Hello, forgotten thing

ted | chicago,house,junk,the fam | Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Still here. Still alive. Moving soon.

The Doctor got her dream job. Congratulations!

Spent 2 weeks in Slovakia for work. I liked it there.

Found out work won’t have a position for me where we’re going.

Had a fast roadtrip down to see the fam over the holidays. Everybody seems to be doing good. Found out what “PDM” stands for.

Turned in my resignation notice at work. Looking for a J-O-B in the Baltimore area. No offers or interviews yet.

Slowly panicking.

Not as much packing, mostly throwing junk away.

Trying to get the house repaired good & on the market fast.

Still rock my khakis with a cuff and a crease.

Still fixing things.

ted | house | Saturday, July 18th, 2009

The Maytag didn’t cotton to my Goop repair as the seal flexed too much and the adhesion to the seal itself was fairly low. Stripped it all off by hand, unsurpisingly it all came off in one big chunk. During the test load it still only leaked about 10 drops instead of the 1.5 liters that it did before.

Having forseen this, I picked up a tube of Permatex waterpump gasket silicone RTV – p/n 22071. Put a tiny dab in the actual split in the seal and a very light coating on the outside. Let it cure overnight and a hot water & bleach test run today showed it’s holding fine.

Lightly sprayed the rust spots inside of the cabinet with some Liquid Wrench Super Lube and buttoned it back up.

I like fixing stuff. Still.

ted | chicago,house | Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Wound up using Automotive Goop (not Household, as I initially thought) on the Maytag. About to go try a new load to make sure it held. It went on pretty well and smoothed out well overnight, despite how sticky it was when being applied with gloved hands.

My $15 Zenni Optical glasses also came apart. Again. For the third time. Disassembled all the threaded connectors, applied high strength (red) threadlock compound and reassembled. We’ll see how well they hold up.

I like fixing stuff

ted | house | Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

In this case, my Maytag Neptune washing machine. It’s leaking water. Just so the googles will find it, how about Maytag Neptune Washer Leak and Water leaking from Maytag Neptune front loading washer. There, I feel better about it. I also feel pretty good about diagnosing broken appliances while wearing just underwear.

This guy seems to leak water from two main places:

  1. The inside door panel will leak like a sieve if you try to wash a rug in it, because a rug (fairly stiff) will scratch the everliving shit out of the door panel (relatively soft plastic). Don’t do this. If you do, it can be patched by hand-laying up a couple layers of fiberglass. We did this repair about 3 years ago with some generic autoparts store fiberglass cloth and JB Weld as the resin.
  2. There is a circular diaphragm that acts as the seal betwixt the door frame and the drum frame. At the bottom of this is a drain hose to permit any water that falls in there to drain back into the drum. The interface of the seal and the hose is prone to cracking. Ours did and was patched about 3 years ago with JB Weld. Unfortunately this area is fairly highly stressed and the rigid epoxy doesn’t move with the rubber seal (I assume EPDM, nitrile or buna-n).

Here’s the leaker in question, showing the transition between the semi-circular diaphragm and the drain hose.

Photo 41

And a better shot, showing the water fairly well pouring out .

Photo 42

After this load of laundry is done (nothing like killing two birds with one stone – diagnosis and regular chores) I’ll let the joint dry and probably use one of the myriad more flexible sealers I have around the house. Black RTV, silicone caulk, latex caulk and Household Goop are all calling my name. I’m leaning toward the Goop, but we’ll see what I eventually wind up using.

Not dead, still here

ted | chicago,house | Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Woke up early this morning to torrential rain, the interwebs tells me about 1.6″ in under 2 hours. Po’bucker was very scared (as usual, when there are Big Loud Noises) and had to be invited up onto the bed before he’d calm down. The two of us plus Coltrane plus Po’bucker made for a mighty crowded bed.
But now he’s fine.

And it’s time to get back to paining the livingroom.

More later.

Oh, hi

ted | beer,bike,chicago,computer,driving,food,HAMLOG,house,junk,travel | Monday, December 8th, 2008

Yeah, it’s been a while. So what’s new?

  • Turns out the bike/car wreck was my fault, according to the eyewitnesses. Whoops. Needless to say, it has been handed over to my insurance company for them to deal with. I’m 99% physically healed but my ego is still bruised… as big of a stickler as I am for Same Road Same Rules Same Rights, I caused a wreck. Damn. I am making everything right on the car repair side and turning my mangled Raleigh Grand Prix into a parts bike for a road frame Charlie gave me years ago.
  • My Senator got elected to be the next POTUS which delights me greatly.
  • It’s cold here. And snowy. Just in time, too – I like seasonal weather.
  • We had Fakesgiving III/Bullshit Thanksgiving 2008 at the home of Pete & Miz Royal. Fried a turkey in the chilly 15°F weather, had a couple Manhattans courtesy of Mr. Scott Action (Anton LaVey Jr.) and a great time was had by all.
  • I’m keeping track of what I eat again. And losing weight again. I need to do this, badly. I’ve got two data points from this year. One where I signed up for fitday last year and one where I got weighed for a weight-loss contest at work in August. I’m back down near my August weight but have about 20 pounds to go until I’ve erased 2008’s ravages from my body.
  • Out of homebrew. For now. Apple juice should start getting really, really cheap soon which means it’s about time to make another keg of hard cider.
  • Work’s keeping me busy. One of my projects entails modifying some of our equipment, including getting the die set out of one of our presses, and nobody there has had it out before – fun, challenging and downright scary at times. You go elbows-deep in an 80 ton press and tell me it ain’t scary.
  • My buddy Markh is comin’ up this weekend with his special lady in tow, which excites me. I haven’t seen Mark much since I moved 700+ miles away. Funny, that.

In short, first I:

But now:

And soon I shall again be:

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.

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