Sunday, July 27, 2008

Too many projects

This post title appears in both my blogs but the content is different, check 'em both out.

With the Quantum coming in a couple weeks I need some more space. To get that I need to get rid of a vehicle, so Hammie's got to go. Of course as Hammie is a project vehicle I realize I'm going to take a bath on this.
So, for sale: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D. Good running 2.4l diesel motor capable of 28mpg, the best tank I had with it was 32mpg but 28 is the average. Its got a brand new exhaust, replacement fog lights and rebuilt door locks. It still needs a replacement hood and to have the parking brake free'd up. I need to put the driver's door panel back together but will do that before sale.
The biggest thing it needs is to be driven, in Mercedes circles we say it needs "An Italian Tune up" which means it needs to have the stink driven out of it.
Anyway I've got $800 into this thing, I want $800 back out of it. Before sale it'll have a fresh oil change, air filter and fuel filter. I should also have the power locking system working again.

If you're interested drop me a note

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I bought a chainsaw

Where I come from you don't buy chainsaws, its a practice which simply isn't done, nobody buys a chainsaw. Okay so everybody has a chainsaw, you might wonder where they come from. At camp we have 2 right now, and I had one at home. One at camp was my grandfathers, I dunno where he got it but Dad and I didn't buy it. Dad's big Echo fell out of a truck one day in front of the house. No joke, I remember telling him "hey, theres a chainsaw in the road". Nobody every claimed it so he's had it for years and years.
My other chainsaw was Uncle Reg's which I sort of aquired right after he died. We HAD an old Remington on the farm at one point, my cousins had filled the gas with bar and chain oil... Dad and I drained that out and we got it running. Then somebody (hmmm) stole it... I wonder if it'll come back when they get drunk and fill it with bar and chain oil again?
So anyway the saw I had is just a little one, 14" bar, little engine, good for cutting brush or limbs but no good for real serious work. So I drove up to Jaffrey to Coll's and bought a Husqvarna 445. I bought a Husky because thats what they sell and have sold for years. Theres also several other places to buy Huskys or to get somebody to work on them. I was concerned about parts and service availablity so this seems like a good choice.
Some people say I should have bought a Sthil but the nearest Sthil dealer of any quality is in Leominster. Leominster is farther away and as its in MA you have to pay sales tax. Jaffrey is in tax free New Hampshire.
Some people would say I should have gotten a Rancher 455 but those run $100-$150 more than I paid for the 445. The 455 is a great saw but I just don't need that much saw. I'd be very surprised if I ever managed to wear out the 445... If I'm lucky I'll cut 4 cords in a year and that'd be a big year for me...

Anyway, the first use last Sunday shows the 445 to be fantastic for my needs. I've never used a saw that cut with so little effort on my part. I just line it up, pull the trigger and it blows through the log. I move over a bit and repeat... What more could I ask for?

What a week!

Monday morning my Angie woke up to bad stomach cramps. I called the ambulance around 3am.

Today the dog had to go for shots, he had a bad reaction to one of them and started vomiting. We spent most of this afternoon at the vet's watching Buster (the dog) barf...
Fortunately today was a "work at home" day for me which turned into an "accomplish nothing at home" day.

On the plus side the dog now appears to be fine. He had to get a shot of benedryl a steroid which he HATED and made him twitchy for an hour and then he slept like the dead (I checked his pulse and breathing several times to prove he hadn't expired) for several hours. Now he's back chewing on his nylon bone and pissed because we won't feed him... The doc said he's only to have a little bland diet (chicken and white rice) tonight so we'll get to that in a little bit.

On the minus side I haven't really slept since Saturday. My wife while she's feeling better is still not 100% so she's not sleeping well. She's not sleeping well so I'm not sleeping well which mades for an unpleasant me and just not a fun time. I'm planning on an 8pm bedtime tonight.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to take the new chainsaw and cut some wood...

And here its only Wednesday!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weight loss continues

218# today which is a record low for me. I haven't been this light in a decade and a half... Its neat because now the weight seems to nearly shed itself, I've lost maybe 4# this month, walking the dog every day seems to be paying off.
I've been telling people the Ring Ding story that I wrote about the other day and apparently most people don't see the irony in a fat man eating a ring ding or perhaps its that other people don't think that irony is as funny as I do...

Monday, July 21, 2008


Angie's got a stomach bug, she woke up at 3am in terrible pain. I had to call for an ambulance. It was weird, I heard her cry out and I was up and out of bed before my eyes were open running totally on instinct but once I'd come to I was pretty well useless, she had to direct the show. The EMTs were fantastic, got her to the hospital where they gave her some medicine that made things better (not fantastic, but better) and got some IV fluids in her. She stayed home today.

I had to work, it sucked. The thing is theres no backup for me, I work without a net. If I don't teach my class doesn't get taught and these guys that have traveled to see me teach get screwed. I like to think I did a pretty good job but I know I was pretty scattered and not terribly coherent but I explained what happened last night and told them I'd try my best. Its just on 8pm now and I'm so tired I don't know what to do with myself but I can't go to bed yet. The dog needs walking and I'm afraid that if I go to sleep too early I'll have to wake up to take him out later and not get back to sleep again. Then tomorrow would be worse than today.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flame wars

I got onto these here interwebs back in the early days of '95. Some people will call me a newbie for not having used Arpanet. I used Gopher back in the day to talk to other idiots in innane sentance fragments...
Anyway today I found which is an index of the different idiots you'll find on different webforums that will attack you for pretty much anything you say.
Which flame warrior are you? I like to think I'm the evil clown. Not because I like to get into flame wars although I'll admit I've been through a flame war or two in my day, maybe even started a couple, but I like the name "evil clown"..

That said I'm not sure I'm evil.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I love cars

My first car was an '84 Ford Tempo, it was a blast I have great memories of it even though it was a fairly cheap car.
Then I had: '88 GMC Jimmy S15, '96 Dodge Dakota, '81 Mercedes-Benz 300TD, '83 Mercedes-Benz 240D, and '85 Mercedes-Benz 190D.
I currently have the Dodge, the 240D and the 190D. The idea was that I'll drive the 190D since I drive 110 miles a day (yay 40 mpg!) Angie will drive the 240D on her 20 mile commute (28mpg!) and the pickup gets used for pickup stuff (12mpg).
Now a guy on the Mercedes list is selling his '83 VW Quantum diesel (45mpg) for a very reasonable price and I WANT it. I've always kind of wanted a VW diesel, they're pretty cool. When I was in high school the drama teacher had a Dasher diesel wagon in her barn and I thought it was very cool.
The downside with the Quantum is its in Iowa... I don't think thats going to stop me, I've planned to fly out and drive the thing back. Its about 1300 miles and I know from experience I can do 1400 miles in 3 pretty easy days. It looks like about $500 for airfare, fuel, food and lodging. Less if I eat sandwiches and sleep in the car. Angie is on board with the idea so add $150 for her airfare...
Justin that I work with says theres a big amusment park in Ohio that has loads of rollercoasters. I enjoy a roller coaster so maybe we can stop there on our way back. My friend Krista lives in Chicago as does my friend Matt. I've never been to Chicago, might be fun to stop and I bet they'd put us up for a night...

So the great American road movie, before fuel becomes so expensive it's inconcievable...


Sunday, July 13, 2008

I wonder if he knows?

Eating lunch in the breakroom at work the other day I had the opportunity to watch a fat man eat a ring ding.

He is an actual fat man, about 5'8" maybe 250 or 275, one that has to swing his arms out when he walks because otherwise they'll bounce on his belly. It was a real ring ding too, I could read the label.

I love ring dings. If you don't remember them, think a hockey puck of chocolate goodness. They have a corner at the top which is my favorite part, they're cream filled too which is nice but not a requirement in my book. I haven't had a ring ding in I don't know how long. Probably 8 years at least, since I graduated from college and stopped going back to my parent's house anyway. I can still remember the texture of that chocolate corner though.

You might wonder why I haven't had a ring ding in so long if I like them so much. I'm 6', 220#. Chunky but not really fat as such. The problem is a couple years ago I was 240#. Its taken me about 5 years to lose 20#. I'd really like to lose another 20# and while I'd prefer to do it in less than 5 years if thats what it takes I'd be happy with it. 20 pounds in 5 years is 4 pounds a year. That may not seem like much but if you were gaining 4 pounds a years... Anyway its the gaining of pounds that makes me not eat ring dings.

I didn't see what else the fat man had for lunch but I'm guessing the ring ding was representative. I suppose if it makes him happy good for him...

Door locks

Got Wilton's package yesterday with 2 replacement door handles and locks, thank you sir!

Turns out the lock tumblers basically fall out of the cylinder when everything isn't all jammed up. So I cut my old driver's side cylinder apart (finished cutting anyway, I'd started last week. Cleaned each tumbler good with a wire wheel and 400 grit sandpaper.
Interestingly my tumblers didn't fit in Wilton's cylinder the same as they fit in mine, odd... I had to use a mixture of his and mine to make it work. Never the less we got there.
So based on what I now know I realized the lock I'd already "freed up" was only set to fail again. So I took it apart once more and freed ALL the tumblers rather than just the 6 that came easily. Then took them out and cleaned 'em real good. I don't know what MB used in these for lube but its yellow and grease like and mine had picked up lots of dirt and turned into concrete. I sanded the cylinder and tumblers with 600grit to make it all work perfectly smooth and then lubed with graphite from a spray can (its in some kind of carrier).

So the locks are DONE. The doors still need to be buttoned up, they need moisture barriers too. I want to hold off on the drivers door as I haven't tested for vacuum leaks there yet. I already did the passenger's side.

Out of time though, gotta go to a barbeque.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Done and done

Heres the before. This is with all the rotted metal removed.
And after.
Thats a coat of paint and a good thick coat of undercoat.

Tomorrow theres a rust spot behind the rear wheel to take care of. I don't know if that'll require welding but it'll get POR15. Then I want to get the new antenna installed so I can see if the one in this car can combine with the one from Hammie to make a working one. Otherwise Hammie gets an eBay antenna too.


Don't touch, HOT!

Yeah, after you weld a piece in and then grind off the excess weld, don't touch it without gloves on. I don't care if the gloves are in your way and you can't feel if your welding was good enough...

The burn is 22ga, the same thickness as the metal I was welding in and goes right across where the blister I got from Hammie a couple weeks ago had healed up...

Buttttt the second jack point is all welded, ground down and painted. Pretty soon I'll go hit it with the undercoating.


Welcome to July!

Summer is here and what better time to weld up the ravages of winter? Yeah its 95 degrees out, lets haul out the welder! Genius...
Anyway the area around the jack points on my 190D is in pretty terrible shape so I started with the passenger side. What I'd thought were streamers of metal hanging out were in fact the rubber undercoating, there was basically no metal there. I cut back to good metal and welded in a bunch of 22ga sheet metal. 22ga seems about like what I was cutting away, maybe slightly heavy but this is an area that'll have a hard life...
I had to weld 2 plates into the side, one big one to cover the old jack point (I hate those jack point jacks, I use a scissors jack and lift from underneith anyway) and a small one up under the door. Then another big plate underneith the car. I slapped some black Rustoleum on and when it had dried sprayed some rubber undercoating on for good measure.
Not too bad I don't think.

This is the driver's side. I spent a few minutes last night picking the rust and undercoating off. Its pretty much the same as the passenger's side, actually this side isn't as bad...

Well, back at it...