Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Parts is Parts

Saturday, after many delays, I finally got around to ordering some replacement parts for the front end suspension and steering. I ended up ordering the parts from two different companies. Classic Industries and LMC Truck. Having never ordered from either of these companies it will be interesting to see how each rank in the customer service department. If I am lucky, I won't have to talk anyone at either companies customer service department, but rather will judge them based on how quickly they shipped me the parts.

Which parts? Some ball joints, tie rods, other similar stuff.

This morning I received a notification from LMC that I had a package on the way from Kansas via UPS.

I priced this same stuff through Advanced Auto Parts, Autozone, Orielly's, and Napa. Oddly, mail order pricing had them beat. Ok, maybe it's not that odd, but it seemed that way at the time.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Did You Do Anything Unusual This Weekend?

Last Sunday, a friend asked me if I had done anything unusual in the previous week to which I responded, "Unusual for you or unusual for me?".
This morning three odd things have occurred already.  Let's see if I can remember any of them.
Uno - I saw three deer in the backyard.  After they spotted me, two went into the woods.  The remaining one, a buck, just stood and looked at me before he resumed mowing my backyard.
Dos  - So much for my memory.
I did not venture out into the garage this weekend.  I had a stack of homework to do so I decided I would not go out there until it was all done.  This was supposed to be a motivational tool.  Ha!
Saturday I was so motivated not to do my homework, I had all the laundry done by 1:30 pm.  Then I took my requisite nap and followed that up with a couple of episodes of "OverHaulin" on the Tivo.  I can't believe they still haven't come to get my car.
When Sunday rolled around, I got serious about the homework.  About six hours worth of seriousness.  I missed my Sunday afternoon nap and Miata ride due to nearly insurmountable stack of work I had.
I came, I saw, I calculated.  Now it is all done.  Don't you feel better.  Learning can be difficult.  The amazing thing is that If I had to do it all over again, I could probably get it done in 60-90 minutes.
After dinner last night, I manufactured an excuse to go for a ride in the Miata.  You can almost always use another gallon of milk when you have two kids in the house.  I got to see a pretty cool pink and blue sunset with large rolling clouds.  And we got a somewhat much needed gallon of milk.  The time is quickly approaching where these trips will require a jacket.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Today I got shocked by 110 volts AC three separate times.

Then my right eye turned red and swole itself shut. (Is swole a word?)

Imagine the fun I would have had if it was a Monday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This afternoon the kids were playing in the driveway. Jordan wanted to go inside to get something to drink. He said "Pause Game."

Who changed the lingo?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Argh Matey!

Just in case you overlooked it, today was national talk like a pirate day.
Today's Theme is a truck theme, or rather a truck blog theme. Any minute now I will be adding these to the blog list link on the side bar.

Truck Blog # 1: This is one of iMike's many alternate ego's. Last time I counted, he had at least four.


Truck Blog # 2: This is my sister's blog.


Monday, September 18, 2006

$2.99 for flat repair, $12.00 for labor.
This morning I went by the tire store to get my leaking tire repaired. I went to work first thinking it would open at 8:00 am, with the plan of getting to the shop a few minutes before 7:00. When I arrived, they were already opened.

I left the car with them and walked to the bank a few blocks away to get some cash. When I got back to the shop the car was in the garage and the correct tire was off the car.

I headed back inside planning to read an old magazine while waiting for them to finish up. When I walked back in the manager asked which car I was waiting on. "The Charger" was my reply. He then proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes telling me how much he likes the new Charger, especially the red one like I have.

Oh yeah, it turns out he has a black 2006 Charger SRT-8. I think that is about 425 HP to my 345HP. When I asked him about his fuel economy he hesitated to tell me it was only about 13 MPG. He apparrently has a pretty heavy foot.
Someone has a math test tomorrow and has spent the last two hours procrastinating the inevitable review of their notes from the last four weeks. Fortunately I already went back through them once this weekend.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What Kind of a Name is BoneFish?

Friday night we had dinner at BoneFish Grill. Several folks have told me this place was good. Well it turns out they were right. We arrived at about 5:30 on Friday evening and they seated us immediately.

We ordered the crab cakes as an appetizer, G had fish, I had a fillet (as recommended by a friend). I had a difficult time deciding on my entree. I was torn between at least three selections but finally went with the beef remembering how Brent had gone on and on about it.

Everything was good. Actually it was better than good. We also had a nice classic white wine with dinner, Blue Moon Riesling from the Bridgeview Winery in Oregon. Yep, a riesling from Oregon. We had had this wine before at a local German restaurant, Olde Heidelberg. Our favorite waitress, Elaine, had recommended. It remembered it because it was a riesling, and it was from Oregon.

On the way home, we stopped at Olde Heidelberg and picked up some Death By Chocolate cake to have for dessert. Mmmm
Yesterday when I got in the Charger to take Jordan to a B-day part, a light on the dash lit up indicating one of my tires was lot. I got out of the car and looked at all four tires. They all looked ok. At each stop on my journey, I walked around the car trying to spot the low tire. It was still not obvious to me. And I was too lazy to get you the tire pressure gauge.

This afternoon when I backed the car out, the light came on again. At this point I was finally able to visually detect which tire was low. I aired the tire up and then looked for a nail, etc. And I found it.

Tomorrow I will take the car in to get the tire repaired. The leak is fairly slow. The computer detected it was low on Saturday. I didn't drive it on Friday, so I must have picked up the nail either Thursday or prior to that.

Now the thing that is driving me crazy is "where did I pick up the nail?"
Another Piece of the ... Truck

For a while now, my current goal for the truck was to get the front end suspension completed. When I first started this task, my plan was to degrease it all, then blast it all, then paint it all.

The degreasing went quickly but the blasting is very time consuming. After a few weekends following this plan, I noticed that the first pieces I had sandblasted were beginning to show light surface rust. At this point I altered the plan. The new plan is blast a piece or two and then paint it.

The weekends selection was a lower control arm. The lower arms are significantly larger then the upper arms so only attempted to get one done this weekend. Blast time for the part was roughly two hours. A good bit of that time was sweeping the sand up in the driveway and filtering it through a piece of window screen to remove any large debris.

I currently have enough sand to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. I filled the blaster up four times. Four times I randomly distributed the sand back onto the driveway. After the fourth sweepup, the part was ready for painting.

The blasting was completed on Saturday morning. At this point I went ahead and painted the top side and left it to dry all afternoon. Today just before lunch, I painted the other side.

Another piece is now complete. Next week I will probably tackle the other lower control arm. That that point, the only remaining front suspension pieces I can think of are the coil springs. Blasting should go pretty quickly on those.

Things seem to be moving quickly since I am now distinguishing between steering and front suspension. It is very satisfying to take a rusted greasy part and turn it into a freshly painted clean piece of a 35 year old classic truck.

Someone needs to be taking pictures of the progress!
I changed the oil in the air compressor today. I am using Mobil 1 per the recommendation of the manufacturer. The compressor uses 6 oz. of oil so a single quart should last me 5 changes, or 15 months. assuming I remember to change it every 4 months.

To be realistic, I will probably only change it about every six months, but that should be ok because I am not using it 40 hours a week.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Voted!

I entered a picture of my Miata in a photo contest last month. As I mentioned before, when I win, I will get a spiffy new "Oh Yes Wyoming!" t-shirt. Imagine how I will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Go here to vote for my car. If it is not obvious which car is mine, vote for the one you like the best. Just for the record, you like the one labeled "First Picture", third row centered. It is the same picture in the right hand column of the my blog. If I win, you can borrow the shirt on Tuesdays.

I considered voting for a different picture but I thought it would be a shame to get zero votes.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Yesterday's Obsession

As I have noted in the past, many of my blog entries start out with the word 'yesterday'. Perhaps it is time to rename the blog.

Yesterday M. Schumacher won the Italian Grand Prix. And then he announced he would be retiring at the end of the season. Hate to see him go. On the flip side, Ferrari will be picking up Kimi. He should be an excellent addition to the Ferrari team. He is a good driver but so far has really had a reliable car. Imagine saying a McLaren is not a reliable car.

I have already placed my order for a ticket to the 2007 US Grand Prix at Indy.

Truck News

None really. Ok, a small bit of progress was made. I managed to get 5 components of the front end suspension sandblasted and painted. Won't be long before I have no choice but to start putting it back together. When I say it won't be long, I mean maybe sometime this decade.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Miata's odometer is in the neighborhood of 99,500 miles. It should be crossing the 100k mark within a month. At that point I think I will put it in reverse for a while.

I just spend a few minutes looking back at the early blog entries. As you are certain to recall, I started the blog at the same time I got the Miata, the first obsession among many listed here over the last couple of years.

The reason I looked back was to find the odometer reading from when I got the car. I didn't find it in my blog, but I did find a copy of the bill of sell on my computer. I also found a rather interesting photo of another red Miata.

From the bill of sale:
Purchased on March 19, 2004.
Miles on clock: 85,707

A mere 2 years and 5+ months later I have added 13,800 miles for an average of about 475 miles per month or roughly 107 miles per week. Like I said earlier, in about another month I should see the odometer roll over 100,000 miles.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Well, I suppose summer is over. Tonight, while driving home from class (top down), I had to turn on the heater.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The front suspension crossmember on a 1967-1972 GMC/Chevrolet pickup is a couple of large pieces of shaped metal welded together. The cross member is essentially hollow.

The out side portion had previously been blasted. Today I was going to remove a couple of spots of surface rust and then paint it. While getting ready to blast, I noticed that the inside was full of greasy dirt. The right thing to do seemed to be to clean it out. First I used a scraper to remove most of the gunk then I attempted to use the blaster to clean it up.

About an hour into the process and completely covered with sweat and sand, I asked myself "Why am I cleaning this out?" It is almost impossible to see into and once it is mounted back on the truck, you will only be able to see the gunk if you have it up on a lift and your crazy enough to climb underneath it.

I finally decided it was not actually an obsessive compulsive desire to clean but rather a desire to do a complete and thorough job on the truck. Perhaps I will be able to finish up this cleaning task sometime this week.

Needless to say, I did not get any painting done today.
Where did the last week go?

Friday afternoon our cable line got cut by the phone company burying a new phone line for the neighbors that had been cut the week before by some contractors burying a new power line. They also cut the neighbors cable line, but it went unnoticed as they had already switched to satelite.

While the cable guy was out Saturday hooking our cable back up Saturday, he also hooked the cable back up for the folks on the other side of us. They had a sprinkler system put in on Friday and their cable line was cut also.

Saturday was Auburn's first game of the season. It went well. Fortunately the cable was hooked back up in time for the game.

Today Jordan, Brianna, myself, and Papa went up to Monte Sano State Park to do a little geocaching. We took 5 maps and hunted for two caches unsuccessfully. We did manage to get about 1.75 miles of walking in though.

Finally the truck update. Did some sandblasting. Sand got everywhere. Everywhere!