Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lions Trying to Make Some Moves...


So today the Lions dealt QB Jon Kitna to the Dallas Cowboys for starting corner Anthony Henry. In my mind, it's a good move. The Lions needed a good cornerback for, oh, the last millennium or so. They also needed to get rid of Kitna. He wasn't winning them any games.

The moving of Kitna also signals to me that they are actually going to go ahead and draft Matt Stafford...and you know what?? I'm okay with that. Stafford seems like a competent QB. He seems smart and has good sense on the field. Sure, he'll be thrown to the wolves when he's starting after the 6th week, but it worked for Atlanta and Matt Ryan. Sure, Ryan was by most accounts a better QB when he got drafted than Stafford is now, but he's an NFL style QB that in my opinion is ready to play in the big leagues. The fact that the Lions signed washed up Daunte Culpepper to a contract extension is a good indicator that WHEN they draft Stafford, they will be looking to use Culpepper to get Stafford ready...maybe Stafford plays limited snaps this first year and then next year takes over...who knows, but either way I'm okay with the pick...

...however, this is all going to be a moot point if they in fact address the QB issue in another way before the draft. All kinds of news leaked around the league today that the Lions made a push to try and get Jay Cutler out of Denver. Rumors have it that Denver "wasn't shopping" Cutler, but that they didn't say "No" when asked if a trade was out of the question...this, of course, has made Cutler angry, so who knows...maybe a trade will be asked for in the coming weeks before the draft.

If the Lions end up getting a player like Cutler to helm the offense, I think the defense could use some help...and here's how I'd do it. That #1 pick?? Brian Orakpo out of Texas. The kid is a beast...a dominant player...and a guy that could easily make opposing offensive lines think twice. Yah, yah, yah...Aaron Curry is the talk of the town on the defensive side of the ball right now, but the Lions already have a good linebacker in Ernie Sims...they do NOT have a good defensive lineman. Besides, I address the linebacker issue in a moment. After that #1 pick, they spend that pick that they got from Dallas for bust WR Roy Williams on Rey Maualuga, linebacker out of USC. The kid is quiet, strong, fast, and darn good. He's the kind of guy that would work well with Ernie Sims...not to mention he's the kind of linebacker that you can drop into coverage.

Either way, so far I'm impressed with how the Lions are addressing this off season. They are making some intelligent moves on players, some intelligent moves with coaches, and are keeping their hand close to the vest when it comes to this draft.

I still feel that they should take Matt Stafford...or at the very least Mark Sanchez. But I just don't like the name "Sanchez." That doesn't have a "Face of the Team" ring to it like Brady, or Manning, or Montana, or Young, or Elway...that, and I don't think we should judge how great of a QB Mr. Sanchez is based solely on his Rose Bowl slapping around of an over rated Penn State team...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Trim and Walls Done...

So all of the trim and all of the walls that don't have wallpaper on them are finally done. I know that I didn't hit my goal of being into the room by the end of February, but that's alright.

This coming weekend my dad is coming down to help me put up a new ceiling fan. As soon as we get that taken care of I'll paint the ceiling and then the wallpaper will be coming down.

I did get something different accomplished this past weekend in the room that I hadn't been planning on at first. I actually rehung the closets so that they open and close correctly in that room.

Like I said, I'm still plugging away slowly but surely at the room. Hopefully I'll have it done in the next 10 days or so. Then after that I'll be tackling the bathroom that's connected to that room.

Slowly but surely...

Zombie Genocidist...


So tonight, after a few months of playing, I finally got the Zombie Genocidist Achievement in "Left 4 Dead."

Zombie Genocidist was an Achievement in the game for killing 53,595 zombies in the game. Tonight I finally got it, but as I got it I realized that I probably have more like 75,000 kills right now. The reason I say that is because I threw a pipe bomb and it killed probably about 30 zombies at once...but for some reason it only gave me three confirmed kills. Tonight alone I threw about 30 pipe bombs in the game. So if each one only counted about 1/10th of what they actually killed, I probably got an extra 500 kills just tonight. And if I got an extra 500 just tonight, I probably have quite a few extras over the last three months.

Either way, I got it...and now there's only two more Achievements in the game that I need. I'll probably get them right about the time the new maps come out, and they'll throw another few really tough Achievements into the game...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ID'd the Oil Leak on the GS...

So after a little bit of examination I've identified the oil leak on the Suzuki.

It's not a huge oil leak, but it seems to be a pesky one. It's coming from a few different spots, but I nailed the main culprits when looking at it this afternoon.

The valve cover gasket is a main source of the problem, but it's not the valve gasket itself...it's another smaller seal that seems to be held in place BY the valve cover gasket. On the web I am seeing them called "half moon seals." This is probably because they look like a half moon...duh. They are cheap parts, but getting to them will be a bit of a chore. While I am replacing them I might as well replace the valve cover gasket and adjust the valves, too.

I also noticed that the pickup for the tachometer leaks a bit. I've read that this is pretty normal on a bike this age, so replacing it would be necessary soon anyways. Luckily, that's a bit more of an easy fix, and still a relatively cheap part.

ANOTHER Painting Update...

So I got most of the trim painted. There are still a few spots that need some touch up, but for the most part it's done now.

I actually really like the way the light gray goes with the dark gray. It sets it off nicely, and when it's nice and bright in the room you can really see the difference between the two colors.

The trim ended up needing at least two coats in every spot for it to cover the old white that was on there. I think that might have something to do with the fact that I was going with a flat paint this time and painting over a glossy color. I didn't really want to do the glossy color for the trim...I just didn't feel that it would look quite right with the muted colors that we were using.

All in all I'm pretty happy with the results so far. Cathy is going to go back to Menard's to pick out a ceiling fan and hopefully I can get my dad to come down and help me hang it next week. After I get that hung, I should be pretty much done with the room, other than doing the trim on the windows this spring.

Oh yah, we'll also be looking at window coverings and such. Also some decorations for the room. But for the most part, it's almost finished...

...now, I'm off to start trying to rip down some wallpaper. If it doesn't go smoothly, we're just going to go rent a steamer!!!

Facebook...


So I've had a facebook account for a LONG time, and for some reason a couple of months ago I got a friend request from my brother in law. Now, I had never really used Facebook before. I signed up for it just because, I guess, and never actually used it. Even today, I still don't really know how to navigate it's interface or anything. I guess I'm just not really one for "social networking," because I don't really know how to use MySpace, either.

Well, anyways, after I got this friends request from my brother in law, it must have triggered something on the facebook site, because now I get random friends requests from random people that I've known in the past at least twice a week. A few of them I have gone and added. Others I have ignored. Still some I have gotten and I don't have any CLUE who the person sending it is.

Here's a hint. If we went to grade school together, and we haven't talked since, chances are we don't really like each other anymore, and I don't want to be your "facebook buddy."

I guess I just don't understand how my account lay there, dormant, for like over a year before people finally started bothering me about it. Strange.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Work on the GS Update...

So I was told by a friend online just today that the GS is a very finicky bike to work on. He was telling me that the rubber parts that hook to the carbs (the parts that I have to replace) are insanely difficult to work with if it's cold outside. He said that if it's cold outside, I would actually need to get a heat gun and heat them all up OR put a heating pad over the entire thing and leave it like that for about an hour.

Basically, he suggested that I wait until it gets above about 50 degrees outside to do any of the work that I had been planning to do on the intake side of things. He said it's not impossible to get the carbs in and out when those boots are cold, but it's definitely a TON more difficult.

So, seeing as I can't ride the bike until it gets warmer out anyways, I will be focusing some of my current time to work on the appearance things that I want to work on for the GS.

Starting out will be the seat. If you recall, I had a "king and queen" style seat on the bike...but I didn't really like the way that it looked. So I replaced it with a stock seat that I got from a guy over on GSResources. I think the stock seat flows with the lines of the bike quite a bit better.

That said, the seat that I got has solid foam, a solid pan, but a horrible cover. The cover is almost non-existent. It's all ripped up and damaged.

So I asked about recovering the seat over on GSR, and I was told of a place that makes new seat covers for old Japanese bikes. They sell them for about $70, which isn't too bad at all for a good quality seat cover. I will probably order one up pretty soon so that I can get started on some of the things that I CAN do to the GS while it's still cold outside.

This is what the seat WILL look like when the new cover is on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bought a New Game...as Cheaply as Ever...

So I got "Devil May Cry 4" for my Xbox 360 today. I'd been looking for a decent single player game to supplement my "Left 4 Dead" addiction.

I was at Blockbuster and they had some previously played games for sale. One of them was "DMC4." The only thing was, it was not in it's original game case...it didn't come with any manuals...it was in a plain, boring, basic, cheap, clear DVD case.

I don't normally like to buy things like this...but this one was only $9.99. That's $10.00 less than the ones that were coming with cases...so really like 50% off. I don't like to buy games like this because, well honestly, I like my game collection to "look nice." I generally take all of the "Used" tags off of any games I buy used. I make sure my cases are always clean and in good shape.

This is definitely a departure from the norm for me...but hey, it was cheap...right??

Painting Update!!!

So I have decided to change up the painting for one last time.

The windows in the room need to be painted the same color as the trim. However, with it being so cold there is always condensation on the inside of those windows, and that condensation tends to drip down and get onto the actual wood parts of the windows. It's not rotting or anything, but I don't think it would be a great idea to paint on wood that has gotten even a little bit wet.

So, with that said, I will be doing all of the trim EXCEPT the windows in the room. I will wait to do the windows until spring time when I don't have to worry about condensation or anything like that mucking up my paint.

That's going to make the trim in the room that much easier to finish...for now. I'll only have two walls with no windows on them, one with a door, and one with just a baseboard to finish up.

That means that realisitcally, all that is left to do is to pull that wallpaper down. I'll be tackling that on Thursday, I believe!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Three Day Weekend!!!

So we took an extra day off this weekend. I am planning on using that day to completely finish up painting the room, and maybe even get the cable run into that room.

We won't be going to work on Thursday. I think that I will work on the room mostly on Thursday, but I may get up and do some of the work on it tomorrow.

It's nearly done. The wallpaper and the painting of the final wall is the only really tough thing that needs to be done still. Then we'll have to move our furniture into the room and get everything all set up.

Gordon's Ear...

So I've been doing really well on Gordon's medications for his ear. He's been getting his drops before we go to bed, and he's been getting his antibiotics before bed and before I leave for work.

The good news is that he seems to be doing pretty well. His ear looks better and he doesn't yelp when I touch it anymore, so I'm sure those are signs that it's getting healed.

The bad news is that the antibiotics are causing him to drink a ton of water, which in turn is causing him to go to the potty while we're at work and he's in his crate. I know he can't help it and he doesn't mean to do it, but it's been a mess anyways.

He's got about 4 days worth of ear drops left, and about a week of pills left, so hopefully after he gets done with those he'll be able to cut back on the water again and go back to normal!!

But the best part is that his ear is doing better...and he seems to be in quite better spirits.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Congratulations, and RIP...


So tonight was a fitting end to a career that was way too short.

Heath Ledger won an Oscar, posthumously of course, for his spectacular portrayal of The Joker in last summer's "The Dark Knight." The award was accepted by his parents and his sister.

Over the years, I had grown to really enjoy Heath Ledger's work. I can honestly say that of all the movies that I saw him in, there wasn't a single one that I didn't think he did a stellar job acting in.

My favorite parts that he played were, obviously, The Joker in "The Dark Knight," Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein in "A Knight's Tale," and Patrick Verona in "10 Things I Hate About You."

There were others, and I even enjoyed "Brokeback Mountain."

But the thing that bothers me the most about his passing was that he was seeming to come into his own as he got more mature. He was able to make parts his own. I have always found myself to be the type of person that thinks an actor is great when he or she makes you FORGET that they are the one playing the part...few actors right now really have that, and Heath did. His parts, to me, were more memorable for the character than for the actor that played them...and it's too bad that we have had him taken away before we got to see what he was truly capable of.

With this, I would like to say congratulations to Mr. Ledger...and godspeed.

Arthur is Thriving...

So the new fish that I put into the aquarium is thriving. He's actually built himself a den under the bridge thing that I have in the tank.

He actually moved a bunch of rocks out of the way, and actually some of them were pretty large, in order to make it easier for him to get under the bridge quickly.

The only problem is he doesn't seem to be eating. But from what I've read, betta fish often times won't eat for a few days after they are put in a new tank or after they have had their food changed. So I'm sure he'll start eating soon.

But either way, he's doing pretty well I think.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Heavy Snow...

So there's a snowstorm predicted for tomorrow. It's supposed to bring us four to six inches of the white junk. Then on Sunday there's supposed to be more snow, but not quite as much...something like one to two more inches.

So, after the weekend, we will probably have anywhere between 5 and 9 inches of snow covering the ground. That's more snow than I really want to deal with. I'm really getting sick of the winter time. I guess the good news it's supposed to rain and be at least 35 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, so it will probably all melt less than 3 days after we get it, which is good.

I'm just really ready for springtime. I'm ready to get the bike out and get it up and running. I'm ready to start working in the yard again. I'm ready for it to be a good 60 degrees or more out everyday. I'm ready for no more snow.

I'm just really sick of the winter.

New Fish...

I can't remember if I posted about it or not, but Achilles died about a week or so ago. The ick that he had been sick with I think finally caused him to die. It sucked, because he was doing pretty well and seemed like he was getting a little bit better, then later that night he was dead.

I decided to flush the tank all out and get it running again to try and clear out the disease. Well, after a little more than a week I finally tore it all apart today. I put in boiling water to kill any parasites or bacteria that were left, then let the filter run for several hours.

Then tonight I ran to the store and picked out a new fish. It's a Siamese Fighting Fish, or a betta. His name is Arthur. I don't have a picture of him, but he's purple, white, blue, and red. This is a picture I found of a betta so that you can see what they look like, just in case you didn't know...

Friday, February 20, 2009

He's Back...

So next week Tiger Woods returns to the PGA from his recovery. I'm excited about this because golf is MUCH more boring to me whenever Tiger isn't playing...and it's been a while and it's finally time for him to get back out on the course.

Having Trouble Sleeping Lately...


So I don't know what exactly the problem has been, but lately I really just can't seem to sleep.

I stay up till 4 or 5 in the morning everyday of the week then get up for work at 11:00 am or so. Then on the weekends I stay up even later and sleep in really late.

I don't know what it is, but I simply can't seem to even want to go to bed anytime before then. Even on days that I feel tired all day long, by the time I get home from work I just don't feel like going to bed.

I think if I could get myself back on track even for just a few days I'd be fine, but I just can't seem to get back on track. It's really starting to irritate me, and I think it's starting to bother Cathy that I'm up till all hours of the night every night.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gordon and the Vet...

So Gordon went to the vet today.

As I expected he had an ear infection. It's a bacterial infection with a secondary yeast infection. The vet said that we had done a pretty good job of trying to clear it up on our own. He said it wasn't nearly as bad as most other infections that he's treated.

He gave Gordon some ear drops that he has to have once a day for 10 days and then some antibiotics that he has to take twice a day for that same time period.

So hopefully in about a week and a half he'll be good as new!!!!

GS Updates...

So I got my first set of parts in the mail today. I got the seat and the side panel that I purchased from the guy on GS Resources.

They are exactly as they were described and I'm very happy with them.

With that said, both of them are wrong for the bike...but not in the sense that they won't work at all. The side panel is the wrong color, but that's no matter because I am going to be painting the bike anyways, so it works perfectly. The seat is the right seat for the bike but is lacking a cover. Basically, it's a foam pad with some ugly vinyl still clinging to it. That's no matter either, because the foam is good and the pan is excellent. I was probably going to want to recover the seat anyways, so this is nothing that is a problem.

The good thing about the parts is that even though they both need some work, they are better than what I had for the bike...which was an ugly aftermarket seat that I didn't like and a side panel that wasn't even there.

I have been throwing around a few different ideas for what I want to do for the seat. Of course the least expensive route would be for me to just go get some vinyl and try to cover it myself. I've done the Ninja's seat with some decent success, especially the second time. However, the pan on the GS is made out of metal, where the Ninja's pan is plastic...so the way of mounting the vinyl would be significantly different, as with the Ninja I just stapled and stapled and it worked, but I couldn't do that to the metal pan. Another option is to just get it covered as well as I can and then go with one of the Alaska Leather sheepskin covers. I like the idea of the sheepskin covers because they look comfy and are supposed to work well at keeping your rear side warm when it's cool outside and cool when it's warm outside. The other option is to order a remake of the original cover. This would of course be the most authentic, and probably the easiest as it would fit perfectly onto the seat pan, but it's not the cheapest route.

I will more than likely end up ordering the original seat cover...and then later on get the sheepskin cover as well. That will end up being the best of both worlds and in the long run be the best overall option for the seat on the bike.

In other news, I'm leaning on doing the exterior of the bike the same way that I did my Yamaha Radian a few years back. I did black on that bike, but not just paint. I did it with spray on bedliner, and it looked great. Not only did the paint look good, it was textured which made it look even more "custom" than it actually was. The nice thing about the bedliner is the fact that it's REALLY durable. It can get beaten on and still just look like it was the day you put it down. It also does a fairly good job of hiding small imperfections in the body that it's covering. I am planning on still doing all of the prep work necessary for painting...with sanding and priming and such...but the use of the bedliner will mask any small imperfections that I make in that. The best part about it is the fact that I really like the way it looks. If I prep the parts just as I would for painting then lay the bedliner down, it will basically be like a paint job only with textured paint.

I also have found a line on a replacement switch for the headlights and turn signals on the bike. I'm not sure how much the guy wants for it, but judging by his other parts prices it shouldn't be more than $15 or so. And that part will definitely be better than the broken part that is on there now!!!

"LOST-316"


So I know that I missed the episode recap from last week...I was pretty tired that night, and also there wasn't really that much to report on because it really was a bridging episode. One thing that I should mention from that episode is that Sawyer found Jin. This is, of course, after Jin watched Rousseau's team find some things. Jin watched Rousseau's team find the smoke monster, and then subsequently watched Rousseau apparently murder her whole team while claiming that the monster had changed them. We then jump forward to where Sawyer finds Jin. At about this same time, Charlotte is appearing to be on her way to death. She tells Daniel Faraday that she grew up on the island, and that when she left a man told her that if she ever came back she would die...she then claims that she believes the man who told her that was in fact Daniel himself. This catches Daniel very off guard...meanwhile, Locke has made his way to the Orchid Station and has turned the wheel, thus booting himself off of the island so that he can try to get the Oceanic Six to come back to the island.

Meanwhile on the mainland, Ben has gotten the entire Oceanic Six together, except for Hurley. They have gone to visit a woman who happens to be Daniel's mother and she seems to know how to get them back to the island. Unfortunately, only Ben, Jack, and Sun appear to want to go to the island...Kate, Desmond, and Sayid don't want to...and Hurley is locked up it would seem.

This gets us to this weeks episode...after writing that quick synopsis of the last episode "This Place is Death," it makes me realize that I should have put my thoughts of it up after it happened. Oh well, I'll try to keep up with the show a bit better in the upcoming weeks.

We start off with Jack, Kate, and Hurley arriving on the island. In a perfect throwback to the pilot of the series, Jack wakes up in the jungle in the exact same way that he did when this epic show first began. He hears yelling, just like in that pilot, and runs to a waterfall. He sees someone flailing in the water and dives in to help...that person is Hurley. Jack gets Hurley situated and then notices that Kate is laying on the side of the water...and this is the point when you really realize that they are BACK on the island...because Jack says "Kate" and in the original opener Jack didn't know Kate...we then get a screen flash of "46 Hours Earlier" and we are back on the mainland.

Ms. Hawking (Daniel Faraday's mom) is talking to Jack, Desmond, Sun, and Ben. She then takes them into the basement of the church and opens a door...which has a Dharma Initiative logo on it, which I guess shouldn't really surprise us after we've already seen what was going on in the basement of the church. Ms. Hawking tells them that the station is called the Lamppost and was used years ago to find the location of the island. She told them that back then a group of people came up with a theory that the island is constantly moving...and the only way to get back to the island is by using the equations to determine where the island will be at a certain point in time. Ms. Hawking then explains that they have only 36 hours to get on Ajira Airways Flight 316 in order to get back onto the island. It crosses over the right spot at the right time and can possibly take them back to the island. After hearing this, Desmond refuses to join them and leaves. I'm not sure if Desmond is going to be on the show much longer, but Ms. Hawking does tell him that the island is not yet done with him...to which he responds that he's done with the island.

After the meeting, Ms. Hawking takes Jack alone to her office. She tells him that in order for this to work they need to travel nearly identically to how they did on the initial Oceanic 815 flight. She tells him that Locke will be acting as a proxy, and that Jack must take something that his father owned and put it on the body of Locke so that it can be used as the body of Jack's father, Christian. Jack thinks this is crazy, but nonetheless finds a pair of his father's shoes to fix up on Locke's body.

Meanwhile, Jack has found Kate in his home. Kate tells him she wants to go back to the island with Jack. Jack asks her where Aaron is, but Kate tells him that if he wants her to go to the island with him, he will never ask about Aaron again. Jack agrees and now we have Jack, Kate, Sun and Ben all willing to go back to the island. We still have no idea what's going on with Hurley and we know that Sayid has said he doesn't want to go back to the island.

We then get to the airport. Jack is checking in and he sees Kate. When he is going through security he finds Sun. Surprisingly, when they are talking he notices that Sayid is being escorted by an Air Marshall through security. We get the sense that everything is falling into place, and the guess right off the bat is that Sayid will be on the same plane. When they all get to the gate area, we see that Hurley is there as well. We also learn that Hurley has purchased 78 tickets for the flight, in an attempt to save potential passengers from what he thinks might be another plane crash. At the moment we believe that Hurley has been informed of the flight by Ben, but when Ben gets on the plane last Hurley gets a bit upset. At this point Ben asks him "Who told you about this flight, Hugo?" implying that someone else may have tipped Hurley off about the plane. This can be looked at a few ways...did Ben really do it and is just messing with us, or did Hurley find out about the plane from one of the dead people that he has such regular contact with??

The flight is starting out and when they get to cruising altitude, the pilot comes over the PA and it's Frank Lapidus...the helicopter pilot from the freighter in season 4. Jack asks to speak with the pilot, and the flight attendant brings Frank out. Frank explains that he's been flying the route for about 8 months now...and then notices the Oceanic Six are all on the plane...he then says to Jack "We're not going to Guam, are we?" when he realizes that they will be going back to the island.

After what appears to be quite a while in the air, the flight hits some turbulence. We get a flash of light, and then we are right back where we started...with Jack, Kate, and Hurley all near that waterfall. Ben, Sun, and Sayid are nowhere to be seen. As they are getting their bearings and deciding that they need to go looking for the others, a van shows up (the same VW van we've seen so many times before) and out jumps a Dharma Initiative worker who pulls a gun on them...but as the camera pans around it turns out that it's Jin...and that's where we left off.

Now, for some thoughts. I'm ASSUMING that the island has been continuing to jump for all this time that the Oceanic Six have been off of the island. Jack, Hurley, and Kate all don't remember a crash...they only remember the flash of light then being on the island. I'm assuming that the flash of light was another time jump, but seeing as these people have been on the island before it affected them and not any of the others on the plane...thus, our survivors jumped in time with the Island and are now in the same time as the rest of our survivors on the island. Where Jin got the van and the Dharma stuff is something that we'll hopefully find out...I'm guessing he came across it at some point in time during a jump, and since we've already learned that if you have something with you when you jump it stays with you, that has allowed him to keep the van through jumps...all he had to do was be given the van (or take it) at some point and he'd have it with him through jumps through time.

Of interesting note is that there seems to be a new character that was very subtly introduced...the Middle Eastern man on the plane next to Hurley. Through a little bit of digging I've found that his character is named Caesar. I am also guessing that the Marshall that was escorting Sayid will be on the island as well...but I'm not sure.

So there we have it...it would appear that all of our survivors are back on the island again...but we're not sure WHEN they are back on the island. Jin has found them some of them, and we have to assume that Jin knows where the rest of the survivors are because they found Jin last week. So I'm assuming that in a few weeks we will have everyone back together. After that, I'm not sure what will happen. Locke is dead, and the island is stuck in it's jumping sequence. We have been told that the survivors all had to come back to the island to get it unstuck. I would guess that eventually we'll have to end up with Desmond back on the island, and I'm guessing that Penny will be with him. They have set that up easily by having Desmond and Penny constantly at sea.

Of other interest is the fact that maybe there wasn't a plane crash this time at all...but instead our survivors just "jumped" with the island when they got close enough to it. I'm sure that we'll find out sooner or later about that, but only time will tell.

To me the show feels like it is on it's way to an ending. The producers have said that they have had a plan from the get go as to where the show was going, and it seems that it is finally starting to wrap itself up. We are starting to get some more answers every now and again, even if they are subtle and need to be picked up by the viewer instead of just being spoon fed. For example, we now know how Ben and his people were able to come and go from the island...you just have to know the equations that allow you to find where the island is going to be and when...but there are still many questions to be answered...and I look forward to many more of them over the next 11 episodes this season (for a total of 17) and the final season next year...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hey, Hey Hockeytown!!!


So I just wanted to take a quick moment to mention that now that football season is over with (which makes me sad) it's time for me to get geared up for the last quarter of the season and playoffs in the NHL.

Right now there's a couple of teams that I think are surprising people. I don't think a lot of people thought that the Sharks would be as far out in front as they are. And I don't think anyone really thought that the Bruins would be where they are. The Capitals...they might be surprising some people, but not me personally. I know that Ovechkin is the man.

Then there are some teams that are really bungling this season. The Penguins were picked to play in the Finals again this season...but right now are on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned. I blame this on Crysby. If the guy would stop whining and start playing hockey, he'd be unstoppable. But instead he likes to take dives and cry about how nobody is calling things in his favor.

Then we move on to my team...the Red Wings...who are struggling defensively and in goal tending, yet still manage to somehow be one of the top five teams in the league. It says a lot about a team when your goalie can be having what is statistically the worst year of his career...you've got several key players hurt...and you're STILL in second place in your conference.

Nelson Rigg CL-850 Touring Bags...

So I have decided what type of luggage I'm going with on the 'zuki for certain, now. I had been planning on leaving the Vetters on there...but I really don't like the way they look. Then I started thinking about using the ammo boxes...but I don't want to have to fashion a bracket and mounting system. Plus, they'd be pretty much hooked to the bike at all times.

I decided to go with some soft saddle bags by the same company that makes the ones that I have on the Ninja. They are Nelson Rigg model CL-850 touring saddle bags.

I decided to go with them for a few reasons...one being that I like the ones on my Ninja and they seem to be really high quality. Another being that they come in at the right price (can be found for right around $100) which is about what I'd spend on the ammo cases and brackets anyways. And last being that they are HUGE. They hold over 35 liters of stuff on each side. That's about 10 more liters than any of the other bags that I had on my short list...basically about 33% more storage space than any of the other bags that I liked.

They also can be coupled with a nice tail duffle to complete a nice set of luggage. Now, keep in mind that we won't be doing a ton of LONG TIMEFRAME touring...we might do a couple hundred mile trip, but we wouldn't be gone for more than a few days...so the 70 liters worth of space provided by the two saddle bags should be more than enough for any clothing that we might need to take with us.

Here are the bags right here.

Not a Lot of New Posts Lately...

So I've been slacking a little bit on the blog over the last week or so. I blame it on several things...first being that I've been really tired lately. Second being that I've been pretty preoccupied with the new Suzuki. Third being that I've been watching a few good movies.

I also noticed that I haven't been posting very many pictures on the blog recently. So to remedy that I did a quick Google search for "Best Picture in the World" and came up with this...I found it pretty amusing!!!

Gordon to the Vet!!!!

So Gordon has an appointment with the vet tomorrow to get his ear looked at. After a few weeks of me trying to stave off the ear infection with a cleaning solution of white vinegar and water, I have finally decided it's time to get him some medications.

I think the infection must be an inner ear infection because I clean it out really good for a few days straight and it seems to disappear. Then about a week to 10 days later it's back, doing the exact same thing that it has been doing for the last few weeks.

So his appointment is at 9am...YUCK. I don't want to get up at 9am on a work day, let alone on a day off!!! But it'll be good to finally get this thing taken care of for him.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Been a LONG Week...

So this week seemed to drag on forever. It was really slow at work...especially on Sunday and Monday.

I'm glad to start my weekend tomorrow. It snowed again here, so maybe I'll get out and snowblow the driveway. I still need to work on some painting. Cathy and I are planning on going out for dinner for a late Valentine's Day thing. And I'm still not really feeling all that well. I've had the sniffles and the sneezes for what seems like forever now.

Oh yah, I may end up taking Gordon to the vet too. His ear infection seems to be acting up again, and I think that it's time for me to stop trying to clean it myself (which seems to work...but doesn't work for very long) and get him some antibiotics to help clear the ear up really well. Hopefully he doesn't end up having chronic problems with this ear. I think it's driving him bonkers...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scored Some Parts...

So I was scouring a message board tonight...GSResources.com...and I came across a guy that had a for sale ad up.

He was parting out a 1980 GS1kG. I figured I'd take a shot even though the wad was a few weeks old. I dropped him a line inquiring about a stock seat and a side cover (my GS is missing the right side cover).

He got back to me almost instantly...I mean, literally about 2 minutes after I sent him the message, he had responded.

Lucky for me, he had both parts. He told me to make him an offer including shipping. I always HATE making an offer for parts and things...I never have any idea where to start. But this time I had a bit of an idea. I knew the seat would be large and not exactly light. So I estimated it's weight and figured it's size, then went and looked at shipping. It would cost about $24 to ship the item to me from his home town. So I went ahead and offered him $75 for the parts, quoting the $24 for shipping...and basically letting him know I was offering $50 for the parts.

He took it and will be shipping this week.

Hopefully any other parts I need will come that easily!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Updates on the GS-1000...

So I found out that I don't need to spend quite as much money as I thought I did to get the parts to rebuild the carbs on the GS. I was planning on spending about $50 for the rebuild kit, but after getting some advice over on the GSResources site, I found out that I only need several o-rings. Nice thing is, one of the guys on that site sells the o-ring kits...for $14. So instead of spending around $50 (or more if I went with the "nicer" kit) I'll be spending $14. I will add to that some nice stainless steel allen head bolts to replace the stock ugly screws. That's $4. I will also be getting the o-rings for the intake boots from him. For another $4.00.

So I will be paying $22 for a group of products that I had been planning on spending about $70 total for. So this will allow me to get another part that I will need. Not only do I need the o-rings for the intake boots, I should probably replace the boots themselves, just to be on the safe side. So I'll be getting those as well. I am also still looking for a new petcock.

So the stuff that I was originally planning on spending about $100 total on will end up only costing a total of $50. That means that the extra $50 can be put towards those intake boots.

It's always nice when you find a good deal on something...and get to avoid spending money that you didn't need to spend in the first place. It's a good thing I asked about what kit I needed, because I found out that the rebuild kit came with jets that weren't for my bike...so I'd have spent the extra money on that kit on jets that didn't end up getting used anyways.

On another note, not necessarily "repair" related on the GS, I have decided on some luggage for it. It's going to be a bit different, but it's going to work really well, I think. I'll have to get a luggage rack for the back of the bike. Then I'm going to go with an Emgo hard sided tail bag. Costs $60 from a GREAT distributor....www.newenough.com. Let me take a second to mention that if anyone that reads this EVER gets a motorcycle, the guys and gals at newnough are nearly indispensible. They are literally the best customer service people that I have EVER dealt with. Anyways, the Emgo bag looks like this, only in black instead of gray:

I also will be taken a really utilitarian approach to the sidebags on the bike. I had originally been planning on getting some leather softbags, but Cathy doesn't really like the way that they look. So instead I am going to mount something REALLY interesting up to the bike. I am going to mount up some 20mm ammo boxes. They are sturdy, large, and most importantly they are WATERPROOF!!! So basically, they are nearly perfect as motorcycle luggage. I believe that I'll be able to mount them to the mounting racks that are already in place on the bike. They should work out really well, though, and be pretty original. The boxes look like this...but this is mounted on a Bimmer motorcycle...
They look very "Mad Max." Which is fine. I want this bike to be as USEFUL as possible for us. I plan on using it to take some longer trips...like to the cottage or maybe even further...so useful and convenient and comfortable are the most important aspects of this bike. If it doesn't look the greatest, that's completetly okay.

Awesome Dog...

So I was browsing around the internet today. I ended up browsing around on Youtube and I somehow came across this dog...Lucy.

Lucy climbs trees. But not only does she climb trees, she does it amazingly quickly.

Check out the video...it's a few minutes long, but amazing and fun. The dog looks like it's having a great time. I try to imagine what the cars driving by must be thinking when they see her up in the tree!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Got Some More Things to do to the GS-1000...

So tonight I noticed a slight gassy smell coming from the garage. On inspection it would appear that there is a very small gas leak somewhere on the bike. It's gumming up one of the carbs pretty good, so I can only assume that it's got a stuck float needle.

Luckily for me, after spending so much time messing with the jetting on the Ninja, I'm basically what you would consider a pro when it comes to rebuilding carbs.

I was hoping not to really have to get into that on the GS...but if it must be done, it must be done. And I guess if I do it soon, I won't have to worry about doing it later.

Also lucky for me is that the carbs on this bike were used on TONS of bikes...so the rebuild kits are pretty cheap. Less than $50 shipped. That's not bad at all, really.

Also, I think I'm going to go about getting it out on the road the right way. I'll be doing some other things to the engine while I've got the carbs ripped out. The rubber "boots" that basically connect the carbs to the engine are old and brittle. While I've got the carbs out, I figure I might as well go ahead and replace all of those, as well. The rubber boots generally only last about 15 years or so...and they have probably never been swapped out. So doing it now will, once again, save me from having to do it in a year or so.

Next, while messing with fuel delivery, I think I'll go ahead and put a new fuel petcock on the bike. They go for about $30 or so. That way I'll be sure it's not the valves in the petcock that are contributing to the gas leak.

Those are the main things that I will be doing. I've found out that the fuel gauge doesn't work correctly...but that's not a big deal. If I can get that working, cool. If not, I'm not too worried about it. I don't know if I'd trust it anyways. I am pretty good about knowing when I need to stop for gas on a motorcycle.

These parts, all together, will probably run me about $100. Then it will take me a good afternoon or so to get them all installed. Not too bad, really. They are all things that COULD be just ignored or "Band-aid" fixed. Meaning, I COULD just install a shutoff valve in the fuel line and not worry about the fuel overflowing and leaking slightly. I COULD just use the boots that are on there and say "good enough." But, I want this bike to last me a good long time...so I'm going to be taking my time and getting it all set to go in the RIGHT way. No cutting corners like I did on some of my other bikes.

Like my Radian...man, I loved that bike. But it started nickel and diming me. Instead of fixing it right, I used Band-aid fixes and ended up getting so sick of "reapplying" the Band-aids that I really grew to resent the bike. I don't want that to happen with this GS. So I'll be making sure to do things right the first time!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Infinity Kappa 42.9i...

So I've picked out the speakers that I will be putting into the GS-1000.

They are Infinity Kappa model 42.9i. They are two ohm speakers, which means they'll suck a little bit more power out of whatever CD player I decide to get to go with them.
These speakers can be found on Ebay for right around $75 per set including shipping. Not too bad for some pretty wicked speakers!!!

I've narrowed the search for CD players down to a few. I'm normally an Alpine guy...but I don't know if I want an Alpine for the bike. They are a bit more expensive, and their "marine" radios that are water resistant are U.G.L.Y.

I like a couple of the decks by Sony and Clarion. They are nice and fall in at under $100. That's a good $70 less than the Alpine deck that I would be interested in.

The Clarion comes with lots of stuff...a USB input to play an iPod through. A remote control. The Sony one has a bit more power though, and on the bike power is going to be important.

The problem is, I'm not a very big fan of EITHER of these brands. Right now, however, I'm strongly leaning towards the Clarion. It seems to have everything that I'm looking for, and it looks nice with classic lines and features. It's model DB285USB, and this is it right here.


Nice part is, it's currently on sale at Crutchfield for $79.99 with free shipping. That's a pretty good price, and it's got an auxiliary input so that you can plug an iPod or other MP3 player into it.

So basically, I'd be looking at about $150 total for the two items...and that would get the stereo system completetly squared away on the bike, and it should last a good long time while producing some good sounds!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

1980 Suzuki GS-1000G

I got it today.

The guy dropped it off right about noon, just like he said. He took some time to show me all about it...not really anything that I wasn't already aware of. He left me the keys and the title and took off.

Wouldn't you know it, as soon as he left I couldn't get the big thing started. I KNEW it ran, because he backed it off his trailer, started it, and drove it up the driveway. So I gave him a call on his cell phone and he told me that starter is clutch activated...so I pulled the clutch in and she fired right up. I felt a bit stupid after that, but the four motorcycles that I've owned/really ridden have NEVER had to have that done.

Despite the rain and chilly weather, I took it for a quick spin around the neighborhood. It ran and rode perfectly. I couldn't get a real good feel for the acceleration or the braking because it was really slick outside, but from what I can tell it will easily fit my needs.

The dent in the tank, oddly enough, looks better in person than it does in pictures. I'm thinking now that just a quick sanding, priming, and rattling will do the trick for now.

It of course has a few issues. It's nearly 30 years old, so some of that is to be expected. It leaks a TINY bit of oil from the valve cover gasket. I'm sure it's not the head gasket, because after I cleaned it up the valve cover gasket was what got a bit wet with oil again. No big deal really. It's also got a small oil leak near the back of it somewhere. I initially determined it to be the oil pan gasket, but after cleaning that wasn't it. I then determined it to be this dohickey that seems like a sensor. On inspection it's the gear indicator. Two screws get it out and a size 21 o-ring fixes that. I was told, though, that if it looks like it's coming from there I should check the starter o-ring as well, so I'm going to do that too.

I also had a bit of an issue getting it to idle really smoothly. It wants to idle down at like 500rpm, which is way too low. It's constantly wanting to shut off that low. I found the adjustment screw and couldn't really get to it very well, so I was only able to turn it in like 1/5th of a turn increments...the result was it either idling at about 700rpm or at like 2000rpm. A little more time with that will probably be all it needs...but I might go ahead and get some new seals for the airbox and intake boots just to make sure it's not sucking in any air that it shouldn't be. I suppose that I could take a few days and adjust the valves, too, which should probably help to. But the bike appears to be pretty well taken care of. So I wouldn't be surprised if the valves were getting adjusted regularly already.

The only other issue is the radio not working. But I've worked with car stereos my whole life, so that's really a non-issue. I don't want the cassette player that's in there anyways, so I'll be switching it out to a CD player with some nicer speakers soon.

So, my list of stuff to do over the next two months or so (before it gets nice enough to REGULARLY ride around here) is as follows:
1. Replace that o-ring around the gear indicator, and if necessary replace the o-ring at the starter
2. Replace the seals around the carbs and intake (boots, rings, whatever else is necessary)
3. After the seals are replaced, get the idle nailed down to about 1200rpm or so.
4. Sand, prime, and paint the dent on the tank. The tank bag that I use will cover it anyways.
5. Keep an eye on that valve cover gasket to determine if it's actually leaking oil or if it's just burning built up crud from 30 years off of it.
6. Replace the radio and the speakers, and find the electrical gremlin causing it not to work now (previous owner said he thinks it's a fuse)
7. Order a new windshield and vents. The one on it is in good shape, but it's cracked in two small spots. New one is only $45 anyways.
8. Find some bags that I like and replace the ones that are on it. Man, are they ugly!!!!

The nice thing about all of these things is that the bike is currently fine to ride right now. The idle is the only thing that causes any issues, but that's avoidable by revving like a Harley rider when I'm sitting still...but it's really minor, it only dips really low once every 25 seconds or so, so it's not that big of a deal. If I do any riding before getting the oil issue taken care of, I'll just make sure I keep a quart of 10w40 in the fairing storage area.

The best part?? The guy hadn't looked in the locked storage area of the fairing in quite a while...so I got a free box of Durex condoms, and a whole bunch of awesome 80s cassette tapes!!!! Hahahaha...

Got Some More Car Stuff Done...

So I figured since I had spent some money on the brakes on the car, I might as well go ahead and get some other stuff done to it that it needed.

I started out by getting some new windshield washer fluid nozzles. The ones on the car had been damaged somehow and were squirting fluid pretty much everywhere other than my windshield. The new ones cost $10 and make a HUGE difference. Nice mist sprayed on the entire windshield. Cleans really well.

I figured since I got those, I should probably replace the wiper blades too. Got some decent ones on sale at Meijer for "Two for $7.00." They work really well, and I guess I hadn't noticed how bad my old ones had gotten.

I also dropped $90 on a new battery. The one that was in there had been in the car since I got it...and the car is an 02, so the battery is probably 7 years old or more now. I guess I hadn't been paying much attention to the car, but as soon as the new battery was in it started running smoother, idling smoother, and just seemed to "work" better. I decided to change the battery after a drive today. I was coming home from getting the washer nozzles and when I stopped at a light I noticed the car bogging everytime I had my brakes on AND the blinker going. I tried turning on the AC and it got even worse. So I figured the battery was draining the charging system too quickly and making the car work too hard. New battery in, all these issues are gone!!!

Now, if only I could figure out where to put my intake air temperature sensor...then that darn "Check Engine" light would go 0ff...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mighty Muggs...


So if you've been reading the blog, or if you know me, you know that I like G.I. Joe stuff. I have loved it since I was a little kid. I have tons of the toys. I'm looking forward to the movie. I have some shirts. The like.

But today when I was in Target I saw a G.I. Joe thing that I had never seen before. It is made by Hasbro (obviously) and it's a line of toys called Mighty Muggs. Now, Mighty Muggs have been around for a while. They are big headed vinyl toys of very popular characters...like comic characters, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, etc. Well, they've introduced a line of G.I. Joe Mighty Muggs. Four of them in all. Cobra Commander, Duke, Storm Shadow, and Snake Eyes. I bought two of them for myself, and Cathy got the other two as a gift for Valentine's Day.

I will add them to my movie and TV memorobilia area in the basement when I get everything all set down there. I think only one more shelf and I'll be good to go!!!!

The New Bike...

The new bike should be here sometime today...probably right around noon or shortly after.

It's supposed to be 52 degrees outside, but it's supposed to be raining...sometimes heavily...nearly all day. I was hoping that maybe I would get a quick chance to buzz it up and down the neighborhood streets, but that likely won't happen. Who knows though, maybe I'll get bundled up and give it a shot anyways.

I'll try to get a couple of pictures of it when it gets here.

I've decided that I am more than likely going to leave it pretty much the way it is. Keep the fairing and the seat, but replace the bags. The fairing and the seat are both ugly...but they are items that will make the bike comfortable for highway riding, which is what I really wanted it for in the first place. No real point to take the stuff off that serves a good purpose just because it might not look the greatest. One of my friends online suggested that I even leave the bags on, and treat the bike like a "touring time machine." He said that all of the stuff on it was absolutely cutting edge for touring in 1980...but man, those bags are UGLY. I will probably replace them with something completely different.

I've found a couple of parts to fix the vents in the fairing, so those will be ordered this spring. I also am searching Ebay for the one part that is missing...the side cover. As soon as I find one that's for the correct side, I'll get it ordered. I also may even decide to leave the bike the same color as what it is now...but just fix that dent in the tank and get the tank repainted. If I can find some spray paint that matches pretty well (and I should be able to) I'll just get that, fix the dent, prime it and spray it. I'll probably end up with a tank bag on it anyways, so if the job isn't 100% perfect it won't really matter.

I'm pretty excited about this thing. It's not really my "style" of bike. I'm more of a sportbike guy. But, to be honest, I value function and comfort over "looking cool" anyday of the week. This bike should have LOADS of both of those.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brutus...


So on Monday when we were leaving for work I was walking the trash bin down to the sidewalk so that the garbage truck would take it away. After I put it by the road I turned to go drop some outgoing mail into the mailbox. Right after I put the mail in the box I felt something hit the back of my knee with a good amount of force. "What the hell?" I said as I turned to see a fairly large white and brindle pit bull smiling up at me. At the very first instant I was a bit nervous...not because I think pit bulls are mean, but because any random dog that just runs up and smacks his head into the back of your leg is a bit strange.

But he was wagging his tail and smiling like only pit bulls can do and wiggling all around, so I reached down to pet him and he was receptive. He had a collar on, but of course there were no tags. He was a good looking dog. A bit skinny but not too bad, very muscular, and good fur. He had a cut on his nose and what appeared to be scrapes on his front legs. He had probably been in a fight with something. But either way he was friendly. As I was trying to walk away to get into the car he followed me. He obviously had been looking for SOMEONE to be friends with. So I decided to grab one of the dog's chains and hook him up in the backyard so that he wouldn't run away again or get hit by a car or whatever. I hooked the chain around the axle of the riding lawn mower and hooked him up to the other end. I opened the shed so that he could lay in it if he wanted to. He got pretty jumpy. I think Cathy was a bit scared because he was jumping and barking on her, but he was still wagging his tail and showing no signs of aggression, so I think he was just behaving badly and trying to have some fun.

I went to work and when I got there I called Animal Control. They told me that to have an animal removed I needed to dial 911. Well, I work in a totally different county than where I live, so calling 911 from work would've gotten me through to a completely different dispatch center. So I called the township's non-emergency line and the guy there told me that he couldn't send anyone to pick up the animal when nobody was home. He told me the reason for this was that they would have no way to verify that I wasn't just calling to have my neighbor's dog taken away. I can live with that. He told me that if I could keep the dog overnight that I should call 911 the next morning and they would send someone out to pick him up.

We came home from work a few hours early hoping Animal Control would still be open. They weren't. I then walked to a few houses around the neighborhood that obviously had people still up and asked if they knew anyone that was missing a black and white dog. None of the 10 houses or so I went to had ever seen a dog that looked like that in the neighborhood at all. One guy walks every street in the neighborhood everyday and he even said he'd never seen the dog.

I got home and he was laying like a good dog out in front of the shed. It was 35 degrees. Not very warm for a short haired dog. I called my dad and he said that with some blankets he would probably be okay out in the shed. So I ran to the store and bought a clearance comforter for him. I took a large box and put an old couch cushion in it and taped the front so that there was only an opening big enough for him to get in. I then put the box with the cushion and the blanket in the shed. He immediately ran into it and started digging around getting things situated. I then gave him a rawhide bone that I had bought. I figured that if he had that to chew on it would keep him occupied and he wouldn't bark...and maybe let him keep warm a bit by working on chewing it. Well, that ended up being a mistake because as soon as I gave it to him he ran to the trees out back and "buried" it under them. Then ran back into his "dog house."

I went back inside and when I did he ran back out of the house and barked a few more times. But after a few minutes he went into the house and I didn't see him come back out again. He seemed tired so I'm sure he went right to sleep.

Well, this morning (maybe afternoon) I got up and called Animal Control. He was still out back but now he was running and romping and barking. He had Gordon going pretty crazy in the house. I went outside and got him on a leash to take him out front to wait for the Animal Control officer. While out there he sat on the front porch on the bench with me, chewed almost all the way through my retractable leash, and peed on about everything he could see. We waited about 30 minutes for the Animal Control officer to show up.

When she got there she asked me if he was friendly and I told her he was. She came up and started playing with him. She then told me "White and brindle bull with a Harley Davidson collar?? I've had him in the shelter before..." She told me she's pretty sure that he's the same dog that they've had before and that she'll try to get a hold of the owner. I hope this time if it's the same person they get the dog some tags. He was friendly and I would've gladly walked him home if I knew where home was. But as it is, the owner will have to pay a hefty fine for dog at large, not neutered, and not licensed. To be honest, if I didn't already have a zoo of animals that live in this house, I would've entertained the idea of keeping him. He was a good dog and seemed very affectionate. I had fun with him for the short time that I had him at the house. He's a good dog and hopefully his owner will take better care to make sure he doesn't get away in the future.

Oh yah, for his time with me, I named him Brutus the Barber Beefcake...after that old WWF wreslter...

Achilles Update...


So the ick that was in the aquarium has really attacked Achilles yesterday and today. He has white all over him and one of his fins has fallen off. I blame myself, because I thought he was fine so after Hector died I stopped treating the water.

So today I went and got some better medicine for him. Cathy actually bought the medicine. He's starting to look a little bit better already. Some of the white spots are already gone, but they are still pretty prevalent on his body. The good thing is he's still active and swimming and eating, so I don't think he's been too horribly affected by it even though he looks like he has been.

Hopefully this better medicine will help him recover fairly quickly. After he does I need to clean the aquarium up a bit and make sure the filter is working well again.

Got a Couple of Errands Done...

So after my post the other day about what I had to get done this weekend I figured I better get some of those things done.

Today was GORGEOUS outside here in Michigan. 57 degrees, sunny, not a ton of wind.

I ended up getting several things done and a couple of things done that weren't on the list at all on my first day off.

First off, I got some of the more unsightly dog poop cleaned up. The yard is a muddy and leafy mess right now, so I got the stuff that was really obvious taken care of. It's still too disgusting out there to really go try to clean anything else up, as it's all soggy and literally falling apart. The mud and leaves don't help much either.

Second, I got my car to the doctor. I got the flex pipe put in. It took about an hour and a half. It cost a bit more than I was expecting, but still not insane. Either way, it sounds like new again and that's a good thing. I was getting tired of it sounding like an overgrown lawn mower. I also got another thing taken care of on my car...a few weeks ago my subwoofer amplifier stopped working. After a quick inspection I found that the ground wire had come disconnected. Well, with it being so cold outside all the time for the last month or so I had just said "To heck with it" and waited for it to get warmer. So today I finally took care of that issue and got everything working again.

Third, and this was not on my list. I broke down nearly all of the boxes that had taken up residence in the garage. I had been needing to do this, but it wasn't a huge priority. However, the Suzuki is being delivered tomorrow and it needs a home in the garage, so getting the boxes out of the way became a necessity. After about an hour straight of breaking down box after box after box I finally had it down to only two large boxes that were really left. Two small ones too, but they are filled with packing peanuts so I'll just leave those and use the peanuts whenever I need them. Either way, the bike has plenty of room in the garage now, so it'll be good to go when it gets here.

Lastly. Yesterday I found a dog. He was a young pitbull. I had animal control come and pick him up today...but there will be more on that in a post later on when I get the picture of him e-mailed to myself from my phone.

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Motorcycle...


So I found a great deal on a motorcycle this past weekend. It was exactly the type of bike that I had been looking for. It met all of my criteria that I had set myself for a different bike:
1. It is very basic so there's not a ton of maintenance
2. It is older so that insurance doesn't kill me
3. It's bigger and more powerful for easier two up and highway riding
4. It's inexpensive but a good buy

So this bike is a 1980 Suzuki GS-1000 G. It fits the requirements to a "T."
1. It's an air cooled bike with a shaft drive. No liquid cooling system to worry about, no chain and sprockets to dink around with.
2. It's 29 years old. Insurance will add about $10 to my current policy per month.
3. It's a 1000cc bike, that puts about 90 horses to the wheels. That's 3 times my current bikes power, and about 2 times the most powerful bike I've ever owned. It's also got a big comfy seat and a giant ugly fairing on it. Highway riding should be a breeze.
4. The price was perfect and the thing is in GREAT shape.

The bike is really nice. It needs some TLC, but you should expect that out of a vehicle that is going on 30 years old. I don't particularly like the color, so I will more than likely change the color to just straight up black. I also am not a big fan of the giant ugly saddle bags. I will probably take those off and replace them with some soft bags of some type.

The fairing...I am up in the air on that. If it makes a huge difference on the highway I might keep it, but I don't really like the way it looks. Same with the seat. It looks comfy, but I don't know if I like the way it looks.

One nice thing about the GS is that it's what would be considered a UJM...or Universal Japanese Motorcycle. These bikes became popular in the 70s as just basic standards. But the thing about them is that if you put some parts on them to lean them one way or another, you can easily end up with a chopper/bobber style bike or a sporty style bike. So right now, even though the bike is setup as a highway touring bike, it wouldn't be very difficult to change it to a bit more sporty of a standard.

Examples are here. If I were to work on the looks of the bike, I would PROBABLY go for something like this...stock looking, clean, muscley, mean...

However, if you wanted to go for more of a chopper look, you could always hook it up with parts that would make it end up looking like this...
And of course if you wanted to go cafe racer or sportbike style, you could always get the parts together to make it look like this...

As you can see...the UJM truly is a wonder of the motorcycle world. It can be anything to anyone. I will more than likely go for a stock-ish look to mine. Probably a combination of the first picture at the very top and the picture of the red bike just above. I don't know if I'll use all original parts to make it an actual restore, or just go with universal parts that work.

The ONLY issue with the bike is that it has a dent in it's gas tank. I'll be trying to fill that in and paint it myself. I've never done any filling work, so that might end up being a bit of an adventure. But like with my Ninja, I plan on doing everything to it that I possibly can all by myself.

Currently, my plan is to more than likely get this bike to a point where I really want it, and then sell the Ninja. Of course, things could change slightly. I love the Ninja, but it's too small for both of us to ride any great distances. With this bigger bike, that won't be an issue. Ideally, I would like to end up just keeping both of them around, but I don't know if I'll be able to do that. I will more than likely end up having to sell the Ninja, but I'll see if there are any other options when that time comes.

When it gets here, I'll post some more pictures...and I'll keep regular updates going when I do anything to the bike.

This Weekend...

So I think I might have quite a few chores that I need to try and get taken care of this weekend. I doubt that I'll get to all of them, but I'm going to try to get a few done.

First off, after the snow all melted the yard is a mess with dog poop. I'm going to try to get out and clean that up at least a little bit. The problem is that it's disgusting in the yard...muddy, dirty, and just overall nasty. I don't know if it would be easier just to live with the nastiness for a few days and wait for it to dry up a bit (or freeze again) before going out to try and clean up poop, or to just do it and get it over with.

Second, my car needs to go to the shop. I've had an exhaust leak for a while now. At first it was a flex pipe that rusted through. I got that fixed, but the shop didn't put in a pipe that flexed. They just put in a straight pipe, and after about a year that pipe broke. So I tried fixing it myself with just some cheap flex pipe, but that broke within about 2 months...if that. So basically I need to take it to an exhaust shop and get a nice flex pipe welded up in there to take care of the issue. My car isn't the greatest car in the world, but it's much too nice to sound like it's completely broken!!!

Third...painting. You know all about this. I've still got trim, ceiling, and one wall to do. But of course that wall needs to have it's wallpaper stripped down first. I more than likely will at the very least try to start taking the wallpaper down to see how easy it's going to be. I'm reluctant to do the ceiling because we are getting a new ceiling fan, and I don't want to paint the ceiling just to have to do it again when the new ceiling fan ends up being smaller than the old one.

So, as you can see, there's quite a bit of things that I want to try and get done. I'll TRY to get them all done, but who knows. I'll probably end up sleeping all day again!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Snow is All Melting...

So it's been a bit warmer lately. It got up over 50 degrees the other day for the first time in a LONG time. That's really nice, as I was getting sick of the cold and ice.

The only problem with something like this is that it's DISGUSTING outside in the yard when the snow all melts. We went from over a foot of snow to barely any snow overnight...so the yard is basically just a muddy mess. The dog poop is EVERYWHERE after them going in the snow for the last month.

Oh well, I'll get that cleaned up and even though it's muddy and dirty and ugly outside right now, I'll take that over 5 degrees and wind any day of the week!!!

Pure Sugar Cane Soda...


So lately I've been into drinking soda that is made with REAL sugar. Not high fructose corn syrup. I find that sodas made with real sugar taste better to me...and I think that even though they aren't good for you, they have to be just a tad bit better than HFCS flavored sodas.

I drink several kinds regularly. Jones Soda is one of my mainstays because it's readily available in several different flavors around here. I also have found a store near me that sells Faygo in glass bottles that is still flavored with cane sugar. I also have found a local gas station that sells Coke bottled in South America that is flavored with cane sugar. That is probably the best so far.

However, I recently tried a new root beer. I got it in a keg type package, and it was REALLY good. It's called Virgil's Root Beer. It was absolutely great.

There is also a new soda made by Redbull that is completely additive free. It's all natural, including the cane sugar. It has a TON of natural ingredients...and one thing that I like about it is of the 8 cans or so that I've had, each one has seemed to "feature" one of the flavors more than the last. One seemed very cinnamon. One was minty. One was lemon. Stuff like that.

The only down side to these types of soda are that they are a bit more expensive than regular stuff. For instance, the six pack of Faygo costs $5.75....where normally you could get a six pack of Faygo for around $250. Not to mention, the can sugar only comes in 12 ounce bottles...so you're paying a lot more for it. But I feel that on a semi-regular basis, it's definitely worth it!!!

One that I really need to try is Dublin Doctor Pepper. It's bottled in Dublin Texas and is still made with cane sugar. Problem is, the cost of the drink itself isn't so bad...but the cost of the shipping is outrageous!!! Maybe I'll order some in a month or two just to give it a try!!!

Achilles...

So I bought a decoration for the new bedroom when I finally get it done. Of course, I continue to procrastinate when it comes to the room, but I guarantee that it will be done by the end of the month!!!

Anyways, the decoration I bought was Achilles and Hector. Those names, of course, come from "The Illiad."

They are Black Moors!!! Or, basically, goldfish that are black with giant eyes. They look like this...but this is not either of them.
I got the two of them and a very small aquarium. The aquarium is black with a nice white LED light setup on it. It's only 1.5 gallons, so it's not very large at all. The aquarium I think will look really good setup in the new bedroom, because it will really match the style of decor that we are going for. The aquarium itself looks like this, only black instead of silver.
Unfortunately, when I got the fish they had ick. Normally ick is an easily treatable disease, but when I got them home I realized that Hector had it pretty bad. Alas, he did not last past the first two days. He was sent to a watery grave with great solemn.

But Achilles lives on...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Netbooks...


So I have a laptop computer that I use quite a bit. Problem is, the thing is nowhere near portable. When unplugged, the battery lasts about 40 minutes...less if it's got a CD/DVD in it or I'm on wireless internet. So basically, it's more like a desktop computer for me. I only use it in one place, and only when it's plugged in.

Something has been intriguing me lately...they are these ultra small PCs that have been dubbed "Netbooks." They are generally very small, have processors that produce little heat, don't have gigantic hard drives, and in general are designed to be VERY portable.

The one that I like the best is the Dell Mini 9. It's got an 8.9 inch screen, weighs about 2.2 pounds, is tiny, and would do everything that I do with my laptop now. It's got built in wireless, which is cool. The battery tests are showing them lasting nearly 4 hours. It's got a solid state hard drive (like an iPod Nano) so it doesn't have any moving parts. It would be about perfect for what I use the laptop for. Browsing the net, posting on message boards, e-mails, and watching some videos. All in an ultraportable design that is really inexpensive.

The Dell Mini-9 starts at only $249 with free 2 day shipping...appealing...

Brakes for the Car...


So I drive a small car. It's getting a bit older, but it's been a really solid vehicle since I got it. I got it brand new in September of 2002. So I've had it for 6 years and 5 months now. It's got 62,000 miles on it. It's a Kia Rio.

Well the other day while driving I noticed a horrible sound coming from the back right corner of the car. I noticed that it only occurred when I was slowing down. I figure it's gotta be the brakes. The parking brake had stuck once, and I don't know if that did it, or if it was just time to get them redone.

I did the front brakes myself this past fall. Pretty easy. I didn't turn the rotors or change them, because that would've required an impact driver. But they weren't too bad. New pads fixed the pulsing that I had been getting. So I was planning on doing the rears myself, too.

But it turns out that the back has drums and shoes. I knew that, but I didn't really think much of it. I could do drums and shoes...but for some reason my car requires some kind of special tool to get the springs that hold the shoes in place out. I don't have that tool, and I don't feel like spending $100 to get it when I can just pay someone else to do the brakes.

So I am taking it to work tomorrow to give it to a guy I work with for the night. He's an ASE Certified Mechanic...has been forever...and he's also a workaholic. This works out great for people that know him who need car repairs or maintenance...he ALWAYS charges very little money for the labor, because he feels that he's basically just doing something that he loves. He did the front brakes on Cathy's Civic a few months ago for like $30. That's pretty cheap. I figure he'll charge me about $100...but that's because he had to go buy the shoes, also. When he did Cathy's Civic, we had already purchased the pads. I just couldn't get the caliper off because of where one of the bolts was located...it turns out you need a breaker bar or an impact driver to get that bolt off, anyways, so even if I could have reached it I wouldn't have been able to finish the job.

But anyways, he said he'll bring it back up to work on Sunday. So hopefully on Sunday I'll have new brakes!!! And no grinding sound!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Financial News...


So the financial news is obviously something that everyone has been paying close attention to recently. Jobs are down, prices are up, new president's in office...blah blah blah.

I don't really try to pay THAT much attention to the financial news, because, to be honest it gets me down a little bit. It's all so doom and gloom. I don't know if I fully buy that the economy is in an absolute meltdown, but it's definitely not on an upswing. I think the truth lies somewhere between what I KNOW and what the media tells me. The media, in my opinion, really tends to make things out to be the absolute worst...when in fact they aren't quite as bad as they would like you to believe. I think they do this because, well, misery sells. If the news were full of happy stories with great endings, everyone would get bored really quick.

Now, with that said, I find the financial news seeping more and more into things that I USED to enjoy reading and viewing. Take for instance, Sports Illustrated. I read SI pretty much cover to cover every week. I read it because I love sports. I read it because the reporting is great. I read it because it's humorous. I read it because of the fantastic photography. But something I've been noticing lately is that even this magazine...which I believe I should be able to turn to in order to NOT hear anything about the recession...has been having articles about the economy.

First a couple of weeks ago Mitch Albom put together a really good piece on Detroit. It was really a lot of doom and gloom, but each section was highlighted with some good things. I found it interesting because Detroit is my sports "hometown" if you will. So the plight of Detroit is near and dear to me, as I live a mere 1 hour away from this once proud town. That article wasn't too bad, but it was definitely one of the bigger pieces that they've put together about the economy in SI.

Now I got my new issue today. As if it's not bad enough that I have to read about how great of an organization the Steelers are, the last page article, which is one that I regularly look forward to, was a piece about how the economy has gotten so bad that even the Super Bowl wasn't extravagent. Now, that's one thing that I don't need to read in my Sports Illustrated. If I want information like that I'll turn on CNN, or read a newspaper, or listen to the idiots on the internet that rant incessantly about the next great depression. I don't need that in my Sports Illustrated...

Been DEAD at Work..


So it's been absolutely dead at work the last few weeks. Basically, since Christmas got over with, the airport is like a ghost town.

It's not uncommon to go several hours between seeing any passengers. And when you do, it seems like it's about 10 of them and then right back to nothing. It's been really boring...so boring that I am running out of things to look at on the internet when we have down time, and that's saying something.

I actually hope that the traffic picks up JUST A LITTLE BIT. I don't want to be too busy...that would suck...but being so bored that all you do is listen to people argue and complain to each other isn't any fun, either.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm a Procrasinator...

So I had planned on doing some painting this weekend. What actually happened was I played video games and slept a lot.

I guess I just didn't really feel like doing any work around the house this weekend. I know that I should have, but it just really didn't seem like a great idea...and I was having too much fun playing games.

With that said, we did get SOME things regarding the room done.

We went to Menard's to look for wallpaper. We discovered that the cost of wallpaper for the type we liked was going to be pretty high. More than we wanted to spend, really. Well, while we were there we decided that we were going to have to eventually remove the wallpaper from the bathroom, so we should just get the stuff and have at an attempt to pull down the wallpaper in the bedroom. So we got the thing to score the paper with, we got the scraper, and we got some gel that's supposed to make stripping the paper really easy. So we'll end up seeing how that goes. I guess we'll be painting that wall after all, which is fine by me.

We also found some other things for the room. We found a couple of ceiling fans that we liked. The one in the room just seems rickety, so we had decided we were going to change it out with a newer one. There were three of them at Menard's that we really liked...ranging from $60 to $120. I like the $60 on a lot, but it's quite a bit smaller (42" as compared to 52") than the other ones. We'll see though.

We also found some light fixtures that we'll end up putting into the bathroom that's attached to that room. On top of that, we got an idea for a few things that we could do with the sink that's in that room...but that might come at a much later date, as the things cost about $500.

"LOST-The Little Prince"


Well, first and foremost, let me say something.

"LOST" on the new Vizio TV is AMAZING. The Vizio has a quick select function to adjust the picture on the screen. I switched the mode to "Movie" and went with that. The picture quality is absolutely stunning, even compared to the old Sanyo. I've never seen a TV show look so brilliant on screen. Amazing.

Now, on to the show...

This week's post isn't going to be quite as long as last week's, because the show this week really was an extension of last week's plots. We still have Kate worried about losing Aaron. We still have Jack working with Ben to try to get everyone back on the island. We still have Hurley in jail. We still have Sayid in the hospital with people trying to kill him...or drug him...or something.

What is different this week is that we started seeing how some of these things were tied together...and the person doing it shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone that's watched "LOST" since it's start. But I'll get to that in a moment.

First, about Kate and Aaron. We find that Kate is still trying to work out a way to keep Aaron, despite the fact that she is being hunted by an attorney demanding that she give her blood to test for maternity of the child.

We find Sayid still in the hospital where Jack has been working on him. As Jack is out talking to another doctor about why he's there, Sayid gets attacked by another man with the same type of dart gun that got him before. After fighting with the man, Sayid is able to get an address from the man of the person that supposedly has sent him after Sayid. After showing the address to Jack, we learn that it's Kate's address. Mysterious.

Ben shows up at the hospital and says that he will go work on getting Hurley out of jail. Sayid wants to go with him to make sure that Hurley stays safe. When they get to the spot that they are trying to go to, Ben meets a man...and surprise, it's the attorney that has been hounding Kate. After the quick conversation in which we learn that Hurley should be out of jail in the morning, Sayid asks who the man was and Ben calmly states that it's "my attorney."

This throws a lot of light on things that were going on. More than likely, Ben sent the attorney to hound Kate to try and make her think that she'd never be able to be safe in the US with the child, thus maybe making her WANT to go back to the island.

This part of the show ended with Ben, Jack, Kate, and Sayid all talking on a pier. At this time Ben reveals that he is in fact the one that had sent the attorney after Kate. At this point, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Ben is also the one behind the people that are being sent to do whatever to Sayid...but that wasn't revealed, yet. Also, while they are talking, Sun is in a car with Aaron. She has a gun and wants to kill Ben. I'm sure this will be addressed next week. Basically, though, we have everyone except for Hurley that supposedly need to go back to the island on a pier right now...so I'm sure the entire process of going back to the island is going to be getting addressed VERY soon.

Meanwhile...

...back on the island...

We still have the flashes going and we still have the issue of the time travel. In the episode tonight we have found that they are on the island while they are on the island...if that makes any sense. Kind of like in "Back to the Future Part 2" when Marty McFly sees himself on stage...our LOSTies have been transported to a time on the island where they could in fact run into themselves. Something similar to this happens in the episode when Sawyer stumbles across Kate and Claire...who in Sawyer's current time are off the island and presumed dead, respectively. Yet there they are, clear as day.

We also get to a time that is more than likely AFTER the current time, albeit very slightly. The reason for this is because they find the camp on the beach, but it appears that they have been attacked by someone from somewhere else. The Zodiac boat is gone, and on the beach are several long canoes that appear to have attacked the camp.

Our people take one of these canoes because they are trying to make it back to "The Orchid." That's the station where Ben moved the island, and Locke believes that he can fix things if he goes there. So as they are rowing the canoe, they get attacked by the people that brought the canoe in their other canoe. Luckily, the light flashes right then and they are safe.

Not an awful lot actually happened on the island this week. It was mainly setup for future episodes, or at least that's how it seemed. There were, however, two major points shown.

Point one. As our LOSTies are walking on the beach, they discover the wreckage of what appears to be a ship on the beach. The words written are in French. As soon as I saw this, the name Danielle Rousseau popped into my mind. Sure enough, we flash to a group of people floating in a life raft and all are speaking French. As they are floating, they see a body floating in the water on a piece of wood. They move towards it and pull it into the raft. As they do, we realize something fairly shocking that was "Big Reveal 1" from this week...the body is that of Jin, the husband of Sun who we thought died at the end of last season. After never really caring for Jin's character, I was really sad to see him die last year...and seeing that he is still alive really made me happy about what's going on with the show. As the raft landed on shore, the French people started talking to Jin. A young pregnant girl is being nice to him, helping him, and gives him some water. She asks what his name is and he tells her. She then says her name is...of course "Big Reveal 2..." Danielle Rousseau. Of course, this is VERY confusing to Jin because even though he is more than likely stuck in the same time skip as our other survivors, he does not yet know that. So seeing Danielle as a young lady is obviously going to be very strange to Jin.

All in all, tonight's episode was really good...however, it felt very much like a "setup" episode, which I'm sure that it was supposed to. It looks like a lot of these things are coming to a head in the next couple of weeks...and it should be exciting!!!