Day by Day cartoon

Monday, August 31, 2009

BSU is getting better-

Thanks for asking.


Friday was a rough day for both of us but at least I wasn’t the one hurting from 3 hours of nasal surgery and dripping blood. She had a pretty steady nosebleed from the surgical work that had to be left alone to clot on its own good time. Sleeping has been problematic for her for a couple days but she is getting better. Yesterday she was feeling well enough to venture to the Village Inn for supper and the pain meds seemed to be taking care of her discomfort. She’ll be getting better day by day.


I did NOT receive the part I needed for Fish Slayer’s motor so instead I spent the weekend working on the boat and trailer instead of fishing. I built and installed some trailer guides on the back corners along with new rear lights. I’ll get pictures later but the guides are made out of automotive tailpipe tubing and PVC pipe to cover the steel tubing. I put miniature clearance lights on the front and back of the posts near the top with yellow lights facing forward and red lights facing aft. These should make backing the trailer when the boat is off and loading the boat in the dark much easier. Before it was nearly impossible to see the trailer when the boat wasn’t installed and lining up with the trailer in the dark was a real trick too. These new guides should make the entire process more pleasant.


I also installed the missing windshield half and replaced the original aluminum triangle brace with tubular braces. Now Fish Slayer is symmetrical again and I won’t have to fight with the interference of the windshield support and my rod holder. Now if the dang part will arrive this week, I’ll be able to spend some quality hours fishing over Labor Day weekend!

1 killed, 2 injured on Powder Mountain road.

This past weekend, Powder Mountain Ski Resort hosted something brand new- a motocross race on a purpose built racetrack. If I wouldn’t have had a full plate of things to do, I would have loved to go up to spectate and see how the track had been incorporated into the ski runs. But I see that the road going to and from the resort claimed a life yesterday and injured a couple more folks in the motorhome that overturned. It’s not clear from the video but you can be certain the motorhome ended up in the creek that the road parallels.


This road IS dangerous and it is not for the timid or weak of automotive equipment. I’ve seen vehicles upside down in the creek numerous times, vehicles with brakes blazing and the smell of overheating transmissions, clutches and brake material is common. The road is a primary reason Powder Mountain hasn’t grown as large as some of its competitors and a reason that the resort operates shuttle busses from the base of the mountain to the top for those folks that want to play but aren’t up to the challenge of driving a crooked, steep and slippery road unprotected by guardrails.


My kind thoughts go out to the family that lost a loved one.



Friday, August 28, 2009

The BSU survived her surgery today

It was a septoplasty to repair her perforated septum. Unlike most surgeries of this type, the doc wasn't removing cartilage to repair a deviated septum but was instead adding a piece of cartilage the first had to be removed from above her ear.

She's doing ok. She has a more or less continuous nosebleed that can't be stopped by the usual pressure to the bridge of the nose because she had surgery in there today! There's a splint of some type up in her nose that comes out in two weeks. She is hurting but the meds seem to be keeping that under control. But she's a hurting hunnybunch tonight.

I've been playing nurse, replacing her bandage every hour or so, getting her meds and food and ice packs ever since she came out of the surgery which took 3 hours.

At least the hyperactive puppy has returned to the boy and isn't terrorizing our pets any longer!

Made in Albania?

That might be a first for me! Boots. I bought some chukka boots to wear when riding Sleek Black Beauty to work every day because the Air Force is enforcing some new rules for motorcycle riders that require over the ankle footwear. The new boots arrived today and when I tried them on the first thing I noticed was the proud, "Made in Albania" label inked inside.

I'm pretty certain these boots are the first purchase I have ever made that came from Albania.

At least they weren't made in China!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

On top of everything else-

We’re babysitting a puppy at our house! This week has been a jumble of running to appointments in Salt Lake after work and we’ve only been home 1 night so far. To add fun and complexity to our schedule, the son that lives in SLC dropped off King Louie, his newly adopted boxer/pit bull pup for us to keep for a couple days. He actually dropped the pup off last night while we weren’t home and still shopping at Cabelas before coming home from one of the appointments. Hey, we were half way there already and I had an item to return and I figured I could cut the cost of the new tongue jack I needed in half by returning the unneeded bits…


So Louie is yapping about and giving excited puppy grief to our elderly dog Sandy who really just wants to be left alone. Neither she or the cat are the least bit happy about having an interloper in their domain. The spousal unit is in charge of the pup even though I’ve had to clean a couple messes already- big surprise. And the laundry room will need mopped once he is gone to clean up the puppy pee that isn’t making it into the grass or the carpet.


Tonight I’m Wiper fishing with Jim, another buddy, if the reverse lock actuator cam arrives at the marine store this afternoon. So I’ve got to get out of the job on time this afternoon so I can pick up the part, get it installed and be ready when Jim shows up.


And tomorrow the BSU is having surgery to patch up a hole that has developed between the 2 sides of her nose. That should eat up most of the day…  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I have some great friends!

Yesterday I told you about the great time Wiper fishing my buddy Kenny and I shared last Saturday evening. One of the things Kenny did not enjoy was extracting sharp treble hooks attached to his lure and a thrashing fish from the woven nylon string of my cheap landing net. Admittedly, keeping hooks from getting snagged in the nylon threads is a real challenge and it has frustrated me on a number of occasions. So imagine my surprise today when I got a phone call here at work from Kenny with him telling me to be outside my building in 5 minutes when he would arrive.


He bought me a rubber net to put into the boat! It’s my early Christmas present! He told me he never wanted to see that old landing net in my boat ever again!


How cool is that?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Still no sign of Uinta cat...

It’s been more than a week now and we have not had any signs or sightings of our beloved Uinta. I’ve been to the animal shelter 3 times, put up flyers around the neighborhood and repeatedly driven, ridden or walked around our community to no avail. I even stopped a group of teen skateboarders that passed by late in the evening to ask them to keep their eyes open for him. It is really painful not knowing what has happened to him. His absence is causing a great deal of sadness around our humble abode.


Well that was exciting!

Buddy Kenny has already described the testosterone filled fun day on Saturday over at Coffee in the Morning and it was a great day all around with breakfast at Cracker Barrel, a gun show at a new venue by a new promoter and evening fishing at Williard Bay. But he really didn’t mention just how exciting and fun the evening fishing was. Maybe he has caught so many more fish than me that he’s just jaded, but I can tell you I had one of the best fishing trips I have ever had in my not very star studded life.


We were fishing for Wipers, a hybrid created by a cross between Stripers and White Bass. Willard Bay is the only place in Utah to have these aggressive and strong fish. Wiper fishing is a major summer activity for many anglers here and the boat launches are typically crowded after dinner every evening from July 1 until mid-September with guys coming out to chase the boil. These Wipers run in schools and like to gang up on schools of shad, chasing them into shallow or protected water and then slaughtering them with wild attacks. These attacks occur near or on the surface and the shad fleeing the Wipers and the big fish chasing them, the surface of the lake really will “boil” where the attacks are taking place. Typically, Wiper fishing involves going about in the late afternoon, trolling about in likely areas and watching for the boils to begin.


When that happens, it’s fishing time! You don’t have to get the boat directly into the middle of a boil but just within casting distance and then you can kill the motor and drift. And start casting some kind- most any kind of floating, diving, rattling crankbait out into the area where the fish are evident. I was using a crankbait that runs 3-5 feet deep and is shad silver and green backed in color.


On my first cast I hooked into a fish! Seconds later, Kenny was hooked into a fish! These beasts are about 3 pounds in weight but strong and hard pulling so they are quite exciting when hooked into your lure. We had a fishing rodeo going on for 45 minutes with 10 fish boated- my cooler was stacked up like cordwood, multiple times when both of us were hooked up to fish or waiting for the other guy to get his fish out of the net so the other guy could use it. We probably missed another half dozen fish that didn’t make it into the boat. When the boil cooled down in the exact spot we were fishing in at one point, we spotted another not 100 yards away but before we could crank the motor and get all the way over there, the fish closed in on us and it was time to shut it off and get back to fishing. We were surrounded by thrashing fish for several minutes and numerous times I caught fish on consecutive casts!


But it got hard dark and 2 fish short of a limit for both of us we headed back to the boat ramp and the cleaning station. If we didn’t have spouses worrying about us back at home, we could have stayed and caught fish until our arms fell off but we headed back to a very crowded ramp with trucks, trailers and boats all waiting their turn to get reconnected. It took quite a long time to get our turn at the ramp and Kenny did an admirable job of getting a very hard to see trailer backed into the water. Once we got the boat on the trailer, I tied everything down, put stuff away and made certain nothing would blow out while Kenny began filleting fish. I helped with that chore and we chatted with several guys that I know from my time working at the old job up the street. It was 10:30 by the time we got back to Wasted Electrons World Headquarters and got the boat tucked into the carport but it was time really well spent.


I can’t wait to do it again! I had so much fun and the adrenaline rush of feeling an aggressive fish slashing on the end of the line is exactly the reason I like fishing. It was fast, thrilling and exhilarating and a perfect cap to a hot summer day. This week is going to be a busy one so I don’t know if I can make it back out to the lake before the weekend but I’ve got the bug and can’t wait to get back out there and put more fish scales in the boat!


BTW, I really need a rubber netted fish net! The nylon line net I have gets caught up on treble hooks and really slows down the process.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

At least we didn't have to walk home...

But the BSU and I did have to call my friend Kenny to come and retrieve our butts from Salt Lake City tonight. The Lincoln broke down- overheated and dumped most of its coolant on the ground when we shut it off for an appointment. I'm guessing the water pump failed though it could be a couple other cooling system related parts- a thermostat or the radiator possibly. Whatever failed, it was pretty disabling.

I got a gallon of water from the closing up @ 6 Firestone store and refilled the coolant tank but that did nothing and it appears you need tools just to add coolant properly. I tried to drive 11 blocks to Pep Boys but the needle on the gauge got up to the red in just 5 blocks so we had to pull over. AT&T's recovery service sent a roll back truck and in a little bit he arrived, loaded up the Lincoln and ever so quickly deposited us at the Pep Boys.

While waiting on the tow truck, I called Kenny and he made his way to SLC to pick us up. He even visited with us while we had a mediocre supper at Dees before shuttling us back home.

The car is going to get evaluated in the morning. It has been a long day today...

And still no sign of our missing cat!

UPDATE: The car is home and my wallet has a $600 hole in it! Ouch! The car had a leaking waterpump and the temperature switch that turned on the radiator cooling fans had failed. So it's all fixed including the serpentine belt that needed replacing anyway and a shiny new radiator cap. I wonder if it will heat up faster in the winter with the new thermostat...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Uinta cat is AWOL...

Have you seen this cat?

Uintah Cat
He's been missing since Saturday morning or sometime overnight Friday. Whenever he disappeared, he hasn't been home and I am very worried about him.

He doesn't wander but to a couple neighboring yards and I walked through all of them this afternoon. I could find no sign of him anywhere in the neighborhood.

I am seriously hoping he had a run-in with the Animal Control bus and has spent the weekend at the Animal Shelter. If he isn't there tomorrow, I'm fearing the very worst. We are both pretty worried about him tonight.

UPDATE: He's not hiding at the Animal Shelter, the BSU went and had a look today. He also doesn't seem to be laying up in any of his regular haunts. I'm printing the LOST CAT flyers right now...

Breakfast and fishing with my friend Ben

I've been making a point to get back up to see my buddy Ben after a few weeks of not getting by to visit. This weekend we planned a fishing trip on Saturday morning only to be rained out by showers and 50 degree temperatures. So we went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel instead and even managed to get another friend, Jack to join us.

But today's weather forecast was better- drier and warmer so we got back together this afternoon for a trip to Williard Bay. We trolled a couple hours for Wipers but returned home without any fish in the boat. In spite of the lack of catching, the fishing was great and we had a nice afternoon together. Ben doesn't get out much from the residential care home where he lives so an afternoon out on the water enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and views really cheers him up.

Maybe we'll catch fish next time...

Worst movie EVER!

Horrible. Incomprehensible. Incoherent. So full of flawed logic and misteps that it falls all over itself. I hated it.

What movie? The Time Traveler's Wife. The BSU talked me into seeing it Friday night after a lengthy break from our usual cineplex dates and I, being in an agreeable mood, agreed to see what I knew was going to be a chick-flick of huge proportion. And it is that- a chick-flick beyond any doubt. Hell, I think there was only 3 men in the entire theater when we saw it.

But it wasn't just a romantic tear jerker of a movie. It was an exploded head of rotted cabbage mess of a movie! Obviously with a title that mentions time traveling, you could expect certain liberties to be taken with reality but this story is all over the place. The traveler and husband, Henry, (Eric Bana) trips forward and back in time, because of his genes and with no control over when or where he goes yet he can travel to the same place repeatedly somehow and he can be gone for just seconds or weeks without any control. When he travels to the future, he returns older than he was when he left, when he goes to the past, he returns younger and still fertile after having a vasectomy in current time. And no matter how young or old he is when he turns up, he always needs a shave! Somehow on his wedding day he vanishes for just a couple minutes leaving his best man to panic yet after the wedding he disappears from before Christmas to after New Years. He also never knows the date or even the year that he returns to yet somehow he had the forethought while traveling into the future to pick up a newspaper and memorize the week's winning lottery numbers and he gets back home just in time to buy his wife the winning ticket...

The wife- Clare is played by Rachel McAdams and she is a pretty woman but she is desperately in need of a couple cheezeburgers and a milkshake because she is way to skinny for my tastes. In one scene she gets out of bed with her entire back exposed and you can not only see every vertabrae in her back but all her ribs too! She looked like a nazi prison camp survivor from the back!

So- guys, if your significant other says she wants to see this movie- get her to call a girlfriend to go see it with her. They will cry together and love it. Do whatever you can to avoid seeing this movie though because it will just make anybody with a normal testoerone level cringe. Really. It's that bad.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear AT&T

I promise that if you haven't installed a new cell tower witin range
of the 1200 area on the west side of Hill AFB by this time next year,
I will jailbreak my iPhone and switch to Verizon. I am sick and tired
of missing phone calls at my desk!

I wonder if this trick will work as well for my cell phone provider as
it does for my Internet provider... Are you listening AT&T?

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Another nice camping weekend

The BSU and I snuck off to on Shady Dell campground on the Mirror Lake highway. Shady Dell's a pretty modest little campground but we've been staying there once or twice a summer for few years now and this weekend was another chance to escape to the higher elevations and fresh air.

We nearly didn't make it out of the driveway on Friday morning though! We pulled out and within a block I had to stop to see what was causing the weird noises coming from the trailer. Something sounded just wrong. I walked around it once- didn't see anything dragging and so I carried on another block. But I could tell something was wrong so I circled the block and headed home. Backing the camper into the drive- the bumper dragged- something that never happened before! So I jacked it up and it didn't take a minute to discover that I had a broken leaf spring. The spring had completely broken and the axle was trying to twist itself out from under the floor. It was the spring directly behind the tire that failed on our trip to Oregon last month. Coincidence? Not likely.

But I found a replacement spring and had the camper back down on it's now properly supported wheels in under 2 hours and we were on our way.

We camped. I fished Trial Lake several times and even took the BSU fishing for a few minutes! She didn't stay very long as she hadn't dressed for the temperatures but she fished. Trial's packed full of hatchery fish and I caught a few but they were skinny and puny so they all went back to be caught another day. The lake is easy to reach with wide beaches so it's really popular with dads with kids that need some room to explore while they are fishing.

In the evenings we rested and read and had a very casual time. We made it home this afternoon and the laundry's already done! Now it's back to work tomorrow...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dang- I forgot to check the discount reels at Wal-Mart

In preparation for a weekend camping trip with the BSU, she and I did some grocery shopping tonight. While she filled a cart, I got my hairs cut at the salon but I forgot to sneak over to the Sporting Goods department to see what other reels might be hiding behind the counter that I could use and that I could wrangle a half price discount on. The reel I bought last week is terrific and works perfectly so I thought a re-run past the shelf might be in order.

But I forgot.

We're headed off into the jaws of a huge cold front with high winds and dropping temperatures to go camping. Which really works out perfect since the boat motor is still broke and the boat repair guy can't get here until Monday and the weather would make for lousy boating. So I'll camp this weekend and fish next weekend!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I needed a ratchet tie-down strap, K-Y jelly and a 3 1/2 ton jack

but I got'er done! Tonight, using instructions and encouragement from my buddy Rob, I changed my first outboard boat motor water pump impeller! On Thursday I'm having a mobile boat service come over to replace the seals in my lower unit and during a chance phone call today, Rob recommended that I should change the impeller before that work got done and so I didn't have to replace the grease the 2nd time.

Well Rob was right, as he usually is. I bought the part on the way home and I got the lower unit off and the impeller changed without much drama. It was ready for replacement as it was quite worn so I'm glad I listened to the voice of experience. I did use K-Y jelly to lube the rubber blades to make the cover slide on easier and I did use a tie-down strap to hold the lower as I refit it into the motor and struggled to get the driveshaft splines aligned. And I tried to use the floor jack to hold up the lower unit but I ended up tripping over it and nearly beaning myself on the concrete.

But with Rob's help, I saved myself about $150 and that feels pretty good!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sheesh- I've been busy!

So let's see- Saturday Loc and I went to Rockport State Park for some fishing because the state fishing report said the good fishing was there lately. Mostly we got blown around the lake by the myriad of power squadron boats pulling wakeboarders and skiers and tubes of all types. Fish Slayer was acting up and being hard to start and not idling worth a dang so that was a real concern and stressed me out. I did manage to catch 1 rainbow trout but it wasn't a great day of fishing.

On Saturday son Noah had a part failure on his motorcycle- a $200 replacement LED tailight assembly he purchased cracked and fell off so I spent a couple hours after getting home from the lake helping him with a repair.

Which didn't work... He left Sunday morning to head back to Colorado and only got down the road about 20 miles before the light fell off again! This time he lost the whole thing on the highway. By the time he turned around and got home, I already had purchased a 7 dollar boat trailer light and 2 clearance lights from Wal-Mart to fix up something for him to get home safely. We did some blacksmithing on some bar stock pieces from my shop and built a bracket that would hold the tailight and the clearance lights for turn signals and used some Scotch-Locs to wire everything into the wire harness. Noah even found his license plate, balled up and unrecognizable wedged up into his fender. He hammered it flat with a rubber mallet and we were able to put it in place for his ride home.

He left this morning and we haven't heard from him so I'm assuming he made it back to Aspen safely.

Last night we traveled down to see Grandbaby Ryker and his mom and took them to dinner. Ryker's 3 months now and getting really cute. Maybe tomorrow I'll take enough time to upload a couple pictures.

Tonight and over the weekend I've been working on Slayer to determine why it was acting badly on Saturday. There had been fuel leaking from the fuel line quick connector when the primer bulb was squeezed so I replaced that tonight. I also pulled the pickups out of both fuel tanks and discovered that one of the tubes was very loose- loose enough that I think it would be likely air was being pulled into the fuel line instead of fuel. I hope that is fixed. But I also tried to add some grease to the lower unit and it ran out as fast as I put it in! I've pulled off the prop and it appears there is a very special Mercury tool required to remove the seal housing so I think the boat has to go to the boat doctor as soon as I can get an appointment. Everything has been shifting fine and I don't think (hope) that there is any critical damage to the drive gears but I'll have to let the doc check it out.

And I got the lawn mowed tonight!