Then I checked the belt tension.
You see, this is an issue I had never had to deal with before: the tensioning system on the Cherokee uses a bolt rather than a spring.
With V-belts, you give it a little extra oomph when you tighten down the accessory (alternator or whatever) it drives, and as the belt stretches it assumes the correct tension.
With serpentine belts, in most cases, the tensioner is spring-loaded and automatically adjusts to maintain the correct tension.
But the Cherokee uses a bolt. So when I put the new belt on, I set it to the right tension, more or less. But the belt stretched, as any brand-new belt will. So I spent a couple of minutes freaking out; then I gave the tensioner a few more turns: problem solved.
Besides that, I dug out the cassette deck interface thingy for my old Sony CD player, and used it to interface my Rio Volt MP3/CD player with the Jeep's sound system. Now I can play CDs and MP3s, albiet in half-assed fashion--and that should hold me until I can get a real CD player installed.
That's going to take some research, though. I'm not making the mistake I made with the CD player I put in the Escort(s); the Aiwa was "good enough" but had some maddening user interface eccentricities, like the lack of a "loudness" button on the front panel. They have a "programmable" button but you can't program it to change the state of the "loudness" switch, which is four or five button-presses deep in the user interface. The "local" button, which switches an attenuator between the receiver circuit and the antenna, should have been in the place of the "loudness" function, and vice-versa.
I am--as always--leaning towards buying a Pioneer head unit. I've always liked their stuff. But the Pioneer unit in the '85 Fiero doesn't have a mute switch on its front panel. So I've got to do some research.
* * *
In the comments for #520 bdunbar thanks me for pointing him to Rocket Girls, which his wife and kids are really enjoying.
Now all I need to do is find a way to leverage this one minor success into world-spanning power, and my lifetime dream of world domination can finally become a reality.
But no one need worry about me. My desire for world domination is not driven by a lust to control everyone's lives. There will be only a few changes, most of which are meant to make my life easier and less stressful:
1) A real anime network, all subbed, all the time, which shows first-run stuff as well as the classics.
2) all anime produced with English subtitles encoded in the "closed captioning" data space so we don't have to wait for translations. Which means:
3) native English-speakers working for anime companies to make sure there's no "Engrish" in anime
4) I'll be able to sleep when I want to and it'll be a crime to wake me up. (I'm talking to you, moron down the street who has 450,000,000,000 watts of bass in his stupid-looking early 1980s Caprice, who thuds around the neighborhood with the volume on "strip mining" regardless of the hour!) Which leads me to:
5) stupid-loud bass will itself be a capital offense. If I can hear your car stereo inside a closed building in winter, you won't even get a trial. (Especially if it's after sunset.) My stormtroopers will weld your doors shut and haul your car into the nearest car crusher with you in it.
6) anyone with a "no fear" sticker on his vehicle will be hauled out of said vehicle and beaten. Ditto for anyone with a picture of Calvin peeing on anything. (Or "girl Calvin" peeing on anything. I have seen these stickers. WTF.)
7) all radar detectors will be illegal everywhere. Anyone caught using one in the commission of any traffic violation will be beaten with a bastinado, wired to an old engine block, and thrown into a river. (My stormtroopers will be busy people...for a while.)
8) Coke will be required to bring back Surge, and any company which sells Coke products will be required to carry Surge.
9) Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will have to get real jobs.
10) Atomic Fungus will be required reading, but comments will be disabled.
There's more, but these are the high points.
Anyway, as for anime, Steven Den Beste correctly infers that I am hooked on Potemayo after only one episode, and he is right to fear it. If he actually decides to install "Pirate-2-Pirate" software I would heartily recommend uTorrent; it's a pretty good client. (I note in that link that I am "everyone". Uh oh. My grocery bill is going to get worse.) I would also strongly recommend AnimeSuki as the best place to start looking for fansub torrents. They're a content aggregator and I'm sure there are others out there, but they maintain a very nice list by series.
I spent about an hour Sunday afternoon digitizing another crop of fansub OP and ED themes. I even grabbed the OP from Floral Magician Mary Bell. Since the Jeep has a cassette deck I've been listening to the old, old (vintage 1996) tape of anime theme songs, and it contains some I haven't listened to for a long time. I'm starting to think about getting that nifty cassette deck thingy they make for PCs, which will let you digitize audio directly from the tape. There's also a USB turntable built for the same reason, which I really am tempted to get. (Computer as receiver/amplifier? We'll see.)
What a morphodite: a record player with a PC interface. Who'd'a thunk it?
* * *
Sunday's weather was the most beautiful day we've had in weeks. It was cool and clear; it didn't rain all day. I ended up grilling brats for dinner.
It now looks as if recession is inevitable, Particularly if the mainstream media keep talking down the economy.
The primary issue is the housing market, of course. They've been saying that housing "bubble" is bursting for 3, 4 years now. I guess we'll see what happens.
WTF Since when are people with mustaches discriminated against? Did I miss a meeting or a memo or something? Half of the guys I know have facial hair, for crying out loud, if not more.
It's the last week of August already. Cripes. A few days ago it was June. Where did the summer go?
Well, having spent 2 weeks in the Philippines and 3 weeks recovering from a sinister illness, I guess I know what happened: the interregnum in my summer made it seem shorter.
* * *
It was nice to get outside and work on the Jeep Saturday and yesterday. More importantly it was nice not to have to convince myself to do it. I just thought, "Well, guess I'll get after those spark plugs" and then got to work. I actually had the energy to do something I didn't have to do. That was awesome.
I went for 16 hours yesterday on 6 hours of sleep and I felt fine, though I hit the hay like a laser-guided bunker-buster when it was finally bedtime. I think I lay awake in bed for all of five minutes before I drifted off. That, too, was nice.
When I woke up this moring it was freaking cold in my room. I'd put a fan in the window last night, and it couldn't have been warmer than maybe 60°, or 65° at the most. Again: awesome.
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The latest Strong Bad e-mail has a great line: "John wears shabby clothes that smell like chocolate milk with a stomach virus." Heh.