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Monday December 17th 2007 (Entry was updated on Tuesday December 18th 2007)


The Last Man on Earth (1964)
With "I am Legend" coming out, I figured I'd watch some of the early adaptations of the book. I started with TLMOE. IMdB ratings give it a 7. Even taking into consideration that it's an old movie, I can't see how this is possibly a 7. Frankly, it was boring.

In The Land of Women (2007)
Being a fan of The O.C., I figured I'd check out this movie since Adam Brody (Seth of The O.C.)is in it. I think it's mostly a chick flick, but even so (or maybe because of it) I liked it. Brody plays a soft-core porn writer that lives in L.A. He decides to move in with his grandmother that lives in Michigan, partly to take care of her and partly to get away from L.A. He befriends the neighbor (and her daughter) along the way. Good movie!

Pizza (2005)
Strange. An (almost) 18 year old girl spends a night with a pizza delivery guy almost twice her age. She's lived a pretty sheltered life so far. She doesn't fit in with the others in school. But she bonds with the pizza guy. The movie pretty much covers 24 surrounding her 18th birthday. Pretty good.

Snow (2007)
Got snow over the weekend.

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Tuesday December 11th 2007


Notes from the underbelly
Is it wrong that I enjoy this show a lot? It seems obviously geared toward women, but I think it's pretty damn cool. Then again, I like Desperate Housewives too.



It doesn't hurt that "Lauren" (third from the left) is a cutie.

The cynic lush Cooper (second from right) is just too cool too.

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Monday December 10th 2007


American Pie: Beta House (2007)
Yet another American Pie movie. You would think that they'd run out of ideas and the movies would be crappy. And you'd be right. Almost.

While there are no "new" ideas in this movie, the ample amount of boobage and full frontal nudity makes up for it.

A pretty average "college co-ed" movie other than that, though. On the bright side it's pretty short, so you really don't have time to get bored with it.

This is one for the guys. :)

Rush Hour 3 (2007)
Ah yes, the jocularities between pimpin' black guy and awkward chinese dude. Back again for the 3rd time. As usual the pair take down some major crime mob. This time they find themselves in France. Apparently the chinese mob is big in France.. right.

Anyway, there are some funny lines here and there that make it all watchable.


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Friday December 7th 2007


Slow week. Not much to blog about.

Winter seems to be here.

Red's kids got me sick (again).

Turns out the HDTV tuner I got new drivers for still sucks. So I unplugged it again. Bought a new Hauppauge HVR-1600 instead. It's got dual tuners. One analog, one HD. If I can fit it and the current Hauppauge tuner inside the case, I'll do that. Then I'll have two PCI tuners (2 analog, 1 HD) and USB (HD) tuners. This is all MCE supports (without hacking it). If not, I'll have to take out the old MCE-150 card. Not that I really need two analog tuners anyway. But hey, if I have 'em, I might as well use 'em, right?

I'll have to take out the PCI modem to make room for the tuner, though. Only reason I use the PCI modem is because it has caller ID capability. So when the phone rings a message windows pops up in MCE telling me who's calling. Not that it's worked for a while now anyway.. I think the surge suppressors in the backup batteries fried. And I have talking caller ID on the phones anyway.

I installed a new hard disk in the HTPC when I did the motherboard swap too.. Replaced a 500GB drive with a new 1TB drive. It's a Western Digital GreenPower drive.. I guess it says 4 or 5 watts over other "non-green" drives. Hey, since the drive runs 24/7/365 (more or less) the savings add up. :)

I fixed the humidifier on my furnace. It hasn't worked for the last 10 years. The first few years I couldn't find the "pad" for it. Then once I finally found a pad, the feed hose broke. So then I had to replace the hose. Then the motor didn't run. So I fixed that.. And then the fitting that attaches to the motor output shaft was wore out, so the shaft was just spinning inside it, not turning the pad. So I superglued that.. And now it seems to work. It only took me 10 years to get around to fixing it.

There's a car on eBay that I'm contemplating buying. I'll see if I can go look at it this weekend. It's an Intrepid.. what I've been looking for. Not a stellar car nor a stellar deal, but I figured I can buy it, fix it, drive it for a bit, then sell it for a profit and get a better one. We'll see. I did it before with an eBay car. Bought it for $251 and sold it for $1000 a few months later.

Tried another lift of 300 lbs at the gym on Tuesday. Didn't make it. Hadn't worked out since the Tuesday before, and was also coming down with this damn cold. Good excuse, right? Works for me, at least.

Bought a new multimeter. Not because I needed one (my 15 year old Escort meter still works just great), but because it was great deal and this new one has some features my old one doesn't have..



.. like infrared temperature measurement (with laser indicator), back light, k-type thermocouple temperature probe (probe included!) etc. Regular price is $99.99, and I got it for $40 with free shipping! Gotta love Sears once in a while (see earlier drill press story). This wasn't a price mistake, though, just a lucky combination of sale price and limited time discounts.

I've somehow managed to gain quite a bit of space in the garage without actually throwing out a lot of stuff. Plenty of room for the car in there now, and still plenty of room to work on other stuff. Now if I can only get rid of that old jet ski (hint, hint), I'll have a bunch of room!

Red wants me to go see Santa tonight.

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Monday December 3rd 2007 (Entry was updated on Monday December 3rd 2007)


We do what the computer tells us to!
So I was hoping to have a front end alignment done on my car this weekend. Stopped by several places. Some were too busy, some weren't.

So no problem, right? Wrong.

You see, I don't want my tires aligned like the factory intended. Why not? 'Cause the factory had two factors in mind when deciding on wheel alignment. Safety and even tire wear.

So what's wrong with safety and even tire wear you say? Nothing. At least if you're a 16 year old that don't know squat about driving.

You see, the factory typically give the cars some toe in in the front.. This keep the car tracking straight without needing to use the steering wheel much. Also, they like to give the front wheels some positive camber while giving the rear some negative camber. This insures the front wheels will start slipping in a curve before the rear wheels do. That's great for people that don't know how to drive.

Personally I prefer neutral toe (wheels pointing straight ahead) and a little negative camber both front and back.

You see, toe in, while making the car track straight, also hampers the ability of the car to enter a turn (turn-in). I don't mind trading some straight line stability for better ability to chuck the car into a corner.

Positive camber in the front and negative camber in the rear makes the tires wear evenly (assuming you rotate them occasionally). Positive camber means the outside part of the tread is more in contact with the road than the inside. Likewise, negative camber means the inside of the tire tread is more in contact with the road. The downside to positive camber in the front is that when you enter a corner and the car starts leaning over to the outside of the curve, the camber angle gets even more pronounced (goes further toward positive camber) due to how the suspension moves in relation to the car. The suspension is purposely designed to do this for safety.

This causes a car to under steer (the front end slides, causing a loss of steering until the car slows down a little). Great for safety, since all you have to do to recover is let off the gas. This keeps the teenies and other bad drivers safe.

I prefer more of a neutral cornering, though.. In other words, about the same grip both front and back. This is achieved by dialing in some negative camber in the front as well. Obviously this also makes the situation where the rear end starts sliding before the front more likely. Most people panic and don't know what to do when the rear end slides, so that's why the factory prefers understeer for safety.

A down side to negative camber both front and back is that no matter how much you rotate the tires, they'll still wear the inside edge a lot faster than the outside. A trade-off you'll have to live with if you want better cornering ability.

I think passing people in the inside lane on highway off-ramps like they're standing still is plenty worth the added tire wear.

So back to the original point of this post. You see, the people that do alignments have computerized alignment machines where they type in the make, model and year of car, the machine brings up the alignment specs the factory recommends. Again, that's great for most people. But not for me. I want my car aligned to my own specs.

It seems places are mostly unable (too dumb) or unwilling (company policy) to do this. I guess I'll have to go back to where I had it done last time. Only problems is they're not open on the weekends, so it's a bit of a hassle.

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Thursday November 29th 2007


HTPC = Hassle
I bought a new motherboard for my HTPC. I never really did like the board I had in there. Too many quirks with it (crackling sound now and then, network card not working on bootup once in a while, no fan control etc).

I received the new board yesterday. I figured it should take about 20 mins to get the old one out and the new one in, then just let Windows detect the hardware changes and I'd be in business again.

WRONG!!

About 8 hours later I'm still not done.

At first there was the fitment issues with the riser cards. What a pain! I had to reconfigure the layout of the PCI and AGP riser boards. This required desoldering some capacitors and moving them to the other side of the circuit board, cutting the PCI riser to keep it from interfering with the AGP slot etc. Then I had to shim out the AGP board so the video card would seat properly, or it wouldn't boot up.

Then once the hardware issues were taken care of, Windows just didn't want to boot up in anything other than safe mode. I tried misc tricks to fix it and make it run, but it simply didn't.

So I had to start over and reinstall Windows and all applications, drivers, codecs etc, etc. I'm still not all done, but it's at least up and running with MCE and my home automation software. Some codecs and stuff still remains.

This HTPC has been a source of lots of frustration since I built it a couple years ago. Hopefully this new MB will fix all the little issues it had.

On the bright side, the company that makes one of my HDTV tuners finally released a new driver to fix a studdering problem... So now I have two HDTV tuners and one analog tuner. Not being able to watch a HD channel and record another HD channel at the same time was getting old!

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Wednesday November 28th 2007


Chuck vs. Band of Horses
So I was watching Chuck on NBC Mondaybusted05 night, when towards the end I heard Band of Horses start playing. The song was "No one's gonna love you" from their newest album, "Cease to begin".

Not only is Chuck totally watchable due to the hot blonde (Yvonne Str...Something-rather), but now it also features some cool music.

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Tuesday November 27th 2007


Futurama - Bender's Big Score (2007)
I watched the first season of Futurama, then kinda forgot about it, just watching it here and there when I happened to channel surf and come across it.

But now there's a movie out. It's pretty funny too! They poke fun at Fox for various reasons.

The cast is the same as the regular show.

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Tuesday November 27th 2007


Saw this on Craigslist... when I saw the title I was wondering how drunk the person writing it had been, but then it all made sense when I read the body.

70 undead priest 64 blood elf frost mage - $450

Both characters have never transfered and are ready to go, This priest is so geared for PVP its not even funny. If you are ready to hit arenas and pvp then this character is gonna shine like no other. "ThaJacka" (character name) is rocking 10,400k health and 10,060k mana UNBUFFED. I have 4/5 merciless gear fully socketed and fully enchanted with the highest avaible. He has the best healing pants avaible "Guilded Trousers of benediction" full socketed and full enchanted with the highest avaible. Rocking Crystal Pulse Heat staff that drops off magtheridon. 3/5 veterans gear with the remaining 2 peices being heroic badge rewards. This character was originally a hardcore raiding healer and has over 1900+ healing when equipped with his set of PVE healing gear, over 160 mp5 while casting this priest is amazing i spent over 70 days played time on this guy. PVE set is fully socketed and fully enchanted with highest avaible. Character is well respected among Demonsoul.(current server) Since the current patch priests are shining very well in all aspects of the game especially pvp. Not to mention i have a very well damge pve and dmg pvp set aslo. I believe he has around 3-400 gold on him. 375 alchemist and 375 herbilist. 3 epic mounts plus flying mount,

The mage is frost and well geared, 350 tailor and high level enchanting, epic mount and around 400 gold. He is ready to hit 70 and pvp and raid.

If theres any questions please contact me and I will respond right away,
Accepting serious bids and offers PayPal Only

DISCLAIMER: Any financial compensation I receive from the sale of this account is for my time spent playing this character & account. This account remains the property of Blizzard. You will not 'OWN' the account, for it belongs to Blizzard. The only thing you will be purchasing is the game and time I have invested into the account


So basically someone is selling a "character" with "powers" for some online computer game. I don't know which game.. but does it really matter? C'mon, people!?!? $450 for some numbers???!?!

That reminds me, I have some old memory modules full of zeros for sale. Only $100 each for 16MB!! That's a steal compared to the above ad!

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Monday November 26th 2007 (Entry was updated on Monday November 26th 2007)


I've seen some movies lately. Some short reviews.

Superbad (2007)
Not bad at all, really. Pretty funny.

Memphis Belle (1990)
About a B-17 bomber during WWII. Decent, but doesn't do WWII justice.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
YAAAAAWN!! Lterally.. Red and I both fell asleep during different parts of this movie. Let's all hope we've seen the end of the POTC saga.

I think that's all. Can't remember.

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Wednesday November 21st 2007


I'm still loving Flunk..

"Keep on" is such a cool drum and bass type song. It can be downloaded in MP3 format on this page..

Motel De Moka

Look for "07. Flunk - Keep On"

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Tuesday November 20th 2007


4L60E exploded view
I've gotten a lot of hits on my blog from people searching for an exploded view of the 4L60E transmission. In hopes of helping someone out, I uploaded a larger exploded view picture.



Click on image for the large version.

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Monday November 19th 2007


Under pressure
So I finally got a hydraulic press.


I had to disassemble it to fit it in my car..


10 mins later it's all assembled.


Then of course I had to test it by crushing something. A wood dowel happened to be close by. I'd say it felt the pressure!


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Friday November 16th 2007 (Entry was updated on Friday November 16th 2007)


295

Benched two reps at 295 lbs last night. They were so easy I swear the spotter was helping out. He swears he didn't, though.

So since 295 lbs was so easy, I decided to go for 300 lbs. I told the spotter to keep his hands an inch below the bar so there's no way he could be helping..

It wasn't an easy lift.......... but I did it!!!!

300 lbs



Just a single rep, but that's good enough. Next time I'll go for two, just to "seal the deal" and make sure this wasn't some kind of fluke. :D

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Thursday November 15th 2007


Missing bolt... no more.
I found the missing bolt. After cleaning up all the tools and sweeping the floor, I still hadn't seen it. I thought there was a slim chance that maybe it had been sucked up in the shop-vac since I did use it to clean up some coolant that got on the floor in the general area where the bolts were.

Sure enough, it was in the shop vac!

So now it's all back together. I washed it off real quick last night, especially the engine compartment. I even armor-alled the interior and fastened the license plate properly. Oh, and I lubed the hood and trunk latch.



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Wednesday November 14th 2007


Transmission job: Done!
Put the tranny in last night. All is well. Works like a charm.

A couple pics of the tranny install in progress. At his point all I'd done was bolt the tranny to the engine. I didn't take any more progress pics since it's a pain to take pics under the car.. not enough room!





You can see the output shaft coming out the tranny. This is where the transfer case bolts up. Good thing I've been working out, since I basically "bench pressed" the transfer case in place.

The truck's only 2 wheel drive for now, though, since I seem to have misplaced one of the bolts that attach the front drive shaft to the differential. I'll probably find it tonight when I clean up some. I also still need to top off the transfer case fluid (ATF) and radiator.

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Tuesday November 13th 2007


This morning... Took it while driving.



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Tuesday November 13th 2007 (Entry was updated on Tuesday November 13th 2007)


Transmission assembly: Part IV

Got a #68 and a #69 selective washer last night. #68 did the trick and gave me about .020" end play. So I put innards and pump back in and buttoned it up.


Then I changed o-rings on the valve body solenoids and reinstalled them. Then I bolted on the valve body and installed the wiring harness.


Then the filter is installed. The overhaul kit I got came with a cork pan gasket, and I don't like cork gaskets. They always seem to fail after a short period of time. So I bought a rubber gasket that I used instead.


The transmission oil pan is cleaned.


Then it's installed.


The torque converter is filled with transmission fluid and installed.


The tranny is mounted on the "adapter"...


And then the tranny and adapter are lifted onto the jack, ready for install.

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Monday November 12th 2007


I guess if I was a truck driving hick, I could put one of these on the back of it with good reason by now (seeing as Red's vehicle is a Chevy).



But fortunately I'm a little more sophisticated than that.

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Monday November 12th 2007


So it turns out that the new sun shell I put in was slightly thicker than the one I took out. This means I needed a thinner selective washer to get the right input shaft end play. I went to 8 places on Saturday in hopes to get a couple, but the shops were either closed or didn't have any. I'll see about picking 'em up tonight.

So instead of doing nothing, I replaced the intake manifold gaskets on Red's vehicle. Her car, like a lot of other V6 GM cars, was leaking/burning coolant. Another of GM's blunders. When I took the intake manifold off, I quickly realized why they have this problem. The gasket (as you can see from the picture below) is cracked in several places, especially around the coolant passages (look for the missing white line around the holes on the right hand side). The gasket feels like it was made out of hard plastic.




Here's the manifold.. not pretty.


Mating surfaces all cleaned up..


Same with the manifold..


New gaskets in place. Rubber over steel. Much better than the cheap crap GM put in.


Intake is back in place. Some wires and hoses have been put back too.


And the job's done.

I discovered more stupid annoyances while doing this job.. Like the power steering/ac compressor bracket mounting bolts/nuts. Near impossible to get to a couple of 'em.

I was impressed with the fact that there was a drain hose mounted right on the radiator, though. Made for easy draining of the cooling system.

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