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.
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:
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.


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.

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

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.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Home Maintenance Quiz #1

Home Maintenance Quiz #1

If you have a garden growing in your gutters and the added weight of vegetation and debris is causing them to pull away from the house, do you
a. Get them cleaned out.
b. Hope they produce something you enjoy eating.
c. Blame the neighbors.
Survey says, C is the correct answer!!

If the local city government plants a tree on city property do you
a. Take care of it as if it was your own.
b. Dig it up.
c. Dig it up and the replacement too.
Survey says, C is again the correct answer!!

If your roof's shingles may be slightly damaged, do you
a. Wait in hopes that the shingle fairy comes and does her magic.
b. Contact a professional.
c. Curse the neighbor for climbing on your roof in the middle of the night and pulling the shingles off. Don't forget to save shingles that Super Storm Sandy blew off as proof.
 Yes, again the correct answer is C!!

Did you get 100%?
No, then good for you.

Past Trip: California 2017

August 2 - 12, 2017
Original plan was to drive from LA to San Franciso via the Pacific Coast Highway. Heavy rains caused mud slides and the Pfeiffer Canyon bridge to be rendered unsafe and later demolished. The road closures around Big Sur required an in-land detour on Route 101. We skipped Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey and stopped at Moss Landing to kayak(Monterey Bay Kayaks) at Elkhorn Slough where we saw seals and sea otters before moving on to San Francisco.

Transportation: Mercedes Benz C63 AMG V8 bi-turbo
We had reserved a Jaguar XF, but evidentially that is not how reservations work. Our first thought was to rent a Jaguar F-type, but no way our bags would have fit.
Not that the C63 was a slouch or uncomfortable, but just wasn't what we wanted.

Total Miles: 1260, start 7115, end 8375
Gasoline: 54 gallons, $188, 22.5 MPG

Anaheim Marriot, Anaheim
Queen Mary, Long Beach
 We had a cabin in the second class area of the ship, we found that out on the tour we took. You could tell from the hall decor when passing from 1st class to second.
The porthole view was of the marina.

Fogcatcher Inn Hotel, Cambria
Room was quite large, a separate area for luggage and had a fireplace, which we didn't use. Breakfast was included.

Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco
This was the lounge in the common area, cookies and sherry was served every day after 4PM. Room was fine, WiFi was non existent in the room. You either sat in the hall of in the lounge if you wanted web access. Breakfast was included, though not as good as at the Fogcatcher Inn.

Holiday Inn Express, Grover Beach, near Pismo Beach
Clean and plenty of room. They had a nice pool, which we didn't use. Breakfast was included. They had a pancake making machine, I passed on that.

Pali-hotel, Los Angeles
Quite a nice hotel. Restuarant had good food but terrible service. Parking was in the basement.

Le Brea Tar Pits, LA
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
 There were warning signs for rattlesnakes, but we didn't see any.

Queen Mary Tour
Venice Beach
Hearst Castle

  Lunch at the Ragged Point Inn There was a trail down from the cliff top to the water, but it was too far.

Elephant Seals on the beach, on the way back south to Cambria.

Moonstone Beach at Cambria.
There was a cliff top boardwalk and in a few locations, stairs down to the beach. We only got spashed as we walked on the beach, the water was freezing.

Japanese Garden at Golden Gate Park, SF

Botanic Gardens
We saw the dahlia gardens and some other plantings, but the conservatory was closed on the day we visited. There was free parking on some of the roads in the park, but we ended up in a garage.

Lands End, SF
 Golden Gate bridge from Lands End.

Muir Beach
The parking lot was partially full, the beach was a short walk away.

Muir Woods
 Short hike at Muir Woods to see the old growth coastal Redwoods. Took the wooden walkway on the way in and the higher trail on the way back. Parking here was difficult, all lots were full when we arrived, so we visited Muir Beach first and looked for parking on the way back. The smell in the woods was very pleasant.

Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach reminded us of the Jersey shore.  The photo below was from an area a bit north(Dinosaur Caves Park) of the beach, we parked on Ocean blvd and walked down stairs to the rocky shoreline.
After visiting the tide pools, we drove back to town and parked in the downtown lot and visited the beach itself. It was a very wide beach. I saw a whale's fluke while we were strolling.

Danish inspired town, about an hour south of Pismo, should have stayed here. Very touristy, but enjoyable none the less. Very good baked goods and lots of shops to peruse. We took Rt. 154 a very twisty and hilly road back south to Rt. 101. At one point traffic was down to one lane because it appeared a car went off the road.
Beach south of Mussel Shoals
 Jumped on US 1 again for a stretch and stopped for a stroll on the beach. There is an island off the shore connected by a causway, but it is really a man-made oil drilling platform.

California Science Center, Space Shuttle Endeavour, LA
The Space Shuttle was transported by road to the museum and it took 68 hours.
The final display will have the shuttle, external fuel tank and the 2 solid fuel rocket boosters set up in a vertical configuration looking ready for take-off and contained in a new building.

Warner Bros, Studio Tour, LA
 Good tour of the back lot and a sound stage.
Found out that everything is fake, the buildings, the rain, even rusty NYC fire escapes.

I'll expand at a later time.
Sir Winston's Restaurant on the Queen Mary.
The Sow's Ear, Cambria
Ragged Point Inn,  North of Cambria
Black Cat Bistro, Cambria
Cliff House, San Francisco
The Slanted Door, San Francisco
Plow, San Francisco
Suzu Noodle house, Japantown, San Francisco
Trois Mec, LA
The Hart and Hunter, in the Pali-hotel, LA