Monthly Archives: November 2004

Lester goes squeak-squeak-creak-grind!

Proverbs 3
11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

The car burned up it’s rear wheel bearings last night on the way back to Mel’s parent’s place. Kind of a drag, but we made it to whithin an hour of their house, so her Dad and brother came to rescue us. It’s sitting at a dealership an hour from here, waiting on parts, at the moment. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the car kept it all together long enough to get it parked.

The prognosis on the exploder is that it’s definitely a cracked head. The right head cracked right between the two valves on the first cylinder. So I’m hunting for heads for that.

Cars are a nice modern convenience, when they work.


Mel and I are playing on Kel’Thuzad, alliance. Come play with us! It’s a pvp server, which means only cool people are allowed. 😛

preventing blog comment spam

I’m giving the new mt-close plugin a try. It’s just a simple script that let’s me close the comments for entries that are more than n days old. For now, I turned off commenting on all posts that are 60 days old, or more. That should seriously limit the amount of spam that we’re getting on blogs.

Let me know if you think this is a good or bad idea, if you think the number of days before closing should be different, etc.

I like this solution because in the 2+ years I’ve been blogging, I’ve never received a usefull comment on an old post. It’s always either spam, or some idjit looking for avril lavigne’s email address. Or pictures of her feet, I suppose.

Exploder: 2 Dave: 1

So I thought that I had gotten away with just an exploded heater hose and that was the end of it. I didn’t drive the truck Monday or Tuesday, because I wanted to replace an idler pulley whose bearing were going on me before I trusted it again.

Sadly though, after I replaced the pulley last night, I tried to run the truck. Bad idea. It didn’t want to idle (although it did idle, and it started like a champ). More than a gallon of my coolant was *missing*. I found it though, mixed in with my motor oil. While the truck was running, profuse amounts of moisture were coming out of the tailpipe.

So yeah, either a head gasket blew, a head cracked, or the block cracked when the truck overheated. Let this be a lesson to anyone who is listening. Stop immediately if you temp starts to get high!

Thankfully, my family is saving my bacon once again. They’re bringing a trailer, and hauling the truck back Indiana way. And I get to spend my Thanksgiving break stripping the engine. I pray that it’s a gasket, and not a cracked head.

ninja versus pirate

So, if a group of ninjas were to attack a group of pirates, which group would win? Feel free to make assumptions about initial conditions when you answer (ninjas attack pirates on their ship, pirates attack ninja hideout, etc, which group has greater numbers, etc)… Surely though, this is one of the greatest rivalries of all time.


I ran across a link to Seasteads today, and they’re quite fascinating. I’m not sure how practical they are, but they’re intesting to read about nonetheless. Apparently it’s a whole group of people designing all the systems that would be required to make a sea platform selfsustaining.

Good reading. Seems well thought out, if a bit impractical.

Unplanned Party

Sunday afternoon I was visiting with my great and and uncle, and then decided to go visit Melissa at the cat show she was working at. This was a half hour jaunt from my relative’s house, so I figured no big deal, I would find the place and suprise Melissa.

My plans got changed for me when I blew a heater hose on the interstate. I didn’t notice it right away. Well, I did notice it, but I didn’t put two and two together. I noticed a haze on my back window, which turned out to be antifreeze condensing back there after it escaped my engine in gaseous form. I passed it off as “oh, my window is dirty… that’s odd…”. My serpentine belt was also squealing a bit more than normal (due to molten hot liquids and gasses being dumped all over it, no doubt), but I was listening to loud techno at the time, so I again smoothed over any fears that may otherwise have been prudent (which I admit sheepishly. My only defense there is that old vehicles *always* make odd noises, right? :).

I didn’t actually figure out what was going on until I noticed that my gas gauge (which was showing more than three quarters of a tank) was at the exact same angle as my temp. gauge…. ! … … !@!!

That’s when I finally fingured out that something was rotten in Denmark, where Denmark may or may not have been my engine. So I slowed down and got over to the right, then hobbled to an exit. I fould an empty parking lot and shut the poor thing off (it was doing ok until I stopped on my way off the freeway, I think the cold air blowing by was helping). It was seriously way too hot by that point.

So I pop the hood and saw immediately that it was a hose (thank God) and not a water pump or something. A hose I can deal with. So I removed the hose (in my Sunday best) and walked to a gas station to ask where an auto parts store was. It was ten miles to the nearest one. So I walked back to the truck to ponder my next move. Thankfully a kind soul named John heard me talking in the gas station, and drove over to offer me a lift. He took me to the auto parts store, and brought me back again when I was done. He works at a green house 3/4 of the year, and takes winters off work. He works 60 hours a week normally though, so he has an interesting life.

Anyway, when I got back to the exploder with the parts, I find out (after looking around in a panic) that I’d locked the keys inside. Doh!! What an idiot. Again, providence shone on me and I had the phone with me still, so I called AAA for an unlock. After waiting for said unlock for 30 minutes, I gave up and broke into the exploder myself (sorry exploder). That being done, I proceeded to repair the hose.

The hose repair was uneventful (the skin on my knuckles disagrees with that wording, but I maintain that it went well). My flashlight was a champ, I had enough antifreeze, etc.

Thank God for problems that have simple enough solutions. I had a more exciting than planned day, but it all worked out just fine. John took me for parts, I was able to unlock the truck myself, and Dad was able to give me all the hints I needed to make sure things were ok with the truck afterwards.

(wow, that ended up being a lot longer than I planned.)

I even got to drive one of my inlaw’s neighbors back to his stranded car that very night. So what goes around comes around. Or something. 🙂

Early Christmas

Melissa gave me my biggest present early this year. She gave me the extra hardware it takes to make my car stereo receive XM radio. I got it installed today (I think it probably took me two hours?), and now it works. The only really tough part was running the wire for the antenna. I’m not really pleased with how it is at the moment, but it should work.

The music is wonderful though. I’ve really been getting sick of the drivel that is on broadcast radio. I’m looking forward to getting more aquainted with the XM stations. The music quality seems very good (probably about CD quality?) and the stations switch quickly. Thus far, my only gripe is that I haven’t figured out to make the display scroll the artist and song title. I can only get one or the other thus far.

Anyway, I really like my gift. It’ll make the commute a little nicer, I think. (:

cafeteria food

The cafeteria food at work is actually pretty tasty stuff. The prices are slightly on the high side, but I’d rather have pricey/tastey food than the opposite. The down side to all this is that items are not marked for price. You just take you picks up to the register and pay. So the only way to figure out what something costs is to ask at the register.

Now, one might be inclined to consider a banana and say to one’s self “self, that banana can’t cost more than thirty cents or so”. That’s where one goes wrong, however. In truth, one should politely surmise to oneself “self, that banana costs a dollar! My pants are on fire!”.

And so it goes,

never would have guessed

The truckstop Melissa and I stopped at Sunday night on the way back (which had taco bell, pizza hut, BK and some chicken place) sold all the normal sorts of trucker items. It also sold a full sized grandfather clock. The price tag was $199. I had no idea that anyone *ever* thought it was a good idea to attempt to sell a grandfather clock at a truckstop.

I wonder if anyone has ever purchased one?