Friday, July 31, 2009

Folly Beach Credit Cards

It'll be interesting to find out whether or not any of our Folly Beach purchases came from the same place as the LW's sister. This morning she reported credit card fraud that is similar to what we endured shortly after arriving home from our summer trip. Ours was on a card that hadn't been used until the trip, so we know that's where it came from. I figure that the sister's information will show similar purchases from one of three shops at Folly. Shortly after buying t-shirts, our credit cards were being used for other purchases at big boxes on the east coast. We'll see.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Got a note this morning from Local First Arizona that said that the Basha's chain of stores could use a little help. They filed for Ch11 recently and the news of this came as a bit of a shock to the LW and I. Basha's stores were a respite from the disorganized and somewhat rundown stores that we found when we first moved to Tucson. Walking into their store at Camp Lowell and Swan was like finding another Whole Foods store like we had used in Overland Park, KS (back when we both had good paying jobs).

I found this article as I was reading the LFA note. I think that we'll be shopping there again soon, even though it is a few minutes further down the road than where we currently shop.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It seems as though my heart has begun skipping beats recently, so I might have to go see the doc. I'll be just going along, and then I start getting the flutter/palp thing. I didn't think much of it until I checked my carotid pulse while it was fluttering.....I miss a beat or so, then things start back up. Something tells me that this isn't going to be cheap.

Not too long ago, my LW and I began cutting down our daily calorie intake, but I don't know how much of this could be contributing to the missed beats. I wonder about the effect of a couple of things that happened not too long ago. One was laughing myself silly to the point where I was inadvertently starving oxygen and adding a lot of valsalva type pressure. The second was sneezing really hard when my allergies flared up. Well, everyone laughs and sneezes, but these were in the extreme. I sneezed so hard that it put a lot of pressure on my neck (valsalva again) and actually hurt the right side of my esophagus for a while when swallowing.

I wonder if there might be a little vagus nerve stuff going on. I'm pretty bummed, but feel that I need to go to the doc to make sure that nothing else is going on. The last time I had an ECG was in '90 when I was in the Navy going for the 2nd class swim qual.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Burnin' Gas

Yesterday I finished up with installing the used JDM EJ25 engine in the Subaru. The machine shop folks just aren't very fast (or well organized), so I picked up an engine from EnginesUS on eBay. The engine arrived in 3 days and it wasn't too much trouble to get the stuff swapped over on it. It did require a couple of trips to the local Subaru stealership for a throwout bearing ($45) and oil separator plate ($55). This engine had the old black plastic separator that leaked. I threw in some "coolant conditioner" for grins since this engine eats head gaskets. (Bad design since the head gasket sits in coolant/oil all the time on the open deck block)

I read a good bit of garbage on the web about swapping in a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) into the 99 Legacy and there's a lot of crap out there. "You'll need a JDM ECU"..."You'll have to tap a hole for the EGR return"...blahblahblah....whatever. Do a google search for it if you'd like to see what I'm talking about. I swapped over the intake from the old engine and everything except the bottom starter bolt was good. I tapped the housing for a 12mm 1.5 and that'll fix it for as long as this engine is in the car. I don't know who thought that on the 99 model that you'd just have to tap the EGR on the JDM intake, but they've been smokin' crack. There's a good bit of difference on the driver's side rear of that intake and I don't see it as being that simple. I had to put my flywheel onto the engine since the JDM was an automatic and then it was all over except for the shoving it onto the trans.

It went for a test drive yesterday and held the tach up past 5k, so it's passed the blow-or-go test. The previous owner had a dog or two, so there's still some interior cleaning to do after the 2 hours I already spent cleaning the interior. If your kid yacks on the seats, you clean it up...if your dog does it, then you leave it to soak into the upholstery? I don't understand. Maybe it's a dogs instead of kids thing and is beyond me.

Tomorrow, I'll be off for Donna's title to get the plates set up and make it street legal.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


If it were my daughter, they'd be pulling my foot off of these boys' asses and those of their parents. Blame your 8 year old daughter? What a set of peaches these two must be.

4 boys arrested in sex assault of Phoenix girl, 8
By Terry Tang
The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.22.2009

PHOENIX — Four boys ages 9 to 14 are in custody after Phoenix police say they lured an 8-year-old girl to an empty storage shed, held her down and sexually assaulted her.
Sgt. Andy Hill said Wednesday the boys face kidnapping and sexual assault charges.
“This is probably one of the worst crimes we’ve come across for many, many years in the city of Phoenix,” Hill said.

Police allege the boys — ages 9, 10, 13 and 14 — lured the girl to the shed July 16 under the pretense of offering her chewing gum. They then restrained and sexually assaulted her, police said.

Officers responding to an emergency call found the girl partially clothed and the suspects running from the scene.

Police say the girl and all but one of the boys live in the same Phoenix apartment complex.
The boys are being held in a juvenile corrections, but the 14-year-old, Steven Tuopeh, will be charged as an adult. Investigators said he appears to have been the ring leader.
It was unknown Wednesday whether Tuopeh had an attorney.

Authorities said the boys were interviewed by investigators with consent from family and admitted involvement in the crime.

Child Protective Services has taken custody of the girl after police said her parents blamed her for the assault.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Job Postings

I really wish sometimes that folks who hire people didn't have to post job openings on the open market if they're just looking to fill the spots from inside anyway. It's pretty frustrating normally, but now with things the way they are, it's infuriating and a huge waste of time and energy.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Well, it was official this morning using MyWeighTracker - I lost the little "Biggest Loser" challenge that my wife and I had going. The LW lost 10.6lbs to my 8.1lbs over 41 days. I thought that I had her yesterday at 199, but I had unintentionally dehydrated myself. After hydrating and a few pieces of her homemade pizza (light), I finally went down in flames this morning. Since she won, we'll be heading to Govinda's, a local vegetarian restaurant that I've been avoiding for years. Now the LW will taunt me with Baba Ghanoush forever...... I'm more of a southern fried type person and I'm not exactly looking forward to eggplant and tahini sauce.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


The LW asked this morning if all of CP's bouts with little ailments would result in sleep. She was running a low-grade fever this morning and it has continued for most of the day. She hasn't been out of bed all day. I continually ask CP to keep her thumb/fingers out of her mouth, but it doesn't do much good. We'll see how this works out.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


...degrees expected for at least 2 or three of the coming weekdays and the new windows are working their magic. We run the swamp cooler at night and turn it off in the morning which usually leaves the house comfortable until about 1pm.

CP continues to impress with pool skills and will now swim underwater on her own for about 6 feet before running out of air and panicking. She can't quite make the transition from swimming to either coming above water to breathe or back floating. Soon enough she'll make it and be cruising. Some of the behavior issues from the other kids have been coming home with her. Lots of "NO!" and associated hardheadedness, but nothing serious. This past Tuesday was the last of the Track Night series and we were sad to see it end. CP ran the full 200 with me at her side - really, she only walked about 15' of it. Her long jump was about 2' and her softball throw was a little over 5'. She's quite a little stinker.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tiny Smooches

Time slowed down a bit this afternoon when CP awakened from her beauty rest. The LW beat me in the room and was already snuggling when I got there. I nuzzled CP's sweaty little head and she put her free arm, since the other was holding her thumb in her mouth, around my head and pulled me in close to her nose. Nuzzling face to face is a funny little thing that she does when she's sleepy, but it's one of the best things ever. Today, it was just what I needed and it made me happy beyond words to be in this place and time with her and the LW.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Kenmore 70 Series Washer Buzzing

Sorry for the goofy title, but I'd like the search engines to pick up this post so other folks out there with old 70 Series Kenmore washing machines can read this. There's a lot of crap to wade through when you search for fixes for this washer.

Lately the old washer, it's a beast really, has been hanging up between the rinse/spin cycle. We'll put the clothes in, go out expecting them to be done, and find the cycle stopped with a load of water in the tub. Well, this morning, it started happening with a slight buzz from behind the washer. I thought at first it might be the timer, which hasn't buzzed a bit since we bought it. This wasn't it, so with a full tub of water, I shifted it away from the wall where I could hear what was happening. It was the capacitor (engine start capacitor) sitting aside the motor. It was buzzing, not as loud as the timer buzzer, and the motor was getting hot. I turned off the power and wiggle checked the wiring on the wish/wash which is where I've had problems in the past, but nothing happened. I turned the power off again and reached back under the motor and jiggled the connectors there....turned it back on and bingo! It worked.

I've had the rear plate off for a while and I think that one of my cats got back there and was playing with the wires or chasing lizards. It makes sense now - when the motor jogged a bit as it switched gears, the connector would get loose and the whole thing would stop.

UPDATE: Same thing happened again today, so I drove all over town trying to find some Deoxit. Found some and put it on the connections, but the silly machine still did the same thing. It makes it all the way through the first fill/agitate/drain/spin cycle, but stops after it refills and won't agitate. When it stops, there's a buzzing sound coming from the back/bottom. I found the buzzing today with my stethescope - it's the agitate/spin solenoids. Just for grins, I grabbed the knob on the timer and wrenched it up and down and wouldn't you know, the thing fired right up. The good news is, I think that it's a timer...the bad news is that the timer is $120.

2nd UPDATE: I ordered a timer from balcum on eBAY and it wasn't the timer. Strange. I investigated the wiring more around the wig-wag and found one corroded connection. Put things together and it worked.....for one cycle. When I put clothes in, it got to the 2nd cycle or the "rinse/spin" mark on the dial and just started humming again. I loosened the belt after I tried to pull on it and found that it was stuck/stopped/binding somewhere. As soon as I loosened the belt some, everything would spin. Tried another cycle and it did the same thing. I figure that the motor is binding internally/won't start itself or there are problems in the clutch. $30 for a new start capacitor or $150 for a motor or even a clutch rebuild....either way, it wasn't worth it, so the washer went on craigslist for free to someone who would come and get it. It was gone in two hours and we picked up a two-year old GE from a lady who was moving out of state.

Just a little keyword whoring:
Kenmore 70 Series Washer buzz buzzing shuts off rinse spin hot

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Not Listening

Today CP got in trouble at preschool for not coming out of her hiding place, thus scaring the crap out of the preschool instructors. We knew something like this would be coming since she's been on the "I'm exercising my will" kick, but it's still a bit unnerving. I know what it feels like when there's one in the house and I bet that it was really scary with 15 or so little ones in a big building. She got a good working over from the LW and I about listening, so we'll see if there's still a need for the retriever-style shock collar. (no, not really...)

The window on the superdeezle was repaired for free since every Jetta since 2000 has windows that fall into the doors. The maxima is almost ready for craigslist. I washed and waxed it today, but still need to tighten a bolt or two. The subie engine finally came apart today and the pistons and cylinders are scored, so we'll see what the machine shop gang says. I figure it'll need some honing and new pistons. The rods might be a little blued because it was run so long with a blown head gasket, but who knows. I hope to make the engine as bulletproof as possible so that I can depend on it to get me out in the sticks and back.

Still don't know much about the house and the possibility of moving, but contract work is sketchier by the minute.