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Wednesday November 4th 2009

To do list
I posted this To-do list on September 25th:

1. Gutters need to be put on the house (this weekend).
2. The side porch needs some fixing since the floor is bouncy (should be an easy fix).
3. Furnace needs finished up (getting some supplies this weekend when I get the gutters).
4. The uncovered part of my wall where the chimney used to be needs covered up to keep wind from blowing right into the house.
5. ATV needs fixed before the snow comes to I can use the plow.
6. Jet skis need to be winterized.
7. To go along with the furnace, I need a propane tank delivered/installed.

1,2,3,4 and 7 are done.

Jet ski's have had Stabil added to the gas. Still gotta pull the batteries and check/change the pump oil on 'em. Also need to drop some moth balls in 'em and plug the exhaust to keep the mice out.

CDI has been ordered for the ATV. On backorder.

In addition to the list, I've also made a new basement door. The old one was rotted and a poor excuse for a door. Now it's weather tight and should keep the wind from blowing right through the basement.

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Wednesday November 4th 2009

My buddy, Turbo
Snapped a couple pictures of my dog, Turbo, while on a walk today.

Tags: dog fall lab labrador black man's best friend

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Thursday October 29th 2009

Paranormal Activity (2009) vs. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
From seeing the trailer for PA (see below) and seeing the audience freaking out and screaming, I thought this would be pretty cool. Unfortunately, not only is it filmed in much the same manner as TBWP, but it also has the exact same freaky content.. none. Other movies that comes to mind is Signs (2002) with Mel Gibson in which you "see" aliens for all of 3 seconds during the whole movie, and The Happening (2008) where the trailer makes it seem like a cool movie, but ends up being a drag. Both movies are M Knight Shamamhaylalanaddan movies...

I guess maybe that's the idea with these movies. Make you sit there waiting to be scared out of your mind. It works, don't get me wrong, but in the end I feel cheated. I wanted a scary experience, not a waiting to be scared experience.

Even so, I guess I can't slaughter the movie too bad, so it gets 3 pears.

3 pears

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Wednesday October 7th 2009

Google... when/where/how/why/who Michael Jackson
Have you ever experimented with the Google search suggestion results? It can be pretty amusing. Below are some results for when/where/how/why/who, and as you can see, Michael Jackson is a hot topic.

A few weeks ago you could type in "how do i" and it would suggest search terms like "How do I kill someone and get away with it". :) Most of the "how to kill" suggestions are now gone, so I'm guessing Google cleaned it up a little.

The barcode is Code 128 for "Google", btw. Presumably Google's way of marking the 57th anniversary of the barcode (or it's patent, at least).

Tags: google why who where when how did

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Friday September 25th 2009

Wow, it's been a while since my last post. I'd say most likely because nothing all that newsworthy has been going on.

I'm installing a new furnace these days. Taking out the old 82% oil burner and installing a 90%+ gas furnace.

The CDI module broke on my ATV, so I have to get a new one of those. I could have used the ATV when removing the old furnace from my basement, but since it wasn't getting any spark is wasn't much help. I did use the winch on it to pull the furnace up the stairs, though.

Fall, and then winter, is coming. I have some projects that need finished before it gets to that:

1. Gutters need to be put on the house (this weekend).
2. The side porch needs some fixing since the floor is bouncy (should be an easy fix).
3. Furnace needs finished up (getting some supplies this weekend when I get the gutters).
4. The uncovered part of my wall where the chimney used to be needs covered up to keep wind from blowing right into the house.
5. ATV needs fixed before the snow comes to I can use the plow.
6. Jet skis need to be winterized.
7. To go along with the furnace, I need a propane tank delivered/installed.

That's about all I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure there will be more.

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Thursday September 3rd 2009

Damn low prices on!

It this price I think I'll order two!

Notice the seller "Damlow prices".


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Wednesday August 26th 2009 (Entry was updated on Wednesday August 26th 2009)

Air cooler
Inspired by a post on a forum I frequent, I decided to make an aftercooler for my air compressor. The point is to cool the air to where the condensation liquifies before it enters the storage tank. This will result in dryer air coming out of the tank, and as a side effect, more air will be stored in the tank (due to it being denser at the lower temperature).

I measured the intake temperature (on outside of the inlet of the cooler) to be over 310F using an infra red thermometer. The outlet temperature measured the same way never went above 96F. That's a drop of 214F. Ambient temperature was about 86F.

Using Charles' law (V2/V1 = T2/T1), the increased volume based on my temperature measurements will be:

427.59K / 308.70K = 1.38.

Meaning there's a 38% increase in air molecules stored in the tank under best case/worst case scenarios.

Of course, it's a 60 gallon tank and it's going to contain 60 gallons of air no matter what. The "increased" storage capacity will be realized by the pressure in the tank not dropping considerably once the air cools down.

The whole system. A B&M model 70266 (11" x 8" x 1") tranmission/engine oil cooler, an EBM Pabst model W2E250-HL06-01 230V AC fan (1160 cfm in open air) (wired in parallell with the motor so when the motor runs, the fan runs) and a Wilkerson model X01-04-M00 automatic drain. The rest are misc fitting, hose, copper pipe and some angle iron I had laying around.

Front view.

Front again, different angle.

Time will tell how well it works, but for reference, I drained the tank to 90 psi then started the compressor up to get it back to ~145 psi tank pressure. There were drops of water in the plastic hose (purposely used instead of copper pipe so I can see the water in the hose) going to the drain after it was done, so it does work!

Tags: intercooler aftercooler moisture water separator drain

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Thursday August 20th 2009

Weight loss
So I managed to drop about 10 lbs over the last week or so. I wasn't planning on it, it just kinda happened.

I (with help of friends) put new shingles on my roof over the last week (interrupted by rain here and there). Long days of hard work in 90+F weather. I measured the roof temperature to be 167F the other day, and I'm pretty sure it was higher yesterday (so says the 2nd degree burn on my leg, at least).

There was only one layer of asphalt shingles on the roof, but under that there was a layer of cedar shakes. A pain to get off! Then we had to put down OSB sheets, tar paper and finally shingles. Tpyically not such a bad job, but my house being a 2 story house, having a hip roof and a steep pitch makes it a gruelling job.

I saved a lot of money by doing it myself, though. I think next time the house needs a roof I'll just move instead! :) I bought 30 years architectural shingles, though, so I'm hoping it'll be many, many years 'til it needs done again.

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Wednesday August 5th 2009

Chevrolet S-10 type vehicles, or at least Blazers
Red's Blazer has had an issue with the odometer and gear indicators going out from time to time. Most of the time you could tap the cluster in the right spot, and they'd come back on.

Anyway, last night I decided to pull the instrument cluster out and see what was up. I had a feeling it was a case of a cracked solder joint (as is usually the case when these kind of things happen).

Turns out I was right.

If you look closely on the rightmost wire, you'll see the solder joint is cracked. This was the case for the same wire on both the shift indicator and odometer panels. I cleaned them up and resoldered them, then put the cluster back together and back in the car.

Works a charm.

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Tuesday July 14th 2009 (Entry was updated on Tuesday July 14th 2009)

Needed a tool
So while disassembling the engine out of my Intrepid R/T, I needed a valve spring compressor. I have one that I bought many years ago for my 2.2/2.5 and 3.0 Chrysler engines, but that one didn't work well for the 3.5. It worked okay on the exhaust valves, but was too bulky to work on the intake valves.

When I rebuilt the 2.7 I made a tool for the purpose. This time I thought I'd just buy one. Problem was, nobody local had one, and I was sort of in a hurry to get the heads to the machine shop. So I went to Harbor freight and picked up a 6" quick-adjust c-clamp and a pair of locking pliers.

Then I cut the c-clamp and the pliers and welded them together. I ended up with something like this.

The piece that pushes on the spring retainer was made out of a washer and some scrap steel.

I spent about $15, which beats the cheapest online price I found for the spring compressor I wanted by $35 (plus shipping).

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Tuesday July 14th 2009 (Entry was updated on Tuesday July 14th 2009)

Zoo and Aquarium
We went to the zoo in May. Didn't get around to dl'ing the pics until now. Here's one:

Also went to Chicago last week. Took the kids to the Shedd Aquarium.

A fish.

A lizard.

Chicago buildings, the Sears Tower being the tallest one.

We took the train so we didn't have to deal with this.

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Tuesday July 14th 2009

Trilogy Pump auto trigger
Shortly after converting my Trilogy Comp to pump, I made an auto trigger for it. This enables me to hold the trigger and keep pumping, and every time a ball will shoot out. Good for those times you find yourself ambushed.

The setup. I had to rebend the cocking rod.

The auto trigger was made out of an old bolt (Chrysler 2.2 Turbo exhaust manifold bolt. Cut, drilled and polished), a nail (cut and bent), a cable ferrule (cut in two, drilled and tapped) and two set screws.

I also picked up a pair of these. Trilogy Pro's. I'm keeping these autococking. Been playing some speedball lately, and the A5 and Alpha Black are just too bulky to lug around the field in my opinion.

Tags: worr wgp autococker cocker pro pump mod modified diy

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Thursday June 18th 2009 (Entry was updated on Thursday June 18th 2009)

Spammers must be dense

I received this e-mail at work:

Okay, how dumb must one be to fall for this? Or, how dumb must one be to send this to someone and actually think they'll fall for it?

1. The from address is all wrong. First, it uses a person's name, not a typical customer contact type address. Second, the domain for the sender doesn't match who they're pretending to be. A better option would have been: "UPS Customer relations (".

2. Dear valued customer. If I did business with them they'd know my name.

3. Awkward wording. Clearly written by someone whose primary language is not english. Almost has an "online translator" feel to it.

4. The link. At least TRY disguise the fact that it's leading to a non-ups domain, and the fact that it's an executable file.

5. Good luck? Who the heck ends a customer contact e-mail with good luck?

6. "Your UPS". Why signed with a different name than the sender?

Ugh. These people are worse at this than your typical Nigerian scammer!

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Tuesday June 9th 2009

Bug (2006)
Dont' do drugs, kids. It's bad for you, mkay? If you don't believe me, watch this movie. It tells a story about two people and how they feed off each other's paranoia and crazy, fueled by drugs and withdrawals.

The trailer calls it a horror movie. It isn't. It's more of a drama, maybe a bit thriller.

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Thursday June 4th 2009

Red (2008)
Don't mess with a man's dog! A group of teenagers kill a man's dog. All he wants is an apology. They should have apologized, because now he's out for justice.

Crossing Over (2009)
Legal and illegal aliens. A Hollywood look into immigration, seen both from the side of the agents trying to keep them out/send them home and from the immigrants themselves (both legal and illegal).

Push (2009)
Heroes for the big screen. People with "abilities" are being hunted for use in experiments. They want to make an army out of them. Some can see the future, some can move things with the power of their mind, some can scream really loud (and annoyingly) etc. The US and Chinese governments both want something that was stolen when a "test subject" (the only succesful one thus far) escaped.

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Monday June 1st 2009 (Entry was updated on Monday June 1st 2009)

Duck Amuck
I remember when I was a kid. My mom brought home a half-chewed up VHS tape with a bunch of Looney Tunes cartoons on it. Apparently someone had brought back a VCR with the tape stuck inside it.

Anyway, I remember laughing pretty hard at some of the cartoons, especially this one:

And having just watched it again, I had to wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes!

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Monday June 1st 2009

Ball detent
So I said I removed the ball detent since it doesn't serve a purpose anymore. Well, turns out it does. Without the ball detent the marker has a tendency to feed two balls at a time. I guess the very beginning of the barrel is big enough for the ball to roll in. So I replaced the ball detent. Problem solved.

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Friday May 29th 2009 (Entry was updated on Thursday March 4th 2010)

WGP Trilogy Competition.... pump!

Yes, another paintball marker. Like I needed another one, right? True, but this one is special. While it started life as a semi-automatic marker much like my other ones, I've converted it to a pump style marker. That is, one that has to be manually cocked between each shot by pulling back on the pump handle, then moving it all the way forward again. Why, you ask? 'Cause it's a challenge!

Now for the pics. This will be a step-by-step on how to convert it to pump using a Sanchez Machine conversion kit.

The stock marker. Shown without barrel and hopper.

First you take off the beaver tail. Put it aside.

Then remove the cocking rod by unscrewing it. Pull out the bolt retaining pin, remove bolt. Put it all aside.

Unscrew the rear block. Put aside.

Pull the hoses off the "3 way". This is a shuttle valve that normally operates the ram (more on the ram later).

Unscrew the low pressure regulator (LPR) from the front of the marker. Set aside. The LPR regulates down the pressure that operates the ram.

Make sure the washer isn't stuck to the end of the LPR. If it is, take it off and put inside marker body where it came from.

Use a 7/16" wrench to turn the ram a little clockwise. This will allow you to get a socket on the ram nipple so you can remove it.

Unscrew the ram nipple. The ram, by the way, is a pneumatic cylinder with a piston inside it. It moves the rear block backwards/forwards when pulling the trigger. This action causes the marker to re-cock and load a new ball.

Remove the ram and set aside. Now you're done disassembling.

Screw the ram rod into the pump handle.

Then screw the pump guide into the front of the marker where the LPR used to go. Tighten it to where it's "snug". Make sure the washer is still there!

Install the return spring on the end of the shaft. That is, if you want to use a return spring. You can leave this out if you want a slightly lighter pump action. You'll have to manually move the pump handle forwards again ,though. Leaving it out might also cause the pump handle to accidentally move while you're maneuvering, causing your next shot to go nowhere.

Stick the end of the ram rod through the "loop" where the ram used to be threaded in. This can be a little tricky due to the bend in the rod, but wiggle it a little and it should go in fairly easy. Don't force it as you'll just gall the rod.

Screw the rear block back on.

Then insert the bolt (making sure the hole between the o-rings faces down, push in retatining pin. Screw in cocking rod. Replace beaver tail.

And that's it, you now have a pump Trilogy. The process took me all of 13 minutes, and that's with documenting it by taking pictures. I've never done any work to an autococker type marker prior to this, and UPS had delived the marker just a few hours earlier. Some people say autocockers are complicated, but I'd have to disagree. A little more complex than your typical blowback marker, sure, but pretty easy once you realize how they work.

Barrel installed. The stock barrel is really no good for a pump marker. Reason being the bore is too big, and the balls will roll out of it.

I bought a CP one piece barrel with a .685" bore. Cheap and effective.

I wasn't really happy with the smoothness of the pump stroke. This was due to the machining marks still left on the pump guide and inside the pump handle. The ram rod was also a bit rough. So I grabbed some sandpaper, a rag and some Mother's Aluminum Polish and went to work. A few minutes later and the machining marks are gone, and the guide and rod are polished to a mirror shine. Action is now smoother. I also straightened out a minor bend in the rod that's visible in some pictures. With the bend it was rubbing on the marker body.

While I was at it I also removed the no long used 3-way nipples and 3-way rod. Removing the rod requires removing the grip assembly. No big deal, just two screws. Once the trigger assembly is off, the 3-way rod pulls right out. It's not necessary to remove these pieces, but since they no longer have a function there's no reason to leave them either. I also removed the ball detent as that too serves no purpose at this point*.

* See next blog entry.

Tags: Worr Game Products Autococker Paintball Sanchez Machine Pump Kit

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Thursday May 28th 2009 (Entry was updated on Thursday May 28th 2009)

Felon (2008)
Wasn't really sure about this movie, but watched it anyway. Turns out it was pretty good. A regular Joe that's about to get married gets his life turned upside down when his house is broken in to one night. He accidentally kills the intruder in an attempt to protect his home and family (perp got what he deserved, but that's another thing all together). So he goes from being successful business owner to losing everything and serving time in prison.

Once inside he realizes that prison life isn't like civilian life, and slowly adapts to his new environment.

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Tuesday May 26th 2009 (Entry was updated on Thursday May 28th 2009)

Fatso (2008)
A Norwegian movie about a sexually frustrated man in his 30's named Rino. Rino's not good looking, overweight and shy. Not exactly the perfect recipe for getting laid. A roommate moves in with him. She's young, pretty and Swedish. She sort of takes Rino under her wing and introduces him to her world. So he tries partying, pot and hookers (thanks to his friend Fillip).

Overall I thought this was a hilarious movie.

Der Untergang (2004)
The story of Adolf Hitler's last days as told by his personal secretary. German movie, with German and Russian dialog. Being interested in all things WWII, I found this movie interesting as well. I learned a few things about Hitler that I didn't know.

Valkyrie (2008)
Tom Cruise is not at all believable as a German. While the rest of the characters in the movie speak British English (some with accents), Tom Cruise speaks totally American English. Ignoring this fact, the movie does work.

Obsessed (2009)
Hot, blonde and crazy. Lisa gets hired in as a temp for an investment firm. She procedes to take a liking to one of the (married) higher ups in the company. This quickly (a little too quickly, really) escalates into an obsession fueled by her crazy belief that he actually loves her and is willing to leave his wife for her. In actuality, he's never shown any interest in her and has in fact told her to leave him alone. Well, being a crazy lady, she doesn't. She drugs him, drugs herself, kidnaps his kid, tries to kill his wife etc.

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