Sunday, March 28, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

Yesterday after I finished putting in a new power steering hose and an oversized caliper bolt for the other side, I wanted to test it out. The van was behind me in the driveway, so rather than move it, I decided to just drive into the yard, turn around and come back.

The little voice inside my head was strangely silent before I attempted to execute a three point turn in my formerly little mud hole. Thanks, little voice.

Yeah. Who's the imbregnorant now??

I spent about 2 hours trying to dig it out and finally called a tow truck, but I became extremely worried when he arrived and immediately said, "I don't know if there is anything I can do for you." I was too far away, you see, and if he tried to back into my yard his truck would have immediately sunk into the soft Virginia clay.

He unspooled all of his cable, hooked up every chain he had and was able to pull me out. Just barely. He's my new best friend. We're going to hang out tonight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Last Pepere

Sorry I didn't make it up in time.

I even got my hair cut, just the way you like it, in anticipation of seeing you at Easter.

I consider myself extremely lucky, out of all the grandkids and great-grandkids, to be the oldest and to have the most (or at least the oldest) memories of you.

The Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series, the ending of The Outlaw Josey Wales and now you. You left a great legacy and no man could ask any more of this world.

Time to make some soup.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Skeletons in the Closet

You might remember that I had an issue with my tub faucet being too loose. Well, that's a whole 'nother story that I will save for later, but I've got a better and far more interesting story now. Although, its not really a story. More like a series of pictures with captions that attempt humor.

Last Saturday, I found myself with nothing to do since nothing had broken on the truck that week (I'm not that lucky this weekend), so I decided to take up a task that I had been neglecting for a while which is flushing my hot water tank and checking the elements. We have hard water which, while tasty and delicious, can also cause some problems. Anyway, I am a little scatterbrained, I've definitely go the whole absentminded-professor-minus-the-professor thing going on, and once the tank drained to a low enough level I took out the top element out (note to self: the next time you have to do this don't be a cheapskate and fore go forking out the 6 bucks for an element wrench. thanks. duly noted.) to inspect it, and yes, it was completely covered over with an oyster shell-like covering. No worries though. At ten bucks a pop its a cheap thing to fix.

The tank keeps draining and I turn on the cold water to get a little tsunami action in the tank to get all of the lime and shtuff out. Then I go outside and watch the hose. Then I forget to remember to go back inside. Then there is water pouring out of the element's hole all over the floor. Thank goodness I have a mega horsepower Sears Craftsman Shop-Vac.

Here's the pretty little water heater in its closet:

If you look in that picture you'll see my air handler, its responsible for shooting hot and, if my AC wasn't broken, cold air throughout the ducts in my house. Anyway, while water was an inch deep in the closet this floated out from behind the air handler:

Its a mouse skeleton on one of those sticky traps. Appears to be a full grown mouse and I have no idea how long its been there.

As part of the bath tub faucet fixing project, I decided to take off some of the paneling that is in that part of the house. There is drywall underneath it, but unfortunately the paneling adhesive makes the drywall pretty useless. Here's a portion of it:

So, I ripped it down and will replace it with brand new drywall. In the process of ripping it down I found these in here:

Ten baby mouse skeletons. Two of the skeletons are nearly complete. Is the mouse in the sticky trap their mother? Who knows?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

About Three Months Worth of Lunch Pictures

I am good at taking pictures, but bad at posting them.

Patrick Henry Pub - This isn't on the menu, it was a special that day, but its a pulled pork sandwich with brie, sauteed mushrooms and onions. It was awesome. Not quite a religious experience, but still a memorable meal.

Dora's Brazilian Grill - I'd love to go there for dinner sometime and try the rodizio. For 27 bucks you get all you can eat meat. Ten types of meat. Sausage, top sirloin, chicken drumstick, beef tri tip, bacon wrapped chicken, flank steak, roast pork loin, roasted lamb, beef tenderloin, and rib steak all cooked over a wood fired grill and served to you on a sword.

But, unfortunately, I was just there for lunch and I had Dora's special plate: 1 sausage, 2 flank steak rolls, 2 slices of alcatra steak (roast beef) with black beans, rice and salad. It is among the best meat I have ever eaten anywhere, I dreamt about it for days, but the portions were kinda small. Best beans I've ever had too, by the way, except for my grandmother's baked beans of course.

Oyster and shrimp po'boy from Bank. Pretty disappointing. The bread was as hard as a rock and what was inside was mushy and lacked any flavor.

Pulled pork French dip from Cafe Gutenberg. It was ok. I have no complaints. The pickled carrots were interesting.

Another "special" item, this from the previously mentioned Cafe Gutenberg, these Bison sliders were awesome. The meat had lots of flavor and the pickled green beans were interesting. It was considered an appetizer and I kind of got screwed because I didn't ask the price beforehand and then ordered a side order of fries. It was a tad more than my normal lunch. Worth it though, but next time I will hold the fries. They aren't the best anyway.

I saved the best for last. Tacos and spicy noodles from Boka Truck, a truck that arrives once a week and parks in the lot next to my building for about an hour and sells some of the tastiest food to be had in the northern hemisphere.

The tacos I had were the Mexican, (Chihuahua cheese, habanero-lime cabbage, cilantro and chipotle crema with Korean beef bulgogi) and the Asian (Sweet and spicy kimchi w/ sesame aioli and fresh herbs with the same beef as the Mexican). I was in heaven for 15 minutes. These were indescribably good. You know when Homer says, "Can't talk. Eating"? It was about like that.

The spicy noodle bowl was good as well, although not quite as mind blowing, and the frustration of eating it with chopsticks outweighed the goodness of the food a bit.

I'm glad this guy only comes once a week. Not only does it give me something to which I can look forward, but I would go broke eating tacos every day. Although, it is pretty cheap. That meal right there cost me 8 bucks. Don't have to give a tip either.

Love is in the Air

1987 Samurai - $650 (Raleigh, NC)

Blast from the Past

This picture was taken a few weeks ago obviously since it is 70 degrees out and there's not a snowflake in sight, but I forgot to post it as is often the case. It was found in my shed while looking for something completely different, which is also often the case. I forgot that I had it, but I remember that it was purchased for my wife for her Christmas stocking, around 1998. I am nothing, if not romantic.

 In other news, I was looking at my coffee cup collection the other day in the shed, and it dawned on me that I have a coffee cup from every place that I have worked except Cabletron. If anybody knows where a Cabletron coffee mug could be had to complete my collection, I would appreciate you letting me know.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Car and a Truck

A couple of cool vehicles I saw recently.

An Impala

A Ford F100 Ranger

I'd love to have both in my driveway, but if you made me pick I'd have to choose the Impala. That thing was absolutely perfect.


I can never get my food to photograph well. Maybe its the camera. Or the food. Or I just don't know what I am doing. Anywho, after watching the Food Network on Sunday I got a New England sized hankerin' for some clam chowdah. I couldn't find clams, so I went with mussels. It was fantastic (although, I still would have preferred clams).

Ladies and gentleman, mussel chowdah!

I couldn't decided which picture I liked better.


Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint 'PK_tblDealerZips'. Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'tblDealerZips'.

SQL server just spanked me. Hard. What an amateur I am.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Extry Featchas

I've never really looked at the extra features on my Simpsons DVDs (Seasons 1-10, does anything after that matter?), but by chance I stumbled upon (one of my favorite episodes of all time) something called "Pop-Up Simspons." I am intrigued. More later.

Software I Hate

I'm sorry but that is just a complete mess of an interface.

Man, Them's Quick

Those Googlebots they are.

Hurts So Good

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers through these troubling times. Oh and for the donations. And the fruit basket too.

A little shout out to Chapman's Certified Auto Repair located at 2727 West Broad St in Richmond, VA behind Yummy Chinese is in order. I nub you.

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I don't know if I like the cream, or is it lemon chiffon, color, but mostly I am just confused by the description.

"it runs. good body & interior good for fixing up call or 420-7194 needa motor"

It runs, but it needs a motor?

It's kinda like waiting for your first child to be born...

The truck (notice how I don't call it mine) has been at the new garage since 8:30. The girl and I had a good chuckle about how the previous inspector was kind of a, let's be polite, jerk, and we shared a laugh about some of the things he failed me for.

I take this as a good sign. Plus, her two pit bulls liked me.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Ring Around the Caliper

So, the grinding noise was just what I suspected. When I redid the front brakes last month, or was it the month before, a caliper bolt on each caliper stripped. My temporary fix was to jam the bolt back in with some JB Weld. Well, that fix did prove temporary. The grinding noise was the loose caliper pressing up against the inside of the wheel while braking. I only drove with it like that for a couple of miles, so the damage was minor.

I had four options for fixing it. One, go to a junk yard and find a spindle from another Dakota or Durango and waste an entire day pulling mine off, pulling the donor's off, and putting the whole mess back together. I thought this would be the best option for longevity, since a truck from down here should be less rusty than mine, but did not feel like wrestling with ball joints, axle nuts, bearing assemblys and tie rod ends. Not on two trucks. Two, drill and tap the hole which is actually impossible because caliper bolts are pretty unique and the chances of finding one a size bigger when the guy helping you at the auto parts store, is, well, you know, not bright. Third, install a helicoil. I liked this option, however, nobody around here had a 3/8-24 helicoil and I didn't want to wait for something to arrive from an online vendor. The third option is the plan if the fourth option fails in the future. Four, install this magical little thing called "an oversized self-tapping caliper bolt". At 20 bucks it wasn't cheap (although about the same as a helicoil), however, it truly was magic. I had it in in 5 minutes. Let's see it it lasts the week, and then I will put one in the other side where apparently I did a better job with the JB Weld.

Inspection tomorrow.

"Godspeed, little doodle" ~Ned Flanders