Saturday, September 27, 2008

Election 2008

While attending class on Thursday, I heard some students discussing who they would be voting for in the upcoming presidential election. And why. Their reasons were ridiculous and uninformed. What about your reasons?

You still have plenty of time to select your candidate based on the issues.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's the Difference?

This evening I finished assembling the 10 bolt GM differential for my '72 GMC pickup. I was having a tolerance problem this weekend while working on reassembling it. The pinion pin did not seem to have enough space to slide between the end of the axles. The solution turned out to be as simple as removing some grease from between the thrust washers and gears. This potential solution came to me while I was driving home from school today. Glad it worked. Who would have thought a little grease would make that much of a difference. The tolerances on these parts were definitely tight.

I have not filled the diff case with fluid. I will wait and do that after the diff has been bolted to the trailing arms. Oh yeah, I also need to touch up the paint on the differential. I scratched it up a bit, flipping the diff end over end a few times while it was up on jack stands. Again, it is a minor thing. I am calling it done.

Next Step? Assembling the rear suspension I believe.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I just found out U2's Under a Blood Red Sky is about to be released on DVD. Time to pre-order!

Now when was that new CD going to be released? Oh, yeah, it was pushed out to 2009.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The tanks in both my cars were empty Monday morning just in time for the spike in gas prices.

The Charger normally gets 89 octane as recommended by Dodge. This week it got a tank full of 87 as everything else was unavailable. I don't bother to calculate MPG on the Dodge. The number would be below 20 and no one needs to know that.

The Miata is fine with 87 octane and that is what it got as well. The calculations on the Miata this time yielded 29.3 MPG.
GMC Progress: None

After what seems like months, thought it has only been a few weeks, I finally got back to working on the differential for the GMC. What was suppose to be just a buttoning up process, turned into a minor struggle. The stuff is suppose to just go back together, easily. It did not.

I am guessing I have less than an hours work to finish it up. Just as soon as I figure out what is not right, I will start the clock on that hour. It could be a while.

I went by the parts counter at the local Chevrolet dealership to buy a special bolt today. This particular bolt is a retaining both that goes through the shaft in the chuck of the differential. According all the information I have read, this bolt needs to be replaced anytime you take it out. Failure to do so could be catastrophic for the differential.

The data in the computer at the parts counter only went back to 1973 so the parts guy had to get out an old parts catalog. Once the experienced guy took over for the new guy, he found the part number very quickly and then located the bolt in the parts room in less than a minute.

Total damage: $5.02 for a bolt. Golly-gee.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


If your interested in reading a blogger's notes on hurricane Ike, check out Ain't Chicken. The author, Carol, lives in the Houston area.
Post #1002

Somehow in all the cheese excitement, I overlooked the fact that I was making my 1000th post.

Go back and read it again. It was just that good.

Friday, September 12, 2008


After a mere two weeks, today my head no longer felt like it was going to implode, explode, to simply turn itself inside out. Hopefully I will be one hundred percent in another day or two.
This week I spent Wednesday and Friday working as a substitute teacher.

Wednesday was in an 8th grade math class.

Friday was in a high school class with AP Calculus, Calculus, and Pre-Calculus. During my free block I also filled in for Geometry B.

Having said all that, TGIF.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


"I spelled island wrong.  I spelled it I-S-E-L-A-N-D because I was thinking about cheese.  Cheese has a lot of 'E's in it"  - JM

Sometimes I have a hard time following his train of thought.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Is Your Computer Running Slow?

I often get asked to work on other peoples computers. (I have been using/working with computers since the mid 80's.) Sometimes I know what is wrong, sometimes I don't, but I am very persistent and usually resolve the problem.

Last year I was asked to figure out what was wrong with a computer that seemed to be running slow. Very slow. It turns out that computer had 3 different virus scanning programs running on it. Once these were removed, the computer was once again a speed demon. Removing three simultaneously running virus scanners is more time consuming than it should be, but I digress.

I personally don't run any virus scanning software on my computer. I feel like the virus scanners are usually more of a hindrance than a help. First and foremost, it causes the computer the feel sluggish. Inevitably it begins the system scan at the most inopportune time. And then all the nagging, and begging for money via upgrades and other virus/security services.

Do you really need a virus scanner? Probably not. How often does your scanner find a virus on your computer? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Probably not. But in the mean time it is annoying you to no end. But mostly just causing you to spend a lot of time waiting on your computer to boot, open files, etc.

Let me ask you that question again. How often does your scanner find a virus? Do you really need it?

My recommendation is to remove the scanner. In my opinion the scanner is as annoying as the stuff it is trying to protect you from. Really. You will be fine with out a virus scanner so long as your have a decent firewall (usually built into routers) , stick with reputable websites, and don't open email from folks you don't know.

Should you ever get a virus on your computer, just download and install a free demo of your favorite scanner, remove the virus, and then remove the virus scanner again.

Pros: 1) You will save money by not buying a update of your virus scanner next year. 2) Your computer will run faster. 3) No more nagging from the scanning software. 4) Faster more responsive computer.

Cons: 1) When you finally do get a virus on your computer, you will have no one to blame but yourself. (You should not have been on that site.) 2) You will get no tech support from me because you forgot to say please.

Post a comment to let me know how much you are enjoying living without your virus scanner virus.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I had this very productive idea where I was going to wash and wax the Miata this afternoon.

But first a trip to WM for break and milk. And a few side trips. And stops at various neighbor's garages. And a trip to the Harley dealership with yet another neighbor. (No I didn't buy a bike)

I never got around to the wash, much less the waxing.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My head has felt like it was going to explode for about the last week. That would be one nasty mess. Sinuses, who needs um? Hopefully this little episode will be over soon.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Useless Fact o' the Day

Yesterday's fill up of the Miata yields results of 28 MPG. Pretty good considering not a single mile was on the interstate.

According to some random site on the 'net, Mazda spec'ed the car at 21/27 MPG. Another site listed it at 22/28.

What kind of mileage are you getting?
The Fall of Rick

Fall semester is off to a good start. I have been busy, but not too busy. Definitely more manageable than the summer was.

On Wednesday, I substituted at a nearby middle school. Seventh grade math. This school was on a traditional 7 period schedule instead of the 4 blocks I have become accustomed to during my field work. The day flew by. I had the opportunity to apply a lot of what I have learned from the classroom management class I took this summer. Overall things went very smoothly, but I know I still have a lot to learn. I have 3 more days of sub'ing lined up. (AP Calculus, 7th grade math, and Spanish III).

I still haven't gotten around to buttoning up the differential. Only a couple hours effort remaining. I hear it calling from the garage. Soon, very soon. Unless of course I decide to take a nap instead.

Last Friday my sinus's started bothering me. I don't know exactly what caused it but I have been miserable since then. Taking meds helps, but then I end up feeling spaced out for several hours. I took some allergy medication at dinner last night which caused me to be very sleepy by 8:30 PM. By 9, I gave in and went to bed. The problem with going to bed early is waking up early.

The date for the Fall camping trip has been chosen. We have 4 ACKs, 3 NAKs, 2 MAKs, and several "No Replies". That usually means their wife hasn't decided yet. :)