Archive for October, 2005

Fixing the Jeep

So lately the Jeep has had a hard time starting. Nothing else was really wrong except for the windshield wipers that were more of a hindrance than a help and one of my fog lights was burned out. So last week I bought 2 replacement bulbs for the fog lights (at $26 each!!) and planned to replace them both this past weekend. I then went to the Canadian Tire site to see how much a battery was going to run me. Since the going rate for a high output battery with over 1000 cold cranking amps was almost $200 I thought it prudent to check Costco. I am glad I did since the same rated battery was only $85 there! So I went home on Firday with the goods ready to work on it Saturday after coaching. Of course, Saturday morning was freezing cold (well, at least for this time of year 3 degrees feels freezing) and the Jeep refused to start. So I ended up boosting it with my trusty plug in booster (something which I recommend everyone have at home) and it seemed to be fine. It even started after gym! So once I got home it was time to make things right. I started with the fog lights, although I am not sure why, and quickly discovered that the water from driving had destroyed the wiring and basically killed the lights. I tried to take off the back of the housing to get one bulb out and the screws basically crumbled away. So I decided that I would return the bulbs and just get new lights since ever since I have had those little HID lights on there I have wanted to replace them with something more substantial. So off I went to Canadian Tire, without having replaced the battery, to get more lights. I did get a refund, Nicole and I found lots of other little stuff to buy and I got 2 sets of lights, one white driving lights and one yellowed fog lights so that the front of the Jeep would look extra cool with lots of lights on it. I am not sure what the mentality is with lights, but it seems that the more lights you have on the front of your truck or car, the cooler it looks… So we left CT and grabbed some bagels and a coffee (caramel macchiato for the first time in years) and headed home. Luckily for me, the Jeep started each time but not without grumbling and complaining.
I got back home and started into the battery. It was pretty straighforward, and goes as follows:

loosen the nuts on the terminals and remove the connectors from the posts
loosen the nuts on the bracket that holds the battery in place, being careful not to let the screw part fall down into the engine compartment
clean everything you take off and spray with a lubricant ( I used Gunk penetrating lube)
once the battery is not bolted down any more, try to get the thing out.
This is where you realize why the battery you just bought has a fancy plastic handle.
Try not to scrape the crap out of your hands while trying to extricate the battery
I found it easiest to turn the battery on its short side (don’t worry, it won’t leak anywhere) and yank it out.
the old battery has a nice warming jacket on that you will want to keep. If your new battery has side terminals also, then slide the tea cosy thingy up from the bottom and snug it up to the side terminals.
Once the warmer is on, drop the new battery into place.
The hardest part of the whole thing was getting the bracket back on since the screw posts are not attached to anything at the bottom and so need to be tightened almost all the way before you can let go and work on the other one. Once this was done it is time to put the contacts back on. If you have been fighting with the install, at some time your terminals will have touched and sparked. Don’t worry, this is not a big deal and even if you do get a shock from it it won’t hurt.
make sure you clean the terminals inside with some sandpaper to get a good contact surface and slide the collars over the terminals and tighten the bolts. MAKE SURE YOU DON”T OVER TIGHTEN THEM!!! They are difficult to replace so I have heard.

Once the battery was done and the thing started it was time to move on to the new lights. Since I was hooking them up to the old fog light electrical it was simple, just drill the hole out a bit and attach the lights to the bumper. Of course it has taken me the past 4 days to get people to stop flashing at me as I drive but they are now all fixed. I now have to attach the second pair but that means wiring them “properly” to a switch and to the battery and since I am going to be doing that, I am also going to put a pair of air horns in there for effective honking…
This is going to be fun!

Low of -2

Are you kidding me?

We left the house this morning as usual in the pitch black of night after arriving home in same last eve. This morning though there was a covering of ice on our neighbours car and not just the kind you can make holes in with the temperature of your fingertips.
I seriously don’t know if I can take another Canadian winter.


We went on our annual trek to Hastings this weekend and in true fashion, were astounded at just how far away it was. I know we have been there plenty of times and I know that every time we say the same thing but it never ceases to amaze me just how long the drive really is. That coupled with the fact that I am absolutely beside myself with a need for a washroom by the time I get there makes for an interesting arrival every time.
This time, it was the engagement party in as much as both Kim and Khrhystaelle (or whatever) managed to get engaged over the past year. Of course, that all stopped as soon as Nicole brought out her necklaces confiming the fact that women are irresistably attracted to anything remotely sparkly and they turn into ADD afflicted owls anytime they get around jewelry hooting and ooooohing at every piece.
The food was great as it always is and I hung out with the guys watching the golf game as we awaited the signal to descend upon the buffet. It was an enjoyable day as it always is, but the drive back left me aching and uncomfortable with half a turkey in my stomach and stuffing coming out of my ears.

It wasn’t until we got attacked by the cats as we arrived home that I discovered that we had no more cat food. Knowing that the vet was closed on Monday and we coach Tuesday meant that the poor little boys (read: fat assheads) wouldn’t be getting more than very small snacks for the next two days… of course that also meant that I wouldn’t be getting much sleep until they were fed ‘properly’. Sad really that we live with two furry terrorists..

Coming back to work on Tuesday was awful, not only because it was hard after 3 days off, but knowing that we had to coach too meant Tuesday was going to be a very long day…

Walking in a Dangerous Time

I am at that point again.
I am starting to feel confident in my back and my ability to do things (albeit extremely limited) without ‘danger’. This is the point at which I usually do something stupid and put myself back to square one. So how do I avoid that this time? How do I manage to finally get to a point where I can get over that minimal activity hump to be able to exercise regularly again. How, in fact, do I keep my stupidity (read: ego) in check and stick with the incremental improvements rather than trying to run before I can walk.

I am hoping that writing my shortcomings will achieve the necessary enlightenment. What are the odds?

So how are things? I have to admit that things, such as they are, are pretty good. I have settled into my coaching duties, having overcome that 10 minutes of blind panic before each class and am actually really enjoying myself. However, I am still painfully aware of the need to keep things progressing with their learning which in itself is a huge burden of responsibility. now I know how teachers feel…
Also, being a large man and not a father gives me a disadvantage. I can pick kids up by the feet, but don’t know if I am hurting them… However their sqeals of delight as I try to make them do handstands is just priceless.
Work is fine, still doing lots of wireless stuff and panicking a bit about our lack of perimiter security.
The house still needs more work, the grouting is STILL not finished and we still need carpet in the basement. It has been almost a year since the pipe burst into the basement and I haven’t soldered the joint yet. The really bad news is that they are palnning to build behind us which will effectively cut our lovely view in half. However, they are also planting hundreds of trees and leaving the pond as it is so that is not to bad. Of course it will cut our late evening sunshine which currently only serves to make it difficult to watch TV. Once the houses are up (they are high value executive townhouses) and the trees mature a bit I am sure it will make our little pond quite a delightful sanctuary.

I was at Costco last night and they have so much Christmas stuff it is insane. How is it possible that it is not even halloween yet and people are buying stupid wire snowmen to go on their lawns.