12/31/2010

For Everything Else There's Mastercard

So my Heater stopped working last Friday 12-24-2010. I went up to see why and could not tell. Called Goettl to look at it. seemed some kind of overheat sensor tripped because one of the pipes on my heat exchanger popped loose from it's mount. The pipes are press fit in place no welding.
Goettl no longer is owned by Goettl but by ARS (whoever they are). Apparently 2 years ago they sold out leaving everyone high and dry. The "Goettl" repair man told us that the part is no longer available and that we would have to buy a new unit for only $9000.00 minus a $1500.00 government rebate (rebate ends 1-1-2011). Yeah right, I am still paying for a new sewer line and not about to get a new AC unit until I absolutely have to.

This morning we removed the heat exchanger, and took it to Cliff's welding in Mesa. Went and had lunch, walked around a Goodwill for awhile and picked it up again.
I had them weld all the pipes so the exchanger will last longer.
We re-installed it, installed new screws wherever we could, cause the old ones were stripped or rusted. Turned it on and she fired right up.
     Half a tank of Gas for my Brother $20.00
Lunch while we waited for the repair $35.27
                                      Welding job $62.48
                Box of self tapping screws $4.50
        Labor for my 2 brothers help $120.00
                                                Total $242.25
                                                         ------------
                                           Saving $8757.75 PRICELESS!

10/11/2010

Home Video of our Dream Vacation


Good times....
Good times....
My favorite was when my lawn was ground to a pulp.




10/09/2010

Our Dream Vacation.

Hey everyone, Check out these pictures of our dream vacation, and it will only cost us $6800.00.
Yup... That's right, Kathi and I get an all expenses paid vacation to...
A NEW SEWER LINE!
Thank you Orangeburg pipe!

9/18/2010

I WIN!

Me: Tank you have to go!
Tank: No way I like it here, it's comfy.
Me: Well, your going, but first you have to loose some weight!
Tank: What do you mean?
Me: We're going to have a talk. SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!
Tank: Wait! What are you doing with that SAW!?!?
Me: Muhuhuhahahaha!!!!
Tank: AAAaaaaaarrrrrggggggghhhhh!!!!! what a world... what a world....

And so I cut him up in to little pieces.


He begged and pleaded for his life, but I would have none of it. I made one concession, I removed the door to haul his carcass out. Never give up! Never Surrender!

9/17/2010

My Stock Pics

Recently found where 2 more of my pictures have been published. I found this site. Here is a pdf preview with one of my pictures on the cover. The book can be purchased much cheaper at Amazon.com.
This picture is on the cover.
This picture is on page 17.

9/12/2010

Making Progress

Taking advantage of the unusually cool weather this last week. I expanded the hole in the front of the tank and cut out a large section of the rear of the tank.
Never Give up! Never Surrender!

9/05/2010

That Damn Tank

Previous owners of our house had installed a solar hot water system. When we got the house it wasn't working. I had long since removed the panels from the roof as their weight was damaging it. However, the hot water holding tank that was part of the system, was installed on the side yard, near the actual hot water heater. For some STUPID reason they had built a "closet" around it. Apparently they figured this tank would never break or need to be replaced because there is absolutely no EASY way to remove the tank without destroying the closet or the tank.

SO for the 14 years we have lived here I have been trying to remove the tank with out destroying the closet. A couple of years ago I bought a pair of pneumatic shears to cut away the outer covering of the tank, but had nothing to cut the tank up with. The tank cannot be rotated as there are pipes coming out the top of it in to the closet containing the hot water heater. The pipes cannot be removed because I cannot reach the solder joint without removing the roof. It cannot be tilted as the tank extends all the way up into the top of the closet. Nope, I will have to cut a large hole in it and then cut the tank up from the inside and remove it piece meal. Cutting torches and grinders are out of the question as I do not want to burn the house down.

I recently borrowed a reciprocating saw, and picked up some VERY expensive metal cutting blades from Lowe's. I managed to cut a decent sized hole in the tank. Hopefully over the next few weekends I will have this damn tank gone. NEVER give up! NEVER surrender!

7/31/2010

Slow Summer

It's been a slow summer. That which I do to make money is taking up most of my time. Anything New that I have been doing is on Youtube.

6/15/2010

Eric's and Coleen's wedding

For those that do not know Eric Zanovitch got married last weekend 6-12-2010 (isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?). Here is a link to the pics Kathi and I took, And here is the video of the actual wedding.

On the way up to Las Vegas we rode a helicopter at Hoover Dam.

I was going to stop and maybe go on a tour but the place was a zoo, traffic was slow, etc. As we got to the other side I saw a sign that said "Helicopter rides $29", So I pulled over.

The $29 ride was only 2 minutes long, but they had a 5 minute ride for $59 that takes you over the lake and the dam, as well as the Mike O'Callaghan - Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge being constructed. The third option was a $99 dollar 10 minute ride. We chose the middle one, I grabbed my Sony bloggie, and my Sony HDR-XR150 handycam and started filming with both as soon as I could. You will note that towards the end Kathi and I are wearing what look like fanny packs, but they are not, they are flotation devices. We surmised their purpose was to make the recovery of our mangled bodies easier in the event of a horrific crash in the lake (I digress).

Kathi sat up front as I was too fat for the weight and balance. I did my best to film whatever was interesting with 2 cameras, and try to see the sites.

Kathi later said "Everyone should get to ride in a limousine that isn't taking you to a funeral, and a helicopter that isn't air-evacing you to a hospital." Well I haven't rode in a limousine yet.

To make the video, I synced up the 2 video streams in Sony Vegas Pro 7. and then chose the more interesting parts of the 2 streams. I chose the music for obvious reasons (we're in a helicopter what else would we use).

The helicopter is a Bell 206 Jetranger (thank you Daniel). If you think the ride is expensive, understand that they cost around $500 per hour to operate. The company is Dam helicopter, inc. The helicopter was very small inside. There were 4 passenger seats and it was about as roomy as my wife's Ford Focus. There were no other passengers.

5/06/2010

Major Tom coming home

Youtube blocked this so I uploaded it to Google video.


It's irritating as There are dozens of copies of this song on youtube, and I am pretty certain they don't have permission either.

3/23/2010

More Video's

There are more videos on my Youtube site. I have uploaded some HD Videos as well.

3/04/2010

First Music Video

For those that don't know, I have a channel on Youtube. Where I have been uploading some of my video's. Here is my most recent one.

2/20/2010

Sanity

I will now take from you, your Sanity.

1/31/2010

How to Crash Airplanes 101

So... a week ago I bought a Parkzone Radian from the Hobby Bench on 19th ave and Northern, and Daniel bought an upgraded Guan Li A-10 from nitroplanes.com. We were both chomping at the bit to fly them this weekend.

Self - "No don't do it, it's too windy!"
Me - "Shut up self!"
Self - "Maybe Daniel will talk some sense in to him".
Daniel - "FLY AIRPLANES!"
Self - "I'll be over here if anyone needs me...."

So my plane is totaled, There were pieces missing and I can't glue the nose back together. I am trying to locate a replacement, but no one has the fuselage in stock right now. Instead I took the receiver out of the Radian and put it into the Hawk sky, so I can fly it on 2.4ghz. That almost ended up bad as I had the elevator servo reversed on my first take off attempt today, and the plane was tail heavy because I didn't have the battery far enough forward. I would have flow again today but just after I landed the wind kicked up again...

Self - "Oooooh, Now you listen to me!"
Me - "Whatever."

Daniel tried flying again today and was doing a pretty good job until his transmitter or receiver cutout and the plane dropped out of the sky like a rock.
The above image was taken seconds after his A-10 crashed (trips over).
So then we had to repair it.



So after much epoxy and tape we got it back together.
Daniel reports later in the day that there is a problem with one of the motors.
We also worked on his old Cessna, which has 2 bad servos and now a broken propeller, This is what happens when a propeller walks up your arm, when it comes on unexpectedly.

1/24/2010

Daniel's First Flight

Yesterday my nephew Daniel stopped by with Karen his mother, he found out I had an RC simulator. So he stayed overnight playing on the simulator. Since he was real good at it (and he had sort of flown an RC plane before), the next day (today) we got up somewhat early and went to the vacant lot and, I flew the plane once, then let Daniel fly. Here is that Flight.

Here is another Flight Daniel did with the camera facing to the rear.

And this flight I flew with the camera mounted on the belly of the plane.

Finally here is Daniels flight with the camera pointed to the right. Watch for the loop.

Total flights for today was 5 for me and 5 for Daniel.

1/14/2010

The Tasting

If you have been reading my previous Posts Here, Here, Here, and Here. You know I have made my own BACON! So.... How does it taste. Well pretty damn good. First off this is BACON! that is not for the faint of heart. This is Fire Fighter BACON! This BACON! makes the smoke alarm go off when you bring it out. The closest any other BACON! comes to this is "Newsom's Old Mill Store Hickory Smoked Country Bacon". Since I used Alton Brown's Scrap Yard Challenge BACON! cure, this BACON! is a little on the sweet side (but not much) you definitely get the taste of molasses and cider every once in a while. The BACON! is not salty, in fact The next time I make it I will drop the Sugar and maybe add an additional half cup of salt to the brine. It does not have the "hammy" taste that many bacon's have. There are no nitrates in this cure so the meat will not be a pretty pink (but I couldn't care less). Because of the extra sugar the BACON! tends to brown quickly, and if cooked at too high heat will burn easily. The smokiness varies but is refreshingly strong. One of my brothers described it as "eating a burning building, or campfire" There is relatively little curling, and almost no splatter as I did not "inject" the cure into the bacon like most manufactures do. The meat has a light almost porky flavor and the fat is where you will find the molasses and apple cider flavors. Mike reported the BACON! is good, but every once in a while you bite in to a part of it that taste "REALLY GOOD". The meat is very tender, as compared to how it was before being cured (I cooked some up before hand to compare).

Things I would change:
Get skinned, loin end bellies (they are thicker).
Skip the extra sugar in the cure.
Add a little extra salt.
Cure the bacon for 5 days instead of 3 (cure needs more time to penetrate).
Smoke with Cherry, or Apple wood.

1/10/2010

First Crash

So we went out today to fly the plane again, even though it was a bit too windy. First flight I did pretty good, the repairs to the landing gear held. Landing was tough as I had a 5 to 10 mph head wind. The plane either wanted to stay up or wanted to nose dive. Flight 2 went well. Flight 3..... eh not so much. I misjudged the distance and flew over the apartment complex nearby (which I did not want to do, the wind was blowing me way off course). On the last go around I was over the parking lot and flew into a palm tree (ouch). It put a small dent in the right wing, and broke the hot glue joints (nothing major). Foam planes can take a lot of punishment. Here is the video.

Flew it several more times, landings were a bit tricky. So you know if you haven't destroyed the plane, why stop? The last flight was going good, I even did another barrel roll, but as I came in for a landing I over corrected, flipped over, and nosed dived straight into the ground. Severely bending the landing gear, and munging the nose. See for your self.


More pictures from Chris.
Oh The Carnage, Note the cockpit cover to the right of the plane.

Well "Trips over", we went home. Later, using epoxy and packing tape I glued all the cracks in the foam, and tried to put the nose back into shape. I straightened the landing gear, re-glued the wings on, and we will see how she fly in a week or two.

First Flight

Ever since I was a wee lad, I always wanted a remote controlled airplane, but I/we never had the money/time, or whatever. So recently I started looking online and found a website www.nitroplanes.com. I saw a lot of planes I liked, and had to have, but finally settled on something more on the trainer side. I picked the Dynam Hawk Sky (weird name, I guess "Sky Hawk" was already taken). Anyways. I ordered it and the E-sky Flight sim and USB 4 Channel transmitter. I read up on it and it had some bad reviews, so I downloaded Clearview and installed that on my Windows XP Media Center pc, with our 37" HD TV. In the meantime I ordered an extra Battery and one of these.

Although I have actual flight time, and soloed in a Piper Warrior, used many different flight simulator, I figured it would be worth the money to practice on the sim before trying to fly the real thing. Turned out to be a good idea, as I crashed a lot. So for the last week I have been practicing for 1 or 2 hours a night. Of the many planes I tried the Cessna 182 seemed to fly like a real "small plane". I tried to find a Hawk Sky to download, but no one had that Aircraft. The closest was the Easy Star but it doesn't have ailerons.

Yesterday morning while the BACON! was smoking I began building the plane. A couple of days prior I had found a forum discussing the "Hawk Sky" and read up on it, good thing to. I put it together using Epoxy and hot glue, instead of the glue that came with it. Here it is disassembled.
The instructions were relatively easy to follow, even though they were written in Engrish. Prior to actual assembly I connected everything up and verified all servos worked. I put the rudder and elevator on with epoxy, and the main wings on with a small amount of hot glue on the leading and trailing edge wing roots, this way if I needed to take it apart again I could. I attached the servo cables to the rudder and elevator, and tightened them with loctite. The Instructions had no information about how to wire or attach the motor (So I guessed). I also insulated the connections with shrink tubing instead of the small and inadequate insulators provided. Since the tech support at nitroplanes lied about the second battery I ordered I had to modify both of them so I could use them in the AC. Once assembled I centered and trimmed all the servos so that all the control surfaces were centered and neutral. Later in the day Chris and Mike came over and we went to a vacant lot near 40th street and McDowell (the city of Phoenix does not allow RC planes in their parks). Here is the plane Fully assembled and ready to go.
I did not put on the decals as I do not care that much about them, and they were munged in the box. I also mounted the small gum spy camera in the cockpit, So without further ado here is that video.

Just before flying it today I did some practice with a similar glider. I would say that the Clearview sim helped a lot, but the actual airplane was easier to fly than any of the ones in the simulator. I would have had more footage but the spy camera for some reason discharged it's battery very quickly. So here is some footage from the ground. Please excuse the glitches the tape needs to be replaced.
There were only 2 mishaps, One when I landed the first time (the landing gear fell off and we had to look for the wheels). However I was warned that this would happen, So I hand launched it for the remainder of the day, and the second was when the first battery got low and I lost signal, the plane semi crashed on a pile of dirt. It was kind of like those cheesey effects where in TV shows the plane always flies behind a hill before crashing, and all you see is the explosion.
I found the plane to be quite responsive. I did several loops and a couple of barrel rolls (Star Fox would be proud). I even strafed Mike and Chris, and almost hit myself as well. So here are a bunch of pictures courtesy of Chris.

Tonight I Reattached the wheels to the landing gear and epoxied it back to the frame. I also epoxied some Teflon tape to the underside of the fuselage so that if I have to do anymore belly landings it will save some wear and tear on the foam.
So anyone looking to buy this aircraft as their beginner RC plane will not be disappointed, and to anyone that says you can't learn to fly an RC plane using just a simulator, my response is:

Joseph Ducreux Sings - I

1/09/2010

The Pellicle and the Smoke

First let me say that the freezer bags half filled with water did a very good job of keeping the cure at around 36 degrees. 4 bags last 24 to 36 hours.

I got home last night around 5pm. drained the cure and hung up one of the slabs to dry for an hour. While that was happening I setup the smoker.
To power the fan I used an old multipurpose hobby electronics deal, thingy....(I don't remember what it is called). It has a signal generator, variable ac power supply, and variable dc power supply (among other things). Which was given to me by one of my sisters ex-husbands.
Anyways, I hooked the variable dc connection to the fan and set the voltage so that it would run the fan at the lowest voltage that would make the blades move. I then attached this to an electric timer to turn on and off about every 15 minutes. Off 15 minutes on 15 minutes.
I loaded the smoker with hickory wood chips and kept an eye on it till 23:00. Adding wood chips every 30 minutes or so. I ran a rod through the meat and hung it in the center of the cold smoker. I had to cut off the bottom 3 inches to keep it from touching the bottom of the can. I hung that piece from the rod as well.
After 5 hours of smoking I pulled the meat out and cut it into 4 or 5 inch wide pieces and froze them. I will slice later. I immediately fried some up, but will save the taste report for later. This morning I got up at 06:00 and did the same thing with the second slab. I will smoke this for at least 6 hours.