Thursday, March 30, 2006

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I spent the day at a local high school. A class I am taking required that I do 3 days of observation in a secondary school. I had the opportunity to observe two really good math teachers at work.

The school has just over 1800 students which includes only 10-12 grades. About 500 are seniors (My senior class size was 23).

I spent half the day in one class room observing honors algebra. The second half was spent in another room observing AP statistics and algebra I B. There was a remarkable difference in the attitude and behavior of the honors algebra class versus the regular algebra class.

I enjoyed my trip back to high school.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Say Buddy, Can I Borrow Some Cache

Thursday night was Guys Night Out. Our Sunday school class does this once a month. This month I volunteered to plan it. Typically it involves meeting at someones house to play video games or watch a movie. This month was going to be atypical.

Two weeks ago, I was asked what we were going to do. In jest, I repeated the plans I had just heard for Girls Night Out. A trip to Chili's. Woo hoo! I even said we were going on the same night at the same time. I was kidding. It got printed up like that. So much for trying to be funny.

For the record, I am excellent liar, and people often believe my stretches of the truth. Sometimes my sense of humor is misinterpreted too. This was one of those cases. When I corrected the mistake, I pointed out that we couldn't go out the same night at the same time. I would need to be at home watching the kids.

The real plan I decided was going to be a geo-caching expedition. This was heralded as the most creative guys night out ever. I selected 7 micro-caches all within about a mile of each other. We had a blast.

We had five guys show up. Not a bad turn out considering how many folks were out of town on spring break. Only one dude had any experience. Everyone thought that I did but I set them straight.

It was cold and dark that evening. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to tell everyone to bring a flash light. GPS's in hand we crusied around University drive hunting for our treasures. It is amazing how a micro-cache can be hidden in plain sight. Two in the Target shopping center parking lot, one in the Wal-Mart parking lot, one at the cinema, one at McDonalds, one at Holiday Inn, and one at Macaroni Grill. All in all, it was a good time.

For more info on this sport, check out You may be surprised to find out how many caches are near you. And you will never look at the Target parking lot in the same way again.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I took a few more cars for a spin today.

1. Mustang GT (silver)
2. Mustang GT (red)
3. BMW 325i (red). Unfortunately there was no 325xi on the lot.
4. Dodge Charger R/T (inferno red)

It was another cold day in the parking lot. When will spring finally arrive?

Friday, March 24, 2006

I went by the Dodge dealership this morning to pickup a replacement brake light assembly. Seventy-five dollars out the door.

No way that thing just fell off. It requires a torx/star shaped screwdriver to remove. Also you have to drop the tailgate.

The new brake lense is now installed.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This evening I left my truck parked in front of a coffee shop at the Target shopping center for a couple of hours. I had met some friends to go Geo-caching. That is another story.

When I got home this evening, as I pulled into the garage I noticed a bright light behind me. The bright light was my break light bulb.

Someone stole the left brake light assembly off my truck this evening. The bulb was still connected to the wiring harness hanging out of the hole where the lense goes. The light is bright and white when not covered by the red lense.

Having someone steal something from you makes you think the world is a horrible place.

I quick check of the 'net indicates I will probably be out between $75 and $150 to get a replacement assembly.

Rick is not a happy camper right now and it has nothing to do with the money.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

My sleep number is 35.

Today I test drove a few cars.

1. Audi A4
2. MazdaSpeed 6
3. Dodge Charger R/T
4. Acura TSX
5. Acura TL

I wanted to get two more in but there is only so much time in a day.

Friday afternoon G' called to tell me a local hobby shop, Hobby Town, was going out of business. Everything in the store was 50% off. I went by and picked up another F1 car for my slot car set. We now have enough cars for us all to play, er, race. The store was packed while I was there. I ran into one of my David friends while there. I had called him earlier to tell him about the sale.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I just finished putting my laptop back together. The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 8000. I have had it several years. Maybe five.

It came with a 3 year warranty. I believe that ended two years ago. While under warranty, the CD was replaced twice. Somewhere along the way I had to replace the harddrive. I needed more space. And more memory.

All in all, it has been a good computer.

A few keys are occasionally non-functional. One nice wack at the right spot and it all starts working again.

Tonight, just for fun, I took the keyboard out. Not really just for fun, I just wanted to see how difficult it would be to replace. Not bad. Four screws. I found a service manual online.

Keyboards are fairly cheap. Perhaps I will replace the keyboard soon. I might be able to get a few more years out of this computer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

This evening I began making a new cabinet. A a hanging wall cabinet to be more precise. I got the case pieces created. The face frame pieces still need to be cut to length and glued on.

This cabinet will be hung above the utility sink in the garage when it is completed.

I loaned my truck to David M. this afternoon so I got to drive around in a black Miata this evening.

I loaded my truck to David E. on Friday so I got to drive around in a Honda Pilot on Friday and Saturday.

I had the alignment done on the Pickup on Thursday. They turned the 3 month old drum and adjusted the parking brake as well. The parking brake being out of adjustment was rubbing on the drum and caused the rotor to overheat and warp.

It turns out one of my tires is not quite round. This is still a little bit of vibration at about 50 mpg. Make it stop!

Monday, March 13, 2006

This weekend my sister Terry came to visit. The kids were ecstatic to see her.

She made the mistake of asking if I had anything that would buff out the paint on her truck fender. The truck is black. Before we started it was a nice flat black. When we were done it was a nice reflective black. Just like on TV.

I also washed the Miata this weekend. Time to take off the winter coat (of dirt).

Formula One

The F1 season has now started. I watched Friday's practice session and Saturday's qualifying. I am about half way through Sunday's race. Normally I don't watch practice and qualifying but I thought it might be interesting. This year there are more cars, twenty eight. They have swapped from a V10 to a V8. The rev to about 20k RPMs. I believe they are 2.5L. The qualification process has changed and they have droppped the single set of tires rule. Should be an interesting season.

Ferrari had the top two positions after qualifying!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your Tivo's. The 2006 Formula One season starts this weekend. The first race is early Sunday morning.

Lots of changes this season.
Today I loaned my pickup to one of my many friends named David. While he has the Dodge, I am driving his Honda Pilot.

After work I went to pickup the kids at school. Jordan was very pleased that David had left U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in the CD player for us to listen to.

As they were getting into the Pilot, Jordan asked if David had left us his credit card. "After all, it is only fair." I don't know where he got that idea, but I like the way he thinks.

Miata Mod
The top secret Miata mod arrived yesterday. Damaged. I suspect it will be two full weeks before I get a replacement. In the meantime I have to deal with a mess of hassle to get it replaced.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

As Usual
I thought of something pretty funny today that I wanted to jot down. This is not it.

How long has it been since you were driving along, spotted a herd of cows, and said "moo". Me? Today. Go for it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend Update

We all had a good weekend.   The weather is messing with us.  It is now March, and we have had a few nice days.  That next cold spell will be painful.
Thursday evening Jordan announced he could officially ride his bike.  No training wheels, no parents running along behind the bike holding on.  He has gotten significantly better.  I think he may be planning on enter the summer Olympics in two years.
Saturday I rotated the tires on the truck.  Wear patterns indicate it is out of alignment again!  Oil change also.  And new wiper blades.  The pickup now has 70k miles on it.  It is a '98, but I got it in the fall of '97.
And I got the truck frame dusted off.  Who knows what the future may hold.
Yesterday we loaded up all the bikes and went to a nearby park for a short ride.  And some playtime on the playground.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Last night I placed an order for the next Miata mod. Stay tuned.