Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Family Member

Yesterday, Mrs A brought home a new family member. He is a Brussels Griffon . Contrary to very strong visual clues, he is NOT part monkey, although we are for now calling him Monk.
He is very quiet, and very clingy for now. But then again, he is just a baby.
Molly, the Shi Tzu is very rattled. She has been an only dog for all her life with us, and strongly objects to having to share. For now she has retired to the bedroom and only comes out to eat and go to the bathroom. She refuses to have anything to do with Monk.
He is not potty trained, so Mrs A has some work in front of her.

She has been hinting she wanted a second dog for a couple of weeks. I have fought the good fight, and eventually ended up with something I can live with. I do not like yappy little dogs. First she saw a white Pomeranian she liked. It was way to excitable and wound up. Then it was a Sheltie. Again, way too yappy. Then this one came up. Calm, not yappy, and so ugly he is cute. I can live with this dog.
Mind you, if I was picking a dog for myself it would be a golden retriever or a Lab, but this is Mrs A's birthday present, so she gets what she wants.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weird Shit

I was at work today, slaving away on the computer (OK, OK, playing solitaire) when I realized that the yellow spot that has plagued my vision for the last two months is gone.
There is still a small visual distortion in the area where it was located, but it is gone. There is a minor floater, but it is located slightly to the side of where the yellow thingie was.
I just looked up, and realized it wasn't there anymore.
Everything I have read says this does NOT happen. It gets worse, but it doesn't get better.
I'm afraid to sneeze or anything, since I don'r know what made it go away.
Knock on wood.
I still intend to go to the eye doctor and see if he has a clue what just happened.
Thank you Lord.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stilll here

First, I was too busy throwing a pity party to blog. I was too busy sitting in the corner sucking my thumb to blog. Then I had absolutely nothing I wanted to say. Then I was busy doing research on the internet on the surgery they do to repair a macular hole.
It's called avoidance. Or procrastination.
Then I got sick. Nothing major, It started with a scratchy throat, and then stuffed sinuses. I'm not positive, but it almost seems to me more like alergy than anything else. I guess it doesn't really matter since the result is the same. I spent all day yesterday sleeping. The damn phone kept waking me up, but I was really out of it. Tried to read, but after a couple of pages I'd be back in lala lane. Drifting in and out of sleep while reading Dean Koontz's Frankenstien amde for some interesting dreams.
Today I am better, but figured I still feel like crap, might as well pull the covers back over my head and make the world go away.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

the EYES have it

I have a hole in my macula, it seems.
This is not a good thing, but not terrible either. I have a big floater right in the center of my right eye. And everything is distorted around it. They cannot correct my vision with lenses or anything. My vision is 20/50 in that eye, corrected.
There is some sort of surgery that they can try with no results guaranteed. At any rate, I have a referral to the eye surgeon to take a look at it and see if anything can be done.
Part of the surgical alternative is you have to lie face down for a period of time after surgery. Anywhere from 24 hours to 4 weeks. I'd rather put up with the big floatie.
They are supposed to call me to set up an appointment.
I guess I will forestall jumping to any conclusions until after the referral.

Monday, March 15, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, this funny thing appeared in my eye (no, it wasn't one of the kids or anything like that).
It is a yellow thing in the center of my vision. Kinda like when a bug hits the windshield and leaves his guts all yellow right in front of you.
It distorts my vision and interferes with reading. I am right eye dominant, and of course it is right in the middle of my right eye fielld of vision.
It doesn't feel like I have something stuckk in my eye, but that's how it seems. Like it is floating on the surface of my eye.
At any rate I have an appointment with the optometrist this afternoon. I have fingers and toes crossed that it is nothing serious.
Both my grandfather and father were blind in later life, so I hope this is not the start of something bad.
Guess I'll find out this afternoon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Here are a couple of pictures of the Westfalia. It is very straight and pretty clean. No dents or rust, starts right up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Well, I bought the Westfalia.
It is VERY clean inside, really shows no wear except for a couple of spots in the canvas of the pop-up. No dents, no rust. It is a kinda creamy yellow. It needs some TLC, but that just makes it so I will feel it is truely mine when I get it all fixed up.
It was last licensed 10 years ago, so it is almost like breaking it in all over again. So far, I know it needs the brakes workes on. No big deal. I have done a whole lot of brake jobs over the years. Of a little more concern is that the gas guage isn't working, probably just from sitting for so long. I don't particularly like working on gas tanks, but if that's what it takes, that's what I will do. I ordered a complete repair manual for it, and it should be in next week.
I would have pictures, but it is cold and rainy out, not to mention gloomy. As soon as the clouds part, I'll take some pictures.
I had originally thought that the engine was the 1.9 Liter air cooled, but found out it is the 2.1 Liter wasserboxer, which is supposed to be one of the most robust engines ever made. I have never owned or worked on one, but it seems pretty straightforward.
I spent a little while this afternoon inside it, just figuring out where things were and how they worked. It'll take a while to figure it all out. I read the owners manuals, and figured most of it out, but will need a little time to translate all the words into sense.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Our plan for this year is to buy a used Volkswagen Westfalia when we got out income tax return back. Well, the money hit the bank Saturday, so I have been looking this week. They are not cheap. Your basic "It runs, needs some TLC" Westfalia is priced between six and seven thousand bucks. I have been watching prices for six months or so. so I know where the local market is.
I ahve called on two vans this week. The first has some issues, which is why it wasa priced a little low. I didn't want to deal with the particular problems it had, so I passed on it.
I went last night and looked at one, and I made an offer on it. The price was $6500, but I offered them 6K cash. I am going over for the buy this afternoon. The only possible deal breaker is the title. They say it was their dad's van, and he passed away, so I will need some proof that they have the right to sell it. It is straight with no rust or dents or anything. Starts right up and runs OK. but probably needs a tune-up. A good way to get acquainted with the motor.
They are notoriously underpowered, but I am already eying a comversion kit that takes it from 1.9 liters to 2.3 liters. I could buy the rebuild kit and do the engine down in the basement over next winter.
We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


I haven't blogged about the Z lately. I promised to publish some pictgures after I put on the ground effects kit, but I never got around to it. Well, Saturday I put on a set of custom wheels and new tires. That pretty much completes the outside of the car.
Maybe tomorrow (or Later today) I will dig out a couple of "before" pictures.
Of course I'm never done. I still need to get the driver's seat reapholstered, and I need to find and fix a mminor "Clunk" in the rear end, but then I will pretty much be finished with it.
I will probably sell it and get a new project.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Just another Ssaturday

The weather continues to be incredible. The temperature was in the sixties today, so of course I had to work inside. The downstairs toilet started leaking, so I decided to bite the bullet and completely rebuild it.
New gaskets, new bolts, new fill tube and flapper, new mechanism., new cold water line.. The worst part was that the bolts that held the tank to the bowl were corroded to the point I could not loosen them. I went down and bought a special holder for a hacksaw blade to get in and saw the bolts in half. The toilet had 10" clearance on either side, so it was a pain in the back to get in there and cut them. But I got it done. Have I mentioned I hate plumbing?
It took longer than I thought it would, and I had barely finished when My grand daughter and great grandson showed up with her new fiancee'. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he seems OK. As long as he treats her right and she is happy. Little Nikko is 19 months and jabbers a mile a minute. Occasionally you here a word in there. His favorite is of course "NO".
I had a busy day planned, and there visit wasn't part of it, but it was nice to see them.
Needless to say, their visit made me rearrange my day. I recently got a bonus at work. I planned to use it to put wheels and tires on the Z. I got a set of used magnesium wheels from a guy I work with, and after I got done with the bathroom, the plan was to drop off the wheels at Firestone and have new tires put on them, then take the Z down and have the wheels and tires mounted, then go down and get the old wheels and tires. But I ran out of time to go pick up the tires tonight. I'll have to go do that in the morning.. The plan included getting a haircut and BBQing a mess of ribs.
I ended up tending the BBQ by flashlight, and the haircut will have to wait until tomorrow.
But the bathroom is done, and the new wheels and tires are on the Z. If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll have to finish cleaning up the Z and take some pictures.
After I get a haircut.