Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Recap

2017 seems to have been a light year

Things Done:
January
  • Family Christmas Gathering mit viel schnee
February
  •  Flagship Brewery, stopped in to write Post Cards to our so-called representatives.
March
April
  • Zion Fair with Car Show, NY
  • Eldest's Wedding Anniversary Party at Blue, NY
  • Stone Crop Garden Alpine Plant Sale, NY
  • Bear Mountain Perkins Overlook, NY
May
June
  • British Car Day at  Red Mill Museum Village, NJ
  • 9th Annual Polish Festival at Snug Harbour, NY
July
  • Travis Parade 
  • Le Tour
  • Started replacing Lump's right side frame
August
  • Trip to California, LA to SF and back, PCH2017.
  • A play, In and Of itself, NYC
Sepetember
  • WestFest, NYC
  •  Really replaced Lump's right sideframe.
October
November
  • A Full House Thanksgiving
  • A Family Wedding at The Imperia
  • Changed Lump's glow plugs.
December
  • Vickie and Nickie's Holiday Sleigh Ride, The Duplex, NYC
  • Local Tree Lighting
  • Terracotta Warriors, Franklin Institute, Philly 
  • King Solomon Hicks Quartet at Shanghai Jazz, NJ
Garden:
Of the Plans for 2017, not much happened to plan.
  • Hydrangea did bloom this year, so it stayed
  • Did not remove Red Twig Dogwood
  • Grew hops, harvested hops, smelled hops, yup Hoppy.
  • Rebuilt the Compost enclosure.
  • shifted garden beds to make room for drainage pipes, still need leveling
  • Planted 120 cloves of garlic, October 28.  11 large heads and 5 small heads.
  • Of the possible additions from the Garden Plans, this was the only new addition plant added, a new Coral Bell.
 Lost a bunch of plants in 2017, some from the winter and some just didn't make it through the year.

Beers in the Fridge:
Posted on 38 beers last year. Not counting any duplicates or beers I usually purchase. So as a rough estimate, last year I may have drank somewhere around 14(38*4*12/128) to 21(38*6*12/128) gallons of beer.
(a beer*beersPerPack*ozPerBeer/ozPerGallon)

Good food and good times had in 2017:
Most memorable drink of 2017, a Bourbon Brulee at Embers Restaurant in Arroyo Grande, CA
Most memorable bar of 2017, Smugglers Cove Rum Bar, San Francisco.

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 Books

This year's book list. The (r) denotes a repeat read and suffice to say, it was a good read. A * means it was more than noteworthy and more *s mean it was much more betterer, DNF = Bad or a better book turned up that I couldn't wait to read and I didn't get back to it yet.

More Inspector Maigret books read this year and started reading Anne Holt's books out of order.
  1. Maigret Gets Angry***, Georges Simenon(GS); 3 stars yet I don't remember the story line. Penguin is republishing his Inspector Maigret books, a list is here.
  2. Maigret's Dead Man, GS
  3. Pogue's Basic Money, David Pogue 
  4. A Complaint Free Life, Will Bowen; It was too long, the font was hard to read, the pages felt scratchy, too many words strung together.
  5. A Share in Death, Deborah Crombie
  6. The Thinking Life, P.M. Forni; rebrowsed in August.
  7. Maigret's First Case ***, GS
  8. India Black and the Widow of Windsor, Carol K. Carr
  9.  Pushing up Daisies, MC Beaton; An Agatha Raisin novel. She also writes the Hamish Macbeth series.
  10. Secret Life of Fat **, Sylvia Tara; very interesting well written book and amazing how deviousfat is. 
  11. Gently Does It, Alan Hunter; from the Inspector George Gently series
  12. Red Harvest, Dashiell Hammet; This should be made into a movie. He also wrote The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man novels and wrote screen plays for the Thin Man series, some unpublished. I read The return of the Thin Man in 2014 which included screenplays for 2 more Thin Man movies staring Nick and Nora Charles. Some interesting stage directions.
  13. By Its Cover**, Donna Leon; Book thefts in Venice, quite good.
  14. Gently Down the Stream, Alan Hunter
  15. Maigret's Holiday, GS
  16. My Friend Maigret, GS
  17. Maigret at the Coroners, GS
  18. Maigret and the Old Lady, GS
  19. Dog on It, Spencer Quinn; A Chet and Bernie mystery. We see things from Chet the dog's viewpoint.
  20. Silver Swan, Benjamin Black
  21. Madam Maigret's Friend**, GS; The most Maigret's wife is heard from in his books so far.
  22. The Lion's Mouth, Anne Holt
  23. Maigret's Memoirs, GS; Not as good as the others.
  24. Travels With My Aunt(r), Graham Greene; Yes it returned this summer and it was plenty good, no humbug.
  25. Maigret at Picratts, GS
  26. Zero Hour, Clive Cussler; Dirk Pitt or Kurt Austin, I can't remember. Whoever it was, saved the day and definitely didn't die.
  27. Cannery Row, Steinbeck; DNF
  28. Hard Rain**, Barry Eisler; Number 2 in the series, now titled "A Lonely Ressurection"
  29. Maigret Takes a Room, GS
  30. Don't Try This At Home, DNF
  31. Why we Eat What We Eat; DNF
  32. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Ecco; Good book but way too wordy. Could have bee pared down easily by 100 pages. He died in 2016 at the age of 84, obit  from NY Times. He wrote some other book, maybe I will bring one on our next vacation.
  33. Dead Joker, Anne Holt; Inspector Hanne Wilhelmsen's life seems to be falling apart, yet she figures it out in the end.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tables of Thanksgiving Past


Thanksgiving Tables over the years.
The weather changes, guest counts change, paint and rug and dogs all change, yet the table cloths persevere.
2009
2010
2012
2014
2015
2016
2017
I am missing some photos because the 2011 Thanksgiving table photos had people in it and I did not feel like getting all the permissions, I did not find a 2013 photo and the digital camera was not invented prior to 2009.  In 2016, the dining room furniture was rearranged with the sideboard and rectangular table trading places. Makes for more room and easier setup.

Guest Beers in the Fridge:
Got these from a friend from his northern travels.
Only tried the Pilsner so far and it was very good, clean and crisp and enjoyable. I may have tried the Whale's tale, but can't be certain.
A very nice Kolsch.

Beers in the Fridge:
Boddingtons Pub Ale (4.7% ABV) has a widget insert so you get to watch the bubbles settle out like a waterfall. Makes me feel like I'm in the UK when I drink this. Owned by AB InBev, no information provided on their website. A frequent visitor to the fridge.
The Hoffbrau Winter Spezial (8.4% ABV) is very malty, a bit hoppy, but doesn't seem like it is 8.4%. Liked it but, will try something else next time I'm looking for winter brews.
Young's Double Chocolate Stout also has a widget insert. 5.2% ABV. Very nice. A seasonal favorite.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

RNA1057 Glow Plug Upgrade Kit

Week 44, Christmas decorations and ads have already started. Too soon I say.

Replaced glow plugs on Lump over the weekend. These are used to pre-heat diesel engine cylinders prior to starting in cold weather. I used an Upgrade kit RNA1057 from Rovers North. I meant to start with the hardest first, but I wanted to make sure the replacements would actually fit so I changed the easiest one first. The old glow plugs were wired in series, so if any went bad, none would operate, whereas the new glow plugs operate in parallel, so if one goes bad the remainder continue to operate. That is, until all fail.
 I also replaced the ballast resister for the glow plugs. I was expecting it to have been attached to the bulkhead with bolts, which meant I would have had to open up the dash, but it was just screws. Was very happy about that. The directions that came with the conversion kit said the ballast resistor still gets used. Diagram was not clear which terminal the new plugs were to be connected to. I later brushed liquid electricial tape on the terminal connectors of the connecting wires to keep the wire ends from corroding.
 The old glow plugs required a different socket than the new ones and I did not have that size. I had a wrench that fit, but not enough clearance to use it on 2 of the four glow plugs. So now I have a brand new 18mm socket. FYI, most of the old glow plug center terminals broke off while trying to remove the old connecting wires.
With the old glow plugs the light would be dim and at some point it stopped being lit at all. Now it is really bright. The light is wired across the ballast resistor which means that the resistor and the glow plugs are acting as a voltage divider circuit. I am not sure of the operating voltage of the glow plugs so I will have to call Rovers North for their guidance.

Current Blooms:
There seems to be a deficit of blooms at this time, I'll have to rectify that situation. Some of the Heather will bloom soon, but that is all apart from the roses. Not that much interesting foliage either, just the cyclamen.

Beers in the Fridge:
This Guinness (4.2 % ABV) does not have the widget inside, but it is not bad, though I prefer the cans with the widget. I like to watch the bubbles dancing in the glass.
Picked up this hefeweizen (UFO Raspberry 4.8% ABV), but was really looking for Harpoon Flannel Friday. Both brewed at the same place. Maybe I'll find some this week.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fall Arrives Late

Just starting to feel like fall. Only noticed this week the trees changing color at work and last weekend there started to be some leaves collecting in the yard.

Land Rover Sideframe Update
 Out with the bad and in with the new, all bolts tightened. Not a bad paint match. Still need to add the door weatherstripping.
Good as new and back on the street.


Current Blooms:
Roses
Doing yard cleanup today so maybe I'll run across more blooms to photograph.

Beers in the Fridge:
RauchBier: Smokey beers, drank these a day apart and could not tell the difference between them. Both dark, both on the sweet side, but not too much, malty and smokey. Sort of what I imagine a boilermaker using Laphroaig would taste like.
Marzen 5.1% ABV 30 IBU, Urbock 6.5%ABV 40 IBU
Brewed by Smoked Beer Brewery Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany about 2.5 hours from Munich by train.
They serve food and beer, copied from their website "The opening hours all year: daily 9:30 til 23:30 hours, warm meals from 12 til 22 hours, morning pint starting at 9:30 hours(Yes please, my comment), beer garden in the Dominikanerhof open weather permitting from Easter til early October."
The brewing process is described here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Last Summer's beers

This one was forgotten.

Beers in the Fridge:
 Montauk Watermelon Session Ale. 4.9% ABV 26 IBU. Nice cans, really like their design, clean, no bad puns and no nonsense.  Located at the tip of Long Island, not far from the Zum Schneider outpost. Never been to Montauk, google says 2.5 hours, but traffic on Long Island can be horrendous. Not much melon taste, but wasn't bad either.

Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose 4.2% ABV.  Tastes like I just threw up in my mouth. Maybe it went bad? You'd expect a Gose style beer, originated in Germany to have a sourness and brineyness to it, but this didn't even taste like beer. Didn't even get a hint of watermelon, just bad memories from the past.
Boulevard Brewing Company  American Kolsch 4.6% ABV 18 IBU.
Crisp and clean, perfect for summer, I want a hammock.
Brewed in KCMO, which sounds way cooler than saying you're from Kansas City Missouri.

Blue Point Summer Ale  4.5% ABV 19 IBU. Another Long Island offering. Tours at the brewery are free and even closer at only 1.5 hrs away which could still easily turn into 3 hellish hours. Fine.


RNC831 SIDEFRAME RH 110 STATION WAGON

So our Land Rover's side door would not close properly. Slamming it shut harder seemed to do the trick for awhile. Upon closer examination, the lower hinge seemed to be loose and pivoting on the upper hinge bolt.

Root Cause: Rust
The bottom bolt of the bottom hinge did not actually connect to anything other than rust. I had started to remove the sideframe, then called to order the part and the part had already been backordered for 6 months. So I cleaned up and POR-15'ed all the rust and bolted it back together with new hardware liberally smeared with anti-seize. I had added a metal plate and spacer tube (pipe nipple) to support the lower hinge, it seemed to work OK. A few weeks later I called to order the part so as to get on the list and the shipment had just arrived.
 Outside view: the hinge obscured some of the rust, while a thin facade of rust pretended to be solid metal below the hinge. Trying to lift the door to close it showed the weakness of the hinge connection.
 Inside of the lower hinge attachment location.
 Front end of the sideframe attached to the bulkhead. This was not too rusty and the bolts came off easy. The horizontal sections were not badly rusted.
At the back though there was a little rust.
OK, more than a little rust.
 There is a 5 inch piece of the horizontal section that I threw away. Over Engineering kept the rear quarter panel and the rear floor in place and sturdy.

Removal:
Douse all nuts and bolts with anti-seizure/WD-41.5
Remove doors
Remove front seat belt brackets
Remove all nuts and bolts
Chistle off rivets on the inside of rear bodyside panel
remove side frame
remove side panel extension from side frame

Reassembly:
1 - RCN831 sideframe (works for both a 110 and our 109)
1 - new stud plate
6 - 6mm x 12mm bolts
15 - 1.5 inch bolts and corresponding nuts
New bolts and stud plate at the front end of the side frame.
 New bolts at the top, no need for the seat belt bracket anymore.
 Crossbar connection and the top hinge nuts.
 Seatbase to sideframe connection, 6mm x 12mm bolts. 4 on this side, 2 on the front side.
 Rear sideframe to chassis connection and body to upper sideframe flange.
This section needs to be riveted to the bodyside.

Followup to come.