Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As Seen on TV...

So I don't normally buy into the whole infomercial thing. But a few weeks ago I was watching late night TV and an infomercial came on for this thing called "The Flavorwave Oven Turbo."

Now, it had all the prerequisites of any infomercial:
  1. "Turbo" in the name of the product
  2. An audience that nodded and applauded in excitement at anything said
  3. A charismatic 40-something year old female "cook"
  4. A payment plan so you could get your product cheaper than the full price (well, at least that's what they want you to think
  5. Shipping and handling included
  6. Accessories
What this infomercial had, however, was something that others don't. And it made me pay attention. That thing???

Yes, that's right, this infomercial had Mr. T. in it. How can someone say know to "An American Action Hero and Star?" He came busting onto the stage through a door like a madman.

Mr. T. is what made me pay attention to the infomercial, but the thing seemed like it might actually work. Here's the infomercial for you to watch yourself, if you want:

Beware, though, it's almost 6 minutes long.

So anyways, I thought the product sounded good, but I wasn't about to spend $150 on it. So I started looking around. Amazon.com sold it for slightly less expensive. $119 or so. But then I found someone on Ebay selling them. From what I can tell they were selling factory refurbished units...but they were selling them for the low price of $60 including the shipping. I jumped on it.

My Flavorwave Oven Turbo arrived via UPS yesterday and I got it set up today. It looks like a pretty nice appliance and it comes with a cookbook that has some tasty things in it. I think I'm going to give it a try in the next couple of days. I'll post again about the results.

My Last Part

So tomorrow I get to head to the Post Office to pick up the last part that I have ordered for the GS.

It's a handlebar. It's a bit more "sporty" of a handlebar than what is on the GS right now. It's called a "Daytona bend" and it was used on bikes that were used for racing back in the 70s.

It was supposed to be delivered last week but the mailman apparently couldn't find a secure spot to leave it, so I get to go pick it up tomorrow.

That's not that bad, it should be easy to get from them...much easier than my experience with UPS last week.

Now that the parts are all here, now all I need to do is get the weather up around 60 so that I can get out in the garage and do the work.

I figure once I get the tank off the carb cleaning and rebuild will be a one day job, and the oil seals will be a one day job. Then the painting of the tank and the other hard parts on the bike will be another day job. I figure that once it gets nice enough outside, I should have the whole thing done in about 3 whole days...then I can get it out on the road!!!

I've been slowly working at getting the tank prepped for it's paint. I got the body filler done on the dents, I've pulled the emblems off of it, and I've sanded quite a bit of it down.

Here's a picture of what the Daytona Bars look like.

My Trebuchet Finally Shipped.

So I had gotten notice a couple of weeks ago that my trebuchet would be shipping in a few days. But then I didn't hear back from the seller. So I got a bit worried and sent a few e-mails. After no response for nearly a week I finally sent one asking what the deal was, and letting them know that I was getting to the point where I was going to have my credit card company investigate the transaction as fraudulent. Basically I was going to see if I could have a chargeback done because I was thinking I had been ripped off.

The thing was supposed to take 4-8 weeks to build, and after about 12 weeks I still didn't have it. How strange that around the time that the transaction was becoming something I couldn't dispute on Ebay was the time that the communcations stopped.

Well, something made me hold off on calling the bank. Probably laziness, really. But I'm glad that I didn't. I got an e-mail from the lady that sold it to me about 5 days after I sent the one letting them know I was thinking about having the transaction investigated. Turned out an immediate family member had been in a pretty serious car accident and her and her husband had to go out of town to take care of things. She was very apologetic and told me that my trebuchet would be getting built this past weekend and shipped on Monday.

Her husband then sent me an e-mail the next day, again apologizing for the delay, and telling me that he would be sending me an extra gift along with the kit. I told him that wasn't necessary, and that I was just glad my kit was getting ready, but he insisted. I don't know what it is, but I hope it's even remotely close to as cool as the trebuchet itself, because the trebuchet is awesome.

Well, today I got a shipping notice from FedEx for a large package that was being shipped by the seller!!! So they did come through on the promise to get it sent out to me on Monday. I'm not sure how long FedEx normally takes to ship a 30 pound package, but I hope that I get it before the end of the week!!!

If I do get it, I can add it to my list of things that I need to do but am way to lazy to actually do!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cooper Had Another Seizure

So Cooper had another seizure tonight.

Same as the last couple. The only real reason I'm putting it into the blog is so that I can keep track of WHEN he has them so that if they become more recurrent I can let the vet know what I know.

This one happened tonight while I was in the shower and Cathy was upstairs. Unfortunately we don't know exactly when it started, but I do know that the "second half" of it seemed to be a little bit less severe than the last couple of them.

Oddly enough, these only seem to happen near the end of the month. October 28, 2008. January 25, 2009. March 30, 2009. Of course, I don't really have any way of knowing if he's having them while I'm not at home or sleeping. But I spend a good amount of time with him during the evenings and on days off, so I would imagine if they were happening MUCH more regularly we'd notice them.

He once again seems to be relatively fine after he comes out of them, albeit very tired. Most of the things that I've read about seizures seem to suggest that if the animal snaps out of it and acts about the same as normal, other than exhausted, then they are probably fine and will just have them periodically. I will mention it to the vet the next time I go up there and see if the vet thinks it would be a good idea to throw him on some pheno or something...but I'm guessing the vet won't think it's necessary at this point in time.

Like before, I'll just keep watching and monitoring him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Louiswho??? Louiswhat?? Louisgone!!!!

So. The Number One Number One seed.

Sure didn't seem like it today. The Cardinals were beat in literally every sense of the word this afternoon. The Spartans controlled the game from beginning to end, and played EXACTLY the type of game that they wanted to play.

When I tuned in to the gamecast on my phone and it was four minutes into the game and MSU was up 4-2, I knew right then that this was going to be a Spartan type of game. This obviously wasn't a Louisville team that was going to score 103 points again. This obviously wasn't a Louisville team that was going to be able to score at will like they had two nights earlier.

Goran Suton scored 19 points and had 14 rebounds, continuing his absolutely stellar play thus far in the tournament. What that stat line doesn't show, however, is the fact that Suton effectively single handedly gave the Spartans the lead. The Spartans scored 30 points in the first half...17 of those came from Suton. In fact, Suton had 17 points by the time the Spartans had 25 points.

The Spartans led 30-27 at the half. When the second half started the game looked to be slipping into the Cardinals favor. The Spartans opened up the second half with 5 fouls and 4 turnovers en route to the Cardinals taking a 34-32 lead with 15:37 minutes to go. The Spartans took the lead back less than one minute later and never gave it up. A statement dunk, by Durrell Summers at the 12:52 mark prompted Rick Pitino to take a timeout, and signalled the beginning of the end for Louisville.

The Spartans pushed to a 10 point lead with about 9 minutes to play, and then it was just smooth sailing. Louisville would not get closer than 9 after that. The final score ended up 64-52, but that doesn't even begin to explain the beat down that the Spartans hung on this "#1 #1 Seed."

This was textbook Tom Izzo. The Spartans controlled the pace from beginning to end and really didn't look back. They stuck to their gameplan and executed it about as perfectly as could be.

Now they're heading to Detroit for the Final Four. Their fifth Final Four appearance in the last 11 seasons. For those of you that are counting, that's more than any other team in that time frame.

Just to add to all of this, not only are the Spartans playing a short 90 miles from their home turf, they are also playing on the 30th anniversary of the Magic Johnson led Spartan Championship.
Bring on the Huskies!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Brackets are a Bust...

So after the last few days, my brackets have literally fallen apart. Up until the Sweet 16 I was doing really well...but then my teams started falling. First Memphis. Then Syracuse. Then today Pittsburgh.

It all fell apart in literally two days. Amazing how you can go from being in a heat for first to struggling to stay on the front page of the standings. Oh well, there is always next year.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Are You Elite???

Sparty says:
Bring on the Cardinals

So I Missed a Few Days on My Blog...

So the last few days I guess I just really haven't felt much like blogging. Most of the things that I had to post were basically just updates that I had already posted.

Example: Weather is still cold. Still haven't worked on the GS anymore. Still haven't started the new schedule at work. Haven't bought any new video games. Nothing really to report.

But I've got a couple of things today to mention.

First off, my grandmother is in the hospital. They thought she had a stroke the other day but the hospital says that there aren't many signs pointing to that. They're doing tests and such and will try to figure out what's going on. In the meantime she's staying at the hospital. I hope she gets better soon. She's always so down on her health...even when she's doing fine it's like she's worried that something bad is going to happen to her. I can't imagine that she's feeling alright at all when something like this happens. I will try to call and talk to her for a few minutes tomorrow on the way to work.

Second off, one of the newer TV shows that I've been paying attention to, "Life on Mars," has been canceled. Next week will be the series finale. At least ABC gave the show the dignity of having it's story play out. It will have been a total of 17 episodes.

Third off, I got the rest of the stuff for the GS...almost. My handlebars are at the Post Office and my grips showed up today. Unfortunately, the weather has gotten really cold again so I still don't really have much desire to go out and work on the bike.

Fourth off, I'm thinking about trading the Ninja 250 to a guy for a couple of mopeds. Mopeds would be fun for Cathy and I and they don't require much to maintain, insure, or register. I'm still not 100% sure I want to let the Ninja go, but we'll see.

That's about it for now. Hopefully I'll have some more things to post over the next few days, and I will be able to get back on track.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Worked on the GS a Bit This Afternoon...

So I got through with my adventure getting the parts today, and on the way home I stopped off at Advanced Auto Parts to get some Bondo. It was pretty warm out today so I figured it would be a good day to slap some body filler into the dents on the GS and get them sanded down. I had been planning on going to Autozone, but it's a good thing I stopped at Advanced. Why?? They had the truck bed liner kit that I had been planning on buying on sale for $40. So I saved $14 or so more than I was planning on spending.

When I got home, I slapped some of the Bondo onto the dents. I had already sanded the paint down to bare metal. Now, keep in mind, I have NEVER done any body work at all. I've NEVER used Bondo on anything, so this was going to be something new for me.

Strangely enough, following the directions on the kit that I got produced what I felt were great results. The dents were pretty deep, so I had planned on having to do two or three coats of Bondo, sanding after each one. I got the first coat sanded down and was pretty impressed with myself. For never having done this before, it looked remarkably like pictures on the internet suggested it should look like. I threw down another coat and was even more impressed. After that one dried I sanded it down and did one last coat. This last one took the cake. The largest dent is not even noticeable at all now. The two smaller ones are still SLIGHTLY noticeable, but only because they were dented on a spot that was actually an angle, and you can just barely see that the angle isn't 100% perfect. However, seeing as I'm going to be using the bed liner as paint, I don't think I need to get 100% perfect. That, and it's going to be a rat bike, so looking perfect isn't as important as functioning perfectly.

In order to get the sanding done right, I made a trip to the store and picked up an orbital sander. I got it for cheap, but it works perfectly, and probably saved me several HOURS worth of sanding by hand. Best part about it is I can use it to rough up the other parts on the bike that need to be painted and to do other things around the house.

Who'd have thought, though, that following the direction on something like Bondo would produce great results?? Maybe I'll start reading instructions more often...

One Last Adventure for the GS Parts...

Before I start this post, I will mention that this picture doesn't have much to do with anything. I did a Google image search for "adventure" and this was one of the images that popped up. I thought it was pretty cool. So anyways...on to the post.

So, I'm sure that anyone that reads this has noticed that I've had a bit of an adventure when it comes to getting the parts that I ordered over three weeks ago. I thought it was all coming to an end after one last screw up by UPS yesterday. I thought that I was in the clear and after my trip to the UPS warehouse today I would have my parts in my grasp.

I was wrong.

Of course there needed to be one last obstacle for me to overcome en route to having my parts. You see, last night when I was talking to "Travis" at the UPS warehouse I asked him if I could just come pick the package up. Of course he said yes, and he told me that I could come get them any time between 10am and 2pm Monday through Friday.

So, seeing as I had the day off I set out to get my parts at about 1:15 or so. It took about 20-25 minutes to get to the place, putting me there right about 1:40. I figured I was fine because, hey, they are open until 2pm. So I go to enter the building...and...door is locked. I try it again, just to make sure I wasn't mistaken, and sure enough, it was locked.

So I glance at the sign on the door..."Hours of Operation: 10am to 1pm" So apparently the place is only open until 1pm. Unbelievable.

So I called this warehouse. Luckily I had the number from when THEY had called me the night before to tell me what was going on. I got through to someone and asked if there was any way I could get my package. She said that there wasn't, and even if there was, the only person that could do it was gone until 4pm. So I asked to speak to a supervisor. She asked me why. I explained how unhappy I was about: A. the parts not being delivered on the day I had selected, and B. the fact that I was told that they were open until 2pm. She then asked me for my name and put me on hold. A few minutes later she came back to the line and told me that she could release the package to me. So she brought it out to the lobby of the building and let me in.

I signed for it and off I went. Parts in hand.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sweet 16...Times Two...

After having a relatively up and down season...one which saw a six game winning streak to start the season get immediately followed by a four game losing streak...and then just some pretty solid basketball en route to a 20-10 record, the Michigan State Spartans women's basketball team did something pretty special tonight.

As a #9 seed in the tournament, the Spartans welcomed the Duke University Blue Devils to the Breslin Center for the second round. The Spartans lucked out to be basically a "home" team when the Breslin Center was chosen to host some games for the tournament. So the lower seeded Spartans had a pretty rowdy crowd in hand as they faced the #1 seeded Devils.

Add to this the fact that Spartan fans HATE the Duke coach, JP McCallie...seeing as she deserted the Spartans to go coach at Duke two years ago...and you have the recipe for something interesting.

And interesting it was...the Spartans held Duke to only 27% shooting from the floor. They held the Devils to a season low point total. They finished the game on a 17-3 run. They didn't let Duke score from the field for nearly the last 8 minutes of the game.

What all of this led to was a sound whipping of the Blue Devils...Spartans 63...Devils 49.

So both Michigan State Spartan basketball teams will be playing in the second weekend of the tournament. Pretty cool.

Figured Out What Happened with UPS...

So I called UPS tonight, after waiting until about 8 PM. The lady that I talked to tonight told me that the package had never been loaded on the truck for some reason. She said that her system showed it was supposed to be delivered today. When she called the warehouse that the package is at, they told her that their system said it was scheduled to be delivered tomorrow (Wednesday).

I'm not too upset about that mistake, I guess, but what does make me a bit irate is the fact that two other UPS people on the phone this afternoon told me that the package was out for delivery and I would have it tonight. So instead of doing anything at all today, I sat around the house and waited for a package to arrive that had never actually been loaded onto a truck. I also am a bit upset that I KNOW that I rescheduled the delivery for today, and not tomorrow. But oh well, I talked to the guy at the warehouse and asked if I could just get it set up for me to come pick the package up. He said I can. So tomorrow I will have to drive about 15 minutes to pick this package up.

This last mistake by UPS has been just the icing on the cake for this parts order. I won't be using that vendor for parts anymore. I will gladly pay an extra 10% or so for prices in order to get the things I order in an actual timely manner.

Oh well, I ended up making it to Home Depot to get the parts that I needed to mount the headlight. I got that on tonight, and I think the bike looks quite a bit better. Here's a quick picture of the front of it...keep in mind I haven't done any cleaning or body work yet...just replaced the fairing with the standard headlight.

Parts and Some Work on the GS...

So I got one more of my orders of parts today. Oddly enough, UPS still says the other package will be here today. I find that odd considering it's currently about 6:15 PM. But they say it's supposed to be here.

I find it amazing that the parts were both on the UPS truck on Friday, yet somehow today they are on two different trucks. Oh well, hopefully they will be here today.

But after the first order of parts came, I decided to go out and start trying to get the Vetter fairing off of the bike. Man, what a pain in the butt that was!!! It was insanely difficult to get the bracket that actually held the fairing on taken off of the bike. I can't even begin to imagine how horrible it must have been to try to put the fairing ON the bike.

But I eventually got the fairing off. I then took the opportunity to put the new headlight mounting brackets on the bike. I was planning on putting the headlight itself on the bike, but I need to be able to go and get a couple of large washers and a few nuts and bolts in order to put it on...and I can't very well do that until the UPS guy gets here because the package is signature required and he won't leave it unless I sign for it.

So basically right now I'm just sitting here waiting for the parts to show up so that I can go buy a few more parts so that I can put some of the parts that I do have right now on the bike...phew, that's a lot of uses of the word "parts" in that sentence!!!!

The good thing is, after this order arrives today I'll only be waiting on a couple of things. New handlebars and grips, a fuel selection petcock, and an o-ring for the starter. Then I will have literally all of the things that I need to get the bike up and running.


So after Gordon had been having trouble going the whole day in the crate without going to the bathroom, Cathy and I had just been leaving him out in the living room when we go to work.

It had been working well for the first week or so. Then two nights ago he went potty. Not a big deal, just a little bit of pee.

But when we got home last night, it was as if all Hell had broken loose. There was poop everywhere, and a few puddles of pee. But to make all these matters worse...he actually destroyed one of the moldings on the sliding door. He literally ripped the wooden trim to shreds.

The only thing that I can think of is that there was some animal out on the back porch that he was trying to get at.

Needless to say, I was pretty upset. It's going to be a good deal of work to get the stupid molding fixed or replaced. I guess I'm going to start out by trying to fix it with just wood filler and see how that goes. If that doesn't work, I will have to replace it I guess.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Got the Seat On...

So I reupholstered the seat on the GS tonight.

It went MUCH easier than I thought it would. I guess the only thing that I really had to use to judge it by was the horrible time that I spent trying to cover the seat on the Ninja. I guess I should have thought it would be different, seeing as the seats are different in several ways.

First off, the GS seat is relatively flat. The Ninja seat had a big "scoop" where you actually sit. It came up quite a bit at the tank and at the back, and the actual saddle part was probably about 3 or 4 inches deeper than the ends. That made getting it flat in the center was MUCH more difficult than it would be on a flat seat.

Second, the Ninja's seat pan is made out of plastic, where the GS seat pan is made out of metal. The Ninja had to have the vinyl stretched and then stapled. The GS had the vinyl nearly cut to size. Very little stretching was required. Then, since it was metal it was held in place by some clips on the bottom of the seat.

All around, it was MUCH easier than the Ninja's seat was. The best part is when it gets warm out if it starts to show any wrinkles it will be easy to remove the cover again and put it back on. But for now it seems like it's on there pretty good and I don't think I'll be needing to mess with it anymore.

Now that I've got it on there, though, I really feel like doing the rest of the work on the bike. Hopefully this Wednesday I'll be able to get started working on some of the things. The parts should all be here and I should have most of the work around the house done so I MAY be able to actually start working on the GS for real. Which might mean I might actually get it on the road by the middle of April!!!

Sweet 16...

So the Spartans made the Sweet 16 today, after a tough win against a very good USC team. The Trojans and the Spartans matched up really well. Both are athletic teams that like to bang around and have great playmakers. In the end the Spartans ended up getting the better of the Trojans to the tune of a 74-69 victory.

This brings the Spartans to yet another Sweet 16. In the last 12 seasons the Spartans have been to the regional semi-finals 8 times. Only Duke can match that. It's a real testament to the constant solid teams that Tom Izzo is churning out in East Lansing.

One last thing, and I think this needs to be mentioned. Travis Walton played his heart out. He had a CAREER high 18 points today. Not bad for the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year. Walton is a senior. I don't think he wants to go home. Why not?? Because every Spartan that has stayed for all 4 years in the last 12 seasons has gone to at least one Final Four. I think Walton wants to see what that is all about.

Go State!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Duke University

So I have a theory.

I believe that Duke University actually pays people to sit in the stands and cheer for them. Why, you ask?? Let me explain.

As I watched Satan's Team (the Blue Devils) play the Noble and Just Texas Longhorns in Round 2 of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, I noticed that there were more cheers for Duke than there were for Texas.

Now, that may seem normal considering Duke University is in Durham, North Carolina and this game was played in Greensboro, North Carolina. These two cities are not only in the same state, but they are only about an hour away from each other.

So one would believe that Duke would have more fans there to cheer their team on than Texas would, naturally. Where this becomes a bit of a mystery to me is when you consider the fact that...THERE ARE NO PEOPLE THAT ARE ACTUALLY FANS OF DUKE UNIVERSITY.

Think about it. If you were to go out there and ask 100 people what college basketball team they hate the most, 99 of them will say "Duke, duh" and the other one will say "Damn Duke." So 100 out of every 100 people in the country actually HATE the Duke University Blue Devils.

I have been a fan of sports my entire life. I don't LOVE college basketball as much as I used to, or as much as I enjoy other sports (football). The fouling at the end of the games has really taken away some of the luster of the sport, to me. However, I do still pay a good amount of attention to the game. With that said, in the 20 some odd years that I can REMEMBER being a fan of sports, I have never once met someone that actually liked Duke. Even when I used to go to the Carolinas every spring for vacation, I never met a single person that liked Duke.

So, knowing that I have never met anyone that likes Duke, and knowing that 100 out of 100 people out there HATE Duke, I can only begin to believe that the University uses some of it's nearly $5 billion endowment to pay people to be "fans" of the Blue Devils. These "fans" could be actors, homeless people, junkies, alcoholics, or insane people. Either way, I truly believe that this must be the case, as I find it possible to believe that there were enough real fans of Duke University at the game tonight to actually make enough noise for me to hear on the television.

NCAA Tournament...

So Cathy and I got in on her brother's pool that he tried to set up just a few days before the tourney began.

He actually did pretty well, as there are 19 people that ended up in the pool. Cathy has never done a pool before, and she doesn't really know much about college hoops...but she's gotten really into it.

We're doing pretty well. Right now we're in 3rd place, but we have the 2nd highest "possible points" right now. We went 26-6 in the first round, which isn't bad, considering I tried to pick a couple of upsets and they didn't pan out. We've only lost one team from our potential Sweet Sixteen, and no teams from anything deeper than that.

She really wants to win, and I hope we do to. We're not doing too bad at all right now, so we'll see.

Friday, March 20, 2009


...Big Sisters...

...play as a Big Daddy the whole game...

...can't wait...

...'nuff said...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shift Bid

So the shift bid is well underway, despite some setbacks by people calling in sick and things like that.

It's looking like Cathy and I got the days off that we wanted, so we'll be working on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. That works out pretty well for us, as we only have two week days to work. That's nice for us because with the drive, and the new start time, we will probably have to be leaving while planning for an even longer drive due to the fact that traffic will be quite a bit heavier at that time of day. But on the weekends I imagine it won't be quite as bad as during the week, so that works.

We also get to work Sundays which will net us the extra money, which will be even more now because we'll be getting 20 hours of holiday pay instead of 16 hours. That's equivalent to one extra hour of pay every pay period because of the 25% shift premium on Sundays. That should pretty much make up for the premium we're losing by not working as late in the evening.

I'm just glad we got the days that we wanted.


So today before I left for work the mail man brought several packages for me.

In one was my super-awesome "Master Chief" sweatshirt. But there were two more, also.

In one are (I assume) my headlight and brackets. I say I assume because I didn't have time to actually open the packages, but Cathy said it came from "FlyNCycle" which is the place I got my light kit from.

In the other are the turn signals I ordered last week. I also didn't open that one because I didn't have time.

I also finally got the tracking number for the package that I ordered a few weeks ago from UPS. It appears that it will show up tomorrow, but unfortunately it's a package that requires a signature, and I won't be there to sign for it, so I imagine that I won't actually be able to pick the package up until next Tuesday.

At least things are finally starting to show up. Hopefully the other package will ship soon, then I might actually be able to get this bike on the road before the middle of April!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Still No Parts...

So I got an e-mail from the place I ordered all my parts from. He said they were shipping out Tuesday and that I'd get a tracking number that day. Of course that didn't happen. They may have shipped out, but I definitely didn't get a tracking number.

I guess I've decided that I will wait until my next days off...if I don't have any parts by Tuesday I'm going to be calling and canceling the order. I am very seriously tired of waiting for these people, and I will NOT be using this supplier again. I would rather pay 10-15% higher prices and receive products in a timely fashion than ever deal with this company again.

In some other news, I found the stuff that I want to paint the bike with at a local department store. Best part?? It's about $40 less than what it costs at all the other places I've found it. So instead of spending $100 on paint stuff, I'll only be spending $54. That's pretty cool. I'm glad that I went back there and checked it out when I was in the store.

I also got started on prepping the tank for the body work. I got some of the paint stripped off and threw down some primer. I'll probably take the tank off and sand it completely down over my next days off so that I can get started on the body filler and then get the paint thrown down soon after that. Seeing as I'm using the truck bed liner as paint, getting the tank sanded down to bare metal won't be necessary at all. I'll really only have to scuff the paint up a bit and then lay the liner down, and that should give me a really good finish.

Hopefully I'll have some parts arrive this week, so that next weekend I can spend some time maybe trying to put them on.

Halo Wars Multiplayer...

So I had originally thought that "Halo Wars" wasn't going to have much room to run after I got done with the single player campaign...boy was I wrong. The online multiplayer is VERY fun. It can be a bit frustrating at times, because there is one strategy that works pretty well when playing as the Covenant that really doesn't require any skill...or strategy...or anything. You basically just rush with your leader and kill all the other teams units. Then while your leader is laying waste to the base you just kill any units the other guy sends out all at the same time. It's a cheap tactic, and unfortunately it works really well in the game.

But if you're lucky enough to get into a game where some clown isn't doing that crap, it can be very fun. I've found that most of the time I either wipe out my opponent without much of a fight, or I get wiped out without much of a fight. I'm learning more every time I play though, so I think I'll get better.

The trick is the game uses a form of "paper, rock, scissors" as it's basis for units. For example, air beats ground, ground beats infantry, and infantry beats air. With this in mind, there is no single dominant unit. Build up an army of only tanks?? Get slaughtered by a bunch of aircraft. Build up nothing but aircraft?? Get torn to shreds by a bunch of foot soldiers. There are certain units that basically turn the triangle around. For example, a Wolverine is a ground unit that beats air. Normally air beats the ground units, but in this case the ground beats the air. The catch to this is that the infantry beat this ground unit very soundly.

The game gets even more fun when you're playing multiplayer with at least two people per side. A friend of mine, Norm, and I the other day teamed up and literally demolished our two opponents. Norm focussed on building a huge ground force, and I focussed on amassing a flying armada. When we were both done building units we swept in and destroyed one of our two opponents in literally minutes. After that fight was done we both replenished our units at our bases and then ran over the other guy. The entire match probably lasted about 25 minutes, but it was literally only about 7 minutes worth of battle.

I think this game might last me a good long time. It's fun, and it's different than what I'm used to, which makes it seem so much more fresh. It should last at least until the "Left 4 Dead" maps and updates come out in a few weeks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Part Finally Came!!!!

So after weeks of waiting, I finally got one of the things that I ordered.

The seat cover came via UPS today, nearly 3 weeks after I had ordered it. To me, that's an awfully darn long time to wait for a product to get shipped to you. On the bright side, however, the cover is very high quality. The stitching looks nice, the finish looks nice, and the color is great.

I took it out and just ran a quick test fit over the seat now, and it looks like it will fit on the seat really well. I hope it's not too much of a pain to put on. Covering the Ninja's seat after I messed it up the first time was a time consuming mess. The GS looks like it will be quite a bit easier than that, if for nothing more than the fact that the seat's shape is a lot more forgiving.

So now that this is here, I am only waiting on:
1. Tach oil seal parts (ordered about 2 weeks ago, still no response to my e-mails)
2. Valve cover gaskets and top end parts (ordered about 10 days ago, still no response to my e-mails)
3. Flush mount turn signals (ordered only 3 days ago)
4. Headlight setup (ordered Monday)

The seat cover is nice though, because I'll be able to do that relatively quickly. I'm even more upset about the wait on the other parts though, seeing as it's supposed to be nearly 70 degrees outside on these next days off...in other words, perfect weather for getting out and replacing some leaking oil seals.

Oh well, it'll get done...sooner or later.

So Much for the Shift Bid...

So we should have easily gotten to pick shifts today...except for the fact that one lady that's fairly high on the seniority list called in sick.

To make it worse, when they tried to call her to see what her choice was, she never answered the phone and never called back. She also works another job, and a lot of us think she did this on purpose because she's still trying to work out with the other job what days she can work there so that she doesn't have to drive into town everyday of the week.

Oh well, they will probably end up calling me tomorrow afternoon to see what I want to pick.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shift Bid Tomorrow...

So tomorrow when we get to work we should pretty much know what days off we're going to have for the next six months.

The four girls that are in front of Cathy all should be there before we get there, and I'm guessing that they will probably have them bid as soon as they can talk to them, meaning that we'll be able to ask them what they are bidding on as soon as we get in and have a fairly good idea as to whether or not we'll get the days off that we are trying to get.

We are trying to get a shift that has Monday, Tuesday, and Friday off. That way we'll only work two days straight and we'll still get to work Sunday. Sunday work pays an extra 25% per hour of work, so working on Sunday is pretty important to us.

If for whatever reason we don't end up getting those days off, we will probably end up taking Sunday off and going for the Sunday, Monday, and Thursday days off. The other option is one we really don't like, because it has all three days off in a row which means we'd have to work four days straight at 10 hours per day, which we're not really interested in doing.

We shall see tomorrow though...

The Vetter Fairing...

So I have made a decision regarding the Vetter fairing that's on the Suzuki.

To get it completely back to what it's supposed to look like, the following parts are going to have to be purchased:
1. Windshield, Nuts/Bolts, Vents-$140 with shipping
2. Foam Windshield Strip-$30 with shipping
3. Chrome Trim-$60 with shipping
4. Headlight-$20
5. Stereo-$100 or so
6. Speakers-$100 or so

So that's a total of $450 to get the fairing back to a condition where I can paint it...so the paint will also be extra. This is also considering the fact that there isn't anything wrong with the blinkers and other lights that are on it. So basically, it's going to cost nearly $500 to get the fairing back to the point that I would want it.

Quite simply, that's way too much money. Way, way, way too much money.

So I have decided that I am in fact going to take the fairing off. It's simply the most economical thing to do. I will get a set of 37mm fork ears and a headlight and mount that on the bike and it will be ready for the road. The ears are $15 shipped and the headlight is about $30. So that's $45...or 10% of the price of the fairing.

There are several good points to this. First off, I don't particularly like the way the fairing looks, so that will be taken care of. Secondly, the actual mounting brackets for the fairing are pretty hard to find and should easily sell for about $100 or so, so after buying the new light and then selling the bracket, I'll actually be on top by $50 or so.

These are the brackets that I would LIKE to get. They are a bit more expensive than $15, but might be worth it considering how nice they look.
And this is the headlight setup that I am currently looking at. I generally like round headlights, but for some reason this one just looks really cool to me. I think it would flow with the way the bike looks pretty well for some reason.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Finally Decided on Some Saddlebags

So, after deliberating basically since I got the GS on what type of saddlebags to go with, I think I have finally decided on the model that I will be getting.

They are made by a company called "Timberwolf." I haven't been able to find ANY information about them here in the United States, but I have read a couple of positive reviews about the product from the United Kingdom. They also seem to be easily located for purchase on UK web sites. I found them on Ebay for a pretty good price. They are a good $30 less at least than all of the other brands that I have looked at so far.

They are large, too, and I think that the design of them will fit well with the GS. I don't think the GS is the type of bike that would look very normal with "sport" style saddlebags on it. The bike also doesn't really seem like it would be normal with Harley style "studded" saddlebags on it.

I'm not sure how easy they will be to put on and take off, but in reality more than likely I will leave them on 95% of the time, so I won't need to really worry about taking them off quickly. If it takes a couple of moments to get them off, that won't matter at all.

I'm still looking at a couple of other models, but I'm really only interested in them if I can manage to find a great deal on the (like I did on my Nelson Riggs bags last year) and if I can't then I'll be ordering these ones sometime in the next few years.

So Gordon...

...has stopped going to the bathroom in the house while we're at work. We have been leaving him out of his crate the last few days, and he hasn't had any problems.

So it would appear that his "problem" of going to the bathroom in his crate is simply his way of complaining about being in the crate. I'm not really sure what to do about this now.

I don't know if I want to just continue leaving him out of the crate while Cooper and Dillon stay in their crates, but I'm getting a bit tired of having to clean his crate up so often after he pees in it while we're at work.

I figure most of this is still a side effect from his medicine he was taking. The medicine made it so that he couldn't hold it, and he got used to going while he was in the crate and now he just thinks it's okay. The problem is that it usually looks like it's been done quite a bit earlier than when we get home, so if I try to yell at him about it he doesn't know what I'm upset about.

I think maybe I'll try leaving him out for a few more days and then next week give the crate another try and see how it goes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


So remember back when I was doing the posts about trebuchets??

Well, I ordered that Warwolf one off of Ebay. Paid for it on January one of this year.

In stark contrast to the orders of my parts, this seller has been very forthright with information and responds quickly to e-mails.

The kit was supposed to take 4-8 weeks to get to me. Well, it's been about 10 weeks and I still don't have my kit. In the middle of the wait time I contacted them and got an e-mail back the next day stating that they were working on filling orders and that they would let me know if there were any hold ups.

Well, I e-mailed them again the other day and I got what I feel is a very honest answer. The lady told me that my kit was being built this weekend and it should be shipped on Monday. She apologized for the delay and was very frank with her reasonings...her and her husband bit off more than they could chew with the kits this holiday season. They thought they might get like 15 orders from the Ebay auctions and their websites, which they would have easily been able to build within two months. But apparently the kits were a huge success, and then ended up having more than twice that many orders and they just really couldn't get them built in time.

I understand that, and you know what?? I like the fact that there weren't any crappy excuses. Yes, that's an excuse, but it's one that I am okay with. I understand when someone is trying to make some money on the side by doing something that they know how to do, and I can understand that maybe that takes off more than they expected and it causes them to get behind.

Hopefully my kit will be here middle of next week...it'll probably get here before my GS parts do...

Getting Angry...

So I STILL don't have any parts that I ordered for the GS. It's been over two weeks now on the seat. Ten days on the first parts order. Six days on the second parts order.

This wouldn't be such a huge deal if I was TOLD to wait this long, but none of these places seemed to mention at all that there would be a month long wait for the items to come in.

It also wouldn't be that big of a deal if the people I purchased the items from would actually respond to my e-mails. One company has nearly $170 of my money and hasn't responded to the message I sent them two days ago.

I really wanted the seat to get here this weekend so that I could work on it, but I guess that's just not going to happen.

It's just getting a little old. I don't think I'll be using Flat Out Motorcycles to order parts anymore. $10 for shipping on one of the orders and $15 on the other and I haven't heard anything at all from them. The one that cost $10 to ship probably weighs about 4 ounces...you'd think at that weight for that price they had better overnight it.

If I don't have any parts by Monday I guess I'm going to have to make some phone calls.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flight of the Conchords...

So Flight of the Conchords is a band from New Zealand. I guess they aren't so much of a band as they are a comedy duo. Maybe.

Either way, they are pretty funny and they are coming to Detroit in April. Cathy had tried to get tickets to their show, but they apparently sold out almost instantly that day. So she was pretty bummed about that. To make it worse, tickets were selling for over $100 each at ticket outlets, and they only cost like $35 each to begin with...so the markup was insane.

Well, she somehow managed to figure out that they had added a concert that same night, only later. Tickets went on sale this morning at 10am. She was there and waiting.

She ended up getting us a couple of tickets pretty close to the stage, so it should be a really fun time.

Game for the Ages...

So the Syracuse-UConn game last night was an epic. Nothing really more to say about that.

Six overtimes. One guy played 67 minutes. 127-117 Orange.


Thursday, March 12, 2009


So I don't buy a whole lot of Wii games, but one came out today that has gotten good reviews and has actually been marketed as more of an adult game than many of the other Wii games out there. I ran to Best Buy and snatched a copy up.

It's called "Madworld" and it's published by Sega and developed by Platinum Games. IGN gave it a 9, and I trust IGN more than just about any other review site of anything out there.

When I got it home I hooked up my new Wii component cables and then threw the game in and started it up. I was in awe right away by the style of the game...it's very comic book. Black and white are all the graphics, other than one color which I'll get to in a moment.

You play the part of Jack, a guy that has a chainsaw thing equipped to his arm, and you're basically fighting for your life "Running Man" style throughout the whole game. Unlike a lot of games that are designed around just going around and beating people up, this one actually has a plot. Apparently terrorists have taken over the city that Jack lives in and are forcing the people inside the city to fight it out with each other to survive. Why would anyone fight, you ask?? That's easy. Obviously poison has been pumped into the air, and the only way to get the antidote is to fight in the tournaments. How do the terrorists know that you're fighting?? That's easy, too. The city has been wired with thousands of video cameras, and the fighting is aired on television in a disturbing blood sport.

Now, earlier I mentioned that there is only one color in the game. With the things I've mentioned so far I'm sure you can guess what that color is. Need a hint?? It's the same color as blood.

Yes, there is a TON of blood in the game, and it splatters everywhere in beautiful fountains of red goo!!! It's insanely disturbing, funny, and completely over the top. The violence in this game is so far over the top that it's actually more funny than it is disturbing. Fist fighting with someone?? Why not shove a tire over their torso so they can't move their arms, then impale them with a stop sign??

This is a great game!!!

Shop Vac...or Not...

So today I was at the local department store and I decided to buy a Shop Vac to use to clean up the work we've been doing in the bedroom. I figured it would also come in handy when I go to clean out the garage this spring.

I found a good one on sale...6 gallons, 3 horsepower, $44. I snagged one of the last two and went to the register. I paid and got on my way home.

Now, I don't really know what I was thinking. I don't know if I have seriously never noticed this, or if I just forgot about it. But as I was taking it out of my car, I looked under a shelf that is in the garage and what do you know...there is a 6 gallon 3 horsepower Shop Vac sitting there. D'OH!!!! I felt like an idiot.

I told Cathy I had to take the one back, and she told me that she knew that there was a Shop Vac there, and that if I'd have waited for her to go to the store I wouldn't have wasted the time buying it!!! Oh well, at least I've got one to use now!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

While Waiting for Parts...

So while I STILL wait for parts (none of them came today either) I decided to do some minor work to the GS.

I decided that I was going to put some different rear turn signals on the bike the other day and I ordered a set on Ebay. They will probably get here before any of the other parts that I have ordered. The reason I had decided to do this was because the signals that were on there were hooked to those Vetter brackets that aren't actually designed for the bike. So I had made up my mind to remove those brackets, and with them of course the signals had to go.

So I got around to actually removing the brackets from the bike. I think the bike looks better without them on there, but it does look a bit bare without any kind of luggage or anything else on the back. However, the brackets not being there does really clean up the look of the bike.

The brackets were a bit rusty and didn't really fit on there very well. The bike, in my opinion, looks like it's in better condition simply by having those brackets taken off.

Hopefully the seat cover will get here soon. When it does I'll get a picture of the bike with the new cover and the brackets removed. I also am in the process of trying to find a good set of saddlebags to put on the back of the bike to complete the touring look.

Lastly, I have decided that I won't be redoing as much on the Vetter fairing as I had originally planned. Instead of redoing the chrome, I'm probably going to just sand the messed up "chrome" strips down and paint them when I paint the fairing. I've got some ideas for the fairing, but it's mainly going to be black. I might do some red trim, though, but I'll keep that to myself until I do it.

New Work Schedule

So it's getting close to shift bid time at work. I'm high enough in seniority to get just about any days off that I want, but Cathy is right in the middle of the pack, so we usually end up seeing what she's going to get then I just take those same days off.

This time might be different, however. Since the start of this job, there have always been two shifts...4am to 1pm and 12pm to 9pm. Those two shifts have changed very little since we started. Five days a week, one of those two shifts.

However, it's looking like they are going to be offering four 10 hour days at work this time around. The shifts will go from 4:30am to 3pm with a 30 minute lunch break, and from 9am to 7:30pm with a 30 minute lunch break. The reason for the change is because the late work has gone away for an undetermined amount of time, and most people want to work only four days.

The catch is, the days off will be split up. You will work two days, have one off, work two days, have two off every week. I actually like this BETTER for a setup of four 10 hour days. To me, this will be like everyday being either a Thursday or a Friday. You will never have to work more than 2 days in a row.

I think it's going to be a good thing, but getting used to the change might take some time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Light at the End of the Tunnel...

So today I put my mind to it and started really working on the bedroom. I got a lot accomplished.

First off, all of the trim on the walls that were not wallpapered is completely done. The windows, the baseboards, the doors, everything. I have a few very small spots to touch up, of course, but that's going to take about 10 minutes to do, and I figure I'll wait to do the touch up until I am completely done painting.

But the biggest thing is that I started working on the wallpaper on the fourth wall. We had purchased some stuff to clean the wallpaper off the wall a while ago, but I wasn't sure how well it would work so I have, quite honestly, been putting this part off because I thought it was going to be a ton of work. Well, the stuff we got was called DIF. It's a gel that you roll onto the wall and then it strips the glue from behind the paper. I gave it a go in just a small spot, and it worked amazingly. This led me to start working on a larger spot. Before you know it, that entire wall is completely clean of wallpaper.

Now that fourth wall is ready for paint. I will probably paint it in a few days. I want ALL of this DIF stuff to make sure it's dried off of the wall. I don't think it would do anything to the paint, but you never know. So I am going to give it a few days. In the meantime I am going to do the trim on the window on that wall and the baseboard on it.

Then, after that is all dried and done, the wall will be finished. After the wall is finished, the ceiling will be finished. But the bottom line is, I think I'm literally only about two hours worth of actual work away from being done with the room and getting everything moved into it.

It's been a long time, but it seems to me that the room is going to look pretty nice when it's done!!

Lots of Wii Stuff Today...

So Cathy and I got some stuff for the Wii today.

After getting a new cable box from Comcast a few weeks ago I was able to use the HDMI input on the TV to hook up the cable box, which opened up another component video input on the TV. So I bought us some component video cables for the Wii. These will allow it to display it's highest possible resolution, granted that's only 480p, but it's still better than just the standard definition that it displays right now.

Cathy also got a couple of games. She got "Guiness Book of Records," which as far as we can tell is a party game of some sort. She also got "Mario Tennis" which is a remake of an older Gamecube game but with some new controls specific to the Wii. I have always enjoyed the "Mario" sports games, and tennis was one of the ones that I liked the best, so I'm looking forward to playing around with it a little bit. Cathy also got "Mario Party 8" in the mail today from Amazon. She had been wanting that for quite a while.

To play all of these games, she also got us another nunchuck controller. We've had two Wii remotes for a long time now, but never actually got a second nunchuck to go with them.

Tomorrow we are planning on playing some of the new games. It should be fun.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Getting a Bit Tired of Waiting for These Parts...

So it's been days, and I still haven't gotten any of the parts that I ordered.

Now, I know it's probably normal, but it's been literally over a week since I placed the order. I spent $10 for shipping on items that weighed, combined, less than one pound. That, to me at least, would seem to suggest that they should at the very least be using Priority Mail to get me these products.

I understand that the place I ordered them from is actually just a big motorcycle dealership...so they probably had to actually order the parts from Suzuki, then ship them to me after they got to the dealership. But either way, I think that for the amount of money I spent on shipping that they should've been there quicker than this.

I'm starting to get a bit peeved about it because it's starting to get nice enough outside to actually think about working on the bike. I was hoping to have ALL of the parts here to get everything done at once, so I don't want to start with only the parts that I have just so that I have to take the whole bike apart again just to put the last few parts in.

Thinking of Joining a Motorcycle Club...

...no, not a gang.

This is a club that has chapters all around Michigan. There aren't any meetings or anything like that, there is a yearly subscription of around $20.

The club is called Ride. What it is basically is a website that is set up with different challenges on it. Those challenges can be completed by a rider and when they are completed the rider can purchase nifty little patches to sew onto their jacket or their saddle bags or whatever.

Some of the challenges would be things like ride 1000 miles in 24 hours. Or ride from Hell, Michigan to Paradise, Michigan in one day. The patches are interesting and the challenges seem like they could be a lot of fun.

They give you the first years dues for free, so you can join for nothing.

I'm thinking that maybe I'll sign Cathy and myself up when I get the GS out on the road.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


That's how many days are currently left until the 2009 NFL Entry Draft.

I have a great interest in watching this year's draft. I have high, high, high, high, high, high hopes for the Lions as they SEEM to be making smart moves so far in this off season. They have signed some solid veterans and gotten a few key players signed. They even made a play to pull Jay Cutler out of Denver.

I still feel that they are going to be looking at a quarterback. Probably Matt Stafford. I'm still okay with that, but I'm even more interested to see what they do with the OTHER picks they have.

Seeing as the 0-16 debacle gets them the #1 pick, it also allows them to have the #1 pick in the second round, which realistically is just as good as a low first round pick. With that said, the Lions effectively have THREE first round draft picks this season, thanks in no small part to the Freak Show down in Dallas.

I'm really interested to see what they will do with the pick from Dallas. It's the #20 pick this year, and many people are saying that after his showing at the combine that Andre Smith should still be available at this spot. So should Rey Maualuga. Those are two players that if they are both available at #20 I might be hard pressed to choose between. I honestly think I would take Maualuga, because he's shown himself to be a hard worker, a smart guy, a leader, and a strong player. Smith, on the other hand seems like he might be problems off the field...but his presence on the field is hard to ignore.

Either way, I'm really looking forward to it!!

Big 10 Champs

So today the Spartans finished off a 5 game winning streak. A winning streak which put them 4 games ahead in the Big 10. They actually had the Championship wrapped up last Tuesday night, but in typical Tom Izzo fashion, the team wasn't allowed to celebrate until after they won against Purdue today at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

This is the Spartans first Big 10 Championship since 2001, and their first outright Big 10 Championship since 1999. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since they won their last title outright. Especially when you consider the fact that they went all the way to the Final Four in 2000, 2001, and 2005.

They will probably end up with a really solid #2 seeding in the Tournament. I think that they are a #1 caliber team, but they had two pretty "bad" home losses this season that I think will keep them as a #2 for the Tournament. But that's okay, it's still a good spot to be in.

This team has a lot of talent, and I think when they play their best hoops they can easily hang with any team in the NCAA. With that said, it's going to be a CRAZY tournament this year!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finished "Halo Wars."

So I had been playing the game on the Normal mode, but I got into the story and wanted to see how it ended so I switched it to Easy about half way through the game.

That allowed me to finish it tonight. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the game. It gave some answers to things that we didn't know before (Spartan Team Omega is definitely still alive), the Forerunners made machines even larger than the Halos, and it MAY have answered the biggest question of all...what exactly was that thing floating in space at the end of "Halo 3" after you beat it on Legendary.

This game has rekindled my love of the "Halo Universe." It's a wonderfully fun game that plays very well and carries a story that is great if you're a fan of "Halo." It reminds me that I need to go and finish all the books...I've read two of them but need to read about 3 more. It reminds me that I need to play through the games again, just because they were that great. It reminds me that I need to get out there and make sure I pre-0rder "ODST" when they start taking pre-orders for it. It reminds me that I need to keep my eyes and ears open on the net, because Master Chief WILL be back...

Gordon Seems Qutie a Bit Better.

So Gordon is starting to act like his old self again after his ear infection and his medications. In other words, he's back to being a big goofy idiot.

He's playing with the cat again, running around like a maniac when he needs to go outside or wants his dinner, building his nests on the couch when he sleeps, and barking a lot more again.

This is all good. He's still having some issues staying in the crate all day and not going to the bathroom, but it seems to be getting better...a little I guess. Tonight when I got home it seems like he hadn't actually gone to the bathroom at all in the crate. Hopefully we can keep this up because I'm getting tired of cleaning it up all the time. I know it was probably the meds that he was on that were causing him to do it, and that it might take a little while for those meds to get out of his system, but I think he might be on his way back to being normal again...or at least, as normal as he can be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Colonel

So this was a clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show. It's a spoof of a new movie starring Mel Gibson. It's worth a watch. It made me laugh. Especially the part with Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger III...the pilot that successfully crash landed the airliner in the Hudson River a few weeks back.

Still Waiting on Parts

So I'm getting a bit impatient with the parts that I have ordered for the GS.

I had hoped that I would get to recover the seat this weekend, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim now, unless it somehow manages to show up tomorrow. I also still haven't gotten any of the parts that I have ordered from any of the larger companies like Bike Bandit and Flatout Motorcycles.

Oddly enough, the parts I have been getting from guys running their own business out of their basement are showing up a few days after I pay for them. It's a bit irritating considering I'm paying the bigger companies like $10 or $12 shipping and it's still taking days to get the parts.

On another note with the GS, I have FINALLY settled on a finish option for it. I'll be getting a can of Herculiner bed liner from JC Whitney and doing the bike up in black bed liner. I've done a bike before in bed liner and the end result was really unique. The best part is bed liner is REALLY durable, which is a good thing out on the highway with little rocks and stuff alwasy hitting your paint.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hung One of The Roman Blinds.

So I got home tonight and decided to try my luck at hanging one of the Roman Blinds that I bought the other night.

It went up pretty easily. I actually mounted it slightly above the window frame, in hopes that it would hang as close to the actual window glass as possible. It looks nice in the room, and seems to be really nicely made.

With that said, I don't know if I like it. The rope to pull it up and down is, for some reason, placed BEHIND the actual blind itself. This makes it a bit of a chore to pull the thing up and let it down. You have to actually move the blind a little bit to do it. Completely different than any other types of blinds I've ever used. I actually thought for a while that I hadn't installed it correctly, but after reading the instructions about five times I decided it must just be the way that they are designed.

It's not that big of a deal, I guess. I can count the number of times that I've actually opened the blinds in the current bedroom in the last year on one hand. So basically, not being able to quickly open and close the blinds isn't a big deal to us. I guess I was just hoping that for $50 worth of blinds they would have been a bit more user friendly.

Maybe I do have them up wrong, but I don't really see any other way that they would be able to go up.

My Helmet...

So this spring we are going to have to start looking for a helmet and a motorcycle jacket for Cathy. She has been wearing my extra stuff, but it doesn't really fit her very well and if she's going to spend any serious time on the bike with me we'll need to at the very least get her a helmet that fits her really well. The jacket she can probably keep wearing.

But while browsing around at helmets the last few days I have really been let down. The styles and such that are out right now simply don't really make me go "Oooooohhhh" at all. I just don't really like the styles that are out there. For her we'll probably just go with a solid color helmet, because none of the "girl" designs look good at all.

In the mean time, I'm going to stick to my current lid...it's a KBC Force RR Airborne 2 Limited Edition. I got it about two years ago and it's been a great helmet for me. Here's a picture of it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Blinds for Bedroom

So all of the improvements to the bedroom seemed to bring one thing out that I hadn't really thought that much about...

...the nice new fan, the new paint, the nice trim...all of it really showcased how bad the blinds in the room looked. So I decided that we should get some new blinds for the room, seeing as we were doing so much other stuff to the room.

We were at the store tonight and the blinds were all on sale. Mini blinds were 20% off so I found some that would work for like $8 each...but then as I was looking I noticed some Roman shades that were specially designed to be energy efficient. They are made out of some material that shields heat out in the summer and helps keep cold out in the winter. Basically, they help to keep the temperature in the room at what you want it, and not at what the weather wants it.

They look pretty nice. They were a little bit more expensive...well, about 3 times as expensive...at $24.49 each after the sale...but these ones were 30% off so I saved over $10 per set. I only had to get two of them because there are only two windows that use the 35" size. I have to go back to get one that's 42" or so in length for the other window in the room.

I'll try to get them up in the next few days.

The Last Spartan???

So throughout the lore of "Halo" so far, we have basically been taught that Master Chief, Spartan 117, John is the last of his kind. The last member of the Spartan II project that is alive. The war with the Covenant has rendered even the best of the best mostly dead.

At the end of "Halo 3," it is believed on Earth that even Master Chief is dead. However, we know otherwise. We know he's out there floating in space, sending out a signal constantly, waiting for a vessel to pick him up while he's in extended sleep.

So as far as the humans on Earth know, there are no more Spartans...but we know there's one, out there, waiting for the next time that Earth needs him.

However, it would appear that at the end of "Halo Wars" we are going to find out that there are actually another group of Spartans still alive out there in the universe. I was reading about the Spirit of Fire ship, and it turns out that it will use it's FTL drives as a bomb to destroy The Flood, and when they do this they render themselves stranded on the planet, hundreds of lightyears away from UNSC space.

So, it turns out, that maybe there is actually a group of Spartan II soldiers out there still...I'm sure we'll find out in a later game...

By the way, what WAS that thing that Master Chief was floating by when you finished the game on Legendary?? A Marathon colony ship???

Halo Wars

So I got my copy of "Halo Wars" today on the way back from getting the ceiling fan. I got the Limited Edition of the game, and it's pretty cool. The packaging is nice, the extras are nice, and the game is pretty fun.

The game comes packaged in a tin that has "cover art" on both sides of it, so that when you put it into it's protective sleeve you can have either the bad guys (Covenant Elites) or the good guys (UNSC Spartans) on the front of your case. It comes packaged with a hard cover full length comic book about the events in the game, some trading cards, a patch from the ship that is in the game, and a few other extras that you can download. I'm really impressed with the package all around...it's got some good stuff in it.

The game itself is pretty good. I'm not really big on RTS games, but this one is pretty straight forward and focuses more on the actual action in the game than on managing resources and such. It's pretty easy to just save up some resources, build a giant army, and attack. It works out pretty well that way, but not always.

The story is pretty good so far...but I just found The Flood (another group of aliens in the game) and that seems to be the point in some of the other "Halo" properties where things go a little bit downhill...so we'll see how that goes.

I do really enjoy playing the game, but I'm not sure how much replayability it will have. Seeing as I'm not very good at RTS games, I don't really see myself playing it online an awful lot against other real people, but who knows I might just give it a shot anyways. I guess even if I don't like it, I've still got "Left 4 Dead" to fall back on...actually, tonight, after playing some "Halo Wars" in single player for a while, when I got the urge to play against someone else I TRIED to find a game online in "Halo Wars" but couldn't find one, so I popped "L4D" in and playe d that for a little while...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Celing Fan...Done!!

So my dad came down today...EARLY. He wasn't supposed to show up till after 10:30 or so, but he was here at about 10:15. Cathy and I had planned on going to get the fan at about 2:00pm or so, but my father and I went and picked one out. It's a Westinghouse brand, model Comet 3 speed 52" fan. After all the costs involved (including lunch for my dad for helping) the total cost was just under $125. Not too bad, right in line with what I had figured we would end up spending on the fan.

We got it home and got everything underway. It went up pretty easily. Took less than an hour and a half I'd say once we actually started working. We only ran into one problem, and I believe that was a screw that was stripped in the package, not something that we actually did.

The fan hung easily, the wiring was already there from the fan before, and everything went together really well. The fan is pretty modern looking, and man does it ever move air!! When it's on it's highest setting you can really feel it moving some air around in the room. We use the fan in the bedroom we're using now on high, but I think this one might be just as well off used at medium.

I did notice one thing when we were putting it up...I now seem to find little bits and pieces of wall that need to be touched up with paint literally every time I go into the bedroom. I've been sticking painter's tape to the spots that I find, and it seems like there's about 20 pieces on the walls and trim now. It's probably not really that bad, as I keep finding things that I'm SURE you wouldn't see unless you were looking, so I realistically could probably just leave them...but I feel that they must be done or else the room won't be complete!!!

GS-1000 Luggage

So I've been thinking a lot lately about potential luggage for the Suzuki. From what I'm hearing, a big front fairing looks MUCH better on a bike when the bike also has some nice luggage in place on the back of it.

I've got those nice soft cases that I plan on getting for the sides of the bike, but I would also like a top-case of some kind. The soft cases are easily removable from the sides of the bike, but the top case would be something that would be more or less permanently installed on the bike. Of course, it could be removed, but not as easily as the soft sided bags would be able to be taken off.

I have a couple of ideas, and most of them revolve around the fact that the bike already has a Vetter luggage mounting system on it. The mount for the top case isn't a luggage rack, so many of the universal ideas for motorcycle trunks won't quite work out, as they generally require an actual luggage rack in order to be mounted on the bike easily. I could, I guess, try to create some kind of luggage rack that would actually work with the Vetter mounts, but that might be something that wouldn't end up being as sturdy as I would like it to be.

In the end I will probably need something that will just mount directly to the bars that are on there currently. I am looking into the option of getting a luggage rack, but they seem to be pretty hard to come by for this bike, so I've been coming up with some other ideas for what I could try and use for a hard sided case on the back of the bike. So far I have a few...but they will be VERY utilitarian. The leading candidate right now is a Coleman Cooler mounted directly onto the bars on the back of the bike. This would serve a couple of good purposes...it would hold lots of stuff, it would be relatively water tight, and best of all it would be able to keep things cool if they needed to be kept cool while riding...like milk or other groceries from a quick trip to the store...or lunches on the way to work.

It might not look the greatest in the world, but I've said it before and I'm sticking to it, I'm going for function WAY over form on this Suzuki. It's a bike that's going to be ridden for a lot of things, so as long as it doesn't look like it's just been crashed, then it looks fine to me.

Besides, the cooler might not be the WORS looking thing that I could mount on there. I'm also toying with the idea of using a toolbox, a big plastic storage bin, and many other things. In the end I may still end up trying to make a universal trunk fit onto the back of the bike, but in the meantime I'm keeping my options open!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Halo Wars on Tuesday...

So I've been looking forward to "Halo Wars" on the Xbox 360 for a while now. A few weeks ago a demo came out for it on Xbox LIVE that got me even more excited for it. The demo was fun, sort of like a real time strategy/action game. It's an RTS, but it's pretty fast paced and streamlined so that you have quite a bit more action and actual fighting than managing resources and boring stuff like that.

If you know me you will also know that I'm a big "Halo" fan in the first place. I've got all three games, including the collector's edtion of "Halo 2" and the "Legendary Edition" of "Halo 3." Yes, the "Halo 3" ended up costing me nearly $150...but it was I guess worth it. I played "Halo 2" and "Halo 3" online almost non-stop for the first few months after they came out. "Halo 3" wasn't as great as "Halo 2" in my opinion, the online just wasn't quite as fun to me, but it still was a great game to play with friends.

I don't know how the multiplayer in "Halo Wars" will end up panning out, but the story is supposed to be pretty good. One that "Halo" fans will enjoy, from what I'm hearing.

I pick up my "Limited Edition Halo Wars" copy on Tuesday from Best Buy. Price is $79.99, but I've got $20 worth of Best Buy Reward Zone certificates, so I'll be paying the standard $59.99 price for the game.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ceiling Fan

So on Tuesday Cathy and I are going to head out to get a new ceiling fan for the bedroom. The one that's in there still works...but it's pretty horrible looking. I don't really know why, but the entire thing looks like it's just hanging there.

Now, I know that ceiling fans are SUPPOSED to just hang there, but this one looks droopy and just wrong. Kind of like a weeping willow tree doesn't look like what a tree is supposed to look like.

We'll probably go get it when we get up on Tuesday. Then Tuesday evening Cathy has dinner with her godmother to go to, so I will be having my dad down to help me put the thing up. Once it's up I can then begin the final stages of painting in the room so that we can get our stuff moved into there.

We'll be getting the fan at Menard's. We found several of them there that we liked quite a bit, ranging in price from $50 to $200. We'll probably settle in for one in the $80-$120 range or so, I think.

I'm looking forward to getting the room done. I know it's been an ongoing thing that anyone reading this has read about probably 25 times...but I guess it's good to be able to slowly work on home improvement projects. I've had no sense of urgency about this at all, and as such it's been pretty enjoyable. I work on it when I want to, and that's pretty nice.

One More Week...

So the days are getting longer and longer...and that is NICE. It means that it's getting closer to spring. The best thing about it getting closer to spring is the fact that it means winter is getting closer to being over.

In one week Daylight Savings time starts...or ends...or whatever it is when you move the clocks forward one hour. So on March 8th, we'll be moving the clocks ahead. Then we'll be well on our way to 9:00 PM and still a bit of daylight left!!!

I look forward to spring because I can get the bikes back out. I can get the bicycles out. I can get the kayaks out. I can start trying to get over to the cottage every once in a while with Cathy.

Spring is just so much better than winter!!!