Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strange and cool events while on vacation

1) Youngest daughter took a LARGE Snickers bar out of the refridgerator and decided it was too cold to eat. So we mentioned laying on the balcony banister, in the shade, for a few minutes. Bad idea. She was 1 foot from it when a seagull swooped in and grabbed it and took it!

2) While walking off the inlet jetty wall, the gulls were again fishing for something. The night before, even the pelicans were in on it. Tonight, there were turtles bobbing up in the area! There must have been four or more. We watched until the sun faded and we could not see them anymore

3) While laying out on the sea wall after dark, I spotted FOUR satelites going throgh the sky. They look like stars, but are moving fast and no flashing lights like an airplane. Three were tracking west to east, one was south to north.

4) Spotted at least one shooting star, there might have been two more, but they were so faint, I'm wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Texting "I'm SO Bored", over and over and....

This Wednesday night some bad storms rolled through North Texas. The wife and I left at 5 PM and went on our three mile walk. By the time we got back at 6, the storm clouds were filling the western sky. We called our youngest kid as she was at a friends house, to the west. She wanted us to pick them up, take them to get hamburgers, take them back home. Totally unaware of the pending storms. We got on the phone to the other mom, who agreed that getting home was the priority.
We got back a bit after 6:30 and the news was still on with the bad storms, hail, possible tornado's and such. We quickly heated some dinner and got flashlights out. By 6:45, we were shutting down computers and such. Right before 7 PM, the storm hit, the lights flashed and then went out. It stormed hard for the next thirty minutes while the warning sirens wailed. We took cover in a walk-in closet.
By 8 PM, the worst was over, but the power was out. Our youngest is very "attached" to all things electronic. She started telling me how boring this all was, what could we do, etc. I decided to sit on the back porch, watch the rain and read. She sat with me and texted her friends "I'm bored".
We got showers by flash light and candle light and went to bed before 10 PM.
The youngest didn't want to sleep in her room, so she made a bed on the living room couch. She kept saying how she wasn't tired, but she'd had a "not a sleep over" the night before, so we knew she was running on fumes. She fell asleep before 10 PM, on the couch, texting her friends "I'm Bored".
About 10:30, we heard the oldest kid drive up from her job. I got up with flashlight in hand. I'd texted her twice that we were without power, eat before she got home, flashlight on the floor by the door. She'd ignored the text! The power had not gone out at her work.
About ten minutes later, the power came on. We started laundry, dishes, turned off lights and such. Youngest moved back to her bed.

In the middle of the night, it started storming again! This time, the power stayed on and the youngest didn't need to text her friends "I'm SO BORED"

Good thing she wasn't born in 1850.

Driving in to work today and there were several places with trees down across the roads, lights not working and flooded streets.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bird Poop Bombing practice range

We have two cats. One stays inside and sleeps 23 hours a day. The other likes to hang outside. He likes to bother the other cats up the street, he likes to watch the world go by, he likes to lay in the sun, sleep in the shade of the bushes, roll in the dirt and do other cat stuff.

Every spring, we have anywhere from two to five birds build their nest in our three oak trees. They then have their babies. We have cardinals, mocking birds, sparrows and I don’t know what else building the nest. The birds do NOT like the cat walking about. They like to swoop over his head. We’ve seen him actually pinned to the ground by the birds. I’ve also found a few dead birds. He has enough of it and has killed a few over the years.

One thing the cat likes to do is walk down on our drive way, roll on it to scratch his back or head to the neighbors to check on their dogs. The birds have taken up poop bombing practice while the cat is on the drive way.

One photo is proof.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rassle'n with a truck

My diesel truck is 10 years old now. It's been relatively trouble free. I do most of the routine maintenance on it. A few weeks back it gave me a no-start day. Part of that day was to disconnect the batteries. Yes, plural, there are two needed to start this diesel. There are two negative cables, that just go from each battery down to the engine block and also to the truck chassis. But the positive cable, is a doosie! It is about 10 feet long. Yes, feet long. It starts at the battery on the drivers side, is then taped along the radiator running to the passenger side battery. Where it has another post connector. From there, it has a smaller wire to the starter solenoid and the main cable runs under the engine to the starter. This is not small cable either. It is about as big around as your thumb. And attached to something every foot. And covered with that plastic wrap to keep from chaffing. At 11 AM this Saturday, I called a local mom and pop battery shop about putting on new connectors. It was NOT advised, as that one connector would be massive, to join the two batteries and also run to the starter. I figure that much, and had priced out a replacement cable. No one had the replacement cable, and it was $100 also. But this guy DID have one and for $65 and he'd throw in two bolts so I could replace those on the negative terminals also! So, I got the cable and it took a bit over an hour to replace it.

Since I had that done and it was only past 2 PM, and I had nothing else to be doing, I went ahead with replacing the transmission fluid and filter. Which I'd not done for about 100,000 miles. The transmission holds 16 quarts in the deep sump, aluminum finned pan. It's held on with about 20 bolts. All that came off, slimy transmission oil in my hair, shirt, arms, etc.
I worked until 7:30 that night, with a dinner break in there. But it all got done.

Sunday, I washed and re-oiled the air filter. I just need to change the oil on the beast before our vacation to south Texas.

The photo is the old cable, with the rotted ends, and missing all the protective stuff that I'd already thrown away.