31 March 2006


Today is the 365th day of Terri Schaivo's death.

Still dead.

26 March 2006

What I Did On Spring Break

Much fun was had by most. We got there about 1:30 and basically hung around and chit chatted. I didn't win the raffle prizes that I really wanted, but did win a set of vinyl decals. Not sure what I am going to do with them.

Special thanks to The Lovely Harvey for tolerating this car habit.

I might have burned a wheel bearing on the trip. It's squeaking really bad, but not getting hot or pulling. Have to see if I can get away with just repacking it. And even if it's toast, bearings are only $30 a side. I tried a new brand of synthetic grease the last time I did this and it might not have been up to the task.

Even with a possible bad bearing, I got off light compared to some others who came up from Tampa. Roger blew "something" in his valve train on the Beast. That car is essentially a race car and really shouldn't be driven on long trips. Phil broke his tranny, we think it was his fault. He had to decelerate suddenly and manually downshifted it to drive. He might have pulled too far and got second. That would be consistent with the way it is acting. Marv didn't break at all!

And this is an example of how to spend a lot of money on ruining a '95 Impala.

22 March 2006

The Cash Hemorrhage That Is Biscayne

The failed ball joint took something else with it. Prolly a tie rod. There is a loud POP when I am steering.

But WHICH tie rod? They aren't expensive on their own, but there are four of them. Once a tie rod is replaced, you need an alignment, which is more money. I needed an alignment because of the ball joints, but now I need to either figure out which ball joint or just pay the alignment place. Considering how smoothly the ball joints went, I should pay someone who has the proper tools.

I have the tires to replace the ones which were ruined by my previous bad alignment. Interestingly, the Kumho Ecsta 712 in 275/40WR17 ($106 ea.) are not that much more expensive than the Goodyear Wingfoot in 225/70SR15 ($75 ea and discontinued) I used to buy. And the Kumho is a high performance wet/dry tire! The Goodyears were slighty better than average performance all season tires. So, if I was driving in snow, the Goodyears would have an advantage. Um, FLORIDA, doesn't get snow where I live, and rarely where I don't. And the Kumhos lasted two years (and 35k miles) of bad alignment, and the back tires are still in good shape. The Goodyears lasted about the same. Wonder if I can get three years on a set of tires with a good alignment. Tires on the Camaro lasted five, those were Goodyear Eagle ST in 225/70SR15, but the Eagle ST was discontinued. The Goodyear Eagle GT II in 225/70SR15 only lasted a year on my Caprice.

By way of comparison, the Goodyear Eagle RS-A in 235/70VR15 for The Lovely Harvey's Caprice run $123 per tire and that is the only tire in that size that is rated for what the car can do. We could get her the The Eagle GT IIs for $75 each, but the car would routinely outperform the tires and I refuse to compromise on her safety to save a whopping $176 spread over three years. How ironic is it that to save money on tires, we would almost have to change to 17" rim and buy racing tires? There are a lot more choices in the 255/50-17 sizes which are the stock Impala SS size, starting at $99 going to $193.

I don't want to spend any money on the car because of the way The Lovely Harvey treats me about fixing it. If it were her car, we would both give a resigned sigh, I'd say something like, "These parts wear out, we'll just fix it," and we'd fix it. With her radiator I was way more concerned that she had had to drive without coolant than I was about replacing the radiator. Driving without coolant would have meant a new motor! That's metric money. And when the frame on the blue truck was cracked and needed to be welded, I was more shocked that the design was bad enough that there were stress cracks on the frame than upset we had to fix it.

When it is my car, she acts like I have been conspiring to make the parts wear faster and that I sit around breaking things just to cause financial crisis'.

I will let everyone in on the secret. Shit like this breaking makes me hate my car. And when I hate my car, I don't want to drive it.

Because of the double tap from the sewer and the front end, I don't think I will be able to afford gas to go to the Daytona Spring Fling. I can take my pick of rides with someone else, but going to a car show without your car is like going to the prom without a date. As it stands, I will probibly have to dip into savings to pay for the tires and alignment.

20 March 2006

Car Mod Madness

I have replaced the ratty headliner with a refurbished one from a 94 Impala. I had it recovered in charcoal gray.

Part of the installation is a set of lights just above the rear doors to allow the back seat passengers to read.

The headliner in a 91-96 Caprice/Impala SS/Biscayne is a dense open-cell foam covered in fiber-cloth on one side and an attractive fabric on the other. It's about 4' wide and 5' long. Imagine getting that into the 3x4 door. It's not pretty.

Actually, it IS pretty. I still have to cut the hole for the overhead console and get that back in, so no pics yet.

18 March 2006

Kipling Corner


It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:
"We invaded you last night - we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:

"We never pay any one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"

I'm Figuring It Out

I come to realize that to feel good about yourself you must be good at something you feel good about doing and you must be able to do that.

For example, the only thing I am good at, and am able to do, is be a fucking prick. But being a fucking prick doesn't make me feel good.

There was once roleplaying, I moved away from my group and I am no longer able to tolerate the online discussion groups. Which is sad because GURPS is a fun system. But since I am not Kromm or Hans, then my opinion matters not. And I want to matter. But I don't, and I never will so why butt heads?

There was once cars. When you don't have a job and your wife is sick of paying to fix the car, there is no way she'll let you buy modifications. And once again, there is an "expert" that everyone defers to, so I don't matter. And I want to matter. But I don't, and I never will so why butt heads?

15 March 2006

The Joys Of Home Ownership

The Lovely Harvey was doing the laundry and when the washer went into drain mode, sewer water came gushing out of every drain!

The county thinks it could be their issue, but we don't seem to have a clean out.

I dumped a gallon of Main Line and Lateral Cleaner down the garage shower drain. I hope that fixes it.

13 March 2006

A Story Too Good Not To Share


And while I'm at it, I'd like to pass along a story a friend shared with me some time ago, a gun show story that makes me smile every time I remember it. The details of the setup are a bit fuzzy, as I'd only heard it once.

It came to pass at a show out in Virginia, the one near the Dulles airport, perhaps a year after 9/11. Apparently, there was some sort of emergency at the airport that called for the evacuation of the gunshow. A voice came on over the PA, announcing the situation.

My friend tells me that the hall grew quiet, as people listened. In that silence, just about everyone in the show simultaneously arrived at the same decision, and for the next 30 seconds, all you heard was the kerplopple of steel on kydex and leather, the snips of zipties coming off, and the glorious ka shink! of a thousand people simultaneously racking rounds into chambers.

It was, my friend assured me, the coolest thing he has ever heard.

It was followed by another moment of silent appreciation, as everyone let what they'd just heard, what they'd just been a part of, sink in. And then, everyone simply made their way towards the exit, in no particular hurry.

That, my friends, is the music of America. It is the sound of a people, of every race, color and creed who are simply determined to be ready, come what may, soberly determined that no evil shall stand in their presence.

It is the sound of my brothers, my tribe and my nation.

I love you all for it.

Shamelessly stolen from: http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/

09 March 2006

You Could Get A Heart Attack From A Shock This Big

You scored 55 Angst, 47 Weirdness, and 57 Freedom!
Not a religion so much as a philosophical and political system, Objectivism was first articulated by author Ayn Rand in her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (the latter of which was listed second only to the Bible in a survey of college students about which book influenced them the most). Objectivism is based on the idea that reason, science, and objectivity are the only ways of knowing, and that laissez-faire capitalism is the best economic system around.

Despite its open distaste for religion, many have accused Objectivism of having a cult-like belief system, one that includes the virtual deification of Rand. This ultimately led to a split between the hard-core Rand followers in the Ayn Rand Institute and the less dogmatic Insitute for Objectivist Studies.


My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 79% on Angst
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 72% on Weirdness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 59% on Freedom
Link: The Which Cult Should You Join? Test written by MyPoMoLife on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

03 March 2006

A Classic

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:

Lufthansa: "Boden, was ist unsere Anfangsabstand Zeit?" (Ground, what is our start clearance time?)
Ground: "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
Lufthansa: "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war."

But I Think We Knew This Didn't We

Gun Nut
You are 93% of a gun nut!
You are a true gun nut. The number of guns in your house is probably over five. All of them are truly effective in your hands.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 95% on knowledge
Link: The Gun Nut Test written by slayer1am on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

01 March 2006

The Universe Has A Sense Of Humor

At the bottom of my Concealed Weapon or Firearm License is the signature of the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Divsion of Licensing; Charles H Bronson.

Charles Bronson.

Let that sink in for a second.