Thursday, January 14, 2010


A 355ml glass bottle of Coca-Cola from Mexico made with sugar. It wasn't even a twist-off cap, but luckily I had my knife handy, so this post is actually a soda review and a knife log update.

Hands down the single greatest soft drink experience of my life. Nothing beats it. Not Throwback. Not Squamscot, well the Half and Half is pretty darn good, but no, not Half and Half either. Not Jones or IBC or Stewarts or Fanta or Market Basket or that really weird stuff from Dollar General that made my fingers numb.

So Hungry

I have had a tremendous craving for linguica today. I don't know why, I just do, but it is ruining my concentration. My stomach won't stop growling even though I've been stuffing it with other stuff all day. I don't think I can find linguica down here, but maybe one of my good buddies in New England could mail me some :) Pretty please.

Ooo. This kale soup looks delicious. Must...stop...torturing...myself.

OH! I can order it online! Five pounds. That's a lot.

Rejection Hurts

Yeah, so, my truck didn't pass inspection. Big surprise, huh? The odd thing is that it was rejected for items other than what I thought was wrong with it.

Surely, the leak in the exhaust manifold is a problem, right? Nope. Apparently carbon monoxide being sucked into the cab ventilation is OK (I'm glad too. It's a real pain to fix).

Perhaps the almost bald rear tires with multiple plugs in them sealing holes from mobile home debris scattered around by a "twist" that we drove through in West Virginia a few years back. Nuh uh. That's perfectly ok.

Those are the things I was sure would be sticking points for any self-respecting garage. So, what did they find wrong with my truck?

Well, I've got a leaking rear wheel cylinder. Ok, that's legit. I should have pulled the drums off and inspected them, but you know what? I didn't want to. So far the brakes are working excellent. If it ain't broke, don't investigate to see if it is, as they say somewhere.

Next, it was the ABS and BRAKE idiot lights are on. They've been on for a few years, and in my last Dakota, they were on too. For four years. Oh well. I googled it, "Dakota ABS and BRAKE lights on" and I quickly found the answer. A speed sensor in my rear axle. Incidentally, this will also fix one of my other problems which is the speedometer doesn't work until I reach 30 miles an hour.

The third brake light is out. Ok, fine, I can honestly say that when I am checking all the lights, I have never, ever looked at my third brake light. Also, the front sidemarker lights are out too. I didn't even know what those were. My parking lights, headlights and turn signals all work. What more do I need? Apparently, I need sidemarker lights. I still don't know where on the truck they go. I'm guessing right beside the headlight, but it's anybody's guess.

And last but not least, he told me that my left front wheel is "loose". Oh really. Did she come on to you? What does that mean exactly? He couldn't or wouldn't tell me. "Somethin' probably needs to be tightened up. A nut or somethin'". Oh, really, is that all? Or maybe its a wheel bearing assembly and you were waiting to get it disassembled up on a lift before telling me that you are going to charge me a grand to fix it?

He wanted to charge me $500 to fix the leaking rear wheel cylinder and then investigate the ABS/BRAKE light and the "loose" wheel. I politely said, no, that's ok I fix my own stuff. At which point he became a raging jackass. I don't feel like going into detail, but rest assured he is the worst mechanic I have ever been to in my not quite 20 year career of seeking out the sketchiest mechanics I can find. That includes Bob's Towing in Rochester and the guy with the left arm 6 inches shorter than the right arm way out in the boondocks near Swanzey, NH who could have killed me and buried me and nobody would have ever known.

Also, this mechanic had the worst body odor, so now my truck smells like dirty bum.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kidney Shaped

One of the nice things about working for a company with the mental illness of hoarding, is that I was able to find this strange table in an empty office that is perfect for my new coffee maker.

Dirty Body

My truck has had a stalling problem for a while. When I would pull up to a stop sign or a red light, it would occasionally stall. Sometimes it didn't though. Very random and not terribly annoying except when stopped at a hill. Luckily, it's pretty flat here.

The "check engine" light never came on. I scanned the computer for error codes. Nothing. I googled the problem and came up with various things. Bad throttle position sensor, vacuum leak at the intake manifold, dirty throttle body, bad plug wires and several more. My personal opinion was that it was the throttle position sensor, so I bought one of those and a can of throttle body cleaner (not to be confused with carb & choke cleaner, they are completely different).

Well, I took off the throttle body and it was indeed pretty dirty. Including a little doodad called the idle air control valve. I grabbed my son's toothbrush and cleaned that sucker up real good. And it worked. Rarely does the cheapest solution work and I returned the throttle position sensor to the store.

Monday, January 11, 2010


It is so incredibly good. Light, crisp and refreshing. Something I would never say about regular Mountain Dew which can only be consumed in moments of severe caffeine deficiency.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Fee Fi Fo Pho

I had Pho for lunch at Taste of the Far East. I had the "assorted beef" version. I must have it again. Soon. There's a couple of Vietnamese restaurants near my house. Time to expand the children's horizons.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Hey, dude, he's ragging on your cord

This post could have had many possible titles, but I chose that one because its a Simpsons reference.

My little 35 year old furnace has been running non-stop with this little cold snap we are experiencing, and it dawned on me that I hadn't done the most neglected of household maintenance chores: change the filter on the furnace. Oops.

I pulled the old one out, and yes, it was caked with crud. Of course its Sunday night and Lowe's and Home Depot both close early. The wife is hibernating because she worked the previous night, so it's either load up the two youngest kids into the frigid truck or wait until the wife wakes up and head to Walmart.

Eight o'clock rolls around and I am genuinely concerned that my wife has been slow roasted under her electric blanket, but I am too chicken to check, so after the two youngest go to bed, I leave instructions with the oldest to call me on my cell phone if anything happens and I head out the door.

Let's back up a little and get to the point of this whole story.

I was wearing my baggy jeans and my skinny butt can't hold them up without a belt. Not a big deal when you are hanging out on the couch watching children's movies, but a real pain when you are white and going out in public with your pants around your ankles isn't the image you want to portray.*

The problem is my belt was in the room with the possibly medium well done wife, and I wasn't going in there. What's a boy to do?

I cut a length of speaker wire to hitch up my pants with. Twine was also an option, but all I had was bright pink mason's line.

*Because being portrayed as white trash is much more acceptable...

Friday, January 01, 2010

Its So Quiet

And I'm not used to being not angry

My New Years Eve

Started out at Buffalo Wild Wings with the wife where I had 6 Blazin' wings and some other stuff. They didn't make me cry like they did the last time I had them, so I was a bit disappointed. The wife had Caribbean Jerk and Spicy Garlic.

Then we got home, and the fun started, but a little back story first.

My cat, Papi, legendary killer of creatures great and small, had been acting weird the past few days. I chalked it up to a bad batch of cardinal or something, but yesterday morning I noticed he was licking his neck a lot so I picked him up to inspect it, thinking he had a tick or something. It turns out he had big gash in his neck. Coincided with the fact that the inbregnorants dog got loose a few times a couple of days previously, I had a good idea what caused the gash.

The wound was pink and didn't look infected, so I let my wife know about it and I went off to work. When I got home from work I couldn't find the cat anywhere and I was worried because I wanted to check out his wound.

Fast forward to when we got home from the restaurant, my stomach on fire mind you, and he was in the house so I checked his neck. Inflamed and stinky. Crap.

Rewind to the beginning of the day, when I called animal control about the dog, who told me to call back when I was home. Well, I was home now, and that stinking dog had been barking for hours on end non stop. So I called again.

It's not a friendly dog when its loose, and this was about more than the cat and the barking. I can't let my kids play out in the yard, not fenced by the way, but will be come spring, when there is the possibility a 75 pound half starved dog is going chase them down.

So, the police officer comes into my house, I ask him my options. He tells me about filing various things in court. I say ok, thanks, and he leaves. I didn't know he was going to talk to the neighbors.

Next thing I know my oldest comes into the living room telling me he hears a woman yelling out in the yard.

Yes. There was lots of yelling*. And now I have enemies. I personally don't care although I worry that my kids will get harassed (they actually accused my kids of leaving trash in their yard during some of that yelling (I can only imagine what that cop was thinking)), but I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

They brought the dog into the house, and I haven't heard it bark in 11 hours. It's beautiful.

So, back to the cat, after the officer left and the inbregnorants returned to their den, we took the cat to the pet emergency clinic (yeah, I didn't know they had those) and a few hours later he was partially shaved, stitched up and sporting a new drain in his neck which we have to keep clean for a few days until it gets taken out.

Now he is stuck inside for two weeks. You ever see those lions at the zoo that just pace back and forth in their cages looking like they want to kill you? Yeah. Its like that.

*There's a lot of good material in there, but you'll have to hear it personally. I don't feel like typing it all now