not much new

had a pretty good weekend with m'boy this time around. i've managed to get ahead of the curve on the work to be done around here (for the most part) and that always translates into more time to spend with the boy. we got more "hang time" than usual this weekend.

my boy's started doin' pushups like a man. don't know exactly what i did to get him into the whole idea, but he's figuring out he can use those big ol' beefy arms for more than just extensions to his video game controllers. nothing like watching him get jazzed on getting stronger. they teach the kids to do these crazy half-ass pushups in school instead of encouraging them to do the real thing. took a little coaxing but i seem to have convinced him of the benefit of pushing those muscles past the point of comfort. hope he sticks with it and develops some of the potential he's got so much of.

we completely unbolted the exhaust manifold of my truck today, trying to get a look at where the water leak is that's caused it to remain in the driveway for the last 4 months. i couldn't turn it over, so it's going to need the battery charged before i can move it anyway. i have the tabs for it sitting here on my desk; i'd love to get a chance to stick them on the plate and drive it around. nothing like $5000+ worth of hardware that runs fine but can't get used for risk of irreparable damage. it's still hard to believe i managed to drive that thing home without burning it up. had to make the trip in three goes, letting it cool down completely each time and refilling it with water that only lasted a couple miles. i kept shutting the engine off and coasting as much as possible; thankfully much of the trip (though by no means all) was downhill. realizing i would have to disconnect the exhaust manifold from the exhaust pipe before completely removing it, i decided it might be prudent to fill it up with water and try yet one more time (i've tried at least a dozen times already) to see exactly where the water was coming from. i was 90% sure it was coming from a fried core plug in the block- and it turns out i was right. it might not be necessary to remove the exhaust manifold to get at it, but it's on the underside of the block and it's going to require disconnecting a motor mount and jacking the engine off that mount to get at the core plug. never done that before; i'm sure it'll turn out to be a total pain in the ass. hopefully this will teach me not to neglect coolant in the future. last winter's freeze did that plug in.

that's all for now; i'm out of patience.


a new crop of pictures

here are some new pics for your viewing enjoyment:

this is a shot of some finish-fabricated signs, ready for paint. i'm building a bunch of the simple ones on the right- but this one was made by someone else. it looks just like one of mine though. it's laid down, but it's 8 feet tall (to give you an idea of scale).
some signs from my job

i have no idea what this bush in my garden is
unidentified bush

this is my rose tree....ok it's really just an overgrown bush that i can't seem to bring myself to cut down- wait till you see some pictures of the humongous roses it gets and you'll understand. it's just starting to bloom, but it'll keep on blooming over and over and over and over and over....
my overgrown rose bush

this is one of the first two roses to appear this year
young rose

i think this bush is a rhododendron- it's really overgrown and also gets beautiful flowers, but the flowers don't last long and they appear only once.
a young bloom starting on my rhododendron

this is the mostly open bloom from the right rear of the previous picture- i really like this shot, and there's a fantastic 1280x1024 resolution image of it in my photo album that i made for computer wallpaper. the shrink really doesn't do this shot justice.
a mostly-open bloom on my rhodie

this is a what it looks like on a typical evening after work around here- after giving me my 15 minute welcome home Chowder generally winds down after a hard day of barking at the neighbors and everything else that comes near the fence, flies overhead, or makes a power tool noise.
chowder in the living room after i got home from work

as always, the full size pics are all in my album, plus 28 more, plus 2 short videos of the most rickety deathtrap tunnel ever driven by man (on Aurora Ave in downtown Seattle).

sleep calls and i'm listenin'- PEACE


last night's featured REMemberance

Scene 1:
i was standing in a suburban residential neighborhood, not my own, looking up at the sky at twilight. a Pan Am passenger jet, its position about 10:00 (relative to mine) was diving toward the ground at an angle of about 45 degrees. i realized something was wrong and a crash was imminent. the plane leveled off at about 100 feet, very low, on a course approaching me, a course which would take it a couple hundred yards to my left, then immediately banked hard left (my right) and passed directly over my head. i could clearly read the Pan Am markings (now defunct airline company) on the tail of the plane as it approached. it thundered over me and shortly went back into a steep dive, with no roll, quickly impacting a grassy hillside and exploding in a huge black and orange fireball; i was certain nothing lived through that monumental explosion.

Scene 2:
i was being chased by aliens- i think they were after some people with me whom i was protecting. i seemed to be receiving assistance from an "experienced agent", though i was only aware of the voice of this unseen person in my head. i was equipped with advanced technology and i kept staying one jump ahead of the aliens....there was an encounter in an office building in which i somehow gave them the slip. while i remember very little of the details there, i distinctly remember staring down an elevator shaft through open doors, watching the top of the elevator descend below into the darkness.

at some point the person protecting the others changed from me (and my own first-person point of view) to Disney's Goofy (from a third-person point of view), without the hat, or the bumbling manner. he was intent upon driving them down a cartoon highway, being chased by unseen aliens in the air. when he realized they were spotted, he switched on a device which projected a holographic illusion over his cartoon vehicle- obscuring it with a picture of what the road would look like if it was empty, and effectively disappearing.

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