Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Here's a great one Filmer took of Mikey.
This is from our stay on Orcas Island.
Our cabin was well equipped.
Oh look, a wood door!

Bookshelf Hanger

I did a little home improvement the other day.
We had these shelves, but their hangers were very weak.
They used small nails pushed into compressed particle board.
The nails didn't grip, and if the shelving was loaded, they slipped out.
So, I took 10 minutes and made some new hangers from metal strap stock.
I used screws for better grip.

The shelves hold weight like never before!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Boots - Before and After

I've got attire all sorted out for my Wedding.
Things went exactly as planned, pretty much...
...but my mother and sister really pushed me on boots.
They wanted me to get a new pair, just for the wedding.
I didn't feel that was necessary; shoot, there's no need!
I just got a new pair a few years ago!
It is MY wedding, and I know what I want.
I want to wear my own boots.
So, I had them re-soled.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

MiniMag - Update!

I was able to remove the batteries!
However, I've been less successful with cleaning the housing.
The corrosion prevents smooth battery insertion/removal operations.
I've tried cleaning it with parts cleaner and rust penetrating oil.
I twisted up a rag, stuffed the housing, and doused it.
Perhaps if I let it soak in this way for a while, I'll have more success.
I also damaged the switch removing the upper battery.
I'll have to get a new one, which comes packaged with a switch removal tool.
I love tools, and this one should be handy (for next time)


The AA dry-cell Duracells I had in my spare flashlight leaked.
They were resident in the flashlight for several years, corroding.
This corrosion fused with the aluminum-magnesium flashlight body.
Unfortunately, I can't get the old batteries out!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

waiting for a taxi to napa

Stockholm XJ

I saw this diesel-powered Jeep Cherokee XJ downtown in Stockholm.
I'm unsure who makes this engine, but would love one in my Jeep.
This could be converted to Bio-Diesel, something I'm interested in.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Amsterdam WK

In downtown Amsterdam, there are 50k dollar Jeep Grand Cherokee WK Taxis cruising around.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fixed Parking Brake

Recall the time I obtained and installed a stronger rear axle for my Jeep. When I got that axle, I had to swap mine right then and there in the driveway. Because of the rushed installation, I didn't have time to address the parking brake cable differences. Thus, I've had no parking brakes since mid-January.

You see, the axle I installed was from an older Jeep, a 1987. This new-to-me axle's parking brake cables used guides and equal-length brake cables. However, my Jeep, a 1997, is equipped with bracketry for a 3 cable system with a tension adjuster link.

Here is a quick diagram I created to illustrate the differences between the systems.
After inquiring with fellow Jeep Cherokee Enthusiasts at NAXJA, I decided it would be easiest to just install new-style cables in the drums. Unfortunately, mine had gone with the other Jeep when I swapped axles.  Swapping cables requires removal of several internal drum brake components, and this is exactly the dirty job I have been avoiding for a year.  In the meantime, a member of my North American XJ Association from the East Coast found himself with an extra set of cables I could use.  He replied to my thread and offered to mail them to me if I paid shipping - so I did! (and I really like that my participation at NAXJA lead to this unique interaction spanning coast to coast!)

Before and After comparison photos.  
The old unusable cables were zip-tied to the axle, and redundant brake line hardware remained.
I installed the new cables, removed unnecessary hardware, and cleaned up some line routing.
As you can see above, the internal brake springs on these cables were of equal length. The new spring coil on the left is slightly tighter and longer, but the material is thinner, so the compression length is the same as the old spring on the right. These worked perfectly, and they have better weather seals for the backing plates which should help keep my brake drums debris free!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I found this old vanity in an alley in Chicago.
Upon which, the television has rested ever since.
The drawers had no knobs when the find was found.

Thus, seven or more knobless years have passed.
I had grand dreams of making knobs from stones.
These dreams perpetuated my knoblessness.

I never had time for making my low priority dreams happen.
Today I compromised and bought some, but I'm happy as can be.
My perception that only hand made stones would do clouded reality.
Because its great to have knobs at least I can use these drawers now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spindle Re-Grease

I hung my exhaust a bit too high.
The hot gasses heated my bumper bracket and carbon discolored it.
The heat also accelerated the deterioration of my spare tire swingarm grease.

I disassembled the bumper to get at the spindle.

I added a liberal amount of grease to keep the water out.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My transmission cooler return line was leaking, so I doubled the hose clamps.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Uni-body tie-in brackets

Rachel brought these brackets home from the USA for me ( through customs and as a carry on!)... When I installed my spare tire carrier, I had to cut two rusty bolts on my old brackets. The stock brackets can't be re-used with the bolts rusted to them. These new brackets are required to re-install my hitch and fuel tank skidplate.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A small cow 2

I found him!

A small cow

I like this small cow but I don't know where he is right now.

Sometimes things break themselves?

When Rae and I came home from Harrison, this excellent dish Karl gave us was in shambles. I guess I'm going to blame changing temperatures, even though I've had it for years. Bring it on, Fall, Winter, Spring! You're all the same here in the Northwest.

And no match for Summer.