun!

The Phantom goes over 5000 miles!

That's right, in just under 2 years ownership, the scooter has gone over 5000 miles. That's not too bad for only operating in 2 counties for its entire life.

And it still looks pretty good.


UPDATE: It needs brake pads... I just went out to check the tire pressures and discovered that the front brake pads are worn to just about worn out, so I'll leave it parked a couple days while I order some new ones.

A tribute to Utah

Kenny sent me a funny film the other day and before I had a chance to find it on the web to share with everyone, KSL links it to a news story. So here is A Tribute to Utah, courtesy of KSL.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Motivational posters you gotta see!

I'm not a big 24 tv program fan, heck, I don't see much tv at all. I probably would like 24, if I had the time to get involved but I just don't. I do like motivational poster though and here's a set of Jack Bauer motivational posters for you to check out. I particularly like the Diplomacy poster...

This will probably send the hummingbirds packing-

Well, the weather guessers were correct and the fall season has officially rolled in with a vengeance since Thursday. Its been raining and the temperature has dropped from the 80s earlier this week to just 45 degrees last night on the way home from the movies. There is snow on the mountain above our house about 500 feet further up in elevation.

I did see one cold, wet and miserable looking hummer bird at my feeder yesterday but I suspect that this cold front will signal them to head south for warmer climes. The hummingbirds that frequent my feeder all summer are one of the real treasures of my daily life and I enjoy them every day they frequent my front yard.

So not much to do today except for schoolwork. I have two speeches to prepare and a term paper for Biology to dig back into.

The good news? I swept the leaf and twig crud off my shop roof a week or two ago and that seems to have fixed my leaking roof problem. It rains so infrequently when the weather is good that I rarely remember to check things out but I did go up there and sweep off a great deal of junk and checked for obvious roof damage. I went out yesterday after a night off downpour and the shop was dry, so that's good news.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I ain't going out like that-

Tamara from View From the Porch says she won't go quietly when somebody intends to do her harm.
I ain't goin' out like that. Whether it's some Columbine wannabe who's heard the backward-masked messages on his Marilyn Manson discs, distressed daytrader off his Prozac, homegrown Hadji sympathetic with his oppressed brothers in Baghdad, or a bugnuts whackjob picking up Robert Frost quotes transmitted from Langley on the fillings in his molars, I am going to do my level best to smoke that goblin before my carcass goes on the pile. I am not going to go out curled into a fetal ball and praying for help that won't arrive in time.
Tamara, and anyone else that happens by- I could not have expressed this sentiment any more clearly.

But it is exactly my same intent. Be sure to read the whole thing. I especially like this bit of comment from the post;
Canadians are soft, docile, toothless creatures indoctrinated from birth that violence never solves anything, and that the best thing to do when the Morlocks come for you is to relax, offer no resistance and let them have their way with you in the hopes that they'll let you live to see a grief councillor.

To put it mildly, frak that.

Baby pictures!

You can meet my new grandbaby, Marinda Faye at her first web page. Granny Sunday and I tried to see the new baby and her mom on Monday but missed them at the hospital. So, hopefully, we will get to put some fingerprints on our newest family member later this weekend.

Isn't she a cutie? There's multiple pictures so click the arrows below the picture.

I guess I better go back and fix her name on that previous post...

Must. Not. Stress. Out

I have a Biology mid-term exam in 90 minutes. Nineteen chapters of DNA, RNA, natural selection, the components of a cell and cellular reproduction to comprehend and be prepared to spit back out onto a test page.

I'm so tired I can barely hold my head up.


UPDATE: Mission accomplished! No grade yet but the test is done and I think I did pretty well- better than expected. So I'm a little happier this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Carol's hubby is coming home!

And she is pretty excited about it. I've asked if he might have a Kitchen Pass so he could go to the gun show on Saturday with some of us guys.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Because some items really are black & white-

So I've bought my 5 bumper stickers- Give Peace A Chance!

How about you?

UPDATE: My stickers arrived today. Thanks, Bruce! And the spouse absolutely hates them... She says I am forbidden to put one on my truck.

For unto us a child is born-

A grandchild that is, Marinda Faye McCord. She is our 2nd grandbaby and Astin's baby sister. She was born this morning at 7. She is 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long. Mom is doing fine.

I think we will get to meet Marinda tomorrow afternoon and we are looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday already?

Wow, time's fun when you're having flies, I guess. Its about time to get Terry at Possumblog re-started on the Thursday Three, just so I won't go entire weeks without posting.

Tonight's the last game of the season for the Ogden Raptors, so the BSU & I are going to be there. The Raptors missed the playoffs this year, so their season ends tonight. Its going to be a long 9 months before I get to sit down for another ball game. Dang!

Carol's making big changes in anticipation of her hubby's pending return from the desert. I'll be distracted all day thinking about this upgrade... She's got a lucky hubby!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Here's the target stand I built

I built two of these in just a couple hours. Now I can't wait to get out and use them.

There is one, 10 foot piece of PVC pipe, one and one half inch diameter in the base.

If you want to build one, cut the pipe into 2, two foot sections and the rest into one foot sections. You need 4 elbows and 2 "T"s from the "big box" plumbing store. Glue everything together except for the 2 upright portions of pipe. I used some woven string from an old venetian blind to tie the uprights to the frame to keep them from getting lost. Leaving the uprights unglued makes them easier to store, stack and transport.

The wooden uprights are cut from 1 cheap 2X2, both 4 foot long. I used a rasp to round off the portion that fits into the upright pipes.

Now I just need some cardboard to staple to the uprights and I am ready to go shooting! Make some for yourself if you think they might work at your shooting spot.

This looks bad!

If you aren't a regular reader of the Day by Day cartoon, this won't mean much to you, but this looks like a horrible disaster! Day by Day has become my favorite cartoon and I can't imagine where Chris Muir intends to take the storyline.

Not hiding out, just busy

Didn't anyone explain to my Intro to Biology class that its an intro class? Good grief, he's killing me! In reality, this guy is a very good instructor and he really likes his material and teaching. But the class is an every day, lunchtime class and has an intensive workload to keep up with. I'm working on a couple pages of definitions for Tuesday that will become a portion of a term paper due at the end of the term. And I'm trying to sort through my extensive notes for a test on Tuesday.

I also have 4 speeches to prepare for my Public Speaking class, so I am researching and writing outlines for each of those.

On top of that, I've gotten the scooter running again, for now, after tearing the carburetor apart last Thursday. I also fixed the broken internet connection here at the house, dumped Norton's Internet Security software off my laptop and replaced it with Bit Defender's Internet Security suite. My Outlook Express is working again, as a result of dumping that POS Symantec software off my computer.

In my spare time I've built 2 target stands from 1-1/2" PVC pipe and 2X2s for taking to the desert. I've installed my new Simmons Prairie Master scope on my Savage .223 rifle and taken it to be boresighted.

The BSU & I did make it out to a movie on Friday, we saw Crank, which isn't a movie for the squeamish. Its a pretty wild, action-adventure flick, rated R, and it earns it with its violence, language and sex. It does have a dandy soundtrack and one scene where they main character manages to get his 70s Buick Riviera stuck, on its side, going up a mall escalator. That must have been a great scene to film!

So that's what I've been doing. Work continues faster than ever. Our president came to town and Salt Lake City made all the major media this week for the demonstrations that preceded his visit.

Now, I'm trying to track down a cousin that holds the strings to my grandad's trust fund that will pay for most of the Boy's schooling and figuring out how to pay for the balance.

And you thought I was just goofing off!