Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to Procrastinating

The coil springs are complete.  I got the second coat of paint on them just a little while ago.  So far I have put about 5 hours into refurbishing the springs.
Before applying the first coat yesterday I had to re-clean the paint gun.  Apparently last time I used it I did not clean it very well.  Of course I did not realize this until after I had loaded it with paint and it clogged up.  What a mess. 
I have completely disassembled and reassembled this thing 3 times now.  The complete breakdown is not necessary to clean it good but I didn't realize that until I had it apart the third time.  It turns out cleaning it correctly doesn't take any longer than doing it per the instructions, which is apparently not sufficient.
I suppose the manufacturer would prefer that you just replace the entire assembly every now and then.  The paint gun in question is a Harbor Freight special, a $9.99 HVLP detail spray gun.  So far it has worked well, despite my attempts to mess it up.  No drips or runs, knock on wood.  If I ever see it on sale again, I will consider purchasing a spare.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Apple Pie

While on my recent camping expedition, one of the campers utilized my oven and made us a homemade apple pie. The pie was excellent. Was it because we were sitting in the woods at night around a large camp fire while the temperature around us dropped below freezing?

Maybe, but it was still a good pie.

I decided that I would try my hand a making said apple pie. The recipe was pretty simple. The filling was

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

And the crust was 2 1/3 cups of AP flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup butter flavored crisco, and 8 tablespoons of water.

The eight table spoons of water was the last thing I measured. As I was measuring I realized that I had used the tablespoon, not the teaspoon when I measure the salt. Doh! Later I realized I did the same thing with the cinnamon.

What did this mean? The crust was saltly. No so salty as to be inedible, but salty enought that 1 cup of milk with your pie would probably not be enough. Too much cinnamon was not nearly as big a problem, but I would not recommend 4X'ing any ingredient in a recipe.

All in all, the pie turned out ok, even with my blunders. The crust was still pretty awesome. Next time I will get it right, and in the mean time I will consede that Jason makes a better apple pie than myself.

I snapped a couple of photos of the pie, because I was so dang proud of it. But as usually, I will not be sharing them with you. I suspect your getting use to it though.
Master Procrastinator

I had a full two weeks to review for a final exam. So far I have managed to let 10 days pass without cracking a book. This is OK though because I have been reviewing the material in my head. Yeah, I know it is not the same, but it still helps. I intend to spend about four hours total reviewing for the test. That is one hour reviewing the material for each of the four tests I have already taken. I made some really nice study sheets for each test so four hours may be too much. Perhaps I should just browse over them while driving to the final, talking on my cell phone, and singing off key. With the top down.

And yes, two years later, I still have How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in my CD player.
Return Of The Truck

Yesterday and today I spent a little time working on the truck. I sometimes forget how relaxing a little strenuous activity can be. I actually managed to forget about work for a little while today.

What did I get accomplished? I ground the heads off six rivots yesterday. These rivots hold together the three pieces of metal that comprise the transmission cross member. Still more work to do on seperating those pieces.

Today's efforts involved nearly 3 hours of sandblasting to completely strip the two coli springs for the front suspension. I am always amazed at how much time can be consumed by such a simple task. And I am always pleased with nicely those greasey-grimey-grundgy parts clean up.

I have high hopes to get the coil springs painted tomorrow. After that I still need to blast/paint the front spindles and then it will be time for a little re-assembly.

Note to self: Don't forget to re-tap the hole on the spindle assembly where the brake shield mounts. I twisted the head of that bolt right off. Some times I don't know my own strength.
Myth Buster

Ok so we have all heard about that tripto-whatchamacallit stuff that is in turkey that makes you sleepy, right. Did you know that by weight, beef has more of that stuff, thank turkey.

Yep, it's true. So if you took a nice nap after your turkey dinner it was either because you simply like to nap, you were bored with your relatives, or you simply ate too much.

I was doing fine with my diet until I had the pecan pie. Time to get back on the wagon.

Caveat: Beef that tastes like fish will not make you drowsy, rather it will make you want to hurl.

Monday night I grilled some streaks that had been given to us as a gift. Four very nice filets mignons complete with a bacon wrap. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and a secret mystery seasoning. And then I grilled them.

Through some fluke of time, space, and grilling they appeared to turn out perfectly. Nicely seared on the outside, a nice pinkish red inside. These things were picture perfect. (I didn't actually take a picture of them.) I also managed to time their completion almost precisely with when G returned home from work.

I cut a few pieces off the first steak and gave them to Jordan. Then I cut a piece off and tried it out. I will not use the word out in three consectutive sentences. I spit it out.

Have you ever had streak that tasted like fish? I have. There is something not right about it. I got G to verify something was wrong fishy and then we threw it all in the big green mini dumpster out in the garage.

Jordan got made at me for taking his steak away from him. I realize that was not a nice thing to do. Give a kid some steak and then take it away from him. How rude.

For dinner I ended up having Raisin Bran Crunch cereal. I was skerd too skerd to eat anything else that could potentially taste like fish, like steak, chicken, fish, or fish.

Jordan sampled my cereal as well. He like it so much, he requested that he have it for breakfast the next day.

At this point I am still craving a really good steak, but I have been making due with turkey in the mean time.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Twelve, Not Fourteen

Forty-five degrees today but there was nothing falling from the sky, so you know the drill.

Driving home from having gone basically no where, I was sitting at the light waiting for green when I notice my neighbor sitting in his car across the intersection.

Upon green, we passed each other in the intersection. That is when he noticed me. He gave me a grin and a wave. The grin, as best I could interpret it had something to do with the convertible and the temperature. I get that a lot.

A friend asked me this week if I would be interested in buying his hardtop for the Miata . Considering it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to go to Jordan's school and watch him perform in a Thankgiving play. He nailed his lines. I have video evidence to prove. Don't make me.

Too much cold weather here. It was raining this morning, top up. At lunch we had a wet 45 degrees. Yesterday during lunch there was a heavy down pour. I think I am ready for summer again. Bring it on.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Swapped blog over to the new beta blogger this evening.
This semester is almost over. Final in two weeks. Lots of material to review in the mean time.

Today we had some pretty decent weather. Good day for a little top down action. Unfortunately it rained tonight so the top was up for the ride home.

It is now getting dark earlier. Too early for my taste. The sky was gray when I headed west today. Not certain if that was the rain clouds or the sun setting or a little of both. Doesn't matter though, I suppose.

I had a great time camping this weekend. Sunday evening at 6:00 pm it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. Monday morning I had a bit of trouble getting out of bed. Boy was I sore.

More on the trip later.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gizzard Trek '06
On October 28th I decided it was time to do a little dieting. After a week and a half, I have lost 7 pounds. So far so good. My goal was 23 so I still have a long way to go. I would guess it will probably take another 8 weeks to reach my desired goal. The first one pound is always easier than the last one. To complicate matters further, I will be doing this thru the holiday season.

Dieting during the holiday season is not really a bad thing. Nothing like coming out the other side a little lighter while everyone else is packing it on.

The camping trip is rapidly approaching. We are headed out Friday noonish. Nine adventurous souls will be roughing it this weekend. Everyone is fairly excited. I have done zero packing though I have been making a list and checking it twice. I also aired out the tent this weekend.

It has been a couple of weeks since I played with worked on the truck. I am betting it will be a least another 10 days, so no news heres. I was hoping to have it 100% done before Mike rolled in this week. I don't think he will be driving Marge.

School has been keeping me pretty busy. Actually that is where most of my free time is disappearing. I had another mathematics test last night. As has been the norm for this class, I am consistently the last person to turn in my test. Everything single time. I know the material, I apparrently just don't write fast enough. Right now my grade is borderline low A so I think my level of effort has been sufficient. Most of the stuff I have missed was just mistakes made from trying to get done faster. The final is still a few weeks away. It will be nice to have a few weeks off from school after that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I set up the tent in the backyard today to air it out. Goal number two was to clean it out.

I did get it aired out, but goal number two was unsuccessful. I let the kids play in it for a while. This resulted in a lot of small grass clippings accumulating inside the tent. Try as I might, I could not get all the grass clippings out of it.

I think a vaccum or a dust buster would have done the trick, but I would have felt silly running the cleaner in the backyard. Especially since it will just get dirty again next week. That sillyness will have to wait until after the big trip is over.

Friday, November 03, 2006

This years first real spell of cold weather has arrived. How cold is it? Cold enough that I didn't wear shorts to work two days this week.

The very casual atmosphere is one of my favorite things about my job. Unfortunately the cold weather coupled with the high humidity the last couple of days has made we, well, cold.

I tend to be warm natured. I tend to wear shorts year 'round around the house. I am also barefooted most of the time I am in the house. Yep, no shoes, no socks, no problem.

Soon enough I will adjust to the newly chilled weather, and then I will be out riding around in the Miata with the top down.

And two days later, it will be in the 80's again.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The camping trip is rapidly approaching.

I have pulled my gear out of the attic. I suppose I need to setup the tent, clean it out and reseal the seams. I am thinking I will put this off till the last possible minute. Perhaps I will get Mike to take care of it.

I also still need to make the Wal-Mart trip. This is a ritual that David E. and I usually take the night before we head it. We round up the group-grub and anything else that might want to follow us home.

The head count is currently at 9. I doubt we will see much attrition before we head out.
I went down to Shelby county on Monday afternoon for visitation and stayed over for the Funeral on Tuesday. This has been a rough week.