Day by Day cartoon

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vaa Caa Shun!

That's right, I'm still cruising! Tied up today, for a few more minutes in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where I was unsuccessful finding a scooter store to buy the parts that I thought I might buy to save shipping costs. But we did take a bus trip, see the old fort and have had a little walk around.

Internet connectivity is sucking a huge hole right now, so I'm not staying online much more. I have lots of pictures but there is no uploading them from the boat so they will come later.

The great news is that we continue to have a wonderful time in spite of being tossed around for most of an entire day and night by Tropical Storm Noel. We are the 6th deck, high above the water but the spray was coming onto our balcony for most of that day. We have been eating great, seeing some exciting shows and drinking entirely too much alcohol.

Which is exactly as it should be... So, I am off to find the rum drink special of the day and then rest up before dinner and the Halloween festivites for tonight. We are going to be doing this cruise thing again in the future, I promise you that!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'm satarting to dig this Carnival Cruise thing...

Oh yeah. With the exception of the 75 cent per minute internet access and the streange keyboard that make me spend more time tu\ypin\ than I might normally, this cruise thing is really sweet. Today the BSU & I met Kenny & Mike & their spouses just after breakfast, sailed over to Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas with them, then split up and the spouse and I went swimming in the most beautiful water ever. Tonight we will be meeting them for dinner.

Joining us at a table for 8 will be my Dad and his wife Carol! That's right, my Dad surprised me yesterday, just after we checked in, by meeting me outside the dining room! What a hoot! I was completely surprised. Too much fun. Kennyt has fixed the dining room arrangements for all of us to share a dinner table so that will be fun.

Geez I hate this ikeyboard!

Anyway, the Carnival Triumph is a terrific ship and I have had a most wonderful exploratory walk around this afternoon after returning from the island. There is gambling and shopping and swimming pools and 9 holes of miniature golf, which I am challenging my dinner mates to after dinner tonight.

I am enjoying this vacation already! Tim, you should have cast your fears aside and come along. This is terrific! Signing off now because this post has already cost me 10 bucks!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Cruising- Made it to MIami-

And without too much difficulty, overall. I might have been just a little testy with the hotle desk clert at 11:30 last night when they informed me that the free shuttle bus quit at 11. But otherwise the flights and connections were mostly uneventful and the only two people I wanted to choke were the drunk, yakky girls in front of on the flighr from Atlanta to Miami.

Mike's here in the lobby, but no sign of Kenny or spouses yet. I need another cup of coffee. Later, transfers to the seaport and on to the Triumph!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Passports? Check. Packed? Just about

Just one more night in my recliner before heading out on the big vacation cruise! I've go the passports out, the boarding passes printed, a package to mail to my Dad ready and almost all my packing done. I still have to put together a shave kit and locate a tie or two and get my sport coat in the suitcase, but otherwise, I'm done.

I'm embarrased to say it but it appears that I am taking 4 sets of footwear, not counting the pair I will be wearing to travel in. Guys shouldn't have that many pairs of footwear! But I do, and I'm packing all the shoes I own except the desert brown combat boots I wear when I go shooting.

Tomorrow night will be filled up with running around. I need a new belt. I also need to vote early since we will be cruising on election day. I have some pictures I want to get printed on photo paper to give to my family. I might even buy another new digital camera because I just don't love the one we have now.

All that would be much easier if I didn't have a job interview tomorrow... Yup, I'm interviewing for another exciting possibility in the afternon. But I'll get around with everything after that takes place. Wish me luck!

I took a picture of the BSU's new jewelry tonight at her request because all her sisters insisted on seeing it. So, I'll share the picture-

Pretty, isn't it?

Anyway, its bed time and the Tonight Show's a rerun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend update-

The weatherguessers had predicted early in the week that Friday was going to be the last day of warm weather in a few days and this time they got it right. Friday it was 70 degrees, on Saturday it was 40 degrees, raining and snowing all day. Today, though dry, the temperature only reached into the 40s.

Why was the weather so important? Well I had Loc's truck in my carport with its transmission on the ground, waiting for us to install a new clutch. And, we chose to do it on Friday, based upon the weather. We made a good choice. The new transmission jack was a huge improvement to the effort and after I got the transmission strapped down securely, almost made the alignment and installation automatic. Literally, from the time we rolled the transmission under the truck until we had it bolted to the engine took no more than 15 minutes! It went in so easily I thought I might have left the clutch plate out, but we just got it right and the transmission rolled into place like it wanted to be put back into place.

Bolting all the other parts back on the truck took up most of the afternoon but we were done by 3:30 with the tools put away and the truck ran perfectly when we started it up. I think Loc was surprised at the truck's performance with the new clutch working as its uspposed to.

But, we got it done. And done in time for me to get a good shower before my anniversary dinner with my lovely spouse. I made reservations at Rickenbacker's, a ritzy new restaurant out at the airport. I had flowers waiting for her on our table, we had a view of the mountains as the sun set and we had a terrific dinner. The food was just wonderful, expertly presented and tasty to perfection. I had a delmonico steak that could almost be cut with a feather that was juicy and so delicious it could only have come from a very contented cow.

The bride is so pleased with her new ruby & diamond ring, (sorry, no pictures yet) but the framed picture of our wedding day that I surprised her with made her cry, just a litttle bit. It was the same picture from Friday's post that I had enlarged and then put into a frame to compliment it for our bedroom. She wasn't expecting that little present and I was really pleased that she liked it like she does. It put a nice touch on the entire dinner. Jimmy's Flowers did a terrific job on a lovely bouquet for her too. It was huge, beautiful and pleased her as a much as any flowers I have ever purchased for her.

All in all, it was a lovely and romantic anniversary dinner night out.

Today I spent half the day getting my kerosene heater tuned up for fighting the cold temperatures in my workshop. I tried to buy a new wick but apparently my heater is old enought that nobody stocks the right size. So, I ended up trimming a bit and cleaning it some and reinstalling it. The heater seems prepared now to do its part in keeping me warm while I'm in the shop this winter.

So that's what's been happening with us this weekend. We did buy a few groceries this afternoon and yesterday we saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Its a western movie- duh, its got Jesse James but its not the typical western. Its a rather complex tale of the story of these two men and how their paths and stars crossed. Some of the tale gets a little bogged down in the middle as some of the minor characters tales get told (and they get shot), but otherwise it was a pretty darn good movie. The period clothes, houses and firearms are interesting and add to a really pretty well told story.

This week, 2 physical therapy appointments and plenty of work at the job before taking off for Florida and the Caribbean. I can hardly wait!

Getting pretty close to cruise time...

And I must admit I'm getting excited. Or anxious, or nervous, or something. I know lots of people do it, all the time, I even know people that have done it before. But I haven't done it before, so, I'm a little nervous.

Time to get packing I guess. There's lots of things to get ready and just a few nights to pull everything together. The cats are staying home and getting fed by the neighbor while the dog is going to doggy sleep-over camp at a local vet. My buddy Loc has promised to take us to the airport and pick us up when we get home.

The spouse still has clothes to figure out, new clothes that she mail-ordered and clothes sent by a couple sisters. She's worried about having big enough suitcases, (she does) and having enough outfits to wear- which she does. Me, I've got a rolling duffel bag if I need to make more room but I think the packing effort for me won't be too much trouble. I'll throw in about everything I have, some nice clothes for the evenings and call it good.

But its getting pretty close to reality time!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What a long, strange trip its been-

Its our 25th anniversary on Friday. My BSU, her name is Sunday, for those of you following along at home, made me the happiest man in the world, for the first time on September 19, 1982. That's the day we got married for the first time, on Santa Rosa Sound, in Mary Ester Florida. That's one of our wedding pictures from that lovely day on the beach.

Not every day since that day has been a day on the beach. We even had a time when we weren't married, back in 1992. But we fixed that in pretty short order and remarried on October 19, her birthday.

I love this woman. Our life together has been is a miracle. Its been a challenge of almost untellable stories of disasters, self-inflicted and otherwise, exciting moments of laughter, passion and parental angst. We've raised 2 good boys, seen some interesting parts of the world, fought, made up, sometimes fought some more. We have survived long separations due to military obligations, infidelity and drowned firearms. In spite of everything, we are deeply in love.

She is a terrific woman and I truly love her. I can't imagine my life without her and I'm glad to have found her and to have spent most of my life with her. She really has made everything worthwhile.

We have a nice dinner celebration planned for tomorrow night. I've bought her a ruby and diamond ring that she asked for and a framed enlargement of that same photo above. There will be flowers waiting for her at the restaurant. And next week, we will be leaving on our cruise to the Caribbean. I'm planning on celebrating my love with this sweetheart and showing her just how much I love her.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Missing link buttons have gone AWOL

From where I sit, it seems that my link buttons for some of the links over there on the right have gone AWOL in the past day or two. Is anybody else noticing the same thing or is it just me? I kind of remember an email announcement from Comcast a few weeks back saying something about new size limits for storage for the websites and such but I didn't pay it much attention.

I'm pretty certain that I uploaded those button pictures to my Comcast storage area several years ago. It was always a PITA to access that storage and I'm certain that I have no idea how to access that storage nowadays.

Maybe, if I'm lucky, the original pictures are still sitting on one of a couple hard drives around here and maybe I can find them and upload them to my Photobucket account and restore the links. In the mean time, we'll all have to suffer. Sorry.

I love Harbor Freight!

Their not so light-speed fast computer systems and less than brilliant staff always find ways to save me money. What a treat!

After struggling last weekend with the transmission adapter that fits on my floor jack, which also came from Harbor Freight a couple clutch changes ago, I decided that my current configuration just wasn't acceptable. The thing is, the adapter that enables the securing of a heavy and ungainly transmission on a typical floor jack, only fits one way. And that way means that the wheels of the floor jack are sideways to the vehicle making rolling the loaded jack and transmission combination away from the engine just about impossible. Only one end of the jack has swiveling wheels, the other two wheels are on a single axle and only roll forward and back, which is side-to-side in relation to the truck. Getting the transmission down on Loc's truck on Saturday required 3 jacks, 1 guy operating 2 jacks, a 2nd guy, Kenny, running the 3rd jack and a chunk of 4X4 lumber and a heavy hammer to move the transmission/jack assembly and me to shake, wobble and clear the transmission with the firewall and exhaust system. It was a lot of work!

So I decided that a proper transmission jack would be in order to make reinstalling the transmission easier. I looked online and Harbor Freight had this 450 pound capacity jack with a friendly price but its screw operated, not hydraulic. I figured it would work even if it wasn't optimal. And, last night, after clipping a 15% discount coupon out of the flyer that arrived in my mailbox yesterday, I set out to buy a new jack. Sadly, HF was out of stock on that jack which was also on sale- Dang.

They did have in stock this 800 pound capacity jack that was hydraulic and offered more lift and I did have my 15% coupon to take the edge off the $139.95 price tag, so I decided to go ahead and buy it. But when the cashier scanned the code for my new jack, it rang up at just $99.95! Woohoo! She then took 15 bucks off that price for my coupon, refunded the compression tester that I returned and I walked out of there with just an $85 dent on my wallet! Sweet.

I love saving a few bucks at Harbor Freight's expense! The jack looks really good too. It will be much better than that unwieldy contraption I have been using. Which will be good because Loc and I really need to get that job finished on Saturday.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Sweet Black Beauty gets her tats!

So the pinstripes that I ordered from Winners Cycle Graphics finally arrived on Friday. I bought the Style set #4. Today I got the opportunity to install them on my shiny new scoot. I think they look really terrific, what do you think?

The BSU isn't too impressed, either with the new scooter or the pinstripes but she seems glad that I like it. I even took the scoot for an afternoon ride today, up to Snow Basin Ski Resort, around Pineview Reservoir and home over North Ogden Pass.

And I can't wait to see the Google hits I get for that title!

Well at least we found the problem...

Yesterday, as promised, I helped my buddy Loc take the transmission out his truck to replace the clutch, which he suspected was bad. The truck had stopped moving on under its own power and letting out the clutch while the engine idled wouldn't cause the engine to stall.

So, we took it apart. That's no easy task, BTW, since it is a 4WD truck and there's a transfer case stuck onto the transmission making it longer and heavier than a normal transmission. When we finally got everything apart, we discovered this-

That's a clutch plate that has been completely used up, if you've never seen one before. Here's another picture to show you the before and after so that you can see what they are supposed to look like.

We didn't get the job finished yesterday because taking everything apart took much longer than expected and the flywheel still needs to spend a couple hours at the machine shop.

So I guess the job gets finished next weekend...

Friday, October 12, 2007

This guy should get the "Eye for an Eye" treatment

I've missed reporting on this tragedy entirely until now but this story really gets me fired up. Once we get this bastard convicted, I think we ought to show him the same treatment as he did to his wife. Maybe we could give him a sporting chance by turning him loose on the Bonneville Salt Flats and giving him a few minute head start. Then we could take our time running into him with a truck!

"(KSL News) The man accused of running over his wife and leaving her to die will make his first court appearance today.

Sherman Lynch is charged with killing his wife, Patricia Rothermich, earlier this month. She was walking in her neighborhood in Holladay when she was hit from behind by a truck.

Even though Lynch had some past run-ins with law enforcement, Salt Lake County District Attorney Lohra Miller says she expects to prosecute the case and not strike a plea deal. "Given the facts of this case, I would not expect any type of plea deal early on in the case. It depends on a lot of factors, but it's our intent to aggressively prosecute this as a domestic violence homicide," she said."

Good! Lock this bastard up forever unless we can get to chase him down with a truck!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So what am I doing?

My Dad sent me an email taking me to task for not posting anything recently and he wanted to know if everything was ok.

Everything is ok, I've just managed to stay busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger for a few days now. I futzed with the scooter over the weekend, did some yard work getting ready for winter season and watched some movies at home with the spouse.

Work is keeping me hopping as you might have guessed from my last post. This eek I discovered that the 450 brackets that I need for my Taxi Light Relocation modification somehow got turned into 3300+ brackets after the order passed through multiple computer systems and ended up with the organization that actually places the contracts for the item purchase. We got that little 2 million dollar overrun fixed after multiple meetings this week- finally.

This weekend I'm helping my buddy Loc replace the clutch in the Toyota truck he bought recently. The clutch has failed so completely that you can put the transmission in gear, any gear, let the clutch out and the engine won't stall, so it needs to come out. Loc wants to get his hands dirty doing something manly and he's already out about 3000 bucks on other vehicle repairs at his house this month so he wants to do it himself- with my help.

No new jobs pending. I did have an interview last week or the week before that seemed to go well and I think I would like the work if I get called back. We'll see.

I still need to get out to buy some new, clean sneakers for walking around the cruise ship with, sometime this weekend too. After that, its just about time to get packed for the cruise!

If you had been in the meeting I just left-

You would know why I drink more at home during the week than on the weekends.


The good news is that in spite of everything, my big program might have cleared a hurdle today that last week we didn't even know needed to be jumped.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Morphous mods this weekend

Well the weather turned cold and wet- snowy actually this weekend so the Morphous moved into my workshop and scooter mod barn next to the Phantom. I already installed the chrome front spoiler and it spices up the front end nicely.

The next important mod I had planned was to dump the tinny, too quiet horn for a Bad Boy horn. These horns can be a challenge to install due to their size but the Morphous has a perfect spot under the front fender, on the bottom of the glove box. I used a piece of 3/16" phenolic sheet inside the glove box to help carry the weight. Then I mounted the relay on the original horn's stud mount and ran the wires. It took one 10 gauge wire and 20 amp inline fuse routed up to the battery and then everything just plugged in. Here's a picture-

While I had the electronics uncovered upfront I also installed the LED voltmeter on my dash. Right now I can't find a link to the brand I bought but here's a picture-

Finally, I performed a rear fenderectomy and installed a much cleaner license plate holder, complete with LED brake light. Compare this picture of the stock rear look-

with this new look-

Much better huh? I did have to cut off the portion of the rear fender that hangs down from the flat portion that cleans up the back of the bike. A few minutes with a hacksaw and sharp knife cleaned that tight up and there's still a close fitting fender further under the scoot. I have to buy some steel strapp and then I will remount the side reflectors that are missing. They will be visible from the sides but not stick out where they look tacked on as they did before.

Some of the pics turned out pretty dark so I may reaccomplish them when I get the scoot back out of the shop but those were the best my digital camera could manage yesterday.

I really need a ride-on hydraulic lift for this scoot because everything is really low to the ground! I spent all day rolling on my concrete floor and I'm too old for that!

Today I try to get the Phantom put back together and running right so I can consider selling it!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This is getting expensive...

I'm at my friendly neighborhood Honest-1 Auto Care shop this afternoon, watching two young guys that I wouldn't want dating my daughter, if I had a daughter, spend my money on rebuilding the brakes on my truck. I thought I was just going to have calipers installed over the new rotors and pads I installed myself some months back but no such luck.

The caliper faults let the pad get cocked and that wrecked the rotor, so everything has to be replaced. The good news is that the Auozone just two doors down is where I bought the previous parts and they have agreed to warrantee out the rotors and the pads. That is going to save me a large chunk of my lunch money that I'm spending just for the repairs.

None of this is rocket science and I could do it all myself, except that, a) Noah has the good impact gun up in Logan hoping to use it for employment purposes, and, b) my torn rotator cuff really doesn't relish huffing heavy wheel & tire assemblies and heavy brake pieces either.

So, I'm paying. Boy am I paying today...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Five Deputies Resign over Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Here's another story of fine, upstanding, Utahans misbehaving themselves. This story also comes out of the center of Mormon sanctitude, Utah County. Its interesting the apparent disparity in the number of males and females involved. Almost makes you wonder if some of the misbehavior might have been queer behavior, doesn't it?

"The investigation is over and five employees, including three deputies and two civilian employees have resigned.
The investigation became public about three weeks ago and involved allegations that multiple employees were involved in sexual misconduct.

Some were assigned to the county jail; however, no jail inmates were involved. The behavior had apparently been going on for several months, while those involved were both on and off duty and involved four men and one woman.

Besides the five employees who resigned, a male deputy was suspended for two weeks without pay because his involvement was less serious." I'll embed the link from home tonight. File this under "Behind the Zion Curtain."

Monday, October 01, 2007

What else did we do this weekend?

Saw two movies, both of them pretty terrific though I will keep theim secret until I have time to write reviews.

We bought jewelry- a ruby and diamond ring. A big ring with lots of stones. Send money!

And after the BSU and I returned from a scenic fall scenery drive through the mountains, I borrowed Jim's car tote and helped rescue my buddy Loc's daughter's broken down car. It was down in Lehi so that was a 140 mile round trip and I didn't get home until after 10 PM last night.

My professional volleyball career is over...

I'm afraid so. I may never be able to play pro level volleyball again...

I have a torn rotator cuff on my left shoulder. Its official after seeing the Doc today. I have 3 kinds of anti-inflammatories to try, 2 weeks each and after that I may get some steroid shots and therapy before the Doc gets around to considering surgery.

But it sure hurts!

Sleek Black Beauty pictures!

Finally! I've just spent 30 minutes trying to get my links fixed to my Photobucket account for this post. I had some of the pictures posted 3 times in the post and sorting out the code was making me crazy. But I've fixed it now.

I did get some pictures taken Saturday of SBB getting comfortable under the carport, its new home. And, I've added the first bits of bling to my sleek steed. The first 3 pictures are all completely stock. The BSU says she hates the rear view and says it is much to fat. But I'm ok with it...

Now it gets its first piece of shiny bits...

Another view of the new front spoiler-

It was snowing too hard on Saturday to go out to find any scenic spots to take some nice pictures so these are really just to record the addition of the new front bumper/spoiler.

There's a small pile of additional shiny bits for me to install just as soon as I get a few uniterupted hours. There's a LED voltmeter to install, the Bad Boy horn and the LED 3rd brake light and license plate holder. That last piece requires the removal of that rear fender and one of the bolt screw inserts is turning in the plastic. I'm still waiting on the pinstripes but they should be here in a few days.

Well, what first?

Easy stuff first, I suppose. For those of you following along at home with my water intrusion problems in my shop, I think I've solved the problem. The water runs off my roof into a gap between my shop and the neighbor's garage that is just a couple feet wide. There is a ramped slab running down towards my shop and then there is a 6 inch wide gutter below the level of the shop floor. But after several years, the leaves and dirt and trash had piled up back there and it was blocking the rain gutter. I spent a couple hours raking and shoveling out 1/2 a trash can of junk from behind the shop and I think my intrusion problem might be under control. Good!

Since winter is bearing down, (it rained and snowed on Saturday) I got the swamp cooler on the roof drained, dried out and covered for the season. That went pretty smoothly. I still need to pull down the inside vent and stuff the insulation plug in the hole but I don't have to get on the roof for that.

I also got the camper drained out and the lines blew clear for the winter. It still needs some moving around and the cover put on it before its completely ready for winter.

No weekend blogging or even an update?

Yeah, not until later. The weekend blogging time got eaten up with a car rescue with my buddy Loc last night. There's movies, scooter mods, preparations for the quickly approaching winter season and jewelry shopping to write about. Just as soon as I can...