31 March 2013

The Story

28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

28:6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

28:7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead;
and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

28:8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy;
and did run to bring his disciples word.

Matthew 28:5-8

(The rabbit had nothing to do with it.)

Happy Easter everyone!

30 March 2013

Cars n' Coffee, Jacksonville

Son In Law found an online listing of the car events happening here and today (every Saturday from 7 to 9) there was a cruise-in at a donut shop in south Jacksonville.

I took my dog and headed out bright and early. It was a rather small gathering, but several nice cars showed up.

There were three Model A's, I did get one picture of all three of them together but unfortunately it didn't come out right.

In the "they don't build them like that anymore" category is this nice woody Town n' Country. Yes, that coachwork is all real wood, and it looked fantastic.

A little juice for the car, a little juice for the driver...

Quite a few nice rods there as well.

That's a familiar sticker.

The Mustangs were well represented, too. This nice Mach 1 was just one of several ponies to appear.

The rest of the pictures can be found here.

29 March 2013

Playing Tourist

I lived in Jacksonville from late '94 to almost 2000 and never once went to St Augustine to do the tourist thing. With the temps in the 70s and a house full of kids to entertain today was the day.

The four of us got there in the afternoon, we found a good parking spot and walked through the old jail first. After going through the gift shop we went down to the ticket booth across the road and rode the red train (actually we rode the black train, but it was being used as a red train) and then went through Ripley's.

Boneshaker bicycle

St Augustine Old Jail

 Castillo de San Marcos

House made from redwood log, that's Grand-daughter posing for the picture

 The Great Cross, Mission of Nombre de Dios, St Augustine FL

We didn't get to go through the fort or see the Fountain of Youth, but they will be there another day. Sonny's BBQ rounded out the days events.

All in all, a fun day.

28 March 2013

Book Reports

I've been remiss, there are several books I've finished that I should have told you about. Allow me to correct my oversight now.

All of these books can be had through the Amazon Kindle store, but a few (Terms of Enlistment, any of the Sabrina Chase books) can be had straight from the author's websites which usually nets them a little more coin. I've put up links to the authors websites where appropriate. I usually get them from the Kindle store just because its easier to download them to my 'droid.

In the order which they appear on my Kindle app (love that thing, but I really could stand a bigger screen. Problem is that would take a bigger device, and the 'droid is already pushing my limit where communications devices are concerned. But I digress):

The Scent of Metal by Sabrina Chase. So far I've liked everything by Sabrina Chase, and this is no exception. Pluto is no planet, but what it is may surprise you. Highly recommended.

The Flux Engine by Dan Willis. Steampunk in the old west starring Wild Bill Hickok, a rollicking fun read that would be great for anyone who likes the steampunk genre.

Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos. Marko is well known for his essays (particularly "Why the Gun Is Civilization") that have been bandied about on and off the net, mostly attributed incorrectly, but this is his first novel. Long time readers of The Munchkin Wrangler know what to expect as far as style; Terms of Enlistment is a good solid mil sci-fi read that will not disappoint.

"The Long Way Home", "Queen of Chaos" and "Raven's Children", the Sequoyah Trilogy by Sabrina Chase. Did I mention that I have liked everything so far by Sabrina Chase? More space novels, this one follows a space pilot with an interesting past that has a secret to tell someone...if she can just figure out who that someone should be.

Space Eldritch, a compilation that I got from one of Larry Correia's book bombs. I didn't really care much for it.

Old Habits by Christopher Taylor, I started reading this one when he was publishing it on his now defunct website and got sucked into the story. I was very glad to see him actually publish this one. It's the story of a thief who finds himself in strange circumstances trying to track down his loot in a medieval magical world.

So that's what I've been reading. I liked everything but Space Eldritch, it just wasn't my cuppa tea but someone else might like it. Hopefully it gives you a few ideas.


25 March 2013

24 March 2013

Gator State

and raining. Liquid sunshine.

But it was already in the mid 60's when I got up at 9 this morning.

It's going to get colder this week, it's going to be all the way down in the lower 60's the first part of the week and only get to the mid 60's the last part of the week. I'll definitely need a jacket while I'm cruising around with the top down, at least Tuesday and Wednesday.

Weather at home during the same time frame isn't expected to climb out of the low 50's.

It's a burden I must bear.

UPDATE: By 3 PM it was sunny and in the low 80's. Burden indeed.

23 March 2013

Tough Love

This past week as I was suffering under the nasty bug, Eldest Son got himself locked up.

To hear him tell the story he didn't actually do anything, but he was riding around with someone who had enough weed on him to warrant a possession with intent charge.

He has had a lifetime of poor choices, with the entirely predictable bad results, but none of them have ever been his fault, of course. This is called "bad luck" by those who don't realize that we make our own luck.

Anyway, he burned up the phone lines at $10.00 per call (on my plan, naturally) to his sisters trying to get bailed out without letting me know about it, but finally had to call me to tell me what had happened. The first call he told me that he wouldn't be home for a while.

The second call was to tell me if I would put my property up as bail he could get out.

Last tax assessment period the house and land was assessed at $157K. His bail is $600.

He was hurt and surprised when I declined this generous offer.

My tax return came in this week as well, and I had already planned what I was going to do with it. First I was to replenish the credit card for the tire purchases and wheel repairs made earlier in the month, and then I was going to put exhaust on the car, and finally it was vacation time.

Bottom line, I had the money to bail him out. In fact, I still do. And I could go downtown right now and bail him out.

Just as I always have.

Eight years ago he came to North Carolina from Florida to "straighten his life out" and get back on track. Eight years later he has accomplished nothing towards that goal.

He still doesn't have his GED. He has no vocational skills training that would help him get a good job. He hasn't worked a real job in over five years. He owes the state of Florida $24K on back child support and fees so he doesn't have his drivers license. No forward progress, and a bit of backwards progress.

He doesn't realize it just yet, but his life has changed. He will start his new life by sitting in jail until his April 1st court date. He will turn 30 years old the day after. We will see if he will spend that birthday in jail as well. When he does get out he will find that Dad is no longer willing to pay his bills.

One year from the day he gets out of jail he will have his GED, or he won't live at my house any more.

Two years from the day he gets out of jail he will have some sort of vo-tech training in progress, or he's out.

Three years from the day he gets out of jail he will be working in his new profession, or he's out.

Four years from now he's out anyway because I'm selling the house and getting out of the kid raising business altogether. By then Youngest Son will be 18 and he had better be graduated from school and starting on his new career path that doesn't include "sponge off of Dad" because he knows that option has been closed. At least his older brother has served as a good bad example in that regard, and I'm happy to say he's been scoring straight A's for the past few months.

He will get one single apology from me. I will apologize for not kicking his ass eight years ago.

His bail money sure does sound great on the car though.

UPDATE:  Recent developments have me cautiously optimistic. He called me today and, without me prompting him, laid out his new life's plan which pretty much paralleled my life's plan for him. He usually figures out the right thing to do once he runs out of all the other options.

He even told me he didn't expect me to believe him, so he would just prove himself to me. We'll see if he sticks to it. That will be the real test.

20 March 2013

Sneezing, Sniffling, Stuffy Head

just in time to go on vacation.  My joy knows no bounds.

At least it should be warm in Florida.

And on that note, I really miss the old NyQuil. It had as much alcohol as brandy and would really knock you out. The new stuff doesn't do a thing at all to help me sleep.

15 March 2013

Round Rubber Thingies, Part 2

I went out today to get a set of front tires to match the new rear tires. I didn't really want to go all the way into town, so I stopped off at the next-to nearest tire store to the house (the nearest is a defenseless victim zone) to see if they had what I needed.

They didn't have Hankook Ventas V12s in the proper size, and the quickest they could get them was Wednesday. I didn't want to wait until Wednesday, but they really wanted my business. So, instead of getting two more Ventas V12 tires they traded them straight across for two Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires and then sold me two more for the front at the same price, mounted and balanced, which was a few dollars less than I paid for the Hankooks.

It was a solid deal that I couldn't pass up, so I sprung for their extended road hazard warranty as well just to ease their pain a bit. Out the door for a bit more than I paid at Pep Boys for the Hankooks, but four new tires for the cost of two (and a better warranty) couldn't be beat, considering they traded used tires for new (even if the used set did only have 630 miles on them since they were installed).

So now I have four Continental tires on the car, it's just as smooth as the day I picked it up, and I have a 50,000 mile tread warranty to boot. Since I've only been able to get 20 to 30K out of the Pirellis I'm interested in seeing if the Continentals can deliver what they promise. If they do deliver as promised it should be another 2 1/2 years before I have to put tires on this car next (at which point the car will have 100K miles on it), and if that is the case I'll spring for the same tires again.

Now I'm all ready for my Florida trip next weekend. It sure would be nice if the IRS would hurry up and give me my money back so I can get axlebacks put on it before I go, but I won't hold my breath.

14 March 2013

The Last Angel

Thank you LT Dalton. Fair winds and following seas.


Have some pi.

13 March 2013

This Is Why

Larry Correia is my favorite author. The one-liners. Like this one:

"If I was angry, you'd know it as soon as your house blew up." (you have to scroll down a ways to find it)

11 March 2013

You Know You Want One

Get it here.

For a limited time only, so go quickly!

09 March 2013

No Pipes For You

They were for a 2010 and the connections are different.

I haz a :(

Oh well, I needed front tires worse anyway, and besides, I know a guy...

Home Alarm System Commercials

To put it bluntly, they piss me off. Yeah, some determined attacker who has already kicked in your front door is going to leave your naked towel-wrapped ass alone because some disembodied voice on a speaker tells him the cops will be there in a half an hour or your pizza is free.

Here's how they should really end:

Free rock with every purchase!

Round Rubber Thingies

A little over a year ago I put tires on the Mustang. When I did so I got a wobble at 15MPH that turned into a vibration at interstate speed. I took it back to the Ford dealer that had installed the tire they diagnosed a bent wheel and went into "not our fault" mode when I pointed out that the wobble wasn't there before the tires went on.

Yesterday I took the car to a wheel fixing place to get some curb rash taken care of and oh yeah,by the way while you are there...

The wheel wasn't bent.  The tire on the left rear had a band about 3" wide that was worn bald about 1/3 of the way around the inside of the tire, the rest of the tread was good. In other words, the left rear tire has been bad since it went on the car a year ago. If the dealers service center had just checked the tires instead of the alignment and balance they might have found it and replaced the bad tire under the tire manufacturers warranty, but I suppose that was too much to expect from parts replacers (I don't have much use for dealer "mechanics" ever since a Dodge dealer couldn't properly diagnose a pickup coil on the Rampage because there wasn't an OBD port for them to plug the diagnostic computer in to tell them what the problem was).

This is irritating for reasons I hope I do not have to explain. I had already decided I would never buy tires from the car dealer ever again, figuring that if you take the car to a tire shop for tires they know tires better than the car dealer, but since the first set got replaced for having basically the same thing happen (on a front tire this time) I'm done with Pirelli P-zeros as well.

Fortunately I found a tire shop that had the correct size (245/45-19's, Hankook Ventus V12 this time around) to put on the car at short notice, so the wobble is gone. I just wish I had done it earlier, that vibration was really irritating. It's funny, I had forgotten how smooth the ride really is on that car.

Today I get my new exhaust put on. The guy I got them from gave them to the guy that told me about them, I'm meeting him with the Mustang group today and one of the other guys in the group lives 15 minutes away from the meeting spot and has offered the use of his garage and tools to put them on, so they will be on the car when I get home.

Between the Subaru and the Mustang this has been an expensive month.

05 March 2013

Sound And Fury

60,000 miles is coming right up on the pony, I'm expecting to be out of warranty by this summer. That means this years tax return is going for pony parts.

I'm not going to get overly crazy, I like the car the way it is but I just want a bit more here and there. I'm definitely going to have to get another wheel because one of them on the right side is bent which causes the car to shake, but for purely aftermarket parts I'm looking at exhaust, cold air intake and tune, maybe some springs and shocks, and that's about it.

One of the aftermarket exhaust systems I was looking at was the MRT Interceptor axle-backs. I shudder at the cost...almost $600 for mufflers? but they are stainless steel so they fit the existing pipes like they were stock and they give a nice deep tone.

I wasn't planning on getting them right away, in fact I was going to concentrate on wheels and probably new tires (they last about 18 months and run about $1000 a set), I'll be due for them this summer sometime, but when I mentioned it on the Mustang Forums one of the forum members mentioned that he knew where there was a set used that could be had for not quite half price.

The payment has been sent and the only thing that remains is to get them from Hickory to here. Fortunately the same member that brought them up has transportation options in mind, so I should have them next week.  They'll go on just in time to go to Florida for Easter.

That's it for mods for a while though, next will be that bad wheel replacement, a set of tires, and a scuff repair for the other wheel on the right side. Just keeping the wheels in good shape is a chore by itself.

I'm looking forward to hearing how they sound though.

UPDATE: It's at the wheel fixing place right now, and my weekend plans have fallen through so I'm going to go get the axlebacks on Saturday. They will go on the car as soon as I have the time to do it. That will finish up the mods for the time being...until the tax refund gets here...

03 March 2013

Day In Review

Saturday started out with range time, which is always a good way to start the day.

The bangsticks of choice for the day was in the diminutive caliber of .22 long rifle. There was one open-sight Marlin model 60 and one scoped Ruger 10/22.

The Marlin ended up being much more picky about it's ammo, which is something I had not experienced with that gun before. Multiple FTE/FTF issues with it using the bulk ammo Range Partner had in his ammo can, but the Ruger ate it without complaints.

So, surprisingly enough, did the High Standard, which is usually much more picky about its ammo.

Following the .22 shooty goodness I put a box of 50 crap Tula ammo through the Glock and got the expected 2 FTEs with it. It's picky about its ammo also, but not as bad as before I changed out the recoil spring.

After all the shooty goodness Range Partner and I went to McCalls for the Triangle Open Carry meetup which is always good.

The day was finished off by showing Eldest Son how to install a timing belt on a 2.5 Subaru flat four (see previous post) and hamburgers on the grill.

Tomorrow is back to work

02 March 2013

Subaru Owner PSA

If you own a Subaru with the 2.5 liter flat 4 motor there are certain maintenance tasks which must be performed without fail.

Number one on that list is a timing belt change at 105K miles. Well, actually that's probably number 3 after regular oil changes and scheduled coolant flushes (yes they are very important, they will help to keep the head gaskets from leaking which is a bane of the Subaru 2.5L flat 4, also pay attention to your battery) but it is the major maintenance at 105,000 miles.

If you are doing this on your own it is imperative that you get the service manual for your car, but while on the subject of timing belts please do note you do not line the motor up to Top Dead Center to remove or install one, as you would with normal engines. You do this at TDC (#1 cylinder compression stroke) + 90 degrees.

For what it's worth, you can install the heads without pulling the motor. You have to put the heads in place with the bolts in the heads. It's easier to have two people to do this, one from the top and one from the bottom, to keep from dropping the head as you are trying to seat it on the block.

Eldest Son wasted most of his day trying to figure out why he couldn't put the timing belt on the Subaru today, when I got home we had it on in 5 minutes and he felt like an idiot. I'm hoping that the rest of the trucklet will go back together tomorrow, it's been down all week and I'm going to need it next weekend.

Until then I'll be forced to ride the pony I guess. The sacrifices I must make...