"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wow...two posts in a week...what next?

I am spending a LOT of time lately...

...fixing things.

Such is the life of a poor suburban Squire. The latest project was fixing the 13" TV/VCR combo that had started eating tapes. Found the culprit right away: a broken shuttle that had become disconnected from its armature. It was held on with a plastic peg that was molded into the piece and broke off. I heated a twopenny nail and melted a hole clean thru where the peg was. I then found an appropriate sized screw in the parts jar and used it to re-attach the shuttle. It works...but this fix probably won't last. It will allow the kids to watch their VHS videos, as long as they don't forget to shut it off afterward. The machine will probably break again if it is left unattended and tries to re-wind a VHS tape. If it does break...I may not be able to kludge it back together again.

My bike.

I'm actually riding my ATB to work. It has issues. The Maxxis "semi-slick" tires are not nearly as robust as advertised...I may switch back to generic knobbies. My roadie is out with TWO flats...yes, the front is flat again after I laid THREE new patches on it. The back is flat for no apparent reason I can find. I need two new tubes, two new tires, and sealant...and I'm broke again.

I mentioned issues with the ATB? The super-keen custom frame went to the landfill last year, as I had no way to replace that pressed-in bottom bracket. The Raleigh basher frame I put the parts on isn't quite wide enough to accomodate an 8-speed cassette...so the wheel sits slightly off-center. I had to off-center the brakes, as well. This has the predictable result of the wheel coming out of the dropouts if there is too much pressure on the chain. The tire snubs up against the left hand wheelstay, and the bike stops moving...and I fall off. This happened saturday when I tried to stand up to climb the short slope out of the local mall parking lot...most embarrassing.

What else? The shifters don't work. The brakes rub. I've already had one flat (today, from a broken bottle). It's annoying. I need to lay those parts on a frame that can actually accept them. Mebbe build on that big green ATB frame that Dave F gave me. I can build a "super junker" on that frame (what else would you call a dept. store bike with 24 speed gearing?), then build a decent 18-speed ATB on the Raleigh frame.

I definitely need to make a landfill run. We still have yard waste, and some scrap steel (mostly bike parts) as well as a couple of carpets to go.

We finished moving all the "toyroom" stuff downstairs into what was Granpa's TV room. Colin has his own room now and he was really impressed with it when he came home from camp today. He had a great time at camp and was easily one of the most outgoing kids there. I love my son. I'm glad he's back.

I did get the window on the car fixed. Next will probably be to overhaul the brakes. If it ain't one thing...it's two things. Also, some minor interior stuff needs attention. DS seatbelt needs to be replaced, and the front-seat console needs a new latch on the cover. I don't know why I'm going to the trouble of keeping the car in good condition...L tells me she is determined to drive that sucker into the ground. I think we should trade it in for a '00 or '01 model sometime in the next three years. Some other cavalier or sunfire 4 door with the same type of engine. Problem is: there aren't too many of them left out there that don't have engine issues...you know, just like OURS had!

I fixed up the flower beds...again, I don't know why I bothered: there's no flowers in them and probably won't be any time this year. I still have to paint the deck rail and stairs. Barry K at work recommends renting a paint gun from Home Depot. I like this idea.

I spent part of Saturday and half of Sunday hanging blinds and curtains. We now have blinds on the DS windows to discourage burglary. L believes if they can't SEE our stuff, they won't have any motivation to break in and steal it. I don't have the heart to tell her that isn't quite the way it works. Well, at least the room stays cooler with the blinds in place. The window in Colin's new room got a similar treatment; save that I custom-trimmed the blinds to fit the inside of the window. This was necessary because we used a simple telescoping rod to hang the IKEA curtains L got for the boy's room.

I am now so proficient in installing vinyl blinds I feel I could offer my services professionally.

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