January 9th, 2011

#2481: The Jeep needs a new battery.

It's cranked slowly since I got it; now it's not-quite-but-almost not starting. I'm relying more on prayer and the innate awesomeness of the Jeep's I6 and less on the battery to get the thing started, and that's nowhere to be in winter.


...I have money in the budget for exactly this kind of thing, but the problem is me being awake when there's daylight and the auto parts stores are open.

Shit: if I leave RIGHT NOW I can still make it.


Not quite $100 later, the Jeep has a new battery from Advance in it; and it's even an exact fit. Usually when I get a new battery the size is off, but this one slipped right into the insulating sleeve from the OEM battery and fits perfectly in place.

I let the guy from the store install it. Heh. But I could have done it faster given a crescent wrench and socket wrench with a 1/2" socket; he spent more time trying to figure out what size were the nuts on the terminal clamps than I would have just unbolting them with a crescent wrench. But, oh well.

The important thing is, the Jeep cranked faster than it has ever cranked in the time I've owned it. Big change from the rurr...rup. Rurr...rurr...vroom that it's been doing since it got cold; but it's never cranked very fast even in summer weather.

To be honest, if I had simply gotten hold of some sulfuric acid, I probably could have changed the electrolyte and given the thing a good charge, and had it be good for years longer--but disposing of the spent electrolyte is a royal pain, and where can a regular guy pick up a liter of sulfuric acid in this post-9/11 world? (I know, some hardware stores and auto supply shops sell battery electrolyte. I'm just sayin'.)

The battery gauge reads higher than it ever has. Since that's a voltmeter I can infer that the old battery was no longer producing the voltage it should have; it could still generate plenty of current (the fact that it would crank over dead slow is also an indication) but it's obvious that none of the plates were shorted. Heck, I might have been able to add some distilled water and gotten another year out of it.

But why bother? The damn thing was original equipment, making it ten years old. A dead battery leaves you stranded, and trying to stretch out the life of a dying battery does not save you any money in the long run. You'll still have to buy a new battery; and the prices will probably be higher next year. (And if you get stranded, you either prevail upon someone to help you, or call a tow truck for a jump. Either way, you're freezing outside until you get help.)

Fuck it. This way, I know the battery is good; and if it fails any time in the next two years I get a totally free replacement.

#2482: I can't sleep when it's dark? WTF!

That's the conclusion I've come to in the past couple of days.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, I went to bed around 3 or 4 AM; and each day I couldn't fall asleep before the sun had started to come up.

It doesn't seem to be anything as idiotic as being afraid of the dark; at least, I'm not conscious of any particular silliness in that vein. So WTF?

Anyway, after getting to sleep around 7 AM I was up at noon to feed the animals and attend to the minor morning chores; I thought about staying up and doing some stuff, but decided I would rather save my energy and willpower for tomorrow, when I really need it, since I have got to get started on the estate business.

I've decided just to dump my chunk of the estate (or most of it, anyway) into a 9-month CD at my bank, for the time being. My sister thinks the best way to proceed on preparing the house for sale is for all of us to dump a certain amount of money into a general fund to be used for maintaining the house and fixing its remaining deficits; she estimates about a year before the house can even go on the market. This way, the house can be improved to make it more desirable, and we all should realize a profit from the endeavor. (Whenever we finally manage to sell it, that is. The housing market sucks.) Anyway, I can keep a reserve in a savings account and put it wherever it needs to go once the particulars have decided. I'm not going to dump it all into my checking account! Fuck no!

Tomorrow makes four weeks since Mom died. It seems like a few months have passed already. *sigh*

* * *

Anyway, I got up and made spaghetti sauce, using my variant of Mom's recipe (which really just involves browning meat and opening a couple of cans) that--I think--tastes a bit better.

Mom would brown the meat, then add mushrooms, green pepper, onion, and a can of pasta sauce. I cook the green peppers and onions a bit first, before browning the meat, and then add about a cup of wine and let it cook down a bit before adding the pasta sauce. My way, it comes out with a milder, less sharp flavor, and you can actually taste the tomato and green pepper. It still uses a large can of Hunt's meat (flavored) spaghetti sauce, but my way you can actually taste more than OREGANO! in the sauce.

It turns out that if you fill a liquid measuring cup to the 1 cup line with mostaccioli, you have enough for a single serving; and I'm going to be freezing most of the spaghetti sauce to eat another time. This way I don't have to eat the same damn thing for the next week.

* * *

Last night I did another disk of Hayate no Gotoku, and it was the first of three four-ep disks. 41-44 hit DVD last night; and soon the first series will be in the can, and I can move onto the second one.

HnG is the only anime I've watched since the 28th of December. Well, it's entertaining, and it makes me laugh, so having the regular playlist on hiatus doesn't indicate that I'm super-depressed or anything, because I am watching anime.

And I'm playing WoW. Vicki hit 61st level, but I spent most of my time last night farming skills rather than grinding XP, so I'm nowhere near hitting 62 yet.

I want to get her cooking bumped, but I cannot find any level 230 recipes. All the cooking trainers go from 225 right to freakin' 320! The on-line leveling guides have all been munged by Cataclysm, so there's no help there. Argh etc.

But I finally figured out how archaeology worked, and got Vicki's score to 54. I've even managed to assemble a few artifacts.

I think I'll feed the cats and then play some more, maybe try to get 62nd level tonight.

#2483: Further proof of Saku-chan's hotness

I mean, does it get any better than that?

* * *

Well, after the last post, I cleaned the kitchen and fed the cats and played some WoW; and Vicki hit 62nd level and I managed to tank an instance with only one wipe. But the DPS guys were carrying it, I tells you, because I am still a crappy tank.

On the plus side, when I was tanking against a single target (like a boss) I held aggro just fine. So I guess I'm not totally incompetent.

Not bad for a DPS spec warrior, I suppose.

* * *

I had a hankering to listen to Gerald Albright's Dream Come True, which is vintage 1990; it's kind of R&B-ish jazz fusion and it's pretty good music. Mostly it's instrumental.

Track 3 on the disk is called "Say Yes" and contains no real lyrics except for some background singers, who sing the chorus:
Won't you say yes
Yes to my love
We can make it last forever
Give me a chance
To show you my love
We can make it last forever.
All well and good; but I got this CD during my first year of college, and I came up with the following lyrics:
Won't you say yes
Yes to my nuts
We can make them last forever
Give me a chance
To show you my nuts
We can make them last forever.
...and to this day when I hear that song, guess what lyrics come to mind? Twenty years later?

Anyway I had put it on before writing the first post of the day, and I just shut the stereo off once I saw the Advance Auto web site, saw that it was just past 6, and that the parts store was open until 7.

So after all the above stuff, I just now saw the jewel case sitting out and realized, "I didn't finish listening to it!" So I turned it back on.

The subwoofer is on the same power strip as the computer speakers. I do it that way because there's no good way to turn off the subwoofer and I don't want it on all the time. Usually I don't need it when I'm at the computer, but the computer speakers are usually off anyway, except during WoW.

Anyway--so the computer speakers were still on since I'd just been playing WoW, so the subwoofer was on; and I turn on this R&B-ish music, and BAWOOM the bass was like a cannonade. Heh.

Track 9 on the CD, "Come a Little Closer", donated its intro to "The Phil Show", a segment of Captain Fantastic which was the epic superhero movie made by my friends and I in 1991. "The Phil Show" was a talk show that the evil supervillain, Dr. Maniac, took over in order to broadcast his sinister demands to the world!


* * *

I tried making a goblin hunter, because I wanted to see what the goblin starting area is like; and it's approximately like New Jersey. *sigh* But I wasn't really in the mood for extreme lowbie stuff, so I hopped onto Vicki and did Hellfire Ramparts as tank.

* * *

Oh, track 8, "Can't You Feel", has seven words: "Can't you feel/my love is real" and of course I--in 1990--made it "Can't you feel/my nuts are real". *sigh*

* * *

My Toshiba XR-40 CD player, vintage 1985, has begun to ignore its "open/close" button. I'm going to have to take the front panel apart and clean everything, I guess.

* * *

Anyway, I think I'm going to try to dub another 4 eps of Hayate no Gotoku before I hit the hay; and I'm taking a Xanax to get to sleep when I do, because I really do want to get shit done tomorrow.