Monday, March 28, 2005


WOW! Whenever I get over a cold I get incredibly revved up. I was still feeling kinda crummy when I got home from my parent's at about 3pm. I decided to sleep for a while. I woke up a little after 8pm and feel GREAT! This stupid cold is finally gone.

I don't know if it's because I've done nothing but sleep for the last three days, or if it's because my immune system is kicking ass and taking names. Right now I highly doubt I'll sleep tonight. I feel like I drank a case of Red Bull.

I wish I had more car parts. I could easily do my power steering pump tonight, or replace that rusted/leaky coolant line.

Instead I'm doing a bunch of computer stuff. I've almost got NJ's laptop all set up and I'm thinking about rebuilding my home theatre computer. It's been acting buggy and I need to swap out the hard drive anyway.

BTW, I love my new lights. The lighting in my bedroom used to suck. All that I had was a light on my nightstand, and the lights on my workbench. I wanted to get some kind of cool low-voltage track lighting. I checked out all of the local home improvement stores and couldn't find anything that was both kickass and cheap. Everything that I looked at was around 10' long and cost over $100 (just for the track and power supply). Each cool little light fixture was $20 to $50 on top of that. I decided to build my own. I got a big-ass 1000W transformer for $45, a bunch of stainless steel aircraft cable and hardware for another $125, and a few lights for $5 a piece. About $200 total. It is about 28' long and will handle as many lights as I can hang on it. Whenever I build anything, it is always bulletproof. Heck, you could arc weld with the transformer that I got. Check out some pics...

Big-ass Transformer (This thing weighs over 20 pounds!!!)


Before lighting (During the day, but you get the idea)

After lighting

Bookcase (I still have to trim off the extra cable)

Comp Desk and TV (yes I have three monitors, suck it)

Pulley Block (what held up most of the project, no pun intended)

I still have to make some nice looking way of hooking up the lights to the overhead cables. Right now I'm just using some clip leads (used for electronics testing). I also need a dimmer. The light are only 20 watts but it really adds up.

I hope that you think it is as kickass as I do.

BTW#2, I didn't do jack squat for my B-Day. All festivities have been put off 'til next weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

It works!!!

Finally! The Ford dudes only charged me $19 for the little plastic part that I needed. My car started right up and seems to be running pretty well. I still won't know how well for a week or so. ('96 and up cars actually learn as you drive, cool, huh?)

The thing that sucks is that I think I'm coming down with a cold. My throat is getting scratchy and my nose is starting to run. I've already started attacking it with the best stuff ever...Vick's DayQuil. That stuff rocks. When I get a runny nose it is always insanely bad. Dayquil does a really good job at stopping my runny nose and therefore preventing a really bad sore throat.

It kinda blows that I'm getting sick right before my B-Day. Hopefully it will pass before Saturday. Sunday at the latest. I've got free drink tickets to go see Theory of a Deadman and The Exies on Sunday night. I haven't seen any live music in a while and really wanna go.

Would someone hurry up and release a cure for the common cold? I'd pay $20 a pill if I didn't have to feel like total crap for a week. Knowhutimean?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Plastic is evil.

A quick post...

Plastic sucks. Nuf said.

I've tried gluing this little part four times. It is hopeless. Now I have to go beg the Ford parts guys to find me another one.

All I wanna do is drive my car!!!!!!!!!!!!

....stupid sucky plastic stupid thingie that sucks....


Well I thought that after my last post, I was in the clear. Almost...

What you see above is the plastic vacuum line that I snapped off last night at 1:30am. I was trying to push a piece of tubing onto the other end of the line. When the stupid plastic fitting gave way I promptly yelled out, "Oh crap!" When I say "crap" I actually mean 87 well chosen expletives. Why do car companies insist on making fittings out of plastic? I guess that it saved someone $0.03.

I have since tried gluing that piece three times. Is all "plastic" glue full of crap? I guess that I should know that if it comes in a plastic container with a removable cap that it actually doesn't glue plastic. I went to Walz-Mart a couple of hours ago and picked up some Plastic Weld Epoxy. If the stuff works half as well as it stinks, I should be able to tow a Mack Truck with this hose when I'm done.


I'd also like to let you know that I've witnessed a miracle. Take a look...

What you are looking at is one of my tools that I dropped while working on my car a couple of weeks ago. (Before I started ripping everything apart.) I dropped this tool while working in the middle of the engine bay. I looked EVERYWHERE for it. I even backed out while jamming on my brakes to try and get it to fall out. I took the above pic FOUR DAYS later. Like some amazing game of Plinko the socket and extension bounced around and landed in a big glob of grease right by the passenger side wheel. The only reason that this glob of grease was there was because I couldn't find the replacement part that I needed six months ago.

Way too many things happened in order for me to get this tool back. I'm guessing that it will save my life someday. LOL!

Oooooo, and look at my shiny new alternator...

And last but not least, it's me!!!

Sorry ladies, no Brad Pitt here. Just a big teddy bear. This pic was from Christmas '03 so it's a little dated. I'm a hair over 6' tall and have since shaved off the goatee.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Breaking Stuff

I've spent the last week and a half working on my car. Hopefully it will finally be finished up tomorrow...Friday at the latest. It is really nice being able to work on my car for more than a day at a time and in MY OWN garage. I've been borrowing a van from work which has helped of alot. In the past, I've had to do thing quickly so that I could drive my car the next day. I was able to re-wire my entire charging system, remove my A/C, get my intake incredibly clean, and put in my shiny new alternator. This would have taken me months to do in the past.

As of six months ago, I also moved into an apartment with my own secure garage. For a gearhead, this is AWESOME. I have a place for my tools, workbench, car, EVERYTHING!

I've also been snapping a bunch of pics of my progress.

Until Friday! (or whenever I actually get done, LOL!)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

What!?! Huh!?!

Ahhh.... Last night those two phrases were uttered many times. It was my roommate's sister's B-Day. We had a good sized group (I think it was about 10 people). We started out the evening be having dinner at Champps. I had The French Dip and a mug of Leinie's Creamy Dark the size of my head. It was good.

We then headed to a bar downtown that has a stage. They had three pretty good local bands. Way 2 Fall, Sidetract, and 13 Pills. It was insanely loud, the drinks flowed freely, and everyone had a kickass time.

I'm hungover, kinda deaf, and feeling pretty darn good.

All that and I got a good chunk of work done on my car this weekend.

Rock n Roll.

BTW, I'm watching StarTrek on SciFi because there isn't jack squat on. I just noticed that the Borg guys have no ass crack. I don't know what's scarier...not being able to crap, or me checking out a Borg's ass.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


JN touched on this one, and I am feeling the exact same way.

I really need a new job. I'd love to just quit and find something else. Unforunately, I can't afford to (literally). My current job is becoming aggrivating and painfully boring. I've been working long days yesterday and today.

Yesterday consisted of spending 2 1/2 hours trying to assemble a piece of equipment. There was absolutely nothing that I could do to make it work right or look good. That drives me INSANE. It is all because the salesman is spineless and won't tell the customer what they actually need. He just sells them the cheapest of crap that he can to make a buck.

Today was spent repairing a large heavy piece of equipment. We have done this many times in the past and should have been easy. It wasn't. It turned into a royal fudge job trying to make something work with the wrong tools and the wrong parts. This also drives me insane. Just as a kicker, while I was modifying a piece of equipment, I cut my finger. A deep cut right on the tip of my index finger. Whenever I brush it against anything it stings like mad. WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN!?! The only thing that I wanted to do was work on my car tonight. I ended up coming home late and wounded all because of this stupid job. THIS F'ING SUCKS.

On top of it all, I am incredibly overqualified. BUT, I am treated like a child. Neither management or sales will listen to the "install grunts". I have two degrees. I know more about audio, video, RF, computers, and networking than any of these morons ever will. Between NJ and I, we have over 15 years of experience. Do they still ignore our opinions? Without hesitation.

I guess that I am feeling even more trapped than usual because my B-Day is coming up. Other people my age are buying houses, getting married, and having kids. I've got my Mom saying thing like, "I had you when I was 27." Wonderful. Is that supposed to make me feel better? I don't know if my Mom is realizing what she is saying. All I can do is nod and let out a fake pained laugh. Yep, turning 28 without anything even resembling a girlfriend.

I really was intending to release some tension with a rant but now I just feel like shit.

I've gotta stop typing. My finger hurts really bad and I'm getting myself incredibly depressed.


Monday, March 07, 2005

BP explained

I didn't realize until today that I've never said what BP stands for. NJ was saying that a fellow blogger was wondering if it stood for Big ..ahem.. unit. LOL! No. I do find it funny everytime some guys on the internet refers to themselves as Studmaster or whatnot. ...freaks...

BP stands for ButtonPuncher. It's a nickname that I got in college. I originally went to school for Television and Video Production. The cool thing about the college that I went to was that you were actually taking class in a full blown TV station. Not only did the students learn how to operate every piece of equipment in the station, but you also learned how to make your own shows. I couldn't have asked for a more rewarding program. Anywho...

I really loved the technical side of things in TV instead of the production side. I've always found buttons, knobs, flashing lights irresistible. My favorite job in the TV station was as the Technical Director. No, this isn't the person that says, "Take one, take two, fade to black" etc. The Technical Director is the person that actually makes those things happen. As a TD you are in charge of operating a video switcher. Here is a photo of one similar to the one that I ran in college:

(Click on it to see a full size image)

The above picture is actually of a smaller model. The one that I got to use was about 3 times as big. It was about 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall. All totaled up, I had about 750 multifunction buttons, faders, and knobs in front of me. ...and I loved it!

Every student show and PBS show that I could Technical Direct, I did. It is an amazing rush "switching" a show. Every button that you push, the home viewer sees. And it is all LIVE.

To give you an idea, just imagine that you have to type up a document at work. It is going out to 5,000 to 50,000 people. You have a good idea and a rough layout of what you have to type. BUT, you have to listen to someone next to you in order to type the right thing. There is no undo, delete, or backspace. Instead of your keyboard having 101 keys, it is the size of your computer desk and has 750 keys. If you push the wrong key 50,000 people see it. Pressure? Hell yeah!

Back to the main topic...

As I was doing all of these shows, I would have the other students say, "Hey B are you punching buttons?"

Yes, I am the ButtonPuncher. ;)

After finishing college I went on to working that the local CBS news station, but that's for another post.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


I've just spent the last 2 1/2 days working on my car. I wouldn't say that I'm totally exhausted but tired and in pain begins to sum it up.

What I thought was going to be a leisurely Friday night/Saturday project is turning into a week long PITA. It seemed easy, just unscrew the intake, put the new gasket on, unbolt the alternator, bolt the new one on. Noooooooooo....

Step 13 from the Ford service manual:

13. NOTE: The intake manifold can be removed without the removal of the generator and generator mounting bracket, but with some difficulty.

LIAR!!!! There is no way IN HELL to get the friggin manifold off without taking a ton of crap apart. If I ever run into the guy that wrote that, this is how the conversation would go:

"Excuse me sir but I need to shove this pineapple where the sun doesn't shine. ...what's that? Oh don't worry, it can be done, but with some difficulty."

I have now removed the throttle body, fuel rail, passenger side motor mount, alternator, egr pipe, rear accessory mounting bracket, and the upper rear motor mount.

Keep in mind that most of the above was bolted on 9 years ago and has been rusting away ever since. Fun, huh?

Ahhhh... It's amazing how a nice rant can make you feel better.

Excuse me while I go pass out.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Food Whore

I'll admit it, I'm a "food whore" and I'm proud of it. My roommate called me this one weekend when I said I was going over to my parent's for lunch one Sunday. He was giving me crap because I wouldn't haul my butt out of bed to help him on Saturday. As soon as my mom called Sunday morning and mentioned porkchops, I was in the shower as soon as I hung up.

I think it's in my genes. Both of my parent's come from large families. Every holiday we would go over to my grandparent's house. My G'ma and G'pa S would have ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, baked beans, mac n cheese, stuffing, turkey gravy and ham gravy, hot buttered rolls, tons of desserts, and the infamous iced tea for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oops! I almost forgot my G'pa S's homemade jerky. Absolutely incredible!

Over at my G'ma T's house, she was all about the deserts. The "main course" was really only an appetizer. My personal favorites are the homemade fudge, sugar cookies (with icing and sprinkles, of course), and krumkake (traditional Norwegian desert). I almost forgot those little peanut butter cookies with the hersheys kiss and the crackles (little ulta chocolate cookies with white powdered sugar on top).

I think each Turkey Day/Christmas, I took in about 5.4 million calories. As people move and start families of their own, the crowd has dwindled off, but the food is still awesome.

BTW, my G'ma S makes barbeque sauce that will make you cry it is soo good.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Stuck in my head.

I woke up this morning with the "Laverne and Shirley" theme song stuck in my head. WTF!?! Something that I probably haven't heard in 15 years and BAM...goin' to do it our way..doo dee doo doo...AHHH!!!!! Make it stop!

To make matters worse, when I got into work, I told NJ about the stupid song in my head, AND HE DOWNLOADS IT! Friggin douche bag!!

Side note... Anyone know where I can get turkey, stuffing, and gravy at 10pm? I didn't eat any dinner and am now starving. Wendy's it is!

Uh oh. I just got a call from a roommate. He's having problems with his shiny new server. I'm gonna go and try to bail him out. Hopefully I'll get to sleep before Wednesday. Ya gotta love computers!