Saturday, October 30

This 'n That

     I'm still alive. We are all doing very well. I've tried to update several times but somehow the posts never made it out of the drafting stage.
     It's Saturday morning. Benny is lying on the table playing with his toys. He rolled over for the first time this week, so I suppose that his days of playing on the table are swiftly coming to a close. He's growing and healthy, and happy and smiling; we are thankful for that. He's a very good baby.
     I've been spending my spare time the last few weeks assembling a new wardrobe. Only new moms, or the really rich I suppose, get to have a totally new wardrobe twice the same year. That's the positive way to look at it I guess. We are leaving on a two week trip next week, so I'm on a time crunch. I gave the last dress to be sewed to Amy, so I hope she has fun with it. I think I blew the pattern when I cut that one out. :(    Clark and I are going to Rice Lake as well, and I'm hoping I find stuff that fits, and I like, in the stores there. HA! I'm not counting on it. I am having fun shopping for regular clothes again though.
     We had a lot of fun last weekend when Gabes were here. I discovered later the we didn't get any pictures of Benny and Gwen together, unless someone else did and I didn't see them.  Except for this one.
Marmee with two of the grand kiddos.
     The weather is cold and winterish after that mega-storm earlier this week. I woke up Tuesday morning and my ears were popping. I thought it was kind of weird, but didn't figure out why until I read the news reports that the pressure was as low as a Category 3 hurricane. Hmmmm....  We didn't have much damage around here, which surprised me; I thought maybe my whole yard of aspen trees would depart and I 'd get to start over. Which actually wouldn't have been very funny, cause I'm sure that the house would have suffered in that case as well.
     Well, the small person on my table is beginning to voice his dis-content to the world (they start young don't they?), so I suppose I shall soon have to move on to other things. I'm going to try to upload a picture or two if I can find any nice ones. I hope you all have a good weekend.

Monday, October 4

The Real Family Picture

Taken by Abbey Sunday at the Father-Son Campout.

Saturday, October 2

To Change a Thermostat.

Greetings and Salutations,

             I fixed the car. It was getting insufficient coolant to the radiator which made the heat gauge register excessive amounts of what ever it is supposed to register. It had a little to do with the thermostat as well. A thermostat is a little whichamacallit doogizmo thingy that is supposed to regulate the temperature. It resides in the middle of the engine compartment, surrounded and guarded by other complex thingamajigs. Modern day engineers have an amazing sense of humor.
          I commenced my repairs with the usual pomp and ceremony. Any mechanical project should be preceded by excessive amounts of procrastination and dread. Which I commenced to do about a year ago when I bought the new thermostat. A good mechanical project should be allowed to ripen and season with the passage of time. A few days ago I realized that the dreaded project had ripened and seasoned a little too much when the heat gauge began to register excessive of amounts of what ever it is supposed to register and the heater began to misbehave in a fashion unbecoming to a heater. First blasting cold air and then hot air and then cold again.
         I decided to change the thermostat on Saturday. Saturday afternoon, after procrastinating all morning, I finally gathered all my resources and popped the hood. "Popping the hood" is the apex of any good mechanical project because every thing has went so well up to this point and now is destined to deteriorate into a dismal wilderness of scratched hands, dropped wrenches, and cramping of various seldom used muscles that you find when in tight places.  After "Popping the Hood", the next question is, where is the thermostat? The thermostat resides under the air intake and throttle mechanism. The air intake and throttle mechanism look like a patient in the intensive care unit with all the life support hooked up. I decide that the big black hose thingy has to come out. I undo several hose clamps and get it to move several inches. Good enough. I now begin to go for the thermostat. To even feel the bolts for the pipe containing the thermostat  involves putting your fingers through contortions that would make an octopus cringe. Somewhere along the line I drop the wrench. I begin to reach for the wrench. I touch the wrench and the wrench moves farther away. I crawl onto the engine and reach for the wrench; it falls the rest of the way to the ground. The wrench will stay there for the rest of the repair. I have another of that size. I don't lose this one.
     I finally manage to get the bolts to turn, but I am frustrated with the tight conditions and decide to take some more "stuff" out. I disconnect some more "life support" from the air intake hose thingy. Hopefully I can stir my memory enough to hook them back up correctly. I finally remove the offending air intake hose and part of the air cleaner and put it somewhere out the way. Not much better but it helps. My fingers still have to do strange things but at least my arms can move with out being scratched, gouged, and bruised. We need not mention what happens to my hands. I did not lose any blood by the way. I am sure the engineers would have been disappointed by my lack of blood loss.
       I finally get the pipe off, remove the old thermostat, and place the new one in.  Now to put it all back together. After several trial and error attempts I manage to put the pipe over the thermostat with out the thermostat falling out. Now to put a bolt in the pipe. Yes!! It threaded!! And the thermostat fell out...... Try again. Lets try the bottom bolt this time. Oh No!! Its slipping out of my fingers. Ah...... Ah..... I can't keep it. Five minutes later after bruising my hand, I have the lost bolt dug out of the crevice and I am ready put the thermostat and pipe back in for another try. I lost track of attempts but that is just a sample. Finally I am hooking the "life support" back up to the hose thingy and adding water
    All in all the project went well considering. I only dropped one wrench that I couldn't retrieve till I moved the car. Although I did drop several other things which involved....... well let me say it this way, just imagine a guy on the heavier side on his knees with his head and arm jammed under the front bumper muttering to himself. My hand does hurt a little but I am not aware of any scratches at this point, and I don't think it took me more than two hours. The temperature gauge now reads much the same way as when I got the car (I hope it stays that way), and the heater works.
     This reminds of the time when a hot water line in our house developed a leak.............

Till later!!