I took this video yesterday in the late afternoon. We have a family of wrens that like our bird seed and the babies are still too young to fear humans completely. I was about a foot away when I took this video.
So I finished up the front brake job with no real problem. The only thing I forgot to do was spray on some anti-squeal on the backs of the brake pads, but thats only because I didn't have any at the time. Anyway, the front brakes are good, but we've been getting some vibrations in the steering wheel and the ABS is randomly kicking on. So I decide to check out the back brakes again. Seeing as I paid Midas to do my back brakes about 6 months ago, I never really looked at the job all too carefully aside from messing with the back left e-brake as I mentioned in another blog post.
So, I start on the back right, I start taking it all apart and checking the work they did and thats when I realize one of the caliper pins is completely seized in place and the other one has limited movement. It took me about an hour to work that fucking pin out with my socket wrench while constantly spraying it with freeze off. wtf. I get that out, cleaned it, greased it. Ok. I go to take the rotor off and its locked in place on the e-brake. I had to whack that sunofabitch off with a rubber mallet. The rotor comes off, and so does the e-brake. After looking it over, the emergency brake was such a tight fit in the rotor, once its in place, it was causing a constant rubbing on the inside of the rotor. So I filed and sanded the damn e-brake down so it'll have a cm of breathing room. I cleaned everything up, re-assembled, tested thoroughly and its now in good shape.
Roughly 5 hours on Saturday. It took me about 5 hours to get that pin out, clean everything and sand down that e-brake. So I figured the back left couldn't be as bad... Yeah. So yesterday (Sunday), I took the back left off and even tho the rotor came off easily, the brake dust on the inside of the rotor showed the e-brake was rubbing too. And of course, another seized pin in the caliper. WTF did I pay those guys for? Another 5 hours later and this side is now done.
I took it for a slight test drive yesterday and the braking felt better than ever. I didn't get a chance to drive that far to see if the vibration problem is fixed yet, but I would assume the stuck caliper pins and rubbing brakes was the cause behind all that.
I will never go back to that Midas again. Fucking rip off bastards.
This is a brief walk through of how to do a front brake job on a 2001 Blazer. If you are using this as a reference to do your own brake job, please keep in mind that all cars are different and not everything will look the same or be the same socket or wrench sizes. Also, if you have never done a brake job before, I highly recommend you have someone help you who has done them before so you don't mess something up. If you mess up your brakes, your brakes could fail and you could die or kill others accidentally.
Anyway, with that little disclaimer out the way, get everything you'll need together.
Unlike some of my other blog entries, the following pictures precede the instructions that go with that picture. I'm sure you'll figure it out.
Everything from left to right:
1) Impact driver that plugs into cigarette lighter.
2) Wheel chocks
3) Tools on the bottom include and pry bar, 1/2 socket wrench, brake caliper clamp (I can't remember the actual name of it), rubber mallet.
4) A can of Brakleen and a bottle of brake/caliper greese.
5) Mechanics tool set.
6) Paper towels.
7) 2-1/2 ton Jack stand
8) 2 new rotors and ceramic brake pads. Ceramics are better and don't have nearly as much brake dust, which means they keep your tires looking much cleaner and free of alot of grime.
Tools and items not shown include my 3-ton floor jack, a bottle of "freeze off" for rusted bolts and an inside shot of my tool set.
1) Look in your car manual and locate the correct points underneath your car where you can safely jack your car up. You do not want to jack your car on a part of the frame that you think will be ok, only to have your jack put all the weight of the front end of the car on a part of metal that can't take it and thus it'll fuck up your car. BTW, this is my 3-ton floor jack. Before you start jacking up your car, place your wheel chocks around your rear tires so your car does not move on you while jacking. (I forgot to take that pic.)
2) If you are using the jack that came with your car, jack up your car high enough to place a jack stand underneath it and lower it down onto it for safety. The jacks that come with cars are pieces of shit and you should not trust them with your head or limb under a vehicle. Only jack your car up high enough for the tire to freely rotate, about a half inch off the ground. I have faith in my jack, so I generally keep it up constantly, but I'll place a jackstand underneath in case some emergency happens and my jack brakes.
3) BTW, you should probably check your new rotors and brake pads at the store to make sure they are free of nicks or brakes.
4) Using an impact driver, most are powered by air compressors and are very expensive but this little one was really cheap and only costed me $30. I bought a better impact driver for it tho ($10ish), because the ones it comes with looked like shit to me.
5) If your tire has plastic covers covering the lug nuts, take them off by using a socket on them and taking them off easily by hand. No wrench needed for that. Then use your impact driver to take the lug nuts off. Always loosen the lug nuts first before removing them. Loosen them one after another by loosing the next lug nut opposite the one you just loosened. Never loosen them clockwise or counterclock wise. The lug nuts are on extremely tight, if you take them off one by one or loosen them incorrectly you run a big chance of fucking up your lug nuts and breaking some bolts.
6) Now that the tire is off, you can place it on the ground and use it as a seat to take care of the rest of the job.
7) Your caliper is the outer part of the brake system. It is connected to the car with a brake line. The caliper is only held on two bolt pins. I call them bolt pins because they are connected like bolts, but once you remove them, the length of the bolt is actually a greesed long metal pin. Its made like that so the bolt pin holds the caliper to the brake pad holder but also gives it the slight movement it needs for brake operation. I forgot to take a picture of the bolt pins. Also, if the bolts do not want to come off, you may have to spray them with some freeze off. If you use freeze off, try not to spray the rotor or brake pads with it. It acts like a lubricant and will cause your brakes to fail. Because I'm replacing the rotors, its not as big an issue. Also, remember which direction actually loosens and tightens the bolts. Because the bolts are facing you, you have to figure out which direction to turn them. If you over tighten them, you will probably shread the bolt head off and that will lead to a costly repair job. Once those pins are off, the caliper may not want to come off because of the brake pressure in the caliper. You will most like have to use a small pry bar to slowly work it off.
8) Once you have taken the caliper off, place it on something so it does not hang from the brake line. A brake line job is extremely expensive and you do not want to damage that brake line by having something that weighs about 5-10 pounds dropping and damaging it. Next, you have to take off the brake pad holder. It has an actual name, but I can't remember it. Its only two bolts like the caliper, but these are actual bolts. And the top one of mine is in a tight spot. I had to carefully turn my steering wheel to rotate it into a position where I could get it all the way out. And even then my socket wouldn't fit on it. I had to go to the hardware store and pick up a 18mm wrench just for this job. These bolts haven't been off in a long time either, so I had to use some freeze off on them and even wack it a couple times with the rubber mallet to loosen it up.
9) Now that that is off, heres what everything looks like separated. You can take off the old brake pads at this point. You may have to use a rubber mallet to wack them off the brake pad holder if they are stubborn.
10) Here are some pics of the old rotor compared to the new one. The thickness isn't bad on the old one, but it has some bad groves in it. Rotors are supposed to be smooth. Also, if you wanted to, you could take your old rotors to a mechanic and have them machined. As long as they still have a good thickness to them, having them machined back to smoothness will make them re-useable. It generally costs about half as much as buying new rotors. It depends tho.
11) Before you put your new rotor on, heavily spray that bastard down with brakleen to clean it. It may look clean, but you must make sure it is free from all oils usually leftover from manufacturing. Brakleen dissolves oil and greese away and drys very quickly.
12) If your brake pads came with clips, follow the directions that came with them and apply the clips. Also, spray the side of the brake pads that will come in contact with the rotor with brakleen.
13) Now prepare your caliper for the new hardware. Your caliper pistons are probably still out a bit. I like to put some caliper/brake greese on them at this point. Next put one of your old brake pads on the caliper and use the brake caliper clamp to push the caliper flush. If your car has two pistons like this one, alternate back and forth between the two until they are both flush around the same time. A C-Clamp can also be used for this if you have one. Once thats done, wipe off some of the excess greese with paper towels.
14) Now reassemble the entire thing. The rotor goes right on. I recommend reattaching the brake pad holder first before putting the new brake pads on. Also, if you accidentally get any greese or grime from your hands on the rotor or the part of the brake pads that touch the rotor, respray them with brakleen. You do not want greese or oil on those parts. Also, make sure you do not get any greese or oil on the lug nut bolts. If you do, spray those with brakleen too.
15) Heres a side view shot. You'll notice I put some brake greese on the two metal nubs where the brake pads are connected to the brake pad holder. The brake pads should have a little movement to them when sitting on there and the greese helps with that small amount of movement.
16) Now put the caliper back on. It should fit on pretty easy now that the caliper pistons are pushed back. When putting the bolt pins back in, I would rub some brake/caliper greese on them first and slide them back into place and then tighten them on. Also, becareful not to over tighten any of the bolts. Tighten them to the point where you can't move them anymore, then give them one last strong tug to make sure they are tight. Other than that, don't over do it. Once the caliper is back on, test your brakes by having someone turn the car on and press on the brakes slowly all the way down. Then release slowly. Do that a couple times and try moving the rotor while the brake is down. If it doesn't move then you did good. Once the brakes are released, make sure the rotor moves again freely. It may be a little harder to move it now, but as long as it moves, then good. Doing this a couple times gets the calipers back into position for correct braking on the road.
17) Now put your tire back on and, by hand, thread your lug nuts on and tighten them. Once they are on, bust out your impact driver and tighten them up in an opposite motion. Once they are all tight, tighten them even more. At least 5-10 clicks on your driver. Then remove your jack stand and slowly lower your jack down. Do not do it too fast. Let the weight distribute itself. Once the tire is down, remove your jack and then tighten your lug nuts again with a socket wrench to make sure they are on really friggin tight.
18) Now repeat all this on the other front wheel, because you must always do a brake and/or rotor job in pairs. Also, whenever you replace your rotors, you must replace your brake pads. Never put old brake pads on new rotors. New brake pads on old rotors are ok as long as the old rotors are smooth on both sides.
Heres a couple pics of me fixing my blazer's emergency brake yesterday. A stupid little clasp at the top of the ebrake held in with a phillips head screw (just underneath the top of the brake shoe) was bent back and the brake shoe was not flush against the back plate. It caused all kinds of popping, clicking sounds and vibration while I was driving. So to fix it I pushed the e-brake shoe flush against the back plate and pushed the metal piece back into place and tightened it up. While I was at it, I used a small wire brush and srubbed of a bunch rust build up to make sure the ebrake would work smoother. I then followed it up with a quick clean up job with some brakekleen and an easy reassembly. Simple easy fix that just saved me $80 in labor from a mechanic.
These pics show the brakes and rotor off revealing the ebrake shoe:
Instructions to make:
BBQ Beef sandwiches out of leftover beef roast.
Serving size: About 5-6 sandwiches per 1-1/2 pounds of beef.
- Leftover beef roast. (1-1/2 pounds)
- 1 bottle of BBQ Sauce
This recipe is for how to make your leftover beef roast into bbq beef. If you do not have leftover beef roast or do not know how to cook it. You can still do this recipe, just upscale it. To make a beef roast, buy a beef top round roast, rinse it off and put it in a crock pot. Put water in the crock pot so the roast is about half covered in water and put a couple beef bouillon cubes in it. Sprinkle pepper and garlic salt on the roast, cover and set the crock pot on low and let it cook for about 8 hours.
After 8 hours, follow this recipe at step 3.
1) Take your leftover beef roast and put it in a mini crock pot, or full size crock pot. (If you are using a full size crock pot, cut your leftover roast into smaller pieces to fill the bottom of the pot more so you'll use less water.
2) Fill your crock pot so its about halfway covering the beef. Then cover the pot, turn on your crock pot to low. Or if it doesn't have a low setting like my mini crock pot, just plug it in for its regular cooking temperature. Let it cook for about 4 hours. Obviously, since I'm cooking a leftover roast that has already been cooked for 8 hours previously, this is going to be extremely tender meat.
3) Take your beef out and place it on a plate. It should be cooked enough that its practically falling apart.
4) Use two forks and break apart all the meat. You can also take out any large pieces of fat at this point too.
5) Place the shredded beef back into the pot and completely cover the beef in water. Cover it back up and let it cook another 2-4 hours. I did 4 more hours. The longer it cooks in the water, the more tender it will be.
6) Strain all the water out, but leave the beef in the pot. And pick out a bottle or two of bbq sauce (I recommend KC Masterpiece Original for this). If you are cooking an entire roast for this, you'll probably need 3-4 bottles depending on how big your roast is.
7) Gradually mix in about half a bottle of bbq sauce for each pound of beef you are cooking in the crock pot. Now cover the crock pot again and let it keep cooking for another 20 minutes to an hour. If longer than 20 minutes, stir about every 20 minutes. I let it cook for almost another 1. It will need 20 minutes of cooking at this point so the bbq flavor really permeates into the beef. Cooking longer than an hour at this point might just start burning your beef. So keep an eye on the clock at this point.
8) Scoop up some BBQ Beef and put it on a bun. Enjoy! And make sure you have a paper towel or napkin, because it has a similar consistansy as a sloppy joe.
9) Eat! Its so good.
Instructions to make:
Sirloin Steak with Bourbon Marinade
Serving size: 2 people.
- 1 Sirloin Steak (probably 2 pounds)
- DX's Marinade
1) Make the marinade as per DeathscytheX's marinade recipe.
2) Rinse off your steak, stab it with a fork about 10 or so times on both sides and place it in the marinade, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 6 hours or more.
I pan seared this steak on the stove. Normally I would have grilled it, but it was too damn cold outside (its winter atm) and I thought the steak might burst into flame because of the alcohol content. X'D
3) To pan sear it, pour some of the marinade in the pan and get the temperature up really high.
4) Place your steak in the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
5) Flip your steak and cook it for another 5 minutes.
6) Flip it again and its already done at this point, but I wanted to make sure it was well done (which it probably was at this point already), so I turned the stove off and covered it for another 2 minutes.
7) Take the top off and the bottom side will be more done looking than the top. Here is what it looks like on both sides.
8) While the steak was cooking, I threw a potato in the microwave on the baked potato setting a couple times for a side dish. Here is the completed steak with baked potato:
I think I'd recommend only 1/4 a cup of bourbon for the recipe, even tho DX's recipe calls for 1/2 a cup. I swear there was enough alcohol left in the marinade after cooking that I got buzz after eating this. X'D It has a good strong flavor and no real need for a bbq sauce. But I'll grill this next time as the house smelled like a bar for a couple days after i cooked this inside. X'D
I've been playing Prince of Persia since way back in the Broderbund days. And just as those classic games broke the barriers of cutting edge gaming back then, the new Prince of Persia does the same. Throwing aside the old side scrolling action and breaking new ground with such entirely unique gameplay, the Prince of Persia series is redifined with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
The game is played in 3rd person perspective with camera controls so excellent, you will never miss out on any of the action. If you were to watch someone playing this, you would think the controls would be intimidating. But in fact, the controls are simple to learn thanks to the basic tutorial that assists you through the beginning scenes.
The plot is great because of its simplicity.
To quote a description from the publisher:
Basically, everyone is turned into a sand demon, but as you play, you soon realize there are 2 others not affected by the Sands.. a young woman of the Maharajah kingdom named Farah and the evil Vizier. They both possess objects that protect them from the affects of the Sand, such as the Dagger has kept the Prince safe.
After the Sands of Time are released, you quickly discover that the only way to destroy the sand demons is to absorb their sand into the Dagger of Time. The Dagger also has other abilities, such as if you were to die abruptly by a missed jump, the Dagger can rewind time at your discretion so you can make another attempt.
The Dagger can do this as long as it has sand reserves. To refill the Dagger, simply kill another sand demon and absorb its sand. As you progress through the game, the Dagger will become stronger with every kill enabling you to do other feats than just rewinding time.
The game is tied together with action and puzzle solving. For example: Kill all the enemies in the room, then get from point A to point B to progress to the next area. And this is were the Prince's abilities really shine. By doing combinations of wall running, jumping, swinging, climbing, pulling switches, hitting levers and wall jumping.. this game is sure to keep you entertained.
With no major stage boundaries or level completion notices, Prince of Persia is a constant, fluid, adrenaline rush adventure.
Platform: PlayStation 2
Genre: Action Adventure
Publisher: UBI SOFT
Developer: UBI SOFT
The city of Zolem, floating thousands of feet above the land throws a shadow upon Scrap Iron City. Scrap Iron City is made from the refuse and waste cast down by Zolem and the city's populace consists of cyborgs, robots, thieves and man. Scrap Iron City is where this story takes place as Ido, an exile of Zolem and a cyborg engineer, begins another of his often ventures into the scrap to search for pieces of machinery to salvage. On this fateful day he comes across the remains of a cyborg and quickly realizes that it is still alive. He decides to repair her and when the cyborg awakes, she has no memory of her past. Ido decides to give her a name and that name is Gally.
Gally is kind hearted and gentle, until the night she notices Ido leave unannounced. Gally follows him and discovers that Ido is a Hunter Warrior (bounty hunter) and he is in trouble. Ido has come across a foe more powerful than he expected and is nearly killed; Gally seems to react with instinct and slays the cyborg about to kill her dear friend. Afterwards she tells Ido that she never felt more alive than when she fights and insists becoming a Hunter Warrior as well.
Gally claims many heads and many bounties as a Hunter Warrior and she also falls in love with a young man named Yugo. Yugo has a dream to one day live on Zolem, and Gally does all that she can to help him accumulate the money he needs. But everything falls short with deceit and lies and finally tragedy ensues.
Battle Angel is an excellent story filled with action, love and adoration. This anime is divided into two parts, one titled Rusty Angel and the other Tears Sign. Based off the epic manga titled Gunnm, Battle Angel is a short OVA that pays tribute to the wonderful Gally.
Voice Actors: 10
Genre: Fantasy / Action
Publisher: ADV Films / AD Vision Inc
The new vbulletin should be released in a beta version sometime in the second quarter of 2009.
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.
Fushigi Yugi, the mysterious play, is the story of a young girl named Miaka and her adventure into a magical book known as "The Universe of the Four Gods". Upon opening this book, Miaka is ripped from her world and placed inside the story. Miaka quickly discovers that she has a destiny to fulfill, for in this story her role is that of the Priestess of Suzaku. As the Priestess, she must seek out the seven warriors of Suzaku so that she may summon the beast god Suzaku and have her wishes granted.
But when Miaka's best friend Yui also becomes trapped in the book, a bitter rivalry ensues as Yui takes her place as the Priestess of Seriyu. While all of this happens, Miaka's brother Keisuke and his best friend Tetsuya, read the book and follow Miaka's progress throughout the story.
Fushigi Yugi has proved itself to be one of the most powerful animes I have ever had the priviledge of watching. The depth of the characters made me truely feel for them in their times of pain and happiness.
The dialoge that passes between each of the characters can be quite funny at times, but serious issues can sometimes lead to drastic events. The drama that unfolds leads way to intense battles and situations that drew me deeper into the story. With each episode, more of the story is read and The Universe of the Four Gods comes ever closer to an end. How will the story finish? Watch it yourself to find out.
The epic drama that is Fushigi Yugi is an anime that I will always admire and recommend to everyone.
Voice Actors: 10
Genre: Fantasy / Drama
As I was driving home from work last monday I noticed my saturn kept getting louder and louder. And then, right on the last couple streets to get to my house, my car started screaming at me. The car drove fine, felt fine, but the f*cking thing sounded like a drag racer. I got home and checked my exhaust and sure as hell, the joint where the exhaust pipe connects at broke. A car with no exhaust connected to it is so friggin loud you almost need earplugs.
The joint was pretty rusted, but the reason it broke is because another support piece further down the exhaust pipe broke and that caused the pipe to have enough back/forth and up/down movement to finish off the joint. I don't have any pictures of it or my repair job. But it should be all fine now since I quicksteeled the support and main joint back together again. Thank goodness for quicksteel. Aside from duct tape, this epoxy steel is versitile as all hell. *rubs my sore fingers from all the kneeding* x_x
Aside from getting the right colored hood and a couple new fog light housing pieces (damn pieces holding the lights in place are busted up pretty bad), the car is done.
It passed the NY state inspection the other day and I've been driving it to work all last week. Check out the before and after pics:
After I got an oil change done, my oil pan started leaking like a son of a bitch. Almost a quart a day. My friend Scott came over a couple days ago with his metal car ramps and we took a look at the problem. He found a couple pin hole leaks, at least they weren't too big. So we wiped the entire thing down with rags and sandpapered the area with the leak and put some quicksteel epoxy putty on it to seal the leak. It worked. It worked so good I decided to sandpaper the entire damn rusted oil pan and patch up every part that was rusted. Which was the entire front and bottom of it.
Heres some pics of what it looked like with the front part of it done. I didn't take any pics after I was finished because I so much epoxy on my hands I had to scrub them down with a steel wool pad. After that I didn't feel like even going back outside at that point.
Car on ramps:
Shitty walmart ramps I'm returning. The pieces of shit started buckling under the weight of a saturn! WTF!? What a shit product.
Old steel ramps:
Me working on oil pan:
Patched Oil pan:
It took 7 tubes of quicksteel for the front, bottom and most of the sides of the oil pan, at least the part of the oil pan I had access to (the rest is over top other parts, thankfully it wasn't leaking in a place I couldn't reach).
If anyone reading this attempts this, make sure you only pinch of an inch of this stuff at a time, knead it up and press that crap on there good... Its a bitch to do, but it'll eventually bond with the metal. If you try to do half a tube at a time, it hardens up too fast to make sure all of it is sticking good to the metal. Take your time doing it and it'll be strong as hell.
Hopefully I won't get any more leaks but if I do have to eventually replace the oil pan, I made sure none of the epoxy is touching any other parts of the car and none of the epoxy is on any of the bolts holding it in place. I wanted to make sure I didn't screw myself more in the long run.
Also, its been 24 hours since I patched it up and no leaks!
The bleeding nut on the passenger side front caliper broke and so I replaced the caliper. Instead of just doing that side I felt it would be best if I replaced both calipers in the front and thats just what I did. $80 later for the calipers and a bit of work a week and half ago and the job was done. Bleeding the brake lines was time consuming, but after I got it done I took it over to midas and had them replace the fluid and re-bleed it all.
The very next day after posting about the right side being almost done, I put the other headlight and turn signal on the left side. Since then I've put in quite a few more days and alot of hours into the car and now its pretty much done. All I had left was to bleed the brake lines. I bled the driver's side, then when I went to bleed the passenger side, the bleeder nut snapped off. x_x So I replaced the caliper and when I went to bleed the line, the hood latch release busted.
Anyway, even without bleeding the line the braking felt alot better so I figured it would be best if I replaced the other side too. So I replaced the left side and messed with the hood a bit more. No luck.
Today tho, I got lucky. After fashioning a coat hanger into a crude pulling rod and inserting it at the driver's side headlight to blindly attach it to the hood release... It didn't work and I got extremely fucking pissed. After 30 minutes I said fuck it and attacked the problem from under the car. The air deflector under the hood was already broken off to begin with from a snow issue about 2 years ago, so I had access to the top portion of that piece of plastic without having to first remove that large deflector piece. Anyway, three bolts later I found out I could bend that piece of plastic towards the radiator and access the hood latch release spring thru a small access hole with a screwdriver. A couple seconds later and one quick, light push with a screwdriver, my hood pops up.
Turns out the cable did not break and the hood latch was still working. I lubricated the hell out of it so it would stop being a bitch to operate and the cable somehow got dislodged from two retaining clips on the inside of the engine compartment and another two clips from under the dash. After zip tieing those couple spots and pushing the hood release cable back into position I was able to tighten it all up and it works again.
The real bullshit was that the cable still worked. I was just afraid of breaking it when I pulled on the cable with a pair of pliers in the drivers seat. I could have saved myself quite a bit of time if I'd have just yanked the damn thing. Of course one of the little metal wires is broken on the cable so it'll probably fail on me again someday and completely snap now... but at least now I know how to pop that f*cking hood without a cable.
As of now, I have 5 bolts left to put back on the car, bleed the brake lines and go for a test drive. The car is already insured and re-registered but I still have to get it inspected.
Once I finish up the little things I'll take some new pics.
When I first got the blazer I had a huge number of issues with it, that thankfully, I was able to get fixed at the dealership for free within the first couple months of buying it. Of course there have been a variety of issues since then that I've had to take care of like a ball joint, alignment, oil leak, front and rear shocks, back brakes, front brakes.
At least I've been able to do the brake jobs myself, but just the other day my emergency/parking brakes seized up on my back rotors. F*ck me. Most of the problem was in the back left wheel, I couldn't even get the damn rotor off. The parking brake almost welded itself to it with a layer of rust and a broken clip. You never want to change a rotor without changing the brake pads at the same time, so even tho it didn't need new brake pads I had to put new ones on along with the rotors. Because I couldn't get the rotor off, I broke down and called the local Midas and they took care of it for me.
Hundreds of dollars later, its all fixed and safe again. New rotors, pads and e-brakes. And of course the new shit all makes pretty much the same noises, but thats due to the massive amount of rust from the back plate which is located about 3 centimeters from the spinning rotor. I would rip the fucker off and say to hell with the noise, but its safer to leave it on so nothing kicks up from a tire and nicks the rotor. So unless the noise eventually goes away, I'll probably be stuck with a squeaky, rattling blazer from now on. *dies* x_x
After my last attempt at straightening out that radiator support bar, I purchased a $10 nail puller that looks like a mini crow bar. It worked out great for fixing the rest of the crumpled metal because both ends were the perfect size to fit in the pre-existing drilled holes in the metal. So, using that and a rubber mallet I was able to whack most of the metal back into place. I also fixed up another spot to use my tow cable on and with chelle's help we were able to pop out a very crumpled part. So, now that the bar has been straightened out enough to put the headlight back on, I did just that.
After 6 hours of work yesterday, I got the old wheel well off, drilled off the busted fender support bar, put on the right headlight, right turnsignal, new support bar and fender. I also replaced the headlight bulb and both turn signal bulbs. I would have taken pictures as the work progressed, but I didn't want to dirty up the camera and I didn't want to stop working while I was making so much progress.
Heres the finished pics of the support bar and all the work I finished yesterday. In the end, the bar was still off by so many centimeters, and thats all that was needed to not have the headlight and fender aligned 100%. Oh well, I just want the car back on the road and running again.
Instructions to make:
3 different flavors of Grilled Chicken with Grilled Corn on the cob and a baked potato.
Serving size: 3 people.
- Package of boneless chicken breast, with two breasts
- 3 ears of corn
- 3 large potatoes
- Italian seasoning
- Basil seasoning
- BBQ seasoning
- Italian dressing
1) Rinse off your chicken breast and cut the two breasts so you have four separate pieces.
2) Rub italian and basil seasoning on both sides of two of the pieces of chicken. (I had a request for two italian/basil ones.)
3) Put a piece of chicken in a bowl and pour a bunch of italian dressing on it to marinate it. Make sure you move the chicken around in it a little to ensure its coated good. You can then put this in the fridge for a 1/2 hour or more, but it really only needs to sit about 5 to 10 minutes in it.
4) Rub BBQ seasoning on both sides of your last piece of chicken. This seasoning from KC Masterpiece is actually pretty good on chicken as well as hamburgers.
5) Set your grill on a low flame on both burners and place your chicken on the top rack. And feel free to pour the italian dressing thats still in the bowl over that italian dressing chicken breast.
6) Let them cook for about 20 minutes and then flip them.
7) About 10-20 minutes later the chicken should be around 170 degrees inside. Use your thermametor to make sure the temperature is right. If you get it much higher than 175 or 180 the chicken will start drying out.
8) Take your corn and cut off both ends of the ear and peel away a couple layers of the husk. Then soak the corn in water for 10 minutes, making sure to move them around in the water every once in a while.
9) Have your grill on a low heat and place your corn on the bottom rack. Flip them every five minutes and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes. Because the husks were soaked, the moisture prevents the husks from catching on fire and burning, and it also provides the humidity to cook the corn.
10) Now that the corn is done, you can take it off the grill and then peel away the husk and rub butter all over it and maybe give it a dash of salt. Very tasty. You could also, remove the husk and place the corn back on the grill for another 2-5 minutes to add a little smoky flavor.
11) I forgot to start cooking baked potatoes on the grill at the beginning of all this, so I cooked 3 potatoes in the microwave. (ah, baked potato button, how I love thee, even tho each potato needs to be cooked twice.)
Don't forget, you can cook the corn on the cob on the grill after your first 20 minutes of cooking the chicken so they'll be done at the same time. You could also rinse off your potatoes, wrap them in aluminum foil with some butter and cook them on the top rack of your grill alongside your chicken. Or just cook them in the microwave like I had too.
And unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the completed meal. I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture. The italian dressing chicken was the most moist, because it was a liquid marinade. The other chicken was a little more dry because the dry rubs absorbed some of the moisture out. Because of that, they could a little faster and they got up to about 182 degrees. Oh well, a little Chicken & Ribs sauce for dipping took care of any noticeable dryness. mmmmmm...
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.
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.
Instructions to make:
St. Louis style ribs
- 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
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.
Looks like my weekend will be nothing but shoveling. 10-20 inches minimum Saturday night through Sunday. With a high of 12 degrees.. but the worst part is we're supposed to have high winds. fml.. that will make it have a windchill temp in the negatives all day and drifting snow banks of 1-2 feet everywhere.
2018 was an interesting year. Here are my picks for best of the year.
Game of the Year
God of War Runners up GOTY
Red Dead Redemption 2
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
Anime of the Year
Violet Evergarden Runners up AOTY
Mob Psycho 100
My Hero Academia
Movie of the Year
Deadpool 2 Runners up MOTY
Ready Player One
Avengers: Infinity War
Podcast of the Year
The Joe Rogan Experience Runner up PCOTY
83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff
Biggest Letdown of 2018
Diablo Immortal Announcement Runner up BLOTY
So after counting the cash and gift cards I got for my birthday in Oct and for Christmas I finally just broke down and ordered a Switch today all because I want the new Smash Brothers (damn you Nintendo, why do you do this to me. You know I have an obsession with SSB).
So yeah, I now get to start the journey of being a Switch owner (I just wish it didn't cost so much freaking money x.x).