We come to the conclusion that we will sell the Blazer. We'll end up taking a loss on the loan, but the vehicle's constant maintenance is not worth it. At the current rate of random repairs, we'll actually loose more money keeping the truck than taking the initial loss from a trade in. We're going to look into getting a full or mid size 4 door 4 cylinder sedan. 4x4 is a damn nice feature, but the maintenance and cost is pure hell.
One of the people at vBulletin posted a blog entry showing what we should expect the new default vb style to look like. Seeing as me n lady like to make new styles based off the vbulletin default one, it should change the overall look of the forums. Click this link for some pics of what it'll look like:
I made chicken wings last night and I figured I'd share my latest recipe.
Instructions to make:
Honey BBQ Chicken Wings
- Package of Chicken Wings - 2 to 2.5 lbs
- A couple cups of flour
- 3 eggs
- KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce - 1 1/4 cups
- Honey - 1/4 cup
- Soy Sauce - 1/8 cup
1) Rinse off the chicken winds and cut them into three pieces, discarding the tips. I'm using a 4.5 lb package of chicken wings because half of this package are used for my Honey BBQ wings and the other half I used a McCormick Buffalo Wings Garlic and Herb dry rub.
2) Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels.
3) Crack 3 eggs into a bowel and wisk it up to make an egg wash.
4) Once the chicken wings are mostly dry, dip them in a ziploc bag of flour to coat them, then coat both sides into the egg wash and then put them back into the flour so you have a double coating of flour.
5) Put your wings on your grill at a low temperature and cook them for about 15 minutes, flipping them once. Notice that the other half of my chicken wings look different (the ones on the left), those are the ones I patted dry and coated with the McCormick mix.
6) While the chicken wings are cooking, mix the three sauce ingredients together. You can add more honey or soy sauce to taste. With the mix I made it turned out to be a bit more of a honey/sweet&tangy sauce.
7) After the first 15/20 minutes take your flour coated wings off the grill (I did it right at the grill, one at a time) and dip them in your honey bbq sauce. Then put them back on the grill and turn the temp up to medium. Keep flipping them every 5 minutes or so and cook your wings until their internal temperature is 180 degrees. It takes about a 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. To do this easier on a grill, cook only a 2 - 2.5 lb of chicken wings at a time and place them on the top far left of the grill. Turn off the burner directly below the wings, the left one and crank the temp on the right burner to full. Because the chicken wings get cooked with indirect heat you don't need to keep flipping them constantly and they should cook faster.
8) Finished Honey BBQ Wings. They look burntish, but they taste good to me. The only problem I had was that the wings just weren't crispy. I think breaded wings cook best fried, but in the end grilled wings turned out pretty decent and the sauce tastes quite good.
9) Finished McCormick Garlic and Herb Wings. Cooking these on the grill, they turned out very crispy and tasty. Of course being a dry rub, there was no flour or sauce involved to moisten the skin. I honestly think for cooking wings on the grill a dry rub has a much better result.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Me n lady have been working on the site and forum alot over the past week or so and now we have a new blog system. This seems kind of option heavy for the simple blog system I thought it was. eh, I'll mess with the settings some more and see what happens.
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:
A bunch of Tacos for serving 4-6 people.
- Ortega taco mix - 2x
- Ground beef - 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
- Tomatoes - 3x
- Lettuce - 1 package
- Sour Cream 1x
- Taco cheese (preshredded) - 1 package
- Taco shells, Tortellias - 1 combo box (8 or more of each)
- Ortega Taco sauce - 1 bottle
1) Cook meat as per instructions on taco mix packages.
2) Prepare toppings while meat is cooking. Dice tomatoes, shred lettuce or cheese if not already packaged that way.
3) Bake or microwave taco shells and/or soft tacos as per package.
Assemble tacos. One or two tablespoons of meat per shell, add toppings to taste, use a little dash of the taco sauce for extra flavor or heat.
I prefer the soft tacos. You can also pick up large tortellias for burritos and make large soft tacos out of them instead.. so good.
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:
but it is something I can never do.
I watched Terminator 2 today. Classic. I've seen it so many times, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing it. I caught most of T1 yesterday also, so I figure I might as well finish off the trilogy and watch T3: Rise of the machines later tonight. I love watching shit blow up.
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.
So after all the work I put into our blazer, and all the money we had to spend on it for random fixes left and right, enough is enough. The transmission starting going over the past couple weeks. From what I saw online, getting a flush would cause more harm than good, but just replacing the filter and a couple quarts of fluid shouldn't cause any problems. So I went to midas and paid them to replace the tranny filter and the fuel filter. They screwed up something by either hitting something too hard when they took the pan off, or they somehow dislodged something, or the transmission was just so bad, that even touching it caused it to screw up even more. After the tranny filter was replaced, it lost the first and second gears and the service engine soon light came on for 2 shift solenoids. Midas offered no help at all afterwords and only told me to take it to a transmission shop. The only way I could drive it was to physically shift it to first, then second, third and then drive... every single time the car came to a stop.
So fuck it, we decided to trade it in. We were holding off for a while because we know we owed more than it was worth.. sure as hell the trade in value was pure shit. We did get a good deal at a toyota dealer with zero percent financing for 5 years tho. Yay. We got a new 2010 Toyota Corolla.
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:
Attached to a pine tree for an ancor support.
Pulling resulted in slight movement of the crumpled bar, before the metal started giving away on the chain mount.
So, I used a rubber mallet and started whacking it and hitting parts back into place.
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.
I replaced the thermostat today after work. Now that I had the right deep socket to get those threaded nut head bolts off the thermostat casing, I had no problem replacing it. The temperature seems to be reading correct now on the in dash gauge.
But I still have an annoying ticking that happens when I start the car after its been sitting for a while. I have a feeling its an oil lifter, so I put some seafoam in the crankcase. I figure I'll drive it back and forth from work tomorrow and do another oil change to get the crap out. I used 'pennzoil synthetic oil/with cleaning additives' in my last oil change a week ago. I figure the engine will be pretty cleaned out with the cleaning additives in the oil along with seafoam, but the oil probably looks like crap already and will need to be changed again (especially since I put seafoam in it).
If the engine still ticks after I change the oil again, then I'll have to take it to a mechanic to check it over. I hate cars.
Here are some possible scenarios that could take place as the year progresses.
Bush will insist upon Iran's nuclear plans, furnish proof of their 'evil plans', insist on Iran's involvement with terrorism and start a war with Iran near the end of his presidential term.
With a war booming and the possibility of Iran literally attacking US on its own soil and with the war having the potential to go nuclear, gas prices will jump exponentially and other countries now severely burdened by oil prices, others may join with Iran and a potential WW3 could start.
A war with Iran could also be a potential cover up just to have a nuclear factory 'explode' or a nuke could be dropped on Iran. Because Iran has large reserves of oil under their soil the oil could be potentially contaminated with radiation and all the massive reserves under their land could now be unusable thus creating a world wide oil based recession.
All of this is also a potential way for Bush to pass some new bill to keep him in office past his two terms because of the world crisis he has caused. Thus our president becomes a war mongering dictator.
If this does not happen and McCain becomes president, he will try to pick up this exact same course minus the dictator part.
Of course, Bush could always start up a war with Iran or set things in motion for it to take place, leave office and screw the next president into a position of having to declare war.
Some answers to important licensing questions - vBulletin Community Forum
With so many vbulletin customers bitching about the possibility of vBulletin charging for an upgrade to the vb 4 code, vbulletin has finally announced that they will not charge for the upgrade... but they will be implementing new license terms.. with their current terms they were obligated to not charge for a new major version upgrade. But my guess is that the new terms will allow them to make as much money as possible by screwing people over on future upgrades.
The f*cking vbulletin suite upgrade better be reasonably priced. *shakes fist at vb*
Today I put a small piece of cut fuel line over my existing fuel line with a hose clamp, I had it set just up from the leak so when I took off the old patch I would be able to quickly slide it down the fuel line and tighten it over the leak. Unlike when I first found the leak and quickly patched it up while sliding on top of snow and ice, I was able to put the truck up on my car ramps to get plenty of room to work with. Those ramps have paid for themselves already.
So after I had the new patch ready to tighten up, I cut off the small zip ties and unwrapped the nitrile disposable glove finger that was keeping the fuel line from leaking initially. Once it was off, instead of a small leak, the gas started pouring out like a small piss stream. guh! But! I was able to get the new patch over it and tighten it down quick enough that I did not get a huge gas mess. I didn't even get any on my clothes. And since I had some disposable gloves on, everything worked out great. Before I finished up, I moved the gas line around a bit and secured it to other hoses with zip ties to make sure it was clear from hanging around the frame. Its no longer leaking and I'm quit certain this patch will be quit permanent.
Now I just have to get a new long neck funnel so I can put some seafoam in the tank to finish my clean up job.
The only other maintenance I have planned is to get the transmission fluid replaced at some point in the near future as it is seriously past due. The only fluid I actually forgot to change over the past couple years. Oh, and the fuel filter should be replaced soon too. Its recommended change is every 30,000 miles, the car is at 100,000 so I'd say its past due too.
Black friday sales started early so I bought a 4k HDR 50 inch samsung tv. I'm pleased with it. The blacks this tv gets still blows my mind. I doubt I'll buy a PS4pro, but in the mean time my regular PS4 has HDR.. but I only have one game that actually takes advantage of it and thats Uncharted 4. I don't think I'll be replaying it any time soon just to see the graphical difference, but regardless this tv upscales like a champ. Everything looks significantly better. Thats a hell of a lot better upscaling than blu ray players do for dvds. Its a night and day difference.
I put on Rise of the Tomb Raider last night and Battlefield 1 and the quality is top notch. Game mode works with HDR for this tv, so I can put on game mode for reduced input lag which is nice without affecting quality. It also has bitstream audio pass through which works great with my old receiver for surround sound.
The tv has Motion rate 120 instead of true 120 hz refresh rate which I didn't know was a different thing when I was buying the tv. But thats ok, I doubt the PS5 when it eventually comes out will even come close to 60 fps at 4k and my current pc graphics card will no way in hell do any better than 60 fps at 4k so I'm pretty much set for future proofing at the moment.. at least for the next 4-5 years probably. And motion rate 120 is a bit nuts. I had to turn the judder down on that. It makes everything so fluid its like everything was filmed like a soap opera. I never realized more fps on a movie would look so different. But the biggest downside is for animated titles. It cause a bit too much of a blur effect as the tv basically fills in the games to increase the fps.. its not good for animated shows.
Sigh, I actually had to break down and get a FunimationNow account because half the shows I was planning on watching on CR got pulled yesterday (and I didn't actually realize Funi had the license). Going to go broke if this shit keeps happening >.<
I still haven't had the time to play any of the GW2 halloween event and it ends tomorrow. but i did get the new entrance to my deck completed. I cut a good chunk of the wood fence off, reinforced it with pieces of 2x4, sanded it and reinforced adjacent parts of the deck with huge deck screws. I borrowed my friend's impact driver. Holy crap I need to buy one of these. That thing is beastly and amazing.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is a testament to what single player games can be when you spend years developing them rather than 1-2 years and throw them out there with endless sequels. It would take me a few hours to hammer out my initial thoughts on this game. The level of detail is truly spectacular. My one concern was having to juggle all the health/stamina and weapon maintenance, but somehow Rockstar made it very uncumbersome to where its there, but you don't really have to worry about it every few minutes... I've gone hours without having to rest or use consumables. I've found myself getting lost in just tracking/hunting for hours. The amount of random side content is astonishing. After I get off work tomorrow, I'll have a whole week to dive into it and get lost. I'm really looking forward to it.