24 December 2018

A Baby Is Born!

I've always been one to listen to lyrics. If you suffer from this same affliction and, like me, enjoy a "seasonal boost", I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did: 

23 December 2018

Shade-Tree Mechanics, R.I.P.

Points. Plugs. Condensor.
Change the oil and filter.
I grew up twisting wrenches on my own car and these were tasks I did myself, with SOME frequency.
I lift the hood on our Ford Taurus and the entire engine is covered with a big piece of plastic.
You cannot SEE the engine. (And even if ya could, there are no points and condensor... They've been replaced by electronic ignition.)

There is no carburetor to adjust...
Instead, fuel injection feeds the engine and the whole shebang is controlled by something called the "Engine Control Module".
There ARE still sparkplugs buried under that cover somewhere... 

and I DO mean buried, with their own individual "coils"... another thing that once sat on top of the engine in plain sight and also needed changing "back when", if only once in a Blue Moon.

The Yamaha Super Tenere I left here in Phoenix for my son to ride now has 25,000+ miles on its bones. Last week it failed to start when called upon. We were three days away from arriving in Phoenix for Winter, so I advised him I'd have a look when I got here.
Like the Taurus, the bike is fuel-injected and has electronic ignition. So I knew there'd be precious little I could check in hopes of making it spring to life.
But I did figure maybe the spark plugs were the problem, and since it only has a two-cylinder engine how hard could it possibly be to remove and replace the spark plugs on the beast?

First, you must remove the plastic covers that inevitably hide all the workings of all machines these days.
Having done that, I found you CANNOT see the spark plugs. 

So I resorted to "YouTube" for an education.
Remove the plastics. Remove the 6-gallon gas tank and the big air cleaner it covers. Then, there beneath lots of wiring and plumbing reside the plugs, (FOUR of 'em!)  with their special whats-it attachments (?) on top, (and don't those 'cause they're VERY expensive.)

I surrendered.
The bike is at the Yamaha dealership for repair.
Of course, since I can't do it myself, the bill will be $$$$$$$$$$.

22 December 2018

Entertainment Overload

Growing up in the mesozoic era we were forced to adjust the "Rabbit Ears" antenna to receive channels 4, 6, 8, and 13. 
I can remember turning on the TV early in the morning when the only signal being broadcast was a "test pattern". If we weren't particularly interested in programming being offered at a certain time we'd watch anyway... something was better than nothing, right?

Fast forward to today.
Here in our Winter quarters we have "Dish Network" satellite TV.
We get 40 or so channels snatched from the air via our attached  "Terk" antenna, (although about 18 of 'em speak in a tongue I no habla.)
Via our Roku, we get Hulu, Sling, Newsmax, CRTV, Blaze TV, (those last two have merged now), Netflix, Prime Video, and a number of others.
It's overwhelming.

And the most ironic thing of all?
Sometimes I flip through all of it and can't find anything I'm really interested in watching.
So I read a book or magazine.

20 December 2018

Obama Legacy

Losing the Black Panther polling place case by default.
World apology tour.
"The cops acted stupidly."
IRS/Lois Lerner scandal.
Using govt. assets to pursue the Associated Press and James Rosen.
Withdrawing troops from Iraq against the advice of military leadership, then having to return.
"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon Martin."
"Al Qaeda is dead."
"ISIS is the Junior Varsity."
Ft. Hood massacre- "Workplace violence", not terrorism.
The idea of a "Calliphate" coming to fruition is ridiculous.
"Our Southern border is more secure than it has ever been."
"Russia is no threat."
"Tell Vladimir I'll have more flexibility after the election."
"You didn't build that!"

I'm sure my list is incomplete.
Can you add to it?