Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas

Belated, that is.
Things have been WAY too hectic around here.
The kids came over from Idaho to spend Christmas with us. When they got here, Dan announced he intended to get married while they were over here. Lisa did not know about it yet. So he asked her here in the living room of the house two days before Christmas. We toasted them with eggnog with a generous shot of "Nog" They spent Christmas Eve Day getting the license and everything.
Christmas Eve day we had a family thing over at my brothers house and a good time was had by all. We no longer exchange gifts, just for the kids, and as Elliot was the only kid in attendance, he made out like a bandit.
Which brings up a sore subject. I did not hear from R nor get to see "i" over the Holidays. I guess she called my son a couple of weeks before Christmas and asked him if he knew what time of day would be best to call me. But never actually called me.
After the family thing, we came back home and My son and his wive and Vinnie came over and we exchanged gifts with them. It was a pleasant evening. Mrs A got me a kindle Fire, which she found on sale for $179.00. I have spent a lot of my time since immersed in my first kindle purchase, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.
Christmas day I had requested a turkey dinner. The women brought back a 24 lb bird, and I helped get the stuff ready. Chopped celery and onions for the dressing. After stuffing the bird, we realized we did not have a pan to roast it in. So I had to run off in search of a store that was open that Had a turkey roasting pan. I eventually found one. The dinner turned out great. I made riced potatoes, there was turkey gravy, both kinds of cranberry sauce, L made Greens and ham hocks, stuffing, rolls and an endless supply of turkey. I have to admit that what I like about a big turkey dinner is leftovers. Sometimes I think I could go right past the meal and go straight to the leftovers. In fact there is still a quite a bit of turkey left. I think I will put a couple of pounds away to make turkey and sausage Jambalaya in a couple of weeks.
I needed to renew the tabs on my truck by the 29th. I have been having so much fun driving the Westie that the truck has been sitting unused for the last couple of months. Of course the battery was dead when I went to start it. Pull off the negative battery cable to charge the battery, put it back on when it is charged, and everything is fine. I go to the testing place to get it emissions tested, and it fails. Why does it fail? Not because there is anything wrong, but because a couple of sensors have not "reset" themselves. So what the hell does that mean? The people at the emissions testing station don't know. They tell me to go see the dealership. The dealership says that it takes somewhere between three and ten start and warm up cycles to reset the sensors. I ask how the heck am I supposed to know when it is done, I mean will the sky clear and a beam of sunlight will break through the clouds and I will suddenly KNOW the sensors have reset? (and yes I did ask that exact question of the service manager). He said that for $150.00 they would go in and reset the codes in the computer, and it would pass, but that if it didn't I could get a waiver. It seems if you spend $150.00 to address whatever problem you have that is causing you to fail the emissions test, they will pass you anyway. It guess it is a complete coincidence that that is the exact amount of money it takes to reset the computer which takes about two seconds and involves pushing a couple of buttons. So I made an appointment to drop off the truck the next morning. I had the kids drop off the truck because...
Mrs A had a medical appointment in Bellevue the next morning.
While we were waiting for the medical stuff, the kids called and said they were heading back home that afternoon, because the passes were bare and wet and were supposed to stay that way until late evening, when it was supposed to snow like crazy, so they had to run around and get all of the last minute things done and get everything packed. So we came straight back from the doctors, they got back and packed and got out of here by 2:00.
when I called about the truck, they had not done anything with it yet. They called at 2:00 to say that I had a bad oxygen sensor, but that they could just reset the computer and I could go get it tested. I said that I wanted it fixed, so they went ahead and replaces the oxygen sensor, and I took it over to the testing station where....
it failed.
But since I had just paid $300 to have it repaired, I went and got a waiver. Mind you, my tabs were expiring that day. By that time it was 4:15. I had just enough time to go get the tabs renewed, because the licensing place closed at 5:00. I made it.
So I awoke this morning and Mrs A was getting ready to head out for work. She works a full day on Fridays, so It is just me and the dogs, who are over on the couch, snoring. The first quiet day I have had this Christmas.
And just in time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two steps fprward

I got the OK from the doc today to resume normal activities. I have been under orders to stay off my feet as much as possible. Guess I can no longer put off raking the leaves in the front yard........But it will be great to be able to take a shower without having my foot in a sandwich bag.
And my present supervisor has given me my release, so when I come back from the Holidays I will be reporting to my new job. On days. Right now I am negotiating for four tens, with Mondays off.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New job

Today I officially accepted the job offer for a new position. It involves a change of organizations, but physically I will move about six feet.
The new job is Liaison M.E. instead of ECAT. ECAT is wiring shipside support, Liaison is everything else. Like structures and hydraulics and ECS.
I should get a report date in the next couple of days. I kept telling my boss that I would do whatever was necessary to get out of working second shift. Either they didn't believe me, or didn't care (or both). So now I have done it. The agreed to report date is after the first of the year, but my current manager has not yet turned loose of me.
Still fighting the infection on my toe. I have to go in tomorrow and get it looked at again. I sure hope they give me a clean bill of health, but since I can't see the toe for all the bandages, I have no idea how it looks. Got my fingers (and toes) crossed.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Stir it up

My toe is not healing the way the wound specalist would like. The swelling and redness has gone away, but a hole remains. They insist that it needs to remain open and heal from the inside out. So when I go in, they scrape off any scab that has formed. Lots of fun there.
Seems all we do lately is go to doctors appointments. They hope that it will be healed by next week.
I was offered a job today, and will take it. If anything I am overqualified, but it is on first shift and I will only have to work every third weekend. The hours are kinda flexible, so we will be having a discussion about four tens or nine 80s or midshift when we get together next. But I took the offer, so I will report to days after the first of the year.
And my daughter has been missing for three days.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


I finally got the Westie back from the shop. Good to have my toy back.
It was in having a propane heater installed so we can go camping year round and not freeze our butts off. They built it in under the back seat where the stock back seat heat vent went, and built a box to surround it. The vent comes out right in front of the rear jacking point on the passenger's side.
While they had it up on the lift, they noticed on of the front tires had some "cupping". That means there is uneven wear with come spots showing appreciably more wear than the rest of the tire. It is an indicator of worn suspension parts. Since I had noticed a distinct shimmy starting at around 65 miles an hour, I knew something was wrong up front. This diagnosis fell perfectly in line with what I figured. New tie rod ends and bushings and several hundred dollars later, the problem was fixed.
I am pretty much finished upgrading the Westie (for now).
2004 Subaru 2.5 Liter fuel injected computer controlled 175 HP engine.
New brake system all around.
New tires.
New canvas for the pop-top
New 37 quart refrigerator/freezer (12/120 volt)
New awning
New second battery to run 12v accessories, with wiring to isolate it from the main battery but charge it when the engine is running
Wider window in back to allow 110V air conditioner to be used, box to contain the unit.
New windshield.
New air conditioner.
New back bumper
New propane heater.
New 12V outlet on sidewall of driver's seat mount.
Rebuilt front steering.
There are still a couple of things I am playing with, but need some time to think through.
I have a Honda 2000e Super Silent generator. I think it would be neat to build in to the interior of the vehicle. There is a spot under the cabinets next to the engine that might be big enough to fit it in, but you would need to make a lockable door for outside access to start it since it is pull-start. I suppose a different answer might be to work out a starter motor drive of some kind, but so far it is just a concept, not a plan.
Other than that, there is the possibility to make it four wheel drive, but right now the conversion is a little steep. Not necessary, but it would be nice for when we get off of the pavement, or when it snows.