The ham and bean soup this year was not as good as mine is. Oh well.
The parade was pretty nice. I made sure to stand as far from a speaker as I could, thus keeping the MC stupidity I heard to an absolute minimum.
Besides the tape for Lemonzen, I bought another one of those $4 LED flashlights from Harbor Freight. They really are a bargain at that price even if you do end up gluing the magnet back in; I don't think I've ever owned a brighter flashlight.
Then I hit the grocery store. As luck would have it there was a rather long line at the deli, so I skipped buying ham; I can get that later. I did manage to find another turkey breast section like the one I cooked for the belated Thanksgiving dinner I had with Lemonzen; it was $10 and will doubtless cook up just as nicely as the other one did. They arguably have enough of a shelf life to be worth it; the one I cooked last weekend had been in my freezer since Dec 21 and showed no sign of freezer burn or other nastiness. What is that, eleven months, more or less?
So after all that, I got myself into the shower and got cleaned up, then checked the weather report. No sign of rain anywhere within radar range, so I took the motorcycle to church for the "Souper Supper" and parked it next to the veterans' memorial. Wandered around a bit, looking at stuff, then found a perch for the parade.
As luck would have it I saw some friends from Bible study there, including the woman who sent me that job lead. She put in a good word for me when she gave the IT guy my resume etc, so here's hoping.
It'd be so nice to have a job where I use my brain instead of my muscles.
The parade was entertaining. There were two guys on motorcycles. If I'd known who to talk to, I would have volunteered--and all I'd have needed to do was to put some lights on my bike. I don't think anyone could have told it was dirty....
With the temepratures hovering near 60 the damned place was mobbed with people. Last year, when it was seasonably cold there were lots fewer people around. Oh well.
And I nearly got hit by a car. A twenty-something girl wasn't paying attention; I was in the crosswalk and crossing with the lights and as I'm walking across the street all of a sudden
and my right hand bounced off the left front fender of the thing.
Sure, just duck to the right around that car and make a right turn on red! Don't bother looking for pedestrians; no one could possibly be crossing the street or anything!
That was a bit annoying, but WTF--no harm, no foul.
* * *
As I was heading out of town on my way to Harbor Freight, though, the Jeep's oil pressure gauge was acting funny. Once in the 40 zone I--as always--sped up to 42 so the overdrive would engage, and when it did the oil pressure dropped.
It did not drop far; in fact it was higher than normal before the overdrive engaged and it dropped to the normal level when it did. Still, that made me awfully hinky about going anywhere in the thing, so I turned around and headed back to the bunker with my heart in my mouth, thinking about what could cause the oil pressure gauge to fluctuate like that.
My fear was that the cylinder head was cracked after all and there was coolant in the oil--or at least, some kind of contaminant. Simplest diagnostic method was to do the oil change I've been putting off for more than a month, so I got into a hoodie that could get dirty and did the oil change.
So I drained the oil and changed the filter and put in six quarts of fresh oil. There wasn't enough of the drained oil--about five quarts--which is weird considering that the last time I checked it, it was right up to the "full" mark. But the used oil was the right color and consistency, which is at least a big relief. So maybe the fluctuation was caused by low oil? It wasn't perilously low--five quarts out of six--but who the hell knows?
On the other hand, I'm not sure when was the last time I checked the oil. I'm getting sloppy with my vehicle maintenance, damn it.
But the oil pressure gauge behaved properly as I ran my errands, so maybe it was just the Jeep's way of telling me, "Hey, asshole, it's a nice day outside and you still haven't changed my oil. Do it! It's not like it takes a long time or anything!"
It took me half an hour, and even so I was done with my errands before 5 PM. So, what the hell.
* * *
Also? When I'd finished that and was on my way to Harbor Freight, the cab of the Jeep got too hot before I'd even passed the grocery store. I think the heater works.
* * *
After the parade, I got back on the motorcycle and rode around a bit. I was able to come back into town via the parade route, going northbound on Illinois 1, and the luminarias were still lit--so there I was, motoring along on my bike, enjoying the Christmas decorations. How awesome is that?