Saturday, February 27, 2016

Car maintenance and tools

A lotta exhaust parts. Photo is by Tim from Flickr. CC-BY-2.0
I have to do the dreaded car maintenance on one of my older cars. My Chrysler needs an exhaust and the brakes done. I know how to do both. Brakes are easy. The exhaust part I've been putting off because it's still the factory exhaust that's all welded together.

I know it should not matter because it will get cut off with a rotary tool or Sawzall or air hammer. I just am not a fan of getting under the car. I don't have a hoist. For the longest time, I used an old bottle jack and stands. At one point, I did one of those unsafe things like use a bottle jack to lift a car, then put no jack stands under it, and took the wheel off. Not too bright. The only good thing is that I read quite a bit about good hydraulic jacks and good bottle jacks before I bought one. Anyhow, I'm getting distracted here.

The point was the exhaust. These things are always so rusty and nasty. Mine vehicle is no different. It's 15 years old. Pretty much an antique! I did some cost checking at the local parts store. I checked online, specifically Rock Auto. I also checked with a local shop to see what they would charge. The shop wanted close to 1000 bucks between parts and labor. Ouch. No surprise that the parts cost from buying online is cheapest at about 400 bucks. I would have to do the work. I thought by writing this it would give me a clear answer, but it hasn't yet. I think I'll turn my attention to the brakes now.

Brake jobs are easy to do. I should qualify that statement: Brake pad changes are easy to do. Take the wheel off, take the caliper off, take out the old pads. Reverse the procedure and call it done. What part of brakes that sucks is bleeding them. It takes two people to do the job. This can be tough if you are working on the car late at night after work and nobody is around because they are with their families. I did learn that there are brake bleeders on the market. That was news to me.

They make a few different designs. There are and pump-and-hold kits, vacuum kits, and pressure kits. I've read that they work pretty well so I bought one. I have not had a chance to use it just yet. (The last time I did bleed the brakes -- when a brake line gave up -- was around the time I replaced the timing belt in the car -- about 30K miles ago.)

Speaking of the timing belt (the 100k maintenance): There's a ton of info on the web about that service for my car. Just perusing a couple forums, I found step-by-step instructions on how to change the water pump and timing belt. It's just insane the amount of information that is out there nowadays.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Few hunting videos

I've had extra time lately and have gotten the hunting bug again. I've been watching a few duck hunting videos and thought I'd summarize a few of the ones I've seen.

Rise and shine

400 or more mallards were spotted in a flooded bean field.

The hunters set decoys during the night.

Early in the morning, the hunters had a small camp setup. When day break came, they ducks came in and the hunters bagged quite a few. As day moved on, straggler ducks came in and the hunters were successful. The bagged more than 20 mallards that day.

The editing in the video is good, with commentary and music throughout. It's worth a watch.

Small water ducks

This video is done by The Grind Waterfall TV and is good.

A few hunters setup on a small water body in Idaho and Montana. they used over goose and mallard decoys, with most of them setup on the upwind side.

These hunters take turns shooting, which avoids excessive shooting and makes sure each hunter knows which duck they shot.

They also did not shoot into big flocks to keep them around longer.

Mass attack

This video is of a duck hunt in a small water hole in Canada, specifically northern Sasakatchwan.

There are at least seven hunters, who bag 64 ducks in 15 minutes. That's a lot birds, taken quick!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thinking about a new car project

It's been awhile since I published on here, but the winter doldrums have already started. I need a new project. I've been scouring craigslist for a candidate to build into a cool car.

Haven't found anything that I really like yet, and I thought I'd throw some ideas out about possible vehicles and builds.


I've really wanted one of 3rd generation Fox body Mustangs, especially from the 1987–1993 era. (I've never owned a Ford. Always been in the GM/Chevy camp but want to expand my horizons.)

That generation of Mustangs has always allured to me, though. I think it's got to do with comparing it to the 3rd generation Camaros I've had.

Anyhow, the ones I've found for sale are either gutted, rusted out rollers, or automatics. I won't drive an auto. I have standards.

A roller would be ideal. I could do an engine build and aim for an 11-second car that drives reliably on the street.

Then, I think about all the newer sports cars out there and begin to realize that it may be better just to get one of those rather than spend money on polishing a turd, more or less.

Newer model sports cars tend to be faster, turn better, and, frankly, have a much better cockpit than older cars. That set me searching for a newer model roller that was damaged.

I did come across a 2013 Challenger. (Those Hellcat's are freaking amazing.) This Challenger was in a fire, had no title, motor, and the interior was burned. It would have been a great drag car project.

Unfortunately, I could not justify the cost of such a heavy car as a track vehicle or one that probably won't hook up well with a lot of horsepower.

(Check out Roadkill's shoot-out with Hellcats to see what I mean.)

If I'm going to spend bucks building a race only ride, I want something that has a weight advantage from the start.

I've come across a couple cool rat rod projects. One of them was an old Ford Supervan.

The patina on the body looked good, but I don't think I would have done it justice. I saw a wheely-popping truck, which probably was not for the best.

Besides, I did not like the van concept. I'd rather have a sports car or one that has a tight cockpit.

I remember seeing a wicked diesel truck on youtube. I added it below because it super cool.

Because I've owned Jeeps for years, I did look at getting a CJ, which needed new floors. It would have given me a good reason to use my MIG welder, which I researched here but have yet to use it on a dedicated project yet.

There's nothing cooler than a lifted Jeep, but I could not justify another 4x4 in the driveway. I don't live in a location that justifies four wheeling easily, either.

I'd rather have a fast ride or one that just looks gnarly.

Probably best to keep searching for the right vehicle. I'm sure I'll find it eventually or I get stir-crazy, buy something random, and just use creativity to make it into something goofy.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why I Like Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

Your parents and grandparents have a large understanding of investing in good quality steel pots and pans. They know that stainless steel pots and pans and very wonderful to use when cooking any kind of meal. Stainless steel pots and pans may look plain and traditional but it the most preferred cookware by any cook in the world. With non-stick cookware becoming popular in the market nowadays, any cook would know that stainless steel pots and pans can do just the same with the right conditions when using it.

If you do ask anyone about what they like to use when cooking their food, most of them will recommend stainless steel pots and pans. The very reason why most people like and love using stainless steel cookware sets is because of the strength of the stainless steel material. It endures all kinds of conditions which is not the same with non-stick pans and pots that are very sensitive. Stainless steel pots and pans can endure all kinds of scratches without even seeing a mark after cleaning it! It seems indestructible for its years of service before you even consider of replacing it. It can last a lifetime serving you and its kitchen duties. You will never get to break one and you will just think of replacing it with a new one not because it is broken, but because you just want to have a new cookware. There are many stainless steel pots and pans that have lifetime warranties. Factories and stores producing this cookware is that confident that their product will last longer even after you leave this lifetime.

You save money when you use stainless steel pots and pans. New types of cookware cost hundreds of dollars and do not even last for a couple of years. Some also need grease maintenance to keep it in good condition. Some are very sensitive that you need to buy special cooking spoons like silicon types, sturdy metal cooking utensils and specially made for non-stick pans. All those requirements cost you additional expenses. Stainless steel pots and pans will never be that costly. You can use anything that you want when cooking. There is no maintenance required. You can just simply wash it on a regular basis. Stainless steel pots and pans are very good one time investment for kitchen. There are sales available everyone on pieces that you can purchase them in a much cheaper price than good quality ceramic cookware sets on the market nowadays. Sales usually allow customers to buy pieces alone but you will know you still saved much unlike buying full set alone. Moreover, individual buying allows the customer to choose his or her preferred size and design for variety of cooking schedules. Just be sure to buy the best one in the market so you never have to spend one dime on another item.

Stainless steel pots and pans are used in all types of food. Its use is very versatile that a few couple of stainless steel pots and pans can help you cook different kinds of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can even serve a midnight snack as well.

It is healthy to cook in. Stainless steel pots and pans are not like any regular aluminum or cast iron cookware. It will not react to acidic foods and will not show slightest breakage upon contact. Other cookware have limitations to what types of food you can cook on it, but stainless steel pots and pans does not choose any type of food. You can cook everything in it!

Cleaning you stainless steel pots and pans will not be tedious and hard for anyone. You can normally clean it in a dishwasher using normal sponges and dishwashing soaps without the fear of scratching the metal surface.
You can talk to an adult or an elderly, and you might found out that their stainless steel pots and pans are passed onto them by their previous generation. They would tell you that the secret to using stainless steel pots and pans is to know that you have to preheat the pan before adding any food in the pan. Stainless steel cookware will seem like a Teflon type and your food will not stick to it.

Stainless steel pots and pans is the best and only cookware that you need in all types of food that you will cook. It may seem traditional but it is the only one that is capable of lasting a lifetime.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money?


“The greatest crimes are caused by excess and not by necessity” (Aristotle 7).   “It’s not actual poverty...but inner poverty--a condition of emotional, spiritual, creative, and social impoverishment” that drives people toward money (Boundy 19). 


In this society the main intention is to acquire the most possible money, causing people to be tricked into believing that they possess power. Respect or being well-liked is left lurking in the shadows, because the main intention is to come out ahead.  How can power be achieved?  This can be achieved in many ways, but here are a few: working longer hours, suing an individual, or impressing someone. This society is obsessed with greed; however, there is nothing wrong with striving to be wealthy.  Boundy says that “anyone who is in search of acquiring a good living is dreaming of becoming wealthy not greedy” (267).  The stock market is a prime example, drawing crowds from everywhere, and since everyone that invests in this is looking for greed or wealth, there is a certain amount of power when these people invest.  Usually they have extra money to blow anyway, unless, of course, they are compulsive gamblers.  Investing and gambling raises ones’ self-esteem, because one is making money leading toward the ultimate goal--more money. The addiction to greed creates people that are emotionally cold, because the only relationship that can be formed is to greed.  Their primary focus is to acquire more instead of enjoying life, causing their life to become narrow, restricted and impoverished (267).  However, the person who strives for wealth uses money to enhance, enlighten, and to give more experiences to those who do not abuse it. 


Originally, bartering was the only means of exchange, and this worked until people began to question the standards of what the value of something was.  These people were not able to take into account the time and skill needed to produce the good.  As time progressed, labor  became the main  factor, and then it became difficult to determine how many x’s are worth how many y’s.  Then around 1150 B.C. the Chinese used tool shapes as a medium of exchange.  This was a step forward taking labor in to account.  Now a determined price could be set.  The emotional impact of these is apparent in the time it would take to make these tools; the tools were used for practical purposes as well.
Where has the value for the unit of labor gone today?

As with everything, time enhances or time destructs anything in its path and our value for labor has been destructed.  Police officers and professors are payed a small salary, while lawyers and doctors are payed the extreme.  Police officers hold the streets together, causing peace and harmony within the community.  They also risk their own safety to help others.  Professors teach the young so that they can grow up to be the lawyers, doctors, and police officers.  All four positions help others out, but some to a lesser degree than others.  Doctors earn the money that they receive, because they have the power to diagnosis and heal people when they are ill.  Doctors, however, are not born doctors.  They must learn from somewhere.  The professors must feed the knowledge to the doctors; nevertheless, the human life expectancy will fall.  Now society has abstracted away from what the original concept of this medium of exchange was intended for.


It is said a fool is born separated from his money, and the same is said true for artists.

Some people have a hard time using money for any purposes.   An example is artists.  Artists have  difficulty selling their works, whether painter or poet.  Usually what money they do acquire is spent on alcohol and/or drugs to numb their emotional pain.  Major depression is one problem that usually inflicts them, which can cause a variety of symptoms from apathy, lethargy, hopelessness, sleep disturbances, and loss of pleasure in enjoyable events (Jamison, 63).  Some artists are plagued with manic depression, which is usually genetic, causing patients to switch from depressed to hyperactive and euphoric states. 

What would happen if our society was depressed all the time?

Everyone has ups and downs, but sometimes money causes people to become depressed.  If the rent cannot be payed for, the negative outcomes associated with not paying the rent with surface within the mind. Once one dwells on these negative thoughts, they will be soon bound to be translate into reality. 
Emotions like these are what transforms artists to express themselves.  Vincent Van Gogh was an artist that lived in the late 1800’s, and he was believed to have epilepsy and manic depression.  Theo, his younger brother, sent him enough francs to live on for roughly a month, since Vincent could not make it on his own trying to sell his art.  His works use a heavy laired impasto with extraordinarily bright colors to express his emotions.  In his Sunflower series, Vincent ran out of paint, and he was not able to eat as comfortably as the month before.  This allowed him to afford paint and finish off the series. 
His paintings acted as a therapy for him to unleash his extreme emotions, because he drove his friends away.  This left him in a state of solitary, not counting the letters to Theo.  His mental illness wrecked havoc on his life, but his symbol of hope shines through in his paintings with the extreme use of white and frequency of the sun in them.  Now a century later on 30 March 1987 for the price of $36,292,500 Sunflowers was sold at an auction in London.  Bonafoux sums it up as “Vincent did not have enough money to pay for the paints that, a 100 years later, would make his painting the largest transaction to take place in the art world” (158).  Loneliness and despair is what killed him, not the bullet that entered below his heart. 


Still think money will buy happiness? 

Arbeiter and Schott say “the basic elements that create happiness--love, self-esteem, fulfillment through work, and close relationships--can be nurtured by money, but they do not stem from it.  For the true ‘fortunes’ in our lives, we need to look elsewhere”.   The original concept of money was to assign a worth value for an item that was needed to survive, not emotions.   People obsessed with money have absolutely no control over themselves, and believe that they need to keep spending to stay alive.  Compulsive spenders are driven to get the item they desire with no regard for the consequences.  This type of spender often does this to fulfill a fantasy that burns within the depths of their mind.  This type of fantasy is usually related to raising their stature.  By spending erratically, it gets them the items that they can show off.  They have to be noticed by the elite, and they will try to fit in no matter what the cost.   “The image spender defines himself by his lifestyle” (Boundy 122). They try for something that they cannot have by buying, but once they get it, the process repeats itself.  One goal that people of this nature have is trying to become an interesting person through the items purchased. In essence, these people are trying to fulfill their “inner poverty” by buying something, never becoming fully satisfied.
Nowadays, money is transforming into plastic cards; this can be a headache for anyone that has a problem with not seeing the money being transacted.  Compulsive debtors use it as a small loan to keep buying and paying only the minimum due, maxing the card out, and spending over their income (Boundy 153). These loans encourage this compulsive spending, and the credit card company companies receive their fair share with interest.  The same holds true with debtors and spenders, who attempt to be noticed, attempting to fill their emotional void by purchasing.   To these people the future means nothing, and life is lived from one minute to the next.  
Hoarding money is just as much of a problem as being obsessed, because these type of people sacrifice their lives to keep on top a large sum of money.  Hoarders have all their bills payed on time, are never in debt, and never run up a credit card (213).  Extreme savers often face the dilemma that someday they will spend their money on a vacation, car, or retirement. Yet  they neglect to enhance or enlighten their present lives rather than their future. “It is if they believe that money is their lifeblood and that with each expenditure, they lose a little of themselves, a little vitality, a little power” (214 Boundy).   It originates from the individual going through extremely tough times, and they do not want to go back into financial poverty.  They sacrifice their own well-being at the present time so that in the future that they will not have to endure the physical and emotional pain involved with going through those extremely tough times.   “The person who unnecessarily hoards money for a rainy day at the age of thirty is usually still waiting for the rainy day at seventy, only the hoarding is done more rigidly” (221). 


Money provides us with  the physiological needs that Abraham Maslow described in his hierarchy of needs.  Safety and belonging needs are the two deficiency needs that will not be met because of a lack of attention.  These needs begin when a child is introduced into this world, and it is possible that both parents may contribute to not providing enough support.   If it is only a one income family, the father is usually labeled  the bread winner.  Although he may be able to do his job adequately--usually a production worker--but often does a poor job dealing with the emotions of the family.  His job may have very little emotional contact, and he is measured on what his production numbers are; therefore, he does not have much experience with human emotions and avoids it.  He may sacrifice his love to his family by giving them material items that symbolize love. 

Usually when both of the parents work, there is a better communication system between the two, because often they hold jobs where frequent emotional communication is essential to their position.  They treat each other as a whole, trying to understand each other.  The security that they will receive out of this will cause them to feel stable; however, when this type of family runs into complex emotional problems, the parents may avoid each other by working longer hours or just not coming home.  Then the parent tries to buy the love of the child back through gifts, hoping that this will serve as a sufficient substitute.   The parents try for love and affection but instead the children end with loneliness and despair.   These children will have anything that they desire; the consequence it that they lose out on the need to feel secure and loved.  “They feel ambivalent about the gifts, may not take good care of them, and--to the chagrin of parents--may act pretty ungrateful” (Boundy 91). The parents hope that any grief will be taken care of by the gift and then spending a few moments with them. It will work for a while. Soon the child will try to fill his emotional pain through craving attention, resulting in a problematic child.  The children may have no respect for anyone, because they have inferred that everyone can be bought just like them.  Since humans learn through imitating and copying one another, the result is that these children will act in the same manner as their parents--providing only material goods.  These material goods are thought of as a substitute for emotions, and no soul will never mature with an emptiness inside of them.

Security and trust is also labeled with money, because these requirements stem from our safety needs.  If the emotional attention is sacrificed, then the need for security or trust will be found elsewhere, and money is the source.  Printed on United States currency is IN GOD WE TRUST, and if we sacrifice trust we violate the entire reason of money--a unit of exchange. 


Psychologically money wrecks havoc on our society because of all its symbolic meanings.  Power is the main ingredient that is brewing in the cauldron, because many believe that power can be bought.  When they believe that this power is achieved their self-esteem skyrockets with it.  Also, the repetition of thinking  will lead to believing, and these people may be attracted to the opposite sex easier because of the obvious changes--slick hair, new threads, and a roll of money.  How can a strong emotional bond between two individuals form when someone is madly in love-- with money.
The evolution of money is outstanding, but what it stands for is irritating.  The value that was put on labor has diminished, leaving ways to increasing status, having sexual valor, feeling powerful,  feeding self-esteems, filling emotional voids, and creeping into debt.  Now there is one question left to pose: When will we stop gazing into the wilderness to find only a tree? 

Works Cited

Aristotle, “Politics”, in The Works of Aristotle, 1267.  Trans. W.D. Ross, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921.

Bonafoux, Pascal.  Van Gogh, Passionate Eye.  New York: Abrams Inc.

Boundy, Donna. When Money is the Drug.  New York: Harper Collins, 1993.

Jamison, Kay Redfield. “Manic-Depressive Illness and Creativity.”  Scientific American. Feb.      1995: 62-67.

Nietzsche, Freidrich. Beyond Good &Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Trans.  Walter     Kaufmann. New York: Random House, 1966.

Schott, John W., and Jean S. Arbeiter. “Emotional Investments.” Psychology Today. Jan-Feb.      1998: 56.