17 October 2021

It Has Been A While

 hasn't it?

So what has been happening between my three latest posts and the one before? That was a 10 month gap, surely something noteworthy happened?

Well, as a matter of fact...

First, since August 2020 I has been a kolidge student. Yep, it's true, my company decided that what they really needed was a professional development program so they were offering free tuition in a partnership deal with local colleges. One of those local colleges is 10-15 miles from the house, so I jumped on it.

So why all of a sudden have I decided, at the age of 55 and closer to retiring from than entering the workforce, I needed a degree? Well, y'see, way back in 1990 I went through a Navy class called AVI-C7, which is an engineering level school. If I had been a smart guy, I would have gone straightaway to Navy Campus and finished a degree by taking the requisite electives. But I didn't. I did manage to get a few CLEP (College Level Examination Program) credits in for math and history, so I had that going for me (and in fact they did come in handy for this program), but I never got that degree. Mostly it hasn't mattered, but it's always been at the back of my mind that I should have gotten it done.

Now is a good time to mention that my 1990 credits were in electronics engineering technology, and by the time I was done with all my Navy tech schools I had over 60 of them. That's good enough for a BS/EET had I taken advantage of them. Unfortunately due to advances in computer technology, the digital parts of those classes have since been Overtaken By Events.

When I applied for the program at my local community college my company didn't want to pay for the Electronics Engineering Technology (AAS/EET) degree, which I have nearly enough credits remaining from my Navy days to qualify for after the electives are taken care of (all I needed was three classes; Digital Electronics, C programming, and Intro to Microprocessors). But, they were more than willing to spring for the AAS degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology, which is an in-between Mechanical and Electronics kind of thing. Funny thing is, the same credits that I need for the EET degree are included in the MET course of study (the three additional classes needed for the EET degree are electives for the MET degree). So, when I get the AAS/MET, I will also get the AAS/EET degree at the same time, which means that even though they didn't want to pay for the EET degree, they will anyway. It looks like I should have it all done at the end of the Spring 2022 semester.

I took the summer off (not a stretch since there weren't any classes offered that I really needed) because since the Bat Flue Pan(dem)ic was apparently drawing down at the time the missus and I decided to do a little traveling. I had lots of vacation built up since we hadn't gone anywhere for a while, so we loaded the dogs up and off we went.

First we headed north, to southwest Pennsylvania, to see her folks, then westward to southwest Iowa to see mine. After that we went to Rapid City, South Dakota (actually to nearby Ellsworth AFB where we stayed at the campground on base) to do the tourist thing, and then to central Wyoming to see my daughter (the only one of my 5 children that I had a part in the creation of). From there we returned to Iowa, then back to Pennsylvania, and finally home.

21 days, 13 states, almost 4000 miles. It was a long trip, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.

16 October 2021

I See

 This damn dog eats everything.

Lately it's been my glasses. 3 pairs in the last month.

The first time it happened, I ordered two pair. Then when she ate another pair I ordered a replacement pair so I would still have two. Of course, before they got here she ate the other pair.

To do so she had to eat through the case they were in. The prior pair were just sitting on my bedside table, so I figured that a case would keep the "new" pair safe. I was wrong.

My new glasses got here today so I am once again visionary. I also have two more pair coming.

This pair is going in a lock box in my bedside table drawer. When the next two pair arrive they will go in the gun safe and I will hope I never need them. But, just in case she eats the entire bedside table just to get to my glasses, I will have replacements.

On a related note, Zenni Optical is a good place for inexpensive glasses.


 I have had my little Firefly for a little over 11 years now, and the time has taken it's toll.

The back window fell out of the top a while back and I was able to glue it back in successfully, but it never did look right. Now the fabric around the top of the window is actually tearing, and some of the elastic straps that help to fold the top when it is being retracted have stretched out and lost their elasticity.

In short, I need a new top.

There is a highly recommended shop in Raleigh for auto interiors and tops (named, strangely enough, Auto Interiors and Tops) and I took the car by there after work on Friday morning to have them take a look at it. Inspections were done, agreements were reached, and checks were written.

Because doesn't everyone drop a grand or more on their car before going to bed?

Anyway, the car is due in their shop the middle of next month for a top replacement.

But wait, there's more. Ford, in their infinite wisdom, decided to use aluminum hoods on these cars. The idea was weight savings, aluminum is lighter than both steel, and surprisingly enough, fiberglass. The problem with aluminum is that if it is not properly prepared, it corrodes.

And, of course, the aluminum in these hoods is prone to corrode. Look up "Mustang hood corrosion" and you will see that Ford not only knows about the problem, but that they have known about it since 2000 when they first started using aluminum hoods and they have yet to do anything about it. And, if your car is out of warranty (which is usually the case), you get to suck up the cost of repair (yes, there is a lawsuit, but I don't know what the status is on it).

At any rate, the body shop recommended replacing the hood with a fiberglass unit. So, off to American Muscle I went to look for hoods. And holy crap, are those damn things expensive!

I don't know why no one has simply reproduced the stock hood in fiberglass, but they haven't. There is one that is close, except it has chrome vents on the sides where my hood spear decals are. The cost is only a couple of hundred dollars less than a brand new aluminum hood from Ford though.

I finally settled on Cervani's Concept Hood because I like the low profile. It's on order, being shipped to Auto Arts in Raleigh (once again, highly recommended), and will be installed and painted when it arrives.

I got the Subaru back again (Eldest Son had it for a while) as well, and once more it needs transmission work. A definite bearing noise in the high gear. Looking at exploded diagrams leads me to believe that one or both of the rear bearings, just in front of the fifth gears, are bad. Damn, that boy is hard on cars, it seems like it needs expensive repairs every time he borrows it for an extended time.

So I have to pull the trans out of it again. Problem is, no one local can fix it, so either I have to pull it apart myself or send it away somewhere to get it fixed (or put someone else's problem in it). I'll probably just do it myself. I don't really need it right now, so it can wait a bit.

Fortunately the Jeep is doing well (except for the lake in the passenger floorboard when it rains hard). With the winter coming it's about time to put the solid doors back on it though. Maybe I'll do that this week sometime.

08 October 2021


I would post something, but we have a doddering senile idiot for President and a cackling whore for his insurance policy. 

H.L. Menchen was an optimist.

This is why God made bourbon.

FML. Over and out.