atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1630: Deer in my yard

Saturday night I sat on the driveway as the sun set. I was hoping to see some noctilucent clouds, and as I waited for the right conditions I watched fireflies. There are a lot of them this year.

Anyway, I heard something kicking the neighbor's downspout, and thought it might be a raccoon or possum--we have nocturnal visits from both types of animals--and looked over at his yard to see what it was.

I didn't see anything raccoon-shaped or possum-shaped, but there were four sticks standing out of the grass like the stakes one uses to hold up a sapling, and--

--and they were connected to a body, a tan one, with a long head: it was a deer.

It looked at me as if I were the last thing it had expected to see, and I looked at it the same way. After a few moments it flipped its tail up and headed into the back yard, and the only way it could manage that was either to hop a 4.5' fence into the neighbor's yard, or to walk down the north side of the garage.

That's rare. In fact it was unheard of for years: I never saw any deer in this town--within city limits--before 2006, not even when our house was only one street away from corn fields.

* * *

Steven is right about this.

* * *


So last night I got around to securing a run through Stratholme. Amaleni had several quests to do in there. I went in with one of the members of my guild, who basically killed everything in sight before I could finish casting my spells, so my job was essentially to follow along behind, not die, and pick up loot.

End result, I looted about 100 GP in money and stuff, got all my quests done, and barely expended any effort on it.

My fellow guildie was after an extra-rare drop from the dungeon boss--on his 20th run--and didn't care about the rest of the loot. Jeeze.

...and as it was I had to make some hard choices about abandoning things, because I simply did not have room in my inventory for everything I wanted to haul out of there. And we left the instance halfway through so I could go dump stuff at Light's Hope Chapel.

At least that pretty well finishes most everything I can do on Azeroth. I have some quests left from other areas that shouldn't take much to complete.

* * *

Car musings:

Now that I'm rid of the '86 Fiero project car, I've started thinking about converting my automatic '85 into a manual. That's right, taking a nice all-original car and making changes to it.

But the kicker is that I would keep the parts I need to convert it back, you see.

The first Fiero I ever drove was a 1985 GT; it had the 4-speed manual and it made a serious impression on me. That was 1986; 16 years later, in 2002, I bought one. But of course my '85 has an automatic transmission.

GM has had a rather nice 6-speed FWD manual transmission on the market for a while. Assuming I could find one with the correct gear ratios I think it'd be a nice upgrade.

The problem is, of course, finding the right final drive ratio. Too low and the engine will run too fast at highway speed (I want to keep the engine speed below 2,500 RPM at 65 MPH; with the auto you're over 3,000 RPM). Too high and it won't accelerate well.

Guys with the V6 and manual transmission report mileage in the mid-20s--25 seems to be about average--which would respresent a 7 MPG gain from the auto (for which 18 MPG seems about average).

Changing transmissions would mean taking the drivetrain out; I've done that before so I know it won't be a problem. Pull the old trans, pull the flexplate, add flywheel and clutch, etc; install new trans. Clean and detail engine. Add clutch master cylinder, pedal, piping, install engine, fill and bleed clutch lines, etc, would not be a simple project but it would be a matter of unbolting one part and installing another. (And a little plumbing, but I've done that before.)

Besides all that I'm thinking of replacing the timing chain. As far as I know it has never been replaced, and Pontiac recommended a 25k mile service interval for that thing.

But before I do any of this, I'll have all the parts on hand. I learned that one from the '86.

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