Archive for the ‘More Stuff’ Category


Saturday, August 13th, 2011

When you buy a used vehicle there are always little things that need to be fixed. I had new shocks installed and complete wheel balancing on all four tires. I’m going to have the brakes and rotors replaced in the near future, and if you’ve ever dealt with an engine emissions light, you know how that can ruin your day. Small repairs don’t seem like much but they add up to significant money when you are budgeting to save for another expedition. The most important thing though, is to have the van mechanically sound before I take on the Rocky Mountains next spring.

The van came with swivel, captain’s chairs in the middle, designed to face the back seat for important conference meetings and socializing. What I really wanted was for the front passenger seat to swivel, serving a dual purpose of passenger and living room seating. It seemed like such a waste to throw away a swivel seat, but modifying and installing it in the front seemed like too big of a project. When I crawled underneath, I couldn’t even find the bolts where they came through the framework, and I was afraid that they would be rusted and impossible to remove.

As you can see from the pictures below: I did it! With a lot of drilling and rebolting, I now have my passenger/living room, easy chair. I had to remove the seat belt assembly from the front seat and install it to the swivel seat, buy longer bolts where they went through the frame, but it went well and I’m confident that it is safe.
Swivel Seat 036

Swivel Seat 034

Don will be so Proud!

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

I bought an Apple iPhone this last weekend. Before you Droid owners think I have been converted to the dark side, there are a couple of things you should know. The decision was 95% monetary and 20% I want one of those phones. Now, that might not seem to add up to 100% by many of you, but that’s how the phone company calculates my bill when I asked how much it was to add another line. Still, my bill from Verizon was getting way out of hand, so I took the modem back to the store and, after 20 years with their company, canceled my wireless contract.

A couple of weeks ago I was browsing through a mall near here and on impulse walked into an AT&T store. I knew I was going to terminate my Verizon data account and I was looking for options for the least expensive way to stay connected. There was some literature on family plans and I was surprised at how much of a discount it was to add another line. All wireless companies offer great deals to loyal customers. If they can keep your whole family and all of your friends signing up and buying phones from them, their company will remain strong. It was why I was with Verizon for so long.

Now that all the kids have grown and they have migrated to other wireless providers, I figured it was time to go too. Dave and Lisa were gracious enough to let me join their family plan. My share will be less than half of what I was paying before. We even found out that by putting the account in Lisa’s name, because she is a teacher, we get another discount and they will waive the activation fee. That’s good news to me; I’m getting tired of paying activation fees.

There are some drawbacks, however: I thought I could use the phone as a modem to connect my laptop. Apple really frowns on that, and if you try to do it illegally and they find out, they can cancel your service. I wouldn’t subject Dave and Lisa to that chance. Verizon also has a little better coverage in the rural areas around here and sometimes I may hit a dead spot where the phone won’t work. As of this writing I haven’t been able to configure my web email through any app or even bring it up on, but my gmail account works fine and I will have to get Daryl to help me figure out what’s going on.

With all the WiFi hotspots around and the phone to fill in in-between, I’m hoping that I can get back on that there interweb.

Hello world!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

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