Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Not many things make you feel more manly than working on your truck. I'm sure it's a throwback to primitive man somehow, a la Tim Taylor. I just like getting my fingers dirty and knowing exactly what the condition of my vehicle is.
I thought I heard a slight grinding of my brakes the other day and bought a new set of front brake pads. You may have noticed the mud covered old goat last week. That's when I originally planned to do this. After moving the sheet metal I bought to fix the house from one side of the shop to the other, I could drive inside and do the job on a nice clean slab and use air tools.
This is known as "shittin' in tall cotton" for a poor white boy.
I grew up working in the dirt, crawling under cars in the driveway or out in the pasture. I twisted wrenches by hand, busting knuckles the old fashioned way getting dirt, rocks and ants ground into me. I never had the luxury of air tools, floor jacks, creepers and a nice clean concrete slab. Over the last few years I have done a few things to change all that. Altho it's unfinished, I now have a shop and a minimal amount of the proper tools it takes to get the jobs done professionally.
But I digress...
I've never changed brakes on a Dodge, but after a few minutes of reverse engineering I managed to figure out how to remove the pads from the caliper and install the new ones. Overall, it was easiest design I've worked on. Chevy, Ford, ect... You don't even need a C-clamp to compress the calipers. The air tools made tedious, long threaded bolts in tight spaces no problem at all.
After finishing the brakes I did a quick PM and changed the oil. I decided to upgrade to Valvoline MaxLife 5W30 synthetic blend. I also installed a Fram High Milage filter with a time release additive. I can see the ladies eyes glazing over, but the guys understand me... Anyway, The Old Goat has almost 150,000 and it was about time to start taking some proactive measures to get another 150,000 out of her. I've never run synthetic oil before but I've heard it will leak like a seive on older engines. I guess we'll see.
OK, now something for the ladies. Girls, can we talk? Are you tired of sweeping up all that dirt, leaves, twigs, branches, toys, pets, small children, ect, day after day after day? Introducing... The Air Gun! With a powerful 120 psi it will huff and puff and blow your house clean. No muss, no fuss! Clean a 60 x 30 area in under 30 seconds! Get yours now!(Optional air compressor sold seperately) Seriously, if you have a garage, patio, sidewalk or anything else you sweep regularly, a small air compressor and an air gun will do magic. Maybe I should send this to Heloise.
So here I sit, feet proped up, cold beer in hand looking at a job well done.
It don't get much better than this.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The Flying Bull will take center stage in a solid glass hanger at the new Red Bull Flying Museum in Salzburg, Austria. It's sad to see this rare warbird leave the US, but it will get a new life with lots of flight time ahead.
Full story in The Startlegram including a video link.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
"There are discussions, but it is not a done deal yet. We are optimistic," McMahon's spokesman Howard Bragman told Reuters on Friday.
Trump, a real estate developer and celebrity host of TV reality show "The Apprentice," told the Los Angeles Times he stepped in after widespread publicity over McMahon's default on a $4.8 million mortgage on his six-bedroom, five-bathroom home.
"I don't know the man, but I grew up watching him on TV," Trump told the Los Angeles Times in a report published on Friday. "I'd watch him every night. How could this happen?"
Trump's plan is to buy the home from the lender and lease it back to McMahon, the Times said.
McMahon, 85, famous for his "Heeeeeere's Johnny" introduction to "The Tonight Show" for 30 years and for hosting TV talent show "Star Search," is one of the most high-profile people to be caught up in the U.S. housing downturn and credit squeeze.
McMahon's mortgage lenders filed notice of default in February, when McMahon was about $644,000 in arrears on the mortgage for the Beverly Hills house. It has been on the market for about two years and the asking price in June was $5.75 million.
McMahon blamed his problems on having broken his neck about 18 months ago, preventing him from working.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
I had to get my 6 month inspection at the Cardiologist and all went well. I did get the expected asschewing about smoking, but since all my stuff turned up good he went easy on me. He even backed off some of my meds. Sweet!
I was surprised to find gas for $3.49 at the QT at 820 & Beach. First time I've filled up my truck for under $100 in a couple months. Too bad I had to burn 1/3 of it driving home.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
I decided to finally break down and buy a lawn mower. For those that don't already know, I live in the middle of a hayfield (literally). I don't have much of anything resembling a yard so a mower was never high on my list. Anything I needed cut I used my tractor and brushhog. After the fire destroyed my brushhog (see: The South40 January edition), it was time to find a mower.
I'm too fat, lazy and just plain don't want to push a mower, so a lawn tractor it was.
I made the trek to Decatur and did a quick bit of comparison shopping between WalMart and Lowe's. Both were about the same but Lowe's had a better selection, brandnames and also had some used mowers. Advantage Lowe's.
I found a lightly used TroyBilt that looked in good shape marked down $200. It had been returned and repaired. I found out the repair was installing a new battery. We cranked it up and it barely ran. I did a quick looksee and found the sparkplug was loose and cracked. HA! I bought the mower and did my best to contain my smugness for burning them so badly in the deal.
Little Sister would be proud of my mad shopping skillz.
I get home, install a new plug and fire that mother up... It barely runs.
I start to question just how great of a deal I got and my wisdom in making it. When all else fails, call for backup. The call went out to BrotherInLaw. Luckily, he was'nt doing anything important so I loaded up and headed over.
I gotta tell ya, he's a freaking miracle worker with machinery. All
So I head back to The South 40 and mow for about 5 minutes before it starts to vibrate badly. I mean whole lotta shakin' goin' on. I jack up the mower and the blades look like a pair of pretzles. Apparently my new TroyBilt is not as tough as I anticipated. Nor is it a replacement for a brushhog. The small brush and weeds I was mowing twisted my blades in a way Mrs. Baird would have been proud of.
Tomorrow I get to buy a new set of blades. Remind me again why I needed a lawnmower?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This afternoon at 2pm they will put fire in the hole, live at RubyTuesday.com .
Investors in the struggling chain may get a perverse pleasure out of watching as Ruby Tuesday's performance has been among the poorest in the casual dining category. Earlier this month, the chain released its annual fiscal 2008 report, which saw revenue decline 3.5%. Fourth-quarter same-store restaurant sales fell 10.3% and 7.2% at company-owned and domestic franchise respectively. For Ruby Tuesday's fiscal 2009, it is projecting a decline of low to mid-single digits for the year with next quarter's sales to be down 8-9%.
Translation: That's worse than Bennigan's numbers.
I'm sure I could work in a bit about them dropping the minimum pieces of flair, but I've got a stack of TPS reports to get done and I really just don't care.
edit: My lip is sore from having the hook set so badly. Cheeky monkeys!