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My blog of stuff

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Worst case scenario for US by end of 2008

Here are some possible scenarios that could take place as the year progresses. Bush will insist upon Iran's nuclear plans, furnish proof of their 'evil plans', insist on Iran's involvement with terrorism and start a war with Iran near the end of his presidential term. With a war booming and the possibility of Iran literally attacking US on its own soil and with the war having the potential to go nuclear, gas prices will jump exponentially and other countries now severely burdened by oil prices, others may join with Iran and a potential WW3 could start. A war with Iran could also be a potential cover up just to have a nuclear factory 'explode' or a nuke could be dropped on Iran. Because Iran has large reserves of oil under their soil the oil could be potentially contaminated with radiation and all the massive reserves under their land could now be unusable thus creating a world wide oil based recession. All of this is also a potential way for Bush to pass some new bill to keep him in office past his two terms because of the world crisis he has caused. Thus our president becomes a war mongering dictator. If this does not happen and McCain becomes president, he will try to pick up this exact same course minus the dictator part. Of course, Bush could always start up a war with Iran or set things in motion for it to take place, leave office and screw the next president into a position of having to declare war.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

http://vimeo.com/18046748 This is a pretty good video of the Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse on December 21, 2010 from 1:10 AM EST (6:10 GMT) to 5:03 AM EST (10:03 GMT).

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

What happened to my 1996 Saturn

My Saturn was in an accident almost 2 years ago with a SUV. The SUV hit the front right of my car, busted my flip up headlight and slightly crumpled the radiator support bar as seen in these pics. The left flip up headlight was destroyed a few days later at Sam Dell, the car dealership my insurance made me take my car to for a damage estimate. The Sam Dell idiots ripped the good headlight off instead of taking it off to look at the bumper closer, which had no real damage. But because they are idiots they damaged my car more than the accident did by doing their front end dismantling to finish their estimate. F*cking money grubbing assholes f*ck up my car so much I had to get it towed out of there so they couldn't hold it hostage in an attempt to force me to use them to repair my car. Instead, I have been going to the scrap yard "Pick 'N Pull" and have been getting new pieces, namely: headlights, fender, hood, and wheel well. I now have all the pieces I need and now I just have to put everything back together.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin.com has been hacked

I received this email today: After logging into vbulletin's site, I changed my password and checked out the client forums. vBulletin's software was compromised, again. Earlier this year, PCGamers forum was hacked and then earlier in July, Ubuntu forums was hacked. And just the other day vbulletin.com, vbulletin.org and MacRumors were all hacked. All of the sites were running vbulletin software. References: http://blog.canonical.com/2013/07/30/ubuntu-forums-are-back-up-and-a-post-mortem/ http://www.macrumors.com/2013/11/12/macrumors-forums-security-leak/ https://www.facebook.com/inj3ct0rs/posts/611793255548704 http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum/vbulletin-announcements/vbulletin-announcements_aa/4007195-important-message-regarding-your-account http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=304626 I'm glad we stopped using this software when we did. vbulletin.org runs vb 3 which is what we were running in the end before switching to Invision Power Board. If vb3 is now vulnerable, then all the numerous sites still using it are at risk. Anyone that has used the same password on all sites, should not use any password they have previously used on any vBulletin site. The Ubuntu and MacRumors sites were hacked because a moderator account was broken into. The vBulletin.com and vBulletin.org sites have not stated how they were hacked into, nor do they have a fix for this exploit because it is "being looked into."

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin vs. Xenforo = Lawsuit

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?363883-Internet-Brands-claims-against-Xenforo http://xenforo.com/community/threads/internet-brands-claims-against-xenforo.4727/ Internet Brands, the parent company of vBulletin has filed a lawsuit against Xenforo because XF is developed by former vBulletin head developers and are directly competing with their product. Apparently there maybe contractual breaches from the developers former employment with IB. Of course, customers of vBulletin that were pissed off at vB/IB before are even more pissed off because of this lawsuit. The discussions in the private customer forum at vbulletin.com are only available to licensed owners so its pointless to post a link to it, but there are alot of aggravated customers complaining. Who will win the lawsuit? What software platform will become king in the future? And what about Invisionboard who is lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on the weakened victor? The forum drama continues...

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin vs. IPB custom pages

vBulletin has updated their vBulletin 5 Connect demo.. Heres a prime example of the horrible crap of vbulletin's sofware and one of the obvious reasons we stopped using their product. vBulletin custom page example: http://www.vbulletin.com/vb5demo/custom_page Yay, I could have put text on a page. Here is an example of a random test page that I made on ipb: http://www.ancientclan.com/test.html I have the ability to put anything from the database onto any page I want and in whatever format I want it to appear in. Huge difference. Sure vb allows custom blocks and html, but if it was anything as advanced as IPB, you would think they would have made a better example.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin Suite vs. vBulletin

vBulletin Suite vs. vBulletin - vBulletin Community Forum Once again vb is pissing me off. We spent the extra one time fee of $50 for the blog addon. But since they are changing their packages and price structures around, they are going to dick people over. They still have not announced their price structures or upgrade fees, but now we definitely know that upgrading to vb4 suite will cost us money. They will no longer sell their add-on products individually anymore, which means that we'll have to upgrade to the vBulletin suite to continue getting updates for the blog add-on we already have. This is retarded. I wouldn't mind getting the vbulletin cms, I was planning on it actually. But unless it was worth another $50 (or whatever the price they're changing it to now) I wouldn't buy it. But, now we'll have to buy the suite upgrade which includes the CMS, Blog and Project Tools just to continue getting updates for the blog! WTF!? We have absolutely no need for the Project Tools add-on. If we were still a hosting company we could have used it for a support desk, but we no longer have a need for anything like that now. So thanks alot vb. I hope to god the cost to upgrade to the suite is low because if the price is to high, I'll be willing to spend the little extra cash to switch over the IPB just to spite your fucking money hungry, non-supportive, no major scheduled updates company. And their CMS better be something fucking amazing and have a gallery built into it, because if its just a page maker or a rip-off of vb advanced (free) like the blog is a slightly better rip-off of wordpress (free), then I am going to be even more seriously pissed off.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin strikes again.. PC Gamer Forums

I haven't liked vBulletin for some time now and mostly put that forum software behind me except for the occasional jab about how bad their software is. I came across this interesting update from PC Gamer the other day... with a part that I emphasized: http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/07/26/why-forums-and-comments-are-still-offline/ http://mos.futurenet.com/forum/ I don't visit PC Gamer's website, so I'm not certain what version of vB they were using, but this is pretty huge. The took all of their entire network's vBulletin powered forums offline because it was exploited. Well PC Gamer, I suggest you switch to Invision Power. vBulletin has really gone downhill and I'm glad we stopped using their software when we did.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin 5 Connect... dodged a bullet there

vBulletin went straight from beta 28 to Gold release with no release candidate versions and they even upgraded their official forums to it. WTF. There is no member list, no users online list. Notifications are horrible, its buggy as hell and looks like crap. http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/ The only thing it has going for it IMO is that the mobile version looks decent on a cell phone screen.. but even then I came across some 503 errors and pages that failed to load. So buggy. They say "Enjoy a clean, up-to-date design that supports easier forum navigation for members and visitors alike." I don't care for their idea of 'clean, up-to-date' it doesn't look up-to-date to me at all. In fact the page navigation floats at the top of the screen in large forums with multiple pages of topics. It took me a minute to even realize it was there. For a basic default skin, this looks horrible. It has less than half the features of vB 3.8 and searching doesn't work. All the search results are "unexpected_error"

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin 4.0 upgrade won't cost money, but...

Some answers to important licensing questions - vBulletin Community Forum With so many vbulletin customers bitching about the possibility of vBulletin charging for an upgrade to the vb 4 code, vbulletin has finally announced that they will not charge for the upgrade... but they will be implementing new license terms.. with their current terms they were obligated to not charge for a new major version upgrade. But my guess is that the new terms will allow them to make as much money as possible by screwing people over on future upgrades. The f*cking vbulletin suite upgrade better be reasonably priced. *shakes fist at vb*

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin 4.0 upgrade cost vs. switching to IPB

*blogging my VB vs. IPB crap for future reference* ________________________________ vBulletin = FAIL [ame=http://forums.ancientclan.com/showthread.php?t=9752"]vBulletin = FAIL - Ancient Clan Forums[/ame] Here is the email I received from vbulletin: The vbulletin team announced that vBulletin 4.0 would come out by the end of June 2009. It is October 14th today and with an announcement like this and a new website, you would think vbulletin 4.0 has finally been released! But no! It is still in alpha testing, there is no demo available and I have been given the opportunity to purchase the upgrade to the suite for the $130 discount for only 16-17 more days. And they still have not announced when the vb 4.0 version will even come out. And even though I bought the blog add-on for $50 a year ago, I get the same discount price as someone who only owns just the forum license. wtf. When my license support renewal is up, which last year would have costed me $40 for updates, will now cost me $195 for the new license if I haven't paid the $130 or more by then to download vbulletin 4.0 which may still not be out by then considering they are 4 months behind schedule with no product. So. We will probably continue running vb 3.8 until we find another alternative or vbulletin changes their pricing structure (which I'm sure they won't). I wouldn't mind paying for new forum software, we've spent plenty on vb over the years with renewal costs and one time purchases. But I can't justify staying with the company because of the part I have put in bold above. If we use just the forums and pay the initial upgrade price of $195 or so in january and switch to a free blog system because the version we have won't be compatible with vb 4.0... we'll still be stuck with another issue. Once vb 5.0 comes out (which should be 12-18 months according to a staff member), we'll have to buy a brand new vbulletin license for version 5 at the full price of another $195. And assuming a new major release then comes out every 1 or 2 years, it'll be hundreds of dollars every year or two just to keep using this software that still doesn't do everything I want it to do. I'm really starting to hate vbulletin. If I want to stay with this forum software, the only way I'll save money is by paying the cheaper upgrade cost of $130 which gives me the entire suite, but I only have 16 days to make my decision or pay $200 in January and only get the forum software. WTF! Anyone have any forum or blog recommendations? I was thinking about invision power board, but they're in the process of releasing a new cms like system and I don't know if that will be bundled in with their current suite. But even ipb is $250 for the suite with $60 renewal costs. But even that price is better than the new vbulletin price structure. Apparently, I have to make a decision within 16 days. *kicks vB in the balls*

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin 4.0 new default style

One of the people at vBulletin posted a blog entry showing what we should expect the new default vb style to look like. Seeing as me n lady like to make new styles based off the vbulletin default one, it should change the overall look of the forums. Click this link for some pics of what it'll look like: http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/blog.php?b=2360

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin 4.0

I was looking at the vbulletin website the other day and they made an announcement about the newest version of vb they're working on, version 4.0. Aside from a 3.8x or 3.9 version thats supposed to come out in a couple weeks, the new 4.0 version is probably going to come out in a 6 months to a year (I base this on vb staff's inability to never announce anything anywhere near its actual release date). But it is interesting nonetheless, because version 4.0 is a complete rewrite of the forum code. But the nice thing, is that they announced that they are working with current code modders to make sure existing mods will directly work with the release of the new version. Which means we should be able to keep the arcade, mood feature, vbadvanced on the homepage, etc. even after a major upgrade like this. Very nice. http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=280752

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vBulletin 4 coming...

The new vbulletin should be released in a beta version sometime in the second quarter of 2009. http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=293772 They are finally going to make a new default style, they're also going to make a CMS (content management system), so we can finally change the main ancientclan.com site into something more than a splash page while keeping it integrated into the forums. Yay! And the other really nice thing is that all the attachment problems will finally be fixed. Once they have the new attachment system finished, whenever we upload any image to our blog, the forums or our personal albums, they'll all be integrated. So if we upload a pic to the forum as an attachment it'll be available in our albums as well. And if you upload pics to your album, you can easily attach them into a post by clicking a little button and then choosing any pics from any of your albums to be inserted into any of your posts. And it also sounds like they're going to integrate the blog, albums and social groups into the overall forum too. Everything should be alot spiffier. I'm guessing they'll release the beta around april or may.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

vB updates

Well, the latest vb update has screwed up our blog links in our profiles and I keep getting a db error message in the blog email system. *stabs vb* release a gold version already!

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Updating

Me n lady have been working on the site and forum alot over the past week or so and now we have a new blog system. This seems kind of option heavy for the simple blog system I thought it was. eh, I'll mess with the settings some more and see what happens.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

This is why I will never buy another Motorola phone

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57526994-94/android-users-outraged-over-motorolas-broken-promise/ Next phone I buy will be an HTC or a Samsung. I will never buy a Motorola phone again. I specifically bought this phone because it was on sale, it had basically the same specs as the samsung galaxy at the time and it was guaranteed to be upgraded to the latest android operating system. I never got that upgraded operating system. Android 2.3 is so outdated, that numerous apps are not even available for it. I cannot even run Google Chrome.. wtf. No Vine, no Time Warner app, etc. Numerous basic features on all phones are not available to me because I bought this phone with the belief that I'd only use the old operating system for another month or so. I remember when my brother's Nexus got upgraded to android 4.1, he was talking about how it was like a brand new phone again.. I was looking forward to this upgrade for so long.. and then my hopes were crushed. Say no to Motorola. Don't even bother buying their crap, because its completely unsupported.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Thermostat changed, trying seafoam to stop the annoying tick.

I replaced the thermostat today after work. Now that I had the right deep socket to get those threaded nut head bolts off the thermostat casing, I had no problem replacing it. The temperature seems to be reading correct now on the in dash gauge. But I still have an annoying ticking that happens when I start the car after its been sitting for a while. I have a feeling its an oil lifter, so I put some seafoam in the crankcase. I figure I'll drive it back and forth from work tomorrow and do another oil change to get the crap out. I used 'pennzoil synthetic oil/with cleaning additives' in my last oil change a week ago. I figure the engine will be pretty cleaned out with the cleaning additives in the oil along with seafoam, but the oil probably looks like crap already and will need to be changed again (especially since I put seafoam in it). If the engine still ticks after I change the oil again, then I'll have to take it to a mechanic to check it over. I hate cars.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Taking garbage to the dump

I bought a dump permit last weekend, and since then I have been so damn occupied with destroying old couch pieces, mattresses and other random crap to drop off at the dump I have had little free time to myself on the weekends. Fortunately, next weekend is the last weekend for the dump dropoffs. Unfortunately, it means I will have to spend the next couple days destroying some more mattresses and other crap so it'll fit in my blazer so I can make the last couple drop offs in time. With a 3 hour dump window it only gives you enough time to load your crap, drop it off and repeat until time runs out.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Tacos

Instructions to make: A bunch of Tacos for serving 4-6 people. Ingredients: - Ortega taco mix - 2x - Ground beef - 2 to 2 1/2 pounds - Tomatoes - 3x - Lettuce - 1 package - Sour Cream 1x - Taco cheese (preshredded) - 1 package - Taco shells, Tortellias - 1 combo box (8 or more of each) - Ortega Taco sauce - 1 bottle Instructions: 1) Cook meat as per instructions on taco mix packages. 2) Prepare toppings while meat is cooking. Dice tomatoes, shred lettuce or cheese if not already packaged that way. 3) Bake or microwave taco shells and/or soft tacos as per package. Assemble tacos. One or two tablespoons of meat per shell, add toppings to taste, use a little dash of the taco sauce for extra flavor or heat. I prefer the soft tacos. You can also pick up large tortellias for burritos and make large soft tacos out of them instead.. so good.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Sushi with Spring Rolls

Read my recipe for Sushi for my sushi instructions, except substitute spring rolls aka rice paper sheets for the nori. With spring rolls you can enjoy sushi without having any fishy or seaweed taste. To use the spring roll sheets, get a pie plate and fill it with warm water, take one sheet of rice paper and soak it in the pie plate until its completely soft. Usually this takes about 15 to 30 seconds. Then place the rice paper on your rolling mat, make sure you use plastic wrap on your mat to keep the rice paper from sticking to it or ruining it. Then make your sushi just as you would according to my Sushi recipe. Heres some pics: Spring roll package purchased at local Wegmans: Sushi with spring rolls. I thought my spring rolls were too thin, so I used to sheets at once, but that wasn't necessary, the paper was strong enough with just a single sheet: Heres some pics with grilled chicken in them. Yummy. Also, if you want to add extra flare to your spring roll sushi, put a couple drops of food coloring into the water you'll soak your rice paper in. As the rice paper softens up, it'll absorb some of the color too. I think next time I make sushi, I'm going to change up the amount of rice vinegar I use in it. The vinegar just overpowers too much. And yeah, use just a single spring roll sheet. The rice paper itself is quite starchy and two sheets means too much rice paper flavor in your mouth and that overpowers the overall sushi taste too.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

Sushi

Instructions to make: 2-3 rolls of sushi Ingredients: - Sushi Rice - 2 cups - Nori (Seaweed sheets) - 2-3 sheets - Rice Vinegar - - Sliced carrots - 1 package - Avocado - 1x - Cucumber - 1x - Shrimp or imitation crab meat - 1 small package Instructions: 1) Put two cups of rice in your rice cooker and fill the rice cooker to the "2" line with water, put lid on and set the rice to cook. Remember to leave the lid on the rice cooker through the duration of the cooking and and additional 15 minutes after the rice cooker switches over to 'warm' to ensure the rice fully cooks. 2) While the rice is cooking, prepare your cooking area, get your sushi mat ready, take your nori out of the package so it can air out a bit. Peel your cucumber and slice it into thin length wise pieces (preferably discarding the seed portion or the cucumber but that is not necessary). Peel your avocado and also slice into length wise pieces but keep the avocado thicker for it's texture. Also rinse off and peel your shrimp/crab meat. 3) After the rice is done, you have to add 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar per 1 cup of rice. Since 2 cups of uncooked rice = 6 cups of cooked rice, add 6 tablespoons of rice vinegar to the rice in the rice cooker and fold the rice to mix evenly. Don't crush the rice while folding the vinegar in! Once mixed together, spread the rice out onto a pizza pan or something else covered in aluminum foil. I cover a pizza pan with aluminum foil because it gives you a flat surface for the rice to cool on and it makes cleanup a lot easier. 4) Let the rice cool down for a while and finish any other prep work you have to do. Also, place a piece of clear saran plastic wrap on your sushi mat (makes rolling the sushi easier and less messer, also easier clean up). Place your nori, shiny side down on your sushi mat and spread sushi rice in a thin layer on most of the mat. Leave about a half inch at the top of the nori rice free so the roll can stay together. 5) Place your ingredients length wise at the bottom of your sushi roll. Use a couple large pieces of avocado, a bunch of cucumber, carrots, shrimp/crabmeat, whatever you want to use. Its ok if things overlap too, but you don't want to use much more than what is in this pic or your roll might start falling apart while you cut it or when you pick up the individual pieces. 6) Next, roll the sushi carefully from the bottom up. Apply some light pressure while you roll and tuck the ingredients in with your fingers if it starts falling apart or not staying in place while you roll it. 7) Roll it back and forth a little bit and squeeze the roll slightly while wrapped up in the mat to get everything kind of solidified together. Not to hard tho, you do not want to crush the rice and ruin the texture. 8) The top of the roll had that little empty 1/2 flap of nori, wet your finger and apply a moisture to that flap and push it against the roll. This will make that little flap grip the roll and keep everything together. 9) Place your roll of sushi on a cutting board and use a sharp wet knife to cut your individual pieces. Sushi rice is extremely sticky, you will need to run your knife under water and gently wipe off any stickyness or rice off your knife before cutting each piece. Cut the pieces to the thickness you want, if the sushi starts falling apart on you while you cut, cut slightly larger pieces or clean your knife/wet it more. Let the knife be pretty much dripping wet even while you cut for easier cutting. The end pieces look ugly but are still edible. I usually give them to my kid or eat them myself before presentation. 10) Next roll. Repeat steps above. Notice I used more shrimp? mmmmm. 11) This is the amount of leftover rice I had. I'm pretty certain I made three rolls with 2 cups of uncooked rice, but I probably ate it while making the other two rolls I took pictures off. (I can't remember.) 12) Finished sushi with leftover ingredients. As you can see, you shouldn't waste your time cutting all of that 1 cucumber and 1 avocado like I did unless you have a guinea pig that likes leftover cucumber like me. Probably half a cucumber and half an avocado is plenty for 2-3 sushi rolls. 13) Finished sushi pics! Eat and enjoy! Don't forget you can use a little wasabi sauce or soy sauce or mix them together a bit for dipping your sushi. I sometimes use duck sauce because soy sauce usually tastes too salty for me just like wasabi is way to friggin hot. I'd rather taste the sushi and the different textures in it than have the dipping sauce overtake my pallet. Pickled ginger is usually served with sushi, but its mainly used to 'reset' your taste buds when you have a variety of sushi on your plate. Its best to eat a little piece of ginger inbetween different pieces of sushi or sashimi to fully enjoy the taste and texture of each different piece. If all your eating is just the one sushi roll like I have made here, I'd pass on the ginger and just enjoy the flavor of the sushi.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

St. Louis style ribs

Instructions to make: St. Louis style ribs Ingredients: - Package of St. Louis style ribs - 2 to 3 lbs - 1/2 to 1 bottle of KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce - 1/2 shot of Maker's Mark whiskey - Tablespoon of honey Instructions: 1) Boil your ribs in water, they'll boil faster if you keep it covered. Once the water starts boiling, boil the ribs about 15 minutes to a 1/2 hour until they are mostly cooked. Or all the way cooked if you want. For these ribs, I boiled them about a 1/2 hour until their internal temperature was 175 degrees. Pork is fully cooked at 170 degrees, so these ribs were already fully cooked before I put them on the grill. (I use my little meat thermometer all the time now. ) 2) While the ribs are boiling, turn your grill on to start heating up and also, get your sauce ready. Usually I use just plain KC Masterpiece because when that sauce is cooked on the grill, alot of the moisture cooks out of the sauce and it thickens up perfectly for ribs. For this recipe, I used half a bottle of the sauce, squeezed in about a tablespoon of honey, and added half a shot glass of whiskey for a little kick. The alcohol will cook right out of the sauce, so it just adds flavor, like I said, a little kick. 3) Once the ribs are finished boiling, remove them from the pot and let them cool off a little. You can refrigerate them for 15 minutes if you want, but I just let them sit out at room temperature about 5 minutes. 4) Now that the grill is nice and hot, turn off the burner you'll be putting your ribs over (left burner is off in this pic) and keep the other burner on high. This will let the ribs cook with indirect heat. Put your ribs on the top rack of your grill, coat one side, flip it and then coat the other side. Close the lid and let the grill heat up those ribs for a good 10 minutes. 5) Flip the ribs over and this time, heavily coat the top with sauce, let it pool up on it so it'll be really thick. Close it up and let it cook another 10 minutes. Flip the ribs again and repeat another thick layer, this time turn on the left burner on low to add more heat. Keep repeating this process one or two more times if you have enough sauce. 6) Take the ribs off the grill, the sauce should be really thick now. Let the ribs cool down a couple minutes before you cut them. 7) Look at those ribs. Enjoy! After eating these, the sauce does need a bit more sweetness to it. Add another tablespoon of honey or dissolve about a 1/4 cup of sugar into the sauce before putting them on the ribs.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone

 

So much Blazer maintenance, oil change, serpentine belt, coolant flush, etc.

A couple weeks ago the Blazer's service engine soon light came on. I went to Advance Auto Parts and used one of their scanners to find out I had a 'Coolant below thermostat threshold' error code. Basically, my coolant needed to be replaced and also my thermostat, then possibly the coolant temperature sensor. A couple days later I went to Valvoline instant oil change and had them do a coolant flush and also replace the serpentine belt. The serp belt I could have done myself, but the guy told me it was a lifetime warranty and they'll replace it free of charge whenever it starts showing alot of wear, so I figured it would be a good deal because I'll probably need at least one more belt in the next 3-4 years and it saved me the hassle of doing it myself in 30 degree temperatures. The service engine soon light did not go off. I figured it wouldn't, because I would need to replace the thermostat too. Then I got snowed in at my house after a 2 foot snow storm. The car didn't drive anywhere for a couple days. Then on last Sunday, when I was about to go to the local grocery store, I noticed a gas smell. I went to the store and when I came back I noticed the smell still. Turns out the fuel line near the tank started leaking a steady drip of gas. wtf. I didn't have much daylight left so I got under the car, eventually found the pinhole leak, and I proceeded to patch it by placing a piece of cut hose over the hole and then use hose clamps to tighten it down. I must have over tightened it and it started leaking again which pissed me the hell off because at that point I was soaking wet from melting snow/ice (2 feet of melting snow) and pooling gas. After my hands went numb from the cold gas and my arm was killing me because I was awkwardly positioned under the rear differential, I decided to do a really cheap ass move and cut the finger off a nitrile throwaway glove, wrapped it around the pin hole leak, and clamped it down with four zip ties. Its held for a week now with no additional leaking. I was going to take it off and hose clamp it correctly with my piece of hose, but another issue came up. About 3 days ago, the car started making a weird ticking sound after I initially turned the car on. It only lasted for a couple seconds, but I thought it was a bad sign. Turns out it would only do it when the car was sitting for more than a couple hours and the length of time the ticking would last for depended on how cold it was outside. I went back to Advance Auto parts and had them test the alternator and battery because alternators, batteries and starters are all connected to a ticking sound during ignition. The battery and alternator were fine. He couldn't test the started because it would have to be off the engine, and on top of that he said that test would only check to see if the starter can start a car, which is not the problem because the noise only happens after the car is turned on. The guy was pretty knowledgeable and he suggested I do an oil change and use a oil filter with a drain back valve. I guess he meant anti-drain back valve because he told me I probably had oil sludge starting to build up and after the car was sitting for a while, the oil would accumulate in the oil pan and that ticking sound was the thick oil slowly making its way back up to the top of the engine. And that a good oil filter would prevent the oil from draining down completely to the oil pan, which is what an anti-drain back oil filter does. While I was there, I went ahead and bought the thermostat. So, today, I did the oil change on the blazer. I spent the extra money and bought a penzoil full synthetic oil with cleaning additives ($28 for 5 quarts, costly), and I bought a Fram Tough Guard oil filter ($8, $5 more than other filters) which has a 'anti-drain back valve built into it'. I just finished the oil change, my coat is soaked because the tarp I put down over the melting snow/ice was a piece of crap and soaked straight through. Anyway, I started the car up after the oil change and no ticking sound. I'll find out tomorrow morning if the ticking sound is completely gone. I still need to do the thermostat, but my coat is soaked, I need a new tarp and I think I'm going to wait until next weekend when its 40+ degrees again. From what I read, a bad thermostat only causes a little worse fuel efficiency, so I figure if its not damaging the car, it can wait another week.

Sledgstone

Sledgstone



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