Sunday, August 26, 2007


New Computer

So Palila and I ran to the Barnes and Noble on campus after the Dean's welcome back party today. The B&N has a computer store in it for the campus. They sell Apple computers. We just went in to look, but then I took advantage of the "buy a Mac Book get a Nano free" for students opportunity. This is my first post from the new computer.

I'm a little disappointed that the computer did not come with a video cable adapter. My iBook came with one. I realize the mini-DVI has many output options, but even mini-DVI to SVGA would have been handy. I also need a Firewire cable to get info off the iBook and onto the MacBook. We decided to run to Wal Mart since they usually have cables cheap. Well, this time they didn't have anything.

As for the laptop itself, so far so good. It is so fast.

Monday, August 20, 2007



I got to go see the Dave Matthews Band in concert this weekend with a great friend of mine.

I said a little prayer.

I then proceeded to enjoy the snot out of myself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I think I've got an ulcer

But in good news: parts for the Daytona are in Decatur. Hopefully they will go on the truck for delivery to me today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Car Trouble Anyone?

How bad is it? Which one? I'll start with the Daytona because it isn't bad. One of the coolant lines to the turbo burst. Luckily, it was the outlet (hot) line that blew, so the turbo was still getting plenty of cool fluid from the water pump. And I was only on a short trip to the bank and back. I only emptied the reserver tank and nothing got too hot. The hoses are coming from Turbos Unleashed. I had to send them an e-mail a couple of days ago to remind them to send me my damn parts. Getting the burst hose out is a real bitch (most people recommend taking the head off first!). By the time I was done I'd used a jig saw, a BFH, a crow bar, my foot and half long socket wrench, a propane torch, and some other random, smaller tools. Hopefully the parts get here soon. USPS tracking still lists them in AZ. I'm not hopeful.

As for the truck, it ain't good. We just got it home about an hour ago. I was on my way to school to do some work late in the day for my adviser (around 3:30 or so). I would rather have been driving the Daytona, but ... (see above). The throttle in the truck had been acting funny (sticking) but I looked at the back of the pedal and it is a hard white plastic part that slides against the metal shaft. The metal shaft is a hard linkage to the carb. Newer vehicles use a cable, rather than a hard linkage, because these old linkages suck for just the very reason mine sucked today. Well, like I said, I'd been looking at the pedal and the white hard piece of plastic that rubs the metal rod was kind of worn and it looked like the rod was catching against the plastic. I just removed the pedal and was pushing on the rod (this was actually how I took ownership of the truck -- the pedal was included and I installed it myself).

Once I got on the interstate the throttle was still sticking. I could pull the rod up by hand and I wasn't that worried. Then I got into stop and go traffic and it was kind of hard to hold it in place, so I put it in neutral (even with the new disc brakes I installed -- it probably wouldn't have held with the old drums at a total stop). I punched the throttle hoping it would free up and come back down (what I learned later was that the throttle was hung up against the transmission kick down linkage). Well, it didn't come back down, it hung at a real high RPM and I couldn't pull it back. So here I am, on I-85 in rush hour traffic in Atlanta with a 440 big block Mopar screaming its guts out. And what do I do? Got any guesses? I did totally the wrong thing. Rather than just turning the key off and push it to the side of the road, I half-panicked and decide to drop it back into drive (to give myself a tiny [very tiny because I did something really dumb] amount of credit, I wasn't totally in stop-and-go, it was more like slow-and-go.). Can you see where this is going? The new, fat, and sticky BFG Radial T/A's grabbed pavement, and not just a little bit. Then BAM. I'm guessing that's when the engine mounts broke and slammed the fan into the radiator. I'm and idiot!!

I called Palila. She took off work early and came and picked me up. She wasn't going to go back to work so we decided to go ahead down to campus so I could do my work. Might as well, right? I did my work, we at dinner at the Moe's that's kittycorner (possibly kattycorner) from my building, then came home. The first two wrecker companies I called were too busy to help me. I kept asking down the line for a recommendation (who knows better than a tow company, right?). The first guy got there just about 9pm. When he got there a big important part of his truck was actually missing! I hope he hadn't lost it on the road because if he did, there was a big problem for someone else who hit it. So, he took off. I waited another 40 min for a second tow truck driver from that company to get there. So the truck is finally at home.

The motor mounts are totally gone. Hopefully I can get poly. The fan blades are all bent. I was thinking about getting a better fan and new fan clutch anyway. The radiator is TRASH. It has huge gouges in it. The fan shroud was already busted, so I needed a new one of those anyway. I guess I'll try to find an aluminum radiator that will fit. I hope that's all I broke. The trans mount was already new and is poly. I couldn't even bring myself to look at it (and the pavement was too hot to lay on to get a better look). If my new poly trans mount is broke I think I'll cry. I don't think it is broke though because the engine didn't flip over in the engine bay. My 'ole man still has one up on me. Of course, he was doing burn outs and being cool when he flipped an engine over in a car. I was being an f'ing moron.

Lesson 1: As my 'ole man has said to me for years "don't be so fucking stupid." How in the world am I in a Ph.D. program and still this dumb?
Lesson 2: Any time the throttle is stuck, turn the fucking thing off. Don't do any other stupid ass maneuver, turn it the fuck off.
Lesson 3: Don't do a neutral drop in a vehicle that has in excess of 400ftlb of torque.

But I'm sticking to my general record of breaking them rather than wrecking them. I miss my Monte Carlo. It just worked (except for the cruise control).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007



I finally had the windows in the Daytona tinted. Hopefully this will help the A/C keep up with the Atlanta heat.




I was very excited to hear from Tiffany's family that they are donating a crew shell and oars to the Purdue University Rowing Team in her memory! These items will be christened on Sept. 23. I'm so very happy for her family, Purdue University, and her friends that miss her. I wish I could be there.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Holy Crap!

This beer makes you want to yell something like "you can't do shit without your balls." (RIP Turrets Man)

Flying Dog Double Pale Ale

Monday, August 06, 2007


I get my labor back!

The A/C on the Daytona has been a real trial. I'm not even going to say I have it working. The second I say I have it working is when it'll quit again. I, however, did manage to get all of my labor costs at Firestone back. In short -- it's a real long story -- I had to redo everything they did for/to me. The system is now cooling adequately enough for me. These were never great to start, so I don't expect to drive a mobile ice box. I'm mostly just happy to recoup some of my costs, though I'll never get my time back.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


New Activist Group

for The
of PH.d.


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