A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thank you, you tax-raising, socialist pole smoker.

For completely screwing up the student loan industry when your retarded drones rammed your federal healthcare takeover through last year.

Prior to you idiots taking the interest generated by student loans and counting that as an offset to the healthcare monstrosity, we had a single company that was handling all our loans. I made one payment per month on one website and it was well set up and easy to keep track of.

Since I handle the bills, I made sure the payments went through properly.

Since you communists took over, I now have three different loan handlers. Each with their own website, none of which are even remotely similar.

One of the sites works very well. It is obviously maintained by someone who has been in the banking industry.

The second site isn't as good as the first, but at least I can navigate it so that it makes sense.

The third, is the full monty run by a new federal agency.

The site is a travesty. It was designed by a cubical troll who has probably never had a lemonade stand never mind had to pay recurring bills online.

There are three loans with that idiotic site. You can't see an aggregate, only a list showing the individuals. You can pay as aggregate, but the payments are not divided between the loans based on any formula that involves mathematics. If you go to each loan individually you can do what it says is specify how much to pay towards each. The money still seems to get split in a random fashion.

And here are the two things that caused me the latest grief:

First, none of the payments made have the correct date associated with them. The payment dates always are the same and they are the inception date of the loan, so if I make the same payment every month, I just get a list of useless numbers that tell me nothing if I want to see where my money is going.

Second, every other loan I've ever had, including the three other student loans with the other companies applies the payment to interest first and then to principle. These other dipshits do it backwards, so the principle goes down but the accrued interest total only rises. I have no idea how to decipher what the fuck I'm paying these fools.

So, I sent them an email from the site with these questions. They promptly locked the account and said since I wasn't the borrower, I shouldn't have access.

I can't wait until Mrs. Evil gets through with the cretins tomorrow.

Fuck the government. Maybe someone can release Ebola in DC.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Found the price limit

It would seem that $3.45/gallon for 87 octane is the limit at which people around here start thinking about getting better fuel economy. Yesterday's traffic was too light to notice much but this morning I passed several sets of cars without ever going above my usual speed of 65mph. Still a lot of cars dicing through at 80+, but there are quite a few more going under the limit now.

It actually makes my drive a bit more challenging as I have to make sure I've got room to pass without causing a backup myself. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back to work on the Ford

The F150 has had a sticky throttle off the bottom since I got it. While changing the spark plugs I saw a sticker on the throttle body that said "Do not clean throttle body. Special coating on the body and blade."

It would seem that was taken to heart over the last 201000 miles as the poor thing was filthy. I removed it and hit it with carb cleaner and a wire brush to remove the 1/4" of black filth that had built up in it. I then lubed it up and reinstalled it. Smooth as silk now.

No more lurchy starts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jeep is Finished - - (For the moment)

So I tackled the new rocker panel installation this morning. Not the easiest thing I've ever done, and I certainly proved that I am not a welder. The little welder I do have was too snappy for the material and it forced me to weld in 1/2 second bursts. Not a good thing for clean, neat beads. Oh well, after a bunch of grinding, it was solid from one end to the other and looked better than the old rusty one any way.

Before welding:


During welding:


Finished panel:


Since the seam is embarrassingly hideous and I needed to match both sides anyway, I decided to hit the bottom of the truck with a couple coats of rubberized bedliner. Looks tough(ish) and will hide most of the terrible weld job.

I pulled the flares off as well so I could hit them with the bedliner, too. (This is usually a death sentence as it is not straightforward to pop them back on but I figured, what the hell and went for it. I also pulled the side moldings off and cleaned up around them. I'm going to leave them off.







Not bad for a couple days' work if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cooks, Sous Chefs, Culinarians, Rend Me Your Tails!

OK, so the title is pushing it. But, (and I believe this is a sign of my increasing curmudgeonliness as I approach 40), when I order a dish that contains shrimp, even if said dish is heavily sauced, like a scampi, or barbeque, WHY DO YOU SENSELESS HALF-WITS DEIGN TO LEAVE THE BLOODY TAIL SHELLS FIRMLY IN PLACE?!!!!!



Seriously people, if you're going to insist that I get sloppy at a nice restaurant, at least you could leave me a wetnap for later.

Incredible map

Click here.

Interactive map showing human migration from 2008 in the US.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Another Data point

I've been keeping my workouts fairly low-impact on our elliptical in order to keep my knee happy. It seems to have worked.

I purchased a DonJoy knee brace to improve the stability beyond which the cheap wrap-around unit is able.

I went out for a run this morning and was able to do 2 miles in 17:30 with minimal discomfort. That is 2:04 quicker than my previous best 2-mile increment so I'm pretty happy about that.

It is also well within my window of <28:00 for a 5k.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cleaned up and ready.

For Rust Inhibitor. Got the panel squared up with the cutting wheel, ground off the spot weld remains, wire brushed all of the surfaces I could attack with my 4" angle grinder and hammer & dollied the lower lip back to flattish. Now just waiting for the rust stopper to arrive from CT.


Nothing like a salt lick

So my 1997 Jeep Cherokee has cancer. I've already replaced all of the rear brakes because of it. Now the biggest piece of rot on the body is the rocker panel on the drivers' side. This isn't new. It's been obvious since I purchased the vehicle, but I've finally got everything else the way I want it and it is time to get this repaired before it goes any farther.

Here is a picture of what it looks like from the outside. Pretty rusty.


After an hour or so of hacking at it with tin snips, cutting pliers, a chisel and hammer I'm left with this:

A pile of crap: (you can see the replacement panel under the truck.)


And a hole that has to be filled:


Luckily, I suppose, the existing panel is basically solid at the main body panel bend. That will be where I trim to with the rotary cutter. Plus, it allows the remaining tin to keep most of its rigidity and shape during the repair process.

The inner rocker panel is pretty thin at the rear, under the rear door. I may scab a reinforcement piece in while I've got it open.

Now I need to powerwash the hole to remove as much crud as possible. Then I need to clean the rust that's left as much as possible and find some etching/weldable primer to try to prevent what I can't cut out from becoming worse.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Evening Project

One corner of the house eaves had deteriorated to the point it was collapsing. I finally decided I was sick of looking at it and repaired it after work today.

It started off like this:



After hacking out the offending piece I was left with this:


Then, using a hunk of what I pulled out of the attic last fall I fabricated the replacement piece:


And nailed it in place using a 2x4 that was also in the attic as a brace where the two this boards meet:


Not great, as I'm not a carpenter, but it will keep the critters out for the time being.