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Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

Sledge's Sweet and Spicy Rib Rub

This dry rub can be used on pork or beef ribs, chicken, chicken wings, beef, pork, steaks, etc!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (firmly packed in measuring cup)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup + a little over.. half seasoned salt, half bucks seasoning
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:

1) Mix all the ingredients together. If you don't have a food processor to mix it with, then use your hands and really work the mix in a larger bowl to break apart the brown sugar so everything is equally mixed in.

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2) This recipe will yield a good sized batch of rub that should last you all summer! Just remember to separate the amount of rub you plan on using ahead of working with raw meats or other foods so you don't cross-contaminate your main batch! So when you are ready to start cooking, set a small bowl of your rub aside and store the rest of your rub in an airtight container. Or do what I do and put your rub mix in a freezer bag and store it out of the way on a refrigerator door shelf. It does not need to be refrigerated, but it will stay fresh longer in the fridge! But keep in mind, regardless of how you store the rub mix, the brown sugar in this rub will cause the rub mix to re-clump after it has sat for a few days/weeks. This is normal, just simply break the clumps apart and its ready to be used again!

sledgeribrubmix05.jpg

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

Sledge's Dry Rib Rub and how to cook some pork ribs with a dry rub, smoke and no sauce!

Serving size: 1 (or more if you cook more ribs)

Ingredients for dry rib rub (enough for probably 2 or 3 medium sized racks of ribs) :

- 1/2 cup of paprika

- 1/4 cup fresh ground black pepper

- 1/4 cup salt (or fresh ground salt)

- 2 tablespoons of onion powder

- 2 tablespoons of garlic powder

- 2/3 cup of firmly packed brown sugar

And of course to smoke cook your ribs on your grill you'll need:

- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds of pork spare ribs

- A couple handfuls of flavored wood chips

- A cast iron smoke box for your wood chips

- A piece of aluminum foil

Instructions:

1) Gather your ingredients for the rub and add them put them all into a bowl.

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2) Mix all the rub ingredients together. Its best to mix it with your hands, a fork, spoon or whisk just wont work as good.

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3) Rinse off your ribs and then pat them dry with a bunch of paper towels.

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4) Use one hand to grab rub and drop it liberally onto both sides of your ribs, and then use your other hand to rub it in. This way if you have extra rub left over you can save it in a baggie and refrigerate it without any contamination from touching the pork. If you don't plan on saving leftover rub, just dump it all over your ribs and put it on thick! You'll want to let it really permeate the ribs now. Cover it with plastic and refrigerate it, or if your ribs are still cold from the refrigerator, let them sit on the counter for a half hour or so while you warm up the grill and soak your wood chips.

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5) Put a handful or two into a bowl of water and let them soak for about a half hour. You can also turn on your grill and let it start heating up.

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6) Now that the grill has heated up, put your smoker box on the far right side. Grab a handful of wet wood chips, let the wood chips drain for a minute in your hand and then put the wood chips in the smoker. Not too many tho! Those wood chips need air to burn once you put the lid on. Also, turn off the left burner. You do not want to cook your ribs over direct flame. And turn the right burner down to about a medium flame.

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7) Before you put your ribs on the grill, lightly tap the ribs on its sides to get any excess rub off. Excess rub will look like dry patches of rub if as long as you let it soak into the ribs like I said. Now put the lid on your smoke box and put your ribs on the grill.

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8) Look at those ribs one more time because you won't be looking at them again for a while Close that grill and walk away for an hour. Within a half hour you'll probably see a light smoke coming out of the grill, you shouldn't have any flare ups because the ribs are not over direct heat. And by leaving the grill down for a full hour the grill will be cooking more like an oven and the smoke from the smoke box will circulate inside the grill filling the ribs with more flavor.

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9) An hour later, I flipped the ribs and added another small handful of fresh chips to the now fully burnt looking chips inside the smoke box. And now close that grill and let it cook for 1 more hour.

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10) After two hours of total cooking time, your ribs should be fully done. You can check with a meat thermometer, pork is well done at 170 degrees. When you take the ribs off the grill, immediately wrap them in aluminum foil and let them sit on a plate for a good 15 minutes. This lets the ribs reabsorb their moisture and allows more flavor to fully saturate the meat. If you don't wrap it in foil, the moisture will evaporate and collect on the plate. So wrap it!

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11) After 15 minutes, look at those ribs! :drool:

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12) Cut them into portions and look at the juicy results!

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13) Feel free to use a sauce on the side, but these ribs have all the flavor and tender flavor you need!

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14) Eat! :drool:

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This rub is a good sweet and spicy mix, but next time I cook ribs like this, I think I'll use a full cup of brown sugar to sweeten the rub a bit more. These ribs turned out quite good, but I think I still prefer my other rib recipe over this one... probably because its less time consuming and easier. :P

Heres a link to my other rib recipe:

St. Louis style ribs

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

Sledge's Grilled Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

Ingredients:

- Chicken Wings

- Sledge's Sweet and Spicy Rib Rub

Stuff you will need:

- A good knife

- Aluminum foil

- Ziploc gallon storage or freezer bag

- Grill

- Tongs

Instructions:

1) Prepare your chicken wings! I consider one batch of wings to be about 2 or 2 1/2 pounds. This package is enough for two batches of wings.

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2) If you have never cut chicken wings before, start by grabbing the tip and stretching out the wing.. the muscle structure of the wing will stay stretched out while you hold it allowing for an easy cut.

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3) If you do not have a sharp knife that will easily cut through bone, then grab the wing and snap the drumette away from the wingette in the opposite direction you were cutting, like in this pic.. the bone will pop out of the cartilage thus separating the two pieces.

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4) Now just cut the skin/meat that is still connecting the two pieces.

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5) Now cut the wing tip off and discard it.

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6) Cut the rest of your batch of wings the same way and place all the pieces on a paper towel covered plate.

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7) Get a small bowl of Sledge's Sweet and Spicy Rib Rub ready and get a gallon size ziploc bag for shaking your wings in. Now use paper towels and dry each wing individually and place them in the ziploc bag in rows. Drying the wings can take a while, so go ahead and start your grill and get it heated up and cleaned.

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8) Sprinkle one side of the wings with the rub so they are coated, flip the bag over and coat the other side too.

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9) Close the bag with a bit of air in it, and shake that bag to make sure the wings are fully coated.

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10) You will want to cook your wings on the grill with indirect heat. Line up your wings on the grill on one side, then set the burners on your grill to high, except for the burner your wings are sitting on, turn that one off.

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11) After letting them cook for about 20 minutes, you will want to flip them over and let them cook another 20 minutes.

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12) Use a meat thermometer if you unsure if the wings are done or not. Chicken is done at 170 degrees. Depending on your grill and the temperature it is maintaining, you may have to cook them longer or shorter. Once they are done, put them on an aluminum foil lined plate and then cover them with another layer of aluminum foil and let the wings sit for a good 5-10 minutes. This way the wings will rest and retain their moisture.

And here they are done!

chickenwings15.jpg

Additional tips:

1) You can cook them faster by cooking them over direct heat, but you will have to flip them very often and the more you flip them, more of the seasoning will be burned off onto the grill surface. That is why I cook them slower to retain the most flavor.

2) You can get the wings crispier by turning the burner underneath them on in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking. Just keep flipping them. But because this rub has sugar in it, the wings will want to burn quickly! So keep an eye on them and if they start charring up, lower the heat or take them off the grill!

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

A marinade that can tenderize beef chuck steaks and other cuts.

Amount: Enough for 2+ steaks.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup corn oil (or vegetable oil)

- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

- 3 tablespoon worcester sauce

- 1 teaspoon pepper

- 1/4 videlia onion sliced

- 1 tablespoon garlic powder

- 2 teaspoon salt

- 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions:

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

2) Rinse off two beef chuck steaks (or other cuts) and pat lighty with paper towels to take off some of the excess water.

3) Put your steaks in a bowl or in large ziplock bags and pour the marinade over the steaks. Flip the steaks a bit to make sure they are fully covered. Then either seal your ziplock bags or cover your bowl and refrigerate your steaks for at least 5 hours.

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4) Cook your steak. I cooked mine at a high temperature on the grill for about 8 minutes or so. If you grill yours, be careful if you pour the leftover marinade on them, the marinade has a tendency to flare up some strong flames.

(The woman's plate, she likes hers well, well done.)

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The steaks turned out quite tender for a beef chuck. There was still a little bit of chew to it, but not nearly as tough without marinade. If anything, let those steaks marinade over night or for 12 hours.

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

Sirloin Steak with Bourbon Marinade

Serving size: 2 people.

Ingredients:

- 1 Sirloin Steak (probably 2 pounds)

- DX's Marinade

Instructions:

1) Make the marinade as per DeathscytheX's marinade recipe.

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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.

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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.

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4) Place your steak in the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

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5) Flip your steak and cook it for another 5 minutes.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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. :drool: 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

Sledgstone

Last weekend I heard a noise and I knew the end was coming for the car. The timing chain is going. It started making a slight noise months ago which is why I stopped driving it on the freeway... but now its so loud just idling I was able to take a video of it.

saturn_timing_chain

I haven't gotten a quote to replace the $35 part, but I know it will be huge because to replace the timing chain, you have to remove the engine and take apart half the engine. That would cost more than what the car is worth. As it is, I'm pretty certain the chain will break the next time its driven somewhere. And when that thing breaks it'll seize up most of the engine. The car is in it's death throws now. But I can't complain too much, seeing as its been totaled previously, been resurrected, and driven for almost an additional 2 years.

Sledgstone

Well, I drilled out a spot on the fender bar so I could attach a chain mount to it for a connection point for my tow strap hook.

Heres the hook attached to the chain mount:

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Another angle:

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Attached to a pine tree for an ancor support.

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Pulling resulted in slight movement of the crumpled bar, before the metal started giving away on the chain mount.

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So, I used a rubber mallet and started whacking it and hitting parts back into place.

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Another angle:

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The hood does close a little more level now. I'm going to use a small pry bar and rubber mallet to try and straighten it out more. As long as I can get it straightened enough for my headlight to mount back in correctly, it'll be good enough.

Sledgstone

So I noticed my muffler was sounding louder than usual and I knew there was a small hole right on the end of it. So I bought a tube of muffler/exhaust patch goop and took pictures of my patch job. Make sure your car has been off for quite a while before doing this yourself. Your exhaust pipe and muffler should be cold when using this stuff because heat will only harden the goop too fast and you risk burning yourself. So yeah, to do this job yourself, all you need is the following:

1 tube of Exhaust system joint & crack sealer

(purchased at NAPA for $2.95 or so)

1 throwaway latex glove

(purchased at NAPA or walmart, an entire package for a few dollars, usually near the toilet scrubbers at walmart or auto chemical section)

1 can of brakekleen or any brand of spray on brake parts cleaner (all you need is a couple sprays out of it for this). ($3)

Here is the hole in my muffler.

muffler01.jpg

Here is a pic of the Exhaust system joint & crack sealer that I used. Autozone or Advance Auto Parts probably have the same brand or something similar.

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Here is the hole in my muffler after I sprayed it with some brakekleen to get the harmful chemicals off it. Then I let it air dry and then sandpapered it lightly to remove excessive rust or grime. Then I sprayed it again with more brakleen and let it dry once again so the goop will stick good.

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And just as I was about to put the goop on, I noticed this hole, and yes those are metal coat hangers holding up my muffler, the strap rusted away about six months ago.

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LMAO, holy shit! No wonder it got so loud! X'D

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So I put on the throwaway blue rubber glove and smeared some sealer onto the hole.

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I also cleaned, sanded (And wow, after rubbing it lightly with the sandpaper it became an even bigger hole) and then cleaned the huge hole and smeared almost the entire tube all over the hole. Since the sealer goop starts stiffening rather quickly, it was easy to just keep applying blobs to the edges of the hole, let it harden slightly and then just keep building on that edge until it covered the entire hole.

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Because it kept wanting to cling to my finger and reopen the hole when I touched it, I had to let it dry for an hour and apply another layer over top of it to finish the patch.

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I then let it sit over night and it was noticeably quieter the next day. Not normal of course. If all I had was just that little hole, once it was patched, you would think the muffler was new. But that huge gaping hole affects the noise the muffler makes now. I'll have to get a new muffler soon, but at least until I do it doesn't sound like I'm driving some old diesel truck down the road. X'D

Btw, if you have a small hole like the one on the end of my muffler on any part of your exhaust pipe, do this quick easy fix yourself and it'll cut back on alot of noise.

Sledgstone

The brakes have been pulsating pretty bad for about 2 weeks now. The pads looked good, so it must have been the rotors. I replaced the front rotors, brake pads and brake hardware clips yesterday and now it seems to be braking good again. I still have to give it a longer road test, but it is braking pretty solid now. BTW, rotors at NAPPA were $18 a piece while Autozone was $38 a piece. But for some reason the brake pads were actually cheaper at autozone than either NAPPA or advance auto parts. Surprised me.

I'm not surprised I had to replace the brakes tho, they were the same pads and rotors that sat for almost 2 winters with the car. The bolts that held the caliper bracket on were rusted to all hell. Freeze off, an 18mm wrench and a rubber mallet and bam. I'm lucky the damn bolts didn't break.

Sledgstone

Saturn done

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:

saturnbefore1.jpg

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Sledgstone

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.

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Sledgstone

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:

Quote

Ubi Soft's Prince of Persia website:

A Prince's quest for redemption.

In medieval Persia, Earth's mightiest and most mysterious kingdom, a king and his son defeat the powerful Maharajah, looting his palace of priceless treasure, including an extravagant hourglass and a mysterious dagger. What the Prince does not realize is that these two objects can turn their possessor into an immortal god, and give him control over time itself. Tricked by a dying Vizier bent on harnessing this terrible magic for himself, the Prince releases the Sands of Time, destroying a kingdom and turning its populace into ferocious demons.

Now, it is up to the young Prince of Persia to call upon every resource and ounce of courage he possesses to save his kingdom and redeem his fatal mistake.

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.

Quote
  • Graphics: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Control: 10
  • Camera: 8
  • Plot: 9
  • Gameplay: 10
  • Overall: 10
  • Platform: PlayStation 2
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Publisher: UBI SOFT
  • Developer: UBI SOFT
  • Released: 11/06/2003
Sledgstone

Pretty much done

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. :x

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.

Sledgstone

Recipe Pizza and Wings

Instructions to make:

2 Pizzas

4-8 Servings of wings (depending on how many wings you eat)

Ingredients:

- Pizza crust mix or premade dough - 2x

- Pizza sauce - 1 jar

- Mushrooms - 2 small cans

- Pepperoni - 1 package

- Sweet italian sausage - 1 small package

- Mozzarella cheese - 1 package

- Chicken Wings - 4 or 4 1/2 pounds

- McCormick buffalo wings mix - 2 packages

- Large ziplock freezer bag - 1x or 2x if two different flavors of buffalo wings

Instructions:

1) Break apart sausage and form into small/medium size chunks and brown it.

pizza1_sausage.jpg

2) Prepare pizza ingredients and toppings. Cut mozzarella cheese into small chunks or shred it.

pizza2_prep.jpg

3) Once sausage is browned, drain and let sit on paper towels to absorb more grease.

pizza3_sausagedone.jpg

4) Prepare pizza crust mix as per instructions or prepare premade pizza dough. (pizza crust mix is much better. This pic is the premade flattened dough.)

pizza4_pizzadough.jpg

5) Drink a shot of hypnotic/coconut rum to enhance cooking experience. (This step can be skipped.) :P

pizza5_booze.jpg

6) Rinse off chicken and cut each wing into three pieces at the joints, throw away the wing tips and keep to two meaty pieces for the actual wings.

pizza6_chicken.jpg

7) Put half of your wings (2 pounds out of that 4 pound package) into a freezer bag and dump 1 package of buffalo wing mix into bag. Shake the chicken in the bag to coat all the chicken somewhat evenly.

8) Use glass baking pan, line with aluminum foil, place chicken on foil and bake in pre-heated oven according to buffalo wing mix instructions.

pizza7_chickenprep.jpg

9) While chicken is baking, prepare pizza with sauce, and toppings as desired.

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10) Bake prepared pizza on the middle rack in your oven. 350 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes or longer depending on the amount of toppings you used. Cheese should start browning on edges. Remove pizza with oven mitts for pan style or use a large pizza spatula if baked directly on rack.

pizza9_done.jpg

11) When the wings are done, cut into a couple of them and make sure the meat is nice and white with no hints of pink to ensure they are cooked thoroughly. Remove the wings from the baking pan so they can cool on a plate. Prepare the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake the next batch of chicken wings while getting the next pizza ready.

12) Finished wings

pizza10_chickendone.jpg

13) Finished pan pizza

pizza11_pizza2done.jpg

14) Eat your pizza and wings!

pizza12_pizzaandwings.jpg

The pizza crust mix makes a much better tasting pizza dough. And I highly recommend the McCormick Original Buffalo Wings mix or the McCormick Garlic and Herb Buffalo Wings mix. Both are amazing. :drool:

Sledgstone

Doctor Who has always been one of my favorite shows, but this last series with Peter Capaldi has hit a new low for me. I loved Matt Smith and David Tennant as their own respective doctors, but Peter Capaldi's doctor is so bland. He might be a better doctor if the show actually had decent writers though. In all of time and space to travel to, the doctor has spent about 90% of that season in the school where Clara works.. Surrounded by children, Peter Capaldi's age is even more pronounced and he is often seen as an old cranky man that only listens to his grand daughter's (Clara's) opinion. After talking with my parents, they seem to enjoy him as the doctor, and if anything, that was the goal of this last season.. to appeal to the older, original audience base of the show. But in the long term that won't work out good for the show seeing as the older audience base eventually lost interest and it lead to the inevitable cancellation of the show.

Also.. Clara.. so much focus on Clara. They should have made the doctor a woman for this series considering how much they have focused on her over the actual doctor. I knew the show was going downhill when, in one scene on the moon, the doctor jumped into a cavern to investigate some giant bacteria.. and just when I thought the episode was going to get interesting, the camera doesn't follow the doctor, instead it goes right back to Clara again.. who is just walking somewhere. Who cares what the doctor is doing.. they should just rename the show "Clara Who?". I was hoping they'd kill off her character so the show could focus on the Doctor again.. but that doesn't seem likely any time soon. Maybe the show will get better, but unless they actually explore space and time again, I'm going to eventually lose all interest.

Sledgstone

Instructions to make:

Onion Steak Burgers

Ingredients:

- Package of ground beef round tip roast (you could substitute 90/10 or 80/20 hamburger if you want) - 2 to 3 lbs

- 1 packet of onion soup mix

- A splash of worcester sauce

- Cheese (I prefer extra sharp cheddar or maybe colby jack)

Instructions:

1) Gather your ingredients.

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2) Hand mash the meat with the onion soup mix until thoroughly mixed.

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3) Splash some worchester sauce onto the mix and mash that in as well. You don't need worchester sauce, but the meat I'm using is less fatty than the usual 80/20, so I want some more liquid in the mix to offset the dry onion soup mix. If you are using 90/10 or 80/20 go ahead and skip this if you want, but I'd leave it in for flavor. Just make your burgers slightly thicker in the end so the meat doesn't fall apart when you go to cook it.

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4) Use a small plat to make to make your hamburger patties with. Using a small plate instead of just your hands makes a more even patty and you can round the edges easier.

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5) Plate of finished patties. These are pretty thick burgers. When hamburgers cook, they loose alot of fat and thus the finished hamburgers are much thinner than the initial patties. But I'm using steak meat so these bad boys won't loose much size. hmmm.. :drool:

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6) If cooking on the grill, get your grill nice and hot first, then put your burgers on for a good initial searing to get those grill marks. Turn the grill down to low and close it up. Let them cook about 6-7 minutes on each side. If you are pan frying, Cook 1 or 2 of these at a time, because you'll probably only fit 1 or 2 of these on a pan. Cook about the same amount of time. You could also use a george forman grill, but burgers taste best when they are cooked on the grill.

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7) After 6 minutes my burgers look like this, and that means its time to flip:

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8) Look at those grill marks. mmmm.

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9) Cut some cheese for you burgers, I'm using colby jack today.

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10) Give your troublesome cat some cheese so he'll leave you alone.

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11) You'll know when your burgers are done and safe to eat when you stick a thermometer in one and its at 170-180 degrees.

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12) Put the cheese on your burgers, close that lid and turn the grill up to full heat for about 1 minute to melt your cheese.

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13) Finished burgers! Enjoy!

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Sledgstone

Oil pan leak fixed

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:

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Shitty walmart ramps I'm returning. The pieces of shit started buckling under the weight of a saturn! WTF!? What a shit product.

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Old steel ramps:

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Me working on oil pan:

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Patched Oil pan:

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Quicksteel:

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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!

Sledgstone

If anyone can remember the old bulletin board software wars from years ago, you would remember an old major player called ikonboard. This software was a phpBB, UBB and vBulletin rival back in the day. But after they got purchased by a bigger company they lost alot of their users when the old developers of ikonboard broke away and created invision power board. Shortly after ikonboard became pretty obsolete.

Now the same thing is happening with vBulletin. vBulletin was purchased by Internet Brands and became more commercial and money hungry. The main developers of vB left the company and just recently announced that they are making a new forum software called xenforo. Which can be found at http://xenforo.com/

Could this possibly be history repeating itself? Will xenforo replace vbulletin in the near future just like invision power board replaced ikonboard? Only time will tell.

Sledgstone

We just got our 800 disk capacity dvd case in the mail today:

http://www.cdrdvdrmedia.com/800pcs-aluminum-cd-box-white-128.html

Now we can finally throw out half of these huge shitty dvd wallet/cases that have been falling apart since we first got them. Now I wonder how long it will take us to organize and catalog our entire collection of DVD-Rs full of anime fansubs. O_O

Sledgstone

New calipers

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.

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Sledgstone

Back in May of this year I bought a new Smoker because I've been thinking about trying out smoking food for a couple years now. I've gotten pretty good with a standard grill, but I wanted to improve my slow cooking skills and try something new with different flavors. After watching numerous seasons of BBQ Pitmasters, I became inspired to finally try out charcoal smoking.

Instead of buying something expensive, I shopped around, looked at reviews, different makes and models and I decided to go with a vertical charcoal water smoker. A vertical water smoker works by having a heat source at the bottom, a water pan in the middle of the smoker that provides hot moisture, and two cooking grates. One directly over the water pan and the second at the top of the smoker. Because the water pan is almost as wide as the smoker itself, it causes all the food in the smoker to be cooked with indirect moist heat. Vertical water smokers are also cheap. Some offsets are cheap also, but many of the low end vertical water smokers are under $60.

After reading many reviews, I decided to get a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal Smoker. There is a large community of people that use this exact smoker and have shared numerous modifications they have done to improve it's performance. After reading about smoker modifications I was a bit concerned. Why would a new product need modifying? Well, I found out the answer.. If I wanted a smoker that would work amazing right out of the box, I'd have to pay $300 for a Weber Smokey Mountain. So, no.. I decided to go with something cheaper and modify it if needed, hence why these Brinkmann ones are nick named the ECB (El Cheapo Brinkmann). I'll only be using this smoker about 5 months out of the year and not even every week. For what I wanted to do, I figured $90 on amazon was good enough. For that price I also got the smoker cover, which turned out to be better material than I thought it would.

Unfortunately, amazon shipped this smoker horribly. The box looked like it was kicked a few times and I had to hug the metal of the body and the lid back into a fully circular shape. As well as bending the door into a shape that would close correctly.. I also needed to use a rubber mallet and hammer out one ding in the body. I was not please with the condition, but after full assembly the smoker looked great.

Here are some pictures of the Smoker new and in use for the first time:

I never used charcoal before so I had to buy a new charcoal chimney starter and some charcoal. I decided to get the weber chimney and go right for the royal oak lump charcoal. After reading all the safety information about charcoal lighter fluid and how you need to let the charcoal burn out for at least 20 minutes, etc. I had no interest in using it.. thats why I got the chimney starter. Along with some newspaper I'm able to get any charcoal started burning safely. That and I have a friend that uses the same style of chimney to start his charcoal grill. Very simple to use.

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The bottom of the smoker is a charcoal pan with air vents on the bottom. Charcoal is controlled completely by air flow. I added a grate at the bottom because I read that burned charcoal ash will build up and block the air flow which would smother the remaining coals.

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Now that the coals are ready, I put the body of the smoker on top of the pan, then add water to the water pan, put on the grates and add the food. Put the lid on and its done.

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As you can see, this style of smoker is noticeably smaller than an offset charcoal smoker that can usually be about the size of a normal grill.

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For my first use, I went big. I put a pork shoulder on the bottom grate and a rack of ribs on the top. I figured I'd get a good feel for the smoker with two different things cooking at once.

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I also put a couple aluminum foil packets of soaked hickory and apple wood chips onto the charcoal.. Here is where the smoke starts rolling pretty good:

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About 4+ hours later here are the results:

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The end results were not what I was expecting. Because this smoker has no airflow controls, I could not regulate the temperature. Also the thermometer is horrible. It doesn't even have temperatures.. only "warm, ideal and hot". The ribs turned out ok, but overly smoked. The smoke flavor was so pronounced that I couldn't eat the smaller ribs. And the pork shoulder was not even cooked all the way through. I ended up finishing the pork shoulder on my propane grill because I already used 2 chimneys full of charcoal and I didn't feel like setting another to burn. The pork shoulder was not cooked correctly but the smoke flavor was good for it. Because it was thicker, the smoke didn't permeate as much into the meat.

I'd say this smoker was a failure. But I didn't give up. I decided to make a few modifications, which I'll go over in another blog post. I can say that I would not recommend using this smoker without modifying it. Or if you do use this smoker without modifications do not use lump charcoal. It burns far hotter and faster than kingsford briquettes and with no airflow controls, the lump burned incredibly fast. Also, use almost boiling water in your water pan, and only fill it half way. The water I used was hot from the tap and because of the volume of water the pan holds, most of the heat that would have cooked the pork shoulder was absorbed by the water that was sitting directly under it.

And for anyone wondering, was the smoker worth it? The answer is yes. Once I had the proper modifications done, I have been making some of the best barbeque I've ever eaten. Definitely worth it. It was quite a learning experience too. Practice makes perfect.

Sledgstone

Ok, This took me most of my afternoons all last week and two weekends, including this past saturday and sunday. I took some pics, but I'm not posting them in this blog entry. I just wanted to get the work done and messing with a camera took too long so I didn't get many pics at all.

Parking brake/emergency brake/e-brake update!

After grinding the brake shoes down a bit so they'll fit inside the rotors smoother, I realized the adjustment pins were rusted to all hell and wouldn't function correctly anymore. Whenever I pushed on the e-brake inside the car, the shoes would only move a centimeter. $20 at advanced auto for the parking brake hardware kit and I got everything swapped out except for the metal pivot piece. The replacement piece for that was rediculously small and would no way in hell work in my opinion. So I got the old ones cleaned up, greased everything with a lithium grease instead of caliper grease so there would be lease junk in there to mess it up, and after a long while I got it all working good again by holding everything in place while smacking the shoe into place. And after that, I put in the new retaining clip and those shoes were held in place tight and when applied, they moved a half inch. Yay. All done with that.

After fixing the e-brake, the car still pulsated when braking. Everyone says its rotors. Seeing as the back rotors looked like shit since the back plates tore one up and the caliper pins caused the pads and rotors to wear uneven, I replaced the rotors and pads. I bought the parts from Napa this time. I had to file down my brake pad holding brackets to get some rust off. I also had to lightly file down the ends (not the nubs) of the brake pads so they'd have movement once they were in the bracket. And get this, the NAPA brand rotors and pads were a higher quality than what I got at advanced auto parts or autozone and where a little over $100 cheaper! I'll only buy parts from NAPA from now on. :nod: BTW, the NAPA back rotors were different on the inside than the wagner ones I originally got from autozone. Inside the NAPA rotors, it was a smooth tapered gradient inside the hat, compared to the hard edged line of the crap rotors that kept smacking my e-brakes. -_- I may not have had to grinded my e-brakes at all if I would have had these rotors from the beginning! Fuck you autozone! Also, after doing the backs, I bled the entire brake system.

After the back rotors and pads were done, the e-brakes fully done, brakes bled... The car still pulsated while braking, but! All the noise in the back end is now completely gone and the braking was a slightly different pulsating now.

Now that all the rotors and pads are all brand new, I noticed scuff marks on my new front rotors from the pulsating bullshit. So I figured it must be the calipers. The front wheels were a bitch to move compared to the rears with the brakes off. So I picked up the front calipers with bracket for $54 a piece at NAPA, $90 a piece if I remember right at advanced auto and autozone. Fuck both of them.

I replaced the front calipers, just like I replaced the ones in my Saturn blog. Turns out the front calipers were not fully releasing. After getting the new calipers on, the tires moved much much easier when the brake was off.

Guess what tho! The brakes still pulsated.. But once again, it was a slightly different pulsation again and this time with all the noise from all the bad braking parts gone, I was able to hear a distinctive electric motor noise kicking in with the pulsation. Turns out I have an ABS problem on top of everything. I pulled the two ABS fuses, (the ABS light comes on on the dash now). With the ABS disabled, the damn thing brakes perfectly fine now. YATTA!

I've let the blazer sit the past couple days so I can check the brake fluid level to make sure theres absolutely no leaking going on at all. Other than that, I'll give it another test run this weekend to some local stores to see if all my vibration problems were fixed too. If not, then theres something else going on with that, but I'll get to that some other time if its a persistent problem.

As far as I can tell, the ABS problem is probably one, if not both of the front ABS sensors. Each costing about $70 piece. As far as I'm concerned it can wait until we're closer to winter because I don't want to fuck with this truck anymore.



  • Recent Status Updates

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