Sunday, 31st of May, 2009
Well enough wrenching on cars, time to go on vacation. For our first seafood experience at Port Aransas we went to Oceans of Seafood, which looks like a place to buy uncooked food but there is a restaurant attached to it. Turned out to be one of the best places we went all week.
Thursday, 28th of May, 2009
Did quite a bit of poking around before we figured out what was wrong with the reverse lights on Nolan's Volvo 245 turbo. Fortunately it wasn't the reverse switch on top of the tranny. But the harness that it plugs into was nowhere to be found on the passenger side - someone tucked it away somewhere else. Finally had to thin outside the box and check the driver's side - score! But not before tinkering with all the gauges and fog lights...
Tuesday, 26th of May, 2009
Last September when I was at Pick and Pull there were 2 1993 Driftwood Metallic Fleetwoods. However, since Willie Mae Cooper totalled it in March not a single Fleetwood has popped up at Pick and Pull or Riverside - or in the 250-mile radius as far as salvage yards go, for that matter. Fortunately, we headed down to Texas this week, where Fleetwoods of this vintage and colour are abundant. Broken Wheel Salvage, right outside of Van Alstyne, was right off of US-75, directly in our path. A very cool place indeed, since the yard specialized in GM vehicles - I have never seen so many new-ish wrecked Cadillacs in one place. The Northstar motor looks even bigger outside the engine bay.
Most importantly, they had exactly what I was looking for, and I even get a gold hood ornament this time. I knew the latch was pushed beyond normal operation threshold, so I had acquired many combinations of bungee cords and carabiners to keep it under control for the remainder of our journey, and the planning payed off - acquiring the hood wasn't too time consuming a pit stop. Yes, this hood is so big that it would have had a hard time fitting in the cargo area of our other cars - so we drove the hoodless Cadillac down to Van Alstyne. Gas mileage went down the toilet - 19 mpg.
Monday, 25th of May, 2009
Thursday, 21st of May, 2009
I have been to one of Randy Sabien's workshops before but I had no idea he had an entire method book (Jazz Philharmonic) and play-along CD that works well for all levels of string education. Good stuff - a great way to end the school year!
Monday, 18th of May, 2009
Now that Metallica has been out for a while the secondary kick pedals have finally hit the shelves. I picked up the Nyko Metal Pedal today since it was reasonably priced and looked a lot sturdier than then one that came with the World Tour game, plus it included the adapter to use two kick pedals which is required on some Metallica songs. This one definitely doesn't run away from you like the stock kick pedal, but it significantly less sensitive. Fortunately that can be adjusted in the software for the drum kit that Red Octane sent me, but you're still stuck with two pedals of different sensitivity. Owell, I'm not close to the point of playing Expert+ yet anyway.
Sunday, 17th of May, 2009
My brother got me Guitar Hero: Metallica for my birthday! I pretty much missed the earlier years of Metallica and I missed a lot - there is some really good musicianship in some of these earlier songs - I like it!
Saturday, 16th of May, 2009
Friday, 15th of May, 2009
Thursday, 14th of May, 2009
Picture - Mythbusters tries to make a Volvo's bumper shock catastrophically fail. They had a hard time even getting the car in place...
Wednesday, 13th of May, 2009
While loosening the differential bolt on the Tahoe this evening I managed to completely wrench my short 3/8 drive extension. That's what happens when you use cheap tools. I switched to a Craftsman extension and it handled the job just fine...
Sunday, 10th of May, 2009
Another educational day of automotive work in Joe's garage today as I got to try three different products to remove hundreds of drops of tree sap all over the Tahoe:
- Mr. Clean Bug and Tar Remover stick: Good - fairly effective at getting the day-old sap off the car. It was most effective to apply and wipe off fairly quickly - if not the cleaner dried and the sap was still caked on there. I used it all up and got most of the sap off and then I got to try:
- Goo Gone Automotive Spray Gel: Fail - It did almost nothing to the sap.
- Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover: Best - the most effective of the three - the remaining sap drops came off fairly easily.
A little late, but I finally saw the latest Fast and Furious movie. I knew there was going to be good car taste for the rest of the evening because in the first few minutes of the movie already featured a Grand National and we even got a glimpse of a Ford RS200! I also like the return of the modern interpretation of frontier train heist.
Saturday, 9th of May, 2009
Changed out the front left axle of the Subaru today. Surprisingly I didn't have as much trouble getting things apart as I thought except for separating the lower control arm from the hub. I finally figured out getting the ball joint off the hub was the way to do it, not the ball joint from the control arm. Bent a 4 foot cheater bar, jumping on it, before I figured that out.
Also discovered coolant dripping from the block between the block and the oil pain. Maybe my water pump is going out? Time to check that out.
Friday, 8th of May, 2009
Excellent season finale tonight at the SLSO, starting with Ades' Asyla which called for a large battery of percussion, which includes 3 bass drums and 3 pianos, and some quarter step tuning. Beethoven 9th was great of course, but the 19th century string seating arrangement with violins on opposite sides clearly added a lot to the performance. The way Beethoven passed the theme around clearly indicates he had this arrangement in mind, not to mention the extra depth it adds. It's like surround sound of the 1800s.
Thursday, 7th of May, 2009
DJ Hero? Are you serious? I think Activision is getting off track with this one. Do we need a Hero for remixing? What's wrong with Garage Band?
Monday, 4th of May, 2009