Posted By Ed B

There's this show I watch.
It's not about gladiators or space aliens or mafioso or medieval kings.
It's about outlandish things.
People trying to change our government from a republic to a dictatorship.
A guy who has plastic surgery to look like a woman, entering the Miss America contest!
A group of thugs saying that the law doesn't apply to them and they put a bounty out for the death of a citizen (and the cops do nothing)!
A governor trying to sell a senate seat to the highest bidder!
A bunch of religious radicals getting an atomic bomb to convert the world!
A man who defends the killing of babies as they leave the womb getting the Nobel Peace Prize, after becoming president! (Come on, who's gonna believe that?)

It's the evening news.

Posted By Ed B

I have an older laptop, about 6 years old, running XP Pro.

I run Microsoft Security Essentials on it for virus protection,
(AVG has just gotten too bloated and slow).
I use it mostly to blog and surf, but there are days that I fear for it's safety.
It slows down so much that I'm ready to throw it across the room.
I've tried Firefox, Chrome, PaleMoon, and a number of other browsers,
but it's the underlying operating system.

So last weekend I broke down and set up a partition for Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux.
Do I like it?

If I didn't use this laptop for programming equipment sometimes,
using software that would only run under Windoze,
I'd reformat the whole thing and run only Ubuntu on it.

It is fast.

It picked up all my hardware.

It has so much software that comes with the install, it surprised me.

No goofy command line like earlier versions of Linux that I tried, but didn't have the time to learn.

It even came with a remote viewing package (a VNC app) that is better than the one I downloaded before I realized it had one.

It didn't work so great at first, I'll admit, but that was because I didn't set it up with an internet connection during the install.
The second time, I did, and it downloaded all the updates it needed.
That made all the difference in the world.

I posted this using Firefox in Ubuntu.

What a pleasure.

Posted By Ed B

Happy New Year.

Yesterday was a pretty good day.

Got up and waited for little brother to come over.
He took me to breakfast, and then we went to our niece's house.

I had packed a collection of pistols and we were going to take our nephew-in-law to the range.

When we got there, we did some preliminary safety review, filled out the range applications and my niece took pictures (which I'm waiting for) of us talking and fondling holding the guns.
Her daughter Holland (whom I just realized could be nicknamed "Dutch") was having fun posing with the 9mm.
I told "Dutch" that she could pose as a model for Kahr's "Thin is In" ads, she's that good looking. And smart. Just got accepted early to U of  M Nursing, along with 8 other schools.

So we went to the range and her dad bullseye center masses the target 7 times at 7 yards right off.

He preferred the 9 and my brother preferred the .357. Each did well.

The range was so busy, there was a half hour limit on lane rental.

We went back to the house and talked for a while. That's when I found that her next door neighbor was a friend of my friend Nate, one of the few guys who survived Pearl and D-Day.
My niece then went over and got Jack.
We remembered each other from Nates 95th birthday a couple weeks ago.

So we all talked some more and a good time was had.

Went home to where my wife was frying up my next months supply of bacon.

Does life get any better than that?

Posted By Ed B

You may not have been aware of this, but a head gasket on my wife's car gave out last week.
I never overheated but I was blowing fluid out of the radiator tank like crazy.
My brother Tom and I removed and replaced the head gaskets this week, finishing up the job last night.
Normally, I'd find that to be daunting.
I haven't done it in a few years, and cars are more complicated these days.
But Tom has been keeping his hand in more and it was nice working with him on an engine again.

We last worked together on an engine in 1968 when I was 15 and he was 11 or 12 and our dad had given me his car that he had burned up the motor in and told me where I could find another used motor to fit it.
He also said that Tom would be able to help me swap the motors.
He was right.

This engine is a common Ford product.
I have one in my Ranger (the car being a Taurus).
For years, when torquing the heads (tightening the bolts to a certain specification, Freddy), you started with the middle two bolts and tightened them to say 30 ft/lbs, working your way in a spiral to the outside bolts.
Repeat to 60, then to 90.
This squeezes the gasket from the middle, out.

In looking up the specs for a 99 Taurus, it turns out that for 96 to 98 there's one technique, for 1999 another and for 2000-2002 yet a third!
Thank God (and not Al Gore) for the internet.
About $330 and it's running again.

Thanks Tom.

Posted By Ed B




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Ed B
Ypsilanti, MI


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