Wednesday, December 27, 2006

G's cousin just got a 1996 Corvette. Red. I finagled a ride in it on Christmas day. I was going to try to bring it home with me but I wasn't quite sure I could get G' to leave her vehicle out in the driveway so that I could park it in the garage. Did I mention it was red.

According to the spellchecker, I spelled finagled correctly.
Sometimes What Happens In The Garage Doesn't Stay In The Garage

I had an interesting thought not to long ago. I guess I met my quota for 2006.

Anybody got a metric socket set, or a combo metric & SAE set? Is it a 1/4", 3/8" or 1/2" drive set?

Are you with me now? Why is the square driver measured in inches if it is a metric tool set? Is this just an oddity of the USA? Nope. Go ahead and check out the tool section at See their metrics sockets are the same as ours.

Does this strike you as odd also?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What Happens In The Garage Stays In The Garage

I got a really cool t-shirt for Christmas. It gets funnier every time I read it.
I forgot to write about this but Terry took care of it for me. She failed to mention the multiple trips around the traffic circle though.
This One Will Blow You Away

I finally got around to replacing the fans in my old desktop this evening. One had stopped completely, the other was grinding like a old fan in a computer with bad bearings.

Two thousand seven is on it's way. (Does the possessive form of it have an apostrophe? I thought it did but recently I read something that said otherwise.)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Miata Mod, Well Sort Of

I installed the meter hood in the Miata today. It looks really nice.

After getting everything buttoned up, I drove up to the end of the street and back hoping to verify I had not introduced any new rattles. So far so good.

Who knew replacing a broken piece of plastic could add a few horse power? Or maybe it was something else that I did.

My Seester is visiting with us for the Holiday. She was supposed to wash and wax the Miata while I took a nap today. I haven't been out to check on it yet, but I am sure she did a first rate job.

Parts is Parts

Yesterday I blasted a few more truck parts. This time it was the the three pieces of the transmission cross-member, one spindle assembly, and most of the other. And also the high-flow grill off the Miata.

No painting was done. I need to finish up the other spindle first.

Gotta go, I think I hear hooves on the roof top.

Friday, December 22, 2006

A friend of mine is building an airplane. Check out Jack's build log here. I find this process facinating, but I would never want to do this myself. (Did you just here Ginger breath a sigh of relief.) While building a plane would be pretty cool, I do not want to learn to fly. Ever. For several reasons, and my desire not to hit the ground really hard is at the heart of several of these reasons.

I had a go with RC planes several years ago. Imagine balsa wood splinters strewn out on the ground for several square yards. Imagine this happening several times. Imagine me trading several planes and all my supplies for a nice expedition sized internal frame backpack. It was a good move if you ask me.

And my success with flight simulators on the computer is not a glorious tale either. As far as I can recall, I do not think I ever successfully landed a plane on a flight simulator.

No sense in repeating these successes in real life. Yeah, I know it is not the same. I suspect it hurts more when your in an actual plane.
I am pleased to announce that I am home for a longer than normal weekend. Very pleased indeed.
Meter Hood Update

Last Saturday I won an auction on E-bay for a Miata meter hood. It arrived today. The thing is in excellent shape. Actually it looks brand new. Assuming it doesn't slip my mind, I will install it tomorrow. No more dash rattle(s).

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Grades for this semester were finally posted today.

I got an A in the Special Topics Mathematics class I was taking.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The South

That's a Southern accent you've got there. You may love it, you may hate it, you may swear you don't have it, but whatever the case, we can hear it.

The Midland
The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Don't Move

So far I have gotten 12 out of 20. Give it a try you cinema buffs.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I put some oil in the Miata yesterday, so that is one less thing to think about. One less thing.

I made the usual Sunday afternoon drive. This time I took a different route. It was a bit longer and took me past Chad's house. I stopped in for a bit to visit, to play with their little guy, and to admire his work shop.

I had something else I wanted to mentioned but I have long since forgotten what it was.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Truck Progress

Today I tapped the hole on the brake spindle. When I removed the dust plate eons ago, I twisted the head off a bolt.

While I had the drill out, I also removed size rivets from the transmission cross member. Removing a rivet consists of grinding off its head then drilling it out. Now that the cross member is disassembled I can clean out all the gunk that was between the parts.

There is more sand blasting in my near future.

Still working on acquiring a replacement meter hood for the miata.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Don't judge a lid by it's straw hole" - Jordan
I read today that the US mint spends 1.73 cents for each penny it makes. It spends 8.74 cents for each nickel it makes. Pennies made before 1982 were 95% copper and have a commidity metal value of 2.13 cents.

Today there are only three presents under the tree. Hmm.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The official part name is: Mazda Miata Meter Hood and the part number is NA75-55-420B-00.
I found another '95 Miata gauge cover on E-bay, so the bidding has begun. It is being offered by the same guy that sold the last one. Must be a parts dealer. This auction doesn't end until Saturday. Hopefully I will be able to announce then that I have a replacement part on the way. Good luck to me.

I had a pretty rough day at work. When I got home I opened a bottle of wine and had a glass full. Not a half full glass, but a glass full. All is better except now I am tired. I am not ready to retire for the night yet, because once I do, it will almost instantly be time to go back to work.

Still hoping for nice weather this weekend. Weather permitting I will get started on the truck spindles.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today I learned a few things from Brianna.

Dinosaurs are extinct.
They died and went to another planet.
They now live on Mars.
They left their bones behind.
Not all of that is true.

There are currently five presents under the Christmas three.

The ten day forecast shows highs in the low to mid sixties for the next 8 days.

I took the Charger in this morning to have the tire repaired. The puncture was caused by a what appeared to once have been a drywall screw.

Is it Friday yet?

Time to go check E-Bay for a Miata part.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Tonight there is one more lighted palm tree in the yard.

Today I cleaned out air filter on the Miata. It is a K&N filter so it is cleaned instead of simply being replaced. The thing is a pain to get out.

I also topped off the oil and added some air to all for tires. I bought a very useful air gauge at HF last week (On Sale) for $6. It seems fairly accurate and you can measure the tire pressure while adding air without disccnnect the hose. Odometer: just over 100,500 miles.

I tried to pick up a replacement gauge cover for the Miata on E-bay today, but I was out bid at the last second. That is ok though, I will find another one sooner or later.

The Charger has a another nail in a tire. I took the car to the Firestone shop this afternoon to have it mended. Their estimate was over two hours before they would get to it. I decided to wait and take it back first thing tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Today we went to Grandma's for an early Christmas gathering. Also in attendance was my Bro, his wife, their two boys, and my seeee'ster.

The nephews are growing like weeded that have been getting plenty of water, sunlight, and nutrients. Aaron has probably grown by about 17 feet since this summer and his voice has dropped by a full 3 octaves. Austin taught me to play Texas Hold-em. Fortunately for me, real money was not invoved, because he would now own my house and car.

G' was busy Thursday and Friday. She now has all the holiday decorations up in the house. And most of the outside decor as well. We (I) still have one lighted palm tree to set out. :)

I submit this post as a fill-in for ADHDaddy next time he needs to take the day off.

Last night we had dinner at 801 Franklin. We did not have reservations so we were seated at a table in the bar. This turned out to be mostly ok. Or maybe not.

I do not recall exactly what the appetizer was called that we ordered, but it turned out to be essentially tender loin, sliced paper thin, served with cheese toast, and shredded celery. How did we end up selecting this? I guess I was feeling adventurous. No regrets here, but I would probably select almost every thing else on the menu before returning to this option.

For dinner I narrowed my choice down to either the salmon, the trout, or the swordfish. The waiter recommended the swordfish, so for dinner I had the grilled swordfish. This turned out to be an excellent recommendation. G' had a seafood pasta including calamari, shrimp, and scallops. Her first comment was "these are the best scallops I have ever had". Later she also praised both the shrimp and calamari. I am just guessing here, but I think she enjoyed her dinner.

Now for a little bit of oddness. About halfway through dinner we switched tables. The loud obnoxious tipsy guys at the table next to us had left and got replaced by a woman who thought she was a chimney.

Huntsville has a no smoking law but it did not apply here. Apparently per out waiter, the restaurant does not serve anyone under 19 so smoking is allowed in the bar. At this point I am feeling rather passively irate about that detail.

While I did enjoy the food, I am feeling less than satisfied with the experience has a whole.

As we left, I noticed the entire dinning room was empty. This struck me as odd. Why? The reason they seated us in the bar was because they were pretty well booked up for the evening.

At least the food was good.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It is suppose to be 17 degrees in the morning, as if the sub-30 we have now is not enough.

This evening David #17 and I put my Miata up on jack stands and crawled underneath in search of the elusive and ferocious noises emanating from the below the car. I suspected it had something to do the with clutch. The clutch line is hydraulic and the fluid level is fine. We didn't find anything interesting. After putting the car back on the ground, I attempted to demonstrate the noise to David. And you know it wouldn't do it anymore. Pretty typical, eh?

While crawling around on the ground I went ahead and took the grill off the car. It is a bit faded so I have been planning on painting it.

I also took that big piece of plastic off that covers the instrument cluster inside the car. It has two cracks in it and I thought I would try to mend it. I am drawing a blank right now on what it is called. It has been loose for a while and is a source of an internal rattle. This thing, whatever, attaches at five points. Two screws and three spring clips. All five of these connection points are broken in some form or fashion. I have a plan for repairing it, but if it doesn't work out, there is always ebay or a local salvage yard. No worries.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yesterday the Charger visited the Goo Goo car wash. It was in serious need of a good cleaning.

Tomorrow evening I plan to crawl under the Miata and try to locate the annoying rattle. Hopefully it will be obvious (and the ground will be warm).
For the last two days I have been working at home. I am under a bit of a time crunch at work and things have been to noisy around there to concentrate. Working at home has been pleasant and highly productive. It has also been peaceful and quiet (other than me talking to myself). And think of all the money I have saved on gas by cutting out that ten miles of driving each day. And yes, I still go out for lunch, even when working at home. I like to think of it as my social hour.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Petals Around the Rose

While surfing near the end of the internet I came across this post:

I was intrigued by the puzzle. After about 15 minutes I thought I had it figured out. This link will allow you to see the results from a few more roles:

And the solution is available here:


Did you know that your fingernails grow four times faster than your toenails?
This Weeks Ketchup

It has been a pretty hectic week. My last post was a week ago today.

As you may recall, last Sunday I was procrastinating. Any thing but studying for my final. Ok, to be honest I did get a few ours of review in, but don't tell anyone. I could cause me to lose my master procrastinator status.

Monday was a typical work day, along with picking up the kids, homework, etc. At about 11:00 pm I finally decided to stop procrastinating and get to reviewing the course material. A half hour later I was in bed, and probably already asleep. Didn't want to over do it.

Tuesday was more work. After work, the final, and after the final some Mexican food. David #17 and I had decided we would grab some dinner after our classes to celebrate the end of the semester. Woo hoo!

Wednesday morning (11/29/2006) Ginger's grandfather passed away. I went to work for a couple hours but then left the middle of the morning to drive Ginger to meet her mother.

I had lunch with John D. and his two youngest, Timmy and Jonathon. We had Mexican food at a local establishment, though a don't recall the name. After lunch John gave me the tour of his Church and played me a new song he had just written on the grand piano in the church sanctuary.

The weather had been nice all day. When we left the house in the AM I had the top up so that Ginger wouldn't blow away. The unfortunate part about having the top up is that all the rattles and squeaks you can't hear with the top down, are very noticeable with the top up. Around lunch the sky started to cloud up, but no worries, I did not see a drop of rain on the windshield until I was pulling into the driveway late in the afternoon.

When Ginger got home, we decided to go our for dinner. We eventually decided on Rosie's because it had been so long since I had any Mexican food. (I have heard these things come in threes.)

Thursday, more work. David, Troy, and I had hot wings for lunch. Wings had been our first choice for after the test Tuesday night but there were no wings to be found in the local vicinity.

Thursday evening G's brother, Jim and his family (Dianna, Corey, Marisa, and Kyle) rolled into town from Maryland. They stayed with us while they were in town for the funeral. The little folks are growing up fast. I had a good time hanging with them for the next few days.

Because we had a house full Thursday evening we decided to order Mexican pizza for dinner rather than try to prepare anything. Ok, it was really just pizza, not Mexican pizza, but it could have been.

Thursday evening it was 74 at 10:30 pm. The weather forecast predicted it would be 30 degrees by 6:00 am. They were off, it was only about 40 but it did reach 30 by 9:00 am.

I drove into work that morning with the top down and for effect, I wore shorts to work that day. They think I am crazy. I know the truth.

After a brief stay at work I headed back home and we loaded up and headed to Sardis for visitation. The house was full of food brought in by friends and neighbors. We all had Mexican fried chicken for lunch. Ok, again, it wasn't really Mexican, but some of it did have cayan pepper in the breading. It was pretty good.

During visitation I got to see a bunch of the kids we don't see very often. Again, I had a good time hanging out with the kids.

We got in late Friday evening. Early Saturday morning we headed back to Sardis for the funeral. As is often the case, my name was Paul. G' played Amazing Grace on the trumpet at the grave site as requested by her grandfather. I really enjoyed it. JH had served in the military so there we a couple of Army folks there to pay honor to him. They did a good job as well. After the service, the church provided lunch to the family in the fellowship hall.

After a crazy week, I am glad to be home, with nothing in particular to do. Ok, I might crawl under the Miata to see that the new rattle is all about, but maybe not. It's cold outside, and I suspect the ground is colder. Or maybe I will take a look at the computer that quit working this week. Or maybe not. Perhaps a nap. Yeah yeah, that sounds about right.

Oh yeah! Today is Ginger's birthday. I think she is twenty-seven again this year. Happy Birthday Ginger!