Christmas Presents and Chopping Wood

So the day after Christmas was a good day. I took the day off and did lots of stuff. I setup the present I got my wife, an HP OfficeJet 7410, which is an all in one device, with an extra special feature. It comes with built in wireless network connectivity, which was just what we needed in our house since we use laptops and it’s always a pain to hook up to the printer. So now we can just have the printer somewhere in the house and print from anywhere. I had no problems setting it up on my WPA enabled 802.11b network and it is working great.

I also took the chance to split some wood for the our wood stove. I forgot how fun it is to split wood. It took me back to the good memories I have of splitting wood with my Dad as a teenager. I remember my Dad telling me that wood provides us with heat twice, once when you cut it and split it and then the second time when you burn it. He was definitely right.

Gas Guzzler?

I have a ’87 GMC Sierra pickup truck, a 3/4 ton with a 454 engine, so it’s not surprising that I don’t get very good gas mileage with it. Well, recently I learned how to overhaul an engine by using the truck as the guinea pig. My brother-in-law is really good at this, so I it was a neat opportunity to learn. I was hoping that after the engine work was done, not only would my oil leak be gone, but I thought it might perform better and get better gas mileage. Well, I figured it out the other day and I am still getting 10 miles to the gallon. Not very good! :( However, everytime I get out of my truck I smell gas, which is also not good. I had looked under the truck a couple times when the smell seemed pretty strong and I could tell one of the connections on the fuel filter appeared to be leaking. So I bought a new fuel filter and installed it tonight. The truck has two fuel tanks and I had also noticed some dripping by the switch that decides what tank gives the engine gas. So I took the cover off of that and looked at all of the connections. Everything looked about the same (old and worn hoses), so I started the truck up. The new fuel filter worked like a charm, with no leaking, but one of the hoses that connects to the switch was leaking pretty bad. I shut the truck back off and found the crack in the hose. The crack was close enough to the end and the hose was long enough that I was able to cut the end off and still put it back on. Now that is no longer leaking either. Unfortunately, I still have one leak left. There is a pin size hole in the bottom of the passenger side tank, that has a very slow leak in it. It makes me mad that it is there because I just had the tanks replaced a few years ago. I need to find out what kind of warranty I got on it and see what it takes to fix something like that. Either way, I’m going to use the gas out of that tank first! So after fixing all of these leaks, I can’t help but wonder, was I only getting 10 miles to the gallon because a bunch of it was leaking on to the ground? I will have to run some more mileage checks to be sure.

Patriot Games

So I just finished reading the book, “Patriot Games”, by Tom Clancy.  I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks now, I haven’t been able to sit down and read a book straight through for many years now, but as I got closer to the end, I just had to read it to the end.  Sunday afternoon was the perfect time.  Although the book is obviously fiction, it reminded me of the freedoms and safety that I take for granted living in the United States.  It also made me think about how rewarding it must be to work for a government organization like the CIA or FBI, actively trying to fight for good.

Cleaning the Swamp Cooler

So yesterday I cleaned out the swamp cooler and prepared it for Winter.  I realized that this is something that is pretty specific to Utah and the surrounding states.  I don’t remember ever seeing them anywhere else that I have lived.  So when you winterize a swamp cooler, you remove all the water from the inside and the water supply line so that nothing freezes when it gets cold outside.  Then you cover it with a canvas cover and close off the inside as well.

Fall Weather

I just love fall weather. Right now the highs are in the 70s-80s and the lows are in the 50s and I just love it. The air is nice and cool and the leaves are changing colors. We are also getting plenty of rain to make the grass green. The only thing I don’t like is that the days are getting shorter. Everyday after work I get less and less time to work outside.