November 27, 2015
RIP The Patriot
Sold the Patriot today. Can't justify the money it would have taken to put a tranny in it.Probably the last new vehicle I wil ever buy. I've bought 3 brand new, and the Patriot lasted for less than 6 years, the Nissan less than 5. For the cost of new vehicles, I can buy used every couple of years and come out ahead. Besides the fact that anything 4WD is stupid expensive (even AWD is prohibitive).
November 13, 2015
What is Old is New
Over the last several weeks, the Jeep has not been doing so well. I believed it to be a transmission issue so I asked my local mechanic to check into getting a re-manufactured tranny for it. Seems that it is super special and there are none to be found (combination between it being fairly new - 2010, manual instead of automatic, and a 4WD instead of AWD). In fact, one of the mechanic's distributors said that he had been searching for the exact same tranny, for someone else, for 2 months.
On 11/3, as I was driving it to the mechanic for him to check out, it got way worse. After he took it for a test drive, he told me he wouldn't even try to drive it home if he were me.
So, I drove to the local Ford dealer and started looking at the used vehicles they had. I ended up test driving a 2004 Explorer that had just been traded in with 130,000 miles. Not having time to search other venues (and not having other venues within walking distance to check out), I decided that the price was something I could live with. We agreed upon a price, with the stipulation that they would do all work needed to pass inspection (I already knew that the steering rack needed replaced), and they set up the work order.
I rode my bike to work the rest of the week, used it to get groceries over the weekend, and rode to work on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Those last two days were a chilly 24 and 26 degrees in the morning - which was a fine time to find out my heated gear controller no longer worked (hadn't used it but a couple of times since I got it last year). Oh well, I didn't freeze to death so I can't complain too much.
Tuesday night the Explorer was ready for me to pick up so I walked part way to meet up with the salesman, who drove me the rest of the way to the dealership.
It rained the rest of this week (or most of it), so I was glad to have the truck. Tomorrow I should actually see what it looks like in daylight - I've only seen it in the dark of morning or evening.
I'll have my mechanic continue looking for a tranny for the Jeep. It would be nice to get it fixed since it gets twice the gas mileage as the Explorer and is more suitable for everyday driving. However, the Explorer will be good for hauling a trailer, should I ever get one, and can haul a bunch more pellets both volume and weight wise even without a trailer, so will be handy to have regardless if I can ever get the Jeep fixed.
October 03, 2015
Saturday I started dragging the future bathroom cabinets into the house. There were two reasons for this; I need room in the garage to store pellets and I had already discovered that the cabinets were not polyurethaned to my satisfaction. So I moved the smaller cabinets into the basement and gave them another layer of poyl so they can stand up to a moist bathroom environment better.
When I decided to go ahead and bring in the big piece, the 36" vanity, I moved the smaller pieces to the craft room and finished them with a second coat of poly there. But, when I removed the vanity from the packaging, this is what I found.
The carton was not damaged so I believe that this happened at the manufacturer. Monday I called HD and they reordered the vanity. The original pieces took 5-6 weeks. I got a message Thursday that the replacement should only take 2 more weeks - so there is that. They will pick up the cracked piece when they deliver the new piece.
I guess it could be worse, I could actually have a contractor interested in doing my bathroom project and have it on their schedule.
November 22, 2014
More to Share, but Can't
I took a bunch of pictures last weekend, but can't share them with you right now. Sunday I went to download them and the card wouldn't read in the camera or thru the desktop. Cang, and I don't even remember what I had taken pictures of. The good news is that I had another card, so I can take pictures in the future. Hopefully I can figure out how to temporarily fix the old card and download those to see what I missed.
Monday morning I got up and there was nothing exciting happening outside when I let Fuzzy out. 15 minutes later when I let him back in, it was snowing. That wasn't unexpected. Then by the time I left for work it had turned to sleet. That was not what I was hoping for.
Then, on the way to work I suddenly realized that my new auto insurance comapny had not yet sent me a bill. Two months ago I had called my agent informing her that the EX and I needed to split up our auto insurance. She did some research and found a company that would cost me $300 less per year than if I stuck with my old company. I don't know why they do that - the old company would rais my cost by nearly $300 becasue I was no longer insureing 2 vehicles with them. That is even though I insure my house with them. Stupid because they lost a customer. Anyway, the old insurance expired on 11/5 (or 15, I'm not sure). New insurance I hadn't gotten anything from. And seeing all the idiots on the roads that wanted to ride my bumper even though I was going the speed limit (and salt trucks were not out for the most part).
Called my insurance agent, who to her credit was in the office at 7:45 (I was planning on leaving her a message). She looked it up and the sign up was still "pending". However, she informed me that I did have insurance and sent me a temporary card by emial just in case I needed it. Great agent who I really appreciate. Finally got a bill yesterday, so I am feeling better about this small issue.
Then, I got home Monday evening and eagerly looked at the bathroom ceiling. The sleet had changed to rain, and we had gotten plenty of it thu the day, so it was a good test for the new boot the contractor put in place a couple of weeks ago. Hey, no wetness - Halalluha! I did catch wiffs of dampness, but didn't see anything amiss, so figured it was my imagination
At 9:15, I was getting ready for bed; brushing my teeth and washing my face. I turned off the sink water and realized I still heard running water - NOT GOOD. I then realized that water was pouring out of the door to the vanity - REALLY NOT GOOD.
I opened the door and started searching for a buste water pipe. Nope, no such thing. Then I saw this:
Okay, the paper towel wasn't there, but the drain pipes had separated. I moved everything out of the cabinet, including drawers, mopped up all the water, place the paper towel in the lower pipe to block off sewage smells, placed a mixing bowel in the sink in case I turned the water on in the morning, and went to bed.
During lunch on Tuesday I ran to the local Lowes (it is a mile away from work) and picked up a couple of flexible flanges as that is what broke. I had to study plumbing stuff for a while before I understood what I need since I have never done any type of plumbing work before. Put the flange on that evening, and it is holding fine. So although I had a bit of bad luck, I think it all turned out al right.
November 02, 2014
Well That was Short Lived
I got the small pellet stove hooked up a couple of weeks ago. On a couple of nights, it got cool in the house so I ran it for a short time (maybe 1.5 hours each time).
Then last weekend I started it up and just as the pellets caught fire, the combustion moter failed so it went into shut down mode. Okay, I can take a hint (I left out a few exciting details - let's suffice to say we all survived and the house did not burn down).
So, after an ad on CL, it is back to the upstairs being in the low 60's while downstairs is toasty from the big pellet stove. Damn, and it really hasn't even started getting cold yet. Guess I should have bought a new stove instead of a new (to me) bike.
March 27, 2014
More Changes to Bogies Life
So the big news for Bogie is that since life hasn't thrown me enough curve balls in the last 10 months, I apparently needed one more - I have lost my job. The Company has decided to mothball the plant as the market conditions for our product make it impossible to make money. I thought since I worked for a huge company with deep pockets, it would be safer. But somehow smaller companies are still able to get investors to keep them afloat, while the mother company is no longer willing to invest. Which is weird since the plant has not even been open for 2 years, and we lost less money last year than we were allowed.
So, once again, for the second time in 16 months, I am hitting the pavement. I really wish I could find a position with the same parent company as I would be able to keep a decent amount of vacation time. Speaking of vacations. A long time ago I mentioned how every time I have a vacation planned (other than to see family), something comes up to keep me from taking it. Yep, had a vacation planned for July with good riding in new territory with people I have known on-line for years. That got cancelled in a hurry. Only good news was I hadn't made airline reservations yet.
The closure announcement was sudden. The decision was made late Friday, and announced on Monday. It was so fast that there wasn't any time for rumors to fly, so everyone was taken completely by surprise.
Last day of work was Tuesday (that was actually exit orientation) and by yesterday afternoon I had 4 resumes out. But these days even if they really like you, it takes at least a month to get hired since they have to do background checks, drug tests and physicals.
Dang, if this had happened before I bought the house, I would have had options (like relocating to another state and working for the same company if a position becasme available). But now my hands are tied as there is no way I could get what I had to put out for the place - all stemming from the way I financed it. The good news is that I don't have to worry about a house payment, so can survive quite a while withouth that worry.
Wouldn't want my life to be stress-free now would we?
October 01, 2013
Pretty Much Sums it Up
September 08, 2013
Some Luck Came My Way
I got a break on Friday in my luck. I got stopped before I lost a tire.
Seems the technician where I had the Jeep worked on forgot to torque either of the tires on the driver's side. Coming from work, about 40 miles from home I start feeling a front tire wobble. I thought my ball joint had decided to let go. Found a place to pull over and WS (who I had called) suggested I check the lug nuts. Sure enough, all the lug nuts on the front tire were extremely loose and several were on the last thread. I checked the other tires and the left rear had 3 loose lug nuts (not nearly so bad thought). The tires on the passenger side were fine.
That was me trying to get to my tire iron. Finally found it beneath the cargo section floor. tightened them up, got to a gas station (I wouldn't make it home) and re-tightened the lug nuts. WS met me further down the road where he really cranked them down.
Fortunately the rim seems no worse for the wear. Certainly didn't help the tires any, but at least I didn't lose a tire, or get killed, so that was a bit of luck that went my way.
September 03, 2013
Luck Is Normal
As more great luck this summer, I have the Jeep in for minor recall work and to fix a leaky tire. The good news is that the tire itself is ok. It will only cost $200 to fix the tire stem and replace the air pressure sensor.
The bad news is that I need both front ball valves and new brakes - another $1100 worth of work.
Oh yeah, and since i have 2 more days of vacation, it is going to rain all those days too. I just cannot get a break at all!