Tuesday, March 31, 2009
She has also directed that I purchase a replacement wood trim kit for the interior as the one that is in there is seperating and doesn't look wonderful. She wants it replaced so I suppose I'll have to do that over the upcoming weeks.
And finally for now, the headlights really are the weakest link in this model car. I have to fix the one that tips but it has been too cold outside to tear anything apart. And some different bulbs, perhaps even a HID conversion might be in order to get enough brightness out in front to satisfy me. Lousy headlights have always been one of my biggest gripes and this Lincoln really takes the gold medal for lousy in my experience. So as soon as I get some time and weather I will be working on them.
Oh yeah, it seems to have an exhaust leak somewhere up front that will need attention to as soon as I can get it into the muffler shop.
I told you the snowblower and the scooter were sharing space under the carport! It looks like the blower may be needed in the morning and the Sleek Black Beauty's pinstripe appointment for Thursday has already been cancelled.
Monday, March 30, 2009
It occurred to me last night, after I wrote about purchasing the Lincoln, that I really had not explained why I bought it and maybe that needed a little explanation. So, I’m doing it know.
I bought the Lincoln because we really needed a 2nd car in our household and I didn’t want to spend more than a couple thousand dollars to remedy the extra car situation. When I looked around, there are many 2000 dollar cars on used car lots but most of them look pretty well used- mostly used up, and most of them are ratty, smaller cars that might be fine if one was desperate for a cheap car. But I had figured out that if I bought too cheap a car that the BSU wouldn’t want to ride in it during our dinner, movie or appointment forays and that she likewise wouldn’t drive a car she didn’t feel safe in. So I wasn’t desperate to buy a car but I have been looking for a few weeks and I decided that I would use the end of our tax refund cash to purchase a car- if I found one that would meet the spousal unit’s approval.
The Lincoln was sitting on a corner used car lot that I pass every day on my way to work. From the street it looked really clean, much cleaner than the $2495 sticker in the windshield might lead a person to expect. It is a luxury car after all, even if it’s a 15 year old luxury car, so for that kind of asking price, you might expect to find a car that was pretty worn out. But from the street it looked mighty good and after a couple weeks of looking at it and after deciding how much money I could spend, I decided to check it out.
It really is a clean car. It has just 140,000 miles on it- 35,000 less than my 6 year newer truck. It has been in the same ownership since 1996 when the last owner bought it used and kept it until very recently. He kept very good maintenance records and every oil change, spark plug and brake pad change has been recorded. The driver’s seat leather is torn and worn and one headlight wobbles on its mount a little bit and one window switch- the driver’s side for the passenger’s window doesn’t work. But otherwise, everything works. The interior is very presentable with clean carpet and floormats and the outside has some very minor door dings on one flank and one small missing piece of chrome. It is packed full of 1994 vintage electronic goodness; self regulating temperature controls and electric seats with memory settings and a LCD status display on the dash and everything works. Outside, the pearl white paint is shiny, the alloy wheels look good and it has 4 nearly new Michelin radial tires that should last thousands of miles.
The air suspension gives a very comfortable ride with much less bucking and bumping compared to the truck and the V-8 engine has lots of power and a throaty growl when I put my foot down hard. It’s easy to drive smoothly and quietly using just the first inch of throttle pedal travel but pushing the pedal down further really wakes up the 290 horsepower engine and produces extra-legal speeds very quickly.
In short, the Lincoln is fun to drive and it looks good. It is averaging nearly 20 miles per gallon- 8 mpg better than the truck. The spousal unit won’t be afraid to be seen in it going around town. It looks like much more than a 2000 dollar car. I think it looks like a grown up’s car without looking like an old fogey’s car. And it doesn’t look like a pimpmobile in spite of my friend Carol’s threat to buy me a purple, feathered fedora to wear while I’m driving it!
I also mentioned a few weeks ago that we were replacing our failing washing machine and aged dryer with new, modern, front loading laundry equipment. I like these new LG machines too. They have been in place for a couple weeks now and I am pleased that we stepped up to new technology. These things are silent! Except for the sound of the water filling in the washer when it first begins, and the sound of the chimes alerting you that the machines have finished their assigned tasks, these things make no noise. Their quietness really is remarkable. It is too soon to see any improvements in the utility costs for operating them, so that remains to be proven. I do like how little water the washer seems to use compared to our aged, extra capacity top loader. But the clothes come out smelling good and almost unwrinkled and their capacity seems just perfect for just the 2 of us. The machines feel modern and high-tech and I think they were a good purchase.
Regarding the purchase- the new laundry equipment was paid for with the first part of our tax refund, so they are paid for, just like the car. No monthly notes on either of the purchases and that feels pretty good. So that’s another thing I like!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
In the afternoon I took the car for the required state safety and emissions tests and when the inspector declared the tie rods faulty, I took the car to Pep Boys for the parts replacement and alignment. That work got done while the BSU and I went to see 12 Rounds, an action adventure, revenge motivated brilliant bad guy vs. the hard working cop movie.
Saturday I took the ultra smooth sandpaper and the polishing compound to the headlights and managed to get them shiny and see-through again as they were pretty hazy. I also bought a new ground cable for the battery but is 56" long and reaches way under the engine someplace so that replacement will have to be done another day. And Monday I can go buy the license plates and the car will be completely registered and legal.
Saturday the BSU and I got out again, this time to see Knowing. This one's a Nicholas Cage movie that's a cross of X Files and 4th of July and turns into a end-of-the world crisis flick. Nick does his usual, frozen faced acting in spite of the tragedy going on around him and you have to suspend any kind of fact based belief but it is a pretty exciting thriller.
So, snow today, lots of wet snow making visibility lousy on the way to church. More snow is predicted tonight and throughout the week so there may be limited scooter riding. I do have an appointment to get the pinstripe decals replaced with real paint on Thursday so I hope I can ride it then without arousing suspicion of the BSU.
And now it's very nearly bedtime!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
It will take 20 minutes of your time. It is worth it.
Thanks to Dave for posting this.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The tickets are already bought and the rental cars reserved!
I am looking forward to this trip!
It's no economy car but it should be much better than the truck. It's clean, inside and out, has fewer miles than the truck and seems like it might be a decent vehicle for the around town running arounf that the BSU and I do so much of.
So if the weather ever clears, I'm going to go see if I can wrangle a deal on a car...
Where the snowblower and the motorscooter demand equal space under the carport. Last week it was scootering weather, this week it is snowing blizzards. I might just go skiing one more time this year this weekend due to the new snow but I’m really ready for warmer temperatures, getting my yard cleaned up and some shooting trips to the desert.
Monday, March 23, 2009
So why do we allow people to own big scary dogs?
Get yourself a fresh cup of coffee or a fresh drink and sit back and read We Need a Dog Ban. It is a very interesting essay with lots of links to supporting documentation and it's not all about dogs...
Here's a hint, if you won't read it yourself- the essay is concerned with GFW politicians who want to ban certain guns just because they believe they are scary looking.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
This woman is a complete dumbass and in spite of everything she still thinks that what she did was just fine. Pitiful and sad. Sad that it is so prevelant in our society.
Thanks to Dave for pointing this one out.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Take a look at this link, click through all the pictures, (keep a barf bucket close) and then click through all the comments. These pictures of the worst of the worst car and truck failures are a real treat and should just scare you right out of your shoes. It just goes to show you that some people should never be allowed to be close to a welder!
It’s interesting that every picture involves turbocharging or lifting a truck- or both. Scary stuff.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
She has bronchitus and is pretty miserable. And now she has an inhaler and a script for some steroid meds.
So I missed the banquet.
We're up to chart #28, coming up on the end of the 2 hour class time and I've been bored to tears for the entire time.
Too bad because the last class I took like this had a different, (and much more experienced) instructor and the time and information was interesting and valuable.
And as soon as this is finished, I need to put on a clean shirt and head out for an awards banquet that I volunteered to attend because the company was buying a table. I figured I could use the face time. So blogging will be not happening tonight I fear.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Shame, Barry, shame!
Monday, March 16, 2009
And, I'm having them delivered. It cost 65 bucks but we have a rebate form to complete and mail in and then we will get it all back. For a penny each, the delivery guys will carry away the old machines for recycling so I don't have to mess with that aggravation. I won't have to borrow or rent a dolly and I won't have to wrangle up a buddy to help me wrestle them down the stairs and I won't have to deal with busting up the cardboard boxes. It's a win-win to let the delivery guys handle all the heavy work!
We also will be getting $150 back in rebates from the utility companies so the final price really isn't that terrible. We will have to get accustomed to having the washer on the left, not the right side as has been the arrangement for 9 years now since the doors on the machines are not reversible. The sales lady told us we must use the High Efficiency soap and that it only takes 2 tablespoons of soap at the very maximum.
Does anybody have a box of Tide high efficiency soap to trade for a very large, full box of Tide with bleach?
Well as I wrote last night, it seemed as if I might be buying new appliances from Best Buy, which I really did not want to do. I discovered after I wrote the post that The Home Depot sells the same model of the washing machine that I want, for the same price! And I would much prefer giving my money to the big orange box store over the bright yellow box store. Additionally, I have a coupon good for 10 or 15% off at the big orange box store that will further reduce my cost! Yeah!
Additionally, I discovered that both our power company, Rocky Mountain Power and our gas company, Questar Gas are providing $75 rebates for the purchase of energy efficient washing machines, further driving down the overall cost. I might even be eligible for a tax break for buying a Energy Star approved machine! It just keeps getting better…
Right now the BSU is telling me she only wants to replace the washer and keep the ancient dryer that keeps working. I suspect once the new washer is installed that she might decide that the old dryer looks pretty pathetic next to the shiny, new washing machine and then approve the purchase of the matching drier.
So the only question is, do I pay for delivery and set-up or save another $65 and do it myself?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
And he found a link- on a Ford truck forum that seems to explain the same problem I had. And this was the problem! My truck is rated higher than 8500 pounds GVW and that factor must be input into the computer emissions monitoring system! That is what the Ford dealer techs knew that the test center and the Firestone guys did not know. Simple if you just know what you're doing!
So thanks to the smart, young mechanic that pointed me in the right direction!
Friday was the first guys day out this weekend. I went with Kenny and Jim to the International Sportsman's Expo where Kenny made friends with every Alaskan fishing outfitter, trying to pick out which one might be our choice for a planned fishing trip in 2010. Kenny took over 1 1/2 hours to move up just the first aisle of the outfitters booths and I thought we might not make it out of there before the place closed! While he queried every outfitter I checked out boats and all the other fun stuff to see, mostly boats, even though I was on strict orders from the BSU not to buy anything! We really did have a grand time, especially when we met up with my buddy Rob who is takaing the three of us fishing at Flaming Gorge later in May. Rob knew I was bringing a 3rd guy on the trip but he didn't know until we met at the show that Jim was a buddy of 30+ years from his wife's side of the family! It was like old home week once the connection was established and we spent quite a long time (and numerous dollars) at Rocky Mountain Tackle's booth.
Saturday was another guy's day out, this time with 2 other friends of Kenny's and Kenny and me making a trip to the desert for some shooting. We took a short walk looking for jackrabbits but they were all of in some other county so we spent a few pleasant hours burning gunpowder on helpless paper targets and some bad tasting soda that one of the guys brought just for the fun of seeing soda cans explode. And I got home just in time enough to discover that our washing machine is going Tango Uniform. The BSU told me it was refusing to spin and smelling and clicking so it seems it might be time to replace it. We did figure out we bought it either in 1995 or 1996, so maybe it is time.
And in spite of my general dislike for Best Buy, after a bit of online price and customer satisfaction researching, it seems like the best choice I can find right now is from Best Buy. I'm thinking we are going to switch both the washer and dryer to LG frontloaders like this one. I especially like this washer because of the 89 people that bought it and then took the time to write a satisfaction report, 85 people would recommend it to their friends. That seems like pretty high satisfaction for this machine so it may be coming to our house pretty soon.
We got to see the expectant mother of our next grandbaby today for a couple hours and she is doing just fine. Her and her mom have been busy decorating a bedroom and it is filled with all types of jungle animals so it is very cute. The baby is due in the middle of May and right now all seems to be going smoothly.
So it has been a really nice weekend. We saw the worst movie ever- Miss March last night and I won't dignify it by providing a link. I'll just tell you that it is so bad that whoever thought that the making the movie was a good idea should be publicly flogged for giving it the ok. It is that bad!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Nowadays, when you buy a bottle of any kind of over the counter tablet- pain reliever, daily vitamin or weight loss capsule, the bottles are going to be sealed with a paper and foil circle under the lid. We all know this and most of us know it is a result of the drug industry taking greater precautions after a nutcase or nutcases took to poisoning people with contaminated Tylenol years ago. And most pills on your drug store shelves come in a sealed-tight bottle inside a glued shut paperboard box for extra protection and to provide more advertising and warning label surface area. So the possibilities of buying a contaminated product are pretty low with all these precautions in place, right?
But what about the toothpaste tube? Sure the tube is on the shelf in a glued shut paperboard box; have you ever tried stacking toothpaste tubes without the boxes? But for the toothpaste brand we buy for our bathroom at my house, and all the brands I can remember looking at, once the box is open, there is no protection from contamination under the cap! How hard would it be, if you were an evil person, to unglue a toothpaste box flap and contaminate somebody’s morning brushing ritual?
I have lots of different chemicals in my shop that are provided in tubes- glues and sealants and lubricants of all kinds. Most of those are sold on cardboard backers that hang from store hooks and are covered with clear plastic so you can see the tubes underneath. So the tubes are protected from damage and theft and they are part of the packaging. Every one of those tubes comes with a sealed end that must be punctured before you can use the product inside! There’s no chance that I could buy a contaminated tube of JB Weld because I can see that the seal is intact when I remove the cap.
Why then, is my toothpaste not afforded the same level of protection? Why isn’t your toothpaste protected as well as a tube of Permatex gasket sealant?
I’m just wondering.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
In many Utah counties, when it is time to renew your vehicle license plate stickers, you have to take said vehicle into a licensed shop for a safety and emissions test before being granted the privilege of paying for new stickers and driving on the roads without incurring the ire of the state’s law enforcement tax collectors. And my truck was due for renewal last month…
Well, I didn’t get everything done. And the DMV isn’t open on Friday’s thanks to Governor Huntsman’s plan to reduce the costs of heating and cooling government buildings so getting everything accomplished- the letter I need from the Tax Assessor’s office, the inspections and the DMV trip. Last Thursday I did take the truck into the same inspection station I always use and to my surprise, the truck didn’t pass the emissions test! Actually, it didn’t fail the test, the shop couldn’t test the truck because the computer said my O2 sensor was “not ready”. Not “the O2 sensor has failed” but “not ready.”
So I headed down the street to my neighborhood Firestone store where they assured me that with their $99 diagnostic test they would be able to pinpoint the trouble and get it fixed post-haste. I told them to go to work and they did, coming back with a diagnosis of a bad thermostat causing the computer to not recognize the O2 sensor. It sounded fishy to me but they are the experts and I paid them to change the thermostat. And the next day, after work, I drove straight to the inspection station where they had the exact same computer printout that related that my O2 sensor was, “not ready.”
Saturday I took the truck back to the Firestone guys, explained that the symptoms were the same as before and I was somewhat dissatisfied with their diagnostic skills. And they went back to work on the truck, performing a drive cycle test and futzing about until they decided that further research involving a voltmeter would be required on numerous sensors and could I leave the truck with them on Monday.
Which I did. They had the truck all day yesterday and when I went in on the way home from work- in a borrowed car- (thanks Carol!), the manager told me they had been unable to correct the fault in my truck and politely refunded the cost of the diagnostic service from last week.
Today the truck was waiting for Westland Ford’s service bay to open when they arrived, with a key and the paperwork detailing the Firestone stores attempts. Before lunch time today the service writer called to say my truck was ready for pick up, with a fresh emissions certificate, ready for me to carry it to the DMV so I can be legal. The Ford dealer couldn’t find any fault with my truck! I was told they hooked it up, checked the computer and didn’t find any faults then ran it through the emissions test with no trouble at all.
Weird. But I don’t care, cause I have the paperwork I need and the truck is good for another year!
Carol, you’ll get your Purple Nurple back tomorrow night!
Monday, March 09, 2009
Yes, Bibles are appropriate in church. Not too surprisingly, they are not appropriate personal defense tools. Which begs the question, what would be an appropriate personal defense tool? I'm suspecting 9mm at the very least so I need to get busy with that holster purchase I have been putting off.
"Things like this just don't happen in Maryville," Mayor Larry Gulledge said.
Apparently, mayor, things like this DO happen in Maryville, so perhaps more action needs to be taken by the good citizens of your town. Except of course, this happened in Illinois, where legal Concealed Carry of firearms is denied to the citizens. Pity.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Of course there is still snow in the forecast and everything is pretty muddy so maybe I can put the yardwork off for another few days. It will need to be done and now that Daylight Savings has kicked in, I should be able to get started after work pretty soon.
I uncovered Sleek Black Beauty in the shop this weekend and today I aired up the tires and changed the oil and filter and cleaned the air filter. The scoot still needs cleaned up and waxed before riding season gets started but I'm thinking about taking it out to have it's pinstripe decals removed and some real pinstripe paint put down in place of the decals this spring. I found a guy that does pinstriping so this week I'm planning to go see him and see when I can get onto his schedule. I have a couple other small projects I want to do on Beauty this year but the work won't be nearly as extensive as last winter's projects.
So- a pretty quiet weekend. I did get to see friend Carol for a few minutes today as I'm borrowing her hubby's car while the truck goes into the shop tomorrow. The truck's broke for some emissions related fault so it won't pass an emissions test needed to buy this year's licence plates. So Carol has loaned us some wheels for a day or two. Last night was a great party for Kenny's mom's birthday party and the BSU and I really enjoyed a nice time visiting with everyone.
I paid my 5 bucks to get in and pocketed the drawing ticket that comes with admission and began having a look around. And just a few minutes later, the announcer that controls the microphone came on the PA to give away a couple of the door prizes. And like every eternal optimist, I took my ticket out of my coat pocket to look at the number.
And the guy read out my number! How about that? I carried my ticket up, got it verified and then I got to choose a prize off the table. I picked up a new 1911 sized pistol rug and happily carried it around the rest of the show. What a deal!
I had a great time, looked at all the tables and didn't spend another dime before leaving. So a pretty dang good afternoon.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Oath Keepers is an association of currently serving military, veterans, and peace officers who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic ... and meant it.I know I took my oath of enlistment several times and never committed to any purpose more than that one except perhaps for my marriage vows and my confirmation.
The principle mission of Oath Keepers is to prevent the destruction of American liberty by preventing a full-blown totalitarian dictatorship from coming to power. Our Motto is “Not on our watch!”.
Just last Friday when the BSU were on base to get our taxes done, I stopped to watch as 7 Air Force NCOs were taking their oaths of enlistment. The door to the conference room was open as we walked by, and when I saw what was happening, I just stopped to watch. I watched the entire ceremony in spite of the spouse's urging to go along to our appointment, and I remembered, very clearly the words and the meaning of that oath that I took many years ago. It's still important to me.
So I'm going to watch this website and see if these Patriots can firm up their website- it's pretty badly formatted right now and I'm going to see if these folks continue to develop their intentions and content. If they pan out, I'll be adding them to my blog list.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Except I was wrong! Russia really did produce such a gun! I have to admit that I have never heard of such a bizarre rifle.
And I'm not ashamed to admit I was wrong on this one!
I got it for 80 bucks and it was already assembled! Hurrah!
I've put it in the shop and replaced the last set of plastic shelves with this neat cabinet. I need to buy a couple more shelves to set it up just right for me but I'm happy with this purchase tonight!
Wild. The dumbasses are paying for their porn!
Do NOT ask me where I found the link to this article...
Sunday, March 01, 2009
This was our first trip on Front Runner and it turned out to be a great trip. It felt like an adventure sitting up high on the second seating level and watching our community from a vantage point we've never seen before. Once in Salt Lake, we walked across the platform, boarded a Trax, rode it down to 3300 south and then walked the 3 blocks to the theater. It worked out perfectly and the return trip was just as painless. It was more expensive than driving but it was fun. We saw downtown Salt Lake without being stuck in traffic, we got a little exersize and we saw a very terrific movie.
If you get a chance, go see The Reader. It is a powerful story and I won't spoil it by giving away the details, but go see it. It certainly deserved it's nomination for Best Picture with the Academy Awards, and having seen most of the nominees, this one could have won just as easily as Slumdog Millionaire. So see it!
Wednesday night was an Ash Wednesday church service and the start of the Lenten season. I didn't make any commitments to give up anything for Lent but I have made a couple commitments to things I want to accomplish for my family's benefit during this time.
Thursday night we went to a concert- One Night of Queen performed by Gary Mullen and The Works. This was a really fun night out and the band was terrific. Gary Mullen, according to his bio in the program, used to wow his buddies in the pub on karaoke nights. And his Mum and wife thought he was good enough to be on television, so they submitted his name to "Stars in Their Eyes", a UK star-search program, where he won the Grand Final and started a career on stage as a professional. Now he and a terrific band tour in the US, UK and Europe, keeping the anthems and antics of Freddie Mercury alive. So it was fun and I was surprised to see how many folks our age were there in the seats but had also brought their kids- teenagers and some pre-teens too, all seemingly rockin out to some great old tunes.
Friday was tax day and we spent the morning getting through that minor ordeal. Then to celebrate being finished, the BSU dragged me shopping for a bit. Later I bought another storage cabinet for my workshop and assembled it. And we rested up in the evening, renting movies- Choke and Before it Rains. These were a couple af pretty terrific movies, completely different in their tone and subject and style, but they were both really enjoyable movies. I really recommend Before it Rains for it's story of passion and betrayal.
SO that catches us up to the weekend but this post is long enough. So I think I'll close this one and start another- before Blogger tries to crash on me!