perhaps you also enjoy fixing things and/or are a dude

ted | chicago,house,junk,the wrath of math | Thursday, December 27th, 2007

We’re dudes, which means we like drinking beer and scratching ourselves. And occasionally, we fix something. Or make it worse. But then the leaking gas line helps give you ideas of what else to fix or perhaps make worse.

Fortunately Sears has a coupon for $5 off most things over $5. I printed out a bunch of these and used six of them this afternoon on some hand tools. Getting $90 of tools for $60 is nice, even if the mouthbreathing register jockeys had to ring up each item over $5 separately. One of them was keeping her cell phone in her cleavage, I shit you not.


ted | chicago,house | Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Started snowing this afternoon. Currently 18 centimeters on the ground and plenty more to go.

(image stolen from the NWS)

It’s freaking beautiful out there. And coming down hard.

I like fixing things

ted | chicago,driving,house,junk | Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

I like fixing things.

I like things not being broken first and foremost, but if they are, I like to set them proper again. I especially like doing simple fixes on the cars.

The 2000 New Beetle TDI we picked up last year had a check engine light on for a bad glowplug – the common P0380 code. When Jason did the timing belt (only 20k miles overdue, stupid-assed previous owners) he swapped it out for a known good used glowplug. Eventually that GP failed again, so I ordered a new set of Beru GPs from TDIParts and Peter was nice enough to bring them with him to a wrenching GTG in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Didn’t get them installed that day, as Matt was nice enough to reset the CEL and it didn’t come back.

A few weeks later, the CEL came back.

At that same GTG, I installed a zerostart kilowatt coolant heater in my 2006 Golf TDI but didn’t finish wiring it up.

This past Sunday, 2007 Dec 09, I fixed both issues. I had to venture out to get a 1/4″ drive 10mm deep socket and a can of P’Blaster, but otherwise everything was completely straightforward, as such:

  1. Remove engine cover (2x10mm nuts)
  2. Remove glowplug harness. Pull hard, it’s on there but good.
  3. While engine is still warm, spray the base of the GPs with P’Blaster.
  4. Test GP resistance with multimeter. Notice GP in 3rd cylinder measures 24 megaohms while everyone else measures 0.3 ohms.
  5. Ponder if GPs are numbered backwards from cylinder order, such that cylinder 3 (3rd from timing belt side) actually has glowplug 2.
  6. Remove a GP with the deep 10mm socket.
  7. Put a TINY dab of antisieze on the new GP’s threads, gently place it in the hole and hand tighten. Make sure you don’t let any crud fall down in there. Tighten further using your hand on the center of the ratchet or with a torque wrench to 15 Nm (11 ft-lbs). That ain’t much. Be careful.
  8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 for the remaining 3 GPs, put the harness back on and start it up to listen for leaks.

Still need to get the CEL reset, but there might be a copy of VAG-COM in my future.

The Golf got the final electrics installed for the Zerostart and it works perfectly. It’s on a 1500W appliance timer to turn on a few hours before I leave for work. Tried it out yesterday for about 1.5 hours before I typically leave and the temp gauge was above the “cold” side at initial start, then dropped down a bit but was back up over them by the time I passed Western Ave. This morning with 3 hours of preheat, it was almost completely warm and only a slight dip in temperature once I got going. Thermosiphon really works well for circulation & having a car that’s already 60% warmed up by the time I start the key is great. Just need to get a reliable parking spot at work near an outlet and I’ll be a happy camper all winter.

Ted’s Patented Egg Nog recipe

ted | chicago,food,house | Thursday, December 6th, 2007


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3rd c sugar
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Pour bourbon over 4 ice cubes in an old fashioned glass. Throw away the other ingredients.


ted | chicago,Gravity's Rainbow Death Pact,travel | Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

I’m back from France. More details to come later, but suffice it to say, I really enjoyed it. The cats are really happy to see us back (Miebutte curled up on my lap right now) and the dogs are very tired from over a week of playing with other dogs. Otherwise the trip was entirely unremarkable in that our house is intact, all pets accounted for and despite being encased in a solid 2cm sheet of ice, the Golf fired right up and got us home safely.

I reckon it also bears mentioning that on the flight back, I finished Gravity’s Rainbow somewhere about 200 km north of Quebec City. This book has a message and that message is STAY AWAY.

tailgated by a truck, again

ted | chicago,driving | Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Direct Transport? I forget the name on the side of truck, but it was from Chattanooga TN, white, with “004” on the back of the cab. I do remember hearing your horn quite frequently as well as seeing your lights flashing repeatedly, you jerk. If I offended your meth-addled brain by having the audacity to let a nice space cushion develop between the car in front of me in the slow traffic on I-90/94 through downtown Chicago on 2007 September 22, around 1100 – 1115, well, that’s too bad for you – the National Safety Council agrees with my driving tactic.

I only wish I had a camera or pen & paper with me that day. Normally right now I would be emailing your bosses pictures of your truck and a description of your dangerous, hyper-aggressive driving right about now.

But, lucky you, I had my car detailed the day before and had not put my usual assortment of flotsam back into my Golf. It’s a shame drivers like you give the other careful, cautious 98% of OTR drivers a bad rap.

Summer must be over

ted | chicago | Wednesday, September 12th, 2007
  • Diesel is creeping up in price
  • 50°F (10°C) in my house this morning
  • Technically we’re in the grey area between labor day and the autumn equinox, but it sure has been beautifully nice and warm during the day but cool and crisp in the shade
  • Sun is starting to set earlier, around 1930 or so



ted | chicago | Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Man, I have some great friends. Not only did one of y’all come a thousand miles to spend most of your time riding around in the back of my car, but a bunch of y’all got together for an expensive dinner, gave us presents and otherwise had a fantastic time. So, thank you: Scawt & Leighanthrax, Megan & Carleton; The Family Pants, Chris, Mrs. Hattendorf, Dar & Jeff.

Big props to Chris for flying in to hang out and for having a rude Old Fashioned recipe.

The birthday beer turned out very nice as well and will improve considerably with some age in the keg. I think I could have added a couple more ounces of hops to this IPA without making it too hoppy, if such a thing is possible.

Despite US Scareways’ best efforts, my lady FINALLY made it out to Santa Barbara for her conference. If they cause the same delays in bringing her back, I will gladly drive straight down there to retrieve her and ship the biggest flaming box of dogshit to us scareways. POSTAGE DUE! HAH.

Chris and I were mesmerized by this video.

don’t be fooled

ted | chicago | Saturday, August 4th, 2007

They are not actually filming a movie called “Rory’s First Kiss” in Chicago. It is actually the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight.

Unless Rory’s First Kiss has Gotham City Police cars in it, I guess.

2007 Summer Midwest Crop Update

ted | chicago | Monday, June 25th, 2007

With apologies to Chris Onstad,

« Previous Page | Next Page »

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck