...despite my nagging cough, I:
* bought gas for the lawn mowerThe tractor never had its oil changed before today. I don't think we've put 50 hours on it since buying it in May of 2008. The oil looked nice and clean when I was draining it.
* bought fresh oil for the lawn mower
* changed oil in the lawn mower
* mowed the back grass
* cleaned up shrubbery in the back yard
* hauled branches to the curb
I didn't change the oil filter; I can always do that later if need be, but the oil was so clean I don't think it's strictly necessary yet.
And it fired right up.
* * *
Yesterday was the first time I could stomach playing WoW for 7-10 days, and Örmüs got all the Noblegarden achievements--so now he is "Örmüs the Noble". When I saw what you get for completing the Noblegarden set--the title "the Noble"--I knew I had to get it. It just fits Örmüs so well, being the pompous arrogant person that he is. Heh.
* * *
Dennis: "I have no particular love for the Tea Party movement, but if they could at least burn down much of the entrenched Republican Party infrastructure, they would go down in history having done the American people a great favor."
It's hard to argue with him. Read what he said before that and you'll understand why.
I am finding it ever harder to support the Republican party. I didn't move right; they moved left--and they lose because of it.
* * *
Obama apparently doesn't know how to deal with Sarah Palin. The best way for a sitting President to deal with a detractor is simply to ignore what he says. You don't dignify him with a response.
Reagan used this technique very effectively with a hostile press. George W. Bush--who was certainly no Ronald Reagan, more's the pity!--managed to use it ratehr well, too. Obama has the press throwing its underwear at him on a daily basis; certainly he could somehow manage to avoid answering questions about someone the Democrat party wishes would simply vanish.
If Sarah Palin says something critical of you, blow it off: don't even mention her name. "Oh, I know there are plenty of critics of my ideas out there, but most of them are people who have never been involved with national defense and the peace process." Then you go on to explain why your policy is good.
The last thing you want to do is act as if what those people say is getting to you, and that's exactly how Obama reacted.
* * *
Speaking of the Obama-troid administration's bad nuclear policy, they're being extra-mean to Israel for no good reason. Well, except that most of the hard lefties are anti-semites, and don't like Israel one bit. They love terrorists, though.
* * *
This article about "workfare" in Germany makes me think: why not bring back some of the programs of the 1930s? If people are collecting welfare checks, have them pick up trash or do other jobs for it. Call 'em workers, pay 'em minimum wage, take out taxes. What the hell, at least this way we won't just be paying them to sit around and watch cable all day.
Heh. Can you imagine the outcry from...well, from everyone left of John McCain? Holy crap would that be fun to watch.
* * *
Looks like the CBO has finally figured out that the US government cannot continue to spend more money than it takes in. That only took how many decades?
* * *
Taxes are going up and they're going up the fastest on those dirty, evil, greedy, vile rich people.
Y'know, the hard-working, risk-taking, highly-educated people who create about 50% of the jobs in this country.
* * *
People are retiring later and this is seen as the solution to the problem of SSI's insolvency.
Yeah. Pretty soon, the age at which benefits commence will be pushed back to 125. That ought to help a lot.
* * *
The LA school district wants to be a gulag. Once they get their hands on kids they don't want to let them leave. Because getting your kid in their classroom means a certain number of dollars, and the last thing any school administrator wants to do is to cut spending. Some administrator might have to use less air conditioning, or he might not get a new laptop this year.
* * *
...but having spent my energy on yard work, I don't have any left for jalopy work. I found a procedure in the Haynes manual for testing the EGR circuit; I want to check that out.
I'm also contemplating getting a good length of vacuum tubing and running a line into the passenger compartment, and setting the vacuum gauge where I can see it while driving: this would let me identify exactly what conditions lead to the stumbling.
Above about 2,300 RPM it never seems to stumble regardless of operating regime. In 4th gear, going 35, it will stumble if the throttle is opened too quickly.
Only when the engine is hot, of course. It never stumbles when cold.
Still: today I ran my errands in the jalopy, and I remembered that I rebuilt that engine and replaced it myself, and damn that felt good.
I still have to fix the AC controls, and I've got to do something about the stereo; and in fact the driver's side seat belt is acting up. I also want to get a new driver's side headlight bucket. (The lenses need buffing, too; they've clouded up.) There are a few trim pieces I want to install. A bunch of little things that need doing.
If I could find, in a boneyard, an undamaged hood and fender of the right color, I'd swap 'em.
* * *
I finished Lovely Complex Thursday night. Good stuff.
* * *
This is what you get for out-competing Government Motors: Toyota should have been fined $13.8 billion. Fortunately for Toyota, federal law places a limit on what fines can be imposed, so Toyota got fined the maximum of $16 million.
This comment from spuy767 sums my own attitude on this: "Must be cool when a corporation can just get mad and fine another corporation which has no recourse whatsoever."
* * *
I've been doing a roundup of CDs I haven't listened to for ages:
* Ring Soul to the PleasureOnly one of those is well-known; the others are uncommon at best.
* Tangerine Dream Canyon Dreams
* Richard Buxton Exotic Simplicity
* Basia Time and Tide
There's one song on the Ring CD I've listened to in the past decade, but the songs I bought it for I haven't heard since 2000 at least. And probably longer.
I hadn't listened to Canyon Dreams for an extremely long time. Exotic Simplicity has two songs I've used (one for a music video, one for a project OST) but the other songs have languished. I talked about the Basia CD the other day. All of this is music I listened to in college.
...I've got a huge stack of CDs, and most of the time I just listen to the few dozen songs which are on my MP3 player.
It's that damn Ray Lynch song that did it, that got me thinking about the old songs; so now I'm going back through the stack...and if this keeps up, I'm going to have to buy another memory chip for my MP3 player.
* * *
Which, it must be said, brings me to another topic: my MP3 player is not very good.
It plays music very well. With Skull Candy Ink'd earbuds, the sound quality is fantastic. But there is exactly one way to find the song you want: press >> or << repeatedly until you get to it. A 2 GB SD card can hold over 200 songs. It takes a bit more than half a second to skip a song. It's tedious.
There is a search function. It's not documented in the "manual" ("instruction sheet" is more like it) and I found it by accident, and I haven't been able to figure out how the hell it works. You can enter letters, then do...something...to have it search for songs which match the criterion. But I can't figure out how to make it work, and it doesn't seem all that reliable in the first place.
So I'm thinking about getting an MP3 player with a big display and a touch screen. NO I am not going to buy an iPod.
I've found this device which looks very, very nice to me. And my birthday is coming. We'll see what I do.